Wins and Losses Series: Robert from Real Money Robert – “…Windows down, truck running, pole barn closed…”

Wins and Losses Series: Robert from Real Money Robert - "...Windows down, truck running, pole barn closed..."

Hi, Team!   Welcome to another edition of MikedUp Blog’s Wins and Losses Series, where we interview a generous participant about 4 of the best and worst moments of their life. The point? To learn from the past so that we can improve in the future!   If you’re interested in participating in the Wins and Losses Series, please send me a note here (you don’t have to be a blogger to participate!)     Check out the complete Wins and Losses Series Here   This week we have: Robert from Real Money Robert!   Mike: Alright… I should give you a heads up about a few things before you dive into this post.   There are some pretty graphic moments that detail Robert and his experience with self-harm. If this is not something you’d like to read about, please feel free to head over to Robert’s site as he […]

Continue Reading

2018 – The Year and My Goals in Review

2018 - The Year and My Goals in Review #business #family #finance #dreams #goals #2018

Well, hot diggity… Time flies. Way back in January (2018) I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s post in which he outlined his goals for the year ahead. I had vague visions of what goals I hoped to accomplish this year, but in early January – these aspirations weren’t documented. So, in essence, they had a worse chance of becoming realized. With the winds of inspiration at my back, I set out to outline and describe my goals for 2018 (the title picture of this post is worth the click…). I even went so far as to create a spreadsheet for these goals, where I would record values, pass/fail marks, and leave notes about experiences had.   For the first 4-5 months of the year, I killed it with the goals, writing on the spreadsheet included. And over the summer, I published my mid-year recap of the 2018 goals with my […]

Continue Reading

Here’s What to Do After you Crush it and Retire Early

Way to go!! You buckled down and are able to retire early! Now what? Here - we paint 2 great pictures of the best possible outcomes - then leave it to you! #retireearly #finance #travel #homestead #snarky

Well, congratulations… You did it! You called on all the great frugal tips, created the perfect family budget, and took advantage of all the best tax credits. And because of all your hard work, you achieved the dream – you earned the right to retire early! Congrats!! …But now what?   If you’re one of the prominent FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) bloggers/proponents, you’ll then go on to travel the world, live in either a sailboat or an RV, and blog about all the highs and lows of “living the dream!”   Or maybe you won’t…   You could go the other route of being “debt free including the mortgage”, plant some routes, and set up a co-op workspace for all the local entrepreneurs in your activity-rich town of choice.   But – you’ve worked so hard to reach FIRE and now have to completely evaluate all the pros and […]

Continue Reading

How to Get ahead of the calories – a Thanksgiving strategy

How to Get Ahead of the Calories - A Thanksgiving Strategy #fitness #calories #exercise #activity #discipline

This is not a research-backed, peer-reviewed, piece on how to get/stay healthy during the coming holiday season. If that’s what you’re looking for, please see Mel’s – our clinical research nurse – post (Healthy holiday tips). There, she’ll help guide you to make smart choices in terms of portions, meals, and food items while still enjoying fellowship and family during the season.   This post is for a different crowd. The crowd that knows Thanksgiving is a few days away and that means 3 things:   1) The best food day of the year is upon us 2) We get to hang out with family, watch football, and play games 3) Did I mention – the best food day of the year is upon us    For those of us who know that bad caloric decisions are in our immediate future, no amount of portion control or, “Which pie type has fewer […]

Continue Reading

Generational Differences – A Poor Excuse for An Argument

Generational Differences - A Poor Excuse for An Argument #millennials #boomers #family #sidehustles #hardwork

