I remember having to pick-up my daughter from daycare during my divorce, one of my clients – who seems to own his time – made his appointment late in the day and especially long. He ask me question after question, after question. I had to leave by 2:10 to catch the ferry home, otherwise there would be hell to pay from my ex-wife and her lawyer about not picking up my daughter from daycare on my scheduled court visitation day.
After 2:17, I said, “I have to go…”, as he asked me another question. I drove away Stressed-Out! for some reason the ferry was running 7-minutes late that day and I made it to pick-up my daughter on time.
I later learned that he has “a friend who works at the steamship ferry” who may or may not held the ferry until I showed up, (after all you need to pick-up your daughter on time.) I also learned that he volunteers his waterfront vacation home to a church every summer during prime rental season – free of charge – talk about motivation to busts balls for and extra 5K during negotiations.
He could call me right now and I would be there at his vacation home 1st thing in the morning. Why? because I’ve seen what the fruits of his ball-busting labor (It’s his negotiation gift)
His family treated me kindly and the pastor of the church treated me like I was gold for squashing a few bugs to alleviate the children’s fears. (my gift)
Note to self, donate some of that new-found cash to the church across the street….and bust a few balls
It’s not New Year’s yet, but I achieved financial goals for this year. I even pushed myself a little bit harder to give myself a little more breathing room, just in case old Judge Murphy decides show up before I planned.
Through this time I learn to live on next to nothing, not that I need much to be happy, but I really had to focus on my budget and not spend money carelessly. There’s actually a lot of quality items that can be purchased at the Dollar Tree.(making my weekly list now) I actually think my chiropractor was wrong, it was the stress causing my back problem not my worn-out shoes. (I could have bought a new pair shoes for that co-pay.)
As I approach my goal, I did have a month where I beat my budget and it seems that money just disappeared. Looking at the numbers, it went somewhere, where did it go?
Birthday Presents, Birthday Party, New Hiking Shoes, Groceries, Gas for Birthday festivities, Birthday Dinner, fixed a leaky valve… okay so that’s where it went. It does add up quick. Doesn’t it? Pretty sure the same thing happen last year during the same month. (that’s why i budget)
That’s what actually motivated me to work harder this last month to get that financial leeway back. The other option, which I usually do…
Guys, That nail gun doesn’t even draw blood, never mind fasten trim-board, that’s $35+$3.95 for the nails. Ladies, you already know this return-game, it’s like returning a dress that wasn’t the perfect shade for your hair color and blaming it on your PMS. It gives you a chance to live and shop for another day. (my budget is always asking: do you really want it? how can you afford it?)
Reaching this month goal, it actually caps off not only this year’s financial goal, but a goal I set for myself 2-3 years ago. First, have no car payment, then Second, no credit card payment (combined it was close to $1000 a month not including the interest payments.)
You think it sucks for Steven Ridley to sit out a game in street clothes holding a football for fumbling. 12k is a lot of fucking money for the middle class.
Here’s the thing, now that I paid on my auto and credit cards and learning to just live on what I make. I have an extra 12K to save and invest wisely. I have a chance for my money to work for me, after all I’ve been living without it for the past 3-years – longer than that if you include my marriage and divorce – it’s a dream that I don’t take for granted.
So even if I do decide on the granite counter-tops, I’m still buying dish soap and TP at the Dollar Tree.
Not to mention I can now focus on the price-point to retain client growth numbers and optimized profit margin.
How do you save money? How you come up with your ideas? What did you splurge on?
How do you want to live your life?
Thanksgiving is approaching and I’m being completely last-minute with my plans. To give you context, when I lived in the City of Lost Angeles, I would take my vacation the week of Thanksgiving, instead of Christmas to spend time with my family. I’m really not that much of a fan of the opening up of presents. I like the interaction between love ones.
Thanksgiving removes the awkwardness and worry if someone couldn’t afford a gift, or you forget to buy a gift for the unexpected guest. (I usually buy extra scratch tickets with a Christmas card and hope the night ends with a Merry Christmas to me.)
My goal last year was to eliminate all of my bad credit card debt. Of course my last big payment is December, not to mention the big payment for November and the other big payments I’ve been making over the course of a year.
Long story short, I’ve been picking up every ounce of work that I could fit into my schedule to make sure I could make my December, January, February and also heat the home, have electricity for the furnace and the lights, and oh yeah I have to eat.
