The Next Level

Many want to take their life, finances, current situation to the next level. Some have a vision of what that is, even fewer have a game plan to get themselves there. I will share with you today my vision and how I intend to get there.

So, as we speak I am 22 years old pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and engineering management. I have a net worth around $18,000 through mainly my co-op and internship salaries. I will graduate college in May of 2019 and take on the real world.

Vision:

This is always a hard question to articulate and put into words which is why few people get this far. Think about it, when was the last time you sat down and figured out where you want to go in life. Some may have small goals like I want to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini but what about the BIG goal.

I would like to first buy my parent’s the lake house of their dreams on table rock lake. My mom and dad have provided for me all their life it is my obligation to give back to them. My dad would like the top of the line jet ski and a nice boat, my mom would be happy with a home that looked like it came out of better homes and gardens, a nice greenhouse and an abundance of grandchildren. My mom is going to have to wait on the later, but my brother may be able to help me out with that one. That is my first and foremost goal.

Second, I would like to give back to the people and organizations that made me who I am today, my wrestling program in high school, my rugby program in both high school and college, and my fraternity to name a few.

Third, is an obvious one but I think it should be said, to provide for those around me. I am going to assume at this stage in my life I have others to take care of other than myself, maybe a girlfriend, or a fiancé or a wife maybe kids the timeline of this one is foggy. My dad made it a goal to give my brother and I everything he ever wanted when he was a kid and to provide more than his parents could for him and I would also like to do the same to my loved ones. My dad did set the bar high on this one so I look forward to the challenge.

Fourth, financial freedom. There is an unbelievable amount of people in the United States that live paycheck to paycheck and I remember my parent’s doing the same at times. I don’t ever want to live a life like that.

Fifth, to help those less fortunate than me, I already practiced this when I was younger and currenly. I am aware I’ve had experiences that many have not or will not be able to have in their lives and I would like to the share that with all those that I can.

So Mr. B^2, how on earth do you plan to do all of this?

That’s a good question isn’t it, when it’s all laid out like that its hard to fathom that kind of success.

First step would be to graduate obviously, I have spent years in education and lots of money has been spent on me to get to where I am so obviously finishing what I started is a good place to begin. I would like to graduate with a 3.25 GPA currently at a 3.16 as of this semester.

Second, I would like to walk out of this university making $80,000 which I believe is a lofty but possible goal and with my skill sets, education and past experience I believe this is within my reach.

Third, using that money, and the money from my investments, and what not buy investment properties and other passive income sources. How many and of what kind I am not sure, but an investment property in my college town would be a good start I feel and from there only grow and expand my horizon as I move and travel. This could also be a side business that I develop to generate more revenue to acquire these properties and make more investments.

Fourth, rinse and repeat over and over and over again.  That in combination with my strong work ethic and developed leadership skills should put me in a position to move up the corporate ladder or start my own business or something of that sort. Not sure where I’m going but I’m going for it all.

With all of that said I would like to attain a net worth north of $3 million before I am 30 years old. I understand that is going to be extremely difficult but nothing of such high aspirations comes easy and I believe what I am doing now is laying a solid foundation for what I plan to do in the future and the fact that I already have the vision and the majority of the game plan is evident that I am already on my way.

As always let me know what you think, even if you think I am blowing smoke up my own ass I’d like to know what you think!

B^2

 

Summer Plans

In my spare time today, I did a little bit of thinking about what I wanted to do this summer as far as my finances are concerned.

  1. I am going to absolutely crush this internship/sales position. I mean crush it! This is the first time in my life that I will get paid on commission meaning every minute I am not working or trying to sell is a wasted minute. That goes beyond the job as well, I also have this blog and an Instagram, and I will continue to expand my social media presence and further build my personal brand.
  2. I want to move away from the umbrella of financial security of my parents. They have done a fantastic job providing for me all my life and I feel obligated to lighten their load. I am making it a goal of mine to work harder than ever before to obtain scholarships and other means to provide for my schooling. My parents have also paid for my housing during college and pending the results of my friend meeting with his landlord tomorrow I should be moving out the fraternity house and plan to pay my rent and all necessary living expenses. I also came up with my method to do so. I have talked about Lending Club before on this blog but for those of you who haven’t read about it yet you can reference this post about it “Lending Club Review”.

