Winners wake up early. Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc

Winners wake up early. Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc

Take a look around at those people you admire who are successful in life and seem to get a mountain of tasks completed. You know their secret?

They wake up earlier than you do.

Shocked?

It’s no secret really. Winners just wake up early and start their day off before you AND work on strategic tasks that help them reach their goals.

I have decided to join their ranks and join the 5 Club. The what?

I’m waking up at 5 am to work on specific tasks that will help me reach my life goals.

Reaching Goals Takes Time

We all have goals, yet who reaches them?

Answer: Those who devote enough time and energy to those goals.

How much time do you actually spend on your goals? Do you carve out time each day to make mico steps towards your life goals?

There is a lot to do, but only a few tasks each day really matter and make an impact on your life goals.

My Motivation for joining the 5 Club

I’ve got a lot on my plate, how about you?

Currently I’m working 40 hours, commuting 15 hours, maintaining a blog, am a husband and dad, helping out around the house, and assisting with a family business.

I can slice my tasks and responsibilities down to a certain level, but there still remains a large mound of important tasks that have to be done.

With my normal schedule, I just can’t seem to get it all done.

That is why I’ve decided to start waking up early during the week to tackle my important goals head on.

I was lagging with this for a long time. My wife claims she’s been telling me for years that winners wake up early, but I’m not a morning person so I always dismissed that idea quickly.

The breaking point has been not being able to exercise and write–both things that give me life and energy.

When I saw that my friend and YouTuber had joined the 5 Club, I had to jump in.

 Wake up Early? (Why Not Stay up Late?)

Why not stay up late and just work on your goals?

I know, I used to feel the same way too. Yet-those tasks and goals that were personally important kept getting pushed lower down the priority list and never materialized into action.

By the end of the day I was tired and unmotivated and just want to watch reruns of Jimmy Fallon on Hulu.

5 AM is Tough: Preparation, Discipline, Planning

This club is not for the faint of heart. It takes preparation the night before to lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, and set your alarm.

When that alarm goes off when its dark and everyone else is sleeping it takes discipline and guts to roll out of bed.

I use an app called the 5 Club for i-Phone. Currently there isn’t a Android version, but I’m sure its in the works.

It takes planning to stay on task and figure out what tasks you should actually do. Currently I am writing 2-3 days and exercising 2 days.

My Experience with the 5 AM Club

I’m in my second week so far and I’ve been able to write a few articles and exercise 3x. This may not seem like a lot, but if I didn’t wake up early those things wouldn’t happen at all.

The 5 Club App only lets you check in at 5:00. If you try at 5:01, you’re late. The app will even send a notification to Facebook and you can see who else is waking up at that time too.

My wife is even getting in on the action and waking up a few days with me.

Can You Wake up at 5 AM?

If you’ve read this far, you must be thinking that waking up early could benefit you. Trust me, it works.

Why not try it? Download the 5 club app if you’ve got an apple on your phone or set your alarm for 5 am for the next morning.

Pick your important task and get to it. Avoid social media, email, TV, and other distractions. Just focus on those personal goals.

Go ahead and decide to be a winner and wake up early. You won’t regret your decision.

See you in the morning.

If you’ve decided to join the 5 AM club let us know in the comments what you’ll be doing with your time. 

too many credit cards

Over reliance on credit is a reason why businesses fail.  Photo Credit Andres Rueda

Sunday beganNational Small Business Week in Washington D.C. sponsored by the Small Business Association. There is full schedule with some great speakers plus awards for the top small businessperson of the year.

What is the great thing about small business? Small business embodies the ideals of capitalism and hard work. It is the ability to start a successful business with only $100 and a website.  Small business is America.

Small Business is America

As a small business owner myself, I am a proud part of this group that keeps the economic wheels churning.

A small business is hard to define, but it generally has less than 250 employees and a few sources say up to 499 employes count as a small business.

Each industry has its own standards. The SBA has some technical info if you really want to know what your industry standards are for “small.”

