I am “The Mexican Fisherman”

The alarm sounds and I climb out of bed and start my day. I boil water, in a cute yellow teapot sitting atop the stove, spoon some New Orléans style chicory coffee in a French press, and make a dark French Roast to sip from my favorite Topanga coffee mug.

NO Coffee

Walking outside to see the sun rise, I free the chickens from “Henna’s House”, more of a chicken palace than coup, and gather some eggs. Then, feed Dog Dog, a fiercely independent farm dog that walked out of 34,000 acres of wild hardwoods bordering our farm and decided to stay, and Queen Buckingham Flat, the working retriever fit for modeling. Checking the garden, I harvest a few strawberries, kale and one ripe tomato and then give each plant water from my grandmother’s tin watering pale.

Walking inside, my two-year old, Rumi, is awake and turns her attention from Cookie Monster to me, runs to give me a morning hug and kiss. Together we make breakfast, the freshly gathered eggs, scrambled with today’s harvested kale and fresh strawberries.

I sit down in my office, a converted front porch overlooking the farm, to check any new messages and start today’s agenda, helping people and organizations align their assets with what matters most to them and a newer concept, Core Impact Investing, helping society move forward – making profit and doing good.

My 5-year-old, Sage Pilar wakes, and softly knocks on the office door. She sleepily walks over and crawls in my lap, lays her head on my shoulder and I carry her to sissy to watch Full House, an old school sitcom – her favorite show.

My wife wakes and makes smoothies and we visit about life and world events – today’s conversation, Hillary Clinton’s run for President. Together, we organize the day around work and life. Daily home school lessons, Bendi Baby (our kid’s yoga mat business – helping children find the beauty of connecting the mind, body and soul), Yield Wealth (my business), and the working farm — an entire day revolving around the things in life we love.

father daughter fishing

Before the sun sets, Pilar and I take an hour and go fishing in the reservoir, just a short walk from the farmhouse. She talks, I listen. We catch a few fish and take them home. Rumi comes out to greet us and the three of us clean 2 crappie and a bass – fish tacos and fresh tomato for dinner.

After dinner, we retire to the family couch and watch “grown-up” shows. My wife puts the kids in the bath and I go to the office to plan the next day. A little family time, before bed, with some rookie mandolin and guitar with the kids dancing or joining on drums. Kids in bed, some adult time with my wife watching Jimmy Fallon is much appreciated. Bedtime, with a short read of something fun, tonight, Gertrude Stein. Another day in paradise.

Of course, life never happens like we plan. Having a plan diverts you from just “going through the motions of life.”

Daily road blocks are navigated, kids will be kids, bills, bills, bills and chaos all exist – everyday. There is joy, pain, anger, passion and sadness – such is life. But this is my version of The Mexican Fisherman, doing what I love most, as much as possible and navigating a mindful quality of life.

road to take

The purpose of this blog post is to help people feeling stuck, realize there is a way out. Organizations like, Corporate Hostage No More, can help you strategically find a way out. Yield Wealth will help you with what matters most to you, and help you prepare for your own version of “quality of life” to do more of what you love.

It’s time for all of us to look deep inside ourselves and ask, “What is most important to me.” Prioritize what matters most. Organize your finances and actions and align it to your priorities and Simplify Life – create a doable process and plan to live the life you’ll love.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel is a second generation wealth advisor and third generation family farm operator. He is the founder of Yield Wealth Management, one of the first benefit corporations in Arkansas. To learn more about Charles, Yield Wealth or set a time to visit, visit http://www.yieldwealth.com or email info@yieldwealth.com. The articles written in this blog should not be construed as investment advise.

Dumb and Dumber, Americans Lack Education

Given the fact how important money is to navigate life, Why Don’t Schools Teach Kids About Money?

teach the young about money

It’s not surprising that our nation tries to “keep it in the middle” – somewhere between economic crisis and financial meltdown. The Fed (our nations monetary policy authority) tampers with the availability and cost of money and credit to promote a “healthy” economy. This is nothing more than an illusion to create public perception of what they (the fed) want us to see. Nearly $4 Million Foreclosures, $1.1 Trillion in Student-Loan Debt, $845 Billion in Credit Card Debt — my simple mind can’t comprehend trillions and billions, but it seems clear to me that us adults don’t know that much about money

middle path

SIMPLIFY ~ This is a long-term problem that has become a major issue for my generation (X) and future generations to come. I have never understood the simple fact that financial education is not a part of our kids curriculum. I remember learning about dinosaurs and cave men at a very young age, but I was never taught that money represents purchasing power. Schools do a terrible job (in my opinion) teaching children about sex, no one wants to talk about it with the kids, yet sex dominates teen conversations. Sex learned from peers and magazines is usually bassackwards. It’s trial and error from there. Some serious embarrassing moments and mistakes are costly, even life changing. It’s the same with money, we get timely information at the coffee shop, learn from the media and magazines that are selling drama. A costly mistake with our finances can also be costly and life changing.

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teach money young and often
Let’s help future generations avoid the financial mistakes of their elders. They need taught the essentials about money. In the past decade, I have personally reached out to decision makers at the elementary, middle-school, high-school and university level to offer this service … not one has taken me up on my offer. The President’s Council created Money-As-You-Grow, a wonderful guide on how to continuously educate yourself and kids about money…but how many of us even aware the website exist.

teach kids money

3 Year-Old kids can learn the concept of saving and spending. The University of Cambridge published report revealing that kids’ money habits are formed by age 7. It’s time to look further than the root of the problem. It’s time to focus on the seeds of the solution – educating our kids and helping them Let’s make it priority to focus on the seeds – the children are the solution

The Artist and The Engineer.

~ Create something Bigger than Yourself ~

creativity

The artist and the engineer usually live in different worlds, but when they work together, well that’s when you can get something really new, something special, because when great thinkers work with great doers, one plus one can equal three. ~Sony Entertainment

Diversity has created cultural ghettos. Today, diversity is a given, but communication between the artist and the engineer (religious, political and cultural) differences is not; it is an achievement. Mere diversity without real relationship will only increase tensions and decrease ingenuity.

finger pointing

What does it take for people living in different worlds to work together? How do we make the world a better place to live? Acceptance, Appreciation, Communication, Respect and Empathy is a good starting place. Keep your hands in your pockets if you can’t help but point fingers. It’s the way things are, but that doesn’t mean it’s the way of the future.