Internship Finances Overview

I wrote an article titled “Personal Finance Overview 7/17/18” reviewing my expenses and spending through my internship this summer. Today I will wrap up how the summer went in terms of my spending and earning. Below is a master picture of the expenses.

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If you haven’t read the previous post mentioned take 5 minutes to catch up and get familiar, the link is above. In term of the food column we brought the average down from $300 to around $265 ish this comes out to $60 a week or so. This has been very inline with my previous tracking throughout the summers. For those of you who are wondering how in the hell can I eat on $60 a week the answer is eggs, milk, brown rice, oats, chicken, ground beef, protein bars. That is pretty much all I ate all summer. Very simple very cheap. I also rarely eat out, and normally don’t purchase coffee while I’m out.

Gas money remained the same. Slightly under $200 a month, ~$45 a week. I never tracked mileage this summer, but I believe I drove over 5,000 and a decent portion of that was city driving. Not much I could have done about that, but I do plan to write off about half of my mileage for work.

Fun money! I mentioned last post about a party I was throwing and how this column was going to shoot up and it did. Landing at $260 a month or about $60 a week, which is inline with last summer. If you take out the party $115 a month in fun money. I plan to use a number around there as my benchmark for my budget for the school year. I’m sure this past week and all the drinking and partying we did we’ve already passed it but you can try your best.

For the gym I mentioned before that I had a large upfront cost and it would slowly work its way down and it has. It made it down to $65 a month. Not too bad considering the gym membership with tax came out to $35+ and going through tons of mass gainer all summer.

Girlfriend column came down as expected finishing at $200 and change. Not sure if this is an accurate number considering the plane tickets included and being further away from her this summer (aka not seeing her as often). I’m sure Christmas, birthdays and little surprises will keep this averaged somewhere around there.

Bullshit: Managed to bring this one down a bit, from $1150/month, to $1,000/month. Again had 2 rents being paid for a short period, utilities, speeding ticket and other essentials for my job. As of right now I still have not paid August electric nor have I received any money back from my deposit. I do go home Labor Day weekend so I may have a small check waiting for me when I get back.

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I stopped tracking this spreadsheet on August 11th, the day after my last day on the job. I have since still worked a little in terms of answering phone calls, emails. Text messages and finishing up my last deal (got that one done today!). My cost of living came out to be $1993/month. I don’t pay for my insurance (thanks mom and dad) or anything like that so naturally its going to be lower than most other people. I don’t think that’s too terrible considering the average cost of living in the U.S is about $45k. I was at $2135 in the prior article. Now there is some skewed data, I try to finish the internship with little to no food left, usually no gas left, etc. it doesn’t account for the continuity of living and the average cost of living. However around $2,000/month wouldn’t be a bad guess.

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My monthly conversion for what I was paid comes out to $3,700 a month. I do still have more money on the way and I should be able to finish out at a total of $17,000 made. A little bit of math later (13 weeks of work * 4 = 52 weeks, $17k * 4 = $68k year equivalent). My goal was to make over $60k salary equivalent and I should achieve my goal assuming all the deals go through and I get the bonus I was promised.

A little bit more math real quick to look at Grant Cardone’s 40% rule:

$68,000 * 0.78 = $53,040       (22% tax for single person 2018)

$53,040 * 0.6 = $31,824         (40% of your after-tax income goes to “saving to invest”)

Live on $31k a year, put $21k in the sacred accounts, 5 years till $100k the minimum Mr. Cardone advises to invest.

I’ve proven I can live at $24,000 a year or there abouts with my frugal living, and I have the willpower to stick to the goal. Now the average pay coming out of my school with my degree is around $65,000 but I am sure we can do a little bit better than that. Hopefully with a good job or a side hustle or two, perhaps passive income that I’ve been building we can accelerate the 40% rule and build real wealth!

If you’re curious I ran some more numbers with the 40% rule and the current tax brackets for a single person.

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As always let me know what you think and what you want to see more of!

The Last Splurge

If you follow Grant Cardone at all he preaches increasing income above all else. The 2nd step in the process is to reduce taxes. I have done a relatively good job of that thus far, my internship allowed me to dictate how much income I make because it was a 100% commission job. I have tracked all receipts and have started researching how to minimize my tax bill this upcoming spring as well. The third step in his cycle is to save specifically “save it all”. This requires you to live your daily life without increasing your cost of living while you increase your income.

