Thursday, March 31, 2011

“Getting a Job” and Three Other Ways to Earn an Income

In these tough economic times we need to start thinking differently. With an uneasy economy, low consumer confidence and high unemployment numbers it is important, now more than ever to change our antiquated way of thinking.

Elementary School children take their State school assessment tests in an attempt to measure their teacher’s performance and how their schools are doing. Middle School children take their PSATs as a means for preparing for their SATs that they will be facing later in High School. High School children take their SATs in hopes of getting into a better college and they take their CATs to figure out what career they would like to get into after high school or college. It almost seems like, with the current way of thinking, that we are more worried about the number or the scorecard, rather than the future of the child.

Furthermore, once they get into college, they are, for the most part, taught the skills they will need to get a good job, so they can work for money. Where’s the creativity in this? I think we should be teaching our kids how to get into a position to make money work for them!

Jim Rohn says, “By the time a child turns eight they should own two bicycles, one to ride, and one to rent.”

I know I am over simplifying things a bit, but we should at least be teaching in school the four ways to earn income:

1.) Become an Employee – As an employee you have a job. Income is based on position and not the person. Being an employee builds no equity.

2.) Become Self Employed – By being self employed you own a job. Some examples are dentists, doctors, lawyers, hair stylists, real estate agents and salespeople. Your income is limited by the amount of amount of people you can see in one day.

3.) Start a Business – As a business owner you own a system. You have others working for or with you. You have unlimited income potential and equity.

4.) Become an Investor – As an investor you have money working for you. You enjoy complete freedom and can live the dream.

Don’t you think that this is something important that kids should know and understand before they go job hunting? Their primary goal in life should not be just to “get a job”.

Well, we cannot rely on whether or not this important information is taught in school, so for now, it is up to us to make sure that we spread the word to as many people as possible.

As parents and teachers, it is important that we know “The Rules” too. And one of these rules is that the primary goal of business is to make a profit. Simply put, Profit = Revenue – Expenses. Where do you think Employees fall in this equation? That’s right! Employees fall smack dab in the middle of the Expenses column.

I am not at all against Employees who have jobs (I am one of them myself) – and by all means, my heart goes out to the people who are unemployed and are trying to find jobs – but I think it is important to teach kids that there are other options out there.

Just imagine if kids were taught to be more creative and entrepreneurial at a younger age and knew and understood all of their options – if they couldn’t get that job as an Employee, maybe they would instead create their own job by possibly becoming Self Employed, starting a Business or maybe even by becoming an Investor.

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How to Change the World
Written by Darren Hardy

Since there was so much interest in the “Enough Already!” article, I wanted to extend the discussion by sharing something incredibly profound with you…

This article could change the life you experience forever. No joke.

I want to show you how to completely change the world… in an instant.

This might be a bit controversial for many, and even more won’t have the stomach to do what I am suggesting…

You can rid the world of all wars, crimes, scandals, gossip, corruption and international conflict.

You have that much power… in the palm of your hand.

Are you ready to change the world (if you dare)?

Hit the ‘OFF’ button.

Turn OFF your TV
Turn OFF your radio
Turn OFF your newspaper subscription

I’ve explained before (video: Media Madness) how watching media that aggregates the most brutal, shocking, heinous and scandalous events of the day can give you a perverted view of the world. Meanwhile millions of beautiful, miraculous,positive and wonderful things happen during the same day that don’t get any attention. It’s incredibly destructive to your spirit and creative potential.

Here is the controversial part…

Early on, I learned the difference between THE world and MY world. I only pay attention to MY world. After all it’s the only thing I can do anything about. Paying too much attention to the rest of it only makes me feel fearful, frustrated and cynical.

All I have in life is my attention. I have to make a choice of where I give it. That choice affects my experience of life and determines my potential for positive creativity. I can focus it on the worst of the world or the best. I can focus it on things I can’t do anything about or I can focus it on those things that I can and that have a direct on my life and my family.

So, until the war comes marching up my street, I’m not paying much attention to it. Until Al Qaeda knocks on my door and threatens my family, I’m not tracking their development. Until the earthquake is under my foundation or the tsunami rolls up my driveway, I’m not giving it my time. Murders, rapes, scandals, break-ins… I’m not interested.

I can hear you saying, “Ya, but…!” Let me address a few of them.

1. “Ya, but doesn’t that make you uninformed?”

Personally, I’d rather be informed about areas of life that matter more to my personal goals and ambitions. I can’t quantify how spending two hours on Chile’s earthquake disaster is going to help me grow my business, make me healthier or improve my relationships.

What about compassion for humanity you say? Yes, but there are plenty of other references even more immediate in my world that offers me plenty of that.

