2010 Wrap Up

Wow, What a YEAR!!

I find myself wanting to wrap up 12 eventful months here and you may enjoy or understand more about me and my services by reading it!

January 2010 – Started off with terrible news that Uncle Steve in Florida was sick with Cancer. Another family tragedy was on the horizon. A couple days later, I paid off the last $4,000 of my Home Loan. It was a bittersweet time in life.

February 2010 – We drove to Ohio to pick up Cousin Tera!! She Moved to Princeton, YAY! This was a family milestone and with the tragedy of losing her sister, we all wanted to be near her and show her a bunch of Kansas family Love! We also planned a visit to Florida. I was starting to live life completely debt-free. Had my first month with NO house payment.
March 2010 – Signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training using my Tax Return money and extra dollars that were piling up everywhere from not having any payments. My Sisters and Brother-In-Law and I visited Uncle Steve and enjoyed our time with him and Nancy at his home in Florida. That was my first drive to the East Coast and our Road-Trip itself was pretty fun! 2800 miles on the Trooper!

April 2010 – We lost Stephen R. Nichols. The Memorial Service and family togetherness started feelings brewing inside of me. Steve was a great adventurer who’d accomplished so much. I started to question my own drive to succeed… Then I attended Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training Program in Nashville. I had a blast and was Inspired to help others with my newly gained knowledge!

May 2010 – I had emotions boiling inside me. The combination of being debt-free, wanting to help others and feeling that I was spinning my wheels had me at a cross-roads. I began to wonder if a career change and complete fresh start was in order… I was also working with several families and individuals to tighten up leaky finances and solidify their foundation for a fantastic financial future, those moments felt GREAT!
June 2010 – An epiphany came. One day I remembered that long ago I had dreamed of a cross-country road trip… Now was the time and place to make that dream happen! I consulted with lots of wise people I trusted. With the support and well wishes of my boss of 10 years, I felt confident moving forward into the unknown! I quit my job as a Head of the Art Dept at Hasty Awards. I started preparing for two things. The Road Trip of a lifetime and starting my own small business! Also found out that my sister Jessica is expecting!!
July 2010 – I embarked from Princeton Kansas on a journey West with my Dog Roxy in my Isuzu Trooper. I had only a couple concrete points I wanted to hit. You can read all the posts I made on my 3-week 6000 mile trip here at http://www.ashellandastone.blogspot.com/ It was a fantastically blessed epic journey. I shared great moments with friends and family and saw wonderful sights of the American West, the Pacific Coast and everywhere in between!
August 2010 – I began putting together True North Financial Fitness Coaching http://www.truenorthffc.com/ and starting learning that business does not just take off all by itself. We also fit in another trip to Aspen, Co for Uncle Steve. This was the time of finding a new groove of self-employment and the beginning of a serious education in entrepreneurship!
September 2010 – On Labor Day weekend,while camping at the lake, we found out that sis Amanda is also going to have a baby – YAY Hooray, I’ll be a double-uncle in a few months!! With True North FFC I was still looking for clients to work with and I started to transform. The old days of thinking that planning a great strategy and implementing steps to gain success were all over… The truth is this. Get Started! Make something happen. Learn from the mistakes of Doing. Do it again, but Better this Time. Keep repeating this process with DETERMINATION!
October 2010 – Staying Focused, I use my days to gain knowledge from others in the business. I start to learn that there is a whole community out there who is just like me. People running their own businesses, helping others and doing much of their marketing and idea sharing online. A redesign of my website happened in here and The Ready for Better Blog http://www.readyforbetter.blogspot.com/ now has an important new purpose 🙂
November 2010 – I felt the momentum starting to slow down and had wondered if I was making the right choices. I had become a regular at Westminster Presbyterian Church and we finalized plans to host a Financial Peace University Class in January. I feel great that I am growing spiritually throughout this process. Also I begin to work with local clients on thier Website, Branding, Social Media and Promotional Marketing. Using my graphics skills is a nice addition to my small business offerings.
December 2010 – This month I really ramped up my dedication to learning, I began reading again and studying lots of material on building small business. I feel that the focus on personal finances will happen again in January. For this Holiday Season I enjoyed the extra time that being self-employed offers. We had several fun family and friend events!
This is a quick wrap up and I’m sure I’ve left out several big things 🙂 I hope your 2010 was a good one. Now on to 2011!! Let’s look to make this a FANTASTIC year of growth, change and inspiration for a wonderful future!

Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Got a leaky Wallet? Bulging budget or none at all? Delapidated Debt that you’re sick of living with?  You are losing hard earned dollars every month! Let me show you how to spackle the cracks and firm up your financial foundation. DIY or using my professional services, either way, the best time to fix your finances is Now!

The Greats know how to Give!

Happy Holidays!
Giving is in the air! We all love the bright eyes and smiles of children and loved ones as they open up gifts that we put our love and thought and money into. I am taking this opportunity to expand on this idea and maybe shed some light on the history and importance of giving as part of a healthy financial plan.
Here are some quotes from the wise:
“I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”
Luke 18:12

“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.”Lao Tzu (from the Tao Te Ching)

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”
Albert Einstein

“To do more for the world than the world does for you – that is success.”
Henry Ford
“The more I help others to succeed, the more I succeed.”
Ray Kroc
“No one has ever become poor by giving.
Anne Frank

“For it is in giving that we receive.

Francis of Assisi

I could post hundreds of quotes that all restate the same concept. Giving is and always has been a foundation of happiness, love and yes, success!

In my own Total Money Makeover, on my personal journey to complete debt-freedom, I had a revelation. After following some of the concepts in Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, I was finding a gradual move toward financial happiness. This speed however did not match up with the results I was looking for. According to the book and lots of Dave’s callers on the radio show, I should have been feeling much more momentum in my race to debt-freedom…

When I re-looked at the steps and found that I had left out the Giving part of my budget, I took a deep look inside and decided to give it a try… When learning to live on a budget and really adjusting my buying behavior, I had found much guilt in the things and ways I was spending my money. When the instructions in the Total Money Makeover showed to budget 10% of my pay for giving, it was So Liberating! I could blow that giving money in any way I wanted as long as I was giving to a charitable cause! At that time I chose to anonymously give to local causes and individuals. Now, I tithe to my church and look forward to a financial future of being able to change someone’s life with the stroke of a pen. I love that idea!

The supernatural things that started to happen once I began giving are hard to put into words. Money and opportunities began to arrive around every corner. My goals were put into warp speed, once I had a plan and place for the extra money that would find it’s way to me. I had my house paid off 4 months earlier than expected because of dollars that simply showed up in my life.

Giving as a planned part of your monthly spending will revolutionize your life too. All the great texts and successfull individuals understand this concept. The simplest way to incorporate this into your thinking is to understand that when you earn a dollar, you get 90¢ to spend and save for yourself. I promise you, by starting this year-round, monthly practice, your potential will explode exponentially! I see great things in your giving future. This is one step toward a life that you may be unable to imagine right now.

Stay tuned to my web-site and blog. The next few weeks I’ll be bringing you videos and downloadable documents outlining ways start out 2011 as your year to Win with your Money!!

Thanks and Merry Christmas!




Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Min Financial Anaylsis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Video Interview with Sara – Part #1

Here is a quick interview – really Quick!  With Sara – a single Mom who now has her budget and finances much more on track than ever before. Check it out!

Thanks for Watching! Check back soon for more!


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching
Free 30 Minute Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Reading is like Cheating… At Life!

Happy Thursday and I hope your day is going GREAT!!

Question: Do you Read? If so, what kind of books or magazines do you read? If not, why not? I could post some statistics here on the percentage of Americans reading today and all that jazz, but mostly I care about the population that is reading this blog.
I know the reasons why I don’t read often enough: not prioritizing it high enough, not sticking with a book all the way through or basically doing other things with my time… BUT, I have, in the last several years found that the things that made the biggest impact in my daily life are the great books I have read, and certainly not any TV program or movie I’ve watched.