We see people violating this rule every day, some guy gets a promotion at work makes an extra $10k a year and goes out and celebrates by purchasing a new BMW. That promotion and pay increase did not make any difference since he increased his cost of living. He probably would have been better off getting a $5k pay increase and not blowing the money on material things.

I never was into blowing my money, here and there I would “treat yo self” but nothing drastic. Last summer at the end of my internship which paid me quite well and was a decent increase from the previous year ($150 more a week) I bought my only watch and a piece of wall art. That was my form of treating myself which came out to be about $250.

This summer by the time it is over and with bonuses included as well as any lingering payments I should avg a pay increase of about $350 more a week (no living stipend though) than last summer. I should be able to reduce my tax bill because of my 1099 status this year substantially. (I received about $1300 back last year, but I also had taxes taken out every paycheck and I am not taxed under my current pay system yet.) So, check box 1 and 2 for Mr. Cardone. I should also note I didn’t upgrade my standard of living during this time. I currently live in the cheapest apartment my roommate and I could find that would be able to accommodate a 3-month lease. It is cockroach infested and is pretty hood for a $400 a person month rent ($450 for 3-month lease). I drive the same car, I wear the same clothes, I buy the same food, I buy the same beer, and spend the same amount at the bars.

Onto box #3 spending: Looking over my expenses which I track to the penny, we’re looking pretty good. I went over them in a blog post about halfway through the summer and you can check them out here. I spent some extracurricular on/with my girlfriend for the vacation and everything like that. I also spent some money at the bars and on booze and other non-constructive habits and vices, but that was minimal. Overall, I didn’t blow any of my money. That is until this upcoming weekend.

I plan to spend a bunch of money when I return to home and go shopping with the girlfriend Saturday. I WANT new clothes, new shoes, a new suit, and some other Knick knacks. I say want and not need because that’s just what they are. The clothes I wear are fine but perhaps a bit dated. Some of my shorts and shirts I often wear I purchased 3-4 years ago and some are not in the best condition. I’d still wear them though, so it isn’t necessary I purchase new ones. Essentially this shopping trip is to purchase my “adult clothes” things that I will need in the future after I graduate college. That is why I call it the last splurge. This theoretically should get me the next two years or so of my life in terms of clothing and what not and would be considered the “treat yo self” portion of my saving.

Some of these purchases have been a long time coming for example the suit I currently wear I’ve owned for about 5 years, and I received a gift card for the purchase of a new suit last Christmas. The watch I purchased previously was intended to go with this new suit I plan to purchase. With upcoming interviews for full time jobs and the networking, events and other occasions I plan to attend you could consider this an investment in my dated wardrobe.

So, what do you all think? A waste of time and money or a much-needed update to prepare myself for what comes in my future.

 

 

Dividend Update 8-5-18

Dividends have been an important goal of mine all summer, for those of you who don’t know I am a student so for the next several months (August-May) I will produce very little income because I do not work during the school year. I may however pick up a side hustle in the Spring as I will have lots of free time due to a low-class load and less rugby responsibilities. For me to fund my investment accounts and keep things fluid more or less, I need to either A) sell my positions for profit and reinvest the earnings or B) produce dividend income to fund new positions.

Obviously, I do intend to profit from my investments however we don’t always know what lays ahead in the stock market and what opportunities may present themselves, so dividend income is safer bet. Below is where we left off from the 6-3-18 dividend update:


Ticker cost avg percent yield   share # year equivalent
CEFL $17.72 14.73%   11 $28.71
OHI $27.12 9.73%   5 $13.20
AAPL $157.51 1.85%   1 $2.92
PG $74.40 3.86%   2 $5.74
F $11.30 5.31%   60 $36.00
STAG $25.85 5.49%   20 $28.40
O $55.78 4.71%   27 $71.01
CBL $4.56 17.54%   5 $4.00
TTS $6.73 2.97%   15 $3.00
        a year in dividends $192.98
        percent of total 2.41%

 

Forward projection of dividends was $192.98 yielding 2.41% with 66% of that comprised of monthly paying dividend stocks. Respectable but nonetheless I wanted to improve my monthly income as well as my overall dividend income.

