23 August 2008

What is Your Effort Worth?

Every year I receive a statement from the Social Security Administration that tells me how much I can expect to receive in Social Security, Disability, and or Medicare benefits - along with an explanation as to how these benefits are estimated. Another part of this statement outlines what my taxable income has been ever since I started working.

(I would suggest that you reach out to the S.S.A. and sign up to receive this statement ... it doesn't cost a thing! www.socialsecurity.gov)

Anyway, I was looking over the statement and I asked myself, "How much have you earned since you started working?" Then something inside said, "Add it up silly!" So I did just that. I added up every dollar I earned going all the back to my very first job in 1986. In the 21 years that I have been drawing an income (2008 not included), I have earned over $757,000.00. That's an average of roughly $36K a year. Again, that's an AVERAGE of all the years combined - because during those early years I WISH I was making that kind of money.

But then I got to thinking ... I'm not even 40 yet. I'm not even halfway through my career yet. If I was capable of earning just over three quarters of a million dollars in the 21 years leading up to and nearly half-way through my career, how much am I capable of earning; more importantly - MAKING over the course of the next 21 years?! Oh yes ... there is a difference between earning money and making money!

Right now, as I said above, I am nearly half-way through my career as I only plan on giving my "9 to 5" 20 years of my life. So in "guess-timating" what I stand to make over the course of the remaining 11 years of my career, which will be followed by my pension ... the future looks pretty bright. Add to that the fact that I am now more aware of the importance of financial literacy than I once was ... the future looks even brighter. Even taking into consideration and preparing for life's ups and downs, twists and turns, bumps and bruises ... the future looks even MORE brighter. Additionally, I'm taking into consideration the fact that I am in the process of building my own business NOW so that I actually have something worth while to do once I do retire from my "9 to 5." So - like the song goes ... "my future's so bright I gotta wear shades!"

We all agree that you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been, so why should you not do what I did and evaluate your financial history up to this point in your life? You should evaluate - not what you've done with that money (since it's already been spent), but what you can do with the money you stand to earn (or make) moving forward. You know how people always ask the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Well, take that question and project your earnings into the answer. Then ask yourself "Am I capable of doing more so that I might earn (or make) more?" I know I started this off talking about the past, but what I'm really trying to get through to you is the concept of paying more attention to the future.

The future ... the future is a strange beast. The future is a beast that we all must face. The future is a beast that we cannot fight and win. As long as we're blessed with another day, the future becomes more and more prevalent in our lives. Do you want to know why we cannot beat the future? The reason why we cannot beat the future is because as each day comes, the future disguises itself as the present, and just as the greatest trick Satan ever pulled off was convincing the world he doesn't exist, the greatest trick that the future pulls off is that we pay more attention to the disguise it discarded (the past), and the disguise it now wears (the present).

I know I cannot beat the future. I know that the future is going to come. Therefore, my strategy is to see where I want to be and start building towards it now. The only places where the tallest buildings in the world started out that way was in the architect's imagination and on his or her drawing board. However, once the time came to make those sketches and blue prints a reality, they had to start with a foundation and then build up.

If you want to be amongst those with few to no financial woes, then you're going to have to evaluate what you've done up until this point in your life. Then you'll have to determine where (and how) you want to end up. Finally ... you'll have to get up off your butt and put in work. If you want to see how it's done ... watch me! If my life were a book right now, the title would be "Success at the Ground Floor." You see, I have a dream which I transformed into a goal, and now I am on the grind of building my skyscraper of personal success one brick at a time. Now success ain't no spectators' sport! If you want it for yourself then you're going to have to go after it for yourself. No one is going to give it to you.

I am reminded of a question my wife asked me the first time she was asked by a newlywed couple how much she would charge them for some pictures she took at their wedding. In response to her question, I asked her "How much is your effort worth?"

If you get that statement from the S.S.A., you will learn exactly what your past effort was worth. I hope that you do get that statement ... and then I hope that like me, you begin evaluating your past so you can even better chart out your future.

Remember ... Fortune Favors the Brave!

22 August 2008

Lighting Strikes TWICE in the Same Place!!

