5 Crucial Lessons I Learned by Starting My Own Business

As a kid, I had no aspirations of being a business owner or entrepreneur.

I was a baseball card collector investing way too much money in Jose Canseco baseball cards.  (That probably ranks as one of the worst investments I’ve ever made but, hey – I was just a kid).

Even going into college, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated.

I majored in finance because my dad thought it would be a good major, and I kind of liked numbers.

The self-employment revelation hit me when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. That really changed my whole mindset, and got me to thinking seriously about becoming an entrepreneur.

After graduation, I was attracted to the financial services industry, because I felt that the income potential there was unlimited. I put in my time doing cold calling seminars – and doing anything else I needed to do to get clients. All went well for the first five years – or so it seemed.

Then another revelation hit me: Even though my income was unlimited, I was still a W2 employee.

That wasn’t exactly the message of Rich Dad Poor Dad, but it did have certain advantages. After all, I didn’t have to worry about who was paying the rent, how much the phone bill was, or what happened if my computer became outdated. My old brokerage firm took care of all that responsibility.

But in the end, that arrangement wasn’t as cozy as it seemed.

5 Crucial Lessons I Learned by Starting

My brokerage firm was bought out, creating one of those moments that almost forces you to change direction, and that‘s what I did. Me and three other coworkers took the leap of faith of actually starting our own financial services firm. I was finally – and officially – crossing over from W2 employee status to legitimate business owner.

I was finally self-employed.

It definitely was very exciting, but it was also very scary. I quickly realized I knew nothing about running a business. Sure, I knew how to make cold calls, get new clients, and schmooze with the best of them. But actually running a business was something that I had never been taught in school and really had no experience with.
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GF¢ 044: Why I Happily Pay $7,900 a Year For Strategic Coach


What is one investment you’ve made in the past that you’re grateful for today?

In 2011, my financial planning practice was thriving, for the most part. It had been three years since I left my old firm and co-founded Alliance Investment Planning Group, and this blog was doing very well.

In spite all of that, I felt like something was missing.

It wasn’t about the money, because I was making more than enough to support my family. It was more about how I was spending my time each day. There were certain parts about my day that I absolutely loved, but there were other parts that I absolutely dreaded.

I remembered that the mentor who had first hired me to be a financial advisor once told me that he had gone through a few different coaching programs. At the time, I didn’t get it.

Why would you ever spend money on a coach? But I slowly started to realize that I needed someone to help me figure out what exactly I wanted to accomplish, and how I was going to do it.

Through a contact I met on my blog, I learned about a program called The Strategic Coach. This online entrepreneur I met had been in the program for 12 years and suggested that I check it out. I decided to investigate their website.

Then I saw the cost. <insert jaw drop>

Strategic Coach Program Dan Sullivan Review

Based on my income bracket (they have different price ranges depending on where your income falls), it would cost me $6,900 per year to be a part of the program. If that wasn’t a tough pill to swallow, I then learned that the program only consisted of four workshop days per year.
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6 Things I Learned From Finishing the 21-Day Habit Challenge

Over the past few years, I’ve really focused on growing my financial planning practice, my blogs and my other online ventures.

After enrolling in a coaching program and talking with mentors and other successful entrepreneurs, I realized that successful people make strong positive habits part of their daily routine to help them achieve great things.

21 Day Habit Challenge

Dan Sullivan, the founder of the Strategic Coaching Program, developed what he calls the 21-day positive focus. The basic concept fairly simple: focusing for 21 days straight on one key habit that you want to either introduce into your life or get rid of.

I chose two habits to acquire — doing push-ups and reading the Bible — and started the 21-day habit challenge on my blog, hoping to inspire my readers to incorporate new positive habits into their daily lives, too.

I was surprised at the results.
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GF¢043: [Case Study] Can You Retire Early with Only 1 Million Dollars?


I want to retire early with 1 million dollars.

That statement has a nice ring to it, huh?

I don’t think I’ve worked with a client yet that didn’t want to retire early, or wouldn’t be ecstatic if they had a $1 million portfolio.

But as most of us already know, $1 million isn’t what it used to be.

IMG - Can You Retire Early with Only 1 Million Dollars

This article from USA Today makes the bold claim that $1 million isn’t enough to retire nowadays.

Look, $1 million is A LOT of money, but to stretch that out for the rest of your retirement is tough. It’s even tougher with lower interest rates.

The article states, “10 to 12 years ago, when people earned a lot more on their investments, $1 million could generate $70,000 to $80,000 a year in retirement income. But with interest rates as low as they are, that’s not really feasible.”

Sure, there are ways to make the most of out your short-term investments, and there are intriguing options like Peer to Peer Lending that can yield decent returns, but they don’t magically guarantee an early retirement.

So the question remains:  Can you really retire early with 1 million dollars?
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GF¢ 042: Unlocking Your Inner Greatness with Ben Newman


Ben Newman is on fire.

And I’m proud to say he’s a friend, mentor and someone that oozes positivity into my life.

Plus, he’s a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, so what’s not to love?   :)

Here’s just a few of Ben’s accomplishments

  • Super successful insurance agent (which he recently retired from)
  • International speaker
  • Author of 4 books (with a 5th on the way)
  • Founder of The Continued Fight and Bootcamp Workshops
  • High Performance Business Coach
  • Loyal husband and proud father
  • One cool dude

Did I mention he’s only 35?

