Aaron:††††† Hi, welcome to the Truly Amazing Live Show.Iím Aaron Kennard your host and today Iíve got a special guest on the line Bob Lotich who runs the blog, christianpersonalfiance.com.Itís over at christianpf.com and heís been running that blog since back in about 2007 and has a pretty big following over there, and is really focused and passionate about helping people improve their lives and specifically when it comes to finance and how they look at that particular topic.But so, Iím excited to have you on the line today, Bob are you there?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Iím here and excited to be here.

Aaron: ††††† Awesome. Thanks for jumping on the line.And obviously this is the Truly Amazing Live Show and weíre just going to discussÖI want to get into your story and kind of how you came about doing what youíre doing, and what it means to you.And the first thing Iíd like to start off with though is just to ask, what does it mean to you Bob, to live a truly amazing life?

Bob: ††††††††† You know, for me I think what I aspire to and what I feel like I get the most joy out of is living a live, being true and just giving life.Living a life where the abundance, you know, I just feel so blessed myself in so many different areas in my life that I feel like the best way to continue that and to really enjoy it is to give it and to share it with others. And thatís a constant challenge and a goal to always be striving for in different areas of my own life but thatís what Iím going after.

Aaron: †††††† Thatís cool.And a little bit more personal intro, tell us briefly where you live and a little bit more about you personally before we dive in.

Bob: ††††††††† Sure.I live in Lake St. Louis which is a little kind of suburb outside of St. Louis, Missouri.Iíve been here all my life.Iíve bounced around a couple times to different areas but, born and raised here.And I started Christian [inaudible] in 2007 and Iíve been doing it full-time since 2009.And I think I have the best job in the world.

Aaron: ††††† Thatís awesome. And then you just recently hadÖyouíre married and you recently had a child, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yep.We had our first and heís about six months old now.So, heís fun.

Aaron: †††††† Thatís awesome.Howíre you enjoying parenthood?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Itís great.Itís a whole new phase.Very interesting phrase.We were married for quite a while before we had him.Itís very, very different. And very exciting and you know, just seeing the world in a new childís eyes is pretty interesting.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.It definitely changes things, doesnít it?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: ††††† Thatís cool.So, youíve been doing that.Tell me, as far as what it means tolive a truly amazing life, it sounds like you just feel blessed and in order to continue that, you mentioned you feel the best way is to continue to serve and give and to help others experience that.Is that a good recap of what you just said?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah.Absolutely.When I think back on some of my most joyful moments in life, they were almostÖI canít think of very many of them where I was just by myself.So most of the time, Iím with other people.And most of the time Iím involved helping them in some way or serving them or mutually serving each other.And so to me, that just seems to be where Iíve gotten a whole lot of joy.So, yeah, thatís kind of what Iím trying to go after.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.So, just building a life of service essentially?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah. Yeah.Well put.

Aaron: †††††† Thatís cool.Well, I think many can relate.I donít know if thereís any people that have been involved giving or serving other people that havenít felt that feeling of fulfilment or joy that just naturally comes with that.And I think thatís cool.So, I like asking that question and kind of seeing the different answers that I get.But I think a lot of the time, what Iíve noticed is that, definitely service and giving to others plays a huge part in that.So, what is your life like right now?Would you consider your life truly amazing right now?

Bob:†††††††† Thatís a difficult, challenging question.Yeah. I think so, you know.Itís not perfect.No oneís is, I assume. And maybe someone has a perfect lifeÖ

Aaron: †††††† I doubt it.

Bob: ††††††††† Ö but yeah, at the end of the day when I sit back and look at what I have and what Iíve been blessed with, and family, and everything that truly matters in this life, yeah, I really do think Iím living a truly amazing life.

Aaron:††††† Yeah.Thatís cool.You know itís interesting.I like to confront people with that question.And I like the fact that you said itís a difficult question because I donít know that it should be.It generally isnít necessarily an easy question to answer.Some people can answer right away and be like, absolutely not, Iím discouraged, Iím sad.I want life to change, you know?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: ††††† And others like yourself, you seem pretty happy but even still, itís kind of like, uh, itís kind of a stumping question for a minute but as you just thought through it there, I didnít hear any reason why your life isnít truly amazing, right?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah. And you know, and itís not perfect by any means like I said.And I definitely still have goals and aspirations and things that Iím still striving for that I havenít, you know, gotten hold of yet.But, you know, I think thatís part of it.I think that if I had achieved every single goal that I ever wanted to achieve in life, I think thatíd kind of be the opposite. I think it would feel discouraging in a sense if thereís nothing else to strive for.So, you know, kind of those challenges or those obstacles to overcome actually, I think mayÖnow that Iím kind of thinking through this with you, as weíre talking about it Ö

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob:†††††††† ÖI think that kind of makes life more enjoyable, you know?

