015 – Real-Life James Bond Shows You How to Get Rich, Become a Value-Adder, and Build the Perfect Plan for Your Life

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Do you have a Plan B for Life?

Have you ever wondered, “Wait a minute… something’s not right here… Do the authorities, banks and politicians really have my best interests at heart? Should I really be relying on them, or do I need to take matters into my own hands?”

Don’t worry. You’re not crazy. Neither am I.

It doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B in life.

It wouldn’t hurt to:

  • Build new skills so that you could start your own business and generate financial independence
  • Have a little property in a country other than your own
  • Do everything you could to take care of everyone you love.

This might be a NEW way of thinking for you. And that’s what today’s guest expert specializes in. His name is Simon Black.

Today you’ll learn how to set up a Plan B for your life at any age so that you can have true freedom.

Craig: Simon, welcome to the show. It’s great to be here in Lithuania with you for the eighth annual Blacksmith Liberty and Entrepreneurship Camp. So tell us about this mysterious retreat that you are putting on every year, that I come and help you with?

Simon: It’s every year we have about 60 some odd young people come from all over the world. It’s you, me, highly accomplished entrepreneurs, business managers, investors, etc.

Craig: And who are these 60 kids that are coming in?

Simon: We’ve had artists, musicians, actors, internet marketers, writers, people that are running businesses, people that want to start businesses, self-employed professionals.

One of the lessons that we try and instill in everybody is that entrepreneurship doesn’t mean starting a business.

Entrepreneurs are fundamentally about value creation. And you can be a valued creator as an employee, a self-employed professional, a business owner, an athlete, as a whatever it is that you’re doing.

Valued creation is fundamentally a mindset.

Craig: And then who are the instructors? What are we teaching them specifically?

Simon: We have people like Matt Smith and Jeff Schneider, Jeff is Matt’s partner in one of their businesses. And our friend Bill who’s in the music business. My dear friend Marco, who’s actually been enormously important in building and growing the agriculture business that I started back in 2013. And Cliff, who runs one of our other businesses out in Australia.

Craig: And then, what are we trying to get these kids to walk away with?

Simon: One of the most important things is the network, is meeting people just like you. But, I believe the most important thing for us is to try and highlight for them, “what am I supposed to do next?” And then give them the resources and the drive to figure out what they don’t know, and how they can learn and continue to develop different skills.

So what would you do if you were the age of one of these campers? If you were 25-35 years old today and you want to take control of your future? With all the opportunity that’s out there, what would you be doing, knowing what you know now?

Simon: What I would really encourage people to try and think about and understand is that if you really want to learn and you want to be successful, it is just learning from successful people.

Look at all these successful people and think okay, what are these people doing? … And learn from them, make yourself as indispensable as possible. When you work for somebody who’s incredibly smart and talented where you can learn those skills, you get paid to learn. Really try and learn as much as you can from people that are bright and talented.

Craig: What are you looking forward to getting out of the camp, in addition to hanging out with great people all weekend?

Simon: For me, it’s my own personal accountability. Holding myself accountable and saying “I have to push, I have to achieve more, I have to grow more because I am responsible for standing up in front of 60 people who are depending on me to be able to teach them how to become more successful.”

So I have to become better, I have to do more. 

Craig: So let’s do a little backtracking here, Simon, about your story. How did you end up going from a west point grad and intelligence officer to becoming a leader in finance and entrepreneurship?

Simon: I think I was always quite entrepreneurial. But I’ve always been very open to looking at the big picture. And I think there was probably a lot of that in the military that forces you to really look at a lot of big picture things as well as lots of focus on planning, improvisation because nothing ever goes according to plan

I think the biggest thing that probably helped develop that element of my personality is I don’t think you have to take big risks as an entrepreneur. Risks are things that, there are potential consequences that exist, but that can be mitigated.

And I think for me that was a huge part of my own growth and development. You have to be totally comfortable with uncertainty in the military, there’s just so much of that. And I think I took that away when I got out, and into business.

Craig: And so how has your judgment changed over the last ten years? Running the camps but also running your own businesses, as to what opportunities you decided to go after?

