Duh, Winning!!

Even after hundreds of hours of listening to dear ol’ Dave Ramsey, I still find moments where he surprises me and provokes new thoughts to pop up. Like the other day, I grabbed an hour of his podcast, which I hadn’t done in a long time, and one call he took in particular has been rolling around in my noggin’-head ever since.

The caller had a story, and question.

He had been working on his financial well-being and had taken a few hard lumps along the way. He and his wife had been through Financial Peace University, he had read several of Dave’s books too. Recently he had lost a job, and decided to take out a loan for schooling, and his question was about his wife. He couldn’t get her to commit working the baby steps, or to actively pursue financial freedom and asked Dave: “How to Get Her On-Board”

Can you guess Mr. Financial Guru Dave Ramsey’s big response???

“I don’t know.” is what he said.

Wow. I just kinda loved that.

This has to be one of the hardest and most common things that we’d all like to know about people. How to get them to want to improve an area of their life? (of course, it’s usually someone else that we see that needs to ‘get on-board’ right?)

This wasn’t the only thing he said in response to the caller. In Dave’s own way he handled this call with his classic Tennessee tough love.

Basically, to paraphrase, he explained that the caller had already been exposed to his best products, and had attended 13 weeks of his classes. So the caller had already tried what Dave would have suggested he try.

So then what. Where do we go from there. Well truthfully, as he explained, the caller’s wife (and maybe the caller himself) didn’t have a financial problem, they had a hope problem.

You see, we can’t teach people how to have hope. We can’t explain to people why they should want a better life for themselves. We can’t insist that having a more stable and prosperous financial life would be beneficial to them, they have to decide that on their own.

I believe Dave was being very respectful, helpful and honest with the caller when he said:
“I can’t make you think like a winner.”

Examples of solutions were mentioned. We can show them how to win. We can be an example of real-life debt-freedom and the benefits it brings. We can be around to answer questions and to encourage someone who is interested and wants to discuss the details of walking up this new and transformational path out of normal and into possibility.

And yes, Dave also brought up another great point. It is possible that the caller’s wife was suffering from a spiritual disease. She may have been exposed to so much hopelessness and financial drought in her childhood, that she sees reality through Eeyore’s lens. It may be that she doesn’t believe in hope, or even if she plants corn seed, that corn will grow.

I will re-mention here, as many have, that Dave Ramsey’s techniques are not slick, savvy, clever, or high-tech. They are plain ol’ nothin-but common-sense. His suggestions are like seeds of corn. When you plant them, they grow. Every time. It’s stuff that we all know would help us, if we actually did it. And it’s amazing how many of us, just don’t.

So, weirdforgood folks, I am now admitting to you, that I have hidden the oh-so-cliche’ New Year Inspirational Message waaaay down in this here blog post.

I am someone who Does Believe in Hope.

I am currently exploding with Spiritual Blessings.

I am not afraid one bit, to tell you that I intend to increase and enhance my ability to personally and professionally  “Think Like a Winner!” all throughout the new year.

That is a very basic version of my 2012 message to myself.

I intend to make this year, my year for exponentially increasing results and enlightening experiences that explore my potential in previously untapped and underutilized areas. I want to pump up the muscles of my natural strengths and make regular measured steps toward serving others in my true God-given Calling.

This is the unteachable part. That burning desire and inner drive. The “want-to” and even the “need-to” grow, increase and stretch ones-self.

As Abraham Maslow describes the “Self-Actualized” person: “They must be, what they can be.” 

And so, how do I accomplish these things that I’m driven to go after?? Well, I find tools, I find instructions, I find people, and take action. That’s just what I plan to do. This year, a serious, high-end, not-cheap-to-hire coach is going to be part of my plans. I’ve taken myself about as far down this road, as I can on my own. I’m getting some good help. It will be worth every penny and a whole lot more.

And now to turn this subject back to the reader. What are your hopes? What dreams do you want to see come true? What results do you want in your 2012? Are you a goal-setter? Are you a follower-through?

Or, are you someone who says things like, “Oh, ya know, same shit, different day.”?

Well, I respectfully would like to help by saying; Those words and thoughts: Ain’t Winners!

