February 15th Goal Update

Hey everyone, first off, I just want to say I am so sorry for this coming out as late as it is. I had a couple tests, the career fair at my school, fraternity and philanthropy matters that were taking up a lot of time, and unfortunately it isn’t going to get any better. I had a function this past weekend and forgot my laptop charger and put me very far behind and has caused some of the time issues that led to the above-mentioned items to take priority. Excluding that hiccup this has been the busiest semester I’ve ever had and them I’m adding to that with this blog and everything else I’m trying to do. If you have any suggestions or advice I’m all ears because this quite a serious matter.

Anyways let’s get to it! Below is the goal screenshot.

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Like I mentioned above I had the career fair at my school which is a huge deal and I needed to get myself out there and try and get a job for this summer. I decided to have my resume revised and getting applications out early would help me out tremendously and added those items to my goal list and accomplished both. I’ve been trying to build my brand/establish my presence in the world and I feel like Instagram is a very good platform to do that in for what I am doing and what demographic I am targeting so that’s why my current and future goals will revolve around it. I came one post short for my Instagram goal and that really came down to me scrambling the last 3 days trying to post useful content and taking time to find that great content. I did hit my followers goal though! On that note I would like to ask my readers, do you have any issues with losing followers on significant levels? I’ve seen a drop in 5-10 followers on some of those days and it was extremely puzzling so if anyone has any suggestions or advice on that again I am all ears.

Moving on I finished The 10X Rule and I am so happy I did, it was an incredible book with great content, advice, ideas and I believe it will be the foundation of my success for the future. I wrote a nice little review for it as well so if you would like to check it out click the link here. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/08/the-10x-rule-the-only-difference-between-success-and-failure/

I also finished 10 Ways to make Passive Income, not the same level of book but the link for the article is here as well. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/13/10-ways-to-make-passive-income-financial-education-youtube-channel/

Reading the 2 books above and the one I am currently reading, Sell or be Sold, has rekindled my passion for learning and reading that has been gone for quite some time now so that was refreshing to experience. I encourage everyone if they think a book would benefit them and I’ve read and reviewed it to check out the review before you buy it and get an idea if it is for you or not. I also think honesty is crucial and I will also tell you if you should buy the book or not regardless if I affiliate link it or not.

Next goals I will cover regard the blog, 35 blog posts and 100 visitors. Let me tell you first and foremost I occasionally dread writing these posts. I’ve never been much of a writer, but I am passionate about teaching and this seems at the current time the most effective way to get my message across under the given circumstances, so that’s why I blog. On that note, 26 blog posts are very short of 35 and I realize I set my goals on the upper end of the spectrum. I would have normally said I set my goals too high, but I really didn’t take enough action to create the content to write 35 blog posts worth of material and to do the actual writing itself. You can find that life lesson in The 10X Rule. The back half of this month’s goals will be posted at the end of this article, but you can see I did not take a very ambitious approach with blog post goal for the reasons mentioned above. I crushed the 100-blog visitor goal…. But it was mainly due to paid advertising through Facebook. Which is good, people are reading my posts and I’m getting a few clicks for the affiliate sales, but I need something sustainable obviously and you will see that in the next set of goals.

Next up affiliate sales. Oh man these have been rough, I had goals of 1 affiliate sale and 30 clicks across the board. We landed at zero affiliate sales and 17 clicks, I failed to reach either goal. These have continued to struggle since so I am asking my readers again, if you have any suggestions or advice for these please let me know. I really need to get some research in on how to best set all of those up when I get some time.

The side money challenge has more or less fallen off the wagon. I am quite simply trying to do too many things at once and I’ve always heard its better to full-ass one thing than half-ass two things. So, while I am still tracking it and I was at $227.50 / $400 it has not been my main priority at all. Investing referrals! I failed to get a referral for the following investing apps I use, Robinhood, stash, and acorns. I think I am simply late to the game and incorrectly targeting my audience. My main demographic is already people who invest so that doesn’t help me get referrals typically. At least those articles are out there forever, and the links still work so one day someone might stumble upon them and start using the app.  The last item on the goal list was to pay off my Discover credit card. I paid off the equivalent amount on my Visa instead because the due date is sooner, so I’ll call that a win in my books.

My next set of goals are below, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen these. I realize this isn’t very productive since these goals end in 5-6 days since it’s a short month but nonetheless this can give you an idea of where I was coming from and where I am going. They are up to date as of the morning of 2/23/2018. As you can see there is a long way to go and I got a bad start with the above mentioned time commitments mentioned in the first paragraph but I am determined to make a sizable dent in those goals.

So tell me what kind of goal setting do you do? Do you write your goals down everyday like Grant Cardone? Do you set short term goals like I do? Are you a New Years’ Resolutioner and quit about this time of the year?

Comment and let me know, I’d love to hear your feedback!

