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It’s Never Too Late to Achieve Yours! PURSUING FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Now, I don’t think unemployment shouldn’t exist — some people really are desperate, can’t work, or are in another bad situation where they need help. But when you hand out money like candy, it seems to just make rich people richer and poor people poorer. Just look at our current wealth gap. It widened like crazy during the pandemic! American billionaires grew their wealth by $931 billion from March–October 2020. Meanwhile, CNN reported 42% of ordinary Americans said their financial security was “the same or worse” in December 2020 than it had been before the pandemic. For me, the moral of this story is that you can’t wait for someone to hand you financial independence. It just won’t work! You have to take the initiative and learn how to save, invest, and manage your money on your own. Your Keys to Independence Achieving financial independence and unlocking wealth as an average Joe takes years of hard work. I’m still working away at it, but I’m getting there, and you can too! Here are a few places to start: • Read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. • Watch “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” on CNBC. • Check out the YouTube channels “Meet Kevin,” “ZipTrader,” “The StockWatch,” and “Jerry Romine Entrepreneur Abroad.”
Back in May, Business Insider ran an article with this headline: “Biden Isn’t Stepping In to Stop 20 GOP-led States From Yanking Federal Unemployment Within Weeks.” Clearly, the writer thought that ending those extra federal unemployment checks was a bad thing. But I don’t agree. In fact, I think ending them was a step toward the goal we should all be going after: financial independence.
The American Way Financial independence, or financial freedom, is one of the most American concepts out there. The famous finance coach Dave Ramsey defines it like this: “Financial freedom means that you get to make life decisions without being overly stressed about the financial impact because you are prepared. You control your finances instead of being controlled by them.”
For me, this goes back to the difference between being rich and being wealthy. Rich people don’t have financial
independence. They might have nice cars or huge houses, but they’re still living paycheck to paycheck, just with more money than most of us. They spend foolishly and are actually secretly in debt. Wealthy people, on the other hand, are the folks who spend their money wisely, invest, and save. They don’t depend on their next paycheck to get by because they’re in control of their money. They have financial independence! The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer In my personal experience, no-strings-attached payments from the government create more rich people, not more wealthy people. When someone who has never had much money receives a cash payment, they’ll likely spend it on something they’ve wanted for years, like a motorcycle, rather than saving or investing it. That puts the money right back into the pockets of wealthy business owners, manufacturers, and shareholders.
• When you come across “free” or unexpected money, invest it immediately!
• Set a long-term lofty goal. For me, it was purchasing a second home, which I ended up listing on Airbnb. Having a lofty goal prevented me from spending the money on a fancy new car …which I would love to have! And when you hit your goal, immediately set another bigger goal! All of these resources have taught me a lot, and if you disagree with what I said above, they just might change your mind. Good luck, and happy (Financial) Independence Day!
–Randy Sklar Security. Availability. Support. .................................................................................... 804-730-2628 • 1 A REFERRAL IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY. WHEN A CLIENT REFERS FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES TO US, IT REPRESENTS AN APPRECIATION OF A JOB WELL DONE. IF YOUR FRIENDS OR ASSOCIATES COULD BENEFIT FROM OUR SERVICES, I’D BE HONORED TO HAVE YOUR REFERRAL!
