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Financial Peace vs. Wealth

August 27th, 2020

A few days ago I posted this poll on Twitter, asking about which you would prefer, financial peace or wealth:

As of right now I have 65 votes. 74% say they want financial peace, which leaves 26% who say they want wealth.

I have been on a money journey for the last … well, I guess my whole life. But I’ve been rethinking money and wealth over the last few years.

JibberJobber Financial Wealth

Months ago I told my friend Marc I was poor… he said you are NOT poor, but you might be broke. Indeed, he is right. I am absolutely not poor. I do not live in poverty, my family’s basic needs are met, and we even get more than basic needs. I have no complaints.

And honestly, I don’t have to be broke. But I’m following the Dave Ramsey plan (more or less), which means I’m putting excess money onto debt we’ve been accumulating. Putting everything there makes me feel broke. But it is a good broke. It is a “cleaning house” broke. It is a temporary broke. Once this debt is paid off, I’ll free up what I’m putting on it, and hopefully won’t feel broke.

When I was a kid, then a teen, then a young adult, then a middle adult, I chased after wealth. I wanted to be wealthy. “Would it spoil some vast eternal plan if I were a wealthy man?” I heard that riches will ruin you… I took that as a challenge and thought I’d like to try it out. I think being purposeful about having wealth would help me not become ruined.

Wealth. Riches. What would that really mean?

I think what I was after was rest. Not hustling to live paycheck to paycheck. Or not hustling to get behind just a little every paycheck, accumulating more debt. I want a break from that. Wealth would surely provide the break and rest I was seeking, wouldn’t it?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I have friends who have said they know they would be ruined by riches. I don’t fault them, but I don’t think I would be. Just try me… just a little.

Back to Dave Ramsey. I listen to him on Youtube when I’m doing chores and errands. Sometimes I get on the student loan threads, other times I get on the “I make $11/hour and have $30k in debt!” threads. I love the millionaire hour, where he interviews people who have $1M+ in assets. Dave has a bunch of one liners that are a crackup. I love how principled he is. I have yet to hear him deviate from principles, even though people call in for the same issue time after time, and everyone thinks they are the special exception.

One of the things that started to jump out over the last few months is his phrase “financial peace.” I swear I’ve heard it a thousand times, but just recently it started to make an impression. I started to think I’m not necessarily after wealth (although, bring it on!). I’m after financial peace.

First, according to Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, that comes from having $1,000 in an emergency fund.

Then, financial peace comes from following each of the subsequent baby steps, all the way through step 7.

As you go through his steps you take care of your “four walls” (food, shelter, clothing, transportation, utilities (that is … 5)). You get a feeling of peace knowing that you will have a place to sleep and have electricity for the basics.

All the way through Baby Step 7 you can have more peace because you are doing the “right things,” based on principles that have been tested over centuries.

I can imagine becoming wealthy and still not having financial peace. To answer my question, I want financial peace. At the same time, I’m working towards wealth. But if I never get wealth, I’ll have financial peace.

Too often we focus on how much we make, or what we have, even while creditors are lining up asking for their money back. When we focus on wealth without financial peace all we are doing is setting ourselves up to do is have much bigger debt and risk losing it all.

JibberJobber Financial Bondage

Contrast that with not having any wealth, but also not having any debt, and having a steady income. Not rich, but not beholden to anyone, ever.

As my relationship with money has shifted, I’ve realized why Ramsey’s program isn’t about building wealth. It’s about creating financial peace. And I’m 100% on board with sharing that message.

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Improve Your Hard and Soft Skills for Income Security

August 17th, 2020

A big theme I’ve been talking about over the years is “income security,” which replaces the outdated concept of “job security.”

Income security comes through (1) building and communicating our personal brand, through (2) growing our network with relevant contacts and (3) nurturing individual relationships, and (4) creating and working multiple income streams.

Since 2006, when I got laid off by a “committee of chickens,” I have been working on each of those things. If you have followed me for more than three hours you know I’m a proud Pluralsight author. “Author” is the title for someone who creates content on their video/course learning platform, not for having written books for them.

Last year thousands of Pluralsight customers came to Salt Lake City for their annual Live conference. The theme was “Skill Up!” I thought that theme was maybe a bit cliche… anyone and everyone should be talking about skilling up. But after spending a few days hearing about skilling up, I was 100% bought in. Hook, line, and sinker. I get it. And I’ll continue to share this message.

Pluralsight 33% off

Skilling up is a term you might hear in the business world to talk about ensuring you are always current on what is current. It ensures that your skills don’t get stagnate, and that you don’t become easily replaced because what you were expert in went away, and we just don’t have any use for you.

It’s just a business decision, you know?

Skilling up means being relevant. It means when a new technology or method or idea or process or system comes out, you either have studied up on it, you have some proficiency in it (or adjacent technologies), or you can easily and quickly come up to speed.

It means when an opportunity arises, people come to you for answers.

“Skill up” needs to be how we think about continuing education. There’s no doubt that to be successful in today’s workforce we need to regularly learn. “Going to school to get an education” should be “going to school to be qualified to get this job, but education is a lifelong pursuit.”

Continuing education can help you with your (1) brand (communicate what you are learning and doing, and what your proficiencies, passions, breadth/depth are), your (2 and 3) network (meet new people and develop/nurture new professional relationships as you get into new circles/communities, and (4) multiple income streams (learn new skills, and figure out how to monetize them).