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.Yeah. And also just for the people listening, I didnít prep Bob at all for this conversation. I said, hey, weíre just going to talk about what it means to live a truly amazing life.And I told him that right before we started, and thatís why I actually like doing it that way because it causes us to think more spontaneously about really digging into these things.Not with prepared answers which I really like hearing.I think itís just more valuable for us to have just a real conversation kind of off the cuff and stuff which is very cool.But you said, you had the obstacles to overcome.As you think about it, itís actually part of what makes your life truly amazing?

Bob:†††††††† Yeah.Yeah.I think so.

Aaron: ††††† I mean, I totally agree. Itís like, if I didnít haveÖone of the pillars that I teach is, 12 Pillar of a Truly Amazing Life, and then one of them is this pillar of growth.The sense that if youíre not growing, youíre dying. And if you donít have obstacles or goals to be striving for, or the ideals to be going for, then what is there?Like what is there to be fulfilled in, right?

Bob: Yeah.Yeah.Thatís good.

Aaron: †††††† And yet, so often, itís just interesting because you bring us well, I still have goals Iím striving for. And thereíre things that I want to achieve and so it took a second as youíre thinking that like, I donít have some of these things that I want but that doesnít mean that life is not amazing right now, this moment. In fact, having those things actually contributes to it, it sounds like.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: †††††† Cool.I like that.So, youíve got a young child.Youíve got a business that you work in.Tell me more about Christian Personal Finance.What youíre doing?What your mission is?And what youíre up to over there, and how youíre helping people?

Bob: ††††††††† What weíre trying to do with this site, and kind of the goal, you know, weíre geared toward Christians but obviously, I think a lot of our message applies to a lot of people.

Aaron: ††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† But basically, weíre a community of people who are trying to live debt-free; and kind of with a purpose with the end in mind of being able to give more and give generously.And anybody whoís been in a lot of debt or is living from paycheck to paycheck, understands very well that itís really difficult to give and to be really generous, and support charities, and you know, any other organization that you want to support.And so, thatís kind of like the main purpose behind what weíre trying to do.Weíre trying to help all of our readers get out of debt, free up some cash flow so they can be generous givers like they want to be, like weíre kind of hard wired to be.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† So, thatís kind of the mission of what weíre trying to do.So, we have different e-mail courses.We have some free e-mail courses.I think we have like 2,000 articles on the site.You know we have a couple books weíve written. And so, weíre just trying to hit everything from as many different angles as we can.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah. Thatís cool.Do you have any success stories that come to mind of people who have gone through the stuff youíve been doing over the last seven years and have had successes or breakthroughs and getting to that place where theyíre able to now give like they want to?

Bob: ††††††††† I donít have any really, really great stories.But I just got an e-mail the other day.What I mean by I donít have any really great stories, is that thereíre so many e-mails that I get from people that are really encouraging.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† But I donít have any that really, really stands out to me.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah. Like thereís not like this life-changing thing where you got this 40-page e-mail that says that they were in the dumps and now theyíre giving millions of dollars.

Bob: ††††††††† Thatís whatís funny. I did get an e-mail like that just the other day where I seriously was reading for like 10 minutes.It was kind of like one of those, blow me away, e-mails where I almost didnítÖyou know, everything he was saying was just so surprising and so impressive. I guess how good a job he did kind of coming out of dire straight.But anyway, I donít remember all the details of it and thatís why I canít really share all those details.But, yes, we get a lot of e-mails and I save them all in a folder in my Gmail just because itís fun, you know.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† So, yeah, weíve had a lot of people with a lot of success, you know, whoíve really begun changing their lives and being able to give more and [inaudible] being a part of that.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.What lights you up the most about being in that business and in doing what youíre doing?

