Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 117: Introduction to the Guy Who's Got it Right

Today I've been so focused on marketing and content and all this goodness that my head is spinning!

I like producing content. I do it strictly in writing these days, but I tried my hand a some videos back in the day as well. Yeah, go ahead and search YouTube for "Andrew Lisi" and you'll find some really weird stuff.

Admittedly, in both writing and video, execution is lacking. There are still two very large gaps: Planning, execution, and consistency (I know that's three, but I ignore planning in pretty much everything or, better explained, planning is involved in both good execution and consistency).

Yet, in both writing and video, I have been inspired by someone, someone I want to introduce you to. He's influenced the way I view social media, the way I view marketing, sales, delivery, support - it all. I've leaned on his thinking both in my current work and also in my work in the church. I've loved his content because it doesn't involve any B.S. What he communicates and articulates isn't magic; in fact, I think it's all stuff many of us see, but can't quite put our finger on it, which I guess is a mark of a true "visionary." The best part is that his philosophy is a proven one in business across many verticals seeing as how it all began with a wine business he took over from his father and has now morphed into a popular, growing media agency.

If you're interested in increasing your brand awareness and influence, understanding the power of social media, getting insights on what makes people tick, this is your guy. Even if it isn't business-related to you at all, even if you just want to increase readers on your personal blog or followers on your Instagram, this guy will help.

Who is this?

This guy is Gary Vaynerchuk or better known as @garyvee in the social media world.

Here's just a sample of the goodness:

"How to Get Your Wine Palate Trained:" https://youtu.be/2qxDuPbFnoM?t=2m35s (this is my favorite. He eats a ton of foods, from cereal, to jelly, to dirt, to help you get your palate trained. The end is the best and launched him into fame.)

"Stop Storytelling Like It's 2007:" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnXijAxiy8g (adult language in this bad boy)

The Thank You Economy: http://www.amazon.com/Thank-You-Economy-Gary-Vaynerchuk/dp/0061914185/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

That last one is a great book. The big premise is that many businesses (and this can pertain to any organization, really) tend to focus too much on saying "thank you" to the customer as a way of providing service. The Thank You Economy flips it and argues that your business or organization should be so good, so savvy, so caring that it's your customers who are saying thank you.

I guess that's what this is. Gary Vee continues to influence me today and his economy works. This is my thank you to him. Check him out!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Day 116: If Money Wasn't an Issue...

This is a simple question: If you didn't have to work for your money, what work would you be doing?

What do I mean? Let's say that you have enough money to live off of the rest of your life, but you still have to work. What would you do? It doesn't have to be a job in corporate America. You could do anything that is considered work.

So if you didn't have to work for your money, but still had to work, what would you do? Would you keep doing what you're doing or would you pursue something else?

Hit me up in the comments or shoot me an e-mail at andrewlisi at gmail dot com.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Day 115: How Eating Out Keeps You From Getting Rich

I received $100 recently for some side work that I did last month. That sounds a bit cryptic; I officiated a wedding. It's not something I do regularly anymore, but I enjoyed the opportunity to marry some friends.

As most of us do with money we receive outside of our paychecks, I spent some time thinking about what I should spend it on. Many things came to mind, but the one purchase I've been wanting to make as of late is for a set of Bose speakers for our house with bluetooth and all that good stuff.

I lived in that world of wondering how the sound would be in our home for a bit when I got curious about another way to use the money. What if, instead of spending it, I invested it? What would happen to $100 if I just threw it in an index fund (a fund basically mirrors one of the many indices out there, like the S&P 500) and didn't touch it until retirement, say 30 years from now?

For the sake of simplicity, let's say that the index fund I invest that money grows at around 8% annually for 30 years. Using this simple calculator I learn that if all I did was put this money in a fund for 30 years it would grow to $1,006.27. I know, it doesn't seem like much, especially taking into account inflation and, well, 30 years of it just sitting there.

Let's use a different example. Let's say you spend around $300 a month eating out. That's a fairly reasonable amount for many of you, especially the single folk who don't be cookin'. Let's say you are looking to start budgeting and getting right with your dough. You're actually blown away when you realize you spend that much on eating out, going to bars, etc. and reduce it to $100 a month, which is where we are at currently as a family of 3. What if you saved the $200 you're not spending and put it in the bank for a year. You have $2,400! Now, what if you took that as a starting balance for an index fund and put an additional $2,400 every year in that fund for the next 30 years?

Using the same numbers as above, guess how much money you'll have. You honestly have no idea and you're gonna freak out when you see the number.


Do you believe it?

This is an introduction to compound interest, a revolutionary concept that Einstein famously quipped is the "eighth wonder of the world" and Warren Buffet has said is one of the three main factors for his success (the other two being that he's lived a long time and that he's American).

Compound interest means that interest is being applied not only to the principle amount, but also to the interest that has accrued on top of that amount. For example, if I have a principle amount $1000 and it gets 10% interest compounded annually, at the end of year one I have $1100. But in year two the 10% isn't being applied only to the principle of $1000, but also to the $100 of interest already gained. That means at the end of year two I have $1,210. This kind of action happening over a long period of time has a massive impact on our funds.

The majority of us in American just don't get this. We haven't been taught the cost-benefit analysis through the lens of compound interest. Often it's the different between spending money here or there. Instead, we need to learn that spending money somewhere means we are losing the chance to save it elsewhere. We learn a lot about working for our money, but not enough about making our money work for us.

So the next time you are thinking about going out to eat or having a night out with friends, consider what that $50, $75, or $100 could really mean to you in 10, 20, or 30 years. Small choices like that can add up to making you hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a millionaire.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Day 114: Be Patient

Be patient. Just be patient.

That''s a third principle that needs to be applied in this 34th year of my life along with being present and being grateful.

The fun part about that is it can't be a principle that is just for this next year, right? Ugh, developing patience requires patience...

But it's important because being patient will allow me to think of the future with a reasonable, long-term perspective. And in doing so, I am able to enter into the present, focusing on each day as important in itself.

Reading that stuff I just wrote seems all types of new agey and mystic, but I have no better way of explaining it right now. I guess ultimately patience is rooted in the trust that my God and Father is working all things out according to His good will and pleasure, which includes my joy. I don't know how it plays out. I don't know if I will have a successful career. I don't know if we will be a big, happy family. I don't know if we will be comfortable financially. I don't know what hardships that will come.

I have an idea of what I'd like our life to be like. I know, for the most part, the reality of what our life is like now. Patience is understanding that we may get there or we may not. Because it's not about us achieving that idea. It's about trusting that whatever does come is a gift from God. Today is good. Tomorrow has enough worries of it's own. Be thankful for that, for what is, and what is true. To truly grasp that requires more patience than I know I have in my own power.