BABL 079: Solocast-It’s Not Goodbye, Just See You Later

A Solocast from Adam revealing what he has been up to and where he is headed! This is one you won’t want to miss.

The next BIG move is on the way… Stay Tuned. This is not goodbye, this is see you later.

 

 

BABL 078: Paying for School Like a Boss with Jocelyn Pearson, Founder of The Scholarship System

Imagine leaving college, having lived abroad for a semester, studied, played and had as many experiences as you wanted, and owing not one red cent!

Jocelyn Pearson did exactly this. As the oldest of 5 kids, one of the first in her family to pursue a 4 year degree, and knowing that her family didn’t have the money to cover her entire tuition, she set out to find free money in the way of scholarships and grants enough to cover her entire college career.

As a junior in high school, Jocelyn began submitting applications into those bogus scholarship drawings, believing that if she just applied for as many as she could she would eventually win some of them. After an entire year of not winning, she decided to change her strategy and go after the applications that had an essay as a component (having won the ONE essay application she turned in as a junior). That’s when her winning streak began.

As a senior, Jocelyn won a number of smaller awards, and took those winnings to heart by continuing apply all the way through her senior year in college.

Fast forward to graduation, Jocelyn found herself working for a large multi-national company in a leadership rotational program. While she loved the people and the challenges, the work itself left her somewhat uninspired, and the raises had very little to do with her overall productivity. That, in the end, was what made her decide to pull the ripcord and leave the comfort of the corporate plane she had been riding in for the past couple of years. For Jocelyn, the key for her was to find something that allowed her to provide an amazing service, to make money based on her activity, and ultimately control her future.

To make the leap from corporate life to being self-employed, Jocelyn says she minimized her expenses to the minimal level, figured out how much she needed to last for 6 months with no income, and set a plan to replace her income in the first 6 months. After that, it was all about hustling to make it happen. And she has, within the first year, Jocelyn has replaced her income from that corporate job and helped hundreds of families find tens of thousands of dollars in free money.

The big picture for Jocelyn is she’d like to see her program and book The Scholarship System in front of as many students as humanly possible. Parents will often approach Jocelyn at speaking events or on webinars and ask what should they do given that they themselves are still paying off debt and now have students that need co-signers. The challenge, it seems, is growing from one generation to the next.

Around the 21:00 mark, I asked Jocelyn what kind of mindset shift she had to make in order to make the leap from corporate to solo. Her interesting answer included not pursuing her own passion, seeing a structure that no longer promises safety and security, and wanting to get paid for the work she did.

The one book that Jocelyn credits with changing her mindset over all others is The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. On the day she left her job, she pulled out the book and flipped to a page that had the following line highlighted: Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Whether it was cosmic or karmic or whatever, Jocelyn said it spoke to her immensely.

Books recommended by Jocelyn:

The Millionaire Messenger by Brendan Burchard

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The Bible by … oh, you know.


For more information about Jocelyn and her programs, check out:
www.TheScholarshipSystem.com

BABL 077: Solocast- What will 2016 bring?

 

Hey life architects, Adam Carroll with a solocast for the beginning of 2016. Today I’m digging out my crystal ball and looking to the future to tell you what to expect in the building of your own bigger life.

This podcast is really meant to give you a glimpse into the trends I’m watching as I plan out the next year and beyond in my business and life. And, depending on who eventually is elected president, I may cash in all my chips and buy a condo in the Caymans and peddle shell jewelry on the beach. Heck, we’ll make it a family affair — I’m sure my kids could sell the heck out of unique t-shirts going chair to chair.

The reason I wanted to record this particular podcast is I think looking forward is essential to planning. Sure, most of what you’ll hear over the next several minutes is speculation, but it’s also based on history and facts that I can corroborate. Nothing that you’ll hear is stuff pulled from my backside…. though it may be pulled from the backside of our Federal Reserve, our nation’s investment system, and possibly our political environment.

Yes, let’s start there, with politics.

