Black Friday Deals! Where to the Get Best Ones!

Tonight, on the eve and early start of our national frenzy of spending our hard-earned dollars on these wonderful and delicious Black Friday savings, I quietly ponder that word Black, here at home.

Somewhere between getting a bargain, and being enticed to still overspend on unnecessary plastic junk, I really do believe this is a Black Friday.

As someone aware of the true feeling of being In The Black, and someone wishing that feeling for so many others; it’s a little sad to see this energy and enthusiasm tonight bent on spending.

I have doubt that the retailers care if their customers are still riding the Red, while they rake in the Green.

I certainly have compassion for desire to show our loved ones that we care about them through gifts. Although, the best ones aren’t sold in Wal-Mart. They don’t carry them at Target. Stuff that really touches our heart isn’t even available at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and I know, I know, they have everything!!

Cliche as is it may be, and unpopular, and no-fun-mr.-grinch… I guess, from where I’m standing today, I see that the most important Stuff of our lives, isn’t Stuff at all.

Friendship, Health, Family, Love, Gratitude, Strength, Wisdom, Humility, Laughter, Babies, and even more supernatural stuff like, Faith, Peace, God’s Love, Grace & Salvation aren’t available for sale anywhere. These things can’t be bought, and believe me, when the chips are down, when times are tough, when contemplating the Big Picture, it ain’t a TV.

So rejoice this holiday season, in that all the things we truly value in our Spirits can be had at a super low, discount bargain basement price! They’re Free!

Also, in my own experience, the toughest things to give and to receive can be Love, Time, Understanding, Compassion, Sharing, Openness, Vulnerability & Forgiveness. These care packages are worth their weight in gold, and that’s a LOT.

I am now in the beginnings of understanding that it takes a real relationship with Jesus to be able to gift wrap and give away these priceless heirlooms. I’m eager and knocking 🙂

On this Thanksgiving Day, I truly appreciate that You, have taken time to read this blog. Your eyes and effort spent surfing the web to this weirdforgood spot, are a wonderful gift.

Thank You from the bottom of my heart. You are a fantastically important beloved individual, and no matter what you did or didn’t buy this holiday season, you’re worth is far greater than anything that will fit under a Christmas Tree 🙂

With Love, Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

One Foot in the Ether

What’s in here is fear. One vibration, a tune on repeat; has created tiny cracks. Country-sized Brain-bergs now calve and heave irreplaceable masses into the icy midnight depths. Splash!

A monstrous locomotive of a machine, billowing smoke, with 18 screeching steel wheels and pissing steam, dangerously battles between forward progress and a violent explosion of white hot coals and mangled twisted iron. It’s barely on the tracks.

Here’s your glimpse inside my mind for the last few days as I arrive in one of the financially driest seasons of my adult life.

Self-pity, or whining or riding the edge of brutal honesty? You be the judge. I’m just going to, once again, type out some part of my current top-of-mind life experience.

Is it medicine? Does that heal? I haven’t a clue, but this is one thing about myself I do know. Throughout my entire life, I have experienced whole-body/mind engulfing emotions that I am keenly aware of and can describe in minute detail. Most of the time, it’s the broken record of Me, telling Me, what’s going on in my head that engraves the multi-million pixel illustrations of those thoughts; other times, it’s like a version of x-ray vision where I pick up the vibrations of a person or situation and naturally unintentionally compute the emotional logarithms present in the room down to the thousandth of a percent.

Can anyone out there relate? Am I the only one? Many times it feels that way, and I am almost certain in my educated head, that I’ve trained people to back off when this motor’s runnin’ full throttle. No wonder it feels solitary, huh?

Well guys and gals. If you’ve read on this far, I really feel a sense of connection, I appreciate you. Maybe we’re kindred spirits?

I’m not asking for help here, (although i prolly should. In the form of coaching, honesty and truly hard-to-hear advice) Mainly, I want to express something to people who are thinking about becoming a solo-prenuer/self-employed/free-agent.

I’m also typing to my future self, who may want to remember moments like this when they, are distant abstract memories of a starving artist.

When someone embarks on a journey such as this. You know in your heart and mind, it is crazy. You also know that you are willing to risk your normal life to get one chance at figuring out the Why’s of your existence on this earth, at this time, in this place. You even plan and plot, and convince yourself of the great moments you’ll experience in your new way of life, knowing it won’t all be puppy dogs and popsicles…

And I can guarantee you that it won’t prepare you for the truth.