Just like Dave, I can’t make anyone out there want to improve any area of their life, financially or otherwise. I can however continue to be an example of real-life living debt-freedom, and somebody who is taking step after step forward in pursuit of improvement.

If you do have a list of 2012 goals and aspirations, and really want your ideas to materialize, I suggest getting serious about accountability. It has been the key to changing my life in the last several months.

I don’t know if I can help you out with your goals. I have no idea how your thinking is based. I do know that in 2012 I will be helping lots of people and organizations reach their goals. We all benefit from someone who will make us do, what we won’t make ourselves do.

We can get together sometime, to find out if my coaching is for you. Call or text my cell, email me, facebook, twitter or skype, just make that contact, and we’ll talk.

Until then, we’ll see you right here, at www.weirdforgood.com

Thank you again, for reading the very last post of 2011. Happy New Year!!


Aaron Nichols

aaron.online – skype

Merry Christmas, Weirdos!

Yup, it’s almost Christmas Day!

I sit here tonight thinking about how absolutely blessed I am in so many ways. I have literally been showered with favor and love and now I am seeing light starting glow in a previously pitch black tunnel. It’s more than just the holidays and our celebration of the birth of our Messiah; a real peace has descended upon me lately. Thanks be to God!

I won’t bore you tonight with the incredible list of hints I’ve been receiving that I am feeling His presence and aware of my own growth in Him.

What I do want to do tonight is tell you that one of the things that has kept me trucking forward in these dark days, along with God’s grace, has been my assignments and workshops that I complete in my FAA training.

One of them recently was the My Story assignment. In it, our task was to write just that. Our complete life story, with Turning Points highlighted. Mine was 24 pages, 12,287 words, I included several pictures and some quotes too. It basically became a mini-book. It was a fantastically therapeutic exercise. I cried. A lot. I may share it here someday soon. In fact, I have this thought that my life story, just like Your life story, is interesting to people. Our collective experiences that inevitably overlap and echo each other’s, touches us on a deep level. So, soon here at weirdforgood, you will be able to purchase, my first e-book. It will only be available by purchase, because I am only interested in sharing it with my most interested readers. It’s way way way, deep deep down; personal.

BUT! I since it is Christmas, and I cannot yet provide each of my wonderful weirdforgood fans something really snazzy, like free iPads, or free books, or free weekends at a ski resort, like I would like to 🙂 I will share with you this free gift.

Here is half of one of my recent assignments. It asks some serious questions. I have given some serious answers. Feel free to check it out, ask yourself the same questions, heck, send me Your answers, I would LOVE to read them!!

I hope this Christmas season reminds you, enriches you and awakens you. It has me 🙂

——– excerpt from Core and Heart Strengths Worksheet by Jonathan Pool

What points to your Heart?

• What do you really care about?

  • Finding the truth
  • Feeling those “Aha” moments of knowing when God has touched me
  • Being transformation
  • Seeing transformation
  • Participating in Transformation

• Who do you want to serve?

  • “Regular” people, who don’t already have greatness in their minds. People that I grew up around, and people I relate to, that have a smaller and artificially lower image of their own capabilities, like I did, as a kid, growing up
  • People who want to grow in an area, that they don’t believe they deserve to grow in
  • Churches who have great potential and love, yet need a spark to materialize their ideas
  • Small businesses who have great values and caring about service, yet need someone to take them to the next level creatively and compassionately.

• What will be your ‘opus Gloria’ (glorious work) contribution in life?

  • Being the Explorer, the Craftsman and the Teacher.
    • Explorer – constantly searching out new and creative perspectives, breaking new trails
    • Craftsman – constructing and materializing, following through, creating things that are useful to people
    • Teacher – demonstrating and encouraging others that they can achieve their own desires of heart

What will your legacy statement be?

  • “A man who generously enriched the lives of others by choosing to go into the depths alone and bring light and good news back to demonstrate, enlighten and encourage others to believe that they deserve to experience and create their own wonderful world, however they choose to.

What do you want others to say about you after you are gone?

  • He cared and shared his passions and beliefs in a way that added to our lives immensely.
  • He took his energy, and gave it away in order that we may see and experience life anew and wonderfully.

Answer this to represent what you WANT your legacy statement to be.
How is this different than what it is currently?

