2021 Annual Theme: Accountability

January 1st, 2021

In 2006, during my Failed Job Search, I was at a job club networking meeting and they were talking about accountability. What I learned in that conversation went with me to my presentations around the world.

The facilitator said we MUST have someone to be accountable to. At the time, I was accountable to myself. TL;DR: It didn’t work. I needed to be accountable to someone else.

They made a strong plea to not have our accountability partner not be our spouse or significant other. That person is usually very emotionally invested in the outcomes, and will not be the same kind of accountability partner as someone who isn’t emotionally invested. I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough.

A few days ago I saw this tweet from my friend Caitlyn, and after pondering this year’s theme, I knew it should be accountability:

Accountability group.

Similar to a mastermind group.

Folks, this isn’t hokey stuff that weirdos do. These are strategic tactics that people who want to improve, change, and accomplish implement.

Finding someone you can report to is a strategic tactic.

I currently have people who for I’m an accountability partner. They report to me their status/progress, and sometimes if I don’t hear from them I ask for a status (although, generally, the person reporting should initiate the conversation instead of the accountability partner having to chase them).

Successful leaders have coaches, who many times are accountability partners.

This is a success principle. It is not a sign of weakness. It is not a sign of being incompetent. It is a sign of humility paired with the desire to improve.

We can all use the fruits of being accountable.

2021 seems like a great time to start.

If you don’t want to ask someone to be your accountability partner then GET A JOURNAL. And be accountable, in writing, to your journal. Don’t overthink this… here’s an example of what I did last year:

Considering my job is mostly sitting at my computer, I knew I needed to get more physical. So, in order to be more accountable, I send a text to someone every time I finish a ride on the exercise bike. I try to ride an hour and usually get somewhere around 20 miles in. I don’t think that is amazing, but for me it’s more important to be CONSISTENT. 20 miles, many times over the year, adds up.

So I send a text. I don’t care if I get a response. I don’t need an attaboy. But I send the text with the miles I do… like: 20.53. That’s it. BONUS: Since it is in my text history, I can look back and see how often I rode, and how my numbers were. I can see that coming off of a health issue I had to build up from 18 and 19 miles… and for a while there I was over 22 miles (that was a hustle for me!).

I am accountable to someone else, and I have a record for myself.

We are looking for the fruits, some of which come from being consistent with the process.

Whether you get a group, like Caitlyn did, or one person, or just your journal or a spreadsheet, become accountable.

Measure. Report. And then make decisions from there.

Here’s to an excellent 2021!

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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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A Job Is Simply a Revenue Stream

July 8th, 2019

jibberjobber-revenue-streams-plant-treeOne of the greatest epiphanies I have had over the last few years is that a job is simply a revenue stream.

If it is your only revenue stream, you should start to worry.

Those are the two most important sentences of this entire post. Memorize them. Write them on your bathroom mirror. Look at them every day.

I have multiple revenue streams. I’ve been working on them for at least 13.5 years. I could argue I’ve been working on them since I was a little kid.

They have never mattered more to me than in October when I had what was my dream job and my boss (who has since left that company) laid me off. I loved that job (most aspects of it). I didn’t want to lose it. I was excited about building the awesome program I was hired to build. And then she took it all away from me.

Like in 2006, when a committee of people, persuaded by one (wrong) person, took it all away from me. Thank goodness, because that started me on my JibberJobber journey.

But, there is one HUGE difference.

In 2006 I had one revenue stream: my job. That committee took away 100% of my income.

In 2018 I had at least four significant revenue streams. And while I made very good money at that job, she didn’t even take away 50% of my income.

I say that not to brag. I say that because getting laid off from a job where you walk away and can still pay your bills, where they weren’t able to destroy your income, where you could refocus on other streams, and you even have some breathing room, is FREAKING AWESOME.

I want YOU to experience that.

But you won’t, if your job is 100% of your income.

Something important to note is that I got laid off at the beginning of 2006, and then the end of 2018. That gave me 13 years to build up multiple revenue streams. This idea of building other revenue streams can take time.

Best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. Second best time to plant a tree? RIGHT NOW.

Best time to work on multiple revenue streams? 20 years ago. Second best time to work on multiple revenue streams? RIGHT NOW.

The JibberJobber theme for 2019 is financial freedom through multiple income streams.

I have empowered you with a networking and follow-up tool. I have empowered you with motivation, tips, stories, and ideas on my blog. I have empowered you with my book 51 Alternatives to a Real Job. If we ever talk, this will be my message to you.

Please, get on the path to multiple revenue streams. It is WORTH IT. You may fail sometimes. But as you learn, and some of them work out, and they grow, and you experience the sweet freedom that multiple income streams provide, you’ll never look back.

When I started JibberJobber my goal was this: to create $100 a month in income. Why? So that when I got laid off the next time, the person who did it would not be able to take away 100% of my income. And 13 years later, sitting in that room, I couldn’t help but think that I was losing less than half of my income, and it didn’t financially hurt.

