“It’s not what you make but what you keep that determines financial success. Pay yourself first and save what you pay yourself.”
I just read a story released by the Washington Post describing families making over half million dollars a year who are struggling financially and have no saving.
They live paycheck to paycheck being “trapped by lifestyle,” quoting Lori Atwood, a financial adviser based in Washington DC.
People need to do a money reality check. Here are some tips I cut, paste, and adapt based on that story I read from the Washington Post.
* Prioritize. Try not to live each month to the very last dollar you earn.
* Always have at least $1,000 in liquid savings for non-discretionary expenses . If you don’t have this, the only place to turn to use credit cards.
* Never use a credit card with a balance for daily needs. You will never pay it off.
* Try to make sure your fixed expenses — housing, child care, car payments, student loans, credit card minimums — are no more than 43 percent of your household take-home pay. Anything above that percentage generally means you will feel financial stress.
* Spend less than you earn each month.
* Make trade-offs for discretionary expenses. “Should we eat out? No, let’s use the money instead for Susie’s soccer camp.”
* Never say “might as well” when it comes to a purchase if you don’t have the money on hand.
* Decide between what you must have and what is optional. Only the basics — housing, utilities, health, groceries, transportation — are “must haves.” Everything else is optional and ripe for trimming.
* Track your discretionary spending closely. That’s where the train goes off the tracks. Your utility bills are predictable. Your outside dining is not. You can change where and how much you eat so know where you spend so you can trim.
I am so glad that the Financial Fitness Services offer the tracking and other services needed to face this ongoing money reality check. But, it all starts with your ongoing financial literacy education which is the best investment you can make, and be part of a community of like minded people aspiring for financial freedom.
Congratulations to have read so far. You are qualified to receive a free gift. Just inbox me, and I will give you access to a free educational video on financial literacy and entrepreneurship which will help you start your journey towards financial freedom and to live the life you’ve always wanted.
I had fun reading this book that I received as a Christmas gift from my daughter. I am as much delighted to the coincidence that “Make your Bed, Little Things That can Change Your Life … And Maybe The World,” has been chosen to be discussed this Wednesday January 24, from 8:00 pm, at the online Leadership Book club hosting by my friend Lois Margollin.
McRaven in 130 short pages invite us to change ourselves and the world through 10 simple lessons he addressed, in 2014, the graduating class of the University of Texas.
Those are 10 lessons he learned himself during his Navy SEAL training that helped him overcome challenges, and to become who he is throughout his life.
I invite you to read the book yourself and be part of our conversation. At least, be part of this learning experience where we will discuss our own understanding, and tell our own stories in our own words from these 10 lessons:
1.- Start each day with a task completed.
2.- Find someone to help you with life.
3.- Respect everyone.
4.- Know that life is not fair.
5.- Failure can make you stronger
6.- Dare greatly.
7.- Stand up to the bullies
8.- Rise to the occasion
9. Give people hope
10.- Never, ever quit.
Those are simple life wisdom, practical daily advice that we will discuss to empower us to live the life we want.
We will not live the life we’ve always wanted by chance, but by change. And change starts with reading and the new story narrative we are telling ourselves.
See you, hear you Wednesday at 8:00 pm Eastern time.
I was serving at the West Palm Beach, Florida, Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI,) last Saturday morning when I met bestselling author Bob Burg who was the keynote speaker for this event.
I was at the check in table when this tall man showed up with a beam smile, great eye contact, a vibrant energetic handshake to tell me with a deep low toned voice:
“Good morning, I am Bob Burg. Is this the Toastmasters’ meeting?”
“Yes, It is,” I replied welcoming him with great enthusiasm.
I told him my name and my pleasure to meet him in person having read his Go Giver series books.
Bob Burg was scheduled to speak at 12:00. He showed up at 10:30 am.
“I always want to be early to make sure everything is ok,” he said.
Bob took the stage to address an audience of 200 toastmasters leaders about the laws of Go Givers whose main goals are to add value to others by shifting their focus on others instead of themselves.
