Read This To Spark Some Risk Free Financial Victories

If you’re anything like me, you’re always interested in finding new ways to make money. Usually this comes as seeking new real estate investments or business opportunities. What if I told you that there’s an even easier, risk free, way to improve your cash flow which is often overlooked?

Every person in the world has been impacted during this past year with the COVID pandemic. I think it’s safe to say that there are going to be lingering issues for the rest of our lives whether it be mentally, emotionally, or financially. It has been so tumultuous at every level of our lives. Our emotions and minds are spinning out of control which creates a feeling of confusion and lack of stability. With each passing news headline and stories of hardships, questions and self doubt pop up slowly eating away at your resolve. Am I doing the right things for my future and family? Am I missing an opportunity that I should be focusing on right now? What is going to happen to the future of our world?

The constant shifting can make it difficult to remain grounded and prepared to move ahead when the timing is right. Just try to keep remembering that you’re absolutely not alone. It feels lonely since most of us are locked in our homes and safely distancing from family and friends. I previously thought that anxiety around my fear of missing out was the worst possible feeling. I’d much rather have that feeling back versus there not being anywhere to go.

Depending on the industry that you specialize in, you may be in a better or worse situation due to the pandemic. That’s fantastic if you’re in a better position. Continue to take steps to remain prosperous. This advice is going to be helpful regardless of how well you have weathered this past year.

In trying times, sometimes all we need are a few little victories to bring back a little hope. I personally try to focus on the things that I can actually control. Doing these little things can give you that boost of inspiration knowing that you can still improve your position even when you are hearing nothing but doom and gloom. Try your best to avoid the negativity and work on these simple things that will improve your life financially.

Insurance. Take a look at all of your insurance policies. Is your insurance agent working for you by shopping around for comparable coverage at better rates? Are the policies that you have still adequate or should you be looking to make adjustments on coverage?

During good times when things are really busy and I’m making new acquisitions or growing a business, insurance usually ends up being something of a nuisance. I quickly get a policy in place that gets me covered at that time to move forward with a deal. It’s not so haphazard that I don’t have appropriate coverage as much as it is that I haven’t looked at other options.

Again, if you’re anything like me you may have insurance policies scattered across a number of different carriers and agencies. That’s really not anything that bothered me too much until I took a moment to really look at the mess it is starting to become as I continue to scale. Even if you don’t have a lot of different properties or businesses, you most likely have multiple policies like auto, renters, homeowners, umbrella, etc… Take a close look at the policies that you have, or should have, and take the steps below. I recently, within the past couple of months, did these steps and managed to improve my overall insurance coverage and created thousands of dollars a year in premium savings.

  1. Gather up your existing insurance documents. These documents will have details of the current coverage and premiums, which will make the next steps much easier.
  2. Evaluate your relationship with your agent. Ask yourself the following questions. Do you even know who your agent is? Do they really even know who you are? Have they ever been in contact with you to discuss your policies to ensure appropriate insurance coverage or premium reductions?
  3. Get in touch with insurance agents. If you have a great relationship with your agent, perfect. Just make a call to touch base to make sure that your policies are up to date and see if they have any recommendations. If you find that your relationship is lacking or non-existent you’re still in luck! The insurance market is very competitive and you should have no problem finding an agent that is hungry for your business and will provide you with the level of customer service that you deserve. I suggest searching for local insurance offices so that you can establish a relationship with a real life person that is a part of your community. Not only does that allow you to build a rapport, but you’re also supporting a local business.
  4. Evaluate options. So you’ve reconnected with your existing agent or you’ve started a dialogue with new agents. How do you feel? Do they give you a feeling of sincerity with a genuine interest of your insurance needs? Did they provide quotes and walk you through the different policy options and coverages? If not, keep looking. I guarantee that there is a stellar agent that would be delighted to have you as a client.
  5. Execute policy changes. Hopefully all of the work in steps 1-4 have paid off. Either saving you some money, fixing coverage gaps, or by developing a better relationship with an insurance agent that will work for you.

