Should we sell our home?

Today’s Question is about Real Estate:

“Should we sell our home?”

One of my readers sent me the following:

“We have enough equity in our house that if we sold it, we’d be almost completely out of debt. We’ve got 2 kids in college and 2 at home still, which makes downsizing a little tricky at this point. We’d probably have to rent an apartment for a year to save up for another down payment on a different home. Or buy a condo, and those can be difficult to sell.

We want the kids to have a place to stay when they come home for the summer, and if we were in a 3 bedroom apt or condo that wouldn’t be ideal. And yet, I REALLY want financial freedom. I REALLY want this burden GONE FOREVER.

My business has been struggling for years, and is actually the reason why we’re in this situation—I invested in marketing and trainings that didn’t convert, and got scammed by a business partner. Lots of adventures!

But I hear you loud and clear about being reactionary at this point. Any money the business brings in goes right to debt. I haven’t paid myself in close to a year. That sucks all the fun out of business! 🙂

Anyway, the question is: do we sell the home in the spring and rent for a while? What would you do?

..Thank you so much, Leslie! You’re one of the last people out there I actually trust. – A. C.

Here’s my reply:

That’s a tough question. I’d probably be tempted too, but we spent 6 years renting after the recession and I never realized how much of my mental energy was spent wondering, “Where are we going to be next year? Will the rent go up? Are we going to pay the higher rent or are we going to move again? What about the kids’ schoolwhat if we have to move too far? How are we going to save for a down payment fast enough to keep up with rising home prices?”

It was on my mind constantly. We ultimately bought another home and the difference it made in my ability to THINK, create, and serve again was HUGE.

That being said, who knows if the home prices are going to tank again in the near future, and getting the equity now might be super beneficial? It would be amazing to pay off the debts faster, and buy a home when they’re cheaper. Indeed, it could go really well in that regard, but it’s a BIG gamble. If you stay where you are and can get in front of things any other way, don’t take it for granted that you already have a home of your own. It’s a huge-er deal than you know.

I strongly recommend that you do a search in Dave Ramsey’s archives for “should I sell my home to pay off debt” and see what advice he offers in different scenarios. Additionally, here’s one article on the topic. Find the principle that applies to your situation from which to make your decision, then you can be at peace no matter which way the market goes.

She responded:

Thank you! I adore you! I appreciate your honesty so much. And when I get quiet in my mind, I realize that some of this feeling is impatience, which is NOT a principle of abundance! I’ll do a search on Dave Ramsey—that’s a great idea. Thank you again! 

To learn more about developing the right mindset for achieving your goals, visit www.ProspertheFamily.com

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Avoiding Debt-Payoff Self-Sabotage

Today’s Question comes from Allyson. She wanted to know:

“How do I visualize paying off debt, without creating a subconscious desire for MORE debt to pay off?”

In her words:

I’ve been listening to your Science of Getting Rich Program over the last couple of weeks and have a question for you.

This next year my husband and I want to create financial freedom, which to us looks like a zero balance on all the credit cards and everything paid off. What we’re bumping up against is we keep visualizing the victory with paying off credit cards, and we don’t want to train our mind into seeking more debt for that thrill of paying it off.

But financial freedom feels so esoteric to us that I am having a hard time pinning down an emotion associated with financial freedom. I’ve thought about what I want life to look like when there are no more debts, and it’s just that everything is normal, I feel secure and I sleep well every night, we are able to invest, and we’re able to pay a lot in tithing and fast offerings and so forth… but it doesn’t carry the emotional thrill that having zero debt has.

Can you help me reframe this, please? I KNOW we can create financial freedom this year. I want to make sure we’re not future sabotaging by the emotion we’re connecting to the visualization, or that we’re visualizing the wrong thing.

Thank you so much! – A.C.

Here’s my Answer:

One of the best pieces of advice I got on this was to spend energy picturing and planning the details of life “after”, and get excited about the feelings associated with normal life. But sometimes nothing else sounds quite as exciting, so I do get that it’s important to be emotionally invested in getting out of debt. I don’t know if this is necessarily the best way, but I’ll tell you how we finally did it. And I’m sorry, it’s kind of rambling without editing, so I hope it’s helpful:

We listened a lot to Dave Ramsey (which was painful at first, but eventually allowed us to get REALLY excited about being out of debt, WITH the new mindset that also kept us from sabotaging ourselves when the goal was achieved. It’s good medicine. Best of both worlds, in my opinion.

