So there’s this incredible blog I read every single time he posts. In fact, it’s one of the best written blogs on the internet.
Check out: Single Dad Laughing
See, Dan Pearce started his blog about 10 months ago after a second failed marriage and an adopted child. Yes, he was single….he was a Dad….but he was not laughing. In fact, he was downright depressed. He began blogging all about being a parent 6-7 days a week. His articles were shared by thousands of people every single day who left hundreds of comments. In fact, over 80,000+ people have subscribed to his blog via one way or another (Facebook/Twitter/Email/RSS/Blogger) since he started it just 10 short months ago. I could go on and on about it, but I won’t. Once you check it out, you will see what I mean.
Fast foreward to today.
For the past six months, Dan has been writing a book called “The Real Dad Rules.” He was signed on by an agent back in October who pitched him to a lot of publishers, only to hear every single time.
“Fatherhood doesn’t sell.”
Okay, I’m pretty smart in marketing and I would happen to agree with them. I don’t see too many dads out there picking up books to read about how to become a better father.
We’re talking about a person who built a platform that has touched HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people over the course of just the LAST 10 MONTHS! 80,000+ of them even felt the need to subscribe in some fashion because they were so moved by the original article they saw and they wanted to see more from this brilliant writer.
I’ve seen people get book deals with little to no platforms or lists built yet. 80,000+ subscribers & an incredible writer should be a flippin’ BREEZE!!! Publishers should be fighting over this book for a 6-figure book deal.
But they’re not.
While YES he is selling fatherhood, if you’ve ever spent time on his blog, you will quickly find out that there are loads of minivan moms that also read & participate in his blog. Yes, Dan is about becoming a good father, but he is also about helping and showing parents how to be better PARENTS to their kids and to CELEBRATE the time that they have with them.
The title says it all, I know that the publishing world is on the decline…but I’ve officially lost all hope with the traditional publishing world.
Support this amazing writer and go buy a few of his books right away. It will make the perfect Father’s Day gift for that father or other fathers in your life.
Oh and by the way….once he has a NY Times Bestseller and publishers finally figured out how they messed up…..then he will have officially earned his title of Single Dad Laughing.
I just saw this little story that David Hooper posted and I love it. Thought I would share it with you.
A CEO of a Fortune 500 company pulled into a service station to get gas. He went inside to pay, and when he came out he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant. It turned out that she knew him. In fact, in high school, before she met her eventual husband, she used to date this man.
The CEO got in the car, and the two drove in silence. He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke: “I bet I know what you were thinking. I bet you were thinking you’re glad you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.”
“No,” she said, “I was thinking if I’d married him, he’d be a Fortune 500 CEO and you’d be a service station attendant.”
There’s so much truth to this story. Thanks to all the wonderful women in our lives that make our businesses possible.
What a whirlwind of emotion within the last 48 hours in the education arena for me…
48 hours ago, we had a 7 year old girl in our small community die as she was boarding the bus, because a driver wasn’t paying attention and didn’t see the flashing red lights and extended stop sign on the bus.
24 hours ago, there was a high school girl’s golf coach who was arrested for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in our state while transporting her entire team of 6 girls to the conference golf meet at 745am. She blew a .212 which is nearly three times the legal limit. That’s not the point. The point is that she was a trusted teacher and coach who was supposed to be responsible for those kids.
This morning I wake up and read CNN news only to see that a boy in Shelton, CT has been banned from going to the prom because of the way that he asked a girl to prom. Before I begin reading the article, I’m thinking to myself…he probably did something stupid like make sexual remarks, showing up drunk to school, or whatever other possible crazy things that a kid would potentially do.
JAMES TATE ASKED HIS DATE TO GO WITH HIM TO PROM BY
WRITING IT ON THE SIDE OF THE SCHOOL WITH TAPE!!!
People, TAPE, not spray paint, markers, etc. Nothing was damaged. No one was hurt. No one did anything illegal.
The big question is, what kind of message are we sending to our kids by punishing this type of positive behavior?
