Taking Responsibility: This is SO Powerful! It’ll define who you are and your future generation!
Welcome to this video today. Today we’re following up on a previous video. If you haven’t seen it it’s called “What is a Man?” I’m going to do a series of videos that are going to follow up on that overview video. So, if you missed that, I think it’s about twelve minutes long or so, go take a look at it. Go through some of the content; I’ll definitely reference some of it. But in that video, I define what is a man. And this goes back, and kind of the backdrop is I’ve got a thirteen-year-old. Just turned thirteen, and kind of learning how I want to lead him, and how I want to define who he’ll become as a man. And honestly, it’s actually assisting me and helping me – I’m 43 years old – in learning and walking this out myself. So, we arrived at four different things, and it comes from a book called “Raising a Modern-Day Knight.” And that’s where the four things come from. As I teach and train you’ll learn of other things that I share of that I’ve learned through the process. Reading other books, just raising my kids, living life. Learning experience of what it is like in each stage of raising kids. So, this is kind of our thirteen to eighteen stage is kind of what I’m teaching on somewhat. But it’s actually affecting my eight and eleven-year-old boys as well, which I did share in that other video. So, today I want to talk about – there’s four things, right? The four things are: a real man is someone who rejects passivity; I talked about that a little bit. Who takes responsibility is number two. Third is who leads courageously, and fourth is that they know there’s a greater reward – a real man. So, today, I want to talk about taking responsibility. And I’ve got many examples in my own life about this. When I finally took up the mantle of what was the reality of my situation, and took responsibility of my situation. And for me, I can use a financial example since we talk a lot about finances in our training. This was a time, a little over ten years ago, actually, I just had lost one of my sons at birth. I had a stroke and almost died. This was a few months following it. I remember there was a moment where I was kind of living in a fantasy world financially. And some of you may be living in that world, too. In that I was always planning and spending money of what I thought was going to come. I made a lot of money in life, in that point in my life. I’ve been blessed to learn how to make a lot of money, and I’ve done it many times in my life, and continue to do it. But the keeping it was the second part, and making it grow the third part, are things I’ve had to learn in a process. So, this was a point where I wasn’t making a lot of money which was not good. And I hadn’t kept any from before, which was not good. And the naturally tendency for a lot of people is when you ask why you’re in this situation is to point the finger somewhere else. It’s to look at, well, this situation happened. Or. . . and this happens in, like, every area of your life. Whether it’s finances, whether it’s your marriage, whether it’s your kids. Whether it’s a personal problem you’re dealing with. Whether it’s. . . whatever, it’s some hurt from the past. Stuff happens to us, right? It affects us, and how we react, or not react really, respond to what happens is what’s going to define us as-as human beings, really. And impact our generations behind us. So, for me, I was in a situation where I was over $285,000 in debt. I had walked into my house, I remember I looked in over at the dinner table and I was like I don’t know how the heck I’m going to have money for today to pay for my kids’ meals, to feed my family. And I just remember dropping to my knees and in that moment the reality of it was my responsibility, not that I didn’t understand I needed to provide for my family, and make a living and put the food on the table. Not that it’s all about the man doing that; that’s not what this video is about. But for me in that situation it was. My wife was at home taking care of our kids and I was the one making money, right? And it was in a moment there I really had to get honest with myself. The interesting thing is that I had been around some people and stories of people who had been really trying to teach me how to manage my money up to that point, but I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t receiving it. And one lesson I’ve learned – and I could do a whole video series on this – it is to don’t give counsel where people don’t want it, right? Don’t coach or train somebody if they haven’t asked you specifically in their life. Because you’re going to be just wasting your breath. Well, I was the one that had wasted a lot of people’s breath up until that point. But in that moment, it hit me; this was my responsibility. My budget was my responsibility, my business was my responsibility. My finances were my responsibility. Yes, I could go through stories of things that happened and go man, that’s a good excuse to just kind of say this is all bam get out of it, whatever. But the reality is stuff happens, or as Forrest Gump said. . . I won’t get into that! But stuff happens! There’s a t-shirt about the other saying! But taking responsibility in the moment is saying, you know what, this is my fault. I need to go look at what where the actions that created the result right now where I have no money, I’m in debt, I don’t even know how I’m going to pay the mortgage less. . . less actually put food on the table at night. This is on me. So, the first part of it when you take responsibility is really self-examination. It’s looking at “What was my part in this?” And not just from the standpoint of looking for excuses, right? It’s about getting real. And this isn’t about self-condemnation like where “It’s all my fault because this happened and this happened.” You’ve got to have a balance. Because I’ve walked in that area before, as well, where it was my fault because of this, this, this, this. And that’s BS, right? But there are specific actions that I had taken; bad management of my money, bad management in my companies, bad managements over budgeting and finance and planning. And yeah circumstance happen, but the reality is is that there are things that I could have done differently from a strategic standpoint that could have helped me. So, in this instance, taking responsibility is self-examining. So, some action things that