Monday Morning Minute

By CNBC, Contributor

Legendary investor Warren Buffett, billionaire Richard Branson and other successful people approach life differently. They see their time, money and career potential as precious resources that they need to make the most of.

And that’s one of the key reasons they got to where they are.

By adopting their mental strategies as well as ones experts say are linked to success, you can get closer to a fulfilling career and a higher quality of life.

1. Create a ‘decision stream’

Branson had to make thousands of choices as he approached founding the Virgin Group, including whether to fly a hot air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean.

Branson has taken several calculated risks and passed on others. The essential thing, he says, and one of the most important business lessons he has learned, is to never rush into anything.

While your gut reaction is powerful, he says, fight the urge to rely on it to make important money decisions. Branson likes to make a “decision stream,” or a list that helps him properly understand and weigh the pros and the cons.

2. Don’t work simply for money

In the Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Shareholders Meeting, Buffett said that professionals should think about the job they would want if money wasn’t an issue.

In other words, prioritize your passion, not your paycheck. “You really want to think about what will make you feel good,” he says.

Apple CEO Tim Cook agrees. He recently told college graduates: “Don’t work for money. … You will never be happy.”

3. Set clear financial deadlines for yourself

According to self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, successful people have to give up certain bad habits. Among those is being too wishy-washy about what you want to achieve and by when.

“The average person half-heartedly wants a lot of things,” Siebold writes. On the flip side, rich people “wholeheartedly focus on one major goal at a time” and “set a deadline for its achievement. This is how self-made millionaires are created.”

4. Stop waiting for the perfect job

Waiting to find the job of your dreams could end up hurting your earning potential, according to a former Google career coach.

Thinking about your career as a ladder is less relevant in today’s job market, says Jenny Blake, who has helped more than 1,000 people get ahead.

Instead, by prioritizing the skills you want to learn, you can increase your earning potential and get to a point where you end up having the job you want.

Your career is like a smartphone, says a former Google career coach.

5. Live happily with less

A man who paid off $116,000 to become debt-free by 30 says the biggest factor that helped him succeed was something you might not expect: downsizing.

Derek Sall focused on earning as much, and spending as little, as possible, by pursuing side gigs in addition to his full-time job and renegotiating his insurance payments. He also changed his social media habits so that he could downsize without the regret that might come from comparing his life to everyone else’s.

“I don’t call myself a minimalist,” Sall says, “but I realized that the more and more stuff you have, it almost makes you less happy.”

The trend is catching on. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh lives in an Airstream trailer, and self-made millionaire James Altucher lives out of Airbnbs.


About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to retirement plan sponsors. The firm currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on more than $400 million in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or or visit the firm’s website at Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, a plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.