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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

Dear Camille, You Had Your First Beach Trip!

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

Dear Camille,

You had your first beach trip! It was the AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Trip and it was a blast! I’m sorry that you didn’t get to actually go ON the beach because of how hot it was outside, but at least you got to hangout in the cabana at the pool. The ceiling fan in the cabana was a nice touch. We were so blessed to spend time with 249 other families that we love and the best part about it was that we didn’t have to spend anything! That’s right, it was FREE! We’ll have to pay for Disney World though when we go, but that trip will mostly be for your mom. She’s a Disney fanatic. I’m sure you know that though since she plays Disney tunes for you every day. I’m sorry about that.

It was a 5 hour trip total, but we broke it up into two 2 1/2 hour trips since we got to stop at Nonnie and Papa’s for a weekend. You slept the entire trip there and then to Destin only waking up once to go potty. I still can’t believe it. You are an awesome traveler!

Out of the 250 families on the trip, there were over 300 kids and out of the 300+ kids on the trip, you had to be the most famous. Everyone loves you little angel. Not that you needed any help looking cute, but your bathing suit only added to your cuteness factor. Oh, and that flower hat… adorable! Here’s a pic of you climbing all over mom under the cabana and another when you were pretending to be shy:

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

 

You even made room for a snow cone… well, it was snow cone unflavored ice. You appeared to like it though.

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

While on the trip we had a chance to hangout with some pretty famous people. We got to see Trevor Bayne who drives the AdvoCare #6 car. I hope to God that you are never in a car that is even possible to go as fast as he drives. 🙂 He ate lunch with everyone and then played beach volleyball with us.

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

 

We also spent a good bit of time with one of our dear friends, Ron Reynolds. One day I’ll be able to explain to you how much this man has changed our lives and your future. He is the reason your mom and I have eliminated over $141,000 of debt in under 2 1/2 years. Here’s a picture of you with Ron. You blinked when I took the picture. 😉

Ron Reynolds debt buster AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

One of our favorite parts of the trip was the pajama party movie night where we watched “Despicable Me.” Although that movie is pretty good, I think the best part was hanging out with you and mom in our pajamas.

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

AdvoCare Kids on The Coast Incentive Trip

Don’t worry that you slept through most of this trip because there will be many more trips like this my little one. You are a blessing to us and to everyone that knows you. Your smiles are contagious and your laughs are even more so. We love you so much and cannot wait until our next trip with you. Until then, there will be many days of lounging around the house in your little lounger with your mom playing Disney music and me reading you books.

Love you sweet angel,

Dad

P.S. Thank you for not pooping in the car when we changed you. I REALLY appreciate that.

I Know It’s Hard To Believe – So Here’s The Proof

WallPunch-Drywall

Over the past 2 1/2 years, I have made multiple posts on various social media sites regarding how much debt I’ve eliminated and the other day I made another one. I know how unbelievable it is for someone to eliminate over $137,000 of debt because honestly it’s hard to believe it myself. The higher the number goes, the more unbelievable it becomes, to others AND myself. I think the reason is because most people don’t know it’s possible to become debt free. For most people, by the time they pay off or come close to paying off their car, they’re having to take out a loan for another one, take out a second mortgage on their home, secure a mortgage on a new home, while still paying off credit cards and student loans among many other creditors.

So because I realize most people can’t believe it, I decided to show everyone just how true it is. I scanned in letters from financial institutions and took screenshots from credit card accounts (THANK GOD our credit card debt is GONE!) A few things that aren’t shown here are the over $7,000 of a veterinary bill I had from when Jackson went to the vet hospital and tried to die on me, hundreds of dollars in outstanding medical bills from my knee surgery, and payments made on my Jeep.

Before you say… “how did this guy have so much debt!?” I’ll tell you. When you go to private undergrad and private law school, the student loans add up fast. Then when I had to start paying them back and the minimum payments consumed a large majority of my paycheck every month, I felt like I had no other option at the time except to use a credit card just to put food on my table and gas in my car. So that’s how… not to mention we were not allowed to work my first year of law school.

I understand that not everyone has had as much debt as I did, even for those that own a home. I also understand that earning extra income to be able to do what I’m about to show you below may not be for everyone… BUT what if it is for you?

Thankfully AdvoCare has the DebtBuster program, which helped me eliminate loan after loan and credit card after credit card. Your proof… see below. 😉

Let’s start with this personal bank loan:

While going through some mail I found this letter regarding paying the balance of my personal loan IN FULL! WHAT WHAT!!!? #refreshing Thanks “June Pridmore” and yes,  I bet you do “hope to have the opportunity to serve me again in the future.” Thanks but no thanks sista!

