OPERATION MOTIVATION: Position Yourself to Receive by Giving


'Twas the week after Christmas, and the complaints were rolling in. While some people were complaining about what they got, others were griping about what they didn't: I can't believe that's all they got me or I can't believe they didn't get me anything (whoever "they" are). And the end result is that we're deleting them from our social networking sites, writing them out of our will, and vowing to never attend another family reunion, right?

Does any of this sound familiar? Is it you?

Although Christmas is supposed to be a time for giving, it can bring about hurt feelings and resentment when someone doesn't live up to another person's expectations in the giving department. Secretaries resent executives when they don't get the $1,000 bonus and Employee of the Month parking space they were expecting this year. Grown children stop speaking to parents (until next Christmas) when they don't receive everything they asked Santa to bring. And extended family vow to never come to another family holiday party until Aunt Suzie learns how to coordinate a gift drive to cover the things they don't get from all the social services agencies they signed up with.

These scenarios may sound extreme, but familiar at the same time. And far too often, the people who complain the most about what they don't receive are the ones who give the least. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. So even if you're a giver who finds yourself wanting to receive more, take a minute to check your giving. Maybe you're not giving enough of what you want to receive. If you want love, give it. If you want better friendships, be a better friend. If you want others to support your business, support theirs.

As you continue to accumulate wealth to grow and live your millionaire lifestyles, position yourself to receive by giving. Stay motivated for the task at hand. It may not be returned from the person or in the same way that you expect it to, but it does come back.

Happy Holidays

On behalf of the Millionaire Journey, we would like to wish you a holiday season filled with peace and love.

Enjoy the season, and thank you for being our partners in success.

Kim and Lisa

The Warren Buffets Next Door




The holiday season is upon us! As always, I believe the best gifts you can give is the gift of wisdom, education and financial knowledge. Consistent with that, I will soon start letting you know about great deals as well as posting about what I think are great gifts. As a prelude to that, here's a great book (The Warren Buffets Next Door) is a recently released book that I've come across that would be good for anyone interested in becoming more financially savvy.
 
While many of us have heard of great investors like Warren Buffett, George Soros, etc., this book reveals how 10 ordinary people consistently achieve extraordinary returns on their investments (and how you can, too). The book takes you inside their investment strategies. However, one thing I would caution about this book is that even though this book highlights 10 ordinary people who've done it, one shouldn't assume that it's a easy as pie to do the same. After all, good investing and success come with spending time, learning the craft but this book is a good start  and it's a good book for anyone who may be interested in investing.

What Would You Do With a Cash Windfall?

It's raining money. Well, not exactly. But it might feel that way when you come into money that you weren't expecting to get: Lottery winnings, an inheritance, a Christmas bonus, a tax refund. So what would you do if you got money that you weren't expecting to get?

I know many of us will say that we'd save it for a rainy day, invest it, or payoff debt. But, have you done that with any unexpected cash in the past? And if not, what makes you so sure that you'll do it this time?

I recently gave someone a savings bond that I had been holding on to for 20 years. It was a $50 bond, which means the giver paid $25 for it. He took it to the bank the same day and cashed it for $69. And within an hour, that $69 was gone. That got me to thinking. One, it would probably take him about two hours to spend the other bonds that I have for him. (I haven't given them to him to find out.) Two, how much would that $69 have been worth in 20 years if he had added $31 to it, and treated it the same way that I'd treated the bond for the same length of time? What if he had bought two $100 bonds and not touched them for 20 years?

With the government bond rates being .30%, he certainly wouldn't double his money. And the same can be said if he had invested the money in a Certificate of Deposit (CD). There's not much of a return on investment there either.

Here's the deal. When you're broke, and someone puts $69 in your hand, it looks like a lot of money. But when you look at it in terms of a long-term investment, and you see that you won't get much on your return, you think why bother? Well, here's why you should bother, you have to start somewhere. You have to see starting small as the beginning of something big, because you then start the habit of saving. And as you continue to invest small amounts regularly, you'll start to see them yield bigger results.

Feedback Friday Question: Imagine getting a cash windfall of $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000. What would you do with the money? Is any part of it worth investing?

Shake Those Haters Off!

Hater: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn't really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch. (Source: Urban Dictionary)

By show of (virtual) hands, how many of you are sitting on what you believe to be a million-dollar idea, because your critics have silenced you? Come on now, be honest. They said one bad thing about you or your idea, and you took it to heart.

While doing research online for a project today, I came across a book review that inspired this post. The reviewer gave the book two stars out of five, and then proceeded to cut the author down at the knees because he used the people he knew to make his book a bestseller, and then used the book as a springboard to create a multimillion dollar internet business. Ummm, what's wrong with that?

It was clear that the review had more to do with someone hating on the author than it did the book's content. The reviewer also has a a print book and several ebooks, but the author of the book he was reviewing has used his as an in to his profession, making millions of dollars training people to change. And when I visited the reviewer's website (of course I went there), I saw that he has a program that is very similar to the author's. So that got me to thinking. Did he give this book a poor rating because his hasn't experienced the same level of success? I can't say for sure, but it's possible.

At the same time that I was doing my research, I was listening to a discussion about Tyler Perry's latest Hollywood project, For Colored Girls. And then it came to me like an epiphany. While we're sitting here chatting it up about all the reasons we do or don't like Tyler Perry's body of work, he has already shaken his haters off, and is somewhere working on his next multimillion dollar project. And I was like, dang girl, get a clue. Let these people have this discussion, and get back to work securing another contract for yourself. It's not like this is Siskel and Ebert, where anyone in this discussion is getting paid to give this movie a thumbs up or down.

As I sit here writing this, I can hear Venus Williams on the TV behind me promoting her new EA SPORTS game. Imagine where she would be if she had allowed the people who criticized her because of her hair and her braces to cause her to not become the tennis phenom that she is today. She certainly wouldn't be promoting a video game.

So, go ahead and shake those haters off. Otherwise, you may never develop that million-dollar idea.


Feedback Friday: Why Parents Should NOT Pay for College

Are you a parent who struggles to give your child the best of everything, including a house that's not a home because you're losing sleep at night worrying about how you're going to keep it, vacations charged to credit cards that will take you the next 20 years to pay off, and a college education that you can't afford to pay for? If this is you, then I beg of thee to stop it...NOW.

I just watched CNN's Black in America: Almighty Debt, and I was greatly disturbed by the parents who were facing foreclosure, because they're 26 months behind on their mortgage, yet they're concerning themselves with how they're going to pay for their daughter's college tuition to Yale, Harvard or Princeton, while this young lady incurs $400 monthly cell phone bills. At first I was miffed at the daughter because of her misplaced values. But after some thought, I realized the WHOLE family's values are in the wrong place.

Where is it written that parents MUST pay for their child's higher learning? I told my children early (probably daycare) that they needed to get good grades so they could go to college.; I never led them to believe that Mama would be paying for anything. Now, don't get me wrong, I would have contributed in any way that I could, but as a single mother raising four children, establishing college funds for each of them on my salary was not realistic. Nor is it realistic for a couple sitting on the front steps of foreclosure to think they can pay for an Ivy League education.

The couple on Almighty Debt said that it's important for their daughter to be able to go to the college of her choice. Well, if her college of choice is Yale, Harvard or Princeton, then her grades should reflect such. And if not, then she's already made her choice to enroll at the community college around the corner, where she can get enough through financial aid, including work study, to pay her own tuition.

Feedback Friday Question: Should parents pay for their child(ren)'s college education?

Lisa Maria Carroll is a wealth strategist and along with Kim Crouch, is co-creator of the Millionaire Journey. To learn more about Millionaire Journey, go to http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com or join us on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/yhdwa78

Are You The Biggest Obstacle To Your Success?