Motivational speaker and humorist Charles “Tremendous” Jones has a famous quote that goes like this:

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and books you read.”

There are so many great resources out there for people wanting to know more about any topic in life. Being able to sit down and ingest pages of information that took someone else years of research, study and hard-knocks to figure out, is almost like cheating! Why would we think that figuring out every aspect of our journey on our own is the best way?

I am as independent and adventurous as anybody, but still love to have my mind blown by ideas expressed by experts in their own fields. Recently it has been Seth Godin’s words about entrepreneurship and how to market in today’s world. Everyone knows that Dave Ramsey’s book completely changed my life two years ago. Also about one year ago, I read Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus… Seriously, life-altering words on a page! What a fantastic gift we can give to ourselves is knowledge that someone else has gained over years of hard work and trial and error.

I am publicly making my own goals known. I want to read 1 non-fiction book per month. I have fallen behind in the last couple months for sure, but for Christmas I’m giving myself a gift of time and focus on finishing 12 books for 2011… I currently have bought titles in the realm of small business, marketing, human relations, motivation & success in general.

What genres are you interested in or already reading? I would love to hear feedback and suggestions on your favorite books!

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”  – Harry S. Truman


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching


Free 30 Minute Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential

Rat-In-A-Wheel or R-A-D-I-C-A-L!!!

Hello Thursday!! Just a little insight, Thursdays have always been my favorite day of the week 🙂 Almost into the weekend and still time to get things done!

Okay, so the title of this post was meant to get your attention. Did it work?? I am throwing a radical idea out today.

Right smack dab in the middle of the consumer culture of christmas, I want to speak a minute about where we’re getting to with our financial goals. Do you ever feel that you work hard all day and when that paycheck comes in you sit down to send it all back out? A rat in a wheel spins that baby all day long and is tired from the exercise but really didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been there, done that. I’ve felt the stress of juggling due dates of bills vs. when the paycheck comes in. I’ve longed for the purchase of some item I just had to have, and it seems the only way to buy it is on a monthly payment. Where was I getting to with this lifestyle?
Enter the world of the radical for a minute. This is when it’s time to get control of your money instead of it controlling you. How about the first moment of clipping your credit cards and never again using their Capital to Chase your future into the American Distress? How would you like open and honest communication and assistance from your spouse on handling the finances as a team? What about the power of walking into the store buying exactly what you want and not having to do any mental math on how it affects your checking account? What if your mailbox seems to be emptier every time you check it from paying off those little nagging medical or store credit debts?
Go in your mind to the drivers seat of your paid for car. I guarantee it will drive better. Then remember that you’ve freed up another $300 or $400 dollars per month. Where did that go? Now it’s time to see a balance of savings piling up in your emergency fund. How about the moment that your car’s tranny goes out and you get to decide to put in a new one with cash or just pay cash for a whole car instead? What about the understanding that your retirement will be well funded because you made strides today that your 65 year old self will love you for?
Finally, (and I love this one 🙂 What about pulling into the drive of your paid-for home, having been living debt-free for several years, and this is the night that you decide to write a 5-figure check to anonymously help a family in need. You can relate to the stress this family is under. This money is extra, above and beyond what you need for yourself. Then you have the power to drop a money-bomb on them and change their futures forever… Radical? Yes. Possible? Absolutely!
In the world of the radical there are some sacrifices and things to be cut back on. You will and should feel weird about some of the changes you’ll make. There are huge gains to be enjoyed from stepping off of the revolving hamster wheel and starting to use your energy to propel yourself truly forward. I hope this little journey has been fun. The real thing REALLY is fun. I can attest to that.
I hope your holidays are going great. I am offering discounts and lots of free material on my website for you to utilize, please take advantage of them as you step toward a Radical new lifestyle!
“True Nobility is not about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer


Aaron Nichols

True North Financial Fitness Coaching

Free 30 Minute Financial Analysis – No Obligation – Completely Confidential