Create an Emotional Connection With Your Customers

This post contains affiliate links.

Image result for building a storybrand podcast

Happy Resource Friday!

Do you have a business or are you thinking about starting one? If you do, telling a good story is the way you will improve business and bring in customers. People respond to stories and the Building a StoryBrand Podcast will help you tell the story your customers need to hear.

Donald Miller, the bestselling author of Building a StoryBrand, hosts this podcast where he interviews leaders and thinkers from all industries. He has an entertaining and engaging way of interacting with each interviewee.

Through his podcast, Miller helps the listener understand how the principles of telling a story applies in real life.

Because every person responds to a story.

The premise of Building a StoryBrand is that every customer wants to feel like the hero in his or her own story. As a business owner, your job is to act as the guide in your customer’s story. The guide helps the hero change and become victorious. Think of Yoda and Luke Skywalker or Gandalf and Frodo Baggins.

As the guide, you will tell a story to your customer about how you will help them overcome their problems. Like the lack of a website or the front lawn that needs to be mown. They’ll feel like the hero when you help them solve their problems. And your business will grow.

I highly recommend this podcast. Coupled with the book, the Building a StoryBrand Podcast will open a new level of understanding about how a business can be successful. I read the book and it is one of my top two favorite books that I have read in the past two years. Its principles are unbelieveably simple and practicle.

I included the link to the podcast website, but this past January, Miller’s company began to only post podcasts through whatever apps you get your podcasts. They do not post them on the website any longer. So here is the link to the podcast on iTunes!

Do You have a small business?

Mine is filmmaking! What’s yours?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, give this post a like if you found value in it and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Support the blog!

I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!


Do you like to be organized with a daily planner? Panda Planner is the one that I like to use! And if you use code MOM15 in checkout, you’ll receive 15% off your first planner!


The World Needs You to Love What You Do

What makes you come alive? Like really come alive?

I know people who absolutely love what they do. I have a friend who is an engineer and he was made for it. He comes alive when he’s designing a mechanical system that has to work a very specific way. I come alive when I begin to envision a story in my mind that can be told through film (I also come alive when talking drones). My cousin comes alive when talking about animal nutrition and the agricultural industry. My dad comes alive when he gets to help driven people obtain their goals. Bailey comes alive when she starts talking about interior design and decorating.

Everyone’s passions are different

This is the beauty of humanity — people have significantly different passions and interests. Some are in the arts, others are in the sciences. But everyone has a passion and we want to work in that passion.

You remember a blog post I wrote about finding your sweet spot? Your sweet spot is where your top talents and top passions align, and it’s what career coach Ken Coleman teaches every day on his show. Once you determine what your sweet spot is, it’s time to start pursuing it.

Remember: Master the simple

But mastering the simple comes first. Work your way up to it. My passion may be telling story through film, but I’m not the director of Marvel’s most recent record-setting film. I’m working on telling the stories of passionate people in the community (working on a video series for the future). My goal is to hone my craft and get good at the simple filmmaking strategies so that I can tell a great story in an engaging way. Start small. That’s what I’m doing!

This quote inspired this post. It’s by Howard Thurman, a civil rights leader in the 20th century:

howard thurman

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman

Yes, the world needs certain kinds of people. But even more so, the world needs certain kinds of people who are passionate about their work.

What if everyone in this world was working on something they were deeply passionate about?

How much more impact would we have on each other?

How would it change the world?

I seriously wonder this every. single. day. It’s unrealistic, I know. But with every person we get into work they love, it creates a chain reaction of influence that’s impossible to measure due to its shear magnitude.

What are you deeply passionate about?

I seriously want to hear from you in the comments! I’ll respond. And as always, if you found this post had value, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to Bruce Mars from Pexels for the use of the main post photo!

5 Negotiation Strategies from an FBI Negotiator

This post contains affiliate links.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Happy Resource Friday! Last year, I listened to an interview with a former FBI hostage negotiator. I heard who the interview was with and my attention was immediately piqued. It proved to be one of those holy-crap-I-forgot-I-was-driving types of interviews. I was completely engrossed and got his book.

The book is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your life depended on it by Chris Voss (you can get it from Thriftbooks or even listen to it on the app called Libby as I did!).

First, I’m going to say this was an utterly fascinating read! I highly recommend it, not just for the practical advice in the area of negotiation but also for the sheer entertainment of it. Voss’s book is riddled with story after story of saving hostages from fanatic criminals.

