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Teepees and Financial Freedom

I met an interesting character last Thursday night.   He was debt-free and loving life.   I asked him how he did it, and his response was both HILARIOUS and thought-provoking.

He said that he lived a horrible financial life for his first thirty years of life and decided that it was not working for him.   So he got rid of everything and moved into a teepee.   He lived in the teepee for two years.   Then he bought land – with cash.   On that land, he built a barn with two rooms to live in, but he had to haul water in because he did not have plumbing.   Now, he has a nice small home built on the land and is living his dream.

Oh yeah, his wife went along with all of this.   Talk about taking the core principle of working together to an entirely new level!

As I have said so many times, when you truly have an IHHE Moment (I Have Had Enough Moment), you will stop at nothing to change your situation.

Too many people are just unwilling to take the steps necessary for them to achieve financial freedom.   In this man’s own words, he said that he had people who lived in incredible homes with mountains of debt who made fun of him the entire time he lived in the teepee and the barn without running water.   They could not believe he was living that way.   He said, “Nobody is laughing now!”

Roll with it – this man is one of my new financial heroes!

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Learning From John Maxwell Brian Tome and Rick Campbell

Today, I had the unbelievable privilege to speak at the Stewardship Challenge hosted by Crossroads Church (Pastor Brian Tome).  I was the mule invited to the Kentucky Derby.  The line-up was:

  • Rick Campbell (Injoy Stewardship Solutions)
  • John Maxwell (EQUIP, Author, Leader's Leader, INJOY, 16,000,000 books sold (true statement))
  • Brian Tome (Pastor of Crossroads – unbelievable church, author, passionate leader, influencer)
  • Me.

So what did I do?  I took advantage of the opportunity to LEARN!  I LOVE LEARNING!  I scribbled notes so fast that the pen made a huge dent in the side of my finger (has that ever happened to you? – it is weird!).

Here are some outstanding nuggets I learned from John:

  • Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
  • In the beginning, dreams are free.  That's why we love them so much!
  • The only way some people could get excited is if they could get away from themselves.
  • John confirmed his retirement plans: when he dies
  • When he stopped pursuing vision, the resources stopped.

Here are some outstanding nuggets I learned from Brian:

  • Vision is recession-proof!
  • Develop a culture.  Don't raise a budget.
  • Passionate about FREE.  Give away everything.  (Crossroads has their atrium open all day long with free wi-fi, fountain drinks, coffee, and other outstanding amenities)

Here are some oustanding nuggets I learned from Rick:

  • Be strong and courageous
  • Be strong and very courageous
  • I will share the rest in a later post – awesome devotional to start the day

A great day!

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Dave Ramsey Quotes

Dave Ramsey is an official Financial Hero.

Dave just signed on to a primetime show on the new TV channel – Fox Business Network, and I am pumped up for Dave and his team.  I had the chance to visit with Dave at his Brentwood studios in August, and he mentioned that this deal was on the way.

Congratulations, Dave and team!  This is yet another result of staying the course, not being denied, and facing up to the challenges all along the way!  You guys ROCK! 

So with Dave's announcement, I thought I would list some of my favorite "Dave-isms"

  • "I like the way I've built wealth better than the way you haven't."
  • "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else!"
  • "Here is how you spell 'paying too much' => M-A-L-L"
  • "I'm debt-free!"
  • "Listen to someone who has won with money.  Not your broke brother-in-law."
  • "Sell the car.  Just sell the car.  Get rid of the car."
  • "Amputate your debt.  Sell so much stuff that the kids are afraid they're next!"
  • "I've been broke, and I've been rich.  I prefer rich."

Way to go, Dave!

By the way, one of the biggest dreams of mine is to teach at a personal finance conference with Dave!  I am using the most powerful tool on earth to make it happen – PRAYER!

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Another story of life-change was released on the podcast today!  Have you listened to the Podcast from Joe?  To subscribe to the podcast using iTunes, click HERE.  If you do not have iTunes, you can download an mp3 by clicking HERE.

Why I believe Dave Ramsey’s team is winning in their crusade

I had a great time meeting Dave Ramsey this past Monday, and for the rest of the week I am sharing some thoughts about my visit there.

Here are some reasons I believe Dave Ramsey's team is winning in their crusade to help people achieve Financial Peace.

