Oh, blog! Go, business!

Just wanted to drop a quick message to apologize, especially to my regular readers, for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been spending the time I usually spend writing blog posts on growing my marketing coaching business.

This is one of my major 2012 goals. 

I’ll get back into the swing of blog things soon.  I have several post ideas I think you’ll enjoy.

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A Broke Illusionist. That Was Me.

When I became debt free, life changed, and I felt free for the first time since I was teenager.

That was, of course, when I started making money and subsequently spending it like crazy.  Although I was raised to spend less than I made, I was undisciplined and did the exact opposite.

The older I got, the more money I made, and the more money I spent.  When I was 18, it was clothing and going out.

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, it was a BMW.

Like most people, I kept growing into my salary.  And the only thing that separated me from someone living in poverty was one pay check.

You see, with one pay check you can pay your bills and put just enough on credit to delay payment of other stuff by a few weeks.  You can have a nice apartment, a luxury automobile and nice clothing as long as that pay check keeps coming.

You can create the illusion of success and prosperity, living check to check.

But savings?  Can’t do it.  Investing for retirement?  Nope.  Building an emergency fund?  Not a chance.

And as soon as a crisis hits or that check stops coming, your position in life immediately changes.  The risk you’ve lived with every day catches up with you.

When the padding separating you from risk is as thick as a tissue, it doesn’t take long for it to be in your face and into your wallet.

This was me, and I was only getting worse.  Because I kept making more money, my mistakes simply got bigger and more grand. I was on the verge of experiencing some serious financial pain.

Thankfully, I avoided it because God intervened and gave me my wife.  Today, we are debt free and we’re teaching others how to get out of debt, stay out of debt and build wealth.

I pray to God I never go back to way I used to be.  Broke.  Stressed out.  Living on the edge.  An illusion maker.

Sitting in our apartment complex garage right now is that BMW.  Every time I see it, I’m reminded of what once was.

Question:  Do you have a get-out-of-debt story? Share it here.

Friday Video – I Like Giving

It’s Friday Video time!  Last week, I shared my favorite video from the band, Walk Off The Earth.

This week we’re switching from music to giving.  Some time last year I learned about ILikeGiving.com, which, in their words is “…a campaign to inspire generous living. It is a collection of stories from around the world about people who have done the unexpected without expecting anything in return.”

Many of the stories are told through videos that are incredibly moving and beautifully produced. 

Here’s one my favorites called “I Like iPad.”  It tells the story of a young woman who gives up something for a child with autism. And it is powerful. Click the play button below.  If it won’t play, click here.

Is Our Love For Underdogs Rooted In Something More?

What is it that causes us to love an underdog?

And is that even true, or do we really love an underdog that goes on to win?  I believe it could be the latter.

An underdog is nothing more than a regular player on a baseball team.  An average tennis player.  The neighbor who is growing a business out of their garage.  That’s until they experience some level of success and show the ability to rival the star players, the industry leader, the reigning champ.

At that point, the underdog takes a step closer to becoming a star them self.  And we want them to do it with all of our heart.  When it happens, we soar!  It’s all we can talk about at work the next day, reliving the experience over and over with our co-workers and friends.  “I can’t believe it!” we say.  “Unbelievable!”

It’s almost as if we experienced the victory ourselves.

But when the underdog falls short, we’re crushed.  The next day we say things like, “She was so close.”  “I’m so disappointed.”  “Maybe next time.”  “I really wanted it for them.”

Emotionally, it’s as if we fell short.

You’ve probably heard people say the reason we identify with underdogs is because we see ourselves in them.  We see ourselves as underdogs.

It sounds good, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Perhaps though there’s another reason.  And I have no idea if it’s true, but I’ll try it on you anyways.

That reason is Jesus.  The man in whose likeness we are made.

This man, this son of God, was born outside in a shack.  He was placed in what was an animal trough filled with hay.  There was no hospital with a birthing wing with state-of-the-art technology, highly trained doctors, nurses, and midwives and comfy beds.

There weren’t any cute pictures of farm animals on the wall.  There were actual farm animals!

He became a carpenter, not a CEO.  Not a star athlete.  He was a construction worker.  While completely honorable and important, I don’t have to tell you this is not a profession society holds up as the end all be all.  It’s a common man’s job.

He hung out with average Joes and the poor, not the upper crust of society or the perceived elite.  I don’t think Warren Buffet and Jesus would have been BFFs or even Facebook friends.  Although he would have rocked on Twitter, dropping 140 character, life-changing tweets with gusto!  But I digress.

Jesus was betrayed by a trusted friend, which led to his arrest, torture and placement on a cross between two common criminals where he would die for all to see.

He was used to send a message.  A message that said, “We, the elite and mighty are in charge and control destiny, even your destiny.  If this man is the son of God, how is it possible that he now hang on this cross dead?  It isn’t possible.”

Well, we know how that ended up.  Jesus was wrapped in cloth, placed in a tomb and of course rose again.

Jesus – the baby from humble beginnings, the carpenter, the commoner, the defeated – the underdog came back to life to win the big game.  To save us.

Is it possible the reason we adore the underdog isn’t because we see ourselves in them but that we see our savior?

The next time you find yourself rooting for an underdog, I encourage you to consider this.  You just might find your heart soaring regardless of whether they win or lose.

Question:  What do you think?

Friday Video – Walk Off The Earth

I don’t know how I missed it being a music and social media lover, but I just recently learned about the band, Walk Off the Earth, which blew up in the last year on YouTube.

Not only are they brilliant musicians who clearly work their butts off, they create incredible live music videos.

Here’s one of my favorites – a cover of Adele’s Someone Like You.  Enjoy!  And if you get some time go watch more of their videos.