Tag: side hustle


You Shouldn’t Have to Pay for Your Paycheck! How to Beware of MLMs

Let me preface this post with the fact that there are some people who have made a good living out of direct sales/multi-level marketing (MLMs). But they’re typically the exception and not the rule.

This post is not a judgement of those who work as independent sales reps in direct sales. Instead, it’s a concern over the MLM companies’ questionable structure and unethical practices. It also serves as a warning to those who are in a vulnerable place financially and career-wise and therefore are considering joining an MLM before knowing the facts and risks involved. As a career coach I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t provide the following words of caution.

What are MLMs?

Direct sales is also known as multi-level marketing (MLM). This is where people pay a buy-in fee and purchase inventory to sell a product directly to a customer, while also recruiting others to do the same, earning some money from sales, but mostly from their recruitment and their downline’s sales.

You’ve probably had a “friend” or acquaintance you haven’t heard from in ages hit you up on Facebook wanting to meet for coffee. You agree because you’re so curious as to why they want to meet with you after so long. When you do meet with them, you realize there’s more of an agenda than just coffee and catching up. They want to talk with you about “an amazing career opportunity” guaranteed to “change your life.”

This opportunity will let you be your own boss, work from home, make your own hours, and earn as much money as you’d like. Plus, they say, it provides independence, empowers you, and uplifts you.

This might sound great to some people. Especially those who are at a low point in their lives or careers and need lifting up. Or those who have just lost their jobs or want to spend more time at home with their children.

But are MLMs a viable career option? Can you really make money in an MLM? To answer this question, let’s first look at the statistics.

Consider the truth and understand the risks.

MLM companies are making a fortune, but the participants are NOT. From my research (see sources below), only one percent of people who join MLM companies earn money. The other 99% actually lose money. Some as much as five-figures.

Many MLMs require steep buy-ins, as much as up to $5,000 for some. And depending on the product and the structure of the MLM, these costs continue on a monthly basis due to monthly inventory purchase requirements to stay active and earn rewards. But typically, commissions on inventory sold are very small. Usually there is more emphasis instead on recruiting a downline.

This might sound a lot like a pyramid scheme. Because by definition, it is when the emphasis is on recruitment of a downline.

“One of the hallmarks of an illegal pyramid scheme is a promise that sellers will make money from recruiting others rather than selling the product,” says the Federal Trade Commission.

So if an MLM is pushing you to recruit more than they are pushing you to sell, BEWARE!

And, even if an MLM is legal by the above definition, it’s practices my still be unethical.

MLMs cannot turn you into an entrepreneur!

MLMs promise a “safe” way to become an entrepreneur. News flash: becoming an independent sales consultant for an MLM does not make you an entrepreneur! The only entrepreneur in this game is the one(s) who created the product and created the company itself.

And just because the opportunity lets you make your own hours this also does not make you entrepreneur. So don’t fall for this sales pitch.

There’s not much that’s financially safe about joining an MLM. As stated above, most people who join MLMs lose money. Those who do make a profit average only about a $1,500 profit per year.

You’re likely to be more successful by being a true entrepreneur and starting your own business. The amount of hard work required in MLMs just to stay afloat could be better used to build something more profitable and something you’re truly passionate about.

And you’re likely to be more successful. Statistics show about 39% of small businesses earn a profit over their lifetime versus 1% of MLM reps.

My guess is, there’s probably something you’re more passionate about than just being a glorified distributor for lipstick, leggings, or “nutritional” juices. Why not pursue those passions with the time, energy, and money you’d spend on something you’re not passionate about? At least you’d likely have more to show for it than a garage full of unsold inventory.

MLMs prey on women

Seventy-five percent of people currently signed with an MLM are women. This number is due not only to the type of products, but also to the increased cost of child care forcing women to stay home with their children. There’s no wonder MLMs prey on this predicament.

They use the appeal of working from home, making your own hours, becoming a “mommypreneur” and being a “girl boss” to lure women who are in this financial predicament.

However, instead of seeing their income grow, women who’ve been involved in MLMs have seen their debt grow.

“MLMs are the most despicable form of corporate feminism. They use their ‘you go girl’ branding to trap capable, ambitious women in a worsening cycle of debt. If MLM founders actually believed in empowering women they wouldn’t scam them out of their life savings,” says one journalist.

Ladies, don’t settle for being a “girl boss”. Aspire to be a “woman boss” and take control of your career! You shouldn’t have to pay for your job!

