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I Finally Got My Financial Education at Age 46

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Three weeks ago I had an epiphany, and I’m totally embarrassed by it.

At 46 years old, I’ve always heard that credit cards are bad, bad, bad. Because of that, I’ve avoided them like the plague. I’ve had one or two over the years, but didn’t manage them well, and they damaged my credit. So I’ve always avoided them, and probably for the right reasons – they can be a great way to get into more debt, and never get out.

And until a mere three weeks ago, that’s what I’ve always thought. The finance gurus tell you to pay them off and cut them up, so I just figured they were best avoided altogether.

About a month ago, though, I decided to take a more proactive approach to my finances.  I’ve always been really bad at finance. I can program computers, rank websites high on Google using really technical algorithms and techniques, but when it came to finances my brain shut down. I told myself I just couldn’t (and wouldn’t ever) understand it.

But enough of the excuses. Like it or not, you have to know what your money is doing.

And for me, it was really doing very little. You could even say it was unemployed.

Luckily I started watching videos on financial freedom and education. In particular, I’ve learned a lot about debt weapons from Matt Pillmore at VIP Financial Education, and a few others. It seems like most of these gurus like real estate, but I’m no where near thinking about that.

I just want to pay my bills on time and have money at the end of the month.

Ok, back to credit cards.

The ‘trick’ I learned a few weeks ago is to use your credit cards as a way to pay your bills AND increase your credit at the same time. It’s so simple, I can’t believe I never knew it.

I literally sat in my front room, mouth open, as I watched Laura Pitko explain the how I can pay my mortgage off in 5-7 years, and difference between revolving and static accounts.

Moving money, debt weapons, etc. It blew my mind.

How can a guy, at 46 years old, not know this? That was the most embarrassing part. All these years and I’ve never heard of this. It’s so simple. Can finances really be that simple? (well, no, but since it was dumbed down I finally got it)

And how do people that know this not share it? Or did I just not hear it until I decided to? My friend told me last week that he’s known this since his 20’s. He’s never paid a cent in interest on a credit card and has a great credit score, I’m sure.

As an aside, he told me that the banks call people that pay their credit cards each month deadbeats. Interesting how they use mind games to make you feel bad for doing what’s right (and bad for them).

The other thing about being this age and just learning it is that I may have missed my opportunity to teach it to my kids. They’re in their 20s, have established credit, and are playing the same game we did all those years. It’s my hope that I can continue to learn the real game and teach them, so if nothing else they don’t have to struggle for as many years as we have.

Saving a Sinking Ship

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Last week I received a phone call from a lady that needed help with her online presence. SEO, web design, Facebook ads, etc. We’ll call her Valerie.

Valerie is into alternative healing and “can speak to the dead”. Not exactly a mainstream business.

Two years ago, Valerie said she was swimming in leads – 30-40 a week. She was crazy popular. But since then, those leads (and any new ones) have all but dried up. Facing the closing of her business if she “didn’t make money this week”, she reached out to me. Click to continue »

My eBook Publishing Experience – 1 Year Later

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

On January 15, 2013 I launched my first ebook, a tutorial on setting up Google Authorship for WordPress. The book didn’t do too bad – nothing like the gurus of today tell you an ebook can do, but it didn’t bomb either. Below is my 12 month income report from the ebook.

Launch – January 15, 2013

January sales: $21.11

For some crazy reason, the first two weeks of the ebook I selected the 30% payout option, versus the 70% option. I really don’t know why I did that, but around the beginning of February I changed it to the 70% payout option. Click to continue »

SEO Isn’t an Expense, It’s an Investment

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Many business owners see SEO and related services as an expense instead of an investment.  This line of short term thinking has long plagued many a SEO business.

So what can the average SEO do about it?  Well, we can educate them (assuming they are willing to listen).  We can show them case studies.  We can simply say ‘trust me’ (which rarely works).

Today, while thinking about this exact thing, I had a great thought.

Let’s say you are a business owner, and you have a building where you sell things.  Everyone knows that the first three rules of business are ‘Location, Location, Location’, right?

So let’s say that I came to you and told you that every day I’d come by and move your building an inch closer to a major intersection in your town.  I’d spruce up your building, make it attractive and at the same time I’d pick it up and move it closer and closer.

Now, being closer to an intersection means more people will see your signs, right?  And once you get to the intersection (an inch at a time might take you a while), you’ll have more traffic, more people will be aware of your business, and your revenues will go up.

So after (whatever amount of time), I say let’s take this to a new level. Let’s move your building toward the local highway. It may cost more, but you’ll see more and more traffic.  Your brand awareness will go up. People will see your building from many streets.

Soon you’ve moved past the highway toward the Interstate.  Thousands (or more) of people are seeing your building, your sign, your brand every day.  Revenues are going up, and you are enjoying success you never thought possible.

Now, let’s take this one step further. What if, the highway that I moved you towards just happened to contain only people that were interested in your products? Nearly every car that drove by was a targeted customer.  Your target market, delivered to your door.

To be fair, let’s define an expense.  dictionary.com says a cause or occasion of spending. Perfect.

If I were Joe Average Business Owner, you’re probably right, SEO is an expense in the short term scheme of things.  There’s going to be a definite amount of time when I’m out spending my return.  There will be months of payments gone to the wayside before I will ever see any return on that money, and it may seem like it’s not working.

And SEOs see this a lot.  It takes time for the search engines to crawl your site, and it takes even longer for your website (which is competing with thousands, if not millions of others) to creep up the SERPS.  That’s why we ask for 6 or 12 month minimum contracts.  Our ‘salary’ is performance based.  You climb the ranks or we lose our job. Simple as that.

Back to expenses – sure, an SEO campaign is a serious cost for your business.  In the short term, it will look like you’re losing money out the wazoo, but long term you’ll see that the money you invested is returning at a rate that has turned it into a nice business asset.

Investment: a devoting, using, or giving of time, talent, emotional energy, etc., as for a purpose or to achieve something

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