Make a Small Room Look Bigger

Not all of us have the luxury of owning a big home, but there are ways to make rooms appear larger than they are. With the right techniques, anyone can accomplish this.


1.Paint or wallpaper the ceiling

This is an effect draws the eye upward, which can make the room feel taller.


2. Use light colors

This is perhaps the most common way to expand a room. While people may associate darker colors with comfort and coziness, dark colors actually absorb light instead of reflect it, giving the illusion of a smaller room. A good place to paint light colors on the walls is in the kitchen and in the living room because they are the two places that are seen upon entering a home. Plus, who doesn’t love a large kitchen with good lighting?



Any part of the room that allows it, incorporate stripes. This is another eye illusion that makes the room look longer.


4. Furniture away from wall

If you want to achieve spaciousness, pull furniture and other decorative statements away from the wall leaving about a few inches in between.


5. Open windows

Big and open windows work wonders in every way. Having big, open windows not only brings in the natural light, but also gives a room more depth. Avoid heavy curtains.


6. Mirrors

Leaning mirrors against walls is becoming a popular trend to make a room more expansive. Find a focal point in the room and then make sure it’s centered in the middle of the mirror. This gives the room more depth as well, and also reflects natural and artificial light that make the room look larger.

Dallas Homes VS Kansas City Homes- From a Kansas City Intern’s Perspective

As a native of Kansas, I didn’t expect there to be much of difference in housing in Texas, or Dallas more specifically. Both states are prone to tornadoes and have very similar climates in regards to humidity and temperature. Dallas and Kansas City are not too far from each other on the humidity scale. When driving from Kansas City down to Dallas, TX, I noticed a few differences immediately:


1. There are no basements

Not just Dallas, but most Texas homes do not have basements. Every Texan knows this. This confused me, since the state is just as likely to get tornadoes as Kansas. I was interested to find that the reason Texas homes do not have basements is because of multiple reasons: the frost line, clay content in the soil, water table, and the bedrock of Limestone. Basements are not compatible with Texas soil.


2. House made out of brick

We have plenty of brick homes in Kansas City, but not as much as in Dallas. Usually the ratio of brick homes to other material is 1 to 10 in Kansas City. It’s not as common where I am from, rather is utilized as a statement or a way to make the house stand out among others. So why are there so many brick homes? The soil is loaded with clay, which is helpful with gardening, and also great for brickmaking. A large vein of clay stretches across the United States from Central Texas, through Oklahoma and Arkansas, and then up to Virginia and Maryland.


3. Single Story Homes

There are not too many single story homes in Kansas City, but there are quite a few in Dallas. Single story homes have many advantages, such as:  age friendliness, energy efficiency, open floor plans, easy to expand, and affordability. From learning the business of real estate investment, I found that many single story homes are fixer uppers and subject to renovation.


As a Kansas City native, the housing in Dallas, Texas is different. But, I’ve learned that housing in Dallas is relative to its region. 

New Renovation on the Princeton Drive
Bought the property on 2916 Princeton Drive in Plano last September.
Sold the property in early March from our sign on the lawn. 
This was a complete remodel from top to bottom. Started as a 3 bedroom and we added a master suite to make it 4 bedrooms.  It was a fun journey….and we learned a lot….just glad it’s over and ready to move on  to the next.
Kitchen Remodels: What they cost and how to stay within your budget
When you begin planning a kitchen renovation project, you may have no idea how much your ideal vision might cost.  The answer will likely depend on several factors, including the size of your space, what you will do to it, and your budget.  In the end, the price of a renovation should largely be driven by your own choices.


So- what do kitchen remodels typically cost?  

In a survey of nearly 2,500 homeowners who were renovating or had recently renovated their kitchens, about one-third of owners spent between $25,000 and $50,000.  Another one-third spent more than $50,000.  These are national averages.  The cost for you will depend on costs in your area.  Typically costs on the coasts are more expensive than in the middle part of the country.


