Friday, December 12, 2008

Earl Flormata - The Race

Healthy competition is always a good thing when it comes to creating a balanced market place. Even just having someone else to race against makes both competitors push themselves even harder to reach heights of performance they normally wouldn't strive for

A friend of mine: Vishal - was the director of this short film so I thought I'd post it out there for people to take a look at.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Earl Flormata - Black Friday death

Black Friday in the U.S. was named so because it was generally the first day in the year where stores hit profitability for the entire calendar year. Each year many things go on sale all across the U.S. and people wait at stores overnight just to catch a deal - very akin to the boxing day sales here in Canada.

Something of note however was that a Wal Mart employee met his end due to the stampede of shoppers who couldn't wait to start shopping.

Why I make a mental note of this is because from a mindset of abundance people are more inclined to take care of others and care about their surroundings. Whereas from a stance of scarcity, people are unwilling to mind anything but their own space disregarding others. Strangely enough the people who are selfless, are the people who are selfish at first - but only in specific areas. It's in finding the balance that we are able to help both sides.

In life we should seek a balance between serving ourselves and serving others. That, and try not to stampede anymore poor employees who are just trying to open doors for us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Earl Flormata - A previous life

Once upon a time, I was a techie. Sprawling across the worlds of both IT and coding was my territory, and dealing with heavies like NASA, The Pentagon, US DOJ, Nintendo and a few Major Banks was a normal day in the life of me.

It's neat to look back at my previous role and my previous employer to see how things are going in their neck of the woods. I was there since the days of Seagate Software, Crystal Decisions, Business Objects, but left before the industry consolidated the major business intelligence firms and the merger to SAP occurred.

Business Objects was one of the places where I developed my first set of public presentations, the chance that gave me a taste of public speaking at developer conferences, and the opportunity to take a running leap at leading my first software company.

Now as I sit thinking about my own boardroom table where my business partners handle the mergers and acquisitions portion of my businesses, it's funny how life has changed for me. Although I'll be forever grateful for the lessons learned and life lived before - it's an interesting thought to be playing my own game instead of being a piece on someone else's chess board. With a fond memory of having nerf guns being a normal part of my office space, countless computers and fellow geeks surrounding me, I do look forward to rebuilding my company and growing it to the next level. I encourage all of my old co-workers to try playing Robert Kiyosaki's cash flow 101 game - check out cashflowbc.ca or meetup.com to find other people to play with so that you all get the chance to see what I saw, and perhaps I'll see a few of you on the entrepreneurial path. Until we meet again.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Monday, November 17, 2008

Earl Flormata - Perfection is the lowest standard

Perfection is the lowest standard.
A bold thing to say - but in hindsight, how many things have you started, or even thought about starting, but never got off the ground because of your fear that it wasn't good enough?

The first time I saw this quote was during an Leader Global Consulting marketing bootcamp that I attended hosted by Odin Zavier and Thane Lanz.

Rod Sherwin talks about it in his ezine article found here.

If we hold perfection in too high a regard we will not start something for fear of not doing it perfectly. Can you relate to this? This is why perfection is the lowest standard. Doing something, anything, is better than doing nothing.

While we should always strive to do something to a high standard in starting out we might accept what G. K. Chesterton said "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly" -- at first!

Paul J Morris has his two cents in the flying solo website.

Standards are undoubtedly great to have for good business performance. They provide us with guidance and something to aspire to. But setting too high standards can work against us, counter intuitive as this may seem.


Now that I've taken a look around - and have been asked more than once what the next step is to improving one's business and taking it to the next level, the more I see people striving for perfection, the more I see people failing. This is what causes me to believe that the quote for what it's worth is absolutely true.

So what now? Where do we go from here, and are we doomed to live a successful life of mediocrity? I don't believe that getting things done for the sake of getting things done is the right and proper approach either. One of the people that I've assigned to create a coaching course around the basics of finances has hit the nail on the end with the very first day of her training material. Find out the values that you wish to preserve, protect and honour and ensure that all of your actions brings meaning towards your values.

As long as the movement is headed in the right direction - even a little askew (but not a complete tangent or opposite) it's a positive thing. Movement and action are the steps to success. You can always make things better along the way.

A student during our lesson countered that in her field of profession - nursing - that perfection was a required trait, and that mistakes meant furthering the injury, or even worse: the death of a patient. My retort now that I've thought about it is if that's the case, would you REALLY spend time adjusting the crooked bandage while your patient should be loaded into a life saving ambulance dash to the hospital? Or is it acceptable that the bleeding has indeed stopped to an acceptable level, and it's now time to move onto the next phase? Besides, the bandage can always be readjusted along the way. It's the values and progress that are much more valuable to the outcome than the pursuit of perfection in all matters great and small.

My kung fu instructor: Adam Chan teaches his students that blocking is an unnecessary skill. Proper attacks lead to the blocking of countermeasures that would stop you from reaching your objectives in the first place. Of course this doesn't mean that your flower hand is useless, but understand that blocking means that you must be 5 times faster than your opponent for your counterattacks to land well.

From cadets the idea from my training is the concept of fire and motion. One person shoots while the rest move up in their positions on the battlefield occupying precious real estate from the enemy.

How do we learn if we do not falter or fail? How do we succeed if analysis paralysis has taken over and we are too fearful of the first or even next steps? I encourage all of you that read this to take action sooner rather than later, but never forget the values that you believe in. Failing to plan is never the right option - but seeking the elusive standard of perfection is worse than never having even started at all.

Take the first step. It's a doozy but it's a law of physics that it's easier to keep a body in motion that's already in motion, than to drop kick a perfectionist off his high horse... or at least something to that effect.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Earl Flormata - Starting out in Forex.

Quite a few people have asked me where I have been successful in the past, and have come across my background in the Forex Industry. So I've written a little something to get people started along the path should they choose this route to reach their Infiniti Point.

http://www.babypips.com is a fantastic and FREE place to start instead of paying thousands for some of those other beginner programs, realize that there is a lot of information on the internet that you can get for free before starting out.

Technical methods are only 20% of the true learning. Mastering your emotions as cheesy as it sounds is the real major battle. Just stick to a system - paper/demo trade until you're comfortable and always test / measure and journal so you can have a proper foundation to look back upon.

I made my first million in the forex industry - it's also the place where I lost the biggest. Just keep at it though and if you've got the patience and the will to keep your spirits up, it's a viable strategy at financial freedom.

Just bear in mind that the learning curve is a steep one, and you may lose your first few accounts if you don't keep careful. Beware of difficult to deal with brokerage houses. It's one of the main things that nobody tells you about in the learning curve. Trading itself is a both a science and an art, but dealing with corrupt brokerage houses that don't place your trades within a reasonable timeframe is a lesson you don't want to learn the hard way.

Good luck, and happy trading.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

P.S. Beware of false trading logs and scams where traders ask for your money and promise you the sun, the moon, and the stars. Remember that YOU must control your own account, should be able to log on and see the trades live (observer account) and should never give control of the money transfers out of the account save for brokerage fees and trader commissions. It's a dangerous world out there - don't forget to watch your back. I'm nowhere near perfect and I've had my own fair share of being taken for a ride.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Earl Flormata - I will change the world.

The title says it all. I am here. Here I will make my stand - I will make a difference.

Something I learned from Tony Robbins - Unleash the Power Within.
The 6 main primary driving emotions in our life that make everything worthwhile:
  • Certainty
  • Uncertainty / Variety
  • Significance
  • Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution
Utilizing and harmonizing these 6 items in myself and others, I am creating a massive joint venture movement to bring success to as many people as I can - as fast as possible.

