Monthly Archives: December 2013

Income+discipline=wealthy

The $500 Millionaire has always told me that he can teach me how to make money but he can not teach me how to keep money. Why is that? It used to be thought of as responsible to save, but today spending is encouraged. If you are like me, it makes no sense to think we are encouraged to spend more than to save, but when doing a bit of research it is clear that spending instead of saving is quite common.

Think about where our country is today. We are on a spending spree. I am not just talking about the government…I am talking about the citizens. Both businesses and people get tax benefits on select purchases. We inflate the economy so people will spend. It is expected that we spend the money we make.

The $500 Millionaire has engraved in my head that I MUST first pay myself 10% of every dollar I make. Here are some philosophies. You can pick which fits you best:

Poor Mans Mindset- Spend FIRST, Invest the rest

Wealthy mans Mindset- Invest FIRST, Spend the rest

Here is how the $500 Millionaire suggests to save and invest.

1. First you will need to create a budget and find out what your monthly expenses are.

2. Take a minimum of 10% of your take home income and create an emergency fund that is a minimum of 6 months of your monthly budget. (I suggest 12 months)

3. Give 10% of your take home income to charity and others.

4. Give 5% of your take home income to investments in the form of passive investments- Passive Investments are when you invest in something or someone else who will do the work for you so that you can make a return on your investment (Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Businesses)

5. Use 5% of your take home income to investment in active investments (Your own Business, something you can use to make more money in whatever field you are in)

6. Once you have 6-12 months of the emergency fund, you then move your investment levels to 10% each.

This might seem crazy but I am actually suggesting you save 30-40% of everything you earn. What else do you plan on spending your money on? Why work so hard for money when you can make your money work for you? The key to this program is using percentages. This way it will not matter how much you make. If you make $20k or $100k a year, you can still save. By saving 30-40% you can then spend up to 60% on whatever you would like.

According to the $500 Millionaire, you do not have to be a millionaire to live like one. I know many people who make $100k+ a year but spend more than they make. At the end of the year, they actually lose money. Understand that wages bring you a check but profits brings you wealth. Again it is not about how much money you bring in, it is about how much money you keep. I would rather make $50k and save 10% than make $200k and spend all of it.

Remember, if you save, you will be able to live a “wealthy” life meaning you will not have to worry about money. Saving is what will get you out of the rat race. Life is much easier when you have enough money to pay for a full year’s living expense. It might take some time to save this much, but it will happen if you continue saving. The bad times in life, which are inevitable, are much easier to manage when you are not in panic mode over money. Savings keeps you out of panic mode. If you do not believe the $500 Millionaire, please feel free to try this strategy and let me know in one year from now how good it feels to have cash on hand…


Ok…sooo, I missed the mark a bit…

Ok…sooo, I meant to lose 20 lbs but it turns out I ended up gaining 25 lbs.  What happened?  According to the $500 millionaire this is not a failure.  It certainly is not a success but it most definitely not a failure.  What is it?  This is one MAJOR understanding that successful people possess that unsuccessful people might never be able to grasp.

Everyone runs into road blocks, not all successful people have a silver spoon handed to them.  In fact, even the ones that do, still hits these road blocks.   Since every one hits roadblocks, that can’t be what separates successful people from un-successful people, so what does?  It is not important what the road block is, but more how they handle the road block.

With this mindset it is possible to live a life where there is no such thing as failure.  Obviously with no failure, there can be no success.  The $500 Millionaire believes, there is no failure or success, just results.   The only way fail is by giving up.  Until you give up, you have not failed.  Remember, just because you gained 25 lbs doesn’t mean you failed, you just got a VERY interesting result.  Again, there are only results.

This reminded me of all the times the $500 Millionaire tells me, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people avoid.”  In this specific case I was talking to a peer of mine who was having some issues.  Like most, it showed that in order to overcome this issue, we needed to handle the results in a different manner.  Not just the easy way (Unsuccessful people) but the right way (Successful People)

Now to make myself clear, this peer has been extremely successful but was in a bit of a rut.  The $500 Millionaire had an interesting situation for the coach to imagine.  I had this peer imagine she was running. After the coach has been running for a while, out of nowhere, a huge wall comes out of the grown and is now blocking the path, What is the first thing you think?

Before you read on, imagine this and comment below on what is your first thought…

She started laughing and was a bit confused as to where this was going so the $500 Millionaire asked her what was the first thing that they thought. She said the first thing that was thought was, “Why is that wall here?!?”   As we talked she kept bringing up that they didn’t understand why the wall was there and kept bring everything back to the wall.  I smiled because I was thinking something totally different. I did not care much about the wall or why it was there, all I cared about was how to get around it.