LEARN FROM RANDY’S CANCEROUS MISTAKE 3Ways to Protect Yourself From the Summer Sun Hey, it’s Randy here again. I’m dropping in to share an important message: Stay out of the sun this summer! A few months ago, I discovered yet another cancerous spot on my body, this time on my forearm. It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma (BCC). I was able to get the cancer removed, but it reminded me how important it is that we all take care of our skin this summer. BCC is the most common type of cancer, and the Skin Cancer Foundation reports more than 3.6 million cases of it in the U.S. every year. Considering how easy it is to avoid, that’s nuts! I hope you can learn from my cancerous mistakes. This summer, do as I say, not as I did! Follow these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep your skin cancer-free. 1. Keep your skin covered. This is the easiest way to avoid skin cancer, and you can do it in a lot of ways, including wearing long sleeves, pants, or skirts in the sun; wearing a T-shirt at the pool unless you’re swimming; and/or wearing a hat with a wide brim. The older you get, the more important it is to cover up to protect yourself from UV rays. 2. Get serious about sunscreen. Don’t lay out in the sun without sunscreen. Just don’t do it. Instead, pick what the CDC calls a “broad spectrum” sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays and is at least SPF 15. Then, use it any time you’re out in the sun and reapply it every two hours. 3. Camp out in the shade. If you’re like me and love going outside but don’t love skin cancer, try staying in the shade as much as you can. Sun umbrellas, trees, and other structures that cast shadows are your best friends during the summer. Last but not least, if you see something funny on your skin, get it checked out by a dermatologist. The BCC on my arm looked just like flaky skin, and I almost didn’t think anything of it. Thankfully I changed my mind, because it turned out to be a big deal. Stay safe out there! –Randy Sklar
3 BUSINESS TRICKS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
When you’re constantly in the “zone” at work, you’re not always thinking about what’s best for your personal life. While many business owners prioritize balance, what will truly benefit both your home and work life? Check out these three tricks. 1: Start your day with a plan. We know what you’re thinking: Writing out your plan is more work than just doing it. The key is to plan whenever you can. If you jot down things you want to accomplish the following day as they come up, all you’ll need to do is spend a few minutes organizing your list the next morning.
Pro Tip: Remember to include time to unwind and relax!
2: Develop new and improved processes. While certain activities can’t be replaced with shortcuts (like spending time with family), consider ways to make your current processes more efficient and beneficial. For example, you can’t lose weight if you don’t change your diet and exercise. Adjusting your habits might seem difficult, but there’s actually a straightforward method. According to “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, every new habit has a simple formula behind it: motivation, ability, and prompt. Whether your reminder is an alarm at the same time every day or even another habit (“I’ll exercise before I take my morning shower”), make sure it’s part of any new process you implement. 3: Remember, work is flexible — your personal life isn’t. Bryan G. Dyson, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, once told his staff, “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends, and spirit — and you are keeping all of these in the air.” In his metaphor, work is a rubber ball. “If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.”
We hope these tips help you protect the “glass balls” in your life!
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HOW A JOKE BECAME A MULTIBILLION CURRENCY MARKET The Origins of Dogecoin
to jump on the Dogecoin buzz. He asked Palmer’s permission to build the software to create an actual Dogecoin.
Would you create an actual cryptocurrency to make fun of other cryptocurrencies? That’s exactly what Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus did, and it’s paid off with an over $70 billion currency market. Now, it’s the fourth-largest cryptocurrency in the world.
Most cryptocurrencies are fairly serious and sterile in presentation, but Dogecoin was always different. Palmer and Markus decided to market Dogecoin as the “fun” version of Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin had a limited supply while Dogecoin had an unlimited supply, Dogecoin was also faster and more consumer-friendly for new crypto investors. In 2015, Palmer made his departure from Dogecoin, citing the currency’s “toxic community” as a main reason why he left. Dogecoin also had its financial struggles during the 2018 cryptocurrency crash, but today, it’s grown stronger than ever. As of early May 2021, Dogecoin’s price is up more than 13,000% for the year.
Dogecoin (symbol: Ð) is a cryptocurrency that provides a payment system (like Bitcoin, another digital currency) that is instant, fun, and free from traditional banking fees. Its playful name and Shiba Inu dog mascot caused the currency to start as a meme, but as people began to actually purchase it, it became worth more and more. Before Dogecoin, Palmer was a product manager at Adobe Inc.’s office in Sydney, Australia. As a “skeptic-analytic” observer of crypto, he joked on Twitter about creating Dogecoin as a way of satirizing the hype for cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, people were totally on board. So, he bought the domain name Dogecoin.com.
