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Abraham Lincoln Failures

Failure is NOT Fatal, Just Ask Abraham Lincoln

Failure can be difficult to swallow.

In the moment, it can often seem as if the world is crashing around you. This viewpoint is only enhanced by a short-term view on life. This viewpoint can infiltrate itself into every aspect of your being if you let it. Your business, your marriage, your friendships, everything!

Although this viewpoint is common, there are many in history who looked beyond their short-term failure. Instead of doting in the moment, these great examples focused on their long-term success.

One such giant in which I stand on the shoulders of is Abraham Lincoln.

Many may see Abraham Lincoln as a man with a straight shot to the top. That nothing and no one stood in the way of his perennial rise.

This notion I’m sure would have been flattering as his journey to success was anything but dominant.

Let’s take a look at his victories and more importantly his defeats:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.27.21 AM

Now, why do I say, “more IMPORTANTLY his defeats.”

Well, first off, you can see based upon the red versus the green that there’s a lot more defeats/tragedies than there are triumphs.

BUT, the reason is really quite simple:

Learn from Others Mistakes, So You Don’t Have To Learn From Your Own

This also tales into another important aspect of failures:

Everyone Has Them. Nobody Likes to Talk About Them.

One key principle I’ve found in talking to people deemed “successful” is they love to talk  about themselves. This is for many reasons, however one such reason is to impart the lessons learned on the next generation who is eager to learn. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, there’s few who are truly interested in learning.

Sometimes it takes digging, but there is gold to be found in the mind of a successful man willing to share his failures.

Learn from others failures. Learn from your own failures. And most importantly, persist, persist, persist.

A smart man learns from his failures, a wise man learns from others’. – Unknown

Yours in Ambition,

Cooper Mitchell

A Call for Commitment

A Call for Commitment

This for the most part marks the first anniversary of me starting CooperDane.com.

It’s funny to me that more people don’t have a place to share their views with the world other than on other people’s platforms. I can truly say that having this medium has allowed me to not only become more creative, but also be intentional with my thoughts.

When you’re forced to write a thought out article on your views rather than keep them in your mind, it causes you to formulate a much better and more well rounded argument. Sometimes in fact, I would sit down and plan to write an article and halfway through realize that what I was writing was not actually something I believed. So, in the trash can it went.

One thing I have been planning to write on ever since I started this was on the word COMMITMENT.

What does commitment look like?

Why should we keep our promises?

What does commitment look like in the Bible?

Who are we failing by not keeping our commitments?

These are questions I plan to explore among others.

What does commitment look like?

commitment handstied

More and more it appears the definition of commitment seems to be lost.

Commitment defined is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

This is a fine definition, but I’d like to expound on it and define what it means to me.

Commitment defined by Cooper is saying, “I will do something regardless of other things that present themselves to the best of my abilities.”

This definition is NOT only to other people.

This is first and foremost to yourself.

When you say to yourself, “I’m going to workout 3 times this week because I want to be healthier for myself and for my family” you are COMMITTING to those three days. That means regardless of other things that are going on, regardless of other people that want to take your time, YOU WILL WORK OUT 3 TIMES NO MATTER WHAT.

Let me give you an example of what commitment looks like from one of my personal heroes in history, Mr. Theodore Roosevelt.

On October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt having been out of politics, but being disappointed with the current administration was about to give a speech in an attempt to win an unprecedented third term as POTUS.

When he stepped out of the car to wave at his supporters, suddenly a man only a few feet away shot Teddy in the chest. Thankfully his 50 page speech he had written along with his metal glasses case had shielded him from imminent death. Being a man who had seen gun fire quite a bit in his life, Teddy stuck his finger in his mouth to see if blood was present indicating a punctured lung. Fortunately for him there was not.

Theodore Roosevelt went on to give a 90 minute speech and providing the world with one of the greatest one liner comebacks of all time,

“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

My friends, that is the definition of commitment. Teddy had committed not only to himself to give this speech, but also to the people attending. Even though he was SHOT IN THE CHEST, he still went on to give a speech lasting over an hour and a half.

