Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Site - Not for the Normal - Weird for Good!

thanks for being a reader of Ready for Better... I have had a blast with you here!!

the new site to stay in touch with the thoughts of an uncommon guy like Aaron and those who think like him is...

We'd LOVE to see you over there!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To be announced...

Only my hard core readers are here
with me on this particular post today... ahhh, friends, you rock

A new place for us to hang out is being crafted.

I am full of excitement to introduce you to it!

Stay tuned if any of these posts have resonated with you before. You' re about to be provoked once again¡

With love


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ready for Better?? It's Coming

Better is coming soon.

The Ready for Better Thursday Blog Series is in the midst of a tranformation :)

Please stay tuned!!

What's to come??

  • a whole new website/blog/utopia 
  • wider range of subject material
  • guest bloggers!! Maybe YOU!!!
  • richer, deeper, more colorful, and funner(ha!) mental "weirdness" from yours truly, the king of weird!!
I sincerely hope that the newness on the horizon will bring you a more valuable experience that engages, entertains and tickles the brain!

Thanks for being AWESOME!! I know that every eye on these words belongs to someone who is!!


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
785-218-6134 ** new domains coming soon**

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spread Your Sunshine and Help Me Spread Mine!

Guys, Gals, Friends, Pals, People I may not even know are here... Lemme let you in on a heavy issue facing my daily routine...

I have become disturbingly, chronically, unhealthily: Passive Aggressive.

It's True.

And It's Bad...

You see, this lifestyle of mine (That I LOVE!!) affords me the opportunity to Study.

I have been in a constant study for the last 4 years, and in the most recent 10 months, it's been solid.

I've told you here that I read lots. Books on self development, spirituality, business, living richly and so much more.

I haven't told you that I listen to hours and hours of podcasts per week. Zig and Dave and Rabbi Lapin along with other seminars that come along through email, and so much more.

I have a membership to the Free Agent Academy. There we work through dynamic programs of inner-development. Our individual Calling and tons of other cool concepts leading toward an awesome existence of self-employment and free-agency are explored, and so much more.

Also my scholarship to Philosopher's Notes is used regularly to immerse myself in the classic literature. This includes new-age ideas, ancient religions of various types, successful rulers, poets, scientists, inspirers and so more.

SO! Why am I now suffering?

Of all this information that I have immersed myself in, I have found many common themes of success.

I can pinpoint in a quote or story or a song, when someone has hit on the Universal Truth of the Way of God.

The Way of God is about enlightened living, constant growth, gratitude, courage, contentment, faith, success in service to others and Yes; abundant wealth too. (this is a really, really short list!)

It comes in many names and types of explanations. It has been recorded by thousands of people and events throughout history. Those who's words we read today, because they were people of such importance, that their ideas have lasted thousands of years, lived and loved these principals.

Now - I hope that you're still with me :)

I believe in the truths of Unlimited Potential we are capable of! And, I am, at this point, a keen Noticer of the traits of success.

I want to see them in You!

I want to see them in Me!

I want to see them Everywhere!

I have the Truthful Understanding that we All have an Unbelievably Powerful Intergalactic Rockstar Energy inside each and every one of us! No One Is Exempt!

I would love to keep typing all through the night and day, never skipping a moment, using every fiber of my being to share and encourage and inspire and quote and combine these ideas with relate-able real-life stuff that You could possibly connect with, in some small way, even just a beginning way :)

However, I'm heartbroken with myself that I am currently only confident enough, to share that stuff, as enthusiastically as I do, here in this format. In real life, as mentioned, I have become disgustingly Passive-Aggressive about it all. I let the opportunities go by, and then resent myself for doing so.

You see, the everyday conversation, of too much of the world around me, is less about the awesome possibilities we have every day on this spectacular planet, and MORE about What is Wrong With It.

Honestly, I used to be a bona fide Professional in that sport! How glad am I to know now the wastefulness of spending my precious time on negative self-defeatist and critical-of-others thinking.

As I type this, I am participating in the exact thing that is shutting me up, and bringing me down by recognizing and criticizing negativeness around me.

I am therefore, caught smack in the middle of a growing-pain in my life.