Without a doubt we will have presidential hopeful shenanigans. I was listening to Pandora this morning while writing and the ads that kept coming up were for presidential hopefuls bashing each other. What a country we live in where instead of talking about the issues, we just bash the backgrounds of those we are running against. Because I live in Iowa and we’re the first caucus state, the environment is ripe with negativity. Every single one of the egos running for president is doing their damnedest to sideswipe the others.

I checked out the most recently running ads and decided what each was telling me about the candidate, so here they are in no particular order:

Jeb, who is doing his best to separate himself from the Bush name by adding an exclamation point to the end of his name, (I like to call him Jeb!) puts people to sleep according to an ad by Trump.

Bernie is flat out crazy and can’t defend a microphone let alone the US.

Trump is a dictator, disguised as a self-made businessman, and is terribly angry at most everyone.

Rubio appears to be a flip-flopper, and according to my wife has huge ears, (not a reason NOT to vote for him, but look at them next time, she’s right.)

Cruz likes guns and carpet bombing terrorists and quite frankly he scares the shit out of me.

and Hillary, according to most every ad shown in my market is on the FBI watch list and should be convicted of dozens of crimes against humanity.

The bottom line is this is the pool that we have to draw from and as a result of the relative unknowns out there, I believe that what we’ll see in 2016 is a very volatile stock market. None of them, in the primaries at least, have shared a formal plan for “saving” our economy, when what I believe actually needs to happen is a major market correction so companies can begin pouring the cash they have on the sidelines into value based stocks. You’d be hard pressed to find one of those at the moment.

There are two glaring issues on the horizon that, in my opinion, will rear their ugly heads this year. The first is the sub-prime car loan market which has absolutely exploded in the past 3-5 years. According to the WSJ, top regulators are sounding the alarm about the $70B in car loans that have been written to people with a 620 or below credit score. The issue, it seems, is these loans have been packaged into collateralized debt obligations and sold to investors. You might remember CDO’s from back in 2007 and 2008 — they were pretty much the reason the housing market took a huge dump do to under and non performing mortgages. The theory is the same thing could happen in car loans.

The silver lining is the banks can always repo the cars and sell them again to borrowers who can barely qualify. Not to worry, we’ll just get you into a car loan at 18% interest over 8 years. That should make it better. (it’s called sarcasm.)

For something that can’t be repossessed and will also rear it’s ugly head in 2016, let’s look at student loans. Right now there is $1.3T in student loans (almost $1.4) and it’s growing at over $3500 a second. According to the CBO, 1 in 4 student loans will default in 2016. That’s 25% of the loans in repayment (only $600B). What will happen to the other $700B — only time will tell. Default, by the way, only occurs after 180 days of not making a payment. Car loans are around 90-120.

Both of these issues will have an effect on the economy, though to what extent, no one really knows.

What we do know is the Federal Reserve’s Money Honey Chairwoman Janet Yellen has made the proclomation that interest rates WILL be trending upward over the coming quarters and years. No idea how much or how fast that will go, but because our economy is supposedly on the mend, it seems a good a time as any to begin easing up the interest rates that have remained close to zero for a good long while.

What you may not know is that an increase in interest rates from the Fed pushes up interest rates on a number of things like variable credit cards, car loans, home equity lines of credit and yes, new mortgages. Now this will be the big adjustment for 2016 — interest rates on 30 year fixed mortgage products that could go above 5% or more. What this means to Joe and Jane consumer is their house will come down in price. The reason being when you have a set amount budgeted for your house payment and you start looking for places to live, there is going to be downward pressure on home valuations so that people can continue to afford the payment on their new properties. Not sure how much at this point, but you will most likely NOT see appreciation on your property in 2016. or 17 perhaps. It’s good if you’re in the market to buy, neutral if you’re staying put, and could be negative if you’re thinking of selling in the coming months.

