Make Time to Fish

May 5, 2013

Last weekend, I finally took the time to head out to the lake for a few hours. One of my very favorite things to do since childhood is to go fishing. Some of my favorite memories growing up were out by the tank(that’s a pond for those not from Texas) that sits on my grandparent’s land. My Papa(pronounced Paw Paw) used to take my brother and I out there fishing from the time we were just little kids. And, from there my love of fishing grew and has never stopped.

IStock_000001694007XSmallHowever, in the last few years, I have spent so much time on the run. It seems I always have some place to be or something to do, even to the point that I have had several years that I only mananged to fish once a year. And, that has finally come to an end.

As stated, I decided last weekend that I was going to put everything else on hold for a few hours and go do something that I deeply love. I didn’t even have much more than a nibble on the line, but that wasn’t the point. The point was just being there. It was taking a few hours out of my busy schedule, just to focus(or not focus) on something besides all the hustle and bustle in life.

It should come as no surprise that I believe very much in working hard, and of course, trying to do everything we can in life to grow ourselves. That is the primary purpose of Designing A Champion. To help people become all that they were created to be.

Still, often in the pursuit of such worthy goals, we can take our eyes off of the balance that has to happen in life. We can become so sidetracked by a busy schedule, by work, by goals, etc., that we don’t stop to realize that alot of the time a big part of growth comes by just taking the time to pause and enjoy where we are today.

I have seen many people that spend more time focused on always relaxing(Did you know the average American watches over 30 hours of TV a week?). And, then there are people that can be more prone to being a workaholic(I hate to admit, but I can be prone to this if I am not careful). Either extreme takes life down a road that is not only unhealthy, it’s also destructive.

Work is important. Money is important. Relationships(family or otherwise) are important, but it’s vital that we take make the time to enjoy where we are in life. Make the time to smell the flowers. Make the time to read the book. And, in my case, make the time to fish.

 

In An Ideal World…

April 30, 2013

I was listening to a podcast this morning on the way to work, and the host specifically asked the question to his guest, “In an ideal world, what does your day look like?”. Now, this particular guest happened to be another podcaster that I listen to regularly as well, so I sort of knew his answer before he gave it, but it just reinforced the idea of what he had in his mind, and it sounded pretty awesome to me.

IStock_000017095734XSmallI have been working for years now doing a multiple of different projects and working on ideas. And, I have done so to the point that some of my friends often ask me why I am involved in so much, and always looking for more to do. The answer would probably come as a shock to most people, because I think inherently most people think that I am chasing dollars and working to try to be wealthy. And, while I very much want to be wealthy(I am not ashamed to admit that, and you shouldn’t be either), the primary reason that I do what I do is so that I can live in my ideal world.

I know exactly what my ideal world looks like. And, I know exactly what my ideal day looks like as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not naive enough to think that I will have either my ideal world, or my ideal day 100% of the time. And, that’s not the point. The point is to get to where the majority of the time, I get to be in that place and in that day.

Most people, in my experience, get this idea that their ideal world or day looks something like this: Sitting on a beach somewhere, drinking a pina colada, and just soaking up some sun. Or some variation of this dream. And, I totally understand that, after all, that used to be my idea as well. But, as I have gotten a little older, I soon began to realize that although that would be nice for a while, it soon would bore me to tears. So, that’s when I had to really take the time to sit down, dig inside my mind a while and figure out what it is that I really want from life.

Once, I found that vision, I have been doing everything that I can to get myself and my family into a position to be able to have the freedom to do what we want, when we want, and for us to live in our ideal day, most of the time. It’s this idea of living in my ideal world that really spurred me to become an entrepreneur in the first place.

And, the beauty of this whole concept is that in getting ourselves into that position, we are helping other people either directly or indirectly to do the same. And that, is the ultimate win-win scenario.

Question:

In an ideal world, what does your day look like?