Feel like a slacker yet?   Yeah, me too :)

Newman Headshot cropped

Fight For What You Believe

My first introduction to Ben was reading his book Fight the Good Fight, A Mother’s Legacy Live On. (In case you missed it, I included this book in one of my Top 25 Books for Entrepreneurs).
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Want to Win $2,500 of Apple Stock?

I’m an Apple fanboy.

A few years ago I got my first Macbook Pro and I haven’t looked back.

If you were to visit the Rose household, you would see that the entire family is on the Apple bandwagon with 1 iMac, 2 Macbook Pro’s, 1 iPad, 3 mini iPads, 1 Time Capsule and iPhone’s galore.

Yeah, we love Apple.

When Nvestly, a new social investment platform, asked me to participate in a $2,500 Apple share giveaway to bring awareness to their recent launch I was totally onboard.

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GF¢ 041: How to Silence Your Haters (and shake it off, shake it off)


Haters goin’ hate, hate, hate. Shake it off. Shake it off. –Taylor Swift

Haters gonna hate.

Because that’s what they do.

If you allow their words to infect you, they’ll never go away.

Their words will sting and paralyze you from achieving what you’re destined to.

Do not let that happen.

Silence the haters and just like Taylor says, “Shake it off“.

silence your haters
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How Do You Know When To Stop? Sometimes You Have to Just Shut up Listen (Giveaway Details)


Something doesn’t feel right about it.

You keep doing it although you’re not sure why.

Even worse you start to resent it.

You want to quit it, but quitting just sounds weak.

“Only losers quit” screams through your mind.

At least it was with mine.

That it is another one of my blogging projects that I’ve been running with amazing wife for the past 3 years.

That it is named Dollars and Roses.

The Honeymoon

The initial idea behind the blog was a joint blog that my wife and I would run and show people how we make money with blogging.   (If you didn’t know she was a blogger, you can check hers out here.)
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Will the Deferred Income Annuity Save Your 401k?

If you have never heard of a deferred income annuity, get ready, because you’ll probably be hearing a lot about them in the near future. And honestly, you should want to!

Deferred income annuities address a major weakness that is a part of current tax-deferred retirement plans, such as 401(k)s: what to do with your retirement plan when you actually retire.

That’s where deferred income annuities come in. They’re a valuable tool you can use that can preserve your investment capital, and make sure that you have a steady income for the rest of your life – no matter how long you live.

They can even turn your defined contribution 401(k) into something resembling the traditional defined benefit plans of yesteryear. That should interest anyone and everyone who is planning for retirement.

IMG - What is a Deferred Income Annuity
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The Simple Way to Find Out How Much Investing Risk You Can Stomach

Risk is everywhere.

All I have to do is turn on the news to be reminded of that.

I think it’s easy to go about our day-to-day lives and forget that bad things can happen – until suddenly they do.

Speeding down the highway. Smoking cigarettes (or anything else). Driving after one too many drinks. All of these are examples of risky behavior. Could you do it and be fine? Maybe. But each of these behaviors carries an element of risk of harm to yourself and others.

The sad truth is that risky behavior sometimes ends in tragedies – some worse than others.

And sometimes, we don’t even realize how much risk we’re taking until something unexpected happens that changes how we think about what we’re doing.

The truth is, whatever you do in this life carries a degree of risk.

But there’s another side to this coin.

The Simple Way to Find Out How Much Investing Risk You Can Stomach

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

That’s true. I get up in the morning and work hard because I believe and hope that I can make a difference in the world. I take risks, just like you do – and that’s okay.
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Grow Your Dough Throwdown – It’s Almost Done! (October Update)

The Grow Your Dough Throwdown is almost over (sigh).

It’s been a fun challenge, and it’s been exciting to see how my different portfolios have held up.

**You can check out the original announcement post here. And here is the March update, May update, and the Midyear update.

What hasn’t been exciting is seeing the other personal finance bloggers that are kicking my butt.

Like, serious butt kicking.

Either way, it’s been fun, and I’m looking forward to announcing that the Grow Your Dough Throwdown 2.0 will be happening next year.

October Update

This one should be bigger and better, and I can’t wait to share the details. Until then, let’s take a look at how my portfolios are doing.
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GF¢ 040: Everything You Need to Know About Your Credit (that you probably don’t)


As a Certified Financial Planner, I know a lot about financial planning issues, but there’s one thing that I didn’t realize I didn’t know much about and that thing is credit.

Several years ago, I went on a bold quest to find what my true credit score was and in doing so, I quickly learned that there are many different types of credit scores.  You can see that quest here.

That’s when I realized that there were a lot of things about credit that I didn’t know.

I was determined to find out, so I did a lot of research so that I understood how credit works especially since I devoted several chapter on credit in my book, Soldier of Finance.

That experience has help me realize that I need to seek out credit experts to help me keep up with the always changing credit landscape.

One such expert is Gerri Detweiler, who is the Director of Consumer Education at Credit.com. Gerri has become my go-to person for anything that has to do with credit.

I was excited when Gerri agreed to come on the GFC podcast to share her expertise, and also answer questions from the GFC community.

improve credit score
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