Innovation for Breakfast: A Dad’s Book Review of The 4-Hour Work Week

The 4-Hour Workweek

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You’ve probably felt my frustration at some point in the bookstore or on a blog. You see a title that’s captivating, a post that is well illustrated, links or references that are well organized and promised to be extremely valuable……and yet you exit the site empty, close the book disappointed, and go on with life having learned nothing. The problem isn’t a lack of skill from the writer, often it’s that they are writing for a particular group that you just aren’t a part of. The 4-Hour Work Week isn’t just for business school dropouts and burnout execs who want to get out of the office more. Unlikely groups, such as students and parents, can take away huge nuggets of lifestyle-design techniques that make life more simple, effective, and prosperous.

As I have been working my way through the Personal Mba Reading list in no apparent order, The 4-Hour Work Week jumped out at me the most. More to come!

All I have to say can be summed up in 3 sentences:

  1. The 4-Hour Work Week is an awesome book with ideas that accurately redefine ‘success’ in a post-industrial world and challenge your assumptions on work, lifestyle, and currency.
  2. Every area of life needs innovation. Family, finances, work, or Church….you can improve and enjoy it!
  3. Hold to convictions firmly but methods loosely

I have read and devoured The 4-Hour Work Week and loved every innovation-infused sentence of it! Since it’s release, The 4-Hour Work Week has risen to the New York times best seller list and catapulted the name Tim Ferris. The book is an introduction to the phenomena called The New Rich and builds on a foundational ethic that I believe in, work smart not hard. The key of The New Rich is two forms of currency:

Time and Mobility

Master how to create, free up, and use these two everyday and you’re in the club!!

Ferris is not advocating for laziness or get rich quick scams that leave you questioning your own values. Instead, just as we have learned to value debt elimination, we learn in the book to value work elimination. I believe in being a good steward over my time and that everyday is a gift.  The 4-Hour Work Week is a lifestyle design guide that focuses on cutting out the unnecessary work and stress that we have grown accustomed to. The chapters are separated into four Steps using the  DEAL acrostic.

Step 1-Definition   – What is important?

Step 2-Elimination    – Kill time/activity wasting

Step3-Automation  – Put income on autopilot

Step 4-Liberation    – Free yourself from mediocrity and bondage to traditional notions that are more dead than Bambi’s mom

My Mental Renovation: What I received from The 4-Hour Work Week

I was wrong….I don’t want my kid to be wronger

I was always taught that your goals should be “goto college, get a good job, and work hard. Then everything will be alright!” That’s a lie! College guarantees nothing! Working hard means what exactly? And what good jobs are still out there? This is not the industrial age anymore. Some of the concepts and technology that people learn in their freshman year of college is outdated by the time they graduate.

Technology loses value but ideas are priceless…AND….they’re free!!!

People generate wealthy lifestyles by leveraging time and good ideas to become successful. I remember one year at my good job I had worked 60 hour weeks, generated record breaking success, and had the best quarter ever. i had made enough money to be comfortable and happy.

Did I get a reward? No! I was told that my earnings had become excessive and was placed on a salary that minimized everything I would make after that. Good job.

Life is better LARGER

Have you ever sat at your desk or in your cubicle and thought: “I could be doing this at home!” The 4-Hour Work Week gave me some awesome food for thought to construct my own method of spending less time at the office and providing great work to my boss. I don’t need to be at the job site to make results. Now I have the plan that I have already started enacting to be more mobile in 2011. Workplace independence!

If you’re a parent you share my struggle in the areas of time and finances. The two things there is never enough of. To my delight, the book offered some cool tips on simplifying my day.

Some of the cool things I gained:

  • 3 I’s to ignore (good for time management. especially for parents for working from home)
  • How to have exotic cuisine cooked at my home, by someone else, for less than the cost of Boston Market
  • How to discipline my time during social networking and pursue more purposeful interaction
  • How to outsource work and make my boss let me work from anywhere but the office
  • How to speedread

There a very few real excuses

We live in a fat and overdrawn society. We daily walk in the funky essence of more is better, busy is productive, and overload is undervalued. Uh…no! I dare you to take 24 hours and construct your own low information diet. Unplug from the zombie lifestyles we’ve grown to love!

