Thursday, March 31, 2016

The ASCII Group Announces Expansion of its IT Success Summit Series to Canada

Good news from The ASCII Group. They are going to be hosting their popular "Success Summits" in Canada as well as the U.S. 

The first will be in Toronto on September 22nd. I'll add that to the calendar of events in my weekly newsletter.

Here's the official announcement:

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The ASCII Group Announces Expansion of its IT Success Summit Series to Canada

Bethesda, Maryland – March 30, 2016 -- The ASCII Group, a membership-based community of independent MSPs, VARs and solution providers, is pleased to announce plans for expansion of its IT SMB Success Summit Series to Canada.  Making their debut in 2000, the Success Summits have become the premier event for IT solution providers due to the model that The ASCII Group has successfully built their events around: Education; collaboration; networking; and engagement.  A Toronto Success Summit will take place on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

The ASCII Group has served North American IT providers since 1984, but this is the first time that the Event Series has been brought north of the border.  Serving eight different markets across the US, Summit attendees have been privy to hearing insight from fellow community members who are successfully growing their IT businesses.  The Toronto event will include Canadian speakers and applicable content.

“The inclusion of a Toronto show in our Summit Series is an important step as we continue to foster and grow our membership across Canada,” said Alan Weinberger, CEO, The ASCII Group.

“By expanding our Series, we are in a better position to address the needs of the Canadian market and our members, both directly and in collaboration with our Channel Partners,” added Donna Bogers, President of ASCII Canada.

The upcoming one day Toronto Summit will include education, innovative industry presentations, a cutting-edge vendor solutions pavilion, and an exclusive ASCII member meeting. The Summit Series is designed for qualified industry IT professionals and Managed Service Providers, and is targeted towards those who are looking to increase revenue and enhance their current business model.  ASCII members receive free admission to the event.

For more information on the Toronto IT SMB Success Summit, including a complete agenda and registration, please visit

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is a vibrant reseller community of independent MSPs, VARs, and other solution providers.  Formed in 1984, ASCII has more than 70 programs that provide turnkey cost-cutting strategies, innovative business building programs, and extensive peer interaction.  ASCII members enjoy benefits such as marketing support; educational information; group purchasing power; increased leverage in the marketplace; and multiple networking opportunities. These programs enable ASCII members to increase revenue, lower operating costs, and grow service opportunities.  Learn more at or by calling 800-394-2724.


Press Contact
Alysia Vetter
Director of Marketing & Communications
Tel: 800-394-2724 x 131


Next 5-Week Online Course: The Most Important Checklists for Any I.T. Service Provider

The Most Important Checklists for Any I.T. Service Provider

Taught by Karl Palachuk and Manuel Palachuk, Authors and Coaches
- All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Checklists are critically important to creating SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures - for your company.

This course is intended for managers and owners of a managed service business. It covers many facets of the "checklist mentality" that the instructors have used at a variety of successful I.T. consulting businesses.

In addition to building hundreds of checklists and standard processes for KPEnterprises in Sacramento, CA, the authors have both written books, trained individuals, and coached teams on successful processes and habits for running a modern, successful managed service business.

This course will cover daily the use of checklists in daily operations as well as the "larger picture" of running the entire company. It will address both internal checklists for running your own company and external checklists for managing client relationships and client technology.

This is an intensive teleseminar course over a five week period. All assignments are voluntary, of course. But if you want feedback on assignments, please complete assignments during this course and email them to the instructor. 

Delivered by Karl Palachuk and Manuel Palachuk, authors of the Network Migration Workbook and many other books for MSPs - managed service providers.

Includes five weeks of teleclasses with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor.

This course is intended for business owners and managers. It is particularly useful for the Service Manager or Operations Manager.

Register Now


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

LOGICnow launches the MAX Service Desk Mobile application for iOS

Received with press release today from my friends over at LOGICnow.

Here's their press release:

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LOGICnow launches the MAX Service Desk Mobile application for iOS to deliver breakthrough field service management capabilities

Durham, NC, 30 March 2016 – LOGICnow, the global market leader in integrated cloud-based IT Service Management solutions, today announced the release of its MAX Service Desk Mobile application for iOS. This application delivers leading-edge field service management capabilities, giving IT professionals full visibility into their customer support in real-time, directly from within their iOS supported device.

