My mom took out the trash and now it’s your turn.
Here’s our story.
Early in life we were very poor. My biological father was not around, and my mother was a single teenager with 2 young babies. She only had a 10th grade education. My mom is a fighter though, she chose to be a survivor, not a victim. This is where I get my toughness from. Growing up she made hard sacrifices and put in hard work so that I would have a chance to succeed. I will not take her sacrifices for granted and waste my life.
To tell you that we were poor is an understatement. We had no extras. No movies, no shopping, no gifts, and never a vacation. Just lonely nights with the 3 of us. My mom cleaned houses for cash so we could have 1 McDonalds treat a month 🍟. We had a car worth $150 (that’s not a typo). We had to leave the windows open to keep the fumes out. Did I mention we lived in Ohio (cold)? Speaking of the cold, we used our snow covered roof for a refrigerator and our refrigerator was flipped on it’s side for our table.
Did I mention that she was called white trash while at the welfare office one day?
She changed our whole family tree. Who would have ever thought that a poor woman from Ohio with a $150 car would turn her whole family’s life around? It’s crazy to think that she would have a son that now teaches people how to manage their money.
If you want to know why I do what I do and why I’m so passionate about helping others manage money, there it is.
In order to make a change from what you’re used to, you need some type of new information. This can apply to any area of life, not just finances. If you’re in a rut and what you’re currently doing isn’t working then you need to find a new way.
In today’s world it is easy to find and educate yourself on new ways of doing things. This blog was created to help you find a new way of doing things, it’s a free education. You’re welcome.
My mom did not have the Internet when she was changing her life. She had to go back to school with two kids to get her education. She found guidance from successful and positive people to help change her priorities. That meant turning away and putting up boundaries on all bad influences.
Run forward as fast as you can! You can’t change yesterday, there is no reverse in this life. It happened, get over it and go forward with your new information. That means you need to be going in a positive direction every month. If you’re just maintaining or even negative a month then you’re going the wrong way. Too many months sitting stagnant or going backwards leads to destruction and death of your dreams.
“In this world you’re either growing or dying so get in motion and grow.” Lou Holtz
When you finally decide to take action you need to know that you’re going to fail. You need to have the mentality to never give up. You actually want to fail over and over as you’re running forward. If you don’t fail from time to time then it means that you are not trying hard enough and you will die with regrets. Life is going to blow up like a bomb some days and you need to learn to Fail Forward (See Rule #3 and my other Financial Rules here).
I failed many times in life and I’ve had to keep picking myself up.
The year I won my national title in wrestling was one of my greatest accomplishments in my life. If that’s all you knew, then you would think I must have always won. Earlier that year, I had one of the most devastating losses in my whole wrestling career when I lost in the state semi-finals. That’s right, I didn’t win the state title the year I won the national title. I wanted to quit because I worked so hard to win the state title, but I knew I had to keep going forward.
This is the most important of the 3. Think of all the stuff you’ve started in your life and never finished, we’ve all done it. When things get hard and you get unmotivated it is easy just to quit and get excited about the next thing. This is why many people start trying to get their finances together but they never finish. This also applies to losing weight, finishing school, starting a business, or learning how to play an instrument, just to name a few.
“You will be the most tempted to quit when you are the closest to your calling.” Steven Furtick
We all know that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. How you finish the last thing determines how you start the next. Finishing becomes a habit the more you do it. Unfortunately not finishing is also habitual and is common today with most people.
In marriage nowadays people quit when it’s not fun anymore and life gets hard. If you’re married then the best day of your marriage is not supposed to be the day you got married. The best day is supposed to be the last day of your marriage when death do you part. That means you made it to the finish line.
One of the hardest things to do with managing money is to stay motivated. I’m just like you. I get up some days and just want to throw in the towel (and I’m a National Champion and All-American). That is why you have to find ways to motivate yourself especially during the hard times.
After losing the wrestling state title I wanted to give up. I know not to quit something until I’m finished because then it becomes habitual. I knew I hadn’t reached my potential. I had to motivate myself by hanging pictures of the kid who beat me all over the place. I also signed myself up for camps immediately. Signing myself up for camps was a way to force myself to get better (this is like having a weekly financial date scheduled). This motivation and hard work paid off with a national title.
One way I stay motivated in my day to day job is having my “welfare glasses” on the wall behind my desk. The days where I want to give up, I turn around and tell myself I’m not going backwards and I have people to reach to help change the direction of their lives. You have to find ways to motivate yourself and know the why behind what you’re doing.
It’s time to take out the trash and there is no better time to start than now. This week challenge yourself to educate, take action, and get motivated! First sign up for this blog to receive the tools to educate yourself on finances. Next, track all of your expenses this week (yes I said all- this includes the candy bar you picked up at the gas station this morning 😉). You will be surprised to see how fast all of those “little” expenses add up over time. When you subscribe to this blog you get a copy of my book “The Financial Champs Guide” which includes a digital “Spending Tracker” that makes it super simple to track your daily expenses for a month. It even does the math for you! Click here to get your copy today! Finally, get motivated. Yes, it may hurt to see where you are wasting money, but think of how you can use that as motivation to change your financial picture for the better!