It’s sad that we are now punishing kids for being creative and showing COMPLETE respect for others of the opposite sex. How many other girls’ hearts fluttered that day when they walked into school? I bet every one of them. I bet many of them wished their boyfriend or someday boyfriend would do something like that for them.
What kind of messages are we sending our kids? Why are we punishing positive behavior or feel the need to micro-manage these kids?
I’m beginning to understand more and more why people are moving towards homeschooling their kids. Our educational system is nearly a disaster on so many levels.
This might be the worst book review I’ve ever done.
Not because the book is bad. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. It’s one of the most amazing business books I’ve ever read.
The reason why this is probably going to be the worst book review ever is because I’m not even done reading the book and I’m doing the review on it. I’m only 1/4 of the way done with the book. It’s a book that I can’t wait to share with all of you and that’s why I’m telling you about it right now (vs. waiting until I am done with it).
“Thou Shall Prosper” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a book I heard about while listening to the Dave Ramsey Show (which I religiously listen to). After hearing Dave reference it so many times, I finally decided to buy the book and have Amazon ship it to me immediately. You might think, “Wow, that’s not really that big of a deal,” but it is when you consider I have over 65 books on my Amazon Wishlist that are waiting to be purchased after I get done reading the current 2-3 books I am reading.
Thou Shall Prosper is really a manual on how to make money in business and we’re all in business of some sort (even in the business of ME, Inc.).
Here’s an excerpt from the book description that will just give you a hint as to what’s inside:
“The material is organized into 10 chapters of advice, beginning with the notion that “business is moral, noble and worthy,” and ending with the admonition not to retire. Throughout, Lapin urges behavior that will produce more business and, thus, more money. For example, he unabashedly recommends attending synagogue or church services in order to make business contacts. Similarly, he encourages giving charity to an organization that has members who “are in the best position to advance your business objectives.” Lapin justifies these dubious actions by interpreting the fifth commandment (“Honor thy father and thy mother”) as a mandate to form relationships for business purposes. His struggle to ground his financial advice in Jewish tradition is abandoned as he expounds an anti-environmentalist stance.”
This book has blown me away and I definitely can see this being one that I am constantly reading, studying, and applying into my life on an on-going basis because really, it is just that good. I will warn you though, it really is DEEEEEEEEP and thought provoking. It’s like a years’ worth of college all wrapped up in a book, if you take the time to apply it into your own life. Actually, if you apply all of the knowledge within this book to your own life, you will go further than any place a college degree will ever get you.
In closing, I will say that this is an incredible book so far (and judging by what I’ve skimmed beyond where I’ve read) and I have no doubts that its going to continue to build on that. I usually buy certain books by the cases to give to people whom I meet, want to touch, have a connection with, or want to see grow. Thou Shall Prosper is another one of those books (plus 3 others) that I will be buying by the case and giving to others. It’s really that good & life-changing!
I’ll be brutally honest with you. I don’t recommend that you go to many live events. Most of the ones within our industry are lovefests, pitchfests, and just a complete waste of time and hot air.
Over the past few months, I have been blessed to be part of something incredibly special.
About a year ago, I was searching around the internet for some blogs on creativity, etc. I’ve really been blown away and inspired by the amount of creativity that has been happening within the last 5 years in the modern church community. Churches like LifeChurch.tv absolutely blow me away. Both from a technology and marketing/creativity standpoint.
I felt like I had already studied and learned enough about business over the course of the last few years. It was time to shift my focus into the uncomfortable zone. Not church, but to really learn more about the creative process, etc. I came across an incredible blog by Ben Arment that just left me speechless after reading it for a while. Not only was this guy incredibly creative, but he was also an amazing thoughtleader. Searching through his site, I checked out a few of his projects and was blown away by the creativity and thought put behind each of them.
Fast forward 5 months.