Viable career option, or risky gamble?

If you already have a proven track record as a leader, salesperson, and someone who can REALLY hustle, then joining an MLM could be a viable career option for you. But you need to understand the risks. One journalist has said, “The risk with MLMs is so high you’d be more successful at making money gambling than you would at joining an MLM.”

So before you sign up and pay your buy-in fee, do your research! This includes talking to former reps and participants, finding out why they left, and learning about the products outside of what the company says about the products.

Most of all, find out if the commission on your personal sales is higher than the commission on the sales of your downline. If it is, then it’s likely more reputable than most other MLMs.

I also suggest having another source of income when you first start, whether it’s a full-time or part-time job, and/or a spouse who’s also bringing in an income (with benefits).

Finally, be realistic about how much you can ultimately invest in the opportunity before you risk unmanageable debt. Make sure someone outside of the MLM (a friend or family member) holds you accountable to this amount. So many people get caught up in the recognition and awards that come from the amount of inventory purchased (NOT the amount sold!) they overspend just to reach those recognition goals.

If you already have too much personal debt, it’s not worth the risk at all. Besides, if you have to pay for a job or a paycheck, it’s probably only going to benefit the person receiving your buy-in money, not you!

Sources: http://abcn.ws/1PUpW8I, https://www.finance-guy.net/mlm-reviews, http://www.pinktruth.com/, https://bettingonzero.com/, https://youtu.be/lLBmElR0Luw, https://youtu.be/s6MwGeOm8iI, https://medium.com/@antionetterparker/why-creative-memories-just-couldnt-compete-review-4860f97dcf86

mlms

How to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets


Like most people, my biggest regrets in life have been the things I didn’t do as opposed to things I did do.

One of my biggest regrets was not doing a study abroad experience to Australia while I was in college. I’d waited too late to inquire about it, when I had only one semester of school left.

This was a big regret because I’d always wanted to go to the land Down Under ever since I was a little girl.

Since I didn’t get to go in college, I tried to make up for it several years later by taking a month-long vacation to Australia as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Cons

There were a lot of reasons not to go on the trip.

Like the fact that it cost a good chunk of money.

And that I was in the midst of a new relationship.

Or that I would have to go by myself since none of my friends could take off that much time from work.


Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The Pros

But there were also a lot of reasons for me to go.

The trip would occur during my birthday. I’ve always wanted a summer birthday, and in the Southern Hemisphere I’d get to have one.

I’d be gone during winter break, the same time my students at the college I worked at would also be away. Therefore I wouldn’t put an extra burden on my co-workers.

I had enough time built up to take off seven weeks from my job at the time (and still had an extra 10 days of vacation left over).

Also, being single with no children made travel and travel planning easy. It could be another 18–20 years before I’d have that kind of freedom again!

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory

Not Letting the “Maybes” Cloud My Judgment

I can remember my initial thoughts when trying to decide to book the trip or not. They went a little something like this:

“Maybe I should wait until I’m married and go to Australia on my honeymoon.”

OR

“Maybe I should wait until I’m retired when I have more time and money.”

I quickly pushed those thoughts aside.

I knew there was no guarantee I would even be physically able to go when I retired.

And why in the world would I want to wait on some man to take me when I can do this now?

So, I hopped online, did a little research, and found a very reasonably priced flight.

I still wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for a month-long excursion, but I had nine months to figure it out.

I gave myself a few days to sleep on the information I’d researched. And then I booked my trip.


Uluru/Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

No Regrets (Except One)

I’ve never regretted my decision.

In fact, if I hadn’t done it then, I would’ve spent the past 15 years regretting it.

My only regret?

Not doing it sooner.


Kata Tjuta/The Olgas, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

8 Ways to Make 2019 the Year of No Regrets

1. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

“Most people settle for ‘good-enough.’ Their diet, dating partners, job, income, and relationships are all merely ‘good-enough.’ But since their choices are common, that’s what their life becomes.” — Anthony Moore

I could’ve settled with my “maybes.”

I could’ve blindly accepted my initial thoughts of deferring the trip until I was married or retired.

And I could’ve rationalized those thoughts were a “good enough” plan.

But guess what? Fifteen years later I’m still not married and I’m not even close to retirement.

In fact, since then, I left the security of a job with retirement benefits to start my own business (something else I don’t regret).