A few facts about small business in the U.S.

  • Created 2/3 jobs in the last 20 years. (1)
  • 98.3% of all businesses have less than 100 people. (2)
  • 70% of small businesses are owned and operated by a single person
  • It takes an average 6 days to start a business in the U.S., but 38 days in China.
  • 1/3 of small business rely on credit.
  • 54% of small businesses are home based .

5 Reasons Why Small Business Fail

  • Underpricing of goods and products.
  • Illness of key personel.
  • Bad relations with vendors and customers.
  • Bad budgeting, over leveraged, reliance on credit.
  • Reluctance to get professional help.

Source: focus.com

This week is all about small business. Let us know if there is anything you want to know about small business or financial business issues. 

Check out these small business articles:

 

superboy in phonebooth

Little Hero in training. Photo Credit: TahoeSunsets via Compfight cc

My red-headed son is 2.5 and fairly advanced in his ability to speak, but of course I’m biased.

While playing outside a few days ago he said, “Let’s play Superheros!”

I almost teared up with emotion at my son’s declaration. We then proceeded to fly around the back yard, jumping over buildings in a single bound. It was a father/son moment I don’t want to forget.

We All Need Superheros

Why did I become emotional when my son asked to play Superheroes? Perhaps it was because I knew he would be lead to aspire to greatness due to these heroes.

Maybe I knew it would be a good connecting point with my son and a way I could teach him about good vs. evil.

I’m sure both are true, but a part of me teared up because I long to believe in Superheros again like a little boy I once knew who thought The Hulk could pick up anything.

I don’t know where my boy learned what a Superhero was or what they do–I’m sure he’s still trying to figure that out.

Good chance he learned from his older cousin who can often be found wearing a Batman or Green Lantern shirt karate chopping bad guys left and right. He believes Superheros are real as he should at his age.

The fact is, we all need Super heros no matter our age. We need someone bigger than ourselves who can do extraordinary things. Someone who will fight against injustice and stand on the side of Truth.

We all need Superheros, yet somewhere along the way we stop believing in them.

Superheros Melt, Role Models Stand Firm

As we grow up, we realize Superheros have their dark sides and ultimately are flawed just like us.

Children search for ways to understand the world and look to others around them as role models: parents, teachers, firemen, older siblings, and yes–even Superheros.

Soon a child’s dream of reality of Superheros melt into a flesh and blood reality of role models.

A child’s world is shaped (good or bad) by these role models and they begin to fight on the side of good or that of evil.

A Superhero’s influence melts away, but a role model’s impact can change the course of a child’s life. Who are the role models today?

I firmly believe that Fathers are the modern day Superheros our generations of children and teenagers need.

Fathers who are interested, invested, and mentoring not only their own children, but also in the generations of youth around them.

A Modern Day Superhero Primer for Fathers

Love Your Spouse- One of the best ways to be a good dad is to be a good husband to your wife. Show your kids what it is to respect women, love well, make decisions together, and fess up when you’re wrong.

Be present- Children need their fathers. The statistical evidence is overwhelming. Being present in your kids life, will make a huge impact on their spiritual, emotional, and general well-being.

Love well- Love in ways that your kids will ‘get it’ that you are loving them. Do you know your kids Love Language? If not, check out The 5 Love Languages of Children.

Ignite passions- Be the gas that lights the passions in your children. Find out what they enjoy and help them excel at it.

Live a Courageous Life- Your children will catch much more than you’ll teach them. Live out your passions and dreams. Stand up to evil and fight for good. You’re kids will see it, respect it, and want to walk in that same path.

Lead well and enjoy your superhero status.

More Resources for Being a Superhero Dad!

AllPro Dad- Great community started by Tony Dungy. 

Books:

Promise Keepers- A community whose vision is: “Men Transforming the World.“

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A blown tire doesn’t have to blow your budget

We all need an emergency fund just in case something unexpected happens. Trust me, the unexpected will happen.