 

Here are some fantastic articles and sources I have read in the last week:

3 Reasons Young Females Athletes Should Weight Train: This is an article from super trainer, Todd Durkin’s website. This is something that I have been preaching about for years, and I am glad to see that there is actually starting to be some people taking notice of the fact that young female athletes need to strength train. It will not only improve their athletic ability, it will also help prevent injuries.

 

Habit Mastery: Creating the New Normal: This is a great article by Leo Babauta over on ZenHabits. People think that changing your life has to be some big dramatic thing, but what I have found is that most of the time, it’s just making small changes over time that makes the biggest difference. As Leo states, it’s just a matter of creating your new normal.

 

The Power of Counting and Speaking Your Blessings: This was actually a guest post on Jeff Goins website. Jeff has an awesome blog on writing, creativity, inspiration,etc. This particular article was about blessings, and how we should not only count them in our lives, but also pass the blessings to others.

 

These were some of my favorite articles that I have found in the last week or so. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. And, if so, please share this post within your social circle. Have a great weekend and God Bless!

For years I fought the urge to get into the podcasting and blog world. And, truthfully I can’t even really give a good reason why. There are so many great resources out there, and one of the things that I love about the Blogosphere is that the information never stops.

IStock_000013078634XSmallMaybe that is part blessing and part curse. There is literally more information being put out everyday. And very often the info is very good and the podcasters/writers are able to back up what they speak or write about. Still there is always that small percentage that actually give wrong, or just flat out bad information.

The trick is to know which ones are the quality podcasts/blogs. So, here are some of my criteria:

  • Considered by many to be an expert in their subject. Often showing success in an area before they ever podcasted/blogged about it.
  • Consistently put out high quality material. I value my time too much to read or listen in to something that I feel is a waste of time.
  • Someone I can relate to in some way, shape, or form.
  • This is probably the most important: They are recommended by someone else that I either know personally, someone that I follow/read/listen to, and someone that I trust. If they fit these criteria, they have my attention, and I will always at least check them out to see if they fit me.

That being said, I have now really dived headfirst into the Podcasting/Blogosphere world, and I am finding lots of quality sources out there. Personally, I spend most of my time looking for sources that are going to help me improve my life and in turn help me to help others. That being said, here are 3 Podcasts/Blogs that I have been taking in and highly recommend them to you:

1. The Entreleadership Podcast-This was really the one that I started listening to on podcast first. It’s put out by Dave Ramsey’s company and is hosted by Chris Locurto(you can find his blog here). Chris does an awesome job taking you through Dave’s principles, and he interviews authors,leaders, business people about how they run their businesses and daily lives. If you want to become a leader, or a better leader, you need to listen to this one.

2. This Is Your Life-The Entreleadership Podcast turned me on to this one by Michael Hyatt(find his blog here). Michael is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing. But, in the last 2 years, he has decided to go out on his own and has built up a huge following as a speaker, business leader, as well as being an author himself. Michael’s podcast is about leadership, business, and life. He gives loads of great information on ways to improve yourself, your business, your family, and just about anything else. I have gotten so much from Michael’s content, that I couldn’t even write about all of it here. Definitely check him out.

3. The Smart Passive Income Podcast-Guess how I found out about Pat Flynn(find his blog here). If you guessed Michael Hyatt you are correct. I just recently started listening in to Pat’s podcast about a month or 2 ago. Since then, I have had numerous ideas on how to design the life that Penny and I want to have. Pat’s content is primarily about how to generate a passive income with online business, and he has loads of great information about the various ways to do so. Another thing that I really like about Pat is that he is very transparent about how he makes money on the web. In other words, he not only shows you various ways to make money, but he shows you the proof of how he is doing so. While the info is primarily about internet business, it’s valuable in businesses that are not on the web in a number of ways as well. So, be sure to give it a listen.

Although these 3 are primarily leadership/business oriented blogs and podcasts, they provide a huge amount of information that is just helpful in all areas of your life. I can’t recommend them enough.