How much do we limit ourselves? I was thinking about this today as I spent time with my sons showing them how to prepare dinner. Normally, preparing Sunday dinner is a ritual in my house because it’s an opportunity to wind down from the hustle and bustle of our busy week, which includes school, work, sports and a host of extracurricular activities. It’s a time to laugh, share, having fun and just bond around Sunday dinner.

Now, on Sundays, I also give them a pop quiz on current events. It is nothing formal but more general conversations about what’s taking shape in our ever expanding global world. But today, I decided to quiz them on how to make macaroni and cheese. It was one of the items we had prepared for dinner.

Almost instantly, my older son began telling my younger son to quit copying off his paper. When asked why he was copying, my younger son said because no one said he couldn’t. After listening to my son, I realized he was technically right. I hadn’t said no copying, no cheating, not etc. According to him, he was following the rules as given to him, and it wasn’t his fault that we assumed that the word quiz implied no copying, sharing or discussing the answers with someone else. He hadn’t taken quiz to assume any of that especially since I hadn’t said it.

As a good friend of mine said when I informed her of this: “Your son is going to be a good businessman. In school, it’s called cheating. In the real world, it’s called don’t reinvent the wheel.”

And while funny, it was also a revelation of how we often place self imposed limitations on ourselves. How often do we imply things or limitations that don’t really exist? What my son reminded me of today is how easily it is too become so socialized that you sometimes forget the obvious or to think outside the box. He also showed me how we impose limitations on ourselves even in situations where they haven’t been imposed on us because we assume every situation is the same. After all, there are closed book quizzes and open book quizzes. My son’s point was why should he make things harder for himself if he doesn’t have too?

After listening to him, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “someone else can hold you down temporarily. Only you can hold you down permanently.” Today, I ask how many of you are the biggest obstacle to your success and/or are holding yourself down permanently because you’re imposing limitations on yourself that don't exist?


Kim Crouch is a wealth strategist and along with Lisa Maria Carroll, is co-creator of the Millionaire Journey. To learn more about Millionaire Journey, go to http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com or join us on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/yhdwa78.

How To Create Financial Legacies for Your Children

I once heard it said that in Japan, when a child is born, an account is started for that child’s grandchild. This is a stark contrast to what we do in America. Our national savings rate is only 6.4 percent and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, buying on credit and robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Last night as part of the Millionaire Journey show, Lisa Maria Carroll and myself discussed how parents can create and leave financial legacies for their children. As many parents prepare to send their children back to school in the next few weeks, this is a great time to begin to talk to your kids about finances or to begin to prepare them for financial literacy. You don’t have to be a genius to teach your children about finances nor do your children need to be teens in order to understand money. You can begin teaching your kids about money as early as preschool. This includes everything from teaching them the value of different currencies, to taking them to the grocery store with you to compare.

The truth is by the time your child leaves your home at 18, many experts believe they should know the following money skills:

Here are some things you can do to begin to teach your kids about finances:

• Learn how to budget
• Make and deal with spending decisions
• Understand rewards of work
• Delay gratification


1. Start early. You can begin teaching your kids about money as early as preschool. This includes everything from teaching them the value of different currencies to helping them understand people have jobs that pay them money.

2. Budgeting. Include kids in on your budgeting decision. Everything is a teachable moment about budgeting. With school starting back this is a great opportunity to help them create a budget for back to school clothes or extracurricular activities. Include field trips in the cost of your budget as well. It’s also a great opportunity to help them understand their money (or at least yours) will go farther if they take their lunch.

3. Teach them to shop. Most parents spend their time teaching their children how to save money. But ask yourself, have you taught yourself to shop? If you have the time, take your children to different stores such as Neimans, Macy’s and even a second hand store to give them an understanding of how to stretch their dollars while getting a good quality product.

4. Everyday moments. Recognize that everyday brings opportunities to teach your kids about finances. Whether it’s taking them along to with you to the bank, the grocery store so they can learn comparison shopping to tipping at restaurants or explaining why you chose one gas station over the other (if price related even if they sit opposite each other. Also consider playing board games with them such as Monopoly that starts them thinking about finance and property ownership.

To Hear the entire show, click HERE

Here are two good books I recommend parents read on raising financially savvy children.

1.

2.

Leaving a Financial Legacy


What are your saving and investing habits teaching your children about money?

In Japan when a child is born, an account is started for that child's grandchild. In America when a child is born, we buy a few bibs, some Pampers and throw a party: all things that are disposable and, unlike a financial legacy, are momentary and fleeting.

Our children are returning to the classroom this month, and this is the perfect time to teach them financial literacy no matter how young or old they are. In order to create a financial legacy of wealth, not debt, we must teach our children how to make, save and spend money. We must encourage them to be entrepreneurs and business owners, because we want our financial legacy to be that of faith and values that determine how they handle finances for themselves and future generations.

What do you want your financial legacy to be?

Join us this Sunday, August 8th, on our Blog Talk Radio show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/1yearmillionaires/2010/08/08/leaving-a-financial-legacy), as we give you strategic steps on creating a financial legacy for your children.

Find the Luggage: Time To Send Fear Packing Again!

Every now and then, we all suffer from FEAR! According to Wikipedia, Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. As we get older, our fear increases because we believe we have more to lose. The truth is far too many of us allow fear to control our lives.

Whatever the cause of your fears, I thought this would be a great time to share with you again the recording of the telerally that Lisa Maria Carroll and I hosted earlier this year in which we discussed the 5 ways to Send Fear Packing.

Just remember in listening to this recording that FEAR is False Evidence Appeared Real, and your goal is to not let some perceived state prevent you from accomplishing real things.


Click HERE to listen to the audio tape.

Kim Crouch is a wealth strategist and along with Lisa Maria Carroll, co-creator of the Millionaire Journey.

If You Really Want Wealth, Read! Read! And Read Again!




I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me or Lisa but we’ve been busy pushing toward day 365 of the Millionaire Journey! I once read a quote that said if you want to be rich, READ! And this is exactly what I’ve been doing these last few months. Reading every thing I could get my hands on. I know that my wealth has expanded ten fold because I've taken the time to make sure I acquire additional knowledge about investing, wealth creation and a multitude of other things.

There are some great books out that will help you increase your mindset around wealth accumulation, power of associations and just simply motivate you. They vary from the inexpensive to the expensive but I thought I would share them with you.

1. . Ok this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. This is a nuts and bolts books from the 6 key profiles of the rich, to how to enter society, this book is a must read! I loved it.

2. This book is the definitive work concerning Warren Buffet and his investment philosophy. I liked this book because it explained in plain English basic principles of sound business practice.

3. . This is a great book by two mega millionaires Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump and I found it a great read. This book is less about the nuts and bolts of being rich and more about the philosophy behind attaining wealth. Great read from two of the best who know their stuff. Also available on Audio.

4.

5. . I heard about this book for a while and finally decided to read it. Found it a really practical book about the four pillars of personal finance— banking, saving, budgeting, and investing—and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship. Geared for the younger crowd, the lessons are simple, easy and work.

6. I found this to be one of the best books on interpersonal skills, networking and development of relationships that I’ve seen in a long time.

7. . Really good book from Randall Pinkett, the first African-American to ever receive a Rhodes scholarship from Rutgers University. This brother brings the knowledge in this book.

Kim Crouch is a wealth strategist and along with Lisa Maria Carroll, co-creator of the Millionaire Journey.

Today is the Start of a Journey




On Sunday, our country celebrated its Independence Day. Today, I’m asking everyone who reads this post, what are you going to do to obtain your independence? Your independence could be financially related, it could be the courage to leave a job or garnering the will to up your game. Whatever it is, you have to decide to have ownership over and of your life.

