Investing into myself

I realize that, in order to get the most out of life, you have to be willing to put the work into what you think is your most valuable asset or group of assets. One of the best investments you can make is to invest into yourself, according to multiple financial gurus. So, if this (you) is (are) the greatest asset of your life, then what sort of resources do you think would be the most fitting towards your financial future?

Self education. This means, very simply, that you take the time to learn from the people who know finance, life coaching, or education principles that would launch you to a world of success and happiness. Now, I’m not saying I know anything more about this than the next person. I do know and understand the importance of books. I have plenty– they just don’t get read. I work a physically-demanding job, so eight hours of my time every day for five days a week is immediately followed by naps, then dinner, then back to sleep again. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t think that’s going to be so much of a problem. Actually, I don’t even really get onto social media much. My biggest time waster is gaming, but that’s not doing anything for me.

Right now, as it stands, I have to take a bit more time to develop my writing. I have a very strong affinity for this, but I rarely find myself motivated enough after the hard workdays to stay awake to find any time to do anything but try to rest. So my blog posts don’t even come out once a week. Sometimes, yes, I can manage, but other than that, I’m usually taking care of chores or other stuff.

When it comes to investing into yourself, the first thing you’re going to have to find is time– time to read, time to watch a few informational or educational YouTube videos related to your self-investment, and time to put into practice all that you’ve learned and read thus far. I have heard that applied knowledge is really what constitutes power; knowledge alone is power in reserve. That’s the potential energy you read about in physics, which is a ball sitting atop a hill with a flat top. Kinetic energy, then, is energy motion–applied knowledge is the ball rolling forward, accelerating a little faster with each passing moment in time. This is the very fundamental explanation behind becoming something better than you ever thought could be possible.

So, that’s well and good! You have just learned a little about how to invest in yourself! Below, I’ll be listing a couple of books that I personally have in my library, which I have read and refer to whenever I feel stuck.

1. Think And Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill

This is the quintessential book for anyone wishing to really get into the mindset of becoming wealthy in all aspects of their personal lives. I’ve read this a couple of times, and each time I go through the pages, I see something that applies to a new feature of my path, which, had I only read this book once, would have passed me by– I would have missed an opportunity otherwise. It’s focused on how the wealthy made their money, by using nothing more than the will of their mind to become rich. Now, there are multiple paths to becoming rich, and thought alone will not get you there. A “burning desire” is what really helps to forge your path to wealth, because it forces you to think about how to go about developing yourself, which is ultimately the path you take in life to obtaining your wealth.

Anyone who has ever read anything about finance has heard about this book. I recommend it only because it’s helped me a little bit, but I’m not claiming to have utilized it to my full potential; it’s only a small stepping stone!

2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

This book has introduced the idea of limiting my spending habits to such an extent that I have an emergency fund for immediate use, since a good portion of the population for my demographic seem to not have such a thing. His recommendation is to have at the very least $1,000 for emergencies, to start. Later, this increases, but at least you’ll have this available and at the ready, before taking on some of the next steps towards financial independence.

Now, this book is more common sense than anything, focusing on eliminating your debts through your own efforts first and foremost and living below your means (this term will become apparent to those who are only hearing this for the first time). Rather than buying the latest hot gadgets, the focus is to really only get what you need for your daily life until you can realistically afford the small luxuries.

Last, but certainly not the very least, two books from the same author:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki

These two books are more geared towards the person who has already developed their financial literature, and has a more confident approach to how they’re going to move from the left side of the quadrant to the right side. This is the path I’m currently taking. Now, these two books have done quite a lot for me in addition to the other two which I have mentioned, because they’ve exposed to me a mindset and perspective which I wish I would have had when I was much younger. Of course, I never did listen to my parents’ advice, so here I am struggling financially– but the difference here is that, after a couple of years of consideration, hard thinking, and long hours of physically working too hard, I realized that life doesn’t have to be as such. It’s a humbling thing, understanding your flaws and accepting yourself for who you are after years of self-deceit. I’ve been on the left side of the cashflow quadrant for a long time, and I feel it is now time to start taking steps to get to the other side.