Through knowledge, education and experiential learning structures I will expose people's minds to a new reality to bring them certainty of the ability to make a change for the better in their lives. Through my multiple outside of the box exercises, I will create variety and empower and embolden creativity within my sphere of influence. In teaching others to build up themselves, learn new skills and gain new confidence, they will find their significance in the group. From our team bonding days and team networking, a connection will be made with everyone. In experiencing success, growth in terms of personality and monetary compensation will always be a certain upside provided that the people that choose to work with us can attain.
Lastly but definitely not in the least - contribution is gained from our donations to our community charities - which is encouraged and actually ends up better for all parties when all steps of the greater plan, the million dollar plan are followed.

Now that the intent is out there, it's time to build the structures and make these things move foward. See you on the other side!

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Earl Flormata - So you wanna start a business?

Ok, so the straw that's about to break the camel's back is about to fall and you're tired of doing the same drudgery work from 9-5 every day. You find yourself overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. You want to find a way to get closer to financial freedom, but you just don't have the proper tools required to get the job done... What are your options at this point?

The entrepreneurial dream is usually the stepping stone for most people to realize their dream of never having to answer to a "boss" per se again however the jump from Kiyosaki's quadrants of E to S is basically more work with a "meaner boss" :). Unfortunately the barrier to entry for most at an exit plan is a large price point that many cannot afford. Which brings us to consider the many home business opportunities that are out there in the marketplace.

Now how does one differentiate between a proper opportunity that makes sense, and the cult-like kool aid drinking types that make you abandon your friends and family unless they buy the lotions, potions and soap that fill your garage?

Let's take a look at this from both the technical and fundamental sides of the fence. On the technicals, does the product make sense? Is it something that you actually use? Perhaps something that you already use, or complimentary to something that you use every day. The numbers have to add up - and the pricing of the products should balance accordingly. On the fundamentals don't be paying 10x the price for "magical" juice that doesn't actually do much more than blueberry juice and has non-medically backed up claims to cure cancer, make your hair grow faster, and fix your toaster. Next, barrier to entry shouldn't be overbearing. The breakeven point should happen sooner rather than later from both the standpoint of doing business as well as getting a break in taxes from your newfound businesses expenses.

To do the analysis, we check the following items:
1. What is the TOTAL cost of this opportunity?
2. What is the TOTAL amount of tax that I can save through business expenses?
3. Can I reach BREAK EVEN within the first year? What about the 2nd year?
4. Is there truly an opportunity to earn passive income from this business?
5. Will it break my code of ethics or moral standards by promoting this business?
6. Do I have the support and structure that I need to be successful?

Take a look at what you're doing now - and if things don't make sense, sometimes it's better to cut your losses and move on before the ship sinks. If you're willing and able to make the sacrifices and spend the time and effort working a great business - Infiniti Point Strategies and SWS - Marketing have a fantastic family-like group of talented people ready to support you in your quest for the freedom of owning a profitable business. Just drop us a line at www.ipoint.ca and attend one of our meetups.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Earl Flormata - Team Networking - Many people, Many places, ONE GOAL

Some of my team members have happily volunteered their time to attend and help out with The Power Within for Women event today in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Gesster Ramos - a candidate for a trustee of the Burnaby School Board introduced us to the opportunity to serve, and has granted two of Infiniti Point's best the privilege to attend the event.

People always complain about not being able to be in two places at once - however with a proper team and everyone working towards the same end goals and direction, the team spirit and group entity can be in as many places simultaneously as required to get the job done.

I'm looking forward to their blog entries sharing their experiences and learning from the event while I help out the rest of our team with connections at our home base in Burnaby. It's going to be an EXTRA PRODUCTIVE DAY for iPoint and SWS today.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Earl Flormata - To RRSP or not to RRSP?

With all of the confusion around what to play in, and what not to play in people wonder what options to take and usually follow the lemming approach where if so and so is doing it, and the banks are all advertising it, then it MUST be good for me... right?

Today I hope to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly in regards to RRSPs as per a study done by the CD Howe Institute. In summary for those too lazy to check the hyperlink in my blog title,

====================================================
THE GOOD
====================================================

RRSP's grow TAX FREE
The one redeeming point of an RRSP is that the compounding interest growth on the account is tax free - which is almost as good as taking double the amount of earnings that an investment OUTSIDE of an RRSP could produce. In other words, 8% growth IN your RRSP is almost as good as 16% growth OUTSIDE of your RRSP. However for the most part, it's difficult to find great options in a managed RRSP account. For those wanting to brave their RRSP frontier, they may wish to learn about self-directed accounts that are able to give you the flexibility you require to reach for the opportunities that exist out there.

There are some land backed commercial real estate opportunities out there for the taking. I'll be covering some of those opportunities in later articles.

====================================================
THE BAD
====================================================

It's not so much a tax savings - but rather a tax deferral strategy.
The concept of RRSPs is that you save the taxes now while you're in a higher bracket, and you'll pay them out later when you withdraw them from a lower bracket.

It's not so bad as an idea for the general masses, but if you look at the structure, it's planning for doom and gloom to begin with. Planning for instance to be in a LOWER BRACKET already sets the mindset of many that they will be unsuccessful in their businesses, investments, and projects in the future. The vast majority of businesses fail in their earlier years - but that's also because a lack of education and a lack of faith in the general public towards seeing a family member or a friend take the entrepreneurial route. With the crab mentality, you're doomed to failure unless you can break free of the box that people see you in. Who's to say that you can't invest well and have properties and dividends paying you more than you earned in the long run? Who's to say that you can't create a successful business prior to your retirement, or even PURCHASE an already successful business? Without education on the options about success, the lower bracket argument rings true, but is it truly the only option?

====================================================
THE UGLY
====================================================


RRSP's not for everybody
RRSP's a bad option for low income earners

There are many reasons why NOT to get an RRSP - and these two articles outline quite a bit of the deficiencies. Looking at the PDF link from the title of this blog as I've mentioned earlier shows that it doesn't add up for everyone - yet people are unknowingly sabotaging their finances by following the banks like sheep. Get a friend who's good with numbers to check things out for you - or pay an accountant to find out whether or not you're making the right choice. It's a much smaller fee to pay than to find out a lifetime of mistaken placements will not support you until the end of your days.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Earl Flormata - Where did I come from, and where are we going?

Believe it or not, the words that have driven me to succeed regardless of the odds stacked against me at first were actually the negative ones that others have used to dissuade me from reaching the dreams and goals that I have bled and fought for.

"Who do you think you are?"

"You can't do that."

"Don't quit your job - it's too risky"

-=-

These words were given to me by my friends, my family, my co-workers. People that I thought would be supportive, but instead would be negative in my time of need to break through to the next level in my life.

Needless to say if you've known me well these last few years, I didn't let it get in the way. In fact the negativity drove me to step up and prove to myself and the world that it was a fallacy. I was driven by spite, and an urge to prove that I was worth something - and that I was unique. This is where I'd like to thank my mentor Dr. Blair Dunkley for kicking me off the fence in my analysis paralysis and drop kicking my ass into the possibilities that I had the potential to reach. Still, the naysayers were around trying to fill my head with the impossibility and grandness of the task I set ahead of myself.

Funny enough - that's the stepping stone I took to reach my first million. It's a shame that I never really took the time to celebrate that fact. My first million was also a passively earned million that was to continue year upon year.

Then the unbelievers came about and saw that I had created something different, but many were unwilling to make the same efforts, make the same sacrifices, or bleed as much as I did to accomplish what I had done. In fact after I lost my first million, it was then that the same people who had only followed because of my successes went back to their old beliefs of impossibility and disbelief in what was attainable.

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the
pig.
- Robert Heinlein


The words came back from many angles, and though I do not fault them for it - friends, family and others have told me:

"Go back to getting a job"

"Running your own business is too risky"

"You're a family man now, this is no time for risks"

What is reward without risk, but an unchallenged and unearned hollow winning? Isn't that why the average lottery winner loses everything and ends up in an even worse situation than before they had won in the first place? People who wish to take first without giving end up losing in the end.

