Blog | Entrepreneurship

How to Dream Big with Your 2022 Investment Planning

Five steps to gaining the courage you need to chase your financial goals — and three tips for (finally) getting started

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As a child, when you pictured the year 2022, what exactly did you imagine? Flying cars? Half the population living on Mars? Robots doing everything for us? A pill to cure every ailment? It’s amazing the things we can dream up! The year 2022 sounded so futuristic back in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s—and now it’s here! Of course, none of those scientific and technological advancements we dreamed up have come true. Yet.

But you’ve probably had other dreams over the last few decades—ones that could have come true if you’d taken action on them. Think back. Perhaps it’s quitting your mind-numbing corporate job to become an entrepreneur—even though that means giving up “the security” of your salary, benefits and bonus. Maybe it’s going back to school in your 40s—even though you could very well be the oldest student in the class. Or it could be moving to Tuscany to fulfill your dreams of living in the charming Italian countryside—even though you don’t speak the language. What about becoming a real estate investor and enjoying the cash flow that accompanies it—even though you are trying to pay down credit card debt?

Did you notice all those “even thoughs” that accompanied each scary goal? I included them to show that there will always be an obstacle, challenge, or uncertainty when chasing your dreams. But I’m here to tell you that you can do anything you desire—even though you don’t quite have all the answers quite figured out.

The more time you spend hemming and hawing over how taking a big risk could result in any number of undesirable consequences, the more time you’re wasting. In reality, you’re setting these imaginary limits for yourself. Would you tell a clumsy 6-year-old that she will never be a ballerina—even though probably less than 0.05% of little girls are talented enough to actually become ballerinas? Of course not. You’d encourage her to follow her dreams. So why squash your own just because you’re a grown up?

It’s time to learn how to dream big.

Ignorance is bliss

Mark Twain said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”

I believe that’s because the less you over analyze something, the more likely you are to just do it. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll take the leap and then figure out each subsequent step as it comes your way. You don’t have to have all the answers in place ahead of time. In fact, it’s a waste of time to—you can’t predict everything.

So I challenge you to dream big. The bigger the dream, the more intimidating it is when you think of what it will take to accomplish it. Small dreams may be easier to achieve, but they also lead to mediocrity and unfulfilled potential.

Think of the new year as a brand-new blank 365-page book—do you want to start chapter one by limiting your greatness? I don’t think so!

How to Set Goals for 2022

When I’m faced with a goal that seems almost impossible, here’s how I approach it:

  1. Make a loose plan

    There’s an old joke that goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Makes perfect sense to me, and that’s why I recommend that you break your big dream into smaller steps. This way, you’ll gain satisfaction by crossing each step off your to-do list and you’ll get the constant joy of knowing you’ve accomplished something. This method is proven to be more motivating and, therefore, more manageable. If you happen to have a clear idea of what you need to do, make an outline or blueprint of the various steps you’ll need to get to your end goal. If you aren’t sure (which is perfectly acceptable), just write step one down. Once you complete it, figure out step two and write it down. And so on. Either way, you’ll start with the first small step. Then another. Do however much you can do now, even if it’s only a little bit. Just keep moving forward and keep the momentum alive.

  2. Give up the idea of perfection

    It’s human nature to want to wait for all the right conditions before moving forward with something. But the problem with waiting for the perfect time to take a leap of faith is that you could be left waiting forever. Instead, trust that you’ve prepared as well as you can and move forward with conviction. This doesn’t mean you won’t face uncertainty or obstacles along the way, but no matter when you start there will always be a bump in the road or some uncertainty breathing down your neck. You’ll never be ready, so make today your “ready as I’ll ever be” day and take action.

  3. Reach out to your network

    Let those in your inner circle know that you’ve started a new venture or are looking for a stepping stone. Seek out those in your network who have made the same journey you’re about to embark on and ask for advice. You’ll want an array of personalities in your circle, from cheerleaders to those who aren’t afraid to provide brutally honest feedback (although, watch out for the naysayers and Negative Nancys, who are too scared to step out of their own comfort zones). Cultivate the relationships you’ve built over the decades — you never know where support will come from.

  4. Recognize when you need to adjust your course

    At some point on your journey, you’re bound to take a wrong turn. No worries. If you find yourself on a path that isn’t leading you toward your big dream, don’t just give up on the dream. Take a step back and do a little course correction. In fact, you could learn a lot from your GPS system — if you take a wrong turn, it doesn’t simply say, “too bad” and shut off. It will say “recalculating” and help you navigate a different route. It may not be the original route, or even the most direct route, but the destination remains the same and it’ll eventually lead you there.

  5. Don’t compare yourself to others

    You are as unique as a snowflake, and so your path will be as well. One of the worst things you can do is look to others and start measuring your success by comparing it to theirs. Success often is not a linear path, and the people you put on a pedestal may not have shared all the trials and tribulations they encountered on their own journey. Whatever twists and turns your journey takes is all right — you will get there eventually in your own way on your own time.

3 questions to ask when investment planning for 2022

As I’ve travelled and spoken around the world, one of the most encouraging things has been meeting thousands of women who are ready to begin their investment journey.

It’s exciting to me to think of how the world of money and investing are shifting from something the man took care of, to something women want to own themselves. And it’s fulfilling to know that I’ve been a part of helping women take control of their financial futures.

One thing I notice, however, is that women can tend to overthink things. When it comes time to make a plan for investing, we can make it far more complicated than it needs to be — as mentioned in numbers 1 and 2 above. This is natural. Whenever we’re facing something new and intimidating, we want to try and control everything to feel secure, rather than simply move forward with what we know.