Elimination is probably the best word to describe the quest that I am on. Eliminating frivolous work, time wasting habits, and unnecessary information. I have a hunger to delegate. I’ve always been what you call a firefighter. I love the glory of solving the problems that I actually created through my own failure to empower others and develop systems that get the work done. Oh….just in case you didn’t know….this is a very biblical principle!’s in the book! 🙂

Case in point: The Apostles at the beginning of the church utilized the principles that Tim highlights in the book.

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group.-Acts 6:1-5

The Apostles knew the work to which they had been called and would not allow other things to compromise that. Delegation, walking in purpose and identity vs conformity to the demands of everybody else, and ability to hear one voice amid a cloud of others.


Most importantly, I received hope from The 4-Hour Work Week. There were sections of the book that I did not agree with. some bits and pieces of advise I have absolutely no intention of using, but at the end of my exploration of the world of the New Rich I knew without a doubt that I could do and accomplish things I had only talked about before. That’s the beauty of this book, it explains the what and illustrates the how. Before you get to Step III you have already tried 5 different things to grow you so you can handle the next idea that jumps at you. The process of reading becomes a process of transformation.

As a Father it’s important that I invest  my time wisely and live a lifestyle that enables me to be available to my family and effective in business. After devouring The 4-Hour Work Week I intend to use many of the tools I have gained to make my own case studies and experiment in my new lifestyle. Regardless of where you are in life, ministry, or family this work is a good read to equip you and stretch your thinking to match up with the global environment we find ourselves living and competing in.  Visit


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How to Look Up When Everything around, Inside, In Front of, and Behind You is Down?

“Saved alone. What shall I do.”

Those are the words on the telegram you see. Written from Anna Spafford to her husband Horatio, she had witnessed the drowning deaths of their four children, Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta Spafford while they were sailing to England. Horatio was already making his way through the valley of despair at the loss of his business when he suffered this blow. He had been a successful attorney and businessman in Chicago who, in the famous Great Fire of Chicago in 1871, lost everything that he had in one night.

A man trying to care for his family

Horatio made the best move that he thought would benefit his family, he arranged to move back to England. He had some unfinished business to attend to so he decided to send his wife ahead with their children.

Consider this misery….a man that sought to provide for his family, seeking to do the best that he could, made a decision that sent them to their death. How do you deal with it when everything around you is dark, cold, and miserable??

You may know a thing or two about misery. Have you ever been so tired of crying that you’re eyes are soar? Sometimes life is so intense that you despair to wake up and fear going to sleep. There are seasons in this human experience that couldn’t compare to a horror movie if Steven King himself directed it. Some pains are bitter, stinging in the center of your soul.

There are some things you learn when life becomes your prison. When sunlight becomes your captor, emptiness your reality, and tears your food, you cling to God and plead that in His mercy wisdom would fill your mind just to survive.

Keeping your head above water

  • Cry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crying is a healthy and natural way to express emotions. If you didn’t cry what tears would there be for God to wipe away?
  • Stop Crying                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don’t let mourning be your identity. You have to find a laugh. I know that some situations don’t allow for it but most times a good laugh is great medicine for the soul. I keep a playlist on my mp3 player just for rough moments when I really need to laugh. 5 Minutes after you die all this will be over and you will wish you had trusted more, prayed more, loved more! Live as passionately and light weight as you can HERE AND NOW!
  • Stretch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       So often we pray and ask God for strength to make it and comfort to pull thru and then we make one mistake: we just sit there. We ask but don’t expect. You have to stretch. Get up from bed, don’t let the tv take your mind away, eat something…..the things you need to do will usually be the things you don’t want to do! Stretch and do what you know is right! 
  • Be Lonely, Not Needy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Life’s trauma is sudden and devastating. We become so aware of our need for companionship and begin to hate the solitude. Often times, if we aren’t careful we can develop a co-dependency on others to hold us together. Lean on someone but allow God to be God and allow no other person to sit on His throne!                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Act like an infant                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My little girl  doesn’t worry very much. As a matter of fact, she is so carefree that it makes me feel quite good! She is so confident in her dad. She knows that all my resources, all my strength, all my power is reserved for her. Allow God to be your Daddy. Get personal!


When Horatio Spafford would later cross the sea, at the location where his children died, he penned the hymn ‘It is Well With my Soul’. Here is a clip of my favorite version.


“It is in the quiet crucible of our personal private sufferings
that our noblest dreams are born and Gods greatest gifts are given,
and often given in compensation for what we’ve been through.”

