Podcast Episode - The Biggest Mistake I Make

About Suze, Do's And Don’ts., Goals, Retirement

December 20, 2020

Listen to Podcast Episode:

On today’s podcast, Suze talks about the biggest mistake she’s ever made.  In three stories, we learn how that mistake wasted time and money and we get advice on how we don’t have to fall into it.

Podcast Transcript:

December 20th, 2020. Welcome to the Women and Money Podcast is well as the men smart enough to listen, Suze O, here. And what a day today is. I want to know why today is such a great day. Today is the one year birthday of my great nephew Will. Will Happy happy birthday boyfriend. Aren't you going to be lucky to grow up and have an Aunt Suze? But that is besides the point. So, you know, we're coming to the end of the year. And as I look at this, cause I'm pretty good with numbers is that there's only two Sundays left till 2021 this Sunday, today and next Sunday the 27th. So I'm thinking, OK, Suze Orman. What are the last to podcast of the year 2020. What do you want them to be about? And I realize Well, God, I don't wanna be a downer. I don't wanna You know, it's Christmas time. We're all supposed to be celebrating. And then I think to myself, Well, you know, Suze, look back upon your life. And if there was one lesson that you've learned in your life because you have all these people who look up to you who adore you, who tell you they love you and thank all of you for doing that, by the way, you know, you could never hear that your loved enough. And so your emails and everything, I really do appreciate them just so you know. But I think about if I was going to tell you one thing that I would always want you to remember what I said to you, what would it be? How would you guide them? Where would it go? And so I started to think about Okay, what would I do? So I started to think about my entire life and what's the most important thing that I've learned? And sometimes it's not so much about what you should do. Sometimes it's about what you absolutely should not do. You know, sometimes when I'm giving people financial advice, it's just a lot easier to tell them. Don't buy a variable annuity, don't buy a loaded mutual fund. Don't buy whole life insurance or variable insurance or whatever it may be. And it's easier just to tell you what not to do versus do this, do that, because there are more things that if you just didn't do them, then you wouldn't get yourselves in trouble. So that's when I decided, at least for this week's today's podcast, that I want to talk to you about the biggest mistake I've ever made. And I call it a mistake versus missed aches because it's still this one thing that I've done throughout my entire professional life. Actually, if I think about it my entire life that I'm still doing, I did it last year and I can't believe it. So I want to talk about that. And then I decided, Just so you know, to give you a little preview next Sunday, I'm going to give you my predictions of what I think is going to happen for the year 2021. So let's begin this with going back in time and just simply seeing, can you recognize this mistake that it seems I keep making over and over again. So it's way, way, way back when. And I'm just starting to be a stockbroker and a financial adviser, and I'm just starting my own firm and everything's going great for me and I'm being totally one pointed totally. Alright, everything's great and all of a sudden, Ah, good friend of mine, a smart friend of mine comes to me and he says, Suze, you have your commodity Trader Advisor's license, which is a license by the way that I had gotten when I had worked at the brokerage firms, simply if I wanted to trade commodities, oil, corn, things like that, I could use it. Don't even know why I got it. But I had it. And he said, I have an idea to start this commodity firm and we could make a lot of money and on and on and on. And I think about I go, oh, he must know better than I know. Yeah, I should listen to him, and I should do what he is telling me would be great. So I switch and I stopped doing what I'm doing and I was always doing retirement planning. That was always my field of expertise. That's what I loved. That's what I was concentrating on. But all of a sudden I stopped that, and I switch to do commodity trading, which is maybe one of the more speculative things out there to make a long story short. Of course it failed, money was lost and I lost all this time. And then I went back to doing what I was doing again. Now time is going on and I have somebody working in my office and she's selling certain things and doing things for me, and all of a sudden I see that she seems really happy, like, happier than she's ever been. And so I go and I talked to her and she says, Suze, I know we're doing great here, but my husband got into this thing where he's selling NSA water filters. You will remember NSA water filters. This is quite a while back now, everybody. And he's making a lot of money 10 to $20,000 a month, Suze. So I joined him and we are making so much money, it's not even funny. You need to do this, Suze. And again, everything was going pretty good. Everything was like it should be at that point in time anyway. And I got sidetracked again and I went OK. And obviously NSA Water filters was a multi level marketing organization. And somehow I end up choosing to order $5000 worth of water filters and have all these people at my house and do all this while again to make a long story short. I still probably have those water filters in some storage unit. Just joking. But I don't even know what happened to them. But again, I essentially lost $5000 and again, I lost time and I lost making money from doing that, which I wanted to be doing. And so are you getting the drift of what's happening here? Are you getting it on any level? So if you're not, I'll let you in on it now. Now I could go on with story after story, example after example, of me doing exactly what I wanted to be doing when somebody else came to me with an idea and I diverted, I got sidetracked and I went with their idea versus doing what? I was all ready, liking making money at and being good at now, before I go on, However, I just want to say this. Remember, I was already doing something that I like to do. You heard me just say that a second ago and I got sidetracked. If you're out there and you don't know what to do and you don't have an idea and you're not doing anything and somebody comes to you with an idea that's another story because you don't even know where you're going or what you're doing. So maybe they have a great idea and they can help you. But if you are all ready in a situation where you are doing that which you know you should be doing and that you love doing listen very closely to my biggest mistake I've ever made and that mistake, is obviously you can figure it out by now, is distraction, distraction, being sidetracked, not being like a racehorse that has blinders on. That just goes for that