Find $5,000 in One Hour - Audio Recording

FamilyPool FBSizeDue to popular demand, I made a special encore audio recording of the popular webinar I did last week.

As a bonus, I added some extra content on ways to increase income that I know you will find very valuable. If you really take these things to heart and apply them, it is virtually impossible to not find at least $5,000 this year!

Enjoy and leave comments below about your thoughts and take-aways!

Listen to these now!

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The 5 "Be-Attitudes" to Make More Money in Business

mr-4Most talk about making more money in business, but I wonder if they really want it, or willing to do what it takes.

There are some skillsets that need to be mastered to succeed in business as well, but I'll save that for next week.

First thing's first. You need to have the right mindset AND willingness to take action accordingly. Otherwise, the strategies will be useless to you.

Here are 5 "Be-attitudes," to give you the foundation to make more money and succeed in your business:

  1. Be engaged, not entitled! The world doesn't owe us anything, nor are we entitled to anyone's business. Only by adding value, and asking for the business, can we hope that others will want to work with us, or buy our product. Don't be afraid to work hard, especially when you don't always see the immediate benefit. That will happen. But, there will also be times when business will come to you without any effort. It all balances out when you are consistently taking responsibility for your business, working, and humble enough to know that others can may say "no."
  2. Be creating value for others.  My whole intention is to give people what they want (and what they need) in a way that they will want to exchange money for it. It doesn't matter what I value. It only matters what others value, and how I can best deliver on that. If I can't, then I send them to someone who can. Living by this one concept alone skyrocketed my business. As a side note, this does not mean that I do whatever anyone wants. That's insane! Instead, I stay focused in areas where I can create the most value that others value the most. This can mean that I adjust my services based on what others need. I focus a lot on cash flow because that is where most entrepreneurs are concerned. I can do a lot more than that, but I serve where I'm most needed.
  3. Be mission driven, not "commission driven."  Any time I have witnessed someone go into business only to make money, they usually fail. Business has some tough moments and is not for the faint of heart. You must be willing to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Therefore, if you don't like your work, you'll come to hate it more when you own a business. Work in areas where you feel it's a privilege to be paid for the work you're doing. You'll be happier, more grateful, and you will become a master of your trade more quickly when you do.
  4. Be patient and never give up!  Many businesses spend years becoming an "overnight success." It took Walt Disney nearly 20 years before the world knew who he was. Robert Kiyosaki was teaching people how to be wealthy for 15 years before he appeared on Oprah and his book sales skyrocketed. Even Oprah was in her line of work for 10 years before she was a national name. Don't be discouraged if it takes some time to develop. Most businesses go out of business because they give up too soon, not necessarily because they lacked the capital.
  5. Be focused on relationships. This somewhat ties in to the second point, but is more a general rule of thumb. Businesses thrive on good relationships, and fail when relationships aren't valued. A good reputation and a strong brand is why people buy your stuff. It's rarely about the product, and even when it is, it might only be for a short time. Be willing to value others and serve them, even if the reward doesn't seem to exist in the situation. Karma always pays handsomely to those that are willing to invest in developing good relationships with others.


In summary, be sure to develop the right attitudes and motives in business. When you do, it's easy to train on the skills. Next week, I'll share with you the skills that have helped me grow my business quickly in a little over a year.

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What You See Is What You Get

WalmartStrikeRecently, I was speaking with one of my friends about politics and economics (I know. Great topic, right?) 

She started to tell me how so many women are victims that are being oppressed from becoming the powerful women they are, and that women don't have the same opportunity as men.

I countered and said, "I see women stepping into their own personal power now, more than ever. They have just as much opportunity as us men."

I even brought up the documentary I watched on Netflix called "Runaway Slave" where a similar viewpoint was shared from inner city residents who believed they were less free now than before the civil rights movement. It's interesting to note that the interview was done by someone who was proving them wrong in his own situation.

Despite my retort, my friend insisted that women are being oppressed, and she has seen it true in her own life because my business has become more successful than her, even though I came onto the scene much later than her. I could tell by her response and the way she began crying that this hurt her deeply. I reassured her that I want her to succeed to ensure our message is heard, and that there doesn't need to be competition between us. And then I said something that made me realize that making my point was well...pointless.