The truth is greatness exist in all of us. It’s just some of us chose to tap it and others don’t. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and wondering why some people do and others don’t and while I don’t know the answer to this question definitely I do believe you just have to decide what it is you’re going to be and how you’re going to do it. Once you do, the universe will get out of your way. I’ve seen this time and time again whether it was making the decision to be the first in my family to go to college, the decision to go to law school, the decision to write a book, to start a publishing company or even now, the road to the Millionaire Journey.

As I see it, many of us never really decide. Our thoughts are fraught with doubts, so called notion of “reality” and fear of failure. We never get to the decision point because there is too much other noise in our head clouding what are just simple concepts:

Just Do IT.
Just Go For It.
Don’t Look Back.
Take Action
Never Have A Plan B. It Gets In The Way of Plan A
Believe.

It doesn’t mean the road we travel will be easy. In fact, success and triumph are never easy. But as we all know the journey of a thousand miles beings with a single step. If you simply focus on placing one step in front of the other instead of thinking about the thousand steps it will take you to get there, one day you will look up and realize that you’ve arrived at your destination. I’m encouraging each of you, if you haven't already, to take a single step today and never look back.

Your Journey begins today!

See you on the success side.

You Can't Be Surprised and Successful

Wow! It’s hard to believe it’s day 240 on the march toward the Millionaire Journey. I know it’s been a while since we’ve posted so I would check in and let you know how we’re proceeding on the journey. . We’re almost two-thirds the way to D-Day and let me tell you it’s been no joke! I admit that it’s been hard, filled with challenges, but so rewarding. There is nothing like going no holds barred with the world to make your dreams happen. And believe me, the world is rough, strong and takes no prisoners. But, I’ve learned as long as I stay in the ring (even if I’m up against the ropes) I will win and be successful in the pursuit of my goal.

I heard a quote recently from a friend, author Jo Lena Johnson who I interviewed for my Passion4Parenting Show. As part of that show, she stated that it’s hard to be successful and surprised. While simplistic in its obviousness, it’s actually quite profound because the truth is none of us can work hard everyday toward goal achievement and be surprised when it happens. Surprise and success really can’t co-exist if you think about it because success is the result of the actions you take every day that move you toward alignment with the world’s purpose for you. Although you may be surprised at the magnitude of your success, it’s really hard to be surprised that you’ve achieved success when you do what it takes and you work hard to make your dreams a reality.

Ask yourself, are you doing what it takes?

1. Attainment of Knowledge. My experiences have taught me that most people aren’t successful for one of two reasons: either they don’t know what they want or they don’t know how to get what they want. These last 240 days I’ve encountered both! There have been times where I’ve had to really have a heart to heart talk with myself to really try to ascertain what it is I’ve wanted from this journey. Part of the problem is that I have many talents and enjoy doing many things and it was extremely difficult to determine There have also been times when I was clear about what I wanted but struggled about how to get that. The key is to make sure you move toward the attainment of knowledge. Are you trying to discover answers for what you don’t know? Are you trying to improve upon any skill deficiencies?

2. Maintaining the Momentum. I realize that the key to success for anyone lies in maintaining momentum. You can achieve what you set out to but it takes time and it’s easy to get sidetracked, steer off course and a number of things that will break your momentum. It’s also easy to take a break from pursuing your dream because it’s hard work and while you may think it’s only a day or two the truth is all successful people know that they’ve managed to Your goal is to make sure you keep the momentum so everyday you need to do something that pushes you toward goal achievement. Ideally, it’s something big but if not make it small. Just do something. I’ve learned that the difference between those who are good and those who are great are those who are great keep the momentum going and keep pushing when those who are good have said this is enough. I’m happy with this.

3. Power of Association. I’’ve blogged a lot about making sure that you surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart. But it’s also important that you associate with the right type of people who you’re your best interest at heart. Mom may love you but the question is whether mom can help propel you forward. Does mom have the knowledge base you need to move on to the next level? Make sure you are surrounding yourself with individuals whose knowledge and experience can benefit you.

In the end, remember success is less about luck and more about work. Believe me, if you work hard every day, your success won’t be a surprise.
Onward toward success. Keep up the good work. Day 365 is right around the corner.

Click HERE to hear my interview with Jo Lena Johnson (interview begins around minute 2 of the recording)

Take Action Tuesday: Start An Accountability Journal

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
Walt Disney



Journals are amazing things. When done right and honestly, they give us great insight into how we really feel, think and believe. They really teach us a lot about our self and they often serve as a vehicle of growth.

Today, I’m encouraging you to begin keeping an accountability journal not only to record your achievements but also to measure your progress. The truth is over the years, I have come to realize that the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is one thing: action. Many people say they really want success, but one of the reasons many people aren’t successful is because a gap exists between their actions and what they say they really want.

Accountability is always the process that determines whether your words, thoughts and actions are in alignment. One way to know if you’re in alignment is to keep an accountability journal. This is a journal where you write down each day what actions you took in furtherance of your stated dreams or goals. If your journal is blank for a few days then you have got a problem because the truth is you should be doing at a minimum 1-3 actions each day that move you in the direction of goal achievement.

This is why the journal is such a great tool because it’s an objective measure. If you’re honest with what you accomplish each day, you will be able to really see if you’re moving forward or standing still. And one thing I can assure you is nothing is ever accomplished by standing still so take action today to find out in which direction you’re headed.

The Seven Laws of Success

I recently came across Mike Murdoch of Inspiration Ministries “Seven Laws” for success in life thanks to another Facebook Friend. I’m recapping them here because I think they are great lessons for contemplation and reflection and provide a template for what some may consider the 7 laws you need to ponder, harness and/or live by to have true success in life. They are:

Law # 1 The Law of difference
This is having the wisdom to be able to discern difference. What makes you different from everyone else. What problem can you solve?

Law#2 The Law of the Mind
Knowing how to focus the mind, to rule the mind, to make the mind work for you, not let the mind control you. To learn, to be focused, to concentrate, to have a picture in your mind of what you want and go for it, like visualization. See it. Have pictures up on the wall.

Law# 3 The Law of Recognition
The thing you need is there; it’s just a matter of recognizing it. If there’s something missing in your life, there’s more than likely something you’re not seeing. Most of the time it’s right in front of your face but you are so conditioned and so distracted that you don’t see it. I like this one a lot. Tai chi helps with this, and taking the time for contemplation and meditation. What are you not seeing?

Law #4 The Law of 2
Mike Murdoch speaks of the power of covenant, and that the difference in seasons is a person. One person can change your life in 24 hours. All you need is one person to recognize what is special about you, to take you on as a mentor to you, to enter into a covenant with you. Who is that person?

Law #5 The Law of Place

Where you are is as important as what you are. Mike Murdoch speaks of Jesus, who had to leave his hometwown and preach elsewhere to be recognized. When you are where you belong, your genius emerges. So it behooves us to consider whether we are where we need to be, and if not, where is that place.

Law #6 The Law of Honor
Your future is determined by who you have chosen to honor. You must have a code of honor. Honor is a seed that will outlast a lifetime.

Law #7 The Law of the Seed
Our offerings to God are seeds that produce a harvest. There are many types of seeds in our life. Honor is the seed for access, kindness is a seed, time is a seed, love is a seed, teaching is a seed, giving is a seed. This law is to work in the financial arena as well


Which of these laws is most important to you?

5 Financial Books You Must Read in 2010

Forget everything that you’ve heard about getting rich quick. The truth is there is no such thing as getting rich quick. The truth is if you want true financial knowledge, it is something that you acquire over time through experience and studying.

