I don’t know where or how they found me, but it is neat to be among the top 11 financing coaches!
Check out link: http://www.badcredit.org/11-best-finance-coaches/
By Rob Severson on April 23, 2014
I don’t know where or how they found me, but it is neat to be among the top 11 financing coaches!
Check out link: http://www.badcredit.org/11-best-finance-coaches/
By Rob Severson on April 15, 2014
Do you want to be an achiever? I hope so and believe you can become one! In my book “ACHIEVERS’ I have collected 25 personal stories of people who have been achievers in their lives. Some are retired and some are still active in their careers. Some are on their way but are achievers already. It is possible for all of us to be achievers! I define achievers as anyone who goes out and does something for the benefit of society and also for supporting themselves as well as they can. Some achieve wealth; some just achieve financial stability and independence. Others achieve success in helping others while still providing for themselves and their families. Achievers are interesting people. They do something useful with their lives! Some achievers had family support when they started out and others didn’t have it. Some went to college right after high school and others went later when they realized they needed an education to move up in their fields. Some never went to college even though they thought they would have been even more successful if they had gotten an education. The stories I have collected all have one thing I common: they started at the bottom! Some took jobs with low starting pay and discovered how they could move up in their organization if they were successful. Like a salesman, their goal was getting their foot in the door and showing their customer (employer) how much more they had to offer. Hard work was a given for these folks, but they all attribute their success to other things as well. Education, people skills, problem solving skills are among the top things they share. And they shared a purpose too; they all had a high degree of serving their customer, their company/boss and their peers. Some had a passion and pursued it successfully. Others weren’t as interested in finding their dream job as they were in finding a way to support themselves and their families. But in the process they also discovered their dream job even though their dreams may have changed along the way. Some started businesses of their own with the purpose of serving needs of others. They found success by meeting those needs and managing their businesses well. These people also learned how to handle money at an early age and be frugal. That is why many of these people are now retired and living comfortably on their savings or retirement dollars they had earned over their careers. This book was written for two primary purposes
• To show young people examples of how others became achievers and lived well in the process • To give folks in transition some ideas to help them get restarted in a new career or business
• Lastly, everyone likes a story, and stories about real people are interesting!
By Rob Severson on February 9, 2014
Here is a chapter I am working of for my book, “ACHIEVERS” that will be coming out in June. I am looking for input on my definition of success that I gathered from the stories about people that I have written for the book.
Any ideas will be considered!
“They went off to seek their fortune”
Seeking their fortune is the one thing all of the people in this book have in common. The idea of seeking ones’ fortune has been around for a long time. I think I first heard of it iin a child’s book about a yuoung man going off to seek his fortune. Generally speaking, that fortune would mean accumulation of wealth in the form of property and money. The people in this book also went out to seek their fortunes. However, their objectives weren’t just money, they saw several forms of wealth that when added up met their definition of success. They set short term and long goals to meet their big objective of being successful. As achievers, they are constantly pursuing meeting or building them for more wealth. The common definition of wealth for these people is summarized as follows. It may not apply equally for all the people in the book, but is a consensus of what I learned by collecting their stories.
• Inner peace: Being at peace with one’s self is a major part of their wealth. These people are happy; it comes along with other capital below and, for most, a relationship with a higher power.
• Education: They built a wealth of education formally or informally. They have wisdom gained from school, reading and from interacting with people. They may have met one goal of a college degree or two, but would agree that life is a continuing learning quest that builds and maintains this wealth. This is essential to their ability to deal with life and its changes.
• Relationships: Perhaps the biggest component of peace, they work to maintain healthy relationships with all the people in their lives. This includes forgiving and asking for forgiveness from people, and focusing on others instead of themselves. They gained their relationships by helping other people and also found help from others when they needed it. Here is an interesting quote I found on relationships: “People who uplift you are the best kind of people. You don’t simply keep them. You have to treasure them.” — Dodinsky , an author and poet. The people in this book understand practice both sides of that; they give and receive encouragement from others.