– Wintley Phipps


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Facebook or Twitter: One Thing You Must Seek in all Social Media

This is a picture of the worst meal I have had in years.  I hated it. I literally became angry when I saw it again. The price I paid for it was a waste.  Say what you will about presentation, I had to cut the potato like a steak, chew the steak like leather, and pray that the ultra-dry broccoli wouldn’t turn to ashes on my fork. I had to waste money, a practice I am not too happy to indulge in. There goes the tip!!!

Have you ever been disgusted with someone elses’ output?

I feel disappointed with my interactions in facebook. It started out fun and really exciting. Catching up with old friends and sharing with others has been a great experience. Somehow facebook has become a center stage platform for status performances and empty interactions. I will always enjoy the benefits of facebook but this dark side of the social media community is counterproductive for those who want the most out of their web experience.  In short, one thing is missing: PURPOSE.

For a long time I was only on facebook. I enjoyed creating photo albums, ‘liking’ statuses, and seeing what people were doing with their lives. At the end of the day I still was left lacking. Something in my experience was missing and I was determined to find it!

Now that I have been twittering for almost two years I enjoy twitter more.

Great taste, less filling!

It’s almost senseless to say that I get more out of twitter than from facebook. Twitter doesn’t offer tons of photo albums to browse, there aren’t 2 million groups to join, or video games that post your high scores to your wall for the whole world to view. And yet, I love twitter.

“Facebook is for friends that are now strangers, Twitter is for strangers that should be friends”

There is a reason the people you know on facebook were formerly ‘former’ friends. They were not interesting or maybe they were not right for you, whatever the case,   it didn’t work out. Twitter is about surrounding yourself with those who challenge your thoughts, innovate your living, and expand your mind with ideas. It’s about taking human interaction  and delving deeper.

Call me a bandwagoner, I’ve read the articles by Everette Bogue and Jan Stewart. I’ve watched the Ted videos, which is why I have Amber’s video posted below that I heavily encourage you to watch. I see what people are saying but it comes down to me. My connectedness to people whom I know, respect, and need is growing deeper and I am increasingly adding value to those around me.

How much time do you spend on social media?                               

  Are you, or anybody else, any better for it or are you sitting at the table of normality, eating the meal of mindlessness, complaining of the internal ache from the empty calories and unfulfilled desires for purpose.



Follow me on twitter. Don’t forget to say hi, I’m a human! 🙂


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The Epic Guide to World-Changing Anger

Here’s some advice: if your Pastor, Minister, Bishop or other confused spiritual leader tells you to flee from anger, slap them and run! Run for your life…literally! Anger is, in a word, AWESOME!! Out of all the wondrous gifts you’ve ever enjoyed anger is the one that served you well the whole time you complained about it.


Misdirected anger is missed opportunity

Regardless what has happened to you, who deserted you, what you missed out on, or who you loved…ITS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME TO BREW OVER THINGS THAT DON’T BOTHER ANYBODY BUT YOU!! For every second you waste imploding or exploding you could be making a massive improvement to your best asset…YOU! Think of anger like a check engine light on your car dashboard. Something is wrong, here is an opportunity to identify and zero in on one of your many flaws!

Make your anger a sniper rifle, not a machine gun!

One of the most epic blessings of being done wrong is that you can go out and find at least 20 unknowing bambi deers just staring in the headlights of an oncoming disappointment just begging for your wisdom! Take the lessons you gain, along with the stomach boiling emotions that go along with it, and develop your own tribe. did you get cheated on? so sorry! Why not gather some righteous indignation and pour your disappointment into developing those who would benefit from your epic stories and the wisdom you have gleaned. Get a niche going and help people. The world needs you! Don’t breed jerks who are horrified by your teary-eyed stories of one-sided hurt and why-me-isms. Be honest, you weren’t perfect. Bear your responsibility and bless the people whom God brings your way!

Anger destroys the who’s but totally obliterates the what’s.

This is the jem: ANGER WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE when life is at it’s worst! On one side of the coin, anger and frustration can cause fear, violence, homicide, and suicide.

 The right channeling of anger, rooted in a kick-butt purpose-driven identity, has given birth to great leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s who was angry for a great length of time during the civil rights struggle. If you were beaten, bit by dogs, spit on, and called degrading names wouldn’t you be angry? But, look at how he used it! Brilliant!    

 Whatever is holding you back, staggering you, slowing your life’s progress, clouding your dreams, ANGER will break walls down!!!

