Two Books That Will Change Your Life

I posted this in a Facebook group we run that has a lot of entrepreneurs in it. What I’m about to suggest though will not just change the game for entrepreneurs, but for everyone! These two books are absolute MUSTS if you’re wanting to level up in life. I’m going to tell you three stories about the first one.

the slight edge jeff olsonSTORY #1: My friend Ricky Carruth and I were out to lunch and we were rehashing his success in real estate and business. He was sharing with me how he made a million dollars in commissions from real estate then lost it all in the market crash and became homeless.

The only thing he had to his name was his phone bill. It took him just over a year to start crushing it again. I asked him what he did in that year after the crash that helped him come back bigger than before and he said he read over 100 books. When I asked for the top book he’d recommend to someone, regardless of the industry they are in, he said he only read one of those books twice and that book is The Slight Edge. Ricky now has multiple million dollar streams of income.

STORY #2: Leah Frazier and I met during a law school study abroad program in Paris and kept in touch over the years. Like me, she left the practice of law to pursue something she was more passionate about. She is now in the fashion industry.  To create an additional stream of income Leah joined us in our former company and during that time I sent her The Slight Edge. About six months later I saw her interviewing professional atrhletes, judging big time fashion shows, modeling at fashion shows, and get this… DOING TED TALKS! I had to call her and find out what propelled her to the next level this fast. Her response was, “James, it’s that book you gave me. I now give it to all my clients.”

STORY #3: Long story short… within 6 months of reading it my business’ income more than tripled.

The Slight Edge will rewire your brain and you will analyze EVERY second of your day and how you’re spending it. It EXPLODED my business and has helped me to become more productive than I’ve ever been.

atomic habits james clearHere’s the second book: Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits is INCREDIBLE and is the best follow up book to The Slight Edge that I have found. In fact, one of my mentors and friends recommends it to his team as The Slight Edge follow up book. I recently listened to it on Audible on my flight to Dallas and back last week. I had the same “rewiring” feeling I had when reading The Slight Edge.

I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you read these two books ASAP so you become more productive and live life more intentional. These books will positively impact every area of your life.

P.S. If you don’t have Audible, if you use this gift link you will get:

  • An unmatched selection of audiobooks performed by world-class talent.
  • 3 titles for each month of their gift membership: 1 audiobook + 2 Audible Originals.
  • 30% off any additional audiobooks.
  • Anywhere, anytime listening with the free Audible app.
  • Free and easy audiobook exchanges.
  • An Audible book library they’ll own forever.

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*Some of the suggested products on this page are linked to Amazon. Occasionally Amazon rewards those who refer their products. It's important to note though that this doesn't not in any way affect the price you pay. Amazon either keeps those referral fees or they reward them to the referer. It's built in to the price of the products. 🙂

5 Quick & Easy Ways To Increase Your Cashflow

After hitting rock bottom with well over $200,000 in student loan and credit card debt, I was forced to find ways to start the my climb out of that situation. While the tips below can be a great start, you still need DISCIPLINE. If I help you save money, but you use the money you’re saving to spend it on an unnecessary expense on something else, then did you really save money? No, you didn’t and unfortunately that’s what most people do. Don’t be like most people. Use the money I help you save to eliminate more interest incurring debts until they’re all eliminated to gain financial freedom. Below are some “baby steps,” but they’re great starting points nonetheless.

If you want some great money saving/earning tips and you’re not already in our Money Makeover Facebook group come join us by clicking the button below.

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Here are the 5 quick and easy ways to increase your cashflow:

1. SlingTV 

slingtv sling tv

SlingTV was by far one of the biggest money saving tips I ever received. At the time I made the switch to SlingTV my cable bill was around $160! That’s $1,920 a year! Take your cable bill and multiply it by 12 and see how much you spend on cable. WARNING: it may make you sick to your stomach. A co-worker told me about it and I thought, “for $25 there’s no way it’s as good as he’s saying.” I was wrong. It’s that good. For $25 you get a ton of channels and everything is a la carte too. So if you want every sports channel it’s just $15 more dollars for all of them.