As of 8-5-18 here are the current stats:

Ticker cost avg percent yield dividend/share share # year equivalent
CEFL $16.92 14.36% $2.43 16 $38.88
LB $32.36 7.42% $2.40 10 $24.00
T $31.89 6.27% $2.00 10 $20.00
STAG $25.85 5.49% $1.42 20 $28.40
F $11.19 5.36% $0.60 80 $48.00
O $55.78 4.73% $2.64 27 $71.28
PG $74.40 3.86% $2.87 2 $5.74
AAPL $157.51 1.85% $2.92 1 $2.92
        $239.22
        2.81%

 

Forward projection of dividends at $239.22 (increase of 24% in 2 months), yielding 2.81% on the entire portfolio. Approximately 58% of dividend payouts comprised of monthly paying dividends. I should also note that I also improved my dividend outlook on the investing app “Stash” I never crunched the numbers on that, but I added 2 positions that had dividend yields and I have another position I plan to add here shortly.

Overall, I am very pleased with the increase on all fronts, the snowball has essentially started to roll, and we should see significant payoffs in the future. I would eventually like to yield 3%+ on my Robinhood portfolio however my 2 largest positions currently do not pay a dividend.

If you follow my Instagram you may have seen the table that compares 2017 to 2018 dividends per month. (If you don’t follow my Instagram it is @bsquared.website) I started tracking dividends in June 2017 and comparing June and July of ’17 vs. ’18 you can see I have doubled the dividend income in both months and August also posts a double (soon to be triple) return as well.

As you can see we have quite a bit of momentum built up and I am looking to continue that trend. I do believe we will have a tough time achieving the goal of $500 dividend income in 2018. (Currently at $171.49) The progress has been great thus far and I will be adding approximately $1250 to the Robinhood portfolio in the coming weeks and pending the opportunities I see should increase dividends even further.

As always let me know what you think! This is not a strictly dividend portfolio, I try to have some growth and value plays in there as well. As you can tell by my situation however the cash flow and fluidity help my situation tremendously. Feel free to drop a comment of reach out to me on IG or twitter @bsquaredweb10

Thanks!

B^2

Premier Roofing Update 7/31/18

Hey I’m back and its only been 8 days but lots of good things have happened so let’s jump right into it. The previous update from 7/23/18 had the following stats below, followed by the new stats:

Presented Roofs: 86                97

Signed Roofs: 25                    43

PFYNR’s: 9                            18

Built: 5                                    8

Massive massive improvement thanks to an 11-roof investment property lead and success in the new neighborhood. I still have lots of potential customers to follow up with and PFYNR’s to close. This next week and a half is going to require 100% effort to achieve the results I want but it is entirely possible. My new goal is to make $17,000 from this internship and while I am quite a ways out according to my current stats ($6,600 made) I have a $3000 check coming Friday, I am currently at $1200 dollars made this week with 2 more days to go. I have $2200 riding on the PFYNR’s for the rental properties, as well as a bonus of $2000+ I will surely hit by the end of this week and will be received after I have completed the internship. With all that factoring in it is not unreasonable for me to hit that figure above! Again, an all-out effort is going to be required and I’m grinding it out every day knocking doors, following up with customers doing my best to crush it and keep pushing for the top of the leaderboard. Speaking of which I am about 5th in the company currently which is much better than about 25th which was the case in the previous update. I am gunning for the top spot and I believe that if my pipeline comes through and I continue to be successful in this new neighborhood that I will have a strong chance of achieving that. The #1 spot is held by a fellow intern at the KC branch I work at with 53 sales. I believe this is his last week working which provides a terrific opportunity to make up the ground next week!

As always, I will keep you posted and show you how it all turns out this summer. Stay tuned!

 

 

Premier Roofing update 7/23/18

We are fast approaching the end of my internship here with 3 weeks to go. This is a very critical timeframe because I may be able to get PFYNR’s completed with any new customers before I leave for the summer. After I leave my work will be handed off to my supervisor and I believe I will receive a bonus for any jobs that are still in progress from when I leave. Not sure exactly if that is the correct phrasing or if that is the correct bonus structure however we will get there when we get there, and I still have plenty of work to do before we get there.