  • Intense focus.  There are nearly 200 staff members working on Dave's team.  I didn't see any of them standing around.  They were all at work and focused on accomplishing their individual tasks.
  • Team.  I am sure that Dave mentioned the word "team" at least 25 times during the radio show and my visit with him.  Great leaders realize early and often that a team can accomplish far better and longer-lasting results.
  • Prayer.  Ten minutes before the show goes live, Dave and his team gather together to pray for the show.  To pray for blessing.  To pray for the callers.  To pray for changed lives.  Every Wednesday, the entire Lampo team gathers for all-staff devotionals.
  • Pay for performance.  As Dave has said many times – "Your raise is effective when you are."
  • Organized.  Dave has his calendar put up on the wall so that everyone understands what is next and upcoming.  That ensures that each experience is outstanding.  I know my experience was!
  • Inspiring work.  To borrow a word from the great theologian, fisherman Bill Dance, – "Dad-gummit" – this is an awesome crusade to be a part of!  The staff gets it, is on board with it, and is flat out getting it done.

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

I met Dave Ramsey yesterday!

Yesterday, I got the chance to live out a dream …  Jenn and I were in Brentwood, TN and we were able to meet Dave Ramsey, sit in the studio during The Dave Ramsey Show, and then were able to tour the offices of Financial Peace Plaza.

It was an awesome experience!  I am going to take the rest of this week to share about my visit with Dave and his team.

For now, since it is 1:33AM and I have just arrived back home from the trip, I will just admit to being a bit of a tourist – so here are a couple of photos taken with my crummy digital camera.


Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

Dave Ramsey, Roundtables, Teaching, Counseling

I am PUMPED about the next three weeks!

On Monday, August 13, I will meet Dave Ramsey in Brentwood, TN.

On Thursday, August 16, I will host my first ever personal finance counseling roundtable at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.  There are still three spots open for this.  If you are interested in attending, please click HERE.

On Saturday, August 25, I will be teaching the Financial Learning Experience at Word of Faith Christian Ministries in Dayton, Ohio.  Click HERE for more information.  For all of the folks reading this blog who are near Dayton, I would love to meet you then!

And on every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Financial Counseling continues at NewSpring Church.  If you are interested in setting up a financial counseling appointment, contact me HERE.

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE. 

I want you to be 100% debt-free

Anyone who has read this blog knows clearly that I want you to be debt-free – including the mortgage!

Think about that for a minute …  Debt-free INCLUDING the house.  How much money goes out to pay debt and the house every month?  For the average family it is somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000 every month!  What would you do with that money if it did not have to go to service that debt? 

A Financial Hero, David Bach, recently wrote an article on Yahoo! Finance about "How to save big on your mortgage".

In the article, David makes a fantastic statement.  David writes …

I'm often asked if it makes more sense to prepay a mortgage or invest the money in stocks and bonds. Rather than ponder which asset will get you a higher return, I think the better question is which investment decision will free you financially and allow you to retire earlier.

In my 9 years of experience as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, the clients who paid their debts off early — specifically their mortgages — retired 5 to 10 years before those who didn't.

I ran the calculations for a $150,000 30-year mortgage with 6.0% interest: 

I just love the idea of all of us reading this blog being debt-free including the house!

Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

Dreams come true!

In the personal finance classes that I teach, the very first thing I do is have people write out their hopes and dreams on paper.  It is so POWERFUL!!!  I think Oprah got it right when she says in her "Debt Diet" series that "people are walking through life unconsciously".  We dream huge as children.  We believe in our hopes.  Then …  We grow up and put all of that away.  Many times we lose our way and wake up ten, twenty, or forty years later to say "Oh my goodness!  I can't believe I have just wasted all of that time!"

I don't want that happen to you!  I want you to be able to accomplish EXACTLY what you were put on earth to do!  What is IT that you were put on earth do?  Life is so rewarding when you can do what God has put you here for!

When you write out your hopes and dreams on paper, it is amazing how many of them come true.

Let me tell you of a dream that is coming true for me …

I learned of a person named Dave Ramsey in December 2002.  Through his books and class (Financial Peace University), Dave spoke incredible truth into my life!  Because of this man, Jenn and I became debt-free in 14 months!  As a result of our debt freedom, we were FREED UP to go do exactly what God put us on earth to do!!!

Now, through some miracle, I have been provided the opportunity to meet with Dave in August.

I am living a dream …  To God be the glory!


Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE. 

I want to meet with Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is one of my financial heroes!

It was a book that Dave Ramsey wrote that helped position me to truly pursue financial freedom.

