The Countdown Continues: Book Launch

The Event

This past Thursday night on November 2nd at Knowledge Academies in Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, TN, I held my first ever book launch event, the launch event for my upcoming book, The Millionaire Choice. The night was a bit rainy, but that didn’t keep people away.

Needless to say I have a lot to learn about marketing and launching books, but we still had a lot of fun at the event. From food to giveaways, we had a great evening.

We started out the evening with a bit of food including the traditional chilled shrimp, cheese and smoked salmon on crackers followed up with sandwich rolls, cheesecake, and keylime pie.

After the arrival mixer, we moved on to the preliminary program which included Art Fuller, Founder and President of Knowledge Academies, talking about some of the innovative and entrepreneurial work they are doing in the community and school. You don’t often associate innovation and entrepreneurship with schools, but that’s what Art is doing through Knowledge Academies to affect the community and equip the kids to be more successful in life. It’s one of the reasons he chose to use The Millionaire Choice as the foundation for his students financial education.

Then it was my turn in front of the audience. It doesn’t matter how many times I’m in front of a audience, I still get a bit nervous. For 20-30 minutes, I walked the audience through The Millionaire Choice and the Ten Keys of the Millionaire, the life and financial principles that helped me become a millionaire by age 40. I was delighted by the audience’s response to my material. No matter how hard you work on a product, it’s the audience and customers response that tells you if you’ve done a good job. Fortunately, I got a great response at my book launch.

I grew up in a lower income family, and on the evening of my book launch event, I was able to speak to lower income families. The hope that I saw in their eyes and smiles has made the last year an half I’ve spent working on the book worth it. I’m looking forward to seeing many more people gain a hope for their financial futures and lives.

Book Signing

Another first for the evening, I held my first ever book signing. I’ve been practicing my signature for several weeks now and I’ve finally gotten it down just in time for the event. However, I still panic that I’m going to mess up someone’s name or the words I add. I’m sure it will get easier the more I do it, but for now, I’m a bit paranoid!

The moment was surreal. People standing in line to have me sign a book. Really? Again with the eyes and the smiles. Families came through the line. Teenagers came through the line. Single moms came through the line. At that moment, I knew this group of people had a chance to change their financial futures. They have a chance to become millionaires.

The Giveaways

We wrapped up the evening with a few giveaways for door prizes although it didn’t quite go as planned.

The audience consisted of fifty percent friends and family and fifty percent Knowledge Academies families. We began the giveaways with gift cards to O’Charleys, Buca di Beppo, and Sperry’s steakhouse before ramping up to the bigger prizes. During the gift card giveaway, I felt a little guilty because one of my friends won a gift card, but I rolled with it. Then we drew for a bigger prize, a 4 day, 3 night stay at one of my beach homes on 30A in the Florida panhandle, and that’s where the problem started.

Originally, I planned to give away a 4 day stay at our beach townhouse (sleeps 10) and 4 days at our beach house (sleeps 13). Drawing for the townhouse, we hit a snag. Once again, one of my friends won the prize. Honestly, I felt a little bummed. I was hoping one of the families from the community would win it. What did I do? Well, we gave away another 4 days to the townhouse, and lo and behold, another one of my friends won that drawing as well! So what did we do? We drew again! In all, we gave away three 4 day stays at our townhouse.

Then it was time to draw for the beach house, and guess what happened. Yep. One of my good friends won the beach house drawing. We ended up giving away three 4 day stays at our beach house as well.

In all we gave away six 4 days stays at our beach properties mainly because it was really fun giving stuff away and the audience really got into it! I figured at the core of my book is building wealth to enjoy it, share it and help people in need so why not live it out by giving stuff away.

The Millionaire Choice is available for pre-order at all major booksellers and will debut in stores on November 13, 2018.

Special thanks to Meghan Cary of Megan Cary Photography for the photos!

Announcing My First Book: The Millionaire Choice

It’s been just over a year since I start writing my first book. Officially, I began writing Wednesday evening, May 24, 2017 while sitting on my apartment patio overlooking the mountains in Salt Lake City. It was an inspiring view. Perhaps I was a little ambitious since I wanted to have it finished and printed by December 31, 2017. I tend to be a little optimistic and naive at times.

While I planned to write a book at some point in my life, I didn’t plan on doing it now at age 47. However, looking back over the past year, it was the perfect time. I recently left a premier job where I worked for 15 years ending my career at the executive level. I then took a brief 1 year break to buy some real estate and explore some new opportunities. When May 2017 rolled around, the timing just felt right, and our family was in a good financial spot. And with that setting, I began formulating a plan for my book, a book about money and helping people shape their financial future.

Writing the Book

I’ve been a student of personal finance since I was 25. Studying and working in the financial industry for 20 years led me to write a book on personal finance. Not much of a surprise since my expertise is in the personal finance space.

