It’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve got two important items to help you create a great year in 2015. So let’s get to it.
Item 1 Get Your Retirement On Track
Starting January 7th, I’ll be creating a retirement plan for a listener, “Carl,” of the Retirement Answer Man Podcast ON THE SHOW.
The best part is you can plan along with Carl and me!!! Click here to find out all the details.
Item 2 Start Making Your Dream a Reality (with Lady J)
Tonight a special lady, Jevonnah Ellison, is hosting her book launching party. On January 19th, her book, You Have What It Takes: How to Finally Start Making Your Dreams a Reality, hits book stores.
If you’re feeling stuck and want to jump-start your 2015, please listen to our talk and consider buying her book. She has an amazing message and spirit that just might start you on your journey.
You can visit her blog and get a free worksheet to help you discover your purpose here.
A big thank you, for all your e-mails, phone calls and messages. Your encouragement and content suggestions are great. I’ve got a lot of cool stuff planned for 2015 to help you find that balance between living well today and securing a great tomorrow.
The Retirement Answer Man Episode #46
I cannot believe it’s almost 2015. Man, as I get older, the time just goes faster and faster and faster. Well, welcome to the Retirement Answer Man Show. My name is Roger Whitney and this show is dedicated to helping you find that balance between living well today without sacrificing your tomorrow.
As we get ready for 2015, I wanted to make sure that I shared a conversation I had recently with just an amazing woman, Jevonnah Ellison. Now, Jevonnah has a special event tonight on this New Year’s Eve. She is hosting a book launch party – a huge book launch party – for her book that’s coming out in January called You Have What It Takes: How to Finally Start Making Your Dreams a Reality and she just has an amazing spirit about herself and I don’t know where you’re at in your life, it could be in your finances or in your retirement planning or in a relationship or in your career, if you have some dreams that you’re working towards and you feel stuck, you feel like you can’t get forward momentum, Jevonnah’s message is going to be good for you. It may be the thing that jumpstarts you on that journey to making those dreams reality, I truly believe that. Her spirit and her servant mentality and the fourteen strategies that she shares can really change your life.
Before we get to Jevonnah’s call, I want to remind you about the “Can Carl Retire?” project that I have starting next week. Man, I’m excited about this. This is going to be your chance to jumpstart your retirement planning in 2015. Starting January 7th, you can plan along with Carl as we create a retirement plan live on the Retirement Answer Man podcast. This is crazy. I don’t think this has ever been done before.
If you’d like to sign up for the free updates and receive summaries of Carl’s plan, a worksheet so you can plan along with Carl, a video tutorial each week on how to complete that worksheet, and then have access to the webinar on January 30th where we actually unveil Carl’s plan live to him, just go to rogerwhitney.com/rpl and you can start to jumpstart your retirement plan in 2015.
Before I share my conversation with Jevonnah, I want to remind you of this important disclosure, and that is only you know your financial situation so, before you take action on anything you hear on this podcast or my blog or really anything on the internet, make sure you consult the people that know you best – that could be your financial advisor or your tax advisor or your legal advisor. That’s just not a great legal disclosure, that’s a fundamental principle of planning well in your life.
ROGER: Well, I’m here with Lady J – Jevonnah Ellison. I like Lady J though, that’s very cool. How are you today?
LADY J: I am doing phenomenal. I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me, Roger!
ROGER: Oh, you bet. Now, it’s almost New Year’s Eve so we’re catching everybody before they go out and celebrate – hopefully very safely.
LADY J: Yes.
ROGER: But New Year’s Eve is pretty special for you this year, right?
LADY J: It is, it is, got some big things on the ticket, on the docket, and I’m especially looking forward to what’s getting ready to happen.
ROGER: And what is getting ready to happen?
LADY J: Yeah, we’ve got the book launch of my new book called You Have What It Takes: How to Finally Start Making Your Dreams a Reality and that book launch party is happening on New Year’s Eve so we’re super excited about it.