While today I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, undoubtedly due to leaving a 9–5 job working for someone else, I know I wouldn’t have the energy I had when I was 30 to do all the rock climbing, hiking, and snorkeling I did in the 115 degree heat of the Outback and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Every day I’m so glad I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

I encourage you not to settle for just “good enough.”


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

2. End the wrong relationships.

So what about the relationship I’d just started a few months before going to Australia? It ended one week after I returned.

Even though it was heartbreaking, looking back I’m so glad the relationship didn’t work out. (What a regret that would’ve been if it had!)

Don’t wish you hadn’t wasted time in an unhealthy relationship.

Instead, start the year knowing you can make it on your own and you’ll be available for an even better relationship before or by the end of the year.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

3. Say no to opportunities that don’t support your life mission statement.

Speaking of relationships, I’ve written before about how I had to make the decision to end a relationship a couple years ago because I recognized it didn’t allow me to fulfill my mission in life.

Having a life mission statement in place will help you to say no to choices you’ll regret later.


Whitsundays’ Long Island, Queensland, Australia

4. And say yes to opportunities that do support your life mission statement.

A life mission statement will also help you say yes to some pretty cool things you hadn’t previously challenged yourself to.

Even if nothing materializes from these opportunities by the end of the year, you can know it wasn’t time wasted because these things will have led you further in fulfilling your mission in life, which may lead to something even bigger and better down the road!


Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

5. Learn something new.

Don’t let another year pass having not learned the one thing you’ve always said you wanted to learn.

Instead, end the year knowing you’ve developed a new skill.

I personally have always been a big believer in lifelong learning and continually encourage my clients to embrace also it.

Just recently I signed-up for a six-month Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense program. And in February I plan to take a class on investing.

I hope by the end of 2019 I’ll be more knowledgeable about stock options, and become quicker in my reaction time to defend myself if the need ever arises.


Mount Tyson, Queensland, Australia

6. Start that side hustle or passion project.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

If there’s something you’ve wanted to start, whether a hobby, a side business, or a passion project, what are you waiting for?

Just start!

Don’t put any pressure on it to be perfect or even successful. Just let it be a creative or fun outlet for you from your everyday routine.

Let it evolve and be open to what it might grow into organically.

For instance, a few years ago I started writing a blog about my adventures in stand up paddling and the spiritual parallels of those adventures. It was really just a place for me to record and preserve my thoughts. I didn’t promote it at all.

My little side project turned into my 2nd published book, which eventually helped fund my 2017 mission trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil.

You never know what can happen with your own passion project. And you’ll definitely never know if you never start.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

7. Turn your side hustle into your full-time gig.

If you start to see some momentum with your side hustle and discover a market for it, it may be time to consider turning it into a full-time gig. Especially if you already know how to think like an entrepreneur.

It was much easier for me to start my own business after working it part-time for nine months before going full-time with it.

But, eventually I had to pull the trigger and take a leap of faith because I knew it would never be the right (or perfect) time to leave my job and pursue my business full-time.

While being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, if you’ve got the desire to do your own thing and you’ve calculated the risks and counted the costs, this year may be the year to give it a go.

If it doesn’t work out, you may have some regrets, but you won’t die.

And you’ll never have to live with the regret of never having tried.

You may even experience freedom and success like never before!


Airlie Beach, Gateway to the Whitsundays

8. Develop your positive self-talk.

You’ll never be able to accomplish the above if you keep listening to your negative-self talk.

What if I had listened to my “maybes”?

What if I had told myself I couldn’t go to the other side of the world by myself?

Well, I don’t have to wonder “What if?”

Instead, I have memories of the places I visited, the beauty I experienced, the wildlife I saw, and the people I met. Some of whom I still keep in touch with to this day.

When you start to hear the negative thoughts that are determined to keep you in just a “good enough” existence, re-frame them with positive self-talk.


En route to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia

Stepping Out in Faith

Shortly after I’d stepped out in faith and booked my dream vacation to Australia, things started to fall into place.

I found a fun part-time gig to help me earn a little extra money for the trip.

Also, I received a sum of money previously owed to me which covered the remainder of my cost for the trip.

And remember how I said I was able to take seven weeks off of work and still have 10 vacation days left over? This all occurred because at the time I worked for a state university and for two years in a row we didn’t receive a raise.

To compensate us for it, we were all given 20 extra vacation days on top of our annual three weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees.

Add in to that the vacation I’d already accrued and amount the holidays we all got off during winter break and I had it made!

I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family before leaving for Australia.

Then I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Down Under.