Refinance Loans. Interest rates remain at an all time low. I don’t know if this is the lowest they will go or when they will begin to climb, but if you can lock in better interest rates then I suggest looking into it. Here is my disclaimer that I am not a financial advisor / expert and these are strictly just my opinions. Everyone’s financial position is unique and I would suggest reaching out to an expert for guidance if you have any questions.

I have been putting off refinancing my loans because I didn’t ask the question about what would be involved. I pictured a difficult negotiation, ridiculous fees, or even being denied. These were all just barriers that I was putting in front of myself for no good reason. I attribute it to the uncertainty and feeling of imbalance that I discussed earlier in this article. The current environment that we’re in makes casting self doubt and uncertainty extremely easy, and we need to remain vigilant and quickly identify when this happens (in all aspects of our lives).

Depending on the loans that you currently have, there may be a couple of different options to explore. I have successfully deployed each of these methods below on loans that are tied to assets. I do not have any personal experience with negotiating rates on consumer debt, but if that applies to you, definitely reach out to the lender to see if they have any options.

  1. Refinance. This could mean restructuring multiple loans into one, changing terms, reducing interest rates, etc… It’s essentially establishing a new loan on an existing asset(s). One strategy to consider deploying here is if you own your own home. Consider this scenario where you currently have an interest rate of 5.25% and 20 years left to pay off your home. Refinancing could restructure your loan to a new loan at 3% over 30 years.
    • This takes the remaining balance that you have on your loan, lowers the interest rate, and spreads the balance over 30 years. This drastically reduces your monthly payment and free cash flow for other investments.
    • The initial reaction, from a non wealth building perspective, is that you’ve reset the clock and you’re stuck with another 30 years to pay a mortgage. On the surface that’s true. However, consider the amount of money that you are now saving on a fixed monthly payment. Redeploying the savings to an investment that earns more than 3% interest is going to provide you a better return in the long run.
    • Keep in mind that there are closing costs associated with refinancing, which can typically be rolled into the new loan. These fees are typically offset by the savings over the course of the first year. Refinancing probably does not make financial sense if you’re planning on selling your home within the next year.
  2. Cash Out Refinancing. This process is very similar to the refinancing option, but in addition to changing the loan terms you get a cash payment. After owning your home for 10 years, hopefully you have some equity built up that you can cash out. So using the example from the refinancing option, the new loan balance would also include whatever amount you decide to take out. This cash out amount would be rolled into the new 30 year loan at 3% interest.
    • This is a great strategy for those that need cash to purchase another asset that generates income or for an investment. Where some people get caught in this is that they use the money to buy a liability which liquidates their net worth. Buying a liability with a cash out refinance is not a wealth building move.
    • Maybe you don’t have an investment to make or desire to buy an asset. In this case cash out refinancing may not make sense. However, maybe you have another loan at a higher interest rate like credit cards, line of credit, auto loan, student loans, etc… It would be a wealth building strategy to pay down higher interest loans with a lower interest loan.
    • Again, there are closing costs associated with cash out refinancing. You will need to determine how long it will take to pay off the refinancing fees based on the overall savings from the restructuring.
  3. Rate Adjustment. This is a method that is new to me, which I have utilized for a few of my real estate loans. This simply a change to your interest rate without changing any of the other loan terms. For example, a lender can lower your interest rate from 4.25% to 3.25%. This will lower your monthly payments by the amount of interest that you are no longer paying. Pay principle down at the same rate while improving cashflow.
    • The benefits of a rate adjustment over refinancing is that it can be done relatively quickly, it often doesn’t require an appraisal of the asset or property, and the fees are lower versus refinancing.
    • This is a great strategy if you’re happy with all of the other loan terms. Typically if it is a commercial loan, it will be a balloon loan which will need to be refinanced at some point in the future prior to the balance being paid off. In my case I have 4 years remaining, so a simple rate adjustment made sense versus going through the complete refinancing process.

These are just some wealth building strategies that I have been deploying to better position myself during this time of uncertainty. It is amazing how much money can be saved just by making a few phone calls and asking a couple questions. It’s actually fun to find increased value in existing holdings. Best of all, there’s no risk involved!