I said, "I can understand why you see what you see, but that's just not what I see from my own perspective. Maybe that's because that's the way I choose to see it."

At that moment, I realized that no matter what I said or what evidence I gave, or that she gave in reply, we would be of the same opinion as we entered the conversation having. I learned several years ago that how I see the world isn't what's necessarily true, but it becomes "my truth" and my reality.

There have been several studies done where two people can see the same thing differently. This happened with scientists when they would argue whether light rays were particles or waves. Both sets of scientists were convinced they were right. In the end, both were accepted as truth, and it is now called "Wave Particle Duality."

Opposing viewpoints can both be correct. I can find plenty of evidence of people being victimized. The real question is:

Whether you think it's true or not, is it useful?

I point out this same question to people that deny existence of there being a God. Even if they're convinced there is no God, can you really argue that many who do believe and act accordingly are very happy and live by a moral code that is useful to us as a society?

How we see the world is typically how we see ourselves, and also how the world will see us.

If we see the world full of untrustworthy people, is it possible that we don't trust ourselves?

If we see the world full of oppressed people, we will find ourselves oppressed.

If we see the world where we are victims, we will remain victims to our own minds.

If we see the world as a place where there's never enough, there will NEVER be enough.

If we believe that money corrupts people, it's because we believe WE would corrupt ourselves with more money.

BUT...

If we see the world where people are inherently good, people will be good to us.

If we see the world full of opportunity, we will always find the opportunity.

If we see the world where we are the hero of our own story, we will rise to be the victor.

If we see the world as a place full of abundance, we will never feel poor.

If we see money as evidence of serving others, we will always desire to have more money to continue serving.


You can always find evidence that both sides have proof, but the real question is:

Which perspective do you feel will serve you best?

If you might think I'm naive, great! I'm happier for it. If I believed everyone else's opinions, I would have never started my business, my clients wouldn't have saved well over $40 Million in the last 4 years alone, my wife wouldn't have married me, I would never have hope of financial freedom, and I would be suffering with high blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, and not able to eat fresh vegetables (true story).

My viewpoint (for what it's worth)?

We write our own life stories. Although we can't control all of the events around us, we can control how we respond and think in any given situation. Our prosperity and freedom is in our control, and cannot be granted to us by governments, bosses, spouses, parents, or anyone else for that matter. WE are the creators of our own destiny, and we will find that which we seek!

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Figures Don't Lie - Liars Figure!

dave-ramsey-twitterI once read actor and economist, Ben Stein, share a story on Yahoo Finance about a time when he was a child in the mid-1950's. He came home from school and excitedly told his father, also a popular economist, that he had learned that the world would quickly begin running out of food in 10 years. His father casually dismissed it.

Young Ben, now even more frustrated replied, "But Dad, figures don't lie!"

His father smiled and said, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."


This might sound silly to us now, but this kind of scarcity is still being taught today by politicians, financial advisors, and even some of our passionate Facebook friends (you know who you are)!

This is especially true when it comes to the lies taught in financial planning and traditional investing!

What I want to do is point out the discrepancies I learned when I was a financial planner teaching the very things Dave Ramsey teaches in the image above. I get frustrated with Dave because I believed in the same lies that he publicly promotes. After meeting and teaching thousands of people across U.S. and Canada, I have seen some destructive myths.


I will point out the myth, the eternal principle it violates, and the solution. There are several, but I will only point out the common ones from Dave's Twitter post.


Myth #1 - Financial advisors and experts know better than you

Principle Violation - Personal Responsibility

As a recovered financial advisor, I was taught how to sell products to you and teach you things in such a complex fashion, that you wouldn't be able to know that truth. As one advisor taught me, "Teach them that money is hard and that they can't do it themselves. Then, they will learn to just trust you as the expert."

Bull! Most people I meet have more common sense than financial planners or the Dave Ramsey's of the world. Principles govern money matters much better than products. Have you ever had a moment where you really wondered if what they taught really works? Have you ever wondered if the numbers they teach you are real? Have you wondered if they are just promoting something to you because they sell it?

Ever wonder how teaching money from a scarcity mentality of sacrifice, save, suffer, spend nothing, and do nothing fun, until you're retired, would really work?