When the market does adjust to interest rates, and especially as adjustable rates go up you’ll begin to hear about people deleveraging. This means you’ll have society as a whole paying down debts because the monthly holding costs are increasing. I bet we see a fair number of bankruptcy filings as well, but the legislation on that may be changing too.

In order to get some of those debts paid off, we’ll see a brand new genre of people making money on the side. On episode ____ I interviewed Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation and he shared ways that some of his guests have been making money on the side. This will become more and more common. It’s predicted at this point that by the year 2020 nearly half of our population will be independent contractors, not working for one company, but for many.

If any or all of this frightens you, please don’t be worried. My last bit of advice is really geared for my Build a Bigger Life audience — 2016 will be whatever you make of it. In down economic years, I’ve only always made more. I think the same will be true for you. It’s my honest to God belief that what we take in on a regular basis begins to cloud our judgment, so the more you see of negative stuff, the more you tend to believe it’s negative. All the more reason for you to soak in the good news, revel in successes, and learn from the setbacks. In EP 3 I interviewed my friend Chad Carden who often gives the advice from the late Wayne Dyer — When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Great advice for building a bigger life. So for this week and beyond, focus on the positive, live to your core values, and ask bigger questions. It’s a pleasure to spend time with you.
See you soon…

BABL 076: Farissa Knox on Empowering Your Own Career

Farissa Knox gets to wake up every day and do whatever she likes. The benefit to her is the brands she’s choosing to build she is immensely passionate about.

Farissa owns RLM Media, a boutique media buying agency, as well as the app WhatRUWearing, a social application for fashionistas to share their daily clothing choices.

Not thinking entirely about being an entrepreneur, Farissa found herself in 2008 working for a company that was going bankrupt. She immediately started thinking about getting another job when her husband threw out the idea of working with the clients she had been working with previously. Farissa sent out 5 texts while driving in the car with her husband and all 5 confirmed their desire to continue working with this newly minted business owner.

Farissa knew that she’d either have to work like a slave in the business, doing most of the work herself, OR she could bite the bullet and hire people to help her do the work. This decision proved to be the linchpin for her success because she was ultimately committed to the success of a “business” not just her doing the work.

Around the 10:00 mark, Farissa talks about being raised in an entrepreneurial environment, her mom running an in-home daycare and managing everything that went along with that. What her parents gave her was the belief that any dream she put her mind to she could accomplish.

Bouncing back from the down times has been a tremendous learning opportunity for Farissa — figuring out how to make payroll or covering an expense that a client refused to pay for. These situations have forced Farissa to learn, to buckle down and accomplish what she sets out to do. In the long run, her goal is to be acquired by an agency who appreciates the work they do.

Farissa’s love of fashion (and what you’re wearing says about you) led her to create an application that allows women to share what they’re wearing on a daily basis. “We can see what celebrities are wearing every day, but what if you aren’t getting your clothes shipped in from France every day? How do we see what the average women who loves fashion is wearing every day. This was the reason behind WhatRUWearing?

Knox says what people are looking for is an exclusivity around social media experiences where the users they’re around are people like them. When everyone on the app is ‘into’ the same thing, and they don’t have to waste time getting rid of pictures of kids in their feed, they’re far more engaged. High engagement = higher profitability.

The overwhelming source of users for WhatRUWearing has come from campus ambassadors on various college campuses recruiting their friends to use the app. The WhatRUWearing girl loves a great deal, loves how clothes make them feel, but isn’t about the label.

When I asked Farissa how long she went without a paycheck, she said right now she doesn’t pay herself anything right now. Instead, her income is invested back into the company because as she puts it, “I am my own retirement plan.” How freakin’ cool is that?

