Excuses


I was catching up on the pf blogosphere and read a few interesting frugal ideas.   The thing that caught my attention was the inordinate large amount of time these people seem to have on their hands.   Perhaps I live in a different world because I work for a giant corp that keeps me busy 50 to 60 hours per week then I’m working on two MBA degrees on top of that then of course I have an active family involved in community services, sports and other activities.

When frugal people suggest things like make your own soap, make your own soda, go to three different grocery stores and calculate the per unit cost of everything you buy…really?  If I buy 40 items at a grocery store, calculating the unit price of EVERYTHING becomes an exercise in wasting time to save a few cents.

For me, and it seems too few people in the pf blog world, I try to do things that give me the biggest bang for the buck.   Because I’ve been pursuing two MBA degrees, I’ve already gotten a promotion and decent raise (my employer is probably fearful I’ll move on) so they took preemptive action to keep me.   Additionally, I’m constantly looking at investment opportunities.   If I can score a 3% return on a 100,000 investment  after a couple of hours of research then I’ll make an easy $3,000.   This one investment opportunity (perhaps a stock or option trade) will automatically pay for all the frugal  things in one easy swoop (dish soap, soda, rags, etc).

I can already here the detractors though….(using Droopy voice)…”it doesn’t matter if you make $3000 in a few hours because if you’re spending $3001 dollars on stuff every few hours you’ll go broke.”   Well if you’re stupid, you will go broke no matter what you do but that seems to be a cheap excuse for not trying harder and achieving more.   There seems to be a fundamental lack of ambition in these groups of people and it bother me greatly.  Which would you choose?

Spend two hours researching an investment or spend two hours making soap.

Spend two hours learning a new language you can leverage overseas for a firm or spend two hours making rags by cutting up old t-shirts.

Spend two hours collaborating starting a business or spend two hours clipping coupons.

Am I missing something here?  Which of these choices will lead to vastly more amounts of money in your pocket?   There is a fundamental opportunity cost in everything we do and that whole thought process seems to be broken in the frugal mentality.  Why?

I just don’t understand it…

Well I’m trying to get back in the groove of blogging.  Quite honestly, I’ve been completely and totally swamped at work, at home and everywhere else.  For those of you that have a job in corporate America, you probably would agree that you’re working harder now (probably doing the work of two or three jobs) than ever before and probably not getting compensated as much as you deserve.   I hear you and I feel your pain.

So I’ll be restarting my MBA program in the fall and I should be done in the spring or at the latest next fall depending on how big of a course load I take.   Taking the summer off this year from school was a welcome vacation and I didn’t spend too much time blogging because that tends to feel like work as well.

Over the summer I took some vacations and got some well deserved reset.  I have also picked up a new hobby that I’ll be writing about in future posts and you’ll be somewhat surprised at what it is……

In other news, I saw a documentary entitled, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” on Netflix recently and it had a huge impact on me.  I have been heading into the exact same dilemma Joe in the movie and am trying to head off that wreck.   I purchased a juicer and have been juicing for the last couple of weeks.   So far I’ve lost about 12 pounds and I plan on continuing it till the end of the year.   I’ll likely take a few weeks off the program in December for the holiday but will pick it up again at the start of the year for the whole year.

 

So I’m looking into the whole “frugal” lifestyle now that I’m unemployed. On Sunday I bought the newspaper and browsed through all the coupons to “save” a whole bunch of money when I went grocery shopping. As I flipped through the 30 or so pages of the coupon booklets I found ONE single coupon I could use.

Most of the coupons were for pet food (I have no pets), junk food (I don’t buy junk food), credit card fliers, variety of deodorizing products or plugins and other items I have little or no use for as an unemployed person.

So perhaps I missed something but I thought clipping coupons was suppose to save a great deal of money? How? Is there a secret stash of coupons that I’m missing? I would have been better off spending the hour I used up looking at the coupons in detail doing something else like reading the new Project Management Standard v4 book that just came out a month ago.

The single coupon I cut was for $1.00 off of two boxes of Post cereal. The cereal in question was indeed junk food but my kids really like it so I bought it anyway. Oh well, I guess I’ll take that $1 and buy a lottery ticket with it. 😉

I wrote this series exactly a year ago and I continue to observe people still use these excuses although I must say that with Barak Obama becoming the Democratic Presidential nominee and Hillary Clinton coming close, I’m not hearing excuse #6 that often these days. 

I’ve counted down the top 10 excuses I’ve heard over the last ten years from friends, family, peers, and others as to why they’re not getting rich; I’m recapping them today as tomorrow I’ll be writing about the #1 excuse I’ve heard for not getting rich.
10. I don’t have a college degree.
9. I don’t have well connected friends to get a high paying job.
8. I wasn’t born rich.
7. I didn’t have great parents.
6. I wasn’t born the right gender or color.
5. I didn’t graduate from Ivy League School.
4. It’s too complicated to run a business.
3. The government taxes me and interferes with me too much.
2. I don’t have the time or money to do x.

