As you know, one of the most important keys to creating wealth is the right attitude, and in this series today we will talk about how to treat yourself like you matter by paying yourself first.
After two divorces and a failure in the art gallery business, I was broke at age 50 and felt I only had 15 years to plan for retirement. While I no longer use the word retire (instead I talk about creating complete financial choice), we will use that word for the wealthy series emails and blog post.
I was self-employed, had no IRA or pension plan, did not have government benefits like social security to lean on, and with only 15 years to gather money for retirement I had to take some massive action and calculated risks. Either I was going to be eating cat food instead of tuna, live on the streets, or I was going have to save or invest enough money to have a somewhat decent retirement.
I might have to watch my pennies, but at least I would have some pennies to watch!
In my gut, I understood that I had to build a net worth even though I had thousands of dollars of credit card debt. So what I did was use a concept that is 5000 years old called pay yourself first. Not enough people properly understand and USE this concept.
When I ask an audience to explain this concept to me I have had people say, “That means I pay my rent first.” Or, “I buy groceries first.” That is NOT treating yourself like you matter and paying YOURSELF first. That is treating the landlord or grocer first, not you.
When you pay yourself first you take some money from what you receive and immediately put some amount of it aside. It can be from a paycheck, a commission, a coaching or consulting fee, a rental payment or any other form of income. It can be 5%, 10%, 20% or more that you set aside FIRST before you pay anyone else or your bills.
Like training for a marathon, you don’t start by running 26 miles. You start where ever you start. For me, I started my marathon training by running two blocks. When I started to pay myself first I started at 10% and built it up to 26% (which also included the income taxes I would have to pay).
Like I mentioned, this concept is 5000 years old. It has withstood the test of time. It will still be working when you and I are dust. It has allowed people to become secure and wealthy.
In my case when I had saved $18,000 I was able to partner with my last, final and best wife and her Realtor partner to buy a three-unit apartment building. That was the beginning of my real estate investments and ultimately created a multi-million dollar net worth.
In the next article of this series, we will talk about how the wealthy focus on building their net worth versus paying down debt.
Starting today treat yourself like you matter. Pay yourself first before you pay others. Take the action that shows you deserve to own some of the money you are working for. And start now.
Oftentimes, interview preparation is focused on crafting your stories and structuring clear responses to the expected questions. Do that. But, don’t forget to also prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
Wait – isn’t the interviewer asking the questions? Isn’t the point for the employer to get to know you?
Absolutely! But asking questions will show your interviewer what you think is important, how well you prepared, and how much existing knowledge of the company and position you already have. They learn a lot about you based on the questions you ask.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not the number of questions you ask that matters – it’s the quality of those questions.
An Example – What Not Do To Do: If you ask your interviewer how many branches the company has, but the homepage of their website says, “Proudly serving our customers with 15 branches worldwide,” what does that tell them? That you probably didn’t do your research well or don’t know how to research at all. Yikes.
What You Should Already Know – so DO NOT Ask: Office locations and numbers of offices, company size, and relative financial health. Things you can find out on their website or with a quick Google search. You can reference media coverage – don’t be ignorant of it.
What You Can Learn – Ask This: There’s a second motivation behind asking a potential employer questions. It gives you insight into whether or not you even want to work there. Ask questions about company culture, what they value, and what a normal day in the office looks like. Ask what they would change if they could; the best and worst parts of the job. Ask how they would describe their relationship with their boss, team, and employees.
Not only will it show your interviewer that you’re serious about the job, but it will help you to decide if that’s the place you see yourself working.
This is a simple introduction to a simple truth within the complex story of a historical form of self-exploration known as meditation.
If you can strip away the popular descriptions and concepts encompassing this ancient and powerful practice, “meditation” is simply a tool that can be chosen and used to reach a particular desired state of being. It is then this state of being that is utilized to achieve the desired personal results you may be seeking.