I am currently at 25 sales as of writing this on July 23rd, this puts me just shy of the leaderboard which starts at 28 sales as of this morning. I do have an incredibly stacked pipeline however and I will explain that one a little further. My current stats are:

86 presented roofs

25 signed roofs

17 Do not have enough damage

9 PFYNR’s

5 built

As I mentioned the pipeline before, I have 25 potential sales in my pipeline, and 11 PFYNR’s. Not to mention what I am going out and selling currently. Much of my overall success in this internship rides on my performance in these last few weeks to close sales, put roofs in production and continue to deliver outstanding customer service. I need these sales and roofs in production for my own personal income as I am far off from my goal of $20,000 from this internship as I have originally planned. I’ve made $6200 this summer so far with thousands of dollars riding on my pipeline alone. Now my actual breakeven number is around $14,000 which is about what I made last year including my living stipend. I believe that is achievable when my pipeline, potential future sales, and my bonus are factored in.

So, my game plan is to just keep on keeping on and grinding this thing out. I have a build coming up this week which 5 sales in my pipeline are riding on. I’ve also moved to a new area that was recently struck with hail, I’ve only worked a ¼ day or so out there as I had an event this weekend I was leaving town for. It will be a little more difficult now as I have a little way to travel to this area and still have meetings and follow ups in my old section of neighborhood as well. I also have a block and a half that I still need to door knock and follow up in in my old neighborhood. This will make things more difficult, but I will make the most of it. If I can close my leads and work my pipeline I think that will bring some weight off my shoulders and we can start making some serious progress and drive this hard into the end of the internship.

As always, I will do my best to keep you all updated. Feel free to leave a comment.

B^2

Personal Finance Overview 7/17/18

Have you ever taken a hard look at your personal finances? I mean a hard look, like track every transaction, every paycheck, every bill you pay? Two years ago, I started tracking my personal finances during my co-op and internships. It has really opened my eyes to what I spend money on every day and gives me a better idea of where I am at with my finances. Let’s look at how I’ve been doing this summer!

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Above is a snip of my master spreadsheet for this summer. It contains all my expenses, paychecks, investments, some of my goals etc. Let’s go over this briefly to get a sense of what is going on. In color coded column is a category, from left to right: food, gas, fun, gym, girlfriend, bullshit. Sorry you’ve got your own column Nikki, but you cost some money and I’m not going to put you down at the bullshit level.

Anyways let’s analyze each column starting with food. Obviously, this is critical as you need food to survive and it’s a very basic need, I have included any eating out (fast food, restaurants etc.) as well as coffee and energy drinks and things of that nature. I work from my car and my job is pretty demanding out in the heat and having considerable amounts of energy is vital to my success so while I could opt for cheaper energy substitutions (majority of my coffee is from Starbucks) it is a necessary evil for me to preform well. Considering all of that, I average just under $300 a month over a 2-month span for my food consumption and it will hopefully taper down to $250 when I near the end of the summer.

Next up is gas, again a very necessary portion of my job is I must drive a lot and I also travel back home and back to school on occasion (200+ mile trips one way). At just under $200 a month on gas, I do go back to STL this upcoming weekend but that should be my last trip home besides actually going home for the summer, hopefully we can reduce that expenditure a tad and I can drive more efficiently.

Fun money! This is the column I try to minimize the most, as you can see I have some of paid subscription services but in my defense, I pay for the Netflix for my whole family and my brother and I use Spotify and I pay for it all. But besides that, you see alcohol and tobacco costs taking up the bulk of this column, I will have a substantial increase here as I will be paying for copious amounts of alcohol this weekend. Its gonna be litty titty.  This column will make its way up to $200 a month without a doubt here shortly.

Gym: If you didn’t already know my health and fitness is very important to me as I am a rugby player and have been lifting all my teenage years. The gym membership was a large upfront cost and I should have enough supplements to get me through the rest of the summer, hopefully this column ends at about $60-75 a month in costs.

Girlfriend: Sorry not sorry but you cost me some money this summer babe. Mainly in plane tickets to vacation but also lots of food and nice little gifts. Again, I wasn’t going to put it in the bullshit column so it gets its own column. There probably won’t be any additions to this column for the remainder of the summer so hopefully ending around $200 a month on this one.