What are some other strategies that you have been working on to improve cash flow and maintain your financial health?


Do Your Soul a Favor: Plotting the Course

Throughout the course of last week, I had several deep conversations, with different people, on different topics, that have helped me to understand the path that I am on. Sometimes we get so busy with meetings, tasks, and the daily demands of our lives that we start living on autopilot. Fortunately, through years of personal development and dedication to living my core values, my autopilot is genuine, honest, and sincere. The path that I am on is not a bad path. It is full of beauty, optimism, opportunity, hope, and meaningful challenges.

When I first decided that I did not like where I was heading, I started seeking formulas and concrete plans on how to change my life. I listened to self help podcasts, audio books, and watched countless videos on motivation. There had to be a simple answer to being able to rediscover myself and my identity. I knew that staying on the path that I was on would leave me unfulfilled, empty, full of regret, unsatisfied, and sad. The weight of the impending disappointment that I would face at the end of my life, if I didn’t change, was not as motivating as it was paralyzing. My situation was not wrought with financial struggle, physical pain, or a life that I could not endure. It’s much deeper and more meaningful than life itself. My soul was hurting and screaming in agony for not actively pursuing the life that I deserve. I was wasting time and was stuck in a rut of complacency and perceived stability. I was destined to live a comfortable life without fulfilling the needs within my soul.

I did not plan each meticulous step to get to where I am, but I’ve maintained a consistent high level idea of where I’ve been wanting to go. This non-detailed, spontaneous, approach has served me well. I personally believe that by not creating expectations of everything going as planned has created several advantages to building the life that I have always wanted. It has allowed me to quickly pivot and explore without having to rewrite the plan every time that something has changed. This has allowed me to accelerate my learning of what works for me and what doesn’t.

I’m not foolish enough to believe that my way is the only way. Everyone has their own way of making the journey to finding their ideal self. Some would perhaps argue that because I did not have a predetermined plan that I may have been less efficient and meandered a bit. This may be true. Ultimately, the most import thing to do is to envision the life you want and start moving forward in the way that works the best for you.

A message to those that are seeking that personal change and don’t know where to start, there is no definitive starting line. There is no magic formula. Looking back on my journey, I cannot identify that one specific moment in time where I feel like my journey began. It is an imperfect process. It is full of trial and error. The step that you take today may not be part of the master plan, but it’s important to take a step. Everything that you do will teach you something about yourself and will help you to understand what step to take next.

Even when you’re confronted with the most dire circumstances on your journey, find the courage to regroup and stay positive. I probably do not know you, but I know a lot of people. If you’re anything like the majority of people that I do know, then you have untapped potential and the ability to live the life you imagine. I want you to succeed because, the more that we elevate each other, we create a better world. Your personal success story will be an inspiration to me and others.

The Truth About Entrepreneurship

It’s a dog eat dog world. It’s high risk and everyone is working against you in hopes that you fail. There’s no room for your business or success.

If you’re like most people looking to pursue a life of entrepreneurship, those statements above can feel true. But is it really true or is it self defense for not trying? I’m not saying that there isn’t any risk and that businesses don’t fail, but it’s unlikely that absolutely everyone is against you. I have had to redirect companies that I have started. Sometimes that plan going in isn’t going to work exactly as designed. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s important to be flexible to the fact that there could possibly be a need to change or start from scratch with new plan.

I am extremely grateful for the relationships that I have been able to develop through my businesses. These fellow business owners and community leaders that I consider as friends and mentors. They freely impart the knowledge that they have obtained throughout the course of their lives and genuinely want to help me be successful. It gives me chills to think about how much I appreciate their selfless contribution to me. I didn’t understand it at first. Why would someone that has the means and knowledge to do what I am doing not just be doing it for themselves? There must be some kind of catch. What do they want from me?

If they wanted something, I hadn’t figured out what it is was. So I decided to ask just to make sure they weren’t somehow going to steamroll over me in the future. The answer was that they had received guidance when they were first starting out, and they want to be able to pay it forward to help others also be successful.