“If you want to make money in sales, don’t make money your target. Focus your target on others. When you hit the target, you get a reward. And that reward comes in form of money, in form of kindness, in form of referrals” Bob said.
“Great leadership is not about the leader,” he added.
When we focus more on others with a giving spirit, we attract values back to us far greater than anyone owes us.
“If you can create so many great relationships with so many people who know you, like you, trust you that they want you to succeed, they want to be part of your life journey; your world would become a benevolent context for your success,” Bob Burg said evoking the law of cause (giving) and effect (receiving).
“The greatest gifts would come at moments and from places we least expect,” he concluded with great applause.
“People of integrity expect to be believed, and when they are not, they let time prove them right.” – Orrin Woodward
As 2017 comes to a close, we thought it would be gratifying to take a look back at all of the growth and progress that took place within our company. There is much to cover, but at a high level these are the accomplishments that defined the past year in Life!
FRANCE GRAND OPENING!
For most companies and entrepreneurs, building and maintaining a local customer base is one of the first steps on the road to success. Once companies have achieved this goal, they often feel they are ready to take on the next step: expanding internationally.
Becoming a global company is an impressive feat, and not every business that sets out to do it actually accomplishes the goal. However, Life continues to be the exception. Currently, Life operates in the following countries: Australia, Bahamas, Canada, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Tobago, United States, US Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, and now FRANCE!
In an effort to welcome the French citizens into the Life community, an official launch event was held in Paris on Saturday, January 7th, 2017 with Life Founder and CEO, Chris Brady! Many people traveled from far and wide to attend the 8 hour seminar.
“The opening of the market in France was a smashing success! Already there are individuals who are embracing our mission of ‘Setting People Free’ and embodying our motto of ‘Having Fun, Making Money, and Making a Difference!’ Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this a reality! We look forward to serving the people of France with our life changing products.” – Chris Brady
Also, with the opening of France, we launched the Wealth Habits subscription in French! The Wealth Habits subscription was created to help people develop the long-term habits of the wealthy in small, ongoing training sessions that can be easily worked into a busy schedule. French Wealth Habits is available to all US, Canadian, and Caribbean markets in both physical and digital formats and is available digitally in France and the rest of the world.
NEW LIFE PRODUCTS
Life offers products in three categories of development: Financial Development, Professional Development, and Personal Development, each designed to help you improve your life. Our products and services include audios, videos, and books both in physical and digital formats, as well as interactive educational experiences in language learning and sales skills. We are very proud of our wide suite of products and want to introduce you to some of our new releases in 2017!
1. Life Mix subscription
– Life Mix is one of Life’s most unique subscriptions. It is essentially a grab bag of your favorite books, audios, and swag.
– The subscription is available physically in English in the US, Canada, and Caribbean.
– To subscribe, login to your Life account and go to Access Products > Subscriptions
2. New Book and Audio Book: Swing by Dan Hawkins
– Life Founder, Dan Hawkins, released his first book this year, Swing, and it was published as a physical book and an audio book. So, whether you enjoy reading at home or on the go, this new book will help you develop the courage to swing for the fences.
– To purchase, click here.
3. New Feature Added to the Financial Fitness Services subscription for FREE
– Financial Fitness Services is a monthly subscription created to supplement the principles taught in the Financial Fitness Program and Beyond Financial Fitness Pack. There are currently four services that are offered: Protector, Legal, Tracker, and Saver. In August, we introduced a new feature called The Financial Literacy Video Training Series for FREE to all Financial Fitness Services subscribers. The series is a collection of instructional videos, taught by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, and is designed to reinforce the 47 principles taught in the Financial Fitness Program.
4. More on Building Communities Pack #5
– The Building Compensated Communities series is designed to teach you the principles and basics of how to build a successful direct selling business. The audios contained in this pack are exclusive and available nowhere else. The 5th edition of this series will help lead and guide future entrepreneurs to the life they’ve always wanted.
– To purchase, click here.
5. Public Service Packs 1 & 2
– Featuring AGO Spokesman, Chris Swanson, the first and second edition of the Public Service Packs are filled with truth and wisdom that will inspire anyone who wants to commit their lives to serving others.