One of the programs that I fell in love with when looking at Ben’s site was called, “Dream Year.” Simple, but powerful concept. One dream, one year to accomplish it. He coaches, guides, motivates, inspires, and pushes you to bring this dream into reality through this year long process. Since his time is limited, he had an application process to select around 20 people for this program who he would mentor for the next year.
Not sure why, but one day I just decided to jump off the cliff. I applied to be part of it.
The application process lasted a couple months, but when the dust was settled in December, I found out that I was accepted into the program. It seemed that my book, which I wanted to write, would become a reality very soon.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but will just tell you that I haven’t been this mentally challenged in years (in a good way). It has been one of the most incredible experiences that I have been a part of. The second coaching call that I had with Ben, we talked about my book title. He liked it, I liked it, but it just wasn’t embracing the entire concept that I was trying to portray in the book. He said, “How about this one?” and then proceeded to offer a book title that blew the roof off the house and left me in silence at my desk.
Since then I have been plugging away at several different mini-projects that will be helping to build a platform around this book and ultimately help build the buzz for the book when its ready to launch.
What’s this have to do with you?
After seeing all the response that Ben had to his year-long program, he didn’t want to be that person that held people back from pursuing their dreams, but also his time was very limited. That’s why he came up with a weekend long program that allows you to basically go through the entire year in just a short weekend at an affordable rate for anyone.
I’m not going to sit here and go on and on about it, but rather just suggest that you watch the video above, then go to www.DreamYear.net and check it out. Now there’s no excuse for you being held back from pursuing your dream. I whole-heartedly endorse this program and know you will love it. Make it happen!
I’ve officially had it….
It’s time to get out of this sewer system also known as internet marketing.
It’s getting to be beyond sick, disgusting, and so much more.
As the weeks and months pass by, more and more victims are floating up to the surface after they drowned in what they originally were told or taught that was something they could just build a site, setup a squeeze page, write some autoresponders, hook up their shopping carts, and just watch the money roll in.
Families have been broken, kids have lost their parents, truckloads of debt have piled up, and so much more as a result.
Internet marketing is getting almost to the point where it could be considered as “organized crime.” Predators putting together the next over-priced, hyper-laden course that is good enough to lure the next group of victims in. Underground mafia groups meeting in luxurious locations all across the world in order to plot and schedule their marketing and promotion schemes with each other in order to create another group of victims or re-hash old material to resell it under a different package title or with graphical images.
What ever happened to doing business the old way by building relationships with your customers and not seeking out potential victims?
My final straw this week was with Trey Smith’s latest launch of his new software. The massive amounts of e-mail that I got promoting that product made me think the end of the world was coming. Guys were willing to give away massive bonuses like $8,000+ products, coaching/consulting, their houses, families, wives, and more. Well, not really, but the massive bonuses that were being given made it seem like the product was probably inadequate. Over-the-top describes it mildly. It was sickening.
The only action I took during the campaign, was to hit the “unsubscribe” button on about 10-15 lists of various people that sent it. As much as I like seeing these things for swipe files, ideas, etc., I also feel a bit dirty when I see some of the tactics being used to create victims.
Since late 2010 I have made a commitment to move out of the internet marketing industry, use the tools/education I’ve gotten, and move more into a crowd of people that have similar morals, values, and ethics as I do. While it may not lead me to the “get rich quick” money that everyone sells, it will create the happiness and abundance that you can’t put a price tag on.
Guys, it’s time for you to man-up and take the challenge.
In about 10 days from now, women will be getting ready for their most favorite holiday of the year that’s really all about them. For me, this is also a day of celebration as it marks the end of a brutal 2.5 month stretch where I have to be creative enough to find gifts to celebrate our anniversary, Christmas, her birthday, and then Valentine’s Day that all happen during that time. Thank goodness for gift cards I guess. LOL!
Luckily over the past couple years, we’ve basically made an agreement that we’ll go somewhere or do something for our anniversary gift to one another which takes away one of my gift giving obligations during the season.
