When was the last time you – on purpose – threw a bucket of ice cold water over your own head…?

If you also stepped up to do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

Ice Bucket Badge

This phenomenon has swept the nation – from small children to big celebrities and CEOs. As of today, the ALS Association has collected $100.9 million in donations, compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29) – from 2,100,000+ million new donors and existing donors. (To put things in perspective, the ALS Association raised $64 million in all of 2013.)

Well when my 9-year-old niece challenged me, I thought (like most probably did when named), “oh crap” and then soon warmed up to the idea, so to speak.

Little did I know all the chilling lessons I’d learn…

MONEY TIP: Embrace stepping out of your comfort zone. Every opportunity helps you reduce what is uncomfortable so that more and more feels easy and doable. Yes even a bucket of ice cold water. You can check out my experience here:

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Greetings from the coast of California!

I’m enjoying some awesome QT with my family now – yes taking the travel advice I gave you and staying in a very cool airbnb for most of the time (a castle actually – so fun!).

As I was writing last week’s money tip on separating personal and business finances, I realized that all of those in partner relationships have a similar struggle. So I buckled down before I flew out and wanted to share my insights on this hot topic…

Funny enough, the rules are similar, but almost reversed.

Fruit and piggy banks

MONEY TIP: Key is that you are a united team with your partner when it comes to money. All is out in the open and no hiding, or “financial infidelity.” Sounds a little harsh yes, but secrecy with your money can pave the way for less than full disclosure or even dishonesty in other areas. (This is sad but true.)

So when money is considered a cause of divorce, it is actually the beginning of the unraveling – not usually the end. Money is wrapped up with communication, love, and sex too. (I go into a lot more detail on money and relationships in my book, but that would make for a much longer money tip…)

When you share the household expenses with your partner, many people divide up the bills and each pay certain expenses. However, this approach has a serious flaw. Because each person makes varying amounts of money and often the amounts of the bills for certain items (such as groceries) can also vary month to month, one person often gets squeezed – and then feels resentful or confused when they start accumulating credit card debt and their partner isn’t.

ACTION STEPS: Now that you are on board with working as a team, and figuring out a win-win approach, try this instead:

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“Do I need separate accounts for that…? I’m just not sure so I’m not doing anything. What do I do?”

I get these questions all the time, particularly relating to separate accounts when you start up a new money making venture (or have one but were never quite clear if you set it up properly).

Open your own business pic

MONEY TIP: If you want to be able to track the activity for a particular activity or group of activities, then make it easy on yourself and separate out the transactions.

I got similar questions just last night – and they are excellent ones. Marie is in the Making Money series of programs and, appropriately, is inspired to move forward and make more money. She has a job though, so is going to start a side business. She has had this idea before, but has hesitated promoting herself until she could get her “ducks in a row” to have the business and tax records in line to be able to accept money.

(This can be a huge roadblock for people. I worked with one photographer who didn’t charge for his services because if he did, then he would have to keep track of the money he was bringing in. He was spending money on the business though, so unnecessarily suffering losses each year – that is losses only until he worked with me.)

ACTION STEPS: People regularly miss taking thousands of dollars of deductions for their businesses (especially the newer ones) due to inadequate tracking. With me on your team, you don’t have to be one of those people. If you are starting (or already running) a business, be sure that you follow these 4 steps:

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I’m wondering if you can relate – and learn from – this tough time in my life…

You see, life can feel pretty meaningless if you make a ton of money but don’t feel fulfilled, happy, or living your passion.

I know. I’ve been there.

In my last formal “job,” I was the Divisional Controller of a large global company. In my almost four years there, I helped to take the company from $180 million in revenue per year to over $400 million. (We manufactured x-ray screening machines for baggage handling, and I started post 9/11. We were busy.)

When we were hustling to place x-ray machines for the TSA and all around the world, I was in my sweet spot – problem-solving, crunching projection numbers, and leading the (financial) charge into unchartered and unprecedented growth. Yes, this was fun for me.

However, towards the end of my time there, it was painful. I essentially had to check my personality at the door, put my head down, and close the books. The variety, excitement, and full use of my skills had ended. Shortly after this realization, I left there and it has since become a crucial turning point in my development. I now recognize that I had fallen out of my sweet spot and my health, joy, and development (personally and professionally) was beginning to suffer.
Sweet spot circles
MONEY TIP: Find your Sweet Spot. It exists at the synergy of what you love to do, what comes easily to you (i.e. what you are good at), and what pays you well (i.e. what employers/clients will pay for).

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