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Running a Marathon? Then Train for it.

In Happiness, Mindset on June 15, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , ,

Are you money trained? Seriously, are you qualified to handle money?

In the United States, you must receive training to drive a car, yet none to buy it. You must qualify to attend a University, but have no training on how to pay for it. You need to have proper training to qualify for a good job, yet none to handle the paycheck received.

Now a common response I hear is, “so what’s the big deal? You get a job, make money and either buy stuff or save it” How is that strategy working out for our society? It’s not.

Now I am not talking about being trained to handle the money you currently have. You  most likely have already received all the training you need to handle your current level of wealth, how else would you have arrived where you are?

I am talking about being well trained to handle the money you want. The level of financial happiness you really desire.

So there are two things we are dealing with here:

1. Proper money training.

2. Mental equivalent.

Proper Training

Now sure you may be familiar with your local financial planner who host’s a class on how to use financial tools, such as mutual funds, or a 401k.  This is only training on how to use a tool, not create and sustain financial happiness. This is like going to school to become a surgeon and on the first day you are given a scalpel and told to “get to work?”

Here is a little secret. Proper money training will not be found at  your local bank, your local investment group, nor on late night TV. You have to learn it on your own. I know, not the answer you wanted.

You have to put in the time to do things like read books or network with those who are already at the level you desire. Ask questions, take risks, be in action. All the things most people do not want to do. Hence why so few achieve a level of financial happiness greater than those they hang out with.

Think about it the next time you buy a car or house. Ask yourself, am I qualified to make this money decision (the real estate agent and car dealer will say you are). But are you? Would someone with the level of financial happiness you desire make the same decision?

Mental Equivalent

For someone who is focused on being able to run one mile, running 26.2 miles (a marathon my friends) may seem impossible. For someone focused on running 26.2 miles, running 100 miles (an ultra-marathon) may seem impossible.

If you are focused on earning $100k per year, earning $1 million may seem impossible. If you are earning $1 million, earning $35 million may seem impossible.

Shifting your mental equivalent is so easy, yet so hard. It’s easy to commit right now being a Million-aire rather than a Thousand-aire, the hard part is actually believing and taking action.

You have to raise the ceiling of what is possible and believe it! Then take action with your new level of happiness in mind. This isn’t hocus-pocus here. Just commit to going bigger despite not knowing the how.

There are horror stories of lottery winners who, after winning a huge sums of money, blow away all the money and end up back where they started (or worse).  Think about it. If you take someone who is comfortable with how to make and spend $35k a year, and drop $26 million on them, they will bring themselves, unconsciously, back to their level of comfort. Thus spend the money and get back to a financial state equivalent to the way they think and believe.

Take chance. Raise your ceiling of what you think if possible, and dive into books, blogs, and find those who have the financial happiness you desire and learn from them.

The Financial Happiness Project is a great resource. Let us know how we can help point you in the right direction.

Cletus Coffey is an athlete and social entrepreneur.  He is the founder of InnovateLive, a cause marketing organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the world’s most pressing causes.

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My Aha Moment

In Mindset on June 7, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , ,

As I was thinking about this post this morning, I wanted to share a personal story with you.  We’ve all heard the term Aha Moment.  It’s the moment when the proverbial light bulb goes on in your head – TA DA!

Aha Moment – it’s the moment of clarity, a defining moment where you gain real wisdom – wisdom you can use to change your life.

This is the moment I want to share with you.  A moment that once I was open to receiving it, it changed my life immediately and dramatically.

Prior to being the Ambassador of Joy, I was a student with FHP and learned some incredible lessons and gained some wonderful insights.  I owe a lot of who I am today to one of those lessons.  As with many lessons, they aren’t always fun while we are in the middle of them!  This was definitely one of those moments.

I was connecting on my weekly call and I had a chance to mention something that had been bothering me for years.  I was 33 years old at the time and I couldn’t remember a moment in my life when my mother had said she was proud of me.  It hadn’t mattered what I had done, I never heard those words.  I am now a Mom of a 14 year old daughter and I make sure I share with her often how proud I am.  I shared this with my guide and he wasn’t having it.  He gently showed me that when I decide how my mom “should have been”, I am placing judgment.  Further, he said that unless and until I let go of that judgment, I will never fully experience true financial wealth and/or happiness.  Allowing myself to sit in that judgment meant that I always had a reason to step into the victim role.