  • Currently, my lack of worldly success, along with outward appearances of failure to reach goals, has brewed up a perception of misguided and stupid choices, that have led me to the lowest point in my adult financial life. I have let some of this perception infect my brain, and then acted as if I have failed, which creates results of apparent failure. There is an emerging silver lining on the edge of this cloud however, thanks be to God!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

  • Express and share my deep love for others, by communicating their own potential to them, awakening their spirits and shining a light on their ability to construct for themselves the life of their dreams.

What would you do if you were given $200,000 per year for the rest of your life?

  • I would give lots of money away to my church, local charities, worthy causes. Especially to the children who’ve lost one or both of their parents.
  • I would build a homebase here in KS that includes a lodge-style home, large outbuildings to host family & friends gatherings. It will be called Sterling Estates and be creative and crafty and expressive and represent my frugal mindset.
  • I would outfit a cross-country SUV to be able to travel any 4×4 road across the north American continent for road-trips and adventures in camping and cavorting across our great land.
  • I would travel worldwide – experiencing places like: Egypt, Bavaria, Australia, Mediterranean, Japan, Swiss Alps and many more 🙂

What would you do if you had six months to live? Answer this from the standpoint that your basic needs are provided for.

  • Express the turning points and aha moments of my life to my family and friends, so that maybe they can gain something useful and grow through my experiences for themselves when I’m gone
  • Show my love, and try to enrich my closeness to my family, which isn’t very close right now.
  • Deepen my spiritual practices and understanding
  • Travel and share my adventures with people at home
  • Write, write, write, write, write
  • Heal wounds within my family, among friends, among previous acquaintances, to “re-say” things in a loving way, that have hurt them in the past.

What did you dream about when you were a child?

  • Meeting my Dad in heaven
  • Discovering great ideas
  • Unlocking the secrets of impossible mysteries, like the Pyramids and the Universe
  • Being scared and constantly fighting against immovable forces
  • Having a loving companion and understanding supporting encouraging woman around me
  • Being liked, having friends, being “cool”

What is your life dream?

  • To converge my inner-self and outer-self in a place where my possibility to create is almost unlimited. To feel completely at peace with myself, using my true nature to share something wonderful with the world. To have worldy successes, in order to get the attention of people focused on worldly things, so that I may redirect and give credit to my Creator, who deserves all the real recognition. Basically, to achieve both spiritual and earthly success that gives me the ability to give back in abundance to my family, enrich my community and set an example for young people to learn from.
Merry Christmas to the weirdforgood family!
Aaron Nichols

That’s Baby Talk!!!

A long time ago my sister Jessica told me that she learned that we can learn a lot from babies. It was just one of those little bits of trivia to me at that time, but it stuck.

She said that if you watch a very small child interact with the world around him, you can learn the natural way our bodies are meant to operate. She may have given a couple examples, but the one I remember most, is that a little guy or girlie who has just started to walk, will squat down at the knees with their back straight and pick up toys or objects using their leg muscles. They don’t have to be taught to “lift with their legs”.

Hmmm, kinda cool isn’t it? Basically she was telling me that we are born smart and do things naturally the best way. Then we learn from society the “proper”, actually “stupider” methods 🙂 Like: it’s unsightly to squat down to pick stuff up.

I’m sure Jessica was in college or something when she learned this, and passed it on to me. Anyway, it was looooong ago, but I’ve remembered it from time to time.

Another cool thing I recently learned, that we can learn from babies, was taught to me last Sunday, by her 11 month old son. My cutie nephew William.

Along the same lines of thought, little William was doing something completely natural and yet completely opposite of society’s ways. During Church service, the little guy was practicing and working on his mastery of the English Language.

I’ve appreciated him reminding me of this truth, all week long. I’ve thought about it a lot.

You see, what was happening to my ears, and those sitting around us, was a series of unintelligible noises, coming out of his mouth, at random intervals, random volumes and in random configurations.

Keep in mind, this was not crying, not laughing, no whining or grunting. It was pure play.

Eventually, these sounds will lead to basic, and not perfect-at-all versions of words like Mama, Dada and Abba (every kid’s favorite band!) Now, I’m no expert, but I’m guessing that the child is reinforced in his learning effort by parents who repeat words, encourage and parrot-back to the child with object names, and very basic dialogue.

