Blog Posts

Expenses Versus Investments: What’s the Difference?

Merriam-Webster definitions

Expense – something expended to secure a benefit or bring about a result

Investment – the outlay of money usually for income or profit : capital outlay; also : the sum invested or the property purchased

Expenses are basically things we pay for to bring a benefit or result. We have expenses like car notes and groceries to help us move around and eat.

Investments tend to be things that we think about a little more and don’t necessarily need right now. The idea is that we pay something now for the chance of a greater return later.

What someone sees as an expense may be considered an investment to someone else

Believe it or not, one person might consider something an expense that another considers an investment. This all comes down to mindset. I’ll explain further.

Let’s take books, for example. Someone who isn’t interested in learning much might consider buying books “for fun” as a waste of money, an unnecessary expense. However, someone else who is passionate about learning new things or about a certain topic would consider that purchase to be an investment.

The thing is, investments don’t always have to bring monetary return. The return can be intangible as well. Learning more and spending money to educate yourself is an investment in yourself. Something interesting happens when you learn more and become an expert in your craft… the more you learn and improve, the more monetary return you can usually generate.

An example of shifting perspective: my self car wash story

I posted a status a few years ago about how I couldn’t believe people waste money on expensive car washes when they can do it themselves for just a couple of bucks. I’d spend 30 minutes or or so going to a self car wash or washing my car in the driveway. This involved scrubbing the car down, hosing the soap off, then using a chamois to dry it all off. Sometimes it was hot outside, other times it would be cold. But hey, I washed the whole car for maybe $2!

I considered getting car washes as an unnecessary expense at the time.

A few years later, I have perspective and a better understanding of the value of time. Yes, I had heard that time is money, but it really rings true today.

After you’ve had a little taste of generating a decent hourly income that far exceeds the cost to get something done, you don’t mind paying for the convenience. I now look at paying to have my car washed as an investment as it helps free up my own time.

My time is better spent finding a resell deal or closing a sales funnel client instead of hand washing my car for 30 minutes or an hour.

What changed? MINDSET.

The guy who last commented on this post is someone who had the right mindset… a mindset it took me a few more years to develop. His comment was: “what if you make enough money where $25 is viewed like the $2.50?” BOOM. If you’re generating decent money, it’s not worth spending time on a task that you can just offload.

This is similar to hiring virtual assistants or freelancers to do things you’re not good at so you can spend time and resources on those that you are.You see, I was looking at things with a small-minded perspective. I was probably earning $35/hour at my “good” oil & gas job. So comparing to an hour of work, $25 would mean giving up about 70% of what I got paid in an hour.

I’m sharing my previous salary and my small-minded mentality with you because I want to be completely open. I want you to learn what I know now instead having a small-minded mindset another few years.

Look, it’s all about where you are in life. At that time in life, washing my own car to save $25 was kind of a big deal. However, I’d rather just have someone else do it so I can spend my time working on other things or doing things that are more important to me.

Moral of the story: THINK BIGGER

The moral of this story is to think bigger. Some things like drinks at a bar may be a waste of money. Or maybe it could be an investment if you’re taking a client out to talk about a deal. Perspective and mindset play a huge role in whether you consider something to be an expense or an investment with a return of some sort.

The main takeaway is to value your time. Pay for things that are non-value add activities if possible and focus on those things that are. Don’t be afraid to spend money on courses or books that you know will help you get to the next level. Pay for flights and tickets to a conference where you’ll connect with like-minded individuals. Lastly, don’t just think of things as a waste of money. If it’s an experience, enjoy the experience.

Of course, be careful with this mindset. Don’t spend money you don’t have. But don’t be afraid to spend some money to enjoy life. Get a fancy, overpriced dinner with tiny sushi plates. Check out the experience. Learn how the rich operate and how they think. Focus on GROWING wealth, and you won’t have to worry about expenses. There’s a quote I remember hearing that I want to leave you with:

“Revenue solves all problems.” Remember to add value and the revenue will come. Better yet, “Profit solves all problems.” If you have high expenses, high revenue might not be enough.


Stay Connected

Chris Bello

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast on Facebook

Read More
Blog Posts

5 Productivity Hacks To Implement

I blame my background in Supply Chain for my constant desire to minimize steps and time needed to accomplish various tasks. I’m always looking for ways to improve efficiency in all aspects of my life. Some may call it laziness, but I like to think of it as pure genius.

Below, I will share a few productivity hacks I’ve come across over time and use to free up my schedule. I definitely recommend you at least consider trying a few to see how much more time you’ll have to do things you really want to do.

1. Pack a bag of essentials no matter where you go.

Here’s what I carry in my backpack at all times:

This single step has increased my productivity tenfold. Any time I’m sitting in the lobby waiting for my car to get an oil change, I’m not just watching Jerry Springer on TV or scrolling through Facebook. I’m usually getting work done or reading a good book – I never waste time reading “People” magazine or whatever junk is on those lobby tables.

Here’s another example. There may be times when I’m meeting with someone to buy or sell something. Let’s say I’m on somebody’s side of town, but he won’t be free for another hour. Since I might as well stay close to them instead of trying home and back, I can just pop into a Starbucks and get some reading or work done for that hour.

With headphones and my iPad, I can learn on Udemy or watch YouTube videos. I tend to watch/listen to videos on my phone and use my iPad to get work done since I have this Logitech keyboard that makes typing much easier.

Snacks and water make sure that I don’t get hungry and stop at random places where I might spend too much money on foods that aren’t always the healthiest options. I try to avoid eating out too often, especially since I always have a bunch of food in my fridge at all times.

2. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks when traveling.