Here’s one real truth y’all.

Even as I hear the ever deafening volume of the impending-bomb scream-whistle; while I face the imminent explosive end of whatever grotesque architecture my “Career Life” has now become; I truly can tell you one thing.

It has been Worth It every second of the way. I haven’t a regret about the 3, 2, 1 – Blastoff into this other-worldly entrepreneurship odyssey…

And now we’ve come full circle. You see, that is where the Fear comes back in. How can a man, in his right mind, exist in this altered-state universe that accelerates his passion and burning desires into the cosmos, while his sustainability and rational financial practical-ness plummet into the sea?

Is that a Mad-Man? Am I a Mad-Man? And, would a Mad-Man fear his foundations crumbling, if he believed in a bigger purpose?

Maybe not?

So there’s hope??

From this vantage point, I can only say that I Hope there is. I have no concrete answers. I am at the edge. A death of one thing may hopefully birth another. You see my life has now completely flipped upside down, and as soon as I feel gravity working with me again, on this side of the world, I’ll relax and allow the new environment to feel… well, right.

I am now reduced, concentrated, boiled down and carmelized into a person with only a few things I can say for sure.

  • God is #1 in my life, and I feel like a starved person given real food. I’m ravenous and making a mess as I dig into this divine buffet. Junk Food? No Thanks, Not Anymore.
  • I am partnered with a Woman, who was sent to Inspire and Encourage ME. This new and brutally honest, Real Me. Lindsay, I Love You, Thank You; Beautiful 🙂
  • My Mind is alive, more than ever, My Body is starting to fall in line. My Spirit, now is so awake, that the other two have to strain to stay caught up.
  • A Torch-Tip Flame Crackles, Pops and Sizzles in my gut, with a Desire and Passion for that “One Something” to become clear to me. My reason for being.
Other than that; most all of my “Normal Life” stuff is in complete shambles.
  • The “What Do You Do” question that everyone asks upon first meeting another person? My answer, is Blah-Blah-Blah, Graphics, shift my eyes, twist my foot, Blogging, Say-something-half-heartedly, Financial Coaching... Uhh, yeah, CRAP!
  • Therefore, my income stream is just like the Arkansas River at the Colorado/Kansas Border, it’s gone underground, the creek bed is dry. Little puddles bubble up here and there, but not enough to support life.
  • So all my Normal-American Consumerism Opportunities mean zilch. I just don’t have a dialogue anymore that includes “stuff”.
  • My prior-life personality of knocking back a few brews and sometimes too many, is a figment of the past. 1 and a half months sober. Again, this new world is upside down.

So what sense does this all make? After a year and a half of being out of the Normal World… I can’t tell you what is about to happen next.

I do know, that I have been here a handful of times, and somehow, someway, at the moment it is least expected, something wonderful arrives.

Hey Wonderful Something 🙂 I’m here, I’m expectantly taking one more step forward, as that is the only thing I know how to do. And I’ll keep stepping forward, maybe until this upside-down world, begins to feel right side up again…

Thanks for being here at You inspire me to keep moving, Thanks.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
-Samuel Beckett


Aaron Nichols

The Walking Dead – gueSTARtist Michael

Michael Wright is a fellow member of Free Agent Academy and also one of my dearly important Accountability Partners. He kicks my butt and keeps me on track!

I wish you could hear this post as a spoken-word presentation. Just imagine the friendly honesty and slightly bashful politeness in the drawl of this Southern Gentleman as you read. Universal and self-reflective, this gueSTARtist post by Michael Wright, speaks to my heart. I think its a Must-Read. Please remember to comment, and show some appreciation for Michael’s open sharing of himself, with us, here at weirdforgood!! Enjoy!

The Walking Dead

 “There’s a lot of things that can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Yes, and some already dead that walk beside me…
Ray Lamontagne, song “Empty

I’ve loved the soulful voice of Ray Lamontagne since the first time I heard him sing “Trouble”.  This guy consistently busts out some amazing lyrics that really speak to me.   The line above from “Empty” really hit me as something so true, so valid – that there are so many “walking dead” that have given up on life.  I don’t mean they are depressed, suicidal or any of the like, but they have lost heart, are going through the motions, following the masses and walking a path that they unknowingly chose or was decided for them.  Their thought is that life is hard and thus are satisfied with working a job that only pays the bills, having a little fun on the weekend and never looking deeper into why they were put on this earth to start with.  And so, my question to myself has been – Am I one of them?

