Simple Ideas to Making More Money in Less Time

How many of us would LOVE to make more money in less time?

Do you ever feel like you have too many irons in the fire?

Would you like more time with their family without the worry of running out of money?

Here are four simple ideas to making more money (or getting more done) in less time.

  1. Know what you want
  2. Make a "do not" list
  3. Schedule your life around your work (not the other way around)
  4. Relax!

mr-10Know what you want

The first thing we need to remember in getting more done in less time is that clarity is key! Too often, we wander through life without any clear intention. We usually know more of what we don't want than what we actually want. Business consultant, Rick Sapio says:

"Absent clear values and specific objectives, you have no ability to differentiate between opportunity and distraction."

In other words, without clear rules to live by or goals, you will never know when something is an opportunity or a distraction. What I've seen is the more clear we are of where we're going, the more confidently and quickly we get there. Just like driving a car in unfamiliar territory, we'll drive slowly, and somtimes, erratically, on the way there. Get clear where you're going, and then make plans.

Ann Webb has an effective program called Ideal Life Vision that you should check out to help with this. It has done wonders for me!

Make a "Do-Not" Listmr-11

Some of us have "to do" lists that look like Santa Claus' naughty or nice lists. They're impossible to accomplish in one day or a short period of time! For those of you with that strength (and challenge), instead of a "to do" list, make a "do not" list, and pick just a few main tasks that if you achieved, you'd consider the day a success. Keep it simple! As Leonardo Da Vinci says, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

If there are activities you need to get rid of, either stop doing it altogether or delegate/hire the tasks to someone else. You'll be so much happier for it and richer too because you'll be doing the important activities that pay you the most!

mr-12Schedule Your Life Around Your Work (Not the Other Way Around)

Have you ever scheduled all of your work and tasks for the week and then realized there's no time for the other important things, like your family? Yep, me too!

Instead, schedule your most important things - family, time for self, spiritual development, etc. - and then schedule in your work. Schedule weekends or time with loved ones first, then put in your work activities. You'll still make just as much money but now you can at least enjoy it while you can too. It's less about what you accomplish and more about how happy you are and who you serve along the way. Quality of life is much more important than quantity of stuff!

mr-13Relax!

As Mr. Miyagi says in his cool, Japanese/Hawaiian accent in The Karate Kid, "Breathe in, breath out. Very important; Don't forget!"

Have you ever lost something, like your car keys, ran around frantically trying to find them, but could not find them until you took a break, relaxed, and found out it was right there the whole time? That happens to us with our time and money as well. Sometimes we get so worked up that we waste tons of time on worry. It's more productive to slow down, get your bearings, and then move forward. You'll get more done in less time.

Remember, to make more money in less time, it's important to know what you want, focus on only the productive activities (which includes your family and loved ones), and relax and enjoy the ride!

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My First TV Interview

Whoo hoo! My first TV interview is now available to watch online!

Lauri Flaquer, with Saltar Solutions interviewed me for an entrepreneural cable TV show in Minnesota, Focus Forward, where I teach a few of my tips to give people more money, and therefore, more freedom.

Check it out!

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3 Easy Ways to Get Financially Organized with Your Spouse

Is money a sensitive topic between you and your spouse?

Are you tired of feeling like a slave when your partner says, "Don't spend any money this week" or being accused, "Why did you spend so much last month?"

Would you like to find a way to make that stop?


Having been married for nearly 11 years myself, I've used all of those lines on my wife...and then some. Don't worry, she smacked me for it...and rightfully so!

I was one of those guys where I wouldn't allow the air conditioner to go on until it was nearly 80 degrees or turned the heater down to the point where my wife and kids could almost see their own breath.

Okay, so maybe I wasn't THAT bad. However, I wasn't helping to make the conversation about money very good during tough times. Eventually, I would just take over the bills and finances to avoid having arguments in our marriage.

Does this sound familiar to you too?

Here are 3 easy things you can do to get on the same page with your spouse, and be more financially organized.