Oh, and yes, I’m a voting citizen. When it comes time to pay attention to the issues before the ballots are printed, I’ll do my homework. It will take me a couple of hours versus the months of constant scandal, mudslinging, corruption and distraction others will allow.

Let me show you an alternative option. A couple of years ago, a top executive hired me to mentor him on improving his productivity. He complained he didn’t have enough time for personal improvement study or for his family. When I dissected his day he spent 45 minutes in the morning reading the newspaper, another 35 minutes listening to news, both back and forth to work. During his workday, he’d check Yahoo! News several times, spending at least 20 minutes in total. When he got home, he’d catch the last 15 minutes of the local news while greeting his family. Then he’d catch up on 30 minutes of sports news and 30 minutes of the 10 o’clock news before going to bed. In total he was spending 3.5 hours with the news each day! I suggested he keep his TV and radio off, cancel his newspaper subscription, and set up an RSS feed so he could select and receive only the news he deemed important for his business and personal interests.

Doing so immediately cleared out 95 percent of the mind-cluttering and time-sucking noise and distraction. He could now review all that mattered to him in less than 20 minutes a day. This left the 45 minutes in the morning (his commute time), and that hour in the evening for productive activities: exercise, listening to instructional and inspirational material, reading, planning, preparing, and spending quality time with his family. He told me he never felt less stressed (constant negative news has a tendency to make you anxious), and more inspired and focused than he does now.

2. “Ya, but someone has to care about these issues.”

Yes, you are right, and I am glad others do. I call it picking our battles. Some pick the political battle, some the human rights battle, some the hunger battle, some the homeless battle, some the whales battle, etc. Pick what really matters to you, get involved with your whole heart and soul and stay focused on it. You take care of that issue for me and I’ll take care of this issue for you. That way we can actually get some things done. But instead, most people just corrupt their head with all of it and do nothing about any of it. How could you? It’s overwhelming and overly time consuming. Stick to what you care about, not what CNN does… every day.

3. “Ya, but my son is over fighting in Afghanistan.”

Bless him and bless you. As I mentioned above, pay attention to what is affecting your immediate family. If your immediate family is involved in some aspect of national news, then, of course, it’s worthy of your attention. It still doesn’t mean you need to bombard yourself with every aspect of the international war on terror. Instead pay attention to what is directly affecting your son and stay focused on him and his immediate world.

It all comes down to this—what you give your attention to becomes the reality of your world. Give your attention to scandals, murders, war, fear and brutality and that will program your creative computer and your world around you. Instead, focus your attention on what’s good, wonderful, abundant, wholesome and possible in the world. Focus your attention on ideas, information and knowledge that can help you grow, prosper, create and contribute to making a positive difference based on your unique talent, skills and effort. Turn OFF the rest… it will change your world and your life!

By the way, that is the type of information we work hard to collect for you in each issue of SUCCESS Magazine (and in the enclosed CD in each issue), and what I labor to present to you here on this blog. I hope you benefit and enjoy!

Ready to change (your) world?

Content republished with permission from Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine. For more great insights, tips and strategies on success and achievement go to http://darrenhardy.success.com/. More about Darren Hardy can be found at: http://DarrenHardy.SUCCESS.com/About.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Four Money Quadrants: Teach Kids Good Money Habits They Can Live With

As Teachers, Parents, Grandparents, Godparents, Friends, etc. it is our job to teach children good financial habits as early as possible by demonstrating to them how to properly distribute their money. After all, children are our future. The lesson here is to teach your child not to live their lives from check to check or above their means, but to live in a happy balance. By getting your child into the habit of dividing his money into four specific categories (Spend, Save, Donate and Invest), he will grow up to be more responsible with his finances, thus, possibly not being affected adversely by any bad economic times.

The trick is getting the percentages right. Some good numbers to shoot for in adulthood is Spend 70%, Save 10%, Give 10% and Invest 10%. For younger children the Spend percentage should be much lower whereas the Invest percentage should be much higher – of course it will be different based on the individual!

Spend: Teach your child to spend a percentage of their money. Do not teach your child to be a miser with their money, for this can lead to negative associations with money. Teach him to celebrate his achievements and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Allowing your child to spend their money on anything they want with this portion of the money (within reason) can be a great self-confidence booster. As an adult this portion will be used for living expenses including the necessities like paying the mortgage, car payments, insurance premiums and buying food as well as for entertainment needs.

Save: Teach your child to save a percentage of their money for bigger ticket items that they cannot immediately buy like a digital camera, a laptop or even a car. This can teach the importance of goal setting and the virtues of patience and of delayed gratification. As an adult this portion would be your liquid money that may be called the “Emergency Fund”, the “Rainy Day Fund” or even the “Saving up to finish the basement Fund”. It is very important to have that extra savings on the side for any unexpected expenses as well as for any expected future expenses.

