Business, family

Family, I’m too Busy with Work

It’s your paycheck that pays for the care of your family. If you didn’t work the hours that you do, weekend and so on, life just wouldn’t be possible. You work hard to provide for your family entirely admirable. For years I thought the same thing.

If you’re so busy, you have no time for your family what the hell kind of life is that? It’s not a life because someday when your son or daughter is grown up you will be regretting the time lost. You can cloud this up all you want but the day will come. So let’s figure out how to manage work and life balance.

family, business, work

The first big hurdle to cross is the boss that says “sure you can go watch your kids’ ball game just pack this box with all your shit.” I actually have had several bosses who played that card. This I will admit is a tight position to find yourself in.

An even tougher thought to ponder is to say you do succeed, but you’ve missed every first thing, birthdays, and life events with your children. How do you ever get that back? You don’t! A very perplexing situation to find oneself.

We all want to get ahead in life, we want to give our family more than what we had. The problem is the cost. What are we willing to pay. From experience, I paid a lot. More than I should have because I missed a great many things. My son ounce sent me a picture of a child chasing a Dad, the bottom photo was the Dad chasing the child. Sad!

One damn sure thing you can never do; buy your child’s happiness or love. What you can provide is you! So how to find the balance?

Begin by making sure you make time every day if possible that you leave your phone, emails, and laptops. Allow yourself to be totally present in a moment with your child. Don’t answer the phone and say Daddy or Mommy has to take this. Don’t dismiss your child as you would a co-worker.

Finding balance requires you to be completely present at the moment. You want to sell yourself that a client can’t wait an hour to hear from you (I get time-sensitive jobs, but you need to find a time when the market is closed, see my point). Spending uninterrupted time with your children, time with them while you are on the phone is NO GOOD! Block out time that is the children’s time!

Some will say this is a nieve look at job vs. family. That it’s your job that pays for your families life. If you asked one adult child, who’s parents gave them an incredible home, everything they could ever want. If you asked that child what if anything could you change, all would tell you more time with the parent that was absent. You can’t buy a family or love.

Make real-time for kids to experience what you have to offer. Maybe you can’t be there all the time, but be present in the moment. Don’t miss firsts or birthdays! You can never get them back; I don’t care how many birthday ponies you give. Turn off phones and be with your kids! You won’t regret you did, ever!

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family, spiritual

Five Things to be Grateful For

Many days we all struggle to find things to be grateful for. Learning to become grateful during our worst times will help you find peace. Focus on the positive things in your life, get that vibration out in the universe. Draw in the great kick out the bad!

five things to be grateful for

Here are 5 quick things to be grateful for today:

  1. You woke up; you’re This is a tell-tale sign that God is not through with you yet. Why not get up and go see what God has for your life.
  2. Do you have healthy children, are you healthy, if so consider the flip side of that coin? Many families will leave loved ones behind today in hospitals to never return home. If you have your health, you genuinely have everything!
  3. Do you have a job and transportation to get to your career? Even if it’s a job, you cannot stand, you have a job. Lots of folks would kill for your crappy job. So be grateful you can work and provide for your family.
  4. If you’re reading this from a computer, chances are it’s on a device you can be grateful to have. Plenty of folks out there that cannot understand this only because they have no access. If you have a cell phone, computer, tablet, and Be grateful that you have these items that most likely you take for granted.
  5. Family, do you have anyone in your family that you are genuinely grateful they’re in your life? Hopefully, its most of your family, but if it’s a Mom, Dad, sibling or child. Let that person or persons know how grateful you are to the family. An I love you goes a long way!

No matter how crappy life may be or how joy-filled life may be for you right now. Being grateful is powerful. See the world through grateful eyes, and you will see a world that blossoms for you in ways you never imagined.

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Today I am grateful you read this and pray Joy and Peace into your life! God Bless.

family, spiritual

Faith Triumphs Again

Through fantastic faith, blessing comes. Of late I have been tested in my faith and struggling to let God guide my way. The good news for me is that I recognize what’s going on with me and don’t stress the way historically I have.

