Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Trouble With Money

“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” ― Rebecca Johnson

There are a lot of emotions surrounding money especially in these turbulent times. Our self esteem, relationships, family life, careers and homes are profoundly affected by the lack of, or fear of, losing money. Money has a lot of power in our lives. How do we take back our power?

What if we lived our lives as if money was not a problem? What if we believed that it will show up when we need it? It sounds unrealistic and naive. In reality though, hasn't that happened many times in your life? It just shows up or we figure out a way.

You can be in fear or be in action. You can create a plan or be open to the guidance that you receive throughout the day. Can you be flexible and willing to take a risk of your energy and time? If you get an invitation to a teleseminar, conference or networking event, do you consider it or think it's a waste of time? Would you start a friendly, light conversation with some one in the elevator, train, grocery line or restaurant or just stay quiet going about your business? Do you get in on the conversations on Twitter and Facebook with some comment with added value or just post about how your day went? Social networking is a great way to communicate with people. I have met wonderful people and contacted old friends who answered within minutes. You never know where it can all lead.

Be yourself, be open and befriend. Money may come and go. Your best resources are people and connection.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Make the Dreaded Appointment...with your Financial Planner

More daunting than the doctor, the financial planner, can give you the news you least want to hear. How your money is doing. If you want to make money and create wealth, you need to know where you stand and get yourself safe. Knowledge = Power = Wealth. You need to have your personal finances in order. Where you put your money is as important as making money. You must protect it.

Firstly, figure out your net worth so you can track it on a monthly basis. Your assets are what you own. Start with your cash and liquid assets (cash & bank accounts, bonds, term deposits and investment certificates, money owed to you), marketable assets (mutual funds, stocks, real estate investments, business interests), long-term assets (retirement savings, cash value of life insurance, pension plans & profit sharing), personal assets (personal residence, recreational property, vehicles, recreational equipment, household furnishings & equipment, collectibles). Total your assets.

Your liabilities are what you owe. Short-term debt (charge accounts & credit cards, line of credit/overdraft, loans i.e., car loan, etc., unpaid bills, taxes i.e., income tax or property tax owing, charitable pledges, family obligations, etc., Long-term debt (home mortgage, other mortgage loans). Total your liabilities.

Your net worth is the total of your assets minus total of your liabilities. How did you do? Want to do better? Good. This is square one and now that you know your net worth, you can work on what actions you need to take to create a financial plan to get you where you want to be.

Financial planning is a process that involves identifying needs and objectives, establishing priorities based on your values and implementing options. Once you have established your financial position, you can focus on risk management, wealth accumulation, tax planning, retirement planning and finally estate planning.

Prepare yourself to not lose money. Visualize how much net worth you would like to have and in how long. Create a written plan for your goals/dreams. What action steps do you need to take to move you closer to your goals/dreams? You took a big one by meeting with your financial planner. Now, make a decision, commitment, plan, preparation and execution to be successful!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who is Steve Job's Muse?

As I watched Steve Jobs' keynote presentation launching the new Apple Tablet iPad, I was delighted at how excited he was about his new project. Pure passion. This was a man proud of what he was presenting and it was a soft sale. Look at how easy it is to use. Here was our goal and how we accomplished it. Bing. Showing his roots back in 1976, playing Grateful Dead and Dylan tunes off the iTunes Store, and letting us know how it's grown into a multi-billion dollar business, the largest mobile service provider in the world. If he can do, can we do it? What does he know that we don't know?

He may be the visionary and he also knows who to put on his team. People like Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller, who spoke with the same calm excitement and knowingness that Steve Jobs did. They explained what the App Store and iWorks could do in simple terms so anyone could get it. There were game developers, Mark Hickey from Gameloft, Travis Boatman from EA and Chad Evans from, showing the improvements on the larger screen.There was a presentation of Brushes, an iPad drawing app, by Steve Sprang, that opened a new creative world. The best is yet to come. Even the NY Times developers were there to give us a glimpse of digital journalism to come. Will it help the newspaper industry? Let's hope so. Developers can go to and download SDK to build apps right now. What great potential in this field.

The newest addition to their iTunes and App Store is iBooks with bookshelves and a secret door. Who thought of that? What a fun idea!

I love this new Apple iPad and I can't wait for it to ship. It's just what I've been wanting. That and the feeling that there is so much out there yet to be discovered and experienced.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We're Not Supposed to Struggle

Sweat it out, yes. Work hard, take risks, and make mistakes, yes. Struggle, no. There must be a joy, excitement and passion in knowing that you're doing what you were meant to do. You know the feeling. Time flies by. You're in a joyous, creative state. It feels right.

What are people doing these days? Everything and anything! What are your priorities? Paying the bills. What are you doing in your free time? Don't tell me you don't have any -- we all do. Less TV, computer, email time and more research, working on social media, networking, growing your connections, and your value.

What do you know about? What is effortless? What brings you joy everyday? What did you want to be when you were a child? What were you told to be? Did you listen? There are some many clues for you to unravel in these questions. And when you come up with an idea, then ask WHY?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Observe, Listen, Question & $olve

It's important to get a handle on the problems that you and your community are facing. What is keeping you up at night? What are your friends worried about? What's going on with the kids? What do you hear strangers discussing? What can you offer that will make a difference? What can you add that will help the situation?

If you see a problem, you don't necessarily need to know how to fix it. You can learn to do that or outsource a solution. The key is in observation and having the "aha moment" of how you can make the situation better.

Some people are great at this. Joy Mangano, for one, invented many products that solved organizational and space problems, especially her hangers. She started with an idea for a better mop. The campaign for Windows 7 tauts how users created the idea for it and you see them smiling with pride. Kim Kardashian has tapped into a few businesses, i.e.,, exercise videos and a cleanse, that are providing services that people are buying. It also helps that she has the visibility of a TV show. Nonetheless, people are interested in what she is doing and they want it for themselves. That's what it's all about.

What do you notice in your life that isn't working? What would you like to see improvements in? Everything around us started with someone's idea, the chair, desk, light, phone, computer, pen, paperclip, calculator, stapler, post-it, scotch tape, mouse pad, water bottle, paper cup. What would make a difference in your life? It would probably make a difference in others too. Don't be discouraged or impatient. Listen to the kids since they have less fear and lots of imagination. We all have great ideas if we could listen to others and trust our own thoughts. Ask what would it be worth to others if you could provide this service and Go for it!