“Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

How to reach your goals

Note from Martin: Today I have a special treat for you guys. We have a guest post. For those of you that complain about having no time or any other excuse, we have someone sharing tips with us that had to deal with being a single mom with kids who worked full-time. She was able to quit her job and get into freelancing. You’ll have no excuses after reading this.


The follow guest post is from Alexa, a blogger and freelance writer. She chronicles her journey as a single mom with two kids trying to make it big at Single Moms Income.

You want to lose ten pounds. You want to stop being so lazy. You want to earn/save/invest more money. You want to start your own business.

Fantastic! These are all excellent goals to have. But why does it seem that you just can’t gain traction?

Let me guess: you don’t have enough time, you don’t have anyone to help you, you don’t know how to get started, you don’t have enough money and the list goes on and on………….and on.

But you know what?

Those are all just excuses.

I should know, I used to make the exact same excuses. The truth is, if you really want something in your life you’ll make it happen.

So how bad do you want to change your life?

Here’s are some of the barriers that might be stopping you and how you can overcome them.

You Want to Want

A lot of people want to lose weight or get in better shape. What they don’t want though, is to actually workout. They wish they wanted to exercise and eat better but they just don’t. It’s too hard. It’s not fun.

So how do you get past the “wanting to want?”

The answer is simple: you don’t. You just have to push your excuses aside and get started.

When I first decided that I wanted to quit my day job and work for myself I knew that I had a long road ahead of me. I worked two jobs that didn’t pay much over minimum wage and started building an online business at night.

I was single with two young daughters. There were so many nights that I just wanted to sit back and relax instead of working. But if I didn’t work on my side business I’d never be able to leave my day job.

Did I want to do it? Most of the time I’d rather have been sleeping.

Was it fun? Sometimes it was and other times it really sucked. But I knew this was the only way I’d ever be able to accomplish my goal.

You Don’t Have Enough Time

One of the most common excuses when it comes to goals is the time factor. You really want to earn more money or start your own business but you just don’t have time.

I’m calling complete bull on this one.

Let’s say for example, that you want to start an online business to earn extra money.

How hard would it be for you to free up an extra 30 minutes a day to devote to that?

Granted, you’re not going to hit the ground running with 30 min. a day but you will make progress. And progress is what matters. As your business grows you can gradually find more time in your day to devote to it.

If you really want to achieve something you’ll make time for it no matter what. Even if it’s only a small block of time.

A small step in the right direction will eventually get you to where you’re going.

You Don’t Know Where to Start

I can somewhat understand the fear in not knowing where to start. But if you really think about it nobody knows where to start. Every successful person started from the bottom and worked their way up, you’ll have to do the same.

Simply dive in, make mistakes as you go, and learn from those mistakes.

Getting started is half the battle of achieving your goals. If you don’t get started you’ll be standing still forever.

What to Do Now

Successful people are those who are willing to do what others won’t. You have to decide whether you’re going to make success a part of your life and commit to your decision.

Pick the goal that is the most important to you and get started today. That’s the hard part.

What goal are you working towards and how will you meet it?


“Real courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” — John Wayne

How to overcome fear

I want you to snap and do something after reading this article… or else don’t even bother reading it!

When I hear from readers or friends, the story is usually the same.

“I would love to do that, BUT…”

Self-doubt and fear of failure get in the way to ruin everything.

The person either doesn’t fully have the self-confidence or is too afraid of failure to do anything. Most of us are afraid of making fools of ourselves. Not me. I make a fool of myself all of the time because I’m not afraid of trying new things.

We looked at how to overcome fear already. Today, you’re going to see how you can conquer your self-doubt when trying something new (new business, goal, gym, date, etc.).


What’s my most recent story of destroying fear when trying something new?

After a wild summer, I decided to try something new in September. I had decided to sell my condo and had moved back home. Around the same time a new gym opened, Battle Arts Academy, close to my home. This gym would be co-owned by a WWE wrestler and would offer pro wrestling training. I figured that since I had been a fan of pro wrestling forever, I would join and give it a try. I had nothing to lose, right?

“December 21st will be our first show.” – The announcement was made.

What? Wait! I didn’t agree to this. I was just here to train and have some fun. I didn’t realize that I had to step up to the plate and pro wrestling in front of a crowd of 300-400 people. Yikes!

I didn’t even have gear or anything, so I just went out there in my shorts.

