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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur? Self-Quiz

Do you wish there was someway of telling if you have the mindset for a career or for starting your own business?  At 28, I was a high school assistant principal.  Successful by all measures, but I was not content.  I was missing the feeling of starting something uniquely my own.  Working as an educator has its highs and lows, and it is a rewarding career.  Perhaps more rewarding than all other professions.  Yet I felt an emptiness and desire to create an alter-ego that consisted of me being an entrepreneur.  I've done a few things here and there not related to my profession, and my only regret thus far has been not having started sooner.  I was too mesmerized by the traditional path to success, college and career.

It is never too late to start a business on top of what you may already be doing.  Colonel Sanders (KFC) comes to mind when I tell you that age is nothing more than a number.  Still, many of us would find comfort in knowing if we even have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the mindset to venture into the unknown.  Well, you are in luck today.  I created a self-quiz that will leave you with no doubt about your inclinations.  I give this self-quiz to all of my subscribers under the title: Do I want to be Rich or Wealthy.  But in truth, this quiz does much more for people, young or old.  See for yourself:

     The only money personality self-discovery quiz around that determines if you want to be Rich (are a Spartan) or if you want to be Wealthy (are a Roman).  You’ll also discover if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur or if you are better suited to work as an employee.


Copyright 2015 by C. Osvaldo Gomez.  All Rights Reserved.
How can you possibly start a fulfilling, profitable, and successful financial future of your own without knowing whether you want to be rich or wealthy?  Yes, there is a difference.  This quiz will help you determine the type of lifestyle you want to have with respect to money.  More importantly, this quiz will let you know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur or if you are better geared to be an employee, i.e., work for someone else.  

Choose the response that best fits your convictions.  Then see what the results mean for you.

  1. Do you enjoy routine and predictability?

  1. I can live with some surprise and occasional disorder
  2. Heck yea! Life is hectic as it is
  3. Heck no! I hate doing the same thing over and over and knowing outcomes

  1. Do you constantly think of ideas for making money?

  1. Dude, they keep me up at night!
  2. Seriously?  Who’s got the time?
  3. An occasional one will enter my head, I’ll think about it, but then snap out of it

  1. You’re at work and your boss just told you to do something for him/her.  Your first mental thought is:

  1. Sure thing bossman/bosslady!
  2. Do it your damn self!
  3. Whatever pays my bills, yo!

  1. My mom made a dollar out of fifteen cents and…

  1. I intend on doing the same.  Mom knows best!
  2. I’m cool making the same buck out of 60 cents
  3. I believe I can make fifteen cents into $15,000

  1. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) or Warren Buffett (Berkshire-Hathaway)?

  1. Zuckerberg
  2. Buffett
  3. Tough choice, I like them both

  1. Someday, when they Google my name, I want there to be:

  1. An entire page or more of results without equivocation that is the one and only me
  2. A few links here and there would be alright; they’re necessary
  3. As little about me as possible, I happen to value my privacy

  1. When I let someone borrow money and they don’t pay it back,

  1. That’s life, I move on
  2. Karma is a bitch!
  3. It irks the crap out of me

  1. When you hear the name, Lex Luther, you think

  1. Evil genius
  2. Superman’s arch-nemesis
  3. I admire the dude…he gets a bad rap

  1. Would you rather be more like Batman or Superman?

  1. Gimme some Dark Knight, please
  2. Superman over Batman all day, everyday
  3. U kidding? They both kick major ass!

  1. When I was little, a neighborhood friend of mine had a lemonade stand,

  1. What a weirdo, I thought at the time
  2. I won’t lie, I was a bit jealous he/she thought of it first
  3. And the lemonade was pretty darn good if I recall

  1. You’re given 35 days to complete a mission, with limited supplies, as many times as you can.  The mission pays $5 million for each completion, is going to be treacherous, and you may die.  You will,

  1. Inventory everything and ration, ensuring your survival and getting at least $5 million
  2. Ask for more detail, like if there is a map included in the supplies
  3. Press quickly forward into the unknown, living off lizards and bugs if you have to
  1. Economics class in high school…

  1. I took copious notes
  2. I dozed off…zzzzz
  3. What a joke!

  1.  You have a super important thing to do today and a friend wants to join you, seeing they too would benefit.  You must go now except this friend is not yet arrived.  You:

  1. Leave.  It’s not like you didn’t tell them how super important it was for you
  2. Stay.  Leave no man or woman behind!
  3. Text him/her: Where are you?  Hurry the heck up!

