Posts Tagged ‘money’

Believe in Your Dreams

October 21, 2013


When you first start working towards a purpose, or dream, your excitement level is up to a full ten, and you feel there is nothing that can stop you.  The next step, of course, is to write down those little goals that will move you in the direction of that dream, and you start daily affirmations, and visualizations.  You may even have a vision board set up where you can see it every day.  That only leaves many of us with one question.  “Why isn’t anything happening yet?”

I could say the reason for this is simple, but I would be lying.  On the outside, we are doing all the work from the dozens of seminars we’ve attended, the books we’ve read, and the audio programs we’ve listened to.  The problem is not coming from our work ethic, or any outside influence like the government, family, or aliens from the planet Ork.  The problem we are experiencing is coming from inside.

Whether we succeed, or not, has to do with our true beliefs about success.  Have you ever wondered why most people end up just like their parents when it comes to financial matters?  It has to do with what most experts call the “money blueprint.”  The money blueprint is made up of everything we heard, saw, and experienced around money that has lodged itself in our subconscious.  No matter what we tell ourselves on the outside, we will not become successful until we work on what we have stopping us on the inside.

 I know I’ve mentioned this, but I grew up in a house with six kids, and two adults.  My dad worked hard for a corporation, and my step mother ran a small day care out of our house.  To say we weren’t rich is an understatement.  We were living on the lower end of middle class; that is to say, the bills were paid, and we had a roof over our head.  All the lessons I learned centered on hard work, and just getting by; even if it was by the skin of my teeth.  While on the outside I know I have the potential for so much more, I have been living with the same inner beliefs that have stopped me from reaching the next level to my dreams.

If we wish to break free of our limiting beliefs, we need to reprogram our subconscious with a whole new set of instructions concerning money.  A good idea is to make a list of everything you were taught about money, (some will be positive, and some will be negative) giving yourself the time needed to think about it.  Don’t rush this; there is not a test on it in a week.  When you have finished this, determine what is negative, and write down the opposite.  At least twice a day, focus on the positive statements for more than 10 minutes.

  Here’s an example from my own life.  What I learned: I don’t always get what I want.  This statement is very limiting, and forces most into the belief that what I want isn’t worth pursuing because I probably won’t get it anyways.

The positive statement: I have anything I want, and more.   Instead of saying “I can have…” Say “I have”.  The reason for this is important.

 Part of achieving success is the belief that you already have the success you want.  Mark 11:24 says “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it is yours.”  By believing you already have what you want, you will be heightening your awareness to the opportunities present around you; all you have to do from there is act on them.

Since the negative beliefs have been with you your whole life, it won’t be easy changing them, but it can, and must be done if you want to see the fulfillment of all your dreams.


Thank you for reading this.  If you want to see any of the videos I’m posting on success, pleas check out my website and please visit the store if you would like any of the inspirational photos in these blogs.

Who’s Responsible for Success?

September 13, 2013


100 percent

The beginning of any journey to success; whether it’s for weight, or career, or money, starts right where you are.  There are no past failures, or no false starts, and it’s time to put the excuses out of your mind.  When it comes to the past, you need to get over it and move on.  By all means, use the lessons you learned from the past, but don’t dwell on the events; they will just distract you from your future.

According to every expert on the subject of personal growth, and success, the first step in getting everything you want is to take 100% responsibility for your life and success.  T. Harv Eker, in his book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, uses success affirmations throughout.  The first one of these is, “I create the exact level of my success.”

Michelangelo talked of success with the statement, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” We create our own success, and most of us aim for the safest way to live a comfortable life by setting goals we know can be reached easily.  If we never reach beyond our comfort zone to higher goals, we will end up stuck in our current situation, with no hope for more.

Before we can move forward with our journey, there are three things we need to get rid of, or we will never grow.  The first of these is blame.  We blame family, friends, the government, teachers, our bosses, our past environment, our current environment, the list could continue forever.  The point is, in order to succeed, you need to take the reins on your whole life, and stop blaming everyone, and everything that you “think” is holding you back.

The second thing we need to get rid of is justification.  We use phrases like, “it is what it is”, “these things happen” and my family motto, “life isn’t always fair, and you don’t always get what you want.”  Of course, I now know these sayings are justifications, and PURE baloney!  If you want success in anything, it’s up to you to get it, and you mustn’t let anything stop you.