Books recommended by Farissa:

Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Farissa’s Book

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Love, Sex and Friendship in No Particular Order

 

For more of Farissa, check out: www.FarissaKnox.com
Farissa’s answer to what does building a bigger life mean to you was profound: You can’t build a bigger life by yourself, it’s all about who you surround yourself with #Truth

BABL 075: Setting Goals and Overcoming Obstacles with David Andrews of The 30 Day Sobriety Solution

Dave Andrews is an author, speaker, and transformational coach about to launch a book called the 30 Day Sobriety Solution with co-author Jack Canfield. Dave’s life’s work is about helping other people take possession of their lives, overcome addictions, and achieve their biggest life goals. And on this episode, he gets super real about his drinking habits, the enormous life event that changed his path forever, and how this impactful book came about.

Dave had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol from the time he was in high school and college. In Dave’s own words, he felt better about himself when he was drinking. He thought other people found him more interesting, he fit in better, and a host of other falsehoods that he eventually realized.

Two major events happened for Dave that caused him to change his path. The first was waking up in a hotel room covered in vomit, a room littered with alcohol bottles and food containers, a trail leading from the bathroom to the bed, and the realization that he very well should have died that night but was spared for some reason. This 3 day binge he was on was after 43 days of sobriety which he described as a struggle. He came home to his wife and daughters and vowed to change his ways forever.

The second event was the passing of a close friend of his. A very successful, very talented brain surgeon who struggled with alcoholism unbeknownst to most people. Dave looked up to this person as someone that had everything going for him, a model of someone he could become in sobriety. Then one fateful day, the brain surgeon relapsed and took his own life with a shotgun. Sitting at the funeral and taking in the faces of the family that he left, Dave realized that he himself was not far from this situation. His commitment to remain sober was locked in.

Dave’s sobriety anniversary is August 16th, 2008 and he is now thriving in this new chapter of his life, now 7+ years in the making.

One of the things you’ll notice about Dave in the interview is he is a constant consumer of personal development literature and psychology. Programs from Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Steve Harrison had Dave asking the best questions of himself. Proof, according to Dave, that the quality of your life is the quality of the questions you’re asking yourself.

One of the questions that Dave used over and over again, that ultimately got him his book deal with Jack Canfield is: What would have to happen in order for X to happen? In the case of the 30 Day Sobriety Solution, the question he asked Jack was: What would have to happen for you to agree to writing this book with me?

(Dave tells the story about how he used some guerrilla techniques to get to Jack around the 21:00 mark.)

When I met Dave in February of 2014, he was carrying a bundle of notecards that had every goal written down with a very clearly written description on the front and a photo of what that looked like on the back. He would pull them out daily, read the cards, and visualize what it would be like to achieve each of them. It was profoundly important for me to see someone actually using the strategies that personal success gurus have been touting for years. Dave simply took it to a completely new level.

Dave describes around the 26:00 mark what having those goal notecards did for him. They ultimately activate the Reticular Activating System in your brain which begins to assimilate data you’re seeing, reading, or hearing as if it’s there to help you achieve your goals. One of Dave’s goals was to get a $450,000 book deal for The 30 Day Sobriety Solution, and in the end, Dave and Jack signed a record 7-figure book deal — this is rarely if ever heard of in today’s publishing world.

Setting goals for 2016 is incredibly powerful. According to Dave, just the act of writing the goals down is energy put into the achievement of them. Even if you never looked at them again, there’s tremendous power in the process. Most powerful of your goals is your Breakthrough Goal – this is the goal that, if achieved, would make every other goal you have massively easier.

 

Dave is a part of both mastermind groups and accountability partnerships and counts both of those in the top 5 reasons for his success in the past few years. His mastermind group allows him to bounce ideas off of each of them, gain different perspectives, and often get the nudge to do the things he feels nervous about. His mastermind has come about by attending personal development workshops and seminars and connecting with people that he both looks up to and admires.

Books recommended by Dave:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Way of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Brian Johnson of Entheos.com

 

To get more of Dave and his work, check out: www.T30D.com

 

BABL 074: Making Money Saving Money with Lauren Greutman, I Am That Lady

Lauren Greutman, otherwise known as ‘That Lady’ from IAmThatLady.com, and her husband Mark are in the middle of building the New American Dream. Working side-by-side on a daily basis, the Greutmans made a decision to “retire Mark early” from his job as an actuary and focus on building their business, their blog, and their podcast at IAmThatLady.com.