-B^2

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Bespoke Post – Churchill

Occasionally I like to enjoy the finer things in life. A nice glass of whiskey, your favorite craft beer, a fine cigar with your friend, a sleek new watch. Any of this ring a bell for you? Well you’re in luck my friend! I stumbled upon Bespoke Post a couple weeks ago and I think I found what you’re looking for, it’s a monthly subscription that sends you a box of goodies that you can pick and choose from. I looked over the website, the subscription information, and finally the Churchill cigar box.

It features 4 cigars for you to sample, a reclaimed wood ashtray/candle holder, a candle, 4 cedar spills, and a cigar cutter.  All of that for just $45 and all of those purchased individually would cost $87?! I couldn’t pass it up.

Now I am a huge fan of cigars, but I understand that might not be everyone’s go to. So what else is there?

The boxes currently listed are:

Frontier- Sturdy supplies for your everyday adventure. Comes with No. 8 Pocket Knife, Sport Fountain Pen & Ink Refill, Machined steel bottle opener, Hardcover Notebook

Lather- Shaving is a time-honored tradition. Respect it. Comes with Pure Badger shaving brush, Chrome Shaving Stand, Concrete shaving bowl, Pre-shave oil, Shaving soap.

Brew- Roll up your sleeves and get out your bottle opener. Comes with one-gallon homebrew kit, beer mix,

Red Eye- Get some sleep at 35,000 feet. Comes with convertible travel pillow, sleep mask, travel pack bags (set of four).

Alchemy- Stock your home bar with pro-level cocktail wares. Comes with Boston shaker, barspoon with muddler, Japanese-style Jigger, Hawthorne Strainer, 2” square ice cube tray, slow crafted bitters.

Weekender- Don’t just get away from the crowds-stand out from them. Comes with Special edition weekend bag.

Refresh- Bring some class to your morning routine. Comes with Dopp Kit, Double Hitter 2-in01 shampoo and conditioner, construction paste mesh styler, natural handmade soap, toothpaste, all-in-one beard and face wash.

Moment-Keep time at your fingertips and on your wrist. Comes with Bresson Watch, task organizer.

Paired (For Her)-And you thought wine and cheese couldn’t get better. Comes with partyclette ToGo, Vivendi White wine glasses, wine caddy.

Surely between the new boxes Bespoke Post is adding to its collection and the ones listed above you can find something to suit your taste. What are you waiting for! Enjoy the finer things in life and get the “Goods and Guidance for the Modern Man”

Click link below to get visit Bespoke Post!

https://bespokepost.com/r/b8c7accd

-B^2

 

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

The 10X Rule is exactly what you would expect from best-selling author Grant Cardone, plenty of information on becoming successful and how action and perseverance leads to that. Let’s jump right into it then. Now there are several summaries of the book available on amazon, I’ve linked the top ranked one above and below in the post, I haven’t read the summary, but I understand those who value their time and want to get the best bang for your money and time. The book is 261 pages, contains 23 chapters and takes approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes to read according to my kindle fire through the kindle app.

The10X Rule begins with an introduction about Mr. Cardone and what the 10X rule is about, which contains various definitions and goes over the psychology of being successful and how he defines it. He describes how limiting your success and being ok with being average, middle class etc. is the ultimate demise and will not bring happiness to those who seek to be above average which would be the demographic he is writing to. A powerful quote from this introductory chapter states that “as long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else’s”. Are you ready for the 10X adventure? Keep reading if you are we are about to get to the good stuff. I should also note at the end of every chapter is a little exercise to evaluate your goals and do a mental checklist of what you want in your life, I am not sure if the summaries also contain these checklists or not, I’m sure in Mr. Cardone’s other reading material you will something similar.

He then goes into why 10X is so vital to success, telling the reader “to never reduce a target” and instead increase action, this will change your mindset of targets and goals and ultimately get you hooked to success and chasing that success. It’s a never ending cycle, accomplish your goals, make more go smash those as well, he also defines success in that way as well, to accomplish a task or an objective and pushing through to the next one and the next one. Chapter 4: Success is your duty is a chapter that speaks dear to me, I feel like I see lots of wasted potential out in the world and in my own life because people don’t want to put in the work or the risk. When, Mr. Cardone and I have a sense that we are obligated to reaching that success to push those boundaries to make the world a better place. Whether you bring a product or service to market to help others or donate millions of dollars to charity like he does, we can all make the world a better place and it is up to the successful people to lead that charge.

In the next chapter, he opens the door to possibilities by saying there is no shortage of success in the world, no scarcity and many people can be successful. This then transitions into the formula for being successful. First step would be to assume control for everything, now this doesn’t mean be a control freak or anything, this chapter describes being responsible for your actions and mistakes. Mr. Cardone’s originally title for this chapter was “Don’t be a little bitch” but backed off to not offend anyone, I think this chapter would’ve rang true with that title but being politically correct helps book sales, so I can see why he didn’t.

