At this stage in construction, it is time to take action.  Kick things into high gear.  Try new things.  Do what you are not comfortable with.  Do things poorly.  Do things that will have to be redone.  This is the rough-in time.  Things don’t have to be perfect, but they have to get done.  Rough framing doesn’t require seamless joint, but they do require enough structure and foundation that they can be built upon.  The finish work and fine details are much easier attained the better the rough-in work is done.  But the bottom line is to just get something done.

Getting started with framing and initial construction

“We over-estimate what we can do in a moment, but we under-appreciate what can happen when we follow a process over time.”

Through the Demo phase of this process, you laid the groundwork for the construction process to begin.  Giving yourself a clean slate and establishing productive routines and good habits not only sets the stage for creating the work you love but it frees up your time and mind to do so.  So, what is the work you love, what is the dream job?  If money were no object what are the top 3 jobs or careers you would pursue?  List below.

  1. ______________________________

  2. ______________________________

  3. ______________________________


Now as you reflect on these choices, reflect back on your childhood?  What did you enjoy doing in your youth?  Were you the schoolteacher in charge of the class of dolls?  Did you always find yourself reading books and writing stories?  Were you obsessed with video games?  Aside from social media what other activities did you enjoy or were you good at?  For me, I always enjoyed making ramps.  I was constantly pilfering scrap wood from construction sites and borrowing my dad’s tools to build ramps and rails or all varieties.  So, it’s no surprise that I found success both as a general contractor and a facilities manager.  What are three activities like this you enjoyed growing up? 

  1. ________________________________

  2. ________________________________

  3. ________________________________

The last step in determining work that you love, is what are you good at?  Just because you enjoy an activity or hobby does not mean that you will want to make it your career.  Although you really enjoy going to yoga once a week, do you really want to be a yoga instructor?  Do you love it enough to do it enough to make a living at it?  Do you like woodworking and craftsmanship?  Do you know what level of craftsmanship it takes to be a professional furniture maker?  There are many other talents and skills that you may have that are not necessarily as enjoyable as your hobbies but that can provide a path to a more meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle.  Are you good at keeping records?  Organizing small groups?  Do you enjoy putting things together?  All these attributes can play a role in finding success at a job.  While that job may not seem that fulfilling, it is less likely to create a state of total discomfort or misery.    What are 3 traits like these, that other people have complimented you on or told you that you are good at?

  1. _____________________________________

  2. _____________________________________

  3. _____________________________________

Finding a combination in these areas may present a path to a more pleasant lifestyle.  Even if you find what you wrote and the occupations that emerge may not sound very exciting at first.  But as you become a master of these skills, new opportunities will present themselves as a result.  Being really good at something will allow you to apply that skill or talent in a meaningful way.  Keeping up accounting records may not be a fun job, but finding an extra $10k for your favorite charity through proper tax filling will make a huge impact on others and leave you with a feeling of fulfillment, unlike anything you have ever experienced. 

The best part about this process is that you are supposed to fail and flounder your way through this step.  You have an idea of where you want to go, and you are beginning to see a way to get there but there are still so many mistakes to be made.  So many more aspects to figure out.  So, it's ok if you get off on the wrong foot.  You can and probably will start over a few times.  But just start.  Start Ugly.  See what works.  Start on the side.  Start on the weekends.   Create time to start.  It's ok if progress is slow.  It's ok if what you think is the answer turns out not to be.  But I believe as you start the process, themes begin to emerge.  Opportunities will present themselves that will steer you in the right direction.  You will see progress; you will have surges of inspiration and forward progress.  You will also have moments of doubt and terror, but you will know the difference in going the wrong way versus just being scared to do what you know you must.  There are many tools and systems that will help you along the way. 

But make no mistake about it.  Hard work is hard work.  This is the real reason, so few realize their dream life.  They just simply are not willing to put in the work to get what they want.  It is a simple as that.  Jim Rohn says “If you really want to do something, you will find a way.  If you don’t you will find an excuse.”  It is much easier to come home from work and sit down in front of the T.V. Most people wake up and go to sleep in their phones buried in negative patterns of thoughts and behaviors.  It takes effort to do things differently.  That’s why find joy, reward, and purpose in all that you do makes all the difference.  When you have that everything you do becomes a little easier, a little more enjoyable.  Over time that guarantees success. 

So how can we make that hard work a little easier?  A little more enjoyable.  Having the rights tools and resources also makes a big difference.  Knowing a few cheat codes to help accelerate your growth is always welcome.  So here are a few additional systems and tools to help the process along.  And just like the hard work, they may seem like a lot to ask at first but when done consistently over time the results will change your life.

Budgeting – The 70% Rule

“If you will live like no one else, later you will live like no one else.”  Dave Ramsey

Could you live on 70% of your income?  Is there a way to get there?  What sacrifices could you make for 1 day?  1 Week?  1 Month?  1 Quarter?  1 Year?  Are there ways you could today, trim the fat?  Give up a Starbucks here or a chick-fil-a there?  Are you on a budget?  Is it written down?  Are you sticking to it?


How much are you saving?  How much are you giving?  How much are you investing in?  Most importantly, how much are you investing in yourself?  I submit that just by writing down and keeping track of where the money is being spent you will immediately realize a 10-20% savings in spending.  Just by paying attention and keeping track.


