WHEN you work as an equity analyst at an investment bank, your task is clear. It is to comb all the statements made by corporate executives, to scour the industry trends and arrive at an accurate forecast of the company’s profits. Achieve this and your clients will be happy and your bonus cheque will have many digits.
But is all this effort worthwhile? Not as much as it used to be, according to Feng Gu and Baruch Lev, writing in a recent issue of Financial Analysts Journal*. The authors imagined that investors could perfectly forecast the next quarter’s earnings for all companies. They then assumed that investors bought all the stocks that they expected to meet or beat the consensus of analysts’ forecasts; and that investors could short (ie, bet on a declining price) the stocks of those that were predicted not to reach their estimates. They made their investment two months before the end of a quarterly reporting period and got out of their positions one month after the quarter ended (by which time the earnings have been reported).
In the late 1980s and 1990s, this would have been a highly successful strategy, achieving excess returns (over those achieved by stocks of similar size) of 4% or more every quarter. But these abnormal returns have dropped: in recent years they have been only 2% a quarter. A similar effect appeared when examining the returns that would have been achieved by perfectly predicting those companies that achieved annual earnings growth.
Although an excess return of 2% a quarter would still be highly attractive, it would require a perfect forecasting record. That suggests the number-crunching performed by fallible analysts and investors produces much lower returns.
The intriguing question is why those returns have been falling. The authors argue that the decline is because of the rising importance of intangible investments in recent decades (in areas such as software or trademark development). Such investment may be a big driver of value growth.
Accountants have struggled to adapt. If a company buys an intangible asset, such as a patent, from another business, it is classed as an asset on the balance-sheet. But if they develop an intangible within the business, that is classed as an expense, and thus deducted from profits. As the authors note: “A company pursuing an innovation strategy based on acquisitions will appear more profitable and asset-rich than a similar enterprise developing its innovations internally.”
As a result, the authors argue, reported earnings are no longer such a good measure of a company’s profits, and thus may not be a useful guide to future share performance. To test this proposition, they divided companies into five quintiles based on their intangible investment. Sure enough, the more companies spent on intangibles, the lower the excess return available to those who correctly forecast the earnings.
The paper’s message echoes the themes of a new book** by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, which explores the impact of the growing importance of intangible assets in modern economies. The book finds a link between the poor productivity record of many leading economies since the crisis of 2008, and the sluggish rate of investment in intangible assets since then.
The problem is that intangibles have spillovers. A company may undertake expensive research and development, but the gains may be realised by other businesses. Only a few companies (the likes of Google) can achieve the scale needed to take reliable advantage of their intangible investments. Unlike machines and equipment, intangibles may have limited resale value. So the risks of failure may put businesses off intangible investment.
This is both good news and bad news for investors. On the one hand, it may explain why profits have remained high relative to GDP. In theory, high returns should have attracted a lot more investment and the resulting competition should have driven down profits. But the difficulty in exploiting intangibles may have prevented that. On the other hand, the reluctance of many businesses to invest in intangibles may restrict their scope for growth in future. Investors looking for growth stocks will face a restricted choice and such companies will be so apparent to everyone that they will command a very high valuation. Not so much the “nifty fifty” stocks that were fashionable in the early 1970s, as the nifty five or six.
There is potential for progress on a few files, but small firms face more obstacles than encouragement from their governments
At the start of the new year, you can forgive business owners for feeling a little beaten down.
Across the country, 2017 was an unusually tough year. Businesses in several provinces were faced with the spectre of minimum wage increases. Many municipalities imposed giant property-tax hikes on commercial buildings. The good news about free trade with Europe, and within Canada, was tempered by political uncertainty about our biggest trade agreement, NAFTA.
I describe 2017 as the year many of our governments began to drop any pretense about caring for small business. We spent much of the last half of the year battling the federal government’s sweeping tax reform proposals and the associated rhetoric accusing small business owners of being tax cheats.
So what’s in store for 2018 for small business owners?