  1.  There’s this really cool object you must have.  You don’t have the money for it.

  1. I’ll save for it and buy it once I have enough
  2. I guess I can shop around for something similar that’s less expensive
  3. I think hard about how I can legally come up with the money for it

  1. The most beautiful (by your standards) guy or girl just crossed paths with you and you know for a fact she or he is way out of your league.  You:

  1. Plan out how you will approach him or her, what you’re going to say, etc., and then step up.
  2. You don’t think, just go and get him/her before someone else does
  3. I don’t do anything.  You just said he/she is out of my league so why bother!

Calculating Your Results:

Question #
Your Choice
Result, Use Key
1


2


3


4


5


6


7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


15



Key:
  1. A) Indecisive B) Spartan C) Roman
  2. A) Roman B) Spartan C) Indecisive
  3. A) Spartan B) Roman C) Indecisive
  4. A) Spartan B) Indecisive C) Roman
  5. A) Roman B) Spartan C) Indecisive
  6. A) Roman B) Spartan C) Indecisive
  7. A) Roman B) Indecisive C) Spartan
  8. A) Spartan B) Indecisive C) Roman
  9. A) Roman B) Spartan C) Indecisive
  10. A) Spartan B) Roman C) Indecisive
  11. A) Spartan B) Indecisive C) Roman
  12. A) Spartan B) Indecisive C) Roman
  13. A) Roman B) Spartan C) Indecisive
  14. A) Spartan B) Indecisive C) Roman
  15. A) Spartan B) Roman C) Indecisive

Now Count the number of “Roman,” “Spartan,” and “Indecisive.”

Roman Count
Spartan Count
Indecisive Count




Now disregard the “Indecisive” score, even if it had the highest tally.

If Tie:

If you get a tie, Spartan/Roman, you can go with either path and be a happy camper.  However, you still have a difficult choice to make, as each path is distinct and challenging.  You can also do more research into being Rich vs. being Wealthy online and see if it helps.  Getting personal anecdotes from mentors may be the determining factor, however.  So find people who are Rich (Spartans) and find people who are Wealthy (Romans) and talk it up with them.  If after all of this, you cannot decide whether to be a Spartan or a Roman, don’t spend too much time worrying about it, just try one approach and see if it is your calling.  Good luck!
 
Romans and Spartans, you will now interpret your results in the following section.  Conquer your worlds!

Interpreting Results

Roman

Romans belong to Camp Wealthy.  Some of their characteristics include:

Not playing by society’s rules when it comes to their financial futures.  Like everyone else they experience new venture fear, but are able to make fear an afterthought by channeling all of their focus on the “reward” directly in front of them.  They are very capable of putting the sting of failure (from a monetary endeavor) past them.  They live by the motto: There’s an abundance of money and money-making ideas.  Like everyone else, they have negative thoughts about their personal potential enter their minds; they ignore them, and get busy building their empire.  Stress from lack of money is motivation to keep doing, not hold or scale back.  Their biggest deathbed regret is NOT having experienced financial ruin, rather, it would be not having given their dream venture a shot.  Finally, if you forced a Roman of Camp Wealth to rank the following two words: “Assets”/“Retiring,” in order of importance, they would always produce: 1) Assets, 2) Retiring, in this order.  Romans are not obsessed with retirement; they’re obsessed with acquiring or creating assets.    

Spartan

Spartans belong to Camp Rich.  Some of their characteristics include:

Following the financial future path society believes is the most reliable.  They experience intense fear when presented with a new venture.  If they choose in favor of the venture and fail at it, they are critical of their decision to have undertaken the venture and of themselves.  They agree with the statement: There’s a finite amount of money and money-making ideas are hard to come by.  Like everyone else, they have negative thoughts about their personal potential enter their minds; they listen, and respond by acquiring more self-learning or education to shut these thoughts down.  Stress from lack of money is motivation to stop spending, to hold and scale back, i.e., be frugal.  Their biggest deathbed regret is not having saved enough for retirement, and would be proud of never having experienced financial ruin.  Finally, if you forced a Spartan of Camp Rich to rank the following two words: “Assets”/Retiring,” in order of importance, they would always produce: 1) Retiring, 2) Assets, in this order.  Spartans are not obsessed with acquiring assets; they’re obsessed with saving enough for a plush retirement.
Now What?