ROGER: So, it’s not going to be a calm New Year’s Eve in your life.
LADY J: No, it’ll be very busy. We’ve already got Team Lady J hustling and working, trying to get everything set up. So, I’m super excited about it.
ROGER: So, let’s talk about that because a lot of the people that listen to the Retirement Answer Man podcast are at that stage in life – they’re like me – they’re 47 to 55 and they’ve had some measure of success, their kids are a little bit older so they have a little bit of time, and they’re like, “Okay, now what?”
LADY J: Yeah.
ROGER: And you almost lose yourself when you’re raising kids and starting a career. So, how do you get unstuck from that and find your purpose in life?
LADY J: Sure, sure. Well, the premise of the book is really about changing your mindset and helping people to understand that, if they’re really going to make their goals a reality, it starts with your thinking. Change your thinking, change your life. There’s a book I listen to, make a point to listen to every year but that is, of course, Think and Grow Rich because how we think determines the outcome of our goals and really surrounding our self with like-minded people, people that are already performing at the level of success that we want to perform at, surrounding ourselves with them and learning that, you know, we really can become unstuck when we first believe that we have what it takes. And so, the whole premise of the book is really equipping readers – entrepreneurs specifically – with the belief that, “Yes, you do have what it takes. Your past does not define your future and your future is ready for the taking. It’s just up to you to believe that you can accomplish your goals.”
ROGER: So, for people my age – I’ll call myself “middle-aged” – for people my age…
LADY J: Yes.
ROGER: That could really take on a lot of different facets. That could take on, “Man, this isn’t the career I wanted,” or, “This isn’t the marriage I thought I wanted,” or, “the relationship with my kids that I thought I wanted.” I know there’s a lot of baggage that, I guess, to hear this message, first you have to get out of that mindset of looking for all the negative things and sort of switching it around, and that’s probably the first step, I would guess.
LADY J: Absolutely. In fact, I’m glad you mentioned that because, in the very beginning of the book, I deal with that issue of resolving your past. You can never know where you’re going to be going forward until you take a look back. We want the next year to be a phenomenal year, but we need to look at our successes and our failures of 2014 so that we can use that as a stepping stone for 2015. Doing business with the past, that was one of the highlights in Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever course. We’ve got to do business with the past first and I talk about Steven Pressfield’s book where he talks about the resistance and about how any time we try to do something great, you know, the resistance is always going to raise its ugly head and so we’ve got to want the outcome of our goal more than the pain of what it takes to reach that goal.
ROGER: And I know for myself – and this is going to sound odd being that I’m a financial guy but – it took me maybe a decade to get over my early mistakes that I made because I beat myself up so much. It was like this big black cloud and I couldn’t look forward and think that I was worthy or able to do things until I was able to shoo that cloud away and basically deal with it. Grieve over it of what I’d done and then start to move forward. So, that’s really important.
LADY J: You’re absolutely right, Roger. It’s so funny because, the other day, as I was mapping out my goals for the new year, I decided to list out five successes of 2014 and then five failures of 2014. As I reflected on one my failures, one of them was just burnout. You know, I didn’t go to bed at the same time every night, I didn’t wake up at the same time every morning, and my health suffered as a result of that. And so, it’s so important that we take that look back and, even with the successes, say, “Okay, from these successes, I have gleaned and gathered all I need to learn. Now, I release them and let them go,” meaning that I’m not going to keep harping on the same success that happened in the year before. I want new things and then I’m going to use those failures as a stepping stone to the future successes. “Fail fast, fail often,” is what I say.
ROGER: Yeah, and a lot of it is you have to just accept, “Okay, that’s what I did, and I can’t continue that if I want something different.”
LADY J: Exactly. Exactly, you’re exactly right.
ROGER: Right. If I want to improve my marriage, I can’t every day think about what frustrates me with my wife. I have to turn it around. “Okay, what’s the one kernel…?” I’m sure there are more than one “…that I cherish about that person?”