Despite some early positive news about a falling unemployment rate, the feeling is already being reinforced that some governments just don’t understand (or much care for) small business, in such areas as:
Minimum wage. 2018 started with a 20 per cent hike in Ontario’s minimum wage. When businesses started to make the tough choices to protect jobs by trimming benefits, Premier Kathleen Wynne offered no understanding or praise, but accused entrepreneurs of “bullying” employees. Sadly, this file is not finished or confined to Ontario. Alberta’s minimum wage will hit $15/hour in the fall, Ontario will follow with another hike in 2019, and B.C. is currently working out its timeframe to do the same.
Sharing business income with family members. While the federal government began to recognize the problem they created with small business tax reform last year, 2018 started with a confusing set of new rules governing how family businesses can share income. These rules were announced just before Christmas and I don’t believe a single entrepreneur in Canada currently understands what they are now expected to do. Only now are tax professionals beginning to sort out what structural changes family businesses will need to make.
Passive investment rules, coming soon. Looking ahead a few weeks to the 2018 federal budget, we expect to learn how Ottawa plans to raise taxes on the investments that small firms keep to support their staff and themselves during tough times, or save for their retirement. While we’re pleased the feds will allow firms to claim the small business rate on the first $50,000 in passive investment income, any income above this could be taxed at rates as high as 73 per cent. Expect this to be a big fight in the months ahead.
Payroll taxes going up and up (and up). Instead of keeping a promise to waive Employment Insurance premiums for employers who hire young people, EI rates rose by four cents per $100 in payroll to kick off the year. And next year, Canada Pension Plan premiums will start to increase, and won’t stop until 2025.
Labour reform. At my office, the new year started with a flood of calls from Ontario members about a slew of new labour standards. In addition to the minimum wage hike, the province has implemented a ton of new regulations around sick days, leave, vacations and other employment issues, with little or no time for employers to prepare. Expect other provinces to look to do the same.
New substances to regulate. After a long national discussion over how to regulate and sell it, cannabis will be legal this summer. While it is positive news that some provinces have worked to ensure the private sector has a role in the new market, others have not. Workplaces will need to consider how to deal with employment issues around recreational cannabis.
Competition from America. Just before the holidays, President Trump signed into law the biggest tax reform in decades. A huge cut to the corporate tax rate may entice some Canadian firms to consider locating to the U.S., while others will face stiffer competition from U.S. companies with lower cost and tax structures.
NAFTA and international trade. In the months ahead, I hope small firms will mine the opportunities afforded to them in the terrific new CETA agreement with the European Union. But NAFTA uncertainty is an even larger story and the consequences for small business could be serious. There was some good news last year, as the parties agreed to include a chapter on SMEs in the new accord, but that’s not a guarantee that the negotiations won’t hurt businesses who trade across the border.
Borrowing to get more expensive. Economists expect the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates at least once this year, possibly very soon. In sectors where cash flow varies from season to season, many businesses rely on lines of credit to build up their inventory, and those lines of credit are going to get more expensive.
Blurring provincial borders. The Gérard Comeau case, involving a New Brunswick man who had the audacity to buy cheap beer in Quebec and to bring it home, is set for a decision at the Supreme Court this year (editor’s note: CFIB is an intervenor in this case). If the justices go the right way, small businesses could have an easier time doing business with partners in other provinces, helped by the excellent new Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Corporate tax relief. After the business community fought back against the federal government’s proposed reforms, the Finance Minister at last reinstated a promise and the small business tax rate went down on Jan. 1, to 10 per cent from 10.5 per cent. It will go down again next year, to nine per cent. This is welcome news for firms lucky enough to be profitable. Some provinces, such as Ontario, are doing the same. Sadly, cuts to corporate income tax appear to be more of an apology than a strategy on the part of many governments.
Carbon taxation or pricing. In many provinces, 2018 was the first year of a five-year plan to impose taxes on carbon. While some provinces are using the new revenue to lower taxes in other areas, for most firms, this will amount to another tax hike on top of the many other rates and charges on the rise in 2018.
