Doing Your Best No Matter the Circumstances or Situation You’re in.

Whew! July and August have been rough, but now I’m on the mend. In July and August, I spent 25 days in the hospital. For what you might ask? My right kidney decided it was time to come out. Oh yes. It happens. We’d known my kidney was bad since 2007, but it wasn’t supposed to be an issue. Well, it became an issue. What was supposed to be 4 days in the hospital turned into 14 due to complications. The other 11 days were pre-surgery diagnosis and oh, my doctor had a family reunion out of state during my stay.

During what was a miserable time, I did my best to make lemonade out of lemons. It’s not fun spending 95% of your day in a hospital bed for 14 days after surgery, but I and my lovely wife made the best of it.

A week or so before my kidney issue popped up, I had loaded 4 cases of my book, The Millionaire Choice, into my jeep for an event. Most of the books were reloaded into my jeep after the event. Turns out they came in handy.

Stuck in a hospital room and laying on my back, I wanted to at least be a little productive. Setting up a couple of book stands in the windowsill, we began giving away copies of The Millionaire Choice. In all, we gave way 100+ books to nurses, doctors and other hospital staff. I had an amazing time having discussions with everyone about their money and their future.

We discussed everything from student loans, buying houses, building rental AirBNB property add-ons to groups playing the lottery. It was amazing to see so many people get excited to learn about money. Something no one had taken time to teach them.

During my ordeal, I found inspiration and encouragement as the words of Art Williams, founder of A.L. Williams, kept coming to mind. “All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is enough.”

Well, I’ve been home for two weeks now and just drove for the first time today. It’s time to get back to work helping people figure out their money, their future, and creating millionaire plans.

Success IQ Podcast with Geoff Nicholson

Geoff Nicholson hosts the Success IQ Podcast based in the UK. Thanks to Geoff for being a fantastic host who is passionate about helping people triumph over they struggles and find new success in life. It’s always fun and energizing to discuss how to help people get their money on track, becoming a millionaire, and how that can help them live an even more fulfilled and successful life.

“We all have these moments in our lives, when we face a fork in the road. A time when your back is against the wall and something has to change.

The courageous learn from such challenges and their mistakes and become stronger, more determined, and willing to make the changes.

I am very fortunate to have found my purpose and passion in life. My role is to assist people like you to challenge and support you in creating a vision of what you want to achieve. To set the goals needed to achieve those targets and to support you in creating and living the life you truly desire.” – Geoff Nicholson

Success IQ Podcast – The Millionaire Choice (iTunes)

Success IQ – The Millionaire Choice (Geoff Nicholson)

Positive Impact Podcast with Joe Horton

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Positive Impact Podcast with Joe Horton discussing the choices that we make in our lives. Life is a journey. For most of us, it’s a crazy and challenging journey. Where we end up on that journey is based on our choices.

Joe is a fantastic host with a passion for helping others improve their lives. I love the simplicity of Joe’s message.

“3 things which are essential to making a positive impact:

  • Improve your positive impact by improving yourself
  • Improve the lives of your immediate family and friends
  • Improve the lives of everyone you come into contact with in the wider world

…………………..then repeat. It really is as simple as that.” – Joe Horton

Positive Impact Podcast – The Millionaire Choice (iTunes)

Positive Impact Podcast – The Millionaire Choice (Positive Impact Movement)

Discovering Art Williams. Extraordinary Businessman. Extraordinary Leader.

I’m a bit ashamed to say that I’ve been in the financial world for almost 20 years but didn’t know anything about Art Williams. Yes, I’d heard his name and knew he was someone important, but I never took the time to learn his story. I didn’t know that one amazing man named Art Williams turned an one of the largest industries of his day upside down.

Last week a dear friend of mine invited me on an impromptu trip to Atlanta, GA for a sold out one day conference featuring Art Williams. After conferring with my wife that she could hold down the fort and our six kids for 24 hours, I packed up my Jeep with 3 sidekicks and headed to Atlanta.

At the event, the speakers relived the early days of A.L. Williams, a company that turned the life insurance industry upside down in the late 70s and 80s. A leader, Art Williams, and a company, A.L. Williams, that took on the giants of the day and beat them. The stories of the struggles Art’s early team of believers and warriors were truly inspiring. I call them believers and warriors because they believed they could beat the industry giants and change the life insurance industry to better serve people and families, but it was a battle. The industry fought them at every turn trying protect their profits and market ownership. The industry giants lost.