Now it’s time that I start mentally planning on what I want to do for her this Valentine’s Day. I refuse to send her flowers that are 2-3x higher priced than on any normal day. I typically try to get creative and do some alternative things. For instance, a few years ago, I hired the Barbershop Quartet to go sing her a few love songs while she was at work. Yes, she was embarrassed while it was happening, but she loved it and still talks about it.
So what am I going to do this year?
I don’t have a clue yet.
Here’s what I have decided on and I would like to challenge all you guys to do the same.
Valentine’s Day this year is on a Monday which isn’t the best day to celebrate anything. People are usually still trying to recover from the weekend. Yes, we will celebrate and do something that evening even if it is just me cooking dinner for her at home. She’ll be like every woman and expect us to celebrate it on that day.
My challenge to all you guys is to not stop there. Celebrate Valentine’s Day all week long. Plan something every single day of the week. It could just be something simple if you want, or something over-the-top if you feel motivated. For instance, she has Fridays off and I typically work until around 5pm. One of the things I am planning on doing is to surprise her by taking the day or afternoon off to just take her shopping, drink coffee, and do nothing other than spending time with her and doing something that she enjoys. The rest of the week is still open for more ideas, but I am thinking something simple things like taking lunch to her at work, giving her a gift certificate for a massage, etc.
Alright guys, step up……who’s ready to take the challenge?
We can all win together!
Let’s get straight to the point today.
Over the past 6-12 months, I have made a very conscious decision to simplify my business and really super-focus.
What did that mean?
It means that over the last 6-12 months I have lost thousands of dollars (or more) from great domain names that I have let expire, projects that I’ve just thrown away & abandoned, and many clients that I have fired.
But I’m okay with that.
People think I’m crazy, but that’s okay too.
Sometimes when you want more of something in your life, you need to clear a path & a way for it to enter your life. By having all kinds of unnecessary clutter and noise in your life, it makes it more difficult to get what you want.
While I am aware that I have lost thousands of dollars, I also know the opportunities that are ahead in the near future that would’ve never been able to make its way if I hadn’t taken this step.
What about you? What can you get rid of in your life that’s providing clutter and distraction from what you really want in life?
Today is a brand new day to start the new year.
I’m pumped about it…
But I gotta admit, I am majorly freaked out by it.
It’s the thing that not only gives me goosebumps when I think about it, but I also get tears thinking about all the lives it will effect.
Have you ever found yourself telling someone else something so profound that it ends up being like that it was meant for you instead. Well, that’s what happened to me.
For once in my life I feel like I have extreme clarity. I know what the end result will be, just not sure about the “How” yet. I just laugh thinking about the hundreds of people that I’ve coached and consulted over the years and helped them set-up their businesses, yet now that it’s my turn for this new adventure and I don’t have a clue yet as to my platform. LOL!
Yes, the answers will come soon enough. I have brought in a coach that is going to pull me in a totally different direction than what I’ve ever been pulled or known before. It’s amazing because it will force me to grow in ways that I never have and will take me to a group whom doesn’t know me or I don’t know a single person so I can get some sort of un-biased help. It will make me become even more creative than I’ve ever known. Last night I got about 3 hours of terrible sleep because of the anticipation of this day. It’s kinda like an elementary kid before their first day of school. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t….so I won’t.
The funniest part about all of this is that the new direction & adventure is that its something completely different than what I’ve done in the past. Well, I’ve done pieces of it, but not as a whole. Do I feel like what I’ve done the past 10-15 years has been a waste? Absolutely not. God put that in my life to give me the necessary training & tools in order to equip me for this much bigger movement that is in front of me.
As I said before, the biggest question right now is the “how” but I know that is something that will get answered & shown to me soon enough after my first coaching call today. The other unknown is my significant other. No, I’m not dumping her in a ditch, but I want her to be a part of this and come along for the ride to help change people’s lives. It’s one of those things where the reluctant spouse doesn’t hop on board until they can see that its really happening and a done deal. I gotta be honest with you and say I can’t blame her. I know that no matter what, I absolutely have her love and support which means everything to me. I just can’t wait to take her along this amazing journey that we are about ready to embark on.