finish line and they don't really care about anything else. They know where they are going in there looking straight ahead and going for it. But every once in a while I have to tell you, I make this same mistake that I'm talking about all the time here. People and I take my blinders off and guess what? I get sidetracked every time I sidetracked. Every time I did something that somebody else brought me an opportunity or I thought it was an opportunity, it ended up really costing me. Like I said, time and money. Now you would think over the years over the years, and I have to tell you the truth and the millions of dollars that I've lost over these years, listening to other people's ideas, trying to do their ideas, whatever it may be that you would think that I had learned. And the reason that I wanted to do this podcast is because sometimes sometimes getting sidetracked, getting distracted can appear in your life as an opportunity as an opportunity versus a distraction. And let me just give you another story. So it was last year at the end of the year, and maybe a lot of you remember this. I came on the podcast and I said, Hey, want to join me in Santa Monica, California I'm going to be doing an all day workshop called the Nine Steps to Financial Independence. There's only 300 seats. So you got to sign up now. And I was so excited because those seats went within a matter of minutes truthfully, and that day came and it was a fabulous day. At least I thought it was. I hope everybody else did as well. And we taped that session that day because we wanted to be able to take that course that I taught as a course that you could take in the luxury of your own home. That was the intention. So after we taped it, everything was going great. We were so happy with the footage, and then I get a call. I get a call from somebody at Netflix talking about maybe doing something with me. And KT, who's now the one who always does those calls takes over and we're thinking about her. Go like Oh my God, we have 8-10 hours of footage that I just taped that we actually could cut it into 31 hour episodes for Netflix. So a little miniseries and they could show it on Netflix, and then everybody would be able to learn the nine steps to financial independence. Everybody, because almost everybody has Netflix. And I thought, Okay, let's do that. So rather than cutting the footage for a, course, that could go far beyond three hours. That was really in detail and the reason why we shot it the way that we did, we edited it down to fit into a format that I thought Netflix might like. Totally changed it. Now I go and I send it to Netflix and they didn't like it. They didn't like it for their purposes. They thought, I'm sure that the information was very interesting and everything was great. But that's not what they were looking for from me. Hopefully, one day maybe I could do something with Netflix, but now we get all this footage back, and we've spent all this money on it to color corrected to do everything. And we try to make it into the course and guess what everybody? We can't do. It doesn't work because it needed more. It was just it was lacking. I needed the other footage that we didn't include so it would fit into a one hour format. I needed more footage. I needed to go back and edit it as to how it was originally taped and the purpose it was taped for. Now, why am I telling you this story? Here we are, almost in January of 2021 over a year now, a year and a few months since I taped the nine steps to financial independence. If I hadn't gotten sidetracked by thinking that's a far better opportunity, doing that for Netflix was far better than doing it for everybody in the form of a course. That's what I was thinking. I've now wasted again so much time and so much money, because now I have to go back and we have to re-edit. And we have to figure out the whole thing again and start all over from the beginning. So rather than it coming out this last September might not be till March or next September. All because once again, I did not learn from the biggest mistake I make and the biggest mistake and notice I have that in present tense because it's obvious that I'm still making it, so I have to really, really be careful, and if I have to be careful, you know what that means. That means you have to be careful as well because all of us, we get sidetracked in so many ways. We get distracted in so many ways, and that keeps us. That distraction keeps us from being who we are meant to be again. I am talking to people who have a direction. They know what they're working on their there. They have a goal. They have a finish line in sight and all of a sudden they get distracted. I am not talking to people who don't have a path at this moment in time, because maybe you need a little distraction. Maybe you need some ideas from other people, who knows? But it's just something to absolutely think about. Why do I want you to think about it? I want you to think about it now more than ever before, and you'll hear more about this on next week's podcast. Is that to get to where you need to go in many circumstances today, in today's economy, in the situation, with covid still being out there. With the vaccine still trying to figure out how to get it to the masses and all of that. You have to rise above. You have to rise above everybody. And you have to have this energy, this spirit that keeps you going against all odds. And if you get sidetracked, if you get distracted, then it's almost like your energy is being split and you will not have the energy to finish what you need to finish for you. So this podcast, this podcast, is going to be short this week. But this podcast may just be one of the most important podcast I have ever done because we can't sabotage ourselves anymore. And we have to do everything that we can possibly do to get to where we need to be. And one of the easiest ways to get there is simply don't make the mistake that I seem to make over and over again. Do not and I repeat, do not get sidetracked. See you next week.

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Suze Orman Blog and Podcast Episodes

Suze's Financial Strength Test

Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.

I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.

I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.

The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!

I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.

I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.

I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.

I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.

I have checked all the beneficiaries of every investment account and insurance policy within the past year.

So how did you do?

If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.

As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!

But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.

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