Luckily enough I had other avenues of earnings that had pulled me through the tough times. Although the end has come closer more times that I'd like to remember. Thank you Allen, Andy and Mark for pulling me through the dark times. Your friendship and support will always be remembered and honoured.

-=-

I was humbled and had to rebuild. With a renewed spirit and a new focused team behind me, it's actually accelerated the pace in which I was able to reestablish my previous growth. I still truly believe that 2008 is the year of Infiniti Point. A new beginning, and a new potential to lead others to new levels where the group has stepped up together without want for a handout. With our joint venture partners, our networks, our support groups, and our team - I know that we will succeed, no matter the hardship. Teammates that bleed with me and sacrifice alongside me. I thank you all - you know who you are. And I will enjoy our ride together back to the very top. It's in earning our share, putting in the time and effort, and finally moving as a team that ensures our successes that we've experienced, and enables the successes to come. Chasing the dream, chasing our passion, and touching the Infiniti Point once again - but this time together. I don't feel alone anymore. From the heart, thank you everyone.

With gratefulness and abundance,
Earl Flormata

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Randy Stuppard - Anthony Robbins. "Unleash The Power Within"

The weekend of October 17 to October 20 was a weekend like no other.

How many seminars have you attended? How many motivational speakers have you listened to? Too many for me to count hoping to find “that which is needed” to make a difference. Not even knowing what 'that' was presents a bit of a problem.

This event was a little different. This is the first time I've attended a 'live' Anthony Robbins event, thanks to Earl Flormata of iPoint Strategies. I've listened to his tapes (yes, I am that old), read his books, and spoke with many people about his ideas and programs. Some say he's a jerk, an a**hole, but many more say he has changed their lives. I don't much listen to the lemmings and choose to make up my own mind matters of importance.

To say I was unprepared is an understatement. The man is a human dynamo. From 8am to midnight on two of the four days with very small breaks, he was go go go. The energy in the stadium thundered throughout the building. It shook the floor and you could feel the tingly sensation of energy course throughout your body. The last time I felt even close to that was at a rock concert.

There was flashing lights and great music, but this was not just entertainment. Anthony delivered. He delivered BIG. He gave us tools to make changes in our lives. He had us use those tools right there so we could use them now to make real and more importantly, lasting changes. I replaced a few of my limiting beliefs with beliefs that push and support who I want to become.

I drank the koolaid and am now a believer. No, it's not a cult but you may think that by what reading this. Unless you've been there 'live', you can't know.

I have a “bucket list” of what I want to do and become. Firewalking was not on the list, but it's there now with a big check mark. Yes, I walked on red hot coals without being hurt. I would never have believed it, nor would I have done it normally. I am telling you it can be done. I have done some crazy things like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or rafting the Nile, but this is in the top 10 of crazy.

It has been a few days since the weekend. The energy remains. I have been using the tools and experiencing the new empowering beliefs I have. I work with new vigor and increasing energy on the things that matter.

My bucket list has changed. I have changed and continue to change.

The tradegy of it all is the people who need to go to events like this don't. Their beliefs hold them back from experiencing what life could actually be like. A life where you can have that job, that spouse, that house or vacation. You can have it all.

I suggest suspending those beliefs for just a weekend. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Here's to seeing you at the next one!

Randy Stuppard

Friday, October 17, 2008

Earl Flormata - What I've learned from Yoda - Part V

Alright - enough mooching off of Yoda, this is gonna be the last of the "what I learned from Yoda" series for the time being. Let's end it with one last interesting quote:

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
- Yoda

It's a great lesson in simply watching a child breathe. It is only in babies that we see a true full breath. Watch closely as you'll notice that they actually breathe deeply each and every time (unless they're too excited). Sometimes I swear that I actually see Erik (my son) breathe all the way down to his toes. Watch an adult breathe and you'll note that they breathe just enough to live. The focus of calmness of breathing is a simple wisdom unto itself.

Looking back at the lessons we've learned from Yoda thus far:
- Control
- Let Go
- Do or do not
- Name your fear

Children do all of the above inherently. Just imagine a child learning to take their first steps, or remember the first time you learned to ride a bike. How many times did you fall before making the forward motion work? That was a true Do or Do not moment. Their fears of falling, not being let go, even the barking dog down the block were all voiced without hesitation or concern as to what people would think. Their control in their focus of thought is absolute when they choose it to be. Try getting a hungry child to think about something other than the bottle or breast that they're looking forward to. In fact children have longer attention spans than adults on average. 

I've heard of certain arguments that the Chinese symbol for wisdom and child are remarkably alike. Perhaps it's just that the clarity and innocence of a child's mind is just what we need to really see the truth. So open up to the idea that all things complicated might not truly be so if people just take a look at it from a different perspective. It's not as hard as you think, it's only as hard as you make it. Get out there and reach your own Infiniti Point - it's not as tough as you think. In actuality... it's almost child's play.

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Earl Flormata - What I've learned from Yoda - Part IV (Control)


Another day, another Yoda teaching. I'm liking these quotes from our little green friend. They're so inspiring! Alright - good ol' IMDB has given me yet another fantastic quote:

Control, control, you must learn control!
- Yoda



Balance and moderation as in all things give you the ability to keep control of your life, and in essence define your own destiny. I'm starting to see and understand this invisible force that we have power over called "credit". Like the force, there's a light side and a dark side. You can use it to purchase real estate instead of paying taxes, you can use it to make your first million dollars. There is such a thing as good debt. However you can also use it to buy all sorts of doodads that steal your time, future money, and even peace of mind. 

Something that I'd love to get a deeper understanding and access to would be what the creditors and banks see when they pull our credit reports. What makes them good, what makes them bad, and what makes them tick? I'll definitely have some of the folks at Infiniti Point take a deeper look into credit repair and upgrading services to better serve our clients and ourselves in the fight for control.

As I look back at last week's meetings - I'm thankful for the stuff that Mark Hui has brought to the table with the addition of interesting methods to making investments free and mitigating the risk via little known credit movements. I'm looking forward to seeing the development of our group and our financial houses with this newly added information. Check out our Wednesday night meetings to see what Mark has brought to the table.

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Earl Flormata - What I've learned from Yoda - Part III

My Kung Fu Teacher: Adam Chan had me read: Sword of no sword, and The Book of 5 rings to better my understanding of the true nature of martial arts. Learning to attack and learning to apply forward pressure were pivotal points in my life.

Today's reflection on Yoda's wisdom is as follows:

Train yourself to let go... of everything you fear to lose
- Yoda
In the books from Adam - I was taught that the only way to not be cut by the blade is to not fear the blade. The only way to not fear the blade is to welcome to blade. It is only through running towards the battle expecting to be cut that you can avoid being cut. The application of this practice enhances your awareness to the point where you can feel your opponent's blade's position in order to better attack and defend against it.

In terms of running a business, or reaching your dreams, it is only when you let go of the fears that you are able to focus on what it will take to realize your success. Eben Pagan was a guest speaker on Frank Kern's Mass Control series and he talks about committing to a 50 minute session, followed by a 10 minute break, then another 50/10 session, followed by a 30 minute break where you get to eat. This focusing of time and effort allows people to let the fears and the fires go so that you are able to focus on the things that grow your business to be successful instead of just being busy (plus you get to eat!). This practice is also covered in Covey's 7 habits of highly effective people in the quadrant that fits into important but not urgent.





Until your mind is focused on where you want to go, you are living in the past when you worry about the things you are afraid of losing. Only in letting go are you able to save them in the end. So get focused and get moving!