– To purchase, click here.
FINANCIAL FITNESS SUCCESSES
The Financial Fitness Program is one of Life’s flagship products and teaches all three aspects of personal finance; offense, defense, and playing field. For several years, Financial Fitness has helped people all over the world rid themselves of millions of dollars in debt and develop stability and prosperity for a more secure future. Check out some of our featured Financial Fitness success stories in 2017!
· Financial Fitness is Setting People Free from Debt [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Wipes Away $323K of Debt – Murray and Anne Mason [Full story]
· More Financial Fitness Successes Are Pouring In [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Gives People Financial Purpose [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Wipes Out $150K of Debt – Rob and Gail Daley [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Helps People Escape the Financial Matrix – Kent and Bobbie Butters [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Provides True Financial Freedom [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Helps the Embry Family Rid $400K of Debt [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Inspires Change – Joshua Rickards [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Continues to Set People Free from Debt [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Principles Make a Difference – Jeremy and Echelle Slade [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Reignites Dreams – Alex and Trina Smith [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Green Box Testimony – Rodney and Brenda Kilhoffer [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Green Box Program Changes Lives [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Can Change Your Life – Jeff and Tina Moulton [Full story]
· More Financial Fitness Green Box Testimonials
· Financial Fitness Helps Rid $425K of Debt – Bill and Brandie Schmidt [Full story]
· Financial Fitness Continues to Make a Difference [Testimonials]
· Financial Fitness Eliminates $104K in Debt – Jeremy and Samantha Pethke [story pending]
NEW IT DEVELOPMENTS
What makes Life so unique when compared to other businesses is that we are an online business that is built through relationships offline. Because of our online presence, we are constantly striving to innovate with mobile friendly technology and diverse web applications in order to meet all of our customers’ needs. With that said, check out all of the exciting IT Developments that have taken place over the past 12 months.
· Life App
– The Life App organizes everything you do in Life into one convenient location. For more information on the Life App features, watch this video: https://vimeo.com/232546950.
– To download for your device, click one of these links:
· Newly Designed Dedicated Product Websites
· Rascal Radio 3.0
– On a global scale, Rascal Radio has been one of Life’s most popular products to date! Rascal Radio 3.0 wasn’t just a new paint job on an old car. In 2017, the entire platform was completely redesigned from the ground up.
– Click here for a complete list of new features and information.
· New Life Shopping Cart and My Library
– Life’s new shopping cart is categorized and color coded into 5 main areas: Financial Development, Personal Development, Professional Development, Life Training, and Sales Aids. The new search function, which includes a detailed filter, will get you to all of your favorite products and training tools.
– As a result of the new shopping cart and the ability to purchase physical and digital products all in one place, Life also developed a new feature called My Library that houses all of your digital audio, video, and ebook purchases. That’s right, no more searching through hundreds of files to find what you’re looking for. My Library offers searching, sorting, and filtering by categories so you will be able to separate your purchases based on the product and series.
– My Library is connected to the Life shopping cart so if you purchase any digital product on the shopping cart, you will receive an email with a direct link to My Library and the product that you purchased. Simply click on the link, login with your Life credentials, and access your content.
Life events are designed to introduce, inspire, and train Life Members on how to build a successful Life business and Live the LIFE They’ve Always Wanted. The events consist of introductory Open Meetings, Monthly Seminars, Quarterly Leadership Conventions, and Men’s Leaderships.
· In 2017, Life held an impressive 4,564 LIVE events in the 19 countries and territories where we operate.
LIFE’S 2017 GOLDEN RASCALS!
Do you want to get to know some of Life’s Corporate staff? Now’s your chance! One of the ways Life recognizes its employees is by rewarding them with the Golden Rascal award at each staff meeting. These rascals are men and women who have modeled leadership, excellence, character, attitude, hunger, and many other respected qualities in the workplace. Here is a list of Life’s Golden Rascals in 2017:
· Rachel Hoover – Special Events Coordinator
· Jacqueline Tilma – Office Coordinator
· Jordan Woodward – Lead Graphic Designer
· Gaby Theriot – Spanish Media Specialist
· Taslim Kerr – Customer Service Administrator
To read the interviews of all of Life’s past Golden Rascals, click here.
