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Showing posts from 2016

What is a bridge-job?

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In my last post, I elaborated on bootstrapping a business and how you should obtain experience in a particular field when you are developing a product.  Another compliment to bootstrapping is the temporary job while you are gaining experience. This is called a bridge-job and is a simple job you obtain to pay the bills while you work on your primary business during the off time. A bridge job can also be a job you obtain to gain experience in a particular area. But the primary focus on the bridge job is to put food on the table and not interfere with your primary business endeavor.

In my personal experience, serving tables is a great bridge job because once you leave the business the job stays there and does not come home with you. Moreover, the schedule is consistent. I used this as a vehicle to help me make the transition to a 100% commission only income.

To steal a term from Dave Ramsey, when you are making the transition from your job to your business, the key is to make sure you have…

Bootstrap your business today!

Let me set the scene; you have this idea, you have a product, you have time and energy to invest in working for yourself, but you don't have the funds. What do you do? I say, you should Bootstrap a Business! What is this term mean? Bootstrapping is an entrepreneurial strategy to funding a business. Essentially, Bootstrapping a business means you are going to self-fund your business idea. Also, this means that you are most likely going to create a product that is related to a field you have experience in. 

Example: You are interested in creating a food delivery app. A Bootstrapping example would be that you get a temporary job delivering food become a Subject matter expert (SME) on the operations of moving food. Then, self fund the creation of a mobile application geared towards food delivery. Bootstrapping is going to lower risk due to the tactics you are applying.  
It just so happens that I have personal experience in this arena. I was basically an office administrator for a real …

Careful, Cultural Norms can destroy your wealth and happiness

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The story attached is a beautiful tale of real America. My own personal engagement story is the same. My wife and I pay cash for all of our purchases and through many sacrifices, we have absolutely no debt. I noticed that 100% of bank owned repossessed homes, once had a mortgage. So, no mortgage means no threat of the bank taking my home away from my family. That being said, our purchases are super modest because I am in no way a millionaire; I paid $400 for my wife's engagement ring at a pawn shop and my stainless steel ring was bought at Walmart for $25. Our time and money is spent on date nights, traveling together, books we read together and not working to death to support a debt driven lifestyle. We are happy. And we receive much pressure from other people with a lower net worth due to debt telling us that we should succumb to buying a better ring and wedding band blah, blah. Expensive crap is not indicative of a successful marriage. My grandparents had rings worth less than …

Do you want to start a business but don't have a great idea?

Do you want to create something that impacts the world but don't know where to start? One quick way to start is to piggyback off of another successful idea and create something that supports that idea.

For example, whenever the newest iPhone is about to come out, entrepreneurs start creating iPhone cases, YouTube video reviews, blogs and articles that compare the iPhone to other successful phones etc.

I have actually experimented with this idea myself and was amazed at the results. On my blog post here I wrote a simple paragraph reviewing the 4 Hour work week. All I did was write my opinion after I read the book. Somehow, that simple little post generated more views than 90% of my other well thought out posts. I decided to add more book reviews to my portfolio. Simple quick opinions of books that have had an impact on my life. Very similar results.
(Related: Without spending a dime, How to measure if your idea is popular

For my final experiment on this "piggybacking" strat…

The Feds Raised the interest rates?!?!

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Quick Summary,

The Federal Reserve raising interest rates just means that bank lending to the mass population will slow down. So if you have cash and you are looking to buy a home or a car you have less competition! This means you can haggle a better deal. This is also true for smaller priced items like electronics etc.

Bond rates will lower. Bonds follow the market, so when interest rates go up, Bond prices go down. People always claim that bonds are solid investments, but I don't fully understand that claim since interest rates will go up in the future. Scary time to invest in bonds since interest rates can't really go any lower. Do your own research, don't just take my advice.

The sky is not falling unless you are in debt and were counting on a lower interest payment on your loans. Aside from that, this post is just another reminder that Cash is king! I am going to post a series of blogs that explain all the benefits of a debt free lifestyle in the future. Stay tuned!���…

Does Automation threaten your job?