By the way, go to Calculator.net and try putting in Dave Ramsey's numbers of $100 a month for 40 years at 12% interest. Did you get $979,310.10 too? Oops! What's $200,000 anyways? However, how many of us assumed he was right?

See my point? This is part of the reason why I had to leave financial advising. When did we turn off our brains and start trusting salespeople in suits more than ourselves?

Solution - Question everything you have ever been taught about money, what their self-interest is, and things will become more clear. Question me too! Take responsibility for your own learning and life!


Myth #2 - Rates of returns are real

Principle Violation - Misleading math

This one is one of the biggest lies people tend to believe. In the early 2000's, I used to teach that the average return of small cap stocks was 12%. I would show that number like crazy. To be conservative, I would even say 10%. I would then put it into a calculator and show you how awesome that really is.

That all changed for me when an annuity sales trainer tricked us with the following question:

"If you have $10,000 and lose 50%, what are you left with?"

We reply in unison, "$5,000!"

"Good. Now, what is the rate of return you need to get back to $10,000?"

"50%"

"Wrong! Making 50% on $5,000 is only $7,500. You need 100% to break even again. So what's the average return of losing 50% and then gaining 100%?"

At this point, we're puzzled.

"25% per year, and you only broke even! This is why we're introducing our indexed annuities because the average return is not the real rate of return."

This floored me. I realized that although the S&P 500 market claims it "averages" more than 10%, the real return (actual yield) is only about 7%.

What does that mean? It means that if you went off of Dave's numbers above, you would only have $248,551! And that's IF you get market returns. At 6%, that number decreases to just over $191,000. At first, I couldn't figure out why more middle-class clients that I had that saved for decades would rarely have more than $300,000. Now it had all become clear to me....

Financial advisors have been guilty of over-promising and under-delivering for decades! Why hasn't anyone called them on this yet? It's because they are protected by disclaimers like "past performance is not indicative of future results." But aren't people mainly investing with them because they're showing the big numbers?

However, every time they use "average" returns, they ARE lying! Very rarely do I see people have more money than what they were shown, and that's when people bought 5 years ago at the market low. Just yesterday, I had a client who was frustrated and ready to get out of his IRA's and 401k's because the balances have stayed relatively the same for the last 15 years.

Why?

Because the actual return was only a few percent. But when you tack on the fees in your retirement accounts (that are not included in your rate of return), it barely clears 0%.

By the way, some of the most expensive mutual funds aren't sold by typical financial advisors. They're sold as your company 401k. It's not too uncommon for the total fees to be near 2% or more per year. What this means is that even if you were lucky enough to actually yield a 7% return (most likely because you're getting an employer match), you may only see a 5% return!

Oh, and at 5% in 40 years, you'd have just under $149,000. See the problem? And we haven't even talked about the taxes you still need to pay yet, have we?

P.S. Dave Ramsey actually believes that a widowed spouse can pull out of their mutual fund 10% per year without ever touching the interest (see here). Even financial advisors find this hard to believe!

Solution - See thru the "figures that don't lie" and understand what the real numbers have been. Then decide if it's worth the risk.


Myth #3 - High risk creates high returns

Principle Violation - Something for nothing

What is risk? In financial advising terms, it's defined as "a chance of loss."

So when did a 70% chance of losing equate to a 70% of winning?

Does risky behavior work anywhere else? For instance, if I took high risks with my health (smoking, drinking, eating McDonald's daily, etc.), would I become healthier? If I actually let my kids "go play on the freeway" like my parents told me to do, should I have more children?

So why would taking more risks, investing in things we don't understand, investing in things where we have no control, and it adds no value to anyone (other than financial institutions and financial planners' pockets), actually produce better returns? The lottery is pretty high risk too. Why not cash out all of our retirement plans and play Powerball?

Most of us don't bank on the lottery for retirement because it doesn't make common sense! So why are we losing control investing in things that don't provide any real value?

Corporate America isn't better off because your money is with them. You just hope to ride someone's coattails and make whatever table scraps are left over after all of the real investors are paid.

The real problem here is that you expect to receive something for nothing. Throwing money into investments with no promises of returns is gambling where you expect to receive something without adding any real value. This is different if you are actually investing a significant amount in a company that helps them out. This is what Warren Buffet does.