Chapter 7 may be the most critical to The 10X Rule, the Four Degrees of Action expose the foundation to success and the 10X Rule, the more action you take, the better your chances are of getting a break. “Disciplined, consistent, and persistent actions are more of a determining factor in the creation of success than any other combination of things.” The Four Degrees of Action are as follows:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Retreat
  3. Take normal levels of action
  4. Take massive action

Now most who would be reading this book and this blog post are in category 3. If you did nothing you wouldn’t have searched this, clicked the link etc. to get to this article. If you retreated when you faced adversity you wouldn’t have made it this far in the article. Now let’s talk about “Take normal levels of action” since that applies to most of us. This is what would be considered normal, which also creates the foundation of the middle-class, this makes it the most dangerous. That’s because this is considered acceptable, doing nothing and retreating are for the most part not acceptable and everyone seems to grasp that concept well. The goal of normal levels of action is to be average however, we’ve seen that average or doing good enough doesn’t always work out when rubber meets the pavement in economic hardships like the recession and the housing market crisis. Mr. Cardone does a better job explaining the details of this chapter than I ever could so I’ll leave it at that. The final degree of action is taking massive action, something that we’ve seen him do time and time again if you follow his companies, social media, YouTube etc. Massive action takes more than just motivation and wanting to succeed, it takes an obsession, it takes borderline insanity, when people start telling you slow down, speed up and keep running past them.

Chapter 8 “Average is a failing formula” reiterates what is discussed in the normal level of actions section and reinforces that just enough isn’t good enough. He goes on to describe the differences between the successful person and the average and what actions you can do to make up that ground, the foremost being taking massive action persistently. Goal setting is the next topic, specifically 10X goals. Remember that quote above about not setting your targets lower but taking more action instead? Do not sell yourself short, a goal that is too easy to accomplish doesn’t further motivate you and will not gear you up to take the massive action necessary for success. The following are to be considered when setting your goals:

  1. You are setting these for you-not for anyone else.
  2. Anything is possible
  3. You have much more potential than you realize
  4. Success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility
  5. There is no shortage of success
  6. Regardless of the size of the goal, it will require work.

The next item discussed certainly threw a curveball to me and perhaps you too, Chapter 10 Competition is for Sissies. What? Competition is for sissies? I said the same thing after reading the chapter title but by the end it all made sense. To the consumer competition is necessary, imagine if there was one cellphone service provider, they could charge whatever they wanted and rake in the profits because we are all so dependent on our phones, but in the eyes of a business competition sucks. Mr. Cardone goes further in explaining how completely dominating your sector, market etc. will bring you success and explains how he acquired omnipresence through twitter until the only name people would turn to for sales programs was Grant Cardone. Hopefully the wheels are turning in your mind a bit, the goal is to completely dominate your competition, be the only thing people think about in your sector, be in the spotlight constantly etc.

Still hung up on the Degrees of Action and the middle class being a failing formula? Don’t worry Uncle G covers the “Breaking out of the Middle Class” in chapter 11 and explains the incomes of the Middle Class. Again, I’ll let him cover that topic since he will out do anything I put on this article. As I am reviewing over the book on my Kindle Fire I see that Chapter 12 is all highlighted up with good reason too. “Obsession isn’t a Disease; it’s a Gift” has lots to dig into so let’s get to it. This chapter goes hand in hand with taking massive action, because the only way you will be able to sustain massive action is to be obsessed with success. “In fact, you want to be so fanatical about success that the world knows you will not compromise or go away.” Mr. Cardone use a metaphor of a fire as your obsession and building it up so that people feel compelled to sit around it an admire it. If you’ve ever sat next to a bonfire you have probably experienced this feeling, how it pulls you in and you can stare into its abyss for hours, in that same way your peers will stare at your success in admiration.

“Most people make only enough effort for it to feel like work, whereas the most successful follow up every action with an obsession to see it through to a reward.”

You just read the quote above but go reread it. Ring a bell? That little bit up above about pursuing goal after goal in an obsessive manner because the goals you set are hard and the 10X actions required to accomplish them gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. Bingo. Here’s another little nugget of wisdom.

“I suggest that you become obsessed about the things you want; otherwise, you are going to spend a lifetime being obsessed with making up excuses as to why you didn’t get the life you wanted.”

Don’t be a little bitch? It’s a full circle baby lets keep going! Next chapter #13, Go “ALL IN” and overcommit, but wait… you aren’t supposed to put all your eggs in one basket. You’re suppose to play it safe, be conservative, etc. etc. But think about it, the term all in refers to poker and you can run out of chips in poker and then you’re done, pack your bags and go home. What if you never ran out of chips and could go all in EVERY SINGLE HAND. Now think about your most valuable “chips”, your mindset, actions, persistence, creativity, and energy. Even if you fail you still have all the chips mentioned above, soooo you only lose if you quit.

