We’re continuing with the August series called “You Asked For It.” Your questions are getting deeper, digging a little more into my life. But that’s okay…that’s why I’m doing it. If you haven’t sent in a question yet, please do so today. I’ll respond to more next week.
So let’s get started!
PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Heidi. We started dating 27 years ago, and we celebrated our 20th anniversary this week! We have four beautiful children. Andy is 18, and is leaving this week for college. Abby is 15, Carly is 12, and Caleb is 7. God has blessed me in many ways, but my family is by far the greatest gift he has given me. Thanks for asking!
Do you have any pets?
Growing up, we had both dogs and cats. My cat was Clover, and he lived about 18 years! Most of my family is allergic to cats, though, so my cat days are over. We now have a Shih Tzu named Buddy, and he is 11 years old. He’s a great dog—very easy going, trouble free, and affectionate. He’s also small enough that it’s easy to find a place for him to stay when we’re on vacation!
Who would you most like to meet?
I currently have 34 people I would like to meet on my Goals List. The person I would most like to meet on that list is Richard Branson. He is a phenomenally successful businessman, founding the now famous Virgin brand—Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic airlines, etc. And, according to people I know who’ve met and spent time with him, he’s a down-to-earth, great guy, too. I think he exemplifies the idea of “living life to the fullest” which is something I try to do in my own life. Where would we meet? Necker Island of course—Branson’s own private island located in the British Virgin Islands!
"Sometimes I do wake up in the mornings and feel like I’ve just had the most incredible dream. I’ve just dreamt my life." – Richard Branson
Where would you most like to visit?
I love to travel. There’s so much to learn from visiting other places, and I’ve been very fortunate to have not only traveled extensively myself, but to have also exposed our children to other places, and other cultures. I’ve visited 32 states outside Michigan, and 9 countries outside the United States. Most of my foreign travel has been in the form of family vacations, which I am really grateful for.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of places to see, because there are still so many places I want to visit. Probably at the top of my list is Australia. I think Sydney is one of the greatest cities in the world, and I’m sure other parts of Australia are equally amazing. Three of our four children are now certified scuba divers, which has added a new dimension to our vacations involving water. I would love to spend several days with my family on a boat, diving the Great Barrier Reef.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
A few years ago, as I was approaching my 40th birthday, I really wanted to do something spectacular. My gift to myself that year was a skydiving adventure! I always wanted to skydive, and what better way to celebrate my birthday? I’m not sure that was the smartest thing to do with a wife and four children, but fortunately I lived to tell about it. Life doesn’t get much riskier than jumping out of a plane! It was an absolute thrill-of-a-lifetime adventure, and I’d do it again in a second. I want to go with someone else next time, though. So far, I haven’t had any takers.
If you could be any movie, book, or TV character, who would you like to be?
James Bond. I think “007” is the movie/book character most men really aspire to be, and I’m no exception. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live his life? He travels the world, drives nice cars, and always has the coolest toys. Bond lives a little more dangerously than I would like to…but it always works out in the end!
What kind of music do you listen to?
When I was in school, I played the French horn, the saxophone, and the oboe. I played in the school band, as well as a Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. That diverse background helped me to appreciate different genres of music. I love jazz and classical music. I’ve attended several operas, and have enjoyed them immensely. I even listen to some hip-hop and country, genres I’m exposed to right now by my two oldest children. But the music I like most is rock. I like classic rock, but there are a lot of bands out there today that are great, too. I probably listen to Dave Matthews Band more than any other group. Coldplay, The Fray, and U2 are some other bands that come to mind.
What kind of car do you drive, and if you could drive any car, what would it be?
I’ll answer the second question first. My dream car when I was growing up was a Rolls Royce. For me, that was always the epitome of excellence in automotive design. The car at the top of my list now is a red Ferrari Testarossa with tan leather interior. I just saw one in LaJolla when I was in California recently. I parked next to it, so I guess that means I’m getting closer to my goal, right?
A car I’d love to drive that is more in my price range is the Maserati GranTurismo. Maserati makes great Italian sports cars, and I love both the coupe and the sedan (Quattroporte). I like nice cars, and the GranTurismo is beautiful! It’s a bit of a leap, though, so for now I’ll enjoy my Infiniti M45, which I absolutely love.
I HAVE WORKED VERY HARD FOR YEARS, BUT I’M NOT WHERE I WANT TO BE IN LIFE. I FEEL LIKE I’M ON A TREADMILL, AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO STOP. I WANT TO WORK LESS, AND MAKE MORE MONEY, BUT WHERE DO I START? PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE OUT HOW TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE.
Thanks for your question. First of all, I want you to know that you’re not alone. You have been brought up in a culture that defines people, at least in part, by how hard they work and how much money they make. One of the problems with that is it never seems to be enough. It probably seems like, no matter how hard you work, you never seem to get caught up. And, if you’re like most other people today, regardless of your income, you still want or need more money to get to where you want to be.
The first thing to realize is that it is possible to work less and make more. It’s not easy, and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. But thousands of people have been in the same situation as you, and they’ve literally turned their lives around. They’ve created thriving businesses, or great careers, and yet they still have a life. They have been able to take back control of their lives, rather than being controlled by the endless demands in their lives. They have designed the lives they want to live, and figured out how to make a reality, rather than just wishful thinking.
If you don’t have the book Work Less, Make More, you might want to pick it up. The book is a step-by-step recipe for creating the life you want to live. You won’t get there by just reading the book, though. You must be completely committed to the 10-step process outlined in the book. Once you complete the questionnaires and exercises in the book, and apply what you learn, you will discover that there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
If you want to get a jump-start before you get the book, here are a couple key thoughts:
1. The first thing you must get very clear about is what your life will look like once you’re working less and making more. You must define, in very specific terms, what Work Less, Make More means to you. For example, how many hours will you work? How many vacations do you want to take each year? How much money will you earn per week, month, or year? How will you know when you’re working less and making more? The more specific and measurable you make your vision, the more compelling it will be.
2. Equally important is to figure out what’s stopping your success. Once you identify what’s preventing you from working less and making more, you can begin to change your thoughts, beliefs, and behavior to overcome those obstacles. Make a list of all the things that are holding you back. You can also complete the assessment on page 25 of Work Less, Make More. The nice thing about the assessment in the book is that each question corresponds to a specific chapter in the book. Once you finish the assessment, you will be directed to the chapters of the book that are most relevant for you. Either way, determining what’s holding you back is a critical step on your Work Less, Make More journey.
3. The Work Less, Make More website and blog also contain valuable tools, techniques and strategies to help you get to where you want to be in life. The material is constantly being updated, so be sure to check those resources, too.
Have a great weekend, and I’ll be in touch again next week. Remember, you may submit your questions in one of three ways:
1. Send an email to info (AT) jwcgroup (DOT) com, with “You Asked For It” in the subject line.
2. Fax your question to our office. (734-254-9973, Attn: Marti)
3. Comment on the Work Less, Make More blog.
Submit your questions today… and stay tuned for the next edition of “You Asked For It!”