Debt freedom


Next, I have a Discover student loan that I eliminated back in early 2014 before our wedding. That’s right, PAYMENT IN FULL!

Discover student loan debt eliminated


Citibank received the same treatment from me: less interest for them! Sorry, but not sorry!

Citibank student loan debt eliminated


Here was the largest credit card I had to eliminate. My Discover card was out of control and by far had the highest balance out of all of my cards. Checkout that $0.00 balance! Looks pretty sweet, huh!? We also used a bunch of that “Cash back bonus” to go toward our debt. 😉

Debt free from credit card debt


And here was Mariah’s Discover card that we eliminated right after we returned from our honeymoon to Greenbrier. Again… $0.00 balance and it’ll stay like that. Just about emptied that cash back balance on this one too.

Debt free from credit card debt


Next we have my Chase credit card. This was the second credit card I had because I signed up for a free t-shirt or a Hungry Howie’s pizza or something like that on my college campus. By the way, there are now laws restricting these credit card vultures that prey on very impressionable college kids from doing that anymore. Current balance on this one? You guessed it… ZERO!

debt free credit card debt


Next we have my very first credit card secured in the same manner as the one above. What can I say? Here I am, a freshman in college with basically no limits except for things that required money. Credit cards helped me erase that limit too. Glad that I got that one at $0.00 balance.

debt free credit card debt


This was a fun one to eliminate. Not only did I eliminate the balance, but I was left with thousands of miles that I could cash in for gift cards or free flights. 🙂 That’s all fine and dandy, but I’d rather pay for my flights instead of going into massive debt to have them awarded to me.

debt free credit card debt


 NOW HERE COMES THE DECISION POINT:

If you have significant or even minimal debt from a mortgage, car payment, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, etc. – what you just saw above can be YOU! It’s not magic. It’s not luck. All it took was an incredible opportunity and a willingness to be completely free of debt! Remember, “opportunity does not make appointments. You have to be ready when it arrives.” I have my hands on the most incredible opportunity I’ve ever seen. Do you?

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.

einsteinquotes

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?

keep-calm-and-make-a-change-67

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.

The Light Switch Is Flipped

“CHANGING FOCUS”

“Change Your Focus, From Making Money To Serving More People. Serving MORE People Makes The Money Come In.”
— Robert Kiyosaki

The (Un)happy Lawyer

On October 5, 2012, I sponsored my first distributor, my best friend TylerTyler and I went to law school together and are both constantly feeling bogged down and tired of our line of work and were both unhappy lawyers. I knew Tyler wanted the same thing as I did, so I called him about this opportunity that Brandon had introduced to me. He was very interested and decided to become a distributor at the Advisor level (to be explained at a later point), but at that point he could only follow my lead. The bad thing about that was… I was a terrible leader in AdvoCare back then.

As stated in my earlier post, I became an AdvoCare distributor on August 27, 2012; however, it wasn’t until late October when I figured “it” out. It took me a while to realize and follow the Success System that AdvoCare had in place for me already. Before late October, I thought I had to “sell products” to earn a Plan-B income with AdvoCare, but I was missing it. I didn’t see the big picture, the purpose, the opportunities, the reason AdvoCare exists.

On October 21, 2012, a man by the name of Jesse Reynolds visited our CrossFit box to present an informational meeting for us to learn more about AdvoCare, and more specifically the business opportunity it offers. Everything Jesse spoke of got me more and more on fire about AdvoCare. This was the first time I can remember being really excited about the business side of it. He told us all one thing that I’ll never forget, mainly because he was 100% right… “Use the Success System. I challenge all of you to get me on the phone with someone. I will build your business for you.” Furthermore, he changed my ENTIRE mindset. Here I am trying to “sell products” and that’s not what it’s about at all. He told us that AdvoCare is for anyone that wants more energy, better performance in their workouts, healthy weight loss, or an extra income… soooo basically it’s for everyone. More specifically, he told us that AdvoCare offers two things for people; and here is where the light came on for me… “AdvoCare,” he explained, “offers people a healthy lifestyle and the opportunity of financial freedom.” BOOM! That’s what I had failed to see. A great quote I heard on the Rookie Bonus Call tonight… “We’re not product sellers. We’re problem solvers.” So true.

