I spent the last few weeks finishing work on a real estate renovation project. I was supposed to have this finished by the end of August. I had promised the tenants, who were moving in, that it would be done by September 7th. Two weeks after they moved in the work was done.
Spending 3 weeks working on this project put me behind in doing several things I wanted to do. Such as writing blog posts and working on consulting projects. It also drained me; I was so exhausted I started feeling like a Zombie.
Why was I exhausted?
I am not in the construction business. While I enjoy components of it, I am a real estate investor. I hire talented contractors to do the work right and quickly. When a contractor disappeared on me I “had” to do several aspects of the work that were supposed to already be done.
(It was my management failure that allowed this work to get so far behind in the first place.)
There aren’t many things in life we really “have” to do. We choose to do them because we fear a particular consequence of not doing them. I “had” to do this work (even though I don’t enjoy it) because integrity is a core value in my life.
I made a promise.
I failed to keep this promise, so I did all I could to remedy the situation as best I could. I was emotionally drained. I am still recovering from the time spent on that work.
What I learned
Doing work you aren’t passionate about is exhausting. I didn’t hate the work, I just knew there were more important things that I should be doing. That frustration was a mental burden that decreased my overall energy.
There are times we should do things that we may not enjoy. Sometimes because of responsibility or core values we “have” to do. I have a plan to improve my process so I will not be caught in a situation like this again.
There are many people who do things they hate for decades (like a job they hate “Just to pay the bills”). They clothe their continuing toil in phrases that sound good. Phrases like “I have to work here for the benefits” or “Nobody is hiring” or “I am too old to change jobs.”
Do you do want you want to do or what you “have to do?”
What is a good deed?
His implication; it was good because I didn’t receive anything in return for it. I wasn’t paid. I spent my gas, time, and energy without any tangible benefit to me.
I had spent all day, cleaning and showing a house to potential tenants. It is a really nice home extremely close to the University of Louisville. I enjoyed living there as a student, the home is nicer than when I lived in it. Now students get to derive the same benefits I enjoyed while living there. Were those activities good deeds?
If we are paid for an activity is it no longer a good deed?
In January one of my daughters contracted strep throat. She couldn’t even keep water down. She was extremely dehydrated and had a fever. After four hours in the emergency room she was doing much better.
Was that a good deed the doctor and nurses performed? I was glad to give them some silly green pieces of paper for what they did. It was a very good deed for my family.
Some will say “Yeah, but that is medical; it is different”
So here a few people who have done good deeds for me in the last couple weeks (most of them received green certificates of appreciation) For more info on green certificates of appreciation I recommend reading “Thou Shall Prosper”
- Plumber unclogging a toilet at one of our properties
- The other 7 people who showed up the monthly Small biz meeting
- My wife who prepared dinner 3 times this week
- The cooks, servers, and managers at the restaurants, where I dined
- The contractors helping me renovate a home
- The people at the utility companies that provide me electricity, internet, water, and fire for cooking
- The road crews repairing the roads in West Lafayette so I have a smoother ride to church and daycare
- The people who make the disposable cups I use to hold coffee
- Bill Gates for having the vision to create Microsoft and the slew of programs I use
- People at WordPress who created the CMS that allows me to post these articles with ease
As you can see there have probably been millions of people who have done good deeds from which I benefited from over the last couple of weeks. Each of us specializing allows all of us to benefit. Unless you are a drug dealer, thief, etc.; your specialization is valuable and a good deed. It provides benefits for those who consume your product or service.
Almost all of us are doing good deeds when we work. I don’t have to do something for free for it to be my good deed for the day. My days are filled with doing good deeds. Whether spending time with my wife and children, preparing the books for a business, managing our rentals, or writing these articles. “It is all good” Be proud of your good deeds today!!!
Who has done a good deed for you today?
Picture a beautiful sandcastle. Hours spent crafting intricate towers and walls. Elements in the sand glisten as the sun sets. In the “perfect” location, Ocean front property. This beach is amazing, gentle sand, clear water, and void of human clutter. It is perfection…
The tide begins to rise. The sky turns dark with angry clouds. The wind begins screaming like a toddler tantrum. The waves become larger and larger… then with a violent crushing force… The sandcastle is obliterated. There is no trace of those hours of work. The beauty of it is gone.