Having said that, here are five unbelievably simple and practical negotiation strategies I took from this book. Take them into your next job interview or vehicle purchase!

1. Mirror, mirror, and mirror again

man and woman negotiate a deal
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

This is a technique used by negotiators to get the opponent to keep talking. Negotiators love this because the more their opponent talks, the more information they can glean from their opponent’s circumstances. Basically, it works like this: When your opponent says something, counter by repeating their last few words in the form of a question.

This causes the other individual to unconsciously continue to speak because it feels like there’s more that needs to be said, even when there isn’t. As Voss says on page 47, “Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.”

Mirroring is what this stage is about—discovering information in a way that doesn’t feel threatening. It allows you to move forward in the negotiation knowing more about the motivation of the other individual.

Mirroring, then, when practiced consciously, is the art of insinuating similarity. “Trust me,” a mirror signals to another’s unconscious, “You and I—we’re alike.”

Never Split the Difference (p. 36)

2. Use empathy to label emotions

woman talks emotionally to another woman while drinking coffee
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

People want to be understood and when they do, that opens up a certain connection in relationships. Labeling emotions does just that. Voss says this on page 56,

Labels can be phrased as statements or questions. The only difference is whether you end the sentence with a downward or upward inflection. But no matter how they end, labels almost always begin with roughly the same words:

It seems like…

It sounds like…

It looks like…

He continues by telling a story about one of his students who worked as a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts. With one woman, she had a particularly difficult time landing a donation.

Sensing the potential donor’s growing frustration, and wanting to end on a positive note so they might be able to meet again, my student used another label. “It seems that you are really passionate about this gift and want to find the right project reflecting the opportunities and life-changing experiences the Girl Scouts gave you.”

And with that, this “difficult” woman signed a check without even picking a specific project. “You understand me,” she said as she got up to leave. “I trust you’ll find the right project.”

Never Split the Difference (p. 63)

3. Give them the feeling of control

man in control as he negotiates a deal
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

This is done in a couple of very specific ways.

  • Crafting questions so that they answer “No.”

People need to feel in control. When you preserve a person’s autonomy by clearly giving them the permission to say “No” to your ideas, the emotions calm, the effectiveness of the decisions go up, and the other party can really look at your proposal.

Never Split the Difference (p. 78-79)
  • Getting them to say “That’s right.”

Voss encourages his readers, when negotiating, to reiterate what their opponent says out loud. This helps their opponent understand that they are listened to. The goal of this is to get the opponent to say “That’s right.” This saying has similar effects on the brain as saying “No.”

Essentially, it makes the opponent feel that they are in control of the situation. Voss makes note that when someone says “You’re right” instead of “That’s right,” they are far more likely attempting to shut down the conversation quickly. Questions that bring this answer should be avoided at all cost.

4. Let them solve your problems for you

man stressed about a problem he's facing
Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

Voss firmly suggests that calibrated questions will make negotiations for you much easier because they shift your problems onto your opponent to solve themselves.

For example, Voss tells several stories about hostage situations where the hostile demands large sums of money in exchange for the hostage’s life. The author used calibrated questions to place all the work back on the hostile to solve the problem the hostile created. Questions like “How am I supposed to know you haven’t killed her?” or “We don’t have that kind of money. How do you expect me to pay that to you?” Frequently, this caused the hostile to slip up, give information not known before, or as was the case in countless situations, the hostile accepted far less money than they demanded in the first place. All because they didn’t know how to respond.

5. Set an extreme anchor

two people determine a contract to sign
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Set an extreme anchor by going first in a negotiation and making an extreme offer.

This psychologically changes how your opponent will continue in the negotiation. When negotiating the price of a new car, for instance, setting an extreme anchor on the low side will give you the flexibility to work your negotiation to the price for which you are actually shooting. On page 206, Voss suggests starting at 65% of the price you are hoping to achieve. Then, move to 85%, 95% and 100% of the price you would like as the salesman continues to negotiate.

Then, to signify your final offer, make your offer a seemingly weird number.

When calculating the final amount, use precise, nonround numbers like, say, $37,893 rather than $38,000. It gives the number credibility and weight.

Never Split the Difference (p. 206)

The most important thing to remember when negotiating

The part of the book that rings out most clearly in my memory is when the author states that the goal of learning to become a good negotiator is not to be a manipulator.

As Voss puts it, your reputation precedes you.

