Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

April 19, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

Laura Vanderkam the author of this video argues that we should consciously spend time on the parts of our job that initially drew us to our job in the beginning. To do more of the things you love, you must recognize that certain aspects of work will expand to fill all available space. She uses e-mail as an example. We should carve out time to go after the higher priority item, and the best way to do this is a power hour. So, for the first hour of the day instead of doing e-mail, work on the first top priority item of the day. Try to carve out Monday morning for whatever is most important to you. And particularly for sort of speculative important but not urgent work that you’re going to have a hard time carving out time for. If you do it Monday morning it’s kind of the equivalent of paying yourself first.
This type of process is best for a high priority project but not a urgent project.. Time is our most valuable and precious assets, so it’s important to use effectively and wisely. I’ve found myself getting up early so I can carve out time to manage my spiritual life, and my business life. Arriving earlier to work allows me time to work on larger weekly tasks without having to be stressed. By doing this simple habit, I build margin into my time, and honor the principle of rest and I don’t go into time debt.

If you are uncertain, optimistic or nervous about investments right now, it may be a good time to do a little reading. Knowledge is really the best way to counterbalance emotions, which we know may be running high for some right now. Our advice: Check out what the masters have said. They’ve devoted their lives to understanding investing and captured it all in print. It turns out there is truly nothing new under the sun; their insights apply year-in and year-out. We love original sources, so here’s our top seven books for you to read or re-read. If you don’t enjoy reading, then I challenge you to build this important habit. The books express the author’s ideas more fully than video or audio. Try reading a page out of your favorite book a day, even if it’s a children’s book. If you still don’t enjoy reading, then try an audio version, video summary, or even consult with a respected friend. The top seven books are: Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman, Against the Gods: A History of Risk by Peter Bernstein, Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, Wealth in Families by Charlie Collier, Classics: An Investor’s Anthology by Charles D. Ellis. Each book will introduce you into the world of risk, and proper thinking of an investor. It’s important to remember that you can’t just do the process, and expect the results, it’s even better to understand the process. Use your own gifts and talents that were given to you since you were born to creatively execute your investment strategy. Also have a budget. You should know what your bottom line number is monthly before you add on the stress of investing. Be willing to lose it all, and have in place an investment strategy for savings and for wealth. If you don’t have a budget in place then please contact me to let me show you my system.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included the Darkness – Motivational Video from MulliganBrothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs
28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: February Snapshot

This month I celebrated my first full month living with my wife. We were fortunate enough to go to the marriage conference together at the last minute, and I was thankful that we did. Our apartment is starting to look like a home, and my wife has begun studying to take her test to be licensed as a registered nurse. This month especially is filled not just with numbers and budgeting but faith also. Faith in things not yet seen and having the will to continue to do a good work regardless of the outcome. I have the opportunity for a new position at my job and having to rely on something greater than myself to handle these new responsibilities. Either way when I get paid my process remains the same and I look to use my self-lending principle whenever I can.

I’m looking to sell as many plans as possible not just to reduce debt, but to also help protect people. My thought process remains the same: increase income, and lower expenses, look for income producing assets, and build wealth to leave a legacy. Over the next few months you should see my debt reduce significantly. My wife and I have talked about using a consolidation loan to consolidate and reduce the payments on my two installment loans which should free up more cash flow. The only drawback of an installment or term loan is the payments are set for the term of the loan unless you can convince the loan officer to re-amortize the debt.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”
‭‭Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: Retrain your Mind from the Be Inspired YouTube channel

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: January Snapshot

This month, I said I do and till death do us part to my best friend and my love. I’ll be honest! The wedding process is stressful. If you plan on doing an actual wedding that involves a venue and family, then you will spend money and you will at some point get frustrated. My wife and I are very low maintenance and low-key people, but even we found ourselves exhausted both emotionally and mentally when all was said and done. I’ve moved out of my parents’ home and into an apartment. I’ve had plenty of guy roommates, but now is the first time I’ve ever lived with a female. We’re growing used to living together, and as she gets accustomed to my quirks, and tendencies, every day I’m more and more thankful to God that she is in my life. She said yes to this mess.

At month end, she’s currently not working, and we’re living primarily off her medical retirement and a portion of my income, but thankfully we are both open about our finances and operate our business together. I’ve helped her sign on a new associate for her business, and I’m truly looking forward to what this new year will bring. Due to our honeymoon, I paid a little less than normal on my debt, but the important thing to remember is: if you are in debt, do not miss your payments, and do not let them go 30 days past due. Find a way to make money to pay your debt obligations. If you got yourself in this mess in the first place, it’s your responsibility to get out of it.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 14, 2016