A sandcastle marriage seems great when there are clear skies and calm seas. Everyone will tell you how beautiful it is. BUT when the storms of life, the baggage of the past, frustrations of the current day, and stress of 2 people becoming 1 appear, the greatness fades. That beautiful sandcastle marriage is shattered by the crashing waves of life.
Some foundations of a Sandcastle marriage:
- Infatuation (a powerful feeling that can fool even the best of us)
- Lust (desire to derive personal pleasure, satisfaction, or status from that sexy, powerful, or wealthy person)
- Baggage (lots of intimate experiences with others outside the covenant of marriage or other unhealthy dating relationships)
- Selfishness (My spouse is going to do all these things for me)
- Co-dependency (Need to fix someone else’s problem, making it your problem. Enabling the other person in the process)
- Unresolved emotional issues (most of us have things in our past that could use resolution, perhaps with the assistance of a counselor or physiologist)
None of these provide a foundation for marriage. A long-term successful marriage has a strong foundation. When the storms of life come blasting in; it may damage aspects of the marriage relationship for a season, but the foundation is solid. The couple can easier stand back up and rebuild together on that solid foundation.
Some foundations for a life-long marriage
- Love (a choice one makes, love is not a feeling. Hollywood wants us to believe love is a magical feeling but in reality it is a choice. Infatuation and lust are the feelings often mistaken for love)
- Purity (I can only talk about this one from the other side as I wasn’t pure before marriage. I know what it is like to have your mind constantly bombarded with past baggage. Baggage that comes crashing in on your mind with waves of guilt and shame.)
- Honesty and trust (speaking the truth with gentleness, being trustworthy and trusting)
- Communication (Set aside times to communicate about your life together, Daily is best)
- Vision and goals (What is your shared vision? You can’t have separate visions for your life or your foundation will crack)
- Dedication and loyalty (Divorce is not an option. Be dedicated to finding a solution. Speak well of each other to others and to each other)
- I am sure several of you have some other foundation blocks you could add. Please share them in the comments below.
None of us are perfect with all of these points. Sometimes our marriage foundations have cracks in them. Be quick to address and work together to fix them. While harder to repair, they are so worth taking the time to repair. There is an exponential power released when a married couple comes together with 1 vision and set of goals.
Storms and challenges in life will come your way. Your marriage will be threatened, attacked, and beat up at times. As Dr. Thomas Stanley (author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind) found in his research, the vast majority of millionaires have long-term happy marriages. Children who grow up in homes with both parents are more successful. Married people have a longer life expectancy. The benefits of making a marriage work far and away exceed the costs.
It is better to build the solid foundation before marriage, but not required. Maybe your marriage seems to be a sandcastle right now. All is not lost. You can start working on your foundation today.
What are some other foundation blocks for a good marriage?
Compounding: the concept of reinvesting our harvest. How reinvesting your returns from investments grows your assets.
Here is an example of the basic concept.
You spend $1000 on a bond that pays 10%/year
|Year||Year Interest||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 100.00||$ 100.00||$ 1,100.00|
|2||$ 110.00||$ 210.00||$ 1,210.00|
|3||$ 121.00||$ 331.00||$ 1,331.00|
|4||$ 133.10||$ 464.10||$ 1,464.10|
|5||$ 146.41||$ 610.51||$ 1,610.51|
|6||$ 161.05||$ 771.56||$ 1,771.56|
|7||$ 177.16||$ 948.72||$ 1,948.72|
|8||$ 194.87||$ 1,143.59||$ 2,143.59|
|9||$ 214.36||$ 1,357.95||$ 2,357.95|
|10||$ 235.79||$ 1,593.74||$ 2,593.74|
|11||$ 259.37||$ 1,853.12||$ 2,853.12|
|12||$ 285.31||$ 2,138.43||$ 3,138.43|
|13||$ 313.84||$ 2,452.27||$ 3,452.27|
|14||$ 345.23||$ 2,797.50||$ 3,797.50|
|15||$ 379.75||$ 3,177.25||$ 4,177.25|
|16||$ 417.72||$ 3,594.97||$ 4,594.97|
|17||$ 459.50||$ 4,054.47||$ 5,054.47|
|18||$ 505.45||$ 4,559.92||$ 5,559.92|
|19||$ 555.99||$ 5,115.91||$ 6,115.91|
|20||$ 611.59||$ 5,727.50||$ 6,727.50|
In 20 years your $1,000 has increased to over $6,700 and you will earn $670 in the next year. In year one notice it was only $100. That movement from $100 to $670 is compounding in action.