Here’s to an amazing 2011 for all of you. Let the fun begin.
I’m officially fed up with our education system or lack of.
Instead of teaching common sense, for years they’ve been doing an amazing job of teaching non-sense.
Now some of you may think that I am bit biased since I was a mediocre (at best) high school student and a successful college drop-out.
I’m really not.
I completely understand the need for higher education for certain jobs and within various industries. I get that you need a lot of education to become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc. Most of this teaching/training happens at the college and above levels. I also know that some people just aren’t the “college” type for many reasons.
When I think about all the time I wasted in high school on useless subjects, it just makes me mad. When I see youth coming out of high school without an ounce of common sense or even a clue about life, it makes me even more mad.
If you think we’re in a down economy now, you haven’t seen nothing yet!
I Was Weird…
Like I said before, I was a mediocre high school student on most days…but I was also very weird.
I hated academic stuff. My memory was terrible trying to remember non-sense type of stuff which made my test-taking abilities also not very good. If you know school, you will know this isn’t a good combination. Schools judge their success on the scores that their students get on certain tests. I should know. I grew up in a state where the Iowa Test of Basic Skills was started in 1935 and is now used nationwide.
I was more of a hands-on learning type of person. I want to know how to do stuff and how I can apply it to my life right now. Home Ec was one of my bright spots. I was able to take a certain amount of ingredients and whip it up into a fantastic creation in no time at all. This is a skill that I still use each and every day of my life.
As a hands-on type of person, I struggled badly with my academics.
Why should I have to read some of these non-sense books that I don’t enjoy. What’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” going to teach me about creating a great life. This non-sense book reading stuff is the reason that my parents still make fun of me for reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” once and using it as a book report three different times in three different grades.
Once I got home from school, I would read business books like, “Think & Grow Rich,” “E-Myth,” “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” etc. and personal development books like, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” How to Win Friends & Influence People,” “Awaken the Giant Within.” I’d also listen to audio programs from people like Tony Robbins, Jay Abraham, Denis Waitley, etc. I couldn’t tell you a single thing we learned in school that day, but I could tell you all about the core 5 principles of the latest book that I was reading at the time.
Yes, I know I was weird.
The Next Chapter of My Life
I tried college…..for six weeks.
I would sit in class and listen to complete useless non-sense. Yes, I care & have respect for what happened in the World Wars, but how’s that help me now that I’ve graduated high school and need to do something with my life.
I would also sit in a business class learning from people who had never owned a single business in their entire life. They taught theory & philosophy about business. They were basically just reciting out of the book they choose as the curriculum for the course that was written, most likely, by another person who had never owned a business either.
Oh, I’m paying for this?
Between listening to the non-sense, I was thinking in my head how much money I wasn’t making (on the business I started in high school & was still running) while sitting in class and how much debt I was accruing and would continue to accrue over the course of four years, just to basically come out and either own a business (which I already had one) or work in the corporate world.
I finally walked out of the college scene and splashed my face with a big cold dose of reality.
Many would think that at that point in time I would be completely done with learning as most would be.
I had just begun.
My Million Dollar Education
Over the past 14 years of my life, I have literally bought and attended hundreds of thousands & dollars worth of educational tools to get me to where I am today. I’ve read, listened to, attended events, studied, every subject imaginable not only to make me a better business owner, but also to mold me into the person I am today.
Most of my friends (many former) & classmates are deeply in debt, not happy with life, have a $40,000 piece of paper from a college, work at a dead-end job that pays them nothing & takes up their life, and are still as completely lost in life as they were the day they stepped out of high school.
I don’t say this stuff to brag about myself, but rather to show you how my self-education has paid huge dividends by learning some common sense things. I am able to live a happy, free, & purposeful life that I can operate on a schedule I want, in order to give me the life experiences I choose because of the things I have learned along the way and continue to commit to learning every single day.
Most people don’t have that willpower to devote the time & necessary resources to learn that stuff outside of a classroom. That’s why it must start being implemented within our educational systems today and reinforced through the home.