“Remember: There are no shortages of how many times you can get up and continue!”

Moving forward we are at chapter 15 “burn the place down” again about the fire of your success that we mentioned earlier. Mr. Cardone mentions that “when you begin to ‘heat things up’ you’ll quickly become aware- even obsessed- with the possibilities before you.” However, about that time you’ll hear the people offering you admiration that you’ve “done enough” or that you should take it easy, slow down, go on vacation. Keep the foot on the pedal, the train isn’t stopping, when you slow down or stop you lose your momentum. If you’ve ever driven in the mud or snow you’re aware how important keeping your momentum is, don’t lose it.

“Fear is one of the most disabling emotions a human being can experience. It immobilizes people, and often, it ultimately prevents them from going for their goals and dreams. Everyone fears something in life; however, it’s what we each do with that fear that distinguishes us from others. When you allow fear to set you back, you lose energy, momentum, and confidence—and your fears will only grow.”

-Chapter 16: Fear is the Great Indicator

We’ve all experience fear before, even perhaps the crippling fear described above. We are challenged with fear when we go “All in”, and each fear conquered adds fuel to your fire, keep your fire burning bright. There are several chapters that go over things specific to business such as customer satisfaction and customer acquisition, and while important I feel like that may not be the best use of your time for the average reader.

Chapter 21: Excuses, we’ve all probably heard them all, Mr. Cardone writes out a very exhausting list of them. Here is how you can get around the excuses and this relates to making success your duty and obligation.

“If you make success and option, then it won’t be an option for you—simple.”

We will end this review and summary with Chapter 22: Successful or Unsuccessful?

Ready? This is the list Uncle G compiled after studying successful people all his life and this is what he found:

  1. Have a “Can Do” Attitude
  2. Believe that “I will figure it out”
  3. Focus on opportunity
  4. Love challenges
  5. Seek to Solve Problems
  6. Persist until Successful
  7. Take Risks
  8. Be Unreasonable
  9. Be Dangerous
  10. Create Wealth
  11. Readily Take Action
  12. Always say “Yes”
  13. Habitually Commit
  14. Go All the Way
  15. Focus on “Now”
  16. Demonstrate Courage
  17. Embrace Change
  18. Determine and Take the Right Approcach
  19. Break Traditional Ideas
  20. Be Goal-Oriented
  21. Be on a Mission
  22. Have a High Level of Motivation
  23. Be interested in Results
  24. Have Big Goals and Dreams
  25. Create your Own Reality
  26. Commit First—Figure out later
  27. Be highly ethical
  28. Be Interested in the Group
  29. Be dedicated to Continuous Learning
  30. Be uncomfortable
  31. Reach Up in relationships
  32. Be Disciplined

Wow that was a lot. The last chapter tells the reader how to get started with 10X, with the key piece of advice being,

“Act now and then keep acting with the knowledge that enough action taken now will create the future.”

Are you ready to start you 10X journey?

If so get yourself a copy of the summary or full book and commit to it, I hope to see you at the finish line one day.

Full version: http://amzn.to/2GRy3VC

Summary: http://amzn.to/2GRN7Te

B^2

January Goal Analysis

I decided in Mid-January after reading part of Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule” that I needed to push myself and set some short-term goals to get my finances, blog, social influence, brand etc. all on track. I wrote these goals down on my phone and posted them on my business Instagram as you can see here.IMG_0313.png

Also if you haven’t been following me yet its @bsquared.website and I try to make my posts value oriented and show everyone what I am doing to improve my blog, business, investments etc. Anyways the timeline for that first set of goals was under 2 weeks and as you can see below I didn’t reach most of them.

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I came so close to the blog visitor goal, I was at 97 for January and as I was finishing up homework around 12:30am I had another visitor technically on February 1st, that’s why the +1 is there. Nonetheless that was a huge achievement for me, I started the blog in late November and had only 7 visitors for the whole month of December. As far as clicks go I haven’t been doing well on blog to amazon, I always hear its just a law of numbers. I guess I just need to get my numbers up and the clicks will come in. Falling short on blog posts came down to time and amount of content I had, but mainly time. I also planned on a friend writing 2 articles for me but that hasn’t happened yet. Side money made it easily with all the recent stock sales and profits I’ve collected from that. Again, with the clicks I think the affiliate sale follow a rule of numbers and I just need to keep pushing until I get to that threshold. The 10X rule and posting about it also came down to time, I’ve been extremely busy with school, fraternity business and working on all my personal goals and picking up my kindle and reading just wasn’t on the priority list. Coming short on forward dividend was mostly on me. I sold and bought a bunch of stock over this duration of time and didn’t allocate for the best dividend stocks but rather went with shorter plays for profits soon. Hitting my 25 IG posts was easy, I could always come up with content for that and just got in a habit of posting in the morning and late at night helping me rack of my following, reach, impressions etc. Instagram followers are a little bit more difficult to come by, I noticed I have lost a decent number of followers as well, so I am not sure what that is all about, but we are going to try to get those numbers up this month. Speaking of which here are my goals for the next 2 weeks.