Looking at the list above, while there is potential for progress on a few files, small firms are facing more obstacles than encouragement from their governments. I’m glad I had a few days of R&R over the holidays – it looks like the boxing gloves will be back on in 2018. Who’s with me?
Dan Kelly is president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and lead spokesman and advocate for the views of CFIB’s 109,000 small and medium-sized member businesses across Canada.
Four insights into the growth advantages of a private company run with deep commitment
Family businesses are the backbone of the global economy and are critical to economic activity and employment here in Canada. According to EY’s Growth Barometer report, family businesses are growing faster than their non-family-owned peers, and they’re adapting to the changing market environments while seizing the upside of uncertainty.
With growth top of mind for family businesses, here are some key attributes that EY is seeing among leading privately held family businesses.
Recruit and retain top talent
More than one-third (38 per cent) of family businesses are targeting growth of six per cent to 10 per cent for the current year, and more than 27 per cent are looking at revenue growth of 11 per cent to 25 per cent. Family businesses understand that reaching their growth goals depends on their ability to attract, hire and retain top talent.
Long gone are the days when employees exchanged their loyalty to a company for a reasonable income and a pension plan. Today, employees are motivated to work hard if they believe in their company’s mission and values, not just for a bigger salary and company benefits.
Family businesses weave their values in to every nuance of their organization. Employees get to witness first-hand the family business owners’ motivation and dedication, which can create employee loyalty to the company’s mission.
Respond more quickly to changing market conditions
Family businesses are well suited to dealing with changes in their work environment. They tend to be nimble; information flows easily throughout the business, meaning leaders can respond more rapidly to changing internal and external market conditions. Given the free flow of information between family leaders and their employees, this fosters a high-performing work environment of action and agility.
Take a long-term perspective
Access to capital is fundamental to achieving growth. However, companies driven by their capital agenda may be tempted to forgo their values in order to meet investors’ revenue targets. Some family businesses that have gone public have been the subject of criticism for their use of dual share classes in order to retain operational control.
A private family business is not subject to the whims of stock markets. With no external shareholders to please, family leaders can afford to take a longer-term perspective and make strategic decisions that won’t let them lose sight of their company’s mission. Family businesses often think in terms of generations, meaning they can make capital spending decisions based on what’s right for the company, its employees and the wider community.
Deeper connection to their community
Family businesses are personal in nature and often have deep roots in their communities. With the hard work family leaders put in to making sure their businesses are financially viable, the company’s reputation is important to them. A privately held family business is more likely to invest in the community, recognizing the economic and social impact they can have on the long-term viability of the community and, in turn, on their business. Family businesses tend to take pride in their social responsibility and see the benefit of putting aside some of their profits to benefit their community, unlike other companies that are ultimately driven by the bottom line.
Family business leaders who continue to harness these family business attributes will be uniquely positioned to take advantage of market opportunities in this time of disruption and uncertainty.
Success doesn’t happen “to” you. It happens because of you.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Success comes to those who are success-conscious.” If you make progress your most important goal and actively make strides to improve, you will begin to attract success like a magnet.
During my first 4 years of blogging, I pitched guest posts to every website. I emailed every influencer. I tweeted every writer. I hand-wrote letters to authors and asked if they would mentor me.
Maybe 5% ever responded — most of which were thanks-but-no-thanks rejections.
But a few months ago, I started taking myself and my writing extremely seriously. I stopped emailing websites hoping people would say yes and just focused on building something people could no longer ignore.
The results were astounding. To name a few:
14,000+ new email subscribers
Guest posts on CNBC, Thought Catalog, and Business Insider
35,000+ views on a big day (for 4 years, my record was 753 views in 1 day)
$1,500+ a month in passive income (I never made a dime the first 4 years)
A book publisher asking me to write a book for them
A popular men’s magazine republishing my articles
Podcast and conference speaker invitations
I began attracting enormous success when I made PROGRESS my biggest goal.