Let’s just say I had a really hard time hearing this.  After all, why is now MY fault that my mom had never said that to me!?!?  Shouldn’t a mother say those words to her daughter?  What was he talking about!?  Let’s also just say that I shared with my guide that I was mad (I believe I even said *pissed*) at what he had said.  I proceeded to tell him that I wasn’t really ready to let go of feeling that way.  He said that was fine, you don’t need to let go of it, if you don’t want to.  He also said, but if you don’t, you’ll never be able to move forward fully.

Dang it.

That conversation took place on a Wednesday afternoon.  Thursday morning I had my weekly networking meeting.  After letting myself sleep on our conversation, I was driving to the meeting that morning.  As I was driving, I heard one of my favorite songs and decided that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain if I ‘let go’ of wanting/needing/expecting to hear those words from my mom.  In that moment, I said to myself – out loud, in the car – okay, I let it go.  I will be proud of myself and that is all that I need to know.

My meeting wraps up promptly at 8:30 am and I headed out to my vehicle.  There was a message from my mom – this wasn’t unusual as we generally spoke a couple times a week in the morning.  The message was simple – “Please call me when you can.”  Before leaving the parking lot, I dialed her number, she answered on the second ring.

Me:       Hi Mom!

Mom:  Well, good morning!  How was your meeting?

Me:      The meeting went well.  What’s going on?  What do you have planned for today?

Mom:  Not much.  I just wanted to call and tell you how proud of you I am.

Me:       Wow, thanks mom!  (and in my mind I’m thinking – what the heck!  Hold the phone – what is going on here?!!?)

Um, Mom, where did that come from?

Mom:  Well, I’ve been watching what you’re doing and your helping so many people and I just wanted you to know how proud I am of you.

Me:      Really?  Thank you so much.

I learned a great lesson that day – or I could say, I RE-learned a great lesson that day.  Because I was holding so tightly to the idea that my mom had never said she was proud, there was no way I could ever hear it from her.  I now recognize that she may have been saying it my entire life but I was so convinced she never was – I didn’t have a space to hear it.  The moment I opened up the space and let go of judgment, is the moment I heard it because I had a space for it.

Since that time, my mom shares with me often how proud she is and how much she loves what I do.  Her sharing these words with me is icing on the cake.  The cake itself is knowing that I have released that judgment and in so doing, I’ve opened myself up to greater happiness – both financially and otherwise.

What is in your life right now that you are holding in judgment?  Are you blocking yourself from receiving and you just need to recognize it?

Jennifer Brentano, Ambassador of Joy @ fHp

P.S. Connect with us a on Facebook or Twitter.

Knowing that everyone is uniquely designed and divinely created for something spectacular is Jen’s passion.  With this, she started Inspiring Radiance, a business dedicated to supporting others to greater levels of health and happiness.

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Peer Lending vs Bank Lending

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

What is the difference between a bank and http://www.lendingclub.com?

As I was reading “The Mesh” by Lisa Gansky and considering how technology is allowing people to provide services directly to one another through systems like Zaarly (www.zaarly.com), share or rent expensive or seldom used items, and lend money directly through sites such as http://www.prosper.com and http://www.lendingclub.com, I was struck by a thought: It is probable that few of my friends understand the differences between loans offered by a bank and loans offered by peer lending services.

The difference can be summed up in one word: Leverage.

The bank leverages every one (1) dollar on deposit to lend nine (9) other dollars. Peer to peer lending lend no more than one (1) dollar for every one (1) dollar it receives. We think that the Fed controls the number of dollars in circulation, and to a point they do. They control the source currency. Banks multiply or amplify the cash created by the Fed because the banking laws allow them to lend more money than they have on deposit.
Peer lending does offer some advantages over traditional banking:
Lenders may receive higher interest rates than they get with traditional banks.
Lenders get to choose which loans they fund. Traditional banks lend to those who meet their requirments.
Lenders pay fewer fees than they do with banks. Traditional banks pay interest, but they also charge depositors fees.
Lenders can choose higher reward (interest rates) for higher risk (lower borrower creditworthiness).

With increased potential reward comes increased risk:
Peer Lending deposits are not insured. Bank deposits are insured up to $200,000.
If borrowers default, the peer lender gets his portion of what is left after debt collection fees. In traditional banking, the depositors money is insured.

In other words, Peer Lending has similar risks to other investments: you may lose your investment.

