Everyone wants a piece of the gift giving season, and are you searching for the perfect gift? You may not know what to give those who are closest to you, and yet you have a unique opportunity. God’s amazing gift of life changing eternal grace is very poorly imitated by our efforts to give others a gift for Christmas. But, you can certainly step up your gifts from the usual trinkets and items that end up in the landfill!
In reality, we are often unable to give the gift that most people need. The number two problem people face is MONEY. There is the minority, who have too much and it distracts them from their purpose on this earth, or the majority who have too little and they cannot make ends meet. Did you know that money conflict is the number one reason for divorce? You’re likely aware that most people also live pay-cheque to pay-cheque with little or no plan in place for their finances.
How many of us look back on our childhood and wish we’d been taught more about money? More than two thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Many parents are not doing a great job themselves. Many find it an easy subject to avoid.
Sadly, most people leave home and graduate from university without any idea how to manage money never having been taught personal finance. It doesn’t have to be that way!
For me, it starts at home. I believe in leaving my kids a rich inheritance. However, it has nothing to do with money. Instead, it means teaching my children to be financially literate; to be Balanced financially.
Many have encouraged me; it’s better to build boys than mend men. Solve the problem before there is one. Help children avoid the pain of following a consumer driven lifestyle. Instead follow God’s plan.
God wants us to make a difference, financially, in our family tree. If we don’t teach children these most basic, critical life skills, they’re going to struggle with this problem their whole lives. Money problems are the leading cause of kids dropping out of post secondary education and the leading cause of divorce.
The Bible’s says more about money than any other subject. God inspired the apostle Paul to write theses illuminating words.
It is required of a steward that he be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
If you are growing in any area of your life you are learning. The question is; who are you learning from? To learn anything important, I look for someone to model my life on. I look for someone who has been a success in a particular arena of life, so I can stand on their shoulders and go further faster.
Truth is we all want to make good decisions and identify with success. Having a mentor helps. The problem is how do you find a mentor?
Formal mentoring relationships are often found in the workplace, school or sports. Then there are informal ones; people who have mentored me but have no clue who I am. Through the books they’ve written, through the talks they’ve given, and through the lives they’ve led I have been changed.
Meet the greatest mentor who ever lived; the apostle Paul. He mentored a younger man named Timothy. He has some amazing, God inspired insights about what others can see in you that you can’t see in yourself.
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
1 Timothy 4:14-15
As a child, I dreamed of being an entrepreneur, of starting a business. At age 25, I began Land Ark Homes. It was a modest home building business that grew in 20 years to build over 350 luxury estate homes. I became a legitimate entrepreneur.
This is a shared dream, many of us want to be an entrepreneur and run our own businesses.
Throughout those 20 years I began focusing more on my strengths and passions and delegating responsibility to others with skills that complemented mine. Later, I was free to focus on what I did best and eventually find the work I love. With that came the responsibility of partners and employees. Ultimately, my job became serving people: the staff and our customers. This is one of the secrets to winning in business – being eager to serve.
Flash back to 1985 when I received the best piece of personal finance advice! Picture me, working my summer job as a laborer for a bricklaying company trying to pay for university. What was the best advice and who gave it to me? It came from an Italian bricklayer in his tattered and torn work clothes. You’ll need to read this aloud in an Italian accent while waving your arms enthusiastically to get the full effect.
“Stevie it’s not-a how much-a you make, it’s-a how much-a you save.” The significance of his statement stuck with me! Many of my university professors talked about personal finance but had not been in the marketplace.
These educated professionals were not practicing personal finance as well as this man who earned probably half of what they did. Arriving in Canada from Italy, penniless, this man owned 3 houses in downtown Toronto worth a substantial amount of money. He had learned one of the dirtiest words in personal finance: discipline. As my parents often had, we will have arguments, fights, worries, pain and disappointments until we practice what this wise bricklayer taught me. I believe it is based on the following Biblical personal finance truth.
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
This is your sneak peak! It’s my privilege to share with you some resources that I am assembling in an upcoming book. These are not just ordinary resources, they are game and life changers! They changed mine and I know they’ll change yours too.
As the former president of Land Ark Homes in west-end Ottawa, my career was in the home building industry. I worked hard and God blessed the work of my hands. This new venture is my new passion. No more building homes! I want to “build” people by sharing what I have learned in over 22 years of running my own very successful business. It is my goal to help improve and change the way you think on many levels. I’m going to share valuable resources and experiences that have significantly impacted my life and led to my company’s success. I’d like to share with you other things that I wish someone had shared with me earlier in my life. I now write, speak and consult part-time as my wife and three sons cheer me on in this exciting new adventure.
Why a blog??
- It is a great way to inform people about resources. Since my number one strength (from StrengthFinder 2.0 – more on that in a later blog) is LEARNER there are many resources I have used to gain specialized information that I hope to share with others.
- It provides a mechanism for feedback. At the bottom of this blog you can join the conversation. You can post using your real name or anonymously if you like and everyone can have their say!
- It provides an archive of resources. Topics that interest you may have other resources you wish to explore further. You can catch up if you miss an entry and search specific areas of interest as the need arises.
- It is free. Unlike buying a book this medium of delivery doesn’t cost you a cent. New posts will come out every Friday. You are free to investigate further the ones that pique your interest.
- It’s easy to share. Many times we read something and want to share it with others but don’t always get around to forwarding them the book title or buying them the book. Months go by or even years before we see the person again and we forget why the book or resource might have been useful to them. This blog can be shared at the click of a button.
- It’s easy to remember: Resource Freak. Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership podcast is my inspiration for the name. In it Dave talked about all the young people in the company listening to Leadership Freak. They interviewed Dan Rockwell, the Leadership Freak who blogs about helping leaders in 300 words or less. I aim to do the same… okay maybe 500 words or less.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Attitude: Think about where you wish to have a change in your thinking.
Action: Decide to read this blog and share it with others if you find it useful.