I finally stopped chasing success. I knew the more I improved, the more success I would attract; success would take care of itself.
Here are 9 easy habits you can start today that will make you automatically attract enormous success.
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod
1. Label Every Obstacle as a Learning Opportunity
“Within every obstacle is a chance to improve our condition.” -Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way
Most people only see obstacles as unfortunate problems that prevent them from progress. They run into some difficulties, throw up their hands, and go home.
The world’s most successful people automatically attract enormous success by using their obstacles as a distinct, unique advantage. Whatever obstacles arise are immediately embraced as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Author Elif Batuman describes this mindset in The New Yorker:
“For you, every setback is an advantage, an opportunity for learning and glory. When a difficulty comes your way, you should feel proud and excited, like ‘a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck.’”
This implacable attitude confounds most other people, and always attracts significant success over time.
People who automatically attract enormous success do so by making every obstacle an opportunity.
It’s not enough to simply manage problems with a neutral, resigned attitude, either. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes, “Managing your problems can only make things good, while building your opportunities is the only way to make things great.”
Most people view problems in a negative light, or at best, with resigned duty. Few people see obstacles for what they really are — incredibly potent, powerful fuel to teach you new skills that make you better.
If you want to automatically attract enormous success, see every problem as an opportunity to learn.
Said author Ryan Holiday, “The struggle against an obstacle inevitably propels the fighter to a new level of functioning.”
This is how you bend success to your will. For you, the harder the obstacle, the greater the victory. The more difficult the problem, the more you’ll learn and grow.
The world loves people with this mindset. Individuals with this attitude inspire faith, confidence, and trust in others.
“One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people look for problems, whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.” -Grant Cardone
2. Teach Yourself the Skills You Never Thought You Could Learn
“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” -Scott Adams
Most people don’t know how to:
Self-publish an eBook
Start a blog
Create their own podcast
Design their own online course
Consistently wake up at 5AM
I didn’t believe I could do any of these things. But I’ve taught myself each of these skills — and evolved into a much better version of myself in the process.
I have a degree in English. I’ve been writing for 5 years; I blog, I create content. “I’m only a writer,” I would tell myself. “I don’t do tech stuff, I’m not a business guy.”
But after a mind-numbing week of going back-and-forth with perplexing tech support, I realized I had recoded my entire website and created my first online course from scratch. It was like looking up from the hood of your car and realizing you, a complete amateur, had just replaced the transmission by yourself.
Most people have an extremely limiting mindset of themselves. Some even wear these limitations as a backwards badge of honor:
“Oh, I have no idea how to write a book.”
“I’m awful at all that creative stuff.”
“I can’t start a podcast, I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“I couldn’t start my own business, I’d be a terrible businessman.”
This disbelief is negative power. As Joseph Murphy wrote in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, “Your subconscious mind will accept any suggestions, however false, and responds according to the nature of the suggestion given.”
What you tell yourself becomes true.
Want to automatically attract enormous success? Teach yourself some new tricks. You increase your scope of influence, your ability to converse with experts in different fields, and most importantly, your self-belief.
Learning the skills you always thought you couldn’t learn destroys the self-doubt and fear that prevents so many people from ever achieving greatness.
“If you want enormous success, you must become more.” -Jim Rohn
3. Do What No One Else is Willing to Do
In his book, Deep Work, Cal Newport proposes that the people who will always be in-demand from the economy are those who can engage in long, focused periods of “deep work:”
“The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”
Newport is pointing to the fact that most people don’t know how to produce top-tier quality results from deep work — extremely focused, uninterrupted flow states that enable truly extraordinary results.
The economy and marketplace increasingly reward deep work skills precisely because they are becoming so rare in our low-attention span society.
If you are able to set strict mental boundaries and commit to intensely focused work times, you will thrive in today’s economy.
As author Jim Rohn once wrote:
“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”
The reason some people automatically attract success is because they are willing to do the things no one else is and learn the skills no one else is willing to learn.
“Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.” -Dave Ramsey
4. Be Prepared For Every Possible Opportunity
“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” -George Samuel Clason
Extraordinary, life-changing opportunities pass by unsuspecting people every day.
Most people are unprepared and ill-equipped to seize a huge opportunity. Since they have accepted too many mediocre obligations, they have neither the means nor the eye to recognize truly great opportunities.
Top-quality opportunities will not wait for you. If you are not ready, they’ll pass you by and find someone else a minute later.
The magic is, once you begin seizing opportunities as they come, more opportunities will gravitate to you. The more you capitalize on, the more come your way.
Most people are simply too prideful to learn new skills — they think learning how to code is irrelevant, or that mastering new online tools should be done by someone else.
In today’s world, the success doesn’t go to the luckiest or smartest — it goes to the hungriest.
Life-changing opportunities will come, and you must be ready to seize them when no one else is.
5. Fail More Times Than Anyone Else
“If I fail more than you, I win.” -Seth Godin
Success is attracted to those who are:
Consistent in a world of impatience
Committed in a world of inconstancy
Focused in a world of distraction
The best way to learn and grow is through repeated, constant experiments. As author and entrepreneur Michael Simmons wrote:
“Success is a direct result of the number of experiments you perform.”
When you fail, you learn. When you fail more than anyone else, you learn more than anyone else.
This knowledge is what will make you unstoppable — all the lessons you learned from years of failing and getting back up again.
This commitment to learning despite setbacks reveals the hidden secrets behind success in every area, and will attract success like bees to a flower.
When I first started blogging, I had it all wrong. I was totally self-indulgent. My posts were long-winded and boring. I bragged without teaching, and lectured without knowledge. No wonder I only had about 200 followers after 4 years!
But hundreds of articles later, I’ve learned many lessons after 60 months of blogging. The reason I have success now is because of all the (failed) writin
g experiments I tried for years. I know what works (and what doesn’t) now.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” -Jim Rohn
Most people are afraid of failure. Since their self-worth is tied to their performance, any failure is confirmation that they aren’t good enough. If they suck at something, it means they suck.
But your self-worth is completely independent of failure. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to discover new lessons.
The more you fail, the more growth you’ll experience. The more growth you have, the more success will find you.
“If someone is better than you at something, it’s likely they’ve failed at it more times than you have.” -Mark Manson
6. Behave Like a World-Class Winner — Even If You’re Not One Yet
“Winners act like winners before they become winners. That’s how they become winners.” -Bill Walsh
Most people are living beneath their potential.
Anyone can achieve greatness. Anyone can evolve into better versions of themselves. Anyone who wants to can realize even their most lofty goals.
But most people won’t.
The reason most people will never avoid mediocrity is because they believe they need to feel like a winner before they can become one.
But this is backwards. You act like a winner first; you become a winner by doing so. Acting “as if” becomes acting “as is.”
Success is attracted to individuals with powerful self-belief and the will to achieve their goals. The way to get there is by putting on the hat of a winner, so to speak. Even if you’re not a world-class winner yet, acting as if you were stimulates your mind to begin thinking like one.
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
Every day, I wake up and tell myself I’m a top writer on Medium.com. I declare every article I write will gain tens of thousands of views. People will read my words and become transformed; I will change lives and make great loving helping people become extraordinary.
At first, my writing simply wasn’t that good. But writing every article with the expectation of its greatness is a powerful tool.
Once my writing gets off-track — when I get self-indulgent, or when I ramble, or just write confusing points — an alarm in my mind blares. “Hey. This article is going to be read by tens of thousands of people, so cut that crap out. That’s not what great writing looks like.”
That focused voice wouldn’t be there if I didn’t act like a world-class writer first — even if I’m not one yet.
7. Be Authentic, Vulnerable, and Genuine With Others
“Some of the greatest moments of one’s life are not pleasant, not successful, not known, and not positive.” -Mark Manson
When I see someone baring their heart and soul in a post or a video, I’m just captivated. I love hearing vulnerable stories, especially people overcoming the worst circumstances to win what they never could.