Wow! I was shocked and slightly relieved at the same time. It made sense, but I was still cautious. There have now been countless times that this particular entrepreneur has helped me out of a bind, and he is 100 percent genuine. This was my first experience with a fellow entrepreneur desiring to help with no expectations. There are now several people that I consider to be vital resources. I just hope that I can one day provide value for them as they have for me.

A funny thing has been happening for me lately. People have either reached out to me for guidance or I have seen an opportunity where I can help. Like my entrepreneur mentors, I do not have any expectations. I simply find pride in myself for being considered a resource to help others find their success. It is a great feeling. Perhaps it is validation that I am doing something notable that others want to be a part of or it’s that human desire to help other people being fulfilled. Regardless of the reason, that’s a feeling that I want to continue to experience. I genuinely have a strong desire to help people, it’s one of my core values. This is how I know that I am on the right path with my business strategy of building and redeveloping businesses and communities. It brings me excitement and joy!

In summary for those upcoming entrepreneurs. There are plenty of people that can be invaluable resources to help you succeed. Proceed with these relationships with cautious optimism because there are people out there that can significantly cut down your learning curve. There are people that will invest their time and money in you for absolutely nothing in return. Just make sure that you are prepared to take action and that you’re not wasting someone’s time. Otherwise, you may lose that connection and it will take a while to regain their trust that you are serious about what you’re doing.

Do you have your own business? What is your experience with mentors? Have you found that people are willing to help you on your journey?


Burst of Creativity

I have been exploring ideas to implement at the old Lebanon Paper Box building. There have been a number of different influences which have helped to stir some creative thinking around how that space can be best utilized. Working through the day to day operations, it can sometimes be easy to get lost in the details of how things work versus dreaming from the clouds and not letting tactics snuff creative thought.

self storage lockerThe first idea is geared more towards generating higher revenue per square foot. A majority of the building is currently rented out for long term storage, but there is an opportunity to increase the amount of rent that is being charged per square foot by installing climate controlled self storage units. These units can be setup fairly inexpensively and I would easily be able to add HVAC since the building is wide open.


video project on buildingA spontaneous evening at the Downtown Lounge in downtown Lebanon after some work on the building led to bumping into some folks very passionate about the community. The discussions quickly went into a brainstorm of ideas on how to bring more life and community around the area of the building. Ideas ranged from planting grass and creating a green space, projecting artwork on the side of the building during first Friday, advertising, and community movie nights. I am excited about opportunities to be a part of helping to improve the surrounding communities.

The most exciting idea that I am working through at the moment is to develop one of the courtyards around the building to be able to host business events, community events, and possibly even weddings. This effort has the opportunity to be a huge win for the city of Lebanon to give people another place to go and hang out. I envision there being entertainment, breweries, food trucks, and so much more! The photos below are a glimpse of the inspiration for the development of that space. I will be dedicating a blog post specifically to the ideas around this project.


Finding Balance

Whew! What a summer. It’s hard to believe that it’s already creeping towards the middle of August. I just heard a commercial on the radio today about pumpkin spice… whatever, so that’s my cue to know that fall is just around the corner. This summer has been a wild ride between getting married, going on our honeymoon, and working on our various projects, it has been a whirlwind.

As I sit here writing this post, I begin to think about what I’ve accomplished this summer, but at the same time it feels like there’s so much equally neglected. Everyone talks about balance and staying grounded, but is there such a thing and how is it possible to stay accountable?

Take for instance this salad that I’m about to eat. It seems pretty balanced right? That’s until you factor in the huge bowl of ranch dressing that is about to destroy the balance. No big deal, right? The dressing makes the salad taste so much better. However, these small exceptions compile and so does all of the responsibilities that surround us. One day you are feeling pretty good about how you’re doing, but then you look up and realize that everything is burning around you.

Summer is already wrapping up, but I’ve been promising myself to eat healthy and get into shape. It’s sometimes just simply too easy to dump the ranch dressing on things and ignore reality. Perhaps tomorrow is the day that I make it to the gym… in the meantime, at least I chose a turkey burger for dinner tonight instead of a cheeseburger… tiny steps.