Here’s the best part… you can cancel or pause your subscription at any time! That’s right! If you only want the sports channels during football season then you can take that portion off from January to September. You can even pause your entire subscription indefinitely. No contracts, no cancellation fees, no nothing like that. Try it for Free! You’ll love SlingTV and you’ll love what it does for your bank account too. I’m going to do you an even bigger favor. Here’s a link for a discount on your first month after your free trial ends: $15 off your first 3 months! You can stream it through many different devices. The one we use is the Amazon Firestick.
sling tv channels

2. HD Antenna

4k hd antennaNo, I’m not talking about your old school rabbit ears. I’m talking about something nearly as flat as a piece of loose-leaf paper. These HD antennas can pick up signals from hundreds of miles away! I can’t tell you how many of my friends have come over to watch a football game without having any clue it was coming through an antenna and commented about how clear the picture is. They’re shocked every time I tell them it’s an antenna.

You can Google “Local HD Antenna Channels” and go to a multitude of sites that not only show the networks available in your area, but also which channel they are and you can see the maps of where the network broadcast antennas are in relation to your zip code. It’ll tell you how many miles away each antenna is so you can purchase your HD antenna based of that distance. Here’s a great one to use that can pick up signal up to 120 miles away: Carbon Fiber HD Antenna

3. Dosh

Dosh was one of those things I was skeptical of and I’m glad I didn’t let me skepticism turn into cynicism.
dosh appDosh is the real deal! Unlike other apps like Fetch Rewards, Ebates, and Ibotta there are no receipts to mail in, nothing to record, no website to order through, etc. With Dosh you simply download the app, link the card(s) you shop with, and go on about your business. Immediately upon purchasing at a qualified merchant you’ll have “Dosh cash” (which is just their term for cash) deposited into your account. What else is great is you get paid for referrals. When you refer a friend Dosh rewards you for that. In just over a year we earned nearly $1,000 for making our normal purchases and referring our friends.

dosh app

4. Good Rx

I found out about GoodRx after I got an eye infection. The eye doctor told me to check it out after she told me that the steroid drops are usually pretty expensive. I was AMAZED at how easy it is. All I had to do was go to GoodRx.com, search the prescription, and then it listed every nearby pharmacy and the price the prescription was at each one. Then I just showed the coupon price to the pharmacy and that was it! The steroid drops that were normally over $100 I was able to get for $36! That’s a lot of savings!!!

good rx

5. Medi-share

medishare

The number one thing that concerned me when I was making the decision to leave practicing law was being able to pay for health insurance. All of the premium plans I found ranged from $950-$1,400 a month even with a sizable deductible! I voiced those concerns to a friend of mine and he shared Medi-Share with me (part of the Christian Care Ministry). I couldn’t believe the options available! For my wife, children, and myself our monthly payment is $226! Now, I will tell you that our deductible (“annual household portion” as they call it) is $10,000. Sounds high, but let’s do the math. Let’s say I chose health insurance with Blue Cross for $1,200 a month. That’s $14,400 a year whether we file a claim or not! Then you have a around a $2,000 or more deductible before Blue Cross would pay anything. So that’s $16,400 if you file a claim for a covered expense. With Medi-Share we would pay at most $2,712 in premiums per year. If we had a claim over $10,000 then that plus the $2,712 would amount to $12,712 for that year. So here’s how the math shakes out: Medi-Share would more than pay for itself in the first year you have it in this situation. In fact, you’d pocket $1,688. If you didn’t have to file a claim that year and for each year you don’t then you’re saving $11,688 per year! WOW! Talk about a pay raise! Here’s another cool part… when you refer a friend to Medi-Share they pay you $100! We have referred 9 people so far and that has given us another $900 that we didn’t have before. If you referred someone to Blue Cross you wouldn’t even get a “thank you.” CLICK HERE FOR INFO

For added value, I routinely post helpful savings and earnings information in a private Facebook Group so make sure to click ADD ME or click the button below. I also have some really great videos on saving money and getting out of debt on YouTube as well.

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*Some of the suggested products on this page are linked to Amazon. Occasionally Amazon rewards those who refer their products. It's important to note though that this doesn't not in any way affect the price you pay. Amazon either keeps those referral fees or they reward them to the referer. It's built in to the price of the products. 🙂

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6 Quick & Easy Homemade Cleaner Tips To Save You Money

6 Quick & Easy Homemade Cleaner Tips

1. USE APPS TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE

There’s SO MUCH bad stuff out there that it’s hard to tell what’s good and what’s harmful or unnecessary, especially with “greenwashing” being so prevalent. Companies are constantly trying to trick us by renaming chemicals and lobbying to have harmful chemicals categorized as “fragrance.”