If I was in charge of the Education Department…
Here are some of the common sense things I would make sure schools would teach to every single student before they left:
- Learn how to balance a checkbook.
- Putting together an effective budget & stick to it.
- What is a 401k?
- What are mutual funds and how can they they can help you longterm.
- How to buy a home that is within your budget & that you can afford.
- How to have a healthy relationship.
- Not just being told to “go eat lunch” but knowing what is in your lunch, why it is healthy, and how you can incorporate those healthy habits into your own life.
- How to hustle.
- How to take pride in yourself.
- How to give unconditional love.
- How to vote and why it’s important for you to go out and vote each and every election.
- How to stay out of debt.
- What are the various types of mortgages & pros/cons of each.
- How to write every day things like resumes, letters, and more.
- How to use proper punctuation so you don’t look like an idiot when it counts.
- How to find out your passion and do what you love.
- How to deal with death.
- How to dress appropriately for the occasion.
- How to figure out if college is really for you or not.
- How to bust your tail in college and come out nearly debt free.
- How to deal with a crappy boss you’ll have someday.
- How to create your own job.
- Time management/organizational skills.
- How to start thinking about retirement.
- Critical thinking.
- How to give.
- How to show compassion.
- How to do basic auto maintenance.
- Basic household maintenance.
- How to do basic cooking.
- How to be a good friend & choose good friends.
- How to deal with people.
- How to communicate in two languages.
- ...and the list could go on and on.
Yes, I know I am going to hear two points of view from people.
1. The school already teaches some of this stuff. Yes, I agree they do, but they don’t use these type of things as a measuring stick to measure the success of a student before they leave high school. They use inaccurate test scores that really don’t tell the whole story. That’s where they’re missing the boat.
2. This is the parents job. No, this is the schools job first and the parents need to know what’s going on at school to reinforce and continue the learning at home. You know how crappy I would be at stuff if I only did it once a day for less than an hour? Not good. The fact that I am constantly working on stuff and always reinforcing it, makes the difference.
As I said before, you think the economy stinks right now…just wait until the next one when this group of clueless-common-sense, but textbook-educated-kids get in the real world. When they don’t know how to save money, aren’t motivated to get jobs, don’t know how to do the basic things, always rely on parents, etc. then you will experience the harsh reality of not teaching the common sense stuff.
Our parents who were taught to save fairly well, put money away for retirement, buy a home that they could afford, are the ones that are really experiencing the shift in the economy right now. They didn’t have technology to take care of everything for them. They actually had to work hard, develop the common sense & critical thinking in order do what they wanted. Kids don’t have to do it as much these days. I think a large portion of this is because technology which gives us nearly everything we want in a short amount of time.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I think that we as a society need to really step up and take charge of teaching kids all these life skills. I think the education system has got to change. With an average of 70% of kids going to college and only 55% of them graduating within six years, more kids now than ever, need life skills that will help them go further in life especially when you consider the average cost of four years of college being $60,000+. According to statistics, the average high school kid has a 38.5% chance of walking out of high school and graduating college within six years.
What about the other 61.5% of students who just slipped through the cracks?
Again, why aren’t we teaching more common sense and life skills in our educational system?
It’s gotten to a point where some kids can’t afford to go to college and that’s why its now up to the business world to really invest into more on-the-job training programs and pay based on hard work instead of a fancy piece of paper from a college. Corporate America needs to start caring for the human well-being element and provide ongoing education & training to allow the employees to become better people. Believe me, if you do this, the people within your organization will notice and show much more appreciation for their job.
Sorry for ranting like a politician, but this is something I am so very passionate about. There is nothing more that I hate than seeing people struggle in life. You’re only given one life, so give yourself the tools, time, and education, to make it into the most incredible experience ever while you’re here.
End of rant.
Post your thoughts below & share this with others…
The past couple weeks have honestly seemed like a blur to me. The only thing I can remember happening is that we got nailed with snow 4 different times which means we will have a white Christmas.