 

My favorite part about Lending Club is how liquid it is while you are making money. I get funds transferred to my portfolio nearly everyday as I have 110 active notes currently. This pays me about $100 a month in both interest and principal payments. If I own about 400ish notes I will receive about $350 in payments per month which is coincidentally my rent for this next school year again assuming the conversation with the landlord goes as planned tomorrow. That is all while making about a 7% gain as of this moment. This whole school year I have been pulling out my interest and principal payments to cover my expenses (its not enough however I spend more than $100 a month typically). If I can purchase that many notes however that should cover my rent payment which would be a passive income source for me. As of now that is my game plan for this next academic year. My typical food expenses as I have learned from diligently tracking them through my internship and co-op is about $60 a week or $240 a month. I plan to use my savings and any side money to cover that aspect of my expenses.

  1. I have also began looking at investment properties in my college town, with the hopeful influx of money I make this summer this may finally become a reality and I have also explained some of those plans in a previous post linked *here*.
  2. This will also be the first summer where I will be relatively free while I have been this interested in improving my life for the years to come. On my co-op I did not start investing until very late and then I returned to school and was again very busy with my other obligations. While on my internship I was taking 9 credit hours of summer class which took a very large toll on my time and extracurricular efforts. I lived an endless cycle of work, working out, and then studying and doing homework during the 5-day work week and then my Sunday’s were typically consumed in school work as well. This is another very exciting aspect of this summer that I can hopefully take advantage of.
  3. I intend to learn more than I ever have this summer as well. I have an ambitious reading goal this summer of 10 books which is crazy to think about since I have not read for leisure in years but the value that it has been bring to my life is incredible and I have learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn more. If you have any suggestions I am open to them all but I will most likely need to focus in on something related to what I would like to pursue later in my life, namely entrepreneurship, business, investment property and real estate, and investing.
  4. I would like to make a strong effort to help my fraternities recruitment efforts this summer. Due to the new structure of our recruitment and pledgeship process this summer will be the ultimate factor to our future success and I would like to give my time, effort and talent to this endeavor. Not that I haven’t helped in the past, but I see the high importance of this task, but it will also give a chance to develop my new skills.
  5. I believe this summer will also allow me to network more than I have in the past and I have given up some of those opportunities for my other obligations in the past. Again, with all that I have learned this school year I believe this will be a key aspect in my ultimate success later in life and the more I can network and connect with the others the more opportunities will present themselves.

I’m sure there are other aspects I am forgetting to include but these are just some highlights. I will do my best to update all my readers on what I am up to this summer. Hopefully this last 2 weeks of school won’t drain me to bad, I had the problem occur on my co-op.

As always, I would love to hear all your comments!

B^2

March- April Goal Review

It’s been awhile since I have posted one of these so what the heck let’s get to it.

Like I’ve mentioned before the spring semester is crazy busy at my school and March- Mid April is probably the busiest section of them all. I mean there’s St. Pat’s, Spring Break, Greek Sing, and Derby Days all in there plus a round of tests or two. Like are you kidding me!? Doesn’t get much worse than that, however, that didn’t stop me from doing what I do best and getting shit done so let’s see how I did.

Here is the goal list to start off march on top, on the bottom is where I finished at.

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I intentionally went away from the biweekly format with March because of Pat’s and Spring Break. I also did not try to push myself as hard as I have been lately. Don’t worry we’ll get back on my game here soon I promise.

