Monday, April 13, 2009

"Get Motivated"

Last Thursday I went to an all day seminar at USC Columbia's Colonial Center called "Get Motivated" I went with three others from USCA and we were there with 10,000 others who have decided not to participate in the recession. There were some very famous speakers including Earl Mendell, Dr. Robert Schuller, Zig Ziglar, Suze Orman and Major Rudy Giuliani among others. The seminar is produced by Peter and Tamara Lowe who seem to be strong Christians. Our group was pleasantly surprised at the positive references to God and faith that were included by most of the speakers. Of course we expected that from Robert Schuller, but it was very exciting to me to hear business speakers being open about their faith.

Zig Ziglar reminded us "that if you ever get discouraged, just remember that Moses was a basket case". He also encouraged us to be people who do not pay attention to the economy, but to instead thrive regardless of the outside world. We can do a lot about our personal economy, even though we can;t do a lot about the national economy.

Krish Dhanam told us to take ownership and that we are accountable for our own futures. He also told us to practice stewardship: GLOW Give more than you have. Leave more than you take. Offer praise. Whose applause matters? (God's)

I am not normally a huge Suze Orman fan, but she gave the most solid financial advice of the day. She had the audience stand if they had any debt at all. the vast majority of the audience did stand and it was very scary to me. The vast majority of Americans are living on little, if any, financial margin. That is why I am dedicated to writing and teaching about improving family finances. Many financial speakers advise that you should pay off credit card debt first. However, Suze advises making only minimum credit card payments until you have at least six months living expenses in the bank so that you can withstand a job layoff or other financial emergency. That makes a lot of sense given South Carolina's 11% unemployment rate. She also encouraged everyone to invest in their retirement plans, once their debts are paid off.

This seminar was well worth the time and it only cost $50 for five of us to go from USCA. An incredible bargain!

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