Tobacco companies and gun manufacturers get plenty of scorn. Yet for some reason, the multinational corporations that make and sell perhaps the most addictive and damaging legal substance of all get a free pass. To the point that when such a company is the target of an acquisition or merger, senators and governors of opposing parties will band together to see that nothing even threatens to jeopardize the company’s future. We’re referring to purveyors of alcohol in general, and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) in particular. The world’s largest brewer sells $43.6 billion worth of the demon liquid (and related, less satanic potables) every year, boasting a high gross margin of 60.7% and inspiring some of the strongest customer loyalty this side of Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG). The result is a $177 billion company that seems capable of doing little wrong in the eyes of investors. In 2008, InBev merged with Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch InBev operates in 25 countries. The company divides its operations into 9 regions: North America, Mexico, Latin America North, Latin America South, Europe, Asia Pacific North, Asia Pacific South and Global Export & Holding Companies. The company’s North American region was responsible for 25.8% of total volume in 2015 – totaling in 118 million hectoliters (over 3.1 billion gallons). We take it for granted that the region that includes the United States has to be Anheuser-Busch InBev’s largest, right? Wrong. That would be Latin America North, at almost 27%. This includes Brazil, one of the combined company’s countries of origin. The Asia Pacific region follows at 19.3%. On a per-capita basis, no one drinks like Europeans do. Volume there accounted for 9.4% of the company total, followed by Mexico at 9.1%, and Latin America South at 7.9%. Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to buy SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer. The investor who goes long on Anheuser-Busch InBev stock is rarely disappointed, whether in the short term or beyond.

Credit card debt can be a major roadblock to your financial goals, such as saving for retirement or increasing your net worth. Unfortunately, new data from the New York Federal Reserve suggests that after a debt decline, Americans are borrowing money at a rate that approaches pre–Great Recession levels. The result: Household debt is rising and credit cards are a major driver, along with mortgages, student loans and auto loans. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the Fed’s research uncovered. Credit card debt continues to contribute to a household’s total indebtedness, as well as student loan and mortgage debt. The increase in household debt may be attributable to two primary factors: a steady increase in the cost of living and stagnation in wages. Since 2003 household incomes have increased by 28% but the cost of living has climbed by 30%. That gap doesn’t sound big, but the disparity between earning and spending may be a driving force for some Americans to turn to credit cards to cover the gap. Some items, such as medical costs (57%) and food and beverage prices (36%) increased massively more. The cost of living is going to force people to create a debt repayment plan, and at the same time force others to create additional streams of income. I suggest that if you haven’t created a budget, then you should. A budget will show you how much you are spending, and when your income is the most vulnerable.
If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included How to Retire Early: The Shockingly Simple Math from Video School Online YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 23, 2016

“It ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it’s about how you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Get up!” Sounds like wise words spoken by a billionaire business mogul, right? Actually, it’s a quote from Rocky Balboa, the gritty, tough-as-nails boxer portrayed by actor Sylvester Stallone in seven Rocky movies. The movie is a good example of passion, hard work, and determination. Daymond John’s book The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage references Rocky Balboa as a good inspiration as a business owner. Having desire and desperation is a competitive edge that causes creative and efficient thinking. “The same goes in business,” John writes. “When you want it, when you need it, you find a way to make good things happen. When you expect it, when you feel entitled to it, you might be headed for an ass-whupping.” Being in business isn’t just the numbers, and the product, it is at its core about the business owner. It’s about your emotional intelligence and the strength of your spirit. Life will hit you hard, but if you have a strong spirit, and understand what it takes to rebuild and learn from your mistakes, you will succeed.

It is crucial that your child has an idea of personal finance at a young age. You want them to grow up knowing how to pay their bills and understanding what it means to be in debt. Here are five ways you can teach your child about personal finance that can also be fun and memorable. The five ways are: take them grocery shopping, invite them to help organize your receipts, set a short-term savings goal, give them rewards instead of allowances, and have a discussion. When you go grocery, shopping sit down with your child and explain how much you are looking to spend and have them help you coupon clip. Make a goal for a specific dollar amount and have them go with you and help you find each item and stay within budget. After shopping have your child sit with you to organize each receipt and go over the items. Doing this process will show your child how expensive things are and at the same time show how much taxes can affect how much you spend. Sitting down with your child to set up a short-term savings goal and a “savings jar” or savings account will help them save to reach goals. I suggest looking at savings account online to show the different interest rates that competing banks will offer to get your business. If your pre-teen child doesn’t have a job instead of doing an allowance, set up a rewards allowance. Doing household chores for an allowance is preparation for a job, and shows that with work there is a result. It’ll help them develop and at the same time appreciate work instead of expecting to be taken care of. Finally having open discussions about what your child wants financially is important. I suggest to take it one step further and talk about issues over the dinner table. Let these types of discussions be as common as talking about your day. Talk about both the good and the bad, and what you plan to do next. Communication is the most important piece of not just a healthy business, work environment, but a family also.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included Michael Jordan’s Top 10 Rules For Success from Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 9, 2016