When you invest in mutual funds, you don't actually invest in the companies. Your returns come from the price of the mutual fund, not necessarily the stocks, bonds, etc that they are investing in. The price of the mutual fund can go up and down, regardless of the stocks they invest in.

Therefore, when you take high risks, you are only increasing your chance of losing. This is how you are a gambler. Personally, I don't like to gamble. I like the solution below.

Solution - Only "take calculated risks" by investing in things that you can have some control over. If you can't control it, make sure you have contractual guarantees. Financial freedom is only possible if you feel you have control over your finances.


Myth #4 - Everyone should be a millionaire in 30-40 years

Principle Violation - Money and math aren't the same

How much is $1 Million worth in 40 years?

We can't trust the government statistics because they have a vested interest in showing lower inflation so they don't have to raise social security up as much - See more at www.shadowstats.com

However, over the last several decades, we have seen that buying power seems to be cut in half about every 10-12 years. Let's just assume the inflation rate is only 5% a year. Even if you did have $1 Million, the actual spending power of that money in 40 years is....

Just under $167,000!

By the way, financial advisors are starting to say that you should only live off of 3% of  the money in your savings because you don't want to run out of money. If you had $1 Million, you would only pull out $30,000 a year.

To use this inflation example above, you would only have the spending power of $4,000 a year!

See a problem here?

If you're 25 years old right now hearing about how amazing it would be to be a millionaire, you're going to be seriously disappointed. Go ahead and ask a 65 year old is they thought they would be rich at 25 if they had $167,000 in the bank back in 1974. Also ask them if they ever had any curves thrown at them in life that slowed down their ability to save. How does a financial advisor take into account lay-offs, market declines, unexpected kids, unexpected kids moving back in or asking for financial help, health issues, etc? They don't! They put your life into a nice little calculator.

Your life was never meant to be put into a calculator, and a calculator can't predict your life!


On top of that, what happens when you haven't saved enough? Just keep working into your 70's like many are doing right now?

So now that you might feel depressed at this point, here's the solution.

Solution - Focus on what frees up and generates cash flow for you RIGHT NOW! Don't wait until you're 60 or so and then plead for help because you realized my prediction was right. Change it right now!


In conclusion, I point this out, not to discourage you, but to liberate you from bad advice that still hasn't worked! Every person I have ever met has hope to not become another statistic.

The question remains the same - Will you continue buying into the figures that "don't lie"....

OR, will you do almost the exact opposite by taking personal responsibility without the high risks, seeing the truth as it is, and taking charge of your finances today?


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Why Dave Ramsey Followers Don't Feel Financially Free

Dave Ramsey Cutting CardAfter encountering hundreds of Dave Ramsey's followers, I have noticed a very common pattern.

They feel stuck financially, even though several had paid off all of their debt.

Here's why....


To begin, I want to explain that I believe Dave Ramsey has done a lot of good for people. I have had clients with horrible spending problems get great value from Dave by making some positive changes in their finances.

However, most people that listen to him are generally good savers and don't like debt in the first place. These are the people that often come to me after their Dave Ramsey education and say, "I did everything Ramsey teaches, but I feel like I'm not getting ahead financially."

There are several reasons for this, but I'll focus on one point - debt versus expenses.

If you've listened to Dave, you are never truly debt free until ALL debt is paid off. His followers will define debt-free as not owing money to anyone.

There's only one problem with this definition - You will ALWAYS owe money to someone!

You will need to pay taxes, pay for food, utilities, clothing, household items, hygene products (we hope), etc. If the requirement to be debt-free is universal, shouldn't we all focus all of our money paying people off for the rest of our lives? That means that I would prepay for my taxes, utilities, food, and so on to feel free.

Is that ever really possible, or even wise? If you equate owing money to someone as debt, then you will always be in it, and therefore NEVER be financially free!

In this scarcity perspective, any expense is bad. The problem with this thinking is that expenses never disappear. In fact, YOU are an expense to someone else. You are an expense, or "debt", according to these definitions, to a company. Should they just fire you so they don't owe you anything? How prosperous would that business be if they tried that? You and I both know that it would fail.

To be clear, I'm not advocating that you don't pay off certain loans more quickly than others. Many of you have heard my strategies for paying off debt based on cash flow rather than interest rates or balances.

