Sunday, June 29, 2008


I will be starting vacation tomorrow morning and will most likely not be updating until I return. For anyone that's interested, I will be spending the next week in Alabama visiting the in laws which is about as much fun as I imagine childbirth to be.

I hope to return to an intact business and to be able to continue posting stories that both encourage and teach. In the meantime my advice to all is keep your eyes on the prize and never let anyone tell you that you can't do anything.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Does My FICO Score Affect My Life?

Lets spend a few minutes discussing FICO scores. I'm sure we have all heard of them but how many of us actually know what our FICO score is? Statistics show less than 1 in every 5 Americans have pulled their credit report in order to find out and this just amazes me. Are we so wrapped up in ourselves that we can't take an hour a month to monitor our scores, these scores do after all affect so much of our lives. Your FICO score can be a deciding factor in everything from where you work to where you live to what interest rate you will pay when you purchase a home or car.

There are many blogs out that will stress the importance of paying off credit cards as a way to become debt free but thats where opinions start to vary, many will tell you that after your balance is paid in full, close the account to resist the temptation of creating new debt. That is exactly what you don't want to do and here is why, somewhere around 30% of your FICO score is based on available credit, when you close an account, you lower your available credit thus lowering your FICO score.The right thing to do is to leave that paid in full account open and exercise some self control, even if it means you have to remove the card from your purse or wallet and hide it from yourself.

Another reason to pull your scores from all 3 credit reporting agencies is to insure you dispute all wrong entries. These should always be disputed in writing and sent by certified mail to the reporting agency. If a creditor can not provide proof you owe a debt, the entry must legally be removed from your report. Any entries you find to be accurate should be taken care of through negotiations with the original creditor. Often you can get them to agree to removing the entry for payment in full and even if you can't, failure to pay it just looks bad later when you need to apply for a home loan, car loan, or in many cases now, a job.

If you take time to learn what is in your credit report, there is no reason you can't do something to raise your FICO score. It may not all be corrected overnight and some of it may take years however Rome wasn't built in a day and if you are indeed serious about ever living debt free, this is a great place to start laying a good foundation.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Respect This Hustle

This is for all the Small Business owners that have bootstrapped their ways to Success!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."

Donald Trump

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dragon Lady Strikes Again

Today was a normal day in the fact that I had a chance to play with the Dragon Lady some more. She calls me early this morning irate as can be, at first it is difficult to even understand what she is babbling about, the only words I could clearly make out were "MY OFFICE NOW!!!"

As I arrived I was led into her conference room where I waited for 15 minutes before she walks in and starts to tell me how screwed up a job my painters had done on one of her properties. Since I have not actually seen the paint job at this time I just nod , apologize and agree to go straight out and fix whatever is wrong. I pick up a key to the property as I listen to her rant for the next 10 minutes about how bad the job was. When I exit the building I am really in a bad mood, I rush over to another job site, grab my lead painter and inform him he will be going with me to view this property.

As I pull into the drive, my lead painter looks at me and asks if we are there to give an estimate. I start to explain to him we are there to fix whatever his crew did wrong when he informs me that we have never been to this property before, we had worked on a home about a block away but not this particular one. Not knowing if he is right or wrong I return to my desk and pull up all work orders for that street only to find out I had taken an ass chewing for a paint job not even performed by my workers.

I return to see the Dragon Lady

Dragon Lady - That was fast, are your painters fixing it?

Me -Nope

Dragon Lady - Well when do you think you will get them in there to fix it?

Me - As soon as we negotiate price

Dragon Lady - I'm not gonna pay you to fix what should have been done right the first time

Me - I agree, it should have been done right the first time

Dragon Lady- (starting to scream)I WANT IT FIXED TODAY!

Me- and I can have it fixed soon as we negotiate a price

Dragon Lady - I'm not negotiating

Me - Fine, I'll go fishing!

Dragon Lady - well you won't be paid for that job

Me- thats cool, didn't expect to be

Dragon Lady - oh, are you saying I would cheat you?

Me- Nope

Dragon Lady - then what are you saying?, you're not making any sense now

Me- I'm going to break it down for you, we did not paint that property the first time so we will not fix someone else's screw up for free

Dragon Lady - Wait Right Here!!! (rushes out to her computer)

Dragon Lady's Assistant returned a few minutes later doing her best to stifle laughter - Dragon Lady said to let you know you're right and there is no need for you to wait around.

So....I didn't get an apology for the previous ass chewing or for the time wasted / gas burned but all in all I feel as if it was worth it somehow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dragon Lady - Learning To Deal With The Stupid!

There's an old saying that "the customer is always right". As a small business owner I find myself struggling to find a happy medium for when the customer is just dead wrong and these times do exist as I have experienced over and over again this past week. One customer in particular, I will refer to as the Dragon Lady, has really begun to pluck my last nerve this week with her demands that my crew pull off the impossible. This is just an example of a recent conversation I had with the Dragon Lady;

Dragon Lady - Here you have requested 17 sheets of sheetrock? Why do you need so many?

Me - Uh, because thats how many are required to complete this job

Dragon Lady - I happen to know it only takes 6

Me - Well in that case, could you please explain to me your method of calculating square footage because I don't care how you flip, spin, turn, or stare at a piece of 4 x 12 sheetrock, it will only give you 48 square foot of coverage.

Dragon Lady - I have been dealing with contractors for 15 years and I know for a fact you can sheetrock a garage with 6 sheets

Me - lets see, 6 sheets to cover 4 walls and the ceiling? That would equal 1 and 1/5 sheet per small is this garage?

Dragon Lady - I think you're unprofessional

Me- I think you don't understand how to do your job much less mine

Dragon Lady - I'll just find another contractor to do this job

Me - Please tell them to let my people watch them do it, they like magic shows

2 hours later my cell rings, it's Dragon Lady's assistant - Dragon Lady wants to know how soon you can start that job if your materials are delivered today?

Me- In the morning, what changed?

Dragon Lady's assistant - She was told by 2 other contractors that it would take 17 sheets of sheetrock and their rates were actually higher.

See my point here, Dragon Lady is not right, will not admit she is wrong and even when proven wrong, will only go as far as having her assistant call me back. I could have refused to do this job and withdrawn my bid however I realize that Dragon Lady is an idiot and I cannot bring myself to hold a grudge against the mentally challenged. The customer is not always right however if you want to be in business for yourself, you will have to learn to deal with people thinking they know your job better than you, just admit when you're wrong, stand your ground when your right, and know the difference.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I haven't had much time to post lately, my business saw an increase in profit of 275% from the month of April to the month of May and here it is, the first few days into June, and I have already doubled Mays sales figures for the month. Things are getting bigger that I had planned at this stage, my controlled expansion is no longer under control.

Eminem said in a song once "This is your moment,And every single minute you get try'n hold on to it 'cause you may never get it again" and that's exactly what I plan to do. I will ride this money train until the brakes fall off. I don't come from a rich family or even an upper middle class one so this is so strange to me. I now earn in one month what I used to earn in a year. Still I recognize that this could all end tomorrow so I am thankful for everything I have been blessed with.