Anger will either be an erosive ulcer agitating force within and around you , or, a massively creative and innovative energy that will manifest some of the greatest potential you’ve never dreamed the world would see coming from you!

  • Ask yourself ‘What, not who, is my character flaw?                                                                                                                                  
  •  ‘What is my most difficult memory to think about?’                                                                                                                   
  •  ”What is the one thing I would change about the world around me if I could?’

By attacking an issue, blockage, or obstacle you challenge yourself to get innovative and, most of all, productive!

Anger keeps you sharp, raises your awareness, feeds determination, and makes epic stories of world domination for your grandchildren…..

In closing I want to make a toast to you in the words of my famed hero, Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo as he toasted to his own unbeknownst son after his brush with death (an epic movie indeed!):


“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you: as Albert Mondego, the man!”
Alexandre Dumas

FREE download from world renown speaker and counselor Jay Adams on How to Handle Anger


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5 Resources that Smart People Use to Escape Debt, Get Rich, and Stay Free

You probably didn’t wake up feeling like a slave today but you most likely are one. You didn’t hear the jingling shackles or  sleep in a barn, nor will you be whipped physically for trying to run away….you may actually be quit comfortable but at the end of the day the freedom you THINK you have is merely an illusion.

But wait, I’m free as I want to be…..

one question: Is your paycheck yours to do with as you please?

…..I didn’t think so!

The Borrower is SLAVE to the Lender!

Debt is massively depressing and sucks the life out of your dreams. All of the global treks that you would love to be venturing out to experience while excitedly building new facebook picture albums on a sunny beach somewhere have to take a pathetic backseat to Monday morning woes over ‘where do I find Peter to pay Paul?’

Have you ever overdraft your bank account on purpose because otherwise you’d be broke? Welcome to the club!

Consider these the tools for an extreme makeover for your bank account for 2011

5 Resources primed to change your life at the speed of a click:

1.Get Rich Slowly

“named most inspiring money blog by Money Magazine, Get Rich Slowly is devoted to sensible personal finance.”

J.D. Roth is the evil genius at this hub of ‘I don’t get that‘ translated into ‘ ahh, I can do that‘. At GRS you can learn The Importance of Salary Negotiation and, now pay attention here it comes, How- to- get- out- of -debt. I love this site because Roth takes all the big boy terms like “Roth” “cd” “money market” and makes them easy enough for a college drop out to understand. Tons of articles from guest writers with lots of experience offer a well rounded resource for you. Mehdi was the guest writer of a post I found extremely helpful called 16 Ways to Eat healthy While Keeping It Cheap.

2. Financial Samurai

Half common sense practicality and half lifestyle design. Reading through the Codes of Honor is worth the visit alone!! It’s one of those places that’ll make you say to yourself: “why am I not doing that already, I feel dumb!”. Take my advice, go to the site, read the content, feel dumb….and become financially epic!!!!

No really, if you just kept on reading without reading the Codes of Honor go back and read it now.

Also check out The Mental to Physical Connection for a Healthier Lifestyle

3. Man vs. Debt

One of my favorite blogs, Adam Baker’s story of baby stepped escape from the debt trap is stirring, hopeful, and epic! Put it this way….in the financial world he is a superhero. Let him help rescue you!

I was a fan prior to becoming an affiliate for his ebooks but now that I have been on my own path of financial breakthroughs and struggles I love his stuff even more! I truly believe in his products.

Adam has Unautomate Your Finances and Sell Your Crap e-book products for sale. Simple and passionate, Adam will give you ideas to build your own road to freedom. His ideas are good to fuel your creativity to make getting out of debt a fun and memorable experience.

4. Christian Pf

Tools! Tools! Tools! Articles like 15 Ways to make $200 Quick, 5 Legitimate Work-from-Home jobs, and My Checklist to Financial Freedom, you will always have fresh ideas to make money and helpful financial tools to kill your debt.

5. RowdyKittens

If you’ve been following my site for any length of time you’ve heard me mention Tammy Strobel at RowdyKittens. Tammy blogs about minimalism. Her approach to simplicty and doing more by having less is inspirational and dead on!Tammy will help you learn How to live simply and take steps towards epic debt busting!

Why mention a non-financial site?

easy…..there is a root issue at your core that effects why your shackled. It’s called consumerism. If you will ever experience genuine financial freedom you have to transform your own habits first!

Check out Tammy’s e-book’s Smalltopia and Simply Car-Free

Where do you start?