Pushing through, however, is tough. The lassitude this brings into my life is stifling. The aberrant lack in my life causes me more stress. Finding my way back to what is healthy for me is a struggle I believe we all suffer with.

Most importantly not losing faith, and hope, but staying in faith even when it seems out of reach. Circumstances overwhelm reason. If I don’t believe in a bad outcome and focus my attention to a happy resolution. This is the end of the field God plays on, and through our faith, his will shines through.

 

prayer, faith, hope, Chocolate Cake
You can eat some not so good stuff if you get this cake at the end. Think about it! 

 

What prompted me to write this article. Last night I was struggling through finances as I am sure you all do from time-to-time. Checking my email, I opened one from my credit card company with a new credit line increase. No, I don’t recommend living off credit cards.

My point to sharing the credit increase is the timing. I had let God know that I know he is working to bring the right jobs, the right new customers and my needs will be met.

Historically, I would be freaking out. Instead, I simply let God know I have faith in him to provide. I do the work every day, stay in faith, diligently do my job, I don’t sit on my duff and do nothing.

The increase came out of the blue; I had not asked nor applied for any assistance. In my heart, I believe God was letting me know he is there. This type of blessing happens a lot when I stay in faith. When I feel even though I can’t see any way out, I let God know that I believe he will pull me through.

God knows my heart; he knows my journey now includes him daily. Many times, my faith is tested where it would be easy to say “this doesn’t work, God does not listen to me.” It’s been my experience that when I do that things do get worse. When I believe all will be okay, then slowly but surely bumps in the road smooth out.

Somedays its big things and somedays you merely need to look for the smallest of miracles in your life. Big or small it’s a step forward. Be grateful at all time that God has taken the time to bless your day.

When you don’t see a way, this is when you have to trust that God is working behind the scenes to help you. Just because you can’t see any movement whatsoever does not mean that change is about to occur in your life. Stay in faith, as they say, this too shall pass!

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If you have questions or comments I would love to hear from you:

Business, family

Bad Credit Getting you Down

Over thirty-five years of my career has been either directly or non-directly working in retail credit. Working with individuals and families for years helping them with financing. Over the years I have learned a thing or two about financing and credit.

Sadly, most of my clients these days have credit issues. You have no idea how much more difficult life can be when you don’t have a good credit rating. Bad things happen to good people certainly. However, so many folks are what bankers call chronic derogatory credit.

loans, finance, credit

It’s amazing to me how many people will, for example, let a car repo because the dealer won’t help them fix the car. Ruining their credit. Will get into this later in the article.

What I want to give you is sage advice on getting and keeping your credit. To also give you advice on how to regain your credit if you’ve lost it. How to pick up your scores and maintain a quality credit score.

The first thing we should cover is what you need to do before you buy anything on credit. Once you sign on the dotted line, you’re an OWNER. Does not matter how bad the product is you bought, you own it. Many consumers say they have three days to return an item. Better check with your States Attorney General for what is and is not covered under this law.

For example, in the State of Texas when you buy a vehicle, once you drive off the dealer’s lot you own the car. There is no bringing the car back if you have buyer’s remorse. When you cross the curb of the dealership if the car falls into two pieces, you own two pieces of a whole car.

You can’t just simply take back a product after you consummated a deal and expected not to have consequences such as a repo. It does not matter how right you think you are, that you may have been duped. That is NOT the bank’s problem at all. The bank is not a mediator between you and the dealer in this example.

What is an absolute must before you sign for credit, know what you’re buying. Make sure that all your bases are covered. Does not matter is what you buy doesn’t work you still have to pay. Not fair I get it, but NOT the lender’s problem. Your problem is between you and the seller.

family, credit cards

Banks lend money period; they don’t care about problems outside of you paying them back. They did not break your TV or car; they lend you the money to buy them. They assume that you’ve done your due-diligence.

