Take Your First Step Towards Saving

Take The First Step Towards Short, Medium & Long Term Savings

As I mentioned in my blog about 2015, our full water tower has empowered us to save money. As a freelancer, I don't have the luxury of a company and HR department taking care of this for us. So, we've got to learn and appreciate the intrinsic wisdom and make a decision to act on our own accord. For us, we've established short term, medium term and long term reservoirs (accounts) to channel our watertower overflow funds into.

  • For short term savings, we've setup a new Chase bank savings account to house this reservoir.
  • In exploring options for our medium term reservoir, I discovered Barclay's Dream Savings account with great savings account interest. I easily set one up and funded it with $55 from our Chase account last month.
  • Thanks to my father-in-law, we've had an education investment account through Edward Jones for our kids. With this relationship already in place, it was easy to get an additional investment account setup for our long term savings. We've got $130 in there now.
Our current top priority is to start slowly moving money into these three accounts. As we develop momentum, we'll revisit how we can be more effective. For now, just consistently doing it matters more than how we do it. 

Quickbit: This Simple Idea Will Help You Keep Your Blog Active

While fruitful, maintaining a blog is hard work and can be time consuming. To make it easier, I've begun testing the idea of doing "quickbits" which are short direct and helpful blog posts. This idea helps us quickly create content for our blogs.

 
In conversing with others, we tend to have insights, ideas and epiphanies. The next time this happens, capture the insight and spend 5-10 minutes writing it into a short simple blog post. The difficulty of writing is usually thinking and challenging the insight. Since we're doing this in our conversation, the hard part is done. Let's harvest our fruit by writing and sharing it.
 
This blog post is an example of this idea in action and came as from a discussion with my friend Jim Karwisch (Applied Improv Strategist). In fact, this idea is so quick, I was able to rewrite it after I accidentally deleted my first draft.

Quickbits: Three Simple Actions To Benefit From LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a robust resource and for this reason, it can be overwhelming to know how to use it effectively. Here are three simple actions I take with LinkedIn that have been fruitful for me and others.

  1. Share Resources: For those of us already reading and consuming great digital content, sharing on LinkedIn is only a click away. This is easy and helpful, just do it!
  2. Say Happy Birthday & Congrats: With birthdays every year, we have the opportunity to connect with everyone in our network at least once. Make them feel special and keep them in mind with a simple Happy Birthday. For people I know better, I'll also congratulate them on new jobs and promotions.
  3. Interact with others: Like, comment and share on what others do in LinkedIn. It's great for relationships and helps keep us top of mind. 

5-10 minutes per day doing this three simple tasks helps us connect with people we know, and it keeps us on the top of their mind should they need our services down the road. If you're not doing this, ask yourself why.

Do You Know A Business Owner Like This?

Do You Know A Business Owner Like This?

Wanted: Business Owner

The business owner I'm looking for is struggling to communicate with their team and customers. Overwhelmed and frustrated at their team's lack of progress, they're discouraged. Their team is not getting their vision and it shows in their poor execution, and upset customers.

They need a relatable individual who can quickly come into their world, sort through the chaos and get ideas and projects moving forward. They want someone who understands them, meets them where they are and teaches them a better way. By the way, they don’t have the time to properly hand-off and communicate what they need.

Simply put, their drowning in chaos and want help out of their current pain. They desire an ecosystem of thriving and togetherness.

I'm looking for this business owner, because I can help

When you find them, please connect us.

How We've Tamed This Wild Year Of Life & Freelancing

This will be the last blog post for 2015. Like I did last year, I'm taking an intentional break from writing here to give me rest and relief from the burden of updating this blog. With this rest will come a new surge of energy and ideas for the blog in the new year. In the meantime, I'll put my head down and focus on knocking out the full workload on my plate. 

Before I sign off for the year, here is an update of our journey so far. Enjoy learning about God's provision, my progress in freelancing and how I ended up working with Tom Cruise.

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Vision Pulls Us To The Finish Line When Nothing Else Will

Vision Pulls Us To The Finish Line When Nothing Else Will

What Is Vision?

Vision is our WHERE. 

It is where we believe we will find ourselves at the end of a particular journey.

Vision pulls us forward. It is the doorway of what we see at our destination. It is what we believe living out our beliefs will manifest into.

Vision is what pulls us forward when feelings and thoughts are telling us to quit. It is what we hope in that keeps us going, and it includes those we care about.

Is there something you’ve quit?

A business?

A Marriage?

A Dream?

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Guest Post: How Faith In God Changed My Business and Transformed My Life

Let me me introduce Chi Chi Okezie. In the early years of Noodlehead Marketing, I met great people attending numerous networking events. One of those awesome people was Chi Chi Okezie. Chi Chi is the owner of a neat company called SIMPLEnetworking.

