Tag Archives: Attitude

Make Excuses Or Make A Fortune: Your Choice (Pt.2)

Welcome back to DTL. If you missed part one, click here.

In part one, we shared why you can’t despise the rich and be rich, and we explained how making excuses is essentially handing over control of your life to someone else.

We’ll wrap this conversation up today by sharing how to respond to negative mindsets about wealth and how to kill your excuses.

How Do You Respond To Wealth?

How you view wealthy people will determine in part your level of wealth. I used to believe having wealth was wrong, at least for me. There was something pious about being poor. I was part of a culture that placed high honor on people who gave up wealth in order to serve the poor, and because of that I had a tendency to resist wealth, and I would feel guilty or unworthy when money did come my way. If you can relate, I highly recommend reading the T. Harv Eker book mentioned in part one. He get’s a little new agey for my taste, but overall it’s a great book all about our mindsets towards wealth.

One exercise in the book really exposed my inner beliefs. He was writing about how the way we view rich people will determine our ability to become rich. He ends the chapter by asking the reader to make the following declarations “I admire rich people! I bless rich people! I love rich people!” To be honest I couldn’t do it the first time. It just felt wrong to “bless rich people.”

But why? Why is it easy to bless poor people but not rich people? Does God love them less? It revealed an inner belief I had that equated wealth with something wrong. Not only is this thought not found in scripture, it is also not good for my personal economy. If wealth is bad I will resist having any.

How Do You Respond To Excuses?

The second issue in this post is that of excuses. Here’s my challenge to you: keep a small moleskin or notebook (that can easily fit in your pocket). Every time you catch yourself even thinking a negative thought write it down and replace it with truth.

For example, I did this a couple of years ago and at that time I read about a young girl (in her teens) who had created a website for teenage girls which someone had offered to buy for several million dollars. Her parents had helped her immensely through financial support and encouragement.

My first thought was “I would be successful too if my parents had loaned me that much and helped me start it.” Once I caught myself making the excuse, I wrote it in my journal. I then wrote “TRUTH: I have everything I need to be successful right now.”

It’s amazing how empowering it is to recognize your excuses and replace them with truth. The truth really will set you free. I challenge you to try this for just 7 days and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

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Make Excuses Or Make A Fortune: Your Choice (Pt.1)

Never start your day by watching the news.

I learned that lesson this morning. Thanks to the upcoming election, everything was negative about the candidates. However, what got me fired up was when they started talking about taxes (my point is financial, not politics, so I’m leaving names & political parties out).

They showed clips of one of the candidates who is proposing higher taxes on the rich in order to help the middle and lower classes. I was fine until he used the word “selfish” referring to wealthy people. Of course, if you want an applause, go in front of a crowd of low income voters and talk about how the rich are “selfish” (nevermind the fact that the guy calling rich people selfish is a millionaire). To their own demise the crowd gave their applause. Let me explain.

Don’t Be Your Own Victim

This bothers me immensely because it promotes a victim mentality. It says, “I’m poor because you’re rich.” It’s a mentality that is common among people who do not have money. It’s just easier to blame others for our problems than it is to take responsibility for them ourselves.

In his best-selling book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” T. Harv Eker makes this statement: “You have to realize that if you view rich people as bad in any way, shape or form, and you want to be a good person, then you can never be rich. It’s impossible. How can you be something you despise?” He goes on to say that “resenting the rich is one of the surest ways to stay broke.”

If you ever want to become wealthy, you have to develop a healthy relationship with money and with those who have it. The bottom line is that when you blame others for your problems, you are giving control of your life away to someone else. Do you really want to do that?

Success is a Personal Issue

If you really want to be successful, you have to stop making excuses, even if they are legitimate.  The minute you let something external determine your level of success is the minute you won’t have any. I’m serious. You’d be amazed at how much we limit ourselves by making excuses. Let me give you a personal example that just happened to me.

On Sunday night Beth & I were watching ABC’s Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. In one year this wonderful lady lost over 160 pounds, and overcame incredible odds to reach her goal, including a very dysfunctional family. I’ve been carrying around an extra 30 pounds for several years now, so I knew immediately that if she could do it, then I no longer had any excuse. So here I am on Sunday night all motivated to lose weight, and BAM! On Monday while playing with Macey I broke my toe! (I wish I was making this up).

