Success Is A Moving Target

4 12 2009

My wife just got finished pouring into me a few moments ago. The Holy Spirit was speaking out of her mouth in such an undeniable way that it humbles me to think of it. I was empty I’ve BEEN on empty for what feels like weeks now. Overwhelmed, unmotivated and trapped by my lesser self. I was slowly and surely losing a sense of who I was and all that I’d accomplished in the past few years.

4 months…. it’s amazing what 4 short, but painfully necessary months has done to my overall mindset. See while she was speaking into me, it hit home on me that today marks 4 months of me being jobless. I’ve spent a FULL 1/3 of 2009 on my couch. Soon as it occurred to me I just started crying.

4 months of feeling like this is nearly enough to dull every sharp edge I thought I had. Which is why I suppose my wife sensed it was time to express the things she did tonight. She reminded me that I now lay claim to one of the fastest growing blogs (traffic wise) on the entire internet. Here are a few tweets … from the past month or so as proof.

“Traffic report: 10 days ago ranked 17m+, 4 days ago 7m+, today ranked 3,136,590… thanks for reading! 1:41 PM Oct 20th from web”
“Thanks to YOU we broke thru the top 1 million sites in the WORLD (traffic-wise) as of last night we’re ranked 998,624! Can’t stop here… 9:55 AM Nov 11th from web”

In mid-October when I first started monitoring the traffic growth of the blog, we were ranked in the upper 21 millions. Twenty-one MILLION websites were generating more traffic than us here at Invincible Living! As of today we are ranked 606,738 out of ALL sites on the internet according to Alexa Page Rank. In the span of a month and a half we’ve done VERY well, far past my expectations in fact. (please, please hold your applause lol)

She also reminded me that I’m the same man that used to cycle from Leesburg to Tysons Corner twice a week to my job. (36 miles ONE way – or the equivalent of one marathon each direction!)

She continued on to remind me that after spending my whole life not being able to hold my breath longer than a minute, I comfortably held my breath for nearly 4 minutes on 5 different occasions last month after reading this post by Tim Ferris over at 4-hour Work Week blog.

Lastly, for the sake of this post, she also reminded me that I increased my freestyle swim stroke by 60% (!!!) again thanks to Tim Ferris and this post!

Her point in listing these accomplishments – all of which I’ve netted just since July, is that I’m am an EXPERT at quickly and efficiently acquiring tools and skills that help me not only meet, but FAR exceed any type of physical challenge that is thrown at me. But those physical wins seldom translate to other areas of my life. I can make it from my doorstep to Tysons corner in 1hr 45min, but when I try to take on a task that requires me to lock in mentally without any sort of physical challenge to accompany it, I tend to fail.

It’s not that I’m not mentally tough, because clearly it takes mental toughness to do each of the things I listed, but it takes even more so to vanquish those physical tasks in the relatively easy way that I often do. But when physical acuity is not in the mix, things fall apart on me.

It’s now a goal of mine to identify and understand that missing link that produces those stellar results.

To be fair, I already know that I’m a HUGE procrastinator…. and in an epiphany I JUST stumbled onto part of the answer to my question. For me procrastination is all in my HEAD! If my body is engaged in the work, I tend not to procrastinate. But if I have a list of 10 tasks I need to complete and they can all be accomplished by sitting in front of a computer, I get distracted easily and end up pulled in 50 different directions. I can train for a month in the pool to shave seconds off of my stroke… but I have 10 items that have been sitting waiting to be posted to craigslist since October! I even wrote this full POST about selling things, but nope I STILL haven’t put them up online! And I’m online ALL DAY! See what I’m up against here? It really is all in my head!

My wife reintroduced me to the VALUE of work again tonight. Everything we (read: YOU) do within a given day is WORK. You are either working on improving your situation and bettering yourself, or working on undoing any progress you’ve made already. You’re either working on things that help you grow and mature, or you’re working on settling.

Success is a moving target and it’s constantly changing shape, position and distance relative to where you are and what you’re doing.

Soooo… what are you working on?

Live Invincibly,



Financial Peace University Week 1: Super Savers

29 09 2009


Financial Peace University Week 1: Super Savers

Today we officially kicked off our Financial Peace University class in Sterling VA! This is literally a dream come true for my wife and I. And we are completely ecstatic about the group we’ll be leading through this class.

It’s absolutely amazing how blessed we have been to be a part of this particular group of FPU participants. I’m already expecting GREAT things for each family involved now that I’ve seen how the group will interact.

The thing I love most is that nobody had to be ‘sold’ to be here, each person/family WANTS this for their family. And that is precisely what is going to be required to win.

Like Dave Ramsey said during this first session, “Starting is the easiest part, but also the hardest part”. I know it may not be easy deciding between vegging-out, watching NFL games, falling asleep mid-way through the pre-game show, waking up at half-time only to find out your team is trailing by 16 points… doh, sorry I got side-tracked lol. But the point I was trying to make is that as far as they are concerned, they’ve made the decision that nothing is more important than getting their families to a truly safe financial place again.