Bob: ††††††††† You know, in some of my prior jobs, I didnít really feel in essence that I was working for a company who morally I didnít agree with or any issue like that.But when I step back and look at the bigger picture of maybe the company I was working for, itís like, what am I doing?And how am I making the world a better place?And is this company Iím working for really making the world a better place or theyíre just like, you know, moving money around?

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† And so thatís one of the things that I love so much about doing what Iím doing now and running the website, and talking about something that I believe in.And something I believe is really helping people and ultimately making the world a better place.Personally, I just feel a lot of fulfilment out of it than Iíve had in a lot of my other jobs.So, anyway, thatís kind of like the best thing for me. Itís just knowing that Iím contributing to something thatís making the world better, you know?

Aaron: †††††† Yeah. Absolutely.I can totally relate to that.I had a similar thing with just being in real estate where I was doing good but it wasnít kind of the more of moving the money around stuff.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: †††††† And not really feeling like it was making a big impact and noticing that big difference where you switch to doing it and making a personal contribution in helping somebody improve their life and then feeling that fulfilment.So, yeah, I can totally relate to that.So, just that fulfilment then is what drives you the most or what lights you up the most about doing it?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Yeah.I think so.

Aaron: †††††† So, what were you working in before you started that?

Bob: ††††††††† The start of my career, kind of once I got out of college, I pretty much just worked at a brokerage firm in a variety of different roles.So, I was working with money still but it just wasnít, you know, what am I doing here, you know?

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† It just wasnít doing it for me.

Aaron: †††††† So, you just worked in those for a long time and then finallyÖwhat led you then to kind of changing gears and getting into doing your own thing and your own business?

Bob: ††††††††† Getting laid off.So, I started the website in 2007.I guess it was mid-2007.And then in 2008 our company merged with another company, or it didnít merge, got bought out by.And as a result, my entire department and a whole bunch of departments got eliminated because, you know, they werenít needed.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† So, my department got the axe. But I had a nice long heads up, like six months plus notice.And I got a nice severance package.And so we put the severance package in savings and I wasnít making very much money from this site yet.But I just kind of took that leap and about a year later, I was making more from the site than I was a real job, and the whole thing just kind of worked out.So, I wasnít really ready.I didnít feel like I was ready but it worked out.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.It seems like we never do kind of feel like weíre ready.When things happen in life itís like they tend to happen and we realize after the fact that, yeah, we werenít ready but we had to just step up, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah, exactly.

Aaron: †††††† Thatís cool.So, you came from the financial industry which obviously led you into then teaching personal finance as kind of the segway there, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: †††††† So, you had a lot of background in just financial and thatís what you were working in before?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: †††††† Cool.Is there any particular stories or situations in your life if you went backÖyou sound like you have a pretty peaceful, happy life.Youíre striving for goals. Youíve got a happy marriage.Youíre helping people.Youíve got a fulfilling job.Before this it sounds like you were kind of working through jobs that werenít super fulfilling and just kind of paying the bills.But was there any particular point in your life that led you toÖlike a shift in life where youíre able to live in a more fulfilled way and live more of the principle of living a truly amazing life?

Bob: ††††††††† Well, you know, one of the things for me was, getting my finances in order was kind of the first step for me because I lived a financially chaotic life for a while. And like a lot of peopleÖI mean I think thatís like a lot of different areas but especially with money a lot of people donít know what they donít know.And I remember seeing a survey were they asked people in all walks of life, how they viewed themselves in terms of their ability to manage money.And it was like 90 percent of the people said that they were good at managing money and, you know, knew how to handle their money well and stuff like that.And, you know, if you try to reconcile that with the average American and how much debt they have and living from paycheck to paycheck, weíre just not good judges.

Aaron: †††††† It was like 90 percent probably didnít know theyíre in massive debt and living from paycheck to paycheck.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Exactly.

Aaron: †††††† But yet they think that they are.We think we know what weíre doing.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.So, I was one of those people.And I honestly thought I was good at handling money.

Aaron: †††††† What was the chaotic like?What was it like when you say it was chaotic?Describe that.

