It was May 2010. I’d just completed the refurbishment on my 2nd property development, I felt like I was sat on a gold mine that would change my life. On paper there was a lot of money in the house. I had no family, no dependants, low bills and all my plans seemed to be coming together.

In reality, I knew nothing. Yes there was money in the house but the target market for a 2 bed bungalow was tiny. We would have to dramatically lower our ambitions to sell it and it took the best part of 2 years to do so.

During this time my earning power in my job was minimal. I had to sell my car to make ends meet. The gold mine I was sure I would access within months had turned into a big black hole. It was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.

I felt like I had no control over my life…

I was owned by that house. I was owned by my job as I had to keep paying for the house. My property development growth plan had vanished. I had nowhere to go. I had to live in hope that a buyer would come soon. I thought I had to rely on other people everywhere to change my life.

At that point I decided to do whatever it took to make sure I was never ‘owned’ by anything or anyone again. No more would a set of bricks dictate my life. I knew this would take time, but my eyes had been opened to a brighter future.

I would invest again, but I wouldn’t put everything I had into any one thing.

Over the next 6 years I developed and sold 3 more properties, but I did it better. I learnt so much from one experience I could change my approach to work and life forever.

Here are the major things that I now apply to my life to make sure that I am always in control…

Take Small, Manageable Steps

Bring your goals closer. Whatever you want to do in the future you can take a small step each day. This makes big plans easier to digest and makes your ultimate goals achievable.

Richard Branson wanted to start an airline with no experience. His first step was just a single phone call to Boeing to see what the process was to lease a plane. You could do that.

No single step is too big.

Perhaps you want to lose 20lbs. Just eat 1% less each day. That’s much easier than a crash diet and something you are more likely to stick to.

When I wanted to start the blog only a few months ago I had no idea what to do. I had never had a website. I had never written blog posts. I am the least technical person I know. I didn’t have any readers. I didn’t have most social media set up. I didn’t know how to get website traffic. That didn’t stop me taking small steps every day to get it off the ground.

Take the pressure off yourself and be patient. Great things take time. Baby steps are better than no steps.

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Never Lose Sight of Your Ultimate Vision

Whilst you are breaking your tasks down into manageable chunks, don’t forget why you are doing what you are doing. Make sure you stay on the correct path and that everything that you do is in the interest of achieving your ultimate ambitions.

Keep focused, have regular breaks, and have the patience and persistence needed to get to where you want to be.

With the finish line so far in the distance it can be hard not to end up off course. Have regular check in’s to see what progress you have made.

You Are Your Biggest Asset

I had good money on paper in that house when I was 25, but as an asset I, Matthew Brown, was worth next to nothing. I had no real earning power. I was relying on one big payoff. That is no way to live or earn money and that is the principle of this post…

If you want to invest in anything, invest in yourself. You and only you control what you do with your life. You control how happy you are, how much money you make and how you spend your time. We live in an age of opportunity and the best part is: investing in yourself and giving yourself superpowers doesn’t really cost anything!

When I was doing property it was my only focus. I wouldn’t consider anything other than property to make extra money. But I only got paid once a year, that’s not really a second ‘income’ is it?

Now I have to invest in myself so that like all good investments, it compounds over time. Every year I want my earning power to increase, I want my relationships to get better, and I want to learn new things that will help me – my biggest asset, to grow.

It has took me 3 months to get the blog to this point. To learn about creative writing, to learn good copywriting, to learn how to create a website and how to drive traffic to it. Learning these things hasn’t just given me this blog which I love, I am also earning more money…

I’ve spent about £50 on books in the last 3 months rather than tens of thousands on a property to develop, for the same return. That is the power of a simple investment in yourself. I earn 3 times more every month now than I did at 25. There is less pressure on everything as a result.

I might turn this blog into something great, in time. These new skills that only took me a few months to learn will compound into massive asset value over the years that will continue to earn for me forever.

You are the secret weapon in everything that you do. Never neglect to nurture yourself as you would any other investment. You do not need money, contacts, experience etc. to do it, just a lot of motivation.

Knowledge + Action = Power…

Power to do anything that you want to do with your life.

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The Best Things You Will Ever Buy Cost Less Than £20

Not only do these things often cost less than £20, they are often totally free. It costs you nothing to read articles on a subject you want to learn about. Online courses with Udemy.com are a lot cheaper than traditional academic courses. My best books all cost less than £10.

New experiences can also cost you nothing…

When I met James Sun in Vegas that was free (except for a few Vodka Martini’s!)

When I was in a Hollywood show that was free.

When I played snooker with Steve Davis that was free.

When I met my wife that was free…

You don’t need money to make massive improvements to your life, just a slight adjustment to your approach and a bit of drive and self-motivation.

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Your Family is Your Biggest Allay

I probably wouldn’t have started this blog if it wasn’t for my family. My life would be fairly empty and I would have much less drive to be successful. Having to provide for little people and a wife that you love is scary. It makes you need to do things and to make things happen for their future.

Not only do my family give me this motivation boost during hard times, they are also my biggest advocate and will support everything that I do. Sometimes when I feel lost and am wondering whether I am on the right track I need my family’s reassurance. I want their blessing, I need their support and their patience.

Without these people behind me I don’t know if I would have the willpower to make myself the person I want to be.

Choose these people carefully. Treat them when you can. Don’t get angry with them and remember that when shit hits the fan they will always be there for you.

I have written multiple times before that I feel like I have improved more over the last 6 months than the last 5 years combined. Despite this being down to me implementing the advice I share in my posts on the surface… deep down I know I am being driven by a stronger power… the love of my family.

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Freedom + Knowledge = Happiness

Freedom to do what you want to do. Freedom to learn. Freedom to carve out your own life. Freedom from imaginary restraints that you believe are holding you back. When you realise that you, like everybody else, have the power to choose your future right now and you apply yourself to learning by investing in yourself you will realise the most powerful feeling of happiness I have ever encountered.

This is what has worked for me, it might not do the same for you. If it doesn’t you have the power to change your approach again. Just don’t expect things to work out if you don’t take action. Make conscious changes, experiment with your own life, and one day you will discover your own secret weapons for life long abundance.

-Matthew Brown

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