Monthly Archives: February 2013

Momentum: Surfing the Wave

Have you ever experienced an unexpected change?

If you play sports this is something you are used to.  You have to adequately deal with sudden, unexpected changes.

I am experiencing my first sudden, unexpected changes in the “real” world.  This is life.

1) My girlfriend accepted an 18 month contract to teach at a school in Mexico City.  She left on February 14th.  Happy Valentine’s Day right!?  It can be a tough thing, and originally was very difficult on me.  Then I decided to expose the positives; I have a new place in the world to visit, she will love me more for supporting her, and she will have the time of her life.  I already have my first, two-week adventure set up to see her!

2) My AdvoCare business has suddenly been exploding.  I have spent less time learning from my up-line, but rather teaching my persistent down-line.  I have become more of a leader.  I have focused less on myself.  Put less focus on directly sponsoring new business builders.  Instead I am teaching the ones I already have involved how to duplicate my success to this point.  This is already paying huge dividends!

3) Our family business, The Scott Spaulding Group, has traditionally been involved in real-estate, veterinary management and nation wide consulting.  A year ago I never would have imagined that we currently would be: developing/designing three websites, designing/developing/programming an app, and be an essential part of developing an interactive online communications platform.  Most of that has occurred over the last two weeks.

It wouldn’t make sense to fight the waves.  We instead are learning how to surf.  View these opportunities of momentum.  Ride that momentum!  We are in the “just go with it” phase.  And it is working!  It is fun!

You’re going to fight that? Think again!

Life in the continual slow lane always sucks.  For those of you who have driven Highway 1 in the Florida Keys know this!  It is a lot more fun when it becomes a four or five lane highway near Miami.  There’s more options.  Live life this way.  Pursue your dreams this way.  If something new comes into your life do not view it as a negative.  Find the positive.  Ride the momentum that is given to you.  There is a reason you are being pushed in that direction.

A life of disciplined spontaneity is a life of enjoyment.  Live it!

Love it, hate it, discuss it, debate it.  What opportunities have you run with that were fun?  Did they turn into a success?  Did you learn something from it?

Making Excel Easy

On Wednesday I was fortunate enough to attend Michael Zumchak’s Easy Excel Class (click here) while I was in New York City.  WOW, is he good at what he does; better yet, he can teach what he does.  If you use excel daily, if you own your own business, I recommend taking his 4 hour, $89 class.

Overtime Michael became has become an expert.  He is now regarded as the go-to-guy on Wall Street when firms are training their new hires or old top dogs.  He travels the country (booked until October 2013!) putting on classes, consulting, just helping people learn!!

And man, is he good.  His class was entertaining (he is funny) and so engaging.  He goes through everything step by step, so even if his class is the first time you have ever seen excel, you too can learn!

He then sends you notes along with templates so you can PRACTICE.  He harps on this!  He gives you the tools but you MUST PRACTICE to allow yourself to effectively and efficiently apply his teachings.

I am looking at attending on of his more advanced classes and I recommend to you that you attend a class of his.  The genius he is cable of will leave you awestruck and more able in Microsoft Excel.

You not only learn how to use shortcuts to decrease time spent at a computer, but basic and advanced formulas, and how to create templates.  The templates allow you to take data, copy and paste it, and viola, your reports are ready in seconds.

What you need to do:

Might sound easy, but everyone has struggled with Excel in some fashion.  So drop those other “How to Microsoft Excel” books, guides or YouTube teachings and get to Michael’s class to relieve yourself of frustration!!!

Micheal’s website is http://www.easyexcelclasses.com/classes and you can sign up right there.

When I complete my new Excel reports I will give you a comparison of where I was at (an intermediate skill level) to where his class took me.

Like, hate, agree, debate- let’s rumble!!!  Leave a comment or at a minimum check into his class!!! Promise it’s time well spent!

3 Tips to Achieving Dreams

This past weekend I attended my second AdvoCare Success School.  This event allowed me to see the NFL’s Drew Brees and Jason Witten (along with 25 other AdvoCare endorsers) speak- not to mention a former President, George W. Bush.

The speakers were a pleasure to see.  But it was the invaluable lessons that I learned and took away from this event that I most cherish.  Anytime you can get to an event or seminar like this- GO!

These three things were reinforced into me and outstanding for leaders, business owners, or anyone who wants to be successful in anything:

1) Vision, Passion, Discipline and Risk

Where are you going?  When you arrive what will it look like?  What will it smell like?  Sound like? Feel like? And yes, taste like?  Your vision must be laid out and you must be able to live it in your mind.  If you are detailed enough with your vision your passion will be there.  Passion keeps you driving for that vision when tough times are upon you.