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lois Holmlund - It's Never Too Late



Life is funny. It’s almost like one minute you’re out partying, going to university, starting out in a career, getting married, and the next you find you are over 50 and alone. My husband died suddenly ten years ago, leaving me nothing but thousands of dollars of debt, and I worked hard to pay it all off. So now I’m 52, debt free, with a small pension waiting for me when I turn 65, but that’s it. No savings, no real estate or investments, and a big question mark as to what’s ahead.

I’ve always been very careful with my money. “Cash Flow” for me meant going on-line to make sure my paycheque went in, then anxiously watch the balance dwindle all month as I struggled to keep enough there to pay my rent. One unexpected bill would knock over my carefully stacked house of cards. “Investing” was making the decision whether or not to get a good winter coat, or try to get the current one to last another year. “Stocks” were what you put in soup.

When you’re alone in the world, as are 47% of women over fifty, and you have no husband or children to “take care of you”, you also have no one to share expenses with, and no one to help tide you over if that pension isn’t going to be there for you. You watch your rent go up and up each month, while your paycheque stays much the same, and you wonder what you’re going to do in ten years when you retire and your income is cut in half.

I read on the Internet that “the average female born between 1948 and 1964 may likely remain in the work force until at least 74 years of age due to inadequate financial savings and pension coverage.” And that 58% of female baby boomers have less than $10,000 in retirement. With my sum total of $1,500 in RRSPs, I fit right in.

But I don’t want to work until I’m 74! I don’t even want to work until I’m 64. Or 55.

Sound bleak?

I thought so. That is, until I went to a group called Infiniti Point, whose mandate it is “To Educate, To Serve, To Profit Together.” With their encouragement, I tackled my first financial book: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. While I expected to be overwhelmed with a lot of words I didn’t know and concepts I didn’t understand, instead everything was clearly laid out and I found myself for the first time in a long time thinking . . . hey, maybe I can do this.

EDUCATE YOURSELF
Going with the idea that it is fundamentally untrue that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, I began to show up at weekly meetings in an attempt to teach this old dog something about investing, stocks, taxes, and lots of words I had never heard before. Even words that I thought I already knew, suddenly had different meanings, giving me a whole new set of ABC’s : Assets and Liabilities. Break Even Point. Cash Flow. Due diligence. Evaluation. Fundamentals. What at first was mind boggling, though, gradually began to sort itself out as I came to understand each individual concept. Maybe not baby steps, but one arthritic step after the other still gets you there!

SATURDAY MORNING GAMER
And I get to play games! Whodda thought? I’m not talking about bridge, either. There’s an amazing game played at Infiniti Point once a month called “Cash Flow 101” that teaches you financial literacy and freedom. Cost to play? Nothing. Value? Priceless. It challenges you to think outside the box, to balance your income and your expenses, and then create a cash flow out of passive income that you build to get yourself out of the Rat Race. I’ve always hated accounting and working with numbers, but this was different. It was exciting. Motivating! And best of all – I could do it!

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
I admit, I think I’m the oldest one there at the meetings. I was expecting to feel like the odd one out – after all, instead of expensive hair highlights, I have grey-haired roots – but instead I’ve felt included, encouraged, and challenged. I’ve even started bringing my friends—women, like me, who are ready to take those first steps in bringing about financial freedom. To be honest, we’re not looking to become billionaires or start multi-national business franchises. We have no one to pass on our potential vast fortunes.

We are at the end of working careers and all we want is to be able to retire and not worry about our finances. And the good news is: It’s not too late!

~~

written by Lois Holmlund

Earl Flormata - What I've learned from Yoda - Part II




The classic quote that basically says it all around Yoda's main teachings:





I'm sure you've heard of it. I think this is THE number #1 quote from our favourite little green master. The one that separates the "Do'ers" from the "Try'ers". The line between success and failure is drawn here.

Although all things start with trying - it's the continuance of the effort that makes all the difference. Thomas Edison and his staff took 50,000 "Do's" before getting the alkaline battery.

Thomas Edison and his staff sweated through 50,000 experiments to perfect the alkaline battery! Can you possibly imagine that kind of tenacity? It's born of vision and the commitment to that vision. When you have an idea that you know is a good one, that you know will enhance other people's lives as well as your own, you are going to walk through fire to get it out there.
wilywalnut.com

Many people can't fathom the idea of running a home based business after the first few failures let alone even consider tens of thousands of repetitions. Sometimes it takes a different view of things to understand what the purpose of the business is. What will you learn, who will you meet, and how much tax do you get to save, and how much money will you make through the efforts of your actions?

I choose to Do instead of Try.  What shape will your destiny take?

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata


Monday, October 13, 2008

Cathy Conley - The Art of Financial War for Women

I witnessed an event the other day that brought home to me how appearances in business and financial settings can be deceiving. A group of us were discussing a financial meeting that we had just been to. One of the women, a good friend of mine, who had asked several questions during the meeting, commented, “If I don’t ask questions and clarify what is being said at the time, I would get completely lost.” Later in the parking lot, I overheard one of her male colleagues chiding her for appearing weak in front of the group. He said, “You are a strong intelligent woman, but I see you downplaying your abilities all the time, and you should never do that.”

Ah. . .I thought. . .he hasn’t read ‘The Art of War’.

‘The Art of War’ is a volume of work written in the 6th Century BC by Chinese military tactician, Sun Tzu. It is the standard that all modern military strategy is based on, and it has been used to good effect on the business and financial battlefields.

One of the main points that Sun Tzu discussed is that all war is based on deception. If your enemy thinks your army is strong – then appear weak; bait him, trap him, and conquer him. If, on the other hand, the enemy thinks you are weak, then appear strong, confident – confuse him and overcome him.

Women seem to instinctually understand this. Strong women often dissemble during important business conversations. It is the classic female “crouch”. It is how we become accepted into what has been a traditionally male-dominated arena. And, once accepted, we can then display our power and overcome any obstacles placed in our way.

Weak women often adopt the opposite. They, of the power suit, wage war by feigning strength. Constantly battle-ready, there can be no chinks in the armour. This, however, can be a much more draining and inefficient strategy.

So, what other tenets can we, as women on the road to financial independence, utilize from Sun Tzu’s work?

Firstly, the laying out of plans. If you don’t have a target in mind, you will have no idea how to achieve it. By laying out a plan you reveal the distance to your target, the route to travel, the supplies necessary, and you can identify danger zones. Recognize, however, that plans can – and do—change, and adapt to those changes as necessary.

Next, get in there and fight! Your financial battle starts with your first step. Educate yourself by reading good books. Attend seminars. Start a budget. Plunder the information of people who have gone before you. Don’t wait for reinforcements (i.e., the mythical Prince Charming) to come and rescue you. Winners act, losers react.

Then, tap into your strengths and weaknesses. Know yourself first and you will learn to understand others, then use that understanding to effect winning strategies by attacking their weak points. Learn to make the best possible decisions with the information that you have at the time. Even if these decisions turn out not to have been optimal, you won’t have regrets later if you’ve chosen your battles carefully.

And, finally, surround yourself with strong, like-minded, supportive people. These troops will enrich your journey to financial freedom and cover your back as you wage your war. Good luck with your battle, and I’ll meet you on higher ground!

Regards,
Cathy Conley

Earl Flormata - What I've learned from Yoda - Part I

There's an ongoing joke within my group of agents that I've got some crazy Yoda like powers... I do of course... obviously (what, you mean you can't do crazy backflips while wielding a lightsabre?) but seriously - the only difference that sets me apart from others is that I read a ridiculous amount, and apply as much as I can remember immediately.  Stop fighting over the slice of pie, and just work together to make the pie bigger. Then everyone's slice is that much more satisfying.














If you like this Yoda translator - just check out the link here.

So on the note about Yoda, I figured what the hell - let's take a look at what he's got to teach us from the quotes in the movies. Here's part I of what I've learned from Yoda.

