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Monday Motivational Shorts… “Make Time”

Charles-Buxton-Quote-You-will-never-find-time-for-anything-If-you
When I share an incredible opportunity with people the most common objection I hear is, “I don’t have time.” I said the same thing when someone introduced the same opportunity to me 3 1/2 years ago. At that point in my life I was working 18 hours a day (4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). I “didn’t have time” for anything else. The truth is, you’ll never “find” time to do anything, but you can always “make” time for things that matter. People make time to watch their favorite t.v. shows, they make time to go out with friends, they make time to go get a few drinks, they make time to fool around on social media for hours throughout the day, etc. There are 24 hours in the day. You’re sleeping only 6-8 of them. Make the time to do things that matter. If I didn’t make time to do things that mattered 3 1/2 years ago then our family would be burdened with daycare costs, hardly ever get to see our child, we would have an unreal amount of debt, and be living with financial stress month after month. I know that life sounds familiar to the majority of Americans and may even be considered “normal” by today’s standards. Instead, my wife has the opportunity to raise our child, we’ve eliminated over $170,000 of debt, and we don’t stress when the bills come around every month or when we have a “surprise cost” when something breaks. Our goal is to make the “normal” type of life a rarity or non-existent for as many people as possible. ‪#‎thankyouadvocare‬ ‪#‎whowantstobenormal‬ ‪#‎maketime‬

24 hours in a day make time

If Nothing Changes…

If nothing changes nothing changes

Have you ever noticed people (family, friends, co-workers) complain about their circumstances, but they keep living the same old routine day after day? They don’t change anything. They wake up, go to work, come home, eat, watch T.V., go to bed, etc. in hopes that someday and somehow their life will just get better. I have news for those people… it won’t. The hard truth is… if nothing changes then nothing changes.

Are you one of those people stuck in the hamster wheel of life? The never ending rut where you find yourself constantly saying “next month we’ll be doing better” and then something else comes up?

Ask yourself this question… are you okay if nothing changes?

Are you okay if nothing changes?

If you answered “yes” to that question then ask yourself the following…

If you lost your job, would you still be okay? If not, wouldn’t you think it would be wise to have a “Plan B” income even to give you peace of mind?

Is your marriage the best it can be? Are you the best spouse you can be? If not, why don’t you look into ways to improve your marriage? (Marriage conferences, read books on marriage – “The 5 Love Languages” would be a good start, or hang out with couples who’s marriage you would like to emulate)

Are you the best parent you can be for your children? Children spell “love” T-I-M-E. Do you give them enough of it or just what’s left over at the end of the day?

richard branson if someone offers you an amazing opportunityFor things to change, you must change. Nothing is going to change by you “going through the motions” day in and day out. I know because I lived that life. At 32 years of age I was working 18 hours a day trading hours for dollars because there was always too much month at the end of the money. My student loan payments were crippling. Instead of hoping that the government would come to my rescue and bail me out by forgiving my loans, I took personal responsibility for making the choice to borrow the money in the first place, which meant I had to work a second job. Then I lived that 18 hour a day life for years until my friend introduced me to AdvoCare. In the past 3 1/2 years, AdvoCare has helped us eliminate a personal loan, three student loans, and five nearly maxed out credit cards. It’s given us the option to allow my wife to stay home and raise our children. It allows us to have more money to give to causes dear to our heart. It gives us peace of mind that we never even dreamed of until we were surrounded by the culture and the people involved with AdvoCare.

If you don’t have a plan to give you more time with your family, eliminate your debt, or a Plan B income to take care of your family if you lose your job then it’s time to make some changes. If not AdvoCare then what’s your plan? If not AdvoCare then that’s okay… just do SOMETHING to better your situation.

 

 

Killing Sacred Cows – Myth #1 (The Finite Pie)

Killing Sacred Cows – Myth #1 (The Finite Pie)

killing sacred cows book overcoming the financial myths that are destroying your prosperity

In Garrett B. Gunderson’s book “Killing Sacred Cows – Overcoming The Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity”, he breaks the book down into 9 financial myths that are spread throughout our society and furthered by our schools, financial advisors, and our families and friends that cause us to believe that thinking outside the myths is “too good to be true” or at worse “risky.”

Myth #1 “The Finite Pie” explains the mindset that most people have regarding our resources among many other things. Gunderson explains how the majority of people operate under the idea that we have a finite number of resources as opposed to what we actually have, an infinite amount. The key objective in this chapter, at least as I see it, is to explain the difference between the “scarcity” and “abundance” mindset. I literally felt my paradigm shift while reading it. He lists 9 ways of thinking to help you determine if you possess a scarcity mindset.

Killing Sacred Cows Garrett B. Gunderson

To be honest, after doing some self evaluations when reading through these, I possess too many of them to feel comfortable leaving my mindset where it is. With the scarcity mindset, you believe that with every asset or opportunity that someone acquires, that it’s one lost for you. You can see how this mindset would breed jealousy and hatred for others and their good fortunes instead of being happy for others. Using that same mindset, you would hoard everything because one more asset or opportunity for you is one you haven’t lost to someone else. You begin to see everyone as a competitor and turn everything into a competition.

Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The main difference between scarcity and abundance is that scarcity is limited and abundance is limitless, as Gunderson describes. He makes an excellent point when he describes how valuing material things in themselves as opposed to their worth to others leads to the scarcity mindset and when you think like that then the only way to increase your wealth is to hoard things. With that same thought, losing things even in an agreeable trade would lead you to believe that you reduced your wealth. He claims that this type of thinking is illogical. The value is in the people… NOT the things.