If you plan on using a contractor, use this formula as a rough guide:

Do your research before you talk with the contractor so you know how much your stuff costs.  Be sure to specify EVERYTHING. Double that price for labor to install it all and add 1/3 more for the Contractor.  This formula will get you close to what the contractor will charge to do the job.  If the Contractor comes in lower, you’ll be happy!

If you do the research you won’t go though the sticker shock.  Nothing worth going through a remodel is cheap.

Always beware of low bidders.  Do not settle for inferior products just to get the job done.  It is stressful on all members of the family.  It seems like it lasts forever.  Do it right the first time and make it worth the effort.  Having to redo any part will far out cost any savings that occurred at the beginning of the project.  Always plan for unforeseen issues on a remodel.  Keep a few thousand set a side for any faux pas.  You may find termites, electrical issues that have to be fixed to meet code, a roof leak, etc.  If your budget for the project is 50k stash 5k away for issues.  Spend 45k on the project itself.  If there are no issues great, but, be prepared.  There is nothing worse than having to get an extra loan just to finish.



Here are some common reasons kitchen renovations go over the original budget 

The No. 1 Reason that renovation projects (all projects, not just kitchens) go over budget is owners choosing more upscale products and finishes, according to a recent survey of 120,000 homeowners.  Nearly half of those who went over their budget cited this as a reason.   About 40 percent of those who busted their budgets said finding out that products or services were more expensive than anticipated was the culprit, according to the survey.  Given that this was a such common experience, we’d like to flag some areas where costs can rack up quickly.


Custom cabinetry 

Cabinet costs range widely, largely depending on whether they come from a big-box store or are semi-custom or custom-made.  Stock cabinets typically cost $50 per linear foot, while custom cabinetry can run up to $2,000 per linear foot.

The key is to know how much the designs you want might cost before you actually start to renovate.  Keep in mind that specialty and custom items usually cost more.  For example, it may look beautiful to stretch your upper cabinets to 12 feet to balance out high ceilings.  But with this design, you’ve almost quadrupled the cost because your standard cabinet doesn’t go to 12 feet. Now you’re doing super-custom cabinets.   Ask your architect, designer or general contractor to advise you on the costs of various options early.  If you’re acting as your own general contractor and hiring individual tradespeople directly, you can discuss cost upfront with them before you finalize your plan.



Special features of cabinetry

In addition to the external features of cabinets, the innards can also increase the cost.  Examples of nice-to-have but pricey cabinetry add-ons include a magic corner, where pullout shelves provide access to a hidden portion of a cabinet that you otherwise couldn’t reach, a knife drawer, or spice or wine racks.  There are so many things you can add to cabinetry.  You can easily add $10,000 or $15,000 to the cost of basic cabinets and before you know it, your cabinetry costs significantly higher than you expected.  Before committing to a special feature, you may want to consider how much you’ll really use it.  That way, you can determine if the added functionality is worth the cost to you.



The cost for countertops ranges widely.  Plastic laminate countertops are relatively affordable at $8 to $20 per square foot. Quartz and granite typically run much higher, anywhere from $50 to $120 per square foot.



Appliances also range widely in cost, from under $1,000 to several thousand, depending on the make, model and features.  Luxury appliances like Wolf and Sub-Zero are priced on the higher end of the range, and brands like GE are more budget.  A Sub-Zero refrigerator could cost upward of $7,500, while a basic GE model from Sears could cost under $500.  A Miele gas range could run $7,000, and a premium 60-inch model from La Cornue more than twice that.  An Asko dishwasher could cost more than $1,000, whereas some LG models sell at just $450.  Do your research and find out what you get for the various cost ranges so that you can determine if the price of the features is worth the expense for your family.


Unforeseen structural issues

You might open a wall and find that termites have eaten half the studs.  Perhaps once the kitchen flooring is removed, you find that an undetected water leak has rotted the subfloor and floor joists.  Such unforeseen issues are good incentives to do pre-project due diligence.  Even so, not every problem can be caught ahead of time.  Many designers recommend reserving a 20 percent contingency in your kitchen renovation budget for unexpected surprises.


Code compliance

If a kitchen hasn’t been updated in quite some time, certain items may need to be replaced to meet current building codes.  For example, when a new gas range is a high-BTU unit, a larger gas pipe may need to be installed — which entails opening up the wall and replacing the pipe.