Named must your fear be before banish it you can
-Yoda

So let's take a look at this in deeper detail. First we split it up into the two major ideas:
1) Naming and Labeling your fears or setting your goals
2) Banishing your fears

Lately in my presentations I've been getting people to write down their specific goals, the feeling they would get when they've accomplished them, and what the moment would look like when it happened. I'm starting to share the fact that if you don't get connected to the emotional side of the decision making process, the logic side tends to come up with more excuses than ways to make it work.

After all, we have to watch our fears lest they take over and prevent people from reaching their potential and realizing their dreams.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering
-Yoda


What are your fears? Name and label them so that you may overcome them. It's always a good first step to the goal setting process. Write down a goal you wan tot reach, then follow it up with the top 3 reasons why you wouldn't be able to get it done. (fears) Next, write down what you'd have to do to overcome these obstacles if you suddenly became the most expert person in this field. 

Eg: I want to make 100k this year in my business

3 Fears and Obstacles: 
1) I don't have any money to expand, 
2) I don't have any rich friends to borrow or learn from, 
3) I don't even know where to start.

3 solutions: 
1) I will borrow money using credit, or I will joint venture with someone who has money, but no time to commit to a project. 
2) I will network with the rich and famous until I found a mentor
3) I will read anything and everything alongside attend every seminar to learn all that I can about expanding my business alongside finding real examples of business that have succeeded to keep my spirits up.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Earl Flormata - Chasing the Dream

One of the very first things that is spoken about in the book: Think and Grow Rich, is the need to create a burning desire for that which you want most. When chasing our dreams, it is a commitment first to ourselves that solidifies the assuredness that things will come to fruition in the end. 

I want to highlight the story of my sister: Eileen Flormata in this case - and her dream of dancing. She was featured in a 4 minute piece on the show So You Think You Can Dance - Canada.

When she didn't make it in her first audition, she created a plan to travel across Canada to have multiple shots at trying again in order to reach her goal. In the end, well... I'll just leave that to the video to explain:



Good work Leen, your big bro is proud of you for keeping the hope and dream alive.
I'm looking forward to working with Eileen and her audio and DJ'ing skills in the near future.
(which I'm sure you'll see lots of in our Internet marketing campaigns)

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata


Monday, September 22, 2008

Earl Flormata - Corporate Taxes in Canada still top Global Average - The Purpose of Government

Today's article reminds me of a lesson taught to me by an investment banker in discussing their thoughts on government, and the duties of the people in the government.

He starts off with a question: What is the purpose of government? I look at him as though he's asking a loaded question and he smiles, "Ok, is it the purpose of a government to create jobs, yes or no?"

I answer back, "Yes to the jobs, however not the useless paper pushing red tape covered government kind."

"Close but not quite", was his reply.

The ideal purpose of a government is to make an ideal environment for businesses to thrive. In doing so, jobs are created elsewhere and at an exponentially faster rate, while spurring the economy by collecting more taxes due to the increase in workers and overall spending throughout the country. In lowering overall taxation and making things more efficient there is actually more money to go around.

The other example I can think of this is hitting the sweet spot on pricing for your products. 5 sales at 27.99 or 3 sales at 49.99 means requiring a lower conversion rate overall. It's not a matter of pleasing everyone, but more so a matter of being efficient for the greater good of the country.

What are your thoughts on the corporate side of the tax game?

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Earl Flormata - Inspirational Quote - Be the Change

"Be the Change You Want to See in the World"
- Mahatma Gandhi
All too often we hear about things that we want to change, systems gone wrong, stuff that just doesn't sit right with us, however how many of us actually make a concentrated effort to get off the couch and make that change?

Although sometimes it feels as if we do our best - it's naught but a pebble in a stream, but it's the inspirational leaders that take the first step. Faced with adversity many people stare into the face of death only to turn pale and run. Sometimes the hurdles are just so tough that the thought of even beginning is frightening. It's always a bit of bravery mixed with passion, and perhaps just that little bit of "crazy" that gets the ball rolling.

So, what's the change in your life that needs to get made? What's the underlying reason for you to get up in the morning? What's your dream, what's your passion, but most importantly, what's your next step to achieve them? I challenge you to be the change, and take the necessary steps.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Friday, September 12, 2008

Earl Flormata - Too Safe is a pain in the ass.

Sometimes I miss the traveling all over the world part of my business in the past prior to my son Erik being born. Sometimes I don't. Take a look at this link for the original article.

-=-

Photos taken in airplane leads to interrogation

By Catharine Hamm
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 09, 2008

Question: Last fall, three friends and I flew from Lisbon to Los Angeles by way of Philadelphia. On the flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, I was showing them my new camera and took a few pictures of our surroundings. A flight attendant came to me and told me to show her the pictures, which I did. On our arrival, armed officers escorted us off the plane, separated us and made us wait for the authorities. They asked ridiculous questions ("What's your eye color?"), and in the end they let us go with no apologies. Why would this happen? Did we do anything wrong?

-- Jose Silva, Lisbon


Discuss

Weigh in on the treatment Joe Silva received. Warranted or unnecessary?


Answer: In taking photos, Silva and his friends didn't violate any Federal Aviation Administration or Transportation Security Administration rules, their spokesmen told me.

If the use of electronic devices was permitted at that point in the flight, they were in the clear.

In fact, if you look at the photos you'll see that the only thing they apparently did wrong was to use a camera without studying the manual. Ansel Adams he's not.

In a later conversation, Silva said his group complied with flight attendants and wasn't causing a ruckus.

Because the airline would not go back and research the details, we don't have its side of the story.

But assuming that Silva is correct, what could prompt such a reaction?

He said the authorities later told him that these are "sensitive times."

Indeed. But those pictures are hardly a threat to national security and are no different from the images you can find all over the Internet.

Just to see the spectrum, Google "767 interior" and click "Images," and you'll find about six dozen photos.

Silva said the authorities also told him to be careful. One has to wonder how careful he would have needed to be if he didn't, in his words, look Moroccan or Egyptian.

Richard Derk, the photo editor for the Los Angeles Times Travel section, has shot many photos on airplanes, some of which have ended up in these pages.

I asked him whether he had experienced any problems on commercial flights.

"No, never," he said. "I shoot quickly and try not to get in anyone's way, but no one has ever stopped me."

Derk, we should note, does not look Middle Eastern.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Assn., also expressed surprise.

"It's hard to believe that somebody didn't call a timeout in the process and say, 'What exactly did this man do?' " Osterreicher said.

"At a certain point, somebody has to use some common sense."

Picture that.

Have a travel dilemma?

Write to travel@latimes.com

-=-


Honestly, at what point in time does it get a little too safe? Harmless pictures (even horrible pictures) that mean nothing on a plane. I'm glad the people didn't get arrested for having water bottles, or were even taken aback due to nail clippers. Seriously, if someone tried to threaten me with nail clippers, I'd be in more danger of laughing to death.

Sometimes people take it to an extreme level of safety when it comes to all things including investing. These are the same people that stand in line to buy the savings bonds and GIC's without prior thought to alternative solutions in which they could be more tax efficient, or perhaps say take into consideration the fact that it's not even keeping pace with inflation?

There's even an article out there that talks about how RRSP's could be detrimental to certain income levels of people - however people always want to do what is "comfortable" instead of what makes sense.

Be it a lack of education - or perhaps just plain ignorance, I hope to build Infiniti Point Strategies Inc. into the company that changes the education system for the better and start to show people about different options that exist as an alternative route. Join us on meetup.com to find out more about safety vs. comfort.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata


P.S. Here's a great comedic skit on my take of the paranoia at the airports.
WARNING - gratuitous usage of course language in the video link.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Earl Flormata - No cash? No problem, if you barter


Simplicity is genius. Necessity is the mother of invention... and Barter is the answer to those in need without the cash backing to make ends meet.