I will, at some point soon, be strong and confident enough to share or discuss or let slide off of my Rhinoceros-thick-skin, the comments and conversation of people that only seem to want to discuss the why-nots of life.

Wish me luck, this is a BIG TOUGH DEAL for me :) And I am weighing myself with the same stone, as I also still slide into that mental muck on occasions...

One spark of brightness? I'm pretty sure, that at the headquarter office of K and G Cycles, the nickname given to me by my co-workers is "Sunshine!!" :) they haven't said it specifically, but I've heard it a few times...

YES!!!!! AHA!!! PROGRESS!!!! At ma' old job - Attitude was always on the list of areas to improve...

I'm sure you can relate on some level to speaking or hearing the complaining, the clever-criticizing or the pre-forecasted failure of something before it ever has a chance to succeed.

I confidently can tell you this: In NONE of my studies of success is this a trait that is Ever present in someone who is about to kick-booty and make a positive change in the world.

That, my friends, IS what I would be thrilled to become. As a conduit for God to use, at some time in my life!

I would love to hear about the things you Are For, and the Cool Dreams and Goals and Aspirations You Have!

Just FYI - a healthy respect for money and living without borrowing it, IS on the list, even from ancient times... not one of the great philosophers or religions recommends using payments for purchasing anything, and yes Debt has been around that long...

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! For hanging around to hear these words!! It means so much to me to be able to share this honest insight with you :)

Tomorrow I begin a weekend trip on Sterling that will let me add to the 'ol A Shell and A Stone blog. Can't WAIT to tell you all about a weekend on the motorcycle with my Love, Lindsay!

Please keep me in your prayers as this life-long journey of self discovery unfolds. I need you dearly my friend, this life experience is a Team Effort!


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with? You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

TMI?? You know that's how I roll!

A Manifesto is Brewing...

Every Thursday, on this blog, I'm throwing out the most writable thoughts that come to mind between 5:00 and oh, maybe 8:00.

Lately I've enjoyed posting real-life silliness and seriousness that is fun to write and therapeutic for me to share.

After posting, especially a personal topic, I just love to watch the Stats page climb through the next few days. It shows me the results of how many visits have piled up.

I am amazed and blessed, flattered and honored to have a regular following of readers of these words. Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!

You may wonder about the "Ready for Better" topics and their origin? As I've stated, my thoughts are a scrambled high-voltage buzz of white noise that goes with me everywhere I do, maybe yours are the same??

During my daily brain bombardment, when a tasty topic or observation comes to mind, I have a piece of paper that I scribble it on. I am now on paper #2 since beginning this blog in the fall of 2010. Like paper #1 before it... It's a random patterned mess full of scribbles!!! :)

BUT, I am struggling with a certain topic. In fact, I've put off writing it several times. It seems too big to jump into, and with it comes risk and fear :)

You see, I LOVE the fact that you are reading this right now. I want to engage, inspire and share with you.

I do not however think that all of my thoughts are palatable to everyone. Some things may push a boundary beyond entertainment or even inspiration and into new world of thought...

I can see, that from my previous-self's point of view, it could come across just as uncomfortably crazy as Alice's trip down the Rabbit Hole.

However, I have been irreversibly changed in the last year. Just like Neo in the movie the Matrix... I have taken the Red Pill.

New Truths have been shown to me. They have opened my eyes.

I now live with a New Perspective.

And... I LOVE IT!

But, as the saying goes... "The only person who likes change, is a baby with a dirty diaper."

So, as I struggle with finding ways to share these new perspectives. Please, please know that from the beginning, every step of my journey, was meant to help someone else find hope and answers in their own situations. Whether it be purely financial peace that someone is reaching for; or just to raise their own awareness that they deserve Better!

So far, I am failing at directly helping the people in my community through personal coaching. This was one of my goals that I've yet to fulfill.

Here lies the root thoughts that are growing into something bigger than a blog post.

My recent experiences and new perspectives have started the simmer of a brutally honest, viciously raw and searingly white-hot Manifesto of ideas that, when written, will leave me gutted wide-open, vulnerable to all...

