Living The Dream

Dream Big

Dream Big. What exactly does that mean? Well, maybe we should re-think the question. Chalene Johnson says that we should think these questions: How big is your heart? How deep is your passion? How strong is your desire to help or share “this thing” with the world?”

When I first started as an Independent Business Owner I don’t think I realized what those questions meant. It took me a few months to realize what “big” was. At first I was making up reasons to not do things within my own business. As I look back, it didn’t even make sense. Mack Story uses this in one of his posts, “Whenever you place the cause of one of your actions outside of yourself, it’s an excuse, not a reason.” ~ unknown

I had a lot of excuses when I first started. I can’t go here because; I can’t do that because. Now I do have a small reason for me not being as active or  hot and heavy in my business, it is my wife and her cancer battle. That in itself takes a lot of time, but that does not mean that I have forgotten about my business. There are other ways to accomplish things in your business as well. My business is a people business. Since the doctor’s, nurses and others that I meet at the hospital are actual people, I get to share my business with them as well. So I am living my dream as I get through the other life challenges. I also would not have met these people if we weren’t going there. I don’t know if that is quite the trade off that I would prefer, but since we were dealt that plate, we might as well eat off of it.

After all, it is all about Attitude. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, that is why I write this blog. If your attitude about how you go about life if positive, positive things will come about. I remember reading in a book called “Live The Dream-No More Excuses” by Larry Winters when he was speaking of his car wash job. Now he was the happiest car wash employee that anyone could have known. He had recently been promoted to assistant manager and thought he was on the path to success. It wasn’t much later the manager said to him, “Larry, we need to put you on a new schedule, and it means you will be working every other night and every other weekend.” Larry said his heart sank as he too was starting to build his dream and without that extra time, he would be cheated out of time. He informed his manager that he couldn’t do that. The manager said, What do you mean? I have already spoke with upper management and you don’t have a choice. Either take the new schedule or we will have to fire you. Larry told the manager, Sir, you don’t have to fire me, I do have a choice and I quit. He did quit and built a very stable business. It was his attitude! Not only as a father and husband to quit the only full time income paying job they had, and during financial struggles too, but he was now able to focus 100% of his time on his business. It was then caught the vision, “that his tomorrow could be better than his yesterday…”

What will it take for you to say, “I quit?” What is your dream? Are you satisfied living someone else’s dream? Live your own dream. Use this as your inital vision statement: My tomorrow will be better than my yesterday if I do (this). Are you really “Living the Dream.” Ask me how I can help you live your dream.

Change Yourself – Your Income

If you don’t know me, I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey. When I opened this blog June 18th, I wrote about changing yourself. I also wrote about three areas that you need to concentrate on in order to change yourself: 1. Your Income, 2. Your social life, 3. Your Health. These changes are very simplistic yet very arduous. Today we will look at Income. Primarily Family income. Your finances are usually the biggest point of contention in any relationship. There are many people and many more different ways that people will give you advice on how to run your family finances or how to fix a problem in your finances. Let us look at debt. Dave Ramsey teaches that in order to get out of debt you should use 7 baby steps. We will cover the first three here. Starting with #1 you need to start a $1,000 Emergency fund. Stop paying all of everything except Rent, Food, Utilities. The reason you need to have this $1,000 fund is for problems that rise up. Problems like a car problem, an AC problem at the house, etc. He states that “it isn’t a matter if these problems will happen, but when.” So if you have a debt problem. The first corrective measure is an emergency fund. Next would be Baby Step #2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball. This will be the longest process of the 3. “List your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first.” The reason that you pay off the smallest first is so you have a sense of accomplishment by paying off something. Dave says. “Paying the little debts off first gives you quick feedback, and you are more likely to stay with the plan.” You then put the money you were paying for that bill towards the next and there you have started the snowball. We will stop there. If you want to learn more, see the Dave Ramsey site here. My wife and I were very immature when it came to money and how to use it. I remember a time when we were young, within our first year of marriage that proves how immature we were. Being ignorant to money is a very dangerous characteristic to have. Carol and I did not have much money to begin with. We paid our rent, and bought groceries and before the checks cleared, we would run to the ATM and withdraw money. The same money that was going to pay the rent and the groceries. You are probably asking, how could you do that? I don’t know, we just did. We didn’t know how to balance a checkbook. We didn’t seem to care, or I should say, I didn’t. We wanted to go out, we had to get money. We didn’t worry about tomorrow and the ramifications of a bounced check. Try 5 or 6 of them at $8.00 a check for the fee. Yes it is much worse now, like $30 a check. The result was numerous volatile eruptions and conflict that both she and I wanted to avoid. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. Experts agree that finances can be the number one cause of marital strain. It’s understandable that financial struggles can cause in a marriage. Especially, when two single people marry and join finances. Sometimes what happens as a child and growing up is a son and/or daughter gets used to their parents money. Then comes the wedding day and the first year of marriage. Isn’t the first year of marriage supposed to be magical? I remember Carol calling her mom and wanting to come home. Her mom said to call her in a day or two and we will see what happens. Carol did call back but wanted to stay. Lucky me!! We don’t have that problem anymore thank goodness. We have learned through trial and error, mostly error, how to run our finances properly. With the help of Dave Ramsey and his teachings, I learned how to properly get out of debt. I am still working on that process. We are not too far away now. Finally, we look at Baby Step #3. Once you have paid off your debts, one would think, OK I am going to pay off this house. Wrong answer. What happens if you lose your job in this volatile society? Next you want to ask yourself, what would it take for me to live for three to six months if I lost my income? Your answer to that question is how much you should save. “Use this money for emergencies only: incidents that would have a major impact on you and your family. Keep these savings in a money market account. Remember, this stash of money is not an investment; it is insurance you’re paying to yourself, a buffer between you and life.” So there you have it. In a nutshell, in the grand scheme of things, you are learning how to protect yourself. It is called self-insured. It takes great discipline to get to and past baby step 3 but with a great self-image, and help from Dave Ramsey, you can do it.