More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has ever been taken from the earth." - Napolean Hill

“More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has ever been taken from the earth.” – Napolean Hill

He poses a great question in this chapter: “If I have a book and you have $20, and we mutually decide to exchange my book for your $20, what was the book worth to you? What was the book worth to me?”

Most people would answer that the book was worth $20 to both. As he explains, that is incorrect. “We only give up something in an exchange when we value what we’re receiving more than we value what we’re giving up.” Therefore, the book was worth less than $20 to me, and more than $20 to you. “The value is not in the things – it is in the minds of people.” Gunderson claims that when people understand this simple fact, then we begin to seek how we can add value to others’ lives.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others pericles

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles

My favorite point that Gunderson makes in this section is the difference between quality of life and quantity of stuff. He states that “Our quality of life is closely tied to our level of financial freedom.” He defines financial freedom as “the choice that money will no longer be the primary factor in our decision-making process.” He goes on to say that “this doesn’t mean that it’s not a factor – it’s just not the main factor.”

“People who are operating in abundance know that by serving the wants and needs of others, and thus creating happiness in the lives of others, they actually bring more happiness to themselves. The goal is to serve others, not to exploit or dominate them.”

Gunderson then lists several ways to know if you are of the “abundance mindset”:

Killing Sacred Cows - Abundance Mindset

So which mindset do you have? Do you have one of scarcity or abundance? If it’s one of scarcity, are you ready and willing to change?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Killing Sacred Cows Review (Possibly the best book I’ve ever read!)

killing sacred cows book overcoming the financial myths that are destroying your prosperity

I’m reading a book right now called “Killing Sacred Cows – Overcoming The Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity” and immediately upon finishing the Introduction to this book, I could tell that it was worth every cent I paid for it and more. In this book, Garrett B. Gunderson breaks down many financial myths that are spread throughout our society and furthered by our schools, financial advisors, and our families and friends that cause us to believe that thinking outside the myths is “too good to be true” or at worse “risky.” Gunderson lays out 9 common financial myths and destroys all of them. The crazy thing is, these are pretty common sense, but you would likely never think of them yourself. That is why we all need to read this book.

During my reading I thought, “EVERYONE needs to know this stuff!” So I decided to highlight a few notes from the book and portions I highlighted to share with everyone, but these are only SOME highlights I made. Before going any further, place your trust in me and order this book. It is absolutely incredible and game-changing. I have taken the steps to make it easier for you and included a link directly to it right below. I cannot say enough about how amazing it really is.:

Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

The Introduction: Gunderson states that the dictionary defines a “sacred cow” as an individual, organization, institution, teaching, or belief often considered exempt from criticism or questioning. He then relates it to the financial world claiming that its sacred cows “are the myths and traditions that distort our thinking about money, wealth, success, and prosperity.”

Throughout the introduction he poses many thought provoking questions including this one, “If only a minority of people are wealthy, why do we follow what the majority of people do financially?” When I read that, all I could think was “WOW! That’s a great question.” You always hear the majority of people putting their money in 401(k)s, putting it in a CD, some high yield savings account, etc. None of the people I know that do that are wealthy or seem to be on the track to becoming so. In fact, the people I know that are wealthy don’t do any of that. This question began to create a mind-shift for me.

This book, and particularly this section of it, is riddled with spectacular quotes. He helps the reader to see what true prosperity is and the cost of following a myth rather than our passion. He quotes John F. Kennedy saying, “There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” My favorite quote by far in this section is from Steve Farber, “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”

Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do

Gunderson challenges us to find our Soul Purpose, which is our way of adding value to the world and states that “if our new goal is to create value in the world, not simply build our net worth, then how we go about becoming prosperous changes forever.”

Albert Einstein albert einstein try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

Near the end of the Introduction to this book, Gunderson lays out some of the things you will learn by reading it including:

  • How the scarcity paradigm, which is at the root of so much common financial advice, limits our financial success
  • How the “accumulation theory” of wealth that most of us subscribe to destroys our potential
  • Why “investing” in the stock market for most people is little better than buying lottery tickets – and how you can create real wealth instead
  • How most people are in a security dilemma caused by avoiding things they fear, which actually decreases their security – and how to find true security yourself
  • Why money doesn’t equal power
  • Why the most lucrative investments are by nature the lowest risk
  • Why the best way to reduce the cost of insurance is to buy the most you possibly can
  • How false beliefs about “getting out of debt” may keep you from financial freedom
  • Why value is infinitely more important than price.

His underlying questions for all of us, as he asks in the beginning of his Introduction, are “What if everything you thought to be true about money and finances was actually completely false? How soon would you want to find out, and what would you do about it?”

My goal is to lay out my notations on each of the 9 myths not only to help educate people that may have the same or a worse mindset than me, but also to journal so that I can learn through repetition. This is truly one of the most incredible and thought provoking books I’ve ever read. Do yourself a great service and purchase it today and read it as soon as possible. It’ll change the way you think of money, your worth, and how you live your life.

Check out my reviews of each Myth:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Top 8 Reasons Why AdvoCare Wasn’t For Me Became the Top 8 Reasons Why It Is

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The Top 8 Reasons Why AdvoCare Wasn’t For Me Became the Top 8 Reasons Why It Is


 

1. I DIDN’T HAVE THE TIME:

I was working 18 hours a day. I got up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to coach CrossFit. I then practiced law from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and then went straight back to the gym. I didn’t finish coaching, cleaning up, and programming for the next day’s workouts until 10:00 p.m., which left me 6 hours to sleep (if I was lucky). I was exhausted and my time was devoted to earning extra income to get out of debt. Then I stepped back and looked at my day. I drove 25 minutes to and from the gym twice each day. That was nearly two hours of driving time. I also had an hour lunch break Monday through Friday and didn’t do too much on the weekends. I had a lot more time than I thought when I really evaluated my schedule and the best part was that I could put as little or as much time into it as I wanted. So I began spending 4-6 hours total per week for the first couple months and quickly replaced what I was earning from the gym with AdvoCare.