LADY J: Right.
ROGER: Now, I’m going through that same goals course as you are and one of my goals for next year – she won’t listen to this, she doesn’t listen to me, she won’t hear it but – one of my goals is to write a personal note to my kids and my wife – and I think Michael had actually suggested this – every two weeks, telling them what I appreciate or admire about them.
LADY J: Wow.
ROGER: And so, just something like that can change that mindset, right?
LADY J: You know, that is so huge, I’m glad you said that. Actually, I had just finished reading Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect, and actually just finished up his newest book called The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster which is phenomenal. For those that are interested in it, he is a great writer, excellent communicator, but in it he talks about a journal that he did for his wife and presented to her on Thanksgiving – a gratitude journal. So, I did the same thing for my husband this past year in 2014. I think I started it in May and, every day, I forced myself to think about at least one thing that I was grateful for my husband for. You know, writing those small things down, no matter if it was the way we kissed goodbye or the way he just held me or the way we went to the gym together and worked out, whatever it might be, putting those things in writing and then presenting it to him on Thanksgiving morning really did something for our marriage and just that small incremental step of making deposits of success into my marriage really helped, you know, helped us solidify our relationship. So, yeah, those things matter.
ROGER: I bet you there were a couple of days were that was really hard.
LADY J: Amen! No, not hard at all.
ROGER: Never? Every day was just sunshine and roses?
LADY J: Oh, no, we won’t lie.
ROGER: Okay. So, after we deal with our past, let’s get back to your message of getting unstuck and becoming who you feel you’re destined to be, who you’re called to be. So, what’s the premise of the book once you’ve dealt with the past? How do you do that?
LADY J: Right. Once you deal with the past, what you have to do is decide that you’re going to use those past experiences as a stepping stone to your next level of success. We talk about how to punch fear in the face. We talk about how many times – in fact, I just read a great article from John (00:11:14 unclear) this morning where he talked about, you know, when you’re doing something great, usually, most people won’t take notice. You might tell 119 people the great things that you’re doing and only 1 person will say, “That’s great.” But, you know what, no matter if the world does not cater or hear what you’re doing, do it anyway. Continue to make deposits of success into what you’re doing. Punch that fear in the face. Have that momentum that Dave Ramsey calls the momentum theory; I love it. It’s focused intensity over time multiplied by God equals unstoppable momentum. Once you get that momentum going, there is something almost magical that happens in the direction of your goals and momentum equals confidence and confidence equals success in so many areas of our lives. So, getting unstuck and then moving into that place of action. We can’t plan all day long. We have to move into a place of action and that’s what I’m all about – action.
ROGER: So, talk about some of those action steps that you talk about in your book.
LADY J: Sure, sure. Well, one of the action steps I talk about is how you’ve actually got to start making it an intention to get a part of a master mind group. Be around people that are already performing at the level of success that you want to be performing at and learn from them. That’s an action step.
ROGER: Well, let’s talk about what a master mind group is because that’s a foreign word to a lot of people. Now, Jevonnah and I, I’m blessed to be in a master mind with Jevonnah so we walk life together in a way.
LADY J: Yeah.
ROGER: So, why don’t you explain real briefly what a master mind is for those people that have never heard that term?
LADY J: Absolutely. A master mind group, to me, is all about accountability and being around like-minded people who you can share your ups, your downs, your celebrations, your wins, your successes, your failures, where you can get good feedback from people that are performing at a level of success that you want to perform at. A master mind group creates an amazing level of accountability and it also creates a just a community for you to really share and glean excellent ideas from and help you excel – not just in business but in your personal life, in your marriage, in your family. It’s so important. I can’t emphasize it enough – the importance of a master mind group, being around like-minded people that will help you to get to the level of success that you ultimately want to be at.
ROGER: So, a lot of that is – and, if you were to ask my kids, my children are seventeen and eighteen.
LADY J: Okay.
