Attitude Adjustment, Generating Wealth

How Smart People Talk To Themselves In The Morning

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Being Broke Is Not Fun
Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

5 Ways To Stop Being Absolutely Broke

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I'd love to say all of these are my ideas, but they are not. They are the result of someone asking the question "Has anyone ever been able to go from absolutely broke to making a comfortable living". It was asked on Reddit and I've read every single answer to find the best ones.

I was living in my car...

I was living in my car when someone broke my window and took all my clothes. I'm making a little over $100k now, but this is 15 years later.

I had no credit, but some how was approved at Target for a $200 store credit card. I used that to buy shoes/clothes, and went on to job interviews. Landed a job working at a 24 hr call center overnight for some insurance company. I put allot of overtime, and started with the basics. (I never paid the store credit card, but I did go to a junk yard to get a new car window)

Started a bank account for direct deposit on my pay, used my first $250 for an apartment. (Shitty studio, with no bedroom) had no furniture except for what other tenants thru away. Started 1 class of community college a semester, added more as i could afford to pay them in cash. Took 4 years to finish an associates degree with a focus of study in business. Landed a better job, continued to a 4 year degree... and just kept bettering my skills and resume. (Government Grants, not loans)

I own my own home, have a fully paid car, and live a comfortable life now. I was lucky enough to not ever need a hospital. Luck and planing... don't live a wistful life, use every little thing you have to its fullest.

(I still eat ramen every now and then)

Don't live a wistful life, use every little thing you have to its fullest.

Click to Tweet

Dead broke at 21...

Dead broke at 21, lowest credit score possible, no car because repossessed, no license because suspended for non payment of speeding tickets. Homeless, sneaking into girlfriends house to sleep.


Spent my days at the library when my gf worked, reading about great people, changing your life, etc. Used their computers and internet to send or print free resumes. Got into the only, yet likely best occupation that will take a person like that and offer real opportunity for a hard worker, commissioned sales.


Sucked for weeks, awkward, stuttering, not knowing the product well. To be completely honest I cried the first two days I came home, for the first time since I was a child. Just felt hopeless and a huge failure, but I resisted the urge to no show and went to work the following day and the day after.

Each week I got better, started making sales, within 6 months I was pulling in $2000+ weekly commissions.

I just outworked everyone else, I came in early 6am to make calls overseas, stayed late to make calls on the west coast, answered emails at home.

I left within the first year to start my own company, I had learned exactly what the company was doing and realized I could offer the same services. It wasn't easy, but it's 15 years later and I employ 17 people, I earn all different amounts as the owner but never under $600,000 and on good years quite a bit more.


I was a fuck up my whole life OP, took an extra year to get out of high school, no college, destroyed any credit line given to me, quit jobs for no reason, or just not show up because I was tired.


You can wake up a year from now in a completely different life. You might have to jump around to a few opportunities, but keep your expenses dirt cheap, game plan, exploit any advantage to save money safely as in don't live in a crack den, but a trailer is fine.
You sound like you have good self control, which is more than I had, and it took me many years to get my impulses under control.

You can wake up a year from now in a completely different life

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I was hopeless and desperate...

I sold everything I owned, left the state where I used to live with $600 to my name (about to be evicted, and $30000 in debt), in a 12 year old car with expired plates, a wonky transmission, and a bad u-joint, drove halfway across the country to move in with my brother and his wife and their kids, with no prospects and no idea what I was going to do. I was hopeless and desperate, a complete failure at 40 years old. I looked for work for a few months as I taught myself to code, and finally got a contract job for six months, which was extended, and finally after 18 months was offered a full time job. I moved into an apartment. It's seven years later, my debts are paid, I'm at a different (better) job, making $90k a year, and my gf and I are buying a house. I had no hope and no prospects seven years ago. It slowly got better by taking a chance, working hard and having good people around me that I could rely on. Don't give up.

It slowly got better by taking a chance, working hard, and having good people around me that I could rely on.

Click to Tweet

It's a lot of work and not hanging out with friends...

Started learning programming on YouTube at 18 while working retail and totally broke, $40k programming job at 19, $50k at 20, $90k at 21, $110k at 23, $120k at 25. Own a house and all that jazz. Programming is one of the few things I see a lot of nerds getting 6 figure salaries without a degree. Echoing what everyone else has said, it's a lot of work and not hanging out with friends, but worth it. I'm definitely happy with my current lifestyle, keep your head up.