It is that simple, successful people focus on the solution or the next step while unsuccessful people tend to focus on the problem.  There was a problem, a wall came out of nowhere and stopped your from being able to run (Move Forward).  Instead of focusing on the wall (problem)…let’s focus on getting over it (Solution).  Focus on the solution, not the problem.  To be successful you must understand that you need two things, knowledge (there is a wall there) and action (how do I get around this).  With the correct knowledge and action you will produce the correct results.  The question the $500 Millionaire does not want you to worry about what happened as much as what’s next?

The $500 millionaire is looking for people who can get the result and then ask what is next.  Successful people take time to celebrate their success but then quickly move on to the next step.  Failure is also present when you finally accept success and stop moving forward.  It is a simple formula but is it used by few.

Remember, there are things in your life that you can control and something’s you can’t. One thing we can control is our own actions.  That is about all we can control.  The rest is out of our hands so it is ridiculous to think we should put any attention to things we admit we cannot control.  Instead, let’s pull all of our focus on the solution we need, that way we can get the results that we want.


Capitolism Without Bankrupcy Is Like Christianity Without Hell

failure11This is a simple concept that you should be able to understand from the title but the $500 Millionaire always explains how important the ability to fail is in any free market system.  Imagine what would happen in our society if there were not negative outcomes, punishments, or penalties associated with peoples actions.  That is when ethics is thrown out the window and people would be able to do whatever they want with absolutely NO care about how it affects anyone else.  This is what has started our country on a downward slope.

WARNING:THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN SPELLING ERRORS AS WELL AS GRAMMATICAL ERRORS, IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU CAN NOT GET OVER YOUR PRETENTIOUS SELF AND GAIN ANYTHING DUE TO ERRORS, PLEASE STOP READING RIGHT NOW.  IF YOU CAN OVER LOOK ERRORS, KEEP READING.  

This is similar to a past post but you can see exactly what happens when we are scared to let any child fail.  Children need to understand that they can fail if they do not do what is necessary to succeed.  Intramural sports are scared to tell the kids that they did not win even though it is obvious that the other team scored 20 more points.  We need to step into reality and understand that there are winners and there are looser.  This is the only time you will ever hear the $500 Millionaire that we need to have a Equal Opportunity Act (the definition alone is judgmental) .  The $500 Millionaire would LOVE to see everyone have an equal and fair opportunity to FAIL.  It is impossible to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed   If we would allow everyone an equal opportunity to FAIL, the $500 Millionaire would be confident that there will be much fewer failures and much more success all through out our country.

With the ability to fail and being held responsible for our actions, companies would HAVE to be ethical (do what is right) in fear of losing both employees and customers.  Politicians would have to be ethical (do what is right) in fear of loosing reelection.  Employees would have to be ethical (do what is right) in order to keep their job,  Students would have to be ethical (do what is right) in order to pass the class.

It is almost impossible to remove a politician who is not doing their job if they can grant wishes for the right supporters.  It is almost impossible for a student to fail in school even if they do NOTHING to allow them to pass.  Recently, firing an employee for inability to complete necessary tasks is not a good enough reason to let people go?!?!?!  From bail out to bail out it is almost impossible for any company, as long as they are big enough, to get away with things that would never be considered ethical (what is right)

successkidBankruptcy is a brilliant concept which basically stops a company for getting out of control.  It basically causes a company to admit defeat and re-evaluate its strategy.  As well as in religion.  If there was no hell, then there would be not punishment for anyone who does not live the life according to the rule of god.  The $500 Millionaire does not want to see people fail but wants failure to always be a possibility. Failing is a major part of life that society is trying to get rid of.  Without failure, there can be no success and with out success, would life be worth living?o bail out any company, as long as they are big enough, can not fail.  Our society will not let it.  Forget taxing the rich, force them to have the equal opportunity to fail…most of them will still succeed but the true “evil rich” will fail

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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

ImageThere are times in life when things happen that seem to be unexpected and unfair.  It is not fun when these things happen but it is necessary.  Without bad things, there would be no good things.  You need bad in order to see good.  Just like you need dark to be able to see light. Without the uncertainties in life, it is boring and plan.  These uncertainty in life are what make it sometimes hard but always exciting.

To answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” the answer is simple.  Bad things DO happen to good people.  The $500 Millionaire loves to remind people that bad things ALSO happen to bad people.  It is not because you are good or bad that bad things happen to you. If you are asking that question why not ask why good things happen to good people, or bad things to bad people, or good things to bad people…  Our roll on this planet is not to know what will happen next as much as be able to adapt to what happens next.  When bad things happen to good people, they should make the best of it.  The reason why it is sometimes harder for good people to cope with bad situations is because they have never had to deal with something like this.  We have talked about in the past that fear is the uncertainty of being able to handle a situation.  When you have never dealt with something, it is hard for some to adapt.   Bad people tend to have more bad things happen to them due to poor choices in life so when a bad thing happens to a bad person, it is just another Tuesday. 