With decades of experience building businesses, investing, managing personal finances, developing security and prosperity for their families, and mentoring others to do the same, it’s safe to say that Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have both the credibility and experience to teach people about leadership, business, and the complex subject of money and wealth creation. It’s hard to hide from the spotlight when you are getting results. So, here are just a few examples of outside recognition we have attracted this year because of our life-changing products and exceptional Founders.
· Beyond Financial Fitness is Available for CPE Credits
Financial Fitness products continue to gain credibility in the public eye because the principles taught are truly helping people make more money, pay less in taxes, get out of debt, and achieve financial freedom. In fact, we are excited to share that not only is the Financial Fitness Program an accredited course with CPE Think, but now the Beyond Financial Fitness Program is accredited as well! Beyond Financial Fitness satisfies the AICPA/NASBA QAS Self-Study guidelines in all 50 states and US territories for Self-Study CPE credits through CPEthink.com. [For more information, Click here.]
If you are interested in purchasing the CPE Final Exam for Beyond Financial Fitness, you can visit this link: www.cpethink.com/life. Upon completion of the Final Exam with a passing grade of 70% or better, you will receive 15 Self-Study CPE credits.
· Chris Brady Chosen as a Featured Speaker at the 13th Annual Mastermind Event!
The Mastermind Event is one of the most exclusive, direct selling events available anywhere. It is attended annually by entrepreneurs from over 50 countries representing over 100 Direct Selling companies and is a place where attendees can learn from people who have made it to the top in the industry.
Chris Brady has been a Senior Faculty Member and top speaker draw at the event for many years. At the 13th Annual Mastermind Event in Orlando, Florida, Brady delivered entertaining and inspiring insights to a sold out crowd. He is simply a Mastermind Faculty Member you won’t find on the usual speaking circuit. Like other presenters, he’s agreed to participate in this event in order to elevate the profession for everyone in the industry.
· Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward Named Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World!
In February of 2017, Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward were listed on Richtopia’s Top 200 list of most influential authors in the world. Woodward was listed at #92 and Brady was listed at #132. According to Richtopia, the list is comprised of authors who are influential and effective at having soft-power and the ability to be proactive, particularly in the digital sphere. The Richtopia authors list is compiled using a number of metrics combining to produce rank order. Two of the main influencers on a person’s ranking are their social media profiles and standard media coverage. Life is proud to have two of its Founders on this list.
The Life on Life Initiative
The Life on Life Initiative is a Life sponsored program dedicated to helping people gain functional freedom through literacy and other necessary life skills. On an on-going basis, Life Members and Corporate employees organize community outreach events in order to serve the needs of people who cannot help themselves. In addition to serving, Life donated $1 for every Total Personal Development subscription that was sold this year to help fight illiteracy in the markets in which we operate. Check out all of the Life on Life stories that took place in 2017.
· Life on Life Featured Stories
o Life Members Bless Hundreds of Children During Christmas in Lima, Peru [click here]
o Life Members Support Children in Need Around the World [click here]
o Life Members Serve the Homeless in Salisbury, Maryland [click here]
o Life Members Make Large Donation to Pregnancy Center [click here]
o Life Members Donate Crosses to Haiti for Life on Life [click here]
o Life on Life Helps Lori Hughes Heal [click here]
o Life on Life Makes a Difference for Underprivileged Children in Michigan [click here]
o Life Members Serve at New Life Mission for Life on Life [click here]
o Life Members Help Renovate a Military Family’s Home [click here]
o Life Members Make Large Donation to Kansas City Rescue Mission [click here]
o Life Members Serve in Multiple States for Life on Life [click here]
o Life Members Feed Thousands of Starving Children [click here]
o Life on Life Youth Push-Up Challenge Brings in $2,650 for O.U.R. [click here]
o Life on Life Field Day for a Cause and Church Clean-Up [click here]
o Life on Life Helps Underprivileged Children in South Carolina [click here]
o Life Members Donate Goods to Support Women and Children at A Place of Refuge [story pending]
o Life Members Serve at an Orphanage in Peru [story pending]
· Corporate Life on Life Initiatives
o Life Corporate Staff Make a Difference at Corral Riding Academy [click here]
o Life on Life Saves Saves 84 Lives at the Life Corporate Office Blood Drive [click here]
o Life Raises Over $800,000 for Operation Underground Railroad! [click here]
o Life Donates Hundreds of RESOLVED books to local Atlanta Charities [story pending]
All Grace Outreach (AGO)
In addition to Life on Life events, the Life Founders operate a 501(c)3 charity called All Grace Outreach which is committed to providing assistance to those in need. AGO’s main focus is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world and helping abused, abandoned, and distressed children and widows. Here is a list of all of the organizations that AGO supported financially in the past year.