If you don’t have the funds saved up for a rainy day, you’ll be getting wet.

I’ll be starting a list of reasons why you need an emergency fund.

If you have ideas please send them to my Twitter @ontargetcoach

Why You Need an Emergency Fund Reason #1: Blown Tire

As I was driving to work recently on my morning commute, I felt my tire blow.

I kinda expected to have some sort of car trouble on our 97 Civic with 179K miles on it, especially since I’ve been putting 120 miles on a day.

Now, I’m an urban kinda guy, so I’ve never changed a tire by myself–Never.

I could have called AAA, but it would have taken them 30 minutes to get there and then I would have to be embarrassed to ask some other dude to change my tire and put on the spare.

This is Oklahoma after all where people still grow their own food and raise cows. You won’t hear an Okie saying they can’t do something.

Don’t say ‘can’t’ in the earshot of an Oklahoman–they’ll just angry at you for not figuring out how to MacGyver a way to do it.

I digress.

How to make a tire iron

My Blow Tire

I had a full sized spare [TIP: When you buy a new set of tires, keep the best of the old set and use it for your spare tire], so I didn’t have to worry.

After locating the cheap little jack and tools, I finally figured out a way to make the jack go up. It was difficult and I didn’t have room to turn the jack’s mechanism in a circle.

When I was done I figured out the two pieces went together to form a T in which I could jack the car up.

You knew how to do that already huh? Yeah, my first time-dumb.

After an hour the job was complete and spare tire on. I felt like a stud.

I changed a tire without help looking up how to do it on YouTube. I was a man. I was all grown up.

A State trooper slid up behind me.

“Shows over”, I said.

He saw my black covered hands and brought me an industrial wipe to clean my hands.

Emergency Funds and Car Repairs

Cars break. Especially if you drive them like a chuck wagon on a long journey across hard terrain.

My car crisis, could have turned into a budget crisis and caused much stress in our lives and marriage.

But I can buy a new tire, since I have an emergency fund. In fact, we even have a fund saved up for car repairs for when they happen.

Keep saving and drive safe.

Wagons Ho!

Do you save for car repairs or have a plan for when your car breaks? 

Buying in bulk as an investment? Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

Buying in bulk as an investment? Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

On my drive home from work I heard about an interesting alternative investing strategy that even Mark Cuban (billionaire) endorses.

“The money you save by investing in bulk will provide a better return on investment than any investment vehicle on the planet.”- Mark Cuban from NPR article

Buying in Bulk as an Investment Strategy

We can all agree that there aren’t many investments that are paying decent rates. Heck, savings rats (not mis-spelled) are at all time lows along with their money market cousins. More rats!

What can we do, but put it all in the stock market to hopefully keep up with inflation? You can forget about trying to keeping up with college inflation rates of 7%+.

Inflation is the pace car investors are trying to beat.- @ontargetcoach

Buying in bulk can unleash the current purchasing power of your dollar in anticipation of higher rates of common products.

Buying in Bulk: Smart Shopping or an Investment?

We already know buying in bulk from places like Costco and Sam’s Club will save us money on common items like bags of ice.

That’s just smart shopping, but could buying in bulk be considered an investment? Perhaps.

In the interview, economist Russ Roberts suggest buying items that will likely increase in price and that you’ll end up using like trash bags, laundry detergent, undershirts, toothpaste, etc.

Non-perishable items are best. [Random Thought: That would stink to have 50 gallons of shampoo in the basement and then go bald.]

If you already have a firm handle on your debt with an emergency fund in place AND inflation rates continue to outpace savings rates and money market funds, then buying in bulk could be a place to put some of your investments dollars.

For now, I’ll keep buying in bulk just for the cost savings and not an investment.

Though if I had an extra few hundred and came across a good deal, I might be convinced to “invest” in a socks and underwear for the next decade.

What do you think about buying in bulk as a viable alternative investment strategy?