• Financial capital: Understanding the need for cash in our society, they have found honest means of procuring it to support themselves and their families. Their simple goal was to be as independent as possible by earning enough to pay their own way and support themselves. Some earned higher wealth than others, but all are meeting the goal of being capable of taking care of their needs. Most of them enjoyed the ability to give to others too. They expressed gratitude for what they have and don’t waste time envying others who have more. I think all would agree that money doesn’t buy inner peace, but managing it properly does. Spending less than they earn is one of their primary goals. • Purpose: Somewhere along their way these people became passionate about a purpose. Usually it was to solve a problem in the world, whether by developing a product, help other people via non-profit work, or just serve their customers’ needs as best they could. And, they included employers and co-workers in their definition of customers. As they “came out of their self-interest” they gained peace and success.
All of the stories will deal with how these folks are “seeking their fortune” and how they are progressing on on their quest. Personally, I learned much from each of them and was constantly amazed hearing their stories, their problems and how they found opportunities to succeed. I hope there is something in this book for all readers who are seeking success.
By Rob Severson on December 27, 2013
How many of us understand the real cost of spending money?
Most of us will borrow money at some time in our lives. Some of us will borrow money many times. Some will borrow money and make payments all their lives and leave the balance to their estates. Some pay cash for everything. Hopefully any of these decisions are well thought out.
So what is the cost of borrowing money? The first thing that always comes to mind is interest. Everyone seems to be aware of this cost although not necessarily aware of the amounts involved. Interest on $1,000 at 2% for a year is $20 Interest on $1,000 at 18% is $180 I think we all understand how rates can affect our cost. The numbers will vary with amounts financed, the term and the rate.
But how many of us think of the largest cost of spending money? Taxes! If one is in the 20% tax bracket he/she must earn $1,250 in order to net out $1,000 to spend on anything. That is a cost of $250 to the spender that is often ignored. And it is more than interest. This is not an argument about taxes or interest rates being too high. It is simply a demonstration of the real cost of spending money. Take it for what it is worth!
By Rob Severson on September 22, 2013
Everyone has a story
There are many biographies and autobiographies of famous people that we read to learn about them and how they achieved their success. Many are very inspirational to any of us, even though we may perceive that these people are “super human”!
But there are other people who have achieved success too that we never hear much about. These are the people “next door” that we see every day and many of them are very successful in their own rite.
I am collecting stories from the people “next door” who have achieved success by their definition. The purpose isn’t to let you brag; it is to put the stories in a book that young people and others can read to see how they can also achieve success learning from these stories. Many of them started out the same way the famous folks did; at the bottom! They may have climbed the corporate ladder, run a successful business, or gone into a service business like legal, accounting or social work. They may have had a dream job at one point, but most found their dream job later in their career. What they have in common is they have found a way to support their families, may have retired, or may be on their way to bigger and better things. They may have had to overcome obstacles, finance an education, work long hours, compete in the market and do many other things they discovered along the way. My premise is that we can all learn from them and take ideas they have to achieve our success.
I am volunteering in inner city schools and am meeting many young people who may not have role models in their lives like the ones I am looking for to write their stories. But not just inner city kids, it is all kids who need to see how others made it and learn from them for their lives. My dream is that some of these stories will inspire them when they discover that people just like them went on to great careers. My other premise is that the stories I collect will not be from the famous people that we may think are out of our reach, so we get discouraged by thinking “I could never do that”. They might if they get started though.
If any reader is interested in sharing their story in my book please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on what I am doing. Remember, this isn’t bragging it is simply telling your story so others may benefit from what you have learned. I have a questionnaire that I’d be glad to send anyone and am available to do phone or personal interviews to gather the information to write your story. Or if you like, you may write it yourself. I can’t guarantee I will use every story if the response exceeds my expectations but I’ll do what I can. Thanks
By Rob Severson on August 22, 2013
Marijuana is in the news all the time it seems. Several states have legalized it for recreational purposes as well as medicinal. Better yet, governments have been taxing it so it may be here to stay!