Not only am I doing this for my future, but for the future of my family and siblings and nieces and nephews. I hear so many stories of personal success, and it never occurred to me that I should be doing the same. After watching a few videos from Jeff Rose on YouTube, I’ve become more motivated to doing what it really takes to succeed. Now, it’s going to be up to me to find a niche or career path which is best suited for me, but perhaps I should just start right here on my blog. Blog posts are a good foundation for stepping into another realm of financial security and decisions.

Featured Image of money from these guys at The Green Head.


Playing the Lottery

Once in a while, I’ll pick up a scratch off ticket from the convenience store, and a good portion of time I’ll get the little dollar or two dollar scratchers. Maybe one out of every three times I play, I will land a ticket or a dollar. Even less frequently, I’ll play the mega Millions or Powerball. Once, I won $33 on a dollar scratcher. Not too shabby! And I, too, have won the lottery on two occasions, with a grand total of $2 in prize money, so maybe I unconsciously utilized the strategies outlined in Richard Lustig’s book.

Last night, I bought a $3 scratcher at random and it raked in a cool $25. I like the times I win because it feels nice, but it is not every run. Such is the basis of gambling. You place a bet on an unknown variable in hopes that you’ll bring in more than you slapped upon the table. Your odds of winning are terribly against you with much higher payouts, and with much larger numbers of participants. The lottery is one such form of gambling, where many will enter and few will win.

Wouldn’t it be severely unlikely that someone ought to win the lottery more than once, though? Close to impossible! With a few exceptions, one notable person in modern times has managed to develop a strategy to purchasing lottery tickets, claiming that there’s a means by which to increase your odds of winning. I mean, for someone to win multiple grand prize jackpots and actually have succeeded in consciously doing so? I believe that would far more than justify claims of his success being intentional. Of course, some critics might argue something along the lines of, “Oh, sure, he has won jackpots, but he only won just over a million dollars. Why doesn’t he win the massive jackpots and really prove himself?” To which I would respond, quite simply, “How many millions have you won thus far after reading his book?” Chances are fairly high that this critic hadn’t even made a single purchase.

Of course, when it comes to success, everyone has their particular means by which to obtain the greatest possible leverage against the given odds. And some people might have been given a single stroke of awesome luck, but it still doesn’t hurt to accept that some people just happen to have developed a sense of methodically carrying out their will in this area of the world– the gamble-sphere (I know it sounds dumb, but that’s what I say). And you know what? They have the car to prove it.

I understand that a good portion of winners out there fall into bankruptcy within a few years of a substantial windfall, so maybe it isn’t all strategic luck out there. I know I’ve figured out what I would do with my winnings– investments across the board. I would even start buying websites by the dozen and figure out marketing like crazy. Wealth building. I would even make an investment into a program that automatically trades sports like the stock market with a resounding success in favor of accuracy.

Maybe some people out there have purchased Richard Lustig’s book for themselves and made their hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have come across this blog, let me know what it felt like for your big time win!

New to Affiliate Marketing?

Me too. I mean, it seems like one of those American Dream stories– two parents, one a housewife and the husband a hard worker, putting in 40+ hours per week, all for the pile of debt which won’t be paid for years because of minimum payments and the annual percentage rate keeping their principle in check. Dad gets tired of working so hard and spending so much time away from family eventually. I mean, I’m there right now. I’m frustrated with the amount of time I’m trading in for the amount of money I get paid. This isn’t about me, though. It’s about the thousands of other people who have done exactly this thing and felt as if they were wasting their lives away, paying someone else’s mortgages with their mortgage payments, or a land owner’s house being paid by the multiple tenants in the apartment complex.

Eventually, the paradigm shifts for those who are keenly aware of their own preferences in life. Instead of working for their dollar, people have figured out a way to make their dollar work for them. For these individuals and families, it is nothing to place six hours of their time over the course of a whole week and spend the rest doing a hobby they love to do, or traveling and hosting a blog or YouTube video blog to show to the world where they’ve been, experiencing different cultures the world over, while the masses who have not figured out their secrets to wealth building are left feeling hopeless because they’re working a basic job somewhere for minimum wage. The difference here is simple: those who have become successful have become aware that their time is not worth a measly $10.50 an hour. These individuals, then, have decided that their time is best spent just enjoying life.