The name of the book?  Financial Peace, Revisited

Jenn and I became debt-free in 14 months by learning the most powerful word in the English language – NO!  The experience birthed a passion in me to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances!  So much so that I left corporate America and negotiated myself a massive pay cut to do so.  Don't feel sorry for me!!! I LOVE what I do and I no longer have to work for a living!  I am on a CRUSADE!

Part of this CRUSADE must be to meet with Dave Ramsey.  I would love to be able to meet one-on-one with Dave Ramsey to obtain mentoring and to be able to learn from him!

Some questions I will ask Dave when I meet with him are:

  • How do you balance family with your work?  The opportunities are endless at this point to do something other than go home to your family – what helps keep your family the highest priority?
  • You wrote your first book, type-set it yourself, and had it self-published.  What did you learn from that process?
  • You are in a field that can be emotionally draining.  What keeps the passion high for what you do?
  • What do you look for when hiring a new employee?  What are the absolute MUST-HAVES?
  • Has your mission/vision changed since you started?  How has it changed and what helped you figure this out?

Dave – I want to meet with you!  Tell me when and where.  I'll be there, buy the lunch and ask all the questions!

Financial Learning Experience – Atlanta!

This coming Sunday, I will be crusading in Northwest Atlanta at Oak Leaf Church!

I will be speaking at their two morning services – 9:00AM & 10:15AM

During the evening, I will be teaching the personal finance tools that enabled Jenn and I to win.  It is called the Financial Learning Experience, and it has SOLD OUT!  Unless a new space is obtained, it will remain sold out.  If you have not been able to sign up, contact Oak Leaf Church and see what your options are!

Needless to say, I AM PUMPED UP!!!  I CAN NOT WAIT!!! 

This church is EXPLODING!  In less than a year, they are already running nearly 600 people!  I can't wait to get there and see what God has been doing!

Interested in bringing the Financial Learning Experience to your business, community group, or church?  Contact Joe HERE

Financial Hero – Bank Lady’s Dad

Why is the Bank Lady's Dad a Financial Hero?

The other day I was waiting in an open office awaiting the return of the personal banker.  As I was sitting there, a very elderly lady came in to the bank.  She was at least 80 years old.  Even at this age, this lady had the "fire" in her eyes.  From this point in the story, I will refer to this lady as Bank Lady.

Since the line awaiting the bank tellers was at least eight people deep, Bank Lady took the opportunity to walk up and down the line of people and speak with them (her friend held her place in line).

She stopped by a lady who appeared to be dressed according to another country's customs and pleasantly asked, "Where are  you from?"

The lady said, "I'm from Kenya."

Bank Lady said, "Well, Ken ya help me?  HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

Bank Lady continued, "Seriously, though.  I've been there!"

The other lady stared at her suspiciously.

Bank Lady, full of enery, said, "When I was twelve, my daddy loaded our family up on a boat and took a trip around the world.  One of our stops was Kenya."

Bank Lady, even more alive upon recalling this great memory, continued, "We sailed out of the harbor in August and arrived back into New York in the springtime.  It was middle April."

WOW!  I sat there dumbfounded!  Bank Lady's Dad had left a legacy.  A life-long memory.  He took his family on an EIGHT MONTH TRIP AROUND THE WORLD!

That took money.  That took planning.  That took commitment.  I am still blown away.

For this, Bank Lady's Dad is an official FINANCIAL HERO!

Read about other Financial Heroes!

Financial Hero – Larry Burkett

Why is Larry Burkett a Financial Hero?

Larry Burkett is a Financial Hero because he LIVED what he taught.  Larry taught the principle of "God is the owner.  We are the managers."

Think about that principle for a minute.  It changes the entire way you manage your money.  It forces you to look at it from the position of a manager, NOT the owner.  Let's break this down.  If you are a store manager for my favorite fast-food restaurant, Chick-Fil-A, what is your job?  Ultimately, it is to help the owner make more money!  Yes, you are responsible for ensuring the customers are delighted with the food and service and ensuring that the drive-through moves swiftly, but ultimately you are responsible for boosting sales and increasing profits.

If you were the owner of U, Inc., would your fire yourself?  How are you doing?

Larry consistently challenged everyone to look at their finances from a biblical perspective.  The Bible is very clear that when you approach your finances from a manager's perspective, you will obtain better results.

Larry wrote over 70 books!  Let's put this into perspective.  I am still working to have my first book published!

He passed away in 2003, but he has left a legacy in print and spoken word that continue to impact tens of thousands every year.  What a legacy!

Larry Burkett, an official Financial Hero!