What I am advocating is viewing money from a scarce perspective will only cause you to NEVER feel financially free, even when all of your loans are paid off because you always end up owing someone money. Furthermore, when you are told to put your money in risky mutual funds, you add even more uncertainty and LESS financial peace.

This perspective limits people's financial results and freedom for the rest of their lives, and why they often come to me for answers. When you focus on true financial principles of abundance, not scarcity, you find out that it is much easier to become financially free and have more money. When you don't fear debt or expenses any longer because you respect them and know how to be a good steward of your money, then possibilities, options, and freedom become a reality.


I know that this perspective is not "normal." As Dave's perspective has become "normal" for financial advice, more and more people see that it only gets them so far. They use their balance sheet to make themselves feel better, but money is still not a fun topic for them.

As a result, there are a bunch of people that hoard money instead of being a good steward of their money. They inhibit value from blessing others because they aren't exchanging it, and also wonder why they never feel they can save enough. They becoming broke emotionally and spiritually in that hoarding mindset.

I prefer that you don't become his "not normal", nor the normal American that's broke. The answer is in the middle. In fact, wouldn't we be better off by doing something different than what has already been done?

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How to Avoid Fighting About Your Money

Couple-Fighting-Over-MoneyHas money been a source of tension in your marriage?

How much does it cost you to not be on the same page, as a couple?

No, the answer isn't "Avoid talking about it" =)

 


As I have coached hundreds, if not thousands, of couples over the last 12 years, I've seen some patterns that cost couples thousands of dollars each year...and it's not their debt!

More often than not, I find that many couples I work with appreciate coming together as a couple with their money, viewing it more from an abundant mindset, than one of scarcity, pain, and stress. In fact, they often appreciate this more than the tens of thousands a year that I save them.

I have seen this especially be true with my relationship with my wife, Lyndsie. We have seen some amazingly stressful times in nearly 12 years of marriage. However, I'm grateful for those experiences that have strengthened and helped us when discussing our money.


Here are 4 easy ways to strengthen your relationship with each other and your money:

  1. Set aside 15-30 minutes each week to discuss your money. Many have avoided doing this because money has been a source of tension in their relationship. It's best to set this as a repeating item in your calendar where you won't forget and begin developing the habit. It could be a morning, evening, or weekend time where you can discuss the previous week, what's coming up over the next 7 days, and even talk about your dreams and goals. This is necessary to be on the same page because most couples fight because they only discuss money when it's urgent and emotional. It's best to discuss when you're both calm.
  2. Set Rules. Set rules to follow, before discussing money seriously. It's easier to set rules when calm than during a fight. Decide how you will discuss the money, what has worked for you in the past, and things to avoid in the future. Make this discussion fun. Most take money too seriously and create unnecessary tension. If things do get heated, decide what your "safe word" or "safe signal" is to diffuse the situation.
  3. Avoid judgment. It's easy, especially for the primary breadwinner, to pass judgment on the person that manages the household. Many jump to conclusions too quickly and blame the spouse for spending too much money. In reality, it could be inflating prices or special circumstances that contribute. Learn from the past, but don't dwell on it and accuse. Work together to understand each others' point of view.
  4. Emotionally distance yourself. It helps to look at your money from an unemotional standpoint. Look at the situation without getting worked up. The more emotional we get, the more we make dumb decisions. If this is really difficult for a couple, I have recommended that they distance themselves from the money by pretending they are looking at a friend or family member's finances and offering advice to them. Once you do this for awhile, without conflict, then bring it back to yourselves. You will realize that it's quite easy to discuss your finances when you can look at what is really happening instead of placing blame on each other.


What are some ways you discuss money as a couple that have helped you in your relationship?

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My Challenge to Speakers, Trainers, and Coaches

doritosWarning - This might offend a few speakers, trainers, and coaches who are delusional and believe they're making a difference. The rest of you will want to join me in stepping up our game.


If you're like me, you're probably getting tired of what I refer to as "Doritos Speakers & Trainers." Definition - Speakers and trainers that say "yummy" things, but are really just teaching "empty calories" that don't make a difference in our lives.

Most likely, if you're reading this, you are not likely one of them because these people are too often stuck on themselves. As I've spoken with those that are "the real deal," I've heard a similar frustration. it amazes us some people keep "buying the dream" from the many who don't know how to get you there. They build you up and then let you down.