 

  1. Set up an account at mint.com to track your income and expenses regularly
  2. Set a consistent time with your spouse for only 15-30 minutes per week to discuss your money
  3. During your weekly meeting, talk about your finances without getting emotional

 

Easy enough?

1. Set up an account on Mint.com - This one will take some time, but shouldn't take you more than an hour or so to get rolling in an awesome way. The benefit of using this free (yes, I said "free") account is because...well, it's free for one, and two, because it can electronically link to your checking, savings, loans, and some investments so you can see all of your money in one place!

What this means is you can not only see it, but you can categorize your transactions, create a budget (or Spending Plan, as I like to call it), and monitor your progress month after month in real time! It even remembers how you categorized transactions so you don't always have to do it yourself!

When I update this each week, I spend no more than 5 minutes to know EXACTLY where I am with my money! Cool, huh?


2. Set a consistent time with your spouse each week for only 15-30 minutes - This one shocks people that you can be organized in 15 minutes. The answer is "100% correct, if you're consistent." Find a day and time each week where you'll discuss the previous week's spending, upcoming expenses or paydays, etc. Make it a date night. Make it a weekend. Or make it after the kids left for school or in bed so you can have some time alone to discuss one of the most important parts of your marriage - your money.

15 minutes or so is all you need to commit to per week. How incredible would it be if you could get a physically trim, sculpted, and fit body in only 15 minutes per week? Amazing, right? So why not invest only 15 minutes to become financially fit?


3. Talk about your finances without getting overly emotional - I know - easier said than done. After 11 years and 5 kids, my wife and I have had our fair share of disagreements regarding money. Especially in our earlier married years, I wouldn't always see what was needed at home like she would. I would wonder why we spent nearly $200 in diapers that month (5 kids in diapers are killer!).

Remember this! When emotions go up, intelligence goes down!

The best way I've found to do this is decide up front that you are looking at this situation like you would a friend's. Separate your personal attachment from the situation, and you'll find that even when things look bleak, you can find a solution together.


As you and your spouse practice this week after week, you'll find that it is easy to remain calm, plan together, and have more money and time together as a family.

Imagine how amazing your life would look if you could invest just a few minutes each week for each other to achieve ALL of your financial goals and dreams. How great would that feel?

Now, go make it a reality!

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Where Do You Find Real Wealth?

So what is that "magic bullet" that is the source of all wealth (even beyond money)?

Is it gold? Silver? Oil?

How about real estate?

Stock market? (You know my answer on that one)

 

THE ONLY TRUE ASSET IS FOUND IN PEOPLE! IT'S IN YOU AND ME! 

Think about this for a moment....

If all people were gone from the Earth, how much would your house be worth? How about your car?

Nothing, right?

We have a sign in our house that reads, "The most important things in life...aren't things."

Isn't that the truth? True worth is found within ourselves. Our net worth doesn't define us. In fact, our self worth is what often defines our net worth.

 

Remember - Things have no real value. Things only have value because WE give them value.

 

Let me give you a few definitions (in my own words):

Property Value: How much is your "stuff" worth?

Human Life Value: Take away all your "stuff" and what value are you left with? This could be our health, skills, talents, gifts, experiences, education, production/labor abilities, personality, character traits, relationships, etc. In other words, it's what would be on an extended resume.

 

I find that most people focus so much of their efforts on getting more money and having their money make money (Yes, this did just come out of the mouth...or keyboard, of the guy who shows you how to have more money). However, these people are often met with frustration and fruitless efforts. Understand that there is more wealth in the minds of men & women than the total sum of money found on this planet!

Here's what's crazy! I just mentioned how Human Life Value is like an extended resume. If it really took money to make money, why don't you have to offer money in a job interview? Have you ever noticed that you don't go in and ask, "If I give you $50,000, would you pay me $40,000/year?" Sounds ridiculous, right? That's because IT IS!

 

There would be no things on this planet if someone didn't use their Human Life Value first - Human Life Value is the cause, property value is the effect.