Growing up in a small, rural Georgia town, there was never any talk of your “calling” or purpose or anything of the like, much less the idea of following your passions.   Many from my town would follow the career path of their father or work in one of the local textile mills or car lots because they paid a decent wage for an decent day’s work.   Because my father thought all of his children should go to college, that’s what I did right out of high school.   However, there was no career counsel from him (he didn’t go to college) except to tell me that “computers are the future”.  I was 18 years old and on my own to choose a career that would set my work life in place for many years to come.  Pretty scary decision when you think about it for such a young naive guy.

In fact, my career path as an engineer was ultimately put in my head by a well meaning older man of our community who, unlike anyone else, actually gave me some career advice.  “Young man, you should be an electrical engineer.  My son’s one and he does really well.  That’s the way to go.” or something to that effect.   Unbeknownst to this gentleman, I was great at math, problem solving and science so getting into an engineering school and “making the grade” was not a problem.  But was that where my heart pounded with excitement, where I flourished and stayed up late wanting to know more about the latest developments at NASA or getting an Amateur Radio license and learning more about electromagnetics?  No, it wasn’t.

I loved music.  I’ve always loved it and flourished at it.   I was my school’s lead trombone player pretty much every day I sat in that class and I wasn’t even trying my hardest to do that.  I was always finding myself beating my desk or knee with a rhythm of a song I was thinking of or creating.  I still find myself doing it almost every day.  But my thought at age eighteen was that a degree in music turned you into a music teacher – and they for sure didn’t make good money.  So…Hello to not one, but two Engineering degrees!

So now, some 20 years later I find myself searching, longing for something more than the 9 to 5 paycheck that I was told back in college was the goal for all my hard study and efforts.   I believe firmly in the eternal life, but did I have to wait for heaven to find joy throughout my entire day?  Was being “alive” at work even possible on this Earth?  I mean – didn’t God curse the ground back in the Garden of Eden so all work from then on would be burdensome?  Well, not exactly…

I began to hear of people that actually got excited in their professions, those who enjoyed getting up in the morning in order to see what opportunities the day offered them, and what they could offer the world in return.   I saw people who searched and found the calling and driving forces that made them come alive.  What made these people so ALIVE?   Well, first and foremost, I discovered that they KNOW WHO THEY ARE.  In short, they have looked inside and thought deeply about how God wired them, what they excelled at and what kinds of environments they enjoyed the most.  Then, they took a step of faith and walked on the path that was made just for them.  Not that they had all the answers, but they knew enough and wanted to live in freedom at work enough that they kept on asking, seeking and knocking while the walked.   I envied these folks and I wanted what they had – a life of joy in my work!

But I knew if I tried this alone I couldn’t make; I’d done that before.  I needed a gathering of like minded folks and that is where Free Agent Academy ( is changing things for me.  It was here I found seasoned experts in the areas of Calling, Wired-styles and Business Ideas that were in such a progression that it is helping me understand myself FIRST, before I just try to go “make some money”.  It really focuses on helping a person find their “why” first instead of looking for “what”.  It is here I have found support and encouragement for my current work life and career calling that is spurring me onwards to a deeper level of awareness of why I’m here to begin with.

I ran across a passage from Psalms 89:17 today that I’d never noticed before and it reinforced that God is in our work and we are not alone – I hope you meditate upon it and know that every part of our life (work included) is ordained by God as part of his beautiful plan for us as we journey together.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us-
yes, establish the work of our hands.”

 – Sincerely,

Michael Wright

Bricks ain’t just for Sh!tHouses

There’s a metaphor about Bricks and Money that changed my life. Have you heard it??

I first did from Dave Ramsey; so if that turns you off, then go ahead and click back to Facebook or Youtube or something else that provides distraction… Please 🙂

Here’s the jist: “Money is like a brick. It has neither an inherent good or bad moral value. It is merely an object that you can use to create something with. So you can choose to throw it through a window and create destruction, or you can choose to use it to build a hospital. The brick doesn’t care what you do with it.”

As I heard this for the first time, it clicked with me, it relaxed me, and felt natural, so I believe that to be a universal truth, to me. And why was that weird?

Well probably because most of my adult life, I had thought quite the opposite!