One of the “ways” of meditation we can choose as this tool, the modality that we are most familiar with and has been most popularized, is “Methodical Meditation”. These are the forms that are directly taught by a person who is hopefully highly experienced with instructing the method that he or she has mastered themselves. This is the “predesigned and structured option” of reaching that particular desired state of being. It is the teacher to student, steps to follow, ways to breath, positions to sit in, mantras to chant, instruments, and routines to be learned and methodically implemented. It is historically powerful, scientifically supported, mind and life-altering. It is beautiful stuff indeed, a staple within almost every Alternative & Spiritual Wellness community, has benefited countless lives and is at the foundation of so many empowering philosophies and peaceful religions!
Yet through its history and evolution there has remained a way of meditation that is scarcely promoted and never taught.
This is not because it is being hidden but because it can’t be taught by an external master, as it is a way that’s unique to each and every one of us. Thus, it’s not instructed to you but revealed from within you.
There are actually infinite forms of achieving this state of being that we attribute to “meditation” and guess what, you have probably found “your way” at some point in your life and didn’t even know it. Many of us have experienced this self-cultivated access to it, but then actually disrupt it as we go off and seek external pre-existing instruction for how to do something we’ve just accomplished on our own.
This is Meditation from the perspective of “Self Discovered Spiritual Practices”:
A self-empowering awareness of one’s own innate abilities to achieve their life’s improvements & overall wellness, learn & explore one’s self and authentically develop one’s own personal spiritual practices. Accomplishing these aspired results from any self-cultivated or existing modality of practice utilizing “ways” that are solely discovered by the individual from within themselves and are most often unique to only them.
The significance of this perspective lies in the fundamental truth of any alternative/spiritual practice or belief system that has ever come to be. Which is that every taught form originated from an individual, from the outcome of their own personal journey; what they tried, experienced, discovered and the results that followed. When this outcome is so powerful, functional, life-altering, spiritually awakening for them, then one is often compelled to “spread the word”. Tell the story, write a book, create a course of study, teach their steps of what they did and how they achieved what was so impacting and beneficial for them. Et Voilà, a new “way” is born! Developed from their ownpersonal path of “Self Discovered Spiritual Practices”. If it spreads enough it can become another method, technique, belief system, etc. and even a whole new religion. Whether this new “way” arrived last year or four thousand years ago, the original source is always a single person.
So the question is:
“How are you any different from that pioneering individual who explored their own unique way and discovered what was so life-changing and beneficial for them?”
Well… You’re Not any Different!
You too, already have a complete and one of its kind path to achieving whatever transformative experiences and life-fulfilling results you seek. A “way” waiting inside of you that is perfectly tuned and effortlessly aligned with your exact and individual existence. Does the thought of that resonate with you?
The only “step” to discovering your own unique forms of getting there, is having some inclination that your “steps” are not outside of you to find but actually exist within you to recognize yourself and choose to follow. Would that provide a meaningful answer to why what you’ve tried out there never seems to quite fit nor get you to where you want to be nor how you want to feel?
If you answered yes to either or both, then let this be that inclination, that allowance. It may be that you’re ready to stop looking “out there” at someone else’s way and begin looking “in you” at your personal way to finding your personal answers.
If this doesn’t feel aligned or you have subscribed to and succeeded in any pre-existing methodologies or practices, then spectacular! Continue with anything that has provided positive results, it is truly a gift to find. Our personal truths come in the forms in which we choose and our perfect paths are discovered in countless ways.
But if you’ve been pleasantly teased by the thoughts of this place inside of you and this expansive potential of no rules nor pre-designed paths, then how do you begin to reveal “your way” to meditation?… Well, it’s your way, right? So revisit You!
There is a powerful and healing place inside of you that is so familiar from a point or age in your life. Maybe it’s been put aside, covered up, repressed, taken, forgotten, discredited or simply never allowed to flourish. There are experiences you’ve had, pleasing activities you’ve engaged in that have given you a sense of peace, connection, balance, relief, joy, brought you clarity, arrived you to meaningful answers and the like. These personal activities and experiences… that’s the Stuff! Your first glimpses of what is “your way” there. And they are as powerful as the most ancient meditation practices used to achieve that particular desired state of being.
