Sunday, May 25, 2008

Seeing Vs. Vision

A lot of people can see but do not have vision. Lack of vision makes you “blind” to opportunities to that may improve your life. They also make you “blind” to a lot of harmful things that present themselves in your life. This is what people are talking about when they say “wool over your eyes” or “seeing the light”. If you are reading this blog then you can see. But, how’s your vision? Can you see and do you have vision?
Seeing is an important sense. Without it you couldn’t navigate around, see colors or see the smile on your family’s faces. But it doesn’t stop at that. In order to move forward in life, you must have vision or you’re just existing, not living. Think about it for a second. When you walk around, do you stare at your feet as you walk or do you look ahead? When you drive, do you stare at your hands on the steering wheel or do you look ahead on the road to see where you are going and to avoid potential danger? Even at work, when I’m assembling products, seeing and vision come into play. I notice that if focus on exactly what I am doing at the time I work harder even though I get the job done. In contrast, if I start the step that is currently needed and then focus on the next step, I move more efficiently. I end up with time for a short break in between parts. This break keeps me less stressed than focusing only on the task currently at hand.
Only seeing things as they are keeps you poor. It keeps you in the same place as you are. But if you have vision, you can see the possibilities. You have the opportunity to take advantage of positive things that can make you more prosperous. You will also be able to see the things that will make life more difficult for you. So my question to you is:
Do you have vision or are you just seeing? Think about it. Until next time, be blessed and grow rich.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Overselling: Marketing Phenomenon?

I’ve been exploring ways to increase my financial knowledge and cash flow for a few years now. During my quest I’ve gone to “opportunity meetings” with a few network marketing companies, listened to sales pitches for others and more recently viewed some videos about others and various other avenues to make money. I especially like the “x number of days challenge to get rich”. They usually last from 30 to 100 days. To me that sounds like get rich quick stuff when it only takes you a little under or over 90 days. I don’t want that kind of wealth, I want long term residual wealth. But, I digress. My topic today is the same sales pitch I’ve heard. Generally not the exact same but there are a few similarities.
Some of the things I see over and over again make me question the sincerity of the speaker. I know that a lot of sponsors in people’s up line preach duplication. That’s very important but I don’t think you should become a carbon copy. That just makes me think that you are not genuine about your product or service. Everyone is the same yet different. I mean, yes we are all human beings, many of us speak the same language but not in the same manner or infliction. So when I can close my eyes and listen to a pitch and it sounds like one I’ve heard with a different voice I’m not really inclined to listen too hard. Some of things that make me wonder are: “I’m soooo excited!”, over and over again; “That’s craaaazy right?”; and this over the top enthusiasm that just doesn’t quite seem to fit the person I’m hearing it from. I don’t feel like this person wants to genuinely help me, they just want my money. I’m being “oversold”.
One other thing that bothers me is all the “flashers” on the internet. “Flashers” are those people who show you videos or pictures of money or checks fanned out. From some things I’ve seen and/or read, people with truly long lasting wealth don’t flash their cash. You can just tell they are well off by their lifestyle. Another thing that bothers me with “flashers” is that they remind me of drug dealers. I mean, I grew up in neighborhood with a lot of this kind of thing. These guys would pull up in a fancy car and flash a lot of money. They only impressed people without a true understanding of wealth and shallow women. Then they would drive back home to a raggedy house or the projects. To me that doesn’t make much sense. Just like they attracted shallow women, their wealth was shallow. They had fast money the never lasted long. They always had to repeat whatever they did just to replace the money they spent. Never did they invest in things that would make money without them having to work for it. Many of these individuals ended up dead, or in jail or broke, right back where they started. Fools and their money are soon departed.
The lesson in all of this is chose your means of making money wisely and if you do have an “opportunity” to share with someone, be genuine about it. No one likes to be sold, honestly. Majority of people shut down at the first sign of a sales pitch. You have to make people feel as though you truly care about offering this opportunity. Then you will find the people who will truly make your organization profitable and strong. The result is true, stable wealth. So my question to you is:
Are you selling or sharing? If you genuinely share the selling takes care of itself.
Well, that’s all for now. Until next time be blessed and grow rich.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Life As An Employee

