Mayur Gudka

I write simply because I can.

Thoughts on taking and managing risks

I define risk is the fear of losing something we consider to be very valuable to us. The loss of it creates pain. Most people want to avoid such pain. If they determine a certain activity can possibly create pain, they label it as “risky” and stay away from it.

Life is risky

Everything we do has some degree of risk attached to it. Taking a shower is risky because we could slip, fall and break our hip. Playing in a playground is risky because a child could fall from a height and break his bones (my son almost did once). Crossing a road could get you hit by a car. You could even choke on the food you are eating and die. Yet, it’s funny how we don’t see these things as being “risky”. We have learned how to manage these risks. We chew our food so we don’t choke on it. We look on both sides of the road to make sure there is no approaching vehicle before we cross the road. We keep a eye on our kids at the park to make sure they are safe. And if we feel there is a danger, we ask them to be careful or lend them a hand until they are at a safe spot.

People fear the stock market. I did a decade ago. Maybe you do too. They stay away from it because they believe it to be very risky. Yet, there are millions who make money in the stock market. How can that happen? The answer is education. Warren Buffett said this a long time ago, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” The more you learn about a company and how it runs it business, your capability of making a quality decision improves. If you like what you find out about a company and its future prospects, invest in it. Or else, don’t.

Risks can be managed

Can I share a secret about risk with you? It can be managed.

Car accidents happen everyday. In some, people die. Yet, you and I get in our car every morning and drive. We can do this is because we have learned how to manage the risk. We have a “process” we never think about. We wear seat belts, we follow the driving rules. We do not speed. We do not change lanes without turning on the indicator first. We do not enter the wrong way. You get the point. Despite all that, can we get into an accident? Sure! Doing these things minimizes risk. It does not eliminate them. But, it minimizes the risk to a level where we become comfortable driving the car.

There are many frameworks out there that help you determine whether to take a certain risk of not. I want to share one of my favorites with you here. So, here’s how it works.

For this example, let’s say you are a family man with kids and have a cushy, comfortable job. You are considering whether to start a business of your own. You want to, but your wife sees it as very risky. In this case, here’s what you would do.

Take a pen and a piece of paper. Sit down with your wife at the dining table. Fold the paper in half and then fold it again so 4-columns are created on the paper. At the top of the first column, write “Worst Case Scenarios”.

Worst Case Scenarios

With your wife’s help, list every single worst case scenario that could happen by you starting a new business. Here are some examples to get you started.

  • Your business could fail.
  • You could die … not that businesses kill anybody but yours could. There’s always a first for something.
  • You could get sued by an employee or a customer.
  • Your employees could steal from you.
  • You would be so busy building the business, you would have no time to spend with your family.

Recovery Time

At the top of the next column, write down, “Recovery Time”. If an above listed scenario was to come true, how long do you believe it would take for you to re-create your life to the same point where you are today? Write down the recovery time next to each scenario you listed.

Best Case Scenarios

On the top of the third column, write “Best Case Scenarios”. If you were to start a business and it was to succeed, how could your life change for the better? What could you do that you cannot do now because of either time or money constraints? List down every single scenario possible.

  • Could you take more vacations? at better destinations?
  • Could you pay for your children’s college?
  • Could you retire early and comfortably?
  • Could you take care of your parents in their retirement?
  • Could you donate to the charity of your choice?
  • Would you travel the world the way you want?

Mitigation Tactics

Title the last column with “Mitigation Tactics”. What actions can you take to minimize each of the risks you listed in the “Worst-case scenarios” column? Can you start a low-cost business on a part-time basis and still continue working on your full-time job? Can you buy insurance to avoid losses from a lawsuit? Can you register it as a Limited Liability Company so your personal assets are protected? Can you put security procedures in place to avoid employees stealing from you? Can you hire some people so you the time it takes to build your business doesn’t affect your health or relationship with your family? Can you purchase substantial life insurance in an event you die prematurely?

Almost every risk you will ever encounter can be mitigated. The only questions are … what steps are you going to take to mitigate the risk? And how good is your mitigation plan? A better stronger plan offers you peace of mind and a sense of security for your family.

Decision Time

Now that you have listed the pros and cons, it’s decision time. Based on the sheet in front of you, can you make a quality decision? I’d say yes. This process has worked for me almost always time. If I cannot come up with good mitigation tactics, the decisions is a firm no. In most other cases, it’s a yes.

Last Question …

What does your decision process look like? Share it below.