Changing your mind

For your contractor to accurately predict the project cost, it’s a good idea to select all your finishes before the construction work starts.  If you haven’t picked them out, invariably it will be more money.  Two, it will take more time.  And three, it will mess up the schedule — which will also cost more money.  Changing finishes or materials mid-project typically results in a change order, which can slow the timeline and increase the cost.  Even when they know making a change will add to the cost, some homeowners will still want to change the plans midway.  In fact, this was the third most common reason kitchen budgets got blown, according to the survey.


Mission creep

This is the term for what happens when your kitchen renovation is looking amazing … and suddenly you decide you want to also redo the trim on the living room and dining room, and put in all new doors.  Suddenly your mission has expanded a little bit and your budget gets blown out even more!

17 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal   

Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day. From front doors, house numbers and porch furnishings to color schemes, landscaping and basic repairs, this smorgasbord of ideas will hopefully inspire a few changes around your own home.


1. Add big, bold house numbers
It’s so easy to swap out house numbers, and this one thing can make a huge impact. Echo your house style in the numbers you choose — a clean sans serif font for a modern house, hand-painted tiles for a cottage, aged copper for a Prairie-style home etc.


2. Paint the front door
A front door that pops can be hugely cheering.


3. Add fresh porch furniture
A pair of matching rockers, Adirondack chairs or a cozy glider is a must when you have a front porch that is visible from the street.


4. Swap out porch lighting
Try replacing tiny sconces with a big, statement-making pendant light, add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or install solar lights along the front walk.


5. Add a hot-red accent
Red has such vibrancy; a little goes a very long way. Try a bright red bench, planter or mailbox to add zing that can be seen from across the street.


6. Do some hardscaping
Built-in concrete planters, a low stone wall or new paths are all great ways to add structure to your front yard that will last for many years to come.


7. Spruce up the side yard
Camouflage an eyesore with attractive fencing, clear out weeds and lay out a neat path to the backyard.


8. Add depth with a fence
A low fence around a property not only adds a welcome boundary between a hectic street and a private space, but it also makes the front yard seem larger.


9. Replace a lawn with flowers
Dig up part or all of your front lawn and plant perennials instead for a lush landscape that sets your house apart.


10. Repair the driveway and paths
Cement, stone and pavement all can split and crack over time. Repairing or replacing damaged areas can do wonders to freshen up your home’s street view.


11. Paint the garage door
The garage takes up a lot of visual space, so it pays to make sure it looks its best.


12. Refinish the porch floor
If your porch floor has seen better days, renew it by stripping off old layers of paint and finish, and brushing on stain or paint.


13. Add a shiny new door knocker
Gorgeous hardware (plus a glossy paint job) can make even the plainest door look very classy.


14. Try a unique front door
A really eye-catching front door can be just the thing to give a plain exterior a big dose of personality. Whether it’s super-sleek and modern steel or a beautifully detailed Craftsman-style door, it can set the tone for the entire house.


15. Match plantings to your house style
Let the plants and pots you choose reflect the style of your house for a cohesive look. Accent a modern home with succulents and spiky-leafed plants in simple round pots, or surround your cottage with lush beds of flowers.


16. Echo the architecture with paths
Another way to accent the style of your home is by repeating the lines of the architecture in the paths and landscaping surrounding it. Wide, angular paths echo the geometry of the modern home here.


17. Create curb appeal even in the city
When you live in the city, it can be hard to personalize your home’s exterior. Work with what you have by adding neat window planters, glossy black shutters, good lighting and clearly visible house numbers.


Contractor’s Tips: 10 Things Your Contractor Might Not Tell You

A contractor and a client can have a complicated relationship.
When you’re dealing with your home, sensitive and incredibly important issues arise.
While communication is the key, there might be some things we contractors aren’t saying.
Sometimes there just isn’t time to explain, sometimes we’re worried you’ll take it the wrong way, and sometimes we just have a lot on our mind.

Here’s a contractor’s point of view on what yours might not be telling you.