That’s where I want to be. I know that the life I’m living right now can be described (as someone once put it) as “trans-financial,” identifying oneself as feeling as if they have tons of money but were born into a family that either budgets very poorly or doesn’t budget at all (I found that here). I know it seems like a funny thing to say, but the reality is that people don’t know their own potential, just as much as I don’t know my potential– and just as with any highly successful person, my personal paradigm is shifting into a mindset where I’m no longer working for my money; I’m no longer aware of the importance of a job, personally, because I keep telling myself if I could just develop a sense of how to market, how to become an affiliate, or how to just work my mind a different way, and actually UTILIZE the power in reserve which has endearingly become called “knowledge,” then I could also enjoy a life of luxury, boat cruises, excellent savings, or even just a nice Zippo lighter to add to my collection, I could become more relaxed about life than scraping change and recycling cans and bottles just to make some extra money here and there. I know what it’s like to struggle, and I can only imagine what financial independence feels like.

Now, I’ve been finding affiliate marketing to be a wonderful niche unto itself, and this is for good reason– it is one of the most popular ways for an individual to potentially make tons of money. There are tons of resources available online, and for the last ten years I have not been utilizing the internet correctly. If you’re familiar with Uber or Lyft, you know that ride sharing is more profitable for individuals than simply re-selling physical products from your own home on eBay. Vitamin supplements are still extremely popular. There are probably more links than I can mention in this one post, because you might be looking at more characters in that post than exist in pi.

Now, I can’t guarantee to any of you out there that my method of blogging versus owning an actual brick-and-mortar business will be of any real success. I actually have to be going to bed right now, because I have to work in the morning, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can earn money while you sleep, for real? I look forward to hearing some information about how you became successful in a niche!

Overtime As A Custodian

So if you’re like me, and work a full-time job, you might hear the wails and lamenting of people who have it so hard because they have to pull overtime once in a while. I, on the other hand, tend to welcome some extra overtime work. The reason for this is because my job is not very difficult. As a custodian, there are only so many difficult things to do, which, given that I have experience, are not that difficult at all. Just a minimal amount of training over the course of a year and a half has allowed me to clean houses at breakneck speeds. I have the capacity to earn over $30 an hour based on my expertise, but I choose to clean houses once a week to avoid burnout.

So, back on track– overtime. Some people have too much of it,and it is reflected in their paychecks. It is also reflected in their health as well. I once knew of one guy who works over 100 hours a week, and had done so for a few months straight. Between the time he started and the end of that hefty chain of work he had gone from a relatively happy person to looking terribly pained. When I work overtime, however, I welcome it with open arms, because it only occurs once a year. It is to strip and wax a floor. That’s it. That’s all. Anyone with half a brain can figure out how to do this type of thing.

So what about overtime has it become such a huge deal when a certain amount of work is necessary, and a company is excessively reluctant to pay overtime? If I were the head of a company which commanded a large workload, I would most certainly be happy to pay overtime or increase the work force to accommodate for job requirements. But, in my field of work, which is basic cleaning, such a thing is unnecessary, much less unavailable except in office environments.

I’m looking at it from multiple perspectives, and I’m pretty sure I can be a one-man workforce for housecleaning. This is not a difficult arena. I can Ajax any mildew and bathtub scum away, given enough elbow grease. My vacuum cleaner is perfectly capable of whisking away dirt from hard-to-reach corners and dust bunny escapees which survived the pass of my dust mop (I need a new dust mop head). I might be relatively new to this industry, but if this isn’t the most simple way to make money, I don’t really know what is (affiliate programs notwithstanding).

The most difficult part of my job is pricing. I know I mentioned earlier that I have the capacity to earn more than $30 an hour, but if I can clean a three-bedroom house in two hours, I ought to be requesting more moneys. The problem with this is that I hate asking people for money. It might just be a comfort level thing on my end, because I certainly know I like paying people who know what they’re doing to help me with something with which I have zero experience.

Who knows? This might just be a useless article on the internet, but I would really like to hear your opinions as to how you’re charging based on house size, square footage, etc. If you’re in the cleaning industry and you have been at it for a while, and you have some advice to offer me in terms of how I should be pricing against “competitors” or other cleaners, I am all ears.

They say becoming a leader requires good listening skills, but listening doesn’t do a thing unless you apply the expertise to your repertoire of actions. I’m putting this to the test. Let me hear your words of wisdom and encouragement!