If someone believes you have manipulated them or they are bitter of a negotiation they made with you, they will never work with you again and they will tell their friends about it. Yes, some of this sounds manipulative, I’ll admit. However, you must remember that the goal is not to manipulate because that is not good practice in areas of business, relationships, etc. Being a jerk won’t get you very far.

Read this book this year!

I highly recommend this book because of how practical the advice is. The stories that the author portrays really helps solidify the strategies he has used to literally save peoples’ lives! The thing is, his stories aren’t just about negotiating for hostages—he has stories that prove his strategies work in business as well. I could barely stop reading it (I call that an excellent book) and have read it twice to help the material soak in more fully. It’s that good!

What have you negotiated for and how did it go?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to rawpixel.com from Pexels for the main image!

How to Reduce Stress with an Emergency Fund

Here at Master the Simple, my goal is to help you become an expert of the small stuff so that the big stuff actually becomes manageable. Finances are somewhat of a bedrock for much of life. It’s not everything, but becoming proficient in finances will diminish plenty of unnecessary stress in the future. One way to start reducing stress financially is by creating an emergency fund!

In some research conducted in 2017 by Career Builder, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Can you even believe that? That means well over the majority of Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected financial crisis if necessary!

An emergency fund will help diminish this problem (Grab my book Graduated and Clueless for a whole chapter on it).

Let’s get an emergency fund definition

But first, if you’ve known me very long, you should already expect a Dave Ramsey quote when I’m talking finances. So here is the definition of an emergency fund straight from him.

The emergency fund is your protection against life’s unexpected events, and you are going to have a lot of them through your lifetime. They’re not really “unexpected” if you think about it. You know they’re coming; you just don’t know when, what, or how much. But you can still be ready.

-Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money (p. 11)

Predictability is the key when determining if something qualifies as an emergency. This is not for impulse purchases! Otherwise, our emergency fund might vanish while my collection of drones turns into a fleet.

No, your emergency fund is for things you know will happen — you just don’t know when. Like a car dying. Or a surprise visit to the emergency room! If it’s a predictable cost, plan for it but don’t use your emergency fund for it.

make some space between you and a tragedy

people holding empty piggy bank with no emergency fund

Based on the previous statistic, you’re pretty likely to be one of those Americans living paycheck to paycheck, which means you probably couldn’t cover a large emergency if you had to. By the Ramsey recommendation, pulling together a small emergency fund of even just $1000 will give you a bit of breathing room while you pay off debt.

After becoming debt free, however, the goal is to figure out what your absolute necessary costs are every month and save a 3-6 month emergency fund to cover those costs in the event of the loss of a job or another personal tragedy.

$1000? How am I supposed to get that together? I can barely pay for my weekly chocolate milk from the grocery store!”

First of all, I feel for you. I am in love with chocolate milk. But it’s not absolutely necessary (ok, debatable) and that’s an extra $2.99 you can put toward your savings every week. Find places in your budget you can cut spending (Don’t have a budget? Check out my blog post on why you need one!). Start by packing lunch for work tomorrow.

We all have things we don’t need. Sell them. Sell anything you can to save that $1000! Find another job if you have to as well. Anything to get some space between you and an emergency. Here’s a great article about ways to save an emergency fund.

Do you have an emergency fund and have you ever had to use it?

I want to hear from you in the comments! As always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to Kaboompics .com from Pexels for the use of their photo!

Humility in the Workplace: Learn from Other Experts

This post contains affiliate links.


Us young folks want to impress others with how much we know. That’s how I am!

If I am working with someone who’s older than me, I try to show them how much I know or how much I can do. Sometimes when someone more experienced begins to teach me, if I think I know where the teaching moment is going, I’ll interrupt and attempt to finish his or her sentence.

It’s a horrible habbit and I’m working to break it!

But whether it’s intentional or not, it doesn’t actually help anything; it’s just an annoying way of showing I can’t listen. Since we talk a lot here at Master the Simple about Becoming the Expert (click this link for what that really is), this is an excellent time to talk about simple character traits that will boost you forward. Humility in the workplace is where it starts.

The foundation is in humility

I listen to many podcasts and the interesting thing is they all interview the same people. One such person is Pat Lencioni who writes books about business and leadership. They tend to be parables to help teach leadership truths.

One book he wrote is titled The Ideal Team Player (unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read it yet). He discusses how The Ideal Team Player has three characteristics that make him or her invaluable to a company. The characteristics are being humble, hungry, and smart.