Is a broken toe a legitimate reason to not exercise? Of course it is!

But, if I allow myself to be the victim, then I’m giving control of my life over to a negative circumstance that happened to me. In reality, a broken toe will limit me but it cannot stop me. It may make it difficult, but it does not make it impossible! With a little creativity (such as swimming instead of running, only doing upper body workouts for a while, etc) it doesn’t even need to slow down my progress.

So how do YOU view the wealthy? What is your response to excuses? Stay tuned for our next post where I share two powerful exercises which will set you free from excuses.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. Please leave us a comment! What are some excuses you’ve been tempted to make recently?

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What To Do When You Hate Your Job

Raise your hands if you hate your job.

A Gallup survey from 2011 showed that 71% of employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their work. My wife and I got “engaged” because we loved each other. If we were “actively disengaged” then it would be safe to say that we didn’t love each other. So if 7 out of 10 people are not engaged at work then the obvious conclusion is that most people can’t stand their jobs.

There’s a reason we did not name ourselves Debt To Wealth (although I like that name too). We all know money cannot buy the things your heart truly desires. You can have tremendous wealth and still be completely empty of Life. But what money can buy is freedom. People with wealth have more options than people who do not have wealth.

That’s why I love talking about creating wealth – in my mind it’s the same as creating freedom for people. Freedom to do the things you love. And mostly, freedom to be the person you were created to be.

When we were buried in debt it was the lack of freedom that hurt us the most. I was stuck in a job that I didn’t like because that paycheck was a necessity. Knowing that I had to make a certain amount every month just to pay the minimums, I had very few options. I looked at other jobs from time to time, but starting a new career at the bottom of the ladder would have killed us financially. Because I couldn’t afford a pay cut, I was a slave to a job I couldn’t stand.

Diligence: a Principle and a Promise

So how about you? Hate your job? Burnt out? Feel like the clock is ticking and your true giftings and calling are wasting away?

The Bible says that “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4).

In this simple verse God is declaring both a principle for success (diligent hands = wealth) and making you a promise (if you’re diligent you will have wealth). I know there are poor people who work hard, so I’m not saying I understand every dynamic at work here. But you have to admit that you don’t find many lazy people who are wealthy.

Be Thankful For Your Job or Break Out Of It

If you can’t stand your job, the worst thing you can do is to be part of the 71% who disengage.

Jesus taught that those who can be faithful in the small things can be trusted with more. Some of you just need to be faithful with the job you have and trust God for more. My encouragement to you is to develop a heart of gratitude for your job. Put a filter on your mouth and commit to not saying anything negative about your job (easier said than done).

But for some of you, your job is a prison and the warden’s name is Fear. Even though you hate it you stay…rationalizing that you need the money. But deep down you know you’re really too afraid to make the change. My encouragement to you is to write yourself a letter from the future.  Three years from now what are you going to wish you had done? Write a letter to yourself explaining how it feels three years later since making a change. Likewise, write a letter telling yourself about how you would feel in three years if you don’t change.

It has been said that everything we do is either motivated by love or by fear, and we tend to regret any decisions we make out of fear. If you want a life marked by greatness, embrace the discipline of diligence, and pursue only the things that make your heart come alive. Success lives at the crossroads of passion and diligence.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

Let’s dialogue – what changes do you need to make in response to this post?

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Confidence: The Key to Accomplishment

Helen Keller said, “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

If you think getting out of debt is difficult, try earning a college degree, writing several books, and being a political activist, all while being deaf and blind.  The 2003 edition of the Alabama quarter has Helen’s image on it with the words “Spirit of Courage.” Undoubtedly, there’s a huge connection between confidence and accomplishment.

If you’re deeply in debt, you have surely faced those moments where giving up feels like the only option. I can remember in 2004 going to the local Bank of America branch to ask them if they could cancel several overdraft fees I had received (you have not because you ask not…I had 9 overdraft fees over one weekend, and I was able to get 8 of them cancelled).

After stating how stressed I was about my debt (only $8,000 at the time, mostly school loans), the bank associate reassured me that it really wasn’t that bad and that I was going to make it. It’s amazing how words like that can help you keep going. I still remembered what she said even after Beth & I had accumulated over six figures of unsecured debt.