Yesterday I conducted my second tele/web-seminar with "Teaching New Thinking," and it went GREAT!! There was a lot of interaction and tremendous feedback. I even learned that one of the listner/participants is a pretty high ranking Vice President in AT&T's Marketing division!

The seminar was somewhat of a "sequel" to the one I gave last month, in which I reviewed a few excerpts from my book "FIND A WAY TO MAKE A WAY! You're Either Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution!" When I was done with last month's seminar, I was told that I had to return and speak more about finding a way. There's a saying in show business that goes "always leave them wanting more," and apparently I not only did so last month - I did so yesterday.

At this time, I want to thank my brother Fl. Antuane Brown for submitting my name to "TNT" as someone worth listening to, and I also want to thank Chyrell English, National President of "TNT," who has become a true believer in the HRJR vision! The existence of these people and their placement in my life is living proof that when you are true to following through on your goals and dreams, God will supply you with the people and resources you need to make it the rest of the way!

This afternoon Chyrell shared with me some feedback she received from yesterday's seminar and I'd like to take a moment to share it with you:


I really appreciate your commitment in ensuring that we are exposed to a good quality of relevant personal development information. I don’t know how you learned about Harold Reed Jr., but I am thankful.

Mr. Reed’s message was truly inspirational. But more importantly, it is REAL. Anthony Robbins, Donald Trump and Oprah have all made it. Their success and national popularity are highly commendable, but for the folks who are still “trying to find a way to make a way”….they are sometimes “perceived” as unattainable.

I learned yesterday that Mr. Reed is still working his “real” day job “while” pursuing his dream. Plus, he has a realistic timeline in place to test the water to see if he can realistically make the transition from his day job to being a Motivational Speaker and get paid the big bucks! Too often we forget the sacrifices!

Thanks again for all that you do!

T. Bradley
Curriculum Designer - AT&T Mobility Business Learning Services

It really makes me feel that I am truly getting through to people when I get feedback such as this. Like Ms. Bradley acknowledged, it's one thing to see people who have already blown up and are doing what we feel to be impossible for ourselves. My story is going to be a different one.

Everyone who learns about and follows what I'm doing will be seeing what I choose to call "Success at the Ground Level."

Thus far, speaking for TNT has been the biggest thing I've done whilst in my humble beginnings as a professional speaker, but that would never have happened if others didn't believe in me and the message I bring.

What is that message?
Get up off your bottom and do it yourself for yourself!

Remember ... Fortune Favors the Brave!

The "New Face" of the HRJR Blog ...

Hello Friends,

I have been blogging for a couple of years now, however, for the past several months I have been toying with the idea of creating a new blog. The reason being is that I believe that there are things I have to say that everyone should hear (or read), and there I things I want to say that not everyone can handle.

I am by no means a believer in political correctness. I do not believe in candy-coating things so that it makes other people feel all warm & fuzzy just because they don't want to be made to face ugly truths and realities.

However, I am also a businessman; and although personal feelings do tend to play a part in how people conduct their business, people should not allow their personal feelings to be the cause of why others don't want to do business with them.

Yesterday, I conducted a seminar for a leadership organization that is affiliated with AT&T. I concluded the tele/web-seminar with a very powerful affirmation that people wanted to write down, but did not have the time to. So, I gave them the web address to my blog. I gave my blog address to close to 100 people in one shot. I learned that many of those people listening in on that seminar have the ability to really help my speaking career rise to higher heights ... but might not be very much inclined to do so if exposed to some of my personal beliefs and opinions that may make them uncomfortable.

With that said, I now have two blogs.

This will be my "professional" blog. It will contain only inspirational & motivational messages. On the other hand ... Don't get it twisted ... I'll still be bringing it real. However, my political views, my views on issues regarding racism, and any of societies other ills will be reserved for my "personal" blog.

So welcome to the NEW face of the HRJR Blog!

Find the Message Within the Message!

People Rarely Experience Pain After Repairing Errors
because they are spending their time
Getting Over All Limitations & Setbacks.
You see, if you go about studying some
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth,
you will be one of those fortunate few who are
Finding Answers In The Heart,
and by staying true to our dreams and those lessons learned,
We Eventually Achieve the Life That He wants for us!