2. THE MARKET IS SATURATED:

I told myself that since AdvoCare had been around for 20 years at that time, surely everyone else was already “doing” AdvoCare and I would be starting too late. If I started years ago before the “market got saturated” then I would’ve had a chance. That’s a reason I hear from people all the time and I felt the same way. What I found out is that I have A TON of family and friends that have never heard of AdvoCare before, much less tried any of the products. There is a HUGE organization 10 minutes away from us and so many people in Montgomery didn’t even know what AdvoCare was when I spoke with them. I was dead wrong and I’m glad I was.

3. IF I WOULD’VE STARTED YEARS AGO I MAY HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL, BUT NOT NOW:

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one. I kept telling myself that I was starting too late and almost talked myself out of starting at all. Of course, the best time to start is yesterday… the next best time to start is now. I had to ask myself, “what if I started and I only made a few hundred dollars?” Well, that’s a few hundred dollars I didn’t have before I started and each day I waited to get started was ANOTHER day that I was missing out on earning financial freedom.

4. I’M NOT GOOD AT SALES:

I’m no salesman. I don’t like selling anything and I don’t like pushing products on people. I thought that’s what I had to do. Then someone helped me see what we really do here. We don’t look at ourselves as product sellers. We look at ourselves as problem solvers. The only way I knew how to help people solve their problems was to talk with them to find out what their problems were. I began to find out that a lot of my friends needed more energy, wanted to lose weight, wanted better health and wellness, and more than anything I found that I had a bunch of friends that needed extra income. Whether it was because they had a tremendous amount of debt, wanted to replace a spouses salary so they didn’t have to drop their kids off at a daycare and could stay home to raise their kids themselves, or be able to not stress over bills at the end of the month… they need help.

5. I DIDN’T HAVE MONEY TO GET STARTED:

My credit cards were just about maxed out and I owed over $200,000 in student loan debt. I was broke; however, that reason why I couldn’t was a reason why I should. I needed the income and it was only $79 for a 20% discount on products I would use anyway, I would receive my own website with zero maintenance to do, I would be given the ability to earn income two ways, and AdvoCare would send me $58 in retail products just for enrolling with zero obligations. It’s much like a Sam’s Club or Costco membership, but I received much more!

6. I DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE ANY MONTHLY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS:

I didn’t want any monthly sales minimums to keep my discount, I didn’t want auto-ships, I didn’t want to be forced to buy a certain amount of products, and I didn’t want my credit card to get charged monthly fees. Well, I found out that I could enroll as a distributor (wholesale customer) and have zero further obligations AND earn income. What did I have to lose? Nothing. I found out that there are zero mandatory auto-ships and that I didn’t have to purchase a certain amount of products each month to keep my discount. I could literally enroll and never purchase another thing and incur no further costs.

7. I DIDN’T HAVE ANY WEIGHT TO LOSE:

I thought AdvoCare was all about weight loss. Then I realized they have a Performance Elite and Active line, which endorsers like Drew Brees and Rich Froning, Jr. use. I also didn’t realize that there is an income opportunity and that I could help people earn extra income as well. When I sat back and thought of everyone I knew that could use an extra $500-1,000 a month, I actually couldn’t think of anyone who couldn’t use that extra income.

8. MY FRIENDS WILL THINK I’M DOING “ONE OF THOSE THINGS”:

The thought of “what would my friends think if I did this?” actually crossed my mind. Well, I’m glad I’ve never been one to buckle under peer pressure because my friends let me know exactly what they thought. Their not-so supporting responses were either, “good luck with that,” “REALLY?,” or “you’re doing one of those things?” HERE IS WHY I’m glad I didn’t listen to them: Because I didn’t listen to many of my friends…

I saw the vision to be debt-free and so far I’ve NOW eliminated over $106,000 of student loan and credit card debt.

I saw the vision to be able to provide an opportunity for my future wife to not have to get a job if she didn’t want to, which would allow her to raise our children instead of dropping them off at a daycare for someone else to raise them. NOW I am married and my wife never has to go get a job and as we await our first child to be born in 5 months, upon on our child’s birth my wife has the option (which she is gladly taking) to stay at home to raise our child.

I saw the vision not to go into any further debt at all and when my wife and I chose to get married, we PAID FOR OUR WEDDING IN CASH! Most couples go into further debt to have the size and type of wedding we did, but not us!

Among MANY other reasons why I’m glad I didn’t listen to them is that fact that I met my wife through AdvoCare. That’s been the best reason of all! Because of the amazing relationships we made through AdvoCare, we were introduced and well, you know the story.

I stepped back and looked at my life from a 30,000 foot view and saw that if I didn’t DO SOMETHING that I was going to be stuck in the never ending cycle of paying my minimum student loan payments and struggling financially the rest of my life.

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

You may have caught yourself saying, “Hey! That’s me! I’ve said the same things.” Well, if that is you too then I highly encourage you to get out of your own way and make a brighter future for your family. Whether it’s through letting us help you have success with AdvoCare or doing something completely different, we want you to succeed and get out of the rut that the majority of Americans are in today.

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9 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

There are more than just a few things that I’ve done to build a successful part-time business that has allowed me to eliminate over $95,000 of debt in the last 19 months and that is paying me more than twice as much as practicing law is paying me. Here is a list of at least 9 of them:

– Originally posted on Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-daily-habits-2014-6

Paul Morigi / Stringer / Getty Images

Paul Morigi / Stringer / Getty Images

“What you do today matters.”