If you consumed(spent) that $100 each year, you would only earn $100 each year.
In our next example let’s say we invest an average American car payment each month in addition to that initial $1,000 investment. (We are using $350 for car payment as the average ranges from $300 to $550 per month)
|Year||Year Deposits||Year Interest||Total Deposits||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 4,200.00||$ 324.19||$ 5,200.00||$ 324.19||$ 5,524.19|
|2||$ 4,200.00||$ 776.61||$ 9,400.00||$ 1,100.79||$ 10,500.79|
|3||$ 4,200.00||$ 1,274.27||$ 13,600.00||$ 2,375.06||$ 15,975.06|
|4||$ 4,200.00||$ 1,821.69||$ 17,800.00||$ 4,196.76||$ 21,996.76|
|5||$ 4,200.00||$ 2,423.86||$ 22,000.00||$ 6,620.62||$ 28,620.62|
|6||$ 4,200.00||$ 3,086.25||$ 26,200.00||$ 9,706.87||$ 35,906.87|
|7||$ 4,200.00||$ 3,814.87||$ 30,400.00||$ 13,521.74||$ 43,921.74|
|8||$ 4,200.00||$ 4,616.36||$ 34,600.00||$ 18,138.11||$ 52,738.11|
|9||$ 4,200.00||$ 5,498.00||$ 38,800.00||$ 23,636.10||$ 62,436.10|
|10||$ 4,200.00||$ 6,467.80||$ 43,000.00||$ 30,103.90||$ 73,103.90|
|11||$ 4,200.00||$ 7,534.58||$ 47,200.00||$ 37,638.48||$ 84,838.48|
|12||$ 4,200.00||$ 8,708.04||$ 51,400.00||$ 46,346.52||$ 97,746.52|
|13||$ 4,200.00||$ 9,998.84||$ 55,600.00||$ 56,345.36||$ 111,945.36|
|14||$ 4,200.00||$ 11,418.72||$ 59,800.00||$ 67,764.08||$ 127,564.08|
|15||$ 4,200.00||$ 12,980.60||$ 64,000.00||$ 80,744.67||$ 144,744.67|
|16||$ 4,200.00||$ 14,698.66||$ 68,200.00||$ 95,443.33||$ 163,643.33|
|17||$ 4,200.00||$ 16,588.52||$ 72,400.00||$ 112,031.85||$ 184,431.85|
|18||$ 4,200.00||$ 18,667.37||$ 76,600.00||$ 130,699.22||$ 207,299.22|
|19||$ 4,200.00||$ 20,954.11||$ 80,800.00||$ 151,653.33||$ 232,453.33|
|20||$ 4,200.00||$ 23,469.52||$ 85,000.00||$ 175,122.85||$ 260,122.85|
In this example over 20 years we have invested $85,000 and the current value is over $260,000. Your investment of just $4,200/per year has become a potential income of $23,500 per year.
Here we are compounding our investment by continually adding to it from other sources. This is the idea behind saving for retirement. You can create your own custom calculation here. It is a great way to determine how you can get to your desired saving when you enter into retirement.
Now, to really see the amazing power of compounding; let’s change your percentage return. Instead of mutual funds or bonds, what if we are investing in something with more potential. Maybe it is an investment, where we combine our money with our energy. Creating returns of 50% or more. It is the Power of Seed in action.
What if you average 50%per year on your money and you reinvest that? Maybe it is flipping houses, flipping cars, making jewelry or clothing. What is your passion? If you turned off the T.V. and used your time and talent what could you make?
Let’s take that $1,000 and invest in a “riskier” asset. (In these types of activities the main risks are risk you can control. This means the risk depends on how wise the investor is). Could you use $1,000 and find a way to make $500 this year?