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They are as ambitious as the last ones I would say, but attainable I believe. I think these goals will come down to how I utilize my weekends. This tends to be the only free time I have, and I normally allocate that to social activities. I can say for certain that affected the end of January goals in a negative way. Tell me what you think!

B^2

The Millionaire Booklet

Wow. I think Mr. Cardone out did himself on this one. This long pamphlet, The Millionaire Booklet, has the most useful information packed into 44 little pages that I have ever seen. Honestly best bang for your buck book in terms of reading length I have ever read. But let’s get to it, what is The Millionaire Booklet?

Mr. Cardone wrote this booklet after a charity dinner. The charity aimed to raised $2 million dollars and after everyone was all tapped out there was still $1 million to go. It took over 55 people to raise the first million, but the last million was donated by a single man with a single check. When all hope was loss, a single shining hero came in to save the day. Grant was inspired by this man and his generosity and created this booklet immediately after, and in two hours had it finished, so that one day others may be the shining hero for those less fortunate.

The booklet features the following:

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Getting Rich is Not a Fantasy, a chapter dedicated to changing your mindset

Chapter 2 – Where you get your advice, a chapter also dedicated to changing your mindset and who you listen to/surround yourself with.

Chapter 3 – The Millionaire Decision, a chapter dedicated to changing your perspective of becoming super rich.

Chapter 4 – Millionaire Math, a chapter dedicated to explaining the simple math needed to understand what it takes to achieve becoming a millionaire.

Chapter 5 – Increase Income, the foundation of becoming a millionaire is described here.

Chapter 6 – Who’s Got My Money? This chapter describes the alternative mindset needed to complete chapter 2’s who you surround yourself with message.

Chapter 7 – Stay Broke, the mantra that has propelled Mr. Cardone to his financial success, and how to “save” money.

Chapter 8 – Save to Invest, Don’t Save to Save – This further explains that quoted “save” in chapter 7.

Chapter 9 – Multiple Flows of Income, the critical tool to fortifying your fortune and prevent financial distress in cases of economic emergency or hardships within a company or industry.

Chapter 10 – Repeat, Reinforce and Hyperfocus, describes the rinse and repeat cycle to creating wealth.

That’s it! All that information is packed into these 10 chapters on how to get super rich. The book is simple and to the point and doesn’t contain the fluff that other books might have. Mr. Cardone does ask 3 things of the reader,

1) Keep this booklet in your possession until you become a millionaire.

2) Share it with a friend.

3) Once you get yours, help others do the same.

With all of that in mind, here is the link to the book on amazon: http://amzn.to/2DPZBgn

Let’s go get super rich! The message in this book inspiring, I highly recommend to anyone pursuing some degree of financial freedom or prosperity. The tools and knowledge are all here and only requires the reader to act. So, with that I’ll leave you to it, I’ve recorded the day I read it (1/30/2018), so who wants to race there?

Best of luck,

B^2

3. 2. 1. Liftoff

So I actually had this post written and ready to be sent on Saturday, but then Jetpack crashed and I lost the post because I didn’t save it and it was just a mess. But we are back up and running now so moving forward, February should be an awesome month for me. This blog was started in late November, did not have much success with it in November or December. Its the tail end of January and as I write this I’ve had 125 views and 75+ visitors! My Instagram account @bsquared.website was started in early January and has been picking up momentum. I’ve been experimenting with Facebook and Instagram ads and I think I just found winner!

In summation, January has been all about laying the foundation for what is to come. I’ve been pushing myself really hard in terms of school work, fraternity obligations, and all my side endeavors including this blog. I believe February will be the month to capitalize on the work that has been put in during January.

Only time will tell though, expect a lot more to come including book reviews, portfolio overviews, dividend updates, stock market moves I’m making, and a Lyft and/or drop shipping guide.

Till next time,

B^2

What I keep track of and Why

So naturally as an engineer I am very numbers and data driven. Fluff is not my game, numbers, charts, graphs, hard tangible data is where I thrive. I started tracking my spending while on co-op and internship, I figured it would be good practice for when I got out in the real world on my own and needed to be financially responsible. So, at that point I created what is now my most useful tool that I use to track my finances and goals, the co-op money breakdown google sheet. Doesn’t sound exciting but contained in these 8 pages excel spreadsheet is a lot of cool stuff. We’ll start with what started it all, the daily tracking of my finances.

color coded

I color coded my categories of expenses, from left to right they are Food, gas, fun money, fitness, Significant other, and other costs. I would track every cost that came in with running totals at the bottom, weekly amount spent on each category as well as the percentage of my costs it represents. This helped figure out where I was over spending and what needed to be adjusted. Next, on the same page of the excel sheet right next to the color-coded spending category is my income category. Here I would track my income (mainly paychecks) as well as how much of that income I saved. I also tracked my 401k contributions on every paycheck and kept a running total of that as well. Yes, I had a 401k through my co-op company at 20 years old, it was pretty frickin cool. Moving on, I would run totals on all of that, run percentages for amount of money I was saving compared to making and how much I was investing compared to how much I made in total etc.