1. We want to make you happy, if we can figure out how

There are many details on a project that are not cut and dried, with multiple possible results. One person wants to see the brushstrokes on a painted cabinet, while another considers them a mistake that needs to be corrected. Your top priority might be something most other people don’t care about. Sometimes what you think is obvious and clear is anything but. Multiply this by a thousand details and you begin to see why the process of getting to know you and your wishes is a challenge. Bear with us and understand that if we end up doing something that doesn’t make you happy, it doesn’t necessarily mean we didn’t try — and we will keep trying until we get it right.


2. We are privy to the details of your life, but we’re not that interested

Your friends probably don’t spend eight hours a day in your house for three months and climb into a closet full of your clothes (to find the shutoff for the tub). You could argue that your contractor knows you better than your friends. Except for one thing: We are not trying to get to know you personally, except as it pertains to our job. So we may be climbing through your closet, but we have a job to do, so we’re not wasting time eavesdropping or checking out your letterman jacket. We’ll keep it professional if you do. If you forget to pick up your underwear or empty the ashtray piled high, we’ll look the other way.


3. We might not really like your idea; we’re just saying we do

We’ve been doing this too long to sweat the small stuff. If it’s what you want and it’s not dangerous or a terrible investment, we’re not going to argue the point. There are too many things to discuss to get bogged down by everything.
If we just think it’s silly, we’ll get to work anyway. After all, it’s not our house — you’re the one who lives there.
If you want our opinion, ask! We’ll be happy to share.


4. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose (money)

The most important thing to a contractor is reputation. There is a lot of risk involved in taking on a building project, and sometimes things don’t go our way. A good builder will not burden you with the knowledge that he is losing money on your project if isn’t your fault — or if it is your fault but he doesn’t think you can help it. If we bid the project wrong or make costly mistakes, we will continue to do the best job we can and complete the project properly. We’re a patient lot.
If you think we’re frustrated, well, we might be. But there’s always the next project, and doing a good job on yours might be what lands us that project.


5. We like you; we just have a lot on our minds

We wouldn’t be working for you if we didn’t like you. There’s too much at stake (see point 4) to work with people we don’t click with. If we seem curt sometimes, we’re probably just preoccupied with the details of your project.
If we stop chatting so we we can get back to work, don’t let it hurt your feelings; we just want to get the job done so you’ll like us at the end of the project, too.


6. We might not be a good investment unless you love our work

Payback time is not always there. Your ‘green’ roof will reduce your cooling costs and extend the life of your roof, but if you don’t find it beautiful, it might not be the way you want to spend your money. As a general rule, the next person to buy your house will not pay you as much for the kitchen as you paid us to renovate it. So renovate because it makes your life more comfortable, convenient and beautiful, and because you love how remodeling can change a house for the better.
If you look just at the raw numbers, you should insulate the attic, replace the water heater when it breaks and run those ugly kitchen cabinets into the ground.


7. It’s a hard job, but we love it

There’s a reason there’s no Starbucks of custom home remodeling. It’s a difficult job that takes the personal attention of committed individuals who work well together and are willing to take risks to make a good but far from amazing living (see point 9). It’s good to tackle a couple DIY projects yourself to give you a sense of the physicality of our job and the frustrations we encounter. Every house is a new set of challenges, which brings forth our blood, sweat and tears.
But when those challenges result in an attractive and functional project, we can’t help but come back for more.


8. We’re not rich, but we wouldn’t do anything else

If you decide to tackle a large remodel, odds are you’ll be surprised at how much it costs. It is going to be more expensive than you originally guessed — possibly two or three times as much. When you are writing checks for $20,000 at a time, you will be tempted to think that building can’t possibly cost this much and your contractor must be pocketing huge sums and outfitting the pool cabanas at his or her private island retreat with big-screen TVs. A legitimate contractor pays huge sums in overhead costs that are hard to imagine if you’ve never shopped for liability insurance in a line of work where people routinely wield spinning blades and guns that shoot nails. We make enough money to keep us coming back for more, but if it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it.