Read about other Financial Heroes!

Financial Hero – My Parents!

Why are MY PARENTS Financial Heroes?

Because my Mom & Dad taught me a lot about working hard, investing, and running a business.

My father started his own home-building business in the early 60s and managed to run that business all the way to retirement.  That is NOT a small accomplishment!

My mother ran the home economy.  We had a garden that probably totaled over an acre of land.  I remember days where we picked BUSHELS of green beans in the morning, snapped them all through the afternoon, and canned them all night.  Some days we would can over 100 quarts of green beans at a time!  She made clothes.  She bargain-shopped.  She cooked nearly every meal from scratch (cheapest way to make a meal – also the tastiest).

My parents managed to support a family of SIX boys through this business and develop some sound investments that prepared themselves well for retirement.

It was my father who gave me the book written by another Financial Hero, David Chilton, The Wealthy Barber, to read.  Through it I learned about the POWER of compound interest!

My parents never splurged on anything, but we ALWAYS went on a family vacation every single year.  We also had some motorcycles, dirtbikes, bikes, canoes, and fishing poles that ensured that we could have fun through the year.

Thank you, Mom & Dad, for instilling sound financial principles in me and showing me the importance of working hard!  You are officially Financial Heroes!

Read about other Financial Heroes!

Financial Hero – Howard Dayton

Why is Howard Dayton a Financial Hero?

The short answer requires only three words:  HE LIVES IT!

Howard is the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, the world's largest financial ministry.

Get this, Crown's Main Objective is this:

To teach God’s financial principles to 300 million people by September 15, 2015.

Folks, just in case you missed it, I am going to add the 0's behind the 300 there.  That is 300,000,000 PEOPLE!  That is an officially REDONKEYKONGULOUS number!  That is outrageous!  That is unreal!  That is crazy!  It sounds like something only GOD could do!  I LOVE it!

I have a personal goal to teach over 100,000 people about finances over the next five years.  It makes my goal seem way too small.

I have read Howard's book, Your Money Counts, and I love the perspective that he emphasizes throughout the book.  Howard emphasizes that we are just managers of the resources we have.  We are not the owners.  You haven't seen anyone take anything with them when they die.  Land, possessions, stuff … it all just goes to someone else.

Howard actually includes a Quit-Claim Deed certificate in his book where you transfer ownership of your possessions and stuff to God.  AWESOME!

Crown Financial is also heard daily on radio stations around the world with their Money Matters and How To Manage Your Money.  In these two shows, Crown Financial is able to teach and instill HOPE in the areas of money management and its impact on life.  You can listen to these shows ON DEMAND by visiting CROWN.ORG.

Howard, thank you for consistently reminding me who is the true owner of our possessions.  For that, you are
named an official Financial Hero! 

Read about other Financial Heroes!

Financial Hero – Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko

Why are Thomas Stanley and William Danko Financial Heroes? 

Thomas Stanley and William Danko became Financial Heroes when they wrote a book titled The Millionaire Next Door.  Stanley and Danko conducted multiple controlled studies of affluent people.  Wealthy people.

I have always said that if one wants to become wealthy, you should speak to wealthy individuals and learn what they have done and are doing to create more wealth.  You do not go to your broke brother-in-law to become wealthy!!!

Stanley and Danko take this to an entirely different level!  They went to the wealthy people and conducted studies on their behaviors to try and understand why they have become wealthy.  What they found is AWESOME!  It is best summed up by the start of the book which I have transcribed here …

These people cannot be millionaires!  They don't look like millionaires, they don't dress like millionaires, they don't eat like millionaires, they don't act like millionaires – they don't even have millionaire names.  Where are the millionaires who look like millionaires?

Oh baby!  This book proves WITH PILES OF DATA (you KNOW that I love that!) that the "keeping up with the Jones'" crowd are destined to remain B-R-O-K-E.

Stanley and Danko talk about UAWs and PAWs.  Under Accumulators of Wealth (UAW) and Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAW).  There are many professionals who have a relatively large net worth but are actually UAWs.  Why?  Because just because you have a net worth of $350,000 does not mean that you have done well financially!  What if you are a doctor who is earning $240,000 per year?  Is $350,000 a prodigious amount?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  To be a PAW, a 40 year old doctor earning $240,000/year would have to have a net worth of $960,000 or more!

Don't get it?  Read the book!  It will challenge you in ways you have not been challenged financially.

Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko – You have officially been named a Financial Hero!


Read about other Financial Heroes!

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