Now that they’ve made the decision to get out, very little is going to stop them.

Anytime YOU are ready, I invite you to heavily consider making the same decision for your family and your future.

If you don’t already have it, you NEED financial peace. And we’ll be here to show you how… whenever you’re ready.

Live Invinicibly,


Why you haven’t heard from me lately…

23 07 2009

Photo courtesy of *Tiny Dancer*

It’s been awful quiet around here lately right? Well I cant say that it’s been by design, but I can certainly see that it’s been for the better. And for those of you who REALLY stick by @Risk Living, we haven’t really been gone at all…

Twitter and Facebook have had a serious impact on how frequently I delve deeper into a personal finance topic. See most of my posts start off as a simple thought or observation. Sometimes, only after I ponder on a thought for a while do I even recognize there might be a post inside my thinking. But with Twitter and Facebook, once I’ve put that thought or quote out in the open I rarely come back here and unpack that thought the way I used to.

As a blogger I’m learning that there are advantages and disadvantages to tweeting and being ‘live’ on FB. The advantage is that you get rapid-fire real-time insights into what I see, think, and feel. However, the disadvantage is that once you get accustomed to ‘micro-blogging’ your way through a day it feels strangely slow and cumbersome to sit down and put together a complete post. One is a hand-grenade: portable, serviceable, and leaves a relatively small mark, while the other is a H-bomb: heavy, broad, and not nearly appropriate for every occasion lol.

As a side-note, I’ve noticed some pretty impressive spikes of traffic to the site since I’ve spent more time tweeting and FB’ing. Currently on Twitter I have 1500+ people following the @Risk Living blog! NEVER did I think I would be reaching such a wide audience with the blog and it’s focus: Getting OUT of Debt!

Now! Having said all of that, @Risk Living isnt going anywhere, in fact I have HUGE plans for where I’d like to see this site go next. You’ll be hearing more on that soon.

Thanks for sticking with us, I hope and pray we are of some help to you!


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@Risk Remix: A Look Back

1 06 2009

Photo courtesy of ZaksterNT

*This is the second time I’ve turned to this image for a post, the first was “Full Circle: How our TMM Began…“. I encourage you to read it as well. This picture represents perfectly how our financial situation felt before (Barren) and how it feels now in comparison (Overflowing)

Today I found myself looking back over a few posts from nearly a year ago, just to see how far we’ve come in that amount of time. I really must say that I’m pretty amazed by what I saw. The post in question is “1/3 way home” And it was about how excited we were to reach a minor milestone in our journey.

At the time we had just finished paying off the 10th bill out of the 30 that we started with, so we had just passed the 1/3 mark on our debt snowball list.

Fastforward to today and we are WELL into paying off the 32nd bill out of the 41 we now have on that same list. That means we are 3/4 of the way done with the ‘list’!

At the same time we have officially passed the Half-way mark on our debt total as well. We’ve paid off $52,730.06 and have $$51,506 left to pay before we are DEBT FREE!

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!! So I guess in our case you could say that “Hindsight is 50/50!” We’re halfway there!!! I can’t wait to see where we are this time next year! We should be heading into the Home Strecth at that point!

It’s never too late to start, if you have not already! We’re here for you, so let’s GO!


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Update: @Risk Blog to be Shut Down…

1 04 2009

Photo courtesy of Jasoon

It’s with the deepest sadness that I must let you all know that I’ve been ordered to shut the blog down. This is not a joke or prank. This is simply what happens when you ‘go against the grain’ in too loud and effective a fashion. It appears that this post did not go over too well with Suze Orman and her stable of lawyers. They’ve filed and injunction for me to cease activity on this blog.

What makes matters worse is that we didnt even get to reach our One year anniversary as a blog! In fact we fell a mere 3 days short! I was in the middle of making huge plans to celebrate that anniversary when I got the email from her lawyers.

This experience has TOTALLY changed my life! It’s no small feat when I think of how I went from simply LEARNING how to get my family out of debt, to making it a personal responsibility to TEACH others how to do it as well! God is so good!

I’ve got to wrap this post up because right now I just can’t handle that it’s over. I’m crying as I type this. I hope that I at least helped SOMEONE in the last 362 days! That’s all I ever wanted.
Again, I can’t speak to the details too much, but I can say this much: Happy April Fool’s Day!

*Cue the song: Bad Boy For Life*

[chorus]We ain’t, go-in nowhere, we ain’t, goin nowhere We can’t be stopped now, cause this bad boy for life We aint, go-in nowhere, we ain’t, goin nowhere We can’t be stopped now, cause this bad boy for life!

Can’t stop, won’t stop! lol


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@RL Top 12 Posts of 2008…

22 01 2009

Photo courtesy of Pictoscribe

Wow, this blog has come a LONG way in the past few months. And I’ve posted alot of content covering various topics. So I thought it would be fitting to pull out what I feel have been my 12 most important posts from 2008. This was an extremely difficult task because – well, let’s face it I’m a BRILLIANT writer!! But in the process of selecting the best of the best, I think I accidentally re-inspired myself while revisiting all that we’ve seen and learned so far on this journey.

