Tag Archives: Motivation

DON’T GIVE UP…JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!!


In light of the upcoming release of Pixar Film’s “Finding Dory,” I sat down this past weekend and re-watched “Finding Nemo” and began to think (because I do that sometimes)  about not giving up and pushing through. The gist of the movie was a father Marlin, a clown fish, who refused to give up looking for his son Nemo, captured by a scuba diver after disobeying him by swimming beyond the reef. Marlin’s quest led him all the way to Australia and along the way, he met some interesting characters one of which was Dory. Dory claimed to have seen the boat that carried Nemo away and she and Marlin gave chase. Marlin followed Dory in one direction, then another, and another, until she couldn’t remember why he was following her to begin with. Dory suffered from short-term memory loss. Can you imagine how frustrating it must have been for Marlin to follow someone who lacked direction? Although Dory wasn’t much help in terms of direction, she was ultimately there for support and encouragement. She kept Marlin on track. When he wanted to quit, turn around and go home, those famous words of hers still resonate with many: “When life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do?”

ūüé∂JUST KEEP SWIMMING. JUST KEEP SWIMMING.ūüé∂

When you feel like quitting because the obstacles before you seem insurmountable, here are a few tips to keep you on track:

  1. FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER: Make sure your accountability partner is someone who encourages you, not someone who criticizes, judges or tears you down. Your accountability partner is stronger than you in the areas where you are weak. It can be a spouse/partner, a significant other, family member, co-worker, mentor or friend. When you feel like throwing in the towel, there’s nothing like a “Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah” from your accountability partner to get you back on track.
  2. TURN TO YOUR FAITH/MEDITATE: Whether you are deeply spiritual, deeply religious, deeply spiritual and religious or none of the above, turn to your faith. Turn to something. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, staying rooted in or strengthening your faith/what you believe in can help you press on. Deep meditation can also help regain focus and reinforce goals.
  3. EXERCISE: Remember exercising releases endorphins which can alter your mood. Exercising may not be your thing, but find an activity that elevates your heart rate. Cardio is key. A jog or a brisk stroll through your neighborhood can provide the boost you need to jumpstart your dwindling energy. You’d be amazed at how therapeutic opening the blinds, and letting a little sunshine inside your home or stepping outside to breathe in a bit of fresh air makes you feel better.
  4. SOCIALIZE/NETWORK: Your schedule may not always allow you to get out in the mix of others, and you may be a bit of an introvert, but social media can help.  I love the interaction I have with connections I’ve made on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and my new favorite, LinkedIn. No, I’m far from an introvert. I love to read on social media about others reaching their goals/accomplishments, creating new ones or even reading just to escape for a laugh or two. Either way, virtual interaction can be a great motivator.

When I was fulfilling the education requirements for my AFC Certification, I wanted to quit… many times. Overwhelmed with a demanding class schedule, problems on the home front, trying to maintain the update of my social media outlets, and the general pressures of life had me leaning towards giving up. At one point I thought about shirking my way through the semester, barely passing my classes with just the minimum required grade. But in the back of my mind, doing so would have left me disappointed in myself because I knew I could have done better. Determination kept me going. Each time I entertained the idea of quitting, I thought of how far I had come and kept my ultimate goal in mind. Before I knew it,  I was half way through the semester. I kept pressing forward. I kept pressing forward until it was time for final exams and I pulled down A’s in both classes.

So the message here is quite simple. DON’T QUIT! Is it clich√©? Of course it is! And as clich√© as it is, the message is still effective today as it ever was.
DON’T QUIT!!! KEEP GOING!!!

Andrea Coleman (The Financial Hack) ©2016

 

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Spirit Airlines: A “Spirit Breaker?”

Let me give you the skinny about Spirit Airlines…. From my perspective.

I recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic via Spirit Airlines. Yep you read correctly, SPIRIT AIRLINES. The words Spirit Airlines is usually followed by groans, grunts and frowns from many, but I must say, my experience wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. Let me give you the Cliff Note version of “Spirit Airlines for Dummies.”