I was thinking about my current status at work one day, and I realized that I was an “E Quadrant” person. For those of you who do not know what that means, I am an employee. That’s the worse place to be in the cash flow quadrant. It was a little disheartening until I realized that I was a “different” type of E quadrant person. Yes, I work 12 hours a day sometimes. Yes, I am working hard to make someone else rich. Yes, I hate my physically demanding job. Yes, anyone can do it (hell, you don’t need a GED to work there). The only thing good about my job in my opinion is that I get a steady source of income to invest with (even though it’s a very small amount) and the fact that I can have time to think. It’s not a mentally demanding job. My mind has time to work after about the first hour once I get into a rhythm. I actually think about what I want to blog about at work! But what does make me different from my co-workers is that I am taking time to not only put aside money to invest, I am also investing in financial education with books and taking time to attend seminars when I can.
Man, I work HARD! But I am also working hard for the day that I no longer have to work there. This is very important. What make this even more important the fact that one of the major companies that my company supplies may be sold. That puts my job in jeopardy because I run a machine that produces parts for this company. Luckily, I had already started my financial education well before I learned this fact. Now, I kind of feel sorry for those who may be laid off. They will probably have to find other employment (which shouldn’t be too hard because there’s new businesses going up as I type). When I got the news that this would be a possibility I felt like I was one of them for 2 seconds. Once I calmed I realized I was in a slightly better position than they were. This is where my mind started to seek a solution to a possible problem.
To solve my problem I decided to take a two prong attack. I will enter the B quadrant (big business) for sure with a network marketing company. I will also enter the S quadrant (specialist or small business), hopefully before my job is in real jeopardy. If I have to find another job, I will, but I will continue on the path to enter the S quadrant. How? I want to learn how to be a personal trainer. My reasoning is 3 fold. First, it will give me the freedom to make my own schedule. Second, I will be able to command a better return on my time than $8 an hour. Third, and most importantly, it will get experience in motivating people. This, coupled with network marketing, will give me an edge in business later on. That’s a return on time that I cannot calculate right now but I can see it will be exponential.
As more and more jobs are becoming less secure and pay for physical labor is shrinking because of jobs being shipped across seas, financial knowledge has become more than important. As a matter of fact, financial education and knowledge is becoming mandatory. Physical labor is rapidly becoming obsolete. So my question to you is this:
What are you doing to become financially knowledgeable? If you aren’t doing anything, you will soon become obsolete. Then what will you do? Think about it. Until next time, be blessed and grow rich.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Can Pigs Sing?

Today’s topic is stubborn people and the “hard sell”. I ran into this issue with my cousin. I wasn’t trying to sell him anything. He was determined to hire a person for a service. He needs to raise some money for a very good cause but his problem is coming up with the money to hire this person. So I asked him how if this person would delay taking payment of services until the night of the actual event. He said they would not. I asked him if he had asked the person about it and he only said he knows that they won’t because of previous deals this person did with other people. I tried to explain to him that these were a totally different set of circumstances and that maybe if presented properly it would make a difference. He strongly insisted that he already knew what would be said. I, of course, countered with the fact that you really never know until you try. He insisted on relying on what other people say instead of talking to the actual service provider. I eventually dropped the conversation to avoid a deeper confrontation. This made me a little upset because he is usually more rational and a much better thinker. This is an instance where he let his emotions and other people make his decision for him even though deep down he knew I was right. He, if taken my advice, could have possibly saved some money or worked with the individual to ultimately get the task done. Instead he chose to keep stressing out over “getting this money”.
That fact made me think about people who are adamant about not doing something even though the possibility of something better makes great sense. They may have various reasons or excuses for not seizing the opportunity. The fact of the matter is plain and simple. For some odd reason they don’t want to listen. This reminds me of something I read in Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. He says “I have on a wall…Don’t teach pigs to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pigs.” That makes me think of all those people who claim they want something better in life but when presented the fight tooth and nail. No matter how much since it makes they just won’t listen. Many ambitious network marketer have ran across this. Even people with a traditional business that they want to make a family member or friend a part of have ran across this problem. Sometimes you end up wasting precious time trying to “teach pigs to sing”. That time can be put to use mentoring someone who wants to “sing” or building your business empire. So today’s questions are:
Are you a pig? Are you wasting time trying to teach a pig to sing?
Think about it. Until next time be blessed and grow rich.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Money Is Not The Object!