Donate: Encourage your child to give a percentage of the earned income to charity. Teach him the joy of giving back and helping others. Also, there is actually scientific proof that giving is good for your health. I don’t claim to be a scientist, however, apparently when you give; you get a good feeling, and that is because endorphins are released in your body. This release of endorphins is supposed to be healthy. Besides the health benefit and the fact that it is the right thing to do, you will be bringing up a compassionate person that will not be “all about me.” There is a great quote by Jim Rohn that states, “It's best to start the discipline of generosity when the amounts are small. It's easy to give ten cents out of a dollar; it's a little harder to give a hundred thousand out of a million.”

Invest: Help your child invest a percentage of their money. There are only three factors to the “Wealth Equation”: Money, Interest Rate and Time, where Time is the most important. And who potentially has the most Time? That’s right, our children do, that’s who! Teach your child to save for the future and have his money compound and work for him. A relatively insignificant amount of money invested over a long period of time can potentially grow into a very significant amount of money. Jeff Olson, author of The Slight Edge says on the topic of investing, “It’s never too late to start. It’s always too late to wait.”

By teaching your child the four quadrants of money at an early age, not only will you be instilling the important habits needed for them to become successful in their finances, but for them to become successful in life.

My Canadian counterpart Stephanie Holmes-Winton of The Money Finder and contributing author to Difusing Debt Blog has written a related article that was inspired by this post. I would recommend that you read her article also, titled Everyone can be a "Saveasaurus".

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daily Disciplines for Effortless Success
Written by Jack Canfield

Hand’s down, one of the most popular questions I’m asked by students is this… “Jack, what are your most important daily actions that you correlate with your success.”

In fact, Oprah Winfrey asked me a similar question just days before appearing on her show. She asked me to come up with some easy-to-apply steps for her viewers to start applying The Law of Attraction in their lives.

One of the basic first steps is to determine, write down and talk about what you do want, not what you don’t want. Be as specific as possible. Once you have clarified what you want, do the following each and every day.

1. Morning Intention, Visualization and Releasing

As soon as you wake up in the morning, take about 5 minutes to focus your mind on your desires, goals and intentions. Start by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and visualizing your desires and goals as already being fulfilled. Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each of your core desires and goals. You can also take a few moments to visualize your day going exactly as you would like it to.

When you do this, you will often find negative limiting beliefs that are the result of negative programming from your childhood will come up. You may hear thoughts like “I could never afford that,”“there’s no way I’ll ever get that,” or “who am I kidding?” coming up. If you do, use one of the many releasing techniques that are available (see the list below) to release the negative thought. Don’t fight or argue with the thought; just release it.

Remember to also spend several moments feeling the feelings you would feel if you had already manifested your desire in your life. The intensity of the feeling is what fuels the intensity of the attraction.

2. Use External Images to Keep you Focused on Your Desires and Goals

Keep yourself focused on what you want to manifest by surrounding yourself with visual images of the things and experiences you want to create in your life. There are many tools you can use for this, including creating a Vision Book.

Cut out pictures of the things you wish to own (like your ideal car or home) and pictures that represent the experiences you want to have (like the perfect relationship, your ideal job, perfect health, being at your ideal weight, more joy, inner peace or balance in your life) to remind yourself of how you want it to be. Put them somewhere where you will see them every day—on the mirror, the refrigerator, or in your Vision Book.

For even greater impact, combine your pictures with words that reflect your desired outcome, such as abundance, romance, fun, vitality, etc. I think you get the picture.

When you look at any of these pictures, do what Bob Doyle, who is featured in The Secret teaches— think the thought, “THIS IS MINE NOW! THIS IS WHO I AM!”

3. Think a Better Feeling Thought

Start paying attention to the many times during the day that you have emotional responses (to other people, experiences, or your own thoughts) that are not in alignment with having or producing your desires. Pay special attention to when you feel disappointment, resentment, frustration or anger about your experiences and circumstances.

Remember, it’s your feelings (which are created by your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs) that are creating your current circumstances. You must make a shift by changing your thoughts to ones that make you feel better (i.e., raise your vibration). Remember that you must become a vibrational match for the things and experiences that you want to attract into your life.

It is especially important to focus your thoughts and behaviors on things that cause you to feel joy. Focus your thoughts on thoughts that bring you joy (your lover, your best friend, your grandchildren, your favorite vacation spot) and your actions on doing the things you love to do (pet your cat, work in your garden, listen to your favorite music).

4. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It is critical to take time each and every day to focus on what you are grateful for! Some people do this in the morning before or after they visualize their desires; others prefer to do it in the evening. Focus on all of the things in your life (most of which you take for granted) that you are grateful for—your health, your children, your job, the nice weather, electricity, running water, a nice stereo system, your flower garden, your pets, your friends).