We first made a commitment to stop using credit to tide us over if we came up short in any given month. This commitment was before we tried to pay anything off, I think. It meant that we had to use “rare faith” a LOT. Every month, for a while in fact, until we started noticing that miracle after miracle, the principles were proving to be dependable, as long as we kept to the commitment and expected another miracle. …I had never realized what a shift in mentality that required for us, because we were coming from an “investing” mindset – using other people’s money to invest for high returns. (Which, we did really well at for a while, until we got caught in the recession and people couldn’t pay money that they owed us, and the dominoes began to really fall.)

We also had to get serious about budgeting. How on earth would we do that when our income was unpredictable?? We decided we’d just do our best. So it meant looking back over the year and coming up with average monthly dollar amounts for all the predictable expenses. We were barely making it with our business income, and when we came up short, I’d just run a promotion or something, so how do I budget when I’m so used to being reactionary to our needs? We got those monthly figures, and then decided on a monthly amount that the business had to make – so it meant setting up an automatic transfer from business to personal every two weeks.

This freaked me out at first because I thought, “Well, what if the business doesn’t make that much?” and “What if I don’t feel motivated to make more than the bi-monthly draw?” And the first month, it was patchy. I had to scramble to make enough before the transfer hit, which was new because I wasn’t scrambling to pay a bill, I was scrambling to pay myself.

Something about that helped with another mindset shift I needed – because I was scrambling to pay MYSELF instead of scrambling to pay a bill (even though the result was the same). I scrambled again to make enough in time for the second draw. And I didn’t really earn more than the bare minimum.

But after that first month, something felt different. I started working for the joy of it again, knowing that the draw would automatically cover my bills, and I found myself wondering how much more I could make, just for fun. Our financial planner told me to “Let the business account build up”, so no matter how much I generated, I was still only allowed to spend the fixed monthly budgeted amount. That was a new concept to me. (Because previously I was always just reacting to our needs.) So that’s what the budget did for me – it stopped me from thinking so much about bills, and helped me get back to just creating.

The next month I did really well, but still only received the fixed draw into my personal account. The business account started to grow and grow. THAT did a lot for my psyche. Out of the budgeted amount, certain amounts went to paying off bills, and as things started going better, I got a real charge out of paying off debts early. We started to get a bigger charge out of saving, too. This was a new experience for us. I made more rules for myself – like if I generated a certain amount of revenue by the end of the year, I’d give myself a bonus. Otherwise the money stayed in the business account, which was nice because then I had reserves I could use for investing more in my business – product, hired help, etc. It also made it so that the tax bill at the end of the year wasn’t a giant blow to our pocketbook – there was money saved and enough to cover the tax bill and to spare.

Anyway, we felt like step one had to be learning how to live with the new system of paying myself, and within these budgeting restrictions (something that ran counter to the “abundance mindset” – but again, it felt like necessary short-term medicine for our long-term wealth plan).

So the short answer is this. If you want to be really excited about paying off debt, you CAN. But keep it paired with a constant reminder of the principles that build a wise and solid foundation. Follow Dave’s Baby Steps. I used to think he was only about budgeting for people on limited incomes. But he’s more about wealth building – it’s just that too many people skip the steps that build a solid foundation, so that’s why he hammers that part so much. Too often I see people get caught up in the excitement about paying off debt without the education (and pants-kicking) that keeps them wise afterwards, and they get sucked back into the same problems over and over again. Pulling rabbits out of the hat to keep fixing debt problems does work, but it becomes exhausting.

So if your vision is a normal, peaceful, joyful abundant life, then submit yourself to Dave’s podcast (if you aren’t already listening to him). Like I said, it can be painful in the short term, but it’s really made all the difference for us in the longer term. It keeps us in check, and has really added to my ability to live the normal peaceful life I always wanted.

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Funny Story

Some time ago I was in Utah with my husband and two of my kids for a conference, and while we were there, I needed to pick up some books from Garrett Gunderson, my co-author for Portal to Genius. I love telling people about his other book, Killing Sacred Cows, and needed some on hand for a local event.