ROGER: If you were to ask them, “What’s the one thing your dad always tells you?” It’s surrounding yourself with people that inspire you to be better.
LADY J: Yes!
ROGER: And that’s basically what a master mind is – being intentional about who you associate with.
LADY J: Yes, because so much of life is about relationships and about nurturing relationships. People want so much but they want to get from a well that they haven’t, you know, invested in. You’ve got to invest time and nurturing relationships and pouring into other people so that, when you do want to make a withdrawal, you’ve made enough deposits so that there’s something there for you to withdraw from.
ROGER: So, I guess step one – whether you call it a master mind group or a bible study or just a study group – is find and build little groups of people that you can walk life with that aspire or are going along the same journey. That’s step one. That’s a great step and that’s what I did over the last year or two and it’s been one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done, especially because I’ve met you, Lady J.
LADY J: Oh, well, thank you! Thank you! I would also say another action step is to invest in a coach. One of the game-changers for my business was hiring a coach – someone that could walk along this journey with me and to really help me get my business to the level of success that I want it to get at. We are on track to do six figures next year and much of that is because of the fact that I have coaches and mentors that are performing at, you know, billionaire status and that are helping me get to the level that I want to be at. So, that’s very important – to invest and hire a coach. You’ll never get a return on investment that you don’t make and whatever we water is what grows. And so, if I want my life, if I want my business to grow, I’ve got invest in the right things.
ROGER: Yeah, and a coach, even if you’re someone who is at that stage where they don’t have this burning passion to create a career but they want to get unstuck because their kids are out of the house and they want to make sure this next season of life is fulfilling, it doesn’t mean you have to become a multimillion-dollar business. I was not a big fan of coaches for the longest time because, man, they’re expensive. How do I know if they have any value to add?
LADY J: Yeah.
ROGER: And I went through a similar experience and, really, they tell you all the things that you already know for the most part – this is my experience anyway – but they challenge you to define it more and think bigger and expand how you’re thinking. So, I think it’s valuable even if you’re not trying to build a multimillion-dollar business – even if you’re just trying to figure out, “Well, what do I do for the next twenty, thirty years?”
LADY J: Absolutely, that is so key. Most of the clients that I work with, their testimonials have come back saying things like, “You know, for years, I was just splashing around in the water but I never got anywhere. I never had any forward momentum,” and when I come along beside them and I help coach them to the level of success that they want to be at, it’s about giving them confidence and about giving them clarity to where they ultimately really want to be because the answer is always inside of you. The answer is always inside of them. Our job as a coach is just to simply come alongside them, challenge them, help them align that, help them line that up. So many times, people want to just jump into a career without first assessing their gifts and whether first assessing this as a model whereby you use your strengths then your passion and then something that you can create an income model from. Dan Miller calls it the three-legged stool. You know, if you’re going to be able to sit on that stool, you’ve got to have all three legs so that you have stability there. Really, it’s just about helping them find that correct stool for them to sit on.
ROGER: If you think about these first two steps – your master mind or the people that you share life with and then hiring a coach or some outside qualified person to help you frame the issue – a lot of that is getting you out of your old cycle of doing and thinking, right?
LADY J: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, in order to have something that you never had, you’ve got do something you’ve never done before and you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and I’m so excited to see clients and people just launching their own live events, coaching their own clients, paying off debt, dropping toxic relationships and getting healthy ones. It’s just amazing to see the level of confidence and clarity that people get when they do invest and when they do become a part of a group like a master mind.
ROGER: Okay. So, those are the first two steps.
LADY J: Yes. Now, another step which is very simple – I actually outlined fourteen strategies.
ROGER: Oh, we’re not going to go over all fourteen.
LADY J: Okay! I’ll talk a bit. You can get the book at jevonnah.com.
ROGER: Yeah, we’ll have a link to that in the website.