  1. GET AS MUCH FEEDBACK AS POSSIBLE: If someone is interested in trying out a new restaurant or visiting a particular city/country for example, what do most people do? They ask for feedback. They may ask what is the best hotel stay in a particular city or even the best restaurants. If you value their opinion, you’ll take their advice. My point: Ask questions. Before booking my flight I asked Facebook friends and Twitter associates to provide feedback as to their experience. It was overwhelmingly negative in general, many complaining of flight delays and hidden fees, shoddy service and anything else negative they could think of all of which I took into consideration. I also read several internet reviews. Some were good, some were terrible, and some were really terrible. On the other hand, some were indifferent. They didn’t sing the praises of Spirit Airlines, but they didn’t rip them to shreds either. I considered choosing another airline however, after looking at available flights through my http://www.CheapTickets.com package, no other airline got me to Punta Cana before 10:30pm and I couldn’t risk missing check-in to my hotel. Therefore comma, Spirit Airlines to the rescue!!!
  2. PRINT YOUR BOARDING PASSES IN ADVANCE:  Either do it at home, or pay $10 or more to print them at the airport. No thanks. I can find better ways to use that money. Boarding passes can be pre-printed 24-hours PRIOR to your flight’s departure. Do you prefer a window seat? Be prepared to pay for it. Is an aisle seat  more in line with your personality? The same thing applies.
  3. SAVE $$$ BY JOINING THE “BARE FARE” CLUB:    Now this is where things got a little tricky for me. By joining the “Bare Fare” Club, you pay $59.99 per year to get a discount on any checked luggage. You are only able to board the flight with ONE PERSONAL ITEM (diaper bags, oxygen tanks, etc., notwithstanding.) Keep in mind, you pay less if you pre-check your luggage. When I fly American, Delta, Virgin, Joe Blow Airlines, or whoever, I’m allowed the smallest of the smallest carry on suitcase and a personal item that can fit underneath the seat in front of me. Not on Spirit Airlines. In a nutshell the “Bare Fare” club is no “free” bag, no “free” drink. It’s just your ass plus gas and ONE personal item… POINT BLANK PERIOD. Thirsty? Better get something before you board. Oh, you want peanuts to tide you over? Cough up the dough. Weaning yourself from alcoholic beverages? You’d better have a debit/credit card handy. Now that you know the ins and outs, Welcome. You have now officially  been inducted into the “Bare Fare” Club.
  4. PRE CHECKING BAGS ONLINE SAVES YOU NO ADDITIONAL TIME AT THE AIRPORT: You’d better get to the airport at least TWO HOURS prior to departure. Even though I pre printed my boarding passes and pre-checked my itty-bitty teeny-tiny suitcase online, I thought there would be a dedicated line for the “chosen ones.” Fuh-get about it. I got no preferential treatment and had to wait in line as if I hadn’t spent 30 minutes at home deciding whether or not to join the secret society of the Bare Fare Club. The upside; there were plenty of self service terminals where people pre-printed their boarding passes and were standing in line to hand-off their luggage to the Customer Service Agents. Okay Spirit, I’ll give you a pass for execution. The TSA checkpoint moved fairly quickly as well, so it’s off to the gate. Let’s get to the fun part… “The Plane Boss, THE PLANE!”
  5. THE LEGROOM ISN’T AS BAD AS YOU THINK:  I’m about 5’8 1/2-5’9″ and I still had more than enough room to cross my legs. I can’t speak for the guy that sat behind me on the trip back who decided to give me a nice lower back massage with his knees. If you are 6′ or taller, you may harbor some Spirit Airlines flight resentment afterwards. I never used the almost non-existent tray table which appeared to be the size of my iPad 2 and thank God I sprang for the additional $10-$18 (depending on flight capacity) for a window seat. I would have been miserable had I not. I didn’t miss much because I make it a point to pop my Dramamine 30min prior to my flight, Beats headphones in and it’s Good Night Nurse until our flight descent. The flight was on time as scheduled, but hey, when 6am is probably you’re first flight out, how can you not be on time?

My return trip wasn’t so good. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I pre-printed my boarding passes and I discovered there IS an Airport God… at least in Punta Cana. There was a line dedicated for the Bare Fare Club “chosen ones” to check their bags. Here’s where the fun starts. The flight was scheduled to leave at 1:37pm and boarding was to begin at 12:52.The plane came in and sat there looking at me and the rest of the passengers in all of its splendor and glory for another 1 1/2 hours.


At 1:30, Spirit reps allowed us to start lining up to board. Guess who was first in line. I offered to let a lady and her friend get in front of me because they had a young child but I should have rethought that idea once the child awakened and refused to stop screaming. 

Enter foreshadowing. We finally took off at 2:45pm and much to everyone’s dismay that innocent sweet-looking child screamed from Punta Cana all the way to Ft. Lauderdale. Beats headphones really do cancel outside noise.

