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How to Rise Above Haters

Learn how to keep haters away!   "Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you."   What do you do when they scandalize your name? What do you do when they assassinate your character? What do you do when they dishonor you? What do you do when they crush your feelings? What do you do when you find out who you thought was your friend was really your enemy? What do you do when the one you supported is the one trying to hurt you?  What do you do when the one who talks to you is the one who talks about you? What do you do when the one who looks like they are pushing you up, is really pulling you down? How do you rise above the haters? There is a very trendy phrase in today’s society that I would like to use, “haters gonna hate.” It means that people who don't like you will always find a reason to disapprove you, no matter what the reason may be. This exact phrase is very true because there will always be someone around who just doesn’t like who you were created to be. “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate” song lyrics pop into my mind when I think about those who may have an evil eye against you. So, how do you combat those who despise you?   Rely on "True Friends" When haters are all around you, it’s very essential to surround yourself with great people – true friends that push you to be your best in life. Make sure that you know who your true friends are and ensure that they believe who you were created to be. Allow your “True Friends” to fill your cup of positivity. This will counter negative things your haters may say about you. When you surround yourself with friends like this, your life will completely change. You become more positive, driven, and focused on your priorities not your “HATERS”. Before you know it, you’ll be surrounding yourself with friends that lift you up and distancing yourself from the people that drag you down. “Don't you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are.” - Jo Blackwell-Preston   "Delete Button" Cyber haters are very effective. Don’t give into it. Don’t acknowledge their existence or their efforts to harass. Not only will they likely stop since you are not giving them the attention they crave, but it sends the message that they are such a waste of your time and energy, that you don’t even bother/care. Now, you can cling to the hate and allow it to mold who you are as an individual, or you can let it all slide off your shoulders. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” - Bindi Irwin If you [...]

2018-07-05T17:29:17+00:00 By |

Steps to Living Confidently: How to Make Smart Debt Decisions

Learn how to make smart financial decisions that will help you build wealth.   Is debt the D in our DNA? Seems to be. The day after a Stone Age genius invented the wheel, a fast-talking salesman was probably advertising hot deals—low cost financing!—on a new set of wheels. Going into debt—using someone else’s money to buy something we want—is still how many of us pay for big-ticket items like cars, houses, and college educations. But should it be? When we look at the most financially and emotionally confident Americans, they are long-term planners with clear and attainable goals who live within their means. Learning the behaviors of the financially and emotionally confident, and becoming savvy about debt, can help you down the road to living confidently, no matter your DNA. Here are some tips to help you make smarter debt decisions: Keep your mortgage payment to 15% (or less) of your gross monthly income. Let’s say your household makes $60,000 in pre-tax income. That’s $5,000 per month. So, you should try to keep your monthly mortgage payment at or below $750. Higher mortgage payments squeeze out your ability to save, can make it difficult to afford other necessities, and can tempt you to put those necessities on credit cards. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. The likelihood is that they are being crushed under the weight of the debt of their brick McMansion. Use a budget worksheet to find out what you can comfortably afford. Don’t rush to pay off your mortgage. Keep up with your payment schedule, but don’t be in a hurry to pay off your entire loan. (Unless you’re close to retirement – see below.) Mortgage interest rates are currently around 4%, and that’s cheap money compared with other lending sources. Plus, mortgage interest is tax deductible, which helps you save money. If you can refinance at a significantly lower rate, go for it, providing the fees aren’t too high. Take big swings at credit card debt. For starters, stop using the card. Try to pay more than the minimum, and be on time. If you can’t pay off your balance, try, for example, sticking to an amount above the minimum that you can afford and set up an automatic payment. Carrying a large balance forward on your credit cards is like pushing the same boulder up the mountain, month after month. You’ll never get out from under the obligation. Also, you’re subject to escalating fees for each late payment you make. But don’t strike out on protection. It’s also important to remember that you still want to have protection measures in place, or at least be actively building them, while paying down your debt. This includes things like a six-month cash cushion and appropriate insurance coverage. Allocating every dollar towards paying off your debt without building up your savings cushion is a classic mistake. Why? You could pay down all your debt, then be hit by an unexpected expense, and [...]