As a child growing up I didn’t have much in life. My mother was getting government assistance from the time I could remember up until a little bit after I moved of the house. I’m proud of my mother because she now is working in healthcare and has returned to school to further her career. But, when I was growing up she did the best that she could with her resources at the time. I never really got my first pair of named brand basketball shoes until I was 16. The were a pair of Olympic Grant Hill’s in 1996. I paid for those shoes from my summer job at Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, IN. I never really knew how poor we were until I made it to high school, and it was painfully obvious. I never made it to prom mainly because of how much it cost. I couldn’t afford my cap and gown for graduation. We didn’t even have money for trips that I earned through my academic accomplishments. Sometimes counselors paid for my trips and in high school that’s embarrassing. Those were very lean times but they made me stronger and smarter.
Now I am a father. My kids have more than I did, but I want them to have more. I want to make sure that I can afford everything they possibly need to help them succeed in school and extra-curricular activities. I don’t want them to have the feeling of never going to prom. I’ll be 28 in June and I still wish I could go to prom. These are things I do not want my children to be without. My pain growing up and my desire to properly provide for my children, now and in the future, is my main motivation. It’s the fuel that feeds my desire to become rich. I at least want them to be comfortable in high school. My oldest will be 8 years old in October so I got 6 years before he hits high school. I want to be well prepared.
Some people want to get rich because of the money. I’ve never liked the sound of that. My reasons are a little more focused as you have read. I’m not saying that money is evil or that it is the “root of all evil”. I actually believe the lack of money is the “root of all evil” so I’m not against money. I just see money as a tool to accomplish some of goals I have in life. So even though money is the result or as Robert Kiyosaki says “the way you keep score” I see it more as a tool. When you work in a garden your motivation is not acquiring the tool, it’s the resulting flourishing garden. When you build a hot rod your motivation is not the wrenches or engine lift, it’s the resulting car. So my point is this, while money is important don’t make it the focal point. Money is only a tool. Your goals should be your focal point. My question to you is:
What’s really your motivation?
Think about it and write it down, review it daily. Until next time, be blessed and grow rich.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Reverend Run and Donald Trump

I was watching TV the other day and I seen an episode of Run's House. Now for those of you who may not know or have seen it this is a reality TV show based on the family life of Reverend Run of the group RUN D.M.C.. It's not just another show shamelessly exploiting people's family life for the entertainment value. There's always a lesson at the end of the show based on what happened on the screen. Now the interesting thing is that I am a very detail oriented person and as a consequence I tend to notice the little things. So as I was watching, Rev. Run was having a discussion with his wife and I noticed something. Rev. Run was reading a Donald Trump book entitled The Way to The Top. Why is that interesting, right? It's just a book and lots of people read, right? Well, while that may be true there's more than meets the eye.
Once again, if you don't know about Reverend Run (google him) I'll just tell you right now that he is a millionaire, if not billionaire. He's own's a few businesses and earns royalty income from his music. He is basically made as far as money is concerned. His daily driver is a Bentley. So he may not seem like the type of guy who really needs advice on making money or life, right? I mean, he does have his own webpage with a blog full of positive advice. So he has nothing more to learn, right? Wrong. It seems he believes that you can never stop learning. No matter how much or how little money you are earning you can always learn things. It doesn't matter if it's about how to make money or how to be a better more efficient person. That's a little food for thought don't you think? I certainly do.
That brings me back to me, my blog and basically life in general. I hear about and see a lot of people who claim to know it all or at least think they do. Most of the time they don't however. I listen and learn from everyone, now matter how old or young, rookie or veteran in the field of money. People are different so you may learn something from another perspective. I've sometimes found that another person's ignorance sheds some light on some things for me. I always listen to the good and the bad and learn from both. Heck, if you never know what b.s. looks or smells like you're bound to step in it, right? This is just some food for thought. My question to you is: Have you stopped learning? If you have, how far do you expect to get? Well, this is the end for now. Until the next time be blessed and grow rich.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What Does 90/10 Mean?