Programming is one of the few things where I see a lot of nerds getting 6 figures without a degree

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Got kicked out, dropped out of school..

Yep. 2 years ago, I was a broke college student living with family. Got kicked out, dropped out of school, and started jockeying for more hours at my almost-minimum wage job. Today, I make about 50k, and I still work for the same employer. I'm not a rags-to-riches story like others in this thread, but I just bought my first house, I'm financially secure, and I live pretty comfortably. Granted, I'm a single guy with no kids, but I'm sure you could live comfortably on that kind of money too. Here's what I did:


I bettered myself. On my own time, and sometimes with my own money, I got certified as a wine sommelier, a forklift operator, and got my CPR/AED/First Aid certifications. When promotion time came around, I wrote an eloquent letter of interest highlighting not only my unique skill set, but also my initiative in acquiring said skills without being prompted to do so. Don't think that going back to school is the only way to educate yourself. Find something that provides incontrovertible proof that you're going to work your ass off to keep getting better at what you do if they pick you for that promotion.


I took an interest in general leadership. I had no formal management experience, but when a management position opened up, I highlighted my experience with student government in college and being an NCO of Marines.


I worked on my credit. Gained 80 points in 2 years, paid off some collections, kept my nose clean. You need to take care of that shit with your mom. She screwed you by kicking you out and endangered her grandchild's future... so if I were you, I'd start prioritizing your kid over your mom. When your credit is dogshit, the first step to improving it is having some awkward conversations with your creditors. That's part of being a man, I'm afraid.


I kept living like a broke college student even after getting pay raises. I highly recommend subscribing to /r/frugal and /r/MealPrepSunday for some inspiration on how to live simply and economically. Also: buy a slow cooker. It will pay for itself many, many times over even within the first year you have it.


I kept applying for jobs I didn't think I could get. They kept giving them to me anyway. I worked hard on my letter, I prepped for the interview... and sometimes, other people didn't bother applying and I didn't have much competition. You don't have to be the perfect applicant, you just have to be the best one who bothered to put themselves out there.

Don't think that going back to school is the only way to educate yourself. Find something that provides incontrovertible proof that you're going to work your ass off to keep getting better at what you do.

Click to Tweet

If you want to read every response you can find the entire thread at:

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/7ncjrz/has_anyone_ever_been_able_to_go_from_absolutely

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Time Lost Cannot Be Regained
Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Thirteen Jacked Up Things That Are Pissing Away Your Life

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This morning I was thinking about my constant effort to improve my productivity and energy management. The world is fighting against people that want to be productive, smart, efficient and ambitious. You have to always be on your toes and proactively plan your life so life doesn’t take control of you. This post (like so many others) was written partially as a reminder to myself about the bad habits of the past that have killed my goals in life. I hope it opens your eyes and helps guide you towards the light of happiness.

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Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Are Your Friends Holding You Back From Amazing Success?

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Got VALUE from this episode?

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How to be more outgoing
Attitude Adjustment

SDN019: How I made $400,000 from a single conversation

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One of the best things you can be in life and in business is more outgoing and more approachable when it comes to making new friends. I thought I’d use this time between us to talk about my history- how I’m more outgoing, more boisterous; how I make great connections, how I shake more hands, and how it’s benefited me in my life and in my business.

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productivity
Attitude Adjustment

How to balance long-term with urgent—one task at a time

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Quick, do this exercise.

Think of all the short-term tasks you completed yesterday, like: replying to emails, fixing glitches on your web site, answering the phone, updating Facebook status, making lists, and waiting for people to confirm their appointments. All valuable. None pay the bills.

In the course of a day most people spend most minutes putting out fires, tinkering with details, making lists and procrastinating. It’s called the Parkinson Principle – work expands to fill the time allotted.

What about long-term projects. How much time do you invest every day moving those projects ahead. I’m thinking projects like:

  • designing your next product launch
  • getting help to build an advertising campaign
  • writing that book you’ve been talking about since 2001
  • outsourcing your social media (that’s eating up a hour a day)
  • using customer feedback to update your product
  • getting your accounting up-to-date

Those projects move the needle forward. The trick is to employ a system where long-term goals drive your actions, not hoping you’ll find more time (mysteriously) later.

Here are three died-in-the-wool systems that will help you balance long-term objectives with urgent tasks. I have taught these systems to thousands of people and they always the most popular parts of my time management seminars.

