Posted on Leave a comment

Successful People Enjoy The Process – Not the Destination

“Success is a journey not a destination.”

There are many issues with the day and age we live in. There is a constant need for instant gratification. Instant. Believe it or not, this is by design. There are hundreds of thousands of people whose sole job is to give you hits of dopamine all day. Look at the things we have on our phone. The advertisements you are bombarded with every day. The amount of devices that we have where the sole purpose of the device is to grab your attention.

Enjoy The Process

Focus on understanding the end goal and what needs to be done to get there. Most successful people, who are self made, have loved the process of getting there. Many times, we get so caught up in the end goal, that we forget to enjoy the process of getting there. We get too caught up in the day in and day out. Don’t forget to take a step back and enjoy what is unfolding.

You have one shot at life. You can choose to be miserable, or you can choose to reflect. Don’t be overly consumed with the end goal. If you aren’t enjoying the process to get to the end goal, you won’t be satisfied. The main problem in our society is the Digital Age we live in.

The Issue With The Digital Age

The largest issue we have is machine learning and the digital age. Algorithms are getting more and more intelligent to show you exactly what you want to see. If you google search something on your phone, there is a good chance you will see an advertisement for that very thing while scrolling social media. This has started to create a culture where people are used to instant gratification. We are being trained to make impulse decisions. In seconds.

The Issue With Social Media

The next major problem we have are the influencers of our generation. You have the people like Gary V. who are very much about work ethic and empathy and patience. Then you have the flip side where individuals show off their material things to get your attention. As you can see, I am not biased one way or the other 😉

What Is Important to Not Lose Sight Of

Don’t let social media fool you. Don’t let the flashy things people advertise fool you. Successful people are the product of one of two things. Busting their ass or being born into wealth. Understand how to see the difference.

The greatest example of someone who is self made and big in the social media world is Gary Vaynerchuk. There is one problem with Gary V. though. It isn’t fault of his own. He even talks about it all the time. Patience, hard work, and empathy. Gary continues giving the same advice to many of the individuals he speaks with every day.

Key Takeaways:

  • Enjoy the process, trust the process
  • Success will only be worth reaching if you are enjoying every minute of getting there.
  • Don’t be tricked by the Digital Age. Instant gratification is not the goal. Long term happiness with what you are doing is the goal.
Posted on Leave a comment

Credit Card Rewards – How To Double Your Value When Spending Your Points!

I recently looked at each of the credit cards I opened up last year to determine which ones I should no longer use. I had some rewards points that it was time to cash in, so I decided to toggle between a few redemption options. The difference between how you use your points could cost you hundreds of dollars. Literally.

How I Saved Optimized Redemption of Rewards

For this post, I am going to show eligible rewards options for my Barclays Arrival + card.

I had recently received the 10,000 points for everyday purchases I had made on my credit card. Spending, for me, is not the most fun of things, but saving money is always nice! It was time to begin looking at the most optimized ways to cash in my points.

Below I am going to outline four different options that were available. Note, there are many more options than these four, but wanted to use it for context.

First Option – Amazon Gift Card

Who doesn’t love Amazon? I actually don’t because I work for their largest competition, but this was an option on the site. Here is how the breakdown for redeeming for an Amazon gift card worked out:

For 10,000 points, I would be able to redeem my points for $50 in Amazon gift cards. Not too shabby. Let’s look at other the other options.

Second Option – Cash Back!!!

C’mon man! Who doesn’t like some straight cash homie! Time to look at what the redemption options are for receiving cash.

Ok, 10,000 points redeemed for $50 in a cash statement credit. Again, not too bad, but let’s look at one more option!

Third Option – Points For Travel Expenses

The last option I wanted to look at was receiving statement credits for redeeming for travel. Time to look at what the redemption would look like for this.

What!?!?! $100 for redemption of 10,000 points! That is double what the potential of the first two options were. This was a no brainer. I will take the $100 credit all day.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many ways to redeem your points!
  • Many times, the company you are redeeming the points with will try to sell you on the lesser of the options. Don’t be fooled!
  • If you are lost, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the company. They should be able to walk you through your options to help you get a better understanding.
Posted on Leave a comment

Travel Hacking Rewards – You Can and Will Lose It If You Don’t Use It!

If you travel hack or belong to loyalty programs, don’t forget about your rewards! There are many rewards programs that have expiration dates for certain things. In this article, I want to focus on two main things as it pertains to travel rewards points.

Rewards Do Expire Or Can Be Lost

This is something many don’t fully understand. Rewards can and will expire for certain loyalty programs. For example, if you have points with IHG (hotel chain) and don’t stay at an IHG hotel for a year, you will lose your points. As long as you stay for one night in a 12 month span, you won’t have anything to worry about. This is similar for Marriott and Hilton as well.

The only rewards program I know of where your points don’t expire are with Delta. As long as you have an account with Delta, you will always have your loyalty points.

Rewards I Had to Extend

For me, there were two different rewards I called my loyalty program to extend. That’s right, don’t let them make you believe you have to use the reward by the expiration date! A simple phone call asking them to extend the rewards will usually do the trick.

First, I had 6 free car rental days that expired today (12/30/19) that I had not yet used. I rent from National, and they have a decent rewards program to earn free days. Here is one cool thing about their rewards program. If you have free days you haven’t used, you can do one of two things. You can:

  • Get credit for a previous rental made earlier in the year for the number of free days you have. For example, if I rented a car for 4 days, they would credit that cost back to my credit card.
  • You can ask the agent to extend the free rental days into the following year.

For me, I found a car rental from September that was 5 days that I ended up getting refunded to my credit card. This was also a cool way to convert those free days to cash.

The main reason for this being the trip was for work, so my employer was paying for the rental.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reward points for different programs can expire. Make sure you research which ones do and don’t expire.
  • If you are coming up close to the expiration, call the loyalty program. I have found many times that the company would extend my offer into the following year.