How To Get Out Of Debt And Acquire Substantial FU Money

I am going to share some steps on how to get out of debt, so you can stop worrying and do something awesome with your life!

But before we get there, let me point out that I’m not a financial advisor. So what I’m going to share is based on my personal experience with debt and also, acquiring FU money. Maybe some of my stuff will work in your life, or maybe not…

With that said, one of my life goals is to buy a fully restored Austin Healey 3000.

Take a look at the pic below. Pretty awesome, right?

1962 Austin Healey 3000 MkII BJ7. Photo license creative commons, by Sicnag.

My dad owned an Austin Healey 3000 back in the 60’s. But then he sold it, went to Viet Nam, survived, came back to the states and hasn’t rode around in one of these since…

Eventually I’d like to change that.

But the only way I can change that is by growing my business and avoiding debt like the plague. You see, there are a lot of people who will say stuff like: “You’re doing well. Just get a car loan. Get that car today. You deserve to treat yourself.” And while the temptation to go into debt is ever present, there is nothing that will kill your dreams faster.

When I graduated college, I had a student loan bill that sucked. At the time, I didn’t have money or a job. So I decided to pay for stuff with credit cards. That was a bad move. It only took eight months (after college) until I added just enough credit card debt on top of my student loans to hit roughly 30K! That was a really sucky time.

I needed to get out of debt. But I did not know how…

1. Pay Yourself First

Fortunately I came into contact with two successful business owners in my hometown. Both thought differently than I did. For example, one guy owned a bunch of car dealerships and was worth 67 million dollars (not a typo.) Another guy owned a chain of bowling alleys. Having conversations with these guys taught me I was thinking about money all wrong.

Those guys inspired me. After meeting, I decided to learn everything I could about how money works. In the process, I discovered a concept called: “pay yourself first.” And the idea is simple. Whenever you get a paycheck, before you pay any bills or fill up your gas tank, set a little money aside and NEVER touch it. That’s all you gotta do.

One guy I discovered during this time was Brian Tracy. He’s been a HUGE influence in my life. And I now introduce him to you. Watch this video:

If you’re like most people, you probably want to save money but feel too strapped to take action. This is because each month is filled with bills and other unexpected expenses. For this reason, most people put off saving until the end of the month.

Paying yourself LAST never works.

Again, I’m speaking from experience. It was really tough to break my habits. Because I didn’t have money, I spent whatever I had, thinking I’d save later. But at the end of every month, there was nothing left to save. In other words, there was more month than money… And that was a vicious cycle.

2. Get Out of Debt

Something had to change. So I decided it make it my sole obsession to get out of debt. To get ahead, I had to make some changes. Instead of waiting around for my dream job, I took a job selling washing machines. Then I cut up my credit cards. I lived below my means and followed these steps:

  1. Write down all monthly income, including paycheck, extra jobs, etc.
  2. Write down all monthly expenses, including bills, groceries, gas, etc.
  3. Subtract expenses from income. What do you have left?
  4. Open a high-interest online savings account.
  5. Set up automatic withdraws each payday and pretend it is a bill.

In a few months, I had small emergency fund. Then after a year or so, I paid off my credit card debt. Then after a few more years, I paid off my student loans. After that, I spoke to a financial adviser and started investing.

And all this brings me to my final point…

3. Accumulate FU Money

Once you become debt free and get money in the bank, you will grow in ways you cannot yet imagine. It is at this point (and you’ll know it when you get there), that you need to accumulate FU Money.

You know you have “FU money” when your bank account it so robust, you can walk out of any meeting without the fear of starvation. For example, lets say you get into a negotiation for something you want… But you don’t like the terms, and the other party isn’t willing to make any concessions. Then you can say: “FU, I’m done!”

Or maybe you’re a few weeks into a new job you find out your boss is a complete idiot and makes stupid decisions that negatively impact you. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just walk away? “FU, I quit!”

FU money gives you freedom to live the life you want to live,  without worry. You sleep better. And ironically, FU money will give you just enough self confidence and power, that (if you still have a job) you’ll probably get a promotion.

It’s Not Easy, But Worth It

None of what I described was easy for me. I learned you’ll only get out of debt and accumulate FU money if you develop the life-long habit of paying your first. If this is interesting to you, there are many financial apps and software to help you stay on top of your financial game. Check out Mint and Acorns. And make sure you download my guide too.

How To Turn Your Side Hustle Into Full Time Freedom

If you’re like most people, you fantasize about quitting your job so you can turn you side hustle into full time freedom. But for whatever reason, you fail to take the necessary action. I know this because like you, I’ve been there.

When I started my blog, my BIG goal was to make five thousand dollars per month and travel. Then life happened. I got married, moved into a new place, and rescued a puppy. And instead of fully growing my internet business, I got a job.