An interesting turn of events with the current economic crisis is that with people not having any expendable funds left at the end of the month - they're turning to bartering as the solution to attain the goods or services that they need.

If you're wondering how the Infiniti Point group is using barter to our member's advantage - why not take a look at our Thursday night event? Join us on the meetup site to see when our next set of information nights are.

Average Canadians now have access to an interesting methodology on saving taxes with this 75 year old bartering system. Take a look and you might be surprised as to what you find out.

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Earl Flormata - Cash Flow BC - Dan "The Man" Lok

Today at the Cash Flow BC event, the guest speaker was none other than Dan "the Man" Lok - internet marketing maven. From his title of best conversion expert to his newsletter to his ultimate lifestyle intensive site, he's got a plethora of information readily available for the average Joe to learn more about the secrets of internet marketing. Well as a courtesy for him being a guest speaker in my office space, here's a link to his blog. His mentorship program can be found at the following site. Another book that Dan had recommended was Scientific Advertising - a free e-book

His content was very dynamic and in-your-face with some very high level stats to prove his abilities. I'm looking forward to the release of his new book, and also our future joint venture projects.

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

=======================================================
NOTES I TOOK DURING THE EVENT
=======================================================


- It's not just HOW MUCH money you make, it's HOW you make the money.
- Build your business around your own lifestyle preference
- What does your perfect lifestyle look like?
- What do you want?
- What do you REALLY want?

- Here's what I want
- few employees
- high net profit
- low overhead
- retain control of my personal time
- money coming in while I sleep (you'll never hit financial freedom unless you...)
- work on exciting projects
- an opportunity to learn and grow
- FUN!

Term: Compulsive Empire Builder.

Suggestion: Set Daily Income Goals

I want a highly profitable and predictable business that allows me the freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it and with whom I want to do it with.

Success on the net lets you do what you want with your life!

If you don't want to you don't have to

Get up every morning and go to work in traffic
Answer to a boss that is unappreciative
Beg for a raise that you deserve
put of family vacations
mercy of job or business
worry about family
wish had more time to spend

Every business is a reflection of its owner.

-=-

3 lessons

Million Dollar Lesson #1
I developed the skill of spending money I didn't have on inforamtion I knew I needed.

#2
Your income can only grow to the extent that you do! Your Wealth can only grow as fast as you do!

#3
You must Earn th Right to be Rich.

All the qualities that are necessary for success and wealth are habits that must be developed and skills must be sharpened.


Rich people do what's hard - That's why their life is Easy. Poor people do what's easy, that's why their life is hard.

Jan 16th and 17th in Vancouver.
NOT in the seminar business (1 event per year)


Who was your mentor?
First mentor: Alan Jacks (marketing mentor)
Business mentor: Dan Pania (scotland - grew 0-400M in 8 years)

=======================================================
END OF NOTES
=======================================================

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Earl Flormata - My Master Book List


People have been asking me for awhile to post up which books to read, etc - so as I'm tired of having to do this same thing over and over again, today's post is simply going to be me going through my pile of books in no particular order and slowly but surely converting the lot of them into a list, and eventually links to amazon so you can all purchase the same crazy list and know what I know.

For those of you who know me, I read about a book a week (give or take when I feel lazy, or when I feel like reading). Funny how I never did this during school, but now that I'm on a quest for knowledge and how to make other people succeed around me, I've been rampaging through tons of books as of late. Viktor Lasmarias, wherever you are - thanks for that CD that was like coles notes on steroids... seriously - a life saver when you had as many crazy honours courses as we did back in the good ol' days of Alpha Secondary.

Also - for those that are too lazy for Earl's crazy reading pace - take a look at Rapid Reader (just google it for now - too lazy for hyperlinking). I can't remember exactly when my dad forced me to read my first speed reading book, butnow I'm eternally grateful since that seems to be where I spend a lot of my time these days.

P.S. No, I don't lend out books - just buy the damn things and start building your library. What I would love though would be a wonderful book scanning service if anyone knew of any. That way I can back up my collection against floods and damage, etc.

Anyhoo, here goes nothing...

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata
-=-

Breakthrough Rapid Reading
What got you here won't get you there
All the money in the world
Good to Great
Selling Blue Elephants
The Speed of Trust
Stock Investing for Dummies
Trading for Dummies
Hedge Funds for Dummies
Reading Financial Reports for Dummies
Investing for Canadians for Dummies
Stock investing for Canadians for Dummies
Personal Finance for Canadians
The 8th Habit
Execution (Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan)
The Taxman is watching
The ABC's of writing winning business plans
Own your own corporation
SalesDogs
How to Buy & Sell a Business
OPM - Other People's Money
Protecting Your #1 Asset
Cashflow Quadrant
The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins
Rich Kid Smart Kid
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Before you Quit Your Job
Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens
Retire Young Retire Rich
Who Took My Money?
Profitable Growth is Everyone's Business
The Memory Book
Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success. The 17 Principles of Personal Achieveent
Smart Couples Finish Rich
Start Late, Finish Rich
Made to Stick
Automatic Millionaire Homeowner
Automatic Millionaire
Small Giants
What the CEO Wants you to Know
Social Intelligence
The Pursuit of Happyness
Banker to the Poor
Emotional Intelligence
The Back of the Napkin
Escaping the Middle Class
The Heart of Presenting
Putting out the Fire of Fear
Blue Ocean Strategy
Invincible Investor
Fit for Love
Arnis - Reflections on the History and Development of the Filipino Martial Arts
Why we want you to be Rich
The 48 Laws of Power
The Art of the Start
Making Millions in Direct Sales
Palm Reading for Beginners
The Art of Peace
How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
The Quick & Easy way to Effective Speaking
How to Win Friends and Influence People
The Greatest Salesman in the World
The Greatest Salesman in the World Part II
the Da Vinci Code
The E Myth Revisited
The Book of Chuang Tzu
Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching
The God Delusion
Customer Satisfaction is Worthless. Customer Loyalty is Priceless. How to make customers love you, keep them coming back and tell everyone they know.
The Patterson Principles of Selling
First Break all the Rules
Now Discover your Strengths
The Ten Faces of Innovation
The Business of Software
The Closers
The Closers Part 2
Work the Pond
Beat the Taxman - Easy Ways to Save Tax in your Small Business
101 Tax secrets for Canadians
97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate investors
The millionaire mind
Built to last
How to talk to anyone
How to do the impossible
Awaken the Giant Within
Unlimited Power
The Sales Bible
Smoke and Mirrors - Financial Myths that will Ruin your retirement dreams
The Fundamentals of Hedge Fund Management. How to successfully launch and operate a hedge fund
Hedgehogging
The Wolf of Wall Street
Tao of Jeet Kune Do
The Sword of No-Sword
The Innovator's Solution
Secrets of Power Persuasion fo Salespeople
Tricks of the Floor Trader
Building Wealth
Guerrilla Marketing in 30 days
The New Market Wizards
Throwing the Elephant
Making it Happen
Take Control of your Financial Destiny
Health Wealth and Happiness
The Wealthy Barber
The 10 Secrets Revenue Canada doesn't want you to know
Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich
The Richest Man in Babylon
The Paradox of Choice - Why more is less
Doing What Matters
The Tipping Point
Blink
The Game
Rules of the Game
On Becoming Fearless
Sneaky Uses for Everyday things
Sneakier Uses for Everyday things
The Greatest Networker in the World
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Aging Smart
Catch me if you can
1001 Ways to Reward Employees
The Book on Business PLanning
The Frog and Prince
The Little Red book of Selling
The Little Red book of Sales Answers
Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Whale Done
Gung Ho!
Raving Fans
Who Moved My Cheese?
nightwork
The Business of Changing the World
On the Door
The World is flat
Stumbling on Happiness
Snakes in Suits
Letting Go of your Bananas
E Myth Mastery
Know-How
A Collection of the best business quotes
How to get to the top
Litle Green book of Getting your Way
Getting Things Done
Freakonomics
The worst case scenario survival handbook: Travel
Make your life a masterpiece: Peter Legge
The Black Swan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Earl Flormata - Regulators Clamp down on Freedom


Although I'm not a member of the FIC - I still keep watch over them as Darren Weeks and Fast Track to Cash Flow have Michael Lathigee as a contributor to their newsletter of which I'm a member of.