Curious what the opposite of commitment is?

Justin Bieber storming off the stage in Oslo after only one song because people were trying to touch him while he was cleaning up spilled water.

Unfortunately, this sort of lack of commitment seems to have infiltrated itself so deep into our society it can be seen everywhere.

But, before we decide to keep our commitments, we need to know why.

Why should we keep our promises?

Every time you make a promise, you are giving a part of yourself.

Wait, what?

I mean it, every single time you tell someone that you can be counted on, you are giving a piece of who you are.

When you follow through and do the thing you said you would do, you get back the piece of you that was given, plus something extra. That something extra is the trust the person now has for you because you were a man of your word.

This trust that you build with people compounds itself until everyone you know, knows you as a trustworthy person.

Think back to all of the people you are friends or have done business with. When somebody shows up late or doesn’t follow through with something you were counting them on, you remember that. And every time you think of people you can count on to do something for you, that time your friend Bobby said he could help you and never showed up, replays in your mind.

So, if you want to have people who are committed to you, you need to be committed to them.

This also plays itself out in your own life; I’ve seen it 1000 times.

Somebody tells me they’re going to commit to only going to somewhere like Starbucks once a week because they want to save money by making coffee at home.

Not a week goes by and they’re back to buying a cup of coffee at their local brown eyes every morning.

In their mind, it doesn’t matter because it was a commitment nobody knew about. It was simply a promise they made to themselves and in all reality, can you really lie to yourself?

Yes, you can. And the majority of people go through life telling themselves one thing, and doing another.

This lack of trust in oneself will play itself out in all sorts of ways. I mean honestly, how can you expect to keep a commitment to others, if you can’t keep one to yourself?

Biblical commitment

king david

Not everyone reading this is a Christian, however even if you aren’t a Christian, the Bible has many principles for living a successful life.

One of the many stories that pops into my head regarding commitment in the Bible is the story of King David.

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 16:8

David committed his entire life to the Lord and through it, the Lord blessed him in return.

One of the main principles that is shown throughout the Bible in regards to commitment is the fact that commitment is not always, and in many cases, never easy.

When you commit to someone or something, you should be saying regardless of the obstacles that come in my way, I will give my all to do the thing I said I would. A story that illustrates this in the bible is of Job.

This is personally one of my favorite stories in the Bible and shows that if we commit to the Lord, He will commit back to us.

God allowed Satan to attack Job:

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” – Job 1:12

Job then began to experience many trials in his health, wealth, and even his Wife telling him to curse God and kill himself. Through all of this, Job remained committed to his faith. He did not sway. He did not forget his commitments even though life was going rough. But instead, Job cried out:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Think on this for a second. Job was a wealthy man who was truly blessed. Suddenly he had nothing.

What would you do in that situation? Would you curse? Would you turn your back on God? It’s very hard to say without ever having gone through such a tumultuous time. But, I believe that through small commitments to others, we can develop the fortitude necessary to remain committed to the Lord even in the most difficult times.

Let me say this again, because to me, this is the most important lesson to be learned in this entire discussion:

By keeping the seemingly small commitments to our friends, family, and business associates we deal with on a daily basis, we can develop the means to stay committed in the situations that would feel impossible otherwise. This illustrates the power of compounding. Many see it only in the area of finance, but it is all around you.

God calls us to be FULLY invested in Him. He does not want wafflers or back and forthers. He despises these types so much it is written in Revelation:

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16

In the end, after all of Job’s trials and hardships, God blesses Job with twice of what he had before.

And this receiving of something extra goes right back to my example of giving a piece of yourself and in return, receiving even more.

Who are we failing by not keeping our commitments?

You don’t have to commit to the majority of things in life. In fact, there’s many people that live this way. You may ask them to do something and rather than giving you a yes or no, they just give you the ol’ “I’ll let you know.” These are not the type of people that can be trusted and often turn out to be very unreliable people.

But, even worse than never committing, is committing and not following through with your commitments.

What happens when the lady in my previous example who was set on not going to Starbucks each week decides she’s no longer going to keep her commitment?