If you’re in your 20s and have determined you lean more toward being a Spartan (prefer being Rich) than Roman (prefer being Wealthy) or vice versa, you now have to be true to yourself.  You will need to start doing the financial activities consistent with your particular camp.  Go back to How to tell if you want to be rich or wealthy and re-read the blog post.  Make sure it makes sense.  The subsequent blog posts will provide specific financial, entrepreneurial, business, etc., instructions for people of Sparta (from camp rich) and people of Rome (from camp wealthy).  Be sure to read them all.

Thanks for taking this quiz and for visiting CCM blog!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Cheapest Way to Get Solar for Your Home

What's happening everyone?  I'm back!  I know I've not written a post in a while but I have a good one for you today.  I've been considering installing solar panels on my home to save on my electric bill.  Like anyone, I went online and searched for a comparison of leasing a system versus buying one, or easier yet on my cash flow, financing one.  Then I remembered I had an expert on solar energy in my network of associates and family: my father-in-law, Travis.

Travis was in Hawaii a couple of years ago working with the state on a potential project to build a solar installation in Maui.  Then the utility company got wind of it and exerted its muscle to shut him and all of his investors down.  He's helped me navigate the world of solar and come up with a plan that will save me, and you, a ton of money!  Here are the steps to install solar at your home without bending over and taking it from any company out there.





1.  Get your bill and analyze how many kilowatts you are using in a month on average.  Your bill should tell you that information.

2.  Figure out how many panels you need to cover the bill each month.  Say you are using about 900 kilowatts a month.  That is 900,000 watts per month and depending on the wattage you buy (the lower wattage panel is cheaper obviously, but they take up more roof space) you will need an X number of panels.  900,000 watts a month is like 30,000 watts a day give or take.  250 watt panels generate that amount of wattage per hour.  25 of those will generate 6,250 watts per hour.  Five hours of daylight will generate, therefore, around 31,250 watts per day.  Enough to cover your usage.  However, most people do not have the roof space to place that many panels in their optimal location (facing South in So. Cal) for fully direct sunlight.  Before buying any panels, give an installer your address so they can use their software and calculate how many panels they could potentially fit on your roof. You could also reduce the number of panels needed by buying 300 watt ones.  A little more expensive though.

3.  Hire an electrician who installs solar systems to come to your home and do a site survey.  They will measure out your roof space, look at your breaker, water heater, and water line to ensure you are equipped for an easy installation.  They will also do a plan for you that you can submit to the city for approval.  The plan has to be approved by you before an installation can take place.  Let me suggest to you that you have your inverter installed inside of your garage, not on the outside near the breaker where anyone can steal it.




4.  Where to buy panels?  I'd go with a wholesaler like Civicsolar, a company with offices in Oakland, Austin, and Boston.  You can buy a brand name 245-255 watt panel for around $250.  You can of course try to find them cheaper elsewhere.  Total costs thus far, just for the panels, is $6,250.  If you sign up to receive their emails, you will get notifications on deals.  For example, the other day I received an email from Civicsolar advertising panels for .79 a watt.  On a 250 watt panel, you would be spending just under $200!  That's a great deal, even if the panels come from Korea.

5.  Buy a string inverter or multiple micro-inverters.  The inverter converts your DC power to AC.  The type of inverter you will need depends on your roof orientation.  Micro inverters offer multiple arrays on different roof spaces.  A single (or string) inverter works best when there are no shading issues.  You will pay between $1,000 to $2,500 for an inverter.  Contact the people at Wholesalesolar.com for advice on your needs.

6.  Once you are approved for installation by your city, hire a solar installation electrician and a crew he may work with, for the roof job.  They will need to place the racks down, run conduit, etc.  These guys are always willing to take side jobs when they're not working for their company (Solar City, Sungevity, etc.).  Once the installation is complete, you will need permission from your utility company to turn on the system.  It usually takes around two weeks for the utility company to allow you to turn the system on.  You can probably get the instal job done for $1,500.

So, going at it like this, I'm confident you can have solar for under $12,000!  That is not bad.  If we do a breakdown of what you pay in this case per kilowatt hour for material, permitting, and labor, it comes out to be around $2.60 per Kwh.  That's pretty good.  The going rate right now for solar is between $3.5 to $5.00 per Kwh for an installation.  This includes of course help from the company in filling any plans, permitting, and rebate paperwork.

Thanks for reading!