Tag Archives: The Goal Patrol

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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MOTIVATION MONDAY: Take time for self

The lagoon at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve was absolutely stunning! Photo Cred: The Financial Hack
Recently, I took a much needed vacation after a grueling semester of what seemed to be endless reading, weekly assignment deadlines, quizzes and exams. One would think returning to school 14 years after receiving an MBA would be a piece of cake but a piece of cake it was not. I was overwhelmed in the beginning but gradually fell into a pattern of keeping my schedule eventually devoting the majority of my weekends to study. Returning to school was a huge sacrifice for me, but one well worth it in the end.

 

I decided months prior, I would travel somewhere, anywhere, because my birthday coincided with the end of the semester and what better way to celebrate Phase 1 of my Accredited Financial Counselor Certification and my birthday than taking a trip. I decided on the Dominican Republic. The history is rich and the beaches are beautiful. What was significant about this trip was I traveled alone, and in doing so, I had time to think, to ponder my life, its direction and my purpose. I can’t do that in the city. Too much “white noise.” The irony of it all was I had to travel out of the country to “find myself.” I know. It sounds cheesy and so cliche’, but it’s the truth.

Look at that smile! Don’t I look happy?
Spending time alone while away allowed me to look deep within. I discovered what I want in life, what truly makes me happy, and the stillness provided much needed direction. Not that I hadn’t pondered these things before, but there’s a certain comfort that comes with walking alone on the beach, the sand between your toes, the crescendo of the breaking waves and the breeze gently caressing your cheek allowing your mind to expand and your thoughts to flow freely. It seemed to be an epiphany, the “Ahh Ha” moment Oprah Winfrey makes mention of. Suddenly everything became clear to me. And then all was calm. I’m confident I returned from my trip not a “different” person, but a “better” person, if that makes any sense.

Obviously, it isn’t necessary to travel out of the country to take time for self, so until you’re in a position to do so, here are a few suggestions that may help:

  1. Consider a “staycay.” Tell your husband/wife (s)he’s on “Mommy/Daddy Duty” for the weekend/day/night or drop the kids off with your mother/mother-in-law and run away from home. Check into a nice local hotel for the weekend in your city or if possible, opt for a change of scenery by driving to a neighboring city. Austin, TX is my “go to” city. No television, no phone. Just you (and room service if possible.)
  2. Create a space in your home free from all distractions. This could be a closet or a small room in your home. Create a tranquil environment with candles and the soothing sounds of soundgarden/spa music. Draw the blinds, close the door, relax, free your mind and find your center.
  3. Meditation/Yoga. I’ve always admired how people are able to close their eyes and block out everything, no matter where they are. It takes serious concentration and mental ability. Yoga is also a great way to a healthy mind, body and spirit.
  4. Appreciate beauty. When was the last time you visited your local arboretum or took a long stroll around the park? Consider a hike at your local reserve. The beauty and appreciation of nature can have extensive healing powers.

Employing some or all of these tips can help you relax, re-center, and recharge. Each requires very little effort or money and is worth your peace of mind. And trust me, when you have peace of mind, you’re free.

~Andrea Coleman (The Financial Hack) ©2016

Follow me on Twitter @IAmCoachAndrea

 

 

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

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

 

 

LET’S TALK THE “B” WORD… BUDGETING!

budget

Oh no… The dreaded “B” word. BUDGETING. Some people¬†are offended by it. For others, it comes naturally like eating and sleeping or walking and talking. There was once a time, well a few times actually, when¬†you would never hear me utter the words,¬†“That’s not in the budget,”¬†but I find myself saying it quite often now and for good cause. Here are a few reasons why¬†incorporating the “B” word into your daily lexicon¬†isn’t such a bad thing after all.