Over a ten year period of time, Art’s little band of believers grew from 85 agents to over 225,000 agents to become the market leader for life insurance. Well, Art Williams tells the story much better than ever could (YouTube). Watch and enjoy the story of Art Williams, an extraordinary businessman and leader.

75% of Americans are Living Paycheck to Paycheck. What are YOU Doing About It?

Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? Reality check. That means that 3 out of 4 people you know and meet today are living paycheck to paycheck. It doesn’t matter how much money they make, the problem is the same, and in most cases, it comes back to how people manage their finances. They don’t.

It’s sad, but we go to school for 13 years from K through 12. Then many of us enter college for 2, 4 or more years of additional education. We study English, Science, Math and more. Somehow, we missed and are still missing one of the most important subjects, money.

If you want to be smart about money, you have to study. There’s no way around it. I went to school to be an engineer. Let’s clarify that. Mechanical Engineer. I learned about cars as a teenager and I read books about cars. I went to college for engineering and I learned math. A lot of it. In all, 17 years of math to be proficient as an engineer.

Revisit me at age 25 when I realized I was broke. 25. No money knowledge. No money studies. Just broke. Pure and simple. I made great money, and had nothing but $16,000 in debt and a few trinkets. The good news is, I made a change. I got money smart, and you can too along with the people you know and meet.

Meet Elena Perez

I’ve been blessed by all the stories coming from people who have read my book. Long time friends changing what they’re doing with their money to couples married for 35 years finally getting on the same page with money. It’s so exciting! This week, something new came up that I want to share.

Meet my friend Elena Perez, Financial and Insurance advisor for World Financial Group. I met Elena at a local networking group at Brentwood Baptist’s Connections Cafe several weeks ago. She’s a powerhouse. We chatted and she picked up a copy of The Millionaire Choice.

A few weeks later, we bumped into each other at a different networking group where Elena told me how she gave a copy my book to her friend who was in dire financial straits. After reading The Millionaire Choice, her friend had a plan and hope.

Last week, I discovered Elena had been buying copies of TMC (The Millionaire Choice) off Amazon and giving them away to people she meets. 7 copies so far. Wow! So exciting, but that’s a lot of money to pay for my books!

Yesterday Elena and I met up at Panera Bread where she picked up her first case of The Millionaire Choice (30 copies), at a really steep discount. 🙂

I love that Elena understands that 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. She cares. 90% of the potential customers she meets, aren’t ready for investing, but she’s doing everything she can to help the people and families where they are.

No one person can change America or the world, but together, I believe we can. Thanks Elena!

What You Can Do

I believe financial poverty starts to disappear when we’re all financially educated.

I grew up in a low income family. Our power was cut off. Our water was cut off. I was educated. I was an engineer working on million dollar projects, but I was broke. I followed in my family’s financial footsteps. That all changed when I became “financially educated”, and the crazy thing is, it only took me 90 days to figure out that I could become a millionaire. 25 years old. Broke, but realized I could become a millionaire if I did the right things with my life and my money.

I learned a lot of math in school. Once I started learning about money, I realized something. Money is really just a math problem. It’s predictable and if you do the right things with it, you can solve the money problem.

I don’t know your friends or family members. I don’t know the people you work with or the people you’ll meet today. I can’t impact their lives, but you can. Just like Elena. I want to make it as simple as possible for anyone to have a positive impact in someone’s financial life. Grab my free ebook Creating Millionaire Families or give someone a book. I don’t care if its my book or someone elses. Just make sure its a good one they can understand.

Take a little time. Make a little effort, and watch the impact you’ll have in someone’s life. I guarantee you’ll like the results.

Why Do You Build Wealth and Become a Millionaire?

Are you working? Why do you work? Do you have a goal? Seriously, what drives you? Why do you get up, get dressed, and head out to work every day? What’s your goal? What’s your purpose?

If you’re going to spend your life working, you might as well have a goal and a purpose for your money. I started working with my parents around age 10 . My dad was a carpenter. When I worked with him I got to sweep floors, carry wood, and occasionally step on a nail (which wasn’t part of the job, but it happened more often than I’d like). My goals were pretty simple. Buy more toys.

When I wasn’t busy on a job site with my dad, you might find me with my mom at the convenient store(s) she managed. My convenient store life usually included facing and stocking product shelves and the refreshments cooler as long as I kept my hands off the beer. I wasn’t old enough to face and stock the alcoholic beverages. As I got a bit older, my job moved outside to sweep the parking lot (hated it), concrete (hated it), paint the curbs (hated it), and pull the weeds (hated it). Don’t laugh. If you had to pull those thorny weeds that stuck you every time, you’d hate the job too. Yes, gloves would have helped, but they don’t work well when you leave them at home. Honestly, it was the worst job I’ve ever had, but at least I got to buy more stuff and save for a car when I would eventually turn sixteen.