In the beginning of March was sitting at around 75 IG posts, 400+ IG followers (my all time high as of right now) so from the social media perspective I was doing great. When we turn to the blog you’ll see I failed to miss my target yet again on the # of blog posts with only 30 and 175 blog visitors, again piggybacking off paid advertising for that. Finished sell or be sold and did not finish Rental Property Empire we will get to that one later.

So that sets the stage for where I was going into March, as we see in the month of March goals we boosted up IG posts by +35, which is a solid 1 post a day average and then some. Unfortunately, my consistency isn’t the greatest with that and I’ve been working on getting that more consistent. I was going in several short bursts and then taking breaks rather than a consistent one or two posts a day. Organic blog traffic was a struggle, I did not have the systems in place to capitalize and keep my paid advertising traffic and in fact I still do not have the proper systems in place which has been hurting my viewership. That and only 3 blog posts in the entire month of March is just pitiful and I’ve been working hard to improve that this month. Still didn’t make it through Rental Property Empire either, and let me tell you that book was DENSE, packed with information and great content but man was it a slow read and hard to get motivated because the nitty gritty of rental property investing is not all that exciting. Using that prior screenshot as a starting point of April lets see where we landed during the mid-April goal review.

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Mid-April I was consumed in my philanthropy, as head chair it was a lot of long nights and busy work to make things run smoothly, and I did my best to make up for it in early April but even then, I was making up work that others failed to do. If you would like to know more about the philanthropy and what all happened the link to the article can be found here. Philanthropy article

I hit my low IG post goal, but followers diminished a bit, blog posts remained stagnant at 33 posts. Organic visitors were still very low probably due to my lack of Instagram engagement, and side money was also low due to my less than ideal productivity during my spring break. (P.S. girlfriends are a time commitment, so is covering for people who fail to follow through on their assignments.)

So using that last screenshot we can analyze my current in progress goal list shown below.

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I am finishing writing this post at 1am on Friday April 27, I have my fraternity’s initiation tomorrow which I am heavily involved in as Vice President and that has been bogging me down a bit, but I have been making effective use of my relatively light work load this week. I say light just because I do not have any tests, but I’ve spent a good 20 hours on homework and project work for my classes this week already with a final presentation tomorrow at 11am which should be fun.

As you can see I’m a tad behind on IG posts and I feel like I am spamming content, but I like to hit my targets and goals and my content is still pretty good so there’s that. Instagram followers have picked up a bit so my extra effort in reaching out to other accounts and people has paid off as well as my content I am delivering. I finished Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush it” it’s an old book but the content is still great and inspiring, and I can’t wait to read his newest book as it is sitting on my desk right next to me. I am also catching up on blog posts at a rate never seen before so kudos to me! Credit card payments are almost complete, we will find out about initiation come Saturday, my loose money on robinhood can be summed up as my options trading which is going poorly. If you didn’t see my Instagram post of “The stock market is drunk” it is, and it is very annoying. I have a little more on my plate this upcoming week as projects, papers, and tests are wrapping up in the week famously known at my school as “Dead Week”. (the name is not as it suggests, it is hell and full of work then leads into finals week). So hopefully a final push this weekend and early next week can wrap up April as a success or at least that is my hope.

As for future goals we will have to see how they go with my new work schedule which is far different from what I am used to. That in combination with additional metrics for tracking revenue, costs, investing and getting back into prime shape and performance for my next rugby season we will see how frequent I set goals and track them. I am very excited to see what this summer will bring me though, this last summer I was bogged down in 9 credit hours of class in addition to a 40-hour work week at my internship at Caterpillar which was very demanding. This summer with my peculiar schedule I may actually be able to be more productive despite working more (I am definitely a night owl as the time I am writing this post suggests). I will do my best to keep all my viewers informed as well as do what is best for me to advance my life, career, and personal goals.

Thanks for tuning in as always, please leave a comment I would love to hear from you guys and if you haven’t already please follow me on Instagram @bsquared.website as I am most active there if you haven’t noticed.

