The Seven-Day Financial Fast Challenge #$$fast

fasting

With the buzz surrounding the ALS  and the FAMU 10 for 10  challenge, I wanted to keep the excitement going by starting my own challenge to help you get closer to your financial goals. Don’t worry; pouring a bucket full of ice water on your head is not part of the challenge.

I often find myself fasting throughout the year mainly for spiritual reasons. A fast typically involves abstaining from all or some kind of food or drink, especially as a religious observance. After hearing the great financial fast results from one of my sorority sisters who recently concluded her financial fast I thought my readers could benefit by challenging themselves to undergo a personal fast especially with a supportive environment.

How do you begin the #$$fast?

  1. Write down how much you typically spend in a given month? If you currently do not track all of your expenditures, write down how much you spent last month ? Please include all expenses i.e. rent, tithing, gifts, food, charitable donations, etc.
  2. Write down what you spent in non-essential items such as vacations, eating out, spa treatments, etc.
  3. Buy a journal. This is where you will write down all of your expenses each day on the seven day fast.

Ground Rules

  • Bring your lunch to work the entire week of the financial fast
  • Identify a financial fast buddy. Daily check ins required.
  • You’re not permitted to use any credit or debit cards for one week. Cash only.
  • Cook all of your meals, no eating out.
  • No shopping outside of your basic needs i.e. food, etc. This includes no window shopping.

Daily Challenges

Day 1: Create a budget for the week

Day 2: Replace a car/taxi ride w/ public transportation, walking, biking, etc.

Day 3: Open up or fund an investment account i.e. Roth IRA, stock trading account (share builder, mutual fund, etc.)

Day 4: Read or re-read one chapter of Think & Grow Rich or a chapter from one of your favorite financial empowerment books. 

Day 5: Free Day. Be creative. The goal is to identify an area where you can make a financial cut and do it. For example, avoiding overages on your cell phone or electric bill, etc.

Day 6: DIY Project. A few examples can include i.e. manicure/pedicure, ironing your own clothes vs. dry cleaning, cleaning your home instead of hiring maid services, etc.

Day 7: DIY Project. A few examples can include i.e. manicure/pedicure, ironing your own clothes vs. dry cleaning, cleaning your home instead of hiring maid services, etc.

 

Share pics on your social media with the hashtag #$$fast so we can cheer you on throughout your seven-day financial fast journey. At the end of the challenge post how much you’ve saved during the financial fast. I’m starting on Monday, September 22nd. Who’s with me? Happy savings.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.27.11 PM

 

Persistence Over Talent

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 11.20.25 PM

We’ve all heard it more than a time or two, “It isn’t what you know you. It’s who you know!” There is no success you can accomplish on your own without purposefully collaborative relationships and integrative skills & resources. In an effort to help you build valuable relationships for your success, I am offering these insights for productive connections.

Correspond within a Week

After meeting a new contact, it is critical to correspond with them in a week’s time. You want to make the connection with you are still on the contact’s mind. It’s very possible that tastemaker may not remember meeting you if you wait too long. Depending on the contact you may decide to follow up with a personal phone call. My preferred correspondence tool is e-mail since it’s less intrusive and gives your contact an opportunity to respond on his or her timeline. If several e-mails have been left unanswered that may be a good time to give them a personal call.

  • What to say?

In my e-mails I typically re-introduce myself and provide a bit of background on where we met and the general theme of our conversation. Prior to engaging the person be clear on what your objectives are so you can properly frame your e-mail or phone call:

o   Is this someone that you want in your overall network but both of you may not provide any immediate value to each other i.e. different industries, etc.

o   This is someone that I can help but currently does not add any immediate value to my network? If this is the case, be clear on the help you want to provide in your first communication.

o   You can help each other. In this is the case, be clear on the type of help you want to provide the person. My recommendation in the first correspondence is to never ask for anything.  Wait until you’ve delivered on your commitment before asking the person to provide a value in return.

o   It’s evident that this contact can help you but don’t know how you can help them. In this scenario, provide tidbits on any subject matter expertise you may have and ask if the tastemaker or someone the tastemaker knows is looking for help in any of those areas. Never lean in with an ask, lean in with a value you can bring.

  • Keep in touch. Send some sort of communication every 3 months

There are many ways to keep up with key contacts in your network. Zach Rinkins, award winning author and public speaker recommends creating a Google alert. For those unfamiliar with Google alerts, this allows you to enter key words and you’ll receive a notification every time there’s mention of the key word search set up in your Google Alert. Also, recommend keeping a contact list and adding a recurring reminder in your calendar to ensure you remain consistent with following up.

I know this may appear to be a bit robotic but it is my belief that every great networker is someone that is clear on the value of their current network, deliberate about building a network with the right people, and spending time with the right people that warrant fostering the relationship.