As I got older I found myself working in grocery stores, shipping docks, manufacturing assembly lines, engineering departments, technology departments, and eventually as a corporate executive.

Throughout my early working life, I worked for things I wanted and things I needed. Along the way to becoming a millionaire, something changed. I began working for others. Sure, I still work for things I want and things I need, but now there’s another element. Others. When you build wealth and have a little excess, you’re more equipped to help people in need.

So I ask, “Why do you build wealth and become a millionaire?” My answer is simple. I build wealth to enjoy life and help people in need.

I recently came across this statistic in an article by *Robert Frank from CNBC, and it totally shocked me.

“More than 80 percent of those worth $25 million or more give at least $10,000 a year to charity, and 21 percent give more than $100,000 a year to charity.“*

At first blush, the article is written in a very “positive language”, but these stats aren’t very positive in my opinion. Let’s look at it another way and break it down into pieces. Piece number 1.

Over 80 percent of people worth $25 million or more are only giving $10,000 or more a year to charity.

$10,000, really? That’s the low bar? Then there’s this. If 80% is the high number, that still leaves 20%. What are those people doing?

20% of people worth $25 million are giving less than $10,000 a year to charity.

Pardon me, but WTH? Seriously? You have a $25 million net worth and you give less than $10,000 a year to help people in need?

Okay, now it’s time for piece number 2. In Robert’s words…

“21 percent of people worth $25 million or more give more than $100,000 a year to charity.” – Robert Frank, CNBC

Let’s write it up this way.

Only 21 percent of people worth $25 million or more give over  $100,000 a year to charity.

Now I agree $100,000 a year is a lot of money, and it sounds very “generous”. That is until you realize that people with over $25 million net worth are generating millions per year off their investments. You can very safely assume they are getting at least 5-7% off their investments. In many cases, much more. At 5%, that’s at least $1,250,000 a year income. The statistic is pitiful. Just pitiful.

I’m sure there are some very generous people in the mix that are quite generous, but the overall number is well below where it should be for serious altruistic giving, helping people in need, and changing the world.

Robert provides a another valuable statistic in his article, just how many people are worth $25 million or more in the United States? The answer, “there are now 142,000 households worth $25 million or more” according to Robert. From the numbers, we know that means roughly 29,000 households gave $100,000 or more to charity, and since 20% gave less than $10,000 to charity, we know that’s roughly 28,400. Interesting how the upper end of the scale and the lower end of the scale are virtually equal. 20% of the “Ultra High Net Worth” people are pretty generous, and 20% are well…grinches. Being just 11 days before Christmas, I had to work that in.

So I ask again, “Why do you build wealth and become a millionaire?” Keep this purpose in mind as you’re building your own wealth, and don’t disappoint me. Enjoy life and help others in need.

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!

Making an Impact on the Community

There are many wonderful people doing  work all across America and the world to impact and improve communities. People like Mark Stuart at The Hands and Feet Project helping orphans in Haiti, or Katie Davis of Amazima who has been working in Uganda, Africa since she was 18. While I admire global ministry work, there are tremendous people doing great work in our own backyards. For example in my home town of Nashville, TN, Papa Joe has been an inspiration through his Elijah’s Heart ministry to help at risk children. Heck, the guy has even had a movie made about his life! Unconditional was an amazing film sharing Joe’s Nashville story for life survival as he kept working to help children.

After years of supporting other organizations, this year I guess it’s my turn. Last year I started writing my first book, The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. I finished my writing during the summer. Just a few short weeks ago, the first 2,500 books were delivered to my driveway where my wife, the delivery guy, and I managed to transport them up the drive via a dolly to a space in my garage. Just a few short days later, I made my first delivery of 1,000 books to Knowledge Academies, a charter school and group focused on improving their community.

Art Fuller, Founder and President of Knowledge Academies, selected The Millionaire Choice as their platform book to teach financial principles for building wealth to the local community. By distributing 1,000 copies to their students, families and local community Knowledge Academies plans to have a huge impact on the children, their families and the community.

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When I began writing, I never imagined the first people to read my book would be children and families from lower income areas across America. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

Before I began work on The Millionaire Choice, a friend sent me a statistic from CNN. The statistic shocked me, and then the realization hit me. The statistic showed that white Americans net worth was over 15x that of black and hispanic Americans. Newer data from PEW Research shows the gap to be 10x-13x.