No matter what your situation, there are always things to be grateful for. The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more things and experiences you will attract to be grateful for. You may wish to carry a “gratitude rock” like the one Lee Brower talks about in “The Secret”, or log your findings in a Gratitude Journal.

5. Take Action

There are two kinds of actions you can take. Obvious actions are things like, if you want a better car, going to test drive all of the models you are interested in and choosing the exact car you want to have, and saving 10% of your income in a “car account.” If you want to be a doctor, apply to medical school.

There is also what I call “inspired actions.” Once you begin to do the things described above, the universe will start responding by sending people, resources and opportunities you need to manifest your desired result. You are going to find that you have inspired ideas; you must act on them. You must follow those gentle proddings from the universe. Often these intuitive impulses will have no seeming connection to achieving your goal, but if you follow them, they will lead you down a path of wonderful fulfillment.

Here’s a quick way to know if the actions you’re taking are taking you closer to the fulfillment of your dreams and desires.

If you are feeling joy while you are doing them, then you are on the right path. Remember, joy is your internal guidance system, just like the GPS system in a car, telling you are taking the right actions. Follow your joy.

6. Acknowledge That it's Working

If you start to see something change for the better, acknowledge that it is happening. Appreciate it. When you find the perfect parking space, acknowledge it. When you get the table you want in the restaurant, acknowledge it. When you receive unexpected income, acknowledge it. When you meet someone who can help you achieve your goal, acknowledge that Law of Attraction is working. The more you acknowledge that it’s working, the more it will work. It’s that simple.

If you are attracting things into your life that you don’t want, remember that the Law of Attraction is still working. Instead of thinking or saying, “It’s not working,” ask your self, “What am I focusing on, thinking about, talking about, feeling or doing that is bringing this into my life?”

If you want to know what you are thinking about, notice the results you are producing in your life. To change those results, you will first have to change your vibration by changing your thoughts and feelings.

When you make a commitment to take these actions each day, you’ll start to move forward, with confidence, in the direction of your dreams. Believe that they are not only possible, but that they are already in progress.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Friday, March 4, 2011

“Revolving” vs. “Fixed” Credit Card Payment Plans

Let’s assume you have a credit card with an “APR” of 19.8% and a balance of $3,000.00. That shouldn’t be too hard to imagine. However, the sad fact is that most people would probably wish that they only had $3,000.00 worth of credit card debt. Furthermore, credit card interest rates in the mid to upper 20’s that are rivaling 30 percent are not too uncommon these days. But, for this example, let’s just stick with the numbers I mentioned above.

I would like to make one more assumption – let’s also assume that no new debt is going to be added to your credit card’s current balance of $3,000.00 (at least not until after you have paid off your current debt). If you are unable to pay off the full amount at one time, you may want to consider your options by looking at and comparing a few different payment plans. Let’s look at the differences in the payment plans below:

Plan A: A minimum payment of 2.5% of the balance, or $15.00 (whichever is greater) is paid each month until the balance is zero.

By choosing Plan A, it would take 21 years to pay off the original $3,000.00 and the total interest paid during that time would be $5,100.00.

Plan B: A minimum payment of 2.0% of the balance, or $15.00 (whichever is greater) is paid each month until the balance is zero.

By choosing Plan B, it would take 39 years to pay off the original $3,000.00 and the total interest paid during that time would be $10,538.00! So, by lowering the minimum payment by just 0.5% it would cost you an extra 18 years and over $5,000.00 more in the way of interest.

Plan C: A fixed payment of 2.5% of the beginning balance of $3,000.00 (or $75.00 fixed) is paid each month until the balance is zero.

By choosing Plan C, it would take 5.5 years an only cost $1,944.00 extra in interest payments.

The Bottom Line

Plans A and B are what is called “Revolving” payment plans. Revolving payments amounts are always changing – when the balance on the card changes, the payment amount changes. It would be my recommendation that you do not ever get lulled into paying the minimum payment on a credit card bill. I know how enticing it is to pay the lower amount, and that is exactly what the credit card company wants you to do, however, “there is no free lunch” and you will definitely be paying dearly for your indiscretions in the end! I write many posts on the positive power of compound interest with many investing examples; however, a revolving payment plan is a great way to demonstrate compound interest’s negative power as well – negative for you, but positive for the credit card company!

When eliminating debt it is best to stay clear of revolving payment plans. Besides actually paying off the full amount of the debt, the next best option is to make fixed affordable payments similar to that described in Plan C. Of course, if you happen to have extra money to put towards your debt, by all means add that on top of your fixed payment, however, don’t get into the habit of lowering your fixed payment because you want the compound interest to work for you – not against you!

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.