That is freedom and independence. And I want that for you.

Join me?

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Budgeting Epiphany: Dave Ramsey Says To Budget Monthly

February 8th, 2019

My wife and I have created various budgets over the 20+ years of our marriage… but we haven’t done much more than just create them. Usually they were created in a time of financial frustration.

This last weekend we packed our bags and holed up in a hotel to talk about finances with no distractions. I want to share one epiphany that I had this weekend.  I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say you should create a new budget every single month. We never did. We just created a big annual budget, based on past spending, and then kind of divided each line item by 12.

For example, we have seven people in our immediate family. We spend about $100 on a birthday. With this annual-budget-logic, we’d take that $700 budgeted, divide by 12, and put $58 in each month on the “birthday” line.

The problem with this is that in February we have two birthdays. In March we have none. So the reality of what we should budget in February is $200, not $58. And in March, it should be $0, not $58.

Looking at the year, it kind of makes sense. Looking at the month, it’s all kinds of messed up.

So, we put together a February budget (based on our annual budget, but changing things we knew needed changing for just this month).

Folks, money is a big deal. In a marriage, money is one of the top five issues. Another top five is communication. This year’s JibberJobber theme is income streams… what you spend is a negative income stream. Let’s get serious about it.

I’m reminded of a guy I met who was unemployed… and had been for a while. He had a nice car and a nice house and what looked like a nice life…. and told me that his past financial decisions, and how he spent his money, and how he managed his debt, made his transition much less stressful than the average job seeker. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

How much fun would your job search be right now if you didn’t have the stress that living paycheck to paycheck, and being backwards on your money?

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How much does it cost to buy something for $100?

January 22nd, 2019

Continuing the annual theme of income streams… today let’s talk about spending money.

Let’s say you want to buy something for $100. How much money do you have to earn in order to buy it?


Assuming you have taxes, you would have to earn more than $100 to be able to buy something for $100. You’d have to earn 100 * 1.(your tax rate)

If your tax rate is 20%, you would have to earn 100 * 1.20, or $120.

Your $100 purchase cost you $120.

This is simplified, of course. You could pay more in taxes, and you could add on variable expenditures based on your income (for example, tithing). You might be contributing a percentage of your income to a 401k (so, you don’t see that money until you are old enough). Perhaps you need to make $130+ in order to buy a $100 thing.

How much would a $50 dinner cost you? Based on these numbers, it would cost you (or, you would have to earn) $60 to $65.

Look, I’m not trying to be a killjoy. But I want us to change our relationship with money. I want it to be a healthy relationship. Earning money, and increasing revenue streams, is great. But we need to understand what we are really spending. We should know, to the penny, what we are spending. Dave Ramsey’s cash flow system is called “every dollar” because he wants you to track every single dollar.

An analogy: my wife and I recently started the keto diet. The way we are doing it requires that we measure what we eat… either weigh food, or use measuring cups. We’ve found that if we just “eyeball” it, and guess how much we are eating, we are wrong… every time. Our eyeballing is inaccurate.

I bet this is what we are doing with our spending. Just a little here, at this restaurant, and just a little there, at that splurge, is okay, right?


We really should track and measure what we are spending, and compare that to what we are earning.

And part of understanding our expenses is to understand how much we have to earn in order to spend that much.

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2019 Theme of the Year: Income Streams

January 1st, 2019

If you’ve followed my blog for the last few weeks you know I recently lost my dream job.

You also know that when I was told “your last day will be November 30th,” I was sad… really sad. But I was also thinking about my other income streams.

13 years ago, when I got laid off and catapulted towards a new career direction, I had no other income streams. A small committee at the company I worked at voted to lay me off. No big deal, just a business decision. But they took away 100% of my income. I vowed to not allow any one person to take away 100% of my income ever again.

My plan became to create JibberJobber, and hope to earn $100 a month. That’s not much money, but at least “they” wouldn’t be able to take away 100%, right?

And so there I was, sitting across the table from my boss, getting laid off. Weeks before Thanksgiving. Shortly before Christmas. Happy holidays to me!  But, I had accomplished what I had set out to do. This person, who left that meeting with her title and salary and benefits and ownership intact, could not, did not, take 100% of my income away. And for that I was deeply grateful that all the work I’d put in these almost-thirteen years paid off.

What I’ve been thinking about all weekend is that I want YOU to be as empowered as I was. I want YOU to be as prepared as I was. I want YOU to have multiple income streams. I don’t know what is right for YOU, and I warn you that it might take thirteen (or more) years for YOU to create even one decent income stream (which might come after a number of failed attempts).

Maybe you’ve heard this one: Q: “When is the best time to plant a tree in my yard?” A: “20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

Let’s shift that to income streams: Q:  “When is the best time to create another income stream?” A: “20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

How does a job fit into this?

I want you to get to the point where, instead of saying “I got a new job!” you say “I got a new income stream!