So here I am attempting to wrestle in my MMA shorts.

How to overcome self-doubt

I eventually upgraded my outfit and grew my hair out a bit more.

How to overcome self-doubt

Long story short: if I can figure out how to wrestle topless in front of a crowd, you can launch a new site or create a plan to pay off debt.

It’s easy to be a little bitch. It’s easy to post inspirational quotes on social media and feel good about yourself. It takes effort to actual start something and follow through with it all the way.

Sometimes you just have to snap.

“If you don’t ship, you actually haven’t started anything at all. At some point, your work has to intersect with the market. At some point you need feedback as to whether or not it worked. Otherwise, it’s merely a hobby.” – Seth Godin

We have been talking about the idea of chasing dreams and following your ideas.

The first step is taking care of your finances and working towards financial freedom.

The next step is to JUST LAUNCH.

You need to do something. Take a risk. Take a chance.

How have experts conquered self-doubt when it comes to launching?

On our other blog, Start Freelancing Now, we looked at the idea of finally launching. The first entry is from the original article that sparked this whole conversation.

[Read: What made you finally launch? The experts weigh in.]

Misha of Making It Anywhere:

“We decided to write a blog because we knew we were living a bit of an unusual lifestyle, and we wanted to have a way of making friends with other people doing the same thing!

There wasn’t really a finally aspect to it: we decided to write a blog in mid-June 2012, and it was up and running by the end of that month.”

Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents (awesome dude with a blog you need to read):

“I crush fear by reminding myself what others told me in the past. My high school English teacher told me I was an average writer at best. I’d like to send her a copy of my book. My former mentor who hired me as a junior advisor told me I was “making the biggest mistake of my life” when I left to start my own financial planning firm. That was 5 years ago and my income has increased 8x since I left. I don’t let fear creep in and let me think that I fail.

My fear is asking myself: what happens if I don’t do this?

That gives me the drive to take on anything knowing that I’m either going to succeed or learn something very valuable along the way.”

Doug Heacock on Zen Habits talking how to conquer your fears:

“Write down something you are afraid of, some fear you want to overcome, and make a list of three small steps you think you CAN make to begin facing up to your fear.  Choose one and do it tomorrow.”

Chris Guillebeau over at shares a four-step mantra that he refers to when he feels like giving up:

“I can do it.
I could always have a regular life somewhere.
But I’ve chosen a different path.
And I won’t give up.”

Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness on how to conquer any fear:

“Want another way to make it impossible to back out of something scary? Make a public declaration. All of a sudden it’s not just you you’re letting down, but a whole BUNCH of people if you chicken out.   You can also make a big investment, either with your time or money, that will make backing out that much more painful than actually going through with it.”

Ramit Sethi on overcoming fears:

“It’s so easy to stay in the shadows. It’s COMFORTABLE there. Nobody looks at you, and nobody points at you and laughs. But you also never take a risk to stand out and try something new. Which would you rather have? A safe life where nobody points at you…and you’re the same as everyone else? Or would you be willing to take a small risk — not a huge one, just a small one — and dip your toe in the waters of trying something new?”

Sean Ogle on what could be killing your business:

“When you’re first getting your start online, I’m a firm believer that you should pick one project or business model and ride that out until you’re absolutely confident in your ability to take on something new.”

Betsy over at Passing Thru wrote about fear soup:

“Fear soup spoils a courageous main course when it is ingested and digested by people who care too much about what other people think. They let the opinions of others diminish their self-worth.”

JD Roth on action and fear:

“But saying yes isn’t enough by itself. To cure fear, you must take action. Action cures fear. Action primes the pump. When we’re prepared, we feel competent. When we feel competent, we feel confident. When we’re confident, our fears fade into the background.”

What can you do right now?

Something. Anything. Financial freedom isn’t all about money. It’s about creating an ideal lifestyle. It’s about being different and doing different things. It’s not about being a mindless drone.

What are some ideas for conquering fear and destroying self-doubt right now?

  • Open up a conversation with an attractive stranger.
  • Join a new sport.
  • Share a controversial view on social media (nothing illegal or flat-out stupid).
  • Start a blog to share your ideas.
  • Make a fool out of yourself. Start singing a love song in public, say something silly, or just drop your guard.