Confidence = Accomplishment

 I’m convinced that no great accomplishments in life have been achieved without an equal amount of confidence. Your level of confidence literally affects everything you do, from huge decisions like getting married, changing careers, and starting a family, to negotiating a purchase or simply choosing what to wear today. Confidence affects everything.

Confidence equates to emotional stability. Studies have shown that people out-of-whack emotionally spend way more than people who are emotionally on-center (aka, retail therapy).

When you lack confidence in a certain area, it means that you don’t believe in yourself in that area (could be due to lack of experience, fear, past failure in that area, etc). So if you set a goal to be debt free but lack confidence in the area of finances, you will not have the self-discipline needed to reach your goal. You’ll either sabotage yourself somehow or find a way to quit.

So how are YOU doing? On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your confidence level? If it’s low, here’s how to improve it.

Confidence is an Inside Job

The Bible teaches that transformation takes place when you renew your mind. (Romans 12:2). If you want to grow in confidence, you have to start with your thinking. Here’s three ways of doing this:

1. Guard Your Thoughts:  Do you just let yourself think on whatever thoughts enter your brain? Paul stated that “we take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In Philippians 4, Paul lists several worthy values and then admonishes us to “think on these things.” God would not command this if it were impossible. Clearly we have control over our thoughts and need to take captive negative and defeating thoughts and replace them with truth.

2. Speak Life: If my daughter walked around all day saying “I’m ugly, worthless, and have no future” do you think as a loving father that I would let her continue to say those things? Of course not! Yet how often do we do that to ourselves? At a recent conference I attended, John Maxwell made the statement “the most important person you ever listen to is yourself.” If that’s true, what are you hearing yourself say? Is it uplifting or does it tear you down? If you want to change your life, change the words you say.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

3. Control Your Input: Zig Ziglar says “when you change your input, you change your outlook.” So let me ask you, what are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time with? If you want to grow in confidence in any area, read everything you can on that topic. Spend time with people who are uplifting and positive. Turn off the TV for a while. Read biographies of people who have overcome tremendous odds in life; it will build you up to realize that if they can do it, so can you.

“You are the same today that you’ll be five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Mac McMillan

If you want to make your life count, you have to get serious about this stuff. It matters, and it will make a difference in your life. You were born with a purpose. Don’t waste your life watching sitcoms.

On a surface level this post is about confidence, but to be honest, it’s really about identity, about how you see yourself and who you really believe that you are. 1st John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” You are a child of God. Stop playing small and insignificant and become who you already are.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

Comments: We respond to 100% of our comments. Which of the three points listed above do you need to focus on right now?

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Me Inc. – Run Your Life Like A Business

Is it possible to be wildly successful in business yet be a personal failure? Of course it is. Sadly, most people don’t realize that many of the same qualities which make a person successful in the marketplace are absolutely neccessary to be successful at home.

John Maxwell wrote a book titled “Make Today Count.” The subtitle of the book contains an incredibly powerful truth regarding success: “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”

For years I lived with the mindset that success was just around the corner. I worked diligently at my profession, but in my personal life I lacked self-discipline. I failed to take the things that brought me success in the marketplace into my own personal life. In short, I had a daily agenda for my work life, but failed to have a daily agenda for my personal life.

Too often we show up to work focused, but waste our time at home. We work with discipline but live with slothfulness. We work as if our jobs depend on it (because they do), but live as if our lives don’t depend on it. Failure to perform at work comes with immediate consequences. But in our personal lives, we push things off into the future (“I’ll start this tomorrow”), not realizing the consequences of this until it’s too late.

If you want to be successful at home and in your personal life, then you have to run your life like a business. Do you have an agenda for how you’re going to spend your time today? Do you have a plan for you family? Is your marriage on mission? Do you set goals together with your family? Do you have a spending plan? Have you identified your competition – those unhealthy things vying for your attention or that of your family?

Or do you just let life happen?

The old proverb is true: failure to plan is planning to fail. You will fall short of your potential until you learn to run your life like a business. This isn’t a nice and cozy message, especially to those who have an aversion to the business world. However, if you truly desire to get the most out of life you have to come at it with a plan or it will pass you by.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. What is one “business” skill you need to develop in your personal life? We respond to 100% of our comments!

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What To Do When You Feel Like Quitting: The Solution

In our last post, we went into detail about the five most common ways people quit on themselves and their journey of financial freedom. In this post, we want to offer the solution.