Bullshit: this one is a toughie. To preface, this isn’t all bullshit like obviously I need to pay rent and to live somewhere but that’s what I called the column even when I wasn’t paying rent, so I stuck with the title. As you can see we have a deposit and lots of rent, I am paying 2 rents right now, one for Rolla (college town) and one for here in KC this summer. That started in July and my KC august rent will be low and the Rolla rent will increase slightly so it’ll lighten the load overall, but July rent sucked up a lot of my money. We have electric and internet bills, they both had start up fees, so they have since flatlined and we’ll only need to pay another month of two of those. Some of my supplies for work cost me a decent chunk of change including ladders, shoes, clothes, but those can be tax write offs as well. I also got my first ever speeding ticket this year which cost me $220 to get it moved to a non-moving violation. Anyways this is the largest chunk of my costs but hopefully with august being a short month it will taper down, and I can get my deposit back and we can wash our hands of this.

As of today July 17, 2018, my monthly costs of living is $2,134.50, I’m not sure if that is a lot or a little compared to most of the people reading this. I don’t have kids, I live in a cockroach invested shit hole of an apartment, I am partially paying for two rents, I eat cheap, etc. My assumption would be yes this is very cheap cost of living. I would like to reduce it further though. As I’ve stated above for some of the columns they should not increase anymore and as father time keeps ticking my avg cost per month will reduce. I had the goal of $1500 a month this summer however that was way underestimated and simply won’t be possible, I would like to have a cost of living under $2,000 though I think that would be very reasonable considering the circumstances.

My monthly conversion for what I am paid comes out to $3,033 a month. To me this is extremely low and pisses me off, (salary equivalent = $36,400) because I made $50k salary + living stipend last summer, and I am working significantly harder than I did last summer. My numbers should bump up soon and I will get a bonus as well at the end of the summer which will help. My goal was to make an equivalent of $60,000 salary from this job and I am very very far behind that goal.

As always let me know what you think!

Do you keep track of your personal finances? Do you keep track like this?

Could you benefit from tracking like this?

How do your expenses compare with your income?

Thanks, B^2

 

 

June through Mid-July Goal Update

Alright folks its been a little bit for this one so let’s get to it. When we last left off I was getting my shit rocked by the amount of work I was doing outside of work in terms of our training program and my other obligations. Since then I have been doing better rearranging my schedule to manage my time (working out at night now) and trying to get everything done. I also went on vacation and started taking days off here and there. Nothing too crazy but I was realizing the 11-day work benders I was doing was affecting my performance.

For June I went back to the full month goal schedule, at that point in time I was still overwhelmed with trying to get everything done. As you can see in the photo below I was very ambitious and thought I was going to absolutely kill it. Increasing my net worth by $6k, 30 sales, banking tons in lending club and my Discover savings account and restructuring my robinhood account to grow dividends.

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As you can see below, we got our shit kind of rocked, I did hit some goals but anything money related was not achieved and then as always, I struggle to post enough on the blog.

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This is a great segway into this current goal update. I went back to biweekly thinking that I push very hard at the end of the goal term (student effect/procrastination) so the more frequently I have deadlines on these goals the more frequently I will push to get them done. Another part of this goal session was the vacation, now its been a very long time since I’ve been on a vacation like the one I went on and I thought I could get a lot done. I was very wrong about that, if I made it a priority to get a lot done I could have but I failed to do so. As a result, this week has been very stressful from the fast paced intense 16-18-hour days I’m putting in with very little down time or breaks, as well as the mounting pressure to finish the summer strong as its rapidly coming to an end and I’m failing to meet my goals.

As you can see below we didn’t quite finish where I wanted to. Close on some, barely advancing from the previous goal session on some. Overall a failure in my mind and a great motivator to achieve more and taking massive action to achieve these goals. I’ll rethink where I want to end up and how I’m going to get there tonight and what steps I need to take to achieve that. We will continue to go with biweekly goals however there will only be 2 left before the end of my summer, its the red-zone, and the clock is ticking. I can post and tweet and write to my hearts content while I am at school, but I can’t sell roofs when I’m at school so that will be my primary focus.

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As always thanks for reading and supporting my efforts on the various social media platforms and all. Let me know what you think!