Bob: ††††††††† Well, I just didnít have any order to things. And I didnít know what was happening.So, my paycheck is coming out of the bank account and Iím just spending and spending until the money runs out and then you bounce a check and you say, wow, I should stop spending.And, you know, I never had money saved up to do anything that I wanted to do.It was always just, no I canít do that.I donít have the money.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† And just living a life like that, credit cards and getting phone calls because I forgot to pay the bill.Just stuff like that.Thatís where Iíll define chaotic for me.Iím sure some people have much more chaotic financial lives.But for me thatís where I was.Anyway, so IÖand I found myself, I was living down in Florida at the time, and I was living off one credit card because Iíd run out of money.I had one credit card and it was nearly maxed out.So, I was at a minor league ballpark and my car broke down and I was thinking to myself, I only had, I think, like $264 left until I maxed out my credit card, and my car has just broken down.

Aaron: †††††† You can remember this vividly.Youíre picturing this.Itís sound like a very big moment.Keep going.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.It really was.It was kind of a life-changing moment for me.So, itís a minor league ballpark and Iíll give you more of the details because itís pretty funny.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† So, it was right before a minor league game so all these people are pulling up.Iím like 20 yards down from the entrance, past the entrance and all these people are lined up.Thereís a cop in the street directing traffic, you know, directing people into the stadium.†† Iím broken down there.I went and asked the cop to help me push my car off to the side of the road and he said, no.So anyway, I tried to push my car myself.And if youíve ever done thatÖ

Aaron: †††††† Itís hard, yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† Öwithout having somebody in the steering wheel.So, all this is going on and I didnít know anybody down there.Iíd just moved down there for like a year.I was all by myself.And Iím thinking to myself, alright, my credit card is maxed out.I have $264.Is there any way I could get this car towed in six or less than that?And that was kind of my moment where itís like, somethingís not right.Thereís something Iím not doing right here.You know, and I realized that I needed a change.And I realized that I need help, you know.And I started praying about it.And I started trying to learn as much as I could about managing my money, and Iím reading books, and blogs, and magazines and everything I can get my hands on.And, you know, like anything else when you really get excited about it, and try to learn it, you start seeing progress.And thatís what I did.I started seeing progress.And I got my finances in order and that was a really big breakthrough for me.I felt like a burden really was lifted.And really, just once I started getting things in order, but especially once I got all my debt paid off, and kind of had things balanced and in order, it was really, really nice.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah. So, how long ago was that, that you got to that place where you were at that state of peace with regard to your finances?

Bob: ††††††††† I was 21 at the time, so it was about 12 years ago.

Aaron: †††††† And so since then, what has been the kind of result in your financial life and in that area of your spiritual life, the financial area, what has it been like since then?

Bob:†††††††† Kind of like the mission of the site of what weíre trying to do.I have been able to give far more money than Iíve ever thought possible. Weíve been able to support our local church and all kinds of other charities and ministries, and I really enjoy that.And thatís been really, really great.And so if that wasnít great enough, weíre making our own personal financial progress.Weíre moving forward financially.Our net worth is growing rather than going backwards like it was.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† And so, you know, those two things have just been so amazing.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.How does that feel?Itís amazing.Describe more, what does that feel like? What does that do for your life and your everyday living of life to be in that state?

Bob: ††††††††† Well, I feel like it gives me purpose and, you know, kind of a reason to live and satisfaction with what Iím doing. And ultimately, kind of going back, I think coming full circle [inaudible], it kind of gives me a reason for doing my job every day, and getting up every day.You know, going to work rather than just sitting on the couch, you know?

Aaron: †††††† And what do you mean by that?What reason is that?

Bob: ††††††††† Well, just to be able to do these things.Just to be able to give like we want to give.And kind of create somewhat of a secure financial future for my family.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† You know?

Aaron: †††††† Yeah, yeah.Thatís really cool.I can just sense that difference in peace. And itís such a commonÖitís such a huge challenge.Finances and money, like youíre said, that whole 90 percent thing, I think is really important.And Iím really glad weíre having this conversation because we donít talk about money a lot on this particular show.Weíre talking about happiness and weíre talking about, you know, a lot of personal development qualities but finance is a huge portion of that that can really eat away at our peace.Itís a huge portion of stress for so many of us.And it can be taken care of simply through this focused attention on just getting it in order and making progress, and knowing whatís going on rather than just kind of being in the dark about it.Would you say thatís true?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah, and something else, when I was being laid off, one of the things that I really focused on, that I think helped me a lot wasÖso we have that severance package and we built up as much savings as we could, but the we also paid off as much debt as we could.We minimized our expenses, you know, so we could survive on the lowest possible amount each month.Because weíre basically depending on this severance package and my wifeís, you know, pretty low paying job at the time.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† And, you know, had we not done that, if we hadnít paid that debt off, I donít know if the business wouldíve worked, you know.Because we neededÖin order to get this business off the ground, we needed to be able to get by with less. And if we wouldíve had a lot of those credit card bills and student loan payments and things like thatÖif we hadnít paid those off in advance, I donít know that Iíd ever been able to make the business work, you know what I mean?