We’ve got to take care of our families, careers, and businesses, but we also have to take care of ourselves. Take a second to live in the moment and do something for you today.

The World of VLOGGING

As a complement to this BLOG, I’m going to start a VLOG. Gone are the days when text is cool. VLOGGING and video content is an absolute must to create engaging content. I just ordered my first VLOG camera and I can’t wait to get it!

Trying to determine which camera to get was overwhelming. After reading countless reviews and researching the features of dozens of cameras, I chose the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera w/ 1 Inch Sensor and tilt LCD screen – Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black). This camera has all of the bells and whistles in an easy to use package for creating stunning videos.

I have determined that my passion is not only to be successful, but to be able to help others in the process. I think that more important to my success is being able to help set others up to be successful. I can think of several instances where I have put other’s best interests before my own so that they have an opportunity that they may otherwise never have.

VLOGGING for me is going to help provide the medium for me to connect with you at a more personal level. I am hoping that what I share can help inspire, motivate, and create exciting dialogue around entrepreneurship. I will simply be jazzed by having the chance to provide content that will hopefully change lives.

Keep in mind, while I do have some experience with starting and running businesses, I am new enough to absolutely be able to relate to the struggles of finding direction and validation. I’m at the beginning of my journey and if you’re in the same position or looking for company, join me. There’s no reason that anyone should feel that they need to do it alone. There are enough sources for self doubt and criticism. Let this be a place for inspiration and uplifting encouragement.

More to come on the VLOG soon! Bear with me though. I am not a videographer or marketer by trade, so there is definitely going to be a learning curve. I welcome feedback and constructive criticism in advance.

Make it an awesome day!!!




Morning Routine Recap: Day 0

Committing to establishing a healthy and successful routine is one thing, actually following through and doing it is another. I have committed to wanting to implement a morning routine, but it isn’t there yet.

The next logical step in my mind is to keep a daily recap so that I know how I started my day and how it went. Is there a correlation between how I start my day, my mood, energy, and productivity? Everything that I have read suggests that there is a positive benefit to implementing a specific routine, but I want to be able to measure the results. After all, if the changes are so gradual that I won’t notice, then how will I know that there has been a positive impact?

Alarm went off at 6:45 AM and hit the snooze button twice. Prior to the second snooze alarm going off, I heard Deven singing. I recognized the song, Better Place by Rachel Platten, so I played the song over our house speakers for her. Seeing the joy in her eyes and the smile on her face was a great way to awaken to start the day.

7:04 – I was out of bed and ready to shower, shave, and brush my teeth.

7:18 – pulled my jeans from a pile of clothes and went downstairs to find a clean dress shirt. The shirt that I found was little wrinkled, so I put it in the dryer for a few minutes to freshen it up.

Dunkin Donuts Coffee

7:20 – Let Mya out to go to the bathroom and fed her

7:22 – Got my shirt out of the dryer and put it on. Styled my hair and finished getting ready.

7:25 – Fed Dewey and made my way out the door to head to the office

7:53 – Stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for my morning cup of coffee and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese

7:59 – Arrived at the Carlisle office and was ready to start my day


The following category ratings are on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Overall feeling at 10:00AM = 🙂

Awakeness: 7

Preparedness: 7

Energy: 6

Mood: 6

Inspiration: 6

Sociability: 3

Positivity: 5

Participation: 2

Creativity: 2

Overall, today I feel better than I have during a lot of recent days. I would say that today is in the top 30% out of the prior year. My current inspiration is the excitement of publishing this new category within my blog, the progress of a property rehab, a new camera that has been ordered to start a VLOG, and the new hardwood floors that we are preparing to have installed in our home.



Embrace What You’ve Got

What’s the fastest and easiest way to be happy? Be grateful for what you’ve got. In today’s world of marketing, it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s an advertisement and what’s real life. Our social media accounts are full of people touting how perfect their lives are and that they’ve got it all figured out.

*Disclaimer: I’m not writing this blog because I think that I have figured it out and have all of the answers. This is just a matter of my observations and opinions of which I am grateful for.