Did you pay any late fees this month?  Did you analyze your statement and realize you were billed wrong?  Just by combing through the information, giving it a name, and dividing it up, you will change your behavior.  How much did you spend on groceries last month?  How much going out to eat?  Could you reduce that number by only a few percents?  Could you call your cable company and ask for a reduced rate or better yet switch to the local competitor and save a bundle.  Or still, better yet, could you ditch the cable bill altogether? 

The first step is paying attention, then you see where the opportunity to save exists.  Little bits here and there.  I know what you are thinking, live on 70%?????  We live on 110% right now.  And that is exactly where I was when I started this journey.  20k in credit card debt amassed over about 7 years one month at a time spend an extra 10% we didn’t have.  Month after month, year after year.  Until we started paying attention.  Paying attention to where the money was going.  We had automatic payments set up for services we weren’t using cell phone plans that were double what our friends were paying.  Fees for missed and late payments that could have easily been avoided simply by paying on time.  In 1 month we “found” an extra $1000!  With barely even trying.  I’m not saying you will have this level of success but I am telling you the savings are out there. So now that we see that we can live with less, what do we do with it? 


The 70-10-10-10 Rule

10% - Tithe

10% - Saving

10% - Investing in You

Saving.  Hopefully, you are already contributing to some type of 401k or Roth IRA, and if so this 10% is at least partially being collected there already.  This 10% is what those accounts are for.  If you are not using them, start.  Most companies have some type of 401k match so make sure you are taking advantage.  You can use the companies matching portion towards this 10% since after all this is money you are earning anyway. 

The reason I refer to saving 10% as the 2nd 10% is that the 1st 10% is the most important and non-negotiable.  The first 10% is tithing.  The first ten cents of every dollar goes to charity.  Goes to someone else, goes to someone in need.  This may seem so counterintuitive especially to someone who is agnostic or atheist, but I have seen the impact this has on the giver, time, and time again.  It is remarkable how giving in this way is critical to long term wealth and success.  For some of us, this is not as difficult sacrifice in that it is a principle of tithing found in most Christian faiths.  I encourage you to do this while you are broke when you only have a dollar.  It is much easier to give a dime when you have a dollar than it is to give 100k when you have $1million.    That should also come before all else because once it is gone, you cannot get it back.  Many of us choose to give to our local church, which is wonderful and some of the most well-used money collected but you can look for local charities and organizations within your community.  A lot of the money that goes to big organizations like United Way and Goodwill is wasted in overhead and administrative costs.  Not only does your dollar go farther locally, but it also allows you to give in person, see the impact it is having, and affects those closest to you.  A list of local charity links can be found on the site along with how they allocate funding and administrative costs.  Giving is powerful.  Try it for 90 days and watch the blessing unfold.  If you follow the principles in this book and implement this practice you will have more money and financial success than when you started.  Money-back guarantee. 

Once you have given your 10%, make sure you are investing the next 10% that you are saving.  Diversify, have a plan.  Start small.  Invest in what you know and what you believe in. Invest in others. Individual stocks and index funds which perform consistent are great, but also be willing to take a small risk here and there.  Trust your gut, never worry over a loss, and enjoy the process of helping others reach their dreams along the way.  This is for the long game; this money like to charity money is gone forever once allocated.  Cannot be retrieved until later.  This is not money that is invested in your own business.  Again if times are tight and the budget has already been cut, then using company matching funds to allot toward this 10% is ok temporarily but as you refine your budget and realize more saving, this category should be 10% of take home pay.

Now that you have the bills paid, you’ve given away some and pay homage for being blessed to earn in the first place, you put aside some money for the rainy day and there is a little bit left (hopefully).  This last 10% is to be spent investing in you!  Your side business, your passion, your development, your learning, your dreams, and aspirations.  I know, I know, there is no money left and baby needs a new pair of shoes.  This is always the first category to get robbed from.  What’s more important your personal development or the lights staying on???? 

So, we have developed some shortcuts and cheats to get our personal development growing for little to no money. 

The first is a library card.  Cost - $0.  This is the first tool that you must have in your toolbox.  The library card is the golden key, the secret to unlocking all the answers.  The resources in the library are not just limited to books although they are probably still the most important and underutilized tool out there.  The library also has park passes, discounts and freebies.  State Park Visitors pass - $0.  Local Zoo – $0 on certain days.  Symphony - $0 1 day a month.  All the tools you need to, not only educate yourself but supply your family with opportunities to learn and grow through a variety of techniques and experiences. Culturally and educationally.

Even if you are too lazy to get a library card and don’t like to read, there is always the ever-present internet and smartphones. All the information literally in the world at your fingertips.  Youtube and training websites abound with free content that covers everything from language learning to business school case studies.  And almost all of it is free. 

What excuse do we have to keep us from developing ourselves for the job and career and more importantly life we want to live?  Why can’t we have everything we want?  Why can’t we have the dream job?  No matter what we want to do, there is already not only someone doing it, but there are people out there willing to show you how to do it too. 

Now as you grow and develop eventually the information will become more and more specific and as you get better and better at what you do the training and knowledge will eventually require some costs, but by then you should already be so far down your path that a small investment to help get you the information you require will not feel like any kind of sacrifice. 

As you get good at what you do, look to others who have come before you.  Who is doing it like you want to?  Whom can you model after?  How can you differentiate yourself in the market?  What personal attributes do you bring?  You are what makes the difference.  You are your secret weapon.

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© 2019 by Nate G