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Missed Fortune – The Negative Experience Transformer – Step 5 of 7

Posted on | February 6, 2009

A 7-Step Unique Process to Transform Disappointing Experiences into New Opportunities

Step 5: See the opportunity in the challenge or threat.

Several years ago I read a study on more than 1,000 self-made millionaires. Their education and backgrounds varied — some had no more than a high school education, whereas another possessed three Ph.Ds.

There was only one common denominator: they were all “good-finders.” What most people viewed as challenges or threats, these people had the unique ability to see as opportunities. They were optimists.

The key is to take the world’s bad news and turn it into your good news. Below are a few examples of how this approach can work:

•    The Malibu Rock: My favorite example of someone possessing this trait is Brett-Livingstone Strong and the story of the Malibu Rock.

In 1977, Strong was a young Australian artist living in Los Angeles when a well-publicized drama erupted over a 116-ton rock embedded in the cliffs above Malibu Beach.

The affluent homeowners who lived below the rock understandably saw it as a threat. When an attempt was made to remove it, the rock broke loose and landed smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Strong purchased the rock from Caltran for $100 and had it moved by helicopter to a location where he could work on it in public view. He sculpted the image of the head of John Wayne into the rock and finally sold the finished work for a reported $1.1 million.

What everyone else had viewed as a threat, Brett-Livingstone Strong saw as an opportunity. He got in motion, added value, and turned a $100-dollar investment into more than $1 million, which helped launch his successful painting and sculpting career, spurred by the huge media attention he received.

•    The Credit Crunch: My friend, Phil Tirone, a successful mortgage loan originator, witnessed many of his clients’ confusion over credit scores.

To help his clients who were being turned down or charged higher fees on loans, he wrote a simple book titled, 7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score. He now has a complete kit that sells on national infomercials.

•    The Moral Dilemma: An acquaintance of mine watched professional athletes make costly mistakes in their private lives that affected their careers with lost endorsements.

He developed “The Self-Gratification Cost-Factor Formula” and has been paid handsomely to speak to professional athletic teams about the importance of living better lives as role models.

•    Shelter from Economic Storms: Due to the recent economic storms we are experiencing, I have written several articles and helped many people learn how to recession-proof their retirement.

I’ve also been able to help people understand how to get top dollar when they sell their home in a soft market, and how to buy real estate in a soft market with no money down and no credit checks.

How can you turn bad news into your good news?

•    Start by writing down the situation, problem or challenge.

•    Then list all of the obstacles that need to be overcome to correct or alleviate a bad outcome.

•    Next identify a specific strategy using available resources that will help overcome each obstacle.

•    Finally, write down a clear vision of how the negative situation can be transformed into a positive outcome, lesson or experience. Determine how it will help yourself and others under similar circumstances.

It’s my sincere hope that we will be able to adopt an optimistic outlook and learn to see the opportunity in every challenge we face in life.

Doug Andrew

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*Life insurance policies are not investments and, accordingly, should not be purchased as an investment

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