If you are in our “Clean Healthy Family Hacks” Facebook group you have seen us talk about the “Think Dirty” app. It helps us avoid a lot of harmful products out there and it eventually lead to us making our own cleaning products. All you do is scan the barcode on the item or type in the product name and it’ll give you the rating for it, show you which chemicals are harmful in it, and you can see alternatives. Here’s what the app looks like:Think Dirty App

We also use another app. The Environmental Working Group’s app is pretty amazing as well. It allows you to have more than 78,000 personal care product safety profiles right from your phone. It works very similarly to Think Dirty’s app except it allows you to scan FOOD as well. That addition alone has helped us out a ton when choosing the best food products for our family outside of fruits and veggies. We get those from Misfits Market and if you want to check that out and get a big discount on your first order then you can use this code: COOKWME-SW2FUV. We LOVE saving on organic produce!

 

2. START WITH HAND SOAP

The safest way to stay toxin-free is to make your own cleaners. We use our hand soap more than any other cleaner in our home. So let’s start there. Just TWO ingredients and our soap is mixed! We like foaming hand soap so we bought foaming soap dispensers and put them in wide-mouth mason jars. We looked around a good bit to find the best deal on mason jars and Amazon had the best deal on them. We got our foaming soap dispensers and castile soap from Amazon as well.

PRO TIP: You can decorate your mason jars for the seasons and there are TONS of ideas on Pinterest.

THINGS YOU NEED:

  1. 1-2 tablespoons castile soap (choose a scent that you love – we like lavender!) 2 tablespoons for 8 ounces of water.
  2. Filtered tap water
  3. Wide-mouth Mason Jars
  4. Foaming dispensers for wide-mouth mason jars

HOW TO MIX:
Pour them both into a wide-mouth mason jar with foaming dispenser and mix well.

WHERE WE GET THEM:
Mason Jars – Amazon
Castile Soap – Amazon
Foaming Dispensers – Amazon

3. ALL PURPOSE SPRAY

The spray cleaner we use the most is our all-purpose spray and it’s super easy and super inexpensive to make too. When you compare the cost of this spray to any store bought all-purpose cleaner it’ll blow your mind how much you’ll be saving AND you are removing lots of harmful chemicals and toxins from your home at the same time.

It can be used almost anywhere EXCEPT on marble and granite because of the vinegar. We have another cleaner for that on the next page.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  1. 1 1/4 Cups Water
  2. ½ Cup White Vinegar
  3. 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (we use lemon & clove)

HOW TO MIX:
Pour it all into a GLASS spray bottle (you want to do that because of the oils).

WHERE WE GET THEM:
Glass Spray Bottles – Amazon
Lemon Essential Oil – Amazon
Clove Essential Oil – Amazon
White Vinegar – $1 Store or Wal-mart

4. MARBLE & GRANITE SPRAY

This is a super awesome and very simple mix to make. When we started using this mix we were shocked at how clean our granite counter tops turned out! Also, If you haven’t noticed yet, castile soap is dabomb.com. We use it a ton!

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  1. 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 1 teaspoon castile soap (citrus scented castile soap is great for this)

HOW TO MIX:
Pour it all into a GLASS spray bottle.

WHERE WE GET THEM:
Glass Spray Bottles – Amazon
Rubbing Alcohol – Any Dollar Store
Castile Soap – Amazon

5. GLASS & MIRROR SPRAY

Throw out the Windex and mix up this gem! I have NEVER liked the smell of Windex. Now you can scent your window cleaner with whichever oils you want. We use peppermint.

PRO TIP: You can dye your cleaners with food coloring. We recently decided to put a drop of blue food coloring in our window and glass cleaner to help distinguish it from the others. We recommend trying out a test spray on a paper towel first to make sure you don’t use too much dye.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  1. 1 1/2 cups water
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  4. 3 drops peppermint essential oil

HOW TO MIX:
Pour it all into a GLASS spray bottle (you want to do that because of the oil).

WHERE WE GET THEM:
Glass Spray Bottles – Amazon
Rubbing Alcohol – Any Dollar Store
Peppermint Essential Oil – Amazon
White Vinegar – $1 Store or Wal-mart

LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS TO STAY CLEAN?

Click the button below to join our “Clean Healthy Family Hacks” group. It’s 100% completely FREE to join! We regularly post helpful ways to save on every day expenses.