1. I’m Afraid

The most often heard excuse I’ve heard over the years for peers not getting rich can be encompassed with just two words, “I’m Afraid.” It’s fairly simple and straight forward and I can say I’ve seen this over and over with peers in my personal life and currently in the at large PF Blog world recently.

There are so many people that won’t touch credit card arbitrage because they deem it too “risky.” Come on guys, how “risky” can something be when you borrow money and stick it in a high yield account and pay it back slowly? This isn’t rocket science it’s an opportunity to earn money.
Then a ton of people won’t ever learn to invest in anything other than mutual funds because they consider everything else too “risky” or too “difficult” to learn. I’ve had several people tell me that they consider ETF Covered Call writing too exotic. Good grief, it’s the most conservative trading methodologies with regards to options and people consider it too risky.

It all boils down to the fear factor and herd mentality. To quote a great thinker, Bertrand Russell, “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”

Over the years, I’ve tried to help many people advance in their careers by mentoring and offering advice; I’ve tried to teach people how to make money yet often, the advice is disregarded because of fear and herd mentality. If the herd isn’t doing it then it must not be effective or probably too risky.

I hope you enjoyed reading the top 10 excuses I’ve heard over the past decade as to why people I know aren’t getting rich. I’ll leave you with one last quote; It was Marie Curie that said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

Don’t you think it’s time you began to understand how I’m getting rich slick with ETF Covered Calls? I’ve made over $10,000 with the ETF Covered Calls so far and I’m on my way to making another $10,000 this year. I hope you’ll conquer your fear and check it out.

I’ve counted down the top 10 excuses I’ve heard over the last ten years from friends, family, peers, and others as to why they’re not getting rich; I’m recapping them today as tomorrow I’ll be writing about the #1 excuse I’ve heard for not getting rich.
10. I don’t have a college degree.
9. I don’t have well connected friends to get a high paying job.
8. I wasn’t born rich.
7. I didn’t have great parents.
6. I wasn’t born the right gender or color.
5. I didn’t graduate from Ivy League School.
4. It’s too complicated to run a business.
3. The government taxes me and interferes with me too much.
2. I don’t have the time or money to do x.

The second most often heard excuse I’ve heard over the past decade as to why my friends, peers and others aren’t getting rich is, “I don’t have the time or money to do x.

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X represents many different things. For some, X means finishing a college degree plan, for others X means completing that certification to advance a career, for yet others X may be starting a business.

It doesn’t matter what X is though because the critical component of the excuse that they don’t have the time or money to do it.

Although it’s the second most often heard excuse, second only to #1, it is, in my opinion, the weakest of all the excuses.

Not having the money is a fairly poor excuse because there are a near infinite ways of getting money to do x.

If you want to finish that college degree, student loans, government grants, and other programs exist for you to be able to do it.

If you want to start a business, the government has plenty of small business loan programs to help you get started.

If you want to complete specialized certification, credit cards, loans, company sponsorship or other programs exist for you to complete that certification.

If it’s a question of time, then there are a variety of places to look to find the time to get things done. Most of the people that complain to me that they don’t have time to do anything fell into three categories: TV Couch Potatoes that spent 30+ hours/week watching TV shows and could recount every prime time program for that week easily; Sport fanatics that spend their free time playing volleyball, football, softball, basketball, and other sport activities for 30+ hours/week and finally the party goers who spend their time partying, going to clubs, bars, dancing trying to “hook up” with people for a “fun” time.

Do you fall into one of these three groups? There are others which I didn’t include such as the family engulfed types who spend a great deal of their time with kids activities: sports, boy scouts, swimming, piano, etc. but it doesn’t really matter.

The issue at hand is that these people have made a decision that their PRIORITIES are elsewhere; they are NOT FOCUSED on doing the things that will get them rich. It’s not a right/wrong choice; it is simply a choice that has been made that will not lead them to the wealth they want.

Personally, I am focused on getting rich via a two-pronged approach: Get Rich Slow with traditional investment methodologies and Get Rich Quick with more aggressive strategies. The net result is to Get Rich Slick. It won’t take you a but a few moments of your time to check out http://www.etfcoveredcalls.com to find out how I’m getting rich slick. Stop making excuses and take a peek, you won’t need too much time or money to stop by….

Next week I’ll give you the number #1 excuse I’ve heard over the years. Be sure to click back to see it here next Friday!

Last week I wrote the fourth most often heard excuse for not getting rich was “it’s too complicated to run a business” and this provides a great lead in to the third most often heard excuse I’ve heard why my peers aren’t getting rich. The third excuse is best described as a sentiment that “government” interferes too much in the affairs of a person trying to conduct business. What is government interference? Taxation, Regulatory Compliance, Ordinances, and various other laws or requirements for a particular business.