To make a long story short (too late) the connecting flight to Dallas was delayed 1 1/2 hours. The delay now puts me in Dallas at midnight instead of 10:30pm and for some odd reason I thought it would be a good idea to go to the office the next day. Ten o’clock is nearing as we quickly shuffle on board and upon takeoff right on cue, that cute innocent screaming child commences Act II. Man, I swear those Beats headphones really were worth the money I didn’t spend on them. Good Night Nurse!!! But just like the Ginsu Knife commercial, you get a free set of 20 steak knives just for flying Spirit. We land at 12:15am, deplane and everyone is looking like Charles Manson at the luggage carousel for an additional 30min waiting on our luggage. This cannot possibly be happening. It was. I finally snatch my teeny-tiny itty bitty suitcase from the carousel and my Spirit Airlines Experience was over. It wasn’t sexy or glamorous. Just over.

So after all of that story-telling, the burning question you’re wondering is “Would I fly Spirit Airlines again?” The short answer is “Yes.” I didn’t experience anything I haven’t experienced on any other airline (aside from the bag fees) but I’ve learned to pack light. Spirit Airlines I believe is good for a weekend getaway where everything you need will fit neatly into ONE small carry-on suitcase. I suggest taking early flight to avoid delays, buy snacks at the airport, and if travelling with small children, find a way to tranquilize them before boarding. Oh never mind, Just buy a pair of Beats headphones. They make EVERYTHING better. Oh, And that $50 voucher Spirit Airlines emailed me for my inconvenience the very next day didn’t hurt either. I’m headed to Miami after Labor Day. HAPPY TRAVELS!

Do you have a Spirit Airlines story to tell? Leave your comments below.

~The Financial Hack ©2016

 

SPRING IS HERE… TOP 5 CLEANUP “MUSTS” IN YOUR LIFE

Can you¬†believe it’s been over ONE MONTH¬†since I actually posted a blog on my website? Not the occasional PSA or motivational posting, but REALLY¬†SAT DOWN AND WROTE A BLOG POSTING? Wow! One month is too long. I do thank all of you that are on the email list and those who religiously visit my website if for nothing else but to check the “Quote of The Day.” Again, I cannot thank you all enough.

So let’s get to the topic at hand…. SPRING CLEANING. This blog won’t be your typical “spring cleaning” blog. Well kinda. It’ll be pretty standard, but I’ve got to¬†put my extra two cents into what spring cleaning also involves most this season (to me anyway) So here we go… The TOP 5 Cleanup MUSTS in your life:

  1. TACKLE LARGER PROJECTS FIRST: If cleaning out your closet is the biggest chore for you, start there first…. AND DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU’RE FINISHED. Survey your closet. Look at every article of clothing and every pair of shoes. If you haven’t worn it within the past year, get rid of it. Donate it to your local charity/thrift store, or have a garage sale (my personal favorite.) Garage sales can be quite lucrative especially if you have items that are in excellent condition, have never been worn and/or still have the tags on them. If you are simply not ready to part with those items just yet, put them into boxes, plastic storage bins, etc. If you don’t come back to those items within the upcoming year, GET RID OF THEM. You don’t need them.
  2. DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE: As I always say, declutter your home, declutter your life. The same holds true for your office, your car or anywhere you spend a great deal of time. It’s ironic I can’t work on a desk riddled with papers strewn about, yet¬†I’m a paper hoarder. Don’t ask me why or how it happened, I just am. I¬†spent three days sorting through letters, receipts and paperwork AT HOME some dating back to 2008,¬†shredding what was unimportant and filing what was. You will find¬†when you’re better organized, completing tasks aren’t such a chore. I haven’t¬†begun to start on the files in¬†the drawers at my¬†office. Never fear, Thursday is the target day. If your car is riddled with papers, trash, toys, empty water bottles, soda cans etc, get rid of it. That is a source of irritation for me. I never ride with trash in my car. A tip to dispose of your trash when you’re driving is to find a small plastic bag (I keep the small bags I get from Barnes & Noble) and I put it on the gear shift of my car. This way, if I finish a cup of Starbucks, a bottle of water, etc., I put it in the bag and empty it when it’s full. If your children travel with toys, try to transport the smallest¬†of toys and find a canvas bin, or even a box to store them in. They’ll make your life much easier.
  3. CLEAN YOUR HOME IN WAVES: I have 4/3.5/2. My suggestion is to clean your home in waves. I wouldn’t dare try to clean the 4500+ square feet¬†I have in one sitting. Forget about it. Not gonna happen. That’s bananas! Again attack the toughest projects FIRST.¬†For me that would be my bedroom, bathroom and closet first, move to the kitchen, the great room, guest bath, study… you get the picture. Perhaps for you, the kitchen is where you’d start. It doesn’t matter in what room you start, start where you spend the bulk of your time. Your level of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment will be much greater.
  4. CHANGE YOUR HABITS/ROUTINE: If you’re usually LATE everywhere you go, LATE meeting deadlines, LATE responding to emails/text messages, change that behavior. Make it a point to arrive 15-20minutes early. Promptly respond to important text messages/emails (or at least acknowledge the message has been received.) You’ll be surprised yourself…. and many others in the process. Don’t do it once or twice, make it a habit. I’ve read it takes 21 days to form a habit. In my opinion, it depends on the habit and the behavior towards the habit that determines the amount of time to change. I firmly believe if the behavior is something you truly wish to change, it shouldn’t take long to adapt. It’s all about your mindset. You may also want to change up your routine. Use this change of season as a time to take up a new hobby. Exercising, running, mentoring, taking an enrichment class, reading more, becoming involved in your child’s school, increasing your community service, you name it… YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  5. EVALUATE FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS: This to me is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT of the five “musts” of spring cleaning. Spring indicates a change of seasons. Just as seasons change, people and relationships change as well. Is it time to let some friends go? Cut ties in some relationships? Only you can answer those questions. My mother always told me to ask myself if¬†the friendships in my life were one-sided. In my opinion, a true friend is concerned about your well-being. A true friend looks out for you, and a true friend always has your back. If the opposite applies, you have to ask yourself if this person is truly a friend. If your relationship is bringing you more¬†misery than joy, perhaps it’s time to have a “sit down” with the one you love. Whether it’s a friend or¬†a significant other,¬†have a conversation, voice your concern(s) and¬†hopefully the end result will be a win/win situation.¬†If not, it may be necessary to¬†plan some¬†funerals, bury some friendships/relationships and begin the healing process.
I hope these five suggestions will help you in your Spring Cleaning process. GOOD LUCK… AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
~The Financial Hack (Copyright 2016)