   As I sit and hear the water bubbling in the percolator on the stove, I am considering how my financial problems have been eating away at my happiness. And as a slave to debt and payments in adult life, I’m constantly reminded of how little I’ve kept for myself while others have taken from me– all the while, I believed that it was a good thing, to pay later for something I felt I had to have post haste. The thing is that I have blamed others and really taken a look at the proverbial mirror, and I’ve seen what kind of dimwit I’ve always been. But in the same breath, those who are ignorant are not ill-intended towards that which they don’t know. Sadly, this is a reality for many millions of people. They’re not taught the ways of the dollar, and how spending less by buying none of the crap you really need is not entirely discouraged. Our whole lives have revolved around buying everything on credit, or in the form of a down payment, or some other means by which to purchase something over the course of time, since you didn’t have that money to begin with.
Thus, I’ve decided it is going to take great testicular fortitude to reverse the financial damages I’ve rendered to myself. I’ve not dug myself into SEVERE debt, luckily. I rent an apartment, and so I don’t owe for a mortgage. I do have car payments, nice smart phones (ironic) for my fiancee and myself, child support arrears (definitely blaming others for my own luck)– and here it is YEARS later, and I’m coming to the realization that I had not exercised the very common sense I told people was not very common. Spouting off quotes doth not a smart man make (to make use of random, non-verbatim, and highly altered quotes as a means to prove a point). As a newly-discovered personality trait, I’ve suctioned myself down a funnel, into a twisting spiral that is reality and karma only to discover that I, myself, have lived verily as a hypocrite. And ignorant one at that.
Denial knows no boundaries, intellectual or otherwise. As it turns out, I’m a great reader! I’m an okay writer! And I’m very much sobered by this slow-but-steady reality check. As a person who has not done much in the way of intelligence at all, I’m very much sobered by the fact that I have never taken the time to even learn much about budgeting, financial intelligence, or money in general. I have heard from countless people over my lifetime: “More money would be awesome.” “I could use more money.” “If I had a million dollars, I would be set!” The unfortunate thing about desiring more money is that it would be used as a means to highly fuel one of the greater problems that we as a society have already had to face for decades: we’ll waste it on crap if we have neither the proper financial literacy nor proper discipline. We’ll buy things on credit, buy the expensive house, the expensive car, the expensive this-or-that with high maintenance costs.
Look, I’m a custodian. I know a thing or two about cleaning, and basic maintenance is not exactly rocket science to me. I can fix a gasket in a faucet, soft reset phones, figure out the damn remote for the TV, and kick the dog if it doesn’t work— just like anyone else. I do all of these things in the run-down apartment which I live, and yet when it comes to controlling my spending habits, I’m like a kid in a candy store. “Gimme this and that and all of it! Shiny! The hardest part about learning this is that I actually have to look at myself, and I see a dunce cap on a donkey. Regret sucks!
So, I’ve made it a point to really start to try some of the savings and payment exercises as expressed by a man who goes by the name Dave Ramsey. This is a person who has written a few books, held many seminars, taught millions about controlling their money, and means by which to eliminate their debts. It seems as if he not only has good content, but he knows a thing or two about what has worked for him during his lifetime.
By this time next year, if I can change my spending habits and stick to it with great diligence, then I should be out of the debt hole. But, I understand fully that it will take a monumental degree of discipline, heartache, and tantrums by my inner gimme kid. The only thing I should be investing in at this point is my knowledge of money, but it starts with the first step. All great journeys begin with the first step.
Baby step number one is to save for an emergency fund. This is almost unheard of in my household, but I’m starting off by keeping accurate count of how much I have in my emergency fund, which I will store somewhere. I’m not sure WHERE just yet, but I will have it somewhere.
As I work through the book, I’ll be keeping a sort-of journey through my Instagram. I already have a single post regarding some related reading, with a total of five or six books that I’ve been working through over the last few weeks. They are:

How To Read A Book
The 9 Steps To Financial Freedom
Rich Dad Poor Dad
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
The Total Money Makeover
Cash Flow Quadrant
Wealth 101: Wealth Is Much More Than Money

So, that’s a lot to absorb, but when I study something, sometimes I use a laser focus for extended periods of time. A lot of this is basically common sense, but it still doesn’t hurt to read a book on the subject as written by those who have actually done something to make money far in excess of what I’ve even achieved to date. If you have any awesome tips that I could use, please feel free to share with me in the comment section below!