In fact, your daily habits may be a major determinant of your wealth.

“The metaphor I like is the avalanche,” says Thomas Corley, the author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals.” “These habits are like snowflakes — they build up, and then you have an avalanche of success.”

Corley spent five years studying the lives of both rich people (defined as having an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more) and poor people (defined as having an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less).

He managed to segment out what he calls “rich habits” and “poverty habits,” meaning the tendencies of those who fit in each group. But, Corley explains, everyone has some rich habits and some poverty habits. “The key is to get more than 50% to be rich habits,” he says.

And what are those rich habits that are so influential? Here are a few:

Rich people always keep their goals in sight.

“I focus on my goals every day.”
Rich people who agree: 62%
Poor people who agree: 6%

Not only do wealthy people set annual and monthly goals, but 67% of them put those goals in writing. “It blew me away,” says Corley. “I thought a goal was a broad objective, but the wealthy said a wish is not a goal.” A goal is only a goal, he says, if it has two things: It’s achievable, and there’s a physical action you can take to pursue it.

And they know what needs to be done today.

“I maintain a daily to-do list.”
Rich people who agree: 81%
Poor people who agree: 19%

Not only do the wealthy keep to-do lists, but 67% of them complete 70% or more of those listed tasks each day.

They don’t watch TV.

“I watch TV one hour or less per day.”
Rich people who agree: 67%
Poor people who agree: 23%

Similarly, only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, compared to 78% of the poor. “The common variable among the wealthy is how they make productive use of their time,” explains Corley. “They wealthy are not avoiding watching TV because they have some superior human discipline or willpower. They just don’t think about watching much TV because they are engaged in some other habitual daily behavior — reading.”

They read … but not for fun.

“I love reading.”
Rich people who agree: 86%
Poor people who agree: 26%

Sure, rich people love reading, but they favor nonfiction — in particular, self-improvement books. “The rich are voracious readers on how to improve themselves,” says Corley. In fact, 88% of them read for self-improvement for 30 minutes each day, compared to 2% of poor people.

Plus, they’re big into audio books.

“I listen to audio books during the commute to work.”
Rich people who agree: 63%
Poor people who agree: 5%

Even if you aren’t into audiobooks, you can make the most of your commute with any of these commute-friendly self-improvement activities.

They make a point of going above and beyond at the office.

“I do more than my job requires.”
Rich people who agree: 81%
Poor people who agree: 17%

It’s worth noting that while 86% of rich people (compared to 43% of poor) work an average of 50 or more hours a week, only 6% of the wealthy people surveyed found themselves unhappy because of work.

They aren’t hoping to win the jackpot.

“I play the lottery regularly.”
Rich people who agree: 6%
Poor people who agree: 77%

That’s not to say that the wealthy are always playing it safe with their money. “Most of these people were business owners who put their own money on the table and took financial risks,” explains Corley. “People like this aren’t afraid to take risks.”

They watch their waistline.

“I count calories every day.”
Rich people who agree: 57%
Poor people who agree: 5%

Wealthy people value their health, says Corley. “One of the individuals in my study was about 68 and worth about $78 million. I asked why he didn’t retire, and he looked at me like I was from Mars. He said, ‘I’ve spent the last 45 years exercising every single day and watching what I eat because I knew the end of my career would be my biggest earning years.’ If he can extend his career four to five years beyond everyone else, that’s about $7 million for him.”

And they take care of their smiles.

“I floss every day.”
Rich people who agree: 62%
Poor people who agree: 16%

Enough said.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/rich-people-daily-habits-2014-6#ixzz36k7vfWLI

Reading… INTENTIONALLY!

PersonalGrowth

Over the past several months I have began reading intentionally. I have never been a “reader” and in fact, I despised it. Reading comprehension was no doubt my worst section of any standardized test including the ACT and LSAT. So when I applied for law school it should come as no surprise that I had an uneasiness about the amount of reading that would be required of me. I’m talking 60-150 pages a night people!

The reading is what worried me. I already knew that I could argue all day. That’s evidenced by the fact that I frequently engaged in arguments with both my parents and teachers every day of my life. This phrase was no stranger to me growing up and I can hear my mom saying it now, “You’d be a great lawyer. All you do is argue.” This was also a common phrase, “You’d argue with a brick wall.” To which I’d respond with, “No I wouldn’t.” It was my way of joking… kinda. My argumentative nature is also most likely why many of my relationships with girlfriends didn’t turn out as expected. Looking back at it now, I’d venture to say that 90+% of the arguments I engaged in should have never begun or at least not escalated to the point they had. That’s A LOT of time wasted on senseless babble. I’m sure it had a lot to do with my maturity at that time, or immaturity rather.

life-is-change-growth-is-optional-choose-wiselyReading intentionally has been life-changing. Really, it has. Now, reading just anything is not going to have a positive impact on your life. I’m not reading Maxim Magazine, Men’s Health, Harry Potter, news articles, or Grisham novels where most men bury their noses to get their reading quota for the day. I’m reading books that will help anyone, not just myself, grow personally. I doubt that anyone could lay a solid foundation for an argument that Harry Potter books are doing the same.

Many of my friends have heard me say that this company I am involved with will change your life. To elaborate on that statement, it’s really not so much the company, but the people involved. They inspire you to be a better person, a better leader, and among other things… a better you. It’s almost like a church group filled with incredible leaders. I am frequently introduced with a barrage of book lists from them and after reading the first book recommended to me, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the next recommendation.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard the phrase, “All leaders are readers;” however, all readers are not leaders. It takes reading the right material and acting upon what you read to be a leader. Simply reading a book isn’t going to get you anywhere in life. It’s acting on what you read that will. Reading the right book is just the beginning. As my friends Zahid Buttar and Jason Horsley have said, “Readers who ACT on what they read can potentially be leaders.” Action is the difference. The right book just helps you to see the possibilities of your potential. The action is what turns those possibilities a reality.