Aaron: †††††† Because you wouldíve hadÖyou wouldnít have the time to focus on it.You would have had to go get a job to pay the bills.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Exactly.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah. Yeah. And so many people are stuck in that rat wheel.They canít do the thing that they love because theyíre so burdened financially.We feel this need to continue to pay the bills because we got bills and weíre not [inaudible].I totally see that happening so much and so the sense of peace that you can get through managing and learning to take control of your finances can be so huge and then ripple out into every other area of your life.So, I really appreciate and love what youíre doing to teach these basic principles of how to live at peace.And I love how you bring God into the picture and how you bring it into aÖI mean, like when you said, when you did it, you went to God.You went to prayer and then did everything you could and kind of werenít just relying only on yourself, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Yeah.And thatís the thing.Itís a two way street.Because I sometimes see people saying, yeah, I prayed to God and he didnít fix it.And the Bible says to co-labor with him and so thereís a part that we have to do, and thereís a part that he does.And in my own life, I feel like Iíve seen a whole lot of times where, you know, I pray and then I will step out and start taking action and then I will notice him kind of sweep in and do something.

Aaron: †††††† Yeah.

Bob: ††††††††† That, you know, was way beyond and bigger than what I could do.But I havenít had a whole lot of success just praying and then sitting on my butt.

Aaron: †††††† I donít think many people do because it tends toÖthatís kind of the opposite of the principle of faith.

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.

Aaron: †††††† I mean, faith is not faith without action because itís not showing anything in my opinion and from my understanding of it.So, what youíre describing, illustrating, a faithful person say, hey, Iím going to pray.Iím going to ask and then Iím going to go and do the best with what I have.And watch what can happen.Thatís awesome.Well, thatís really cool.Thanks for sharing your story and how that changed.That really helped me connect with what youíre doing and why, and kind of the purpose and passion behind it from seeing how much of a difference that it made in your life. And so, I really, really appreciate that.As we wrap up here, you mentioned some of the things that Christian Personal Finance can do but I imagine if people want to learn more and get more help in this area, they can just go to christianpf.com, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.And so we have right now two, about to launch a third free e-mail course.And itís like our main course.Itís like a 20-day email course.It takes you through a lot of basics of getting you Öhelping you manage your money better and starting to get out of debt, and start saving and things like that.And those are completely free.We do a few books on Amazon.You can find them all from the website.And obviously we have a blog and newsletter and all that.

Aaron: †††††† So they can get access to those free email courses.Is that the best place for people to start if they really wanted to, you know, go learn the next steps on taking control of their personal finance?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah, absolutely.Because I think theyíre laid out nicely and the feedback weíve gotten from those courses have been phenomenal.And so, yeah, I think thatís a really good place to start.

Aaron: †††††† Thatís awesome.So, everybody listening, if this is an issue that youíre dealing with; If you want to feel like you want more control in your life over your finances, if this is an area that is kind of destroying your peace at all, giving you stress, Iíd recommend going over to christianpf.com, whether youíre Christian or not. Itís not like you have to be Christian for these things to be working. Right Bob?These are just kind of universal financial principles youíre teaching, right?

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah.Absolutely.

Aaron: †††††† And so, go check it out.I highly encourage people to check it out and let us know what you think. Call me on the podcast post here or shoot me an email if you have any questions, or let us know any experience.Iíd love to hear if this blesses your life or gives you any peace and teaches you some things to get you on the right track, or anything like that. And thanks for putting that out there for free, Bob.Thatís really, really awesome. Iím excited to hear how that goes for people.Thanks again forÖ

Bob: ††††††††† Yeah, me too.

Aaron: †††††† Thanks again for being on the line and sharing your story.Itís really a pleasure to have you here.And weíll let you go for now but thanks Bob, and everybody else.Have a fantastic day.

Bob: ††††††††† Alright.Take care then.