Some may wonder what does 90/10 mean? Some of you who may have a slight idea may think I mean 80/20. Well 80/20 actually is connected to work and labor. I blog about money and finances. That is what 90/10 applies to. Here’s the idea: 10% of the people in the United States earn 90% of the United States’ money. The other 90% of people earn 10% of the United States’ money. The top 10% are usually business owners and/or investors which simply put are the rich people of the world. The other 90% of people either work for the rich business owners or they work for the investors when it comes to small business owners. Now remember this is a concept, not exact figures. Having said that it is also not a hard concept to grasp if you look at the facts of the world of money. According to Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad’s Guide To Investing the Wall Street Journalsaid in an article on September 13th, 1999: “..Nearly 90% of all shares were held by the wealthiest 10% of households. The bottom line: That top 10% held 73% of the country’s net worth in 1997, up from 68% in 1983.” Now for him to quote the Wall Street Journaland provide a specific date, I assume he’s being honest about this quote. What does this have to do with you? Let’s take a look at it.
Everyone is a part of the 90/10 club whether they acknowledge it or not. You also make the choice of which side of the club to be on even when you don’t know it. The great thing is that once you are aware of which side you are on, you can change which side you are on. How is this possible? Control. You can control your level of knowledge and the application of this knowledge. This is what I am doing. I am on the employee side ( according to Cashflow Quadrant). This also means I am part of the 90% who fight for their piece of the remaining 10%. With more and more jobs being shipped overseas I see now more than ever that I need to move on the upper 10% side. Once I’m there I will work to get to the top 1%. A lot of people are ignorant but once you know how to change sides your ignorance can turn to stupidity depending on how you look at it. Like my grandmother says, “To each his own.” I don’t want to fight for 10% of the money. I think it’s much easier to get a piece of 90%, don’t you?
Now that you know what 90/10 is all about you can make a choice. Hopefully you make the choice that is right for you. If that choice is to be part of the 10% who earn 90% then welcome. I am your brother in the journey to financial literacy and freedom. I welcome you to share in my journey. My question to you is: What side of 90/10 do you want to be on? Stay tuned for more blogs. In the meantime, be blessed and grow rich.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If You Build It: Lesson in Marketing

Weekends are usually for fun and relaxation. I spent mines working instead. I almost didn’t have a choice. My car club threw a car wash hosted at a local auto parts supplier to raise money for an upcoming trip. We started bright and early at 10 a.m. (it was supposed to be 9 a.m.) on Saturday. It was bad enough that I had to spend my Saturday washing cars (because it was kind of mandatory) when I realized that there was an overcast and it had rained earlier. I took a peek at the weather and more rain was scheduled for the day. All I could think was “Man, this day is going to suck!”. Talk about a good way to start the day. Then I realized something I learned from reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book entitled Increasing Your Financial IQ….I could take this seemingly dreadful experience and learn something. But the dilemma was what exactly could I learn. I thought about this the whole drive to the designated wash area. I finally realized what it would be once I got assigned me job for the day.
During last year’s car wash I was recruited as a wash attendant. I thought that would be the deal this year, but I ended up being the designated sign holder. At first, I got a little disappointed with the job but then I took a second to look beyond the position to see what it is I could learn to improve my business skills. At that point it dawned on me that I was in the “marketing department”. I was responsible for attracting customers to the wash. It would be my responsibility for the flow of vehicles and in essence our cash flow for the wash. Now was the time to apply some things I’ve read about marketing and to gain real world experience about different techniques and the application of those techniques. Throughout our 7 hour day I experimented with different techniques. I tried using no sign versus using the sign. Then I tried being animated and talkative with passing vehicles versus being silent. I also tried holding the sign in different place versus not moving. I learned a lot from this experience. Here’s what I learned:

  • “If you build it, they will come.” is not necessarily true. The existence of the sign versus no sign made a significant difference in customer flow. I actually used the “no sign” technique to decrease flow when we got too busy.

  • Just seeing a sign is enough for some customers while others require a little “prodding” so to speak. I actually had to interact with quite a few customers more than a few times to convince them to get a wash.

  • There are a few people who even though they were close to getting a wash ultimately changed their minds. I had to be creative when trying to convince them to go ahead with the wash. I actually succeeded at closing quite a few of those “sales”.

  • Word of mouth is strong! A good number of customers came from others who either got a wash themselves or drove by and referred someone to us.

  • In the end it was not one technique, but the combination of a few that ultimately netted the highest return! We actually doubled our money we made versus last year, in worst weather no doubt.