“Readers who ACT on what they read can potentially be leaders.”

I am constantly updating my electronic library with iBooks. I’ve gathered quite a collection now. I find it pretty amusing that I now download more books than I do songs. So yes, if you want to give me an iTunes gift card for Christmas or any other occasion I’ll take it. Below I have posted a photo of some of the books I have been reading.
photo (18)

I have created a tab at the top of this blog, which will take you to a list of books that I recommend. I strongly urge you to start reading these books. For those of you that are hesitant to do so, you’re probably in the same position I was in several months ago. If someone suggested a book to me a year ago I wouldn’t nicely said, “Okay, I’ll check that out,” all along knowing I had no intention of even reading the cover.

If you are ready, then I’d start with a book called “20,000 Days and Counting” by Robert Smith. I’m certain that many of you have never heard of Smith or his book, but hopefully you have heard of Andy Andrews. Andrews credits most of his success to Smith, his mentor through life.

If you have any questions regarding the books on my list, feel free to ask. I’d be happy to talk about them.

God Speaks If You Listen…

road-to-changeEarly August 2012, as I sat in a living room belonging to two people I now consider close friends of mine, I made a decision that would completely alter the next year, and quite possibly the rest of my life. Not only did that decision create possibilities that would later transform my financial situation, which I stressed and thought to be dire; it blossomed into so much more.

It should be no secret that God speaks to us through other people. He uses people in your life to deliver His messages. He delivers His message many ways, but this is a common medium.  If you’re not listening, then you may miss it. Plug into His frequency. Pray. Reflect on your situation. Open your ears and eyes.

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The problem most of us have, beside only calling on God in times of need or desperation, is that after we pray we continue to worry about our situation that had our hands clasped in the first place. It is true that if we ask for it, God will give it. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7 So if after asking for God’s help you immediately spend all your time  worrying and stressing further, then you’re probably not going to see or hear Him answering your requests. He may speak to you through this post for all we know.

Luckily, last August I had my ears turned up to Heaven because I knew of nothing else to do. Patiently waiting, as patiently as I could, I looked for the answer, which presented itself through two special people. Did I see it at first? No, well, at least not the full extent of it. I thought the opportunity presented to me could be the answer, but I didn’t at that time know it would be.

In that living room I heard a lot of information that I couldn’t even begin to recite because frankly, it’s all cloudy… with the exception of two things that I remember very clearly. Those two things are as clear to me as if they were just uttered a minute ago. Of the two things I heard my friend mention I don’t find as important anymore and the second and even more appealing was that he brought his wife home from her full-time job in just a matter of months with a company called AdvoCare.

Now I don’t have a wife to bring home, but I knew what that translated into for me. I saw a possibility for a way out. A way out of practicing law. A way out of Montgomery. A way out of this debt prison that I placed myself in several years prior.

I stated in an earlier post that my desire to practice law is little to none. It’s not what I thought it was going to be when I entered law school. I went into this profession to help people and the amount of time I’ve put in compared to the amount of people I’ve helped does not translate into an attractive ratio. I’ve also stated how my desire to be back home in New Orleans and out of Montgomery is stronger each day and I’ve also mentioned my over $200,000 debt mountain that had piled up in front of me.

I know not everyone has been as unfortunate as me to graduate with a massive amount of student loans, but for me it has been crippling. I love donating to charities, especially some of my friends’ ministries; however, sometimes I felt like I needed to be my own charity. Some of you won’t know what it feels like to want to give more yet be financially unable to do so while supporting yourself at the same time. Some of you will. Some of you will never know what it feels like to owe a large portion of your income to loan companies because of student loans, credit cards, mortgages, car payments, etc. But some of you will. Some of you will never know family and friends that struggle financially and have a hard time providing for their kids or spouse. But some of you will. Some of you will sit there and continue to complain about your situation, yet do nothing to change it. But some of you will.

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One thing I learned from reading personal growth books is that I had to become my own problem. I had to stop blaming my circumstances on everyone else and take responsibility for the mess I created. No one made me take out student loans. I chose to do that. No one made me enter into a profession that I’m unhappy with. I chose to do that.

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs

I am not a failure and refuse to blame anyone else but myself for the circumstances I created. I had the power to change my financial situation and so much more and I took it. Here’s the best part: YOU CAN TOO! There’s no reason you can’t and no one is stopping you except YOU.

Humor me for just a bit. I’d like you to do an exercise with me. Close your eyes and think about your current financial situation. Think about your health. Do you see either of those things improving in the next month? The next six months? The next year? The next five? Ten? Most people won’t because they’re not doing anything about it now to alter their future and change their circumstances. They’re too afraid to change anything. Well, guess what… if you don’t change anything then you better get used to struggling because you’ll be doing it the rest of your life wishing that you could take that trip, wishing that you could get rid of that debt, wishing that the spousal arguments over finances would go away, wishing that things would get easier, but they’re not going to change unless you change.

Here is a great excerpt from a book I love called “20,000 Days and Counting” by Robert D. Smith:

“Become your own problem. Yes, you read that right! This may be tough for you perfectionists, but stay with me. Start thinking, I am the problem. I am the problem. I am the problem. When you do that, you take the outside circumstances and bring them inside. Suddenly, you have power.
If you assume that you are the victim, you lose power. You shut down all creativity. But when you bring it inside yourself, now the ball is in your court and you can do something about it. You have control. See the switch?
Remember, it is a thinking process, not a feeling process. Some people may say, “Well, I don’t want to be the problem. That feels very negative.” But it’s not. It is really good news! If you’re the problem, you can solve it. So assume the responsibility, own the difficulty, and I guarantee you will create a solution.”