I am not sure that I am fit enough to explore further down this rabbit hole right now. It's scary...

but I'm training for it :)

You as readers, have shown me with your visits that when I am most personal and most honest, the most of you show up...

I wonder how far you'll go with me on this journey??

The time is not now to decide Red or Blue, but I hope for all of us that when it is time, You and I will have the Courage to Try.

Thank You again for being here with me on this blogging adventure. It really is much more than that. Ready for Better is my personal journal, told through show-and-tell.

I hope we are all appreciative of each blessed day that we have been given on this Earth.

I truly do Love You. Thank You. I am literally thrilled with You being here with me!

Stay tuned, who knows what fun could come from all of this!!


True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Aaron's Insecurity - A Tale of Balls and Walls

I have to be the most insecure Guy in the known universe.

I'll prove it right here.

This picture (from my backyard) has four main elements.

  • A Garden
  • A Volleyball
  • A Set of Golf Clubs

Can you guess what the fourth is?

The symbolic Wire Cage around them all? Yup, Dang; You Smart!

The wire fencing represents the barrier in my mind that has kept me from Trying new things throughout my life.

All 3 of the hobbies in the picture are things I have recently decided to give my very first ever effort into trying.

Back to the insecure part... 

All 3 are things I used to be too scared, too embarassed, too nervous or too chicken to even attempt.



That little wire cage really doesn't do justice to the enormous mental Wall that I used to have built around attempting anything that might involve Failing.

Fear of Failure...


Fear of Failure!!

has probably been the most costly emotion that has ever entered my heart.

Somehow, my entire life, up until recently, I have carried around a humongous weight.

It sounded like these thoughts:

  • If you make a mistake, you're a screw up. 
  • If you fail at trying something, you're a failure as a person. 
  • I fear looking stupid in front of others.



I recently figured out for myself that...

I was completely wrong about that!

Actually the TRUTH is:

  • If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.
    John Wooden
  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
    Henry Ford
  • He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, maybe some of these ideas resonate with you?

Surely you haven't been:

- afraid of planting a few vegetables (because the plants will all shrivel up and die, or produce a poisonous fruit that kills you dead, telling the world that you're a fool for trying to plant a garden!) 


- afraid of joining a Sand Volleyball League (because you'll miss the ball every time, get winded, fall down and die in the middle of the court!)


- afraid of saying Yes to play in a Free golf tournament (because every ball you'll hit will go sideways, you'll lose all your equipment when you drive the cart into the lake and everyone will yell at you to get off the course, after which you'll die!)

Okay, maybe there's a little exaggeration in there... but you get my point?

Somewhere in the last year, when I decided to jump out of the mainstream world and try my own thing, I figured out that even when all kinds of things don't go like you planned, and goal after goal has gone unreached... You Still LIVE to see another day!

Then, taking that knowledge, and feeling much free-er, and confident that, by the Grace of God, life will go on, even if things don't go perfectly... 

I decided to TRY the challenges that came along my path and presented themselves to me.

Guess what: It's been a BLAST!! 

Learning that I can grow and expand my "normal" self in ways that I didn't know was possible has been nothing short of amazing, in my own mind.

Sure, these may seem like little things to you but... You aren't :

The most insecure Guy in the known universe!!

So: When new ideas, or challenges come along your way, do you jump at them with vigor? Or do you pass on them with Fear being the main reason?

If talking about improving your financial situation, so that you end up with More Money and Less Stress sounds like your version of Gardening, Volleyball & Golf... well, I know just how ya feel!

I know that taking that first step, and telling yourself that you are worth it; is key. Guess what, if it doesn't work out, you will go on living to see another day. And that my friends, is the new beginning of your fantastic fresh world of possiblities!

In fact, if you work yourself out of debt and have lots of cash on hand, and Hate it, then the bank will surely loan you enough to get back to where you started!... 

You CAN begin the journey to debt-freedom today. You ARE capable of living the life of your dreams. You Will succeed when you set your mind to it. I believe this about You with all My Heart :)

So! Enough rambling for tonight.

I'm gonna' work on my swing, swat a few serves and yank some weeds before this night is over...