Consumers get caught up in the moment, get excited and make rash decisions. Don’t let emotions get in the way of sound financial judgment. Salespeople are trained to create excitement around your purchase. Don’t get fooled into something you are not completely in control of. Otherwise, you may get to pay for a piece of junk. You can give it back at the cost of your credit. Bankers don’t care about your story or how you got duped. What they will care about in the future is will you do it to them! Don’t catch that plague.

Research the product, car, TV, whatever item you plan to buy with credit. Before you sign on the dotted line.

So, what happens if now if credit is gone. Scores in the four hundred or five hundred range. What can consumers do to fix this?

Here are a few things you can do now:

  1. Get copies of all three credit reports with scores. Free services are good but go get your report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. Trans Union®, Equifax®, Experian®. See what a bank will see. Know exactly what is what.
  2. If you find erroneous information on your report. File a dispute with that credit agency to have it removed.
  3. Check the dates for derogatory information. If something from twenty years ago is on your report file a dispute to have removed.
  4. Work with creditors to remove derogatory information if you have paid them.
  5. Open credit card accounts that are maxed out. Work to pay more than minimum payments, make sure your payments post before your billing cycle. Very important that payments post before your billing cycle.
  6. When possible get at least one payment ahead on all your credit accounts. If you can’t at least try to get one or two. Especially cars, and mortgage. You never know when you might have a rainy day.
  7. Before you hire a credit, repair agency understands all they’re really doing is disputing information on your credit report. If creditors don’t respond within a set time, the credit agency will remove. You can do that for FREE.

There is NO magic cure to fix credit. When you dispute claims, some will fall off while others will stay.

When rebuilding credit starting off with a secured credit card can help. Lots of car dealers can help you with derogatory credit financing. This is not a loan that you buy your dream car with. So many folks go into car dealers to buy super expensive cars with sub-prime financing. This is a huge mistake.

Now you bury yourself in a depreciable asset, that you have no real chance of trading out of for years. Don’t get in this trap I have seen more people make financial matters worse doing this not better. Get your pride out of the way. You may not be driving the car you want this go around, but if you take care of business, the next car can be your dream car.

Believe me; dealers will let you get whatever you want they don’t care if you repo or not. Get what you can easily afford. Wouldn’t it be much better to have good credit in the future or perhaps you think driving a “Buy Here Pay Here” car would be a dream car. In that situation, if you put $2000 down that will be the value of the piece of junk you HAVE to buy for thousands of dollars more than what the car is worth. The cycle won’t end. Get pride out of the way!

If you want to change your credit outlook, it will take work. It won’t come overnight either, but it will come. You may work a couple of years to do it, but one day you will have credit again. Get with a good Credit Union and work to build good credit again. Secured loans and credit cards are a good start. Use practical sense when making purchases on credit where high-interest rates are part of your buying your way back to good credit. Do this, and before you know it, credit will again shine in your life.

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I am happy to answer questions about credit:

Business, spiritual

Work, Work, Work

Knowing today what I do with respect to my career, wow is their so many changes I would have made well before now. This article I hope speaks to young men and women early on in their careers. Working twelve, fourteen or longer hour days. Work, work, work, work, work!

 Jerk bosses will tell you to put in the hours to get ahead, while their ass is at home with family. Or out having a life. Sure, does have to be paid but don’t get lost in a Myer of work = money = life. What good is money if you don’t have a life? The million-dollar question: Life-Work – Balance.

Background for me early on. Working in automotive retail eight AM to nine + PM six days per week. Don’t even think about a day off or vacation. My sons first basketball game I was literally thrown a box on my desk told to pack my shit and go to the game. Or get my ass back to work! What do you do? Retail is a brutal industry, that is very unforgiving.

family,spiritual,kids

The incident I had with a boss with my sons first game was just the tip of the iceberg throughout my automotive career that has spanned thirty-five years. I lost a lot of firsts, family milestones, a life, and burned through a couple of marriages quickly. Damaged my relationship with my kids and the list goes on.