One of the biggest things that has happened over the past couple weeks is that I was accepted into a coaching program that I applied to be part of back in October. It will be a year long experience.
One of the reasons that I applied is to really experience a totally different kind of growth in 2011. I have a very good sense of marketing, business, sales, etc., but I really want to up my game in the area of creativity and personal development. This is going to be an amazing group of strangers who are going to be learning from some brilliant minds.
The other reason is personal. I am ready to spend the next year really focusing on an amazing book I’ve wanted to write since I’ve experienced my most recent mid-life crisis. LOL! The problem with most authors is that they write a book, but have absolutely no business model to make money from it. Then they become a normal broke author. I want nearly all of the components and strategy on paper before I even begin writing a book. I know this isn’t “normal” but that’s okay…if you know me, then you’ll know I’m very far from normal. HAHA!
The coolest part about the book is that back when I was applying to be one of the chosen few in the coaching program, I really put my heart into the application, and then just let God decide if it was the right fit. I promised myself that if I was accepted then the book was going to become a definite reality. I had absolutely zero expectations.
It’s awesome to think that 2011 is going to be a year of continued growth and even more amazing life experiences. I can’t wait.
As many of you know, last week I wrote a blog post for Best Life Design about giving. Unfortunately, for most people they have to think about giving. For my wife and I, it has turned into a lifestyle. I’m not saying that we are like Rick Warren and give away 90% of our income and live on just 10% (although that would be awesome), but we are continuously giving to something.
Just last night I had an experience that I had and wanted to share with you. I saw this come across my Twitter screen, took action, and then earlier today I had the thought that I should share it with everyone here to show them just how quickly and easy it is to give and make a huge difference.
For the past year, I have been following Shay Kelley and Project 50/50 on both Twitter and Facebook after seeing her featured on CNN. Shay lost her marketing job last year and after yelling at God and asking Him for her purpose in life, she finally got an answer…Travel 50 states in 50 weeks, collect canned food, and take a ton of pictures. After that, she bought a 1984 pick-up truck and headed out on the road. Some nights she sleeps on the streets, some nights in her truck, other nights she has stayed with people whom have opened up their homes.
While I could continue and talk on and on about her and her journey, you can see it for yourself at her website www.ShayKelley.com
Along the way, she took a lot of amazing photos that tell stories beyond words, audio, and also wrote about her experience. While she has vowed that there will be at least one book that comes from this, I have a bigger feeling that there will be a movie in the future about her journey.
That brings you up to speed about Project 50/50 and Shay’s story.
Last night I was hanging out on Twitter while talking to a couple team members and I see this post from Shay…
Here is the conversation that followed:
Within three hours and for less than $40, I was able to give a man a pair of shoes in a state that I have never even stepped foot in.
This post isn’t meant to brag, but rather to show you that while you might not think whatever you do matters or that you can’t give that much….think again and JUST GIVE! It will make a huge difference in the life of someone, somewhere.
When the holiday season comes around, I am constantly reminded of the old saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
As a child, I thought, “That’s absolutely crazy. I sure as heck would rather get a bunch of presents than spending all my allowance to give away presents to others.”
As an adult, I can safely say that there really isn’t anything I “need” and I would rather give now. In fact, I have adopted this as more of a lifestyle not just throughout the holiday season, but throughout the entire year. I can tell you, without a doubt, I get way more out of giving than I ever did from receiving gifts.
You might be saying to yourself, well I don’t have a lot of money to give.
Here are just some of the ways that my wife and I have given in the past year that didn’t seem like much but had a HUGE impact in the lives of those that were touched.
- For my birthday, my wife asked what I wanted. Not really needing a thing, I told her that I wanted to sponsor two kids through Compassion International. We selected a 4 year old boy from Guatemala and a 15 year old girl from the Philippines. There were several reasons why we chose these two, but most importantly, the girl and I share the same birthday and the boy and my wife share the same birthday. This makes it super easy to remember because not only are we providing them with monthly support but we also give them each a birthday gift (on our birthdays) and their family a Christmas gift. The cost of making this impact? $38 x 2 kids = $76.