'Cause truthfully, I need lots of practice at all this stuff; heck, I'm just a beginner!!

(oh yeah, and I grew my hair out too... I know: I've completely lost my "normal" mind... THANK GOD!)




True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Tattoo Story

Wicked Tat, Right! No, not mine, just one of the millions of pics easily grabbed online these days of people and their unique ink!

As an artist by trade and by nature; I believe that images and artwork are some of the highest and most effective forms of communication among the human race!

To wear artwork permanently on the skin, well that brings it to a whole new level... or does it?

I have always been interested in tattoos. I remember as a teen, planning and plotting the epic 18th birthday tattoo.

Well 18 came and went. I guess the permanence of the whole idea was the main reason for putting it off. I never really feared the pain, but I couldn't wrap my mind around "forever" on my skin.

My mind changes so often, my tastes evolve, and that fear of Commitment has kept the needle far away from ever touching my epidermis.

Although... when I consider that over the last few years, I have personally made permanent, life-altering and drastically radical changes to my actual LIFE... I don't know what the big deal about a little ink is!!

Here's  a little list of things that I am proud to have made a Commitment to Changing Forever.
  • I was an active casual smoker throughout my 20's... Been Smoke Free since my 30th Birthday.
  • On my 31st Birthday, gave up Pop/Soda/whatever ya' wanna call it... Forever.
  • On my 32nd... well that one's personal, but also a good one :)
  • During my journey to Debt-Freedom, I saw the future-robbing power of borrowed money and have given it up FOREVER. (been completely debt-free since Jan 4th, 2010)
  • In the last year, I've re-connected with my Church home and I know that from now till the next beginning, my connection with GOD has been reignited :)
  • Almost 1 year ago, I gave up the stable solid world of a "good job" and began bushwhacking into uncharted (for me) territory of entrepreneurship and extreme self-reliance in the career world.
  • Also since making the leap to self employment, I've learned so much. I now have a totally new brain-wave thinking about the meaning of Stuff, it's power, and the lack of power it has over me now. I wouldn't trade this freedom I feel, every day, for any brand new car: Yes, even the Mercedes G-Wagon! (they are really cool though!)
So, since this is a random cross-section of things that I have made Permanently part of my life now... What was the big deal about the tattoo??

Actually, once the ink is embedded... there really isn't anything else to do but wear it. It shows up when you do, and it's not something you have to constantly work at.

These intentional life changes ARE a constant work in progress...

I have had the desire for a smoke, a coke, an easy 5 grand, sleeping till noon on Sunday, and even all the Stuff that makes other people think you've really made it big...

So, the challenge is daily, not easy-schmeezey, but Soooo worth the Effort.

As one of my heroes Dr. Wayne Dyer says: "True Nobility, is Not about Being Better than Someone Else. It's About Being Better than YOU Used to Be!"

Ahhh... YES!

So my questions to you:

  • Are you ready to make a permanent life-change? 
  • What holds you back from leaping forward down a new trail? 
  • Do you think You have the power to decide your own destiny?
  • Do you see outside forces holding you back, or have you realized that the true battle is internal?

I can guarantee you this, if you choose to improve your financial situation and get out of debt. You will not immediately become happy. 

However, you will immediately, begin to see a whole new world of opportunity unfold before your eyes. And in the pursuit of those new adventures that you undertake because you Choose to, not because you Have to... Happiness will begin to pursue You!

I guess, wear-able artwork still isn't high on my priority list.... But I'll ask this guy, if I ever change my mind :)

Just Kiddin :)


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Little Blue... P' P' P' Powerhouse!

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can!
One of my favorite childhood bedtime stories, (and there were tons of 'em!) was The Little Engine that Could.

Seeing the cover here, really takes me back to a hot summer night at Ten 'Oh Three, South Hickory in Ottawa, Kansas... With the attic fan moving cool air through my bedroom after a late evening bath... Hair still wet, tucked under a sheet in my smurf-print underwear and a metallic-glitter-print Dukes of Hazzard T-shirt reading one of these great Golden Books :)
Anyway, the story is about a happy little train who's broken down, but has an important payload that must make it to the other side of the mountain. There are lots of stuffed animal toys and dolls and red-cheeked apples for all the little girls and boys :)
They were in desperate need of another engine to help them out.