Several things bother me about it. First, I am old enough to remember the debates going on when the first surgeon general’s report came out and cigarette packages were labeled as hazardous to one’s health. Almost timidly, as if they were not 100% sure yet. And because of a strong tobacco industry lobby too that fought the battle for years.
The tobacco industry eventually lost the lawsuits and paid dearly for its false claims. But it took a while and was very expensive to prosecute. I’m not sure if the public paid for this fight or not as it ate up a lot of court time. And I’ll bet the taxpayers paid a ton for the research.
Now the marijuana folks say marijuana is not dangerous top our health, at least not as bad as cigarettes. They may be right; I don’t know but I have seen some reports on the internet that it is a health hazard. Kind of like the first tobacco oral reports we got 60 years ago. I’d bet we are already paying for a lot of research on marijuana.
I also don’t know for sure if it is a pathway drug to other more harmful drugs like heroin or crack cocaine. Many say it is, and others say it isn’t. We’ll see. But I do know a lot of addicts have also used marijuana along with lots of other drugs. They seem to go hand in hand.
My thoughts are that anything inhaled into one’s lungs other than clean air (and medical inhalers) can be dangerous to the lungs. If that is not the case, why do we worry about clean air?
If you want to smoke it I won’t criticize you. I just hope we don’t have another debacle.
I wonder if I’ll live long enough to see another lawsuit.
By Rob Severson on August 22, 2013
I was raised in the 50’s and 60’s by parents who taught me the values that I still believe in today. I wish I could say that I have always lived by them, but being human, I have denied them many times. And when I did it caused problems for me down the road.
My parents were Christian and believed in the teachings of the church we attended every week. Those included working to make a living, being grateful for what you have, not envying other’s for what they have, and giving to the poor to mention a few. I heard the same things in school and the church too, along with the spiritual things that bring salvation.
In college I strayed a lot! I certainly drank a lot of beer. One night at a frat beer party the boys were singing a Dylan song about social justice. I asked another guy what that was, and he thought it dealt with racism which was a hot topic back then. I thought that was good as racism does no one any good. I graduated, went to work, and forgot about it!
Fast forward to today and I hear about social justice all the time. And now it has been expanded to equality of income and redistribution of wealth. I think the war on poverty that LBJ started may have had something to do with this mentality. I can understand why the secular progressives like this idea. More money for folks is a good and proven election strategy and it is working. Although most believe money doesn’t buy happiness, the idea of having more is so compelling that we forget that idea.
I used to go to AA meetings several years ago. Some of the common themes that came out were selfishness and control and how those things take over and impact lives when we don’t get what we want. The goal of AA is to help folks stop drinking or drugging, but the ultimate goal is serenity. Serenity makes life easier. It is also very Biblical (like all the 12 steps of AA) as peace is a primary theme of Jesus teachings and many Bible verses as well. “The peace which surpasses all human understanding”.
Part of social justice deals with helping the poor, which I agree with. There will always be poor people who because of physical and mental handicaps cannot provide for themselves. And some others that through circumstances they either created or didn’t create find themselves in need of help to provide for their families until they get back on their feet. My values I learned from my parents and their example support the idea of helping these people. I saw my parents do it many times giving clothes to poor people and holding off on collecting fuel bills when they knew the families were hurting. Then there is the next level up from that group of people. I think these folks are the ones that don’t quite “get it” and can’t figure out how to make a living. Maybe it is their upbringing and lack of parental examples like I had. Some just don’t want to do what they have to do to survive. I have less empathy for that group but think they can learn. I do a lot of volunteering in schools etc. to share experiences and hope so they can bring themselves out of their situation. Education is the key, not necessarily getting more education, but getting educated in how to make a living and become self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is part of the key to happiness; it brings self-worth and lessens stress.
Then there are those who just work the system. No comment!
