kazuend-cCthPLHmrzI-unsplash (2)

The Fastest Way to Ignite Change

Self-help is big business because so many people are unhappy about one thing or another about themselves or their lives.

​​In the self-help industry, there’s often a lot of talk about willpower and changing habits, and changing the way we think as ways to spark change. Lost in all of this is the one thing that will ignite change the quickest – changing your environment.

How many people have you known who always talk about the need to eat healthier and get in shape but never get around to it? How many other people have you known who finally get off their butts to get in shape and eat healthier because they experience a life-changing health crisis?

​​I bet it’s easier to be motivated from a hospital bed than from an easy chair watching TV and eating Cheetos. Instead of waiting for a heart attack to compel change, simple changes to the environment could be equally effective in motivating you to change habits. Maybe you can get rid of the easy chair, TV or Cheetos.

I travel a lot, and I enjoy mastermind groups. So do a lot of people. I am a big proponent of adopting the right mindset to propel change, but I have found that the fastest way to change your mindset has nothing to do with acquiring information or changing habits or willpower. I have found that the fastest way to ignite change is to change your environment.  

As I alluded to above, many people enjoy being a part of mastermind groups, but attending functions is as far as many of these people go to change their financial situations. Instead of leveraging all the knowledge they gain from these interactions; they continue on their unsatisfactory financial paths. Instead of taking advantage of alternative investment opportunities, they go back to their unproductive day trading activities on Robinhood.

If you don’t change your environment, you’re making it harder on yourself to break out of the routines that hold you back. A change of environment can do you some good. For example, moving to another city can propel change for the better. Interacting with new people and environments can push you out of your comfort zone and even open up new opportunities.

In the modern age, a change of environment doesn’t necessarily mean a change of physical environment. You don’t have to move to another city. We all spend so much time in cyberspace that our digital environments are just as important as our physical ones. So, a change in our digital environment can be just as effective in igniting change as changing the physical environment.

Many people are discovering little techniques to change their environments to propel change. These techniques often have to do with making undesirable habits less convenient and more desirable habits automated. For example, if you’re unhappy with your investment portfolio, what can you do to take away the convenience of the way you invest.

Why is Robinhood so popular? Because it’s convenient and free to trade.

If you’re heavily allocated to stocks and crypto and want a change, cut the cord. If you’re like many investors who are constantly checking your Robinhood app, delete the app from your phone. Stop following all those investment blogs and gurus on social media. Get rid of your Reddit app on mobile and bookmarks on your desktop. If you have a 401(k), stop the automatic contributions. Stop the conveniences that make it easy for you to invest in unprofitable assets like stocks and crypto.

Those who have achieved financial independence were once in your shoes. How did they change their financial paths?

​​First, they changed their environments. They stopped watching CNBC and checking financial sites and social media accounts heavily biased towards Wall Street. Instead, they started following sites, blogs, and groups heavily allocated to alternatives – groups like Tiger 21. And in their physical environments, they started hanging out and socializing with successful local investors and groups.

Successful investors first changed their environments; they eliminated any excuses from investing in alternatives by removing roadblocks.

​​For many investors looking to get into alternatives like commercial real estate and private equity, knowledge, capital and time are often the major roadblocks cited for not investing in these assets. Savvy investors learned early on in their alternative investing careers that these roadblocks could be easily eliminated by automating their investments by leveraging the expertise of others.

​​By passively investing with an investment partner, the knowledge, time, and capital roadblocks are eliminated by relying on someone else, making investing in alternatives much easier and more convenient.

You’ve heard that alternatives are the path to wealth, but you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of stocks and crypto.

​​Do you want to change your financial path? Change your environment. Make the unproductive assets like stocks and crypto less convenient and the productive assets like private investments automated. Automation is why ultra-wealthy investors gravitate towards passive investments.

​​Letting an expert steer the boat is the quickest way to ignite financial change because it eliminates the excuses. Think of your diet. Isn’t it easier to lose weight if you remove the soda and cupcakes from your home?




Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.