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Missed Fortune – Finding Opportunities In Challenges

Posted on | November 11, 2013

The Malibu Rock

We’ve all heard the questions of whether we’re an optimist or a pessimist. Sometimes we’re asked whether we see the glass as half full or half empty. But it’s possible that there’s more to this than simply positive or negative attitude.

What if the answer we give had more to do with seeing what others don’t see? Those who see possibilities where others see only impossibilities are the ones who ultimately succeed.

These are the kind of people who can create change for themselves and for the world around them.

The story of the Malibu rock offers a perfect illustration. In 1979, Brett Livingston Strong immigrated to America from Australia to try to eke out a living as an artist. While living in an apartment in Los Angeles, he watched a story unfold on the news over several weeks.

The story was that of a homeowner who had built a beautiful home on Malibu Beach but was worried about a big rock protruding from the cliffs above him. He and his neighbors were banding together to file a lawsuit asking the state of California to remove the rock before it could fall and cause serious damage.

These homeowners ultimately succeeded in convincing the state to remove the rock.

Strong saw the opportunity and went down to watch the festivities as the rock was removed from the hillside. When the work crew finally dislodged the rock, it got away from them and finally landed right in the middle of Pacific Coast Highway 1.

The crew had no idea what to do with a 116-ton rock blocking traffic in both directions.

Brett Livingston Strong stunned the crowd when he offered to buy the rock for $100. This was all remarkable in that he only had about a dollar in his pocket.

The crew told him that he could have it if he could find a way to move it. So Strong contacted the manager of a local mall and convinced him to hire a helicopter and crane to move the rock to the mall’s center court.

Then Strong leased the rock to the mall for 6 months while he took a hammer and a chisel to it. When his project was ready to unveil six months later, Strong brought a man in a wheelchair to the event from an Orange County hospital.

When the sculpture was revealed to the audience, it was the image of movie star cowboy John Wayne. The man in the wheelchair said, “I like it!” It’s a good thing he did, because he was John Wayne–just a few weeks before he passed away.

The sculpture eventually sold for $1.1 million and Brett Livingston Strong’s career went through the roof.

He saw the opportunity that others didn’t.

Beating the Bad News Bonanza

Richard Rossi advises us that when there is anxiety in the world it spells opportunity. We must develop the skill to carve paths or masterpieces through obstacles. When we create an incredible career or life, we can help others do the same by leading the way.

There’s a lot of negative news out there, particularly regarding our astronomical national debt. Our federal government is incurring about $3.6 billion in debt every single day. Because of this, the federal government has been looking at ways to increase tax revenue. One of the ways that has been discussed is the taking over of 401(k)s and IRAs which represent nearly half of the roughly $18.5 trillion in private sector retirement assets.

They wish to tax those assets and that means that people who are counting on being in a lower tax bracket after retirement are likely to be in for a rude awakening. Not only will taxes go up, but they will have lost the deductions they used to count on and will be paying taxes on up to 85% of their Social Security income.

Instead of looking at the threat, get out of those IRAs and 401(k) and get into one of the far better ways to have tax-free income at retirement. A tax-free savings vehicle will provide the opportunity for peace of mind where others are finding only challenges.

Visit with a wealth architect today and learn how.

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