Well, for one, it will become more and more difficult for her to stay committed to anything if she doesn’t follow through.

“Willpower is like a muscle. The more you work on developing it, the more you can incorporate it into your life. – Dr. Kelly McGonigal

Other people will also see that she is not committing to herself and will not expect her to commit to them.

A secret to committing to oneself

Do you know why people love to tell others what they plan on doing?

It’s because it allows them to feel a sense of immediate accomplishment. So much so in fact, that many people will not do, what they said they would.

Going around telling everybody, everything you plan on doing is a recipe for disaster. In the short term it will lead to little shots of dopamine, but in the long term, it will lead to ruin.

The next time you have an idea of something you want to commit to, say it’s working out or eating better, wait at least 3 months before you tell anybody outside of your closest circle of people. Being able to say, “these are things I’m doing” vs. “these are things I’m going to do” will change your life. Procrastinators talk about what they want to do, successful people talk about what they’re currently doing.

A real life example of commitment

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Every Thursday evening at 7:30 PM rain or shine, 20 dedicated people come to my Wife and I’s home to encourage one another and dig into the Word.

Our group is what’s known as a Life Group and is part of James River Church.

I’ve been a part of various bible studies, but none have had the intentionality and dedication to one another as this group does.

In fact, it’s been such a committed group of individuals, we’ve created a name and a mission statement.

Intentional Pursuit

A group of men and women that is committed through love, humility, community, and the word of God to become more equipped for the intentional pursuit of Jesus in our everyday lives.

The overarching theme and idea that has caused us to flourish, is every one is bought in. When someone says they’re going to do something and doesn’t, you’ll be sure that a brother will come alongside them to encourage future change.

We see each other as family. When people need help moving, we’re there. When a couple is suddenly expecting a baby, we’re there to celebrate. When an engagement is announced, we’re there to share in the moments.

Through commitment to one another, EVERYONE has seen incredible growth. If you’re not surrounded by others committed as much to you as you are to them, then I highly suggest you seek a change. Everybody deserves to have people walk alongside them on this journey we call life.

Final Thoughts

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the positive sides of standing by your commitments, but it is a start. Make this year, the year where you no longer say one thing, and do something else.

Live and die by your commitments and your life with flourish.

– Cooper Mitchell

Your Morning is Ruining Your Day

Your Morning is Ruining Your Day

When you woke up this morning, what did you do?

Did it involve hitting the snooze alarm multiple times? Possibly running to the shower, changing, and heading out the door? Or maybe you even made enough time to grab a granola bar on the way out the door.

If your mornings are defined by any of these situations or consist of any similar iteration then you’re doing it wrong.

I like to think of the morning as a foundation to the start of your day.

If you start your morning in a rush to get going, you’re going to go through the day in a rush. And this my friends is what the majority of America does.

The majority of America sleeps until there is absolutely no more time available for sleep, and then rushes to get to their workplace.

If you can wake up early to get to something that you have to do, like go to work, then you can certainly muster up the gusto to wake up for something you want to do.

Like IMPROVE your life.

If you start the day with personal development, then I can guarantee you that your life will improve dramatically.

This goes back to one of my favorite quotes by Charlie Munger:

“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”

What are you doing to develop yourself, not for the sake of your employer, but for YOU?!

While you’re reading this, you’re probably saying, “but I’m so busy, there’s not enough time in a day.” Then make time! You make time for the things you want to accomplish.

If I told you, that you could accomplish at least 75% of the the goals you set for yourself if you dedicated an hour of your day to personal improvement, would you do it?

I guarantee you would. And that’s exactly what can happen if you dedicate yourself to it.

And when’s the best time to do it.

The morning!

I recently read a book by “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod (great name to have people remember you) called The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life… (Before 8AM).

I typically shy away from books with this overly enthusiastic title, but I saw some good reviews from people I respect so I decided to give it a shot. Besides, nobody has ever gone broke buying books to read.

Although much of the book is simply words to fill pages, there were some great tips I picked up.