Here in the Midwest there is a grocery store called Kroger.  Kroger employs cashiers for $8 per hour.  As per their union contract there is no possible chance for overtime.  After deducting 15% for taxes a wage of $8 per hour will bring you a net of $13,278 per year to live on.

In the past couple of years, Kroger has also introduced a service called U-scan. This product replaces the $8 an hour cashier and allows the customer to scan their own groceries using a touch screen kiosk. This essentially replaces the $8 an hour employee above. On the surface, this sounds like the robots are coming to take our jobs! And in this situation, if you sit back and do nothing, the U-scan robot is taking your job. 
However, there is hope. In this one single anecdotal story, the creation of the U-scan has also created an opportunity for high paying careers regardless of your formal education level. Please allow me to elaborate...


The New U-scan Kiosk that Kroger created needs the following skills to be fu…

Wealth is behavior driven

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The example below is so spot on. Mathematically speaking, the solution for poverty is simply a savings account. Having resources in the bank means you have options. The options to move to take a better job, options to invest more so you can retire early, options to live on less and start your own business, etc. I live completely debt free, no mortgage payment at all. Yes, my car is nearly 10 years old, my jeans are bought from Walmart and most of my meals are home cooked. But just imagine what you can do when all your earnings go into your savings account. Imagine the change you can cause in your life and in this world when you have these resources at your disposal. It's truly liberating and stress free. 


Driver number 1 drives the Corolla. He paid it off, has a 2-bedroom house paid for, makes thirty thousand a year and has excellent credit. Driver number 2 drives the Benz, has 3 years left to pay it off, has a 7-bedroom house with hundreds of thousands left to pay, makes two hundr…

The Power of Preconceived Notions

Sweaty palms, anxiety about who I will meet, endless imaginative thoughts about potential opportunities. This is how I normally feel on the first day of work. Where does this feeling go after 365 days? We begin to let our past circumstances affect our way of thought. This is a very bad thing: use the past as a thing to learn from and not dwell on. Last time I checked, Ms Cleo was called back home so there are no psychics predicting our future aside from our own negative thoughts. So why do we sometimes set the pace for negativity with preconceived notions? We don't know the future and we have the power to change our destiny right now. Don't be complacent. If you are not happy with your current direction, take control and make a freaking change!



"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." -  Zig Ziglar



Review: The 4-Hour Workweek

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The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
My rating: 4 of 5 This book really inspired me to venture off into entrepreneurship. Being a typical American, I often think about how I don't want to spend the majority of my life working as much as everyone else but I do want financial freedom. I call this the golden handcuff effect, being a slave for profit. However, there are concepts described in this book that achieve the the financial and personable freedom I believe most of us want. A+ read in my opinion.


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Want to be employed? Solve problems, don't just get a sheet of paper from college

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If you look at the current landscape of online services to help people find jobs, you will quickly get lost in a sea of communication. Millennials are the largest generation now, and most of this population grew up with the internet. Furthermore, More Millennials have a college degree than any other generation of young adults. That means that EVERYONE is filling out online applications and mostly everyone meets the educational standard.So why are so many millennials unemployed/underemployed?

Well, as a person who is a Millennial and not underemployed/unemployed I would like to share my opinion. As mentioned above every single person I know born from the current largest generation is doing the exact same thing to apply for a job in a market of supreme over saturation. You might as well play the lottery. I am not saying abandon this tactic, I am just saying don't rely on it as your only strategy.


Here are some ideas when looking for employment. 
1. Actually Call the manager of the depa…

One way to measure which candidate is fighting for the most freedom

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Political rant: Google "Milton Friedman Quotes", while on the page that shows his quotes, do a Control "F" for the word "Freedom". It appears so many times (shown below). That is not the case for the current landscape of candidates running for office if you do the same exercise (also shown below). This is yet another another stark reminder that no one is looking out for you. Time to polish off the mirror and have a conversation with the person there. For they are the only one looking out for your best interest. Please examine my screenshots below. 