It appears as though the regulators are keeping a sharp eye on the Freedom investment club as the links suggest. Their foreclosure system and their other investment opportunities seem to have caught the unwanted attention of the enforcers around these parts.

Although the game really isn't over until it's over - I'm keeping a close eye as I was actually looking into some similar deal flow scenarios to invest my own personal dollars into, so I'm curious to see how things add up in the end. I wish luck to all who have invested thus far, and naturally hope for the best as we prepare for the upcoming scrutiny. It goes to show that you never really can tell which investments will do well except for watching how the trends play themselves out backwards. Kinda makes you wish for one of these doesn't it? (see above picture)

Thanks for reading,
Earl Flormata

Monday, September 1, 2008

Earl Flormata - Feeling Lucky? Born to be a Millionaire


Once a mentor of mine asked me whether I would rather be lucky or smart. I answered him - why not have both? But if I had to choose one over the other, luck is something that cannot be bought, whereas the expertise of many smart people is on sale every day as job postings as job postings are numerous. I still believe in the idea that luck favours the brave.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

This brought to my attention one of the tests that I ask people who seek to reach their financial freedom. I'm sure you've all heard of the home lottery programs that exist - where you can win a dream home (usually in the middle of nowhere), or you have the option of taking the cash. It's time to test that luck vs. smarts ratio in the manner of which path do you choose? Do you take the cash, or the house? With luck already on your side, the only choice left is the wise one. To have your cake and eat it too, one would find it wise to choose the asset - the house. From an investment side, people naturally want to take the money however choosing the house allows for both. Simply mortgage the house, rent it out and now you have both a cash flowing asset and sufficient capital to invest or spend as you choose - alongside a tax deduction on the interest spent on borrowing from the house. Now you have 3 "prizes" in lieu of one.

The last piece I have on luck is a personal one. My son Erik was born on June 16th, 5:47PM in 2008 at a weight of 7lbs 14 ounces. Maybe the luck gene has been passed down, for if you check out the winning lotto numbers the draw after his birth, 6, 7, 14, 16, 17, 27... 6 and 16 for the date, 7 and 14 for his weight and 17, 47 for the time. He was one number away from being born a millionaire. A little more luck wouldn't hurt, but here's to hoping he gets the best of both worlds when his time comes.


Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Chris Kennedy - Book Report: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki



I Should Be Mad As Hell At You, Robert!

Over $10,000 and one entire year of my life later, I still haven’t bought a single property with “no money down.” By right I should be mad as hell at Robert Allen for selling me (and others) a pipe dream. But ultimately, whose responsibility is it that I didn't become a model success story. So, instead, I put my concentration towards the eerie, hollow sound the wind makes when it blows through my empty wallet. After all, I take responsibility for failing to make Robert’s no money down technique work for me.

For those who don’t know Robert Allen, he's Canadian born but a real estate guru in the states whose claim to fame came from a simple dare: "Send me to any city in the United States. Take away my wallet. Give me $100 for living expenses. And in 72 hours I will buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money."

Robert got media clout when The LA Times took up his bold challenge and sent him to San Francisco, to prove himself with a reporter in tow to document his every deal. 57 hours later Robert had 7 properties in his portfolio worth $772,000. Can you say instant fame, instant publishing deals and a soap box from which to shout at people like me – “you too can do it, pay here, and here, and here!”

The only reason to mention Robert A really is that while attending one of his seminars in 2007, someone dropped the name Robert Kiyosaki on me. Had I been angry or feeling sorry for my situation at the time I wouldn’t have wanted to hear anything about real estate experts and I wouldn't have taken any action to buy another book.

So, still wide-eyed and eager to learn and obviously open to further humiliation, I picked up a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad for $25 and started reading. Robert’s writing style struck me as exceptionally pedestrian, very atypical of a book on finance and business. Concepts are intertwined with real-life stories that made the message easy to digest and apply to my own experiences, or lack of same. Usually, I like being challenged by an author but not so much when it comes to learning a subject I know little about. In this case simple was better. The poignant messages really hit home in the simple, honest and non insulting storytelling style. I read the entire book with a highlighter in one hand and a notebook and a pen next to me for instantly notes. Those notes came from almost every page as I read.

I was hearing things I had never heard before. They challenged conventions I thought were unshakable and exposed my lack of knowledge or in layman terms, ignorance. This was an alien philosophy but I wasn’t afraid of approaching and learning. I wanted to learn how to reach my own place of personal wealth. Ironic that I picked up nothing about buying real estate - even thought Robert Kiyosaki is himself a guru on the subject. What I got was far more powerful, Robert Kiyosaki didn’t dangle fish in front of me with bravado publicity stunts; instead, he was showing me the art of being the fisherman through simple examples of how he learned to fish. I’ve adopted his philosophy and I keep his words close as reminders and as inspiration. Here are just a few Kiyosaki-isms from Rich Dad Poor Dad.



  • Fear and Desire: the Rat Race trap!

  • A job is really a short-term solution to a long-term problem

  • Broke is temporary, poor is eternal

  • Don’t work for money, make money work for you

  • Human life is a struggle between ignorance and illumination – once we stop searching for information and knowledge about ourselves, ignorance sets in. The struggle is moment to moment

  • Learn to use your emotions to think, not think with your emotions

  • Know the difference between an asset and a liability and buy assets

  • To become financially secure, a person needs to mind their own business

  • In the real world it’s often not the smart that get ahead but the bold

  • Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn

  • People who avoid failure also avoid success

  • You are only one skill away from great wealth

  • When it comes to making money the only work skill most people know is hard work

  • For winners, losing inspires them. For losers, losing defeats them

  • Don’t listen to poor or frightened people

  • Be generous with what you have and the powers that be wil be generous to you

  • Don’t take yourself so seriously

What I have learned from all of this is that the wind won’t be making that eerie, hollow sound as it blows into my wallet much longer because my wallet will be full of cash. Rich Dad Poor Dad was only an introduction to my education and to what is possible. I continue to learn from Robert Kiyosaki’s writings and from like minded people who play his Cashflow game.


Chris Kennedy


Friday, August 29, 2008

Earl Flormata - To Serve


It's a funny thing how business works. The lessons that people need to learn were taught to many of us since preschool and kindergarten. Simple things that go such a long way in the business world such as don't steal, share with others, and don't lie should've been taught to most at an early age, but somewhere along the way people lose their integrity and end up on the wrong side.

For example - there's a business opportunity available in which someone has had the good fortune of finding a great group of people to work with yet their pride prevents them from being humble enough to accept a role in a group where the goal is to share and actually make the "pie" per se - bigger. This networking of the opportunity may diminish the personal ego of a particular person - but makes more money all around for every individual, and in general is for the greater good. Funny enough if done properly, the person who was unwilling to share properly in the first place would make more if they "played nice" with the group instead of holding their pride above all else.

In my short time in this business world - I've experienced this so many times where people come out with an attitude of scarcity rather than one of abundance. It reminds me greatly of a book that I had to read in my high school English Honors class - One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. We had an exercise where if everyone worked together, the group gained more overall - whereas the other option would be to compete to the point where one person got everything and everyone else received nothing. To date, that same exercise has never received a full group's co-operation and someone has always attempted to take the chance to make it good as a lone wolf.