The first one is to have a strategy when you wake up. Don’t just fall asleep without a plan on how you’re going to attack your morning.

This is how I go about mine:

  • 5:30 AM: Wake Up (I am slowly waking up earlier and earlier till I reach 4:00 AM which is my goal for waking up.)
  • Immediately put on workout clothes and drink a glass of water.
  • Spend 10 minutes praying. This can be replaced with meditating for some.
  • Spend 10-20 minutes reading the bible.
  • Spend 10-20 minutes reading a book of my choice, most often non-fiction, or reading Bloomberg Businessweek or WSJ.
  • Spend 20-30 minutes walking/running ‘Famous Amos’ (dog) or stretching/breaking a sweat.
  • Once all of that is done, I make my breakfast, drink my coffee and then begin getting ready for the upcoming day.

Notice how I don’t even begin thinking about the upcoming day until after I’ve done all the things I WANT to do.

By picking a morning schedule and sticking to it, you are winning the morning. Although it may seem small, these small wins compound themselves over time. This is an idea I recently picked up from the book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

The second idea I picked up from The Miracle Morning is to spend time in silence. This is talked about by many of the guests on the Tim Ferriss Podcast (my personal favorite) but simply being able to sit in silence in a world that is constantly in motion is a skill few will master.

This small portion of your day simply being content with nothing will radically change your life.

As will starting your morning on your terms.

So, stop being a victim of your situation. Stop allowing the morning to ruin your day. Rebel against the way everybody else is living.

Make the morning a victory, and watch as your days become victories.

Stay Strong, Live Long,

Cooper Mitchell

run your own race

Run YOUR Race

Why do we compare ourselves to others?

It’s as if we are wired to look at somebody else’s accomplishments and judge them against our own.

We think that by measuring up to someone else that we have reached a level of success that is something we should be striving for. This idea however, is completely false.

First off, we are all DIFFERENT.

Every single person reading this post is different from one another, as well as myself. We all have specific traits, goals, skills, and attitudes that shape the individual you see in the mirror.

If this is the case then, that each person is indeed an individual, then why are we trying to veer into other peoples lanes?

This goes both ways as well.

By comparing yourself to somebody who you’ve deemed to be “successful,” you immediately squander your own achievements.

AND, by comparing yourself to others, you immediately place yourself in the same race as that person. This is the issue I have with the idea of human comparison.

If I’m comparing my unique self, with all of my individual abilities and ideas to somebody who is obviously not me, I’m completely limiting my potential. It would be like a long distance runner comparing themselves to a sprinter. Sure, they’re both doing the same action, going from point A to point B with their legs being the only mode of transportation; but, they’re two completely different skillsets, body types, distances, and mental races.

So, my suggestion to you is the next time you look at somebody else’s accomplishments, congratulate them, but remember that you are not them.

You my friend have your own race to run and in order to stand atop the podium of self improvement you must stay in your lane.

I’ll leave you with this:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, – Hebrews 12:1

– Cooper Mitchell

Facebook is huge

Facebook is Growing

Facebook, the almighty social network continues to expand.

I woke up this morning with an email from StockTwits, a social network for investors, explaining the continued growth of Facebook.

I’ll get into the details in a second, but I think Facebook’s will continue to grow.

Facebook is live and all in one place. The internet is completely segmented. When you want to find out how a company is doing, you go to their website. However, the problem faced in going to a companies website is they’re not often updated due to the time it takes to do so.

With a company page on Facebook, you can update easily and share any information you would like with an audience that is “following you.”

Not only will it grow in this manner, but I believe the user base will continue to grow.

When we think about internet companies and social networks we often think of something that is fleeting. It may be popular today, but will it be popular 5 years from now?

When Facebook began to steamroll I believed it was a fad. Myspace was once THE social network and now look at it.

It’s nothing.

But, despite the cyclical nature of social networks, Facebook has stood the test of time and continues to grow. And because of this, I believe they’ve reached the point of no turning back.

There are so many people on Facebook, with so much content on their pages, to leave Facebook would be like abandoning their personal website.