YOU MAY BE BROKE BECAUSE….

stress over debt

Stressing over bills? Is your paycheck already spent before payday? Are you running out of money before the end of the month? Can’t make ends meet even if you had two magnets? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Debt can be particularly frustrating, especially if you’re drowning in it with no one to throw you a life preserver. Even if you are able to tread water, at some point you’re going to get tired. I know, because I’ve been there. Yep. Back then you could call me the “B” word… BROKE. My secret. No one knew. Broke can take on many meanings, so for all practical purposes, let’s assume “broke” means not having enough money to cover your monthly obligations.

Have you ever stopped to ponder the reason(s) WHY you’re “broke?” If this is you, stop and think about it for a minute. What can you do differently to change your current situation? While you do that, let me list a few behaviors/attitudes contributing to your “brokeness.” Yes, I am aware “brokeness” is not a word, but it should be.

  1. You Don’t Budget: I love it when I hear people say, “Oh I’ve got it all up here” while gently tapping the side of their head. Unless you’re a mathematical genius, how could you possibly have all those numbers and figures inside your head? Yes, you may have a general idea of what comes in and what goes out, but just imagine if you were to transfer “what’s in your mind” onto paper. This way you can see clearly what’s coming in and most importantly where it’s going. After writing it down and seeing it in black and white, you’re easily able to identify “blindspots” you didn’t know existed.
  2. Instant gratification is your “modus operandi:” We live in a society of heavy consumption. We want more more more, and WE WANT IT NOW. It’s too easy to whip out a credit card and purchase the latest iPhone, flat screen plasma television, that expensive pair of heels or those Jordans that just came out yesterday knowing you don’t or won’t have the money to pay the bill in full when the credit card bill comes due. This is where Jesus (and discipline) should take the wheel. You have to be disciplined enough to “walk away” no matter how loud those items are calling your name. I love shopping at discount retailers (Marshalls, TJMaxx, Home Goods, DSW etc.) and when I decided to check myself into “financial rehab,” I literally had to alter my driving route so I wouldn’t pass the strip mall that housed these stores. Out of sight out of mind.
  3. Keeping Up With The Jones: When I look back now over my days of “Keeping Up With The Jonses” it was quite silly because I eventually realized, the Jonses were just as broke as I was. I’m not ashamed to say I went through my phase of believing driving a Mercedes Benz, carrying Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags, having a closet full of  clothes and shoes and living in a big house complete with swimming pool when it was just me and my two dogs somehow made me feel “important.” At the time I felt having those “material things” somehow validated me. All it did was expose my weakness, and that weakness was a lack of self-esteem. Anyone who is secure within themselves doesn’t need materialistic things for validation. Let me be clear. I still have all of those things mentioned above (minus the Mercedes Benz,) but I realize those things do not define me. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things, it’s simply nonsensical going deep into debt in order to obtain them.
  4. Financial Literacy Wasn’t Taught In The Home: My father was always good at saving money. He worked hard and sacrificed for his family. He taught me how to write checks and balance a checkbook when I was 11 years old, and even after I got a job at 15 and was buying my own school clothes/paying for school activities and such, he never stressed to me the importance of saving, yet he was a HUGE saver. I’m still puzzled by that. I’d like to think he was proud because I was being responsible. Not every one my age had a job. I didn’t need a job, I just wanted financial independence. Asking for $10 to hang out at the mall with friends turned into a two hour lecture about how money didn’t grow on trees, but I digress.  I also remember my Dad telling me, “If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.” To some extent, I do agree with him now that I’m older and wiser. He also advised me not to get caught up in credit cards when I went off to college, however, he didn’t explain to me why. I wished he had. It would have saved me a ton of angst and grief. If financial literacy isn’t taught at an early age, it’s easy to fall into the “debt trap.”
  5. You Refuse To Take Responsibility For The Actions Stated Above: This is the most important of all the habits/attitudes/behaviors listed above. If you don’t acknowledge that your spending is out of control, that you don’t budget, that you mismanage your money, or that you seek validation by obtaining material possessions, you will forever remain in a state of “broke.”
Perhaps one or two of these habits apply. Perhaps all of them apply. Either way, you are in control of your financial destiny. It’s never too late to make changes. It took me until age 39 (when I married) to understand how important it was to build a financial future. Living the single life for so long allowed me the freedom (or so I thought) to be reckless with my spending because I only had myself to hold accountable. However I changed my financial mindset, even after divorcing. I adjusted my spending habits. I budgeted my money and I am now able to truly enjoy what I’ve accumulated over the years. So you see, I no longer need that Mercedes Benz for validation. I look better driving this “PAID FOR” Honda Coupe anyway.
~The Financial Hack 2015