For a short time the job was exciting. It paid well. And having the position gave me a feeling of success. But as the weeks went on, I grew further from attaining my own freedom. That’s what prompted me to share my journey with you (through this blog).

When you work for a boss, you trade your freedom (in 40 hour blocks of time) for money. And if you’re like most people, the only way you can make more money is by working more hours or finding a part time job. But what if there was another way?

full time freedom

How To Turn Your Side Hustle Into Full Time Freedom

The Internet offers a gazillion opportunities to turn your words and ideas into income. If you make a plan and consistently follow the plan, you can grow your income into full time freedom. It’s really amazing if you think about it.

To give you an example of how this works, let’s imagine that you own a bakery that specializes in making treats for little puppies. (I live in Los Angeles. These actually do exist!) And let’s also pretend that each morning at 4AM, you fight the urge to hit your snooze button. You get out of bed and take a cold shower. Then you get dressed, brush your teeth and hit the road.

You arrive at the store by 5AM and get to work. By 8AM people start showing up to grab freshly baked treats for their puppies. For the next eight hours, you serve customers. Then after the store closes, you spend a few more hours cleaning and prepping for tomorrow. By the time you get home, it’s 10PM and you’re spent.

In total, after cost of goods sold, taxes and other expenses, you cleared like two hundred dollars. It’s not bad money, but it comes with a cost. While being your own boss is better than having a boss… In this scenario, you’ve traded a 40 hour work week for an 80 hour work week. Choosing to run this type of business is the opposite of full time freedom.

Now let’s pretend you have a product. Maybe it’s a puppy treat cookbook called “Delicious Puppy Treats You Can Bake In 10 Minutes.” And better yet, what if your cookbook is fully downloadable? So you set up a website and start selling your eBook.

Unlike your brick and mortar store (which carries all those expenses), you can set up a website and start selling your eBook for for less than dinner and a movie for two. Your website is open all the time. There are no more early mornings. No more baking. No more inventory. And you’re no longer limited by region. You can literally drive thousands of puppy owners (from anywhere on earth) to your website all day, every day.

Passive Income Will Change Your Life

Here is an example of how passive income will change your life. Imagine you decide to treat some friends to dinner. It’s a nice evening, full of laughter and conversation. Then the check comes and it’s around $100 dollars. At that exact moment, your phone lights up with an email notification. It’s from your shopping cart service. You just made a $97 sale. Essentially your downloadable product bought you dinner! (This happens in my life all the time. It’s a fantastic feeling.)

When it comes to creating passive income, you have unlimited earning potential. And while it may take you a few months create your downloadable product – Once your product is complete, you can make money without working. After you create one passive income stream, you can create more products. And with each new product, your passive income gets closer to full time freedom.

So what are you waiting for?

Secret Side Hustle: Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Read This Article

Your job was fun in the beginning. You came to work each day, energized to make things happen. But over time, enthusiasm faded. Market conditions, regulations and interpersonal crap with your co-workers and clients beat you into submission.

At least you’re not alone. Everyone else at your work is going through motions like a bunch of task zombies. Even your boss. Except she’s worse off than you. Because on top of also hating her job, she has to pretend the work matters. (It doesn’t.)

Your Boss Doesn’t Want You To Read This

If this sounds familiar, you have two choices.

  1. Stay miserable until you get fired or die.
  2. Plan your exit strategy TODAY.

To be clear, you don’t need to quit your job today. That would be reckless. But you do need to plan your exit strategy. And that is going to take some thought. To help you put things in perspective, watch this video:

See what I mean? When compared to the rest of the known universe, your work challenges are insignificant. Of course, this grandiose perspective doesn’t change the fact that come Monday, you’ll still have to white-knuckle your way through a bunch of bureaucratic BS.

The easy solution is to find another job. But this is a short term fix. Sooner or later you will hate your new job as much as you hate your current job. So instead of quitting, I suggest you keep your job and start a secret side hustle.

Establish Your Secret Side Hustle

A side hustle is a business you run on a small scale to replace your current income. And you should keep side hustle secret until it starts making money. The reason for secrecy is three fold:

  1. Your side hustle could make your intention to leave your current employer blatantly obvious… Which could prompt your boss to help accelerate your exit. Depending on your financial situation, that could suck.
  2. You don’t need the added pressure of friends and family continually asking about your business. And you certainly don’t need more unsolicited opinions outlining all the reasons your side hustle could fail.
  3. And finally, having a secret side hustle will give you clarity and confidence. While all your co-workers are mucking about, worried about their fate as an employee, you’ll be able to watch the show with delightful detachment.

As you gain success in your secret side hustle, don’t be surprised if you get promoted at work. It is hard to describe, but having your own source of income gives you interpersonal super powers… Suddenly your opinions matter and your influence grows.

