Being in a relationship has taught me so much. I haven’t mastered every lesson there is, and I’m nowhere near being the perfect boyfriend/finance; but I’ve definitely learned enough to speak on it. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is: you and her are not and may never be similar, and that’s okay. A relationship is dependent on two people being able to trust that the other will accept them for who they are. As much as we dream about the “perfect” woman, the reality is that you need to see your partner as that perfect woman. Flaws and all. When you take into consideration that your partner has different experiences, thoughts, and upbringing; you should naturally expect her to be different. Her views on the world, philosophy, and ideologies may all be different from what you expect and that’s exactly why you need to value her. As you continue to rise, you need someone to challenge you. You need someone to tell you, “you can do better”, “that’s not right”, or “maybe you could do this a little differently”. Hearing it now maybe hard to hear, but applying it now can only better you.
When you first move out, you want responsibility and the ability to prove that you know what you’re doing. I was the same way. One of the biggest responsibilities you’ll have is financially. Once the paychecks start to roll in, it’s easy to find ways to spend it on things that you don’t really need. Too easy. And while there are many lessons to be learned and life, you never want to know what happens when you can’t pay your rent for the month. So for my guys starting out, here are some guidelines I followed (and am following) to keep myself on track.
Establish a Budget
Forget everything you learned about budgeting and simplify it to a simple science. Many of us aren’t really good at the whole “make an excel chart with the pie chart with percentages” stuff. I understand that was me too. First understand the difference between a want and a need. It’s really simple actually. Wants are things that you want but don’t need. Needs are things that you actually need. Subtract your needs by the amount you make a month. And then with the rest of the cash you have left, decide how much you want to spend on whatever. Taking the time to think about it makes you think a lot more rationally.
Build an Emergency Fund
Most gurus agree that you should have at least 2-3 months of expenses saved up in an emergency fund. A savings account that you have specifically for emergencies. Sneakers are not an emergency. Building an emergency fund will give you the peace of mind that you won’t have to stress about money in case don’t go the way you expected them to.
Focus on Retirement, Now — 401k
Retirement is not something you should be waiting until retirement to think about. Experts say that you should aim for about 1 million dollars for retirement, however this number really does vary greatly. What is certain however, is that you need to start saving now. The power of compound interest deserves a post all in itself and because most regular americans don’t win the lottery or just fall into that much money; it’s a pretty good idea to have time on your side.
Build Credit History
One of my old mentors called credit “a necessary evil.” I can’t stress enough how true that is. Credit is necessary because regardless of what you’ve heard from people, you won’t be able to buy everything that you need out of pocket; especially when you’re starting out. Education, Mortgages, Businesses, and cars are all examples of things that we need credit in order to obtain. Which is why I listed this; building your credit history has tremendous benefits.
Pay That Debt
I talked about the necessary evil that is credit a couple bullets ago. But I think that debt is so important I had to make sure I threw this in there. The bible says that the borrower is a slave to the lender; there is no other way to look at. As long as you stay in debt, you will continue to work for the person you’re in debt to. So as much as it might hurt, just start paying it all back now. It will be beyond worth it in the future.
When it comes to building relationships, the most important thing is the person. Leave your ulterior motives at the door. People are generally good at figuring out if you’re genuine or not, and once they realize you’re all about the business then your relationship (if there is one) will be strictly business. People don’t desire to talk to people that only want to help themselves, but sometimes they just want to talk. Drop the script, and just talk.
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.”
“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted… In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU.”
“People generally fall into one of three groups: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of fact or a creature of circumstance. He either puts color into his environment, or, like a chameleon, takes color from his environment.”
“Leaders don’t seek followers. Followers are attracted to leaders.”
“Humility is simply believing and accepting what God says about us, and God says that we are anything but worthless.”
“Poor people talk about money all the time, rich people talk about things, wealthy people talk about ideas.”
“The greatness of a man is measured by the way he treats the little man. Compassion for the weak is a sign of greatness.”