When your body talks to you…. LISTEN!!!

I’m dying. At least that’s what I felt like yesterday when I woke up. My throat was swollen, it was difficult to swallow, my nose was running and my head felt as though it would explode at any minute. Of course I wasn’t dying, it just felt like it.

I slug I to the kitchen thinking “Coffee will make everything better.” Who was I fooling? I got dressed, went to the office thinking my allergies, sinuses, and hay fever were going at it for the championship title but here comes the one, two knockout punch from a surprise opponent… the flu? No way!

First I was too hot, then I was too cold. Next I was too cold, then I was too hot. Chills. Back and forth like a tennis match. This can’t be good. After the “hacking” started and my Sister screamed “Get Out!” from her desk outside my office door, I knew I needed to leave, but I closed my eyes instead. Forty-five minutes later I’m awakened by that metallic taste in my mouth, you know, like you’ve been licking pennies. Yep, it’s time to go. My clothes hurt. All over

I got home, ate some soup, downed some orange juice, drank a shot of NyQuil and climbed into bed. That was the best decision I’ve made all week and it was only Tuesday.

I was sick. You get the picture.

I knew this would happen eventually. I stretched myself too thin. I was doing too much and I wasn’t taking care of my body causing additional stress. The result? Immediate shutdown. I should have seen it coming. Last week, I didn’t get to bed before 3am on two consecutive nights doing classwork. And just the night before “the shutdown,” I was up after 3am even though I finished my assignments a little after 1am. I knew this would happen. The question was when.

Being back in school has placed tremendous stress on me as it’s been 14years since I received my MBA. Couple that with working, community service and having a life, I’m not sure what I was expecting. You’ve seen/read these tips before but I can’t stress them enough:

1. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. My eating habits have been horrible since my classes started last month. I blew my budget for January relying on Panda Express, McDonalds, Jack N The Box and Wingstop for my nutritional needs. I know. Way to go. Claps all around. My multivitamin couldn’t compete with all the “junk” I was eating.

2. Make sure you’re exercising regularly. My exercise regimen has been relatively non-existent since the doctor told me last year I could no longer continue my marathon career. Not only was I running for endurance, but lifting for strength. I used to have six pack abs. Now it looks like an ever so slight kangaroo pouch. (This will never do honey.)

3. Make sure you’re getting adequate rest. I already knew those late nights spending time with textbooks, chapter notes and financial calculators would catch up to me. I’ve said it aloud several times, “If I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick.” Well look at me now.

When your body is already in distress, adding a teaspoon of an unhealthy diet, a pinch of a lack of exercise and a cup of inadequate sleep is a recipe for disaster. 

Listen to your body when it’s talking to you. Yes, you have an empire to build, yes you have goals. Having a “can’t stop, won’t stop attitude” is fine, but stay in tune with your body. It’ll give you small cues when it needs rest. If you fail to yield to those cues, a crash is bound to happen. Don’t ignore those recurring headaches, or that lower back pain. Your body is telling you to slow down. If necessary, take a day off and just “relax.” I’m still learning to do that. After these last couple of days, I’ll try harder. 