Not only that, but it would be like leaving your social lifeline as well. How could you possibly get through your day without knowing what Becky had for lunch? Or, what would happen if somebody asked you if you’d seen the viral video that’s been spreading on Facebook and you hadn’t seen it because you didn’t have Facebook?

These sound silly, but these interactions are becoming ingrained into the life we live. No longer does Facebook just live on Facebook. It’s spreading!

Increased User Base

So, enough about what I think. Let’s look at the numbers.

 

This is a graph published by Stocktwits:

Stocktwits daily active users

 

The graph shows the Daily Active Users (DAU) of Facebook from Q3 2013 to Q3 2015.

It must also be noted that these numbers are in the millions! And these aren’t just people who have Facebook accounts. These are people with Facebook accounts that log in each and every day.

1/7th of the world logs into Facebook everyday.

No longer is Facebook just something we do in our free time every once in a while.

It’s a part of our lives. When something because ingrained in our lives, its hard to stop.

Facebook has just begun.

– Cooper Mitchell

Future Internet Specialization

Future Internet Specialization

Today’s topic is not of the norm for me, but is something I see beginning to occur and will only increase with time.

Once upon a time when people marketed on the internet or wrote to a certain crowd, they would write for the masses. I.e the crowd they were trying to reach was the ENTIRE WORLD.

This was something that often worked.

Put yourself and your ideas into this new virtual world and with time, your audience will grow. It’s an idea that is heavily spoken on in a book I recently read by Austin Kleon called “Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.

I greatly agree with this advice and it’s something I’m doing right now as I write this.

However, I believe there will soon be a shift, and one that will begin to become very noticeable.

First, why a shift?

Reaching the entire world with your content was at one time very possible. In fact, it’s still possible today, but is becoming more and more difficult as time goes on.

The reason is due to the amount of information being uploaded on the internet at an increasing pace, AND the amount of information that’s been on the webiverse for years.

I recently read a statistic that was confirmed by a Google Spokesperson that 300 hours of video is uploaded to Google (wait for it…) every MINUTE!

Every minute! Can you believe that?

And that’s just video, which doesn’t include all of the social media posts, blog entries, music, or anything else share for the world to see.

With the ever increasing amount of information sharing, you must believe it is only becoming harder to be seen.

So, what can be done?

This is the real point of this article.

Now that it’s becoming more difficult than ever to get noticed on the interwebs, what can be done?

Simple, specialization.

However, specialization is not enough. Specialization and niche markets plague the internet, so something else must be done.

LOCALIZATION.

Yes, I believe the future of the internet including marketing and visibility will begin to become much more geographically based.

To reach target audiences, I see it becoming very important to focus efforts on your local market. Which is something I’ve begun to do, and is even easily seen in a recent article I wrote called, “Springfield MO Financial Advisor.”

It doesn’t get much more locally focused then that.

This is far from a new idea in the large spectrum of things. Companies have done this for centuries, however, it’s typically been done in the reverse.

Companies attempt to grab a foothold in the local market, and then expand outward.

In my opinion, visibility in the internet age is the opposite.

Begin globally, and narrow down to being seen locally.

What’s your opinion?

Boldly Yours,

Cooper Mitchell

discipline equals freedom

Discipline = Freedom

Rinnnnnnnnnnnnggggg, Rinnnnnnnnnnnnggggg.

The sound of your alarm goes off.

Although this appears as a very simple yes or no answer, get up or stay in bed, it is much more important than we give it credit.

You see, should you decide to remain in slumber underneath your warm covers, you are saying you’d rather sleep than get whatever it is you would do with extra hours in the day.

However, should you decide to spring out of your welcoming bed and attack the day with vigor, you are setting a foundation for the rest of your day.

By choosing to wake up at the time you’ve set for yourself, hopefully a time that is early and challenging for you, then your first decision for the day is a win. Essentially, by making that first decision a victory for yourself, you’re preparing the rest of your day to reflect the same.

And, as I’ve written on many times before, a solid foundation is an essential part to every endeavor you plan to uphold. Many people do not have a strong foundation and thus, when the wind and the waves of life come, they are unable to weather the storm.