Generational differences have caused more arguments at more family gatherings and company Christmas parties than my research capabilities can count.   “Millennials are killing ____”   “Boomers left our castle in ruins…”   Yes – I’ve heard both of these from multiple folks on either side of this… “argument”. I even went so far as writing a post on the subject: I Hate Avocados… But Call Me a ‘Snowflake’ Millennial Any Day!   I actually started that post cautioning the use of stereotypes and ultimately said we can all do better. Well, it turns out that my hot take on generational differences enticed a few responses… And honestly – I’m thrilled that it did.   Because Rosie from Cash Crone had a few insightful things to say on the matter, and I think we’d all be better off hearing from someone a little ‘wiser’ than me.   (Photo courtesy of […]

Continue Reading

Hey, Cancer – You Picked the Wrong Bitch…

Hey Cancer - You Picked the Wrong Bitch #remission #cancer #journey #family #breastcancer #surgery #fight

This post will be unlike most things you can find on MikedUp Blog. Normally, I will help to solve a pain point in your life in some aspect of fitness, finance, business, or personal relationships… But not today. Today, I am humbled and grateful to bring you the ultra-personal story of a breast cancer survivor – from life before cancer all the way through to present day…   But this isn’t just any story from some random person… Much like the story I wrote about in 2016 – where a man deployed to Afghanistan away from his wife and child to wage war who ended up returning home in critical condition, not knowing if he would survive the multiple surgeries ahead of him… I too know the key character in this story pretty well.   Jen (as you will read below) is a wife, mother, scientist, … a little OCD (her own […]

Continue Reading

How to Host a Killer Holiday Party Without Going Broke

How to Host a Killer Holiday Party Without Going Broke #Holidayparty #budget #fun #family #thrifty

Hosting the annual holiday party is serious business. And with so many factors at play, it’s not difficult to send your friends and family away thinking, “Well, we’re not doing that again next year…” So here we’re going to cover the ins and outs of how to host a killer holiday party – without going broke!   (Photo courtsey of Randy Monfredi)   But first, a MikedUp Blog original:     As I unlaced my shoes and took a long deep breath, I quickly reviewed our entire battle plan in my head. Where were we exposed, did I plan for all potential contingencies, and what could come up during the conflict that I hadn’t previously expected? So many questions running through my mind and only a single white door separated the present from the future…   On one side of this door stood me – inside of my garage (…that probably […]

Continue Reading

“Pay them well and keep them forever”

This was the mantra one 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??   This advisor kept coming back to, “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 how much an employee earns.     We’ve been in the process of hiring our newest team member for the past couple of months and I’m starting to see the truth in the saying that ‘good people are hard to find.’   It’s not that candidates are unqualified or unmotivated. In fact, many have […]

Continue Reading

I’m not allowed to say “Jiu-Jitsu” for the next 4 months…

My wife had a point…   There was work, our daughter, ‘the project,’ my daily workout, life, the blog, and now I come to her with a detailed, concise, and targeted pitch about why I (and we) need to start training jiu-jitsu.   She stared through me with a bewildered look on her face, let me finish through my rehearsed closer line, and simply said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re not allowed to say jiu-jitsu for the next 4 months. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. And you know exactly why.”     I didn’t take offense. The comment wasn’t made in a condescending or exasperated tone. It was matter-of-fact. Cold. Straight. Truth. So in order to see it as such in the moment, I had to detach from the situation and see her point of view, because very rarely will she put the foot down so emphatically. “She must have good reason to do so,” I thought to myself. […]

Continue Reading

Respecting limits: and determing a response after you find them

This article isn’t about football but I will use a football observation to illustrate my point. Don’t run away if sports aren’t your thing… Also, this is more of a ‘think piece’ than I’ll typically write. I hope you enjoy it. If not, let me know and I’ll keep these thoughts in my head and off the virtual page from now on. Either way cheers to a phenomenal 2017!!     So, Clara had been put to bed, Monica and I were relaxing on the couch for a minute and watching the Thursday night NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders (December 8, 2016).   Oakland had the ball and they were driving against the Chiefs, who kept their opponents in check for a majority of the game. In large part, this was due to the stellar play of the Chiefs’ linebacking core. These 4 guys […]

Continue Reading