You have a choice and that choice is solely yours. You can take action or you can continue to struggle. I have the solutions to your health and financial issues, but you have to make the choice to learn more. AdvoCare is changing the lives of more and more people everyday. Will you be one of them?

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Life Inventory

“For things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better. It’s easy to do. But it’s easy not to do, too.”

“We have so much room for improvement. Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory… of how we are taking responsibility.” Nancy Pelosi

Take a look at your life right now. Really, examine it. Take an inventory of your finances, your health, your job, and your relationships. Are you comfortable? Are you stressed? Are you happy at your job? I mean, do you really enjoy it? Are you able to provide for yourself and/or your family and able to obtain all that you need and want for yourself and them? What debts do you owe? – Mortgage(s)? Credit cards? Student loans? Doctor bills? Car payments? What about your health – feeling pretty healthy? Have you been sick a good bit? Are you taking steps to preserve your health and weight management? Is any aspect of the aforementioned causing rifts in your relationships with your family, your friends, and/or your co-workers? Are the relationships you have with others strained due to the nature of the relationships themselves; i.e., are those with whom you have a relationship with bringing you down, keeping you from succeeding, not allowing you to fulfill your goals and dreams? What are your goals? Do you have any or are you just riding the wave of comfort-ability in hopes that something falls in your lap?

Now, think about where you are two years from now. Are you still at the same job and are you enjoying it? Think you’ve gotten a raise by now? Are you hanging out with the same people that you’ve become “comfortable” with due to the fact that you’ve already been hanging out with them for a while now? How is your health now? Have you put on a few pounds? Are you seeing the doctor more often? Are you “feeling” older? Are you any less stressed or more relaxed? More importantly, are you any closer to meeting your goals?

What about five years from now? How about ten? Are you still working at the same place? If not, where do you think you’re working? Is there some plan that you’ve already put in place that assures you that you won’t be at the same job or you just “think” you won’t be at the same place in ten years? Plain and simple, what the hell are you doing with your life now that is going to give you financial freedom and preserve your health for the next two, five, ten years and for the rest of your life?

I know the majority of you reading this are not going to be able to answer some of these questions. To be honest, I’m absolutely certain that a few months ago I couldn’t have.

In October 2012, I realized I had been lying to myself. I had been lying to myself for years. I found myself telling all my friends, family, and even myself that I would not be living in Montgomery much longer and that I would soon return home to Louisiana. Heck, I even told my friends and family in Louisiana that I would be living back home soon. I honestly didn’t believe I would be living in Alabama for much longer, much less Montgomery; however, when I sat down and thought about it, I realized that nothing I was doing was helping me get any closer to reaching my goal of returning home. At that moment, I felt trapped. How exactly was I going to get back home? I couldn’t just quit my job and hope to find one paying the same amount or more. I certainly couldn’t work somewhere that would pay me less. Hell, I was barely scraping by as it was. You know what else I planned on doing? I had been planning to take care of my parents when they could no longer care for themselves. What a joke! I was barely taking care of myself as it was. My debt – $200,000+. Yeah, student loans, credit cards, vet bills, and year-old doctor bills add up.

I realized I had just been telling myself, “Someday. Someday I’ll be moving back home. Someday I’ll be able to afford it. Someday I won’t have financial struggles and I will be set. Someday I’ll be able to take care of my family.” Who the hell was I kidding? I haven’t had a raise in five years and I’m not getting one from my current job anytime soon. If anything, my situation is much worse than it was when I began practicing law due to inflation and my student loan payments graduating. By the way, student loan companies don’t care if your financial situation has improved or not. If it’s time for your loans to graduate, guess what… they are graduating! That’s right – your payments are getting jacked up pal!

For the past couple weeks I have been reading one of the most influential books I have ever read. It’s a game-changer and has most definitely become the driving force behind this post. Here’s an excerpt from that book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson:

“Some day, when I have the time, I’m going to … Some day, when I have the money, I’m going to … Have you ever said that? “Some day … ” It’s a way we have of reinforcing the illusion that the future is safely far removed, that it doesn’t really touch us. It’s a lie. Not an intentional, willful deception, but a lie nonetheless.”

Do you relate to that? I do, without a doubt. How ’bout this:

“…if I didn’t choose to do something to become successful, I was going to become unsuccessful for the rest of my life. Think about that. If you don’t figure out something to be successful at, you have to be unsuccessful at it for the rest of your life.”

What are you saying “someday” about? What plans do you have that you don’t have plans for? How are you going to reach your goals, your aspirations, your dreams? I know the majority, the large majority, of you are probably finding that your breathing isn’t normal right now whether it’s because you’re panicked or feeling trapped and a little claustrophobic, maybe. When I asked myself the above questions I started to freak out. I didn’t want to be trapped by my job. I didn’t want to feel trapped in the same city, the same state, the same place all because I don’t have the money to go where I want, live where I want, or work where I want. That’s a terrible feeling.

I’ve got good news if you’re just now realizing what I realized a few months ago. I was introduced to a solution that would change my life forever. It has allowed me to pay off over $18,000 in debt in just over two months at a rate of over $230 per day. If you would’ve told me that would happen a few months ago I would’ve asked you if you planned on me winning the lottery. The fact is, those numbers are 100% accurate and I’m not the only one who can do that.

