Get Motivated: Get Dressed

You’re not going to make magic happen while asleep.

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a nice hot shower in the morning? I know, I know.   Many people need a good old cup of joe.  But others like myself, all we need is a gentle and freshening wake up.  And on days we really don’t want to leave the bed, a hot shower does the trick.

That’s becoming a bigger thing: not wanting to face our day, whether it be people, our jobs or whatever challenges life will be throwing our way that day, getting out of bed means facing all of that. And for the most part, we “adult”. We remind ourselves of bills and other responsibilities so we drag ourselves away from the comfort of our comforter and arm ourselves to play “the real world”.

But if we stayed in bed all day long, it means we’d be missing a great wealth of opportunities that no Serta or Sleep Number could give us. We’d be missing out on life. And all that it would hold in store for us.

So when you feel in a funny or stuck in a rut, like getting out of bed isn’t worth it, even on the weekends, thinking of all that you want for yourself: your dream home, the ability to travel and vacation wherever you like, starting a family, being a dog mom, visiting and seeing out of state friends more, learning to paint, writing that book — you’ll do none of that from your bed. Not at least with the attitude and lack of motivation keeps you in your bed.

So… get up. Get dressed. Take a shower. Feel refreshed. And remember, you’re working for and towards a bigger goal. And you gotta be up to get there.

Money Matters: The Challenge

Is Saving Money a Challenge For You?

I don’t know if you’ve ever challenged – or tricked – yourself into becoming better with how you manage your money. If you haven’t and are suffering from hole-in-wallet or hole-in-pocket syndrome, a challenge is exactly what you need.

Looking back at my expenses over September and October, I realized I spent a lot of money unnecessarily on food. Namely, ordering out. I would UberEats this, Postmates that, GrubHub more. It was ridiculous for someone who has a full working kitchen, knows how to cook and food in the cupboards. Ridiculous, I tell you!

But why was I spending so much money on food when I could very well make my own? Laziness. Uninspired by what I had in the kitchen. Despite that, I was burning a hole in my wallet with all this take out. It was absurd how much money I would throw away on food because… I could.

The ability to waste the money is never a good enough reason to waste money. There’s a lot of things we can do. Doesn’t mean we should do them.

So, I decided the best way to curb my biggest money leak was to reward myself. Not for spending money. But rather not spending money. I spent a lot of money on ordering out. To reduce how I spend on food outside of groceries, I decided that every week I go without spending money on food, I will give myself 25 points. 25 imaginary points. Whatever. However, once I reach 100 points, I will reward myself one of two ways: dump $50 into a savings account or buy something nice for myself (not food related).

In other words, I can reward myself for not spending money by putting money towards a savings goal or a pair of ankle boots, or a coat or something useful! Seems fun. If it all goes when over the course of these eight weeks by myself, you all might get to participate with me. Something I’ve been thinking about for 2020.

In the meantime, does anyone have any tricks or challenges they’ve given to themselves to become more financially successful?

HAPPY FRIDAY: On the Right Path

Just Another Sunny Day In L.A.

Happy Friday, ladies and gentlemen. It’s suppose to b e a warm 87° today. In October. While the rest of the country is probably experiencing Fall we are experiencing Summer #2. It’s suppose to get cooler next week, but we’ll see.

But regardless of our nearly perfect weather in sunny L.A., I feel good today.  Like, I’m on the right path good.  I had a prospect notary client reach out to me yesterday — my 4th would-be client – and although I was not able to set an appointment with this client, I was able to pass him off to another notary that reached me earlier (the one who wanted mentor her).  She was much closer as she’s in the Long Beach area.  And I felt good about it.  And I felt even better than I could do that for a client and for… a mentee? Can I call her that yet? I don’t know. I just finally feel like I have a voice, I have the experience and I have the willingness to be a resource.

I just feel real food about the direction I’m headed in. How about you? Feeling good with how things are coming along? Or you just feeling good about this three-day weekend?

This Week’s Goal: Enjoying the Reward

No, I didn’t get an amazing book deal or have my book turned into a movie.  Or win the lotto. Or create a world-changing, life-saving, patent pending invention. No, I just knocked some big things off my to-do list, be having some amazing chats with my girl, Elle, about some upcoming projects and just had three notary clients over the span of 5 days.

It’s nothing momumental, but they’re still wins. They’re my wins. I’m not pumping the brakes and saying I made it, I arrived. But I definitely want to enjoy this moment, since it feels like I rarely live in the moment. I want to enjoy that the work I’m putting is now putting out. That feels good. I want to enjoy the fruit of my labor why I’m in the mindset to enjoy it.

I hope you do the same. Whatever amazing thing has happened to you in your week thus far, I don’t care how small or huge you felt it was, enjoy it. Enjoy the fact that it was you and made that happened, got it off your to-do list and just created another opportunity. So rarely to we give ourselves time relish in our accomplishments. Everything and everyone else around is telling us to do more, go harder, go bigger, do better. Today, do you. Enjoy your win in whatever shape it came.

Working 5 to 9: Become a “Learner”

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the importance of becoming something of a life learner. Yes, for your hustle. It will come in handy as clients see you as someone who stays current with the market and the trends. But should you take turn your hustle into a business, you’ve now positioned yourself as an expert in the field, someone to be sought after. However, in case your hustle is a short term goal and being an entrepreneur is the farthest thing from you mind, just staying clued into what you’re doing and the relevant current news related to it, makes you ideal candidate for your next employment role.

