My Motivation Is Tattooed on My Arm


My passion for doing deals… my purpose… my fuel… is staring me in the face every single day. Perhaps 10—20 times a day.

Because of this, I’m always in the dealmaking zone.

What is it? Let me explain…

When I left Wall Street back in 2008, I wanted to do something crazy. Something I could never have done as a corporate soldier.

So I thought about it…

I don’t do drugs (never have), so that was off the list…

I have never engaged in illegal activity, so nothing there…

And I didn’t want a piercing…

Wait a minute – a tattoo!! Now that would be cool.

One of my big soccer heroes is David Beckham. I always loved his tattoo sleeves but knew I could never have one as a corporate employee.

But as an entrepreneur, I make my own rules.

So I got one (well, technically more than one). It took me almost seven years to complete.

Confession time… the reason it took me so long is the PAIN. After every session, I needed at least six months to pluck up the courage to go back.

There are lots of important things on my sleeve…

The time I was born on a very cool clock face… a Buddha as a reminder to strive for inner peace… three stars for the loss of three very special people – my two parents and my best friend who died in a plane crash when I was nine…

And my purpose for doing what I do.

These are the names of the three people I have left in my family: my wife, Julia, and my two sons, Ryan and Joshua.

sleeve tattoo

They are my purpose for…

Closing deals. Empowering people to live better lives. Creating wealth, freedom, legacy, pride and extreme levels of fulfillment.

Some days I’m tired. I travel a lot. Deals fall apart and it’s frustrating.

But anytime I feel discouraged, or my energy takes a dive, I use my tattoo as a totem – a visual cue to remind me why I do what I do.

I see it, I touch the names and it gets me so fired up to keep finding deals and closing them.

But it doesn’t matter what your purpose is… or why you do what you do. Just that you define it. And have a totem or other visual cue that will get you into that peak state.

The fact is totems are a FANTASTIC way to stay motivated and put yourself in the dealmaking mindset. Here are two more totems I use in my life…

And I have many others.

So WHY do you want to do deals? For yourself? Your family? Your community?

Let me tell you – you DON’T want to buy a business. Nobody does. You don’t even want to own a business once all the buying and selling is done.

What you REALLY want is the benefits of business ownership

Cash flow… wealth creation… freedom… pride… fulfilment… work-life balance…

Now, I’m not telling you to get a tattoo – who am I to tell you what to do?

But if you are doing this for your family, for example, at the very least carry a photo of them in your wallet or on your phone (maybe as your lock screen background) and look at it every time your energy drops.

If your end goal is to buy an amazing car or house with the wealth you will create… have a picture of it and look at it frequently.

Or take it one step further and create a vision board. Put on it the things you aspire to and look at them constantly.

It really works!

When I was in college in the U.K. back in 1990, I had no money. As I was walking to class one day, I saw a very cool car stopped at a traffic light.

The car was a Ford Fiesta XR2. It was love at first sight.

Ford Fiesta

I cut a picture of this model out of a car magazine and kept it in my wallet. Every morning while I was struggling to get to class (typically with a hangover), I pulled it out and looked at it.

It became my motivation. My purpose. As soon as I graduated and started my first job, I bought one.

Today, I could buy a hundred of them.

Sadly, they don’t make them anymore…

But you get the idea.

Think of something you want – or something you treasure – and keep a picture of it with you (which is much easier these days with mobile phones) to use as a totem.

Family. Cars. Houses. Vacations. Charitable donations…

Whatever gets you going.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more Confessions of a Dealmaker

Until then, bye for now.

Carl Allen

Carl Allen
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society

P.S. Do you already use a totem? Reply to this email and tell me what helps light your fire. And if you’re willing to share a picture of your totem, I’d love to see it!

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