Boom. No more excuses.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela

Join The Dream Catchers Series:

The YES! Test.
Why you need to show the middle finger to dream-crushers.
Why it’s insane to not even try chasing a passion.
The $1k rule for chasing dreams.
How-to make a lifestyle change without going homeless.
How one dude sold his business for millions.


Life Lessons

“Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath.”

The Ultimate Warrior spoke in front of the live WWE audience for the first time in 18 years. I of course sat on the edge of my seat as my childhood hero spoke on Saturday and then on Monday.

And in his final public words on Monday Night Raw, Warrior said:

“I am Ultimate Warrior, you are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever.”

Life lessons

Less than 24 hours later he collapsed while walking with his wife and died at the hospital, according to TMZ. I usually don’t care when celebrities die, but the passing of Ultimate Warrior has really gotten to me. He was my childhood hero.

Warrior was the reason I got into wrestling. I was the happiest kid in the world when my parents bought me his action figures growing up. When he returned in 1996 at Wrestlemania, I couldn’t sleep the night before. I would play his theme song to get myself pumped up and I would run around beating up my younger brothers (sorry!).

Then he disappeared. He just left wrestling. He made a few cameos, but went unseen from 1998. He would do the occasional interview or public appearance. I followed him on Twitter and did my best to listen to any interviews that he was in.

For Wrestlemania 30, Warrior agreed to return and become involved with the WWE again. I won’t dig too much into this since most of you aren’t pro wrestling fans like me!

In hindsight his speech on Monday Night Raw turned out to be very eerie.

What are some random life lessons that I picked up from Ultimate Warrior (man and wrestling persona)?


Talk about timing. It seems like he forgave his old enemies from pro wrestling when he returned and spoke this past weekend. Imagine he didn’t? What if he never had this chance to speak and explain his side of things? Not that anything is more important than family, but it was great to see a childhood hero speak one last time in such a positive and uplifting manner.

The point is that you should always forgive. There’s no sense in holding grudges. You never know when your time will come. And trust me, nobody on this planet knows when their time is going to come.

Always be intense with everything that you do.

Warrior (his legal name) was always intense. It doesn’t matter if he was wrestling, giving an interview backstage on a wrestling show, or during a speech in front of students. He was always intense and focused. I loved that about him. Some pundits in wrestling will call him “insane.” But I don’t believe that. I can relate to someone that’s so meticulous and focused on something. I kind of envy it.

Why slack off? Why go easy? Always be intense with everything that you do.

“I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence.” — Ayrton Senna

Diversify your skills and your income!

My goal in life is to never rely on just one source of income or on one person. I want to be as self-sufficient as possible. I also do realize that your network is your net worth. All this means is that you should always be working on improving yourself.

I never met Warrior, but from what I gathered, he was really busy once he left wrestling. He wasn’t one of those wrestlers that struggled to find work in small venues well into his 50s when he could no longer perform. Instead he got involved in multiple ventures. Warrior licensed his own brand, gave speeches, and sold paintings.

Warrior wasn’t begging to return to wrestling. I really admire that he could branch out so well. I’m always a fan of seeing one pursue creative entrepreneurial ventures.

Life is short.

Yes, I know, YOLO, is fun to throw around when out drinking. Sure, I get that.

YOLO (You Only Live Once), can also be applied to life, to taking risks, to taking chances in life, to going after what you want, and to doing things that scare you.

What are you going to do with this idea? Will you throw out YOLO before drinking or will you try something new for once?

Legends are immortal. Everything else comes and goes.

“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” — Benjamin Franklin

On Saturday night I rushed home to watch the Ultimate Warrior give his speech at the WWE Hall of Fame event. At 26 years old, I was more excited about a wrestler giving a speech than anything else. This really reminded me of the fact that legacy is the best currency sometimes.

Everyone remembers this match. Hulk Hogan faced the Ultimate Warrior in Toronto. Sadly, I was only two years old and didn’t get to attend.

Never back down.

It takes real guts to stand your ground and walk away from millions of dollars and the spotlight.

Most are willing to compromise their stance in order to get ahead. Not Warrior from the looks of it. He vanished from wrestling for 16 years. He wasn’t willing to back down. I really admire that.

Sure, you can find plenty of negative information about Warrior online. But that’s not what this piece is about. This is about life lessons from a childhood hero.

Three days before he passed away with his daughters.

Ultimate Warrior Passing

I believe that you can learn a lot from observing successful people. You don’t have to try to imitate their actions or to be like them. You can simply observe and apply one tip to your life where you see fit.