Work expands to fill the time you give it

This is a giant productivity hack for me – Work expands to fill the time you give it. And I want to share it with you today.

When I say to myself, a certain project has to be completed by Friday, and today is only Monday … guess when the project will be completed by? Yeah … Friday. Instead of Friday, had I given the deadline of Thursday or Wednesday, I am pretty sure the project would have been completed by Thursday or Wednesday. That’s 20% – 40 % of time savings. If I wanted to, I could have started a new minor project on Thursday and finished it by Friday, thus increasing my productivity.

Let me reiterate – Work expands to fill the time you give it.

Here are some questions I am now asking myself for every single item on my To-Do Agenda …

  • Have I allotted a deadline to this project?
  • Can I move up by one or more days?
  • Do I honestly believe, I can finish this project with the new deadline?

If you are anything like me, you will have answered NO to the first question and YES to the other two questions. It’s about time we change that and answer all above questions with a resounding YES.

I want to encourage you to try this method to see if you are saving any time in the process. If you are awake for 16 hours a day and save 20% of your time, that’s a little over 3 hours of time that you will free up DAILY. If you had 3 extra hours everyday, what would you do? Would you spend some more time with your kids? Would you sleep more? Would you learn how to play guitar? Would you read a book? Would you take a walk out in the woods? What would you do?

This is a fantastic productivity hack that will allow you to free up your time. Claim it. Use it. Make it yours. And then share it with the people you care.

If you love the results you are receiving from this idea, use the comment section below to tell me all about it.

Unloading Thoughts on Internal Motivation

I know the benefits of exercising regularly. I know what to do. I know how to do it. Now only if I could get myself up and do it 3-4 times a week regularly … my doctor be ecstatic.

So, why don’t I? Good question. I often ask the same question to myself. And then I come up with excuses … no time, too busy, got a new kid (this one’s temporary; doesn’t happen all the time, okay fine, I’ve use it twice already) , too tired, no energy, too cold, etc. etc. In all honesty, the reason I don’t regularly exercise right now is because it’s not at the top of my priority list.

I exercised regularly a few years ago when I was on the borderline of being overweight and obese. I feared I would have a heart attack or something if I continued not exercising and regularly eating grilled cheese and potatoes. I have lost 10-12 pounds since and have thankfully maintained it.

Did you catch it?

Let me repeat in case you didn’t. I feared I would have a heart attack or something if I continued not exercising and regularly eating grilled cheese and potatoes. That fear of having a heart attack or dying in my early 30s was my internal motivation. I don’t suspect a heart attack anytime soon and as a result the motivation has disappeared.

As far as I can tell there are three spokes to the wheel of success.

  1. Knowing WHAT to do.
  2. Knowing HOW to do it correctly.
  3. GETTING YOURSELF TO DO what needs to be done in a timely manner.

In majority of the cases, you and I know what needs to be done and how it should be done. If we don’t we can learn or get someone to teach us. But it’s the third spoke, the internal motivation that enables us to get up and get things going.

So I did a little bit of research on how to get the internal motivation to do the things I know I should be doing but I don’t.

And here’s are some of my findings.

  • Fear of something great is usually the driver of internal motivation
    • If I don’t go to work, I won’t get paid. And my family will have to go hungry and I will be evacuated from my house. (Too dramatic?)
    • If I don’t exercise, I will die early.
  • Achieving something incredible is also a driver of internal motivation. However the number of people using achievement as a motivational factor is very small compared to the number of people using fear as their driver.
  • It’s incredible to form new, better habits. But, without internal motivation these newly formed habits fall off the wayside. My exercising analogy listed above is a prime example of that.
  • The lack of internal motivation can stem from the activity not being fun or the activity restricting our freedom
  • Continual evaluation is necessary for internal motivation to last longer periods of time
  • Take small doses of motivation daily to keep you going. This can be in form of book, podcast, YouTube video, speaking to someone on the phone, looking at the pile of money in your bank account,

Some wonderful resources on Internal Motivation

I hope you got some value out of this post.

So, now I want to ask you a question … What is your recommendation for me to find my internal motivation?

3 reasons why we procrastinate

Years ago, I attended at a weekend business seminar down in Richmond, VA. Speakers taught us everything related to business – sales, marketing, building a team, managing your money and much more. However, there was this one speaker by the name of Kevin Bell. He shared 3 reasons why people procrastinate. The reason I remember this so vividly is because it created a paradigm shift in my thinking.

I am listing them here for you.