9. Ten percent overhead and 10 percent profit are a myth

Somewhere along the line, the 10 percent number got into people’s minds. The overhead for a remodel is significantly more than 10 percent. If “profit” meant the money left after paying non-field staff and owners, that would be great, but it doesn’t. Ten percent might be enough to pay the aforementioned team members, but it definitely doesn’t leave any profit for taking on a risky project. Let the market set the price of work in your area. If you think the price you were quoted was too high, get other quotes. If you set requirements for certain percentages, we’ll just shift numbers around.
We are not going to work for free, but we can’t charge more than our peers and get away with it for long.


10. We did find money under the floorboards, and we’re not sharing

Well, I never have, but I did hear the old contractor’s tale about a guy who found $20,000 while working on a house he bought to flip. The best things I’ve found were old bottles and nice wide old-growth boards. If your contractor buys a boat and sails off to the Caribbean in the middle of the job, it’s possible that demo went really well.
Most of the time, though, we’re pretty excited to make a bookshelf out of the wood we salvaged from that wall we knocked down in your place.

A Designer’s ‘Top 10’ tips for increasing home value and help your home stand out on the market

Unless you are designing your forever home, most people are usually quite concerned with resale value when discussing renovations big and small. A home is often a person’s largest asset, so design upgrades are not only an aesthetic decision but a financial one as well. When looking at home sales over the last few years, these 10 design tips have been the most beneficial in helping their houses stand out from the pack.
1. Make the room feel bigger than its square footage 

Selecting and placing furniture that fits the scale of the room can go a long way in making the space feel larger than it actually is. While the actual square footage of a house will, of course, directly affect the price, perception is a powerful thing. If you can make a room feel more spacious, buyers will likely see more potential in the house.


2. Not everything has to be new

Don’t be afraid to keep a home’s traditional elements. It’s impossible to please every potential buyer by selecting one particular style or trend; keeping honest to the home’s roots can pay dividends. For example; a stained glass window adds classic charm without making the space feel dated.


3. Add custom closets in the master bedroom 

A large, functional walk-in closet will add value to any home. It’s a luxury that really excites potential buyers. Prices for installing a custom closet vary widely, but finding an affordable solution that still has a high-end look is not too difficult if you do your research.


4. The kitchen is king 

If you’re going to spend money on your home, you’ll get no better bang for your buck than in the kitchen. Whether you’re an avid cook or more likely to order takeout on your way back from work, you use the kitchen for eating, drinking and storage. Even minor upgrades there, such as updating light fixtures and hardware, will add value to your home.


5. When it comes to storage, the more the better 

There is no such thing as too much storage. It’s important to provide ample storage for multiple purposes. Under the stairs is an ideal area for pullout storage for tall items like ladders or Christmas trees that won’t fit in standard-height closets.


6. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders 

Painting is the most cost-effective way to freshen up a space. Freshly painted rooms feel updated, clean and crisp, without leaving a major dent in your wallet (especially if you do the painting yourself). When selecting paint colors, try to avoid anything too bold, as neutrals tend to be a safer choice in homes for sale.


7. Try to be energy-efficient 

Buying a home comes with many other costs beyond the sale price: closing costs, moving fees and energy bills are just a few examples. Try to offer potential buyers energy-efficient options. They can be as small as CFL or LED lightbulbs or as big as installing solar panels on your roof.


8. Bathroom updates provide a big return 

Bathroom upgrades are second only to kitchen updates in providing a great return on investment. Since bathrooms are usually the smallest spaces in the home, a little bit can go a long way. Consider replacing outdated vanities, changing light fixtures and updating hardware.


9. Hire a professional organizer 

It’s amazing what a little help can do. A professional organizer can help you create a clutter-free home. The money spent on hiring a pro for just one day will pay off when potential buyers see an organized home that feels larger and more manageable. Buying a house can be stressful, especially for first-time buyers. It might be subconscious, but a well-organized space may help to lessen that stress.


10. Add curb appeal 

First impressions count. Keep the front yard tidy, water the plants and do the updates that need to be done. Peeling paint and cracked exterior walls do not make a good first impression. If you’re adding new plants, try to select ones that are low-maintenance.