In closing, I think that this may possibly be a regular post for me periodically as well. When I come across some new info out there(involving any area of life and/or business), I will be sure to let you know. Until then, be sure to read our posts on More Great Resources(Formerly called Things You Should Read), and again, make sure to go check out the guys listed above.

Question:

What are some of your favorite sources of information on the web(blogs, podcasts, etc.)?

 

 

At Bible study last week, our Pastor was teaching on the law of sowing and reaping. In Mark 4, Jesus taught the parable of the farmer, and explained that we plant seeds in our life, and everything that we have, get, etc. comes from the seeds that we plant. The specific seed that Jesus was talking about in this parable was the Word of God, but for a believer, everything else in life springs from the Word.

IStock_000017548120XSmallBut, even if you are a non-believer, or just aren’t sure, this story still teaches us alot about human life and the way that we “come into things”. I can think of very few people that will state that we don’t reap what we sow. It’s just one of those basic laws of nature that is accepted as true.

So, just think about this: Can you imagine a farmer planting seeds, and then not expecting for something to come of them? Or, can you imagine the farmer planting seeds, and having no idea what type of crop he is expecting.

Yet, somehow, we tend to do these very things in our own lives. We spend years neglecting our bodies, neglecting our minds, neglecting our family or friends, neglecting our finances, and even neglecting our faith. Then, we tend to expect that things will turn out the way that we envisioned in our dreams. We want the nice house, with the nice car. We want the little family playing in the yard behind the picket fence. And, we want money to travel, etc.

In other words, we spent a big part of our life planting seeds that were not necessarily what we were wanting to end up with, and then we expect something different.

If we want our lives to go the way that we desire, we have to consciously make the decisions to do the things that will take us in the direction we want to go.

If we don’t like the harvest we are reaping at the moment, we just have to start changing the seeds we are planting.

And, here is the beauty of it: Most of your life results can be intentional, and you can start doing the small disciplines necessary at any point. If you want a result, then plant the seeds for it. If you are not sure which seeds to plant, then ask someone who is where you want to be in life. Study what they plant. Then, and this is the key, go out and plant in your own life. You will reap what you sow. So, make it something special. And get started today.

“Change takes time. The restoration of health takes time. The regaining of prosperity, whether by a nation or an individual, takes time. And the changing of one’s attitude, circumstance, and lifestyle takes time. You cannot demand your share of the American dream today, or this month or even this year, when the previous thirty or forty…or more years have been devoted to the planting of seeds which were clearly destined to produce just the opposite result come the time of harvest.”-The Gift by Ron Reynolds

Question:

What are some seeds that you have been planting in your life recently?

The tragedy at the Boston Marathon earlier this week showed us a couple of things about the American Spirit. One of which is that we, like a family, can fuss and fight, but when a tragedy strikes, we tend to stick together. We will offer condolensces, say a prayer, hold a hand, or even run toward a place an explosion has just occurred to help those effected. This incident showed us that there are heroes in our culture. Sure there are the heroes we see everyday in the military, fire trucks, and police cars, but moreso that in many of our “regular” citizens, there are just as many potential heroes.

IStock_000015897460XSmallThat being said, there is a part of me that has to ask(just like I often do in dealing with people’s health), “How come there has to be an emergency or tragedy to wake that hero/spirit/thought process up?” Why can’t we see that coming out of people everyday?

I have a friend that posted on her Facebook page yesterday about the loss of freedoms that her chidren will face when in comparison to her childhood. She went on to say how she was fearful of going to places where there would be large crowds(i.e. sporting events, concerts, etc.). And, there were several other people that commented the same on her post, as well as several similar posts that I saw just yesterday as well. And, in all fairness, that is a totally rational and expected reaction so close to a recent tragedy. I don’t blame any of these people for having those types of emotions or fears.