The few different trains who came along at first had their own reasons to pass by, until finally the little blue engine showed up and decided to give it a shot.

The main quote from this little story still resonates today as a great lesson.
You can do incredible things when you tell yourself "I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can!"
When I bring up all this financial stuff... And openly talk about being Debt Free, using the simple solid financial principals taught by Dave Ramsey and many others... What are your first thoughts?
Are you like the Shiny New Engine?
"I am a passenger engine! I have all the shininess and cushy comforts of brand-new-ness. My financial ways have brought me this slick stuff. It costs a lot. I am in debt, but I have good credit and I can make my payments. So I am not interested in working my way up and over the debt-free mountain." 
Or are you like the Big Strong Engine?
"I am a freight engine. I have important sophisticated ways of handling things! I have a strong income and I do things my way. I can pull heavy loads and make big things happen. I do not need to bother with these little ideas. I am too powerful to need to be up and over the debt-free mountain!"
Or are you like the Old Tired Engine?
"I am tired. I have had such a long and strenuous journey. I am rusty and need a break. "I cannot, I cannot, I cannot see myself chugging up and over the debt-free mountain." 
Or maybe, just maybe, you are just like the Little Blue Engine!
"I am not the strongest, or the biggest. I have never attempted something like this before. I do see how important it is to get to the other side of that debt-free mountain! I want to see what life is like over there!"

So determinedly you start say to yourself "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"

Getting off to a slow start is okay, because by having true belief that "You Can"... Then reaching the top is possible and the Ride down the Other Side... will be Breathtaking!!!
Remember that the whole point of this story is to help the little girls and boys? Yes, our journey to debt-freedom may bring unprecedented joy to us... but think of all the good things we can do for the little ones in our life, when we have not a payment in the world and we just want to give and spread God's love!

If you've got that Little Blue Engine inside of you, then I am your biggest fan! I know what it's like to make that journey myself, and I'll cheer you on in any way I can. I believe you can do it, and I hope you do too!

Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pain and Understanding - Thanks Morgan for 16.5 great years!

Playing God...

For years now, we have joked and talked about my old dog Morgan. The energizer bunny of the canine world; this shaggy black Shepard/Collie mix has been through it all. In her 16.5 years she's had both front legs broken, fought in tons of scraps and battles, then even got run over by me in my own driveway a year and a half ago.

She refused to give up.

She kept on going and going and going. In the last year or so, even with one eye blind and a busted up partially working body, she kept going...

Until today.

Today was just like any other day for Morgan - she was in her favorite cool spot on the garage floor, she stumbled to get a drink, stumbled back and pretty much was just chillin.

Little did she know that I had already planned for "her time" to come before Memorial Day Weekend. Sure the past week had it's extra struggles for her, but not much more than any other... so how did I know it was time?

I had prepared myself and I had prayed and today around noon, I felt at peace enough to load her up one last time and take her to town....

I was choking myself up in the hour or so before I left. I felt like it was somehow unfair for me to decide the moment that was right... I was hoping it would happen naturally before now, so I could avoid the responsibility of it... I knew that her fate was up to me and I was just praying that I was making the right choice for her.

Then one of those "God Thoughts" popped into my head while I was contemplating things out in the back yard...

Morgan is old. Really old for her breed. She's in terrible health. She is in obvious daily pain. This choice for me to let her go is actually easy when you look at it like that... It's the right thing to do.

What about God's choice to let people go?

This week started out with a vicious tornado ripping through Joplin, Missouri. It took the lives of at least 122 people. Sure the houses and things are gone. The replaceable things. But the people and families that will never see each other... well, that is pain that stays with us forever.

I think of other times that God has taken people out of this physical world. Like my Dad drowning when I was four years old. Or my cousin Megan, who left my heart shattered... Or my good buddy Derrick, such a young and vibrant newlywed dynamite blast of a guy to be around... These are just a few of the spectacular people I am privileged to have known, loved and lost over the years...

