Some of the most successful folks I know have a secret. They have figured out how to get ahead of the pack. They are doing what 80% of the population won’t do. They seem to go from one success to another while their peers are struggling just to get on first base. What do they know that you don’t know? They realize that this is a competitive world and they position themselves to compete successfully. They invest in themselves. They continue to learn and hone their skills. One of the saddest moments of a persons life is when he realizes that he has allowed himself to be bypassed because he did not stay current in his profession.

There is an old curse that says “let you live in interesting times”. That can be either a curse or a blessing, depending on how you react to circumstances.

America is going through a huge reset. Populations are shifting, the job market is in disarray, real estate values are dropping and continue to drop. Many folks have seen their retirement plans destroyed from chaos in the economic/financial sector. We have an ageing population, many of which have not adequately planned for retirement. The national debt is at an all time high and continuing to grow.

Out of this crucible is coming opportunities for those willing to reinvent themselves. A number of small businesses have been started. I spoke recently to an individual who when his company downsized, left and started a hamburger stand. He now has 6 locations in two states and is growing. A mortgage broker purchased a restaurant that was not doing well and has turned it around. It looks like he and his partners have sold it at a profit and are in the middle of another venture. A number of individuals are going back to “school” for career resets. Accounting, Medical, and Service Industries are just a few of the careers that individuals are gravitating to. Some individuals have chosen to stay in their chosen jobs/careers and are honing their skills. I know several real estate brokers who have become involved in the debt industry in “short sales” and liquidating bank owned properties (REO’s). A number of Real Estate Attorneys have transitioned their practices to become bankruptcy specialist. Other folks are continuing in their chosen professions but are working to become more efficient.

A young man I am acquainted with was unable to find employment in his chosen field, after studying for and receiving a license. He took a part time job at minimum wage. He continued to look for an opportunity. A friend introduced him to an employer who had an opening to fill. He now works in distribution in a company that is rapidly expanding. His future prospects look good. We hear that Detroit is in horrible shape with people leaving in droves. While many see disaster others see opportunity. There is a rapidly growing immigrant population. Whole blocks are transitioning from foreclosure alleys to thriving family neighborhoods.

The point : You can let circumstances dictate your future or you can take control and choose your own destiny. Invest 5 to 10 percent of your focus on your future in funds and focus. Even if you cannot see the end result clearly the effort will lead to the next step.