I suggest you take 10 minutes each. Search around the archives, see which content matches up most with your needs. sign up for newletters and free subscriptions. Eat the meat, spit out the bones. What works for someone else might now work for you.

Create a plan

Know exactly what you are dealing with and where you are going during your financial journey. Get an accountability partner to share ideas with and stay motivated. DISCOURAGEMENT WILL COME, prepare for it! have hope, you can do this!

Get a journal

This is your story and its epic! Keep track. make this whole experience a memory that you will look back on with a smile and share with future generations.


Be sure to comment on your thoughts and where you are in you in your financial journey. If this post is helpful please stumble, retweet, and facebook share!


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You Can’t Be Abundant and Fat at the Same Time: An Explosive Approach to Having an Abundant Mentality

I might have seemed like a hypocrite when I told my friend that I have an abundant mentality. I say that because all that people have heard from me lately is that I am selling off or disposing of many of my possessions, living on less, carrying less things around, even closing credit card accounts. How in the world is that ‘Abundant‘ when I am dumping so much? Isn’t the Abundant life characterized by having lots of stuff!??

Nope, Noway, not at all, rubbish!

  1. Having More will always take up MORE of your time
  2. Having More will cost you more to maintain it
  3. Having More for More’s sake just cultivates selfishness

The Sad Truth

Most people are deathly afraid of harnessing any type of abundance. Why? They have never experienced anything out of the norm and don’t know how to handle the thought that they can be overwhelmingly blessed. Their FAT mentality is often expressed in two ways:

  • “I can’t do _______________. I’m not qualified. I’m nobody.”
  • “BUT_____________”

While they innovate the latest “why me” “who me” “not me” excuses, the rest of the world suffers, missing out on God-given potential just waiting to be unleashed.

All of this is fat. Fat people are weighed down by the gluttonous mass of self-focus, doubt, and are complacently dying off in someday-ville.

What is an Abundant mentality?

Definition of ABUNDANT:

amply supplied : abounding <an area abundant with bird life>

Think about that! To live abundantly is to be amply supplied FOR a purpose or reason.

Abundant Mathematics: Abundant provision (x)   +   Unique calling (y)    =  awesome anti-suck life never to be forgotten

  • Abundant Minds Do One Thing

Think of the Google vs Yahoo saga. Yahoo has 140+ homepage features to click on and yet has had it’s butt kicked by Google who features a page of…well, nothing much at all. Just a search engine. Of course there are other features and aspects of Google but at the end of the day they offer…searches!

Abundant Minds identify their uniqueness and boast about it! Weird is good, normal is overloaded with fear, complacency, and boredom! Normal is fat!

  • Abundant Minds say ‘NO’ often

Every ‘No’ is a ‘Yes’ to something else. Those who learn to prioritize their time yield the greatest results in everything they do!

Are you one of those people whose family ALWAYS calls on you for something? Do friends come to talk to you about their problems ALL the time?

Life Lesson #1: There will always be someone, somebody, or something that beckons for your attention.

Tim Ferris advises that there are Benefits to brushing people off and that IF YOU ARE SINGLE it’s probably because of your choices. (both good reads that I encourage you to check out!)

  • Abundant Minds aren’t slaves to anyone or anything

How can God ever pour out blessings upon you so that you can impact the world when your mind and heart are insatiably feasting on the things of this world?

Have you heard of the low information diet? I dare you to take a 24 hour fast from facebook, twitter, email, and text messaging. See where you are after that and if you are free or in bondage.

If you’re like me and have a history of having financial debt as your master i commend to you ManvsDebt’s Unautomate Your Finances. Though I am an affiliate with Adam’s business, I have purchased the program and I am successfully implementing it. Easy to read and very affordable, I believe in this product.

  • Abundant Minds spend time like money

Life is short. Wasting time is essentially wasting life. The people who go to bed happy are the ones who wake up knowing what they need to accomplish each day and pursue the fulfillment of walking in their purpose and wont settle for less. I’m not talking about dredging around arbitrarily putting out fires and servicing all the needs of those around you.

Here’s at tip I got from Tim Ferris: take the total amount of income you made last year (or ,if your unemployed, total yearly income you wish you made) and drop the last three digits. This is your hourly worth. Spend every moment asking “is this worth my time?”

For example, John makes $50, 025 per year. John’s hourly value is a whopping $50 per hour. Will John spend his time on video games, surfing the net, or listening to his best friend’s girl trouble for an hour? No!