2018-06-26T15:54:59+00:00 By |

Push Your Limits

Nothing is impossible! Learn how to achieve your dreams and goals.   “Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you.”   What is something that you always really wanted to do and thought that you could never do, whether because you thought it was too hard or you were too scared? Visualize it. Why do you think it is impossible to do?   Everyone has dreams and goals. However, very few people really accomplish them. This is because more than half of us let our limits hold us back. Examples such as doubt, fear, or a negative past keeps the majority of us stuck every year. As a consequence, this makes everything feel much harder to accomplish. Many people around the world are unable to hold on when it gets to this point. As a result, they give up. It is important to learn how to push your limits and overcome them. This empowers you to achieve your goals. Here is how to push beyond your limits and achieve your biggest dreams and goals.   Change your mindset   NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis – “No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it. “ Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What we can control is how we behave. When we face imminent hardship, the first response is to go cold turkey, in other words “to give up.” If you become used to accepting this, you will become a quitter in everything you do. I used to be a quitter. I would quit whenever I was faced with insurmountable obstacles.  However I thought to myself, would I be able to do the impossible with my quitter mentality? No, I would not. To achieve your dreams, you have to overcome the desire to give up. I recommend you look up to someone whose resilience you admire such as your role model, a movie star, your parents, or your mentor. When you have time to yourself, watch motivational and inspirational movies. Watch, observe, and allow it to push you to overcome the desire to give up. Imagine how you will feel after you have finished the task. Pain is temporary, victory is forever. You need to learn how to go beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis, how to push through pain and not let it overtake you. By pushing beyond your limits, you can become everything that you ever wanted to be. You can achieve your dreams and leave a lasting legacy. Everything in life that is worth something requires an uphill battle to achieve it. “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Yes, many things seem impossible to people, when in fact they are not. Sure, you might have to increase a lot of effort to do it, but it can be done. It matters NOT the color of your skin. It matters [...]

2018-06-22T23:43:53+00:00 By |

Tips From The Top: One On One With Tracey Edmonds

I spoke to television host and producer Tracey Edmonds about her best advice   Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people? Tracey: Many would be surprised to know that I’m in the entertainment industry, but I don’t really like being in the spotlight. I prefer working behind the scenes in a creative capacity. Adam: How did you get here? What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth? Tracey: I have always been a hardworking entrepreneur. I was raised in a single parent household for many of my childhood years and we were often faced with financial challenges. We often struggled to make ends meet so I got my first job when I was only 13 years old. At age 13, I looked and acted very mature for my age, so I was hired to be a receptionist for a mortgage company where my mom worked. When I was 16, I went to Stanford University on a scholarship, but also worked 2 jobs to cover my books and meals. Those experiences forced me to establish self-discipline and a strong work ethic at an early age and I’ve been working ever since. I went on to be a music publisher, record label head, TV/film producer, and now I have a lifestyle brand. Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? Tracey: I think that an effective leader leads without ego. No job should be too small or too big for a leader and they need to be willing to get into the trenches with their team. Leaders need to lead with clear communication, optimism, and enthusiasm. Positive energy and passion goes a long way on a team. Adam: How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level? Tracey: Have a clear vision. Have effective communication Serve as a role model Be passionate Execute in accordance with your values Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans Maintain a positive attitude and motivate others Continue to learn and grow Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders? Tracey: Lead by example. If you set a tone of professionalism, dedication, diligence, courtesy, and respect, your team will follow. Communicate effectively and respectfully. Effective communication is paramount. Great leaders know how to make sure that their messaging is heard and understood, but they also know that communication is a two-way street and that it is also important to listen to others. Healthy working relationships ARE important so be emotionally intelligent in your communications and remember to be effective, but kind. Be productive by setting definitive goals and action steps, then execute them. Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received? Tracey: My father told me when I [...]

2018-06-19T16:34:31+00:00 By |

The Steps to Living Confidently: How to Protect Yourself

Protection. We’re obsessed with it these days. We switch passwords, slather on sunscreen, install detectors and alarms, and wear our lucky socks on every flight. That’s all good. But are you taking meaningful steps to protect yourself financially as well? Safeguarding your most important possessions—life, health, ability to earn money, and the assets you’ve accumulated—is a big step toward increasing your financial and emotional confidence. Think of it like when you were younger, and your parents would insist on you layering up; “You can always take layers off, but you can’t put on what you don’t have with you.” By all means, change your online banking password every 90 days (you do that, right?), but also consider adding these five defensive layers to protect what matters most to you. LAYER 1: HEALTH INSURANCE* Healthcare is expensive, and we often need it when we least expect it. This can mean a mountain of medical bills. In fact, the inability to pay medical bills is the number one cause of personal bankruptcies.[1] No matter what the current or future state of healthcare holds, if your employer provides a health insurance option, sign up. Even if the cost of premiums makes you cringe, it’s better than incurring a crushing load of medical debt. If you’re self-employed, look for the best coverage you can afford. Also, consider a Health Savings Account (HSA). It’s a tax-advantaged way to save for medical emergencies. Even if you don’t use it today, it travels with you and can be used well into retirement. LAYER 2: LIFE INSURANCE In the event of your death, the proceeds will help your loved ones maintain their lifestyle, avoid financial hardship or bankruptcy, and pay essential bills such as rent, mortgage, health insurance, college tuition and loans. In addition, certain types of life insurance allow you to build cash value, which can be used during your life to fund things like mortgage payments, education, and loans. LAYER 3: DISABILITY INSURANCE If an accident or illness prevented you from working for an extended period, your financial well-being could take a serious hit. Disability insurance fills that gap by replacing a percentage of your lost income. It’s typically tax-free and you can even use the money to cover retirement contributions and student loan payments. And don’t fall for the myth that disability insurance is only for rare, catastrophic accidents. Many people rely on these policies to cover the income lost due to relatively common conditions such as heart disease and arthritis. LAYER 4: LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE* Seven out of 10 Americans age 65 or older will need long term care (LTC) at some point.[2] And it can be expensive: In 2016, the national average for nursing home care for a shared room was $225 per day.[3] Yet, only one-third of Americans age 40 or older have set aside money for this eventuality.[4] LTC insurance is one way to help reduce the cost burden. Caring for an aging, sick relative can wipe out a [...]