What started as a part-time blog for Lauren, writing about extreme couponing, money saving principles, and how to raise a family on less is now a thriving business that supports Lauren and her family of 6.

Check out Lauren’s Financial Renovation Course! In the free course, she’ll share:

√ Learn how to create a budget

√ Learn how to stick to that budget

√ Learn a complete financial blueprint for success

√ Talk about how to get your spouse on board

√ Discover how to create a financial plan that WORKS!

√ A special opportunity to go even deeper!

Lauren and Mark’s origin story probably sounds much like a majority of Americans. They found themselves $40,000 in credit card debt, driving cars they could barely afford, living in a house that most 40 year olds would love — at the age of 25. While both had great jobs and high income, they found themselves struggling to make ends meet living this Big Spender lifestyle.

Lauren was, at the time, addicted to spending. She freely admits she loved buying ‘stuff’ whether it was throw pillows for the couch or bigger items that just made her feel good. By the time she realized that they were seriously in over her head, she spread all the bills out on the bed and had a heart to heart with Mark. Lauren said Mark was “very supportive” and that his approach was simply to “get the problem under control”.

So they got honest, they got serious, and they got intent on getting themselves out of the situation of living off of credit. Within two years, they had downsized everything — moved out of their sprawling home and into an 800 square foot rental home, got rid of the expensive cars, and formed a budget that worked for them. They sold massive amounts of furniture and “stuff” on craigslist, raising thousands of dollars to pay down the debt.

During this period of their marriage, both Mark and Lauren realized the challenges that come with a full-time job with a major commute and a collicky baby. While Mark spent hours a day driving to and from the job, Lauren tried to build the business while simultaneously raising their 4 children. As Lauren’s income from the business grew, her patience with the current situation waned.

And so, as a result of buckling down, paying off debt, and building a bigger life, Mark quit his (high paying job) as an actuary and is now helping Lauren build IAmThatLady.com, testing recipes and posting the successes on the site that is rapidly growing in popularity. The two of them also record their own podcast where they talk through the events of their life, how to save, and often answering the questions of their fan base.

When asked what she would tell a family in the same situation they found themselves in, Lauren had this to say:

 

  1. Figure out what values you hold. Lauren and Mark have a financial bucket list about where their money should go. “If you value sending your kids to college, but you can’t afford your grocery bill, then maybe you shouldn’t spend $200 on cable every month.” Living in accordance with your financial goals should be about spending money where it most makes sense for your family. Too many families today aren’t living in accordance with their family values when it comes to their spending.
  2. Setting a budget. Knowing how much you have to spend actually liberates you to a certain extent, according to Lauren. She and Mark operate on a cash basis, even though she admitted to forgetting the cash now and again and using the debit card (something that causes frustration with Mark and his numerous spreadsheets!). Whether it’s a budget or a spending plan, the key is to know how much is coming in and how much is going out.
  3. Get excited about where you’re going financially. Set long term goals, make a plan for what you most want to accomplish, and get excited about the possibilities! Lauren says it’s the plan for their future that keeps them plugging along in their business. Their future goals today are around creating even more freedom for others by sharing their successes.

 

I read a beautiful post that Lauren wrote about what it means to her to have her husband by her side in creating this business. Super touching, super raw – Lauren wrote it at a time when they were trying to justify Mark leaving a job he’d trained his entire life to get. Please read Being Broke Is Enough by Lauren Greutman to get a sense of their ‘Why’ behind the major decisions they made around their financial life.

 

Lauren has had some extremely cool opportunities in the past few weeks including segments that have aired on Good Morning America and The Today Show.

 

Books that Lauren recommends:

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

The Money Saving Secrets of The Amish

 

Find more Lauren at www.IAmThatLady.com

as well as her:

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter accounts.

