Be Selective About Who You Disappoint 

Secret weapon business concept with a chess pawn punching and destroying the competition king piece with a hidden red boxing glove as a metaphor for innovative corporate strategy and planning to win the game.

I will not disappoint my children but am totally ok with letting down someone’s opinion that I “need” to borrow money for lavish items (I can’t afford)—— all to appear well off. I encourage you to disappoint those acquaintances (I would go as far as calling them strangers ha!) all day everyday if it means you remain honest and true about your financial health.

Teaching your kids the humble mentality, “Lots of Cattle, Little Hat” should be the preferred habit as oppose to the fruitless, “Big Hat, No Cattle” cultural norm most of us presently live in. You know what I’m talking about because you see it everyday… those folks who walk around with bling jewelry, designer clothing while driving luxury cars. All while having little or no savings. They are living paycheck to paycheck and borrowing from creditors. Back on the block, I call it, “Putting on Facades!” I know this firsthand because I once was that person.

Mr. Little Hat: looks so ordinary and common on the streets to a point where he is not even noticed in passing. The catch is, in Mr. Little Hat’s incognito ways, he has amassed wealth that pays dividends to the point that he does not have to work! Retirement is established.

So we have one person (Mr. Big Hat) who has to work FOREVER to earn a livelihood and another person (I’ll give you one guess) who does not have to work yet has effortless residual income flowing in.

I grew up hearing around the house, “Why are trying to keep up with the Jones?” my grandmother would explain, “Son don’t be fooled, because the Jones are more broke than us!” It made me laugh then, but now I see where she was coming from. The “Jones” charged and charged their way into a deathly spiral. Turned out they were renting their home and failed to make rent payments (resulting in eviction). Not only were they not able to find a place to live, but they were forced to live in government housing, cars were repossessed and the marriage failed. My heart goes out to them because they drifted away. Some people do that— they come in your life for a season or reason, then they (or you) move on. I just hope it’s for the better. Today, I do not know where the “Jones” are but I am thank my grandmother for encouraging me not to live up to a standard these people (who I no longer communicate with) emphasized. I’m OK with disappointing them- not my grandmother.

The crazy thing is that if I fail at properly raising my kids (for the sake of pleasing someone else) once they reach maturity they might resent me for not being firm in their fiscal education. I mean really, as a kid, I only wanted bread and sweets. Now that I’m older I realize that those foods must be extremely well managed in order to maintain good physical health. The same is to be said with choosing correct spending habits— large amounts of debt for the sake of “it feels good” (like the infamous student loan) is insane and I would be doing my children a disservice to teach them that there is “good” debt. In the back of my mind, I say, “Be mad at me now but you will appreciate it later!”

Who do you refuse to disappoint in life?


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“Andrae captures insight and pearls of wisdom from the military’s most senior leaders, calling them Procedures, Techniques, and Rules. These strategies, if applied with discipline, can provide efficiency to your day-to-day routine and increase your overall well-being.”

“Procedures, Techniques, Rules… I Wish I Learned in School is a resource tool that offers bottom-line instructions on a range of habits that have proved beneficial to our nation’s leading authorities.” “Andrae has taken his experiences from sitting down to talk with leaders, such as former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey; and Korean War hero, General Paik Sung-yup, and consolidated the lessons learned about life. Useful techniques are broken down into the simplest forms that relate to finances, health, parenting, and mind-set—all of which, if they had been reinforced and learned in our youth would have paid back seven times over. It’s never too late to become better. Enjoy.”

~Andrae Ballard is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer. He has served at every echelon from platoon through Corps level operations. He is also a part-time faculty member at Central Texas College, teaching in the Mathematics Department. He holds a BS in Systems Engineering from West Point and an MS from Central Michigan University in Human Resources Administration. 
~Andrae’s most recent assignments include serving as the Aide-de-Camp to the 8th Army Commanding General in Yongsan, Korea, as well as the Public Affairs Officer for the Special Operations Command Korea Commanding General. His deployments include multiple combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). 
~Andrae is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, as well as the United States Army Jumpmaster and Ranger Schools. He is the COO of Alexander Graham Properties LLC, an organization that provides resources and consultation to those in need of financial help. 
~Andrae has spoken throughout the world, helping people to hone their leadership skills and potential and has assisted many, helping them to establish a clear and effective strategy to meet their life goals.

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