Philanthropy Overview

As some of you may know if you follow my Instagram account (bsquared.website) I am heavily involved in my fraternity and was the head philanthropy chair this academic school year. Fortunately, I survived the hectic week and came out the other side with ideas and suggestions to improve our philanthropy efforts for the years to come.

I was elected head philanthropy chair a year ago with two assistants at my side, several things happened that caused my assistants to drop the position or get pulled out of the position, but I ended with Dalton and Drew at my side by the end of it. We decided our goal was to raise $10,000 for Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Sigma Chi’s official philanthropy. This was an extremely ambitious goal considering our previous best was about $5,300 raised. We also had to revamp the whole Derby Days week to make it more competitive between the participating sororities and women’s organizations and try to incorporate new events into the week. Our first step in the revamp was to collect information from the previous year, we needed to know what everyone liked, disliked, what they were not allowed to do due to national’s rules etc. While there was some effort in the past to gather feedback about the previous years events we took it to a new level and made sure everyone’s voice was heard and tailored the week-long competition to allow everyone to compete on a level playing field.

We added an event in the Fall semester of 2017, known as Brats ‘n tots. Just as the name suggests it was a food fundraiser hosted at the fraternity house featuring premium brats and unlimited tater tots. This turned out to be our most profitable food fundraiser to date and raised over $500 in profit. Mind you that at that point we had never done a food fundraiser let alone hosted one. This was an incredible success but of course there were hiccups and ways to improve for the next year, as with anything the first time is always difficult, and we will get to a failure at a first-time event here soon.

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Brats ‘n tots serving crew

Next event we added to the line up was what we are going to coin as Dead Week Wendy’s, again as the name suggests it’s a food fundraiser at Wendy’s during dead week which is commonly known as the week prior to finals at my university. Unfortunately, we register the event early enough and it was pushed back to the Wednesday of finals week which wasn’t the most optimal timing. Despite that issue we still managed to raise $113 from the event mainly due to the high % of proceeds donated (30% of revenue for that night with the flyer we promoted).

Next new event on the calendar was a similar food fundraiser just at Buffalo Wild Wings which we also did in conjunction with a recruitment dinner at BWW. In the past we would always take some potential new members to BWW for dinner during the recruiting process and we decided to piggy back that event with a food fundraiser. A two birds one stone situation which you will see come up again in this overview. With this event we raised $212 or so, we were better able to promote this event having learned from our mistakes with the Wendy’s fundraiser, it also helped that BWW has a higher average ticket price than Wendy’s despite a lower % donated but still a solid 20% excluding sales in alcohol or gift cards.

At this point my committee and I were feeling like we were doing well at just shy of $1,000 raised before getting to the philanthropy week. We had the strongest start of any Derby Days committee to date, but our success wouldn’t last long. Our spring semester is quite busy with our huge St. Pat’s celebration, Spring break, spring career fair, Greek sing and various other events happening. In addition to being bogged down in other school and fraternity related activities we were also running into bad luck with our women’s organizations. Two organizations of our smaller women’s organizations declined to participate in our week-long competition due to the time commitment, even after offering to combine the two to give them more people to work with. We also had a large sorority that has failed to participate fully in the past three years decline us again despite our massive effort to accommodate and inform them. In hindsight we could have done more to inform them and attempt to get them more involved but again our schedules were packed. Those were some large blows to our committees moral since in addition to our monetary goal we also wanted to maximize participation across the board.