So, this brings me to my point of discipline ultimately equating to freedom. Discipline = Freedom.

Because you decide to discipline yourself, others will not have to. This gives you the freedom to make choices that you want to choose versus being forced to choose them.

Discipline yourself and others won’t need to – John Wooden

For more discussion on this topic, check out Tim Ferriss podcast with Navy Seal Jocko Willink.

– Cooper Mitchell

Daniels Fast

My Experience on the Daniel’s Fast

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.”  Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.”  So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days.  At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.  So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.” – Daniel 1:8-16

My life is easy.

So easy in fact that I initially thought the idea of fasting from meat (I’m practically a carnivore), alcohol, dairy, caffeine (yes, no coffee), and sugar was something I didn’t need to partake in.

I had the option of either joining in with my church, James River Church, and seeking God in my life by fasting from culinary luxuries afforded to the majority of Americans, or pretending it wasn’t something I needed to do.

Looking back on my thought process on whether I should join in on my first Daniel’s Fast actually embarrasses me somewhat.

I wasn’t willing to give up things that many in other countries would only dream of having available every hour of everyday, and for only a measly 3 weeks.

Daniel was giving up food fit for kings! We have this food all around us, and for a very low cost.

If I don’t have it “good,” I don’t know who does.

And this brings up a good point…

Why are we trying to squeak by?

God didn’t make us to be 9-5er’s, shuttling to our cubicles and avoiding anything that would put us out of our element.

GOD MADE US TO BE WARRIORS.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. – Psalm 144:1-2

So, rather than trying to be as comfortable in our lives as possible, let’s pray to face adversity.

Let’s pray that God would make our lives tough, not toughness for it’s own sake, but so that through us, others would see a shining example of a warrior for Christ.

To me, that’s what the Daniel’s Fast is about.

Putting a stop to the excess of this world, and turning the green light on to experiencing what life in Christ is like, outside of the king’s lifestyle many of us live.

So, how did I do on the fast?

Much better than I would have thought.

I remember joking with my wife that I didn’t ever remember eating a meal that didn’t involve some sort of meat. Seriously. I couldn’t think of one.

It’s just the way my life has been, and I never stopped to think that never experiencing discomfort regarding food was a bad thing.

I’m well aware of the idea that discomfort today, could mean experiencing something great in the future. But, this idea applied to food never popped in my head outside of simply eating healthy.

One thing I noticed was the amount of thought that is taken by deciding what and where to eat throughout the day. Rather than thinking at the various eating intervals what I was going to slam down my gullet, I instead thought of the reason I was fasting.

Thus, leading me to pray.

This was the single greatest takeaway from my experience on the Daniel’s Fast. I don’t pray near enough.

In fact, I don’t think many of us do.

Speaking on myself for a moment, I get so wrapped up in the things of this world that I forget to speak with God. I am admittedly hard headed and will try to do things on my own.

I find that the more I try to do on my own, the less progress I make. It’s as if I’m in quicksand and no matter how hard I try to push forward, I’m still stuck or worse off than I was.

However, when I accept that I can’t do things on my own, and ask for God’s intervention, life becomes easier. Often times due to the lack of worry that is associated with everything being on my shoulders.

So, the lesson learned from the Daniel’s Fast was pray fervently!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18

In Summary

In summary, the Daniels Fast was a great experience and one that makes you realize just how good you have it.

In addition, you will learn to pray, because every time you think about food, you should be reminded the reason you are abstaining from it.

Also, the food you will eat after you have completed your Daniel’s Fast is unlike any other.

To see rewards, we must sacrifice. Without the feeling of pain, how are we to know the sweet taste of victory?

Andys with Friends after Daniels Fast

 

Our victory after the fast included custard from Andy’s. Yum!

– Cooper Mitchell

Springfield mo financial advisor

Springfield Mo Financial Advisor

Springfield, Missouri is a unique place.

It’s large enough to feel like a “big” city at times, yet has a very much hometown feel. I find it somewhat funny that many people work with an advisor employed by a large corporation, when there are locally owned advisory businesses in Springfield, Mo.