I texted Garrett while I was in town, and since it was on a weekend and nobody was in his office, my only other option on short notice was to pick the books up from his home.

He responded, “I’m out of town, so just go get some from the garage in the back of my house. We have some friends staying in an RV out front – just tell them why you’re there if they ask.”

I rounded the corner to his home and pulled up in front. “I’ll just be a minute, kids.”

The house was dark, and so was the RV, so I just went to the gate, followed his instructions on how to get in, and made my way to the back garage.  The door was ajar, so I let myself in.

A quick scan of the area produced nothing—I couldn’t find any books. So, I texted Garrett again for better instructions. He didn’t answer, so I called my husband. “Can you try to get a hold of Garrett and ask him where in the garage are the books?”

A few minutes later, he came back with, “You were supposed to do this tricky latch thing with the gate…”

“Yeah, I did that; I’m already in the garage—where are the books?”

“He said they’re in the back garage…”

“Yeah, I know; I AM in the back garage. Where in the garage are these books supposed to be?”

“He just said it would be obvious. There’s 5,000 books in there.”

I was stumped. I looked around, and I saw nothing but three cars and some tools, and a few large RubberMaid-style plastic bins—not the best for book storage, and no way there would be room inside those bins for 5,000 anyway.  I checked the rafters above me. I prowled between all three of the cars, scanning every square inch, thinking I must be blind.

Why don’t his directions make any sense? Why aren’t they producing the results he promised?

I came out of the garage and walked out to the front again. I turned around and retraced the same steps, following the directions perfectly. I prowled around the darkly lit back yard a bit, double-checking to make sure there wasn’t another back garage somewhere, and ended up back in the same garage with no greater insight than I had before.

I called Trevan again. “Honey, there are NO books in here—and nowhere to hide 5,000 of them anyway.  I’m sure if this pile of books was a snake it would’ve already bit me, but I’m stumped.  Will you call Garrett again?”

Trevan ended up calling Garrett two or three times. He told Garrett, “She can’t find them.”

Garrett responded, “I don’t know how she could miss them! Is she in the back garage?”

“She says she’s in there, and she’s not seeing them.”

To be perfectly truthful, I was getting REALLY frustrated with Garrett for not being more specific, and for not taking my frustration seriously enough to give me some useful instructions.  I felt like he was ignoring my question, leaving me to figure it all out on my own, and I was already late for an appointment and increasingly annoyed about this predicament. Why won’t he just tell me something more specific like, “The books are in the north-west corner next to the white SUV” or something like that?

Finally, after going in and out three times and scouring the place, I came back to my car and took a deep breath. Glancing up, I noticed there was another RV parked out front of the neighbor’s house next door, too.

Then it dawned on me.

I was at the wrong house altogether.  I had been prowling inside a stranger’s home; trespassing, combing their property for something that didn’t exist. Once I put myself in the right location, the instructions finally worked. I met Garrett’s house guest, did the tricky latch thing, found the back garage, and retrieved the books.

Now for the lesson. (Of course, you knew I’d find a lesson in this, didn’t you?)

Here it goes:

How often do you take advice on how to get what you want, only to find those instructions don’t produce the promised results?

Garrett promised there were thousands of books waiting for me—an abundance of what I wanted—and his instructions were perfectly accurate. The fact that I could not receive them was not his fault. The blame rested squarely upon my own shoulders for not making sure I was first oriented to the location that was supposed to be the starting point.

Perhaps you’ve found hope through various books, audios, or events from me or other teachers of success principles, but are having trouble experiencing the promised results. If that’s the case, then let’s take a step back and find out if you’re in the right starting point for utilizing those instructions, shall we?

When you don’t achieve the results you expect, “check the address.”

The Mindset Mastery Program can help. It opens wide its arms to gather in all who struggle to see results, and brings them first to square ONE. If you’ll allow me to bring you to square ONE, then from there, the program walks you step-by-step through an experience where you will get a taste of intentional success with something small, and then gives you the courage and confidence to apply the process to bigger and better things. In fact, once you’ve experienced intentional success in spite of the obstacles once, and your brain has developed those new neural pathways for success, doing it again for bigger life-goals becomes a whole lot easier.

We have countless participants who get through the program and then repeat it again, the next time for something bigger and even more amazing.

