Last week I talked about financial security and living on a budget.  I thought I would follow up on that topic with my perspective of thrift stores. We had some of our employees here from Singapore and they said there are no thrift stores there.  They were fascinated with the big stores with name brand items that were affordable.

Growing up my parents gave us what we needed but not always what we wanted.  Many of my clothes were from thrift stores or hand-me-downs.  I am sure many of you can relate.  I did not really mind, most of the clothes were in really great shape.  Then one day my view changed.

One of my bad childhood memories is of my next door neighbor (who I thought was my friend) ratting me out in front of the whole 5th grade class telling them my clothes were from Goodwill.  I was so embarrassed.  I still remember the exact outfit I was wearing.  It had been donated to Goodwill, but still had the original store tags on it. I had felt so special having something new to wear.  Kids can be so cruel.  Thus, began my disdain for thrift stores.

For many years, I would not step foot into a thrift store.  Then a funny thing happened…I had kids myself and realized how expensive life really is!  I began to shop at thrift stores to provide necessities for my kids who grew faster than I could imagine.  I quickly learned which stores were my favorites. I found out where I could get the best name brand jeans for the best price.  I also found out which ones were dirty and nasty and I did not go back to those!!  I started finding really cool decorating finds for my new house; things someone else bought at very expensive places but now at a price I could afford.

I am no longer at an income level that I have to shop at thrift stores, but I like too.  I love the thrill of the bargain.  It cracks me up when I pull into some of my local thrift stores and see fancy cars in the parking lot.  I know I have found the right spot.

Saving money and the environment by recycling what we have is a great gift.  Using our money wisely allows us the opportunity to help others and do more.

What are your thoughts on thrift stores? Love them? Hate them?  Leave me a comment!  I would love to hear from you!

Cash poor??

Grant Cardone recently wrote, “Understand that if $500 is a lot of money to you, $5 million is out of the question for you.”
I thought that was a shocking statement for someone to say out loud. Do I believe it to be true?  I think so….let me explain.

Our personal finances and personal financial habits predict who we are and how we look at money.  If I am spending more than I am making, how am I ever going to make $500?

My parents educated me well.  They said,”Do not spend money you do not have.”

A very simple, common sense rule that should be easily followed, but I recently saw a statistic that says 43% of Americans spend more than they earn. Look at our own government, clearly not a great example of how to maintain a balanced budget.

Why do people spend more than they earn? Here are some possible reasons:

Keeping up with the Jones-We don’t want to be left out, everyone else has a 70 inch TV, I need one too!!

Not facing the truth-if I just pay my minimum balance and don’t look at the accumulating debt load, it is not really there.

I want it now!-We are a society that likes to get what we want, when we want it.  Wait and save for something-that’s a foreign concept.

Maintenance of  lifestyle-As soon as some people get a raise they immediately increase their spending, then if they lose their job, they do not decrease their spending.

Proof of Self-worth-Having money means your somebody right?

Can’t say No-Some people cannot say no, whether it is a school function, lunch out at work or a child’s game

Power-People that have money have power right?  Some people feel that the more they spend the more powerful they are

Plastic doesn’t seem like real money-it is a lot harder to part with a $20
bill than it is to swipe a card

Had a financial emergency-Had a financial emergency and cannot recover

Spending more than one earns is tragic problem in our American Society.   It is possible to climb out of debt and be free but one must be committed to to the cause.  Living a life enslaved to debt eats at your soul and is a ball and chain that will hold you back from your dreams.

Many people rely on direct selling as an avenue to increase their wealth when trying to get out of debt.  Most say, it brings in enough to make a car payment or pay down debts.  I have heard numerous stories where it started as a part-time gig for someone and ended up changing their financial lives.  I have also heard many stories of people pinning their hopes on network marketing and finding it was a bust for them. I think it is important for people to consider themselves before jumping into any direct selling business.  If you don’t like people, it is probably not the job for you.  If you do, then there might be hope. The DSA offers tons of help in this area to help you decide if it is a good outlet for you.

No person can create financial freedom without a plan.  Creating a balanced budget is the first way to attain the $500….then perhaps you can begin to dream about $5 Million!!

Do you think Grant Cardone’s quote is accurate? Why or why not?  What do you think keeps people in debt?


What is it inside of a person that causes strength or weakness when faced with challenges? I was recently reading some information about Eleanor Roosevelt and began to consider this question. Eleanor Roosevelt said some great things:

• “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
• “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
• “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”
• “You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give”

Eleanor Roosevelt had a really tough life by most standards. Though she was born into a very affluent family, her mother died from diphtheria when Roosevelt was eight and her father, an alcoholic confined to a sanitarium, died less than two years later. Her brother Elliott Jr. died from diphtheria, just like his mother. Roosevelt was raised by her maternal grandmother until she went to boarding school in London.

So, what is it in some people like Mrs. Roosevelt that causes them to stand strong to trials while others fall apart like a piece of wet paper? I think it comes down to determination, courage and belief.

Trials are going to come, that is a given. We must make a conscious decision of how we are going to react to those trials. Do we look at them at as opportunities to strengthen ourselves or as heavy weights that will crush us?

As Ms. Roosevelt states so clearly, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face…” Don’t be afraid. You can do it. You are stronger than you think you are. You can make a difference today.

Can you think of other reasons why some people are so resilient?  Leave me your comments.  I would love to hear from you!

A great day working at the Miami Dade YWCA

MLM, Party Plan and Direct Sales Companies are as different as the individuals that own them. Working in the industry for 11 years I definitely have seen both sides of the coin. Some companies are fly by night, grab a rep, get their money and kill the business. I know that I have attended home parties and ended up with the most expensive tomato slicer ever made because I was trying to find the cheapest thing in the catalog. (Ok, not really a tomato slicer but you know what I am talking about! You probably have one too!!)

Others have a fantastic product that sells itself and helps provide additional income that helps families do more than they could before. The Direct Selling Association (DSA) reports that 15.1 million people in the US are direct sellers and of those 15.1 million people, 85% report a good or very good experience. Among US companies, direct selling companies are some of the most generous. In fact, at our last annual conference, the DSA stated that 97% of companies associated with the DSA give to charity! I think this is a fact that is greatly overlooked.

In June, I attended our annual Direct Selling conference as a supplier and joined forces with many of these great company leaders and the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) at a local Miami YWCA. We paid a fee to attend and work in the Miami heat (Crazy huh? Who pays to work in the heat??) Since we were driving down, our company collected three bins full of items that we donated.

It was an amazing day!! We were broken into groups that painted, built bookshelves, worked with the children or worked in the yard. I had the pleasure of working in the garden which started off as rocks and ended quite beautifully.

At the end of our time, the children shared about their experience. As I looked around the room, I was a bit overwhelmed at the power that was represented there. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and business leaders in the US were there. People that run multi-billion dollar companies took time out of their Sunday at a conference to work at a Y. Some of these industry leaders were signing shirts and hats at the request of the children and I couldn’t help but wonder if the kids really understood how special they were. Adults clamor for attention from these individuals.

After leaving, I began to think about those kids and how special they were. I think they realized they were special, not because of the power position of those that spent the day with them, but because of the true generous nature that each business leader exhibited.

I think generosity is at the heart of the best Direct Sales, MLM and Party Plan companies. They want to create compensation plans that give back to their field and create products that make life better. They make a difference in their communities and give to charities. Once you see the real heart of direct sales, it grabs you.

This is why we do what we do. It is why we work so hard to create software that allows these companies to focus on growing and not on systems. In helping our clients give, we beat with the same heart.

What has your experience with a direct sales, MLM or party plan companies been? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.