B^2

 

Premier Roofing Update

How everyone is doing well I’m sorry its been awhile, while blogging and the content I am trying to deliver is one of my goals I’ve been more preoccupied with work and building my Instagram platform. Anyways as I write this post I have 22 sales with 3 dead. Its rather unfortunate as there is a tier at 25 sales which I wanted to hit about 2 weeks ago but I am still slowly struggling to get there. Several issues which have led to this, I have taken days off that I shouldn’t have, I’ve had other commitments on the weekends that took away from my time on the street. I am currently on my way back from a week-long vacation as well which has obviously taken away from my sales potential. I’ve also had sales fall through via failed inspections, cancelling the contract etc. Ultimately it is my fault for my shortcomings however some of the circumstances are out of my control.

Looking forward, I’ve had 3 builds completed and two more coming up this next week. Builds in general help me out with closing the deals in the surrounding areas, another opportunity to provide an excellent customer service experience, and of course my commission off the build ($200).

This next week I had a potential $1400 to be made as well as $1200 that I am waiting on an email for, hopefully we can get that all closed here shortly. I finished this last week up at $1300 and had a terrible week prior to that finishing at $100. Ultimately, I need to make over $1500 a week from this point on + my bonus to make up for the disappointing performance and hit my breakeven point ($14000). It may take less than that to reach a break even point (I apparently get some very nice tax breaks that I didn’t have at my previous job) which could make it easier to break even in comparison to the previous summer.

I want to finish this week with over 25 sales, I have an estimated $1400 on the table however I want to make more than that as I need to average approx. $1500 the rest of the summer. I’d also like to get my $1200 deal completed so I can move on with the builds for those before I leave for the summer.

I’ll do my best to keep you all updated as we progress and keep crushing goals throughout the summer and the foreseeable future.

As always feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think!

Thanks, B^2

Leadership Positions that have Advanced my Life

In my life I’ve been fortunate enough to have plenty of leadership opportunities and I have taken advantage of them to further my personal development. Today I will be analyzing a few of them to give some better insight as to how they developed the person I am today, what knowledge and lessons I took away from them, and how you can also get involved and become a leader in your own field of interest.

Let’s start way back to boy scouts, for those of you who don’t know what the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), “The BSA’s goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to instill typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills, through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.” – Wikipedia

I was involved in Boy Scouts all my life essentially, from a Cub Scout when I was in first grade all the way to Eagle Scout at 17 years old. Through my time there as it mentions above I learned a lot and I put myself in positions to further develop my character. These include, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scout Master. To break down some of these further clarify the situation, Patrol leader essentially led a patrol (for us that was between 8-15 scouts) and you were responsible for your patrol on camping trips, each patrol was responsible for cooking their own food, cleaning up their own mess etc. Senior Patrol leader oversaw all the patrols that comprised the troop (we normally had between 3 and 4 patrols), your job was to ensure all the patrols were functioning accordingly. Junior Assistant Scout Master was a position that brought me another tier above Senior Patrol Leader and I assisted the SPL in making decisions and relaying information to the Scout Master.

Through all these positions you had to effectively communicate to your peers who were both younger and older than you were, as well as adult leaders in the troop. You were essentially responsible that the young men you oversaw were doing their part and contributing to the task at hand. As you advanced through the ranks you started leading by example and teaching the younger guys what they needed to do and how to do it. Although everyone in the world at the time thought Boy Scouts were gay and it was a stupid program, I had incredible opportunities to travel and do cool things (white water rafting, snow skiing, Pike’s Peak, hiking, climbing, canoeing, archery, rifle and shotgun shooting etc.) that other kids didn’t have the opportunity to do. That in addition to vast amount of survival skills and knowledge I accumulated I also was able to develop leadership skills that others forsake. This also lead into my other leadership roles and opportunities later in life that we will now go over.

Next, was High School Wrestling captain. This wasn’t as involved as the Boy Scout leadership positions that I had previously, but it did mean something. Essentially you ran warm ups for practice assisted the coach in demonstrations and provided advice and inspiration to those around you. This position required very little outside work that wasn’t already required to be a starting varsity wrestler, not much to say about this. In other sports Team Captain may have some more meaning however wrestling is both individual and team oriented but more so individual.