What I personally fear more than bombs is the loss of the freedoms that she referred to in her post. I fear watching my children grow up in this society where “everyone wins”, there is little to no degree of self responsibility, and everyone that tries to make their life “successful” is seen as evil and only in it for themselves.

We have gradually(and that is the key) let our society become something other than what our Founding Father’s intended. We have gradually replaced the values of our grandparent’s generation, and we are getting consequences that many of us don’t really like.

What we really need at this point, and I alluded to in my response to my friends Facebook post, is for those of us that still believe in the American Spirit, and in the Human Spirit to step it up in our own lives. We need to do the things that matter. We need to take time to make ourselves better. We need to show our children that they can in fact live a life that they design for themselves. And we need to show our children that a lifestyle that is made by design, by planning, and by hard work is something that all of us could and should strive for. It’s what made America great, and it’s what will make America great again. Our children need us to be their heroes. They need for us to show them what life should be like.

Would that have stopped the bombing in Boston this week? We really don’t know, seeing that as of this writing, we don’t know who is responsible or why they did it. But, that is not the point that I am writing about here. The point is that many of us(I might even go so far as to say that most of us) have a hero inside of us that is willing to run into the line of fire when something like this happens. Why won’t we run into the line of fire in everyday life?

It’s time to start, if you haven’t already, to take a look at your life. Look at the small daily disciplines in your life that make you a success. Look at the places you are doing great, and be thankful. Look at the places that need some work and start addressing them. Become who you were created to be. Our children, and their futures, depend on us. They need us to be their heroes.

Question:

What is one small thing you can do this week to show your chidren how life is meant to be lived?

We are getting close to summer again, which means that it’s time to put back on the shorts, swimsuits, etc. And, usually with this time of year, people(women especially) are scrambling for ways to make their legs look better fast.

IStock_000002515961XSmallMany people will immediately opt in for cardio training, which does work quite nicely to help you lean up some. However, if you really want to take your leg workout to a new level, then you will want to add in a couple of strength training tips.

  1. 1.  Squats are the king of all leg exercises: Ok, I will also throw deadlifts in as a challenger to this as well. Nonetheless, if you want great legs(and a firm booty) you have to do some squats. The key here is to do them properly. Just a mild variation in the way you position your feet makes all the difference in the world. My personal recommendation is to do a Powerlifting Squat(don’t let the name scare you) or a version of Plie’ Squat. With this type of squat you will stand with your feet about shoulder width apart or just slightly further, with the toes pointed slightly outward. When you squat down, you will want to get as close to a 90 degree angle at the knee as possible. If you can’t go that far, don’t worry about it, just start where you can. Do these for a minimum of 3 sets and repititions will vary on whether or not you are doing weight, and if so, how much weight. For just nice, tone legs, do about 3 sets of 20–25 with just bodyweight or light weight. And, if you want a little more muscle tone(Lladies don’t worry, you won’t look like a bodybuilder. I promise.), add a little bit more weight and shoot for 3 sets of 8–10. Your thighs and butt should be nice and burning toward the end of the sets. If it’s not, then either add some weight(my first suggestion) or increase the repititions.
  2. Don’t forget to work your calves: This is not usually a problem, as most people that are just getting into training will often go for exercises that they don’t have to ask for advice about. Training calves is pretty simple, but if you want more out it, then try to variety the angle of your foot. What I mean by this is to do some simple calf raises, but do some with your feet pointing forward, some with your feet point slightly out, and some with your feet slightly pointed in. Also, do some work both sitting and standing. The calves are made up of 2 different muscles. The gastrocnemius, which is the heart shaped muscle that you see most when working your legs, and the other is called the soleus. The soleus sits underneath the gastroc and will give your legs a little more rounded look if trained correctly. With these muscles, I usually will recommend doing 3 sets of 15–20 with some lighter weights.