How hard do you think it hurts God to know that somehow, someway, in terms that are Impossible for us to understand, he's done the right thing?

He loves us. He's taken us on as his responsibility. He's created us and this world. But, his ways of thinking are not like ours...

Isaiah 55:8 (New International Version)

 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.

So just like me today, when I was holding Morgan's head and petting her coarse black fur for the last time, I do think that God knows the right thing to do.

I have not always thought that. Plenty of people I know have experienced my sadness, rage and terror in these tragic moments. I may not always be able to understand from now forward either... But, in this moment, when I had my tiny version of playing God, I did.

I do know that if we let him, he'll lovingly hold us and care for us in these painful times of loss and transition.

I feel that God's Grace and presence has been shown this week with the absolute outpouring of support, love, donations and assistance to the Joplin area. If you have loved ones down there, then prayers are continuing for you and your family. This human loving connection is now showing it's amazing abilities, and awesome it is.

I hope this meandering off of the financial topics for this week is okay with you. I thank every reader of this blog that I have a place to share my "God Thoughts" and all my other crazy ones too. Please share yours with me. I would love to hear them :)


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old TV & Old Financial Advice = Which one has Snazzier Pants?

"Come and knock on our door... We'll be waiting for you... sumpthin'  sumpthin'... Three's Company Too!"

Jack Tripper taught me a valuable financial lesson this week!

My TV watching here in Princeton, Kansas is limited to what comes in for free on my antenna. Usually I get to choose from the main networks, a couple local re-run channels and of course my favorite PBS!!

Anyway, just this week I noticed that Antenna TV is now showing up on 4-2 and it has old TV shows from my youth, Yahtzee!!

I think it was Tuesday when I got sucked into a classic episode of Three's Company. The gimmick for this show's hijinks and shenanigans was a brand new to 1981(ish) term called "Computer Dating".

Jack heard about "Computer Dating" from a couple who'd met each other through "Computer Dating". Then of course, after some wise cracks, he was set up with his own blind "Computer Date". He used a fake name and personal info, only to find that his roommate Janet was his "Computer Match". They had a laugh and in the end all was back to wacky-normal in the Three's Company Apartment :)

Anyway, the point here is that watching this show now, and hearing them discuss "Computer Dating" and showing a manilla-colored card that must've been some kind of printout, was awkward and funny.

Times have changed and we now know that they were on to something that did eventually take-off... BUT...

Technology, pop-culture and our current version "new and hip" certainly cycles and changes and sometimes seems ridiculous in retrospect... just like the "Computer Date" that Jack and Janet ended up on :)

There are some things in our world that don't cycle and change and seem ridiculous in retrospect.

The solid financial principal of "The borrower is slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7) is ancient, biblical and pretty much agreed upon by the majority of the world's great thinkers...

hmm... so if they've been saying the same thing for a couple thousand years and it still rings true today? Well then, I'll take that as proof of true wisdom!

I can tell you from the perspective of someone who has come out of the land of debt and now live free of it, I couldn't agree more about this concept.

When we owe, Off to work we must go. Without debt in our lives, we open up a world of options to ourselves. 

Start your journey out of slavery and into freedom today. It is worth every step you will take. I promise!

You're chances of looking foolish (like Jack Tripper) on this journey are high. Most of our society is still listening to the marketing and recommendations of lenders and people that want to sell you "the good life" for 90 days same as cash, or 0% interest or a store credit card with lots of discounts and "incentives" attached.

I'll take the Real Good Life, and continue to be debt-free, thanks anyways. If you want to shut down the TV, pick up a book and get some old-school wisdom, let me know. I'll be glad to point you in the right direction!


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Burn Books! Get Wealthy!

Book It! I really wish I would get a personal pan pizza for every book I read this summer… You think the Pizza Hut crew will notice that I’m over the age of 6?

Back in December I wrote about reading. Since then; reading I’ve been. Burning (through) books is an awesome way to change your future for the better!

Here is an update/quick review of the titles I’ve enjoyed over the last 5 months – I would love to loan you a copy if you are interested. Otherwise, get online and buy you some books!