 

So next time when you're wondering how to make more money or find out where that "magic investment" is to cure all of your woes, look within yourself and your relationships first. There you will find real wealth. All wealth originates in us first!

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Commonly Missed Deductions

mr-5Before you file your taxes this year, be sure to invest just a few minutes of your time to ensure you don’t miss out on these commonly missed tax deductions this year…and every year forward. 

In fact, I just had my accountant review one of my client’s tax returns last week. They had missed out on at least $9,950 of taxes that they would have overpaid! Yuck!

So here are the most commonly missed deductions I see my clients miss (As a disclaimer, I am not an accountant, and because Congress has issues making up their minds, these rules could change by the time you read it. Consult your CPA to see which can apply to you):

  1. Auto Expenses/Mileage
  2. Child Labor (legal, of course)
  3. The Right Corporation
  4. Home Office Expenses
  5. Medical Expenses

Auto Expenses

Many know they can write off mileage, but don’t know how to get the most of it. For example, if you have a home office, you can deduct mileage to and from another office, or another job site). The key is to conduct business in between work locations.

For example, you could stop by a grocery store or Laundromat and leave a business card on their corkboards. Also, if you have a corporation, there are ways to lease your vehicle and save even more tax.

Child Labor

Before you cast stones at me, this means hiring your children to work for your company. As of 2012, you can employ your minor children to work for you where they, AND YOU, won’t pay taxes for their first $5,950 of income each year! In fact, it’s a tax deduction! This could be a great way for you to help them save for college, clothes, or other things that can save you money today!

The Right Corporation

Many set up corporations without any professional help, or just blindly take advice from an accountant that doesn’t understand all of the business benefits. If you’re earning at least $5000 per year, look into at least setting up an LLC. If you start netting at $40,000 or more per year, you should consider setting up a corporation. Those that have corporations can actually pay lower tax rates because they have the ability to pay dividends on top of their wages. The clients I mentioned at the beginning were doing this already, but didn’t realize they could do more and save an additional $3,700 a year! Naturally, consult with your attorney or accountant before making any moves.

Home Office Expenses

Another commonly missed deduction is home office expenses. Many don’t realize they can have a home office and deduct a portion of their mortgage interest, utilities, home insurance, etc. For instance, if your home office (including business storage space) is 10% of your home, this means you can deduct 10% of all of these expenses! This also could save you into the thousands of dollars each year!

Medical Expenses

Did you know that, in addition to your health insurance premiums, you could deduct your contributions into your Health Savings Account? Many don’t realize that there are many ways to use your Health Savings Account, beyond the doctor’s office, including dental, vision, and chiropractic care, among many others.

mr-6These are just a few of the most commonly missed deductions that people miss. If you don’t have a business, you may consider finding a hobby or side business that you can do to increase your tax advantages that you wouldn’t have working a normal job.

Again, I would advise you to consult your accountant to know what is right in your situation. Hopefully, your accountant understands tax rules well enough to help you pay the least that you’re responsible for paying the IRS. I love paying taxes…but not more than I’m required.

Now, take some deductions and save some money!

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Biz Lesson From Forbes' Richest Billionaire

The Forbes Top Billionaire List just came out yesterday, and showed there are now over 1,400 billionaires, 200 more than last year. On top of that, just to be considered in the top 500, you had to be worth $2.9 Billion!

At the top of the list (4th year in a row) is Carlos Slim, worth $73 Billion! I remember watching his interview with Larry King in 2010, where he discussed his family, his down-to-Earth lifestyle, and his philosophy on life & business. One thing that he talked about really struck me hard

"Reinvestment, reinvestment, reinvestment! My father used to say that money that gets out of the company evaporates."

Think about his for a bit. Is he saying to invest in our businesses? What about diversifying?

Hearing this helped me recall the words of a candid brother-in-law, when I used to be a financial advisor, who pointed out to me that he can make a lot more money investing in his business than in the stock market.