MAX Service Desk is a fully hosted, robust, streamlined support portal that enables IT professionals to deliver superior customer support service and to boost productivity. Using Service Desk Mobile further enhances the functionality of the Service Desk portal by allowing users to stay connected with their customers from their iOS device when on-the-go. The app provides full visibility into support activities and constant control of the key Service Desk functions.

From accessing real-time data to customers’ ticket history, MAX Service Desk Mobile provides a full suite of features to help IT professionals:
  • Schedule site visits with built-in calendar and GPS functionality
  • Gain full visibility into engineer updates – from tickets to tasks
  • Retrieve real-time customer data and records whilst on-the-go
  • Track time and mileage to provide customers with accurate costs
  • Reduce travel time with a clean and simple map making it easy to organize travel routes
  • Deliver real-time, actionable insights to optimize service
  • Complete client sign-off with digital capability
  •  Add detailed comments to tickets and view ticket history for better visibility into issues and faster resolution 
“We are proud to announce that our Service Desk dashboard and features are now available on the iOS platform so users can continue to manage their client support needs while on-the-go,” said Damian Trzebunia, Director of Product Marketing at LOGICnow. “Service Desk Mobile offers much greater flexibility to allow our customers to view and manage their accounts and site visits, resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently, and deliver best-in-class customer support. And we’re pleased to announce that the Android version of the app will soon follow.”

The Service Desk Mobile App is now available from the iOS App Store

About LOGICnow

LOGICnow delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. LOGICnow’s MAX products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely-trusted integrated solution. Deployed on over two million endpoints across 240,000 networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. LOGICnow provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning. LOGICnow’s passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT. For more information, visit


Friday, March 25, 2016

Audio Version of Relax Focus Succeed® is Almost Complete!

Pre-Order Today and Save!

Every day we are closer to releasing the Audio Book version my of Revised Edition of Relax Focus Succeed®.

The official release date is April, but there is a VERY strong possibility that it will be released within the next ten days.

The book will be available as an MP3 download from my site - as soon as it's compiled. It will be available on as soon after that as we can get it up. Probably a week.

Since the book is pretty cheap - less than $20 - there won't be discounts once it's released. 

But if you want to pre-order the MP3 version, you can save $5 right now. That sale ends once the product becomes available. See to order. Use code RFS5 to save $5 off that order.

Thank you all for your support!


SOP Video: Sole Prop v. S-Corp, LLC, etc.

What's the best form for your company to take? There's a big difference between Sole Proprietor and S-Corp, LLC, or other forms. The biggest difference is what you'll pay in Social Security taxes when you make a high income.

Your company form also affects how you sign contracts. Contracts are most useful because they also affect taxes.

My latest video covers these topics with an example of how you save some serious taxes with a corporation.

The key to success - so to speak - is that the real benefit kicks in when you have a significant profit! So if you business is only marginal, you need to spend your energy creating a business model that PAYS before you worry about moving away from a sole proprietorship.

Links mentioned in the video here include:
- http://www.serviceagreementsforsmbconsultants

You can view my entire YouTube Channel at


Friday, March 18, 2016

Focus: The Most Important Standard Operating Procedure

My latest SOP video is posted. It's about the subject of Focusing on what you need to do. Focusing on what you need to focus on, really.

Focus and execution go hand in hand. The most important SOP you have can have is the habit of focusing every day on the single most important thing you have to do - and then doing it.

Too many people fall down on this score. First, they don't set their intention for the day. Doing this is not hard: But you have to set aside five or ten or fifteen minutes and DO IT!

Why is it critically important to focus on the one single most important thing you need to day today? Because it forces you to sort through the clutter and prioritize. You can't pick 100 "most important" things. You can't pick 50. You need to figure out the one thing.

And, to be honest, you should figure out the one thing in your business, the one thing in your family, and the one thing in your personal life. Not ten of each. ONE. One of each.

If you don't go through this practice, you end up making excuses because you're overwhelmed. You have a hundred things on your list and you don't know where to start. So you clean the filing cabinet instead! I don't know how important it is to clean the filing cabinet, but I guarantee it's not the most important thing you need to do. You let yourself become overwhelmed and then you do something that's not even on any list!

You've heard the phrase "Writers write." It's true for everyone. Consultants consult. Business advisers advise.Salesmen sell. Teachers teach.

What they DO is FOCUS 100% on what they do. Every day. NOT make excuses, straighten the office, wait until the time is right, hire someone, fire someone, get a new computer, make sure the offering is perfect, and a billion other forms of procrastination.