Next up would be involving my Fraternity in my currently ongoing college career. As I write I still have 2 more semesters to go with 12 and 9 credit hours respectively. I have been a part of Sigma Chi Fraternity since my freshman year in the Fall of 2014 and am still heavily involved in the fraternity even as I approach my 5th and final year. I have held a ton of positions for the fraternity including, Recruitment chair, Greek week chair, Social chair, Vice President, houseman, Philanthropy Chair, and brotherhood chair. While there is leadership and character development in all of those positions I want to focus on Vice President as the primary one.

As Vice President I essentially oversaw internal operations of the chapter, ran the executive committee and its meetings, ran the post initiation training of newly initiated brothers, oversaw all the committee positions. It was quite an interesting year in my position, possibly the hardest terms as Vice President we’ve ever had to deal with. We had several executive members get co-op (extended internships) after they were already elected so we had to elect new exec members, we had new national policies implemented that nobody saw coming, had to drop several people from their committee positions due to grades, overcommitted and unable to do fulfill their position. It was a mess and I was already under a strenuous workload and amount of stress. We did survive, and I think we turned out better than we started but It wasn’t easy and really challenged me.

Couple things I learned, things can and do go wrong (shit happens, get ready to roll with the punches and adapt). People suck, I don’t say this to be mean, but people tend to be forgetful and take the easy way out when they can which puts more strain on you. Another important lesson I use was taught to me when I was a pledge and it was an adaptation of this parable.

 

“Os Hillman tells the story of a rider on horseback, who many years ago, came across a squad of soldiers who were trying to move a heavy piece of timber.

A corporal stood by, giving lordly orders to “Heave.”

But the piece of timber was too heavy for the squad.

“Why don’t you help them?” asked the quiet man on the horse, addressing the important corporal.

“Me?  Why, I’m a corporal sir!”

Dismounting, the stranger carefully took his place with the soldiers.

“Now, all together boys – heave!” he said.  And the big piece of timber slid into place.

The stranger mounted his horse and addressed the corporal.  “The next time you have a piece of timber for your men to handle, corporal, send for your commander-in-chief.”

The horseman was George Washington, the first American President.

I love this story as it reminds me that leadership isn’t barking orders at your staff, it’s helping them with the heavy lifting.

 

It simply states that the leader must also contribute and do the heavy lifting just like the men he leads. The same applies to the fraternity and leading by example. While we are not a large chapter we stand around 50 members give or take, so within that group there are young men of different temperaments, talents and convictions that must be handled in separate ways when issues arise. I learned how to cater to different people’s temperaments from the shy quiet freshman who was underperforming to the drunk disorderly super senior enjoying his last hurrah.

The last leadership position I currently partake in is Missouri S&T Miner Rugby captain. Now I have been in this position for a solid year perhaps longer. I think I was unofficially the captain for a little bit but for the last 2 semesters that was made clear. This is an interesting one because there are many positions and situations I am faced with. To my team on the field, I make the play calls and control the game. To the Sir (the referee) I communicate all issues that my teammates bring to me and express my concerns with the Sir. I sometimes take a back seat on practices and let the president make the calls on that but I voice my opinion on that as well. After the game, I am no different than anyone else on the team, there to have a good time and enjoy the spoils of victory.

Again, there is a lot to be learned from this position, I address my teammates on the field on game day much differently than at practice. I also address the sir differently than my teammates. I juggle between who needs to get more playing time and who needs to get on the field to deliver the best performance.

Overall, I have been a leader in many aspects of my life, all different, all unique in their on way. I think that it is important to have that diversity because it gives you more tools in your toolbox to handle the different situations you may face out in the real world. It also presents you with various challenges that will build your character and your problem-solving abilities as you struggle between the pros and cons of situations. I would highly suggest getting involved in some organization, club, sport etc. that you enjoy and look for a meaningful way to contribute whether that would be a leadership position such as the ones I’ve mentioned above, or a minor position. Getting involved, developing communication, problem solving, and leadership skills will make a lasting impact and help prepare you for your future endeavors in your career or activities later in life. Take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you now rather than wasting away your time, because in 10 years the lessons you learned from getting involved will get you further than that tv episode you watched.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below I would love to hear from your guys!

B^2