When he asked, "So Chris, why should I invest my money with you?" I quickly replied off the cuff, "Because you should diversify."

What a bunch of bull, huh? Where did I come up with that? Oh yeah, being trained as a financial advisor ;)

Fortunately, he never did invest with me because he was absolutely right! Why invest in things you can't control or don't understand or care about?

Only invest in things you love and know a lot about!

If that's your career or business, then do that. If it's real estate, then do that. If it's the stock or currency markets (yes, there are some crazy people out there), then do that.

Diversification, like multi-tasking, doesn't really work!!!

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, TV star on ABC's "Shark Tank", and worth $2.4 Billion (#613 on the Forbes list) was quoted as saying in an interview,

"Diversification, that's for idiots."

Robert Kiyosaki said that diversification is like going to a used car lot, and buying 5 cars, just in case one is a lemon. I've watched people, including myself, diversify and lose money. That's why trying to get multiple streams of income all at once only ends in failure.

Instead, I propose that we focus our attention, time, and energy on things that we know and love.

If you're an entrepreneur, hopefully that means it's your business. If you love and know real estate well, then do it, and stop dabbling in other ventures where you have no business.

A few years back, I thought it would be fun to manage 5 businesses. I know what you're thinking - It was crazy! And you're right, it was! My income dropped overall, even though I had more streams of income. When I cut it back and focused on one or two facets of my business, my income shot right back up.

In the book, Midas Touch, by Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump, they teach that the word "focus" stand for:

Follow

One

Course

Until

Successful

 

I agree with that 100%. If you're the type of person that can't decide what you like, you're going to be met with hard times and challenges. Find something you know well and very passionate about, and do that!

My challenge is for you to focus on one thing and make it successful. Remember, a certain Shaolin monk once said this:

"I don't fear the man that has practiced 10,000 different punches one time each. I fear the man that has practiced one punch 10,000 times."

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5 PROVEN Ways to Become a Millionaire!

mr-3Is it really possible for the “average Joe” to become a millionaire?

Don’t you have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, like Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, or win the lottery?

Is it hard to do?

Srully Blotnick (say that 10 times fast), in his book, Getting Rich Your Own Way, actually did a 20-year study to find 5 common traits of those 83 (out of 1057) middle-class workers that became self-made millionaires during those 20 years.

Guess what they found out? Which proven investment do you think they invested into to become a millionaire?

Real estate?

The stock market?

Their businesses?

Would you believe that it was NONE OF THEM? In fact, the investments actually slowed them down!

There were only 5 proven ways that helped EACH ONE become a millionaire. They were:

  1. Persistence
  2. Patience
  3. Doing “the nobler and pettier” aspects of their job
  4. Increasing non-competitive attitude towards the people with whom they worked
  5. Aside from their main career, investment activities consumed a minimum of their time and attention

Persistence – These people never gave up! They kept pushing forward and stayed in the same career path. Like Dori, they just kept swimming. They didn’t jump around from career to career. Instead, they focused.

How many of you believe you are persistent in your course of action?

mr-4Patience – They were patient in getting the results they wanted. Have you ever heard successful people say, “It took me 10 years to become an overnight success”? The scarcity emotion of impatience didn’t cause these people to make bad calls.

How could you be more patient?

Doing the Nobler and “Pettier” Aspects of Their Jobs – In other words, they weren’t too good to take out the trash…or in my household, change that poopy diaper. (Did Chris just say “poopy?” Gross!)

Are you using the excuse, “It’s just not my talent/unique gift to do that! I hope someone else will do it for me.”

Non-Competitive Attitude – Surprisingly (to many), these people didn’t have to step on others up the corporate ladder. They only competed with themselves to do excellent work. Even though they were interested in what their colleagues were doing, they only wanted to know how to improve their work. Ironically, many of these “millionaires” didn’t even realize they were millionaires when interviewed.

How could you use “Cooperative Capitalism” in your favor when dealing with colleagues or your “competitors?”