As such, I decided to put together a list of the top 5 books that I think you should read this year. While books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Millionaire Next Door or the Automatic Millionaire are great books that you normally see on the list of the top personal finance books, I wanted to stretch your mind by making you aware of some other great financial books full of financial knowledge.

The top 5 books to read this year are:

1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Author Ramit Sethi – This is a must read book by Author Ramit Sethi . It offers in plaing English with great simplicity how to create financial security. It explains saving, investing, budgeting and banking in a hip, trendy way. It’s geared toward the 20-35 age group.

2. The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias. Want sound investment advice? Want to learn how to navigate and understand the world of treasury bills, mutual funds, Roth IRA, municipal bonds and other financial vehicles? If so, this is a MUST read. This book is a pretty entertaining but informative read.

3. Living Simply with Children: A Voluntary Simplicity Guide for Moms, Dads, and Kids Who Want to Reclaim the Bliss of Childhood and the Joy of Parenting by Marie Sherlock
– If you have your finances in order and you want to help your kids avoid the debt and rat race trap, this is a great book on how to raise kids who aren’t materialistic.

4. The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide: Protect Your Savings, Boost Your Income, and Grow Wealthy Even in the Worst of Times by Martin Weiss This books shows you how to create a financial roadmap that proves successful even in the worst economic climate.

5. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
by Dave Ramsey – If you want to get started on the path to financial freedom, this book is a must have for you. This book is very practical and shows you how to do everything including how to get out of debt.

The Luck Factor





“Some people dream of a great life, while others wake up and start working hard at it.” Kevin Lawrence

The other day a friend said to me you’re lucky. You have a wonderful job, a great family and a good life. Over the years, lots of people have said the same thing to me. Now, I’m not complaining because by most standards, my life is good. I have a job I like, a successful business, a terrific husband and 3 beautiful children. But from my perspective, luck has little, if anything to do with it.

The world is full of limitless possibilities and anyone can have much of what they want. Life, however, requires you to work for it. Your success in life boils down to the type of person you are: whether you are a thinker or a doer.

The difference between the two is obvious and so are the results. The people who are most successful in their life are those that think and plan 10% of the time, and spend 90% of their time implementing the ideas and creating results. In the time that someone would have analyzed ten different options and looked at the pros and cons of each option, a doer would have implemented those ten ideas and would know for sure that works and would have the results (often in terms of profits) to show for their work. Meanwhile, the “thinker” is still pondering those ideas getting more stuck by the hour.

Ask yourself: (1) Where in my life do I think too much? (2) If I started to “do” in those areas, how would my life change?

Now start taking action. You will begin to notice a change in your life. The laws of the universe are all action oriented. Simply put: the more action you take the more successful you become so go for it if you are feeling lucky (smile).

Kim Crouch, is a Wealth Strategist, who along with Lisa Maria Carroll is one of the two creators of the Millionaire Journey. You can follow them on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com

Feedback Friday: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire




This week was Fight For Your Dreams Week on the Millionaire Journey. We discussed ways you could keep your dreams alive because the truth is achieving your dream really is about the fight. It’s hard, tough, tiring and many days you absolutely just want to give up. But if you really want it, you can’t and you have to fight for it with your heart, soul and everything you have in you. It means despite fatigue, extreme overload and obstacles that appear you have to keep moving, which brings me to the question for today: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Most people who aspire to be millionaires are serious about becoming one. They are hungry and will do whatever it takes to succeed. They will work 24 hours if they must, they will forego sleep, and they will hustle like heck to make the impossible possible.
You have to ask yourself are you really willing to do what it takes because success requires sacrifice and the road to success is often replete with failure designed to test your endurance and desire to triumph.

I raise this question as part of Feedback Friday because I wonder if many of us who want to be millionaires are ready to play on that stage. This isn’t intended to offend anyone specifically but to offer some realism because the truth is the world is full of people who will be dishonest and not tell you where you can improve. On the Millionaire Journey, as your accountability partners we are committed to honest talk with you and so this is a bit of the tough love today even though it may not apply to some of you.

It is easy to point outward and believe others are holding us back. But we also must look internally and ascertain where we are preventing our own success. We sometimes don't work as hard as we should, we project our self doubts about our ability to succeed into the universe or we fail to simply do what it takes to make it happen. This week I saw people have difficulty complying with instructions, responding in a timely manner to responses to their own request for assistance and a few other things that I think would make it difficult to achieve success on a higher scale.

The truth is to be successful you always have to be prepared. After all, success is when opportunity meets preparation. You have to think game on. So this week, I ask that you take a hard look at your strategy, determine what you really want, put an action plan in place and STEP UP your game. Most importantly, ask yourself do you want to be a millionaire and are you willing to do what it takes to get there? Let me hear your thoughts.

Kim Crouch, is one of the 2 Wealth Strategist of the Millionaire Journey. You can follow us on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com

Giveaway Winners Announced




It's Fight For Your Dreams Week and the Millionaire Journey is trying to help you move toward dream accomplishment. This week we sponsored a Free One Hour Strategy Session to help you stay fighting for your dreams.


The winners for the giveaway are: Jeffrey J. Davis and Adrianna Rivera.


Thanks to all those who participated and continue to keep fighting for your dreams.


DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CHAMPION?


FIGHT FOR YOUR DREAMS WEEK




The Olympics are still taking place this week in Canada. Even though I didn’t like how the Olympic Committee treated Chicago, I must admit that the Winter sports have been incredible and exciting to watch.

More so than the death defying stunts I’m seeing, or, the opening ceremonies, which is always great, I love the Olympics because they are inspiring and epitomize human beings at their best. They serve as a great example of the lessons in fortitude that are required to make our dreams a reality and the payoffs that happen when we invest and believe in ourselves. While many of us won’t be Olympic athletes, the truth is many of us can be champions in many other areas of life if we simply learn and internalize the lessons exhibited by many Olympic athletes:

Lesson #1 –Self Discipline.
Say what you like about Olympic athletes, but you can’t dispute they are the most disciplined group of people we may ever know. They practice for hours and they play despite injury, sickness, and fatigue. They never stop and they never give up. They learned a long time ago that winners never quit and quitters never win. With anything you want to achieve, self discipline is key because you will encounter bad days, sick days and days when you’re just exhausted but you have to be disciplined enough to keep moving.

Lesson#2- Persistence
Olympic athletes learned something a long time ago that must of us have a hard time dealing with: failure. They recognize that failure is part of the learning curve and that they will fail and they will lose. But they never allow it to break their spirits, their hopes or their dreams. No, they keep learning and growing and keep pushing until they succeed.

Lesson #3-Sacrifice & Hard Work
Who doubts that Olympians make enormous sacrifices? While the rest of us are sleeping, going out to dinner with friends and family, traveling and living a normal life, they are doing anything but that. They practice from dawn to dusk and they spend the majority of their day training. It’s more than most of us could handle or deal with and while I’m not advocating spending every waking moment pursuing your dreams the truth is sacrifice and hard work are required to achieve any dream. I remember watching an interview by actor Will Smith where he talked about his success. In that interview he said that he may not be the smartest person, but he was the hardest worker. He stated that if he and another person were on a treadmill that one thing he knew for sure and that was the other person was stopping first.
It is a powerful statement about sacrifice and work ethic and it is probably the greatest reason for why Olympic athletes are Olympians. Ask yourself what are you willing to sacrifice to pursue your dreams and how hard are you working for it. Do you spend an hour a day on goal attainment when you could be spending 3 or 4. This week is the week to get honest with your self.

Why is it that so many Olympic athletes return and compete in Olympics after Olympics still at the top of their game? It is because they don’t rest on their laurels or their accomplishments. They continue to improve understanding that they are always competing against themselves to improve their time, to beat their last medal count, i.e., to simply do more and be better than the last time. Think about this. How many of us have continuous improvement baked into our success strategy? Not many. Most people, and corporations for that matter, rely on our success. Once we’ve “made” it, we stop innovating and pushing forward. Ask yourself today, are you doing that? Are their areas where you can improve?