If you're going to be a speaker, trainer, or coach, be sure you actually get people results, not just happy.


In my opinion, here are a few requirements for you to be influencing others:

  1. Been there, done that, still doing it today - There are some out there that haven't even been there or done that. Some think that just because they have had a challenge, they can teach about something they haven't really resolved. Don't teach about emotional healing when you're an emotional basket case. Don't teach about health when you look unhealthy. And don't teach about money when you're totally impoverished and desperate for it. None of us are perfect or expected to be, but we should at least be making it work better than the average person. There's another group that has "been there, done that," but they talk about what they did 10-20 years ago. You shouldn't be Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite talking about your high school glory days. Don't tell us about the money you made in real estate in the 1990's or mid-2000's, not do a single real estate deal since. How is it still working for you today?
  2. Teach what you know - Don't teach something you don't do or haven't mastered. The reason you don't hear me talk about becoming a millionaire is because I only did it once. Don't worry though. That one will be released in the next few years. I "only" paid off over $900,000 in the last few years to get my net worth to break even again. If you haven't mastered something yet, master it, then teach it to us.
  3. Teach us the "how to" not just the "why" - I'm tired of hearing people telling us to dream big, be happy, be wealthy, sing, dance, meditate for years, and then leave us hanging with nothing to actually do to change our lives. MOST of those previously mentioned things are important, but you can't stop at just selling a dream. I don't give a crap about walking on your coals or breaking your arrow with my neck. Give us a solution that we can use! Even if part of that solution is working with you in your program, give us something substantial to chew on first so we know we'll get even more from you later.
  4. Stop filling your insecure ego...fill others - We all have insecurities, but some teach "fluffy philosophy" because it sounds good to people and makes them more popular (Remember the Doritos definition). I believe results speak for themselves. I love having "real deals" speaking on my stage that have people following them because they are improving their lives. These people aren't just "shelf-help junkies" where they take information, put it on a shelf (or notebook), to never look at or apply in the future. Real people getting real results from real, legit speakers and trainers. Take a real look at the type of people following you and how they are growing. If they aren't really changing their lives, take a look at who they are following. Show up to serve, not be served!


We don't want to be motivated. We want to be moved to action that gets us better results!

My challenge to you speakers, trainers, and coaches - Step up your game where you show up to serve and bless peoples' lives.

 

My challenge to others - Stop paying for "perfectly packaged poop" (Thank you, Tiffany Peterson), and invest time & money in things that actually get you results!

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Stop Dreaming! Start Doing!

mr-10Can I be frank with you?

I'm sick & tired of hearing people telling me what they are going to do, but few ever tell me what they ARE DOING. I'm calling on all of us to step up, shut up, and walk the walk!

I've noticed a trend this year (and it's only 15 days in) where people have talked a big game, but already aren't playing on the field. They have big hopes and dreams for 2014.

Many will tell me that they want to make more money in their business and have more time with family, yet they hide away and wait for their ship to come in. They will declare on Facebook their big dreams, but have not taken any steps towards it.

They'll tell me "I'm not ready to change yet, but I will be soon." Or, "If I didn't have ____ in my life, then I could make this happen."

I'm calling bull!


Life always throws us curves when we commit to do big things. We know this. But when we make excuses, we feel worthless, lose faith, and not achieve what we want.

The reason this drives me nuts when others do it is because I have done it myself. I used to talk about what I was going to do, but rarely actually do it. I would get frustrated with each year's goals because I would get nowhere close to accomplishing them.

For me, things changed when I stopped looking to get motivated with "empty calorie teachings" by inspirational speakers, and I started acting and working like those who were actually getting results.

When I attend events, the biggest question I ask is, "Am I only going to be motivated (again), or am I going to get results from the time and money I invest?"

I challenge you to do the same in 2014. Stop getting motivated and just get going!!!


Here are two keys of success that help me get what I want faster:

  1. Faith - I move forward with faith that I am going to get what I want, even when I have no clue how to get it. Of course it's not easy, but it always works. Most people can't keep that positive attitude going long enough to get what they want. They back off a moment too soon.
  2. Consistent Effort - This ties in with faith. I've coached many people that were on the verge of getting what they want, but lose hope, and stop working towards those goals. Success isn't achieved in one great moment. Success is achieved when you do what needs to be done, day in and day out, even when you don't feel like it!