Before we start though, I took the liberty of excluding two very critical posts from the ‘official’ list below.

The first,ironically is the very first post of the blog, “Today was a day for the ages…”. It sets the tone and gives the why and how of where we were when we created this blog. I apologize to you now if you’re about to read it, my writing skills were horrible in those early posts. lol

And the second is “Welcome to the next level…”. This post served as our official coming out party and announcement to the world. It was hard keeping this one out but truthfully it was much more about ‘us’ than about our debt exploits, so it was benched.

So with that part out of the way, If you’re new to the blog, or maybe not so new and just need a refresher on what this blog really has to offer, i give you the best of @Risk Living… so far.

In no particular order:

“A look inside our weekly budget meeting” – Here we give you the very same tools and strategies we use on a weekly basis.

“Our first ‘Non-emergency’ emergency” – A quick example of how our Emergency Fund kept a crazy day from being a bad day.

“The Prey, the Predator, and the unexpected Protector” – Ahh, this is STILL one of my personal favorites. This was my very first Video post. You have to watch it to understand just what the title means. It’s amazing!

“How to remain generous in your giving while getting out of debt” – The Lord really placed this message on my heart once I realized that getting out of debt was becoming Secondary to my overall position as a Steward of God’s assets… ALL of them.

“Five ways to REALLY boost your food budget” – The title says it all, but it says it the way that I would say it… know what I’m saying? lol

“Full Circle: How our TMM began…” – This is about the time I almost gave up on the blog when I heard someone say, “When you feel you’ve reached the end, try going back to the beginning. “

“Tired of rejection, consumers turn to credit card companies for approval” – Gosh – yes, I used the word ‘gosh’ – I love that title, It’s so witty right? This post highlights the surprising link between finances, material possessions, and your self-esteem.

“The $10 blessing: Integrity pays in your business dealings” – This post tells the tale of an honest $10 bill that ended up blessing me and many others.

“Beer and Money… A match made in… (nevermind)” – One of the few Recession/Depression proof products is beer. Read the post to find out why. (PS – Thank you Homer for the photo shoot)

“I’ve seen the Promised Land” coupled with “We shall overcome” talk about the amazing events we have the honor of witnessing and the various ways those events have impacted or inspired me financially, spiritually, and culturally.

“We’re getting pumped!” is all about the joy of finally starting to make SERIOUS progress in our efforts!

And finally, “Overdraft Fees, or ‘When $16.05 costs you $86.05’ Part I” and “Pending transactions, or ‘When $16.05 costs you $86.05’ Part II” – These two posts are by far two of my better pieces of work. I try to give you a little bit of everything here: humor, honesty, transparency, and insight.

Thanks for taking the time to reminisce with me. Now lets move full steam into 2009!


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Forgive Us Our Debts…

18 01 2009

Photo courtesy of Doc Stampede

Welcome to @riskliving blog, season 2…

Though we’re only 2 weeks into this year, I’m already seeing a pattern or theme for what this year might hold for the blog.

Yes, it will still be about debt, but in many more ways than the financial kind.

This process is turning into something LIFE changing for us instead of just changing our financial situation.

See, somewhere along the way in 2008 a different mission was handed to us (my wife and I) than the one we signed up for. We just wanted to be debt free. No collections agencies, no past due bills, no accounts in default, no more screening ‘Unknown Callers’… we got fed up with it.

But we soon realized we had a calling to not just pull ourselves out of the pit, but to try to bring YOU along at the same time. Back in the mid 90’s there was a song called “It Ain’t No Fun If My Homies Can’t Have None…” and though the message of that song is VASTLY off-topic, the point still applies.

We need you on this journey with us.

If you don’t band together with us in this effort to eliminate debt it will make our life worse! No, really! Who will we go on cruises with, who will we sow and give with, who will we travel and vacation with if we’re out of debt and you’re still in? We won’t really get to see you much, because you won’t be able to do the things that we have been positioning ourselves to do!

We want you to be a part of this movement, this family.

Jesus once asked the question “Who is my Mother, and who are my brothers but they that do the will of my Father which is in heaven!” Matthew 12:48-50 (paraphrased)

And one aspect of our Father’s will is for us to not be mired in debt. In fact Jesus even taught us to pray for the forgiveness of our debts in the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. Matthew 6:9-15

Now I know what you’re saying: “@W, He wasn’t talking about that type of debt.”

But I beg to differ, He didn’t specify what type of debt because He was talking about ALL forms of debt…

Well… all except for maybe one type of debt: The Debt of Gratitude.

I now know that even after all my bills are paid off and I don’t owe another red cent of debt. I will still owe something.

I WILL NEVER BE DEBT FREE, because I will always be indebted to both those who have served as our mentors in this process and those who have looked to us as examples. If you are reading this, then you fall into one of those 2 categories.

That is the only debt I’m willing to live with!


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