It is morning time!

You know what that means, right? No? Well, I’ll tell you! I get to go to work! Not everyone gets to say they have a secure 9-5, and those of us who do have this option typically feel better off than the next person because their fast food job never treated them with retirement benefits, health benefits, vision care, and hourly wages of that type of magnitude! I mean, who doesn’t want to make more than $10 an hour? That extra bit of money in your hand by the next paycheck is always welcomed!

But, as you grow older, you begin to realize that things change. Your perspective begins to focus its shift away from buying extravagant items, such as an expensive pair of shoes to match your fashionable jeans which were made to look used, or another CD to add to your growing collection.. You begin instead to look forward to putting some away, what little is left after your child support is removed every paycheck. You put some here for retirement, some here for gas and electric bills, some here for diapers, most here for car payment, insurance, food, replacement socks and t-shirts, internet, phones. And then, you have to prepare for dinners, your personal breakfast foods (I like eggs, but once in a while it’s nice to just eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning).

How is there ever enough time to enjoy life with all these requirements? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I know there is no way that my life is intended to work for someone else while begging for a higher wage. At the same time, I’m glad I’m not working in fast food or part time anymore because those types of jobs were not exactly within the realm of “desirable” when it came to what began to matter most in my household. I needed something bigger for myself, and for my fiancee and her daughter. (And my dog. He’s a family member too, even if he does poo indoors BAD DOG!)

I’ve been searching for solutions to my particular set of financial problems and this blog is helping just a little bit. It gets my mind off of life for the little bit of time I’m able to come to write or make updates. At this time, I must begin to prepare for work, but if anything changes for financial betterment, then I should let you know here. I know I need to start a website, but that’s a first-of-the-month thing (which approaches rapidly).

If you have something you would like to suggest, I’m an open book! Speaking of which, please check out my book here.

If you just want to say you enjoyed it, that’s cool too. I like feedback, and critique. See you all later!

Do You Like Money? Me Too!

You know, being a coin collector is one thing. Hoarding nickels and pre-1982 Lincoln cents is basically the kind of coin collector I am. And by “hoarding,” I mean, I live paycheck to paycheck, and storing nickels for future use is my version of an emergency fund. Being that I am new to the “making money online through affiliate marketing” area of the internet, this seems to be coming off as a slow start. And you must know that I’m REALLY trying to make money online to the best of my ability through Twitter and linking here.

But, there are some success stories out there regarding an extravagant network of new marketers working part time for a relatively short period of time generating enough money, working simply part time, to quit their full-time day jobs. I would like to eventually reach that point.

Some of these programs require an up-front purchase of the entire program, and their promises to earn you several hundred dollars sound SO CONVINCING, but because $30 or $40 is actually a cut out of our budget, that seems like a large expense to me. We could use that for food, and whatnot.

Besides, how nice would that actually be? They give you the entire training program, plus a team of helpers who are skilled enough in this marketing to help you reach a point where you begin to fly on your own wings until you’ve made a full contribution towards sustaining your financial freedom and become that success story. That sounds FREAKING AWESOME.

And the other thing is, I’m a little bit insecure in making such a leap, but I’m toward a point now where I’m nearly too broke to live now (tax people say I owe some $1,200 from last year. What?!).

You know that times are bad in today’s world when someone who works as a lower-level employee in their local government is still struggling to get by. So I’m either working too hard and sacrificing my health for too little pay by working for someone else, or I’m too lazy and tired after working an eight-hour manual labor day to keep lifting a finger to do more for myself. I have noticed that I have some energy on the weekends, during which I take care of some household chores. If I had a few tools I could use, and a budget-friendly means of starting up a more realistic side income, and learned how to generate online sales and other affiliate-related things, I would be more on top of the world than I already am.

But then again, there’s a phrase or two that goes towards people like myself: “Easy come, easy go,” and, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I wonder if those quotes have withstood the test of time for a reason, heh.

Well, I do have to go because the background noise in my apartment has quadrupled and I can no longer concentrate on writing at this moment.