            Seth gets it, then gives to you straight. He is THE marketing authority. Tribes are it. I wouldn’t trade my True North Blog Readers Tribe, Camp CarpCo or RumRunners tribe for anything! Proves his point that we are built to connect with others and move toward a common goal. I love that.

            What an awesome job Brian has done in creating an optimal life for himself and others. Reading this book is fun, easy and dynamite powerful. The best of the great philosophers, served up as inspirational appetizers. Bravo Brian!

            Big ‘Ol Book that’s great to have around. I dropped 20 lbs in 4 weeks and have a new way to look at my eating habits. Made great sense to me… Eat Plants and Animals, Lose Fat and Feel Good J

            I remember ideas poppin’ late into the night after reading Purple Cow. Absolutely the truth about what inspires us and gets our attention in this distraction-zone called life. Be unique or be overlooked. Emphasize your differences, and wave your “You” flag proudly!

            I sat in a my toasty garage, by the fire, mid-week during a February blizzard and read this book about living an alternatative lifestyle. The monkeys and firehose example hit very close to home for me. Needless to say, it was a fitting and fun read, that did more to validate than instruct my own journey of Non-Conformity J

            Like a thirsty man needs a cold pitcher of ice water, I needed this book. Explaining that we all deserve Grace and it’s ours if we ask for it, I was lighter in the heart after letting the ideas in this book resonate. Thanks be to God!

            I love it when people who don’t have to; share their success secrets with me. Mr. Beaudine has truly found the essence of our human connectedness and its importance. A Must read!

            The actions we fear, the moments that scare us: they’re the ONLY ones in which we grow and gain… Very cool book. I was/am inspired to continue to be a Lion Chaser. Thanks Mark!

            This is my first Bible that I’ve bought as an adult. I have really enjoyed having it around and referencing it often. I was new to the idea of a Study Bible, and I’m glad Pastor Tim recommended it. It really fills out the scripture and makes the Word easy to enjoy!

            Very inspiring, fun read and covers the gamut of ‘perception change’ as a way to deal with life’s problems… Would Recommend to everyone. I read it in 3 days I think? Good One.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High - Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler

            This is the most practical book for learning techniques to step up and deal with tough situations between the important people in your life. The STATE Principal is worth the price of the book. I think the mastery of the tools they discuss can take anyone, anywhere in life, they want to go: because, it takes People to make that happen. Dealing with people is the one skill we can all use every day!

            Okay, I really-really wish I would have read this one a few years ago. MUST-READ for anyone to wants to break out of the Rat Race. Chapter after chapter is like Ding, Ding, Ding, Duh!! A new paradigm in understanding serious wealth and how to create it, is explained in simple words and pictures. Even after my whole journey out of debt, jump to self-employment and total immersion in self-discovery… My mind was blown by this book!

I think I may have left out a few odds and ends, but this list pretty accurate…

Now, and have been shipping to me regularly lately. Here are the upcoming titles, I can’t wait to dive into…

My December post shined a light on the power of reading, but I left out an important idea. I was speaking about Non-Fiction and instructional/inspirational reads… What we are putting into our minds is what we will become. So… choose your reading carefully. Just because it’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s good for your brain!


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miracle Mind-Gro!

Growing Things is on my mind!

I was blessed this afternoon to have my Grandparents... and I mean "Grand" in the fullest sense of the word, give my backyard garden some Love today! We planted peppers, tomatoes & cucumbers, yum!

Bill and Carol Smell are my Mom's parents. They've been lovingly tending the "garden of me" since before I was born... For all their love and hard work, I've grown wild and unruly at times. Hopefully, lately, I am becoming more of the plant they can be proud of!

Anyway, I love 'em like crazy. I'm also proud that they read this blog every week!

So,  speaking of Growing...

Did you know that what you focus your mind on Grows?

That is right. It is a Universal Law.

Where your mind, Your thoughts, Your focus is...

is where your future is.

What you think about grows.

Is your mind on your debt? Do you think about the "lack of money" to do the things you want to do?

Your debt, Your lack... it's growing!

If your mind is on thankfulness of what you do have... If it's on the awesome potential of your financial future... If it's on the plenty that you've been provided...