RIP Ultimate Warrior.

What lessons have you picked up from childhood heroes that you’ve applied to your life philosophies?

Join The Dream Catchers Series:

The YES! Test.
Why you need to show the middle finger to dream-crushers.
Why it’s insane to not even try chasing a passion.
The $1k rule for chasing dreams.
How-to make a lifestyle change without going homeless.
How one dude sold his business for millions.


“My kid doesn’t give a crap about money. Most 20-somethings these days are broke. The debt level is at astronomical highs. OMG what do we do?”

I’ve had this conversation countless of times with parents and financial educators.

Here’s the thing with financial education for young folks — everyone has it wrong.

I’ve attended conferences, listened to podcasts, read books, and chatted with brilliant minds on this topic. I’m not saying that I have all of the answers, but I think I know a bit more at this point about what’s going through the mind of a 20-something than someone in their 50s does.

First of all, where’s this coming from?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago was kind enough to bring me in for the kickoff of Money Smart Week. I also appeared on Chicago Tonight during my quick stay. Therefore, all of this talk about money in your 20s has been on my mind. I felt that I just couldn’t help but to write on the topic.

Check me out on Chicago Tonight:

What can you do as a parent or financial educator? Below are my random thoughts on this topic from years of hands-on experience.

Stop using big buzzwords!

Who the hell wants to be financially literate? Not me. Not anyone.

Before you do anything, stop focusing on the buzzword of the month, and try to think about what we really want from our money in our 20s.

This leads directly to the next point…

Stop being logical.

Nobody wants to be fat. Nobody wants to be in debt. Nobody wants to have a poor credit score. Things just sort of happen. It’s not a logical process. It’s more emotional than anything. We forget about our money and our health as life gets in the way.

So being logical doesn’t help.

When’s the last time you heard someone in their 20s say that they want to be financially literate? NEVER.

Financially literate is a cool buzzword, but does anybody really care about that? Nope! Nobody wants to be more “health conscious.” We all want to look damn sexy.

We all want the following:

  • More money/income.
  • More savings.
  • Less stress.
  • A job we enjoy.

We don’t want to directly work on our credit scores, learn about fiscal policy or study index funds.

We want to somehow get from broke to money-in-the-bank. This is why you must speak their language. This site is aimed for folks up until 30 because I can’t relate to someone in their 30s that’s married with a family and kids. I just can’t.

With that being said, the next rule/thought is very important.

Understand the current situation.

A quick Google search will lead you to all sorts of case studies, anecdotes, and stats about the current financial issues facing young folks.

This one article at CNN Money brings up the following points:

“The only debt on the rise is student loans. In 2007, just over a third of young households had outstanding student debt. That jumped to 40% in 2010.”

That sucks to hear. It goes on…

“Brian Hackett, on the other hand, thought he’d be a homeowner by now. Instead, the 25-year-old is living with his parents and looking for full-time work after being let go recently from a part-time job.”

And finally…

“Many of those lucky enough to have employment either make less than they expected or are concerned about getting laid off.”

Not only do you have to take a job that you don’t care for, you have to stress about losing this job.

The current is drastically different from the one that you experienced. Please take this into consideration when trying to educate your kids or students on finance.


Let’s change gears now.

So what do you do? How do you get a young person to care about money as an educator/parent/teacher?

Set goals.

Why bother with saving money? Why bother with delaying a purchase when you buy anything that you want with your credit card? Why bother with any of this stuff?

What we really need is to set goals. Short-term and long-term goals.

I’ll share a quick story on how I got a friend into saving money with goal setting…

My good friend always saw me going on trips. He would make remarks about how it must be nice and that he couldn’t afford to travel. Since I really wanted him to join us, I told him I would help him save for the next trip. I asked him to give up one thing per week and to then give me the $20 that he would save. I would hold it for him.

As time flew by, he had no issues with handing me over $20 at the end of the week (it helps that he trusted me). He knew that if he handed me over $20, he would be able to go on a trip at the end of the year. This made it easy for him to save money. He would go out less and spend less money on useless crap. Guess what? At the end of the year he had $1,000 ($20/week adds up) and we went on a trip.

That’s an example of a goal. There are many other goals to save up for, depending on what your interests are. The key is to introduce the idea of goals because without a goal in mind, it’s impossible for us to start anything.