Despite the setbacks we continued to push forward and do what we could to redeem ourselves, but the bad luck and poor execution continued to disrupt our previous successes. I had assigned an assistant to obtaining t-shirt sponsors, thinking he was the best man for the job. Well about 2 days before spring break at our weekly meeting I realized that we had maybe 2 of the 9 t-shirt sponsors we were going for with no contact established with other potential clients. The t-shirt design was due the Monday we returned to school and seeing as we were running out of time and options for obtaining sponsors I took it upon myself to execute the task. I spent the better part of my Friday and Saturday going into the Spring break talking to local businesses to obtain sponsors. I then came back to town for 2 days to further confirm sponsors and attempt to obtain more. Luckily, we ended with our goal number of sponsors but the way we had to reach that goal was far from optimal. The opportunity cost of my time and travel expenses to finish the job took quite a toll on me mentally and to my external efforts to succeed such as this blog and my investments. Anyhow that small crisis was adverted or was it?

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Cheesin through it

That’s right! When it rains it pours and oh did it pour. We were having issues with liaisons knowing what to do and getting their organization to participate, we got the t-shirt order in late, we over ordered the koozies and then they had a printing error that forced us to have them reprinted and took more time than we anticipated. We got the wrong shirts printed, we did not get the number of orders we anticipated. Issue after issue kept coming up and this was before we even got the philanthropy week underway, this was just the prep work!

We had another new event to kick off the week, it was a gala at a local event/banquet center. Not only did we not get our first or second choice for venue, but we also were lied to on price, overestimated our attendance, therefore over estimating the needed food, and the event turned it into a very dismal sight. All in all, we lost about $400 on that event and rattled us all. It was under advertised, overestimated, not well defined, and did not serve a strong purpose or give a strong reason for people to be there. The idea should have probably been scraped but we decided to follow through with it anyhow. Perhaps next year they can bring it back and turn it into a successful event but until then despite what my peers said and how successful they thought it was I’ll chalk that one up as an L.

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Pie-a-Sigma Chi featuring my temporary mohawk

Moving onto the actual week of Derby Days it went relatively well. Events ran smooth, the new point distribution kept the competition tight until the final event, it did take some extra effort on my part. My two assistants did not live in the fraternity house, so they would leave and go home after the last event of the day or stick around for a little bit to help, but I would be up till midnight-4am to ensure everything was taken care of and ready for the next day of events. It wasn’t always necessary for me to stay up that late and what not, but I felt the extra effort I put in made the week go a little smoother, so it was worth it even if I am bitching about it now. We had several new events including, Amazing race, cooler design, sell-a-Sig, and a drag show. They all went well for the most part and little kinks and issues will get worked out next year.

We finished the week with Delta Omicron Lambda winning for the 4th year in a row. Congratulations to them however I think moving forward it may discourage other teams from trying to participate to take down the reigning champs. At the current moment we raised $3800 including all expenses, not including the 20% payout to the winning organization. This is far far far below what we wanted to raise. We diligently tracked our expenses and revenue for every event and hopefully we can analyze those results to determine what actions are necessary to increase what we raise. We still do have one event to go.

Alex’s pizza is a pizza parlor in town, we always go there after initiation and treat the alumni (I should really say the alumni treat us) to some pizza and adult beverages. As I mentioned in the sneak preview before, I am all about hitting two birds with one stone and making the most effective and efficient events possible, and that is exactly what we intend to do. Since we go to Alex’s pizza once a semester, after initiation then why not host a food fundraiser there while the alumni are paying the bill for it all. So, with that in mind we will get a nice 20% cut of the revenue for that day most of which will consist of our 50-person group’s order, but I am sure we will also get some friends to and other students to come celebrate our new initiates with us.

My committee and I are currently writing up an official transfer document, so the next committee can learn from our mistakes, this is also something new we are trying. Overall I can say that while we did not reach our target we did a lot of new things and took some risks and some paid off and others did not, but the group after us will have all the tools and knowledge at their disposal to reach our $10,000 goal and shed a new light on our philanthropy, social and brotherhood aspects of the fraternity.

To those who are involved in philanthropy or want to be involved in philanthropy and have questions please let me know. I have learned a lot from this position and would love to help anyone who wants to make a difference just like I wanted to make a difference when taking the committee position.

As always please let me know what you think!

-B^2