Dreaming big is the easy part. The hard part is to "think small" and progress towards your goals daily without making lame excuses, even if most people would think the excuse is legitimate.

Instead of being dreamers, become a doers. Don't say "I will." Instead, in 2014, I challenge us to change it up a bit and start saying "I do!"

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Should They Raise the Minimum Wage?

WalmartStrikeAfter hearing the continuing, and emotional debate on whether they should raise minimum wages, I want to share my opinion -

Don't raise it, GET RID OF IT!

Here's why....



Have you ever noticed that you rarely ever see any Walmart workers going on strike? We do see some random people hired to stand on the streets and shame the company for exploiting its workers.

I remember in 2006 when Chicago tried to force legislation where Walmart had to pay its workers $10 an hour minimum by 2010 because the wages were too unfair. To make matters worse, the law only applied to companies with more than $1 Billion in sales AND stores at least 90,000 square feet.

What's fascinating is the minimum wage was $7.25 an hour at the time and over 15,000 still applied for the 400 jobs available!

Did Walmart executives hold a gun to these people's heads coercing them to apply?

Were these people just dumb?

Of course not! These applicants knew what the potential wages were, and were okay with it! They were willing to accept those wages. By the way, only 2 of those employees received the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour when the store opened.

Key Point - Walmart obviously valued their employees' time more than the wage. Otherwise, they wouldn't pay that much. The employee valued the wage more than their time, or they wouldn't take the job. When we agree to our pay, it is a win-win transaction!

However, there are activists, unions, struggling competitors, and other self-interested organizations that want you to believe that we are victims to businesses that provide us jobs. They want you to believe that you "deserve better." They try to convince you that someone doing a simple job should be paid a fair, living wage. What they fail to realize is when that happens, prices will inflate and push those same people back into poverty again.

I don't know about you, but their assumptions insults my intelligence, and it should insult yours too. That's like someone telling us, "Because you don't know any better and you are helpless, I'm going to fight for you to get paid more."

If I want to be paid more, I'll ask for it! If they won't give me the wage I want, I'll find someone who will pay me that. If no one wants to pay me that, it's probably because I'm delusional and need a reality check.

As a business owner myself, I have never hired someone at minimum wage. I pay more because I want better quality people working with me. In fact, I fear that if I don't offer enough, I won't get the talent I desire. When they say "yes" to the wage, with their own free will and choice to accept or decline, they obviously value the cost of their time at least a little less than that wage. Otherwise, they wouldn't take it.

When I worked in corporate America, my final wage was $11.62 an hour. Of course I wanted more money and thought I was worth more than that. But you never saw me tear up the check and throw it in their faces either. I accepted the pay every pay period.

Each of us have the freedom to choose what we feel our value or time is worth. Don't insult us by calling us victims!

My Solution - Trust our intelligence, stop wasting our tax dollars debating this ridiculous topic, and eliminate the minimum wage. As employees, we'll determine what we want to be paid. As employers, we'll offer employees what they are willing to work for to make it a win-win for both of us.

Is that "fair" enough?

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Clarity + Integrity = Prosperity

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As we have closed the chapter on 2013 (Thank goodness for closing the chapter on Miley Cyrus, Obamacare, and dumb fox songs), we now look forward to greater purpose and prosperity in 2014!


There are 2 fundamental keys that have helped me see amazing success last year. Naturally, there are a lot more things that I did to create a growing 6-figure business in less than a year, but I want to focus on the starting point because this is where most lose focus.

The 2 essential keys to prosperity are clarity and integrity!

 

Clarity

Mark Twain said (I love this one!)....

"I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.  The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want."

Isn't that so true? How many times have we, or someone we know, say that we want more, but we can't describe it crystal clearly?

This is why I love using Ann Webb's Ideal Life Vision technique each year. When I describe, in detail, what I want in every area of my life, it's so much easier to get it, and get it fast!

When we have a clear vision, we can tell the difference between opportunities and distractions. And there are a ton of distractions out there!

Most don't realize how often I was offered enticing opportunities that would have provided more security than Money Ripples did in its first few months. What blessings would I have missed out on if I jumped ship before my company became more profitable (since it took a few months before I could take money home from my business)?

