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The CEO of Zappos Lives Where?!

The CEO of Zappos Lives Where?!

Tony Hsieh is an anomaly among the mega-rich. The Zappos CEO is a Harvard graduate, has owned various successful companies, and has been worth hundreds of millions since the year 2000. Despite all his wealth, he lives among other techies and entrepreneurs in a trailer park in Las Vegas.

The people within the trailer park have formed a community which includes a fire pit, communal laundromats, movie screen, pantry, and more. People are constantly coming and going, working alone or alongside other community members on some new innovative project.

It’s all part of Hsieh’s $350-million investment Downtown Project. The project is intended to help revitalize Las Vegas, making it more than just a city where you go to blow money at the casinos. Hsieh believes downtown Las Vegas can eventually be a metropolis filled with a variety of businesses and industries. And he’ll spare no expense in making this dream a reality.

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Friend and colleague Erik Moore says that money is “just a way for Tony to get to his endgame.” While Hsieh clearly does not have to work another day in his entire life, he remains focused on using his talents to make his contribution to the world.

Although those of us who work paycheck to paycheck, sometimes struggling to pay our bills, can barely picture what it’d be like to live as someone like Hsieh for a day, we could all learn a few things from him.

Money and possessions aren’t everything

Hsieh could have any material possession on this planet and still have money left over to live comfortably for the rest of his life. But, to an entrepreneur with so many ideas up his sleeve, being “comfortable” isn’t comforting at all.

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Hsieh is a machine that seems to never stop thinking of new ideas and business ventures. It’s not because he wants to continue making money (although it’s surely a welcome byproduct), but because he knows the real gifts he has in life are his natural talents and drive to do more. If he just kicked back for the rest of his life, not only would he be bored almost immediately, but he would also be wasting the potential he has to make his mark on the world. If this project takes off, he’ll be remembered long after he’s left the Earth. If he just sat in a mansion surrounded by his money, it would all be meaningless the second he passes away.

Keep striving for what you really want in life

The old saying goes: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” While this might be oversimplifying things and making it seem that people like Hsieh aren’t actually doing work, there is some truth to the sentiment.

Hsieh is the type of person that is so fired up by his ideas that he can’t oversleep. He doesn’t want to spend his days sitting around watching TV. He has a passion for entrepreneurship and he can’t feel satisfied until the ideas in his head become reality. Think of that the next time you come up with an idea but blow it off because you’re too tired or you had a tough day at work. If Hsieh let fatigue or stress overtake him, there’s no way he’d be worth more than $840 million today.

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Always give back

Like his friend said, Hsieh’s money is simply a means to an end. So many of us think that money is the end we work our whole lives for — those are the ones who are destined to chase it until they die.

In his induction speech, Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin admitted he didn’t even love to play football. He used his God-given talents as a means to give back to his community in a variety of ways that simply would not have been possible if he wasn’t a multimillionaire. Like Hsieh, he didn’t stop working once he made his fortune. Now, he runs a charity that provides assistance to single mothers, children, and the disabled.

Hsieh has no monetary need to be the forerunner for Project Downtown. He’s doing it because he wants to see the city of Las Vegas thrive. Those with passion and drive always look for ways that they can keep pushing themselves further and give back to the world.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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