Donald Trump:




Hillary Clinton:




Bonus: 
Milton Friedman:







If Options A & B are the only available choices on the table, you can always flip the table. 
- Unknown

Review: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The debt free living concepts taught in this book revolutionized my financial life and overall outlook on finances in general. This is a very practical book that will radicalize the way you plan for the future, in additional to giving you peace of mind on a fiscal level. Great read if you are wanting to do some future planning, and build a legacy for your loved ones.

View all my reviews


Joey Graziano

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Entrepreneurship
Poverty Engineering
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Book Reviews

Review: Start

Start by John Acuff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book motivated me to wake up early on Saturdays for my selfish time. I love that concept! The idea that I can work my 9-5 and then work on my side business at specific times so that my hobby/business doesn't interfere with my obligations. This book gave me so many ideas and intuitive ways of starting a side gig. Another great read from Mr Acuff!

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Review: The Millionaire Next Door

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great book. I love that it shows how our pop culture feeds us lies. Lies about wealth generation, and lies about the average American. This book is a fantastic example of how the common person can build wealth: slowly, consistent behaviors, non-romantic responsible low risk endeavors. These attributes may sound boring, but they are reality.



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Joey Graziano

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Topics
Entrepreneurship
Poverty Engineering
Rant
Book Reviews

Lessons from the handicapped

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A while ago, I made this YouTube video pasted below. Funny thing is, I still have the same opinion today. The only difference is that now I am an interviewer/manager. Not only do I feel my statement below is still true, but I want to stress what really impressed me about this individual. I feel that the video below is good, but if I were to do it over, I would mention that anyone has the ability to impress me like this individual. I feel that this fellow had passion, enthusiasm and a level of zeal to do a good job. That is the trick! Not too long ago, I was a server at a restaurant. In case you didn't know, a server's income in the USA is 100% dependent on tips. So performance is dire to earn and income/survival. In essence, the job is similar to entrepreneurship. And I noticed that when I brought these mentioned attributes above into the workplace, my tips would increase. I am no longer a server, but these same principles apply today in my current occupation. Whatever you do,…

Yawn, Brexit did nothing

Hello everyone,

It just so happens that The British Left the EU and we are still alive! Do you remember the mass hysteria last week? With national elections around the corner, I would like to take minute and remind everyone that the national media makes a living off of our emotions. Don't give in to that, don't change your behaviors based off of emotions, continue to learn from history and think critically.

If you turn on left wing news, you hear their own summarized version of events that fit their bias; likewise with the right wing media outlets. I encourage freedom of speech and critical thinking. Daily reminder, If a cop shoots someone it's possible that it's because that person didn't listen to the cop: It's also possible that the cop made a mistake. Until you know the... (wait for it) "FACTS" please hold off on making a firm opinion. It's very possible that you don't know all the information because you weren't there.


This was your dail…

Ensuring stuff is only "made in America" will only ensure you cannot afford it.

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As I watch the political landscape I'm in awe, totally shocked at the lack of self responsibility being preached on both sides of the aisle. We are the ones who should innovative here and create products here. Our high taxes and crazy lawsuits are why it's more beneficial to build something somewhere else. Just because China manipulated their currency doesn't mean we suffer. It means we can buy their products for cheap. And, as higher taxes plus lower incomes are consistently thrust upon us by failing political polices/cancerous taxes: lower priced products are beneficial and necessary for survival. Eventually, like all countries, you can only afford currency manipulation for so long. If you disagree with me, study history. In the meantime, enjoy reading this post on a foreign made device that you may not otherwise have if you only bought stuff made in Merica.



Acting ignorant can teach you a lot!