Chi Chi and her company help other companies, professionals, universities, and government agencies develop the right skills for their business, career and social development. They believe Networking is a lifestyle and tool for success.

In my recent blog post, Three Simple Strategies To Grow Our Businesses, Chi Chi was inspired and encouraged in her journey to simply trust God. As a result, I asked her to share more with you.

Here is her story…

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How Faith In God Changed My Business and Transformed My Life

Hi, my name is Chi Chi Okezie, owner of SIMPLEnetworking. I launched SN in 2006 to use business networking to build cultural awareness and provide diversity training.  

Changing The Business Model

Approximately nine years ago, I faced the tough decision of changing over my business from a translational company to a consulting company.  It was a tough decision because it was not in my business plan.  Of course, this was a difficult decision since networking was new to me and I had no clients for the new business model. If this updated business model were to fail, I would lose my existing business’ profits.

While I was hesitant to do so, I decided to trust God and believe He was able to give me an idea for a profitable business model. If this was His will, I would trust Him to to make the necessary provisions to sustain me and grow the business.

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What Happens When You Focus On The Right Things, and It Gets Worse?

2010 was an important year in my life, and one of difficult testing.

There were positive milestone moments as well as difficult ones, and it turned into a year where God shaped me into His liking.  Towards the end of 2010, I hit a breaking point. Choosing intentionality for good, and moving forward made life more difficult. Below is a journal entry I wrote in this state.
 
Three years later, I reflected on this journal entry, and I wrote my thoughts. That entry is below the first.
 
My hope in sharing my journal is to encourage you in your journey.
 
What-Happens-When-You-Focus-On-The-Right

Journal Entry: November 20th, 2010 

You focus on the right things and you wonder, why have things gotten so much worse.  Getting your relationship with Jesus prioritized, being intentional about being with your family and helping out. Stepping into the company, you make it better and do what you know is needed to be done in order to make it succeed and get on track.

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How To Effectively Support Your High Achieving Leader

This is a followup letter to the latest blog post I wrote, A Helpful Letter To The High Achieving Business Leader. I encourage you to read it as well.

* * * * *

Dear Passionate Follower,

You have done well, and your contribution with your organization has been valuable.  You are in good standing in the organization, and your organization is in good standing across the industry. You have spent so much time working hard, it seems you missed the fact that your organization is lapping competitors in the space you run. Your organization is looked up to as an authority by competitors and is “punching above its weight class”.

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My challenge to you is, focus on becoming a better leader. Think about how to communicate better, how to be proactive, and how to take responsibility. Prioritize learning, reflecting and growing as a person. Build it into your work rhythms.
 
Let us lead by example. Model for those who follow us. Focus on ourselves and not others.  If we see our leaders not leading the way we believe they ought to be, we ought to be leading in that way ourselves as a model to them and our team. Let the CEO be inspired by the example we set before him, and let us not be disturbed or offended when our accomplishments and activities are challenged or threatened.

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A Helpful Letter To The High Achieving Business Leader

A Helpful Letter To The High Achieving Business Leader

The following is my letter to high achieving Christian business leaders. It is intended to help provide perspective and insight as you travel this road. For those of you who do not share a Christian belief, I encourage you to read through it and filter out my faith based insights :-)

 
* * * * *
 
Dear High Achieving Christian Business Leader,
 
You have done well.
 
When I look around the organization you are stewarding I see one which is thriving together in many ways. The people, the culture and the excellence is exciting to see. Behind each desk is a great person. One who is making a difference in the lives of those around them.
 
As you learn to become the leader you envision, prioritize God at the beginning of every day. When we start our day with God in prayer and reading His word, we fill ourselves so we can pour out into others. Consistently pray for yourself, your leadership team, vendors and your customers. There is no lack of those involved in your life to pray for.
 
Prioritize people when it means you can’t achieve your goals. We are accepted as we are and when we cannot perform, it does not change our standing. Set aside your achievement and adopt a mindset of stewardship. While stewarding, let people be your primary concern. Be willing to invite them in and let them go when their time is done.

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Three Simple Strategies To Grow Our Businesses

3-simple-strategies-grow-business

April 1st 2015 marked our one year anniversary since we shut down Noodlehead Marketing. Three months later and we are now 15 months post-mortem.

Wow. 
 
Life has changed. 
 
Not knowing where this new journey would take me or my family, God has blessed us with different types of provision, including work and relationships.
 
Thinking about the last 15 months, I recognized three patterns during this new journey. These are habits, I believe, God has honored us as we have harvested the fruit of our labor. Once I recognized these behaviors, I became intentional about living them, and now I wish to share them with you. My hope is they will provide inspiration and encouragement as you journey forward in your own respective paths.

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