Your "what you do have", your "awesome potential" and your "plenty"... is growing!

Make sure you're growing something that you want more of... And if you're not?

Change your mind!

This is really true, really powerful; works in every area of life and really is something that I work on every day.

The more you practice, the better you get, so give it a shot. Think and Grow Rich! (psst, read this book, it is AWESOME!)

Till next week, I'll be thinking powerful thoughts for you!


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boat-Sitters & Water-Walkers

Don't most Bible stories just sound crazy! Really!

I've been mowing through books with a newly sharpened blade lately. One of them is a 171 page work that expands on a Lion Chasing warrior from the Bible named Benaiah. It's titled "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day." by Mark Batterson and I highly recommend it!

(As some of you may have noticed, my Spiritual growth, like the garden out back of my house, has taken strong root and has now begun to sprout vibrant green shoots!)

This same book also relates a small passage about Peter and Jesus that I want to share with you today. This passage also explains why most of America is living paycheck-to-paycheck in generally poor financial health...

I am now quoting from 'In a Pit with a Lion'...

"Sink or Sit

Peter gets a bum rap. Peter is the only disciple who denied Christ three times, but he was the only one who got close enough to Jesus to get caught. Peter is the disciple who impulsively cut off Malchus' ear when the lynch mob came to arrest Jesus, but he was the only one who came to Jesus' defense. And he is the disciple who sinks in the Sea of Galilee, but he was also the only disciple who walked on water.
It's so easy to criticize Peter from the comfortable confines of the boat.
I think there are two kinds of people in the world: creators and criticizers. There are people who get out of the boat and walk on water. And there are people who sit in the boat and criticize water walkers."...

At 3 in the morning, in the middle of the sea, out of 12 disciples in the boat who saw Jesus out on the water, who they thought was a ghost - Peter got up, jumped ship and walked toward Christ. He doubted Jesus once out on the waves and the wind. He even started to sink, but then was saved by the Son of Man.

How do we relate this to money? Well metaphors and me is friends, ya know!

Why do we hear complaints that Most of the wealth in America is held by the very few? Why does it seem unfair that the smaller percentage enjoy all the money, while most of us struggle along?

Are we really prepared for this answer?

As it has been for all time: Only one out of 12 are willing to get out of the boat. Only 1 out of 12 are willing to do what the others won't do. 1 out of 12 take the chance to try the unthinkable!

There are lots of areas of life this lesson belongs to, but one for sure is on this financial blog.

Most of society has beliefs about how money works; what's important to spend our dollars on. Our majority has a group mentality that we've learned from each other, corporations, advertising and the news; about safety, stability and "stuff-itis". We even look up to the 'normal' folks around us who 'seem' to have it all... well, my friends, Most of society is broke and sitting in the boat, criticizing the water-walkers!

My point would never be that broke people are bad people, or that boat-sitters are less than water-walkers... but, for me, I know the joy that freedom from debt and taking that risk can bring you. I also know, that I'm not any more special than anyone else. Debt freedom is possible for anyone. We are ALL special and deserve the best!!

So, when you hear about the weird financial ideas of:
  • Setting up a monthly budget committee meeting
  •  Using an envelope with cash at the store
  • Cutting back on extras and beginning to pay down your debts
  • Putting serious cash into Investments for your future
  • and even, Never Borrowing Money Again!
Ask yourself, if these are the types of crazy things that only someone who would jump out of a boat in the middle of lake would do...

If so... For me... I can tell you what I would do... Go For It!!

Create your fantastic financial future today. It is possible for you, and it is worth it. Ask yourself if you are one of the water-walkers, or if you are still a boat-sitter??

Since this blog has a very small unique readership...  I like to believe that We are all Water-Walkers! Let me know how your journey to financial freedom is going. I have no supernatural power, but I love you more than you know. I DO want to see you dancing on the debt-free waves with me soon!

And... to reinforce what I've alluded to already... NONE of this is possible without our Creator and Savior, so Give Thanks!!

Take Care Till Next Week!


Aaron Nichols
True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Dilapidated Debt that you're sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!