As I put my head down and work, I would come up for a breather and plan and budget. That’s where the stress relief comes in. You have an apples-to-apples comparison for how you’re doing.
That budget also allowed me to challenge myself, I would have one good month and would want to beat my next month’s budget, have another good month, then want to beat my following month’s budget. It would snow ball itself (in a good way). Next thing you know, I had my savings that I need to survive the winter until my tax return and still had my biggest month ahead of me!
Unfortunately for that month’s budget, if your beat you gross income by too much, Uncle Sam takes more taxes out and your net paycheck is still the same as if you didn’t have that big commission bump.
If your spending is under control. It’s just a mental let down. In other words you spent the bird in hand, not the two in the bush. You’ll get a wing and a foot back with your tax return or something like that. Relax.
While I was achieving all my planned goals and it became routine. My new goal was to beat my budgeted income goal, whether I needed it or not.
If I really put in the work – possibly miss my daughter in her first Christmas Parade – I can beat my budget income number from last year. It’s only a number.
I scheduled my Saturday clients, First. No matter what, I will be able to make an appearance at her Parade. (that’s all I have to do, mom and step-dad will help to do the rest. It’s called teamwork)
So now I have 2-days figure out if I want to hit my top tier commission number or just use a vacation day. I been so focused on my credit card goal and being on a tight budget. I didn’t plan properly. I still have a vacation day that I don’t have time to use before the end of the year. I really wish I planned this Wednesday out and did my normal Wednesday Night Thanksgiving. Next year, Next year…
So do I call in sick and not waste a paid vacation day, or go to work and miss out on my Wednesday Night Thanksgiving Tradition?
I not sure, yet!
I can make more money if I work the morning, go grocery shopping, meanwhile decide if I want to do my WNTT or just a Thanksgiving Day Breakfast for this year.
Who knows maybe I’ll forgo the grocery shopping in a company vehicle in-between clients and try to hit that top tier commission rate. That decision is for tomorrow. Unlike my November 27, 2014 Thanksgiving Eve. Which is set in stone!
What are you unThankful for Today? Are you working on changing your day, your week, your month, your year, to change those unThankful moments?
As you sit down during your Turkey Day feast, what about this day do you wish you could enjoy more often?
Write it down and look at it next year. That can be your Thanksgiving Day litmus test, have you done anything to change it?
So what are you Thankful for?
For me, it’s not having so many financial obligations. (I’m pretty good at spending quality time with my daughter, Blessed and Thankful that I have created a good relationship with her mom, step-dad and sister)
A far cry from where my family was 16-months and 20 days-ago.
Happy Thanksgiving! Peace on Earth.
One of the reasons I’m comfortable blogging or posting a late night picture about my messy house or that my daughter is up late, is because during my work day, I’m in and out of homes and people’s lives.
I know for a “FACT” that I’m not the only one who does this and actually can see how successful role models make it happen! Kids are well-behaved, they have their budget in check, and they are generally happy. (it’s called a business model for you bizgeeks).
If there weren’t happy, more importantly comfortable, I wouldn’t follow their parenting plan.
For me, it starts with the morning coffee, which is always fun, recently has become more personable at the drive-thru (we’re going out of our way remember names). It’s something small that builds a sense of community for those day were we’re off, maybe I’m stressed, maybe they have to deal will an asshole. Either way, our interaction is way to relax for 60-seconds.
I’m usually a 256-medium ice, unless I’m on my way to dance class then it’s a half-dozen Dew Drops (Munchkins if you go to DD)
This past dance class, I was listening to a conversation across the room about Facebook. One had a small group, the other didn’t want everyone to know their
Reading a few good articles (that i haven’t had time to read, “me time”)
I hear how one was asked to take a pay-cut because she has to do _____ for her son. It sounded like a medical issue. (if she was on social media, I could have re-read it). She’s going to drop out of the work-force and collect unemployment rather than take a pay-cut.
Half-hearing the conversation, as I was reading articles posted on twitter, I thought that if she was willing to get fired, she should just take advantaged of the FMLA (family medical leave act). They were across the room and I was reading and in my own world.
I didn’t want to imposed on their privacy or comfort zone. Okay, Okay, I was focused on an article on how to say no to my daughter.