So now that you know what it takes to be a champion, what do you plan to do about it?

If you're having trouble getting started or staying on course, consider our Partners In Success Program. Click HERE to learn more.

Crush Your Competition

"You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy."
~Arthur Ashe

Are you ready to grow your business like an Olympian? Over the past week, Shani Davis has done for speed skating what Arthur Ashe did for tennis--won gold medals in a sport not traditionally performed by blacks. Apolo Anton Ohno has done for the winter Olympics what Michael Phelps did for the summer games--won record Olympic medals. And Team USA beat Team Canada for the first time in 25 years.

Champions don't just happen. These people endure hours of grueling training every day to ensure peak performance during competition. They push past injuries, surgeries, illnesses. When they fall down, they don't stay there. They get back up, and then they get back in the game.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate Olympic-style training in your business:

Overcome Self-Limiting Beliefs. Self-limiting beliefs are those things you believe about yourself and your business: My business is too small. I'll never make a profit. People won't buy from me because I'm a minority.

Your business is limited only by your beliefs. A change in your thinking can turn the tides in your favor.


Train Hard. Have you read any good business books lately? How about attending a business class? Olympic competitors train for hours every day. You should do the same for your business. Attend seminars, webinars, and teleseminars regularly. Read books to stay motivated and informed. Take classes to stay sharp and up on the latest trends in your business.

Spy on your competitors. No matter how good a team is, they don't sleep on their competition. And neither should you. You have to study your competitors, so that you'll know how to position yourself. Championship sports teams watch videos of their competitors. Before you run out and hire a private investigator to tape the goings-on of the business next door, there is a site that allows you to LEGALLY tap into your competitors online marketing strategy. Compete.com allows you to see traffic and engagement metrics for any website and analyze competitors keywords for search word strategies.

Hire a coach. Everyone has areas that they can improve upon. A coach can help you see your blind spots. They can provide objective feedback, and keep you accountable by providing progress reports.







Are you ready to crush your competition?

48 Hour Giveaway: Win A Free 60 Minute Strategy Session! ($150 Value)



FIGHT FOR YOUR DREAMS: DON'T LET FEAR, PROCRASTINATION OR ANYTHING ELSE DESTROY YOUR DREAMS

Do you have an idea but not sure what to do next?

Have you taken some steps toward your dreams but you really haven’t taken flight?

Does fear have a grip on you and won’t let go?

The Time Has Come For You To Do Something About It!

As part of Fight For Your Dream Week, the Millionaire Journey is giving away a free 60 Minute Strategy Session to TWO people where you will learn how to jumpstart your dreams and send fear packing once and for all! (Sessions will be with Kim)


What does this session include:
1. In depth review of your dream/goal or idea generation if you don’t already know what you want to do. (Includes analysis, critique of idea for commercial viability and progress to date)
2. Detailed Action plan with steps you can take immediately
3. An aggressive but reasonable timeline for goal achievement
4. Sound tips and advice on how to fight for your dreams


How to qualify to win the Strategy Session?
1. Sign up to follow Millionaire Journey on Facebook
2. Sign up for our newsletter either on the Fan Page or at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com. 3. Sign up to follow us by clicking on the Follow Button at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com.
4. Add a comment to this post letting us know you have completed all tasks. Include your name (initials are acceptable) and email so we will know where to contact you if you win.


Entries are only accepted for 48 hours! Contest ends 11:59 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Winners will be announced on Wednesday. Any ideas discussed at the strategy session will remain confidential.

Take Action Tuesday: Ask Life For What You Want

The Wage

I bargained with life for a penny,
and life would pay no more
however I pleaded at evening
As I county my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
who will pay you what you ask,
but once you have set the wages
Then you must bear the task,

I bargained with life for a penny,
Only to learn dismayed,
That whatever wage I had asked of life,
Life would have gladly paid.

What have you asked of life? Has it been a little or a lot? Remember, life is just a vehicle designed to take you where you want to go but it’s up to you. If you haven't asked enough of life, take action today to make sure start demanding more. .

Are Women Educating Themselves Out of the Dating Pool?

Love is in the air.

It's Feedback Friday on The Millionaire Journey, and we want to hear from YOU! It's Valentine's Day weekend, and lots of women will be spending it alone. Some by choice. Others by chance.

They're smart, sexy and beautiful. They're also educated and making a strong salary. It's not that they don't want a man, but the men who say they want a smart, beautiful woman are intimidated by their (perceived) independence.

Our Feedback Friday question is a two-parter, Are Women Educating Themselves Out of the Dating Pool? Should they downplay their intelligence to get a man?

Competition: The Disease of the Soul



Recently, singer/actress/diva Beyonce Knowles was on 60 Minutes discussing her success. One of the questions asked of her was whether she and husband, Jay Z, compete against each other. Beyonce’s response was in essence I don’t compete against others but against myself.

It’s a profoundly simple but true statement. Yet, I know many couples, siblings and friends whose entire relationship centers around competition. They compete to be top wage earner, most successful, best looking, best dressed, best cook or best anything. They compete to compete, and they approach their relationship as I win, you lose.

I’m no relationship expert but any relationship structured this way seems destined to fail because their definition of success includes a comparative component that they can’t win unless someone else loses.

Now this doesn’t mean that all competition is bad. In fact, I personally believe competition is healthy because it challenges you to reach beyond your comfort zone. The competition, I’m concerned about is not healthy competition but destructive competition with the people in your life.

After all, these are the people in your life! Think about how you feel when you lose. You feel rejected, like a failure and at times, a bit hopeless. Why would anyone want to create these feelings in their partner, sibling or friend? This truly couldn’t be in the best interest of a relationship. Your goal in any relationship should not be how you can get more and they get less but how you both can emerge with plenty!

The bottom line is a healthy competitor understands that you compete against a standard not people. If you’re someone who is in a relationship where competition rules the day, find a way to build self esteem in some other way than making those you love feel bad. Doing so will allow you to form a better relationship. Otherwise, you will have succeeded on the Millionaire Journey but it certainly will be lonely at the top.

Kim

Free Brian Tracy CD: 21 Secrets of Self Made Millionaires


FREE Audio Program by Brian Tracy



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Become a millionaire quicker and faster. Check out these Brian Tracy Audio Programs. Tracy is allowing you to select one of his audio programs for free. I selected his 21 Success Secrets of Self Made Millionaires. You will have to pay shipping and a small $3 processing fee but the price will show as free once you move to checkout. I've heard good things about this CD. To get the CD, click on the NOW ALL ARE FREE WORDS ABOVE or the banner.

Feedback Friday: How Do You Handle Money Requests From Family?

Our MJ theme for February is Love and Money. And we know that these two things don't always mesh well, especially when it comes to family.

We see it all the time, someone hits the jackpot (wins the lottery, signs a professional sports or recording contract, wins American Idol), and before long, family (some they didn't even know they had) are standing in line with a sense of entitlement to their "winnings."

This week American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino was on Oprah discussing her financial woes, and how she almost lost both of her houses, and couldn't even afford to buy a pizza two year ago (this was AFTER winning Idol)because she was taking care of her entire family. She now has a reality TV show on VH1 called Fantasia For Real, and on the show, we see that she is the only adult in her house who works, and when she finally puts her foot down and starts saying no, her brother has a meltdown. (Check out the videos here.)

Our Feedback Friday question is: How do you handle money requests from family?

MILLIONAIRE JOURNEY LAUNCHES PARTNER IN SUCCESS PROGRAM




Are you having trouble staying on track, setting goals or even getting motivated to achieve your dreams?

