Archive for January 2007

I’m not taking any more exuses!

After much consideration, I have decided to implement a "no excuses" policy for all financial counseling.

I am THROUGH with hearing people who are making $100,000 a year saying that they can't afford to save for retirement.  I am THROUGH hearing people who are making $50,000 say that they just don't make enough money to save for their children's college.  I am THROUGH listening to people who are making $45,000 say that they can't give any money to their local church.  I am THROUGH listening to people who make $200,000 a year who have a pile of debt and say they just don't make enough money to be debt free.  I am THROUGH hearing the lame excuse that "they have had to do without for so long that they just are not willing to wait anymore".

BOO to you!  Down with you!

I am implementing the "No Excuses" policy because:

  • I know people who make less than $25,000/year who are debt-free except the house, are saving money every month, and will pay off the house within the next decade!!!
  • I see the $150 cable bill, the house payment that is twice as large as any financial planner would advise, the $300/month of dining out and an unwillingness to change any spending behavior.  Someone has to deliver the bad news that something has to change in order to win financially!
  • Excuses are just lame ways to avoid the FACT that ALL of us have misbehaved with money!  I have been there, and I came up with the best excuses known to mankind!
  • It is time to face reality and make the hard decisions!  Nothing changes until someone decides that the "pain of same" is worse than the "pain of change"
  • You can do this, and excuses will just delay the actions that are necessary to win.  I don't want you to have to deal with the stress another SECOND!  I want you to have a plan that will help you win financially.  Excuses just delay that from happening!

What decisions do you need to make?  Is that HUGE boat payment worth it?  That HUGE house payment?  That HUGE car payment?  Those HUGE car paymentS?  Is the HUGE dining out bill worth it?  Is the STRESS worth it?

I believe it is NOT worth it!  I am on a CRUSADE to help others out of the "keep up with the Jones'" mess!  Won't you join me?

Oh yeah, I just want to say it again …  I know people who make less than $25,000 who are debt-free except for the house, are saving money every month, and are going to pay off their house within the next decade.

Have you looked at your credit report?

By law, you are allowed to view your credit report once per year.  You can obtain your FREE credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com

It is FREE once per year!  At the end, they will ask if you want to see your FICO score for somewhere around $6.  You are NOT obligated to do that!  Just decline it and you will obtain your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifa.

You will be able to print it out as well.  You NEED to do this at least one time per year.  Statistics show that over 50% of credit reports have errors on them.  Go get a copy of yours and ensure that it is accurate!

Want to send me an e-mail?  Click HERE.

There is no substitute for direct observation!

My life has been impacted greatly through education and learning.  I remember a specific article I read from the Harvard Business Review about Toyota.  Now, in case you have not noticed, Toyota has it going on in the automotive world.  This particular article was discussing how Toyota develops its people.

There was a single line in this multi-page article that just blew me out of the water!  It just reached up and smacked me around!  I love it when I learn something!

What was the line?  It said "There is no substitute for direct observation!"  They explained that when they hire a new engineer, they would take them to the manufacturing floor and make them stand in one spot for an entire day.  Why?  Well, there is no substitute for direct observation!

Have you been there?  Have you had the person who had NO CLUE come tell you how you should be doing your job?  Isn't that annoying!!!  By ensuring that their employees are directly observing the process, Toyota helps ensure that people will know what is going on.

Have you observed what is going on with your finances lately?  What about grocery shopping?  Instead of complaining about how much is spent at the grocery store, maybe it would help for you to actually go along with your spouse for a trip or two.  There is no substitute for direct observation!

Have you participated in the budgeting of your family's finances?  Instead of wondering where all of the money is going and having NO CLUE, how about directly observing the process?

What about obtaining insurance, preparing a will, investing, eliminating debt?  If you don't get in the game, you will be that annoying know-it-all who actually knows jack crap about what is going on.  We know who you are! 

There is NO SUBSTITUTE for direct observation!

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Have you ever been involved in a big project?  I mean a big project!  One with large quantities of work, assignments, people, and deadlines involved?   If you have been associated multiple projects like this, I can virtually guarantee that you have experienced the "mired-in-the-details-I-have-no-clue-about-what-is-going-on" leader.

This is the type of leader who, when leading a project to solve world-hunger, will spend fifteen days determining what type of tablecloth to have at the fund-raising dinner.

This is the type of leader who, when leading a project to build a new school, will spend seven days figuring out the number of brick it will take.

Most of the items that the project leader focuses on ARE important, it is just not important for them to figure it out!

I believe that all people have been stuck in the details at one point or another.

Examples include:

  • Polishing up the entire house for Thanksgiving dinner, but forgetting to put the turkey in the oven.
  • Making sure the children are delivered to and picked up from school on time, but never taking time to see how school is going.
  • Obtaining that huge promotion at work, but neglecting the entire family for three years to get there.

I see a great example of this in the Bible, Acts 6.  The widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food, and the disciples were being asked to attend to the widows.  Was feeding the widows important?  Absolutely!  However, what was the Main Thing for the disciples?  Tellling others about Jesus!  So, what did the disciples do?  They selected seven trustworthy individuals and put them in charge of serving the widows.

The disciples said it so well …  "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables."

Are you keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing?  Have you been distracted from the ultimate reason you have been put on this earth  It is time to refocus!