What confuses me now is that churches and synagogues have jumped on the social justice bandwagon too. They preach it and promote it although it is not consistent with Biblical values. Helping the poor is consistent, but I haven’t seen anything about income equality or fairness in the Bible. I have seen a lot about work, frugality, and giving to the poor, but never read anything about government taking from the rich and giving to the poor. I think they are doing this with good intentions, but leaving the core values out that bring peace only frustrates people and motivates them to more coveting of what others have. I also think that is a goal of secular progressives who don’t hold to Biblical values, that they like to stir the folks up to get votes and ultimate control of government.
I read an interesting report about poverty from my friend Steve Bakke. You can access it here: POVERTY His research into poverty is enlightening. While we get reports from others that the US has more than its share of poverty it is not true. Those in poverty in this country live much better than those in other countries. And more interesting is that low income is defined as a relative state, IE the world reporters list the bottom 10% of the income levels as being poor. With that definition there will always be poor people as this is a relative definition. Unless of course we redistribute income from high earners to low earners to reduce the variation which is the goal of the secular progressives.
Back to churches and teachings, I am concerned that they are promoting materialism above peace when they preach social justice. Why contribute to greed, envy and frustration? Some country singers sung songs about being poor and not knowing it; but they were happy. Isn’t peace and happiness the goal? Why not preach the Gospel of hope and peace? And more so, why preach that it is others should be forced to provide for the poor? Isn’t it all of our responsibility? The rich definitely have more responsibility to do so and should be taught that it will bring them peace too, but as victim of the Robin Hood mentality it won’t. And why not preach work and frugality? There is much in the Bible about that.
The other troubling part is the war between the rich and the poor that is being spread like wildfire. Shouldn’t the war be between good and evil? There are good and evil people that are rich as well as poor.
And we learn about negative results of collectivism in the Bible too. The early apostles pooled their wealth and income in order to live and eat so they could spread the gospel. But in Thessalonians we hear Paul say: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”. I have seen nothing in the Bible about income equality or fairness for that matter.
If someone can enlighten otherwise me I will listen!
By Rob Severson on August 14, 2013
Minimum wage has always been a hot topic it seems. I have heard about it all my life.
Companies that rely on cheap labor in their financial model oppose raising it; people on the other side say they deserve a living wage. Bottom line is that both parties want to make more money! You may call it greed if you want, but then call both sides greedy.
Take Walmart for example. Any manufacturer/distributor who has ever tried to sell to Walmart will tell you what a hard bargain Walmart makes if it purchases their product. Some say it is the biggest blessing to sell to Walmart; others say it was the biggest curse when returns decimated their business. So it’s not just the employees that have a gripe with Walmart, but also some vendors.
So why does Walmart behave this way? Answer is simple: to sell their products to consumers at the lowest price possible! Consumers are sharp buyers, they know prices and value for the most part. Are consumers to blame? Maybe. And maybe the same ones who want minimum wage increased!
Folks complain about products coming from China too. But how many consumers would pay $10 more for a $50 shirt made in America? How many consumers buy from mom and pop shops for a few bucks more to support local merchants?
So back to the minimum wage debate the other part I don’t understand is why anyone would want to take a job at a minimum wage unless one was in school, it was a second income family job, or that is all they are capable of doing. In the first instance, many college and high school age kids need jobs, to make some money and learn how to work. The costs of training and turnover plus incompetence do not justify higher salaries. Second, as a second income job Walmart presents a clean working environment, set hours, and a financially sound source of a paycheck. I notice how many retirees work at Walmart for a second income as well as to give them something to do every day. They got used to work and liked it! And third, the folks that are capable of a better paying job can often find it. There are lots of companies that pay above the minimum wage if the employee is worth it.
The bigger issue to me is the concept of working one’s way up the ladder of income levels. Many people I know started out on the bottom, many even at minimum wage. As they demonstrated skills and values above and beyond their peers they got promotions and raises as rewards for their efforts. And some of them did very well! Notice I didn’t say hard work; that is a given. Values and skills are perhaps more important, and often lacking.