After the shock wore off, the reality hit me. There’s a very simple reason the wealth divide between white, black and Hispanic population is so great. Financial Education. The simple fact is many more white people have access to financial education than do black or hispanic people. The next logical question is “Why?”

You see I first started learning about personal finance at the age of 25. While I came from a lower middle class family, I became a millionaire by age 40. I broke free from my family’s financial mismanagement cycle. As my career grew, I found myself working in the personal financial education space for over 15 years. As an executive for one of the top companies in the space, I was heavily involved in strategic and business planning. That’s why the reason financial education isn’t available for poor communities is so simple.

The sad reality of why financial education isn’t delivered to the black and hispanic communities is there isn’t any money to be made. Businesses can’t make money off broke people. It’s why financial advisors who know money don’t go knocking on doors in poor communities. They can’t make money. It’s why financial education speakers and companies don’t have a plan or strategy for the poor communities in America. A business is driven by making profit and you can’t make very much profit off broke people. Noone is making a real effort to bring financial education to our poor communities for the simple reason it isn’t profitable.

That’s why I’m both surprised and excited that the first real adoption of my book has come from a lower income community nestled in the corner of my home town, Nashville, TN. I hope that I am able to make a difference in the lives of a community and people that need it.

 

 

A 2017 Reading List for Success

Whenever I go through the airport heading to my flight, I make it a point to walk through the bookstore. 90% of the time something will catch my eye and once again they have me hooked. I’m a sucker for a good book.

However on this particular morning while heading out to Salt Lake City for a cold snowy week, I reached a conundrum. I found a particularly enticing assortment of books. While I tried to narrow my selection down to just one book, I couldn’t. My next choice was to expand to two or three books which I quickly eliminated as a viable option seeing as I had three books witb me already. Hmmm. Such an unfortunate predicament.

Finally, it occurred to me. Any one of these books would be an amazing read, and seeing as I had only read two of the books, why not make this book display my reading list for the year? And thus was born my business reading list for 2017. I say my business reading list because I have various other spiritual, adventure, and scientific books already started.

As I found this shelf to be filled with very relevant topics for my new adventures in 2017, I felt it only fitting to share the list with others. Enjoy.

Part of Leadership. Learn to Relax.

I’m an active guy. Slowing down is not something I do well. At work, I stay busy. At home, I stay busy.Even when I go on vacation, I don’t vacation. What is this “relaxation” you speak of?

So here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. I planned a family trip to Disney a few years ago. Nevermind the fact I erroneously planned the trip during one of Disney’s peak seasons, spring break. Let’s start with who was on this adventurous and daring trip. My wife. My sister. My 6 kids. My 60 year old mom and dad. My 65 year old mother and father in law. As if that wasn’t enough, our days started early and consisted of me with 1 kid on my shoulders and 1 on each hand. I had 3 kids by myself, while all the other adults had 3 between them. Why can’t they keep up with me? (I was a little oblivious to the fact I was toting four elderly grandparents through an overcrowded Disney park…turned out one of of them was coming down with an upper respiratory infection!)

While the mornings started early (6 or 7 am), the evenings ended late. After all, we’re staying at a Disney hotel, and I needed to use that extra hour they give you after the park closes. Most days, everyone else wrapped early, while I kept a few of the kids out till 12:00 or later. No wonder I was tired when I got back from my vacation! I believe I walked 8 miles a day!

Now things are starting to change. In the last several years, I’ve been blessed to have some wonderful friends come into my life who live a much different vacation lifestyle than I do. Now I’m learning to chill. I’m learning to actually sit on a beach and relax by a pool for longer than 30 minutes at a time. I don’t actually have to be doing something all the time! It’s freaking amazing!

Here’s a great relaxation tips article from one of my favorite blogs…LifeHacker.com.

Now, the reason for the timing of this post is that my wife and I just returned from Sandals Grande Resort in St. Lucia. It was an amazing trip and probably my favorite resort and vacation to date. Let me emphasize this was a “no kid” vacation. We didn’t take our kids, but even better there were no kids at the resort! Some parents may judge me for leaving my kids behind, but I really don’t care. I’ve earned it. Now, you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a trip without your kids. It’s healthy for you. Our trip was a short one spanning Wednesday through Sunday. Keep in mind we have six kids, so 1 day away from six kids is equal to 3 days away from 2 kids.

My wife and I really enjoyed St. Lucia and Sandals, so I feel I owed them a shout out since they took such good care of us. Thanks Sandals! Hopefully we’ll see you again soon!

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