|Year||Year Interest||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 500.00||$ 500.00||$ 1,500.00|
|2||$ 750.00||$ 1,250.00||$ 2,250.00|
|3||$ 1,125.00||$ 2,375.00||$ 3,375.00|
|4||$ 1,687.50||$ 4,062.50||$ 5,062.50|
|5||$ 2,531.25||$ 6,593.75||$ 7,593.75|
|6||$ 3,796.88||$ 10,390.63||$ 11,390.63|
|7||$ 5,695.31||$ 16,085.94||$ 17,085.94|
|8||$ 8,542.97||$ 24,628.91||$ 25,628.91|
|9||$ 12,814.45||$ 37,443.36||$ 38,443.36|
|10||$ 19,221.68||$ 56,665.04||$ 57,665.04|
|11||$ 28,832.52||$ 85,497.56||$ 86,497.56|
|12||$ 43,248.78||$ 128,746.34||$ 129,746.34|
|13||$ 64,873.17||$ 193,619.51||$ 194,619.51|
|14||$ 97,309.75||$ 290,929.26||$ 291,929.26|
|15||$ 145,964.63||$ 436,893.89||$ 437,893.89|
|16||$ 218,946.95||$ 655,840.84||$ 656,840.84|
|17||$ 328,420.42||$ 984,261.25||$ 985,261.25|
|18||$ 492,630.63||$ 1,476,891.88||$ 1,477,891.88|
|19||$ 738,945.94||$ 2,215,837.82||$ 2,216,837.82|
|20||$ 1,108,418.91||$ 3,324,256.73||$ 3,325,256.73|
Your $1000 becomes 3.3 million in 20 years… most likely at some point in this you will need to bring on the energy/time of another person or more. This is basically concept of how Michael Dell started. Building computers in his garage and expanding until he was one of the largest computer manufactures in the world.
A business doesn’t grow in a straight line like our example. It will have ups and downs. One business or idea may reach a saturation point. At that point to earn the large returns; we may have to take the new earnings and find alternative investments or new businesses.
Compounding is the basis of the concept “it takes money to earn money.” Once you have accumulated those bricks of abundance, your money can work in addition to you working. Your money doesn’t have to be lazy. It can have a J-O-B.
What J-O-B does your money have?
Is your money lazy?Read More
First for those who aren’t aware, YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” It is often used as an excuse for people to act like a moron.
Why I used it: we do only have one life to live on earth so perhaps it would be wise to try and do it right.
Experience and making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process. And yet it is often possible for us to learn from the mistakes and experience of others. This gives us the ability to skip some lessons and move on to greater challenges and opportunities.
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Hebrew proverb 11:14)
This proverb insinuates that these are wise counselors and not foolish ones. So how do we determine if the counsel we are receiving is wise? Here are 3 questions that will help us discern between wise and foolish counsel. So we can do our life right!
Do they have experience in this area?
There is a story about a multi-millionaire business man who brought in several other successful businessmen for an opportunity with amazing potential. The first question the leader asked was, “Who here has never failed in business?” Two men raised there hands. He asked them to leave.
In this new venture it would look like they would fail. The leader only wanted those on his team who had been crushed by failure. Why? These men were all currently successful, so if they had failed before it meant; They had picked themselves up and gone for it again. When it looked as though this venture would fail the leader wanted men who would push even harder for success.
If you can, find the counsel of someone who has been through what you are facing. It is much easier to start walking on the path another cut. Often you will get there faster than they did. Then you can use their ending point as a launching point for a new adventure.
Do they want the best for you?
A young lady at a licentious party could easily receive a multitude of counsel to remove her clothing. The question she should ask “Are those providing this counsel thinking of my best interest?” Or “do they simply want to satisfy their own servacive desires?” (Servacive = Self-serving).
Wise counsel should be focused on what is best for you. When I prepare your tax return my focus is on 2 things. First, Making sure you pay everything you owe the IRS, but not a penny more. Second, helping you understand the possible tax implications of future decisions.
My focus is completely on you and you can trust the heart of my counsel on your tax situation. However, I am viewing your situation from one perspective. This leads into…..
Did you get a diversity of opinions?
If you are buying a home, you can get wise counsel from a Real estate agent. However, stopping there would be unwise. Your Realtor has only one perspective and only get paid if you by the home.
We could also get advice from a lender, a contractor, and perhaps a home inspector (although be careful using one recommended by your realtor). I would also get counsel from people who live near where you are moving. Counsel from family members whom have purchased homes. Read blogs or books on things to look for when purchasing a home.
Each of these voices will have important things for you to harvest. They will probably have some worthless opinions too. The key is to get a diversity of opinions. This enables you to see a more complete picture.
The more complete the picture the wiser your decision will be.