The third thing you need to get rid of is complaining.  The truth is, complaining can never lead to anything good.  I worked with a guy who complained about everything.  To him, everything and everyone was out to get him.  He would complain about work, the people he worked with (usually behind their backs), and he even complained about things going on in other parking lots.  When you spend your life complaining, nothing is ever “fair” and your whole life is miserable.  You will feel your whole life change for the better if you stop complaining all together.

The time is now to take complete control of your life.  Does that mean that you will never blame, justify, or complain?  The truth is we will still do those things, we are human, but we can learn to control them, and change them to positive.

As a part of the journey to success I have started a journal which should help me stay on focus, and teach me where I need it.  The first page, and this is something I recommend for everyone starting a success journal, is to write a declaration of responsibility.  Mine reads “I, Allen Bradford, certify that I am 100 % responsible for my own life and success.”  By declaring this, I am holding myself accountable for my own life, and I no longer have any excuses.


Day 25: True Friends

January 18, 2012

True Friends


When you get sick

They’ll be there to help,

When you’re depressed

They’ll cheer you up,

They are there

When you feel lonely,

They’ll gladly lend a shoulder

When you need to cry,

You can’t buy them with money

They deserve your respect,

So count your many blessings

With your true friends.



To hear the explanation of the picture, and poem go to

Day 22: Who I Am

January 15, 2012

Who I Am


I am not defined by

The clothes I wear,

I can not wear emotions.

I am not defined by

The money I make,

Money can’t buy my thoughts.

I am not defined by

The buildings I own,


No house is big enough for my love.

You can’t place me in the box

You have made for me,

For only I have that power.


If I write

I am a writer,

If I play music

I am a musician,

No matter what anyone else says

I am what I say I am.



I appreciate all of you who have been liking my poems and photo.  If you want to see the video visit my channel at

The debate over the personal darkroom vs. the photo lab

May 11, 2009

With the digital revolution, a bad economy and luxury spending at a low point, film photographers are asking themselves, “Is there any advantage to having your own darkroom?”  After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve only found three.  When it comes to photo labs, the personal darkroom falls way short.

Here are the three advantages to your own darkroom. You have full control of the content and quality.  You know what you look for in a picture, and even the best photo labs may misunderstand your instructions.  If you do go with a photo lab, you must develop a working relationship with the printer, and make certain they know exactly what you’re looking for.

Another advantage is you don’t need to waste paper.  You can cut the paper to meet your current needs, and use the unused portions at a later time.  Remember, paper is expensive and the more you use the pieces the more cost effective your paper becomes.

The real reason schools teach darkroom techniques are so that you learn the whole process of photography.  It helps to understand what’s possible when your film is developed.

The biggest problem with darkrooms is the cost.  When you consider the paper, the chemicals, and supplies the cost of running your own darkroom is far more than any photo lab.

Running your own darkroom has another big cost, the cost of your time.  Printing takes time, and that’s something not everyone has enough of.  With a photo lab you just drop off the prints, give the printer instructions, and let them do their job.  You can pick them up at your leisure.

The final cost to you is space.  With a darkroom you have to have a place to store supplies (paper, chemicals) when they’re not in use.  The actual equipment takes a little room, not a whole room but enough to make it inconvenient.

There’s also the hassle of poisonous chemicals, and messes to clean up.  Even photographers like Ansel Adams preferred to go to a lab he trusted.

I could go into how to find good labs, but that’s another blog.  The point is if you still shoot with film and are thinking about building your own darkroom, don’t. You’re far better going to a well-run photo lab, and you’ll save money, space, and time.

Challenge:  Develop (no pun intended) a relationship with a local photo lab that has a good reputation for quality, and service.


How to plan a man’s baby shower

May 6, 2009

Having a baby!  It’s a life-changing event for both men and women.  In the past, women would have showers and the men would just slap each other hard on the back, congratulate the father, and get back to work.  In modern society, men and women can both have baby showers, but when you try to combine them, either the father or mother-to-be end up uncomfortable.  The best thing is to plan separate showers; however, two showers can be costly.  The woman’s shower always has been, and always will be the most important shower, and therefore the most expensive.

If you plan on throwing the father-to-be a shower, here are some tips on throwing a shower a man can feel comfortable with, at a reduced cost to you as the host, or hostess.

Decorating: The best advice I can give for decorating is “don’t”.  If you send a man into a room with pastel colored streamers, and balloons, you’ll lose them to the sports bar in record time, to cleanse their disgusted egos of the horrific image.

The more you try to make it like a regular party, the longer they will stay.