Understand that there is nothing you can do to know what is coming tomorrow and all you can do is prepare and adapt.  The best way the $500 Millionaire has found to prepare is to have no unforgivable regrets.  An unforgivable regret is something that you could never do again. It is something that if someone or something was gone tomorrow, you wish you would have done 

Keep that in mind the next time something negative happens in your life, it is going to be hard to deal with it, but it is even harder when it leaves you with unforgivable regrets

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Don’t Judge A Fish By Its Ability To Fly- Revised AGAIN!

Your disadvantage is really your advantage

Don’t Judge A Fish By Its Ability To Fly- Revised AGAIN!.

 


Don’t Judge A Fish By Its Ability To Fly- Revised AGAIN!

NemoThe $500 Millionaire always tells me is that my biggest strength is my ignorance. This is not something you would want to hear from someone who you respect and it took me a second to understand that this is not an insult.  Ignorance has nothing to do with ability.  Ignorance is defined as lack of knowledge or information.  If you know me personally, that describes me well in certain aspects.  This is not a disadvantage but according to the $500 Millionaire, it is an advantage.

This point was brought up and expressed very well in Malcom Gladwell’s new book, “David and Goliath” (http://gladwell.com/david-and-goliath/).  If you do not know the story of David and Goliath,  it was always understood that the under dog won.  In reality the under dog never wins.  They might be thought of as being at a disadvantage but that alone is a STRONG advantage.

Growing up I received many different titles as a student.  Some of the most prominent titles any 10-15 year old boy would love.  Class Clown was probably the “nicest” term that was used to describe me.  At this same time, in the late 90’s there was this fade called “learning disabilities” that were just starting to become popular throughout school teachers.  Now, it is an epidemic.  You wouldn’t believe this but because a kid cannot pay attention in a history class, that means they have an issue!!!  (I wish there was a font for sarcasm but that last line was sarcastic) The $500 Millionaire is older, wiser, and much more mature than myself, and even he would have issues sitting through a boring presentation in class.

When I was labeled, it was great!  I got away with everything.  I had extended time for tests, I would pass classes I probably didn’t deserve to pass.  Basically if I put C effort into anything, I would get an A.  I found the more labels I received, the more I was able to slack.  At the time it was FANTASTIC but looking at it now, I cannot tell you ANYTHING I learned between 4th grade and 11th grade.   As you can probably read in this blog here, I never fully learned the fundamentals of reading, writing, or spelling.  If you have read this blog from the beginning you know the WHOLE point of this blog was to force myself to write due to it being such a weakness.  Everytime I post these blogs, I have to go back after I get a message from someone who tells me what mistakes I have made.  Do I like hearing that I do not know how to read, write, or spell…no, but each time I mess up (FAIL) I am reminded and I then learn from it.   People always ask me why I do not proof read what I write…the truth is that I did, and this is still what you get.    When it comes to reading, it is just as hard.  I have to FORCE myself to read a book and if I was to read a book cover to cover, it use to take me MONTHS.  The only thing I remember throughout school was the disciplinary actions slowly going away as I received more labels.

little-mermaid-flounder

So how did I survive?  The answer is adapt.   Right now it takes me forever to read a book so when I found Audible.com which allows me to listen to books. I have been able to do on average 2 books a week.  I had to make it work.  I had to get creative and experienced failure almost every day throughout grade school.  That was the best thing that I received while in school.  I learned how to fail, and keep going.   Only about three teachers would let me fail if I chose too and that really helped shape me.

The disadvantage that I’ve had my whole life has been my advantage and I am just now realizing it.  I have always had to think outside the box.  Learning anything never came easy to me.  I was the bottom part of class that let the top 50% exist.  Needless to say I had to work hard in order to get mediocre grades.  I was babied by some and pushed by others.  The ones that pushed me are the ones that helped get results.   The one that let me slide, just made things worse.

The worst thing we can do is give unreal expectations for anyone just because they have a label or a disability.  That doesn’t mean you should not support their needs but when I say unreal, I mean to give someone exemptions that will not exist in the real world.  This will only hurt them.  Weather it is our strengths or weaknesses we need to be able to turn our disadvantage into advantage and the way we over-nurture people, is just continuing to point out their flaw.  Instead, let’s see what that disadvantage and help them adapt around that.

Think of your weakness and the hardships that you had to go through and how have they helped you grow.  If you are dyslexic does that mean school will be easy? …probably not.   Does that mean that you can’t use this for other advantages? … absolutely not.  Some of the most successful people would have been labeled as having a learning disability if they even existed while they grew up.

Humans adapt.  It is the one thing that allows us to survive.  We have no other real advantage in the world besides our ability to adapt which is cause by the ability of our brain.   Instead of enabling someone with a “disadvantage” try to help them find their advantage.  One thing the $500 Millionaire says to never judge a fish by his ability to fly.  Pass it around and stop feeling bad for yourself and others.  Instead, find what the strengths are.

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