When you set too many tasks to do - and don't prioritize them - then you just work and work and work trying to make some progress somewhere. You're not organized and you're not efficient. You're just working.

Focus helps you to work on the most important things first. When you do that, it's amazing how quickly everything else falls into place. You begin to make much faster progress on everything.

Some people never excel at anything except excuses. Excuses for why they can't make sales calls. Excuses for why they don't do the things they need to do. 100% of everyone I've ever given advice to already knew what they needed to do. They didn't know where to start.

Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Once 100% of your focus is on the DOING instead of on the excuses, you will make progress. Even if you start in the "wrong" place, you'll plow through that and move to the next thing, the next thing, and the next thing. You'll be moving instead of standing. Once you're moving you can make course corrections.

You can do anything. But you have to stop wasting your time on all the little crap that does nothing to advance your goals.

. . .

Oh yeah. This is kind of a tough love video. But it's short.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beginner's Mind vs. Beginner's Mindset

There is a Zen concept called the "Beginner's Mind." It basically amounts to this: When you don't know what you don't know, there are an unlimited number of possibilities. But when you become educated and experienced, you have fewer possibilities. Well, you see few possibilities.

And so we are encouraged to adopt a Beginner's Mind when it comes to our work. You've probably heard someone say something like, "I did it because I didn't know it couldn't be done." That's a very common thing for people who are young and new to a profession. There are a couple of components at play here. One is that inexperienced people try different things and figure stuff out while older, more experienced people don't.

The other component is that the world keeps changing, especially with technology. So some things you knew in the past simply aren't true anymore. What was once impossible is now possible. This progression has always taken place. Less than a hundred years ago it was impossible to travel faster than the speed of sound or to get a message all the way around instantaneously. It was impossible to see what babies looked like in the womb or control the spread of mosquitoes.

One of the reasons I love to hire young people and keep them around is that they don't know what's impossible. So they try new things and they bring a certain Beginner's Mind to the workplace.

I encourage you to cultivate a Beginner's Mind in your work. What might be possible with marketing? With tech support delivery? With cloud service offerings? And so forth.

Beginner's Mindset is Different

In business, there's a mostly-unrelated view of the world, which I call Beginner's Mindset. This is the mindset we have as young entrepreneurs when we start a business - and we need every dollar.

Most people fail to create a business plan before they start their business. They fail to identify a specific clientele. They fail to create a budget. And they fail to create a standardized offering that they can sell again and again.

And most of them fail. Most businesses fail. Most start-ups fail.

What happens when you have a Beginner's Mindset is that you don't really have a business yet. You are figuring it out as you go along. You try something different every day (and with every prospect). You're trying to see what works so you can go do that.

Warning: While a Beginner's Mind is a good thing, a Beginner's Mindset is very bad.

As your business matures, one of three things can happen. 1) Your random unplanned behavior is unfruitful and you go out of business. 2) You standardize a lot of things and manage to get by. Sometimes you make money and sometimes you need to "loan" money to the business. 3) You go back and do the things you should have done first. Then you thrive, your business is profitable, and you make money.

Unfortunately, too many people are stuck on #2. They fixed some things, but they still don't have a business plan, still take any client who comes along, still don't have a budget, and have very few standard procedures. They get by.

The problem with continuing to Get By is that you have to THRIVE in order to be truly successful. Getting by means you're always surprised by tax bills or sudden expenses. Getting by means you can't rely on a regular salary for yourself. Getting by means you spend every penny you have, leaving nothing left over for savings.

Getting by means you have a JOB, not a business.

You can get by for a loooooong time without going out of business. One year you put some money in the bank; the next, you take money out to make payroll. When times are good you buy new equipment. When times are bad, you lay people off. Because you have no budget, you also have no targets. And you have no consistency.

When I lived in Michigan, many years ago, I had several neighbors who worked in the auto industry. It was the ultimate boom-and-bust economy. When cars were selling like crazy, everyone had money. They bought boats and big, brand new BBQs. When car sales slumped, they sold their boats and BBQs. Some even went on public assistance.

That's the ultimate example of relying on a job over which you have no control and no influence. If someone wants to hire you, they do. If not, they don't.

A professional consulting business should NOT be like that. You need to build a clientele who know you, love you, and will be there year after year. You need to have standard operating procedures for running your company and delivering services. You need to build a system that works - every day, every month, every year.