As I continued thinking about the money problems people are facing, I really wanted to come up with a way to turn the personal finance industry upside down. There are a lot of people doing great work, but it still seems like we’re barely scratching the surface in financial literacy and education. About 10% of American households are millionaire households. That means 90% of households have a net worth of less that one million dollars. In simpler terms, there are roughly 110 million American households and about 10 million millionaire households according the the US Census. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Many Americans net worth is far less than one million dollars. In fact, many Americans net worth is less than $100,000. I think that is terribly sad.

After wrestling through various titles, I landed on The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. I believe becoming a millionaire is a choice. Whether or not we become millionaires is based on the life and financial choices we make.

As I began writing the evening of Wednesday, May 24, 2017, I felt compelled to write with urgency. During an overnight layover in Denver on my Friday evening flight home to Nashville, I spoke with my wife about the book and the progress I was making. Somewhere during the conversation, the idea of completing the book in 30 days came up. At the time, that seemed like an impossible task considering our work and family circumstances. However, occasionally circumstances change and amazing can things happen.  In June 2017, I penned 60,000 words and completed 90% of the book’s first draft. Yea. I was shocked too!

Now one year later and after several revisions, multiple reviews by friends, family and other professionals, the manuscript for my first book is finished and off to the publisher. I never imagined writing a book was so difficult!

Inside the Book

In The Millionaire Choice, I share my story of growing up in a financially messy home where money struggles were common and a lack of good financial knowledge and habits reigned. At age 25, I began to change.

I was 25 years old when I realized I was headed into a financial disaster if I didn’t change, so I began studying money. After about 90 days, I realized that I could become a millionaire by the time I turned 40…if I made the right financial choices. That was when I made what I call The Millionaire Choice and formed my own personal millionaire plan, my plan to become a millionaire. Hence the purpose and goal of my book, The Millionaire Choice. To inspire and help people become millionaires regardless of their family background or financial circumstances.

The backbone of The Millionaire Choice are the 10 Keys of the Millionaire, the 10 principles that helped me to break my family’s generational cycle of financial mismanagement and become a millionaire by age 40.

For now, it’s available now for pre-order on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million and other bookstores. The official store date is November 13, 2018. You can learn more about my upcoming book at themillionairechoice.com.

My Inspiration for Writing The Millionaire Choice

During my time in the financial world, working for two different personal financial education, and talking with people, I learned a few things that both saddened and challenged me.

I realized that there are entire segments and people groups in our country that aren’t receiving the financial training and education they need. Why? The reason is simple. They don’t have money. Businesses can’t make money off of broke people, and so very little effort is being made to help the people who need financial education the most. I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that I can make some small difference to help those in need of financial help and education.

I’m excited to be able to help people get their finances in order. Although our family has been able to break the cycle of financial mismanagement, so many of the people I meet are not there yet. They need guidance, help and encouragement.

In time, I really would like to find a way to turn the personal financial education industry upside down to help all those who need and want it. It’s not just about a book or making money. It’s about making a difference in the lives of others, transforming families, and changing the world.

 

 

Strategic Planning

I love planning. Absolutely, love it. I don’t think I realized how much I enjoyed planning until more recently as my job responsibilities have changed. I enjoy looking into the future to create vision and devising plans on how to achieve that vision. Thinking through the details, all the angles, all the possibilities. It excites me.

I guess I should have realized this sooner and worked to leverage that side of who I am. Even as a youngster the signs were there. Learning to play chess and enjoying the complex strategy needed to win. Visualizing what moves your opponent would make and what your options would be. Some matches even able to predict 7-10 moves ahead what my opponent would be doing. Other areas where planning tendencies manifested included putting together neighborhood fishing, basketball, and football tournaments.

In June, I transitioned from CIO to COO. My new set of responsibilities include Strategic Planning, PMO, and Internal Communications. While I’ve lead Strategic Planning for many of our Ramsey Solution digital efforts over the past 15 years, I’m now leading the company’s entire strategic planning efforts, and it is a challenge.

I’m excited about the progress we’ve made this year in developing some process and structure around our top level planning. In the past, we have been a bottom up very entrepreneurial culture. While we are still maintaining that very entrepreneurial bent, we are balancing it with some top level direction that connects our many businesses and products in a stronger way. With this change, we hope to reach even more people and impact their lives.

As I’ve reached out to other leaders at companies of all sizes, it has been interesting to discover how many companies don’t do any top level strategic planning. I’ve been asked several times from companies smaller than ours to several times larger than us, “are you getting any value out of strategic planning? What are you doing?”

For those of you who are interested, here a few of the resources that are influencing our strategic planning efforts.

Patterson’s StratOp Process

Traction – EOS (Entreprenuerial Operating System) by Gino Wickman

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The Rockerfeller Habits by Verne Harnish
Additional Resources

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Strategic Planning and Innovation Summit