From your past or current, can you feel what it has been for you? Was it so common or even so natural to you that you missed it? Writing in a journal, running, creating art, talking to yourself, taking a long bath, recalling your dreams, people watching, stargazing, going on a long walk, knitting, gardening, sitting in contemplation? Or is it a complex combination of activities that you just intuitively put together on your own? Was it at the quietest of places or do you actually feel more “centered” in active and populated environments? We all have a unique configuration to that perfect and effortless alignment. That’s its beauty, like a snowflake…
When revisiting yourself to rediscover “your way”, you may find this act feeling very meditative in itself. As it is incredibly pleasing to begin to see that you have so much power and ability already existing in the familiarity and effortlessness of simply being you. It’s exciting and perception altering and opens up so much for so many different parts of life beyond meditation. It is your uncontaminated source of all that you are truly capable of. When you recognize it, it is life affecting and of a beauty that only you will be able to describe.
Give it that trust and time. Allow yourself to connect to it, build an intimate relationship with it and nurture it as you would nurture yourself… Because it is You!
From “methodical meditation” to any other pre-existing forms of alternative and spiritual practices. If you’ve ever struggled with achieving your desired personal results with these forms after a committed attempt. If you have even felt a resistance to an authentic connection and alignment with them. This is not because something is wrong with any of their pre-structured paths, it’s because Nothing Is Wrong With You if none of those paths get you there. If this rings true, feels familiar, brings exciting realization as your thoughts wander through it, then rest into the self-empowering possibilities of discovering your own way there… And maybe you already have.
“It is in YOU”! Revisit, Allow, Trust, Have an Amazing Personal Adventure!
~ Eddy ~
This article is from a series of Talks called “Allow Yourself to Let Go of Everything you Think you Know”
Created to provide the Alternative & Spiritual Wellness Community with a high-ethics driven, the non-productized source of Information & Education on the self-empowering paths that we are all capable of walking to a more tranquil, balanced and content life, through our own and individually unique inward explorations
Make Your Beauty Routine Reflect Your Inner Goddess
In a world where it seems our every moment belongs to the social media, it’s a little difficult to find something to feel confident about. We’re exposed to airbrushed images, media pressure, and the general belief that nothing other than perfection is acceptable. The feelings of insecurity prevent us from fully embracing ourselves, and our inner peace is shattered by all the fear and the doubt.
But we’re women, and we’re brave and clever. We can conquer the worlds without our smiles, and our beauty is something that can be fully encompassing. We only need to get in touch with our inner goddess and allow it to shine through, and we’re here to help you do just that.
Focus on a healthy diet
Beauty does, indeed, come from the inside, and while this philosophy applies to your personality, it also applies to your body. To keep it beautiful you need to treat it well and fill it with the right kind of nutrients. This goes a really long way in helping you both feel and look good, and as long as you fill up your diet with veggies, fruit, lean meats, and whole grains, you’ll get great results. Cut down on sugar because it raises inflammation levels in your body, and it can contribute to the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and even cancer.
Exercising is a great way to get in shape, however, it’s also pretty good for your skin – it increases circulation and delivers more oxygen to your cells, and in turn, your face will look more plump and vibrant. It also helps your skin get rid of free radicals, and can improve collagen levels.
Nourish your face
A clear complexion is an indicator of good health, and it’s the golden ticket to pure, unadulterated confidence. When you can show up anywhere without a shred of face paint, then you’ll feel like a truly glamorous, natural goddess. For that to happen, you’ll need to find the right skin regimen for your specific skin type, so grab a few quality products and use them to nourish your skin. Cleanse every evening, use a scrub once or twice a week, and pick a hydrating cream to make your complexion smooth and soft. We would recommend investing in a few good products and keeping your regimen minimalistic. You really don’t need sixty steps in your routine – you’ll merely overwhelm your skin and end up irritating it and clogging your pores.