Whether you’re driving and are stuck in traffic or you’re sitting on a plane on a flight somewhere, consider listening to podcasts or audiobooks. This allows you to transform down time that is usually wasted into very productive time. I’ve knocked out multiple books each month by listening to 30 minutes on a drive to visit my parents or 20 minutes on a drive to a friend’s house.

You can even listen and learn while jogging or doing chores. Handwashing dishes? Listen to a podcast! Mopping the floor? Listen to an audiobook!

This is, of course, entirely up to you. You might normally prefer music, but if you’re like me, you’ll find that sometimes you just keep skipping song after song, yearning for something more. If that’s the case, it might be time to try something new.

3. Use tools like Trello or Wunderlist to organize your projects and to-do lists.

I’ve tried all sorts of things for trying to stay organized. I’ve written goals on sticky notes, on my white board, and on the notes app on my phone. More often than not, I would end up forgetting about what I noted down using different tools and missed a lot of action items. Below are a few tools that have helped me stay on top of things:


Trello has an app and website that are both very well done. You can post cards of various topics and even collaborate with others. Think of Google Drive collaboration but with a card-based organization tool.

The app mentions that “Trello gives you perspective over all your projects, at work and at home.” Whether it’s managing a team, writing an epic screenplay, or just making a grocery list, Trello is your sidekick for getting things done and staying organized.

Some options that Trello offers:

  • Create boards to organize anything you’re working on
  • Use them solo or invite coworkers, friends, and family to collaborate
  • Customize workflows for different projects
  • Add checklists of “To-Dos” on cards
  • Assign tasks to yourself and coworkers
  • Comment on items with your friends
  • Upload photos and videos
  • Attach files

Trello is free to use forever with options to upgrade to Gold for “loads of extra fun and functionality.” The free version offers so many great features and is worth checking out.


Wunderlist is a tool that allows you to build checklists for any category. I’ve got different lists for workouts I’m doing that week as well as groceries I need to order. You can set due dates and even share tasks with others so that they can see it on their calendar as well.

Key features:

  • Add, organize and schedule your to-dos from your phone, tablet, or computer
  • Set due dates and reminders to ensure you never forget important deadlines (or birthday gifts) again
  • Use subtasks, notes, files, and comments to add important details to your to-dos
  • Create lists to help sort your to-dos for home, work and everything in between
  • Share lists and collaborate on your to-dos with family, friends and colleagues
  • Be productive from anywhere, thanks to Wunderlist’s apps for your phone, smart watch, tablet and computer

Wunderlist is free to download and use. There is a Pro version to give unlimited access to Files, Assigning and Subtasks for accomplishing even more for just $4.99 a month.

GoalTracker 1.0

If you haven’t checked out my last blog post, I’ve been using a GoalTracker template that I put together and am using to track weekly and daily goals. It’s on Google Drive so that I can manage a few simple priorities each day from my phone, iPad, or computer.

4. Batch your chores or to-dos.

Don’t just pick up your laundry, go home, then go wash your car, then go home again, and then take the dog to the dog park. Try to combine as many activities as possible together. Set an hour aside and have your checklist (maybe even on Wunderlist or my GoalTracker file) ready to reference. Knock everything off the list one after the other, and enjoy the freedom of having the rest of the day to do whatever you like.

Or you can even take it a step further. Order groceries online. I’ve used HEB Curbside to order everything and set a pickup date / time. I simply park, text my parking space to a number, and have groceries loaded into my trunk. I’ve been meaning to check out Instacart as well to have groceries delivered directly to my house. If I never pushed a shopping cart around a busy grocery store again, I think I would be okay with it.

5. Optimize your route and plan your day around where you will be.

Going somewhere? Why not drop of laundry on the way back to kill two birds with one stone? It does kill me a little inside when I have a friend living in the ‘burbs that wants to hang out. I can justify a 30 minute drive from time to time to see friends. But when I do make those drives, I take the opportunity to do one or two things along the route while I’m in the area.

For garage sale hunting in regards to my reselling side-hustle, I like to use RouteXL to optimize my route based on entered addresses. It may be worth checking out if you have a lot to do but don’t need to do them in any particular order.


Stay Connected

Chris Bello

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast on Facebook


Read More
Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Episode 9 – The Importance Of Mentors and Network

Your mom was right. Who you hang out with tends to define you. If you’re hanging out with people who are okay with the status quo and don’t have drive to do more, they’ll pull you down to their level. If you want to level up, you need to elevate your peers.

Find mentors who have been there and done that, have a proven track record, and are willing to show you the ropes or even just grab a cup of coffee. This episode dives into the importance of mentors and network.

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing.


Stay Connected

Chris Bello

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast on Facebook

Read More
Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Episode 8 – Paid and Free Software to Consider

Starting a business or side-hustle comes with a lot of not-so-fun tasks. You don’t just get to invent a product, but you’ve got to build the foundation. A website, social media content, editing audio footage, and more requires software and online tools. I’ll walk you through my go-to list and make it super simple for you. Paid is usually better, but there’s a lot of great stuff out there that’s completely free as well.

Tools I recommend checking out:

Websites/Sales Funnels

  • WordPress – build websites (free and paid plans)
  • ClickFunnels – build sales funnels (14 day trial, then $97/month)

Email Automation

  • MailChimp – create automated email campaigns (free until you have more than 2,000 subscribers or send more than 12,000 emails a month)

Graphic Design

  • Unsplash – free stock photos to use (give credit to photographers if you like to help them out)
  • Canva – graphic design for dummies. Mostly free, but you can pay for a few premium templates or graphics.

Screen Recording Software

Video Editing Software

  • Windows Movie Maker – free editing for Windows (no longer supported)
  • iMovie – free video editing for Macs
  • GoPro Studio – free GoPro footage editing software

Royalty-Free Music

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing.


Stay Connected

Chris Bello

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast on Facebook


Read More