LADY J: Thank you! But I’ll mention one last one and this is very, very simple and it’s a practice that I started probably about two years ago and that is watch less television, if any at all, and read more books and listen to podcasts like Roger’s because, I’m telling you, that was a game-changer for me – turning off the television. You know, minimum entertainment is appropriate and, you know, I’m not saying you have to cut it all off but, you know, invest hours. Putting your 10,000 hours as Malcolm Gladwell talks about and invest that time into your own growth and into your own learning. When you do that, I mean, so many new doors will begin to open to you. So, watch less television, listen to more podcasts, and read more books.
ROGER: Well, I’m going to give you a confession here.
LADY J: Okay.
ROGER: As I’m walking this journey, because I’m doing a lot of the things that you’re doing and I’m talking about these things and I was in a rut for a long period of time. I was chugging along but it wasn’t purpose-driven and one of the challenges and my failures this last year is I’m behind on the book that I’m writing. It’s not that I didn’t have the time but, when I get home, I’m a little tired after I deal with the kids and I’ll play a little Xbox. Basically, it’s turning off your life for whatever period of time. Whether it’s watching TV, playing Xbox, it’s basically turning off your life and zoning out which is healthy in small doses.
LADY J: Correct.
ROGER: But you can miss your life while you do that, right?
LADY J: Yeah. You know, it’s so important that we do have that level of disciplined balance is what I like to call it, you know, where you do give your mind a chance to relax because our minds can only take in so much. You know, get outside, take a walk, use those times for creative new thought and new input, but then come back and say, “Okay, what are my top three goals? I’m not going to try to do everything in 2015. I have three business goals and three personal goals and that’s it. Anything that doesn’t align with those goals, well, then the answer is no.” And so, learning how to actually put a focus on what our major goals are and meet those will help us to have that disciplined balance because then we’re not trying to do everything so we know what our focus is.
ROGER: And this is a huge issue that is burning with people that are, you know, between 45 and 55 and even 60 because they’re wondering, “What’s my purpose? Why do I get out of bed? What am I here to accomplish?” and the simple structure, along with the other eleven steps and strategies in your book, will help someone find that purpose and the reason to get out of bed and what they feel they were called to do so that’s awesome. Now, what’s the name of your book again?
LADY J: Sure, it’s called You Have What It Takes and it’s available at jevonnah.com and, also, there’s a free cheat sheet there for those that are still struggling to know their purpose. They want to know, “Why do I get out of bed in the morning? Is this how it’s going to be for the next twenty years of my life?” There’s a free cheat sheet there where it’s just one page, it’s a quick win, where they can go through – in five easy steps – how to really outline and get a crystal clear vision on what they’re supposed to be doing with their life at this time and that’s right on the website at jevonnah.com. You can get it, it’s free, and hopefully will help someone on their journey.
ROGER: I’ll have a link to that in the show notes and this is coming out just before New Year’s so that’s a great thing to download while you’re sitting there watching football games or maybe turning that off and working through, “What is my purpose for 2015? How do I get unstuck and make it an amazing year?” So, that’s awesome, Jevonnah, Lady J. I like Lady J. I need a nickname like that – Roger P. Something like that.
LADY J: Roger P.
ROGER: There you go.
LADY J: Hey, I like that, too.
ROGER: Well, thanks so much. Thanks so much for joining me today!
LADY J: You are so welcome. Thank you for having me. This has been so much fun.
ROGER: All right. Have a blast on your New Year’s book launch. That’s awesome.
As we close out 2014, it’s my hope for you that you can jumpstart your 2015 and really make progress to the things that you care about most in your family. I’m dedicated in this here, on my end, to create as much content and serve you in any way I can as you walk that journey towards retirement and try to find that balance between living well today without sacrificing your tomorrow, and I want to give you a big, big thank you. This has been an amazing year. I want to thank you for letting me speak into your life. I want to thank you for all the comments and suggestions and emails and notes that I’ve received from listeners. Together, I think we can find this journey and find that balance in our life, and I’m definitely dedicated to walk this with you.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and an amazing 2015.