Dermatologists keep saying it, and we feel the need to reiterate the point yet again – wear sunscreen. Wear it in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and reapply it every two hours when in direct sunlight. There’s nothing quite as effective as high SPF at keeping your skin youthful and fresh, and if you start doing it now, you’ll thank yourself in a few years when your face is still smooth and wrinkle-free.
Use hot oil treatments
Natural oils are amazingly effective, and it’s no wonder some cultures have a long tradition of using them in both skincare and hair care. If you long for a soft mane of silky hair, then it’s time to incorporate a hot oil treatment into your weekly routine. Use the weekends to have some relaxing me-time, and warm up a mix of coconut, argan, and almond oil in a microwave. You want the oils to be warm, but not scalding. Put a towel around your shoulders, massage this mixture into your scalp slowly, then spread it down to the tips of your hair. The massage will help with circulation and make your hair grow faster, and it can also relieve problems such as seborrhea. Leave this on your hair for an hour or two, then proceed to wash it the way you usually do. And yes, you can still use conditioner or a hair pack to bring even more nourishment to your strands.
Don’t use makeup to hide
Makeup can either be a stressful thing that you apply every morning to hide your face, or it can be art. It can be a relaxing ritual, a way for you to enhance the most beautiful parts of your face, a way for you to show off the things that make you proud. Use products to bring out your eyes, or to show the world your lovely lips. Play around, have fun – but don’t hide.
Have a signature
Our inner goddess is a special part of us. It’s unique, it’s powerful, and it completely yours. A signature can be a special lipstick shade, it can be the way you apply your eyeliner, it can be a particular color that always looks good on you. Use this kind of signature to bring out that inner goddess, to leave your mark on the world, and to show off that you are unlike anyone else.
Get enough sleep
You knew this was coming! Sleep deprivation makes you sluggish and irritable, and it’s very bad for your skin, hair, and metabolism. Get your rest, because you’re a queen, and you definitely need your beauty sleep.
The best way to care for your looks is through kindness, especially kindness towards yourself. Nourish your mind and body, choose your own kind of beautiful, and embrace every single aspect of your existence.
How to Know if Casual Dating is Simply Not for You
The dating landscape has undergone a seismic shift in recent years. Back in the day, anyone serious about meeting someone special signed up to a professional introduction agency. They were shown photos or videos of carefully curated mates. The results largely depended on the quality of the agency’s database and were certainly not guaranteed.
There are still agencies offering that type of service, mostly to extremely wealthy individuals who are keen to meet someone of the same ilk, but the rest of us have moved on to dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble.
The Rise of Dating Apps
Dating apps are simple. You swipe from profile to profile in much the same way as you might browse Netflix. If a photo or profile catches your attention, you ‘like’ it. If the other person feels the same way, you have a match. There is no guarantee a successful match will end up in a date, but it’s the first step.
So, is casual dating for you? Let’s find out.
What is Casual Dating?
Casual dating is not limited to dating apps. It’s when a person wants to date but has no intention of getting involved in a serious relationship. They want to eat their cake, but they don’t want to buy all the ingredients.
Many young people believe that casual dating is superior since it can be hard to maintain a healthy, long-term relationship nowadays since we live in busy, career-oriented times. Plus, it is fair to say that this type of dating can be fun. You can meet up with lots of different people, without having to tie yourself down to just one person.
When Casual Dating is a Terrible Idea
Casual dating is not for everyone. Some people are simply not equipped to handle the emotional fallout.
If you are suffering from low self-esteem or you were badly hurt by a previous partner, it’s not advisable to hit Tinder or sign up for a non-exclusive relationship. You need a healthy dose of self-confidence for casual dating. Being ditched for a 22-year-old bombshell is a bitter pill to swallow.
Don’t try casual dating if you’re the jealous type. You probably wouldn’t be happy if your date casually mentioned he/she was sleeping with several other men/women.
Casual dating is stressful. It only works if you are 100% certain you can keep your emotions out of the loop. Don’t try casual dating if you get attached after five minutes or you are the jealous type.