I’ve only known a handful of people who truly loved their job – those that worked for someone else – and one of the things that made them appear to be so good at is that they know what’s going on in the world of their industry. It means more to them than what job vacancy became available to move up at their company. They know something about what’s going on with other companies like theirs.

So, yes. Be constantly learning. It will serve you in the short term, long term, big scope, small scope and everywhere else in between.

Stay Motivated: Get Rid Of “Comfortable” People

People are creatures of habit which means we’re also creatures of comfort. If it’s familiar, we like it. If it’s tried and true, we love it. If it’s normal, we’re about it. We like things that feel secure and are comfortable. It gives us security. We know we can always rely and depend on it.

Like people. We like dependable people even if we’re not the dependable type. We like having someone who comes prepared, can jump in and know what exactly what to do and take care of a hot mess even if it’s not their own. We like those people. They cover for us despite it never being their intention. But if we’re the dependable type, those comfortable moochers who don’t contribute but know everything are a drain on our happiness and peace of mind.

And they gotta go.

Comfortable people — people who are too comfortable in their ways to make changes for the better, especially for themselves — are not the people we need to be around. Ever. Have you ever heard that you are the sum of the 10 people who spend most of your time with? It’s true. We’re influenced by our surroundings and that includes people. Why would you want a comfortable person in that mix? Why would you want someone who is half -assing their way through their own life?

But, like other toxic people we may have had in our lives, we probably have some comfortable folks still latched to us. People who are not doing anymore than the status quo. Those “C-” students. They just wanna pass. Those are not our kind and definitely not our tribe. And there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable if you have everything you could ever want in your entire life at this moment. Then being comfortable is the endgame for you.

But if not, you need to make peace with getting outside if your comfort zone. And you need to kick those comfortable people out of your life. You need smart people, ambitious people, people with drive, people with dreams, people on the move. You need people who are so uncomfortable they are constantly making moves for the future because it’s all they know.

You need to be around people who have a goal and are working towards.

Money Matters: Give Your Budget A Little Wiggle Room

You know what my biggest budgeting problem is? Sticking…. to it.  I know I’ve  mentioned this before, but keeping to the terms and agreement of a budget is hard.  Not because money burns a hole in pocket every time I get it or I’m out trying to sabotage myself.  But, because… sh*t happens.  Life happens.  And no matter how much better I think I’m getting at preparing for life’s surprises, it likes to throw me a curve ball every so often.

I’m a fan of the game, but damn! Life, could you let me sit on the bench and watcg few times?  No.  That’s not what life’s about.  She whispers to me.   Anywhoo…

I budget bust.  Meaning, I find it hard to stick to a budget because I don’t factor in life happening.  Like, how? Something as simple as a cold or flu can bust my budget.  Stay with me here: I feel the signs that I’m coming down with something.  I try to head it off at the past by drinking tea or more fluids, covering myself up with vapor rub at night, wearing socks to bed.  Little things that should go a long way.  But sadly, they fail.  I’m sick.  And now I’m sick of being sick.

So I stroll into CVS and go down my trusted but questionable cold and flu aisle.  I grab some cough drops, cough syrup, allergy medicine, a saline rinse and something marked “may cause drowiness”.  Not overkill.  I’ve learned that there is no on medicine that works as a cure-all for me.  I need to make a concoction of these poor excuses of FDA medicines to feel a bit of relief.

With my legal experiment in hand, I make my way to the register to pay for my new found treasures.  Only to learn as I swipe my card, I just dropped over $40. On a problem that may last for one to two weeks.  Seriously?!?

So, now in the middle of summer I’ve just busted my budget because I got sick.  It sucks.

However, if I had given myself a contignecy… a little wiggle room, that $40 wouldn’t have been so detrimental to my accounting ego (or lack there of).  I would’ve considered my cold drugs an unexpected but covered in the budget expenses. 

How much should a contingency be?  That depends on you.  I like to place $115 as a safety net.  Odd number?  No, not really. I took the average of past over expenditures and decided that was a healthy number I could live within without busting my budget and still covering a random cold here or there.  What about a medical expense or car repair?  I have dedicated emergency fund for things of those nature.

So it’s possible to budget and stick to it.  Just gotta be real with yourself and give your budget a little wiggle room.  And maybe not get sick in the middle of July.

It’s Not A Request, It’s A Requirement

At my previous job, there’s a popular acronym that describes someone who has asked for time off: T.O.R. It stood for time off request. And it didn’t matter what the time off was needed for, it all fell under the same category: T.O.R. – jury duty, birthday, bereavement, vacation, personal day, whatever. You would use vacation days for your time off with the exception of sick days. We were given sick days… barely. And because the company didn’t offer personal days, you would have to request time off using a coveted vacation day. It sucked! The same applied to jury duty. A vacation day has to be used for that too.

But time off shouldn’t be a request. It should be requirement. And you may not be in a place right now where you can take time off. Instead, take one weekend day a month and unplug. From everything and everyone. That’s your time off. It’s your time. Take care of it.