I had been looking for that Plan-B income, but I was looking to get it the wrong way. Before meeting Jesse, I wasn’t trying to help people with their finances, with their health, with their overall wellness. My problem? Simply put: I was just trying to make money “selling products.” What was wrong with me? How could I be blind to this? The whole reason I became a certified CrossFit trainer had been to help people with their health. It is the whole reason why I have pushed so many of my friends to join the CrossFit community. From that point forward, my purpose had changed. It was time to start helping my friends get healthy, destroy debt, or reach their other financial or health and weight loss goals.

One of the distributors that I now sponsor, Emily Turner, also attended Jesse’s informational meeting. She then went to lunch with Kathy a couple days later. She saw the light. On November 1, 2012, Emily became the second distributor I sponsored and I couldn’t have been happier to have her on our team. I’ve known Emily since we were kids. She had just started her 24 Day Challenge about two weeks prior and she was experiencing INCREDIBLE results. In fact, 15 days into The Challenge she lost 19 lbs! By the end of the Challenge… 26.6 lbs and 15.75 inches! She’s about a month post Challenge now and 40 lbs. lighter! Talk about inspiring… that little lady is on fire! For more information on Emily’s journey, please read her blog “Walking a Mile, Even When the First Steps Hurt”.

So remembering what Jesse told us… to “get him on the phone with people,” I decided to take action. Jesse cast great vision. I had to put my stubborn attitude of “I can do this without anyone’s help” aside and trust this guy. He’s making between $10,000-$15,000 a month; obviously he knows what he’s doing. I continued to talk to my friend Amanda, a fellow CrossFit trainer, about AdvoCare and the opportunity it offers. Amanda uses performance supplements like I do and was definitely interested in the discounted products, but after speaking with Jesse on the phone… she knew that AdvoCare provided the opportunity to pay for the summer’s rent of her lake house. She had a goal, which is very important when you’re looking to build a business with AdvoCare. My personal goals: help as many people as I can by introducing them to the incredible health and financial freedom opportunities AdvoCare offers and to destroy my debt while replacing my current income. I knew that I could help Amanda reach her goal, and after speaking to Jesse she knew it too. On November 7, 2012, Amanda decided to go straight to Advisor and earn income 5 ways while earning a 40% discount on her own products. She became the third distributor I sponsor and I know she’s going to do amazing.

I knew that I could help more people than just the ones I worked out with. I needed to reach more people, but how? Social media today is amazing. Countless numbers of people use several different avenues of social media. My personal favorite? – Facebook. I created a “wall post” congratulating Emily on her incredible weight loss achievement. Within minutes, I connected with a friend I probably haven’t seen in over 10 years; a friend living 4 1/2 hours away from me; a friend living in a completely different state, Louisiana; a friend that is now on fire for AdvoCare and is experiencing her own energy gains and weight loss achievements with The 24 Day Challenge; a friend that is becoming an amazing distributor to sponsor; a friend that also made the decision to go straight to Advisor and get serious about her health and finances. My friend is none other than…

You can also follow me at http://sparkinginterest.blogspot.com/ or contact me at info@fitphreak.com for more information!

Amazing Results and PR City!

“REPLACED A  SALARAY IN 3 MONTHS!? SAY WHAT!?”

“Time properly invested is worth a fortune.” — Jim Rohn, America’s Business Philosopher

So I’m at my first AdvoCare mixer and have heard this touching and incredible story of how The 24 Day Challenge had changed the life of my friend Kathy and how it changed my friend Brandon’s CrossFitting performance. They had also explained to me how I could receive a 20-40% discount on all of my supplements or pretty much never have to pay for them again. At that point I was already going to leave their home interested in Advocare.

Financial Freedom Ahead

Here was the nail in the coffin for me: The Eiff’s began to tell their story on how they were reaching financial freedom. They told us all how Kathy was a full-time high school Spanish teacher and soccer coach and felt like she was not being the mom she always dreamed of being because her job afforded her little time with their son. Brandon began “their” AdvoCare journey pretty much on his own at first because Kathy thought he was just bringing home yet another new set of supplements. Then Kathy saw extra income coming in and began questioning how they were making money from these products. Needless to say, Kathy got on board. The Eiffs set a long term goal to have Kathy home with their son, but accomplished that goal much earlier than expected. In less than three months, the Eiff’s check from AdvoCare was larger than Kathy’s check from her school! Result…? Kathy quit her job teaching and has been home with their son for seven months now and the Eiff’s are on track to double Kathy’s teaching salary in just a year’s time. Oh, and as you’ve probably guessed… Kathy began crying again.