What is your time worth?

Learn to keep a schedule. Check voice-mail, encourage friends to respect your time limitations, cut conversations short that are going nowhere, especially gossip!! Make relationships more purposeful: start an accountability group or get together with a partner once or twice a week  and ask each other these 14 Accountability Questions that Could Have Saved Tiger Woods Grief  I got from RevTrev.

Take a step back……

Are you proud of all you did yesterday?

Did you wake up excited about today?

Name one thing that you would be doing right now if you had 30 million dollars in your bank account. (hint, pay attention)


A Helpful Product for you:

Tammy Stroble is a strong woman who quit her job, moved to Portland, Oregon, and has built sustainable wealth for her family along with adding simplicity to her families life.

This e-book comes with a free preview and, one of my favorite features, a how-to guide on making an additional $200 per month.

Click here for more information and a FREE preview

For more dynamic tips and tricks:

5 Boundary-Setting Tips for the Work Obsessed

If this post was helpful please help me by re-tweeting and Stumbling this post


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When Hope Gives You Wings You Don’t Need Legs!

“When you say a situation or person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God”– Charles L. Allen

Whether you believe it or not….in life much of the suffering we go threw is optional. We don’t have control of the tragedies we have or will face in life. There is no perfect formula for finding deliverance from a situation or freedom from the thorn that has embedded itself into your heart. Some problems last a season while others may last a lifetime. The death of someone you love, broken families, heartache and confusion in the midst of financial troubles, regardless of the place you have found yourself…. there is HOPE! Not ushy-gushy feel good stuff, or momentary absentmindedness over your troubles. I’m talking about mind-blowing, life changing, eye watering, big mouth boasting, cigarette quitting, get out of bed, smile just because, oddly calming HOPE!

In all these things it is so important to understand regardless of what happens to you, you still control HOW you respond to life.The ONLY way to survive and make it thru your obstacles and trials is HOPE. Hope sustains, strengthens, empowers, perseveres, and protects. My boast in life is that I have found what is called a living hope. My prayer is that you do the same! This video is of Nick Vujicic. His story is unique but as you listen you will see that the answers he has received are probably the same answers you have been looking for!

If you have been resting on God thru trials and suffering and you see the blessing of having a living hope please leave a comment or testimony. Don’t allow yourself to be kept silent! You never know who may be encouraged by YOUR story!

The world needs you!!

For more resources:

A Story of Hope: an inspiring story of hope in the midst of loss, grief, death, and loneliness

Overcoming Depression-Tree Hugger : a must read!!!



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Starting the Year With the End in Mind

Call it ‘jumping the gun‘ if you want …’s 2am right now on New Year’s Day (2011)….everybody’s gone….the kid is asleep…..I’d really like to have some people over and hang a little bit more but…..the  only thing on my mind right now is New Year’s Day…..2012!

While people across the world are partying, celebrating, visiting/traveling I’m too excited to do anything other than what I’m doing. I’m not ‘working‘ as if I have a deadline early Monday morning or I just trying to squeeze in a little extra  effort to close a sale next week. I’m not being a workaholic or a socially dead busybee. What I am doing right now, writing, is the best leisure I can find to do at this very moment.

Here’s a few reason’s why:

  • I love writing. It is my passion and my craft.
  • I envision great blogging influences such as Everett Bogue, Chris Guillebeau, and Adam Baker sitting at a desk somewhere with a laptop and a glass of earl grey tea some years ago just like I am now. Not for money or selfish ambition but because they love what they do and wanted to pursue it at every free moment to reach people and make a lasting impact. I believe the difference between a blogger and what Seth Godin calls a modern day tribal leader is that while a blogger blogs solely to express themselves, a tribal leader begins with a vision of breaking out of molds, embracing freedom, and leading a boatload of people along with them.

Sean’s advice: “Work now when no one else will, and live the rest of your life like no one  else can.” A secret for those who go from good to great.

I’m more excited about the end of 2011 than the beginning because frankly folks….today is fun, but tomorrow is always more exciting when you have a vision!

So here is a one-word snapshot of my agenda for the year:  INFLUENCE.


How about you? What is it that you could accomplish this year that would bring tears to your eyes?

If you had an unlimited budget and a free schedule, what project would you start to change the lives of people around you and support your family at the same time?

Share your comments and let me know what the end of your year should look like……..