While all of the positivity is a welcome change from a world of negativity, it can have negative effects of discontentment, jealously, and self loathing. If you are having any of these strong feelings, perhaps it is a good opportunity to take a hiatus from social media and check your feelings. Take a breath and figure out where they are coming from. Make note of those feelings that are genuine that you want to work towards making a change.

Be grateful. Being grateful is having appreciation of what you have, who you are, and what you’re capable of. Focus on your abilities and what makes you unique. You can be grateful for your great looks, but you’re only ever going to look so good.

Do it often. Make it a part of a ritual. Perhaps when you wake up, before you eat, while your brushing your teeth, whenever. I have never heard of anyone overdoing being grateful, so do it often. I actually carry a gratitude rock with me, which is a little trick that I learned from the book The Secret. Every time that I come across the rock in my pocket, it reminds me to be grateful.

Maybe your in a really tough place where it’s hard to think of anything worth being grateful for. Try starting with very broad topics like the sunshine, food, the air we breath, family, friends, and this blog. As you practice being grateful, you’ll start to discover all of those little things that you previously took for granted. Practice truly feel the emotions of being grateful. Feel it in the pit of your stomach and the smile on your face as you think about all of those things that your grateful for.

Watch your life change. Bringing gratitude into your life will change it. You’ll begin to look at things with a healthy genuine positivity and this will translate to great things throughout all other aspects of your life.

861 Mandy: Kitchen

After a bit of a hiatus on the rehab project at 861 Mandy, we are back to full swing. We had take our eye off the ball with the recent purchase of the Paper Box Factory in Lebanon and prioritizing jobs for our customers. The plan is to get this house on the market within the next 6 weeks for the Spring buying / selling season. Fortunately, the market in central Pennsylvania has been highly competitive and continues to strengthen.

Over the past week, we have been hanging trim and finishing the kitchen floor. We also had our friends over at work on a kitchen design for us. The kitchen drawings below will closely resemble the kitchen once it is installed. The only major difference will be the color of the flooring. We have installed a light grey ceramic tile which will pair very nicely with the white shaker style cabinets.


This week we are working on finishing the trim and hanging the doors. This is the part of the project that really excited me as everything starts to come back together! It is starting to look like a home again and will be a joy for the new homeowner! I’m looking forward to wrapping up this project and posting our “after” photos.


You Make It Look So Easy

Have you ever watched someone do something that appeared to be effortless for them but when you tried it was seemingly impossible? Sure. We all have. That skate boarder that lands an impossible stunt, the ballerina’s graceful performance, the actor, the athlete, the rapper, the entrepreneur…

They all have the same thing in common, preparation. Let’s face it. It takes years and years of practice and preparation to operate at the highest levels in any profession. We get to see people perform at the top of their game for entertainment or inspiration, but what we don’t get to see is the effort that it took for them to get there. We don’t get see the countless hours of practice, the early mornings, the late nights, the strict regiments, or sacrifices.

One the most difficult concepts to wrap my head around throughout this journey of entrepreneurship is how easy it looks for so many others before me. By the time that we recognize a successful person, they have already spent years preparing and practicing. What we see is an instant success. We tend to see someone that just happened to get lucky or have natural abilities. Sure. Luck and skill have a huge role in success, but you can prepare for luck and hone in on a skill.

This has been a difficult concept for me to grasp as I look at the greatest entrepreneurs of our time for inspiration. They are so far out of my league that I cannot even imagine performing at their level. It’s difficult to relate to their beginnings and what they are accomplishing today. Intimidating? Absolutely. Why? because I am trying to compare myself to Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerburg, the quintessential entrepreneurs.

I think it is important to have role models and heroes. They keep us energized and dreaming bigger than a life that we can imagine. But, I also think that it is important to have an individual perspective. This is to know your personal intent and what success is for you as an entrepreneur. So you’re not a billionaire, that’s okay. Tell yourself it’s okay.

Now that you don’t have to sit trying to come up with the next billion dollar idea to compete with the greats, get to work preparing and practicing for your success. You’ll eventually have your friends, family, and possibly the world saying, “Wow, they make it look so easy.”