Listen in on their Life On A Budget podcast.

BABL 073: The Debt Free Guys on Money Conciousness

John Schneider and David Auten, collectively known as “The Debt Free Guys” are two 30-something professionals who found themselves in a deep dark debt hole just a few years ago living life the way that they “assumed” life was supposed to be: Dinners out, expensive clothes, living at full speed, and at times keeping up with the Joneses.  At this point in their lives, they were living in a basement apartment, dreaming about buying vacation homes in faraway cities, and facing the reality of being $51,000 in credit card debt, essentially living day-to-day on borrowed money.

The overwhelming debt load, coupled with their low light basement apartment, made it feel like their world was getting darker, not lighter. So, they began to shed light on their finances in a major way. They way they got more in touch with their money consciousness, realizing that if they were going to achieve everything they wanted to, they’d have to get serious about blasting away their debt.

As a starting point, David put every expense in a spreadsheet including every Einstein bagel and coffee, every lunch out, every $30 quick trip to the grocery store. And after looking at these numbers critically, they realized that David was the nickel and dime guy and John was the big spender, often buying $3-500 pairs of jeans, and more shoes to add to his growing collection. What became apparent was both partners in this couple were guilty of sabotaging their collective financial future – just in different ways.

Fast forward just a couple of years and David and John are living a debt free life and encouraging others to do the same. Having blasted away $51,000 in high interest debt in just under two years, the dynamic debt-free duo put their financial planning into overdrive. They followed a very simple process to knock out the debts, and have written about their experience in the book The Four Principles Of A Debt Free Life. Their book on living debt free features four principles to help others blaze the path that the two of them traveled just a short while ago. The four principles are:

  1. Be Money Conscious. Understanding where you’re spending, how you’re spending, and WHY you’re spending is critical to getting a handle on your finances in a major way. Once David and John understood their own money consciousness, they tamed the debt tiger and began building real wealth.
  2. Cash Is King. Both of the debt free guys said that when using credit cards to fund their lifestyle, it was way too easy to splurge and think nothing of it. By using cash instead, they have pulled back on some of the spendier purchases that used to be done on a whim. (Like the $500 John dropped at Diesel in 10 minutes because he had ‘nothing to wear’ one Wednesday night on the town. Hear this story around the 30:00 mark!)
  3. Have A Financial Plan. More than anything, the DFGs say this is key to staying on track. Much like taking a vacation but having no plan in place for where you’re going or when, NOT having a financial plan makes it too easy to stray from your goals when temptation arises.
  4. Live Below Your Means. In Build A Bigger Life speak, we’d say build a bigger life not a bigger lifestyle. Keeping up with the Joneses is what got David and John in the mess they were in from the beginning. But living below their means is the key to a life well lived for them.

According to David, being money conscious and having a financial plan are the two anchors because when you realize how much money you’re making and how much you’re spending, you can really begin to dial in to what are the most important things to spend money on. Travel is a focus for David and John, opting for great trips instead of $50,000 cars.

John commented on the show that people will often question how they can afford to take these incredible trips when they’re debt free. “People think debt free is synonymous with being broke”. It’s more about knowing where you’re going to focus your financial efforts to live the best life possible.

One of the ‘tricks’ that David and John use is very simply — Excel. They track what they spend and where they spend on a regular basis, as well as tracking their net worth on sometimes a weekly basis. David says seeing progress keeps them on the path of making great financial decisions. I often recommend the budgeting and net worth templates found at www.Vertex42.com.

When I asked John and David how many money arguments they have on a regular basis, they offered up that today there aren’t arguments so much as money discussions. For them, the key is both of them are very passionate about what they want life to be, but it always goes back to the financial plan.

Books recommended by the Debt Free Guys:

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

The Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye

My favorite quote from David and John is “credit card debt anchors your future to your past.”
To find more about David and John check out their website: www.debtfreeguys.com