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First, let me clarify, there is nothing wrong with ignorance. Ignorance is just a lack of knowledge in a particular area. In my opinion, we as a society build little-siloed echo chambers of our own thought. When in reality, there is a lot for us to learn when we surround ourselves with diverse views of thought. I naturally speak a lot. But the more books I read, it becomes abundantly clear how much value can be had if I just "listen" before I want to be listened to.

Sadly, our pride has a tendency to get in our way. When we’re complete novices at something we often don’t mind looking for advice. However, as soon as we start to obtain mastery of our skill, we suddenly stop asking for help. Why is that? Most people are happy to share some of their wisdom, so why stop asking for it now? In this case, acting a little ignorant can go a far way when you are surrounded by smart people.

In the book Intellectuals and Society, the Author Thomas Sowell concludes that many "intellect…

Commitment

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Before Michael Phelps won the most gold medals in history, he was on a 10+ year hot streak of not missing a single planned day of training. Don't be fooled, some of the days his training wasn't good. But he still showed up. It's that simple.


It doesn't matter what the field, pursuit or project is. Consistency over time is mastery. (Even if I'm half wrong you'll still see improvement over procrastination.)



Are you tired of missing goals? here's one simple tip

I've been a goal oriented individual my whole life. I've seen my share of failures and success stories. One common pattern I notice with the failures is the lack of a detailed plain. For example, I knew a lady who said she was going to lose 30 pounds for her new years resolution. She had signed up for numerous cycling classes, drank a nasty wheatgrass shake every morning and by the second week of the new year, she was utterly burned out and ready to quit.  A well defined plan would have helped her achieve this goal. This dramatic lifestyle change is not natural for a person new to all this healthy stuff. You have to ease yourself into behavior change. Bonus: if you know of someone who has achieved what your hoping to achieve have them review your plan. And ask them to be mentor. A since of accountability can help motivate you. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself for all your hard work. If you've been good for the whole week, treat yourself on Saturday.  Nothing better helps…

Leaders lead in an effort to cause change

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What is your vision? Albeit your mission statement, your purpose for working etc. Why is it that I decided to write this post? Change is the reason. I feel that too many of us are walking around with bloated guts, maxed out credit cards, jobs that don't fulfill us and marriages that have a dull flame. How can we cause a ruckus to our lives that by implication cause others to follow. Inspiration and motivation are great, but change is truly what ought to look for. We don't look to George Washington as a hero not only because he inspired us but because he caused change. That same is true for Abe Lincoln. both didn't just Inspire with theory, they were leaders and caused change. So today let's look for a way to impact the world and change our behavior. Let us gravitate toward something monumental and be the change we want to see. 
The words below are By Richard C. Stazesky
Learning from George Washington:
I believe that we can learn a great deal from studying the life of Ge…

Moore is better

As a business professional, husband and hobbyist musician, Moore's law has been a great source of inspiration in the arena of constant improvement. I implore you to reflect on this monumental observation.


* If automobiles improved at the rate of Moore’s law, they would go nearly 300,000 miles per hour, get 2 million miles to the gallon, and cost only 4 cents. They’d also be the size of ants.


* A trip to the moon that required 3 days and $25 billion in 1969 would take you one minute and cost about the same as a private plane.


* If skyscrapers increased in height at the same rate, they would be 35 times taller than Mount Everest. They’d also cost less than the price of your average PC.


* Had housing prices plummeted at the same rate as the cost of producing chips, you’d be able to buy a home for the price of a piece of candy.


Inspiration for this post

Can politicians solve your problems?

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During the 3-1/2 years of World War 2 that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the Surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, the U.S. produced 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 military trucks." "We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.

It's worth noting, that during the almost exact amount of time, the Obama administration couldn't even build a functioning web site. But this post is not a knock on dem…

Depression from failures?

One of the ways I've been able to crush depression is by focusing on the victories. We always have defeats. It takes defeats to eventually win. My victories are NOT due to talent but rather commitment and obsession. The words of Ben Franklin. "I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."

Related: 5 minute Pep Talk about motivation.