From the borrower side, Peer Lending has benefits and risks as well
Peer Borrowers may be funded with when they would otherwise be turned away from traditional lending institutions.
Peer Borrowers can, in some cases, sell their story to potential lenders.
Peer Borrowers may pay less interest than their credit card rates.
Peer Lending institutions still use credit scores and other metrics to pre-screen borrowers, so if your credit score is lousy, you may still be denied a loan, or you may be paying very high interest rates.
As you create your financial happiness through investment, look and see if Peer Lending or traditional banking or a mix fits your model.

Links: http://www.prosper.com, http://www.lendingclub.com, http://www.mesh.it

Dave Orton, Thought Provoker @ fHp

P.S. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Dave Orton values thought and action, he’s a Father who is committed to sharing with his family, friends and others the principles and insights that will bring fiscally responsible change to people and government in the US and around the world. Dave earns his bread as a technology manager and loves reading, learning, public speaking, and writing. ~If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

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Why Atlas Shrugged

In Mindset on May 9, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , , ,

Who is John Galt?

 This is the question driving the conflict in the book and now movie, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand.  I took the opportunity to watch the movie this week and, having read the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The movie takes place in a future US where business leaders and owners are disappearing inexplicably.  The US is surrounded by countries where the only purpose of the governments is to nationalize resources.  This is a place where rumor is king and where the leadership has abandoned responsibility for their actions and instead lobby against one another to seize and control others property and lives.

The hero is an entrepreneur who had discovered a new type of steel that is cheaper and stronger and longer lasting than regular steel.  The heroine is the second in command of a formerly great corporation where the first in command is a member of the lobbying elite, while his family’s company crumbles beneath him. 

The struggles of the hero and heroine come from both sides because while the leaders of government destroy free enterprise, an internal shift occurs among the talented leaders in the corporate world.  Externally, they’re disappearing without a trace.

In the movie, a mysterious person visits these people prior to their departure and informs them of another option than continuing to struggle on behalf of those who provide no value and bleed the system as much as they can.  After the mysterious man visits them, they leave their companies and jobs.

This movie is the first of at least two installments.  The book is lengthy and the second part includes a manifesto style speech by John Galt himself.  If you don’t want to wait for the second movie, I recommend reading the book.

For me the most important message is that potential value is worthless until it is developed and delivered.  So create and share the value you have potential for now. 

A mountain has a huge amount of potential energy.  But because it is inert, it makes no use of that potential and slowly, the elements wear away at the rock until it is flat ground, and there is no more potential.

So it’s time to get moving. Be who you are, and do what you must to transform your potential into action, service, and value.

Dave Orton, Thought Provoker @ fHp

P.S. Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Dave Orton values thought and action, he’s a Father who is committed to sharing with his family, friends and others the principles and insights that will bring fiscally responsible change to people and government in the US and around the world.  Dave earns his bread as a technology manager and loves reading, learning, public speaking, and writing.          ~If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?

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What Are You Pursuing?

In Happiness on April 26, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , ,

In the fabulous movie The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays real life Chris Gardner.  As a struggling salesman, he takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.  There are a lot of incredible messages in this movie and I highly recommend it if you’ve never seen it.

As you begin to dive into your personal financial happyness journey, I wanted to share this clip with you.

What do you think? What are you REALLY pursuing?  I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.

Jennifer Brentano, Ambassador of Joy @ fHp

P.S. Connect with us a on Facebook or Twitter.

Knowing that everyone is uniquely designed and divinely created for something spectacular is Jen’s passion.  With this, she started Inspiring Radiance, a business dedicated to supporting others to greater levels of health and happiness.

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Are you smarter than a kinder-gardener?

In Finances, Happiness, Mindset on April 19, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , ,

Everything you need to know to become financially happy is detailed in this blog post.
Now that you just have rolled your eyes and said to yourself “yeah right,” after reading that statement, please focus in for a minute. The truth is you already know how to be financially happy, in fact you learned it in kinder-garden. So I am just here to remind you.

Unless you are kinder-gardener reading this (that would be cool) or have a child that is around kinder-garden age, you most likely have consciously forgotten what you learned during that time in your life.

One of the basic skills we were taught in kinder-garden was responsibility. We learned to be responsible for our coats, lunch bags, and backpacks. We were taught to keep our hands to ourselves, and how to clean up a mess.We were given duties or jobs we were responsible for in the classroom. Ultimately we were being groomed to be able to not only care for ourselves, but to be successful in the real world.

Unlike the nursery rhymes that unfortunately will never leave our memories, (“Ring around the rosie” anyone?), the basic principle of being responsible for our own success and happiness has somehow been forgotten.