One of the common top concerns that I hear from individuals is how they’re not able to save. A consistent savings plan helps you build a solid financial foundation. But where do you begin? Here are seven ways to help you grow your account balances. Your strategy starts with your spending plan. (For more, see: 3 Smart Ways to Update Your Investment Plan.) The seven ways are: create a budget, set up a savings plan, considering opening a CD, consider opening an online FDIC-insured savings account, maximize your contributions, consolidate your retirement accounts, and invest early and often. I believe creating a budget is the first and most important step in not just saving money, but money management period. How do you know how much you can save when you don’t know how much you have after all your bills are paid? Your budget should have enough room to save money. There are four steps in my process, and if you’d like to learn about it, you can reach me at the contact me section. The author states that a savings plan should include three to six months of expenses. In my opinion, you should set aside income instead of expenses. The reason is you are more likely to earn more than you spend. Setting aside three or six months’ worth of income will create an additional buffer for unforeseen large expenses. A CD will give you a higher yield vs your savings account, but it will often require a higher amount to open. In regards to savings accounts, your online savings accounts will have a higher annual percentage yield (APY) vs a standard savings account you’d get at your local bank. Personally, I use Ally Bank, but I recommend you use websites such as or to check your rates. Three ways you can maximize your 401K is by maximizing your contributions, consolidating retirement accounts if you’ve moved between jobs, and finally to invest as often as you can early in life. In my opinion, you should invest enough to ensure that your company is matching your contribution. Be sure to check with your HR department to find out how high they will match your contribution. I recommend that you increase your financial knowledge to invest in not just paper assets, but in assets that will produce income. One day you will retire, and it’s better to have multiple streams of income.

Nearly all marketers agree on the importance of social media marketing for business growth. And considering that 33 percent of millennials today say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses, I expect it will become even more important over time. That said, a lot of brands still don’t know how to use social media to engage audiences and help their own bottom line. There is, however, a right — and wrong — way businesses can share their content on social media. Since there is a lot of valuable content in this article there will be a lot of quotes, and I highly recommend that you read this article. The right way is having a business share its content on the platforms where its target audience spends the most time. The author recommends that the business do research into the demographics of different platforms. It’s best to have two focused social accounts to build your business vs. having multiple unused accounts. Even if you have the same end-goal for your content across social media, you should optimize it for each platform’s characteristics and strengths. For example: Videos tend to outperform images on Facebook. Twitter posts, while no more than 140 characters, should be even shorter if you’re including an image. (Luckily, that should be changing soon.) LinkedIn doesn’t support hashtags, so don’t use them. For Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are a necessity. Using visuals can help when you post on any platform, so be sure to use imagery. The author does also state that it is wrong to not vary your content. With the rise of paid social options, it’s no surprise that organic reach has become more difficult for brands. But you can still get the most out of your organic posts by sharing them at optimum times, which tend to vary by platform. Finally, the wrong thing to do when using social media is to spam newsfeeds. Keep in mind having an online presence doesn’t give you a presence in just your local community, with the right infrastructure you could have a global presence. Think differently, and think how you can create an income producing asset. Think about how to increase cash flow, and how to preserve assets. Always keep in mind wealth is a measure of how long your riches will last you. If your income from your assets is greater than your expenses, then you can quit your job and retire rich.

If you need a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included How to be successful – the success cycle (Tony Robbins) from The Internet Marketer YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: April Snapshot

Every journey has its own setbacks and detours, however despite those moments, you must remain consistent about where you want to be. Will you run into unforeseen expenses and liabilities? Absolutely! I encourage you with this idea: I’m in no way perfect, but I serve a perfect God. He knows an exit strategy into every situation I’m placed into whether it’s good or bad. Repent quick, Forgive quick, and Move on quick. This previous month, I had to adjust my strategy and take advantage of the zero percent balance transfer offered on the Capital One card. As the wedding date draws closer, Jill and I have had to discuss the costs involved in the wedding. I’ve found this discussion very important, because in discussing finances, we’ve come into agreement on how to handle our finances together. I love her more and more each day, because she fills in and covers the weaknesses I never knew I had.

Specifically, I’ve re-focused my debt reduction on paying down the Barclay’s card while slowly reducing the other debts and applying principal reduction payments where I can. Always seek wise counsel where you can and use their counsel to take advantage of the best situations that present themselves. Their counsel will help you discern if the choice you make is the best one for you. When I got out of debt before, all I did was focus on making extra money to pay off debt. This time I’m paying down debt, saving, investing in assets, and growing my assets that produce income. Why? Time is fixed. We only have 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. Time will run out. Use and manage your energy efficiently and effectively so that you can get as much out of each moment as you can. If you consistently focus on saving and buying assets, then when you finally are out of debt, you will have a larger amount in savings and more income producing assets vs. getting out of debt and then having to build savings and assets. Also, by saving and investing while you are getting out of debt, will create a discipline inside of you. How am I able to do it this way vs. the last time? I have a budget. A budget will put order into your life. Order proceeds increase and increase proceeds multiplication. Knowing your net income number is the key to being able to get out of debt, save, and invest. There is a process that I follow that I will share in future posts. Remain consistent and diligent on your journey.

Have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, and if you need a financial check-up contact me. More details about a financial check-up is in the contact me section.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

I believe in your journey to…. A Debt Free Me