THE SECRET IS OUT AND THE ANSWER IS YES! WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE. THE KEY IS NOT TO REMAIN THERE.

YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO GO IT ALONE!

INTRODUCING THE:

Partners In Success Accountability Program

With the Partners In Success Accountability Program, we partner with you to help you reach your goals and redirect your life.

Our integrated approach to success attainment emphasizes FOCUSED ACTION and DISCIPLINE within a supportive environment while offering you the support and motivation you need to ensure consistent progress toward goal achievement.

With us as your accountability partners, you will get the guidance you need to succeed and stay on track.

Let's face it. No amount of goal setting, inspiration or desire means anything unless you take action!!

And truthfully sometimes you just need a kick in the pants to jump start and sustain you.

The Partners In Success Accountability Program Is Here To Provide That Loving Kick.

With us, you will get the support and online tools and resources you need to set attainable goals, stay on track and keep the motivation engine roaring.

You will learn practical strategies to help reach your goals.



“Success is never a destination -- it's a journey.”
Satenig St. Marie



WHAT DO YOU GET?

With our program, you get the following:

1. Free 60 minute strategy session - ($150 Value)

2. An ACTION DRIVEN customized plan with supportive techniques adapted to your unique needs. ($75 Value)

3. A Monthly 60 MINUTE ONE ON ONE CALL with an accountability partner (Kim or Lisa) focused on goal achievement at a time convenient for you. Calls are designed to fit your specific needs and to give you focus, support and accountability and can be centered on goal achievement in any area your wish such as


     -   Financial Independence
     -   Weight Management
     -   Career Progression
     -   Dream Attainment


4. You will RECEIVE A RECORDING of the call 24 hours following your session. ($150 VALUE)

5. Free UNLIMITED access to a MEMBER'S ONLY premium site with interactive, user friendly tools and exclusive, more in depth content. ($50 VALUE)

6. Free admission to all Webinars

7. Motivational emails designed to help you stay the course on the road to achieving your dreams

Because of the hands on integrative approach we take, this program is limited to the first 20 people!

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$50/ monthly investment. If you sign up by February 8, 2010 you can take advantage of our


INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL:


PAY FOR THE FIRST MONTH, GET THE SECOND ONE FREE!!!!




WHEN DOES IT START?
Immediately












Make Money Monday: MLM As A Profitable Income Stream

What should you look for in an effective Multilevel Marketing “MLM” program? What are the warning signs to look for that will tell you that a MLM program is not on the up and up? This and other issues relating to MLM or referral marketing programs are discussed and explored in the Millionaire Journey’s recent interview with MLMers Larry Cheatham and Raymond Abernathy.

Larry has been involved in the MLM industry for 20 years and operates a successful real estate holdings company in Texas called Xavier Business Group. Raymond has been a MLMer for approximately 10 years and is an accomplished businessman, educator and speaker. He is with among one of the most successful leadership development corporations in the world and is always in constant demand across the United States and abroad to teach on leadership, personal business development and network marketing as a financial option for the 21st century

Larry and Raymond are personal friends, Partners In Success, and fans of the Millionaire Journey and came to this interview with a wealth of knowledge about MLM and wanted to discuss it as an income stream because they believe that despite the sometimes misunderstood history of the industry, it is primed for an explosion.

In this interview, you will learn:


*What to look for in a MLM program (How about How to Spot a Legitimate MLM Program)

*Why you should consider MLM as a component of your wealth strategy

*The top myths surrounding MLM

*How to write your own paycheck through MLM vs. the traditional business route

*Why most people are going about wealth creation backwards

*The 6 things Millionaire J. Paul Getty teaches are needed for success

*Who shouldn’t be involved in MLM

and so much more!!!

Check out the interview HERE


To learn more about Larry and Raymond and their team click HERE

Also stay tuned for our announcement this week on the Millionaire Journey's Partners In Success Program and how Lisa and Kim can partner with you to help you achiever your goals.

Join Us Tonight For Our February Telerally

We’re already one month into the New Year, and it’s time for a reflection: Where are you with your goals?

Whether you were on the Send Fear Packing call last month, or are a fan of the Millionaire Journey by way of Facebook or our blog updates, the one thing you know for sure is that Kim Crouch and Lisa Maria Carroll are all about overcoming fear, setting aggressive deadlines, taking massive action and being accountable.

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Many of you have reached out to us in search of an accountability partner to help you reach your goals and redirect your life. Well, you called, and we answered.

Join us tonight for our T.E.A.M.WORK telerally, where we’ll:

  • Announce our Millionaire Journey theme for the month
  • Share with you the ways that partnerships can help you get what you really want out of life
  • Announce ways we can T.E.A.M.-UP to help you reach your goals

If you are serious about achieving new heights and getting to the million-dollar goal line, then we want to hear you on the call tonight!

It’s time to be accountable for your goals and actions, and we’re here to help you do it!

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Join us tonight, February 1, 2010, for the MILLIONAIRE JOURNEY T.E.A.M.WORK TELERALLY to learn how we can TEAM-UP to help you reach your goals.

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Date: February 1, 2010
Time: 9:00pm Eastern

Dial-in: 402-237-2015
Access: 705687#

Feedback Friday: What Have You Learned?

It's the first full month of 2010 and many of you have made resolutions. But we all know resolutions are only as good as the will and effort you put into making them come to fruition.

So what is the most important thing you've learned this month, about sticking with and making your resolutions a reality?

No Matter What: Persevere! Here's How



Many of us probably felt like 2009 was a failure and that it was a year we wished we could have avoided. I understand. We all have dreams and we all reach for the stars and a lot of times we don’t make it at first. It even seems that sometimes everyone around us is moving and accomplishing great things and we didn’t.

However, Confucius once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Here is a video I came across interesting from Honda, the car company, Dream the Impossible series. It’s entitled Failure: The Secret to Success.

This video is all about persevering. In 2010, know victory is yours. You can do it.

Just remember the 5 ways you can send fear packing.

1. Set your eyes on the prize. Write it down and set deadlines.
2. Take Small steps.
3. Try, Try Again. Remember the law of large number
4. Create a support group (Board of Advisors, get a mentor, accountability partners)
5. Visualize your future.


And most importantly, no matter what you do! Just persevere.

To see more videos from the Honda series click HERE

Recommended Readings To Conquer Fear:


The 50th Law

Conquering Fear: Living Boldly in an Uncertain World

Make Today Count: The Secret of Your Success Is Determined by Your Daily Agenda

Power Wellness Wednesday: 7 Ways To Stop Worrying About Money

How often do you worry about money? Once a week? Once a day? All of the time? Worrying about money isn’t only a waste of time, it’s unhealthy, because as you worry, you put unnecessary stress on yourself. So if money worries are keeping you up nights or interfering with your life, keep reading for tips on how you can get back in control!

A few years ago I was laid off from my job. For many people this can and will be a most stressful situation, especially if you’re the primary provider for your family and you have failed to plan or under planned.

As an independent contractor I expect to be let go when my project ends. It's one of those no-brainers of consulting. But like many people, I fell short when it came to planning for the downtime I would have between gigs. I received unemployment for one year, but after that well ran dry, I still didn't have a job or another project lined up. My failure to plan led to me constantly worrying about how I was going to pay my bills--even the basic needs--like rent and food.

But here's the good news, once I rebounded from that, I learned how to not fall into that pitfall again. And, you can do the same things I did to stop worrying about money, once and for all.