Failing and Learning

Over time we all have victories and failures. And you hear all the time that you need to fail in order to succeed. But there's another important element: You need to learn from your failures. Just failing makes you really good at failing.

If you don't learn from your failures, then you'll never succeed.

You've heard the story of Thomas Edison working to create the light bulb. The truth is, creating "a" light bulb was not difficult. Edison wanted to create a practical, long-lasting light bulb that could be sold for a reasonable price. To do that, he needed to create the right filament and either light it in a vacuum or in the presence of the right gas.

In all, Edison tested more than 6,000 variations before he came up with a commercially viable filament. And I assure you, he did not randomly try one thing after another, guessing at what to do next. He recorded each experiment. He created a process for testing each variation. He was organized and systematic. He did not repeat failed experiments again and again because he kept meticulous records.

He learned from each failure.

As you move away from a Beginner's Mindset to a Professional Mindset, you need to do the same thing. Figure out what's not working in your business (what's failing). Write it down. Fix it. Write down the fix and turn it into a company policy or a standard operating procedure. Create an overall model to constantly improve. Create repeatable success in every piece of your business.

That means you need to slow down a bit. Look at it from a fresh perspective. Move from a Beginner's Mindset to a Beginner's Mind.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Y$10K - Social Security and Other Retirement Considerations

Note: I've set up a page to index the Y$10K blog articles. You can find it at$10K/. Articles are listed in the order written, so you can start at the top and work your way down if you want to catch up.

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What Will You Get From Social Security?

It's worth thinking about how much money you'll need in retirement. Very few things will sober you up faster than to realize that you are nowhere near where you need to be.

You can Google "retirement calculator" and find a variety of widgets out on the Internet. I don't necessarily endorse that because it might send you into a massive depression. Depending on how you tweak the numbers, they could recommend that you set aside $5,000 or more per month.

One number that can give you a little relief is your Social Security Report. I'm not sure what the equivalent is in Australia, UK, Canada, or other countries. But I'm sure there's a place you can go online and find out what you can expect in retirement.

For folks in the U.S., just check out the Social Security Administration's online services at You'll need to create an account with your Social Security number and other information. Once you're in, you can look at the contributions you've made over the years and find out what you can expect if you retire at 67 years old, 70 years old, or even an "early" retirement at 62.

As of January 2016, the average Social Security retiree receives $1,341 per month. I HOPE your number is a lot larger if you're in the I.T. industry because it's based on your taxable salary (whether through W2 or Self Employment Tax). As your wages go up, your monthly retirement payment goes up.

The formula can be found at All that really matters is that you should maximize your payout by maximizing your income! Every year of higher earnings increases your monthly retirement payout until it reaches $2,639. (It goes up a few dollars every year.)

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What Has Any of This To Do With Computer Consulting?

Here's the deal, my dear friends. You HAVE to save for your retirement. You have to because nobody else will. If you manage to get your Social Security to top out at $2,700/month with inflation, that's $32,400 per year. If that's your only income, it means you eat top ramen every day for the rest of your life.

If you want to live on the equivalent of $75,000/year today, you'll need to have enough investments to match your Social Security payout.

Let's assume you could somehow manage to get a reliable 5% payout year after year, you'd need to have about $650,000 in savings ($650,000 x 5% = $32,500). Your numbers will vary, of course. But the point is, you need a LOT of money to live decently when you retire. Even if you only plan to live for ten years after retirement, most people will need at least $500,000.

How are you doing?

If your numbers are not where they should be, take that as a huge sign that you need to fix your business! You need to bring home enough money to live AND put money into your investments. That means you have to stop running a business that doesn't support both your lifestyle and your retirement.

Raise your rates. And raise them every year from now on. Keep ahead of inflation.

Sign contracts. Create recurring revenue.

Stop wasting time.

Stop wasting money.

Spend wisely.

Reject small clients who take lots of time and spend small amounts of money.

Love and pet and take care of clients who do what you tell them to do and pay their bills on time.

Get paid in advance for everything.

All those things you "know you should do" are focused on making your business run better and more profitably. It's not about technology. It's about creating a business model that gets you past today and they month and this year. You business needs to look at the big, big picture and not be distracted by the daily minutiae.

If you run your business minute by minute and interruption by interruption, you have a break-fix life! 

Instead, step back and look at what you need to accomplish in the next ten or twenty (or thirty) years in order to set yourself up for a great retirement. When you understand that there's a huge goal out there and you HAVE TO reach it, you will have a much easier time putting your daily struggles into perspective.

