My alma mater recently included me in a feature in their alumni magazine on adventurous life styles. I’m especially flattered because my “success story” if you can call it that, has been anything but typical. The theme of my story is that I left a “normal” job working in bank to pursue a dream in California of riding ATVs professionally. While that adventure is far from over, it certainly looks a lot different know days than it did 5 years ago when I packed that truck and hit the road for So Cal.
I’m no expert at chasing dreams but I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do and see a lot of the things that I spent most of my life wishing I could do. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way that helped or that could have made the process a little bit smoother and a little less painful. ...continue reading
First of all, congratulations. You are nearing the end of a journey that has consumed the better part of life as you have known it. Since kindergarten the bulk of your life has revolved around academics and graduation is the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.
It’s cause for celebration no doubt. But before you get too wrapped up in graduation festivities, commencement addresses and heart-warming speeches about the future I want to share something with you. I want to be honest with you. These days, culture has a way of telling you what you want to hear and not necessarily being truthful. Before you walk across that stage and take on the world, I want to warn you that everything on the outside isn’t always as “pretty” as you’ve been lead to believe. ...continue reading
Since moving to North Carolina, I've been chomping at the bit to get up to the mountains and do a little trout fishing. The pictures I've seen look amazing and the area actually reminds me a lot of my home in Oregon.
I have literally been trying to make it up to the mountains for the last three months and since my wife was out of town, I decided this was the weekend to do it. I did all my research, found a popular place to go, ordered a copy of the NC fishing regulations and even contacted a fish and game warden to make sure I understood the rules. (NC has some interesting rules when it comes to fishing.) I bought a license, some new tackle, packed a bag and made sure I had everything I needed to ensure the day was a success. The only thing I couldn't guarantee was that the fish would bit. ...continue reading
I’m a compulsive saver. As early as five years old I can remember hoarding my allowance and in the event that I splurged on a new toy, I made sure I always had something left in reserve.
For that reason I always thought a budget seemed, well…beneath me. Because I have a propensity to save, I never really thought I needed one. Every payday I would make a mental note of the bills that needed to come out of that check and allow myself around $250 to cover me for gas, eating out and whatever other small expenses might arise. The rest got dumped into savings.
Some months this method seemed to work well. Others not so much and I would be digging money out of savings or worse yet, putting it on a credit card just to “float it” until the next pay period. ...continue reading
Lets face it, there's nothing sexy about a budget. For most people it's boring, painful and confusing. However there IS something sexy about money in the bank, paying off debt and paying cash for the things you want and that's why I created this easy to use budget template. Just enter you income and expenses and the spreadsheet will do the rest. ...continue reading
I know what you’re thinking and while it might not be the most politically correct title for a blog, I promise it’s STUFFED with value. (Sorry couldn’t resist!)
F.A.T. is an acronym my football coach in college taught us that he used when recruiting new players. I’ve found the acronym to be appropriate for many walks of life and absolutely relevant in the workplace.
Today, employers are lucky to find workers who will show up on time, let alone do their job, do it well and heaven forbid, go above and beyond. ...continue reading
I’m as cheap as the day is long. Seriously. If Southwest Airlines would replace their seats with wooden benches and drop the cost of a ticket, I’d buy stock in the company. Call me crazy but I will endure a fairly high level of discomfort if it means saving money. I’m very independent, I trust my intuition and I want the rock bottom, beat all price no matter where I go.
That said, as I get older, I’m starting to see my propensity to find the “best deal” slip. I find myself more appreciative of things like good customer service or something as simple as a live, English speaking voice on the other end of the phone and I’m actually willing to pay a little extra for it. Why? Because I want to be taken care of. I want to feel like I matter. I don’t want to be just a number in a file or a dollar sign that walked through the door. ...continue reading
I miss this guy. Terribly. Our friendship came about in the most unlikely of circumstances. In fact, in the years after college, we both admitted that we didn’t really like each other at first.
My first dose of Randy was in a shuttle from the ST Louis Airport back to Greenville College where we both were arriving as freshman for college football camp. I hopped in the van to be greeted by this rather interesting looking character with shoulder length hair, a bandana and tie dyed shirt who was clutching a ceramic statue of a monkey on a surf board. ...continue reading