So first, get very clear on what you want in your life and business!


Integrity

To me, integrity means "doing what you say, when you say you will do it."

Just like a building with integrity withstands the elements, so must we do what we do what we say, when we say we'll do it. When this foundational piece is missing, we are only dreamers, not doers. The worst part is we will be filled with remorse and regret by dreaming big and acting small.

Once you get clear on what you want, be sure you get out and get it!

This could mean you will need the help of a system or a person to help you get there. When I create my vision for the year, I specifically name or list what it is I need to accomplish it. If I don't know who or what I need, I describe it as best as I can.

Looking back at last January until now, I am amazed how much I achieved in my business. My "ideal" in some of those areas seem so common now.

For example, I mentioned that I wanted to put on my first event by April 20th. Despite some massive testing of faith, I put on my first event with about 40 people in the room on April 12th. None of the attendees knew that I spent my last $500 on a surprise dinner!

Faith-building experiences, like that one, became gold for me. I had to wander in the darkness, holding on to that vision. The key was that I still had to act, even though I had no promise of a reward. Fortunately, as it always does, it paid off and I put on 2 other events afterwards. This year, I now have four 2 1/2-day Wealth Empowerment Intensives on my 2014 calendar!

To sum it up....

I don't share all of this to brag because my company is just barely starting on its journey to the grand vision that I have. I share this because I want to see more of you than ever making less excuses and making more money!

I know as you get clear on what you want and have the faith and integrity to act accordingly, you will be amazed what you can accomplish. I can't wait to hear how much we can accomplish together as we move forward in this new year!

What are some of your goals for 2014?

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A Christmas That Will Never Be Forgotten

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Back in December of 2008, my growing family and I experienced a wonderful Christmas miracle that we will never forget....

At the time, our 3 children were 4 years old or younger. And Lyndsie was pregnant with our 4th child, Jon. My business was struggling during the "Great Recession" where most of the money I made had to stay in the business, and I often found myself relying on family members or friends to help us with just the basic necessities.

We were used to seeing utility door hangers telling us we had 48 hours to pay our bills or they would shut us off. Daily, I was getting hounded by collectors asking me to pay them tens of thousands of dollars. My wife, Lyndsie, even asked if she should take the kids and move in with her sister so I can figure things out. On top of that, we had no money for Christmas presents for the kids. Needless to say, I was struggling to keep it together this time of year.

However, each night, starting in mid-December, we started to hearing knocks on our door, but they would run off by the time we opened the door. On our doorstep, we would see gifts referencing the 12 days of Christmas. For example, the 2nd day were two chocolate turtles for "2 Turtle Doves." A wonderful surprise was the 3rd day where "3 French Hens" were 3 frozen chickens. On the 6th day, "Six Geese a Laying" brought us a dozen eggs left on our porch.

But the one that touched us the most, was the 8th day for "Eight Maids a Milking."

That day was particularly difficult for us because we didn't have money for groceries, including milk for our little ones. As I went to answer the door, I could hear several footsteps running off thru the snow, obviously to avoid being discovered. To our delighted surprise, we opened the door to find 8 quarts of milk on our front porch. The kids were excited that every night was a new "Christmas present." As I brought them all in and I looked at Lyndsie with overwhelming gratitude, she and I began crying and embraced each other in the kitchen that someone would be kind enough to brave the cold and help us during our most difficult Christmas ever.

The next morning, I went out front to see if I could track the footprints in the snow. Instead of leading me to another home, I tracked several sets of footprints to the back of our home, stopping near our kitchen window. I could imagine that they saw our reaction and I hope they could truly see what a Christmas miracle they brought into our lives that evening. I hope that their lives were blessed more than ours was that evening.

I never found out who it was, and I don't care to know. What they did left a lifelong impression in our minds and hearts. This has now become a tradition that our family chooses to pass on to our children to make the holidays a little bit brighter for another family.

My challenge to you is to forget your own problems and find someone else to serve that is more in need than you are.

You don't have to do the 12 Days of Christmas to make someone's holiday season better, but any little, random act of kindness will help you feel the Christmas Spirit stronger than ever and bless their lives too. Let's work together to make these next few weeks special for someone else and you'll find that your own problems are pretty insignificant.

Who's with me on this one?

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