You are desperate to settle down. Don’t pretend casual dating is for you if you dream of white picket fences and 2.4 kids.
Don’t try casual dating if you’re a hot mess. You need both feet firmly on the ground to cope with ghosting, zombieing, and casual rejection on an epic scale.
You are on the rebound – don’t use Tinder to make your ex-jealous. He probably won’t care anyway, and you could end up feeling ten times worse.
Dating casually won’t work if you are using it to distract yourself from personal problems. Focus on some self-help and forget about dating for a while.
Now, this one is a complicated one: You are in a serious relationship for some time now. You and your partner care for each other deeply but feel like you are kind of missing out. This crisis is something that often happens to couples after several years of dating. However, before you guys decide to turn ‘’our wedding will be mesmerizing’’ into ‘’we are now in one of those open, Millennial relationship things’’ think twice and be completely honest to both: yourself and each other. Before making any drastic decision, perhaps try to listen better, commit more, learn to compromise and try to improve your relationship first. The positive outcome might surprise you.
Signs Casual Dating Is for You
Casual dating suits some people. For various reasons, they aren’t ready to get involved on a serious level, but they still want to have fun on the dating scene. Read the following and see how many boxes you tick.
You’re not long out of a long-term relationship – if you recently split from a long-term partner, the last thing you need is to become involved with someone else. That’s OK. You can have fun, give your ego a boost, and live a little. When the dust settles and the ink on your Decree Absolute is dry, then you can think about dating a little more seriously.
You don’t have time to commit to a serious relationship – perhaps you travel a lot for work or you’re an international human rights lawyer with a crippling caseload. Either way, you don’t have time to devote to building a lasting relationship. Heck, you barely have time to sleep! Casual dating is perfect for you. You can hook-up with people in whatever time slots you have available, or any city you happen to end up in, but there is no expectation of anything more.
You are already attached – this last one is rather contentious, but we’re not going to slate everyone who decides to date outside of their main relationship. Not everyone wants to or is able to, leave their partner. For example, if your partner is seriously ill with no expectation of recovery, should you put your needs on hold forever? Only you can answer that question, but nobody would blame you if you went on the occasional date for a bit of light relief.
Have you tried casual dating? Let us know in the comments!
These figures are amazing. And women aren’t just bulking up the numbers in online entrepreneurship; we’re leading the charge.
Let us give you the lowdown on why women are now front lining the band that is online entrepreneurship.
Women are taking advantage of the digital transformation
The recent transformation of digital technology now makes it way easier to run a business.
Entrepreneurship is changing; the digital age that we live in allows us to be more agile and have more freedom. There are plenty of flexible online business routes to go down, like e-commerce or freelancing.
Women are taking advantage of this, and more and more women are becoming freelancers — waving the corporate world goodbye.
And we’re owning our skills: check out these freelance fields where women out-earn men. Freelance platform Lystable did a study which discovered that women in digital freelance roles such as writing, graphic design and videography are bringing home a lot more bacon (or meat-free alternatives) than men.
Signing up to a freelance platform where you can get hired for your freelancing skills is easy; check out sites like PeoplePerHour to get started.
Being an online entrepreneur makes it easier to balance family and business (and sometimes even merge them)
Being an online entrepreneur gives you flexibility — you can choose your hours, how much work you put in, whether you want to be part-time…
Running a business doesn’t have to get in the way of family time. You don’t have to choose anymore — as an online entrepreneur, you can do both. There are still challenges, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it used to be.
Then of course, there’s the rise of the mompreneur. Women can pride themselves on their mommy status while still being a great businesswoman. There are mommy blogs, mommy businesses, mama & baby e-commerce stores… If being a mother is a strong part of your identity, then you can share your passion with the world and make money while you’re doing it.
One great example of a mompreneur is Julie Aigner Clark, founder of Baby Einstein (infant development videos) and numerous other successful projects centered around moms & kids.