“Your job is your skill that they can fire you from at any time. But your work is your gift. No one can take that from you”
“The picture that we have of ourselves — our self-concept — will always determine how we respond to life.”
“We should not persue money. We should persue vision, we should persue purpose; for ourselves, for our country, and for our communities.”
Did I miss one? Was there a quote that impacted you in particular? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.
I think one of the most misunderstood concepts in today’s business world is creativity. Not all to say people aren’t creative, I honestly think that we’re living in one of the most creative times in history; but I don’t think people understand it well. Playing an instrument has taught me so much about what creativity is and what it isn’t. I’ve been able to take what I learned from the playing the piano and been able use to become more creative in other areas of my life. Here are some of the most important lessons playing my instrument has taught me about Creativity:
There is no such thing as a “miracle moment”
I think one of the biggest things that people don’t understand about creativity is that there is no such thing as the big “aha” moment. There will never be a day when you magically wake up and have the cure to cancer. Creativity comes through a mix of multiple ideas and experiences unique to you.
Become an Expert.
The best way to come up with creative ideas is to first understanding everything you can about a subject first. I’d like to look at it like finishing a puzzle. Imagine your creative idea is like placing the last puzzle piece in a 1000 piece puzzle. Would it be easier to put the puzzle together with 200 pieces already put together? Or 800?
Imagine the impossible and make it possible.
When making musical arrangements, many musicians start making their arrangements by making up musical ideas in their heads with no limit or restrictions. Even though the music will eventually be edited, added to or subtracted from (yes there can be too much); by putting all your cards up front you set yourself up for a creative breakthrough.
Thoroughly understand the problem.
A lot of times we want to be creative for the sake of being of the creativity. Creativity without purpose isn’t creative, it’s useless. Before attempting to solve any problems with the use of creative tools, make sure you take 5 minutes to make sure you fully understand the problem and direction on how you want to go about tackling the problem.
The number one way to have a great day, is to start off with a great morning. Everything we do comes from some kind of foundation; whether that foundation be a great one or a bad one. When you read up on the habits of the most successful, it’s almost impossible to name even one that didn’t contribute their success to a daily morning routine. A morning routine is vital to your day, in my opinion, because you touch so many areas of life in that one period of time. With all of our busy schedules, it can be hard to touch base on some of the important things in life. Not all of us have the time to spend a good amount of time in the gym, find the time to really devote solely to our spiritual lives, and even making sure that we’re up to date with everything that’s going on in our lives. Instead of searching for little moments in our day to fit these, we can prioritize them in the morning keeping us at ease. They also provide what I believe to the most important reason for having a morning routine: mental clearness. Have you ever felt like you just had too much on your plate? You didn’t know what you had to do next? Like you had an insurmountable amount of things to do? Man, oh man do I have some good news for you. I think to really get the point across I want to go into detail about my own morning routine and how that generally goes (nobody’s perfect). If you want anymore ideas about how you can go about creating your own morning routine, check out mymorningroutine.com. It’s an awesome website that interviews many successful people and goes into to depth. Because you get perspectives from different people from different places in life, you can get a better idea of what you need for yourself.
To start, I’ll generally get up around 7 AM on the dot, and shake off the sleep cobwebs.
Once that’s taken care I start with:
As a man of God first I wholeheartedly believe everything I am able to do and accomplish is a direct result of the blessings the Lord continues to give me everyday. As I strive to build a stronger relationship with him, setting aside sometime to spend with the Lord in prayer becomes more and more necessary everyday. Sometimes it’s as deep as praying all the way the 30 minutes, and sometimes it’s as easy as reading some scripture and saying thanks for waking up.
Once that’s finished, I get dressed cause it’s time to…
Luckily for me, I have a basic gym setup easily accessible for me with the basics that I need to keep myself in decent shape. One hour = 15-20 minutes of cardio, 40-45 minutes of lifting and exercise. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll always have the option to workout later in the day. But by getting the absolute basics in, at least I can be at ease knowing I’m going forward.