8 Tips To Be More Productive

If you’re like me and need your sleep, and if you’re not otherwise superhuman, you may need to hack your way to greater time and productivity.  Many of us are constantly looking for more time. These 8 tips might help.


  1. Don’t let other people schedule your life

First and foremost, do everything you can to remain in charge of as much of your schedule as possible.  Learn your most productive periods and schedule your work around them.  If you do any kind of creative work, you need to find a way to reserve time and space for your projects in a comfortable environment and on the schedule that works best for you.

Sure, you probably don’t have complete autonomy over your life, but that’s okay. Wherever you do have autonomy, or wherever you can reclaim it, assert your independence and make your own choices.


  1. Decide what’s important and do it first every day

 There’s always one more thing that can be done. To battle against the limitless options, decide from the very beginning what’s most important.  Then, before you move on to everything else, tackle that task.
Choose 2-3 things that are “most important,” and notice a recurring pattern: getting one of those things done is no problem.  Getting two of them done is usually feasible. I can also get plenty of other things done throughout the course of any given day—but trying to do three big things is often a challenge for me.

I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason I work best with a combination of “two big things + other small stuff” every day.  Since I know that about myself, I try to work with that combination as much as possible.


  1. Pay close attention to what makes you happy

If you work on things you enjoy, you’ll complete them faster and be less tired.  With the extra time, you can move on to other tasks—because there’s always more work to be done—or you can do something else.  Consider it bonus time!  Oh, and you’ll also be happier.


  1. Stop watching TV

I don’t actually think watching TV is terrible.  If you have a favorite show on Netflix—no big deal. If you have six favorite shows on Netflix, however, that might be a problem.

Use TV or other entertainment as rewards for completing tasks.  When you finish that big important thing on your day’s task list, spend half your lunch break watching an episode of that show.  But otherwise, keep your head down.

We all make time for what’s important to us. What’s most important to you?


  1. Schedule your breaks and enjoy them

Break time is important, and none of us can focus forever.  If you don’t allow yourself to slow down, your body and mind will mutiny on you and force the slowdown.  Better to be in control of the process, and better to enjoy the down time instead of just sitting in a slump and trying to plow through something that isn’t working.

Just as you give yourself a “most important” assignment every day, give yourself at least one long break or two short breaks every day.


  1. Look through your calendar and cancel things you aren’t excited about

You know how sometimes you agree to something you don’t have a good feeling about? Whenever possible, avoid going through with it.  This is a great way to free up hours, blocks of time, or whole evenings from your life.  Cancel that appointment or opt out of a group activity you’re dreading.  Then, to avoid getting in these situations in the first place, see tip #1.


  1. If you keep putting something off, just let it go

There are two great ways of dealing with that thing that you’re procrastinating over:

  1. Just get it done (AKA “push through the pain”)
  2. Give up

Either of these ways are preferable to the choice that many of us make: to just keep deferring the item, leaving it on our list or in our mind, taking up space and draining energy that could be put to much better use elsewhere.


  1. Before you go to bed, decide on tomorrow’s most important action

 Ask yourself, “What’s the big thing for tomorrow? If nothing else gets done, what’s the #1 action that will get me closer to my goals?”

The next morning, start working on that thing that you’ve prepared.  Then, when you watch Netflix later, or do whatever it is that serves as your escape, instead of feeling regret you’ll feel the satisfaction of having done something important.

And you’ll also have more time, even with sleeping at least 6-8 hours every night.


How to Live in Fear

Are you tired of being courageous and fed up with bravery? Seeking an alternative to risk-taking?  Not to worry.   Choosing to live in fear is both easy and safe.  Simply follow a few simple guidelines, and you’ll live comfortably ever after.

Keep calm and carry on.

Beware of danger, true love, and real life.  Play it safe.  Never charge down a mountain. Don’t run, don’t leap, don’t go too fast.  Be wary of opportunities and new perspectives. Above all: stay the course.

If you must make a change, first ensure that everything is in order.