No matter where you are now, after you let me guide you to square ONE, the Mindset Mastery Program takes you to the next level and beyond. Join us from home and take it at your own pace, or if you want to go through it with a group, our next Guided class begins soon.

Get signed up today.  I look forward to assisting you!

www.prosperthefamily.com

Leslie

P.S. If you’re not ready for the full program, find out if there’s really anything “to” this by starting with the budget-friendly Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse.

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Do the Challenges Ever Stop?

It’s thrilling to discover the principles, and it’s especially exciting when you see them work intentionally for the first time.

From there, you feel empowered and encouraged to think bigger and test the principles on more significant tasks.

But when you face a setback, you might be left wondering,

“What just happened here? I thought if I just live the principles perfectly, the rest of my life would be easy!”

I have an answer for this, and I hope it doesn’t burst anyone’s bubble too much, but we were placed on this earth to grow.

All life is compelled to grow and expand. That is one of the definitions that helps us determine whether something is alive: does it grow?

In order for us to grow, we must have challenges that stretch us beyond our present limits. We must work our mental muscles and exercise our mind, body, and spirit in order to have the joy and experience the success that only comes through growth and expansion. There are few joys that exceed the feeling of facing a difficult challenge, and overcoming it.

The truth is, that if we ever found ourselves without challenges, we would become unhappy and restless.

Remember when you were a child, and your mother tried to teach you how to tie your shoe?

Did it work the first time you tried it? Probably not. And it was probably very frustrating, and likely evoked some tears.

In that moment, there had never been so great a challenge in your life. You wanted to throw in the towel, give up, and if it didn’t make you cry, it probably made you growl in frustration. However, in time, it became old hat for you and you could do it without even thinking.

Sixth Grade

Then when you were in sixth grade, your teacher probably assigned you a book report that would take several weeks and had to fill up about 4 pages. You had never done an assignment that big before, and it was overwhelming. In time, and after being required to do a number of similar assignments, it was no big deal. What took several weeks could be completed in a day, because you had experience.

Fast forward to college.

Remember those projects that ultimately determined your final grade? Remember the countless hours on the computer? Remember closing off your social life in order to meet that deadline? It was overwhelming, and the stress was unbelievable. You had never been required to work so hard on something so important! If you were like me, you shed many tears and begged your professor more than once for mercy.

Then for some of you, you started in the work force and had job pressures and bills to pay. Sometimes it was too much to bear. You thought you had it pretty tough until…

You got married and added a spouse to the picture.

Now there were work pressures, bills to pay, and a spouse to please. Who knew that being responsible to one other person could stir things up that much?

Pretty soon, you got into the routine of things, and even though things are tough, you have no idea what tough means until…

You start having children.

Are there words to describe how complicated things became when kids entered the picture??

Now wait a minute. Think back to the time when you were learning to tie your shoe. Oh, if only life were that easy now!!!

But remember, at the time, when you were six and you had to figure out how to pull the string just enough to make a loop and not enough to make a knot, it was as though the world was falling apart and it was nearly more than you could cope with.

One day, today’s challenges will look like child’s play as you learn to conquer them.

All that I do through my books and programs is to provide the tools you need to learn how to succeed in overcoming the challenges you face today. Will challenges in general go away? No.

But you’ll be prepared to handle bigger challenges, and you’ll grow in faith, hopefully learning to rely more perfectly on God in all you do.

It seems that life will only get more challenging.

WAIT!

I didn’t say life has to get worse, or even harder, but it will constantly deliver more and more ADVANCED challenges.

As we learn the laws and adopt them into our habits, we become successful at overcoming them more and more gracefully. Every challenge could easily seem overwhelming, but only relative to what we’ve conquered in the past.

Challenges are important because they help us build confidence.

Imagine a child who never gained confidence in learning something simple. What if they were required to hold office as president of a large organization? Each challenge is intended to lead us along to receive all that God would have us receive. Each is an opportunity to overcome and gain increased confidence in the partnership we are developing between ourselves and God.

You can get good at handling finances and attracting wealth. Learning to achieve prosperity is a skill that can be improved. Just as you got good at tying a shoe, this is one skill that can become a strength.

Don’t get discouraged if new challenges show up. It doesn’t mean you are failing. It means you have grown to a point where God believes you can handle something else. It is an indication of His increased faith in you.

