After Christmas 2011 Thank You Roundup

Did everyone survive Christmas? Buy any goodies on Mega Monday? Things have been humming along thanks to all of you. If you haven’t chimed in already, make sure you cast your vote for the new Buck Inspire logo for 2012. At this time, it’s a two horse race between the top and bottom designs. The bottom one is leading the way with 62% of the votes while the top one garnered 34%. Thanks for participating. It’s been a lot of fun seeing everyone’s point of view. May need to write a takeaway post when this is all said and done. I have not forgotten about all the lovely people who featured me.

Featured By

Financially Consumed posted Underdog Or Favorite – Blog Review and featured BI 002: Style vs Substance

Net Worth Protect posted Heard of a ‘Fund of Funds’, Well This is a ‘Round-Up of Round-Ups’ and featured Albert Pujols, Chris Paul Thank You Roundup

Invest It Wisely posted Weekend Reading: Happy Holidays Edition and featured Lady Gaga: Biggest Pop Star on the Planet

Money Is The Root posted Weekly Round Up 12-19-11: Best of the Best! and featured BI 003: HMO vs PPO

My Broken Coin posted Reading Salon: Pre-Christmas Edition and also featured BI 003: HMO vs PPO

Novel Investor posted Holiday Roundup: Lessons From A Christmas Vacation and featured Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn Almost Killed Buck Inspire

Invest It Wisely posted Holiday Reading: Merry Christmas! and also featured Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn Almost Killed Buck Inspire

Money Is The Root posted Weekly Round Up 12-26-11: Best of the Best! and featured New Logos For Buck Inspire 2012

Stay Inspired!

New Logos For Buck Inspire 2012

Hope everyone had a joyful and safe Christmas! As a gift to myself, my readers, and listeners, I decided to bring in the new year with a new logo. I’m trying to take myself to the next level and I’m hoping a new logo that is not the theme default will help do the trick. Are you trying to get to your next level? What are you doing to help get you there? Please help me, help you, by picking your favorite logo by leaving a comment below with top, middle, or bottom. Don’t be afraid to tell me why. Please get your votes in by Thursday, 12/29/11, or forever hold your peace.

Stay Inspired!

BI 004: Update Contacts, Verify Shipping, Trust Your Instincts

For this Christmas edition of the Buck Inspire Podcast, I selected Lee from Tossing It Out as this week’s Listener of the Week. If you want to read high caliber writing from poems, flashbacks, travel writing, and fiction, make sure you visit today!

Since my wife and I are pretty healthy, I selected HMO for the lower premiums. In case you were wondering from last week.

Did you see that FedEx viral video of a delivery man tossing a brand new flat panel tv over a fence? If you’re listening, contact me so we all can hear your side of the story! Listen to today’s episode to learn more about these valuable lessons.

When you move, make sure you update your contacts with your new address. Second, when you mail something, make sure you verify the shipping address. Third, when something feels wrong, trust your instincts. Finally, stay calm and don’t get caught in the blame game, and make the best of the situation.

Merry Christmas to all. Be safe with your loved ones and tune in next week for a big change at Buck Inspire just in time for the New Year.

Happy Holidays and Stay Inspired!

Wise Bread Five Year Anniversary Blowout

I just returned home from Mas Malo in downtown LA, where Wise Bread celebrated their five year anniversary. It was a wonderful gathering of family, friends, partners, and bloggers. The tacos were mouth watering and the venue was amazing. We were lead downstairs to a private party room. Can anyone say velvet rope? I can see why they were voted Best New Restaurant in the Downtown News.

I just survived my first year. It is mind boggling to think Will Chen, Lynn Truong, and Greg Go are still running strong after five years in the game. They are still passionately spreading their message of “living large on a small budget” through their community and books.

Final Thoughts

I will leave you with some nuggets of wisdom from Greg and David of MoneyNing. I asked them both, “What is your secret for making it to five years?” Greg said, “Just keep on going. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, just keep on going.” David chimed in by saying, “Keep going. Find what works for you and keep doing it. If you made it past eight months, you’re in it for the long haul.” Timely advice from both as Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn Almost Killed Buck Inspire. Whether you are blogging, paying down a mountain of debt, or trying to get out of the rat race, don’t take my word for it, you owe it to yourself to listen to five year veterans, Wise Bread and MoneyNing.

Happy Five Year Anniversary Wise Bread and here’s to many more!

Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn Almost Killed Buck Inspire

WARNING: If you have unwavering self-confidence and self-esteem, stop reading. It will be a complete waste of your time. If you have bouts of self-doubt, please continue. The story below may prove helpful and entertaining just like a guru gladiator.

