Posts Tagged ‘ money management ’

To Be The Victor, Not The Victim

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Since I graduated college about a decade ago, I’ve been having this reoccurring dream where I’m at the end of my final semester and suddenly realize there was a Tuesday morning math class I had forgotten about the whole time, which means I won’t be able to graduate college.

It’s my subconscious’s way of saying, “Hey buddy, you’re not done learning yet. School never stops. You know that, right?”

That dream has especially been creeping up for the past year and a half and I’m pretty sure I know why…

I’ve been mentioning the PHR (Professional Human Resources) certification exam I’ve dedicated all my free time to. That has been my hobby now for the past year and a half.

(And keeping up with Breaking Bad, of course.)

The PHR certification exam is basically the equivalent to the BAR exam for aspiring lawyers.

Passing that test is the next major milestone for me building my career above and beyond my current pay grade. 

SO, I didn’t pass it when I took it a few weeks ago. This is the 2nd time now. (I have to score at least 87% of the questions right- my best score was 84%.)

It wasn’t for a lack of studying and memorizing the material. But instead of blaming the organization for “making the test too hard” or tricky, I am taking full responsibility for myself.

The question is, “What can I do differently to become a victor, not a victim?”

From what I can tell, it’s a matter of “re-learning” how to learn and study; as weird as that may sound.

So I just bought two new exam study guides for the test; which are specifically designed for people like me, who study hard and learn easily, but don’t take standardized tests very well.

In other words, I’m trying a new approach to reach my difficult goal.

I’m not backing down. It’s on me to close the deal, myself. Passing this test is a lesson to teach you. 

This is about you as much as it is me. I certainly have something to prove to the both of us.

While asking for help and depending on others is important, to really get somewhere in life, you have to do what it takes on your end to be the victor, not allowing yourself to be a victim of your circumstances or society.

I see life as an ongoing power struggle. Society is like a giant pyramid scheme where someone is always going to find a way to make money off of less fortunate, less creative, and/or less motivated people than themselves.

(Can you tell I’m a fan of Shark Tank?)

I want to help you climb that pyramid, but while reminding you to help others up along the way. That is the mindset I will be sharing with you… to be the victor, not victim.





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Learning From The Habits Of The Wealthiest People

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Some of the fatherly lessons you will learn from me are to never give up, to not back down on your convictions, and to be a leader.

I want you to see those concepts lived out in my everyday life. It’s in those daily routine actions and decisions of mine that I want you to see; especially in regards to how I interact regarding my love and commitment to you and Mommy… to our family.

Saying it and doing it are two entirely different things. The concept of never giving up is the backbone to being a good husband and father; the way I see it.

Even when I don’t know how to solve the problem, whatever it is, it’s a matter of dedicating myself to finding and applying the solution.

I keep that in mind with every other facet of my life as well: How much further in life can I get if I simply am more proactive that the average person in my same situation?

Instead of pointing the finger at others or even the situation itself, I have to point it at myself.

Not in an accusatory way, though- instead, it’s a call to self-appointed leadership: What can I do differently that will positively influence the people affected by the problem and proactively prevent the negative situation from occurring again?

I have to assume the role of the leader in most situations; otherwise, by default, that makes me a follower. While I may be a reluctant leader, I still am a leader- as your father, as Mommy’s husband, and as family member dedicated to increasing the income our family brings in each month.

As the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad teaches, I have to be willing to do the things the top percentile do if I want to reach the results they are able to.

For me, one important application of that means furthering my career on my own; not waiting around in hopes of getting a raise based on seniority or even my sincere efforts. In order to that, I have to delegate my free time in a way that provides me a chance of making money.

What’s going to help me make more money during my free time?

It’s like with this infographic about the habits of the world’s wealthiest people. (Click on Habits Of The Wealthiest People to see a full screen version of it.) They spend time learning each day, instead of seeking entertainment.

I am willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be one of those successful people. 

In my next letter, I want to talk to you about how exactly I plan to spefically help further my career and how I’m spending me free time to make that goal a reality…

But first, I will close with the findings featured on the infographic Habits Of The Wealthiest People. (Courtesty of NowSourcing.)

They Have a Routine: Maintain a to-do list, wake up 3 hours before work, listen to audio books during commute, network 5 hours or more each month, read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons, and love to read.

They are Healthy: Exercise aerobically 4 days a week and eat less than 300 junk food calories per day.

Raising Their Children: Teach good daily success habits to their children, make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month, and make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month

Television Habits: Watch 1 hour or less of TV everyday.

They Set Goals: Write down their goals, are focused on accomplishing some single goal, believe in lifelong educational self-improvement, believe good habits create opportunity luck, and believe bad habits create detrimental luck.

Love, Daddy

Richest People

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New Book: Three Cups (Give, Save, Spend)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

One year.

I’ve read that my generation (people who are currently around age 30) will be much like our great-grandparents, who lived through The Great Depression.

As history repeats itself, we shall become society’s new shrewd penny pinchers to our kids that our great-grandparents were to our grandparents.

We will remember back in the 2010′s when the only way you could sell your house was to basically pay someone to buy it from you. Back when we were anxiety-ridden anytime we had to pick up a sick child from daycare for fearing of jeopardizing our jobs.

Thankfully, there are talented financial gurus like Dave Ramsey to help us to simply and legitimately figure out how to manage our money. In my personal life, which has been dramatically featured here on The Dadabase, I have had to learn some tough lessons about money:

Buy an espresso maker and save Starbucks only for special occasions. Avoid eating out at restaurants as much as possible. Don’t move back to your hometown to be close to family when your first child is born because you nor your wife will be able to get a job there. You will end up blowing through your savings just to survive until you ultimately have to move back to Nashville. Just keep your good job in the big city and suffer putting your child in daycare.

You know; little lessons like that.

When it comes to life lessons about money, I have been shamed, I have been humbled, and I have been made a wiser person because of my uneducated decisions.

I have survived my own Great Depression of 2010 and now every single cent I earn has a place. I say “no” a lot more to people. I don’t worry about hurting feelings by doing so. I know if I don’t tell my money where to go, it will tell me where to go.

Just in time, Tommy Nelson Publishing has released the perfect book for us to help kids learn how to manage their money; from a very young age.

This is a book I definitely feel should be mandatory reading for all young children, but more importantly, it should be mandatory for all parents to read and discuss this book with their children… regularly.

The book is simply called Three Cups. I don’t want to totally give the story line away, but basically, on a boy’s 5th birthday his parents give him three cups. As he begins earning an allowance, he becomes responsible for deciding how much money he wants to give away, save for the future, and spend. Accordingly, the three cups serve as appropriate piggy banks for the three categories: give, save, and spend.

In the likeness of 25% of all of Brad Paisley’s songs, the book ends with the now grown-up boy reliving the story through his own 5 year-old son. It’s perfect.

Three Cups even comes with a Parent’s Guide to help us individually talk to our kids about the book’s lessons.

Needless to say, I strongly personally endorse this book. It couldn’t be more appropriate in every way. Even the illustrations are right on. I love the disappointed look on the boy’s face when he first sees that his parents got him three cups for his birthday.

Buy it. Read it to your kids. Give them three cups.

Here’s the website for Three Cups:

Of course, this wouldn’t be The Dadabase if I wasn’t giving a copy of this book away to one lucky reader… so you know what to do!

Just be the first person to A) leave a comment on this post saying you want it and B) send me an email including your mailing address to

*Congrats to Brandy W. of Austin, TX for winning this book!

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