Date: Income: Net profit Savings Invested (401k)
5/24/16 tax return $74.00 $7,629.20 $900.00 $378.00
5/27/2016 paycheck $660.50 $925.00 $345.00
6/10 paycheck $1,192.00 $548.00 $395.80
Baseball tickets $45.00 $507.00 $42.09
6/24 paycheck $1,234.00 $562.00 $384.72
7/8 paycheck $1,097.00 $106.80 $388.87
7/22 paycheck $1,014.00 $600.00 $339.00
Amazon $80.00 $889.00 $375.00
8/5 paycheck $1,124.00 $551.00 $123.30
bonus $106.80 $295.00 $324.00
8/19 paycheck $1,099.00 ** $550.00 $622.12

After that I believe I started tracking my net worth in specific categories. As you can see below I would track it every month and I have a nice little graph and everything, but I would track cash, emergency fund, P2P lending, Robinhood stock account, Stash and acorn, and finally my 401k. Add all that up in a couple different columns and there’s my net worth tracking.

networth

Another critical tool that I use on this spreadsheet is my Robinhood portfolio spreadsheet. Shown below it contains all the information on my stocks, shares, cost average, value into the position, market value and then the gain/loss with percentages. Also, the conditional formatting is a nice touch to quickly assess the portfolio. I usually update this sheet twice a week or more if I make big moves in the portfolio which I have recently.

Ticker shares cost average value in market value gain/loss gain/loss %
CHK 399 $4.92 $1,963.08 $4.00 -$367.08 -18.70%
ULTA 7 $241.25 $1,688.75 $227.69 -$94.92 -5.62%
O 25 $56.23 $1,405.75 $54.21 -$50.50 -3.59%
F 50 $11.38 $569.00 $11.64 $13.00 2.28%
BPMX 1624 $0.30 $483.46 $0.13 -$272.34 -56.33%
OHI 15 $27.12 $406.80 $27.41 $4.35 1.07%
STAG 15 $26.77 $401.55 $25.69 -$16.20 -4.03%
ATRS 130 $2.42 $314.60 $2.26 -$20.80 -6.61%
ELF 15 $19.87 $298.05 $20.05 $2.70 0.91%
AMBA 10 $52.94 $529.40 $50.25 -$26.90 -5.08%
CEFL 10 $17.72 $177.20 $17.95 $2.30 1.30%
T 5 $33.64 $168.20 $37.82 $20.90 12.43%
IP 1 $57.54 $57.54 $64.75 $7.21 12.53%
TTS 5 $9.48 $47.40 $9.75 $1.35 2.85%
JD 0 $41.82 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 -100.00%
BAC 0 $23.95 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 -100.00%
BABA 0 $0.00 $0.00
cash $4.35
updated $8,515.13 profits and dividends -$796.93 Current Value
1/18/18 money in $8,000.00 $515.13 current market ROI
started face value ROI 6.44%
12/2/16 net annual profit $456.37

Following the stock portfolio, I have two tables for dividend tracking however I’m only going to show the monthly counting dividend table. Below is a table showing how much I’ve received in dividends by each month and then sum it all together for the yearly total. As you can see I was relatively close to my goal this past year, a lot of my money was tied up in bad positions that didn’t pay dividends which ultimately hurt my portfolio as well. The other table features all the stocks I own that pay dividends, their payout on a yearly basis, how many shares I own, total yearly dividend income from those stocks, etc. I believe I am right at the $200 a year in dividends mark as we are speaking, that is not including interest payments I receive from Robinhood or the dividends I receive in stash.

Dividend tracking 2017 2018
January $0.00 $12.32
February $0.00 $3.10
March $0.00
April $0.00
May $0.00
June $12.54
July $6.39
August $5.55
September $20.68
October $17.86
November $23.12
December $28.13
$114.27 $15.42
Goal: $125 $500

I also use 2 tables for my Lending Club portfolio, the one below just tracks the interest I receive each month as it says on the account statement I get. Very simple and easy to fill out, nice little tool to figure out how the portfolio is doing overall at a quick glance.

Lending club interest collected
month amount
April 2017 $0.00
May 2017 $11.04
June 2017 $29.03
July 2017 $21.33
August 2017 $37.25
September 2017 $38.81
October 2017 $40.66
November 2017 $41.20
December 2017 $35.15
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
1 year gain $254.47

This next one is a bit more intimidating. This is a detailed depiction of the Lending Club portfolio, I fill this one out biweekly and the immediate return column is the only one that is self-calculated, everything else is straight from the Lending Club dashboard/summary screen. I use the immediate return to gauge my APY % as it comes in rather than the speculative NAR % return.