It’s been awhile since I wrote an over the top post. But this time, the dramatics almost came true. I’ve been pushing myself extremely hard the past two months and been achieving some pretty productive personal goals. I survived my first year of blogging, went to my first BlogWorld New Media Expo, created my first podcast, partnered with Incrwd, and added a professional sounding podcast intro. I was flying high with all this momentum and ready to soar to greater heights in 2012. Everything screeched to a grinding halt when I visited I Will Teach You To Be Rich and Smart Passive Income.

Ramit Sethi Speaking Video

Since things were humming along, I thought perhaps I could start setting my sights on higher goals, specifically making videos and speaking. I visited I Will Teach You To Be Rich’s About section and watched Ramit Sethi’s Speaking Video. It was totally awesome. But then a strange thing happened. Self-doubt and inadequacy reared its ugly head. Sethi ripped on a personal finance frugality story where the blogger cut down on some grains of rice to save fifteen cents. “Get a life!” I nodded in agreement, but then realized I have a half a dozen stories on saving a quarter or two during my bus commute! He continued his rant by saying there are tons of personal finance information out there that is totally irrelevant. He has developed systems to help people achieve results. More power to him, but where does that leave me? What am I thinking? Who do I think I am? How can I compete with his 250,000 visitors per month and his extensive media coverage? I took a breather and switched gears by visiting Smart Passive Income. Buck Inspire was on life support and Pat Flynn nearly finished me off.

Pat Flynn’s How to Be Everywhere – Building a Profitable BRAND by Thinking Outside the Blog

To catch my breath after Ramit Sethi sent me reeling, I decided to learn a thing or two about improving my budding podcast. I went straight to Pat Flynn’s podcast section and watched his video presentation from BlogWorld LA, SPI 028. I confess. After BlogWorld LA, I was so inspired that I wanted to speak at next year’s event! I am still debating my topic, but it quickly became a new personal goal. I then soaked in over an hour of killer content from Pat. His presentation was off the charts. I learned so much, but then it was déjà vu. What am I thinking? Who do I think I am? I am doing better than two cents from Adsense, but when compared to Pat’s monthly reports, I’m missing a few zeroes. My podcasts are just under two minutes. Pat’s are over an hour. You want to speak? Are you insane?

Breathe Buck Breathe

Buck Inspire is producing and innovating like never before. But when stacked up against Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn, I felt like I didn’t belong, I wasn’t in the same league, and almost pulled the plug on Buck Inspire all together. What’s the point? Why am I wasting my time? It is hopeless! My confidence was shot. My mojo was gone. The tough got going and I almost got up and went. What saved me? One word, basketball.

NBA: It’s Fantastic

When I was younger, I loved playing basketball. I could go on for hours. Part of the fun was watching NBA videos and mimicking the moves of the superstars. Skyhook. Killer Crossover. Jab Step. First Step. Pump Fake. Dream Shake. Watching, practicing, and using the moves on the court made me a better player. The entire process was fantastic. Although I imitated the moves fairly well, no one would ever mistake me for a NBA player, Kareem, Jordan, or Hakeem. I am 5’10” on a good day. I have no fast twitch muscles and I can barely touch the backboard these days. What does this have to do with Ramit and Pat? Plenty. Although they are online superstars, they seem so accessible like you and me that I couldn’t help but compare myself to them. I momentarily forgot that they’ve been in the game for years. I just passed year one. I then realized my huge mistake and was unfairly and unrealistically judging myself. I developed a short action item list to improve myself and stop being my own worst enemy.


Just like in basketball, find a move (crossover dribble) you can apply to take your game to the next level. Ramit developed step-by-step scripts and processes that are easy to follow, actionable, and designed to help anyone succeed. If I create a post to help my readers, I need to attack the problem in Sethi fashion and provide a simple, understandable solution.


After finding the move, practice, practice, practice. Referring back to basketball, dribble with your right hand, quickly crossover to your left. Dribble with your left hand and quickly crossover to the right. Do this often enough and your crossover dribble will become quicker and deadlier in game time situations. Even Pat admits his current podcast is so much better than his first. Practice does make perfect. He also practices tirelessly on his presentations and his hard work paid off as a technical malfunction rendered his BlogWorld slides almost useless. He managed to roll with the punches, delivered a memorable presentation, and was one of the highlight presenters of the show.

Don’t Compare

Just like how I am not Kareem, Jordan, or Hakeem, we are also not Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn. If we emulate their time-tested methods and practice as diligently as they do, we are guaranteed to achieve some level of access. If we compare our achievements with theirs, it would be just as ridiculous as wondering why I never came close to winning NBA championships.

Final Thoughts

Although this is focused on blogging, you can apply the same principle to making money, planning for retirement, debt management, and investing. There are tons of systems and techniques out there. Find the one that suits you, emulate it, and practice. Over time and if you are truly applying yourself, you will improve. You may never make the NBA or become a household name, but at least you are constantly improving and being the best you can be. Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. Ego and emotions come into play. You start to chase high flying stocks, try to keep up with the Joneses with extravagant purchases, and make illogical real estate and lines of credit moves that could make you worse off than when you started.

