Are You Afraid of Money?


There is so much to learn.

Money can be a taboo topic for many.  I get it.  It’s highly personal and no one can really evaluate the choices of others because we don’t have a great understanding of their: upbringing, family, debts, income, etc.

But none of these factors should stop you from getting educated on the topic of money.  After all, it’s the #1 cause of stress in households in 2015 (by a landslide) says CNBC.

So what can we do about it? Make a choice. Get educated!

To begin, I’ll confirm to all of my readers that I’ve read each of these books.  Each more than one time.  Secondly, I’m recommending these books specifically because they offer contradictory recommendations (what did you think I’d just tell you what to do?).

I want you to be able to use your brain and figure out your own financial path.  It was already expressed that we’re all in different situations financially, so why offer one cookie cutter answer?  Get intelligent, and use this intelligence the rest of your life to evaluate opportunities.  When you complete these five books, you will understand there are guiding principles to create your unique financial foundation.

Five Books About Money

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Dave offers a very no nonsense approach to money through his book and nationally syndicated radio show.  The foundation revolves around elimination of debt (all debt).  I encourage you to learn Dave’s Seven Baby Steps.   A person has to understand they can’t get ahead by battling a mountain of debt.  Dave also outlines simple strategies to live by a budget and save for retirement.  To put this in my own words, “Stop buying shit you can’t afford!”  I don’t care what the neighbors are driving or wearing.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Ramit is a Stanford grad educated in personal behavior and his book is great for those starting out.  There is a ton of actionable info in this book.  His six-week action plan will lay a solid strategy for anyone getting started in the money game.  He talks debt reduction, credit cards, 401K/Roth IRAs, asset allocation, and living a truly “rich life”.  Here’s a hint – rich isn’t just a number, it’s a lifestyle choice.  You can also follow Ramit’s blog at I Will Teach You To Be  I get emails from Ramit daily.

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!

This book will help you think about money in a very non-traditional “go to work and get paid” linear way.  Earlier, I told you I’d provide contradicting advice in this post to get that noodle of yours working.  Check out what Ramit thought of Rich Dad Poor Dad here on his blog   No book is perfect, but I do love the angles Rich Dad Poor Dad presented to me when I first read it.  It made me think about money differently.  It makes you take a step back and ask yourself, “What am I really doing to improve my financial picture?”

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

This book was just released in the latter part of 2014.  I got it for Christmas and it took a while to devour its 600+ pages of material.  You may be thinking, “Tony Robbins? Isn’t he the life-coach/self-help author?”  Yup!  He tapped some of the most unreal relationships anyone could ever imagine to strip down the topic of money.  He takes some of the strategies of the ultra-rich and makes them available to you and I.  If you’re putting this in order, I think this is more of a master’s level book.  Not only is it 600+ pages, it offers many contradicting investment strategies from the world’s most accomplished investors and investment strategists (once again there isn’t only one right answer here folks).  If you’re into audio, I love listening to Tony’s interview with Tim Ferriss on his Four Hour Workweek podcast regarding the release of the book.

Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

This book was written nearly 80 years ago.  How could it possibly be relevant today?  Hill’s book helps to answer the question, “What makes a winner?”  The reason I’d like you to read this book is because it creates a spark.  There are hundreds of stories of people retiring rich who didn’t have large incomes to begin with.  I think that’s wonderful.  I also think a little bit of motivation and focus goes a long way to achieving one’s goals and this will help you get started.  I’ve probably picked this book up 20+ times and read it cover to cover three times.

Okay, so I left out a few books.  If you’re hungry for more, there are a few you can dive into:
The Richest Man in Babylon

The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth

ACTION ITEM: The worst choice you can make is to do nothing.  And yes, it is a choice.  Don’t try to eat the whole elephant either.  Choose to pick up one book and start learning.  Pick up another and challenge what you’ve just learned.  Tell me where you are a year from now.

~Here’s to a rich life

Failure is a Debt Needing to Be Paid

No matter your viewpoint on debt, there is one universal truth.


One of my favorite and most repeated lines from the movie Rounders is from the character Teddy KGB.  The Russian mobster says, “Pay him, that man his money.”  Here is the YouTube video.

So how is failure a debt waiting to be paid?  

  • If you have zero debts (failures), you’re taking ZERO chances.
  • Most debts we’re accustomed to are due monthly.  Failure isn’t a one time occurrence.
  • Some debt is good.  It means you own something.  Failure means you’ve taken ownership in your future and learning from experiences.
  • Debts don’t last forever, neither does failure.
  • Failures are investments in your future.  Just like paying down debt.

Debt Reduction and Failure Production

Dave Ramsey is a widely popular financial author, speaker, and radio host.  Dave has a very simple formula for paying down debt with the ultimate goal of living “debt free” as his followers scream on his radio show.  The key to his formula is what Dave calls “The Debt Snowball.”  This could really be summed up as momentum.  Start with small debts and begin paying them off as fast as possible.  With each debt you conquer you gain momentum and habits are formed.


Anyone ever tried creating a failure habit?  Seems almost counter-productive.  What if instead you were interested in the behavior of not being fearful of failure.  This the debt needing to be paid.

The #1 fear I have with growing people is mediocrity.  When a person achieves a small amount of success there is the opportunity to throttle back and settle.  Mediocrity sets in and growth comes to a screeching halt.  Instead consider the alternative.   The debt of potential failure coming due.

Now the achiever has a different outlook on the future.  They continue to challenge, push others, and push themselves.  Does it always work out?  Of course not.  But the learning doesn’t stop either!

ACTION ITEM:  The Debt is due for you this month just as it is for me.

3 Keys to Being Intentional

Chris Hogan is the wildly popular host of Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast.  I was listening last week and he said something that really resonated with me and I thought would be of great value to this audience.  (I included a link to the EntreLeadership podcast at the end of this post)

Chris said, “A person must choose to be intentional with their actions.”  WOW.  What an extremely power-packed quote.

There are a couple points of this powerful sentence I’d like to dissect in greater detail.

1 – Choice.  We’ve all heard about the power we wake up with every morning.  The power to choose.  We can choose our attitudes, our friends, and our future, if we have the right mindset.  Or conversely, we can let others choose for us.  The world and time can pass us by and we’ll be waiting on the sideline watching.  Every one of us has the power.  The difficulty lies in activation.

2 – Intentional.  I feel the most powerful relationship to this is purpose.  Another great word to insert would be deliberate.  We can be intentional with everything in our lives if we choose.  I think this is one people struggle with a great deal because intention is deeply rooted in having a plan.  I know I can be more strategic in my thinking and it doesn’t have to be about work.  I need to be more intentional with my dear friends and family.  I need to be focused on helping them achieve their goals and aspirations.  I need to be intentional about listening more and continuing to learn.

3. Actions.  I don’t believe for a second Chris’ quote ended in the word “actions” by chance.  After all, Chris works with intention.  The last word of his quote provides the energy needed for most of us to move.  Lets reflect back to the top of the list.  Choice, we all have this power.  It then isn’t a question of if, but when?  Next we focus on intention and having a purpose.  What is your purpose and do you have a game plan?  Without action the first two elements of this post are ideas in a notebook.  They’re a sketch on a bar napkin or that idea stashed away in your email.  Actions separate the average from the elite.  Action will bring your closer to your goals.

“A person must choose to be intentional with their actions.”

ACTION ITEM: Start being more intentional with something small, but take action.  Have a greater purpose or goal in mind and be intentional on your path to achievement.  The velocity of reaching your target will greatly increase.

Lastly, here’s a link to listen to the EntreLeadership Podcast.