2) Greater not Greatness

It is important to state that you are seeking to be greater and not seeking greatness.  Why?  Well tell me what greatness is.  It is undefined.  Greatness is a never-ending chase, a bar that keeps being raised that you will never be able to come close too.  But being greater; that’s something that you can define.  You can be greater than you were yesterday.  It’s measurable.  Is what you did today greater than what you did yesterday?  Were you a greater friend, athlete, husband, et cetera, et cetera.  Forget greatness, and focus on becoming greater day in, day out.

3) Failure=Success

Failure leads to success.  When you fail that means you are attempting.  Just like basketball, the more attempts you take the more baskets you make.  At first it might seem like you are shooting a poor percentage.  But as you gain experience, knowledge and connections; that percentage will rise.  Don’t let your fear deter you from shooting!  The reason I use basketball as an example is because of this awesome Michael Jordan video.  Check it out!

Whenever people talk or think about Michael Jordan they don’t think about him missing 9,000+ shots, loosing nearly 300 games, or him missing 26 game winners.  Would you have even guessed he missed 9,000+ shots!?  Michael Jordan is not the only example.  Some of the most successful people have failed numerous times throughout life.

What have you failed at?  Did it make you stronger?  Did you learn how to be successful from it?

Love, hate, debate.  Leave a comment, share your experiences.

Social Security a Ponzi Scheme

“That’s a pyramid scheme.”

Have you ever heard that phrase?

Being heavily involved and successful in a network marketing company I sure have.  But does anyone really understand what a “pyramid scheme” is?

Did you know there are legal and illegal pyramid schemes?  Did you know that some of the legal pyramid schemes actually are no different from the illegal pyramid schemes?

Ok, let’s start in the early 1900’s.  A fella by the name of Charles Ponzi immigrated from Italy in 1903 arriving the United States-via a big boat, with $2.50 to his name.  With aspirations of a rich and famous lifestyle he became involved in a bank that went under due to bad loans.  Ponzi was left broke, and began forging false checks.  He was caught and put in jail for three years, this was not the last illegal doings of Ponzi.

It didn’t take Ponzi long to think of a master plan.

It initially started when he received a letter from Spain which contained an international reply coupon (IRCs).  These coupons could be redeemed for (x) amount of postage stamps.  Ponzi, being quite clever, established partners overseas.  He sent partners money, they returned him IRCs.  He would find the most expensive stamps (these were worth much more than the IRCs he bought) and traded his IRCs for them.  With the stamps in hand he was able to turn around and sell them making a 400% gain- WHOAH!!!

This was not enough for Ponzi.  He began investing other people’s money.  To begin he would ask investor (x) for $15 and tell them to claim their 50% return in 45 days (In today’s world people would kill for a 3% return on CDs).  People were skeptical, but come day 45 they would have their hefty 50% return.  As time went on, skepticism shrank due to great performance. Investors began investing $20,000, $50,000 and beyond with Ponzi (In early 1900’s dollars) now receiving 100% return after 45 days.

What these investors did not realize- Ponzi was paying yesterday’s investors off with today’s investor’s dollars; rather than with any actual profit!  (Also what Bernie Madoff did)

With Ponzi making an estimated $250,000 a day, the Boston Post began to investigate how he got such great returns.  With the investigation and rumors floating, investors began pulling their money out.  And with no new investments Ponzi’s “Scheme” was over.  Yes, if you haven’t figured it out yet- “Ponzi Scheme.”

Those who got out early enough, obviously made their profit.  But those who were too late lost an estimated $20 million- in today’s dollars that is more than $220 million!

For any movement of money there must be a good or some sort of value received from it.  If not it is a Ponzi or pyramid scheme.

So what is considered a legal pyramid scheme?

Examples are endless.  The US Government, Nike, Under Armour, your local candy store, schools, et cetera, et cetera.

They all are made of a pyramid. There is a leader at the top.  On the way down there are other executives,  middle management, and other employees.  What makes this legal is that there is a value being sent down the pyramid which in return brings a value up the pyramid.  What happens when that flow becomes one way?

When the value only flows up the pyramid it is illegal.

Let’s use a network marketing company for example.  If you only get paid when you sign someone up and there is no exchange of good being sent down, that’s considered illegal.

Sounds like the United States version of social security huh!?

Think about it, our parents (I’m 23) have paid in over all these years, and in ten years or so when it comes time for them to retire will they receive that full benefit of what they paid in?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  You and I are paying in right now and no way will we see that money.  Sounds like an illegal version.

With baby boomers retiring and social security dollars drying up they are using the money we pay in today to support the people retiring today.  Sounds a little bit like what Charles Ponzi was doing if you ask me.