Here are six exercises that we do personally anytime we feel like giving up on something that matters in our lives. Going through these exercises really helps get our hearts engaged again. (Hint: You + Journal + Quiet Place = Best Results)

6 Ways We Process Through The Desire To Quit

1. Identify the Why: Why do you feel like quitting? It’s obviously from stress, but what exactly is causing it? If nothing else, it’s helpful to understand why you feel the way you do.

2. Pros & Cons: This may sound simple (I’m reminded of an episode of The Office where Michael lists out the pros and cons of dating Jan), but it is a powerful exercise. Specifically, list out 30 reasons why it would be beneficial for you to keep going, and 30 reasons why it would be detrimental if you quit. Share the list with your spouse.

3. Set Goals: You may realize that the stress you feel is from unrealistic expectations. For months Beth & I prayed that we would be out of debt by a certain date, only to experience great frustration when that date came and went and we were still in debt in the high five figures. Identifying your unrealistic expectations and adjusting your goals accordingly will relieve some of the pressure you’ve put on yourself and give you a renewed outlook on your situation.

4. “I Want” List: Make a list of all the things you will do or buy once you are out of debt. Nothing is off limits, and it doesn’t have to be realistic or spiritual. It simply has to be emotional – the goal isn’t to impress God or others, it simply has to get your heart back in the game. The process of creating this list helps you more emotionally than it does to simply review it, so feel free to redo this exercise when you feel tempted to quit pursuing financial freedom.

5. Celebrate Each Victory: One thing Beth & I did that really helped was to create numerous “finish lines.” We didn’t wait until we were 100% debt free to reward ourselves. As an example, if you’re trying to save up $1000 emergency fund, once you do, take your spouse out to a nice date night to celebrate. We recommend making these “memories,” so instead of blowing $30 bucks on a steak, spend the money on an event that you will remember, such as a concert or event – something you can take a picture of. It may help to attach a reward to each one of your debts (Example: When we pay off the student loan, we’re spending a weekend at the beach). Just pay for the rewards with cash and know that the more you spend on a reward, the longer it will take ultimately to pay off your debt, so don’t go crazy.

6. Prayer: The sixth and final point is prayer. This should really be the starting point, not the ending point. Personally, I get motivated by writing out goals and dreaming. But for Beth, she’ll get a cup of coffee and her journal and sit out on the porch for an hour, quietly processing through her emotions and writing out prayers to God. One thing we have made a habit of doing is praying together before going to bed. Some nights it’s a simple “thank you for today” prayer and other nights it is deeper intercession where we lift up the needs of our friends and family and certainly our own needs.

Praying together can have a profound effect on a marriage, because in a very real way you’re inviting God to invade your marriage with his goodness. Psalm 118 says “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” It’s a simple verse, but it bears reflection. He is good. He is not out to get you. He is for you and he wants you to live in freedom and walk in the purpose for which he created you. You’ll never hear me say that God wants you to drive a Porsche, but you have to know in your heart that he designed you to be free in every area of your life.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

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Why Debt is Not Your Problem

Can you explain in just one word why you are in debt? A few words that come to mind are college, unemployment, emergencies, desires, and marriage.

For me, that one word would be “easy.”

It was easy to get a car on payments. It was easy to put our honeymoon on credit. It was easy to finance new bedroom furniture. Most people are in debt for this reason – it’s easy. Is there anything you can’t finance these days?

Debt is not your Problem, and Money is not your Solution

I’m currently about 30 pounds over what I would consider my ideal weight. However, I would be deceived if I believed that I had a problem with my weight. My true problem is that there’s a breakdown of control between my fork and my mouth.

Napoleon Hill said “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” If you dig deeper into any area of your life that feels out of control, you will always discover a lack of discipline in that area. Lack of discipline always precedes chaos.

Financial discipline is a prerequisite for financial freedom. Getting into debt was incredibly easy for us – shockingly easy – and it took a tremendous amount of discipline and focus to get free. There will be times when you want to quit, when it feels not only difficult but impossible. How you respond in those times will determine your success.

Getting out of debt is like a boxing match. It’s okay to take a short break between rounds, but the second you throw in the towel it’s over. God is in your corner, and we’re in the stands cheering you on. Just keep fighting and you will get your victory.

Comments?

We’d love to hear your “one word reason” for getting into debt! We respond to 100% of our comments!

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

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