BUT as Olson states in The Slight Edge,

“[f]or things to change, you’ve got to change. For things to get better, you’ve got to get better. It’s easy to do. But it’s easy not to do, too.”

I want to share some stunning statistics with you that you may or may not know about yourself, your neighbors, and the state of people like you and me in this country:

Average household credit card debt is close to $16,000.
Total bankruptcy filings in 2009 were 1.4 million.
Total U.S. consumer debt is $242 trillion.
36% of people polled didn’t know the interest rate on their credit card.
Over a lifetime the average American pays over $600,000 in interest.
43% of American workers have less than $10,000 in savings.
Only 16% of Americans feel confident in their ability to save enough for a comfortable retirement.

Pretty shocking, huh? Do you fit into one of those statistics? Two of them? All of them? If you weren’t panicking before, are you starting to panic now?

What I did to change my situation is no secret. It isn’t rocket science. I sat down and I gave my goals and dreams deadlines. I looked at each dream I had and I asked myself “by when?” Here’s how I changed my situation: In November 2012 I began to build a business with the help of several friends, some new and some old. I did that by becoming an Independent Distributor with AdvoCare. Before November I had my skepticism to thank for not allowing me to change my situation for the better. I watched my friends change their situations and I finally decided that I had to give it a shot. I mean, what else was I doing besides just letting time pass while moving further away from my goals?

“There are three types of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say what happened.” – The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class

I wasn’t going to be a person that watched things happen anymore. I wasn’t going to be someone that told others what happened or what was happening with my friends’ AdvoCare businesses anymore. It had become time for me to make things happen for myself and change my situation. So I did… and the best part about it is, I’ve helped numerous members of my family and my friends improve their health and finances while doing it. Here’s the million dollar question… are you going to be part of the 5% of the population that does what it takes to change and seek success or are you going to be part of the 95% that is comfortable now only to grow old and find that you’re uncomfortable later? It’s easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do. It’s a simple decision. You have within your discretion the opportunity to improve your health, your relationships, your job situation, and most definitely your finances. You can contact me or you can wait another day, week, month, year or longer until you are finally stressed to the max with your situation. I can only make you this promise about that decision… when you finally do decide to contact me, you’re going to wish you did much earlier.

I asked a few of my friends to write a paragraph or two on how AdvoCare changed their lives. Here are their stories…

Rachel Robinson: In just two months Rachel has earned over $3,000 with AdvoCare!

AdvoCare, simply put, interrupted my life and gave me crystal clear vision for my future. Before Advocare, I was an exhausted mother of three who poured everything into a job that gave me very little in return. I was overworked, under appreciated, undervalued….and did I mention exhausted? Time I should have devoted to my family and my health was being stolen from me. My only goals were to be able to pay off my husband’s and my student loans before our kids went to college so we could afford for them to go.

After hearing my friend James’ story and trying a Spark for the first time, I knew we might have found something special. My husband and I decided to both try the 24-Day Challenge to jump start the healthy lifestyle we promised to each other in 2013. We lost a combined 15 pounds, 15 inches, and 7% body fat. We lost exhaustion, sluggishness, joint pain, inflammation, skin problems and a whole host of other things but gained an amazing network of people we now consider family through AdvoCare! Because we have been given this amazing vehicle to help others the same way we were helped, we will now be free of student loan debt in 3 years or less and have an amazing vision of what our future will look like!”

Alece PughIn just THREE WEEKS Alece has earned over $2,000 with AdvoCare and lost 20 pounds during The 24-Day Challenge! Here is her story:

“I was introduced to the AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge in the beginning of January by my dear friend Kayla Matthews. I joined AdvoCare as a distributor so that I could enjoy the benefit of the discount but not really having the intention of working with the company. As I progressed through the challenge, something changed in me. I began to not only lose weight, but feel better both mentally and physically. After suffering from the side effects of lupus for years, this was the first time In ages that I didn’t wake up aching and physically exhausted each morning. My daily headaches quickly had disappeared and my energy was back. I felt like a new me. This new found confidence and achievement led me to start sharing my success with others. Throughout the challenge I managed to lose over twenty pounds and twenty inches and most importantly, regained my good health and wellness. I naturally wanted all my friends and family to have the same amazing experience. I now have two brothers, a sister in law, most of my friends and several new friends who are experiencing the changes thanks to the Challenge!

My life took an unexpected and much needed turn when I became a distributor with AdvoCare. I now am not only healthy and in the best shape of my adult life, but I have been able to give that gift to the people I love and also earn extra income. The financial freedom I am gaining is life changing. I was able to cover my house note and was left with spare change In the last two weeks alone by devoting a few hours a week to my new passion with AdvoCare  The fact that I know I can put money in a college fund for my kids, go to Italy with my husband and free up my time from the millions of hours I work with my other job is a true blessing. I will forever be grateful for the time my friend Kayla took that fateful day in January to ask me if I wanted to join her in a Challenge.”

Those are real life people. Those are my friends. Those are people’s lives I have changed and am still changing either directly or indirectly with the help of others and now they’re doing the same. Do you have any idea what that feels like to give yourself financial freedom and better health while giving that to others at the same time? It’s incredible. You have the opportunity to do the same thing in the same way that I have done it.  Wanna start changing your life for the better? Want to start improving your health and financial situation? If you answered yes, then e-mail me, Facebook me, Call me, text me, or ask me in person how I can help you change your current situation.

Turn your “someday” into a “definite day.” Set things into action NOW that will help you reach your “someday” goals. Stop dreaming and start doing. I’ll leave you with this line from John David Mann’s, The Eighth Day of the Week:

“Some day … The eighth day of the week. The only day that never comes. This is the day—this one. Right here. Right now.”