I was born and raised in Springfield. I’ve seen it go through many changes and have been happy to operate my business here.

But why Springfield?

I saw a need for genuine advice combined with the use of current technology and training from the perspective of someone born and raised in Springfield, Mo. A town known for its heavy emphasis on family values.  I strive to “Forge Financial Success” for clients utilizing all the tools available with a personal touch.

Let me speak on a few things that set me apart from the rest for those in the area looking for help.

First off, I’m younger than the average investment advisor. Which, in reality isn’t saying much because the average financial advisor’s age is around 50 according to MarketWatch.  A question I think people should ask themselves is, “will my advisor retire before I no longer need their services?” If the answer is possibly yes, than I would think about who you’re working with. Not only should you question whether they will retire before you, but are they up to date with current investment strategies, tools that technology has brought about, or even how to communicate using more than just a phone?

I don’t want to bash on advisors that are older than I, because I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from them. But, there’s something to be said about an advisor who is up to date and understands not only the times, but also a clients needs. Because the longer you do something, the more stuck in your way’s you become, and one of the biggest things I’ve found is EACH CLIENT IS DIFFERENT.

The second way I strive to stand out in a wave of advisors is to constantly progress. Not only in the area of designations, but also knowledge, the use of technology, and understanding markets. A quote by one of the greatest investors of all time in Charlie Munger goes,

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

This quote speaks volumes to me because I find it to be so true. You come in and stack one brick at a time, and eventually you’ll look back and have a house built. This is the way I not only strive to help my clients in their retirement, but also the way I structure my companies growth. Constant progression.

Thirdly, I am pressure free. There’s this idea in the financial services industry that you have to pretend to be a used car salesman to earn someone’s business. In my opinion, I’ve found this to be the complete opposite of the truth. When I make a recommendation, I ask what the potential client feels about the recommendation and let them decide when to move forward. The choice of an advisor should not be taken lightly and I don’t want somebody making rash decisions.

My goal is to have a client for life; and to earn that trust it takes time.

Finally, I’m an independent business owner. Meaning I’m directly ingrained in the success of my company, and I believe so much in my company that it’s my middle name. I put my name as my business because I’m willing to put my reputation on the line and like the captain of a ship, I’m anchored to the ship’s wheel.

Want to learn more? Visit the Work with Cooper page!

– Cooper Mitchell

Tech start bubble

Is There a Tech Startup Bubble on the Horizon?

There was a time during the early 2000’s when investing in technology was at a peak.

Brokers would cold call average investors all over the country, offer the latest, greatest technology stock offering and get more yes’s than ever before. Since that time, things have changed, dramatically. Brokers cold calling has pretty much come to a halt, everybody is skeptical, but we could be facing a bubble similar to the dot-com bubble that occurred from 1999-2001.

In fact there was a popular movie that recently came out based on brokers targeting the everyday investor:

WallStreet2013poster

The reason I bring up everyday investors who have very little knowledge investing in companies that are highly complex and difficult to understand, is because something similar is happening today.

Draw a circle around the businesses you understand and then eliminate those that fail to qualify on the basis of value, good management and limited exposure to hard times. … Buy into a company because you want to own it, not because you want the stock to go up. … People have been successful investors because they’ve stuck with successful companies. Sooner or later the market mirrors the business. – Warren Buffett

The problem that is beginning to become more prevalent today, is people who have no understanding of the workings of silicon valley, and how hit and miss technology, app, and social media companies can be are flooding the market with money. Everyday you hear of a new story of some guy who made his money through an inheritance, becoming an angel investor in some company trying to be the next Facebook.

Let me be the voice of reason in this situation:

If you have no experience in the industry you’re investing in, no personal relationship with the company, and the company has no goal date of profitability, you should not be investing in that company.

What we call the people who fit the description I just described are speculator’s.

And when too many unqualified speculators are propping up the valuation of companies who should have never been started, there begins to be an expansion of a bubble.

Don’t Take My Word For It

Tech bubble collage

I’m not the only one making these claims either. In fact, they’re starting to come up more and more and from people who are deeply ingrained in Silicon Valley.