She combined two things she loved — being a mom and being an entrepreneur — with huge success. Baby Einstein became a multimillion-dollar franchise; its revenue grew from $1 million in 1998 to $25 million in 2001 and was eventually sold on to Disney for a heck of a lot of money.
Rising female-led niches — women are boldly going where no man has been before
Women are now getting a say in what is important to them. Things that wouldn’t have been done 50 years ago are now a normal part of our daily life.
One of the best examples of this is period underwear. Brands like Thinx and Knix are breaking down taboos and providing people with a new niche product. These business ideas have come from women and are led by markets powered by women.
Beauty subscription boxes aimed at women are another recently discovered gap in the market that pioneering female-led companies like Birchbox have filled. Female founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna set up Birchbox — which sends monthly boxes in the post full of sample beauty products — and have since attracted 1 million subscribers, and 4 million customers.
Women are having a huge, positive impact on e-commerce
In the e-commerce sphere, women are definitely leading the charge: women drive 70-80% of consumer purchasing.
Take female-led networks like Pinterest. Pinterest is a massive online platform with a valuation of nearly $4 billion. And it’s main users? Women. In fact, 81% of Pinterest users are women. That’s a lot of women generating a lot of money.
We play such a huge part in online shopping that it makes sense for us to lead in e-commerce. It’s easy to become an online entrepreneur: setting up your own online store is easier than ever with platforms like Shopify. Or you can use Etsy — their user base is 86% female, and around 30% of sellers say their Etsy store is their sole source of income.
Alternatively, if the idea of starting your own business from scratch is a bit daunting, you can always take a look at Shopify businesses on sale. Then you can go about rebranding and making a pre-existing business your own, which is pretty exciting.
Basically, there are plenty of ways to become a female e-commerce entrepreneur — you just need to pick the best option for you.
We’re supporting each other
One of the great things about female entrepreneurs is that we’ve got each other’s backs.
Yes, women are leading the charge in online entrepreneurship, but they’re still vastly outnumbered by men if we’re going on quantity alone; only 5% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women.
So women have learned to support and encourage each other online. There are some amazing female online communities out there like Rise Up For You that help to connect women and share resources and useful tools. By building online communities, women inspire, motivate and empower each other. Now that’s girl power.
Taking a look at the online world in 2018 is inspiring. The rise of the female-led niches and the mompreneur proves that women aren’t just trying to slot into a man’s world — we’re forging our own.
Women are having a huge impact on the world of ecommerce, and in a male-dominated industry, we’re carving out names for ourselves with unique concepts, supportive online communities, and higher business success rates. Bring on 2019.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
Is Women’s Empowerment Becoming Disempowering? Is Women’s Empowerment Becoming Disempowering?
With everything that has occurred with #metoo, #seeher campaign, and most recently the Ford vs. Kavanaugh case, both women and men are at a very tense time in our society. It feels that now more than ever, genders are split opposed to working together to find solutions against the inequality, stereotypes, and harassment.
However, more recently I have found that even women are starting to tune out to what’s going on in the world and no longer what to be associated with Women’s Empowerment for fear that it will pull them into a political swing or create a negative connotation around them. The term Women’s Empowerment itself can be taken so many ways by so many people.
The current climate in our country about women equality, harassment, and speaking up is absolutely a necessity, however, as both women and men, it’s important that lines don’t blur and create extreme perspectives and thoughts that cause further damage and segregation. Terms like Women’s Empowerment and Feminism have been taken out of context and often are no longer seen as a friendly and uplifting way to support women initiatives.
As we approach the Empowered Women Rise Conference it’s important for Rise Up For You to state that Women’s Empowerment is about opening the minds of all women to the endless possibilities and success they can create in their life. It’s about becoming your best-self as the whole woman so that you can make the impact you want to make in this world and lead in ways that will positively impact those around you. It’s about showing up fully at 1000% so that you can create the change you wish to see, whether it’s in your household, your company, or your community. Women’s Empowerment is not about disempowering men but creating a safe space for women to be her best professionally and personally.
