Just One Big Thing…

Whenever I go to the beach, it doesn’t seem to matter if I step onto the sand gingerly, or with the full force of unbridled enthusiasm…I will get just as much sand on me either way. And I am covered…more than halfway up my calves. As I begin to attempt to dust myself off, somehow I manage to be more covered in it. I don’t have an aversion to sand being all over my legs. I guess it is just a natural behavior to dust myself off.

Not too long ago, I reached out to my friend and highly sought speaker, Jason Womack. Jason travels like there is no tomorrow. He is always jetting off to some cool place. He speaks overseas as well as around the US. On top of his heavy travel schedule, he is constantly writing his blog, on social networking sites, and producing valuable content for his business relationships. I just don’t know how he keeps up. It truly is amazing. So I asked.

Jason shared this tip with me (and I tried it yesterday). He said each day in the morning he sets his mind on the one big thing in his big list that he really wants to accomplish. The one thing that will make a difference. The one thing that will move him one step closer to where he is headed. I would imagine that any typical day for Jason would be full of busyness. He says that at the end of the day, he checks in with himself to see how he did. He asks himself the question of “what big thing did I accomplish today that will get me further down my path.” Like all of us, he is human…so some days he doesn’t stack up as well as he would like. But he says that it really does help him stay tuned in.

Yesterday I tried it. But I had 3 big things. Three things that really were important and I didn’t want to procrastinate or delay. I committed to myself that I would not be derailed by emails, interruptions, and other mundane busy work. It took me about four hours, but I did what I committed to do. And my attitude during the afternoon was in the clouds. I felt so good about what I had tackled and completed, that I accomplished even more.

Just like on the beach, when the sand jumps all over you…don’t get overwhelmed. Dust it off. Most of the stuff on your list could be just “stuff”. Some of it, if ignored, may become irrelevant in just a few days. Some of it can wait. And some of it – the big things – get them done now! You’ll be amazed at how great it feels.

Remember this…one grain of sand at a time.



Unintended Consequences?

Just a few days ago, President Obama signed the Financial Reform bill into law.  There is considerable uncertainty among businesses as to how this will impact them.

Financial Reform

It is likely that as legal counsel for companies begin to dissect the 2,300 page document, there will be differences of opinion of what the language means.

While there might be some good elements buried somewhere in this legislation, it is difficult to see just yet.  However, unintended consequences are popping up.  Here are just a few…

Rating agencies won’t allow their ratings to be printed on the offering documents which caused the asset backed debt market to shut down Wednesday afternoon.  In order for deals to happen, it is an important legal measure to have the ratings printed on the offerings.

Wednesday night, Ford Motors pulled a financing deal because they could not get a printed rated on their offering.

Some good elements?  Well, it seems that there is some relief for unemployed homeowners tucked inside this bill!  That should make us smile.  HUD hasn’t released the details on how the $1 billion emergency homeowners’ relief fund will work, however the legislation states the program will start Oct 1.

As the details unfold, I’ll keep you posted!

Spicing It Up

The new Old Spice commercial caught my attention the other day.  I thought it was a great diversion from the ordinary…and especially all the negative news.

I just spent a week away at the beach (will share stories on that later).  During those unplugged days, I discovered fun again.  And so to spice things up a bit and have a little fun…Spice It Up



The Link Between Payroll Taxes and Jobs Creation

What if the government kept their hand out of your pocket and kept payroll taxes where they are, or better yet…reduce them. The result could give a much needed, nice shot in the arm to the economy. Say what? How’s that?

Let’s break it down. By reducing payroll taxes, small and medium businesses have more free cash to expand. One form of expansion often is in hiring additional workers. Let’s say the “XYZ” company hires more workers…now the government receives more in tax receipts from the “XYZ” company. The government receives more, and the “XYZ” company is able to produce more with the added workers. In addition, all the employees of the “XYZ” company benefit and keep more of their hard earned cash.

Now that the workers of “XYZ” company have more income, what might they do with it? They may save some….and spend some. By spending in their communities, consumers help support local businesses. Now these local businesses have more coming in, thus are collecting more state sales taxes, which helps our states and municipalities. In addition, they are making more revenue by the increased sales and can produce more goods, hire more people and also contribute to the growth.

Sounds simple enough. Not only does this benefit the economy but could have a positive impact on existing Jobs and Jobs creation.  Maybe our government will see the light.

Our Dollar Bill – Interesting Facts

This weekend we celebrate the birthday of the United States.  Outdoor barbeques, pool parties, parades, fireworks, and the like will be enjoyed across the U.S.  As we celebrate this great country, it dawned on me that I have this really neat slideshow that shares some very cool facts about our dollar bill.  Little known factoids actually. 

What is sad, is that most of us don’t know this stuff…our kids don’t learn it in school either.  And it is reported that many history teachers aren’t dialed into this either.  So please, take a moment and view this slideshow and learn a little slice of history – the symbolism that decorates our dollar bill.

Happy Fourth of July! Happy Birthday America!  Enjoy…

Home Loans Take a Back Seat to Credit Cards

Sitting at the kitchen table, faced with the ever present stack of bills many homeowners are chosing to pay their credit card bills before the mortgage.  This disturbing trend is gaining steam in recent months.

Experts noticed this trend as early as 2006 but they pretty much agreed that it would subside once the economic downturn had passed.  But the economic downturn gained momentum and turned into an economic crisis that has affected nearly everyone.

So what is the rationale for consumers to decide to pay off their credit cards before their mortgages?  It could be a number of things. 

  • Adjustable mortgages reset, consumer’s can’t keep up with the payments so turn their attention to credit card debt;
  • Reduction of income or job loss;
  • Weak job market and depressed home values across the U.S. has fundamentally redefined how consumer manage their finances and set priorities;

But there is debate.  Are consumers shifting their focus…or have the big banks encouraged this in order to get a loan modification or negotiate on a short sale?  When people begin to struggle, and seek help…they are being told that they must be behind on payments to show distress before they are eligible to receive assistance.

This has been a tough recession and recovery seems elusive.  Jobs are scarce and people are being more cautious and frugal.   I’m not sure this trend is an accurate picture of most consumers mindset and could be influenced by behavior from big banks.

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