I did was I started to look at where and how I spent money. Where was I spending money now? I remember that that was actually the time we cut cable TV out of our budget, out of our life. I’m like, “This is a drain financially, it’s stupid, and it was draining from time from my wife, my kids, etc.” So, get rid of it; bam, out of the budget! It felt pretty weird the first time I did it. It feels great now. I looked at things I was spending money on. I remember that summer, actually, thinking where can we cut expenses? Well, one of them was my heating and air conditioning bill. I was living in Colorado at the time, and it was a hot day in July of that year. This is probably 2007. And I remember reading the thermostat at my house and it was over 100 degrees in my house. And what I would do, in Colorado we could go to the basement because it was a little cooler down there. And that’s where we basically lived. And I didn’t have a finished-out basement; I had a cement floor basement, and I put a jumping castle down there for the kids to play in, and if we were really hot we went to the mountains, right? I went somewhere else. We went somewhere where we could be in air conditioning. We walked around the mall. I didn’t have money necessarily to spend on buying anything, but I started taking responsibility and examined where I was. And that was an extreme case, right, but some of you are in that type of extreme case. Like, “Where am I spending money where I don’t need to be spending money right now?” How do I cut expenses – this is taking responsibility over my finances – so how do I cut out things like cell phones, renegotiating cell phones, the cable, heat, food. We were eating out a lot, so no more eating out. That’s cut off. What do we have in our pantry? We’re eating all of that before we go to the grocery store one more time. I remember one of the meals I had was like – this is kind of gross – we had an old Meister Brau Beer in the back of the fridge that came out. I had a thing of baked beans, and some frozen fish sticks. This is like the worst meal I’ve ever had in my life! Probably didn’t need to drink the Meister Chow, or whatever it was, but it kind of fit the image of it. My wife kind of took a picture of it, and she’s like “You’ll remember this for the rest of your life.” But part of it was taking over responsibility of my money. There was money, food is money. Teaching my kids, that’s a whole other thing, like every time we throw away food that is money. You’re wasting money. That was one area we could cut expenses. Like, how could we get more money, or, sorry, more food from our food budget. We could cut out this, we could slice a chicken breast in half and use it for two meals, right? You could do different things with different strategies you could do in eating, right? That’s usually a big part of our bills. My house was another one. So, I decided to sell my house. Actually, wasn’t behind in my mortgage. I actually had equity in it. But I took responsibility. Like, I don’t need that payment, I don’t need this big of a house. I’m going to go somewhere where I can buy a house in cash, or I’m going to rent until I can. So, that’s what I did. And sure, that tears down your ego a little bit. The neighbors were like “What’s Jeff doing?” And I didn’t care because I cared more about my responsibility for my finances. I also sold two cars at that time. And I bought a pretty old, used minivan. I actually sold a Porsche Cayenne, which I actually bought with cash. I didn’t even have a note on it or anything. I bought it cash years prior from another business where I prospered. Again, made money, spent it like crazy. Those are some things I did in my life. I really sold my house, sold my cars, didn’t use heating and air conditioning, cut my food budget. I took responsibility over my finances and said “You know, I’m going to get out of this mess.” And I did. And literally, when I did that, when I self-examined. . . and the second step is you’ve got to take action, right, on whatever you’re looking at in your life. This, I’m taking about debt, I’m talking about finances. What happened is my businesses started to explode because I started to do the same thing in my companies like where can we cut? In a strategic way, where can we grow as well. So, I got really good at that. So, I’ve applied these same types of strategies in my marriage, with my kids, in every area of my life. But taking responsibility involves honest, humble self-examination as the first thing. It involves looking at what those actions are that created the results that you have currently. And the third thing is what are the actions you have to do to change whatever got you there, right? For me in finances it was me spending money where I didn’t need to spend it. So, I changed that behavior. If it’s my marriage, it’s going to be a certain behavior, right? Or a lack of behavior. With my kids the same thing. So, that’s what this video is about, it’s about taking responsibility in your life. I applied it in this video to finance because I know that speaks to a lot of people. It speaks probably to you right now, possibly where you’re at in your finances. If you’re asking, “Why am I not further? Why am I not here?” A lot of the time it comes down to self-evaluation, it’s taking responsibility over your finances, getting an action plan and simply taking actions. That’s the thing, because you could learn all this stuff – I spent a lot of years learning all of this, but I never applied it. So, the best way to learn is to take what you’ve kind of heard others say and put it into action. Thanks for watching this video. One of the things I would challenge you in is what’s an area – and I’m going to challenge myself in this – what’s an area where you need to take more responsibility over right now? Where could you be better with your finances? Where could you be better in your marriage? Where could you be better with your kids? Where could you be better in your community, your church, in your neighborhood? Whatever it is, ask yourself where could I be better, and take responsibility for it. What can I do to become that person, to become that change? Please comment on that, on this video. Be sure to like, comment below, wherever you’re going to find this video. And please share what’s one thing that you’re going to take responsibility of, and get better at. I’ll do the same. Thanks for watching this video; I’ll see you on another one soon!