This alone will be enough to get you started, but you can easily add in a couple more options to get an even better leg workout program. For example, you could add a few more strength exercises such as deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, hamstring curls, leg extensions and more. If you want to really kick it up a notch and work more on the butt, then make sure to do some deadlifting(a sumo stance deadlift is best for this). For most of these exercises, stick with the same basic sets and repititions I stated earlier for the squats.

Last, if you really want to keep things interesting for your leg workout, or any workout for that matter, try to do some HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training). This will lean you up even faster. For HIIT training, you essentially will be doing a short sprint period of exercise, followed by a lower intensity period of exercise. This is done in cycles and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to about 45 minutes depending on who is doing the training. I wouldn’t recommend doing this everyday, or for long extended periods, but mixing this into your routine will give you some fantastic results.

Question:

What is your favorite leg exercise or leg workout?

Sorry I have missed these posts the last week or so, but we are definitely going to get back on it. There are some awesome resources out there and here are some of the best articles I have read in the last week:

Is Positive Thinking Stupid?: Jon Acuff almost always makes me crack a smile with his writing. This was a great post about the power of the mind and the way we think.

Think Spice: 8 Spices with Health Benefits: When we start teaching someone how to eat healthier, we always make sure to tell them the benefits of using spices to make food more delicious. Here was a great article on several spices, some of the benefits, and how to use them.

 

5 Ways to Get Paid Multiple Times for the Same Work: I wrote an article this week about Passive Income and here was a fantastic article written by Michael Hyatt just a few days before on some ways to get paid over and over again for work that you have already done. I love Michael Hyatt’s work. Make sure to give it a read!

 

As always, if you have any new sources or articles you would like to suggest I read, please give me a shout! Have a great weekend!

Have you ever wondered how the wealthy seem to have so many things come into their lives to help them just to keep on making more money? Have you ever wondered how they possibly could have enough time in their day to make millions or even billions of dollars? If there was one key secret that you could learn to master to help bring some of that fortune into your life, wouldn’t you like to know about it? Well, here is the answer to long term, sustainable wealth:

It’s called Passive Income.

IStock_000010008693XSmallWhat is Passive Income? It’s essentially money that comes to you long term for work that you did days, weeks, months or even years ago. It’s money that you have to spend very little, if any, extra time to keep coming to your bank account, once you have finished the initial work. And it’s something that anyone can earn.

For years, we have been told to save up and allow the power of compound interest work for us through savings, CD’s, 401K’s, etc. And, of course it’s a wise thing to do. Yes, those are all definite sources of Passive Income, but they are not the only way to earn money passively. Moreso, they are definitely not the most efficient way to build a fortune. I mean, think about this. Have you ever heard Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, or Bill Gates talk about how much they have in their 401K or their savings accounts? No, you haven’t and you probably never will. While I can assure you they  put money into a savings plan of some sort, and they realize that this plan will earn them cash, it won’t be on a grand scale the way they desire. That’s why they build businesses, invest in businesses, create products or services, etc. They constantly are looking for new opportunities to feed another stream of income into their bank accounts. They are willing to put in some time up front working on these opportunities, with the understanding that down the road, they will continue to reap benefits from it.

This has long been the primary reason that the rich, “keep getting richer”. They understand how money works, and they understand how to make it work for them. And, as I stated earlier, the beauty of this, is that anyone can do this. There have been resources out there for years to show us how to make it happen. It’s just a matter of taking the time to learn, and to be willing to put in the effort.

So what are some ways that you could start earning some Passive Income? Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Savings, CD’s, IRA’s, 401K’s: All of these are savings plans, and are vital to have in place as a base layer of building your wealth. Definitely start the process here, but if you want to really build wealth for yourself and your family, move past this layer as soon as possible.
  2. Investments: Technically, IRA’s and 401K’s could fall in this category, but they are not really a form of active investing. In active investing(don’t get this confused with Active Income which is where you are trading your hours for dollars) the investor seeks out opportunities from stocks, bonds, real estate, businesses, etc. They put some money into these things with the idea of getting more money based on the amount of the risk they are taking. You should always have some of this type of Passive Income source in your portfolio.
  3. Building Businesses: This, at least in my opinion, is the most interesting and fun category of all. It’s also where I spend the majority of my time and efforts personally. One of the beauties of this area is that you have more control over how much income will come from these sources. You have the ability to choose a specific product or service that will earn you some cash. You can decide whether you want to market to a big group, like Facebook for instance. Or, you can choose to market to a smaller group, like quilters for example. The point is, you get to choose. And with the internet, it’s easier than ever, and much cheaper to start a business.