The only one I want to talk about today is humility, though I will likely tackle the remaining principles in a later blog post.

Essentially, Pat Lencioni believes that one of the three most vital traits of a good employee is having humility in the workplace. This means listening when those above you have something to teach. It means readily admitting to mistakes and the potential for more mistakes. It means accepting feedback in a receptive way and understanding you have so much to learn.

Every day application of humility

Application of this principle is something I work on every day at my job. I have to. I am the youngest and most recently hired engineer at the company. I have almost no real-world experience in manufacturing (and that’s what we do). Technically, I have more academic education than almost everyone in the company. That doesn’t matter, though. My degree means nothing when it comes to knowledge and seniority at our company.

Experience does.

This means that every day, I have to be ready to learn. The guys in the shop know how to do their jobs and how it applies to my job. Because of that, I have so much to learn from them.

As the author of renowned book Good to Great, Jim Collins has studied in detail what makes a company great. He specifically tackles the character traits of world-class leaders who pulled well-known companies from the brink of collapse. One of the many traits mentioned (you guessed it!) was humility. He says this about top tier, Level 5 leaders:

Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves.

-Jim Collins, Good to Great (p. 39)

Wisdom from twitter

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed about 6 months ago and happened upon a tweet by my previous pastor, Ben Meyer. He talked about when he was a newly ordained pastor and he purposefully remained silent in all large meetings with other pastors for several years. He did it so he would learn as much as possible from those ahead of him and so his pride wouldn’t prohibit him from this.

This is exactly what I am talking about. The humility to listen and learn.

Two-word descriptor for the year

This January, my family spent an entire day preparing for the coming year. We spent hours sitting alone answering probing questions, then coming together to discuss our thoughts. One such exercise was “What is a two-word description of what you want to be this year?”

I chose mine to be Humble Confidence partially due to what Collins wrote was necessary of a Level 5 leader. I don’t want to be prideful in myself. However, I want to be confident in my abilities and the talents God gave me to help the team move forward. Every day is a challenge to work on humble confidence!

Do you find having humility in the workplace is easy or difficult?

I want to hear from you in the comments! And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

Thanks to rawpixel.com from Pexels for the use of the feature photo!

Support the blog

I love reading and I hope you can enjoy the process of learning through books as much as I do. If you want to support the blog, grab your next book from Thriftbooks! This is where I get almost every hard copy book I read (spent over $120 there in the last 1.5 years). You’ll get good deals on your favorite reads as well as free shipping on orders over $10!


Do you like to be organized with a daily planner? Panda Planner is the one that I like to use! And if you use code AFF25 in checkout, you’ll recieve 25% off your first planner!


Get Your Free to Focus Book While You Can Still Get Bonuses!

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 3.02.34 PM

Hello from Saturday!

I want to share a deal I am taking advantage of while you still can as well. It’s for productivity expert Michael Hyatt’s new book titled Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less. Here’s the deal: If you purchase his book from anywhere that sells it and submit your reciept to his company before the end of today, you will get a ton of bonuses.

For one, you will get the audiobook for Free to Focus if you really aren’t a reader. You’ll also get an ebook copy of another of his more recent books titled Your Best Year Ever. Those alone are worth the price of the book.

Here’s a list of all the bonuses you’ll recieve if you jump on the deal now! (And I should say, I don’t recieve any commission from this at all.)

Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 3.11.19 PM

That’s a lot of resources to help boost your productivity. 

I like Hyatt’s content quite a bit because it’s practical and beneficial for the every day. In fact, I just wrote yesterday about another one of his books titled Living ForwardHe’s an excellent author with a wealth of information he loves to share. I hope you choose to check out his work!

-Caleb

How to Live Forward Everyday (Book Review)

Image result for living forward

This blog post contains affiliate links.

Happy Resource Friday! I’m excited to share a book with you all that I loved (and happens to be an easy read).

It’s called Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy.

I like Hyatt because of the genuine nature with which he communicates his ideas and experience. I’ve read a couple of his books, but this one is the most exciting because it tackles the future.

I love talking about the future.

The premise of his book Living Forward is that if we don’t make a plan for where we want to go in life, we will drift in whatever direction life takes us. I wrote about this topic in a recent post.

It’s very similar to an analogy I heard on Ken Coleman’s career plan podcast. Most everyone wants to climb the company ladder, however, if you don’t plan properly, you may reach the top of the ladder only to find it’s on the wrong building.