Have you ever believed that Rich = Bad and Normal Good Folks (not Rich) that I grew up around = Good?

Truth is, that is CRAP.

People are what they are. Their money isn’t any part of their goodness or badness. It is no measure whatsoever. There can be good poor people, good rich people, and bad rich people, and yes, bad poor people.

Somehow I’ve gotten the feeling lately, that in the national consciousness and heard it said in person, that having money is a bad thing.


(Obviously, this is no new fight between the haves and the have-nots. But what is the reason, I choose to type these things out today?? Because, once again, I gotta share what’s on my mind, I hope it at least makes someone out there think, maybe agree, maybe disagree, but whatever, at least the conversation has more nutrition than most of the junk we’re getting fed.)

As Dave points out: “First Timothy 6:10 does not say, “Money is the root of all evil.” What is does say is, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Okay, so back to the bricks:

If you can use bricks to create Useful, Helpful, Difference-Making, Life-Altering Positive Changes in someone else’s life… Like Hospitals, Medicine, Food for the Starving, Benefits for our Soldiers, and yes Churches too…

Then why do we think the only Good People out there are the ones with very few bricks?

Seems to me, if some of these Good People went and used their talents and hard work to create a big ol’ pile of bricks they could do a lot more Good Things for Other People than those who don’t have bricks.

And here is where I am gutted and convicting myself, right now, this very moment.

As aforementioned on WfG, I am in one of the leanest, driest, brickless-ness times of my adult life today. This entrepreneurial journey has monetarily been a slow suck on my savings. It’s returned little so far. My ability to give bricks to those in need has gone from several hundred per month a couple years ago, to just a few bricks per month today.

So. What does that say about my ability to help others?

Well AHA! One more facet to this whole conundrum!

Being RICH and helpful to others can include more than just our stack of bricks! We can be rich in LOTS of areas of life! I have recently made a concerted effort to spread and share the richness of my non-brick-abilities.

I have traits that are helpful to people, and businesses and organizations. And I have said Yes, in many ways, lately, to donate these skills. My willingness to help others, strong technological experience combined with a creative mind, flexible schedule and ever more urgent need to connect with the community around me, have built for me a foundation that can’t be bought with bricks.

I am rich without them, it seems 🙂

NOW, God is the one who can see my future. God knows whether this adventure of quitting a “good job” to pursue a dream; even a waaay too foggy and poorly-planned out dream, will someday allow me to fuse the personal growth and emotional education that this last year-and-a-half has taught me; with a big ol’ pile of bricks to manage for Him.

A man, working in his calling, serving God and his people, in a successful enterprise that produces lots of MONEY, can do much more to Help the World, than one man whining about how another Rich Guy, shouldn’t have so many bricks.

And that is my weird-for-good opinion.

Got some of your own after reading this? I would love to hear yours!

(In fact, I just found out last week, that my High I / High D personality type is actually energized and fueled by the feedback of people. So please, people; Feed Me! 🙂 )

I hope one day, I can look back at this moment in time and see that these testing times, were just preparation and conditioning for the thrilling, challenging and rewarding experiences to come.

Thank you God for the 18 months and 10ish days of this fantastic ride. I’ve asked for an adventure, and am still praying that with your help, I’ll remain determined to persevere.


Aaron Nichols

My Accountability Partners – How I went from putting things off, to Getting Things DONE!

I’m an excellent Procrastinator. I excel at putting things off. That is, up until recently, and now I’m rocking out projects and staying focused when it previously seemed impossible. I truly have improved my productivity and am proud to be Getting Things Done!

How am I doing it now?

Well, I’m not alone anymore on my quest to accomplish my goals. I am now in contracts with Accountability Partners, and I would really like to tell you the format we’re using, because it is working very well for everyone involved!

Yes, this would be my first “How-To” Blog in awhile, so I intend for you to have a takeaway that is useful in your life. Also, all the ideas you are going to read here have been dreamed up, tried and tested by myself or my Accountability Partners. This is just one way to create a system like this, there are many more ways to do it as well, I’m sure.

So, What is an Accountability Partner? (abbreviated – AP)

Someone who you have made an agreement with, to track the completion of goals you create, that you connect with on a routine schedule, and who enforces pre-determined consequences when a goal is not met.