Stay Inspired!

Ramit Sethi Speaking Video

Pat Flynn How to Be Everywhere – Building a Profitable BRAND by Thinking Outside the Blog

BI 003: HMO vs PPO

Today I’m introducing a new segment. Thank you for all the support and encouragement as I venture into this brave new world of podcasting. One listener, however, stood head and shoulders above the rest. Our listener of the week hails from Virginia Beach by way of Australia. He is a passionate personal finance blogger who also loves cycling. Let’s hear it for Hunter from Financially Consumed! Do yourself a favor and visit him at Now on with the show!

Last week, I debated on Style vs Substance. It looks like substance wins! I replaced our metallic shower curtain rings with plastic ones and our showers are now way more relaxing. This week we look at HMO vs PPO. With my new job, I have new insurance options. After doing some research my doctors are in the HMO network. Unfortunately, my wife’s doctors are in the PPO network. If you were us, would you go with HMO to save on premiums or would you go with PPO to have total freedom in selecting your health care professionals. I need your help listeners. Leave your vote in the comments below.

Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend and stay inspired!

Lady Gaga: Biggest Pop Star on the Planet

A few weeks ago I heard Lady Gaga on the radio. I’m still trying to figure if she is style or substance. You may or may not be a fan of her music, but you have to admit, she is captivating. She was on the radio after a concert and was promoting her latest music video for Marry The Night.

Dreams Do Come True

Gaga talked about her early days while struggling as an artist and looking for her first recording contract. What was interesting was her dream. She said, “She wanted to be the biggest pop star on the planet.” The interviewer said it is easy to see now, but did she always feel this way? Gaga continued by passionately claiming that even if she never signed and became successful, she would still be the biggest pop star on the planet, in her mind. Just no one else would know it. What was also admirable was her view on concerts. She goes into every performance thinking there are fans seeing her for the first time and she wants them to have just as memorable of an experience like the many other fans before them.

Final Thoughts

We may never be the biggest pop star on the planet like Lady Gaga. But we can have dreams like paying down our debt, controlling our spending, and producing a successful blog. Start with a dream, ideally it is also your passion. Set goals to help get you there. Before Lady Gaga became Lady Gaga, she needed to create demo tapes, get them to DJ’s, and network with record executives. Find your goals that will get you to your dream and execute your plan. Dreams and goals are terrific, but it will only be terrific in your mind. Take action like Lady Gaga and your dream can come true.

Stay Inspired!

Incrwd: Reward Your Readers

We have an exciting new program that we are helping to pilot called Incrwd. It’s a really cool rewards program that gives all of our users the chance to win a real reward simply for interacting with our site.

Here’s how it works:

Click on the green Rewards tab on the right hand side of the website.

Choose from one of our real rewards (you have to choose a reward before you can start winning points).

Interact with us— visit us, share your favorite articles on Facebook and Twitter, and add thoughtful comments to articles.

After unlocking your prize, a reward code will show up in the trophy case that you can take to the brand’s store or website to redeem!

Initially, not everyone will be offered the opportunity participate in the program. Incrwd will roll out their platform to all of our users over the course of a few weeks.

We think it’s a nice way to reward you guys for your contributions, and hopefully it makes your reading experience a little more fun!

For Incrwd customer service, please contact

Albert Pujols, Chris Paul Thank You Roundup

It’s been an insane few days in the LA sports scene. Unless you have been living in a cave, the Angels signed Albert Pujols for 10 years at 254 million dollars. Hope it pays off! Instead of celebrating the end of the NBA lockout, the Los Angeles Lakers and fans got faked out of their socks. The trade that was on and then off would have sent Chris Paul (CP3) to the Lakers for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. David Stern killed the deal, but it certainly caused a buzz. Poor Lamar Odom, but business is business. I’m still trying to catch my breath. What an offseason. Let’s play ball! In the meantime, I wanted to send out some thank yous to the folks who were kind enough to feature me last month. Thank you!

Featured By

Life And My Finances posted Goals Update and Weekly Round-up #44 and featured Baby: Bun in the Oven or Visit From the Stork?

Invest It Wisely posted Weekend Reading: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition and featured Get A New Job With Robert California

Smart Wealth posted Weekly Round Up – 11-29-2011 and also featured Get A New Job With Robert California

Krant Cents posted Friday Night Links: When Did Cheap become Chic? and featured Two Weeks Notice

Financially Consumed posted Politically Correct Winter Party Celebration – Blog Review and featured Time vs Money: My First Podcast

My Broken Coin posted Reading Salon, November Posts and Sites That Sent Traffic My Way and also featured Time vs Money: My First Podcast

Stay Inspired!