At this stage, it’s time to see what’s going on in the world. I’m not responding to any messages or e-mails yet, I’m strictly taking the time to catch up on the important highlights that I need to know going forward. I personally have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) that I just skim for the stories that stick out for me, read up on my sport stories, browse the financials and then that’s about it. No need to be to through here.
Plan The Day
Eliminate all the unnecessary thinking here!!! This is honestly my favorite part of my morning routine because it puts me at ease mentally and spiritually. This portion of my routine is very simple yet, yet extremely crucial. Simply make two lists: Things to Do & People to Contact. Once it’s listed, THAT’S IT. If you can’t think of it at that time, it can’t be that important. This process helps me personally so much because now instead of wondering “what do I have to do next?”, the question to be asked is now “what else do I have to do to be done for the day?”.
People that talk to me on the regular know this all too well. I generally don’t even touch my messenger app until after 9:30. The only person reaching me before then is my girl, and even she has to keep me in line occasionally because she loves her early morning Good Morning Texts. At this point in the day, I’m spending about 30 focused minutes responding to all my text messages, emails, requests, setting appointments, booking services, reaching out to people, saying happy birthday, and anything else that requires me to reach out to other. Yes. I do have the whole day to take of this. No. Ain’t nobody got the time to do that all day.
Eat The First Frog
A.k.a. get to work. I take a stab at the biggest task on my list and I look to go ahead and get it taken care of before I head out to work. This step is CRUCIAL because it builds the momentum I need to attack the day at full force. If I can tackle the most difficult task on my list, what’s stopping me from knocking out everything else? You gotta love the way the mind works.
I hope this insight into my own personal world helped you start to think about creating your own morning routine. Don’t forget again you can also checkout mymorningroutine.com for more awesome ideas.
I know we’ve all been there. We all have those days where we’re too busy. We have to deny appointments, stay in the house all day, and work work work work, simply because there’s too much too do. What would you say if I told you you’re not as busy as you thought?
I’ve been a victim of feeling busy as well, so I know how it feels to feel like there’s simply no time to spare. But after reading the book, getting things done I’d really like to challenge that notion. Have you really thought about the things you have to do
The first choice you’ll need to make is how you’ll capture all the information you’re imputing and of course you’ll have different options as to how you’re inputting that information. You can choose to take down your information through paper or electronic, but I’d recommend electronic because it’s a lot easier to organize. There are two main apps that I used to get all the information that need, that would be Evernote and Wunderlist. —- add websites Evernote is your standard note taking app on steroids and wanderlust is your typical list app but on steroids.
Now I challenge you to list everything that you have to do. Not just today or this week; everything. This can be anything from a new proposal you need to make, a sponsorship pitch to simply dropping your clothes off at the dry cleaners. The important thing is too dump everything out of your mind and put it on paper. I can guarantee you that like me just doing this will give you an insane amount of relief. You may also find that getting that burden off of your mind will encourage you to keep going harder, and really pushing to get everything out of your mind. Once you get everything listed, I want you to write the next physical action you have to take. Not a vague idea or abstract concept but the actual next step you need to take to get whatever you just listed done. For example, if the task I want to get done is get a photo shoot done for a rebranding project, the first physical action would be to call the photographer to see what date they have available. Listing the physical action takes the task and then makes it actionable. This process gives you a couple of benefits:
- You’ve gone from “having a lot of things to do” to knowing exactly what “a lot” is
- You’ve now made your to-do list actionable
- The clarity you now have allows you to only have to focus on the 2-3 important things to do for that day
Once you get everything put on paper and actually have in front of you instead of having it all in your head, I can guarantee you’ll say to yourself “I’m not as busy as I thought” and please under that’s the goal! You never want to be busy for the sake of being busy, which we sometimes can believe we are, without getting things done. But the goal is to be productive. By clearly defining what you need to get done, and getting it taken care of without the extra stress you’re setting yourself up for stress-free positivity
Get “Getting Things Done: Stress Free Productivity” by clicking here