  1. We do not respect the process.
  2. We do not respect the result.
  3. We do not respect ourselves.

We do not respect the process

Getting in shape is incredible. You look good, you feel good and you live longer (well, unless of course you get hit by a Coors beer truck). But it’s a process. And the process is non-discriminatory as well as mandatory . Regardless of who you are, if you are overweight and want to get in shape, you need to develop healthy eating habits, better sleeping patterns and consistency in workout routines for extended periods of time.

When a saleswoman wants to make a sale, she has to go through a process of finding a prospect, calling the prospect, doing a presentation, following up with the prospect to answer any questions and finally making the sale. If she misses or refuses to do any of the steps in the process, the probability of her not making the sale is automatically high.

So, why do we not respect the process?

  • It’s not always easy and takes work.
  • The activities of the process are not in our comfort zone and requires additional learning on our part.
  • The results are not instant which makes it difficult to follow-through for longer period.
  • The repercussions of not going through the process are invisible in the short term.

We don’t respect the results

Losing weight and getting in shape is a great idea, but you know what? Round is a shape too. How many times have you heard people (those who look like a bottle of coke) say this? Making one more sale will make me another $500. But, do I really need it? I already have $8,500 in commissions this month. Why not take the time off and enjoy it instead?

The second reason we fail is not because we are lazy or unwilling to go through whatever it takes. It’s because we might not care about the result.

We also might not see any value of the result. And, if the result is of no value to us, then why pay the price (going through the process).

We don’t respect ourselves

This one’s a biggie, at least to me. This has more to do with a person’s self image than anything else. If we don’t think we are worthy enough of achieving a goal, chances are we most likely won’t even attempt it. We also become conscious of other people’s thoughts about us and if we don’t think they’ll approve, we procrastinate.

So, why am I writing about this now?

Because, this blog was supposed to be started years ago, like back in 2011 or 2012. But, it didn’t. I procrastinated for all three reasons listed above. I finally had to say, No more! No more am I going to be afraid of other peoples thoughts about my writing. No more am I going to be afraid of what other people thought about MY thoughts. No more am I going to be afraid of having to write one lengthy post a week. No more!

I’m excited to see where this blog takes me. And if nothing else, it’s a fantastic way for me to dump and aggregate all my thoughts in one place.

The difference between Being Rich and Being Wealthy

The difference between being rich and being wealthy is two words – Financial Education. That’s it. If you are financially educated, you can be Rich and Wealthy.

Without financial education, you might be rich, but you won’t necessarily be wealthy.

So, what in the world is financial education?

Financial education is studying money. Financial education is cultivating discipline. Financial education is understanding laws (of nature and government) when it comes to money. Financial educating is developing common sense. Financial education is being smart about your money and continually staying smart.

If you’re making $400,000 but spend $400,001, you might be pretty smart in your industry to command such a high salary, but as far as I’m concerned, you’re a financial idiot. On the flip side, if you’re making $40,000 a year but live on $30,000, chances are you very well might be an average person in your industry but you’re doing very well with your finances and you should be proud of yourself.

How can you get started with your financial education journey?

A good way to start is by writing down answers to the following questions. If you don’t know the answers, then finding them would be a great start. If you want to participate in a race and finish the race, you need to know where the starting point is. Do you know where you stand financially? If not, let the following questions be your guide.

  • How much money are you making before taxes?
  • How much money are you making after taxes?
  • How much money are you spending on fixed costs? (rent, car payment, insurance, subscriptions, etc.)
  • How much money are you spending on variable costs? (groceries, utilities, car gas, entertainment, gifts, etc.)
  • Do you have a budget?
  • Are you comparing your costs to your budget?
  • Do you have an emergency fund?
  • Do you have a retirement account?
  • How much are you contributing towards it?
  • What is your credit score like?

Finding out answers to these questions would be a great start. If you already know the answers to these questions, congratulations. You might want to develop a reading habit. Reading is a secret habit of most financially savvy people.

I once heard a quote … if you want to be in the classes, look at the masses and do the exact opposite. Most people stop reading once they graduate from college. Financially savvy people continue with their reading. Their mindset is … the day I stop learning, I’ll start dying. And reading is the best way to learn. So, without beating the horse too much, here are some books to help you start your financial journey.

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
  • The Millionaire Mentor by Greg S. Reid
  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

That’s it for this blog post. Once again, there is a difference between being rich and being wealthy. And that difference is financial education. Wealth Generation is a game and financial education is the first step to it. Master it. Own it. Get it done

Wishing you success and prosperity,

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