1. Work from a Flight Plan

Once a week you need to create a Flight Plan – a short list of essential objectives to complete by next Friday. This is not another “To-Do” list full of miscellaneous tasks and “left overs” from last week—instead it’s mission-critical work that moves your long-term projects forward and gets you closer to your goals.

Start with “Boulders” (the big goals for the year): what “Chunks” of Boulders can you complete this week? It might be setting up a meeting, research, or outsourcing – the trick is to have something every week that keeps your Boulders rolling forward.

Next, add in one-off, time-sensitive tasks. Be as specific as possible – “Post job in upwork.com for graphic design” is better than “Get help with graphic design”.

Once you have your Flight Plan, keep it visible and drive all your actions toward completing it before the weekend.

2. Remove Distractions

A distraction could be that sticky note that’s been on your desk for two months, or a full InBox screaming “look at me!” Minor in the moment, distractions have a way of gnawing away at your focus and making it difficult to complete. Boundaries (creating time slots when you are strategically unavailable) and Blocking (creating appointments with yourself) are two systems to start with. Here are some other fast solutions:

  • take 10 minutes and purge your desk of anything not immediately needed (yes, that includes that stack of business cards from the last conference you attended).
  • unsubscribe from email lists that you no longer want. Yes, this will take time (you can outsource this), but think of the distractions that will disappear every day.
  • get all your lists in one place—this includes calendars. If you aren’t using that cool app on your phone every day it’s likely not needed. Delete it.
  • create a list for the month and a “someday” list in Evernote. These are un-prioritized holding zones. Do not look at these except once a week when you update your Flight Plan.

3. Practice Triage

In an emergency, paramedics practice triage. They often can’t attend to everything and everyone immediately, so they make hard decisions about what can wait. You need to do the same.

Jumping from one task to another, without completing what you started is a recipe for anxiety and failure. I am often surprised how much more effective I can be working from a cafe with no Internet connection, as opposed to my office where I am fully connected.

When a distraction comes up (“I’ll just take a minute an check out their web site”), resist. If this does not contribute to your Flight Plan it can wait. Tough love in the moment will pay big love dividends long-term.

Hugh Culver

Bio: Hugh Culver co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), started five companies, and teaches experts the business of speaking. Read his blog on the business of speaking. Follow him on Twitter @hughculver

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procrastination
Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

How to get unstuck and started (even if you love to procrastinate)

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We’ve all been there. You have. I have. Stuck.

Maybe you need to get your sales up or write a book. Maybe you need to deal with a staffing issue (or you need staff). Whatever the reason…being stuck sucks.

The good news is there are hacks that’ll get you unstuck, moving and productive again.

Before we get to that…

Advice is like water. Everyone needs it, but we don’t give it much credit for making life happen. Ask a person in the middle of a desert if water is “helpful” and you’ll get a different story. Why?

When you recognize the “cost” of being stuck the solution is much, much more valuable. So, before we dive into solutions I know work, think for a minute about the alternative. What is the real cost of being stuck?

If you don’t pick up the phone and call the client back. If you don’t create a deadline and start working on that book. If you don’t create those emails and ask people for the sale.

Procrastination has a cost.

Feel it? Good. Now, let’s move to getting you unstuck.

Ten ways to get unstuck, moving and productive again.

1. Get real

Think how many decisions you’ve to make in your life. In a year’s time this will seen minor, so why not just do it?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Churchill

2. Take a break

When you focus your attention on a task completely unrelated, your mind can return to the original task refreshed and with a new perspective.

“Never taking a break from thought work actually reduces your ability to be creative” —Kimberly Elsbach, UC-Davis

3. Get physical

Stand, stretch, go for a run, walk your dog—physical movement increases the flow in your circulatory system, releases feel-good neurotransmitters (like Dopamine, and Serotonin) and puts you in a positive mood.

“Exercise is like fertilizer for the brain…it’s so good it’s like Miracle Gro.” Dr. John Ratey, Harvard.

4. Stop Doing list

What is filling your time AND holding you back? Make a list (Jim Collins calls it your ‘Stop Doing list’)—one of the fastest ways to get started is to stop doing those low-value tasks that are chewing up your time.

“The “stop doing” list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions.” —Jim Collins, author From Good to Great

5. Change your environment

Clear the desk clutter, work from a local cafe, use paper instead of computer—sometimes, a change is as good as a start.