You and I are right here, right now, because some ancient bloodline in our species continued to evolve to avoid predators, illness, and even climate change. There are plenty of other species that are no longer here because they were incapable or unwilling to evolve to the changing times or environment around them. The willingness to change and evolve is a contributing factor to the human species still being on this Earth.

When it comes to money in today’s world we have stopped evolving. Traditional financial education, they way most of us were taught about money, is rooted in “lack of responsibility.” We are told to go to school and rely on others to educate us. We are told to find a job and rely on our employer for income, health benefits, retirement, and in some cases such as working for  companies like Google, to feed us. We are taught to rely on financial advisors, to make us money we can live on in the future. We are taught the only way to buy a house or a car is to use the banks money. In fact, we are in the habit of using the banks money (credit cards) for all our purchases.

Where is the disconnect? At what point between kinder-garden and adulthood did we forget to take responsibility for our own success?

Whether or not you believe in the traditional stable of investment options, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, 401k’s, IRA’s, real estate, savings accounts, etc., makes no difference. These, like any investment strategy, are not going to succeed without the owner of the investment taking full responsibility for the success and failure. If you have children you know this is true. You have to nurture that baby, feed it, give it unconditional love, and get to know the child inside and out.

There is no having a baby and turning it over to someone else to manage. I often hear people say, “I don’t know much about investing, so I use someone who does know a lot.” Your money is your baby, you need to take responsibility for nurturing it, feeding it, and making sure it is successful, not turn it over to someone else.

Here we are still in the midst of some serious economic challanges, and most of society seems to be waiting for the kinder-garden teacher to come over and clean up our mess. The common rant I hear is “employers are not hiring, the government is not doing enough, the banks are sticking it to everyone.” I have yet to hear anyone step up and say, “hey I am part of this mess and I am going to find my way out and never go back.”

Instead all that is being talked about is “recovery.” Honestly friends, if you are waiting for a recovery, back to say the heyday of 2006, then consider yourself a dinosaur. If you are unwilling to evolve your financial literacy and take responsibility, then your money will be extinct.

To recover is to “go back to a previous state.” Although you may have had more money in a previous state than the one you’re in, thinking and acting financially the way we did in those days (I know it’s only been five years, but it’s been a long five years), will no longer work in today’s financial climate. We must act like kinder-gardeners and learn to take responsibility for our financial happiness.

An example of taking responsibility is ditching the “recovery” talk and learning how to navigate the brand new financial world we are living in. If you are not financially happy now, continuing to relying on others for your happiness, as traditional financial planning suggests, is like continually being hit over the head with a baseball bat and waiting for the person swinging to stop. Evolve, and get out of the way!

Today, right now, make a commitment to take responsibility to align your financial strategies with you. Yes, you! Align your money with what you are good at, with your own skills, abilities, and knowledge. If you are someone who doesn’t like losing money, evolve, and get your money out of the stock market. If, for example, you know motorcycles inside and out, put your money there. You will have far greater success than putting your money into a retirement account run by some financial firm you have never heard of or even met. Oh and guess what? You are involved in something you love! That’s happiness baby!

Forget going backwards. It is time to evolve beyond the thinking and acting that has put so many people into a financial crisis. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the old financial habits that are not working. Take the time to learn from them and you will be well equipped to teach any kinder-garden class how to leave a legacy of financial responsibility and happiness.

Cletus Coffey is an athlete and business leader passionate about healthy businesses and healthy business owners. He is the founder of InnovateLive, an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the world’s most pressing causes.

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Happiness Really IS a CHOICE

In Happiness on April 12, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , ,

When you think of the word happiness, what comes to mind?

When you think of finances and happiness, what comes to mind?

For many, it is typical to equate our happiness to the amount of things we have, or don’t have.  In fact, did you know that the United States ranks number 24 on the list of happiness!?  There are many poor countries that are much happier and rank much higher than the US.  It is so easy to get caught up in believing the more we have, the happier we will be.  Have you ever caught yourself saying “as soon as I get the blank , then I’ll be happy!”  Fill in the blank – job promotion, make more money, new car, new home, new clothes, etc.  And, have you noticed that once you have the new ‘whatever it is’, you are no more happy and instead end up searching for the next thing to make you happy?

Out of your 100% of happiness, this type of searching (also known as Conditions of Living) is only responsible for 7-8% of your overall happiness!

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