Empowering women like yourself is a beautiful and needed mission that can transform the workspace and the overall success of women. I hope you can join us on November 3rd where professional women are coming together to connect and build professional relationships as well as take themselves to the next step in their career and life. This conference is not associated with politics or any other elements that can potentially create division. We are all doing our best to build the success and happiness we want and deserve in our lives, and this conference is a platform to help you take another step towards that goal!
Life brings challenges that come in different shades, situations and personalities. Overcoming each of those challenges is never the same. It’s important to gain perspective when facing a new challenge and many times it takes opening our eyes to what is right in front of us. I see those challenges manifested often in the physical sense during my early morning workouts.
Getting up and going to the gym this morning was hard. I was tired and had allergies, but I rolled out of bed and sent my body the couple miles it too to do so. As I began going through my exercise routine of cardio and weights, a person caught my eye. The man right across from me had no legs. He wheeled himself up to the machine, pulled himself up with his arms and sat on the seat.
It was just as if he had legs just like I did, except he had two stubs, covered with a nylon material. With strong arms he began executing the pull-downs on the machine. He had learned how to adjust and work with what he had.
What does adjustment actually mean? Speaking with a chiropractor, he or she will tell you of a certain vertebrae that needs aligned. Talking to a mechanic, he or she may recommend you adjust your brakes. An astronomer may speak about the stars and planets aligning in a certain way.
Adjustment and alignment are terms that are often interchangeable and they are the key to overcoming challenges. There are days and years that feel like nothing lines up. Interruptions and life events burst through our days that surprise us, are inconvenient and even cause fear or anger. So how do we respond to that misalignment and overcome those challenges?
Three Mental Steps to Overcoming Challenges
Here are three steps to begin Overcoming Challenges: THANKFULNESS, HUMOR and a PLAN.
Step One: Thankfulness. Start a gratitude journal. Journaling is a great tool to encourage thankfulness and gratefulness. Just a sentence or two is helpful, focusing on what is good. Be grateful for food to eat, a place to sleep, a job. It only takes passing a street corner or makeshift tents and shelters of the homeless to encourage an attitude of gratefulness.
Step Two: Humor. Fodder for humor is often found in a daily newspaper or even on news broadcasts. Most any Starbucks or other coffee shop have plenty of print newspapers on hand. It doesn’t take long to find stories and incidents that seem so unbelievable that they are funny.Give yourself permission to laugh!
Step Three: A Plan. This may be the most difficult step for many. Feeling stuck and lost is a signal that change needs to happen. How to proceed is different for every person, but creating an achievable plan is imperative. I always encourage baby steps but this is difficult for over-achievers and type A personalities. (I understand this all too well!)Defining a passionate goal and dream is important, but achieving it only happens by starting small with consistent and targeted follow through.
You may feel stuck but there is no need to stay stuck. Feeling trapped can encourage growth, change and even new beginnings! But you have to start moving!
As I finished my workout at the gym, the gentleman without his legs was still wheeling himself around the gym, going through his set routine. The interruptions I was facing now seemed minor as I walked out with an attitude of thankfulness and renewed energy. I wish the same for you!
On July 15, I celebrated my 30th birthday and spend a lot of time in reflection for my past, present, and planned for the future.
Inspired by my milestone birthday, I wanted to share financial advice I wished I had received in my 20s.
Most 20-somethings receive a ton of unsolicited financial advice. Everyone with a checkbook believes they have it all figured out and confusingly, most of the advice is seemingly conflicting.
What I’ve learned is that no matter what you are told, you have to take the “responsible role” and research on your own. You might find out advice you’ve been given is either not correct, or detrimental to your situation.
For example, my little sister was given advice by her credit union that she needed to keep a balance on her credit card every month. This is not only expensive advice, it’s wrong. Using a credit card appropriately means not paying for interest by paying your balance in full every month.
So at the end of the day, you’ve got to educate yourself.
But so many 20-somethings don’t understand how detrimental debt can be. You cannot get ahead with a life of paying interest and payments. You should be earning interest, not paying it.