Continuing education, skilling up, is a big part of your career management.

Pluralsight Skill Up Love To Learn

From today through next Friday (that is 12 days… so no hurry, but don’t miss out) Pluralsight is doing a 33% off sale. This brings the normal price to about what a premium Netflix account costs. You get thousands… literally thousands of courses to help you skill up. Pluralsight has world-renown content creators (aka authors) who help the top technology teams skill up. From learning programming to artificial intelligence to design to networking to you-name-it, Pluralsight has courses that technologists rely on.

Not a techie? Not a nerd or a geek? That’s okay. I am sharing this with you because (a) you might be interested in a career change, and (b) there are plenty of non-tech courses that could enhance your career, from business analyst to the entire PMP certification prep to hundreds of communication and soft skills (which is where I spend my time).

I started with Pluralsight in 2012. It was a slow start, and a bit of a rough transition to go from a professional speaker (on stage) to staring at a screen and talking into a mic in an otherwise empty room. But now I have 36 courses in the Pluralsight library, and hopefully will be able to add more over the years. I believe this is a perfect complement to what I can offer through JibberJobber and the Job Search Program. Tools and strategies and tactics married to information and direction and skills helps you be more intentional about career management.

Here’s a great Twitter thread from my friend Piotr, also an author (in Europe), sharing a bunch of his favorite topics, courses, and authors. Click on this link, then you can look at his entire thread:

Look, I love career management. I love helping job seekers. I love hearing about your career successes. I’m as passionate about helping you with your hard and soft skills as I am about helping you with your networking and personal brand. And that is why I continue to talk about Pluralsight. It’s an awesome tool for you to skill up, and a great complement to the rest of the career management stuff you should be doing.

Get the 33% off here.

Pluralsight 33% off

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Job Search Tool: The Job Seeker Newsletter

August 14th, 2020

Years ago I wrote about a very awesome tactic for networking and personal branding, with an emphasis on helping your network help you in your job search.

In most of my on-stage presentations I talk about it, and in a few of my Pluralsight courses I talk about it. This was not a flash-in-the-pan, whimsical suggestion. I think a regular newsletter for your network can be a super powerful tool.

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter Typing Email

In the April 5th (2012) post I talk about the three things that go into your newsletter. This is seriously three SHORT paragraphs. Each paragraph has a very important purpose. At the end is a very specific call to action. This post, How to write a job search newsletter (1 of 2), is the nuts and bolts. Don’t let the simplicity trick you into thinking it isn’t a super powerful tool.

The next day, April 6th, I wrote How to write a job search newsletter (2 of 2). This is an important follow up where I talk about how to keep track of WHAT you have sent to WHO. I talk about how you would use JibberJobber to (a) figure out who you would email (and quickly get an email list for those you want to send the newsletter to) and (b) how to track, in JibberJobber, what you sent and who you sent it to.

Please consider including the job search newsletter in your job search strategy. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but could result in some great conversations, leads, and introductions.  The two links above are to short but important blog posts!

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter at symbol

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Control in Life and Career

August 4th, 2020

I need control.

In recent chats with my wife I’ve been thinking about what I want is control. In my recent blog posts I talk about switching from “job security,” where you give control to your employer, to “income security,” where you do things to give you more control.

Ironically, at the end of the day, we can’t control much.  Cancer can knock out all of your plans (and finances). Death can shatter your world. And too many of us know, job loss can dismantle everything.

Stephen Covey talks about our circle of influence, which is where we should spend out energy, and contrasts that with our circle of concern. Think of the circle of concern containing things that you might be worried about but can’t do anything about. You can waste your whole like worrying about things that you have zero influence over. What a waste.

We can’t control our bosses and their weirdness. Sometimes the only thing we can do is leave.

We can’t control atrocities in the world, whether they be world leaders, hunger, poverty, addiction, abuse, etc. We can help one person at a time, and do that over our lifetime, but if you think too much about it you can easily get depressed and feel like you won’t make a difference.

We can’t control weather, fires, or other “force majeure” events… those things known as an “Act of God,” which actually have legal recognition. Fun fact: COVID-19 is likely going down in history as an Act of God.

We can’t control our own health. We might be able to influence it, through diet and exercise (and a healthy dose of luck), but how many people do you know have had some medical event that shifted their entire life? I know a few.

Back to our circle of influence.

There is one thing we can control, in our life and our career. No matter what happens, we can control our personal integrity. This has to do with being honest, being reliable, and being aligned with truth.

You might have opportunities in your career to get away with things, to cheat the system, to skim off the top, etc. You also have opportunities to NOT do any of those things. That is showing your personal integrity.

If you are like me, wanting control, realize that the most important things to control are things within ourselves. We can control how we respect others, how we lend a hand, how we help, and how we give. We can control how we talk about others, and who we build up. We can control how honest we are.

Where I’m at in my career, where I have less years to work than I’ve already put in, I’d say personal integrity is more important than anything else. You may not earn as much, but you will not have given away the peace that comes with having integrity.

I can’t say that having integrity will lead to prosperity and riches. But maybe what you get from it will be more rewarding.

JibberJobber Job Search Control

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