But I thought to myself, how much I learn just from listening on social media. (reading)
That person who isn’t on Facebook, ” becuz she doesn’t want people to know her bizness”, Twitter is perfect for you. Get an account and follow away. No post needed.
I was in a room as them, I have a rough understanding of the FMLA which could help that lady a ton! Social Media is a much bigger room, probably one with a lawyer. who could advise her better than me.
Digressing on that lady who’s not on Facebook, maybe she simply can’t afford internet access. After all, if you don’t use a computer, “dance class seems like the better use of your money” for your daughter and you to be social. A place not to feel so alone.
It not like she can go to the local food pantry and get a free $300 Chromebook for her kids and if she did, how would she get internet access? How would she teach her kids how to use something she never had?
Granted Xfinity offers free hotspot (router access) to current customers. If she could afford it.
But what about if she can’t afford it, how can we help her and her child?
Are the town libraries still standing? It’s time to re-invent the library.
If you read my last post, I talked about dealing with a back-stabbing, bullying, sales culture, and how it’s has really destroy the company culture as far as making the next step. Frankly, no one wants to be the CEO change agent. They get sold on the position, pay program and then look what needs to be done to “make theirs number” and head to the street. There are easier ways to make a buck.
As I mentioned most of the back-stabbing bully management team are gone, but that culture still lingers.
I’m always looking over my back, wondering if I’m getting screwed, even if someone is actually doing me a favor and trying to help me out.
Usually pissed off’d, I have the “screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me” attitude and mindset.
There’s a lot of apps and tools out there to become a transparent management team to could help communicate the vision and establish trust.
Ever have an employee complain about work being taken away from them, only to have them go on vacation and not finish it, only to have another employee cancel their vacation plans for the following month because he couldn’t pick up extra work in the current month?
It’s a balancing act in your first year or two, after that it’s on you. If you can’t see that all you need to do is switch the work loads during the vacation season, while keeping their pay predictable (as long as they show up). Then you should be fired.
So you switch the workload (without communicating), then the employee barges into your office complaining you’ve taking work away from them – YOU forget that you planned to give them extra work next month when they return from vacation – you give him back the work that was asked for.
When he doesn’t complete it like he hasn’t for the past 10-years and goes on vacation and you blow a gasket...Oh, I don’t know…maybe have someone with a iPad video-tape your outburst. Then post it on the team’s private webpage, (if it’s good, public)
Then he’ll understand while “you sat on your ass all day”, you actually had a plan to give them the extra work the next month when they returned from vacation, meanwhile making it possibly for another employee to have enough money to take their family on vacation.
It’s tough to overcome that backstabbing culture.
Why not make everyone get a vine account, and they get 6-seconds to vent and move on, then the team might have a chance to come up with a solution and rebuild the culture, (“code” doesn’t permit 6-seconds solutions, you have to earn it. That’s our Moneymaker.)
After all, Transparency equals Trust.
Video is might be to progressive for older team members, but sometime honest and fun to communicate frustrations, or what is working in your day to make you a happy employee.
Granted, there’s nothing better than an honest blowing a gasket video from a team member on a private webpage, that the every team member can relate (including the one blowing the gasket) to stir innovation and change.
A Change agent needs to rebuild trust.
What’s the simplest way your team to communicate?
So After 590-words, I reiterate what I said in less than 140-characters.
Sorry, No refunds. Plus it was free, or was it?
JP Morgan finally settled its mortgage fraud with the Justice Department. In the exchange, it sounds like Eric Holder had the leverage over Jamie Dimon and Dimon just wanted to move on from this mess.
In JP Morgan’s world, I’m guessing $13B is just a slap on the wrist and would Jamie back into a position makes “his numbers”.
Without a settlement, he could never make his numbers.
If he’s like any other CEO, he has numbers and numbers of Direct Reports and numbers and numbers of people below them. Like most companies that promote salesmen into management hierarchy positions. They’re only getting told what they want to hear.
In this case, Jamie either heard what he wanted to hear and he didn’t notice the anomaly in the numbers, or a subordinate was flying under the radar manipulating the numbers. (the net was within the averages, never too high, never too low)
Power Corrupts, Absolute Power corrupts absolutely. ~Lord Acton
That’s why Jack Welch was correct in his jobs report assessment Last October: Would he have made the same statement if it was “his guy”… It’s up for debate.