Establish an emergency fund. Everyone should have an emergency fund. It is recommended that you have at least six months salary in that fund getting to that benchmark starts with saving one-month's salary, and building from there. Even if it's adding only $10 more per pay period to your savings, do it. I recommend using ING high-yield savings accounts for your emergency fund, because it takes a couple of days to withdraw the money. Having money that’s easy to get to--but not TOO easy--will make you think twice about what is or isn't an actually emergency.

Pay down debt. The easiest way to get out of debt is to pay your bills. Avoiding creditors doesn't make the bills go away. If you have consumer debt, pick out an amount you can afford each month and apply it to your highest-rate debt using some sort of autopay. Repeat every month until it’s gone. This way you can forget about it and not spend time worrying about it.

Put bills on autopay. Paying your bills can be as easy as setting the autopay up through your bank to be a certain amount each month – and then forgetting about it! If you’re still writing checks and mailing them in, you’re creating a lot of worry that you don’t need!

Get organized. Keep all of your receipts and tax records going back six years. Have a file for these things, as well as bank statments and investments. When you need something, you’ll know exactly where it is.

Create a budget. One of the best ways to get money off your mind is to set aside specific blocks of time to balance your checkbook, budget, and pay bills. I recommend looking over your spending once a week, and paying bills once a month.

Just do it. When you spend too much time worrying about bills, you spend too little time taking action to make changes. If you are going to spend time worrying about money, why not use that time and get a side job instead or starting a home-based business? Kim has written some great articles on how to make money blogging and taking surveys:

10 Ways to Make Money Blogging
Make Money Blogging, Part 2
Make Money Monday: 3 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog

Keep the faith. Stand strong in your faith, and trust that your needs will be provided. But, don't use that as an excuse to not take action.

As you can see, with a little planning, you can spend less time worrying about money, and more time enjoying it.

Worry never climbed a hill, worry never paid a bill.
Worry never dried a tear, worry never calmed a fear.
Worry never darned a heel, worry never cooked a meal.
It never led a horse to water, nor ever did a thing it "oughter."
~Anonymous


See you on the Millionaire Side,

Lisa Maria Carroll

Kim Crouch and Lisa Maria Carroll are on a journey to become millionaires in 365 days. They don't want to do it alone, so they're bringing you with them. You can follow them on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com

Take Action Tuesday: Write a Letter to Your Future Self

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Imagine writing a letter to your future self, then opening it at that exact moment in the future to see how much of it resonates with you. It can be your Freedom Statement, your exit strategy, your millionaire target date, or anything you want it to be.

This weekend I rediscovered an incredible website where you can write such a letter and then have it delivered to your email inbox on the date that you choose. It is a useful supplementary tool to be used in goal achievement, because when you write the letter to your future self, it helps crystallize exactly how you anticipate yourself to become at that specific moment in the future. As you read the letter in the future, you can assess how many things match up (or not) vs. what your expectations were.

Click here to send yourself a letter now.

Kim Crouch and Lisa Maria Carroll are on a journey to become millionaires in 365 days. They don't want to do it alone, so they're bringing you with them. You can follow them on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com

Make Money Monday: 3 Creative Ways To Fund Your Dream




Last Thursday, Lisa Maria Carroll and I hosted a webinar: How To Fund Your Dreams. We hosted this webinar because we know there’s nothing worst than having a great idea for a business, program or a project and not having the money to fund the idea. I’m a firm believer that innovation is a great equalizer for the lack of money. So the less money you have the more innovative you need to be.

In that webinar, many of you discussed that you wanted to write books and start businesses, and we told you about the 7 ways to fund your dream. Here are 3 more innovative ways to help you fund your dreams:

1. Internet. The internet has become a great creator of wealth. Likewise, it is also one of the best ways to generate funds for your dreams. Kickstarter.com and DonorsChoose.org are two sites that allow you to raise money that don’t have to be strictly for charitable purposes. Although DonorsChoose.org is specifically for teachers (you can request donations for supplies, etc), Kickstarter.com allows you to request funds for a variety of personal projects from funding to make your CD to money to publish a book. Contributors select how much toward your goal they would like to give. Note there are fees that apply upon successful project funding. For nonprofits, consider sites such as Networkforgood.org, causes.com and Justgive.org.

2. Personal blogs/websites. Consider using your personal blog or website to solicit funds for your projects. Using your blog or personal website especially if it has a project that fits the niche of your blog or website can allow you to closely connect with the people most likely to contribute to your project: your followers. Sites like Chipin.com can help you raise such money by creating widgets you place on your site.

3. Household/Barter. Look around your house. Many people buy so many things they don’t need or fail to use. Gather up all those clothes, DVDs and old appliances you no longer use and have a garage sale, sell them to a used or consignment shop. Sell your used books on Amazon.com. The bottom line: sell the things you no longer need to help finance the things you do need. Additionally, most people have forgotten the barter system. See if you can barter your services in exchange for services you may need. For example, if you’re an attorney in need of graphic design work can you barter legal services with a graphic design person who may need contracts written or trademarks filed. If you don’t think you have a skill set you can barter like legal services what can you do? Can you babysit, housesit, mow someone’s lawn in exchange for services. You are only limited by your own creativity. So get creative.

In the end, there are many ways to fund your dream. Don’t be stymied if traditional methods for funding seem limited or no longer exist. Think creatively, use the internet and your own site to help you raise money. Your dreams are worth it.

Kim Crouch and Lisa Maria Carroll are on a journey to become millionaires in 365 days. They don't want to do it alone, so they're bringing you with them. You can follow them on the Journey by joining the Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Millionaire-Journey/165487378056?ref=ts or the Millionaire Journey blog at http://1yearmillionaires.blogspot.com

Feedback Friday: I'd Love to Have a Date

We had an awesome webinar last night on how to fund your dreams. Several people on the call and in the chat room shared their dreams of starting businesses, and one of the ways that we gave for people to fund their dreams is to find hidden money. Now, hidden money is money you didn't know you had or didn't know was available to you. (You can visit http://www.missingmoney.com/ to find out if you have money available.) The money on this site could be from a multitude of things, for instance, a rent deposit that wasn't returned to you because you didn't leave a forwarding address with the landlord, money or jewelry from an abandoned safe deposit box, or money from a deceased relative. It's definitely worth visiting the site to find out if you have money coming to you.

What I really loved about last night's call is that within an hour of it ending, we got Facebook updates from two people saying that they found money. (Think deadline. Don't put it off until tomorrow, when you can make it happen today.) One found money from her old university, while the other person simply said that it was not a big amount, but nevertheless, she was excited to know that there was money waiting for her. I like how she put that: it was WAITING for her. And that's what our dreams are doing for us. They're waiting for us to set some deadlines to bring them to fruition.

And that's exactly what I'm doing today. I'm giving myself a deadline, instead of this timeframe I've been operating in.

drumroll, please......

I'm finally going to FINISH writing a book that I've talked about writing for at least the last decade. And you know what else? I'm giving it a deadline: February 28, 2010. Not only will I have this book written, but also published by this date. And as accountability partners on this journey, I want everyone to hold me to it. Check in. Nudge me. Yell...

Starting a publishing company was one of the things I identified as an income stream (not to be confused with a "possible" income stream) to get me to the million-dollar mark. Well, it's happening now. My first book, The Gold-Digger Theory will be published next month. (Preview the blog here.) I then plan.....no, not plan, I will publish a book each quarter this year. Aggressive? Yes. Doable? Absolutely.

Give us your feedback: You have dreams seeded inside of you. What is your deadline to make it happen? In other words, give me a date.

Power Wellness Wednesday: The Millionaire Self-Care Plan

Your health is your greatest wealth.

One of the first things that came to mind when I came up with the brilliant idea that I wanted to be a millionaire in one year was that I need to be well mentally, physically, and emotionally in order to achieve my desired outcome. I knew that any illness could stop me dead in my tracks, delay my goal, or perhaps even bring it to a screeching halt.