One of my favorite current writers doing this is Tiffany Sun. I love her work, and her vulnerability and brutal honesty about her painful relationship history makes her one of the most refreshing writers on Medium.
If you’re honest and vulnerable about your struggles and failures, people relate to that. Connections are made. Heads are turned. Attention is captured.
Success becomes inevitable.
This is why I’ve decided to be so forthright about my addiction to pornography, my work in 12-step program environments, and just how low I felt for over 15 years of hell-on-earth addiction.
People email me all the time with their own stories in response to my honesty. I build trust and connection. I’m not some car salesman or some flashy entrepreneur with a Tesla and a silver tongue — I’m just a regular guy with some serious problems I’ve overcome over a long time.
Author Grant Cardone once wrote:
“Many people think in terms of ‘I have to do what my colleague/neighbor/family member is doing’ instead of ‘I have to do what’s best for me.’”
In his new book, David Kadavy wrote: “When our true self doesn’t get a chance to follow its desires, it acts out in strange ways.” My man Tim Denning put it this way: “Not being you will destroy you.”
The more you are yourself, the higher you’ll go. The more “you” you become every day, the more success and opportunities will find you.
Stop living someone else’s life. Be honest and vulnerable — it’s what we’re all dying to hear.
8. Be a Giver, Not a Taker
“The world gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” -Adam Grant
Most people are takers.
They take what they can get. Money, opportunities, the last piece of cake — most people would not be quick to selflessly give what could’ve been theirs.
This “scarcity” mindset causes a tremendous level of misery, fear, and resentment. David Foster Wallace once penned, “If you worship money and things, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough.”
When I was younger, my mother once explained the concept of tithing to me. “If you close your fist around your money, you can’t lose it — but you can’t receive any more, either.”
An open hand — with your money, connections, information, and knowledge — can feel like you’re giving away all your value. That’s how it usually feels for me.
But giving attracts people. True givers — ones who don’t expect anything in return, ones who truly
have no strings attached — are so rare today. Meeting someone like this is truly a breath of fresh air on a smoggy day.
“Giving your time and attention without the expectation of something in return is a key strategy of professional advancement.” -Adam Grant
9. Be Quiet and Listen to Everyone.
“The key to being a good conversationalist is a genuine and unselfish interest others. That, and practice.” -Frank Crane
In the year after I graduated college, I conducted about 30 informational interviews.
I would reach out to some awesome person on LinkedIn and ask them out for coffee. These were high-level people — founders, CEO’s, directors, and the like.
About 90% of the people accepted my invitation. I was shocked to hear how few times they had ever been asked out by someone like me.
They had incredible knowledge and wisdom, and they were happy to share with me. I gained mentors, job offers, I got my friends great jobs, and I was introduced to some seriously incredible people I would have otherwise never had access to, like coffee with the CEO of a $10MM marketing business.
It was then I learned — be quiet, and listen.
So few people truly make a point to become a student and learn from those who have found success.
An old parable comes to mind:
“Once upon a time, there was a wise Zen master. People traveled from far away to seek his help. In return, he would teach them and show them the way to enlightenment.
On this particular day, a scholar came to visit the master for advice. “I have come to ask you to teach me about Zen,” the scholar said.
Soon, it became obvious that the scholar was full of his own opinions and knowledge. He interrupted the master repeatedly with his own stories and failed to listen to what the master had to say. The master calmly suggested that they should have tea.
So the master poured his guest a cup. The cup was filled, yet he kept pouring until the cup overflowed onto the table, onto the floor, and finally onto the scholar’s robes. The scholar cried “Stop! The cup is full already. Can’t you see?”
“Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”
Most people believe they already have it all figured out, yet wonder why opportunities, luck, and success continues to elude them.
“By showing up consistently to do the work, you’ve already won.” -Srinivas Rao
For every day you keep going, thousands of others quit.
Often, success comes at the end — to those who are still there after everyone else has left. It’s like compound interest, where the largest gains come after much time has passed.