- - - - -

Now go figure out how you're going to find another $1,000 to invest in your future.

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Quote of the Day:

"If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as of getting." - Benjamin Franklin


Friday, March 11, 2016

SOP: Software Policies that Keep Things from Breaking

In my latest video I talk about software policies that contribute to your success.

This is a companion to the Hardware Policies video here.

In this video I touch on some of the Software Policies you should have to maximize the client's investment in technology - and maximize your profit as a consulting company.

One of the most important policies is to match the generation of software and hardware. Don't put old operating systems on new hardware; Don't put new operating systems on old hardware. The reason is clear: The mismatch guarantees that some drivers won't work and others will be buggy. People have this odd sense that they are saving money. But they end up spending it on chasing bugs.

Another important software policy is to never skip more than one versions level on a software package that's important to the company. The biggest example here is Microsoft Office, but it's also true with the line of business software and any other important packages. The more consistently software works across an organization, the more productive everyone is.

One easy way to do this is with subscriptions. I love the Adobe subscription model even though it's expensive. I have one laptop and three desktop workstations with the Adobe subscription. Everything is always the latest and greatest and It just works. The Microsoft model is a little harder since it costs the client money and you can't make a reasonable profit. I am currently including the Office subscription to Cloud Service clients via Intermedia. It costs me a little money every month, but certainly adds to the stickiness.

One policy some people have trouble with is: Sell the latest Operating System. We, as nerds, like operating systems - or hate them, or prefer one over another. Clients generally care a lot less than we do. When you sell a new machine, just sell the latest O.S. All the game-playing to keep clients on the older versions just leads to more money being spent and to buggier machines. Period. It just does.

Finally, it is critical to apply all patches, fixes, updates. Some of these are weekly and some occasionally. This includes service packs. Your schedule may be different than ours, but you should have a schedule and execute it regularly.

A huge help in this is an RMM tool (remote monitoring and management). In my opinion, one of the most basic elements of professional consulting today is to have a good RMM. If you don't use an RMM, I believe you are not serving your clients as well as you should - and you're not serving your own company well either. I currently install MAXfocus agents on all client machines.

Things Don't Break

People argue with me about each of these. But I can tell you from 20+ years of experience, our clients' computers don't break. Really. We make money because our clients and consulting company have the save goals: Stuff Doesn't Break. In order to reach that, you need to follow all the hardware policies and all the software policies outlined here.

It takes a certain amount of faith to do these things. You have to believe that things won't break. You have to believe that it's worth the money. Yes, it will cost a little more up front. It will be a slightly larger initial investment. But the longer-term cost to the client will be lower AND the profit for you will be higher. Really.

But you can't execute half way. You can't buy one new machine and expect everything to get better. You have to execute all of these all the time. You have to commit.

And when you do, life gets better for you and the client!


Sunday, March 06, 2016

Y$10K - Create a Program to Eliminate Debt

On your path to putting more money into savings, one of the biggest steps is getting out of debt. To be honest, these are not 100% related. You can go deeper into debt and but money into savings at the same time. You could borrow money and invest it. But I don't recommend that for obvious reasons. There's no point in building up a retirement account and then using the whole thing to pay down debt!

Here are five steps you can take to make real progress on paying down your debt. Before you get started, you need to decide what your goals are. For example, do you want to be 100% debt free? That means your house is paid off, you have no car debt, and you don't owe anyone else anything. Most people don't have that as a goal.

Most people want to be almost-debt free with just two big monthly payments: House/Rent plus a car. I think that's reasonable for most people. Personally, I love having my car paid off. So I get a five-year loan and try to pay it off in three years. Then I drive the car until it starts costing serious money to maintain. I generally spend about seven years with no car payment before I go do it again.

Whatever your goal regarding debt, write it down. You might even make a big sign and put it above your desk to remind yourself. That way, as you go about your day, you can glance up there and ask the question, "Does this action drive me closer to debt-free or further away?"

You need to spend money and you need to enjoy your life today because you don't know when it's over. But you also need to plan for the future. Here are my

Five Steps for Eliminating Debt

First Step: Take stock. How much do you owe and what are the interest rates? I highly recommend that you make an Excel Spreadsheet like the one pictured here. Tweak as you see fit. The goal is to simply get your arms around the problem. Once you know its size, you can handle it.

This might be a little overwhelming if you have had really bad money habits. Good! You should be overwhelmed and you should be shocked enough to take care of it. You should be shocked enough to take the next two steps.