You only have one life to live so let’s do it the best we can. Let’s get a multitude of counsel from experienced people, who have our best interest in mind, with a diversity of backgrounds. #YOLO
Who are your main sources of counsel?Read More
I was preparing a tax return and the client asked me if I could work for the IRS. I said, “I could, but why would I want too?” His response “They have great benefits.”
I quickly replied, “Prison has better benefits.”
- Free housing
- Free food
- Free exercise equipment
- Free medical care
- Free cable
- Free education
When I first graduated college I had a “great” job at Ford Motor in Dearborn Michigan. I have been a Ford fan ever since I can remember. 12 of the 18 vehicles I have purchased have been Fords. I was getting to work for my favorite car company!!!
The pay was great for a fresh grad. The benefits were even better. I really liked how the upper management would focus on things they could fix (Which is why they didn’t go bankrupt and get a bailout).
But…. I hated my job. After just 5 weeks I was so frustrated driving to work one morning; realizing I just didn’t want to be there. After an attempt by some awesome finance managers to transfer me to a more fulfilling position (halted by bureaucratic HR people); I resigned after just 3 months and 1 day on the job.
I still like Ford, and believe it is a well-run company. I just didn’t fit in that environment. I had to let them know “It is not you, it is me.” I am not one who will let golden handcuffs keep me in a job I hate.
That experience was a great step in defining what type of organization I work with the best. It was not a bad experience, quite on the contrary it was wonderful. It taught me about me. It is a major contributing factor as to why, I know I won’t enjoy working for the IRS.
The benefits of a job do not matter to me when making a decision where to work. This doesn’t mean they should not matter to you. Our first responsibility is to be responsible adults and provide for our family’s needs. I make choices to forgo certain luxuries at this stage of life, so I can be free from the “grey walls of a prison.”
Are great benefits “golden handcuffs” keeping you in a job you detest?Read More
I started chatting with a friend whom I had not talked in years. Their answer my query “How are things going?” was “Just working to pay the bills. You know how it is.” I quickly replied “I don’t really work much anymore; I just do what I love most of the time.” Their reply “why don’t you work?”
Why don’t I work?
I refuse to spend the majority of my week doing something I don’t enjoy. I refuse to do the same thing every day. I will spend my time pursuing my passions and doing the things I love.
What do I do if I don’t work?
Taxes: I love helping people keep as much of their money from the greedy government as legally possible.
Coaching: We are all created for a purpose, we can all use help finding that purpose. I enjoy helping others create a plan do their purpose, then prepare for their purpose, then DO their purpose.
Real estate: I love dirt and I love buildings. I enjoy being involved in the transformation of a building.
Spending time with my family: I love the flexibility to be the parent who stays home when our daughter can’t go to daycare. I enjoy getting my daughters ready for daycare in the morning. I enjoy being able to occasionally prepare dinner for my family.
Writing, Speaking, Teaching: I love expressing my thoughts whether composing a poem, teaching middle school students at church, writing blog post, or speaking to a group. I want to get better at each of those. So, I make writing and creating presentations a priority in my life.
In each of these things there are times when I get frustrated. They even have parts that I don’t like doing. However, I don’t dread Monday. I don’t view the weekend with great awe.
I enjoy my life everyday!
I am “Living the Dream!!!” “If I was any better I would be in Heaven!!!” If any of you ask my how I am doing you have probably heard one of these responses. In that moment I may feel that way or I may be proclaiming it by faith. Either way it is the truth of my life.
What if You don’t enjoy your life every day?
Ask yourself why? Serious stop and ask “Why don’t I enjoy my life every day?” …. Do you have some reasons? Now what can you do to change that situation?
The most powerful thing in your situation you can change is you. Your attitude and your actions are the one thing you have complete control over. Perhaps you just have a bad attitude?
Next and somewhat related step, ask yourself what you like about your life? Maybe you should sit down and write a list of why you like your job, your relationships, your home, your family.
Now do the same thing what is it you don’t enjoy about your life? Is it work? What is it about your job you don’t like? Why do you dread Monday morning? Side-note: If this list is full of things that you can’t control such as: the government, other people, wall street, fox news, sports teams, weather, your genes, other drivers, then you probably aren’t ever going to be happy until your list changes.
These 3 actions are the beginning of finding a life you love and were meant to live. This is the first step toward a life where the lines between work and play are hard to define. If you are “just working to pay the bills,” take action today, to create a more meaningful life.
What does a meaningful life look like for you? (comment below and let us know)Read More