Games: try to make the games as athletic as possible. Here’s one I came up with.  Have a life-size picture of a baby with its arms straight up in the air, mounted on something durable so that it can stand up.  Put a piece of masking tape on the floor across the room from where you place the picture.  Then have each man throw a nerf football, and try to get it between the arms.  The men who do get it in the right spot, get a prize.

Good prizes don’t have to cost a lot.  Anywhere from five to ten dollars is a perfect range.

Gifts: Gifts should be wrapped in solid colors.  Any sign of wrapping with pink teddy bears, or babies on clouds, and you can find him at the sports bar.

The best gifts for the father-to-be usually come with the label, “some assembly required”; things like cribs or strollers.  This is a great way to show you think of him as part of a mother/father team.

Guests: Make sure that the guest list is all male, Even one woman in the bunch can throw off the balance, and someone is left feeling uncomfortable again.

Food: Dainty finger sandwiches and pink candy are great for a woman’s shower, but a “little” sandwich to a man is a six-inch sub.  The best way to save money on this is to make the shower pot luck.  Not only do you save money, but also there will be plenty of food.

One final tip, get help planning from the guests you invite.  You would be amazed at what kind of ideas they could give you.  This is also the challenge.


Are you spending more than you need for equipment?

March 6, 2009

In a previous blog, I stated that creativity is the greatest equipment you can have, and it is.  Creativity is what gives us the framework for everything we do, but you can’t build a house without a hammer.  In order for us to accomplish what our creativity gives us, we need tools.

I could have never accomplished the photograph I mentioned without a camera.  As far as cameras are concerned, advertisers will tell you that you need 10 mega pixels or higher, but you can get a great 8×10 print out of a three mega pixel. Unless you’re turning a photograph into a wall mural you don’t need anything larger than six mega pixels for posters.

In writing, for someone who just wants to keep a journal, all you need is a comfortable pen and paper.  I use a regular wire notebook.  For the more serious writers, if you already have a word processor, basic is better.  There’s no need to buy a word processor for 300 dollars, with an instruction manual that rivals “War and Peace” in size, when a 50 dollar program will do everything you need.

If you would like to save money on tools, you should ask yourself some questions to determine what you need to accomplish your projects.  While equipment searching I go through a series of questions that lead me to the right tool, at the best price.  Of course I start with, “What can’t I do without?”  Then I start brainstorming on the tools.  Sometimes I end up with a list two pages long.  Then I go through the list and remove anything I already have. That brings the list down to about two or three items.  From there I determine what features are needed, with cameras that includes versatility, maximum print size, and ease of use.  With word processors, I look for ease of use, spell check, grammar check, and word count.  The more features a word processor has, it increases in both complicated use, and price.  Then I do a little research on brands with those features. (Just a little tip.  Avoid consumer reports, they push any brand that pays more) I get the most reliable information from industry standard magazines like “Writer’s digest” and  “Popular photography”, and I go to stores that specialize in the industry.

Through these simple steps I get the tools I need at a price I can deal with.  I don’t rely on advertisers, and I don’t pay more than I need to pay.  The best part of this is I get the best quality from what I have.

Challenge:  When buying equipment, ask yourself “What tool do I need?”, “What features do I need?”, and don’t be afraid of a little research.  You will be guaranteed the best equipment, at the best price.


Another way to save money at the store

January 26, 2009

I was reading in the Chicago Tribune how people are trying to spend less at the grocery store (no news there) by buying more ingredients instead of pre-made packages of over processed salt, called TV dinners.  Working in a grocery store I’ve seen, and used, a lot of the tricks for saving money.  One of the tricks people use, as do a lot of you, I suspect, is using the price tag in front of the item.
The only reason I mention this is; while there are a lot of people doing this, there are still a lot of people who don’t.  On the price tag, in most stores there are two prices.  One is the price of the item, which in large sizes can seem a little daunting, this is where the second price comes in.
The second price is the unit price.  This is usually what the item costs per pound, quart, or whatever.  The unit cost is usually lower which if you were to compare the different sizes, the unit cost on larger sizes goes down.  What this means is that you may pay more in the beginning, but the item will last longer; and in the end you’ll pay less.
This brings me to my next point.  My wife and I go back and forth about which brand to get.  She wants the brand names, especially when she sees a commercial.  My preference is generic.  She insists the name brands are just better, but I have to tell her the generic brands  are made by the brand name companies.  She still has a hard time believing it.  Of course, since I do all the shopping, I win.

Challenge: Next time you are in the grocery store, check out the unit cost and see where you might be able to save money.