I started the Journey in October 2009, the same month that I started a new consulting gig in the DMV (DC-, Maryland-, Virginia-area). At that time I had only been here for two short months, so I hadn’t yet coordinated any sort of medical care locally (doctor, dentist, etc.). But, since I saw maintaining overall good health as being part of the Journey, I included all foreseen medical treatments, including, Orthodontic appointments, Orthognathic surgery, and my annual visit to my physician's assistant, on my road map to financial independence. I developed what I now call my Millionaire Self-Care Plan.

The month that I started the Journey also marked the 18-month mark that I'd had braces on my teeth. The original treatment plan was for me to wear the braces for 18-months, have orthognathic surgery at that point (an oral surgeon would break and then realign my jaw), and then wear the braces for two to six more months. But, somewhere in between all of that happening, life stepped in. The project that I was working on ended, and I left Minnesota in hopes of finding a job in another state. During that time, I saw my Orthodontist only one of the four times that I should have. And my lack of self care resulted in the wire on my lower teeth being bent and lifting a tooth in a way that my Orthodontist didn't want it to. The result: another six- to 12-months of treatments.

That's when I had to get real with myself because, as a mother, I never would have neglected my kids' health. So why was I neglecting mine? Whenever one of my children got sick, I didn't miss a beat. If it required me moving mountains, then that's what I did. But, here I was now making excuses for not taking care of myself: I can't afford to fly back to Minnesota every other month. Or, I don't want to be out of town if I get a call for an interview. Or, I don't want to buy a plane ticket, and then get a call to start work before I can use it.

Excuses Be Gone
I'm that mother who told an employer that they would have to hold a job indefinitely, or give it to someone else, when I got a call from the hospital the night before I was supposed to start, telling me they didn't think my daughter was going to make it through the night. I'm that same mother who was primed and ready to tell her supervisor exactly where he could put his job when my daughter's Orthopedic Surgeon decided to fuse her spine after her orthosis failed to correct her scoliosis. I needed to take a month off work during her recovery, and he told me he didn't know why I needed to be with her since she had nurses at the hospital to care for her around the clock.

This Journey has awakened this mother to her need to take the same proactive approach to keeping herself healthy.

The Self-Care Plan
My first stop: the Orthodontist office. There was no sense in delaying the inevitable. As much as I didn't want it to be true, I knew I had to face the reality that I was going to have to wear braces for at least six months longer than originally planned. And then it was time to see my physician's assistant "PA."

I love my PA, and I think she's very competent. But I try to avoid her like the plague, because if it ain't one thing, it's two or three. The last time I had been in her office, she referred me to a radiologist because my uterus felt big (just stay with me here). She said that it could be fibroids, and asked if I had been having heavy periods. No, and no was my answer, so she continued poking and probing. At the end of the exam, the technician drew blood, and my hemoglobin level was 10, and my red blood cell count was low. These were indicators of my overall health, which wasn't faring in my favor.

"Have you been feeling dizzy, because your hemoglobin level is in the range of a cancer patient"?

"Nope, haven't felt dizzy at all."

"Well, since you've had some rectal bleeding, and your dad has colon cancer, I'm going to refer you to a gastroenterologist."

So, not only did I leave with a referral to a radiologist for an ultrasound to see if I had fibroids, but also one for a mammogram, and yet another one for a colonoscopy.

What I didn't tell her was that I had been having rectal bleeding for exactly one year and 11 months because I was afraid of the "possible" diagnosis. After all, my dad was given two- to six-months to live when he was diagnosed with colon cancer (nine years later, and he's still doing well). And that's around the same time that bestselling author and Spiritualist Iyanla Vanzant's daughter died of the disease at the young age of 31. So I kept telling myself, "It could be cancer! It could be cancer!" in my best Chicken Little impersonation. But once I finally faced my fears head-on, I was relieved that it wasn't cancer, and frustrated that I hadn't taken better care of myself. I was also frustrated that the gastroenterologist told me I had hemorrhoids and prescribed a laxative. Surely, I would know if I had hemorrhoids, right? And if I had them, were they the cause of the heavy rectal bleeding?

Self-Diagnosis
When I got home that day I decided to do my own research online. I searched fibroid symptoms and treatments (My PA had suggested a hysterectomy, but that wasn't an option I was willing to consider.) The only symptom my PA had mentioned during my visit was heavy menstrual bleeding. But, I soon found out that I had a host of other symptoms, including pain and numbness in my hip, leg and foot; pelvic pain (at times I felt like I was carrying a bowling ball); and frequent urination. This explained my recent visits to the Podiatrist and Orthopedic Surgeon.

The Podiatrist couldn't explain the pain in my foot, so she simply suggested that I get orthotics (shoe inserts). And after an MRI that showed that nothing was wrong, my Orthopedic Surgeon thought that a series of cortisone injections in my lower back should take care of my hip pain. At that point, I was willing to try just about anything. And since he was the doctor, I set up the appointment for my first shot. I was instructed that I wouldn't be able to drive myself home afterwards, so I arranged for my daughter to take me.

Well, let me tell you, I was in far more pain after that shot than anything I had been experiencing. The radiologist ensured me that this was normal, and that I should slowly start to feel better. Nope, didn't happen. The pain got progressively worse throughout the day, and the only explanation I got from the Orthopedic Surgeon and a co-worker who had similar symptoms, was to stick with the treatment and keep getting the shots. Since I failed to see any logic in continuing getting steroid shots that made me feel worse, that was my first and only one.

The next day I called an aunt who swears by herbs and prefers homeopathic treatments over steroid shots any day. I'd overheard her talking about a detox system at the family reunion that year, and I wanted to give it a try. The products are only available online at http://www.drnatura.com/. I ordered a three-month supply and got started immediately. One of my co-workers who suffered from fibromyalgia and had an autistic son said I needed to also change my diet by eating strictly organic and free-range foods. So, off to Whole Foods I went.

At first I thought I wouldn't be able to keep this lifestyle up because I couldn't afford it. (Eating organic is NOT cheap.) But the reality is I couldn't afford not to keep it up, because I couldn't afford to be sick. I was taking time off work. And the pain and discomfort I was felt was affecting my lifestyle in such a way that I couldn't enjoy spending any of the money I was making. At that point I started seeing an investment in my health as one of the greatest investments that I could make. As part of my lifestyle change, I ordered Jordan Rubin's book, The Maker's Diet. Rubin nearly died from an inflammatory bowel disease that caused him to lose 50 pounds and suffer severe pains. His diet is based on Biblical teachings.

A New Normal
Within two weeks of starting the detox system, the rectal bleeding stopped, and the pain in my hip, leg and foot were gone. I also noticed that my periods were lighter and I no longer felt like I was carrying a bowling ball in my abdomen. Remember when the doctor I asked if I'd been having heavy period and I told her no? Well, I had been "sick" for so long that sick felt normal.
I was surprised how much more energy I had when I went for a follow-up visit a month later and my hemoglobin level was 12.8.

Welcome to the DMV
Last week a co-worker who is a fellow consultant, didn't make it into the office (she lives in another state) because she was having chest pains. She said the pains had started on Tuesday, but she toughed it out until she went back home on Friday and could see her own doctor. That's when I knew it was time to get local insurance, along with a local doctor for myself. I'll still get my Orthodontic treatments in Minnesota. But, as for health care, I need a doctor who can coordinate all of my treatments. I don't commute back to Minnesota each week. And since I no longer consider that home, it's time for me to drop my insurance there, and sign on with CareFirst, a division of Blue Cross/Blue Shield that offers insurance for freelancers and the self-employed.

It's important that I keep myself well on the Journey. Because my health truly is my greatest wealth.

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