My Best job; My Worst Job – and What I Learned From Each


…Server, landscaper, men’s fragrance salesman, dock worker, restaurant expediter, ballpark vendor, childhood entrepreneur, big kid (adult) entrepreneur, quality supervisor, grad student researcher (I know it’s not really a job but it was – at times – incredibly fun work), teaching assistant, forensic scientist, restaurant host, laboratory technician, auditing manager, telemarketer, training director, and now CEO. These are all positions I’ve held at one time, and if we’re playing former job BINGO, as a 32-year-old, I like my chances…   (Photo courtesy of MKulp Photography)   What’s more, reflecting back on all of these opportunities a couple of things come to mind first: I’m lucky to have had so many vast experiences across so many industries, and I really didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with my life, did I?   The good news for me and the fam’ is that I have a pretty solid handle on […]

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Entrepreneurship Uncensored – The Good, Terrible, and… Bankruptcy?!?

Actually owning a business - The Good, Terrible, and... Bankruptcy???

  Two years ago we pulled the trigger on something crazy… Something that would change the course of our family’s financial future in a significant way – good or bad. My wife and I bought a dental practice on June 30, 2017, and in the time since that purchase we’ve learned, grown, sobbed, soared to new heights, and everything in between. Owning a business isn’t a walk in the park…   This is the story of that journey, probably in it’s best iteration – told nearly entirely through GIFs.    They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Well, these GIFs are made up of a few pictures each, and there are about 30 of them so – I’ve got about 100,000 words down here. Enjoy the ride!   (Photo courtesy of Justin Montemarano)     Actually owning a business – The Good, Terrible, and… Bankruptcy???   My wife never […]

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What is a Reverse Mortgage, and is it Right for You?

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  Still asking, “What is a reverse mortgage?” Well, so was I… I’ve seen the commercials, and while Tom Selleck’s mustache is ‘on point’, does he actually have any clue what he’s talking about?     It always gets me seeing these wealthy actors trying to relate to “the common American” as they discuss the financial decisions “all of us have to make”… I mean, c’mon, Tom – we all know you’ve been on either Magnum PI or Blue Bloods for the past 45-ish years. Don’t come at me trying to make us think you’ve actually considered a reverse mortgage, let alone actually know what one is and how it works.   But that mustache… Any man with that capability surely has at least some of his ducks in a row.   So while I honestly had no clue what a reverse mortgage is, I had to enlist some guest posting help. Melissa […]

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Science Explains Why the Debt Snowball Will Make you Debt Free

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  I was an early adopter (in my peer group) of Dave Ramsey and his snowball method some 10 years ago. My wife and I were just two kids – young and in love – and like most young couples in 2008, we had what we thought was a ton of debt… Little did we know the actual mountain of debt that would await us just a few short years later (but that’s not completely relevant here) ;).   So when I rented the Total Money Makeover and took it with us on a vacation to Mexico (are you seeing the irony here???), Dave’s book changed our lives for the better when, financially speaking, we were at a major fork in the road.   Until now, I never really sat down to analyze why the Total Money Makeover worked for us, I just knew that it did (and for many […]

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Can You Buy a House And Have Student Loan Debt…?

Can You Buy a House And Have Student Loan Debt...?

  Baby I’m a rebel… Soul Rebel.     What I mean to say is that I don’t mind bucking a few trends or commonly held beliefs from time to time. One of those bucked trends was us buying our home while already under a mountain of student loan debt.   We had our reasons and we wouldn’t change that decision if we had the opportunity to, but many others would strongly advise against such a choice. For example, trying to decide between paying off the mortgage early or investing – I can see both sides.   Same goes for buying a new car vs. leasing… I hear both arguments. Although late car payments are becoming a frightening trend these days.   In any case, there’s an argument to be made. And today’s battle is no different. My friend, the Debt Free Dr. is here to give us all the […]

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When Income Driven Repayment is the Option for You and Why

When Income Driven Repayment is the Option for You and Why

  I remember the months leading up to Monica starting dental school like it was just a few weeks ago. We had textbooks to buy, an apartment to lease, car payments to make, and a class schedule to adjust to. One thing we didn’t have – the money to pay for it all. So when we started looking at the various options and terms surrounding student loans (i.e. federal loans, university loans, private loans, fixed rates, loan forgiveness, income driven repayment, etc.) my head started spinning and I wept for our negative net worth and the mountain of debt we began incurring.   At that point, we had no idea what a ‘reasonable’ interest rate was, the perils or benefits of refinancing our original loans, or how long and to what amplitude these loans would impact our lives.   To say we were overwhelmed was the understatement of the century.  […]

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Half Time for Our 2019 Goals – How We Doin’??

2019 - My Goals, Dreams, and Aspirations for "The Year of Change" #growth #goals #2019 #personaldevelopment #dreams

    As I said at the beginning of the year, 2018 was busy… We moved our fledgling dental office, MikedUp Blog kinda-sorta exploded (positively), I worked 3 jobs for a while, got too stressed out, then rebounded again, we took on a ton of debt (willingly), our business grew, and (most importantly) – we found out that my wife was pregnant (with #2 – Stella)!! Whew… I’m tired just from typing out that sentence. While all of those things are amazing (except for the stress – but that ended up being positive in the end), I knew that 2019 would need to be different if I plan to keep up at this pace. So in this post, I will introduce you to my goals, dreams, and aspirations for 2019 – “The Year of Change” (YOC).   This was the introductory paragraph I wrote for my 2019 Goals post back […]

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The Most Important Key to Growing a Profitable Business


  “Pay them well and keep them forever…” was the mantra an advisor kept coming back to when Monica and I would ask questions about staff development, turnover, and longevity. How do we find good people? What makes them stay? How can we find out if an employee may be bad, or worse – a cancer – to the team?? Although we didn’t realize it at the time, he was giving us the single most important key to growing a profitable business.   You Want a Successful Business? Pay Them Well and Keep Them Forever   I narrowly thought he was only referring to the employee’s wage, but over time I started to see how this mantra and attitude permeates into much more than what wage an employee earns.     We’ve been in the process of hiring our newest team member for the past couple of months and I’m […]

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9 Proven Methods to Build an Amazing Team at your Business

9 Proven Team Building Activities to Build an Amazing Team at your Business

A well-functioning Team can be seen a mile away. Their mutual respect and willingness to help one another is pervasive and their results speak for themselves. You won’t find their members gossiping in the back room or wasting time tearing each other down. A great Team will work together, overcome obstacles, and achieve great results. And they didn’t get to this point with some wonky trust fall-like team building activities. Nor did they just happen to randomly fall into this amazing cohesive unit. They were led to this point. Most likely by someone who cares more about the Team’s success than their own ego and glory-seeking traits would allow. And if their leader were to take their hands off the wheel for a while, this group would probably remain tight-knit for a while… But eventually, without someone constantly driving this group toward excellence – they’d veer off the road and […]

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Is a Company Car Good For Your Business…?

Is a Company Car Good For Your Business...?

  I can honestly admit that when we bought our business a couple of years ago, I never once considered getting a company car… Now that I’ve read the guest post below, I’m beginning to reconsider.   You see, aside from the convenience and increased capabilities a company car could provide your business, it takes miles off your personal vehicles and keeps your employees covered and free from using their own vehicles as well. Which can keep more money in your pocket.   So, Is a Company Car Right For Your Business?   Let’s find out below…       Would your business benefit from going mobile? Having a company car is a great way to both expand your services and get your brand out there. Plus, employees get excited to drive company cars, and executives love having happy employees. It seems like there are no drawbacks to buying a […]

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