Here’s a conversation that Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Workweek and also the host of my personal favorite podcast The Tim Ferriss Show, and Kevin Rose, a technology entrepreneur in the heart of Silicon Valley: (You can find the video here)

Kevin: So you think there’s a bubble going on right now?

Tim: Yeah, I do I think.

Kevin: But it’s not going to hurt anyone when it pops?

Tim: That’s not true, I think it will hurt people who are getting way too much money, with crazy terms, and bad businesses.

In my opinion, having somebody who is very much synonymous with angel investing in technology, making a claim that we’re currently in a tech bubble is a BIG deal.

I’m sure the majority of you have heard of Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, Inc. During a recent speech he had this to say:

I feel it’s kind of like a bubble because there is a pace at which human beings can change the way they do things. There are tons of companies starting up.

There’s so many people talking about an oncoming tech bubble that people are already writing how-to survive the tech bubble for companies like this one on Entrepreneur. It’s Silicon Valley’s version of doomsday prepping.

One entrepreneur that sees a bubble burst on the horizon is Mark Cuban. Mark’s reason for thinking we are in tumultuous times is because many venture capitalists have no liquidity. There’s not way they can get out. Like the captain of a sinking ship, many VC’s will have no choice to go down with the company their supporting, because there’s nobody else who will take over.

What Do the Numbers Say?

NVCA_logo_rgb

It’s great to look at people in the industry stating they believe a bubble popping is sure to come, but what are they basing these claims on.

Enter the National Venture Capitalist Association.

In a recent article (which you can find here) Internet-specific companies captured $11.9 Billion in 2014, which just so happens to be the highest level of Internet-specific investments since 2000, the heart of the dot-com bubble. The increase in dollars entering Internet-specific companies from the year before was a whopping 68%! Such a flooding of capital is sure to lead to some sort of fallout.

NVCA also reported that 27 venture-backed IPOs raised $4.4 billion in the last quarter of 2014, the period was the seventh consecutive quarter with 20 or more venture-backed IPOs, another statistic that hasn’t been seen since 2000.

There are simply too high of valuations for too low of revenues. Snapchat, a messaging application has a valuation of soon to be $19 billion, and revenues of who knows what because they have yet to figure out a way to make money.

There’s seemingly 100’s of companies, which much fewer users that are being over inflated without any plan for generating cash flow. Sure, some have done it in the past, but there’s only so many Zuckerbergs out there.

And this is another piece of advice to high-schoolers dropping out of school and moving to Silicon Valley chasing a dream: if you can’t do it where you are, you probably can’t in the valley where there’s 5,000 people seeking the same money, having the same idea as you. Stay in school.

How Can the Average Investor Combat the Bubble?

With all of this hoopla going on about a potential startup bubble, I’d like to clarify that I don’t see the bursting of the bubble affecting the majority of the population. I mainly believe this because the majority of people aren’t investing in startups, but rather index funds. That being said, there’s still some things you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Diversify: This is as basic an investing concept as buy low, sell high. Spread out your dollars over many industries to avoid unsystematic risks. Sure, a portion of your portfolio may see a dip if the tech bubble pops, but you’ll be invested in other areas to spread that risk.
  2. Invest in what you know: If you don’t really understand how coding works, or much less how to operate a computer, stick to other industries. Technology is not, and won’t ever be the only industry growing. You surely have an interest in something that is much greater than the general public– use that to your advantage. Invest in things you know.
  3. Follow the news: Not being aware of something is not an excuse for being affected by it. Be proactive and prepare.
  4. Look for safe investments: If you have no tolerance for risk, then look for investments that offer very little. You don’t have to ride the waves if you don’t want.
  5. Hire a professional: I may be biased, but a financial advisor can help you diversify, and prepare for what’s to come. Not only that, but a knowledgeable advisor will be able to answer your questions and help you put a plan in place that can weather the storms.

If you’ve found this helpful, not helpful, or just have something to say feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me on my contact page.

– Cooper Mitchell