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A 7 Step Guide to Surviving Snow, or isolation

This is the view outside of my window as we endure a massive Nor’easter in Philadelphia. The winds are intense, temperature has dropped, streets are slowly getting plowed, and a large bird just flew into my window (don’t worry he/she’s o.k.!)

It’s crippling! There’s nowhere to go, we’re isolated in the house. Some moments are boring and quiet, while at other times I’m just wondering how high my gas bill will be after this month ends.

A life lesson has occurred to me: It’s not about the circumstances surrounding you, it’s about the ‘YOU’ in the circumstances. Or if I can sound a bit more epic: ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!” In essence what I’m saying is regardless of where you find yourself stuck at in life, in storms, in circumstances, YOU have choices in how to live your life and what attitude you are going to respond with.

Here are some lessons that can help to format  your mind and train you to think like an overcomer no matter the scenario:

1. Introspection is good, if it’s directed! (If not it’s called self-flagellation). Isolation can make or break you!!

I hear so many people saying: “I just need some time to think [or pray]” No offense I think it’s a cop-out and a waste of time. Going off with the intent to just process things without an idea of what or how you are going to deal with it you will probably make it worse. Guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness….take your pic. Just thinking on something doesn’t solve anything! It often will multiply your woes!

This week’s storm gave me great time to work on my annual review and use some worksheets to chart out my course for January 2011. Plus it was the perfect setting to read The 4 Hour Work Week‘s section on Fear-Setting

opt for blissful reflection…(I really enjoyed reading it. check it out)

2. If you’re not prepared you will suffer

You try getting snowed in without milk. Your belly will ache for everything from cereal to oatmeal.

3. There is probably something you should be doing that you have been avoiding. You’ll regret it. DO IT NOW!

Chloe loves the snow and was anxious to shovel with me and have a snowball fight. I could not disappoint her. If I had just put it off til later i might have disappointed her. It’s better to just do right now what you know needs to be done. Put your idle mind to action!

4. If you miss out on your plans or work ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Most times it will work itself out!

5. You can find beauty in everything…if you look for it

I was trying to drive and was feeling the pressure of trying to be safe. I had just dropped off a friend and then I felt an impulse to pull out my new camera and just start taking pictures. I enjoyed the moment. Taking the time to feel the snow, look at how serene the neighborhood was, and hold up traffic so i could look like a weirdo for 2 minutes.

Here are some other photos I saw that made me go ahhhh


6. The location (or condition) of your body doesn’t have to determine the location of your mind. be a superhero!

My daughter inspires me! She was not bored or short on ideas during the storm or it’s aftermath. She just found whatever she could to play with and got creative.This photo was her first creation: Super-Chloe (I can’t find a cape to fit me) 😦

It made me think…..

I started a little visualization exercise for my goals in finding characters to embody:


Travel: Jason Bourne (thanks to Tim Ferriss for showing me the way)

Health: Jack Lalanne (the juicer guy)

Business: Bruce Wayne (think about it, he was rich, slept during board meetings,  did very little during the day but had a full life)

Philanthropy: Bill Gates (he gives quietly and bountifully)

Parenting: Indiana Jones (come on! that would be cool!)

Leadership: Leonidas (from 300 the movie)

7. You are not in control of EVERYTHING! Wake up…that’s a good thing!

I get so tired of the master of my soul captain of my fate self help 67 steps to your best life now in a microwave moment mantras! You are not sovereign, some things ARE out of your control, and God still has the final say. The great thing about being a creature is that you are not the Creator. Stop trying to be Him! Rest and learn to trust in the one who knows your innermost desires and cares!

Keep in mind that God speaks in the snow, listen! What is God saying in the snow? listen here.

I challenge you to take an hour today and chose to think epically. Allow your thoughts the freedom to travel outside of the box, far from the constraints of “normal”. Take the limits off and just soar for a bit.  Don’t cheat yourself of dreaming and then you will know what it is to be free!

For additional reading: It’s All Mental and Reboot Your Life

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My Epic Plot for World Domination in 2011

Let’s keep this short and simple. Next year I’m taking over the world. Feel free to stay tuned and witness my evil genius at work as I attempt to conquer, create, and collaborate the most massive launching of McZizzle the world has ever seen!

Your thinking:

“he’s got an ego!!”

“This guy is cocky”

or “I want to takeover too!!!”