Lending Club info deposited account value NAR % return date immediate return monthly payments
active notes $1,500.00 16.50% 6/5/17
70 $1,700.00 $1,720.00 16.74% 6/19/17 1.176%
103 $2,500.00 $2,534.00 14.70% 7/7/17 1.360% ?
107 $2,500.00 $2,546.72 17.58% 7/21/17 1.869% $91.48
128 $3,000.00 $3,063.65 15.72% 8/4/17 2.122% $92.13
129 $3,000.00 $3,066.90 13.95% 8/29/17 2.230% $111.66
128 $2,900.00 $2,963.39 11.41% 9/15/17 2.186% $111.74
127 $2,850.00 $2,931.35 10.05% 10/3 2.854% $110.83
127 $2,800.00 $2,905.65 11.78% 10/17/17 3.773% $110.83
125 $2,650.00 $2,765.00 12.28% 11/1/17 4.340% $109.00
123 $2,600.00 $2,729.38 11.79% 11/15/17 4.976% $107.18
121 $2,500.00 $2,628.97 11.32% 12/1/17 5.159% $105.49
121 $2,450.00 $2,615.00 11.84% 12/16/17 6.735% $105.49
120 $2,400.00 $2,558.22 10.76% 1/1/18 6.593% $103.63
122 $2,400.00 $2,591.66 12.54% 1/15/18 7.986% $105.00

Finally, I track my blog statistics and posting schedule on my spreadsheet. As you can see I have tracked my advertising costs as well as the WordPress cost of the blog. I also track my views, visitors each month. Now if you are familiar with blogging or have one already you know that jetpack tracks this all for you currently. I just like the convenience of pulling up this spreadsheet and having all the numbers and data I’d ever care to know about right at the tip of my fingertips and easily analyzed. I think It is worth the extra time to fill out the spreadsheet.

Blog sheet blog was created 11/24/2017 Blog stats 2018
Date expense Month: November December January
11/24 $46.98 wordpress 1 year views 3 81
1/5/18 $3.00 IG promotion visitors 2 7
1/12/18 $20.00 IG promotion Revenue $0.00 $0.00
1/15/18 $3.00 IG promotion expense $46.98 $0.00 $29.00
1/17/18 $3.00 IG pormotion NET -$46.98 $0.00 -$29.00

Like I said, just a schedule of what I’ve posted and when, I also anticipate a posting schedule but that is never correct, I always have too much on my plate or other things that need my attention before this. The yellow highlighted posts are blog posts that have the potential to profit through affiliate sales, referral codes, etc. I have a column next to it with the amount they’ve made so far. Unfortunately that’s a big fat goose egg right now.

Schedule content
11/30/17 future real estate investment
12/3/17 Stretch investing
12/7/17 side money challenge
12/11/17 lending club review
12/12/17 change of plans
12/17/17 stock portfolio
12/20/17 Aspiration|Summit
12/20/17 stash investing
12/21/17 acorn investing
12/27/17 Discover Credit Card
12/27/17 Dividend update 12/27/17
12/28/17 2018 Goals
1/3/18 stock market book FE
1/5/18 review Robinhood
1/5/18 side money update 1
1/16/18 status update
1/22/18 airsoft entrepreneur

As always let me know that you think!Hope you got some useful information from this post, and may apply some of the ideas and concepts to help organize your finances or something else important to you.

Thanks, B^2

How I started my journey as an Entrepreneur

All my life I’ve been obsessed with money, I say all my life even though I turn 22 in about a month, but I can say it dates back awhile. I think it had to do with how I was raised, I had two very hard-working parents and just watching and being involved in a lifestyle that revolved around that molded me from an early age. Enough with the backstory let’s get to it.

When I was about 13 years old I’d say I was getting into airsoft (yea those plastic bb shooting guns), all my friends had them, we’d have wars in each other’s backyards and all of that. As I got older I got more and more involved in it and being mechanical inclined (hence studying engineering) I started upgrading and taking apart my airsoft guns. My friends took notice and wanted their guns upgraded as well at the beginning it was very light modification (barrel swaps, hop-up unit modifications, external components), but then I bought a couple junker airsoft guns. And started learning how to disassemble the gearbox and internals, looking at the springs, piston, cylinder, the gearset, motors, bearings etc. I began to realize that there was a demand for modified airsoft guns and I could probably buy more junker guns and flip them if I could repair them/ upgrade them.