I heard somewhere, “When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.” There is joy to be had in the struggle. As we learn to find peace in each whirlwind of trouble around us, that is success. Then, the prosperity you want begins to flow naturally.

Seek peace and prosperity comes, seek prosperity and peace flees.

Let me help you find peace, by learning the laws and principles that are dependable and sure. Click here to join me in the Mindset Mastery course – as you allow me to walk you through each lesson and corresponding challenge, your life will never be the same.

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When Things Look Bleak

I was in a slump. On the verge of some pretty exciting things, but attacked by new thoughts of concern.

I had set some lofty goals, and as the target date was approaching, things appeared to be bleak, like the feeling in this photo above. It took all my energy to continually push aside doubtful thoughts that the changes I wanted to realize were still possible for me.

For days I was plagued with questions:

  • “What if it doesn’t work out?”
  • “What if I miss my goals?”
  • “What will I do if the resources I need don’t come through?”

Each time an anxious thought came into my head, I rejected it. But just rejecting it wasn’t enough to leave me with burning faith, either.

I was losing sight of my objectives, and felt weak in my ability to apply the principles of prosperity I teach.

“Oh, give yourself a break, Leslie, you’re just pregnant.” I’m acutely aware of my emotional state when hormones are all wacked out, and I learned to trust in God’s mercy in spite of myself. I believe He can bless me even when I’m not perfect (thank heavens) and I’ve learned that because I choose that way of thinking over the more typical, “I’m not worthy of His blessings” mentality, He is then able to send the blessings, by law.

Still, even though I have in the past been able to believe in my goals in spite of myself, that week was especially tough. Hope was fading, and I struggled not to give up.

So I turned to two of my closest friends for support, and to help me fix my thinking. I knew that it was my thinking that needed fixing, even more than the circumstances around me (the lack of evidence that I would succeed). It was my thinking that needed fixing, and my success depended on it.

Marnie’s advice – “Dig into gratitude for what you have and what you know is coming. Also, depression isn’t such a bad thing because it makes you willing to change, helps you see contrast. Also, the whole [law of] rhythm thing: something great’s around the corner. Refocus spiritually. Doctrine and Covenants 6:33-37 really helped me get through [a similar slump]”

(The reference she was talking about reads: “Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail… Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”)

My husband’s comment: “God hasn’t brought us this far to fail now….”

That comment struck me like a ton of bricks. It made me think back to all of the miracles He has performed for us, and it would be absurd to think that He would bring us this far, only for us to give up on our dreams and fail to accomplish the worthy things we’ve set out to do.

Suddenly, the struggle seemed like a waste of time and energy. No longer did I feel like I was IN the struggle; I felt like I had just set it aside as something I chose to have nothing to do with.

I found a quiet place and took Marnie’s advice to think on all the things I have to be grateful for. And you know what? It wasn’t just a nice exercise, it was literally an action step that helped me get back on track. Because I have a growing understanding of the laws of success, I knew that to take a half hour or an hour to allow myself to feel gratitude to God for all He has done, even to the point of tears, was to put myself in harmony with Him again, and prepare myself to receive the blessings He wants to send me.

Positive Thinking Tip: Reflect with gratitude on your current blessings and previous victories.

No matter how far we come in learning these principles, we will be challenged our entire life to continue exercising those “muscles.” They can atrophy if we let them. Once again, I became excited about my dreams.

It’s true: we can make of our life anything we want it to be!

Above all, the only things that really needs fixing when things look bleak are our thoughts.

0795_Leslie-author-FB-sq-rotated-flippedGet your thinking right, and everything else falls into place.

Download a free copy of The Jackrabbit Factor or Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help With Your Money Matters, and I’ll help you make the transformation, one step at a time.

If you’re ready to put what you’ve been learning to the test, join me in the Mindset Mastery course and participate in two powerful experiments using these principles. Discover for yourself the power of your thoughts as I coach you step-by-step through how to use them with intention to make significant changes in your life. The first experiment in phase one is a practice run so you get a feel for how it works. The second experiment is phase two, where you apply what you learned in the first phase to something more difficult, important, or meaningful. With this practice, you’ll gain the confidence you need to apply the principles to any life change you desire.

Learn more and get started now at www.ProspertheFamily.com

See you on the inside!

Leslie

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