Before social media, I had to deal with this top-down bullying, Promote the sales guys culture. It was the manager’s job to paint a rosy picture, so he would be protected by upper management.
What I did was acquire skills, network, and make sure that on a moments notice, I could quit and start my own business. That’s how I made this sales bullying culture bearable, by making sure I stayed a step a head of the back stabbing.
If I had a bad day, I would jump on Google to make a company website, work the numbers and research. Overtime, I could get fired and be fully operational by the time I walked out the door. It was probably over a course of 6-months, maybe a year.
At the time, I work for a big slow company with miles of bureaucracy, clout if you needed it, but would stab you in the back in a second. The perfect storm for a bully to thrived!
Most of the management team was giving enough rope and hung themselves. We might actually be headless company. (I stopped paying attention to the revolving door of C-Suite) That’s how much the culture of promoting salesmen into management has destroyed this company, anyone with a half of a brain runs!
The company is a revenue cow, but will get eaten up alive on Wall St – especially in this day an age of Social Media – which is probably the board’s goal.
I actually got a call about “rearranging my route”, the last time this happened, I said I need X and my wife can return to work, I can give up 20x. The “sales culture” management team, behind my back took away 50x!
It was probably the cause of my divorce. (I was out of character for a little bit dealing with the pay cuts and the wife’s stress of having a first child)
I’ve recovered from that great depression caused by the great recession and all those salesman managers idiotic number manipulations. Idiots! All of them.
There gone. Not retired I want to pursue my next dream gone, but as in I was asked to resign gone, I was fired gone, I might not be able to get another job with this blemish on the resume gone.
That’s what working on networking on Martha’s Vineyard did for me. My day one was talking with a guy who sat on the same board of some company that my My Companies’s CEO, that just got fired, sat on. His sales deal fell through and he was fired. We’ve never been Wall St. viable since then. The revenue stream is predictable.
So I don’t work on Martha’s Vineyard anymore, I moved back home to be a better Dad.
I actually have a manager who survived getting shuffled through the deck without getting discarded. Here’s the thing. All his go-to-guys, above and below him. Are pretty much gone.
I actually forgot about him, he was a manager in my territory when I first started. Then as with all sales cultures, he got shuffled back into the management deck.
The problem is with Social Media, YOU can’t hide in the deck anymore. Especially on Twitter!
Then again, like when I was networking on Martha’s Vineyard, if your active on Social Media and just be you. You become likeable for being you.
We all have our specific talents. What’s yours?
This managers strength is he can talk and talk and talk, which is great to spur greater team input – also a way to secure a sale – He may not have the best idea, but his talking keeps the conversation going until the team comes up which the “aha” idea.
The problem, he was brought up in the bullying culture before social media.
Before one tweet could make or break you. Before Crowd-sourcing.
Before the concept of having your name Googled and then having it background checked in 5-minutes, before you walk in for an interview.
Are you ready for transparency?
I have a “friend” who is having a midlife crisis. Since I last seen them in High School, they’re actually doing quite well. Actually,
compared to where they started from, they’re living high off the hog. They had no safety-net and made the right decisions and reached a point where they are at a comfortable middle class level with kids… and a safety net.
Having their previous job made obsolete, they are going to school and that new skill should carry them through retirement.
Comfortable, they have forgotten where they started from, the mid-life crises creeps in: “if they knew then, what they know now”, there’s some many other opportunities that out there that I didn’t have when I started out. That’s what hard work does, it creates opportunities and security.
I got a text, “I just want to run from it all!”, (don’t we all). Unfortunately, only a fool just runs from it all.
I give my geek assessment and reassure them that they are on the right path and just finish what’s in front of you.
There’s no domestic violence. Unless that includes giving someone high-blood pressure when you’re in the same room. My text back was, “it will work itself out once you accomplish the task/goal at hand, Are you doing what’s in front of you?”
Being a Universe person. My next task a hand put a smile on my face. A similar couple from my high school friend. Talking about kids and the balancing act of life and kids – I ran to their child as he tried to and succeeded at opening the gate – Listening to his whining, we talk about the differences of raising boys and girls.
Laughing, she explains that’s why I run so much. That’s how she mentally escapes and then faces her problems.
What’s your mental or physical preparation for you problems? Have you created a routine? Are you sticking to your routine?
Don’t run, unless your running with a plan to face your problems.