Side Note: I personally have been starting to learn how to create some Passive Income streams on the internet. There is so much opportunity out there and I am excited to pursue it. If you are interested as well, one great source I highly recommend is Pat Flynn’s, Smart Passive Income Blog. Pat has a ton of information on his site, and he is very transparent about how to do alot of different things. He also has a great Podcast that is well worth your time to listen in to as well. So, check him out.

Whether you want to just earn some extra money or if you are really looking into creating wealth for yourself and your family. I highly recommend starting to understand more ways that you can earn a Passive Income. Find some things that you can enjoy getting into, spend some time doing some research, and then most importantly get started.

Question:

Do you currently have any streams of Passive Income? What is your favorite way to earn Passive Income?

Dreams and Reality

April 7, 2013

If you have checked out our Facebook Page already, then you know that alot of the things that I post have to do with facing your fears and pursuing your dreams. And, while many people have been a little confused as to exactly what Designing A Champion is all about, they still seem to love when one of the quotes I put up really inspires then to take some sort of action.

IStock_000001843223XSmallYou see Designing A Champion is about “Rekindling the human spirit”. It’s about helping take a country full of people that have somehow let themselves slide into area of complacency that eventually became a prison for most and showing them that there is a better way. Life is made to live, not just to survive.

Many years back, a group of people know as the Greatest Generation fought their way through some of the toughest times this country ever faced. Many of them were alive during the Great Depression, they fought in World War 2 and helped turn the United States into what became the greatest single nation on earth.

Then, they went on to build companies, work hard, save up, and raise their kids to have a life “better” than the one they had. They lived in circumstances that were much less than ideal for the majority of the early part of their lives, yet they saw a vision of what could be and they went after it. They didn’t just settle into the fact that life was made up of a number of years in which a person should just scrape by, be happy with just being able to get out of bed in the morning, and just hope that someday they might be able to retire and live on half their paycheck for the rest of their lives. They knew things could be better. They raised their kids to know things could be better, and as a result of their efforts the Baby Boomer Generation went on to be arguably the most successful generation in the history of the United States.

Then the Law of Familiarity settled into our society. The Law of Familiarity states that “all things of value will, with the passage of enough time, be taken for granted”. In other words, we had an extremely prosperous and an overall peaceful time in our society, and it lasted long enough that we started to take it for granted. Now we have a society on the brink of not only financial trouble, but also health and lifestyle disaster as well. We have a nation of people that have lost their spirit. And, we have a nation of people that have lost their fight. Instead of trying to make things happen for themselves, unfortunately most people now would rather have someone else do it for them as long as they can stay comfortable. And, this is killing the spirit of our country.

Here is where Designing A Champion comes into play. We are wanting to help people learn to develop themselves again. We want to help people again see the value in self discipline, in striving to become more, and in dreaming. We know that not everyone will go on this journey with us, but we are looking for people that are looking at our society and thinking that something has to change. We know where we are headed. We have a dream for what America can be again, and we want you to join us!

“Reality once was a man riding on a horse, but dreams gave us the car, the plane and the stuff you and I take for granted. Behind every movement was a dream…Free people living in a free country was once a dream before the dreamers got to work.”-The Gift by Ron Reynolds

Question:

Have you ever had the opportunity to sit down and visit with someone from the Greatest Generation? What was their mindset on what you could achieve in your life?