So, I like to give women three simple questions to ask themselves that will help them get started on their investment planning journey. If you ask yourself these three questions, you’ll be light years ahead of other investors.

What will my primary investment vehicle be?

When it comes to investment planning, I’ve learned that I’m more successful if I focus most of my time and energy on one type of investment. The four main types of investments are: real estate, paper assets, businesses, and commodities. Let’s explore each one:

  • Business

    Are you considering starting a business?

    Then in order to get started, you can either use your own money, raise money from private individuals, or borrow money from a traditional lender.

    Of course, the purpose of the money you invest (no matter where it comes from), is to generate a return on investment (known as ROI). This ROI will go back to you, the business, and your investors and/or lender.

    On the other hand, you can choose to invest in other people’s businesses. Let’s say a friend comes to you seeking an investment in his/her business idea or gives you a hot tip on an investment they are making in someone else’s business. After you do your research—on the project/business, its partners, the financing, and the management team—you may decide to invest in this private business or company. Congratulations! You’re a business investor.

  • Real estate

    You already probably know that this investment class is my very favorite.

    There are two main reasons to invest in real estate: for cash flow from rental properties and for capital gains when you buy and sell (flip) properties.

    I invest primarily in rental real estate because cash flow has created my financial independence. You’ll need to decide which model works best for your financial goals and lifestyle. Now, real estate investing comes in many shapes and sizes: single family, duplex, triplex, apartment buildings, office buildings, retail strip malls and shopping centers, and industrial properties such as warehouses, hotels and mobile-home parks. If this sounds intriguing to you, don’t miss these three tips on starting small with investments.

    Now, just like starting your own business, you have options for funding your real estate investments. Check out these six ways to find money for your investments.

  • Paper assets

    From stocks and bonds to mutual funds and retirement products, paper assets are typically capital-gains investments (versus cash flow). You can also invest in stock options, stock futures, foreign exchange, REITs (real estate investment trusts) and EFTs (exchange-traded funds). Once you learn the language of paper assets, you can jump right into investing.

  • Commodities

    The final asset class is commodities— metals such as gold, silver, and copper; food such as grains, corn, coffee, and sugar; and raw materials such as oil, gas, and cotton. The price of commodities is typically driven by supply and demand. For instance, if there is a bumper year of corn, then prices are low since the supply of corn is high. If, on the other hand, there is a shortage of corn due to a drought and unfavorable weather conditions, then the price of corn will be high. You can buy commodities such as gold and silver at your local precious-metals dealer. Like paper assets, commodities are generally a capital-gains (or loss) asset instead of cash flow situation.

What is the best plan for investment?

Within each aforementioned investment class, there are multitudes of investment types you could learn about.

For example, if you invest in stocks, what types of stocks are you going to focus on? What are you going to become an expert in?

For me, if I went into tech stocks, I’d fail miserably because I have no interest in them and I know next to nothing about technology. If I chose to go into stocks, I might put most of my attention into real estate stocks since that’s the industry that most excites me.

Conversely, if you chose real estate as your investment of choice, there are single-family homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, and more that you could focus on. The options are endless!

So when people ask me, “What is the best plan for investment?” I always tell them to simply pick one thing that you can be an expert on and focus on that. Once you’re comfortable with that investment, choose what you want to focus on next. So, your immediate goal should be to study up on each class, find which one excites you most, and pour your energy and passion into it for the foreseeable future. There’s quite a bit of terminology to learn and industry details to familiarize yourself with before taking action and diving into the daily/quarterly/annual tasks that need to be taken care of to ensure long-term success.

What is my time frame for accomplishing my goal?

It’s one thing to pick a horse; it’s another to financially bet on it. Establishing goals and placing the constraint of a time frame on them will help you to take action on your 2022 investment planning process.

After all, one of the biggest obstacles in becoming an entrepreneur is fear. If you find that you keep searching for the right opportunity but just can’t find the perfect deal, that’s fear getting in the way. An aversion to risk keeps you in constant analysis and research (this is commonly referred to as analysis paralysis). When this happens, you may end up doing nothing. Don’t let fear or perfection paralyze you.

Along the way, you’ll have some successes and some failures. Failures may sound scary, but they are actually necessary. If you’re not making mistakes, you probably aren’t taking enough risks. Often times in business (and in life) you have to learn to embrace failure because that’s where the learning takes place.

I know this just as well as any businessperson — I’ve had my share of embarrassing and heartbreaking setbacks: broke, homeless, lawsuits, bad partners, people stealing from me, mistakes that cost me millions of dollars. And don’t forget the public humiliation that accompanied some of those. But do you know what? I’m still standing! Every time I face a failure, I remind myself, “This too shall pass.” And it always does.

In my mind, the only true failure would be if I failed to take a step back and ask myself, “What do I need to learn from this lesson?” The answer may not always be immediately clear, so give yourself a little time to make heads or tails of the situation — because if you don’t, you’re doomed to repeat that same mistake over and over again.

And all the while, continue to educate yourself, adjust your direction, and move forward with your 2022 investment planning process. All you have to do is take some action to get started. It’s really that simple!

Make 2022 the year to dream big

So, what’s the scariest goal you can imagine setting for yourself? One that makes you squirm just thinking about it because it’s so seemingly impossible or scary to attain. One that you know will forever change the direction of your life and bring oodles of happiness and positive things your way. And what steps are you going to take this year to turn your dreams into your reality?

Don’t let another year, another month or another day go by daydreaming about your big goals. Carpe diem!

Original publish date: January 11, 2018

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