MIND OVER MATTER! When your mind won’t mind…

I would like to start my blog today by sharing this post from Higher Ground 4U Motivational Marketing.
“The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” Sigmund Freud.
When you are working toward achieving your dreams, your mindset is critical and you must have massive focus, be positive and be consistent. You must also continue learning to grow. But to grow, you must retrain your thinking to allow you to change your subconscious which protects you in many ways but also keeps you from implementing new behaviors. Just like forming a new habit but on a deeper level. Take time before each day to mentally plan out your day, what your goals are, call to action items. Be as detailed as you can. Always keep those in front of you to help you stay focused and stay on track! Remember it really is mind over matter and when you can envision your success you really are halfway there! Jeanne Shannon, Higherground 4U Motivational Marketing

You know it takes 21 days to break or start a new habit. Many don’t realize this and when they try to diet or try a new years resolution of fitness, they fail. The dedication is not there.

Ghandi once said: Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits…

If you thing positive, you are halfway there. Keeping your thoughts positive. How do you do that? If I have had a bad day, well let’s say, a not so positive day, I like to get out on my bike. I love to ride my bike. How can I be negative when on my bike. Find the one thing you absolutely love to do and do it.

Keep your words positive. If you think positive, your words stay positive. Don’t get wrapped up with the water cooler gossip and drama. There is so much more than to spend time on gossip and drama. That stuff is negativity anyway and what are we attempting to do here? Yes Stay Positive.

Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. I mentioned it above, it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I once heard this saying, “Fake it till you make it”. I don’t know if showing a false front is what we are after here but you have to convince yourself that you are going to be positive and stay positive. How do you do that? Acknowledge that you have a bad habit, decide you want to change it, then like most everything else, you have to do the effort. You have to change your behavior. Again, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most people choose to stay average.

Remember the John Maxwell word of the day today? It is discipline. Believe in yourself and see yourself as the person you want to become. While this might not guarantee success 100% of the time, I assure you will not get there without thinking it.

Steven’s Story

Steven is a retired Army Sergeant. He left home when he was 18. His first job was in a local convenience store where he was a stocker and a cashier. He was more than that though. Not that that job wasn’t important, it was to the owner of the store. Steven really wanted to go to a trade school and learn carpentry. Little did he know that was not part of God’s plan. You see, Steven was doing God’s work in his local church by teaching Awana youth. He was very active. It just wasn’t what he needed though.

Steven enlisted into the Army in early 1981. Steven wanted to be a carpenter but that job was not available. He went in as a mechanic. Of course his recruiter told him that he could change his job later on down the road.

Never happened. He had many jobs in the Army but the one he was most proud of was that of Chaplain’s Assistant. Now this wasn’t a permanent job but a temporary one. He was able to travel around to different locations with the chaplain.

Steven started his leadership journey when he was in the Army but only as a military man. He didn’t start learning how to be a true leader until he was at Fort Hood as a civilian. There he learned the importance of leading people and really started his focus on leadership.

Now he has intensified his learning and wanting to turn his focus into coaching. Steven has done many things in his life but one thing he loves to do is ride bikes. He has ridden several hundred miles on his road bike. He just recently acquired a mountain bike and will be trying that out in the next season. He was going to start this year of 2014 but his wife Carol got sick and Steven had to stop and take care of her. Steven was married to Carol Karmgard in 1983. Steven and Carol have traveled all over. They have lived in Germany together for 13 years. It was during the last few years in Germany that Carol started not to feel well. Steven graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management in 1996, and earned his Masters of Business Administration in 2008.