Too often, our money is tied up in paying car payments, student loans, and credit card minimum payments that we aren’t able to invest as much as we would like.
Debt will defeat you. Even if the interest rate is low, the monthly payments take your cash flow that you could have used to invest money or even take a sweet vacation.
Which leads me to my next piece of advice…
SPEND MONEY ON EXPERIENCES
Hands down the best thing I did for myself in my 20s was traveling… a lot. It might seem counterintuitive given the advice I shared previously, but if you pay off debt or get really close to it, spend on experiences instead of stuff.
Those new workout clothes might seem like everything you’ve ever wanted in the moment, but you will be so much happier with lifelong memories of taking an inexpensive vacation or having late night conversations and belly laughs with friends around the campfire.
When purchasing items, you might think they will bring you happiness, and in the moment they might produce a slight boost in your endorphins, but it fades almost as quickly.
The memories from experiences last much longer.
If you are like me, I used to think travel is expensive, until I learned that you can absolutely travel inexpensively using services like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Airfare Watchdog, or google.com/Flights.
But keep in mind, although I’m painting this picture of spending on experiences as traveling, that’s only one part of that. You can easily hang out at home, drinking wine or coffee with friends and hosting a game night. Some of my favorite experiences have been game nights at my home.
INVEST IN QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
This is a super important piece of advice I wish I received early in my 20s. When you do make purchases, always invest in quality pieces. Maybe it’s one pair of jeans that are higher quality and cost a bit more, but you won’t have to consistently go jean shopping.
Whatever it is, invest in quality items. Quality doesn’t always mean expensive either. There are stores like Ross, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx or Nordstom Rack, that allow you to shop for quality items at a fraction of the cost. Spend money on timeless looks instead of trendy items. You’ll look more put together and they don’t go out of style.
I used to buy really cheaply made shoes and blazers. Once I purchased my first blazer that fit correctly and was durable materials, it was a game changer. I looked like a million bucks and that same blazer has been in style and lasted for 5 years so far! Not bad!
And a big piece of advice- get a high quality piece of luggage. Trust me- it matters!
RETIREMENT ISN’T THAT FAR AWAY
Even though it can feel like retirement is a million years away, as a young 20-something, you have time on your side. In the investing world time = money, because of compounding interest. This allows your money to grow as the market goes through it’s ever chaining ups and down. Those ups and downs, dividends, and consistency in adding to your retirement accounts is what makes you a very wealthy person in the long run.
The more you invest now, the sooner you can retire. It matters a LOT. Open up a Roth IRA and get investing.
Did you know that the #1 fear across society is public speaking? Death and snakes round out the top 3. Would it surprise you to know that when I was a teenager, it was my biggest fear, too?
Seriously. It’s true. It’s shocking to me that I eventually made a career out of giving a speech when I wouldn’t even run for student council because it would entail doing that very thing. The idea of giving a speech in front of my classmates made me want to throw up. I thought, “Why would anyone opt in for something like that – it sounds like torture!”
So when I was a junior in high school, I took my first public speaking class. I wanted to face the fear. Signing up only exacerbated my fear. I’ll never forget the feedback my teacher gave me after a speech. He said:
I couldn’t be heard past the third row
I spoke a mile a minute (I am from Jersey, after all…)
My voice shook
If you had asked me then what I thought I would do with my life, my answer would never have been public speaking. It would have been somewhere along the lines of a corner office businesswoman in finance. Yet here I am, about to speak in front of 2,000 people at Toastmasters International!
Not only did I get over my fear of public speaking, but I actually came to enjoy it. You should know, I still feel nervous every time and I’m absolutely terrified for my largest crowd yet — but at the same time, I know I will do great.
If you relate to any of these public speaking phobias… don’t be afraid of the fear, embrace it. Use the fear and harness the adrenaline. Challenge yourself and trust that you’ll be great, too.
Maybe you also have a fear of public speaking, or maybe your fear is something else. Whatever it is, face it. You’ll get past it and it will open up new opportunities that you never imagined!