This morning after sleeping a good 14hours, I thought about going to the office but thought, “Nah, you’re not 100 percent.” Have I not learned my lesson? This was a no-brainer. So I got my coffee, OJ and soup and am back where I was yesterday… In bed. But now, like this…. 

 
I’m being productive running my empire from the comforts of my bed, yet still resting. And you know something? I feel so much better.

Maybe I’ll move to the couch… Nah!

~The Financial Hack ©2015

MASTERING MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME

multitasking.jpg

Creating multiple streams of income without wearing yourself out can be quite tricky, especially if obligations such as family, school or even your¬†nine to¬†five job take priority. The goal is to find¬†what is easy and convenient… FOR YOU. Here¬†are a few examples of Multiple Streams of Income that I recommend.

  1. Open an eBay Store: Unlike your classic brick and mortar¬†places of business, your eBay store is¬†a virtual brick and¬†mortar store¬†(minus the overhead.) Just think. There are¬†no costs for leasing space. No¬†utilities. No¬†hassle of hiring¬†employees or having¬† set operating hours. An eBay store allows you the luxury of¬†making money on your own time and on your own¬†terms.¬†If you’re looking for inventory, start by shopping your closet. In my¬†13 years experience with eBay, I find that¬†new/gently used shoes/handbags/accessories and perfumes are quite popular. Certain books and children’s clothing¬†are¬†popular as well. You can choose to auction your items or sell¬†them outright¬†at a set¬†price (Buy It Now.)¬†Here’s the catch:¬†If you wish to be successful at your eBay store, you must keep inventory in stock at all times (even if it’s just a¬†few items) and a variety of items is preferred. Be mindful of the pricing of your items. Your item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
  2. Find something you enjoy doing,¬†or are good at… AND FIND A WAY TO MAKE MONEY DOING IT:¬†Are you bilingual? Offer private lessons, or consider¬†teaching an ESL class. Good in¬†Math? Consider becoming a Math Tutor.¬†Are you a “techie?” You’d be surprised how many people would rather NOT install Windows on their computer or do the simplest of troubleshooting when it comes to their computers. That’s where you come in. Do you enjoy¬†exercising, working out and eating¬†healthy? Consider becoming a Personal Trainer.¬†Can you play¬†the guitar, piano or other instrument? Same applies. Do you love animals? Consider dog sitting or becoming a dog walker. Babysitting is very popular¬†among¬†teenaged/college females. Signing with an agency would guarantee you hours and if you’re good at it, word of mouth is the best referral.¬† Catch my drift? These are just a few examples of skills you can tap into to make extra money.
  3. Write a Book: Years ago before the age of the Kindle and e-books,¬†self-publishing was the most cost efficient way to get your book to the masses. Now, all you need is the manuscript, a good editor (or editing software) and VOILA! Your book is¬†available¬†as a Kindle¬†e-book¬†for $5.99. That isn’t¬†so bad if you’ve sold 2000 units and counting! NOTE: Freelance writing isn’t off limits either. It may take a while to find one, but there are some publications who will PAY for your article submissions so keep¬†your writing skills sharp.
  4. Become a¬†Substitute Teacher or a Realtor¬†: If your schedule allows, become a substitute teacher. Subbing one day a week could generate an additional $200-$300 monthly depending on whether you hold a college degree or are certified¬†by the state to teach. Also, with the housing market bouncing-back, real estate can be an effective¬†income producer. I’m a licensed¬†Real Estate Broker and it’s always good to have my license to fall back on if necessary.¬†¬†NOW IF ALL ELSE FAILS…..
  5. Get a Part-Time Job: As much as I hated working part-time jobs in my life, I did it any way because I had to. In high school I worked for a popular fast food chain, in college I worked at a gas station (not as a mechanic lol,) I’ve worked for a grocery chain, I’ve worked making copies at night for a law firm (through a temp agency) you name it, I’ve probably done it. I can recall¬†working a nine to five, driving home, grabbing a quick bite to eat, then heading to my six to ten (or six to later depending on where I was working.) Retail is¬†ALWAYS available, video stores were once popular (until Redbox and Netflix dominated,) and let’s not forget fast food restaurants.¬†For many, fast food is¬†the absolute last resort, but if there were nothing else and you really needed the income, you’d take it.¬†If you just can’t fathom working in fast food, consider Starbucks which offers its employees (even its part time employees) health insurance. There are many people working¬†there just for the health benefits.
So as you can see, there are many ways to¬†generate multiple streams of income. It all depends on your¬†area of expertise¬†as well as your¬†flexibility. Don’t rely on just one stream of income,¬†if possible, have SEVERAL STREAMS because they all¬†have one common denominator; Getting¬†you one step closer to reaching¬†your financial goals. GOAL AFTER IT!!! They aren’t called “Multiple Streams of Income” for nothing.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)

MOTIVATE YOURSELF!!!