Tell stories.

The theme from our panel discussion on millenials and money was relevancy. You need to keep your material relevant and relatable. Most of us just can’t relate to money talk.

This is why stories are powerful. This is why I believe in sharing your ideas with the world and telling stories often.

If you can teach through stories, you’ll make a greater impact than you could with any powerpoint or spreadsheet. We all want something that we can relate to and not just another theory.

Make it easy.

Why does everyone have to make things so complicated? Keep it simple!

This means that you should show your kid the basics first so that you don’t run them off.

What are some of the basics of personal finance?

The basics need to be mastered first. Then you could move on to more advanced topics.

And finally…


This final point is key.

Shut up and listen for once. Stop with the lectures!

Seriously. You need to stop lecturing. We don’t like to be lectured to it. This is the most annoying thing in the world. I can’t even describe to you what happens to my mind when someone lectures me. I just shut down and want to get away. Nobody likes to be lectured to. It’s the worst feeling in the world.

That’s what you can do as a parent/financial educator. I would love to hear from both sides on this topic.

What would make you interested in money as a millennial/20-something? What have you done as a teacher/parent to get your kids to care about money?


“You write about finance? Why are you out drinking then?”

I get asked this often. I usually avoid the question about work because I find it to be the most awkward form of conversation. Why do we all default to asking about work when we first meet someone?

Even more important…

Why do we all think that personal finance has to be boring? Saving money is about creating options for yourself and having fun by cutting out the crap that you don’t need.

Below is a picture of me gallivanting and cruising through the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina!


As you read this, I’m either preparing for, in Chicago or leaving Chicago. It’s Money Smart Week and I’ve been invited to speak on a panel and to appear on Chicago Tonight that same day to speak about financial issues and young people.

Lots of new readers have been finding Studenomics. Many of you aren’t sure where to start or what to expect. I wanted to help you discover what’s on here.

Financial freedom and topics in that area are usually a huge scam. Around here we use real life stories and real examples. I might cite a night out in Panama City Beach or a story from something stupid that I did in college. I never just make crap up.

I believe 100% in my content and know for a fact that I can help you deal with the biggest financial issues in your 20s that are holding you back from being financially free.

What’s financial freedom all about? It means different things to different people. It could mean any of the following:

  • Having the money to quit your job.
  • Having choices for your next career.
  • Being able to travel with your friends once per year or whenever you feel like it.
  • Going out for dinner when you’re hungry.
  • Buying drinks for friends.
  • Not spending your paychecks on debt.

Sound like fun? Of course it is!

Save me now! Where can I start?

I’ve been helping readers like you since late-2008. I love writing about money and related topics. These are the best articles on the whole Internet when it comes to helping you grab a hold of you finances.

The only 6 steps you need for starting an online business.

I put in a ton of effort into this article so that you could learn from my pain. This simple step-by-step process will help you figure out how to start your own blog within 20 minutes with only $5 in your pocket. You can share your ideas with the world, try to make a few bucks, or just have some fun.

The full 411 on destroying your debt.


You know that? Debt can kiss my ass. This article has every single tool, calculator, and resource possible to help you destroy your debt.

How you can finish college DEBT-FREE.

I graduated college without any debt and I never missed a party. I show you how this is possible if you’re a student or know someone who is.

How to start freelancing right now.

This is basically a FREE copy of my book off Amazon. This is the complete A-Z on getting started with freelancing and making money in your spare time.

[Grab my guide to freelancing off Amazon right now!]

You have all of the tools that you need to figure out what to do next without being miserable or confused. I believe in simple.

What if I want a little more?

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.” — Frank Zappa

I get it. You want more.

The ultimate guide to reaching financial freedom by 30.

The exact guide for getting your finances and life together so that you’re a solid position by the time you hit 30.

How-to save $25k by 25.

Looking to save some serious money? This article highlights my journey to huge savings in your 20s. This is what has worked for me and not just hypotheticals.

The financial stud’s guide to drinking.

How could we not talk about getting wasted? My favorite topic! I show you how to get wasted without going broke in the process. Win-win!

Five steps to getting hired as an English teacher abroad.

I had to throw this one in here. You looking for a change? Why not snap and leave home for a bit? You can make some money, travel the world, and have stories for years.

Once you master your money, you can do fun stuff, like, you know, chase dreams or just eat out whenever you want.


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