Simon: The more I grow, the more educated I become, the more I learn, the better I become. It’s all about what you know and I think the more you learn, the more you know, the less risky business stuff becomes.

Craig: So what might you say to somebody who’s a little bit more mature in their years and thinking that they can’t go and create a plan B for their life, that they’re stuck in their ways or they’re stuck in their town?

Simon: Educate yourself better about finance, money, and investing, it will have such an enormous impact on your life and your long term security. Being financially literate enough to be able to put your money into a better retirement structure and to be able to save adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long term.

The older we get, the more anchored and tethered we become to our current reality, but that’s not a reason why you can’t change things.

Craig: Where do they start?

Simon: If you want to be financially literate, learn from financially literate people.

Craig: What is the big message you’re trying to get across, through your newsletter and your podcast?

Simon: Think of it as like an insurance policy for the fact that there are huge macro sovereign risks that exist, and we’ve just gone over very simple ways that folks can insure themselves against those risks. And you always want to make sure that in getting a good insurance policy, that anything that you’re doing is something that makes sense no matter what might happen or not happen next. If nothing bad ever happens, then you’ll still be fine, and if there are some consequences that come from these things down the road, then you’re definitely gonna be okay. And that’s the whole point of everything that we really try and talk about and get people to try and build what we call is a plan B.

And it’s not crazy, it’s not irrational. Rationally thinking, intelligent people have a plan B, especially in light of what are pretty clear risks.

Craig: What are your habits for success in productivity?

Simon: Me, being on the road, it’s easy to slack off and eat crappy food and not go to the gym, but you just gotta do it. You just build it into your day. You create structure in your life.

Craig: We aren’t perfect, so what’s a Simon Black guilty diet pleasure? What about trashy magazines or television shows, do you read any of those or watch any of those when you travel? Let’s confess something fun here.

Simon: I mean, everything’s basically nonfiction. I just got Neil Tyson’s book about Astrophysics, and there’s a lot of history and stuff like that.

Craig: What’s your favorite history book, for people that want to understand the financial?

Simon: My favorite book, it’s a quick read and it’s one by the guy I mentioned, Will Durant, it’s called Lessons from History. And just what a great book, I recommend it for everybody.

Craig: To someone listening at any age, what are your words of wisdom for getting started on having a plan B, or heck, even having a plan A in the first place?

Simon: Well, just to kind of reiterate a couple of the points:

  • You have to take responsibility for yourself. You have to really focus on education, it’s the most important thing.
  • Financial literacy is enormously important.
  • Discipline

Find out more about this game-changing book, here.

 What else do you have planned for Sovereign Man, for your agricultural fund, for your travels for the next year?

Simon: My biggest focus of the next year will be continuing to grow and develop my bank. Which I started a little bit ago and it’s been an incredibly exciting venture.

Craig: All right, thank you so much, Simon Black, this was a lot of fun doing this show. I’m sure we’ll do one again before next year, maybe even after the camp for what we learn.

Thanks for tuning into Early Rise radio, this was definitely a unique show that you probably won’t hear anywhere else, I hope you enjoyed it, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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Early to Rise Radio
Early to Rise Radio
Craig Ballantyne

Hi, this is Craig Ballantyne, host of Early To Rise Radio. Have you ever wanted to become wealthier, healthier, wiser, or just have more time to appreciate the finer things in life? On this show, we reveal what high performers are doing every day to be more successful WITHOUT sacrificing their personal lives. Early To Rise Radio is sponsored by The Perfect Day Formula. Get your free copy of this game-changing success guide at FreePerfectDayBook.com.

Craig Ballantyne

If you want to double your income, work less, and become the ambitious millionaire you've always wanted to be... Craig Ballantyne is the coach who will help you do it. With more than 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur and five 7-figure businesses under his belt, he specializes in helping "struckling" entrepreneurs get out of the mud and build the business of their dreams. To see if you qualify for Craig's "Millionaire Coaching Program" send an email to support@earlytorise.com with the subject line "Millionaire".