Even though Dogecoin’s origins are humorous, Palmer and Markus’ business decisions were no joke. If you decide to purchase Dogecoin yourself, whether as a joke or for investing, please do your due diligence to understand the risks of cryptocurrency.
That’s when Markus, a software developer at IBM, contacted Palmer. He wanted to create a digital currency but had trouble promoting his project and decided
Easy Zucchini Enchiladas Inspired by Delish.com
This healthy summer dish is the perfect way to use up extra zucchini!
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3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded 1 1/3 cups red enchilada sauce, divided 4 large zucchini, sliced very thin lengthwise and dried
1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped
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2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 cups shredded cheese
2 tsp chili powder
Sour cream and cilantro, for garnish
Salt, to taste
Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. 2. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute, then add chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce. Stir to combine. 3. On a cutting board, lay out three slices of zucchini side by side. Top each with a scoop of chicken mixture, then roll into a tube. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. 4. Add the rolls to a baking dish. 5. Top the rolls with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with garnishes!
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7462 Old Hickory Drive Mechanicsville, VA 23111 www.sklartechnology.com 804-730-2628
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Inside This Issue
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Financial Independence
Make Your Work-Life Balance Easy
3 Ways to Protect Yourself From the Summer Sun
How a Joke Became a Multibillion Currency Market
Easy Zucchini Enchiladas
Does Depression Help Us Cope?
Does Depression Help Us Cope?
However, the new school of thought points out the positive effects of depression in many situations. For example, when people are in long- term traumatic situations, depression takes them “out” of themselves, and researchers posit that this numbing effect allows them to survive their daily difficulties, and memories of the period may be less damaging once they escape it. The question, then, is what do these new theories mean about the epidemic of mental illness sweeping America today? At the base level, it indicates that many Americans find themselves in unpleasant living situations, at the least, and hope for a future where that isn’t the case. Perhaps, Porges’ group says, modern people feel trapped in a world where comfort and convenience are the highest priorities. Mass depression is the result. This means that to survive, depression may be our buffer until we can pursue a vastly different way of living — a societal dilemma of the first order, and one we cannot afford to ignore.
Many mental health experts blame the recent spike in mental illness on the DSM-5 (the standard classification of mental disorders) and the ever-expanding list of psychological conditions it identifies. But others, like neuroscientist Stephen Porges, aren’t convinced we can attribute increasing mental health problems to just diagnoses — and new ideas about mental health are changing how we view depression forever. We used to think depression started in the head and presented physical symptoms as a result, a behavioral representation of the turmoil within. But Porges, and researchers like him, believe it’s actually opposite of that. They theorize that the body can take in stimuli and internalize situational data much better than we thought, and that — at least for the Americans afflicted with mild or moderate depression — the mental illness is an immune reflex, similar to the swelling caused when blood rushes toward an injury to flood it with nutrients and, in some cases, immobilizing the area. Of course, that swelling can be a serious health problem in itself, and the same is true for depression.
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IS YOUR WEBSITE LOSING YOU CUSTOMERS? Get a New Look for the New Year!
Have you had the same website for the last year? The last five years? The last 10?!
If you have, consider this your reminder: It’s a new year, and you need a new look.
When potential customers find you online, your website is your handshake, so you want to make the best first impression possible. Don’t greet them with a limp, sweaty palm! 5 SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME FOR AN UPGRADE
If your website is ...
1. Tough to navigate from a smartphone 2. Antiquated, with an outdated design 3. Missing a chat box or other communication feature
4. Not up to date with the latest security and SEO optimization 5. Missing a strong call to action that grabs readers
Then YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Let us take your website to the next level, protect your data, and bring in the customers you need.
Call our office today at 804-730-2628 or visit SklarTechnology.com to set up a consultation, and we’ll craft you a handshake that closes the deal, every time.
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