Consider this quote and do the opposite :

“No, no! The adventures first. Explanations take such a dreadful time.” ―Lewis Carroll

Pursue explanations and put off adventures. If you don’t have all the answers before undertaking the adventure, do not pack that suitcase.

Refuse to see failure as a learning experience.

Think of all the reasons why something might fail, and console yourself by not allowing yourself to attempt something risky in the first place.

When encountering successful people, assign the source of their success to some unique advantage that does not apply to you.  Believe that their success cannot be replicated in your own life.

Keep dreams small.

Choose complacency.  Settle.  Do not dream of lofty achievements or worldly endeavors. Dream instead of the long weekend, the summer break, or the retirement at the end of a life of paper-pushing.

Only set goals you know you can achieve.  Do nothing that scares you.  Think small.

Spend your time with people who think, behave, and look like you.

A life lived in fear needs to be carefully protected and walled off from the rest of the world.  Do not get to know people who are different from you.  Reject the possibility that you could learn from them—for they are too young, too old, or just plain wrong.

Embrace the values of cynicism and scarcity.

Believe that there are only winners and losers.  Choose to distrust.
“Never go out on a limb. Do not give money, time, or trust to people you don’t know.

Do not acknowledge that you’re as afraid as the rest of us.

Pretend that fear simply doesn’t exist.  Reframe your thinking and refuse to attempt anything you’re afraid of, thus ensuring a safe, flatlined life.

“The absence of fear is not courage; the absence of fear is mental illness.” -Po Bronson

Do not change your mind through age or experience.

Remain set in your ways, resolute in your beliefs.  When you receive new information, never allow it to shift your perspective.

Attempt to make others afraid.

Use the tools of intimidation, judgment, or peer pressure.

Judge other people and refuse to acknowledge that you might be wrong.

Far better to sit on the sidelines and pick apart the attempts of others.

Take joy in their failures as proof that they shouldn’t have tried, and as justification for your own lack of initiative.

These guidelines should provide a strong head start on the road to living in fear.

If you follow them closely, a clear, well-trodden path awaits you.

For best results, do not deviate from the path.

4 Things You Can Do Now to Have More Opportunity in the Future

Take action now so that you’ll have more opportunities later. 

Plan for the future every day. 

Set yourself up for success. 

It all sounds great.  But how do you do it?  Here are four ideas.  As always, it’s your life, so feel free to modify as you see fit.

  1. Start a side hustle. 

Even if you love your job, you should have more than one source of income…and even if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur, learn to think entrepreneurially.

A great way to do that is through a side hustle—a project you start in your off-hours to earn extra money. Over and over, I’ve heard from readers that seeing even a small amount of money come into their bank account feels incredibly satisfying. You look at it and think, “wow, I did that!”.

As a bonus, you also have… more money.

  1. Identify a travel goal and work toward it. 

You don’t need a lot of money to see the world.  If you can save just $2 a day, within a year you’ll be able to go anywhere.  Literally anywhere!  Most people who read this blog can save $2 a day, even if times are hard, you’re in school, in between jobs, or whatever.

Furthermore, a year is the maximum amount of time it would take to achieve this goal.

  • If you don’t want to go somewhere exotic or expensive, it will take a lot less than a year
  • If you can save more than $2 a day ($4? $10?), you can accelerate the plan even further


  1. Learn or improve a new skill.

Successful people are always learning What do you want to learn?

Here’s a tip: don’t think about skills that you’re supposed to have.  Think about what you want to learn.  Learning is important, but you’ll be much more motivated to do it if you care about the subject.

A few ideas:

  • Learn a new language, or brush up on one you studied long ago
  • Learn how to code
  • Learn how to blog
  • Learn geography without going to every country in the world
  • Learn to cook


  1. Take a big risk and pursue a big challenge. 

In short, risks and challenges (AKA “hard things”) are not the same.  Hard things require effort, but are theoretically within your control even if they are very difficult.  Risks may also require effort, but mostly they require decisions.

When you say yes to a challenge, you’ve got to make a plan and get to work.  When you say yes to a risk, you release control of the outcome.

So as you plan for the future, what risk will you take, and what challenge will you pursue?