Instead of acting like uncivilized animals and quibbling over the little pieces here and there - I'd much prefer to collaborate, joint venture, or just simply profit together as per the iPoint Mantra. In doing so, you just make everyone more all around, and the positive energy will always come back in your direction as per "The Secret".

I leave this entry off with the classic story of the Golden Goose.

A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose which laid a golden egg every day. Lucky though they were, they soon began to think they were not getting rich fast enough, and, imagining the bird must be made of gold inside, they decided to kill it. Then, they thought, they could obtain the whole store of precious metal at once.but when they cut the goose open, they found it was like any other goose.

Those who want too much lose everything

My hope is that we all get to positively network and do well. I'm unsure if human nature will ever allow that utopia to exist, but here's to hoping we can all just get along.

Thanks for Reading,

Earl Flormata

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Earl Flormata - The 3 Profit Centers of the World

I joke a lot about Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Quadrants in stating that money can't come from any other place but the 4 quadrants save for inheritance, lottery or gambling winnings or any other chance sort of occurrence.


Technically speaking, even if you're a drug dealer - you still fit into the "S" quadrant. Even organized crime could be seen fitting the mold within the "B" or "I" quadrants. People always laugh at the joke (at least those who haven't heard it a million times in a row yet) but Kiyosaki did an excellent job of organizing the world, so I thought I'd take a crack at it myself.

Although a generalist way of surmising the world, there are only 3 true places where you can make the big money.



1) Real Estate
2) Business Ownership
3) Transactional Fees

Real Estate is the foundation upon which everything rests. Next comes Business Ownership where the profit centers of the world ply their trades and sell their goods. Lastly on top of it all the transactions that circulate between the customers, businesses, and governments that tax it all account for the final layer in where great incomes are made.

Perhaps I should clarify myself in saying that these are the major sources of passive income - which is something everyone should strive to achieve in the first place. The 4th method to receive passive income would be from licensing or royalties, which would come from a properly nurtured idea, new hit song, new bestselling book, etc, however I didn't go there because it's not necessarily an easily reproducible skill for the masses. To be honest it's also just that I don't feel as creative as of late, can't carry a tune, and am unsure as to how far my book idea will take me...

Funny enough though that I teach about the different opportunities in the 3 arenas at my seminars where we go through these exact three structures in order from Tues - Thurs every night at my offices from 7pm until people stop asking questions for the night. So consider this an open invite to those that are interested in learning about the 3 profit centers of the world.

So - there it is - the road to your first million dollars as I see it. Join me on the journey to take the first few steps.

Thanks for Reading,
Earl Flormata

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Earl Flormata - What gets measured improves (Continual Updates)



What gets measured improves... I'm certain that everyone's heard of this quote already, and if not, well then you've heard it from me.

A simple google search on this quote brought up the following top 3 hits:
Bud Bilanich

"One thing I learned early in my business career is that anything of significance that is measured and watched, improves."


My background in Business Intelligence at my previous life at Business Objects should've taught me the same lesson as Rockefeller in the following article.

And from business seeds:

BOTTOMLINE: "When you started tracking progress, you'll "get it." Truth is like that sometimes, easy to see when you are willing to *really* look. When the things you want improved exist “out there” in the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to let a day slip without doing something about them. Track your progress!!


Having said that - I'd like to announce my intentions of tracking my health and wealth as an action of leadership by example. I invite everyone else in the iPoint group to accomplish the same. We're taking on some new recruits shortly, and I'll be interested to see how things add up in the near future.

HEALTH


WEALTH





And lastly, now that I've basically got the ball rolling, I need to set some goals. Let's start with 100k in net worth gain between now and Dec 31st, $4000/month in increased passive cash flow, and a decrease in weight down to 230 lbs by the same date (inclusive of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!) A nice low attainable bar for both, but naturally I'll adjust things as stuff pans out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Robert Madzej - 5 money savvy tips


Late last month I happened to stumble upon an article which I felt was worthy of emphasizing. The article "Grads can learn to save now" by Adrian Mastracci disscusses 5 steps to improving your financial wealth. These are very important and are also reflected in Robert T. kiyosaki, "Rich Dad Poor Dad", which are the basis for a financial plan that strives for success.

5 Steps:

1) Your Human Capital
Human Capital is essential as it is our very knowledge and continuous learning that can be as Mastracci says to convert it to "financial capital " on your balance sheet. However, the challenge is using our human capital efficiently so that as people don't waste their most precious asset through bad financial habits.
2) Pay Yourself First
I am in total agreement as budgeting is crucial to preparing for financial success. Through paying yourself before you expenses you are insuring a basic growth of your capital.
3) Avoid Debt Traps
As I learned from Kiyosaki, is that we all fall into a perpetuating rate race, which negatively impacts our well being. Understanding your balance sheet is essential in recognizing spending habits that are destructive, which comes down to gaining financial knowledge.
4) Learn to invest
Wayne Gretzky my all time favorite hockey player said it best "You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take. " If you do not try you do not learn and if you do not learn you do not grow.
I really liked Mastracci's idea of being involved in Financial investment clubs as they are a great way to learn from one another about investment topics and investments available. I feel strongly that knowledge comes from text books but true applicable knowledge comes from experience.
5) Stick with the basics
As Mastracci said which echos Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad,"put the excitement in other parts of your life" not into your financial independence. Simplistic structured investing may be boring but boring is what will get you success in the long run.

I really enjoyed reading this article as it emphasizes the basic principles that people tend not know or ignore. These steps are the building blocks for success and everyone should practice these principles.

Thank you,

Robert Madzej

Monday, July 21, 2008

Robert Madzej- The Phone Call




Have you ever called some random phone number to ask an arbitrary question? Well, I did but I did not do it willingly, let a lone knowingly. I was at Earl’s offices and he was teaching me how to engage peoples’ interests and how to serve those needs. I was in the process of absorbing the information that he was teaching me until he asked me if I wanted to try something, I said sure. He then grabbed his phone and dialed a random number and told me to ask the person on the phone what movie they would recommend watching. I felt my heart beating twice a fast as I looked right at Earl thinking maybe he was kidding, but it only took a few seconds to realize he was not joking. So I waited as the phone rang praying that no one would pick up the phone and as time went by and the phone continued to ring I thought god had answered my prayers… or so I thought.

An old lady had picked up the phone and in that moment I decided to push the fear aside and I began by introducing myself. The old lady replied and ask how I was doing and at that point I asked her what movie would she recommend. She told me she doesn’t watch movies so I asked if she watches TV and she said she does but she doesn’t watch movies on TV. So I asked her what show could she recommend and she told me she likes “Who wants to be a Millionaire” and “Jeopardy”. My task was completed, I received an answer to my question and I thanked the nice lady for her time and I hung up.

What did I learn:
1) Being put on the spot gives me a huge RUSH!
2) I can speak to anybody it is only fear that stops me.
- Fear plagues us all which has the ability to limit our potential and our success, but Fear can also be a positive because fear simply hightens our senses and is a protective mechanism that lets us know we are alive. However, one needs to condition themselves that the only fear there is, is the fear of not doing.
3) It is only through asking questions will you be able to find out peoples’ needs.
- Asking questions allows you to build a rapport with people by showing interest in them. The more you ask the more you will receive is truly based on the information they share with you. The more you know about people the more they are willing to tell you about their needs providing a window of opportunity.
4) When you find out the needs you can then provide a solution to those needs, which people are more willing to listen to.
- When you build rapport with people and you are able to identify required needs then when you provide a solution ,people listen. This creates opportunity by simply asking and then listening.

This lesson is one everyone can practice and learn from. If I can do it so can you, have fun Phone Calling!!!!



Thank you,



Robert Madzej