2018-06-12T16:52:55+00:00 By |

The Summer of Open Doors

“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”.   Doors are vital in our daily lives. Doors and doorways are places of transition or turning points. We move through them to get to the inside or the outside. We move through them to get into another room, state of being, or mode of existence. Doors can hide or reveal; exclude or include; discourage or encourage – it all depends upon whether the door is closed or open. A closed door excludes. A closed door is customarily not open for outsiders. It prevents the unapproved from certain places and spaces. Sometimes a shut door is for protection, at other times a shut door is for privacy. I know some of us have experienced closed doors. You expected something big to come to fruition only to discover that it didn't. When will things work out for me?" you asked yourself during a low moment this year. Disheartened, undesired, discouraged, let’s just be real for a moment, “it is tough to see beyond the closed door.” I want you to keep this quote near your heart this summer, "Where one door shuts another opens."  Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you. A closed door will infrequently close quietly and as a consequence pain, disappointment and shame will cause us to lose hope. But what I am learning now in the circle of life is that a closed door need not be a bad thing. Can I encourage you to make a conscious decision to trust that God of the universe is with you and be confident that what he closes, he can open in new and exciting ways! If the God of the universe says “no” to something, it is because he is saying “yes” to something better!! So whatever you’re going through, don’t go back to the closed door and try to force your way through. Move forward and allow God to direct you to a better relationship, better home, better job, better friends, better community, better doctors, better business partners. Keep your confidence. A closed door doesn't mean that it's over for you or that you’ll never see a door again. Contrariwise, it means that God is getting you ready for something bigger, better, and far greater than before. Prepare yourself for an open door.  An open door includes an opportunity, a turning point that can lead you to a place you’ve never been or even encountered. It is an invitation to pursue your own dreams and ideas. Some of us refuse to accept that certain doors have been closed. Have we been staring at the closed door, wondering why it closed, trying to force it open, or holding onto it because we don't know what else to do? Maybe we've been hanging onto relationships too long or doing the same old thing too long, thinking that the door will open. Fixating [...]

2018-06-13T17:17:30+00:00 By |

The Steps to Living Confidently: How to Cut Your Expenses

“Cut spending.” “Slash expenses.” “Avoid shopping.” No wonder many of us haven’t learned to be good financial managers. The overwhelming advice about cutting your expenses makes it sound downright unappealing. The fact is, getting fit—whether fiscally or physically—should be enjoyable, or at least tolerable. Otherwise, you’ll never stick with it. Research tells us that having enough money to enjoy life is really important to seven out of 10 people.* (The remaining three out of 10 may be excused now.) Here, we’re proposing ways to retain more of your hard-earned cash by increasing (not reducing, cutting, or slashing) certain activities. It’s all gain, no pain. Here we go. Increase scrutiny of recurring monthly payments on your credit cards. You’re streaming more shows and watching less premium cable. And you haven’t set foot in the gym in six months. Automatic deductions for subscriptions and memberships that no longer fit your life can erode your liquidity, drip by drip. Cancel them and enjoy the savings each month.   Increase your digital savvy about money-saving apps. Today’s financial apps can turn your smartphone into a personal money manager. Digital budgeting tools help you track purchases so you spend less. Shopping apps show you offers, discounts, and coupons from retailers. There are even apps to find the lowest gas prices, the cheapest parking lots, and the nearest free Wi-Fi spots.   Increase potential returns on your investments by searching for low/no fee funds. Here’s a statistic that will curdle your milkshake: paying just 1% in fees could cost a young investor more than $590,000 in sacrificed returns over 40 years of saving.** Yikes! Time to pull out your portfolio—even if it’s relatively sparse—and work with a financial professional to make sure you’re not paying avoidable fees on your investments.   Increase your bulk buying habits. You can save considerable cash by buying in large quantities at discount warehouses. But too many of us only go when we’re throwing a party. Get in the habit of purchasing non-perishables—pet food, toothpaste, paper products, detergent—in bulk. Do it regularly and you’ll bulk up financially.   Be proactive about your health. Maintaining your body is like maintaining your car and helps to reduce the risk of expensive repairs, so take advantage of preventative medicine. Regular teeth cleanings. Flu shots. Eye exams. Screenings. Taking these steps may help you live longer and can reduce healthcare costs in retirement, when health costs tend to increase.   Increase your donations to charity. Donating to charities is a good idea, well, just because. But you may also qualify to deduct up to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Save money by doing good. Genius. Finally, increase your self-knowledge. By taking steps, technically steps 1 through 3 so far in this series, to gain financial insight, you’re well on your way toward improving your financial confidence. CA Insurance License #0H33733, Registered Representative Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 3585 Maple Street, Suite 140, Ventura, CA 93003, 909-399-1100. Securities products [...]

2018-05-30T12:55:53+00:00 By |
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