Living forward starts with a “life Plan”

This book is all about developing your “life plan”; a plan that outlines how you want people to remember you, what goals you want to accomplish, and how you want to spend your time and money.

Here are the main points in developing your own life plan because everyone’s is different. None look identical!

1. Write your eulogy (I know, kinda dark)

This is an understandably weird-feeling step in developing a life plan. However, in an attempt to engineer your life backward, you need to know what you want to be said when you’re dead (nice rhyme, huh?).

This means listing out all the people that you care about whether they are God, your spouse, your children, your friends or your colleagues. What do you want each group to remember most about you? Your personality? Your service? Preparing one’s own eulogy is rather sobering, however, it really jumpstarts the thinking in relation to the rest of the life plan.

2. determine your life accounts

This falls into the chapter titled “Determine Your Priorities” and compares each priority to a separate bank account in which you can make deposits and withdraws alike. Hyatt gives a list of 9 basic life accounts to get you started.

  1. Vocational
  2. Marital
  3. Spiritual
  4. Intellectual
  5. Social
  6. Financial
  7. Physical
  8. Parental
  9. Avocational

The biggest thing to remember is that, in Hyatt’s own words, “Your Life Accounts are unique to you.” In the examples Hyatt gives from real people’s life plans, Life Accounts vary drastically from his suggestions to accounts like Creating, Pets, Teaching, and Adventure.

What’s most important to you? No worries, your Life Accounts can change over time!

3. develop an action plan for each account

Thanks to picjumbo.com from Pexels for the photo!

The action plan is where specifics come in. It contains several sections to provide context for your account. Again, these may vary. However, these are the general sections of the action plan.

  1. Purpose Statement
  2. Envisioned Future
  3. Inspiring Quote
  4. Current Reality
  5. Specific Commitments

Your action plan is where the change really starts. It gives you everything you need to begin a new journey. The action plan provides you a reason for that journey (purpose statement). It gives you an idea of what it will be like to succeed (envisioned future). It provides inspiration from others ahead of you (inspiring quote). It helps you understand how far you are away from that goal (current reality). And it gives you a list of actions in order to make the desired change (specific commitments).

keep looking at the life plan after you make it

The important thing is to review the life plan regularly. At least once a year, however, the more often you review it, the more your goals will be at the front of your thinking.

I loved this book. Go figure. If you have read much of my writing, you probably could have guessed it. I recommend this book to anyone who is afraid that where they are going in life isn’t where they actually want to be. Bailey and I are working on finishing up our life plans. Let me tell you, it gave both of us something tangible to talk about relative to the future and it also produced a TON of excitement for our goals.

What is your biggest life goal that you want to accomplish?

I want to hear from you! As always, give this post a like and give me a follow if you found the information in it valuable!

-Caleb

If you want to snag a copy of Living Forward, I recommend getting it from Thriftbooks. I got my copy for $4 and it is still in near-new condition. And if you purchase more than $10 of books, you will score free shipping straight to your house! I LOVE FREE SHIPPING.


How to Become an Expert in Any Field

We practice the things we want to be good at. Otherwise, we don’t actually master them. What are you practicing right now? 

As a kid, I took piano lessons. My dad taught my siblings and me for a stint. Then after a break from chopsticks, we took lessons for a few years from a teacher who (it felt like) expected us to practice as much as she did. My maximum time ever practicing in one sitting was 1 hour. And that was only a joke so she would think I played only 1 minute during a practice.

I learned a ton about music from the piano. I determined that I would learn to play a complicated classic duet with my dad. I didn’t want to be a piano master per se. I just wanted to be good enough to impress people if they asked me to play. However, when I hit college, I chose to drop the piano so that I could focus on my studies. I haven’t really sat down and practiced since.

The lonely pianist

Unfortunately, mastering something comes from practicing when others don’t see it. As Dave Ramsey likes to say about his business, “After 20 years, we were an overnight success!” I love this quote because it humorously portrays the work it takes to reach success in a specific profession or even a hobby.

If you want to become an expert, you have to master the simple when no one is watching. To be a master pianist, thousands of hours must go into practice… alone!

Personally, I’m practicing the art of writing. They say practice makes perfect. I don’t think I’ll ever be perfect at writing, but I do want to be good. I want to be inspiring. I want to be effective. That comes with practice. 

I’ll be honest, I don’t get much readership on this blog, but that’s okay. I’m practicing right now. And when someone asks what kind of experience I have, I’ll show them all of the practice that I’ve had up to that point!