If you are looking for more ways to save money outside of just changing up your cleaners, we also have a FREE Money Makeover group that has saved family’s thousands of dollars. Click the button below to join! 🙂

Money Makeover Group

*Some of the suggested products on this page are linked to Amazon. Occasionally Amazon rewards those who refer their products. It's important to note though that this doesn't not in any way affect the price you pay. Amazon either keeps those referral fees or the reward them to the referer. It's built in to the price of the products. 🙂

3 Tips To Go Toxin-Free In The Laundry Room

3 Tips to go toxin free in the laundry room

There are many tips we can give you for the laundry room. Let’s start with dryer sheets. Believe it or not, dryer sheets are one of the most toxic things in your home! Just Google “dryer sheets toxic” and see what comes up in the search. It’s SCARY! You can get a taste of it by reading the list on the right and that list isn’t all inclusive.

We know what you’re probably already thinking… “but what am I going to do to make my clothes smell good and not have static?” We’ve got you covered below, but first check out these reasons why you need to stop using dryer sheets…

toxic-dryer-sheets

TIP #1 – SWITCH TO WOOL DRYER BALLS:

Molly's Sud's Dryer BallsWe use these wool dryer balls Not only do these little things help to dry your clothes, but they SAVE YOU MONEY!!! They can be used for 1,000 loads!!! If you price them compared to the toxic dryer sheets you’re getting twice as many loads for the same price. Here’s another cool tip… you can make them scented for each load. All you do is put a 2-3 drops of essential oils on 1 or 2 of the balls and rub them in with another ball so there’s no transfer of the oil to clothes. We use lavender for our sheets and lemon or lavender for our towels.

TIP #2 – DITCH THE TOXIC DETERGENTS:

Toxic Laundry Detergent

Molly's Suds detergent

The toxins used in every day detergent are SCARY. Having been enlightened to that it makes us feel sick thinking of how many years we washed our clothes with them. We continue to learn more and more about how bad  these chemicals are and the problems they’re causing. There’s a “laundry list” (pun intended) of issues stemming from toxic detergents. We found a non-toxic detergent that we LOVE and it’s very inexpensive. It’s not the only non-toxic detergent out there, but this one is #1 in our book and we love the story behind their product as well.

TIP #3 – USE DECHLORINATING TABLETS:

A couple years ago we noticed that our first two kiddos had some serious eczema issues going on mostly on their legs. We tried every type of lotion and dietary change we could and nothing worked too well.

VITAMIN C DECHLORINATING TABLETS

Not to be stumped, we continued to research ways to improve their condition and stumbled across an article about how the chlorine in the bath water can cause eczema among many other problems. So we found some Vitamin C dechlorinating tablets and tried them and they made a big difference!!!

These are super inexpensive and to save even more on these all we do is break them into quarters and that does the trick. So what does this have to do with the laundry? Well, unless you have a whole-house filter then the same water you use for the bath you use to wash clothes. Did you know chlorine from the washing machine water gets into your clothes? Imagine what that does to your skin and what you soak in and breathe in all day from wearing chlorine filled clothes.

LOOKING FOR MORE WAYS TO STAY CLEAN?

Click the button below to join our “Clean Healthy Family Hacks” group. It’s 100% completely FREE to join! We regularly post helpful ways to save on every day expenses.

If you are looking for more ways to save money outside of just changing up your cleaners, we also have a FREE Money Makeover group that has saved family’s thousands of dollars. Click the button below to join! 🙂

Money Makeover Group

*Some of the suggested products on this page are linked to Amazon. Occasionally Amazon rewards those who refer their products. It's important to note though that this doesn't not in any way affect the price you pay. Amazon either keeps those referral fees or the reward them to the referer. It's built in to the price of the products. 🙂

Why You Need A Shower Filter

Shower Filter

It’s nearly impossible to live a purely “clean” life when it comes to harmful chemicals and ingredients in your home or in your food. You CAN make positive changes and make better choices though and that’s what Mariah and I have been doing since we were married and especially since we have little ones. It’s important to never stop learning about what affects your health and about improving the safety of your loves ones. You may have seen last week on Facebook that we both chose a healthier and more natural option of deodorant and we LOVE it. One of the other changes was to purchse a water filter for our shower. After a lot of research I picked one that was reasonable in price, had the best consumer reviews, and filtered the most harmful chemicals. Here are a few reasons why you should use a shower filter immediately! Pay close attention to #4! Here’s the one we bought (click on the image to see all the stages of filtering it provides:

 

1. We May Absorb More Chlorine Through Showering than Through Drinking Water

It may seem counterintuitive, but showering in chlorinated water can lead to more chlorine absorption than drinking chlorinated water. This is because we typically shower at warm temperatures, which makes absorption easier and because this water is coming in contact with such a large area of the body. In fact, research shows that the chlorine in shower (or bath) water can easily enter the bloodstream as it has a low molecular weight and can easily pass into the body.