Before you judge please allow me to make a quote that may help things to be a little more clearer so you see what I mean:

“The ebb and flow of the Atlantic tides, the drift of the continents, the very position of the sun along its ecliptic. THESE are just a FEW of the things I control in my world!” – Master Chief Urgayle

Confused yet? Here’s the point: world domination, huge influence, epic hero stories to tell my daughter when I’m old and grey…they all begin with dominating one thing…….ME!

yep, that’s the simple truth I deal in.    1. I, Erik, am weak, broken, degenerate-if left alone to myself- and yet 2. I can do all things! (insert mad tyrant genius laugh here, here, and here-pick one!)

So in a few words allow me to give just a few points in my action plan to rule and not be ruled!

  • Give an autopsy to 2010!

Bottom line: I failed in some areas. The good news: this year is dead. i can move on!

I don’t mean failed like failed to put the toilet seat down or the macaroni burned on the stove. I mean big financial no no’s, costly relationships, and failure to respond to opportunities.

To be honest with you, I worried too much, prayed too little, spoke too often, and acted too late.

Therefore, as I have begun my annual review, I realize I can’t look forward til I understand what went wrong.

  • Get the mind and skills of a CEO with the lifestyle of a fisherman

Business is my craft. I want to be skilled and bring value to every project I touch. That doesn’t mean that I want money or popularity or a spot on The Apprentice. I want to count. I enjoy building up companies from the ground, I love systems, and let’s face it, EVERYBODY needs to lead better and that’s what business is really about…charting a course and LEADING people there!

I’m committing to working my way thru the personal MBA Reading list. I’ve already begun and it hasn’t costed me a dime! Thank God for the free library. Say it with me…..FREE!

I’ve also gained some great links to free education from Marc and Angel’s 12 dozen places to educate yourself. A big thank you to those Carnegie Melon Professors who will be teaching me for free next year. BRAVO!

  • De-clutter my life

“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity”
-Bruce Lee

That doesn’t sound epic but it is! Simplicity, living on less, being less dependent on stuff frees me up to live the life I’ve always wanted.

I have a goal to do all my work independent of location. That means I want to be able to work from Starbucks at 12pm everyday if I so choose.

  • Parent a revolutionary

My biggest priority and mission is to effectively and lovingly parent my daughter Chloe. Be assured, my Princess is not being raised to go to college, get a good job, marry a boy who wears loafers and has a nice degree. No, far be it from me! I pray that Chloe learn to love, sacrifice, fight, cry, and do something bold with her life.

I’m going to be proactive with time that I spend in growing as a dad. Reading, listening to seminars, and being purposeful to spend time with my baby while she’s still my baby! 15 minutes a week reading parenting materials, nightly devotionals, weekly date-night, and an increased bating average (my bating average is the time I spend in one on one conversation with my daughter. No music, movies, TV, or distractions.)

What’s your bating average?

  • The Ripple Effect

I want this site to be the address of cool. Come here for encouragement, a laugh, and a wake up call!

This blog is a business that I am devoted to and passionate about. I want to find at least 5 blogging buddies to network with and help each other grow. One of my best influences on blogging and building influence is Mars Dorian. I’ve learned how to build my presence and, my favorite advice yet, develop an awesome business card!

If you are interesting in building a presence together and learning to build a business online inbox me on facebook or twitter.

  • Give anonymously and overwhelmingly

about a year ago I made a promise to myself to using the Global Prayer digest to guide my prayers for international missions but now I feel led to go a step further. In 2011 I will select one country to support financially and prayerfully with intensity. Not to say I have abandoned the world, but i want to zoom in and help and learn about one specific region. I’m starting at World Vision’s catalog for giving.

I will be creating  a new category to chronicle some of our other exploits such as traveling, pimp-slapping debt, and creating everything else i can’t find. Subscribe and comment often but most of all…develop your own vision for 2011. Don’t read about it on my blog, do something that you love! If you don’t know what to do then schedule some time for thinking and do it! You have been blessed with one life and only a few moments to live it. Live it on purpose!

If you want to do an annual review I invite you to visit Chris Guillebeau’s site to read How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review Let’s give feedback and  hopefully help each other out in our preparation for next year!

(for all you self employed wannabe guru’s check out Chris’ e-book The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself while you’re there!)

In closing, let’s get going with everything we’ve got. No excuses, no fear, no hesitation……

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.-“Self-Pity” by D.H. Lawrence  (see the context here)

Welcome to my world!!