Finally, I was able to have a week for some much-needed rest and time to readjust my internal clock before returning to work, just in time for the students’ return to campus.

Without the vacation compensation, I probably wouldn’t have had so much time to really relish the experience.


Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

The timing turned out to be perfect and “the stars aligned” for it to all work out. But I had no way of predicting all those things would happen. I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me it would all work out.

I just had to take a chance while at the same time being smart about it. And I’m all the better for it.

Now I have no fear of traveling alone (or doing anything else alone for that matter).

I have more knowledge about the history of one of the most fascinating continents on earth and a new respect for its native people, the Aborigines.

I no longer have a fear of bugs. (Sleeping on the ground in the Outback where the spiders are the size of your fist will help you overcome any fear of bugs pretty quickly!)


Sydney, New South Wales

If you can commit to all eight, you’ll likely end the year with no regrets.

And who knows where that will lead you in the years to come!

Related Posts:

All photos by Lori Bumgarnerno regrets

Are You Where You Wanted to Be At the End of 2018?

Can you believe 2018 is coming to an end? I can’t. This year has gone by so fast!

paNASH and many of paNASH’s clients have had so many great moments in 2018.

I worked hard this year to create more community among my clients by hosting a client-mixer in May, conducting monthly group coaching calls, and establishing a private Slack channel for my clients to serve as a resource for each other.

Also, paNASH was once again named one of the top 10 best coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the second year in a row.

Client Successes for 2018

Several paNASH clients are ending 2018 very differently from how they started it. They’ve experienced some major wins and successes.

These wins include leaving old jobs and landing new jobs, furthering their education, starting side hustles, and some even starting their own businesses.

For example:

New Jobs

One client left her previous job where there were no growth opportunities so she could attend coding school. A week before her graduation she landed a position with a well-respected company. She’d previously interviewed with this same company several years ago prior to receiving coaching but didn’t get an offer. Once she made a career change, the doors at this company opened up for her.

Another client who has a passion for politics landed a job with the Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and said goodbye to her old job that was causing her extreme burnout.

Just last week, a client accepted an offer for his dream job. During his coaching sessions he repeatedly said, “I REALLY want this!” And he got it!

Side Hustles

You’ve already read this year about my client Robert who came to a crossroads of having to choose between a well-paying job that made him miserable and an opportunity that would grow his side hustle in animation and possibly turn into a full-time thing with one of Disney’s former top animators. (Click here for that amazing story!)

Speaking of side hustles, another paNASH client discovered a side hustle through our coaching sessions she’d never considered before: voice-over work. She’s started taking voice-over lessons and has already landed a few paying gigs. This allows her to make extra money and provides a creative outlet her current full-time job doesn’t provide.

Business Start-Ups and Creative Outlets

And speaking of finding creative outlets, another client who used to sing gained from her coaching experience the confidence to get back on stage, this time in a lead vocal role of a production of Little Shop of Horrors. She says:

Last year when I started on a new journey, I was apprehensive, and pretty freaked out. When I first met with Lori, she asked a lot of questions that I wasn’t totally sure of the answers. I went home after the first meeting and really pondered on these questions, and came to the conclusion that I needed help.

The first few sessions felt like I was going around in circles. As our time progressed, I began to feel like I was moving forward.

This past year I have really begun to open myself up to the possibilities in my life. I’m in the process of starting my own business. And I was presented with the opportunity to join the cast of Little Shop of Horrors.

I began to really think about when was the last time I’d taken a risk, and I was shocked. It had been ten years since my last risk which was moving to Nashville not knowing anyone.

So, I took a deep breath and said yes to the role in the musical which would allow me to pursue my passion for singing that I had lost after graduating from Belmont’s music program.

paNASH’s coaching has helped me rediscover my former passions and discover new ones. But most of all it’s given me the confidence to pursue them. This year has proven to be astounding.

A few months after the stage production, my client took another risk by adopting a 13-year-old girl with her husband!

Then there’s the client who got married and started a business with her new husband that’s growing so fast they can barely keep up with the demand. The business not only lines up with both of their experience and passions, but also has a strong market.

I always get excited when I see my clients successfully pursue their passions by using the skills and courage gained from their coaching sessions.

What about you?

As we close out 2018, can you look back on the past year and see that you’ve made some major inroads toward your own goals?

Are you where you wanted to be at the end of 2018?

If not, why? Is it simply because you’re still working toward those goals?

Or is it because you haven’t started yet? If you haven’t started, why not?