All in all these were great lessons learned and/or confirmed through experience. It seems experience is the best teacher because I had the opportunity to compare techniques. So what I want you to take from this is that you take my lessons and try to find ways to apply them in your situation or future situations. Life is a great teacher and there are lessons to be learned everyday according to Robert Kiyosaki. I am inclined to agree. To get more lessons from Mr. Kiyosaki I suggest picking up some of his books. The information within is priceless. Also check out his blog to get some tips on current financial events. In the meantime, my question to you is: Have you learned anything helpful today that may further your financial knowledge? Think about it and have a great day and grow rich!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Procrastination vs. Preparation: Lesson in Investing

So here I am…..on my next blog. It has been about 7 or 8 days since my last post. So now I guess you want to know “What’s the deal?”, right? Have I been procrastinating? Well, not exactly. While I have not posted in quite a few days I have been productive. As the title infers… procrastination versus preparation. Preparing is exactly what I’ve been doing. “What does that have to do with investing?” I’m glad you asked….let me explain.
They say the first time you do something is always the hardest part. That’s why I went ahead and posted my first blog, I wanted to jump that hurdle. After I posted it, my first thought was “now what?”. So I did what I always do, go looking for answers. I could have just sat there and hoped someone would read it, but that would be procrastination. Instead, I became proactive about my preparation. I started looking for answers about blog traffic, monetization of blogs, and blog marketing. During my search I ran across a millionaire blogger named Yaro Starak. This is a very interesting guy. I love his blog…if you want to seriously invest in a blog yourself(click here), I highly recommend reading and subscribing to his blog. I spent 4 days going over tips and tricks trying to cram….then I realized it wouldn’t happen so fast. So I digested what I could and started working on some social networks to build up a friend base and hopefully attract some readers. That took up the rest of the time.
So now it seems I had no time for the investing part huh? You could be wrong or right depending on your definition of investing. If investing to you is all about money , then no. I didn’t spend any money on new things. I didn’t play the stock market or open a new business. So what did I invest in? Knowledge. That is something that can never be taken away from me. It could make me millions and if I lose it all, that knowledge could bring it all back. So even though it hasn’t made me any money yet, I sincerely think it was a sound investment. I know it’s a much better investment than just sitting around.
Now it’s time to implement some of the knowledge I’ve learned. I’m going to post a lot of blogs. I’m also going to implement some monetization techniques. I will also share the techniques I use with you so that you can know about them. I will also try to provide links to where I get my research from so you can obtain the details and decide for yourself.
Even though I’ve had a hiatus from my blog I believe it will help the long term quality of my content. I will hopefully convey my ideas in a more efficient manner as a result. The next blog I will post will be about some things I did with my weekend that I took the time to learn something from. Then I will post another one about the concept of 90/10.
The moral of the story is as follows: sometimes it’s good to take a break from a venture if it will allow a more focused and efficient effort for the long term. Some people are so short-sighted the fail to prepare for the future and when it comes, it’s too late. Always take the time to improve, it may save your home based business. In the mean time you can contact me on myspace, face book, or blackplanet. Be sure and check the Ninety Ten Store for some books on financial literacy and inspiration. The question is: Do you prepare or do you procrastinate? Think about it. Until next time, live well and become rich!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What the Heck Is the Ninety-Ten Club?

Some of you may ask, "What is this 90/10 club?" Well, the short answer is...a place to share financial knowledge and experience regardless of your level of the knowledge and/or experience. I want newbies to have a chance to interact with some people who are professionals in this field. A lot of times the financially illiterate are intimidated by financial jargon and professionals. I am one of those newbies. This is a chance for everyone to learn and grow.

Another question that may be asked is "Why should I read a blog about finances and money from someone who is calling themselves a newbie anyway?" That's a perfectly good question. And it is the reason for this blog. I hear and read a lot about people who are rich AFTER they made it. I'm kinda tired of hearing about the "destination". So I'm allowing the world to see my journey. The good, bad and ugly. Through this blog (and hopefully a dedicated webpage with a forum) I hope to inspire some others to partake in this lifelong journey of wealth and hopefully connect with some more experienced people along the way.

So, here's the plan. I've been reading some financial books. I plan on sharing my experiences and feedback about what I read. I plan on starting a few businesses, joining a network marketing company. I will also share my experiences and ideas on those subjects. I also plan on investing..stocks, bonds, options, I don't really know yet but when I guys will know. I wont really recommend any product or service but I will tell you what I am participating in. What you do after that is your choice and your responsiblity. My question to you is Do you want to be part of the 10% who earn 90% of the money? Think about it and thank you for reading.

You can add me to your friend lists on myspace, blackplanet, my yearbook or facebook. Just search my name.