Investment Activities Required Minimum Attention – This came as the biggest surprise of all to the researchers. They expected to see some similar investment that was the “holy grail” of investments. To their amazement, the investments actually hindered their financial progress. They primarily made their money focusing in their careers.

What activities or investments are distracting you from making more money today?

So what are the proven ways to become a millionaire?

As you have seen above, it wasn’t an investment per se. It was investing in themselves to develop those habits of success. They patiently, persistently, humbly, cooperatively, focused on achieving success in their professions!

How has developing and applying these traits helped you?

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How to Get Paid Faster?

mr1Have you ever been told, "I would love to buy your service/product, but I don't have the money" after you've offered your service or product to a prospective client or customer?

As an entrepreneur, are you tired of it?

How much money do those excuses cost you each year?

Well, let's stop it now!!! The good news is that a few things I've learned from our Cash Flow Process helps with this!

But, before I give you some simple questions to ask your potential clients or customers so you can get paid for your service or product, you need to consider one thing -

Are they saying "no" because they don't see how it's more valuable than the price?

You need to be honest here. If the answer is "yes," then you either need to work on helping them see the value or you may need to adjust your prices. Usually, it only needs to be the first one.

However, if they see the value because it provides more value than will pay for it, and they REALLY want it, here are some easy questions you can ask to increase your sales more. Get them to agree that if you can help them find the funds, they will buy your stuff right away. If they don't agree to it, refer back to my previous point.

mr-2The following are examples of questions to ask:

1Do you have any liquid savings? This includes savings accounts, cash, money in the bank, CD's, money markets, or even cash value life insurance (they forget this one a lot!)
2Do you have plans to use this savings anytime in the near future? What for?
3Do you have any lines of credit? Have you called them recently to increase your credit limits that could also increase your credit score? Many don't realize how easy this one can be.
4Do you have any houses, cars, equipment, or stuff in general that need to be sold anyways?
5Do you have any retirement accounts or other investment savings? Most never consider this option because they are always taught to forget about that money until retirement. If your product or service is a business write-off, it's possible they could offset the taxes buying your stuff making it a total wash on the taxes! And, if you could help them make more money than it would cost them, this could be a no-brainer!

These are just a few questions among many, but could even these few questions make tens of thousands of dollars of difference in your business?

How much time and frustration would that save you too?

Please comment below about some other ways you learned how to get paid by teaching them how to pay you for your product or service!

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How Is Your 401k Ripping YOU Off?

Are 401k's really the best thing since sliced bread?

Isn't getting a 50% match a 50% rate of return for free? Who doesn't want free money, right?

What has experience taught us?

401k's offer little to no benefit compared to what you can do on your own. This is especially true if you're an entrepreneur!

Let me explain....

I'm going to get down & dirty on this one because I have a lot of evidence to back me up, and there is a lot of guessing about how good 401k's really are. The only valid point that people give me about 401k's is the employer match. In my opinion, this is a good thing. It's a bonus if they give it to you when you don't put anything in. I love that!

What About Tax Benefits?

Some try to make the point that there are tax advantages. THIS IS FALSE! You still have to pay taxes someday.

If you're an entrepreneur, there are no advantages to matching your own contributions unless taxes went down in the future. Do you really think taxes will go down in the future? Then why delay paying those taxes? You don't even get a write-off if it loses value! If we lose money in our businesses, at least we get a write-off for it!

FEES?

What I don't love is what the 401k actually costs YOU!  Most people don't realize there are fees coming out all the time. It's very common to have fees totalling 2-3%/yr or higher!  In fact, your 1st quarter statement will finally show some of this. If you want to see a lot more details on the many fees, read my blog I wrote 3 years ago on this subject.

RETURNS

So don't you make a 50% return? Good question. Let's take a look.

Let's assume you contribute $200/month and get a 50% match ($100/month):

In one year, you put in $2400 and they match $1200 = $3600. I'm not including fund returns because that isn't the variable here. You can make those returns outside of 401k's. If you factor in 2.5%/yr fees taken out monthly, you would have $3551.06 because $48.94 of fees were taken out. Now, that IS still a great return!