The Greatest Wealth Is Health

“One Of The Greatest Gifts I Have Ever Received Spawned From One That I Had Given”

“The greatest wealth is health.”  ~Unknown

I have been blessed beyond belief! I have been presented with a way to help save my parents’ lives, which means more to me than anything.

For as long as I can recall, my dad has had health issues and more recently my mom had began having them as well. The unhealthy way my parents ate had been an issue of contention between us for some time now, even after my parents bore witness to what eating healthy has done for me and others. Eating healthy cured my migraines! I couldn’t have asked for more of a blessed change in my health. During the years I suffered from migraines, I took two different medications (5 pills) every single night for 6 1/2 years just to prevent a migraine from occurring every day. My migraines would be so debilitating that there were times when I had to dial 911 to have an ambulance pick me up from my home because I couldn’t see or walk, much less drive… but I digress.

This past Thanksgiving I traveled home, as usual, to spend the holiday with my family. The food choices that weekend, well… I’m sure everyone could guess our Thanksgiving spread. I’m sure my family’s choice of Thanksgiving foods bore a similar resemblance to that of the food choices debuted in most American homes. There were a host of starches, sugars, A.K.A. a boat load of carbs! Yes, sweet potato casserole WITH the marshmallows and brown sugar most certainly had been included. Everything seemed as normal as most Thanksgivings with the exception of the Thanksgiving when my brother broke his arm, but something was noticeably different this Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving my mom was not around. Why? My mother’s blood pressure had risen earlier in the day to a point that had caused her to retire to her bedroom where she laid in bed for almost the entire time our visiting out-of-town family spent conversing, watching football, eating together, etc. That had never happened before. To be frank, it scared the absolute crap out of me. That’s not like my mom at all. She’s one of the toughest people I know and for her not to spend time with everyone lead me to the realization that without a doubt she felt absolutely terrible.

“That’s it! I’ve had enough!,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t sit here and argue with my parents over their choice of meals anymore. It wasn’t getting me or them anywhere. I had to do something more than just chastise their eating habits. My mom is much like me; she’s never going to admit that I know more than her about something and vice versa. Words were not getting us anywhere. It became time to take action. I knew exactly what I would be doing next.

Upon arriving back in Montgomery, I ventured online and bought both of my parents a 24-Day Challenge. The best chance I had of improving my parents’ health would be to actually help jump-start it.

Fast forward one month later to the Christmas holiday – my parents opened up their presents from me and in one of them they found two 24-Day Challenges and an “Everyday Paleo” cookbook. To my astonishment, they loved it and it showed with their smiles and hugs. I don’t know if it was the fact that my actions showed them that I deeply care about their health and wellness or that they knew they needed it. Either way, I know they appreciated my gift. Neither of them showcased that fictitious smile and fabricated thankfulness that some of us have flaunted when we had received gifts we were not too fond of getting. Come on, you know it’s happened before!

Before my parents began their 24-Day Challenge I let me mother taste some Spark. Her response was less than desirable. In fact, she told me it tasted like some “artificially flavored crap” (I believe were her words). I laughed and the reason I did was because I know everyone LOVES Spark. How can you not!? It’s a sugar-FREE, energy drink, packed full of vitamins, and has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. Not to mention, I think the Fruit Punch tastes exactly like or maybe even a slightly bit better than fruit punch Kool-Aid. She was lying to me and her reason was because “I” introduced it to her. She’s always been like that with me and it’s become quite comical. I knew what she was going to say before she said it. Here’s what is so hilarious – she actually asked me if she could have some more of it the very next morning! Now I was presented with a situation. That one question from my mom presented a pivotal point in what would begin changing her health. I’m not sure if she realized it or not, but she was showing her hand. She let me know that she liked Spark and what had transpired the day before had been a show. I had two choices. I could either rub it in and say something to the effect of, “Ohhhhhh I thought you didn’t like it. I thought it tasted like artificially flavored crap;” however, if I took that route then I knew that it would have turned my mom off of the whole idea of taking The 24-Day Challenge. THAT, I could not do. I decided to swallow my pride and instead said, “Sure! Here, I’ll mix it up for you.” My parents’ health is way more important than my pride. It’s not even a contest.

My parents began The 24-Day Challenge on January 2, 2013 and finished over a week ago. Their results? Both experienced healthy weight loss, slept better, had energy gains, but most importantly they felt better. What has transpired after they finished their Challenges has shocked the absolute crap out of me. My parents ARE EATING PALEO!!! It’s freaking amazing! It worked!!! The 24-Day Challenge is exactly what they needed to jump-start them into a healthy lifestyle! I continue to be perplexed by it! Words cannot even come near to explaining how happy it makes me to see them make such an enormous change.

Last weekend I went home to help present an AdvoCare informational mixer for my friends in Fairhope, AL and spent the weekend at my parents’ house. Not only had my mom been cooking Paleo, I overheard her on the phone talking about it and the 24-Day Challenge! In fact, the day before I came home my mom left this message on my voicemail: “Paleo. Pumpkin. Muffins. That’s all I gotta say.” I couldn’t stop laughing, but I almost got emotional at the same time because that message meant two things: first, my mom has embraced the Paleo lifestyle and second, she was cooking out of the Everyday Paleo cookbook I bought her. That means my parents are going to be around a lot longer and their health issues will begin to disappear.

All this came at no cost to me and I say that because there is no monetary value that can be placed on my parents’ health. That’s why I say that one of the greatest gifts I have ever received (my parents’ good health and from that the ability to spend more time with them on earth) spawned from a gift I gave them. The 24-Day Challenge has changed their lives, mine, and many of my friends’ lives. It has been an absolute blessing.

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