Chlorine can also interact with other matter in the water to form harmful byproducts like trihalomethanes (THMs). One of these trihalomethanes is chloroform. Thankfully, it isn’t found in high enough amounts in shower water to cause that severe of a problem, but it certainly isn’t good to come into contact with regularly.

Warm air and water also open lungs, making inhalation of these chemicals easier as well. In fact, a study found a higher than normal concentration of chloroform in the lungs of study participants after a warm shower.

Chemicals absorbed through the skin can enter the blood stream quickly and have a tremendous impact on the body. This is great when it comes to things like topical magnesium that we want to enter the body quickly and in large enough amounts, but not so good when it comes to harmful disinfectant byproducts. This study even showed a greater lifetime risk of cancer and other problems from bathing or showering in chlorinated water than from drinking it.

2. Shower Water Releases Chemicals into the Air in the Home

There are some obvious offenders of indoor air-pollution:

Scented candles release harmful fragrances and paraffin into the air and are a major source of indoor air pollution. Air fresheners and cleaning chemicals are also major offenders, but many of us don’t realize that shower water is also high-up on this list!

The heat of shower water can cause chemicals to vaporize and be released into the air at higher amounts than they are even present in the water itself. The EPA found significant and detectable levels of THMs and other byproducts in indoor air as a result of bath and shower water.

3. Chemicals in Shower Water may Cause Harm to the Skin Microbiome & Irritate Skin

As I already mentioned, the microbiome isn’t limited to the gut. While the importance of beneficial bacteria in the gut is becoming much more well known, there are lesser known “biomes” on the body, including the mouth and skin.

Logically, showering in a disinfecting agent like chlorine that is chemically tested to reduce bacteria in the water may have a tremendous impact on the skin biome. Many of the effects to the beneficial bacteria are not visible and many people don’t seem to have any noticeable affects, though some experience dry skin, eczema or irritation.

4. Chemicals Present in Shower Water are Linked to Cancer & other Health Problems

As a follow up to the first point, some of the chemicals present in the water supply have been linked to various types of cancers. These chemicals can be problematic enough when consumed in water but are even more harmful when inhaled or absorbed through skin. Chris Kresser explains:

“Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers. (4, 5, 6) THMs from chemically treated water have been associated with a variety of poor birth outcomes, such as spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and low birth weight. (7) Chlorine and chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract. (8) Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries.”

(9) and Food Renegade points out a more specific link between chlorine and breast cancer:

“Breast cancer, which now effects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue. A study carried out in Hartford Connecticut, the first of it’s kind in North America, found that, “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.””

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, but in this case, the evidence is strong enough to at least warrant caution and further study. At the very least, I find it worth taking precautions against easy-to-eliminate sources of chlorine exposure by using things like drinking water filters and shower filters.

5. Chloramines May be Even more Harmful than Chlorine

Another chemical often used in the water supply is chloramine, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. As you may imagine, it has its risks as well and may be even more irritating to the skin and lungs that just chlorine.

Unfortunately, many filters that remove chlorine do not easily remove chloramines, so it is important to research options and address both chemicals when considering shower filters.

Shower Filters: Bottom Line

Filtering shower water is one simple and relatively inexpensive step that can make a big difference in reducing chlorine and other chemical exposure in the home. Some people seem to be much more sensitive to chlorine and notice the effects more readily, but these chemicals affect all of us on a cellular level.

Using a simple shower filter or bath dechlorinator is an easy way to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals in bath and shower water.

*By clicking the links above and purchasing from Amazon, we earn a very small percentage for the referral. It's no additional cost to you. The price will be the same. Amazon pays us as a 'thank you' for sending people their way.

Smonday

Monday Morning

Over 23,000 people will die of a heart attack today and many already died at 9:00 a.m. Why? Stress. Why are they stressed so much on a Monday morning? That’s when they start their workweek. Why is their job stressful? They don’t enjoy it? Why don’t they enjoy it? It could be for a number of reasons… terrible boss, they don’t like their co-workers, it keeps them away from their family, but the #1 reason is because it’s not what they are supposed to be doing! They were meant for something else. God didn’t put you here on earth to be miserable ! He has you here for a purpose and when you are living out your purpose with passion you’re not going to be stressed! You’re going to be happy ; thus reducing the risk of a Monday morning heart attack! BEST NEWS of the day is that you have a choice!!!! You get to choose where you work and who you work with. No one is forcing you to work at your current job or business! You get to choose that. So if you’re not happy where you are at, change it!