Let’s look at another example that you would never think of being a pyramid scheme, but has signs of a suspect.

Every college/university in this country.

Think about it!  How many people, especially these days, will see the full VALUE of attending college compared to what it cost them?  Will you?  Will your sibling?  Your best friend?

You go to college for $25,000 per year.  That adds up to $100,000 over 4 years (and plenty of people are going 5, 6, 7 years these days).  How many of the graduating class in 2012 will ever see that value?  I graduated with many that are now unemployed.  I graduated with others who have to go work at Subway- and not in the corporate offices.  Are they receiving the value for which they paid in college tuition?

By no means do I think college is a bad thing.  I still believe everyone should be able to attend and should attend.  It is where you learn to communicate, how to problem solve, meet some of your best friends and future business partners.  But it could be considered a pyramid scheme.

Without having done any serious research I CAN’T PROVE that it is.  But by the looks of it, by the feel of it, by the smell of it who knows?

So before you claim I, or others who are involved in network marketing are associated with a pyramid scheme, think again.  Maybe you would want to be a part of a network marketing scheme if you read this and educate yourself.

I get compensated very well for the 3 to 6 hours of work with my network marketing company per week.  In return those who purchase the products from me or my team see great benefit/value.  To call it a pyramid scheme is ignorant.

Absurd? Agree? Hate? Love?  Leave a comment.  What do you think?  And again, thanks for reading!

3 Ways to Make More Money

If you are anything like me you don’t want a boss.  If you are anything like me you want this to be in effect ASAP.  Living in today’s world the options are endless.  So what is stopping you?

Options are endless, you can meet anyone and learn anything you want via the internet.  The problem is a comfortably factor.  I know a lot of people who hate their job, hate their boss, hate their coworkers, they hate the life they are in.  But, it gives them a guarantee that the next paycheck will be there.  Or does it!?

As an occupant of a job you have no say what tomorrow may bring.  It doesn’t matter if you have been with a company for two months or twenty-three years.   You, like everyone around you, are at the mercy of someone else’s decision.  Tomorrow your company could dump you.

With this uncertainty why not begin to verge off the main, beaten-down path?  Why not be comfortable being uncomfortable?  Over the next year begin possessing other income streams.  Here are three ways you can begin to see your life on your terms.

1) Network Marketing

beginning steps towards freedom can be done through a network marketing company and there are many reasons for this.  Joining one of these companies is very inexpensive in comparison to starting other businesses.  For example, to franchise a McDonald’s it costs you $250,000- JUST TO APPLY!  That is not refundable if you are not accepted.  In total it would cost $1,000,000 plus and it would take 3-5 years before I recoup that initial investment.  In the network marketing company I am involved with I made my initial investment back five minutes after joining and profited $600 in five weeks  I was out of the red and in the black that quick!  Ten months later it brings me $1200 a month and growing.  It also is not a huge time commitment.  I did the fore mentioned with a MAX of one hour per week!  I now put in six hours max, and much of that is above and beyond what I need to do.  So the next time you hear a Debbie downer claim that network marketing is a “pyramid scheme,” just remember that there are thousands of people making a full-time income and some spending ten hours per week building their network marketing team.  THAT’S FREEDOM!

2) Real Estate

“I sure don’t want to get into the real estate market these days.”  Unless you were burned and didn’t make it out in ’07 or ’08 why would you make that statement.  Even the burned, know that right now is the ultimate opportunity!  With real estate prices being down, cut in half in some areas, now is the time to jump on it!  It is comforting to know that I will have a check coming in every month from our commercial property which has a triple net lease.  And although that check is certainly not one that I could currently live off, my investment in the land and improvements is growing-rents are also increasing.  If you cannot afford to purchase a property solo, or are unable to get qualified; form a partnership.  Find a way to what you want.  There are others looking for partners, you just haven’t found them yet.

3) Your Passion

What is your passion?  Believe it or not, there is a way to make it beneficial to others, thus profitable for yourself.  Do you like to lift weights?  Build things?  Help listen and solve others problems?  You can get paid for it!!!  No, you most likely will not be able to live off of your idea or your passion initially.  But why not let it build, why not have fun forming your passion into an income?  Put an hour in per week in brainstorming how you can essentially start your own business.  Then take action!

There are numerous ways you can begin your path to financial freedom.  You can even find a way to start for hardly any money down.  Use your resources.  Connect with others.  Spend time learning.  The only way to fail is to quit…or never begin!

Love, hate? Agree, disagree?  Thoughts, comments, concerns, questions?  LET ‘EM RIP!!!