Do you really want to find yourself in the same place again this time next year?

The Good News

The good news is, come January 1st you get a clean slate of 365 days to work with. Start by trying to answer these three questions:

  • What’s one new experience you want to have in 2019?
  • What’s one way you can step out of your comfort zone in the new year?
  • What goals do you want to achieve in 2019?

Don’t let another year pass you by. Learn how to achieve all of the above with a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter.

If you’re already a subscriber, then perhaps your next step is to try some coaching sessions. To learn more, complete the paNASH intake form. There are no obligations to filling out the form, so you have nothing to lose!

Happy new year!

Related Posts:

2018

The Most Popular paNASH Blog Posts of 2018

I’m so grateful to all you readers who loyally follow the paNASH blog from week to week. I love hearing your stories of how a particular blog post gave you the courage to pursue your passions. Your support and feedback means so much to me.

As a thank you, here’s a collection of the most popular paNASH blog posts of 2018.

Top Ten paNASH Blog Posts of 2018

  1. Should You Share Your Side Hustle on Your Resume?
  2. How to Make Your Sucky Job More Bearable (Until You Can Leave)
  3. What You Need to Know to Ensure a Successful Career
  4. Why “Can I Pick Your Brain?” Is the Wrong Approach
  5. How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk Like an Olympian
  6. “Follow Your Heart” is Bad Advice. REALLY Bad Advice! (Re-post)
  7. Quiz: Do You Really Need to Spend Money on a Career Coach?
  8. The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech
  9. Why “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is the Best Career Advice
  10. Never Say Never: How to Know When You Should Let a Bridge Burn

Please Share!

Please feel free to share any of the above posts or other paNASH blog posts on your social media platforms and with your friends so others can also benefit from them. Thank you!

Check out additional posts on Medium.com.

paNASH blog

7 Best Books That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Life and Career

Last year I shared a post describing five books that will make a huge impact on your life and career. This year I want to share my latest reads guaranteed to also have a huge impact on your life and career.

I’ve read a lot books this past year. But, in an effort to save you some time, I’m only highlighting my top five (with a couple of honorable mentions) that provide tangible take-aways. These take-aways are guaranteed to produce results when you apply them to your life and career.

I’ve personally applied many of the principles from these books. And I’ve either seen immediate results, or the beginning growth of those sown seeds.

Top 5 Best Books

1. Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn

I have several clients considering starting their own business. This is a great book for them or anyone else thinking of starting their own business or side hustle. It guides readers through several litmus tests to help determine if their business idea is viable, prior to diving in with a huge time or money investment.

The first half of the book is very similar to my program on personal branding. The author Pat Flynn (who’s known for teaching people how to create passive income streams) spends a big chunk of the book discussing the importance of having a personal mission statement and personal brand prior to starting any kind of business idea. It truly is the first step to starting anything new in your life or career.

Biggest take-away:

“Make sure you’re running to something instead of away from something.”

This is so true. I see many people who come to me wanting to start their own business for the sheer desire of leaving their current job.

Will It Fly? helps you determine both the right reasons and the wrong reasons for starting your own business. Because it is so important to know these reasons, I did an entire group coaching call on this very topic with this book as the basis for the discussion.

Related Blog Post:

2. The Rise of the Youpreneur: The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Go-To Leader in Your Industry and Building a Future-Proof Business by Chris Ducker

I read The Rise of the Youpreneur on the heels of Will It Fly? It’s a good follow-up after you’ve done all the exercises from Will It Fly? and determined which of your business ideas are most viable and best support your personal mission.

Like Flynn’s book, The Rise of the Youpreneur is chock-full of exercises and online resources to help you get your business off the ground.

Biggest Take-Away

While I’ve been doing a lot of what Ducker recommends to become a successful brand in my own coaching business, I hadn’t been doing all of it because it just seemed so overwhelming. Drucker’s book helped me to organize and prioritize all those things into manageable phases and steps.

I’m currently working through those phases to improve what I’ve been doing and to add in what I haven’t been doing.

Related Blog Posts:

3. Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly About Finances, and Live a Richer Life by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

I got a copy of Breaking Money Silence from the author when I heard her speak here in Nashville. It is BY FAR the best book on finances I’ve ever read.

Kingsbury delves into the emotional side of money. She talks about the various mindsets people have about money, explaining why money often creates unnecessary conflict between people. It dispels myths both men and women have about money. And it reveals the hidden costs of staying quiet about an often uncomfortable topic.