When I was 16 years old I got my airsoft buddies together and decided to open up a “business” our plan was to flip airsoft guns, and modifying some and reselling. That lasted for about a summer until we outgrew the airsoft phase. Our time was spent at jobs and at high school instead of my basement working on the guns and going out on craigslist and finding deals and broken guns for sale. The entrepreneur experience outweighed the profits I think between the 3 of us that helped in my “business” was about $150 or so. I must also add that some of that profit was in material goods that we acquired through trading things rather than just cash deals. Any how that is were my entrepreneurship started, in a dark dingy basement, taking apart airsoft guns. The screenshot below was taken in 2011 when I was 16 years old.

cl 15

I later expanded on this idea of flipping and reselling things. Like I said I loved money and wanted to find ways to make it besides my summer job. I also was interested in trading things, I found out in my days of buying and selling airsoft guns on craigslist most people didn’t have cash on hand like I thought they did. I’d get calls and texts asking if they could trade for my airsoft guns and airsoft equipment. I realized the potential profit that could be made by leveraging trades since they weren’t cash and then finding a cash buyer or another trade to make afterwards. I started trading things if I could, I believe over the course of a summer I turned a Go Pro Hero 2 which I valued at about $225 to a hunting crossbow worth about $350 to a trade lot of about $450 worth of stuff. I was fascinated with this and started going to Goodwill to find cheap things to trade or sell on craigslist and eBay. I had my ups and downs with some of that but overall, I learned a lot from this side business I was running. I’d even find deals on amazon and other online retailers and sell still in box items for profit! The picture below depicts some of the trade deals and goodwill flips and trades.

cl 17

I continued to do this until the end of my senior year of high school. Shortly after that the social aspect of my life picked up and my time was more focused on my summer job and hanging out with friends. In college I never really pursued the same craigslist flipping/trading as much as I use to, I still took advantage of some of the opportunities I saw but again my social life and involvement in different organizations here on campus took up most of my time. My summers also became busier, and focused more on my career with internships and co-ops. In fact, I didn’t really sell anything on craigslist or on the side in the last 2 years apart from this past Thanksgiving and winter break where I dug out some of my old trades, and little knick knacks that have been collecting dust for years and made about $100 in trades this past break.

This brings us to now, and what kind of business/entrepreneurial things I am doing today. Unfortunately, not much now, I sell my used textbooks back, sold some of my old trades this past winter break, made some side money through apps and rebates etc. I am looking to get back into it though, you could say this blog and my affiliate sales/ promotional and referral stuff is sort of a side business. If/when I deep dive into another business venture or some sort of side hustle I will let you all know.

In the mean time let me know how your 2018 is going!

Status Update

Hey sorry everyone, I was out of town on a ski trip this last week and didn’t have a chance to post anything. I’m back at school now and while its been hectic getting back I should be able to post more frequently, my goal being every other day or thereabouts. I have a friend that will write an article on Lyft or drop shipping here shortly and he’s had incredible success with both so keep your eyes open for that.

Other than that things have been relatively uneventful. My stash portfolio has been doing incredible its up about $100 in the last 2 weeks (portfolio value of ~$2150 so ~5% increase) and I started an Instagram account for the blog you can follow it @bsquared.website. I’ve been experimenting with Instagram advertising and trying to promote my articles and posts through that. Look for a review of that in the future as I learn more about the subject and experiment with different methods to drive traffic and revenue.

I’ve started reading Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, and I would highly recommend that book so far. Look for a review of that here shortly as well as well as some drastic action that I will take as a result. I would also recommend checking him out on YouTube,  he offers lots of advice and motivation and is a great source for information regarding Real Estate if you choose to go that route which I intend to do when I get some more capital.

Also I have several posts that have the opportunity to make me revenue through the blog, including the book review for stock market investing, Discover It credit card, stash app review, acorns app review, Robinhood app review etc. Unfortunately I haven’t made any revenue from these opportunities yet but I think we are getting closer and I expect to make my first dollar from this blog by the end of January. I will of course keep you all updated on that as well.

In summary, buckle up ladies and gentleman, 2018 is going to be a phenomenal year filled with handwork, hardship and opportunities and we should all try to make the most of it.

Best of Luck, B^2

Side Money Challenge update 1

I completed the December – January 15th challenge of $600. Now to be completely honest here I knew this one was going to be easy. I knew in advance I had a check coming in from John Deere to reimburse me for travel expenses. Now if you’ve ever been reimbursed for travel expenses we all know that $.55/mile is more than enough to cover both gas and wear and tear. So naturally I profited about $300 from that trip, but left without an internship. Anyway, that only left $300 more to go which was handled through resale, dividends, interest, credit card rewards and short-term stock sales for the most part. The final push that got me to the finish line was actually a $100 cashback reward on my Visa card for spending “x” dollars in 90 days.

IMG_0183.png

This allows me to get a head start on the next objective which is $1,000 by the end of February. This one will be the real challenge considering I will be back in school which will take up most my time and I don’t have a couple hundred dollars coming in already. I will update you all on how this next objective goes.

Follow me on Instagram @ bsquared.website

I link articles through there and update on investments and financials more frequently than the blog.