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Issue: 73 - Jan 15, 2015
Seven Life Secrets From a Millionare
By: Dr. Phil Zeltzman
Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Seven life secrets from a millionaire

This post is a follow up on previous Impromed e-newsletter ( ). After having lunch with millionaires, I had the rare opportunity to spend an evening with a multi-millionaire. Down to earth, practical and humble, our millionaire (let’s simply call him Presley) dispensed 7 invaluable pieces of advice, which are summarized here.

1. Traditional vs. residual income
Most of us have traditional jobs. Some of us are self-employed.  In either case, we make a living by trading time or sweat or knowledge for money. If we stop working, the income stream stops.

The polar opposite of this concept is residual income. This is best explained by looking at rental properties. If you own and rent apartments or houses (which we’re not necessarily advocating, this example was merely chosen to make a point), rent money keeps coming in, whether you work, you are sick or you are on a vacation.
Understanding residual income can change your life, even if it only represents a second stream of income.

2. Self-improvement via reading
We’ve all heard that knowledge is power (we’ve also all heard that ignorance is bliss, but I’ll leave that topic to another writer). You can increase your knowledge by reading self-improvement books.  If you only read 10 measly pages a day over the course of a year, those 3,650 pages represent about 15 to 20 books. And this is just during year 1.

Do you think you’d be more knowledgeable after reading 10 to 20 (non-fiction) books in a year?

Do you think you’d be more educated after reading 100 to 200 (non-fiction) books in 10 years?
If so, then read authors like Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, John Maxwell and Napoleon Hill. Read about self-improvement, management, personal finance, investing and reaching goals.

And you can achieve all of that by reading 10 pages a day!

Reading fiction is not a waste of time. However, I’d argue that reading the classics will likely make your smarter and better than the latest zombie thriller. Reading, among many other benefits, will help you think, write and spell better – all good qualities to go through life.
If you truly don’t have the time or just can’t fathom the idea of reading anything longer than a text message, then listen to audiobooks as you drive around. Thirty minutes a day would be a good start.
And if you can’t bear the thought of reading non-fiction books only, then please mix and match. You could alternate reading a non-fiction book and a fiction book, there is nothing wrong with that!

3. Self-improvement via CE
“If you want more out of life, your have to become more” says Presley.
Seminars and lectures help you learn from people who are willing to share their knowledge.  A lot of work goes into the preparation of a good conference. A good PowerPoint presentation in not about who has the cutest kitten pictures and the coolest slides, it’s about altruistically sharing knowledge with the audience. This distilled wisdom can also make you smarter, faster. “The more you learn, the more you earn” reminds us Presley.
This is of course very true in the veterinary world, by differentiating yourself from your colleagues.

4. Who do you run with?
“Who do you run with?” asks Presley. Instead of dragging you down, people around you should be positive and encouraging. They should support you in your quest for self-improvement.  Our millionaire says: “Show me who you run with, and I’ll show you who you are and who you will become.”
This is a variation on Jim Rohn’s famous quote: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Author and businessman W. Clement Stone confirms: "Be careful the environment you choose, for it will shape you. Be careful the friends you choose, for you will become like them."
“And if you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you,” jokes Presley. Think about that one for a minute!

5. On hard work
Presley reminds us of the famous quote by Thomas Edison: “Opportunity is often missed when it knocks on the door, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
This includes re-igniting your dreams, and putting a lot of thought into what you want out of life. “Most people spend more time planning a one week vacation, than they spend on planning their lives.”

6. On attitude
Presley cannot overemphasize the importance of having a good attitude. He doesn’t mince words: “Nobody wants to hang out with a negative, dull, disillusioned, frustrated crybaby.”
Despite being raised in a poor family and living in a tough neighborhood, Presley was able to make it to the top, in part thanks to his unwavering positive attitude. No matter where you’re coming from, he suggests: “Act the way you want to feel, and soon you will feel the way you act.”
This is an adaptation of the famous quote: “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

7. On change
Noting how often people hate change, Presley observes that “if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to get what you’re getting.” Our millionaire concludes: “If you don’t make a radical change in our life, the next 10 years are going to look a lot like the last 10 years.”

As you look back at 2014 and plan for 2015, think about these 7 pearls of wisdom. If you like Presley’s philosophy, you can greatly improve your life, and in turn you can massively improve the world around you.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” ( ).