Most people quit before they even get a chance to succeed. They try something for a few weeks, even a few months; but before they reach a place of automatically attracting success, they give up and go home.
“Success is nothing more than the long-term investment of time.” -Nicolas Cole
If you want to automatically attract enormous success, you need to be more consistent than you’ve ever been. This is how you reach the level of compound interest that gives you riches and treasures that most people will never know.
Now that I’m finally a consistent writer, opportunities flood my inbox every day; a book publisher contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in writing a book for them. A popular men’s magazine wanted to republish several of my articles. Big-time writers reach out to me.
Of course, I’m still doing the work and getting out there to make my own success. But I’ve also reached a place where success is coming to me.
“Success is the result of relentless, proper actions taken over time.” -Grant Cardone
Most people don’t automatically attract success.
It’s not surprising; success is difficult. It costs a lot. It requires sacrifice, consistency, and becoming more than you are.
But once you reach the point where you begin automatically attract enormous success, you’ll start evolving every day.
Change is hard. If you’re not in a place where you attract success, all this might seem impossible.
Do not be discouraged. No one is able to adhere to all these principles, all the time. As they say in 12-step meetings, the goal is progress, not perfection. As long as you’re growing, you’re making progress.
Do what you can. Soon, you may be surprised to find success finding you.
Change from 2017 Ranking: New
Major company holdings: Spin Master
The childhood friends founded Spin Master in 1994 after graduating from Ivey Business School. (A third cofounder, Ben Varadi, joined later that year.) The trio built their fortune on a series of hit toys, starting with the Earth Buddy, a stocking-covered head that grew grass hair, similar to a Chia Pet. Last year, Spin Master scored another hit with Hatchimals and has a global children’s entertainment franchise on its hands with Paw Patrol.
Net Worth: $2.03 billion
Change from 2017 Ranking:▼1.5%
Major company holdings: Aldo Group
Bensadoun’s first name has become synonymous around the world with affordable kicks, with some 200 million consumers visiting Aldo-owned stores every year. Through the Aldo Group, Bensadoun is the owner of the shoe shops Aldo, Call It Spring and Globo. The empire began with the first shoe store Bensadoun opened in Montreal in the ’70s; today, these brand names have expanded into the U.S., the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Earlier this year, the firm laid out an ambitious plan to double its yearly sales to $4 billion within five years.
3. Guy Laliberté
Net Worth: $2.14 billion
Change from 2017 Ranking:▼1.4%
Major company holdings: Cirque du Soleil
The co-founder of Quebec’s most famous circus, Laliberté has come a long way from his origins as a busker: He used to earn money juggling, fire eating and playing accordion on the streets of Quebec. Cirque du Soleil came about when he and partner Daniel Gauthier employed the creative talents of their friends—other buskers and musicians—to put on street festivals. In 1984, they convinced the Quebec government to give them a grant for $1.5 million to stage a performance to mark the 450th anniversary of the arrival of Jacques Cartier to New France. Laliberté stepped away from the day-to-day of the business in 2008, and in 2015 he sold his majority stake in the company.
4. Dennis ”Chip” WIlson
Net Worth: $2.92 billion
Change from 2017 Ranking:▼No change
Major company holdings:Lululemon Athletica KIT & ACE
Though shares of Lululemon still account for more than half his considerable fortune, Chip Wilson gave up his say on running the athleisure company when he stepped down from its board in 2015. Wilson got his start in retail in 1979 with the launch of an apparel company focussed on the surf, skate and snowboard market. After selling that company, he founded Lululemon in 1998.
5. Frank Stronach
Net Worth: $3.06 billion
Change from 2017 Ranking: ▲0.7%
Major company holdings: Magna International
After making his fortune with auto-parts manufacturer Magna International, Frank Stronach put his money to work in a variety of other ventures. Most recent is a grass-fed cattle operation based in Florida, called Adena. Stronach started out in 1957 with a one-man tool-and-die company in Toronto.