It was only too easy to fall into the trap of work, work, work. My argument with my family is “if I don’t work you don’t have a life.” Looking back how shortsighted that statement really is. What a stupid move. Sure, every man does what he has to in order to provide for his family. Looking back my family was more interested in having me than the money. My dumb ass chose the money.

One thing I have come to learn in my life is you have choices even when you think you don’t. What I mean by this. Don’t forget to have a life while you’re providing for your life. Easier said than done, pardon all the cliches in this paragraph.

Here is my challenge to leaders in organizations. Let’s say that I am a member of your management team. I want to go see my kid play whatever. If you’re the ass hole that says no. My question would be your such a shitty manager that one person off your floor is going to destroy your day. What you’re telling me if I was the owner of this business. If we let one person off for a few hours, my business is going to stop?

The person asking off has such an impact on my business that he can’t be gone for a few hours? This is what you’re telling me? We’re going to screw up the head of one of our best players who must tell his child he can’t do this or that because he has to be at work. As a leader, you should have depth in your bench to move players around, so my business does not suffer. What do we do on sick days? Shut down because XYZ employee is not at work???

Companies are running sales teams, for example; if you can’t be short a guy or two and still not run at peak performance, I am going to look at my leaders and say you may not be the right fit. My teams can operate fully staffed or short-handed period.

Not allowing an employee a few hours now and again to enjoy family events that if allowed will bring back to me a better person. Parents who are proud not stressed about not being there. How much more am I going to get out of someone who is happy than sad? If you can’t figure that out, you’re too stupid to work for me. Business can be hard, let’s not make it harder because of short-sightedness.

Most of this must be a leadership change. A culture change that hardliners are going to buck. Leaders must be able to move players around, fill holes, adapt. This is what makes a great coach; he does not focus 100% of his attention on his starters, he has a bench so he can adapt to change at the speed of business.

This has been what leaders should do. What can you do if the corporate culture you work in is unforgiving? If you find yourself in a job that it’s a brick wall when it comes to time off for life events.

Here are some not most ideal way but a way:

 

  • Take a vacation day. You don’t necessarily have to say why just ask for a vacation day in advance of your family event.
  • See if you can get someone to cover your shift. Another parent is always a good person to ask. Trade shifts with a coworker.

If the business you work in is simply inflexible, it may be time to consider a different company. Jobs come and go but time with your family cannot be replaced. Believe me; I pay the price for that every day. Do over; I would have taken a different path.

It’s nauseating to me when I hear so-called Guru’s say you must pay an ultimate price for success. That the only path to success is at the expense of your life. If you’re chasing that Unicorn, it takes years to achieve real success and wealth. Just as you plan your career path, you need to do the exact same for your family and children.

 

  • Birthdays you can’t get back.
  • First Recital you can’t get back.
  • First Football game you can’t get
  • The first day at school you can’t get back.

Don’t fall into the trap of justification. You cannot justify to a child why you missed so much of their lives; they simply don’t care about your excuse. What they want is you not an excuse. After thirty-six years in business, I can tell you NOTHING was ever worth missing my family milestones. Don’t pay the same price, so many of us pay every day.

Jobs are a touchy thing for obvious reasons. Your life is also important. Think about this are you living to work or working to live? With proper time management and a little creativity with coworkers, you can find a work life, home life, balance!

At the time I wrote this I was fifty-six years old. The biggest regret I have is not taking time for my life and putting work before everything else. All the times that I stayed at work when I should have been living my life. I’m in NO way better off because I did, quite the reverse. Don’t think that money will make up for lost time it does not. Don’t think your kids are better off because you have money, ask them and I can promise you they want YOU not your money.

Don’t get me wrong we all need a job to take care of our families. Just don’t lose your family trying to take care of your family.

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