“As a species, humans have evolved to respond to novelty, once we’ve become accustomed to something, we may grow immune to its effects. —Hugh Thompson, Ph.D

6. Be kind to yourself

It’s easy to blame yourself—don’t. You’ve been here before, you are capable and you will succeed. Have faith you will get through this period, just like every other time.

“Practicing self-compassion provides us with the kind voice and warm embrace we need in difficult times so we courageously do the right thing.” Forbes

7. Let go of the past

It’s hard to get started when your attention is on what didn’t work in the past. Take a deep breath, let it go and focus on what you want to create in the today, for the future.

“Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think.” Tim Pychyl, Ph.D

8. Get advice

Usually we can’t see the forest for the trees when we’re too close to the problem. Ask a good friend, hire a coach – even ask on-line. And then listen.

“When you ask for advice, people do not think less of you; they think you are smarter.” —Maurice Schweitzer, PhD of the Wharton School

9. Create a deadline

A little tension (like a deadline) can move mountains and end procrastination. Give yourself a Decision Deadline (for the full project or a practical solution) and stick to it.

“Deadlines allow us to clarify our thoughts and create an action plan.” — Dan Ariely, Ph.D

10. Create tiny wins

Frustrated about sales? Call one prospect. Want to lose weight? Start walking 20 minutes a day. Need to apologize? Write a card. Any forward motion is a tiny win in the right direction.

“When you feel good about what you did, your brain will change. It will want to do the behavior again in the future. That leads to making the habit stronger.” —B.J. Fogg, Ph.D

Ten ways to get moving. All work. Only one question…what are you doing here (get started).

Hugh Culver

Bio: Hugh Culver co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), started five companies, and teaches experts the business of speaking. Read his blog on the business of speaking. Follow him on Twitter @hughculver

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Break Through The Wall
Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Four Ways To Break Through the Wall

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Let’s be honest, at some point we all hit a wall. A Plateau. A Bad Day. Writer’s Block. Whatever you might call the moment when things stop working. It is a natural part of reaching for a goal. It’s just a part of life. How you handle that moment is crucial though.  If handled wrong the wall becomes too big to overcome, and we become frustrated, irritable, and maybe worst of all, we give up.

If we handle the moment well, the wall becomes a hurdle.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work or time to overcome, but we soon find ourselves back on track to achieving our goals. Here are a few ways to handle those moments when we hit a wall in our life.

Take a Break

We work hard. Life can get busy. Sometimes we hit the wall when we are tired, and that makes the wall bigger than it actually is. It is OK to take a break. Walk away from the wall for awhile. Part of this is being aware of your situation and self. To be honest enough to take a real break. I know this is difficult for us when we are striving to achieve a goal. But when you feel rested, you might discover that the wall was not that big in the first place.

Ask for Help

This option is also hard to do sometimes. Our pride gets in the way, but consider that great athletes have coaches, great writers have editors, and simply, CEOs have friends. We are people, not machines. Getting someone else’s perspective on a situation is a valuable asset in overcoming a “wall” moment. When working on a goal, our focus can actually blind us from seeing new opportunities or hurdles that trip us up. Life is a team sport, you don’t have to do it alone.

Try a New Approach

One way around a wall is a new approach. Asking for help can lead us to consider new approaches. But we can figure it out sometimes when we hit a wall, and we hit a wall, and we hit it again. If we keep doing the same thing and keep hitting a wall, it is time to change.  As a coach and teacher I am always evaluating the outcome of a lesson or practice plan. Track is the best example here. As a track coach I paid attention to my runners’ times for their events. If they didn’t improve their time after a few weeks, I knew I had to change their training. The same holds true in our pursuit of a goal. Hitting a wall, especially a couple of times, is a sign to try a new approach.

Learn

The last approach may be the most important, learn. When we move into a new area of life or step closer to a goal, we are entering new territory. And we might not have the knowledge or skills for this step forward. My first novel has been out for six months. Sales started out well, in fact, I sold a couple of hundred copies. But now sales are almost to a stop. I have hit a wall.  This wall is because of my lack of knowledge about promoting a book. It will take some time, but I am learning about different ways to self-promote and hiring an agency to promote a book.  This wall was created because I had not gained the knowledge needed to promote a book well.

Hitting a wall is a part of striving for a goal. It is part of life. Using one of these strategies should help you get through the moment and back on track.


True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six. He is currently an Instructional Coach and an adjunct professor for Central Community College, Nebraska. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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