· CareNet Pregnancy Center
· GAP Ministries
· Wisdom for the Heart
· Shepherds Theological Seminary
· Milwaukee Rescue Mission
· Souls Harbour Mission
· Operation Underground Railroad
· Italy for Christ
· Zoie Sky Ministries
· A New Beginning Pregnancy Center
· Fellowship Christian School
· Catholic Christian Outreach
· Feeding the 5000
Life is so proud of all of the accomplishments that took place in 2017! We are looking forward to an even more prosperous 2018.
In my reading of the “Liturgy of the hours” this morning, I learned about the commemoration of the life and death of Thomas Becket (1118-1170,) a bishop who was assassinated by the agents of King Henry II of England, his friend, for his willingness to defend what he believed above the king’s interests.
Born in 1118 from a well off family, Thomas Beckett became a cleric of the diocese of Canterbury, chancellor to the king, his friend, who petitioned the pope who agreed to name Becket to the highest ecclesiastical post in Canterbury.
In one day Becket was invested as a priest in the morning, bishop in the afternoon, and Archbishop of Canterbury, the very next day.
It was June 2, 1162, a day of growing the ecclesiastical ladder at the speed of light in Medieval Europe.
At the beginning, Becket did a good job enforcing the king’s traditional sources of revenue that were extracted from all landowners, including churches and bishoprics.
I mentioned two times Becket’s friendship with King Henry II who believed, then, by having “his man” in the top post of the Church, he could easily impose his will upon this powerful religious institution.
Becket’s allegiance shifted and took a stand against his king who wanted to change the canon law to extend his courts’ jurisdiction over the clergy.
A rift grew between Henry and Becket led to a series of conflicts. Becket fled to France where he remained in exile. There, he had excommunicated some bishops for their support of the king. He refused to absolve the bishops even though he resumed his friendship with King Henry II who was in anger against his friend’s steadfast refusal.
“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”
History reported these words from King Henry II whose outrage inspired four of his knights to kill the prelate on December 29, 1770.
The death of Becket unnerved the king. The knights who did the deed to curry the king’s favor, fell into disgrace. Several miracles were said to occur at the tomb of the martyr and he was soon canonized. Hordes of pilgrims transformed Canterbury Cathedral into a shrine.
Four years later, in an act of penance, the king donned a sack-cloth walking barefoot through the streets of Canterbury while eighty monks flogged him with branches. Henry capped his atonement by spending the night in the martyr’s crypt. St. Thomas continued as a popular cultist figure for the remainder of the middle Ages.
I am sharing with you a narrative from a contemporary manuscript of Edward Grim, a monk, who observed the attack after the knights have stormed into the cathedral.
|“The murderers followed him; ‘Absolve’, they cried, ‘and restore to communion those whom you have excommunicated, and restore their powers to those whom you have suspended.’
“He answered, ‘There has been no satisfaction, and I will not absolve them.’
‘Then you shall die,’ they cried, ‘and receive what you deserve.’
‘I am ready,’ he replied, ‘to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace. But in the name of Almighty God, I forbid you to hurt my people whether clerk or lay.’
“Then they lay sacrilegious hands on him, pulling and dragging him that they may kill him outside the church, or carry him away a prisoner, as they afterwards confessed. But when he could not be forced away from the pillar, one of them pressed on him and clung to him more closely. Him he pushed off calling him ‘pander’, and saying, ‘Touch me not, Reginald; you owe me fealty and subjection; you and your accomplices act like madmen.’