Those words will lead to more complex ones, and then be combined with others, and eventually rudimentary sentences will form, and someday in the not too distant future, this little guy and his random noises will mature into a little-bigger guy using the English language to verbally communicate. Amazing!

My point here is this.

Will understands the way to learn a big hairy complex monumental task, like learning English from scratch. It’s natural to him. It isn’t a chore, in fact, it’s play!

He’s not agonizing over getting things right the first time. He’s not worried if it sounds okay to other people. He’s not comparing his language-learning accomplishments to another toddler’s. He’s not doing it at certain times of practice, and within certain guidelines.

He won’t really know till later on in life, that that is even what he’s doing, but he’s following some amazing instinct to want to accomplish this “talking” thing. It’s really mind-boggling!

Also of note: We as adults around him, are not upset that his first words ever don’t make sense. We’re not criticizing him for failing to conjugate verbs properly. We understand that this is what it’s going to take for the little guy to learn, and we actually enjoy seeing him try.

Another way to look at it is that he’s going to make hundreds, probably thousands of mistakes before a real sentence ever comes out! Maybe all during one church service!

Anyway, I will bring this point back home to my own experience in learning to discuss, and explain to the world around me, what it is that I have a passion for, and especially, my business, True North Financial Fitness Coaching.

You see, I’ve done a really crappy job of this exact thing over the last year and a half. Sometimes, I feel so lost on how to explain it, that I shut down, don’t try, make an excuse or change the subject. This is a real problem. And I’m regretful of my failures at it.

Because I didn’t come out of the gate with a perfectly planned and already flawless fully developed business and stuffed-full client calendar, with lots of pure success to spout about, the speech about True North Financial Fitness Coaching sounded a lot like Will’s baby talk!

This left a lot of confusion out there. It stoked the fires of insecurities in me. The gaps and jumbled explanations left lots of room for cynicism and mistrust in the concept altogether.

As I was beginning my own learning process in this world of self-employment, with the monumental task of building something brand-new from scratch that is a unique concept in our area, that has the potential to make a huge difference in real people’s lives, I’ve overall been quite quiet in my attempt to learn to explain it clearly to others…


Is that what Will would do??

Heck No!

I wonder what his advice would be:

Get Loud Uncle A. Be Inappropriate Uncle A. Blab On and On Until Someone Starts Working With Ya’, Uncle A. Make Yourself Known. Try and Fail. Try and Fail. Don’t Worry About the Other People. When You’ve Practiced Enough, You’ll Get Hints That Some Parts of What You’re Doing are RIGHT. Some Parts Not. But Either Way, Just Keep on Trying! Be a Baby and Play While You Learn. Have Fun! Be Cute! Add to the Experience of Others! Have a Short Memory. If You Need Something Cry Out for It! It’s in Your Nature to Master Things You Practice At! Eventually, You Will Succeed!

Wow! That’s a lot of wisdom for only 11 months old!

It is true that I could see these things in God’s Message to me, through Will, last Sunday at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

It reminds me of the ironic truth in the quote:

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

So where do I go from here, and what tidbit can I implore you to ponder this week?

Well, I need to be ready to be much more open, much free-er about what my heart wants to express. Less holding back, More Giving. More Sharing. More Play. More Love. More of the Natural Me, the Cute Me 🙂

The thing I ask society as a whole to understand is that when someone is out there trying something new, see all the little failures and mistakes as building blocks on which something fantastic is being constructed. I have been too harsh on myself, some others have been too harsh on me as well. This is how we get there. I surely could have chosen an easier route, I certainly could have been smarter and more prepared and all that.

And then I have a couple questions. What big hairy audacious goal are you chasing today? What monumental task is God calling you to conquer? Would it make it any easier to know that you don’t have to have it all figured out, to begin the process of learning? That screwing up and starting with little primitive attempts is absolutely natural?

I of course, will re-begin anew, again, with knowledge now, that I AM getting somewhere, even though I usually still sound like a baby!

Thanks for being here, and sticking with my babbling again this week. Someday, I hope you can say, you remember when I was just a toddler in this fantastic journey.

One other thing about Nephews, that I can share with you today: If one is good, then two is better! Meet Lil’ William and Lil’ Tucker, both making tons of fun in our family right now!!