Practice might not make perfect, but it will make an expert.

What are you practicing right now in which you want to be an expert?

I want to hear from you!

And as always, if you found value in this post, give it a like and give me a follow!

-Caleb

4 Ways Taxes are Actually a Good Thing

This post contains affiliate links.

I think some taxes are good. I can already hear some of you saying “I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Yeah, it’s tax season and financial woes are piling up. I’m a numbers guy and I hate doing my taxes. Last year, I spent upwards of 10 hours on them! Hey. I have a business and my wife is in school. Those lend to particular difficulty in the tax preparation process.

Though none of us like taxes, I want to present four reasons taxes are actually a good thing. I talk about some of these in my book Graduated and Clueless.


1. Taxes contribute to our local safety

Taxes are what keep our local safety services funded and prepared for disaster. They are the reason you can have the fire department at your house within minutes of reporting a fire. Taxes give the police department the resources they need to protect us from illegal activity. I don’t think any of us would like to live in a world where we don’t have access to 911 and the services it provides.

There are some people who care so much about others’ safety that they’re willing to volunteer to help. A friend of mine in Texas is on a volunteer fire department and works there whenever he can. If firefighters care enough about my safety to put their lives on the line every day, I’m happy to have my taxes pay them for it!

2. Taxes keep our roads and bridges in working order

Photo by Aleksejs Bergmanis from Pexels

Taxes keep our roads in working order. They allow departments of transportation to fix the growing potholes after long winters (before they swallow Smart Cars whole). This makes travel easier on your car and lends it a bit of extra life.

And bridges need even more attention to keep us safe. Free fall in a car would give quite the adrenaline rush but that’s about it!

3. Taxes fund our government and our military

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Aside from college and professional sports championships, people don’t generally riot in the streets, burning their Lazy Boys on every street corner. Our taxes fund the federal, state, and local governments which help maintain order through laws and regulations. Though it doesn’t work the way we always want it to, the government keeps the peace and protects its people from the dangers of anarchy.

And it funds the military who keep us internationally safe every day! Thank you to our servicemen and women!

4. Taxes help our schools and education

Photo by Pragyan Bezbaruah from Pexels

Last but certainly not least, taxes go towards education! Those who don’t have kids still benefit from local schools because those schools educate the kids that will live in our communities as adults. Sure, not all students will stick around. Some will move out and others will move in. But when schools have the resources they need to provide a solid education, it has tons of benefits! The stronger the schools are, the more families want their kids to attend those schools. It increases the appeal for companies to set up in the area which increases local economic prosperity.

Plainly speaking, stronger schools increase GDP which directly impacts the economy and wages. An article from US News and World Report points to some good research about this.

Tax season sucks

Quick Note: I am a conservative who believes in the strong characteristics of capitalism. Money doesn’t solve all problems. It’s just a tool to help.

Though some would like to, we cannot say with certainty that increasing taxes will make us safer and more well educated. We need strong leaders who will optimize the taxes that we pay with the services our governments provide. I am a big proponent of small government that uses our money efficiently. Having said that, I am happy to pay taxes for these four things as long as they are being used efficiently.

Tax season sucks, but it actually has its benefits the rest of the year.

What are other benefits of taxes in your opinion?

I want to hear from you!

-Caleb

Oh! And if you haven’t done your taxes yet, check out TurboTax. It’s a simple way to make your tax season easier if you have simple taxes to complete!


Thanks to Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels for the use of the feature photo!

How to Get Unstuck and Find Your Sweet Spot

Happy Friday!

I’ve been toying around with this idea to make Friday a “Resource Friday” and then post about a book, podcast, or article that would add value to you. What do you think?

Today’s resource is another podcast that I listen to. It’s called The Ken Coleman Show. Do you feel stuck where you are? This is an excellent podcast to find the direction and motivation you’ve been needing.

Ken Coleman is an expert on leading people to find fulfillment in their careers. That’s where he finds his passion; helping people get unstuck is his specialty.

Each show contains inspiring quotes and a time of him tackling a specific way for you and I to make progress in our careers. Then he hits the phones to give practical advice to struggling listeners.

His signature goal is to help others find their sweet spot, that is “where your top talents and top passions intersect.” I highly recommend this podcast if you aren’t in your dream job already. It will help you avoid the life drift that Michael Hyatt warns against in his book Living Forward.

What are you doing today to get yourself to grow for tomorrow?