“Liven up yourself in the morning time y’all…. Liven up yourself, Cuz I said so.” ~Bob Marley

If you’re familiar with Bob Marley and the song “Liven Up Yourself,” you know his interpretation is slightly different from what most are accustomed to.¬†Its underlying meaning however, remains constant. It’s time to get up. It’s time to wake up.

IT’S TIME TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF!!!

When I decided to commit myself to helping others by promoting Financial Literacy, there were¬†people around me who were skeptical. People close to me. People I actually knew. There were naysayers and I sensed a general lack of interest from¬†those I¬†believed could benefit from the knowledge and experience I had. It had/has nothing to do with¬†“feelings of superiority,”¬†I was¬†simply excited to share with others what took me most of my adult life to learn.¬†It was crushing to not have¬†the support from people¬†I¬†truly believed¬†I could count on, but that didn’t stop me. I AM MOTIVATED¬†to do what I do. I “liven up” myself daily and am constantly reminded of my purpose. I wake up every day determined to learn something new that I can share with those who wish to receive it. As someone¬†reminded me¬†in one of my Periscope sessions, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Powerful.

I teach Financial Literacy to our youth. I teach¬†Financial Literacy¬†to adults…. And you know the beauty of it all? THEY GET ME. The ability to connect to people no matter where they are on their financial journey is motivation for¬†me.

Motivation comes from knowing you’re on the right track. Motivation comes from knowing what you are doing is positive. Motivation comes from¬†the excitement¬†of seeing your purpose manifesting itself. Walking in¬†my purpose¬†is enough to keep¬†me going.

So stop seeking validation from others. Stop¬†waiting¬†for someone to pat you on the back and¬†tell you¬†“Good Job,” or “Well Done.” Never mind what others are saying…

You’re too busy being great.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

 

 

5 DAILY HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

success_key

Ever wanted to know how successful people spend their time? Here are a few of their habits:

 

1.¬†WAKE EARLIER THAN MOST: Successful people get a head start on their day.¬†74 year old Earnestine Shepherd,¬†Guinness Book of World Record’s oldest female body builder,¬†wakes up every morning at 2:30am, eats 10 egg whites, drinks 16oz of water then proceeds on her morning 10mile¬†jog. Research shows that the brain is at its sharpest 2 1/2 to 4 hours after waking.¬†Rising¬†as early as 4:30am,¬†some may hit the gym, go for a run, engage in yoga/meditation or simply read the morning paper while enjoying a cup of coffee to jumpstart the day.

 

2. PLAN THEIR DAY: Successful people never attack their day without a plan. They write “to do” lists and prioritize them. Steve Jobs said in his commencement address at Stanford in 2005 that he spent 33 years asking the same question every morning; ‚ÄúIf today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?‚ÄĚ
There’s no need for busyness every second of every day in the grand scheme of things, however by prioritizing what is important, the result is a higher level of productivity. The most powerful man in the free world, President Barack Obama despite his schedule, makes time to sit down¬†for dinner with his family as well¬†orchestrate “date nights” with First Lady Michelle.
 
3. WORK HARD.. BUT PLAY HARDER: Successful people work hard and play harder. Traveling and/or pursuing hobbies is a way some reward themselves for their hard work. Saint Tropez, Anguilla, Bora Bora, Aspen, Maui, Lake Como, and Mallorca are vacation hot spots for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Richard Branson, Michael Jordan, Uma Thurman, Quincy Jones and Paul McCartney to name a few. Former President George W. Bush enjoys painting, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and David Beckham enjoy fencing as a hobby, while Rod Stewart enjoys his model trains and railroads, Susan Sarandon enjoys ping pong, and although strange to some, Angelina Jolie enjoys collecting daggers.
 
4. ARE DEVOTED TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Successful people believe in continuous personal development. This could mean furthering education or knowledge base by pursuing advanced degrees, extensive reading, attending lecture events etc. To increase their net worth they must increase their personal worth. Warren Buffett spends 80% of his day reading.
 