Aaron Nichols

A smash of a deer story, and it’s all true!

Tonight a true story, just the facts, and we’ll let the conclusions come in the comment thread. I really am begging you to participate in this one. Yes You! I want the reaction and how this real-life metaphor, absolute non-coincidence feels to you, or why you think it was shown to me.

Monday November 29th, 7:05 a.m

The biting cold air followed me through the door of the new Hardee’s restaurant just south of Ottawa. I was here for my weekly coffee coaching meeting with Rob… but… where was Rob?? I looked around, and figured that because I was late, he’d probably already be there. A quick check of the phone showed that I had a text message.

Rob had tweaked his back over the weekend and woke up in pain early in the morning, he wasn’t coming to coffee.

Oh well, it was a beautiful morning to be up and at ’em. The matte grey sky was turning lighter silver. Although no sun shone through, the crisp morning of very early winter had a picturesque character. Better to look at through the windshield of my heated truck, than to feel against the skin.

I decided to head back home, but take the longer way; my favorite way. From Ottawa 6 miles south to Princeton on gravel roads, I figured I’d take my time. Hey, I might see a deer or something, what the heck!

So Roxy and I pulled out onto 59 Hwy, but not for long. I love to drive West up Kingman road for a mile to meet at the hilltop with Eisenhower. I’m sure I’m not the only one who goes out of their way, up that rise and slows down near the top. It’s there where you get a great view of the old quarry.

I’m sure someone out there can recite a history of the place, I don’t know it. But it’s a beautiful spot, where you can see the bright blue quarry lake below, usually wildlife and not the point of this here story.

Anyway, as you connect up with Eisenhower Rd and head south, there’s a small dip, then back up the hill, then you start back down a longer slope…

I was taking my time, looking around and just as I was starting down the second hill, to my right, across the fence was a Doe.

Ha! A deer I sure did see a deer, just a few yards away!

She was running along in pace with my truck! I must’ve missed seeing her coming up from across the field, but I surely was the reason she had changed direction.

I couldn’t believe my luck! What a gorgeous site to see. She strode in big long graceful leaps down the incline, not missing a step. Then she started to accelerate! She wanted out and in front of me, she wanted across that road!

I sped up just a little, and like a good calf, she stayed straight ahead.

But when she gained even more speed, I backed off a bit to give her room. We weren’t all the way down the long slope together, and then it happened.

Then she banked!

Angled hard to the east!

and as she jumped…

caught a foot on the top row of the fence!

Blam! She came down face first in a crumpled heap right at the road’s edge! Of course, I had stopped at that point to let her by. I was a little shocked and regretful for messing around with her. It was a tangled pile of hooves and fur all in the wrong places.

But not for long!

Almost immediately, she popped back up. And Back over the fence she went!

Wow, what the heck? She’d tried so hard to get over here, and now after the crash, she leaps back over the fence?? Well I slowly headed forward as she once again followed the line straight south in a hurry. She moved fast and strong. I was amazed at her resiliency.

Maybe a hundred yards down the way, I had a chance to see her second try.

Amazing! This creature that just bit the damned dust, as hard as she did, found a better spot this time. The ground was higher and fence-top lower, but it wouldn’t have mattered, she wasn’t missing this jump again!

With just a little squat in the rear, she loaded up and launched! Like real-life slow motion, she cleared the barbed-wire by a mile in a huge rainbow arc.  She touched down mid-gallop in the middle of the road and kept going…

I had caught up to her by then, and her white flag tail was stuck on alert. As she took off to the east across the grey brown and frosted field, she left a huge plume of steam in her wake. The entire body of this deer was literally smoking in the early morning light, against the dark tree-lined horizon. There was no limp or gimp in that girl. She was bounding awau in big rhythmic bursts, off to the safety of the woods beyond.

I smiled inside and out 🙂

It’s a beautiful picture that I’ll always have in my mind. What an honor to see the grace, the strength, the failure and the resolute determination of this animal. I was on the front row of it all. I believed, then as now, that it wasn’t a chance meeting; that it was ordained that I witness this event firsthand.

I’ve thought about it alot since that Monday morning. I think I’m getting the message. Now, will I be able to act as quickly, jump as strongly and keep my direction through it all??