“The knight, fired with a terrible rage at this severe repulse, waved his sword over the sacred head. ‘No faith’, he cried, ‘nor subjection do I owe you against my fealty to my lord the King.’
“Then he received a second blow on the head but still stood firm. At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living victim, and saying in a low voice, ‘For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death.’
“Then the third knight inflicted a terrible wound as he lay, by which the sword was broken against the pavement, and the crown which was large was separated from the head. The fourth knight prevented any from interfering so that the others might freely perpetrate the murder.
“As to the fifth, no knight but that clerk who had entered with the knights, that a fifth blow might not be wanting to the martyr who was in other things like to Christ, he put his foot on the neck of the holy priest and precious martyr, and, horrible to say, scattered his brain and blood over the pavement, calling out to the others, ‘Let us away, knights; he will rise no more.’
When I was a boy, back home in Haiti, Christmas Eve, December 24, used to be a “jamèdodo,” a no sleep night time.
This was my day. The day I always dreamed for the whole year to be free, and to do whatever I was pleased of doing with my friends in the neighborhood whom my dad and other family members at home called the “ti vagabon sou katie-a.” (Those little vagabonds in the neighborhood)
Our family house was in 51, rue Fourchard in Port-au-Prince. This was the epicenter of our world. It was there the day started with fun in the morning.
It turned rapidly into a heavy forced Labor Day under the supervision of my mom. She claimed the house should be clean today to receive the little Jesus, and to welcome Santa with his bags of games for those who are well behaved.
I managed to do as little as I could in sweeping dust, mopping the floor, putting things at their place up to lunch time, “manje midi-a.”
Then, I left home to go out there, and make some some key visits to gather “zetrenn,” money, and gifts.
I would start my journey early in the afternoon at Place Saint Anne where I would visit my uncle Ton Manno and my godmother maren’n Madan André.
I would end up with 100 gourdes (then U$20.00 – today less than $2.00) that I had to spend before I got back home. My mom should not know that I had visited Ton Manno and Marren’n Madan Andre to collect money.
Sometimes, she ended up knowing and I received a whipping. Nevertheless, I kept the same plan for the next coming year.
With 100 gourdes in my pocket, I was neither a king’s cousin, nor a president’s brother in law. I was me, Toto.
I would start with cookies and cream. Bonbon Mari & Eskimo Ice Cream. Hmmm… It’s finger cutting… Koupe dwèt… A whole box bonbon Mari and “Eskimo” ice cream for myself, myself only… I would buy for some of my friends.
I would also shared with my other siblings who knew about my endeavor in exchange of keeping their mouth shut.
Then, I joined my gang. My friends were Jo, Kal, René, Ti Doudou, Sydney. Most of them, their parents were living in the US, and had sent them money, games, and clothes.
It didn’t matter where our money was from, we were out there for a long night of fun,
We went to Bi-Centenaire where we would walk by the beautiful fountains at Quai Colomb and paid for kabrèt rides. Kabrèt was our fisrt mobile car. Then we cycled, biked, and drove.
My shirt, usually a new one, became dirty with melting ice cream mixing with dirt.
I would play other games. The girls in the neighborhood organized raffles. They laid very cheap games on a table, and had small folding paper pieces to pick up a winning item. Most of these papers are fake with words like, the moon, smile. You just played and lost, and sometimes they might give you another chance for free after stealing… oh pardon, after losing your money.
One of these games I liked is to have a jar filled with water and a bottle cover at the bottom in which you had to drop a penny to fit at the center. If you win, you can pick an item..
But what I liked the most, is the stories we shared among us. There was no TV, no phones, no electronics. There were us talking, smiling, going around, until we got tired and got back home to lay our body, waiting the next day just to recount what we have done last night.
Christmas Eve used to be a no sleep night until I grew older and started organizing Christmas for my kids, and now they are organizing Christmas for us.
Voilà la vie. It’s that thing we call life.