5. GIVE BACK: Successful people “give back.” There’s no better feeling of celebrating success and wealth than by giving back to others. This could be through the giving of time and/or philanthropic endeavors.¬†For example, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s College-Ready Education program aims to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college, and¬†their Postsecondary Success program aims to dramatically increase the number of young people who obtain a postsecondary degree or certificate with labor-market value.¬†I myself intend to¬†award¬†laptop computers this school year to¬†TWO STUDENTS through the Black Former Student Network (BFSN) of my Alma Mater, Texas A&M University.¬†It always FEELS GOOD to give. I give not for recognition and praise but because¬†I have been blessed to do so.¬†I find it unnecessary to list my every¬†act of kindness, because it’s personal in¬†many cases. Plus what I do to “give back” to others is between me and the God I serve.¬†In his book “Wealthy Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,”¬†author Tom Corley¬†discovered 73% of wealthy people volunteer¬†to various organizations, charities and/or foundations five¬†or more hours each month.

 

DO YOU posses any, some or ALL of these habits? If so, welcome to the “Successful Persons” club. Keep up the good work. We’re expecting great things from you.
~The Financial Hack (2015)

EACH ONE TEACH ONE MOMENT: THE IMPORTANCE OF TEAMWORK

With me trying to adjust to this new “work schedule” of mine, I had no intention of actually writing any posts this week, but I felt compelled to do so today… This will be one of my “Each One Teach One” postings, and I’ll use football, (yep football) as an example. Now c’mon. Did you expect anything different?

I wrote a few weeks ago about Madden Mobile, a FREE mobile app in a previous posting. Feel free to read about it here:

https://thefinancialhack.com/2015/10/06/tip-tuesday-an-altnative-to-madden-16/

Now some of you may be thinking: Why on earth is a forty-something year old female wasting her time playing video games? I don’t consider myself a “gamer,” but I do play video games to decompress and unwind. And, also because they’re fun, but I digress. What does Madden Mobile have to do with teamwork? Allow me to extrapolate (Oooo an SAT word, lol).

One great aspect about Madden Mobile, is you can connect with people across the country by joining a league. You can request to join a league, a league can scout you (as in my case,) or you can even start your own. Still, what does that have to do with teamwork you may be asking… EVERYTHING!!! I could have continued to play alone but there are advantages to playing in a league. Comradery is what I enjoy the most. You can chat with other league members and/or give the team encouragement via the league chat board. We played rival teams, and we played each other for fun. We were a team… or so I thought.  Our teamwork photo at the moment looks something like this:

teamwork_417525

WHY? EVERY MEMBER IS NOT HOLDING THEIR WEIGHT…

All this time I’ve been playing with this particular league, I thought we were all working together, winning as a team, and for a time, it felt as though we were a team… Until we started losing. Once we started losing, it seems as though collectively, “the team” had completely given up on the vision. The vision to win.

Playing football is similar to playing chess. The object is to win obviously, however, there is an objective even greater than the win itself: Outsmarting your opponent by anticipating their next play and stopping them from advancing. In Madden, I get more of a rush from outsmarting my opponents by switching up plays than scoring actual touchdowns.

Football requires TEAMWORK for a reason. Where one team member may be weak in a particular area, another team member may be stronger and can pick up the slack. In a case where it’s obvious your team might lose, YOU DON’T GIVE UP. THAT’S WHEN YOU COME TOGETHER AS A TEAM AND FIGHT HARDER!!! And you fight until the clock says zero. You don’t stop playing with 4:52 seconds left in the 3rd quarter because the score is 35-0. You use that deficit as your motivation to try harder. It upsets me when I see people giving up because they’re losing. That’s life. Don’t get mad, pick up your marbles and go home because you’re not winning. KEEP PLAYING! It can only develop you and make you better. And if you lose, the next time you face an opponent, you’ll be ready. Don’t doubt yourself and turn away because you’re facing an opponent you DON’T BELIEVE you can defeat. You won’t know until you try. I can’t tell you how many opponents on the field/obstacles in life I thought would get the best of me, but I refused to give up.  When you give up, not only are you disappointed in yourself because you’re losing/lost, but you’ve disappointed those teammates/the people that believed in the vision, the win, and refused to give up in spite of an anticipated loss. I have more respect for a fellow team member who tried but didn’t score, than a person who quit before the game/fight was over. This could be the fight to win in your finances, marriage/relationships, the workplace, your organization, or even in your church. As a team, in order to claim victory, you must work together and never give up!

If a team worked together as one single solitary unit as opposed to the “every man for himself” attitude, just imagine what could be accomplished. Your teamwork photo would probably look more like this:

teamwork

…. AND EVERYONE WINS!!!

Remember, “There is no “I” in team.”

That cliche’ will NEVER get old… At least not to me.

~The Financial Hack ©2015