If this sounds good, here are next steps for planning your secret side hustle:

Step 1: Know your number. How much money do you need to make each month to afford your desired lifestyle?

Step 2: Find your side hustle: Out of the gazillion businesses you can create on the side, which one grabs your attention the most? (Since you’re reading this blog, I suggest you create a blog business.)

Step 3: Research successful people: Find people successful in your niche, already selling stuff to your ideal customer. What are they doing that you like? What are they doing that you don’t like?

Step 4: Take baby steps to get there: Building a profitable side hustle into a full time business takes time. Work backwards. Break your big business goals into monthly tasks. Then break the months into weeks. And break the weeks into days. What task will you complete today to get one step closer?

Step 5: And finally, keep learning. The only way you’re going to gain success in life is by learning new stuff, and by meeting people more successful than you. That’s it. Everything else is more of the same.

I wish you all the best on your journey.

How To Find Your Next Career

It’s four-o-clock in the morning and you’re wondering how to find your next career. You’re laying in bed wide awake (again). The whole world is spinning and you’re thinking maybe you should have made different decisions with your life.

What you’re feeling is uncertainty. And I’ve been there. In the past decade, I have worked for five start ups. And most of those companies either tanked or tanked me. That’s the whole reason I started blogging. Sometimes it makes sense to plan your next career move.

How-To-Find-Your-Next-Career

How To Find Your Next Career

If you want to find your next career, you have to get real with yourself.

STEP ONE: Make A List Of Everything You Do

When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time? What do you find yourself doing without thinking about it? How could you combine your interests to create value?

I am personally attracted to sales, internet marketing, writing and public speaking. Even when I am not working, these activities are fun for me. So my short list would look like this:

  • Face-to-Face Sales.
  • Internet Marketing.
  • Writing.
  • Public speaking.

I would do these things even if people didn’t pay me.

STEP TWO: Find A Market For Your Skills

If you could create the perfect career, what would it look like? You really have to take time to think this through. Because unless you’re honest about your goals, skills and interests – it will be challenging to find your next career.

Once you take time to sketch out ideas, you need to find some role models. Who is already doing what you want to do? And who do you spend the most time with?

You become the people you spend the most time with.

In other words if there is something you don’t like about your current situation, look around. Odds are good your friends currently reflect you. If you aspire to be more than you currently are, make friends with people who are doing more.

Even if you are totally clueless, you need to commit to taking one small action (any action) towards becoming more awesome. Once you take the first step, you can figure out the rest…

For me that meant calling people cold.

I started by calling my old boss (I hate the word boss, but anyway…)

He’s one of those dot-com guys who sold his first company for a few million dollars. We worked together on a start-up a few years back. Our start up was almost a success. Then our investors pulled out. Then he fired me. (He told me that I was laid off, not fired. But sying I got fired feels a lot more awesome.)

So we met up for drinks. And he offered some solid success advice that I have been rolling around in my mind ever since…

Even A Turkey Can Fly In A Hurricane

My old boss said, “even a turkey can fly in a hurricane.”

I found out later that this is cliche. But I never heard it before.

It means you can spend years grinding away at a business, but if you’re in the wrong market, you will probably burn out. (Been there!) So the solution is clear.

Find a hot market and reinvest your skills there. Because even if you suck at first, don’t worry. Just like a turkey flying in a hurricane, you will fare better than if you keep doing something that totally blows.

Meet NEW People Weekly

We all have the habit of sticking with our comfort zone. But that’s not going to help you find new opportunity. So you need to expand your network. The best way to do this is ask people to meet up weekly.

Get involved in stuff like Toastmasters. Meet ups. Trade shows. Networking functions. The reason? Sooner or later you’re going to meet someone new – And that single meeting will lead to your next career path.

Think about it. You are never going to be this young and have this amount of energy ever again. So you may as well take action. And while you’re at it, start a blog.

How To Start Blogging (So You Can Start Living)

If you’re ready to start blogging, you’re in the right place. The following blogging checklist will provide an overview of the process. These steps are based on my experience growing a profitable blog.

Where it makes sense, I included recommendations for helpful software, products and services. In full disclosure, if you click the links and make a purchase, I may receive compensation. If referrals aren’t cool, feel free to ignore the links.

To achieve blogging success, you’ll have to take a long term perspective. Most people start blogging, write a few articles and then give up. Don’t be like most people. To rise above the noise and grow traffic, you need to start blogging with the goal of publishing useful content (to serve your audience) for six months straight.

start blogging

How To Start Blogging

Here is a general overview of steps you can take to start and grow your blog. Keep in mind that some of these steps can be accomplished today, while other steps may take months. Regardless, the best time to start blogging is right now!

1. Pick Your Overarching Blog Topic: Many people choose a blog topic based on popular trends and not passion. Don’t do this. It may take you many months to grow your blog. And if you don’t love your topic, you won’t be able to fully serve your niche audience. To avoid burnout before you start, choose a blog topic you love.