Let’s unpack this a little bit:

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 18:19

  • Someone you have made an agreement with
    • I recommend approaching someone who is not in your immediate social circle. Not a family member. This needs to be someone you can trust with personal information. Someone with similar interests is helpful, but one that does not know your whole life story. This not someone to tell your excuses to, or complain how busy you are, or whine to. This is someone you respect and will respect you, as this is a really deep growth process for you both. You will need to be able to be open with this person. They do not have to live in your immediate area.
  • to track the completion of goals you create
    • Great procrastinators like me can put off just about any task, until I’ve told someone else I’ll have it done by a certain date and time. Now, when that goal is set, it is rare that I will let someone else down. In this AP process, I decide what goal I want to hit for myself, and the AP does the same thing. We make goals as small or as big as we want to, but the point here is taking small steps in the right direction.
  • that you connect with on a routine schedule
    • I recommend a weekly meeting with your AP. This can be done in person, over coffee, as my AP Rob and I do. Or this meeting can happen via phone, email or even skype, as my AP Michael and I do. It really doesn’t matter how the meeting takes place, the main thing is that you both make it a priority to be reliably available at your determined meeting times. You could go longer in between meetings, but I find an Every Monday, or Every Tuesday timeframe to work well.
  • and who enforces per-determined consequences when a goal is not met.
    • This is the big one. A Consequence is what keeps us from falling off track. When we set a goal, small or large, the completion of that goal is not enough motivation to actually do it. Really? Of course! Otherwise, it would have already been done by now! The Consequence is what drives us to complete things. If you’re only doing things you have to do and not pushing yourself to grow by throwing out goals for the sake of self-improvement, then this whole process may not be for you.
    • So what kind of Consequence? In both of my AP relationships it involves money. Money is a motivator, but it’s only one way to do this. In my morning AP meetings with Rob, it has been decided that missing a goal means 1 month of buying breakfast for the other guy. In the other AP arrangement, (in which we live across the country from each other) we’ve offered to buy a book on Amazon for the other person, if we should fail to meet a goal. Both consequences I work with are about a $20.00 value… per week.
    • I’ll tell you that this coming Monday morning, I’m buying Rob whatever he wants to eat because two weeks ago, I blew a goal. I had wanted to get back to journaling daily, and I skipped one of my seven days that I promised to complete. I missed my goal, I now pay the price. Rob, being a nice guy, offered to shorten the consequence since I did 6 out of the 7 days, but that is not how this system works. If the rules are being bent, we won’t play by the rules!

So the big things here are that this partnership is mutually beneficial, and also individually administered. I would never expect my AP to hand me a goal they think I should complete, or vice-versa. We set our own goals, and agree to our own consequences.

Now here is another key: Let’s all be Big Boys and Big Girls, when we’re going to invest our time and energy into this process. A goal like, “I’m going to get the car washed this week” when you already have the car washed every week, is no stretch for you. C’mon, push yourself a little! But really only a little! If you make many small steps in the right direction, eventually, you get there!

Also, the consequences need to be reasonable, but big enough that you will take them seriously. If you and your AP are multi-millionaires, $20.00 may not be enough to motivate you. However, money doesn’t have to be in the consequence at all. Maybe risk having to wash the windows at your AP’s house. Maybe you make a coupon for a free night of babysitting on a Saturday. Whatever it is, it should be something you want to avoid!

Here is a list of things I have made goals out of in the last month or so with my AP’s, that I almost certainly would not have completed other wise:

  • Finish the graduation assignment for my Calling class at Free Agent Academy
  • Begin a daily practice of spending a few minutes in the Word, first thing every morning. “Make God’s words, the first ones I hear every day.”
  • End each day with a journaling session, recapping my day, or downloading my current thoughts
  • Complete Activity #1 and #2 for my You class at FAA
  • Ask 1 person to enter a Prayer Covenant this week
  • Complete my DISC profile for the You class at FAA

Also, when I decided to make something a daily practice for a week, it has stuck with me and now, I don’t have to think about it, it has become part of my natural routine!

So! If any of this sounds interesting to you, or you have a question, that I haven’t covered, please email me at, I’ll be glad to explain further, and also I would probably be available as Your new AP if you really need one 🙂

I hope your mind is cranking on all the little areas you want to get Unstuck in your personal or professional life. If you take this Accountability Partner process seriously, I know you can make real headway in a short amount of time, just by deciding you want some company along the way.

And please, I would love to hear the stories of how you and your AP’s are hitting goals week-by-week and gaining real momentum!


Aaron Nichols