Second Step: Create some kind of budget. For now just start with anything. Figure out where your money's going. Both personally and professionally, you should know where the "big chunks" of money go. I keep a fairly detailed spreadsheet for my business based on the reports from QuickBooks. I have "actual" expenditures for the months that have passed and "projected" expenditures for each month going forward.

You can keep it as simple as you want, but you need to do something. At an absolute minimum, you need to create a budget for payments that will be made toward your debt.

Third Step: Stop creating more debt. In other words, pay with cash/check/debit card and not credit card.

This is a really hard one for many people. Remember: You got INTO debt by using credit cards to make short-term loans to yourself and your business. And you paid back some of that, but not all of that. And then you did it again and again.

If your business needs periodic influxes of cash, you have a bad business model. 
Your business should NEVER need to borrow money from you. And it should pay you enough that you can live on. If it's not doing those things, you need to change your business model. You cannot lose money on a regular basis and make it up in volume!

I'm going to write a separate article about living off cash, but you can start right now. Put your credit cards in a filing cabinet and get them out of your wallet. Now, figure out how much money you have in the bank, and start moving all payments to your debit cards. Notice I made that plural: debit cards. Your business debit card should pay business expenses and your personal debit card should pay personal expenses.

I have been living and operating my businesses on debit cards/cash for more than eight years. In that time I have put only about $5,000 on credit cards. It might have been a bit above that, but it certainly wasn't $10,000.

I use my debit cards for all scheduled monthly payments (MAXFocus, JungleDisk, Intermedia, etc.) as well as airfares, hotels, rental cars, food, hardware, and so forth. Everything. The debit card has a VISA or MasterCard symbol, so it's taken everywhere.

Why pay cash/ATM? The answer is very simple: It forces you to stop paying for things unless you actually have the money. You want a toy quadracopter? Cool. When the money is actually in the bank, you can buy it. But don't put it on a credit card!

This means you will start paying bills strategically. When you have money, you'll make payments. When you have money, you'll buy hardware and software. (It's also a great motivator to getting your business paid in advance for everything. After all, you can't shell out $3,000 for new client desktop computers until you have the money in your bank, so you will have to get paid in advance.)

Fourth Step: Adjust all payments up a bit. See the example Excel spreadsheet #2. Just round up each payment to the next even $100 or $50 mark. This will result in a nice round number for your total payment allocation, which is $900/month in our example. You might make it even higher, but remember that we are always pushing forward on several fronts. I'd rather see you ALSO put an extra $100 a month into investments than to round up all the way to $1,000.

So round up a bit. If you have extra money, go ahead and put it in investment. The goal here is to COMMIT to the rounded-up number and use that as your debt-attacking number until the debt is gone.

Make this number a priority. Consider it just like the mortgage (It might include the mortgage). Never reduce it. Never miss it. That might mean that you need to eat dry Cheerios and Top Ramen for a few days before the first of the month. You'll live. After all, eating well played a role in getting you into debt, so eating lean should be a part of getting out.

Fifth Step: Accelerate one payment. In my example, I accelerated the payment with the smallest balance. Some people recommend accelerating the one with the highest interest rate. That saves you the most money, but takes longer. I like addressing the smallest debt because you can pay it off faster.

AND you don't change your total bill-paying allocation. You simply apply that whole amount to the next-lowest balance. As you can see, that will draw down that debt even faster. Continue this until all of the debts are gone.

You can also see the acceleration already. It's most obvious with the smaller debts. When payments get to be $500 or so, the credit cards begin to drop off pretty quickly. Stick to it! When you're debt free, you'll be putting $900 extra into investments every month!!! (Or whatever your debt-attacking number is.)

Now, here's what you don't do:

Do not take out another loan!

Do not take money out of your home equity.

Do not borrow from friends and family.

In other words - Do not try to get out of debt by practicing the habits that got you INTO debt.

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There are millions of web sites and blog posts on reducing debt. You might want to Google the subject and check out other strategies.

The strategy presented here is part of a bigger picture. You're still running your business, still leading your life, and still putting money into investments. You've simply isolated debt as a separate target to be tackled.

This strategy has the added bonus that you moved to paying cash for everything. So you won't be adding additional debts. That's great for saving and investing!

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For earlier posts in this series, just search for the label "Y$10K" in the cloud tag on the right.
Or click here:

Good luck!

Let me know how you're doing!