2. Break Your Blog Topic Into Categories: Once you find your blog topic, your next step is to break your topic into smaller chunks. For example, filmmaking consists of screenwriting, producing, directing, marketing and distribution. By breaking your own niche topic into smaller categories, you will define a framework for your overarching topic. I recommend creating at least five categories.

3. Create 10 Articles For Each Category: After breaking your niche into smaller categories, create at least ten article ideas for each category. This simple exercise will allow you to come up with at least fifty article ideas. Fifty articles will provide you with two articles per week, for the next six months.

4. Choose Blog Platform: Many blogging networks allow you to post blog content for free. But if you’re serious about blogging, I suggest you forgo the free stuff in favor of a blog you own. To do this, you’ll need hosting and a domain name. One company I’ve used for years is Bluehost. The hosting packages usually include a domain.

5. Set Up Traffic Tools: One of the most comprehensive traffic tools is  called Google Analytics. The software is free, easy to install and allows you to monitor who’s coming to your website, how long they stay in where visitors exit.

6. Create Your Facebook Account: In order to provide community, at the very least you will want to set up a Facebook page that links to your blog. This page will allow you to interact and build relationships with your audience. Set up a Facebook page here.

7. Create A Twitter Account: One of the easiest ways to get visitors to your blog is to set up a twitter account. Once set up, you will be able to tweet about new articles on your website. In this sense, your twitter followers will click the link and visit your site. Set up a twitter account here.

8. Link Your Blog to Facebook and Twitter: The Internet is nothing more than a series of links. Your goal is to make it easy for someone to find your website. Once your Facebook page and Twitter account is established, you can then set up automatic updates on each page. Any time you publish a new article your Facebook fans and Twitter followers will know.

9. Set Up Email Opt-In: There is an expression Internet marketing that says your money is your list.  Many bloggers make the mistake of relying solely on social networks to manage their list. But as you know, social networks often go out of vogue. So you will want to set up a system whereby you can manage your own email list. Visit our friends at Aweber to get started.

10. Create Content: It will take search engines a few months to start taking you and your blog seriously. You goal during this time is to continually add content to your blog. You will find this very challenging at first. Keep going! Think of it like a game. If you can write 50 articles over the next two months, you will begin to gain traffic.

11. Sell Ad Space: As  your blog gains popularity, one of the easiest ways to make money is to sell ad space on your blog. With this model, more traffic increases the likelihood that someone will click on the ad. And since most ads are based on Pay-Per-Click, this can generate significant revenue. The downside of selling ad space is you may send targeted visitors away from your blog.

12. Create Affiliate Relationships: If you consistently produce great content, your efforts will result in a massive traffic and a robust mailing list. At this point, you may want to start referring your visitors to products and services that complement your niche. This is called affiliate marketing. One of the easiest places to find affiliate products is clickbank.

13. Create Your Own Products: One of the most profitable steps you can take involves leveraging and re-purposing your content to create your own information products and services. While this is a lot more time consuming than promoting affiliate products, the upside is higher profit margins and creative control.  Additionally, affiliates start working for you!

14. Increase Your Traffic: There are several ways to drive traffic to your website, including online and offline. You can choose to pay for advertising or look for ways to create free traffic. Some examples include press releases, pay-per-click, search engine optimization, banner ads, newsletters, advertising in magazines, guest posting on blogs and sharing ideas on social platforms.

15. Partner With Other Bloggers: Nothing can help you get noticed in the noise faster than a vote of confidence from a blogger already established in your niche. I suggest taking a moment to send an intro email to these folks and ask for an interview. Because you are thinking about ways to promote other bloggers, this will help you get on their radar.

Simply put, blogging involves setting up a site, capturing traffic, selling products and scaling up!

Are You Living A Life Of Quiet Desperation?

Do you ever feel like you could be doing so much more with your life?

When you started out, you dreamed big. Do you remember?

You woke up each day filled with excitement for the possibilities of tomorrow.

Then life happened. 

Days became weeks. Weeks became years. And now, decades…

quiet desperation

Are You Living A Life Of Quiet Desperation?

Now you start each day with a wave of dread.

You’re going through the motions and grinding. You have a decent job and a family who loves you.

To most people, you look like a success. But you and I both know you’re on the brink of burnout and you’re bored.

You’re living a life of quiet desperation.

How did this happen?

Easy. You settled. You let yourself get comfortable. But how this happened is not important. What is important is the next chapter in your life.

By reading these words, you are about to take a new direction in life…

How do I know?

Because you are not alone.

If you haven’t guessed, I am also experiencing this. And I decided to share my steps in real time so you can follow along.

I don’t promise you fame and fortune and a new Ferarri. But what you’ll get from me is real…

To be continued…