  1. BUDGETING HELPS YOU¬†ESTABLISH CLEAR¬†GOALS: Is it your goal to start paying off¬†financial debt? Is it to start your own business? What about a vacation in Belize this year? How about establishing an emergency fund or as I like to call it, a “shit happens account?”¬†Do you plan to¬†invest more this year?¬† What about saving for your child’s college education, or perhaps saving for a down payment on a home? Budgeting makes these goals possible.
  2. BUDGETING GIVES EVERY DOLLAR A PURPOSE: By budgeting, you tell each dollar where to go, therefore giving you control over your money. There’s no guessing how much money you can save this¬†month or how much you can save from this pay check, that sale, etc. IT’S RIGHT THERE ON PAPER… AND IT’S DONE EACH MONTH. Budgeting keeps you on task.¬†Think of it as a¬†map to your financial freedom.¬†That’s¬†part of the¬†purpose right? You can’t reach an unknown destination without following a map or guide to point you and keep you moving in the right direction.
  3. BUDGETING HELPS¬†BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS REGARDING MONEY: Spouses and partners who budget may feel more as equals in the relationship as opposed to one person being responsible for how the monthly income is spent.¬†THE COUPLE THAT BUDGETS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER.¬†Keep in mind the¬†majority of¬†marriages/partnerships end not because of infidelity, but because of¬†money issues.¬†Having a monthly “sit down”¬†to discuss¬†your finances is a good way to keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Not only can this method be beneficial to spouses/partners, but to parents and their children. Allow your child(ren) to have some input¬†regarding the monthly budget (although they don’t of course get the final say.) By doing so, you are teaching them financial literacy at an early age and¬†allowing them some level of autonomy regarding the household finances at the same time.
  4. BUDGETING HELPS IDENTIFY “TROUBLE” AREAS AND/OR BLINDSPOTS: Perhaps you’re spending too much money on entertainment or realize you have more discretionary income than you thought you did. Perhaps after reviewing your budget from last month, you’re not saving enough money to reach a financial goal. Budgeting can easily help you identify those trouble areas/blindspots so you can make any necessary adjustments.
  5. BUDGETING HELPS YOU FORM HEALTHY HABITS IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE: Once you get into the habit of budgeting your money¬†each¬†month,¬†other habits will begin to form as well. Perhaps you weren’t very organized until you started¬†budgeting monthly. Now that you are,¬†you may begin to notice yourself writing “To Do” lists, decluttering and organizing your¬†space therefore¬†decluttering your life. You may notice a shift in your mindset where subjects or topics that were once important to you, no longer hold its value in your thought process. You may even find yourself¬†spending less time with¬†friends/acquaintances you once had. Budgeting can manifest itself in the form of “reprogramming” the mind. I may be “reaching” here for some, but in the grand scheme of things for those who have experienced a change in your “financial mindset,” you may or have¬†experienced this change in mindset¬†and can truly relate. Change is good.
Keep in mind, for your budget to work, you’ve got to put it to work. It won’t be easy in the beginning, but stick to it. Stay the course. Some behaviors will have to be learned, others, unlearned and in some cases, totally forgotten. To create a budget and not follow it through is surely a lesson in futility, but I know that’s not you. NO WAY! You haven’t come this far to stop and turn around. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
Click on the “Worksheets” tab of my website to download the Monthly Cash Flow/Zero-Based Budget Worksheets to get you started, or you can click the link below.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)

5 DAILY HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

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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)

CONFESSIONS OF A GOALDigger Pt. 1

  
Circa 2013: My FIRST 1/2 Marathon Race Medal from the DRC Half (Nov 2013). This medal was 13 HALF marathons and one FULL marathon ago. It all ended in May 2015 after a visit from a sports doctor revealed I had CMP (Chondromalacia Patella) which simply means over my 20+ years of constant exercise and 18months of marathon running, I managed to wear down the cartilage in both knees (mostly my right knee) causing excruciating pain if overused. Anti-inflammatory medication is necessary and can takes weeks to heal. I retired my running shoes three days before my 44th birthday.

******

I was depressed for a couple of months knowing that which I had grown to love, I could no longer do. The air in my lungs on those cold morning runs alone. My thoughts free floating and as light as my stride. Yep. Those days are gone, but the memories remain. I accomplished some tremendous goals while running although I didn’t accomplish them all. One goal I set was to run a half marathon in all 50 states. At the time of my retirement, I had only run in three (TX, OK, IL) however all three were in an 18 month period. Wow. I accumulated all those medals in a year and a half! One of my BIGGEST accomplishments as a runner was running a full marathon (26.2mi) within 6mos of beginning my running career. That was a goal I set for myself. I ran two 5K races four half marathon races and went straight for a full marathon. Some asked me how did I do it when some people train for months at a time. I just knew I could do it. The race itself took me 5 hours to complete, but making good time was not my goal. FINISHING was. Running pushed me to set and achieve goals I never thought I would or could do. This spoke volumes in my life then and now. I can do what I set my mind to… AND YOU CAN TOO! I may not be an active runner anymore, but running will always be in me and a part of me.

 ~The Financial Hack ¬©2015

ALL THAT… FOR NOTHING

overthinker

Sometimes I have a tendency to “overthink.” Overthinkers tend to create problems that don’t exist which at times can cause undue stress, strain and anxiety on oneself. This can be manifested in your behavior or in some cases, your body. If you’re in tune with your body, you know when it’s in distress. Let me explain further.

After last night’s Periscope Session ended (Knowing Where Your Money Is Going,) my lower back IMMEDIATELY began aching. It wasn’t that rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, pinch nerve kind of pain, but that “you’re stressing yourself out and this is ONE way I’m going to show you” kind.  I knew where the stress was coming from however, I didn’t immediately address it. I was so drained. I was bothered. I felt defeated. I didn’t even call Mista to say goodnight as we normally do. I sent a text instead. I just wanted to crash out. The problem is, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up the first time. It was almost 2am. I hadn’t been asleep three hours. The second time? UGH OH! Here comes the anxiety. I knew it because an hour later, I woke up in a state of panic. I hadn’t had one of those episodes since my “drowning in debt days,” but somehow I managed to fall asleep once again. My alarm went off at 5am. I tried to lift my head and it felt like a ton of bricks. “Please no,” I said as the pain pulsated from temple to temple. A sinus headache? How can this be when my humidifier is right next to the bed?