Yes, jobs are (can be) great. Yes, most everyone should have a job. But I want you to get to a point in your career where you see your job as an income stream.

Income streams are power. I want you to have that power. And that is why “income streams” is 2019’s theme of the year.

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Previous JibberJobber Themes of the Year (Recap)

December 31st, 2018

Tomorrow I announce the JibberJobber theme for 2019. Here are previous annual themes:

2017: Healing

2015: You Have the Cookie

2013: Consistency

2012: Communication

2011: The Rabbit Hole

Get ready for the theme announcement tomorrow!

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The Negative Income Streams

January 2nd, 2018

Yesterday I announced the 2019 theme to be “income streams.” I’ve talked about your job being one income stream, and I encourage you to create other income streams.

What we haven’t talked about is the important topic negative income streams. This feels harder for me than thinking about creating a new income stream!

I’m talking about what you are spending. Where does your money go. How much money goes to fast food. How much money goes to things that are frivolous. How much money goes to things you don’t even know about, like subscriptions that you don’t use. What can you do to decrease your negative streams?

I want to plant this seed in your mind, as you think about income streams, because decreasing negative income streams decreases your need to add more income.

I like Dave Ramsey…. you might like someone else. Think about this topic, though, and plan for it. I want you to become financially independent, and decrease the power that someone who can terminate your job has over you. Understanding how and where you spend money, and taking charge of it, can help.

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2017 Theme: Healing

March 6th, 2017

I know, I know, the timing, right?

If you’ve followed my blog these last couple of months, you know that two months and one day ago I kicked a kickbag (aka, heavy bag, aka cinder block wall) the wrong way and broke a bone in my ankle.  I didn’t know that you could kick a kickbag wrong. I certainly didn’t know that you could do it wrong enough to break a bone.

Alas, I did (kick it wrong) and it is (broken).  Today, two months later, I can “bear weight,” which means put some pressure on it. It’s still in a splint (which is smaller and lighter than a boot). I still walk with a walker (the kind you don’t think you’ll use until you are 90… but so much better than crutches).  I’ve been enduring a very long healing process, and know that I have months to go before I can walk normal.  All because of a little bone fracture.

Frankly, I’m an impatient person. In my mind I was supposed to be walking mid-January.

This is like, in my job search, I was sure that I would be employed in four to six weeks.

In some of my close relationships, where healing needed to be done, sometimes the healing has been going on for years.

In each of these cases, healing did not happen fast.  And, in every case, there was pain.

What I want to focus on this year is allowing the healing to happen.  Imagine you have a nasty, deep gash on your arm, and it is bandaged.  You can’t take the bandage off every few hours to see if it’s done healing, or if it’s made a lot of progress since last time.  That can be harmful, and demoralizing (aka, depressing).

If you are in a job search there’s a good chance that you need to heal. I certainly did. I had strong emotions of anger and bitterness, and during my job search I struggled with feelings of inadequacy and depression.  Those were just a few of the things I had to heal from.

So here’s to 2017, a year we focus on healing ourselves.  That will mean different things to different people, but let’s heal.


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JibberJobber Theme for 2017 (Pre-announcement)

March 3rd, 2017

I like to do this in early January, so this is a little late. But in early January I was nursing a broken ankle (didn’t know it at the time) and was otherwise preoccupied. Even though we are in March, this theme is still relevant. Maybe it’s even more relevant now.

Monday I’ll announce this the JibberJobber Theme for 2017. I haven’t been perfect at defining an annual theme, but here are some of the past themes (click each title to read the theme):

2012 THEME: Job Search is 99% Communication

I’m convinced that we, as human beings, have a lot of potential to communicate better… more effectively.  We, as people who care about our career (aka, career managers), should be keenly focused on communicating more effectively, verbally, written, body language, etc.

2011 THEME: The Job Search Rabbit Hole

This theme comes from the concept that perhaps we are working really, really hard, and are very, very focused, on the wrong things. It is about rethinking what our focus is, and making sure we are focused on the right things.

2013 THEME: Consistency Wins

This theme is inspired by Mark LeBlanc, who right now is in Spain walking El Camino (again). He says “consistency trumps commitment.” I’m completely convinced that for anything that is a long-game, like a job search, and career management (and owning a business), that is 1,000% true.  Let’s focus on moving closer and closer to our goal, with consistency, every single day, and not do any flash-in-the-pan efforts and then burn out.

2015 THEME: The Year of the Cookie

The idea of the cookie is usually communicated in a phrase like “you have the cookie,” or “I have the cookie!”  It is all about who has the power.  When someone else has the power/cookie (like, in an interview), the control everything. But when you have the power/cookie (perhaps because you are, hands down, the best person for the job). This theme was about recognizing power, and working to ensure you had the power you need.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this year’s theme, and I’ve struggled with it because it’s not as optimistic or positive when you first hear the word (it’s kind of painful), but it’s crucial.

Watch for it on Monday.

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