Thursday, October 15, 2009

more behind the scenes info: getting finances organized with help from a new book

It goes without saying I don't have enough cash in my account to open and fund Avid--I'll be applying for several loans, grants, and investments to add on to the savings I've already accumulated.  But before I could even think about acquiring a loan, I needed to get a better handle on my personal budget.

That's where this book comes in:  I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I don't know that I should be recommending the book just yet, as I'm only done with a couple of chapters and have many pages to go.  But hey--I can at least wholeheartedly recommend the first two chapters, right? 

Let's get this out on the table right away:  I am not someone who's fixated on money or even particularly amazing at managing finances.  Yes, I pay off my credit card every month.  Yes, I have a job with a salary.  Yes, I am good at math. But no, I don't ever look more deeply to find out what my exact credit situation is and how this could affect my personal and professional projects. 

Until today.

I read this book and immediately felt called to action.  This is pretty special for me, as most books I read that are billed as self-help don't make me get up and move.  (I especially like reading about yoga, exercise, and meditation while lying in bed doing none of those three things.)  Something about Sethi's tone (which can be obnoxious but is, in general, encouraging and genuine) drives me to work.  He said I'd feel empowered if I started working on my finances one little bit at a time instead of having the big bulk of them looming over my head forever in one scary thunderhead.  So today I found out my credit score (good), composed a letter to the credit reporting agency asking that some erroneous information be fixed (which will help improve my score), paid off this month's credit card bill, set up some autopay bills (which helps keep your accounts active, something that's very important), and applied for another part-time job.  KAPOW!

My true inspiration for all this movement is my goal of opening Avid Bookshop as soon as possible, first as an online store, then as a book fair operation, and finally as a brick and mortar storefront. 

What have you done in recent months to jump-start your professional or personal life?

(Thanks to someone at Workman Publishing who was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of this book the moment I mentioned on Twitter that I wanted to read it! Now THAT's service.)

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