So here I am, hearing how I can get my supplements for a 20% discount or even FREE, get paid to become a member of this company, have ZERO QUOTAS to meet, reach the performance levels I desired all while gaining financial freedom. Umm…. no brainer for me. The opportunity of a Plan-B income was staring me in the face, but I was very skeptical about it. It seemed to good to be true. So I put that portion of what I heard on the back burner and focused more on getting my products at a discounted price and reaching the performance levels I wanted.

AdvoCare Arginine Extreme

AdvoCare Arginine Extreme

On the very next day, August 27, 2012, I became a member of AdvoCare and thus, a distributor. I immediately started The 24 Day Challenge and couldn’t wait to see the effects. I also purchased AdvoCare’s Arginine Extreme and Mass Impact. Days 1-10 of The Challenge, I ate clean as usual without my weekly cheat at California Yogurt Kraze, but I noticed that around Day 3 or 4 I started leaning up more when I thought that I couldn’t anymore. Ten days down; 14 to go! The last 14 days were a breeze and I was feeling like I had more energy than ever. I’d like to thank Spark for playing a role in that as well. I felt like my body was cleansed and I was ready to start seeing results.

AdvoCare

I Don’t Always Lift Heavy… Just Kidding

My first week after The 24 Day Challenge blew my mind. I began PRing like crazy on my lifts! I went from 185# (pounds) on my Clean & Jerk to 205#! I PR’ed THREE more times that week! My Squat Clean went from 165# to 200#, a movement that always concerned me going heavy on because of my knee surgery, 135# to 165# on Overhead Squat, and 130# to (read below) on Snatch! The Snatch was by far the most impressive to me and deserves a little more detail.

Four to five consecutive weeks prior to setting a new PR on Snatch, I had attempted to get 135# numerous times. I couldn’t do it. Fail after fail I stayed at 130#. I became discouraged and thought that I would never reach 135#. Then, one Saturday a group of us trainers worked out after the morning class had left. The first part of the workout… 20 minutes to find your one rep max on Snatch! “Here we go again,” I thought, “130# and no further.” I was way off with that assessment..

Within 20 minutes, I shattered my previous Snatch PR. For the first time, 135# seemed like warm-up weight. I couldn’t believe I actually snatched 135# when in 4-5 consecutive weeks I couldn’t get past 130#! I didn’t stop there. I put 140# on… it was a breeze. 145#, 150#, then 155#… my 20 minutes were up and I couldn’t have been happier. I just threw up 155# when I couldn’t even get 135# coming into that day!

The CrossFit Girls

The workout wasn’t finished. The second half of the workout… “Amanda.” “Amanda” is 9-7-5 of muscle-ups and 135# snatch. GREAT! I’m worn out from snatching for 20 minutes and now I have to do a weight in a workout 21 times that I couldn’t even do once coming into that day. This was not going to be fun… so I thought. Before it started, I tried to lift 135# again and couldn’t get it. I tried 3 more times… FAIL. I was spent, but I was determined to try the workout anyway.

The clock started and I began my muscle-ups. I was drained at this point and wanted to quit after 5, but Travis wouldn’t let me. I kept going and got to the first set of snatches. Nine of them… DONE! I finished the workout completing 21 snatches at 135#, a weight I couldn’t even lift once the week before. Was I happy with the results of AdvoCare’s 24 Day Challenge and Performance Elite line? You’re damn right I was. I had never experienced anything like that. It wasn’t even a full week after I took the 24 Day Challenge and I was ready to start my second one! There has never been any other supplement that has had that effect on me.

AdvoCare Arginine Extreme

AdvoCare Arginine Extreme

I had to start telling people about these products and my results. Not only was I seeing incredible results, but my CrossFit box had taken The Challenge as a group and started about a week after I did and people were losing weight left and right. We had some athletes lose between 10 and 20 pounds. It was incredible! With results this amazing, it should be easy to “sell” these products, right? Well, it all depends on your mindset, and mine was not in the right place. I was ready to start making an extra income with AdvoCare, but I focused on the wrong thing. I focused on “selling the products” instead of helping people see the two things AdvoCare really offers… better health and wellness and financial freedom. Thank God it didn’t take me long to figure that out, but I became frustrated for a good month before I figured it out. There’s a Success System and I didn’t even see it. Brandon tried to coach me, but I was stubborn and figured I knew what I was doing. All I had to do was “sell” some products… WRONG! Late October… I figured it out, and boy did it pay of…

You can also follow me at http://sparkinginterest.blogspot.com/ or contact me at info@fitphreak.com for more information!

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