Guess we’ll find out pretty soon.

And, You’ll find out soon too. If you stay here with me at www.weirdforgood.com, then you’ll be the one with the front row seat!


Aaron Nichols

Please chime in this week, and let me know what you see in this story. I would love to read your opinion 🙂 Thanks!

Talk Doesn’t Have to be Cheap

I’ve been tossing around this idea of how our personal conversations have devolved into an un-inspiring, spirit-staining exhange of our recent consumptions as proof or in lieu of our truly valuable accomplishments.

I may be lighting the fuse on a whole series of blog posts here, but if you’ll indulge me on this one, I’ll keep it brief… for now 🙂

Basically, the premise that the act of consumption carries the assumptive value that we’ve personally created something of worth or wealth, is to me, an absolute genius triumph of marketing, tragically…

I do not however believe in a purchase as a creation, myself… Anymore.

Back in the day, before my financial paradigm shift, I used to believe silly things, like: “If someone has a really nice car/house/phone/whatever, they have money.” And seeing who had what kind of stuff, could tell you about their financial well being, AND the kind of stuff that I had, indicated my financial well being… Whelp, that’s just backwards.

You see Money, is the indicator of having money. Moreover, the ability to create Money above and beyond the chosen cost of lifestyle, so that the extra money is available to create more income, is a much more accurate measure of financial wealth.
(By this measure, I personally, am Not currently financially wealthy, more on that later) 

And so therefore, the consumption of a “something” does not necessarily equal wealth at all, in this age of still readily available credit. “Buying” something these days can have very little to do with “Owning.”

So, back to the beginning of this blog. What do I mean by the devolution of our personal conversations?

I find myself many times, talking and relating to other people about the items I’ve recently consumed or plan on consuming or wish I could consume or consumed last year. This can be anything from Stuff that was bought, to Food, to Vacations, to Post-Secondary Education. Sometimes it’s sharing in pride, or warning another about a mistaken purchase, or convincing ourselves that life will be better when we just get to buy that “_(fill in the blank)__”.

And what is wrong with talking to our friends, family, or co-workers about Things that we’re bringing into our lives?

I think somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that we are actually constructed by God, in his image, to be magnificent Creators. And Create we do! I believe there is much more valuable conversation to be shared between us as fellow human beings about what we are actually Creating in our lives, than the crap we bought lately.

And what would real Creations be? Personally, right now, I’m partial to the word “Overcome”, there are a few personal demons that I am right now working on creating solutions to Overcome. And to me, that is a wonderful creation that is conversation worthy! How about others though? Creations could be solutions and experiences in growth in areas like; personal goals, health, relationships, career/entrepreneurial, spiritual, emotional, academic, or self-awareness, just to name a few.

Truthfully, I love discussing topics like these, and love listening to others share of themselves too. I am much more interested in the human condition, than how well someone was sold a purchase, by a well-funded and clever marketing campaign.

So, I hope I’ve made my point that people are wonderful resources of compassion and encouragement and wisdom. If we can get to the real meat of what is going on in our real lives, and not just our consumer-ness, then we’re really adding to the collective pool.

From where I’m at today, in all the changes I’ve experienced, inside and out, I could really give a rip about my status as a proper consumer.

And speaking of right now, I’ve graduated into a new workshop series in my FAA training, where the final questionnaire is the first thing they ask you to read.

Through this course of several weeks/possibly months of study, hard work, coaching, gritty deep emotional digging and lots of prayer; I’m supposed to have some answer to these questions and more, at the end:

  • I know what I am naturally great at
  • I know what gives me meaning and purpose
  • I know how I think and interact with the world
  • I know why I exist
  • I know where I am headed
  • I know what I must do to get there
  • I know what keeps me on track
  • I know what will prevent me from getting there

Now, being able to confidently answer some of these questions, will make for some seriously stimulating conversation! I welcome any kind of invitation to coffee or lunch or a skype video call, if you’d like to chat about the little things in life, like “why I exist.”

I’m fascinated, just imagining the possiblities… and then when all this culminates to me being able to afford some stuff. I’ll go ahead and get that too… but please Stop Me, if I want to have a big ole conversation about a new SUV or a leather sectional. Thanks!


Aaron Nichols