3 Things You Need to Hear but Don’t Want to

12436236_10153860979392650_1672561612_oThey say the truth hurts.  It’s a hard pill to swallow – like the time my two-year-old recently pointed out that she’s excited to see I’m going to have another baby.  “No, honey.  No baby in this belly,” and thanks for pointing out that I’m obviously fat!

But don’t you think that cutting out the crap and getting to the meat and potatoes of this life is really all that’s important?  Think about it.  Maybe I do need some exercise.  Maybe I do need to hear something that makes me cringe.  After all, the friend who will tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear, is the best friend of all.

So here’s the meat and potatoes – after 13+ years as a financial advisor, I’m still blown away by the people who just don’t get it.  The story is almost always the same…it’s a couple who has decent income, they don’t live extravagantly, one’s a spender and one’s decent with money, they have some debt, are underfunded for retirement and college savings, and they don’t understand that it won’t just all come together perfectly.  The hard truth:

  1. Debt kills you.
  2. Savings won’t just happen one day.
  3. It doesn’t ever get cheaper to live.

None of these people are dumb.  They’re just living the way society tells us we all should live.  It’s peer pressure at its’ core and it’s contagious!

Have you ever seriously thought about what it would be like to have zero debt?  How much would it cost you to live?  What if all you had to pay for were utilities, clothes, and food?  Would you have to save as much for retirement?  Would you have to work as many hours as you do now?

Did you know it’s entirely possible to pay off your mortgage in 5 years? What about your car payment?  Wouldn’t it be easier to not have one and pay for every car in the future with cash?  With proper planning in place, these are all realistic examples of goals that can be accomplished without being rich.

Food (meat and potatoes) for thought…

If you liked this or know someone who would, subscribe and share away!  ~Val

I Smell Results

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Have you ever been on the cusp of doing something you never thought you could do?  Perhaps as you read these words you feel like you are destined for something greater?  Maybe you’ve dreamed a dream and are longing to feel it, see it, and taste it?  Does the very thought of it seem so exciting you can actually smell it?  If so, all that’s standing between you and your dream is FOCUS…

In today’s society, focusing isn’t easy.  I’m willing to bet that right this very moment you are battling one or more distractions.  Look around you.  Think about your day. Can you name more than one thing that bothers you?  So how on earth do we reach our goals when we’re overwhelmed with everything and everyone that pulls us in different directions?  I’ll tell you how.

This part is important and it hit me square in the face when I first heard it: “devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing,” says author Andy Stanley.  Think about that.  Re-read it: “devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.”

Could this be why you aren’t living your dream?  Something’s gotta give…so what is it?

Who’s the Ying to Your Yang?

Balance is everything
Balance is everything

In business and in life, balance is one of the hardest things to achieve.  We are being pulled in different directions at any second of the day.  Whether it’s keeping up with e-mails, marketing ourselves, handling customer phone calls, keeping the books up-to-date, prospecting, managing employees, tracking and analyzing results, ensuring quality control of our products or services, planning for future growth, managing risk, and the list goes on and on and on, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed!  Maybe you feel that way right now?!?

If you’ve been blessed with a great spouse, you understand how having someone to balance you can be the secret to holding it all together.  If not, you get that failure is not an option because who else would pick up the pieces if you drop the ball?  Owning a company isn’t really that different if you think about it.  Going solo can mean tremendous pressure.  Having the right partner, however, can be the key to incredible success!

Take my financial advisory practice for instance – my business partner, Trent, balances me in every area I need it.  Not only do Trent and I share in the workload, we also get to bounce ideas off of each other.  If we have an issue, we can rely on each other to work through it.  If we have an idea, we serve as each other’s filter and can easily play devil’s advocate to ensure an idea actually makes sense.  When we are ready to run, it’s more like a relay than a sprint with a cheerleader always on the sidelines.  In a world where you can’t be everything to everyone, we are free to specialize and come together to provide a deeper and more well-rounded level of expertise and service.

Partnerships do take work, but they can be extremely effective in balancing your business, your life, or your projects.  Stick around and we’ll explore some more tips on how Trent and I have achieved an incredible partnership, and I’ll also share how my husband, Rob, and I work together in his window treatment business in the same way.  But I’m curious…what questions do you have about partnerships that you’d like us to explore first?

The North Side of Average

Rob, Jake, Addie Claire, Valerie and Kaitlyn
Rob, Jake, Addie Claire, Valerie and Kaitlyn

One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is the ability to affect other people and inspire with our language.  In the beginning of all creation God spoke and said “Let their be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).  God’s words created light and, hence, sight for us all!

In my career, I’ve worked with those who couldn’t see how they could possibly become successful or were blind to how they could take their lives or businesses to another level.  My prayer is that my words and the gifts God has instilled in me will be a light to your life.  My mission is to help inspire others to become extraordinary in all that they do!

I’m a mother, a wife, and an owner of multiple businesses.  I’ve had incredible success and have also made many mistakes personally and professionally in my 33 years of life.  There’s a good chance I’ve been where you are today!  If you’re ready, I want to help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made and achieve success much faster than I have.  Please join me on my life’s journey to the north side of average…

-Valerie Leonard