What I love most about it is it provides tangible ways to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations about money between couples, children and aging parents, siblings, and more. It also helps readers see their worth and the importance of negotiating a fair salary with their employer, something I often teach my clients how to do.

Not only is this a great book for anyone who feels insecure about their knowledge of finances (or thinks they already know everything about finances), it’s also recommended for financial advisers so they can learn how to address the emotional side of money when working with their clients. There are exercises at the end of each chapter for both the interested reader and their financial advisers.

Breaking Money Silence is also a nice prerequisite to one of my honorable mentions listed below, Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover.

Of all the books on this list, this is the one I’d buy a copy for everyone if I could. I plan to keep my copy because I know I’ll refer back to it every time I need to.

Biggest Take-Aways

There are too many take-aways from this book to list here, but the big ones for me were:

  • Understanding my own personal money mindsets and where those came from.
  • How to broach difficult but necessary conversations about money.
  • How to best prevent or handle potential financial conflicts in the future, especially if I ever get married.
Related Blog Posts:

4. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller and his wife Kathy Keller

Speaking of marriage, I chose a book on marriage to include on this list, even though I’m not married. I initially read The Meaning of Marriage because it’s also a good read for singles. Plus, I’m always trying to best prepare myself for whatever God has in store for my future.

Keller, who is the founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, discusses the importance of purpose and vision in a marriage. Purpose is obviously important in helping my clients discover work they can be passionate about, so this concept of purpose in marriage really piqued my interest.

Biggest Take-Away:

A Christ-centered marriage can’t be merely about itself. It must be about something else, something both partners are committed to and passionate about besides one another.

A marriage based on attraction alone does not provide a common vision. Physical attraction and financial goals will bring unity for only a while. But such goals don’t create deep oneness, because eventually you reach those superficial goals (or you don’t), and then what? What is your marriage for? Where are you going?

Related Blog Posts:

5. Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control by Mark Buchanan

Last but certainly not least is Your God is Too Safe. The very first words of this book in the introduction are:

“I’m stuck.”

This is a phrase most clients say to me when they first reach out to me. Many of them feel stuck in their life or career. My job is to get them unstuck by helping them discover and pursue their passions.

But it’s also common to get and feel stuck spiritually. Buchanan’s book addresses this feeling of being stuck spiritually and how to move to new levels of spiritual passion.

He sets out to diagnose why Christians get stuck in their faith and are unable to see God at work in their lives. He calls this “living in borderland” – the barren but crowded place between a Christian’s old life and their adventurous and abundant new life. It’s a place where doubt, disappointment, guilt, and wonderlessness can keep us in mediocrity.

Then Buchanan shares how to move beyond borderland to a place of excitement, boldness, and exhilaration by not putting our own limitations on God and allowing Him to do beyond all we can imagine for our lives.

Biggest Take-Away

“Christianity without a deep longing for Christ in your heart is no Christianity at all, just a cheap imitation of the real thing.”

This quote actually comes from another reader who reviewed Your God is Too Safe. I believe it’s very well-said.

While as humans we all want to remain safe and feel secure in our own comfort zone, this book reminds us that’s not what real Christianity is. It’s not what we’re called to as Christians. We’re called to live boldly in Christ’s name, even when it’s uncomfortable. Not to do so is to live an inauthentic life and to miss out on all God has planned for us.

Related Blog Posts:

Honorable Mentions

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover is an oldie but goodie in overcoming debt and finding financial peace. It’s a good follow up to Breaking Money Silence mentioned above.

While I don’t listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, I did enjoy this book. I’ve been following the steps in it which has resulted in significant head-way in my finances this past year.

Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins

Another great read for those who need help understanding their worth. While this book is geared toward artists, the principles can be applied to anyone who’s working for themselves selling a product or service (their version of “art”).

Real Artists Don’t Starve doesn’t provide a step-by-step approach to setting your rates, but it does give you the confidence to ask for what you’re particular “art” is worth and gives you a sense of your art’s value to the world.

Many of the creative types here in Nashville will really appreciate what Goins has to say!

What I’m Reading Next

Right now I’m in the middle of reading two books:

I’m really enjoying Secrets of Six-Figure Women because it turns out it’s not just about money. And the strategies for career success can be applied to both genders.

I have several more books on hold at the library, and several I purchased during the Southern Book Festival here in Nashville.

So I have a long reading list and look forward to sharing another post next year about my best reads. Stay tuned!

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