Here's where it stinks:

In 5 years, you would have $16,889.46 after fees. If you decide to cash out (assuming you're 59 1/2 or older at a 25% tax rate), you'd be left with $12,667.10. That return only averaged you 1.09%/year, not 50%!!! If the taxes are 30%, then you are in the negative!

Why does this happen?

Because you pay fees (and eventually taxes) on the entire amount, but only get matched on the new money. It's great in the beginning, but doesn't even pay the fees after several years (not including taxes you have to pay on the match too). See my point?

If you're still not convinced, NBC News did a great article how a 401k will cost your family $155,000! For further proof, one of my clients who did the full match for 25 yrs (1985 - 2009) came up with a whopping 4.9% real rate of return, including the match!

The Answer?

If you're an employee - Look into paying off your credit cards and higher interest loans first. Once that's done, a 401k may be good for you, but be willing to look for putting money elsewhere.

If you're a business owner - look for other ways to generate cash flow in your business and save the profits in safe, guaranteed places (such as business savings, CD's, annuities, or whole life insurance) where there can be tax advantages, but it's not too hard to get to in case of emergencies or opportunities.

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What Does Money Ripples Stand For? What About You?

Due to conversations, interviews, and adversity I've had over this last week, my fire has been stoked a little hotter. I want you to get real content from me, but with some real purpose and heart too. As a result, I'm going to ask you the same questions I'm addressing today -

So what do YOU Stand for?

Each of us needs a burning desire and purpose. We need that "Why" that drives us. What drives you? How is the world blessed by having you in it? What would happen if the world doesn't get the very best of you? What would your "banner" say on it?

That's why I'm going to share with you what Money Ripples (and Chris Miles) stands for!

I Stand For:

Creating a ripple effect of prosperity & freedom thru families, generations, communities, and nations!

Raising the standard of excellence and service by our example!

Using money to serve people, not using people to get more money!

Focusing on adding more value to people's lives than we expect in return!

Liberating others to no longer let money dictate their lives because they are in control!

Choosing abundance when we have every reason to choose scarcity!

Offering support and resources to help others choose abundance so this world can heal itself rather than giving in to scarcity, selfishness, and feeling entitled!

Giving permission for others to let their greatness and talents (their awesomeness) bless the world because we do too!

Taking responsibility for our own success & failure!

Passionately reminding everyone that their #1 investment is in that which helps them express their gifts, not throwing money into financial products!

Teaching cash flow creates freedom because increasing your cash flow increases your options. More options = more freedom!

Focusing on finding money, protecting it, and making more of it!

Wise Stewardship - Money, like debt, is neither bad nor good. WE determine what kind of fruit it produces!

Prioritizing God (and taking care of self) first, family second, and business third. No financial success is worth sacrificing ours and our families' happiness!

Living by example and authenticity!

Simplicity over complexity!

Getting it done, and getting it done now!

Walking the walk and talking the talk!

Doing what we say we're going to do when we say we're going to do it!

Not shrinking when faced with differing opinions!

Changing the way financial education is taught by value first, compensation second!

LEAVING A DEEP FOOTPRINT IN THIS PLANET BECAUSE WE CAME TO SERVE AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIVES!!!


So what do you stand for?

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Chris Miles Media Appearances

I've had a ton of fun appearing on TV, radio, and webinars. Below are just a few of the shows (and one webinar) I did recently. Each topic here is a little different from the other.

Check them out and comment below which one is your favorite and why.

Amy Walker Webinar - Secrets to Free Up Cash Today

Watch HERE!

Real Money Radio w/David Holland - 3 Circles of Wealth

Listen Now!

Hidden Credit Repair Secrets Radio - Generate Cash Flow in 90 Days or Less/Cash Flow Index

Just recorded this today! Listen HERE!

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The Chris Miles Money Show

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