Every Problem is an Opportunity

Here’s a video I shot today that talks about overcoming problems and seeking out the opportunity that is presented every time a crisis occurs in our lives. Please share your comments and stories about times you may have experienced what appeared to be a problem, only to realize after the fact that it was an incredible for opportunity for personal growth, learning and triumph!

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5 Responses to Every Problem is an Opportunity

  1. Ian Chiocchio March 4, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Justin!

    No way! I can’t believe you just posted this video! This is exactly what had a thought about for my website (which I just started to put together, with the help of you and Ted). And one additional sections I wanted to tell Ted I want to add was a “life lessons” where I can share some of the amazing things that I’ve done, as well as some of the bonehead moves that I’ve made… (I’m really excited to see the feedback on both)

    This post is about a bonehead move…

    A big lesson I learned was about hiring a sound financial planner. There are a lot of people who call themselves financial planners, or an investment guy… but in my history I didn’t do my homework and trusted what they were saying with blind faith. I am a smart enough guy to take what someone says, and then logically evaluate it. But in the following example I failed to do so…

    distribution vs dividend

    Around two to 3 years ago I took a leverage loan for $50,000 to invest in a stock that was to pay me out monthly “distributions” of somewhere around 13%. and the interest I paid is around 3%. And considering this economy it was an amazing rate of return… or so I thought. Well the investment which I put the $50,000 was a poor one. And the main reason it was so horrible was because it paid me out too much of a distribution. in other words it was paying me my “distribution” out of the value of the stock, which caused its value to go down. It was all done legit I’m sure, but it was cleverly disguised because they never sold off the number of units I owned, and it was the market value that just dropped off – which makes total sense since they were paying out more than they were taking in.

    So now I still owe the $50,000, and the original investment is worth $30,000. They have since lowered the distribution, which is a good thing, so hopefully the stock will stop tanking and recover over time.

    It seemed a little too good to be true… and it was. The sad thing about this, was that I trusted the investor, and he assured me that it wouldn’t go down, even though I signed a piece of paper saying that it could.

    Lessons learned.
    1. Trust my own instincts.
    2. Minimize the risk, leveraging can be an amazing tool, but it can also be your worst enemy.
    3. Get a second qualified opinion. If they are a straight up financial person, they will encourage you to do so, then do it.
    4. I can only beat myself up over it for so long, that doesn’t bring the money back.

    I write this in hopes that someone else will not make the same mistakes I did… and there are lots more, I will be publishing on my website along with some of the amazing things I’ve got to experience in this roller coaster of life!

    Great story and video Justin! Keep it up!

    Sincerely,

    Ian Chiocchio

  2. admin March 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Wow Ian! Thanks for sharing your story. I too have made some less that desirable financial decisions and I appreciate you sharing your story. I think there are many people who can learn from your experience and avoid some of the issues you had to deal with throughout your ordeal.

    I look forward to seeing your comments and watching you new blog evolve

  3. Karen March 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    Great video, Justin and a message that bears repeating.

    Ian’s story is very interesting as well. My broker wanted me to take out a $50K RRSP top-up loan and I was really tempted but listened to my instincts and did not take out the loan. Sometimes you can get so excited about the possibile opportunities that it overpowers your common sense.

    None of us go through life without problems. We all have problems, but it’s those people who don’t let the problems define who they are and who learn the lesson that life is trying to teach them, that are truly people worth knowing. They have the best stories, because they realize that all the problems they faced were learning opportunities along their life journey, plus they can share these stories so that others don’t have to repeat the same mistakes.

    Karen
    Twitter:

  4. Stan Young April 11, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Justin another great insight.

    It is interesting what curved balls are thrown at us in lifes journey. Sometimes in a time of crisis its not always easy to see the up side. Your story is a prime example of how a traumatic experience can be turned into a posative. I like Karen’s comments about not letting problems define who we are and to look for the lesson that life is teaching us. I love to see human interest stories that display the power of the human spirit over adversity. I also relate to Ian’s story as I have had my fair share of bad decisions, but despite sometimes things not going as we would like it would be a sad life if we all choose to do nothing. As Ian pointed out the main thing is that we take some lesson from these experiences and learn from them.
    Twitter:

    • Justin Popovic April 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

      Thanks for your feedback Stan. I also love the human interest stories of triumph over adversity because that is what life really is…a series of adversities followed by triumphs!

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