The super cool part about this is that not only do we send them financial support, but we also get letters from them every 2-4 months. For the older girl, she writes good English and tells us all about her family, school, church, etc. While the boy is too young to write, his agency worker writes us some notes about him and he usually draws us some sort of picture to go with the letter. The refrigerator art is a constant reminder of the huge impact you are making not only in a child’s life, but also in that family’s life too.
- During this past Thanksgiving, a local organization that we are part of decided to sponsor some families to provide them with Thanksgiving meals. One donor in the community provided the majority of the money for the 20 or so families that we sponsored. My wife and I gave $50 to sponsor an additional two families. Again, stay home one night with your family versus going out to eat and you would be able to provide Thanksgiving for two families who otherwise wouldn’t have it. In my eyes it’s a simple decision.
- Most recently we decided to get a portion of our house re-carpeted. I made the unfortunate mistake of going shopping on Black Friday with my wife. LOL! Three hours later, I was finally heading back to the in-laws after having purchased a new living room of furniture (my wife sold me on how good of a deal it was, LOL!). When we got back to Iowa, we had no clue what we were going to do with our older furniture. I really wanted to get rid of it before I had to move it three times to get carpet laid in the house. I couldn’t it by the curb for someone to pick-up because we already have snow. I didn’t want store it in my garage all winter and give the mice a warm place to snuggle. I decided that I would just throw a post on Facebook, “PM me if you or anyone you know is looking for living room furniture. Free for the hauling.” Within minutes I had a PM from a girl who knew a guy that needed it. Arrangements were made and he was coming over a few days later to pick up the furniture.
He and I chatted when he arrived. It happened that he was a good guy, good job, EMT, training to be a cop, etc. that just happened to be going through a very messy divorce. His ex-wife literally took everything. The first piece of furniture that he had in his house would be the stuff we gave him. I didn’t ask, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. I asked him if they would like a perfectly working 25″ TV (that I would have to pay to throw away) and he said yes, as that would be the only TV they would have in the house. You could just tell that he was very happy. In fact, he even said that for the first time in many weeks/months that his kids would finally be able to watch cartoons and he would be able to watch the news.
Looking back, I think that experience was more of an eye-opener for my wife than it was for me. For her, she was constantly worried that our stuff wasn’t good enough for another person, who they were, did they really need it, why would they want it, and 100 other questions that raced inside her head. For me, I was just happy to get rid of the furniture right away and was happy that it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving family.
There you have it. Just a sample of three things that we’ve done over the past six months that have cost very little, but have had some MAJOR impact on the lives of at least five families. Throughout the year, we continue to do various things that impact others such as donating clothes, mentoring, volunteer, help the food shelf, etc.
Its up to you to decide what you’d like to give, but give at least a little. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Turn off freaking reality tv every night and do something.” Even with just one hour a week, you can make a HUGE difference in the lives of others. I can promise you that if you start doing this, you will get far more out of it than those who you are giving to. In fact, check out this video of Narayanan Krishnan who gave up a career as a chef to feed the homeless three meals a day in Madurai, India. Absolutely inspiring.
Click on the picture to watch the video.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you were able to spend some time thinking of the so many ways that you are blessed. One of the things that I am most thankful for is to be able to live out my dreams for the past 15+ years as a entrepreneur. It has provided me not only with an amazing life, but also amazing experiences and the ability to meet some of the most amazing people from all over the world.
Too many people have too many excuses or things that they feel are holding them back from following their dreams. They also let others try to talk them away from pursuing their dreams. This is a great reminder for all of us to either “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”
This is done so brilliantly and spoken so beautifully.
Sometimes we think revenge is the only way we can get back at another person. The truth is that most times you can kill them with love and they will not only be shocked, but even end up respecting you more in the end.
Try it sometime. It might just surprise you.