O’s Success Tips: Carve Out Solid Investments
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My eyes were overwhelmed with the lush beauty that enveloped the ballroom at the company end of year party, but it was a simple piece of art that grasped my attention the longest. A large block of ice elevated several feet from the floor and sculpted into the shape of an oil rig. I was enthralled by its beauty. Its exterior softly glistened as the melting ice caressed its form. The inside, on the other hand, exuded an explosive array of colors as the light from its base refracted into a matrix of pure grandeur. But despite the captivating beauty of the ice sculpture, I vehemently hated it…
Ice sculptures have been around as far back as the 18th century. They are predominantly created in the colder regions of the world and come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. They could be as simple as a coin or as complex as a hotel. One such example is the spectacular Sorrisniva Igloo hotel located in Norway. Everything from the walls to the beds is made out of pure ice, even the cocktail glasses are manufactured from ice! Every fall, the hotel opens its doors to the public and runs like a normal business fully equipped with food and service staff. The final product is a breathtaking fusion of beauty and functionality. But once the warm spring season arrives, the entire hotel structure in all its magnificence is reduced to a mere puddle of water!
As I reflect back on my company’s party, I slowly begin to realize why I hated the melting oil-rig ice replica…no matter how magnificent or complicated an ice sculpture is, it will eventually melt. It always melted. In fact the largest ice sculpture ever built according to the Guinness book of world records is still standing today. It was built in August of 2009 in California by 14 sculptors. They worked day and night, chiseling and carving away fervently at a 150,000 pounds of pure ice! And at the end of the day they had created a world record 45 feet tall ice structure. But amidst the celebration and excitement that followed, one thing remained certain, when the warmth of the summer arrives…the 45 feet sculpture will evolve into an unrecognizable mass of water. So why then would people expend so much time and effort in creating these sculptures? When they could be utilizing the same energy to create much more durable sculptures?
I would begin to realize the answer through my second car, a black Nissan Altima, which I purchased in March of 2005. The car was financed under a five year agreement and during that period, the beauty of the car began to fade. And by the fifth year it was no longer the pristine car that I had initially bought. Its paint had chipped in several locations and its previous new car smell had now been replaced with a dull musty odor. The steering wheel was scarred with marks from wear and the broken cup holder clearly highlighted the dilapidated state of the car. Everywhere I drove I was tempted, tempted by curves of newer car models and by lower monthly payments. And many times I would succumb to the temptations…driving down to the local luxury car dealership, just so I could get a taste of the pristine. However there was one problem, the only way I could afford those cars was through a lease. And I hated that option because no matter how beautiful a leased car is, at the end of the day it is never really yours. Just like the Sorrisniva Igloo hotel, which melts away in the spring, a leased car disappears once the lease period is up. So why invest time, money and effort renting an item when that same effort could be utilized to purchase it? The simple answer is convenience. The same convenience that causes millions of Americans to work for another person’s business without once considering the possibility of owning their own business. And the same convenience that allows people to pay another person’s mortgage without once thinking about paying their own.
Unfortunately, too many of us are involved in the business of building ice sculptures. We are lured by the ephemeral beauty that radiates from these items and end up in a hypnotic cycle of leasing. Waking up every day to build a business we do not own, so that we could pay for a car and apartment that is not ours. But when the cycle ends, we begin to realize the obvious, we have accumulated nothing. Just like ice, all our work and efforts melts away into a puddle of nothingness. Our goal this year should be to create and spread the mentality of ownership in all facets of our lives. If we refocus our efforts as such, we begin to find that when the financial season changes for the worse, we still have enough substance to survive.
Africa’s #1 Success Coach
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