I also have to assume that Walmart has opportunities for promotions and salary increases for its people. They need supervisors, store managers and others who have proven they are capable of doing more. Instead of complaining about minimum wage why don’t the folks seek better positions and pay? A gripe I often hear from business owners is that it is hard to get good help. They reward the ones that are good! Not the chronic complainers.
By Rob Severson on July 12, 2013
If you haven’t heard of this story you probably don’t follow the news much. Or at all…
The phrase was a chant by pro-abortionists in the Texas capitol over the legislative action to limit abortions to pregnancies that are more than 20 weeks along. Last report was the chant was “F…k the church”! Twitter was alive with tweets on this for several days from both sides of the question. Strangely, the Church of Satan put one out distancing their organization from the chanters in Texas. They seemed embarrassed! Of course I think most tweets were critical of the chanters.
One question came out; do you think pro-abortion folks worship Satan? I think most agreed that in this case they were worshipping Satan and some even congratulated them for their honesty! At least they admitted it.
I think we need to look at the meaning of the word “worship” first. Some definitions of worship I found were these: “to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power” and this: “great or excessive love, admiration, and respect felt for somebody or something”. I also looked up the Church of Satan and picked up that there were two kinds of Satanism, theistic and atheistic. Theistic would tie in with the Judeo/Christian idea of a good and evil force in the world; God and Satan. Atheistic seems more to be in the realm of secular humanism i.e. they worship man and his science or studies. There is more to it than that, but I’m not going to go further for this article.
So in the case of the chanters, I think it is clear that they would be honoring man or Satan above God any way we look at it.
But rather than enter into hasty judgment and sentencing, I think we need to take a look at our own worship practices! The concept of worshipping “something” also exists in most of our lives. Worship can also include these things and more: money, power, cars, just to name a few, where we have an excessive love and admiration. I don’t have to say it, but I will: We are all guilty of worshipping man in some ways!
But as my parents used to say: “two wrongs don’t make a right”! No, not their original saying, I think that most of my friends near my age used to hear that too. So I’m not condoning either behavior. I can judge, but I’ll leave the punishment to God. And as tempting as it is to say “everyone else is doing something wrong”, it doesn’t justify my wrongful actions. The other favorite from my parents and their generation was “If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you”?
To the folks who do believe in Satan or man, you have every right to your beliefs and who you choose to worship. That is your choice. This article isn’t meant to offend you, just to acknowledge your deity.
To those of us who say we believe in God, we need to take a serious look at how we worship Him via what we are worshipping besides him. Hearing others admit they are worshipping Satan can be shocking to us, but maybe a wakeup call to us too. Maybe our actions are also sending the same message “Hail Satan”.
There really are two choices, but you can’t worship both God and man!
By Rob Severson on July 10, 2013
I think they do. They both fear the “slippery slope” of government actions that would limit what they perceive as their freedoms and rights. They don’t trust government and don’t want to give up any rights they perceive they have.
Some in Texas are trying to restrict abortion to pregnancies that are 20 weeks along. That seems reasonable to many. Especially in light of the brutal killing of babies by Kermit Gosnell revelation. But even in the womb, the babies are pretty far along in their lives so why wouldn’t restricting abortions on them be reasonable? I think the pro-abortionist folks fear it is a step to making all abortions illegal and they believe they have the right to abortion.
Some want to enact more gun control laws including eliminating assault weapons like the AK47. Seems reasonable as there should be no need for a military style rifle to be owned by private people. Gun control folks do not see them as “boy toys” as many gun owners do, nor do they see any need for them as a defense tool. In fact, many don’t see any need for guns at all! So the gun activists fight any law dealing with guns because they don’t trust government and it’s “slippery slope”.
I think if we throw all the arguments out on both sides on both of these issues, the one that will remain is lack of trust in government. Regardless how anyone feels on any of these issues I think you will agree!