I knew what this was all about. As I lay there, I began thinking (because I do that sometimes,) “Why are you stressing about the scope session?” The “Overthinking Perfectionist” in me  didn’t believe the Scope Session went well. Why some of you may ask? I wasn’t getting the positive feedback I normally receive. If you are familiar with Periscope, you know giving “hearts” lets the “Scoper” know someone agrees with what you are saying or likes what you have to say, or likes you period. In a nutshell, hearts can be used to measure a person’s “likeability.” Likeability? What the hell? I’m not on Periscope for followers to “like” me per se. Don’t misunderstand me. Likeability certainly helps. My goal however, is to present information that I pray other people can take, use and benefit from. Perhaps, I stepped on some toes last night, or maybe, just maybe, those that were tuned in were actually LISTENING to what I was saying.

Usually, I will rewatch my Scope Session before bed and critique my presentation, but I didn’t do that last night. I had already made up in my mind the presentation was “craptastic” therefore resulting in a “craptastic” Scope Session. 

What a “craptastic” way of thinking.

Self-talk is so important. It can make or break you. When you are confident in your abilities, you have to trust and believe in them regardless of the feedback you may or may not receive from others. Simply put, had I watched my scope session as I normally do, I’m positive I wouldn’t have awakened this morning feeling like I wrestled with a grizzly bear in my sleep.  

I’ve always said over the years no matter what I was engaged in be it my “marathoning” days, making people laugh on YouTube, teaching my students, or giving back to the community, “If I can touch the life of ONE person, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”

This morning, as I scrolled through my Twitter mentions (I like to go back and individually thank those who share my Scope Sessions,) one person I thanked in particular said, and I quote, “I am loving your work. So many people need this.”

There it is… The affirmation from God that confirmed what I already knew. I did what I was supposed to do. 

To you Shawn S…. Thank you.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

TO WATCH LAST NIGHT’S PERISCOPE SESSION CLICK HERE:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aVwDxDFheWpWWUFkcExLcHJ8MWxER0xZYXpuUnpKbaAmVbLid6XwrHJHRInjOIrrzOmAtfcLil5XptfvwXew

 

 

2016 IS HERE: THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

  
January 1st. The start of a new year. A new beginning. 2015 is in the past. Blah blah blah. You’ve heard it. I certainly have, and now that we’ve had our New Year 2016 pep talk, IT’S TIME TO GET TO WORK!

THOU SHALT NOT WASTETH TIMETH!!!

In the “Financial Fitness Boot Camp” postings on my website as well as in our Periscope chats, I’ve stressed the importance of financial independence and freedom. It is my prayer that those that are “in this to win this” will fully commit to their financial journey and not just “come along for the ride.” Achieving and maintaining financial independence is an ongoing process. You’ll hear the “F” word… A LOT. FINANCES is the purpose of this entire blog. I’ve actually dropped FIVE “F” bombs already. You’ll hear the “D” word just as much. DISCIPLINE is not to be taken with a grain of salt…Not with what we (yes WE), are about to do. To obtain and maintain financial independence (there’s the “F” word again) and peace, discipline has to be a part of the equation. When I speak of discipline, I’m not just speaking of financial discipline, (well mostly I am), but discipline in ALL areas of your life. Discipline can be incorporated into your daily routine. Forming habits such as becoming more productive, exercising daily, becoming better organized or using your time wisely to name a few, can be attributed to employing discipline.

You’ll hear me say the “P”  word too. PLANNING of course. How can you execute any project without a plan? Simple tasks require planning. Maybe not sophisticated planning, but planning to some extent is still needed nonetheless. Reaching financial independence requires a plan… A BIG PLAN! And let’s certainly not forget the “B” and “S” words. That’s right, BUDGETING and SAVING. Those are the “Queen Mothers” of words that not too many people like to hear when it comes to their finances which may be in shambles. The truth HURTS.

Now that your finances have been “verbally assaulted,” Welcome to Financial Fitness Boot Camp.

So you see, the purpose of this blog really wasn’t to give you an overview of what to expect in the weeks, months or possibly years to come. You can peruse the website for that. This blog posting served the following purpose:

FINANCE (MONEY): In relation to THIS BLOG POSTING, time is money. My money. Point blank period.

DISCIPLINE: Writing this blog posting on New Year’s Day even though there are a million other things I could be doing instead? That’s discipline. Enough said.

PLANNING: Although I didn’t know exactly what I would say or how I would say it because I like to freestyle and let the thoughts come to me as they flow oh so eloquently while I speak poetically as my fingertips tickle the keyboard…. (insert chuckle here), this was a planned post.

BUDGETING AND SAVING: I had to “budget” my time in NOT being so long-winded which I have a tendency to do and “saving” some of my “financial rhetoric” for future posts.

As you can see, I love using analogies when writing. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2015