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While I wrote last week that starting a business was as easy as filing a form with a state agency, running a business can get complicated when dealing with the government but there are plenty of ways of dealing with the issues.

A relative who used to run a restaurant complained once to me that the city was making his employees go to a health safety education class before he could officially hire them and put them to work. Of course, he was required to pay their salary during the training and had to pay for the class as well. This “bureaucracy” seemed to have bothered him a great deal but in the end it probably provided some benefit to his business in that his customers were likely kept from getting sick because of better food handling training.

I recently wrote about a friend who’s getting dinged for government required “equality” for health insurance premiums and he also had griped about having to file quarterly sales tax reports with the state.

Of course I know others who ended up owing the IRS a ton of cash and when unable to pay, had various property seized to settle the debt.

What really irks me however are the people that don’t even want to ATTEMPT to start a business because of what they’ve seen happen to others: IRS seizures, Fines for non-compliance w/ ordinances, etcetera and the perception that it’s impossible to start a business because of government rules or laws. It’s NOT that bad people! And if you properly plan for the beginning (e.g. expenses, taxes, government requirements) then you’ll have absolutely no problem.
Speaking of government regulations, every third Friday of the month is Options Expiry and on Monday I’ll update you on how my Power Funds account and Mini-Funds Account have fared over the past 6 months using my ETF Covered Call Strategy. You can read the update on Monday or visit http://www.etfcoveredcalls.com to see it in action.
We’re closing in on the top 2 excuses I’ve heard over the years from peers and family as to why they’re not getting rich and I hope you’ll click in to read them. Here’s a sneak peak to #2, “I don’t have the time or money to do X

Over the years, I’ve worked with some bloody brilliant people. Some so brilliant that I felt they had a potential million dollar idea on their hands. I once worked on a project with a person who had two great ideas for writing books and starting an “organic” business. I won’t detail either here because he may some day do it but when I asked him why he hadn’t moved forward he said something familiar, “It’s too complicated to run a business.”

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This is the fourth most often heard excuse as to why some of my peers, associates, friends and family aren’t getting rich. Some people are justifiable in their stance since I’ve heard some fairly exotic business ideas in my time such as starting an elephant ride park but for the most part, most business ideas wouldn’t take more than a piece of paper to get started.

The most often cited concern I hear with regards to starting a business are the legal and personnel requirements. Too many people think you need a team of lawyers, accountants, finance pros, bankers, advertisers, and other professionals to start a business.

In the US and most states, all you need to do to start an “official” business is fill out a piece of paper filed with a state agency and perhaps one for a federal tax id, but the second is often optional.

If you’re planning on starting an elephant ride park though, you may need a lawyer or two and some insurance brokers to limit your liability and to get some disclaimers going but it wouldn’t be too difficult to do.

It’s not complicated to run a business and it’s not complicated to check out this weeks ETF Covered Calls over at http://www.etfcoveredcalls.com. It’s a little business idea that I have under development that illustrates my path and transactions toward Getting Rich Slick. I hope you’ll check it out, all you have to do is click the link!

The fifth most often heard excuse as to why a colleague or friend isn’t getting rich is the old, “I didn’t graduate from Ivy League School.”

I say old because at one point in the history of the US, university access was strictly limited to an elite few. The term Ivy League itself refers to seven of eight universities that were founded during America’s colonial period but chartered before the American Revolution. I believe this saying originated from the distant past of America’s history.

These schools are privately funded for the most part so they’re typically expensive to attend without government subsidy for the un-wealthy.

With all the prestige of these schools, you’d expect every graduate to become a millionaire, extremely successful or somewhat high on the top wealthy people in the world list but all too often the university you graduate or don’t graduate from means very little. Passion, determination, hard work, dedication, and a little luck are often all you really need to become rich and successful.

Unfortunately, too many people think that an Ivy League degree means instant success and all an Ivy League degree does these days is open a door to a hiring manager or executive’s desk for a job interview.

I’ve had the fortune of working with Ivy League graduates vs. your typical state school graduates and although there are a few nuances, there’s really on difference between the two.

What are the nuances? Ivy League graduates tend to be more “politically refined” whereas a state school graduate will be more “straightforwardly honest.” An Ivy League graduate is almost always adverse to any type of physical labor or work whereas a State School graduate will usually do whatever is asked to get the job done even if it means getting a little dirty.

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I could write a whole book about my experiences with both groups but that’s far beyond the scope of this post! The important thing to note is that education whether earned from years of work or years of academic study coupled with determination, passion, hard work, dedication and a little luck will make you successful where ever you go.

Speaking of education, passion, dedication and hard work, check out this weeks ETF Covered Calls over at http://www.etfcoveredcalls.com to check out how I educate others on how to earn some extra cash in order to Get Rich Slick.

Click here next Friday to read the number 5 most often heard excuse why my peers aren’t getting rich, “It’s too complicated to run a business.

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