Plan Support Services Price Change FAQs

 

Why is my price increasing?

Inflation and global costs are at an all-time high. Even though CatchFire Funding’s costs have increased significantly, our customers have not experienced a price increase in the last 2 or more years.

We value our customers’ loyalty, and we continue to strive to innovate and improve our Best-in-Class Experience to better serve your business and employee benefits goals and growth.

When will the price increase go into effect? 

The price increase will go into effect on your next Monthly Plan billing statement or Annual Plan anniversary date.

I thought my price was locked in when I first signed up for CatchFire Funding.

Your price was locked for 2 years when you signed up with CatchFire Funding under an Annual Plan Service Support Agreement. We continue to honor the 2-year lock for Annual Plan Support Services clients. Annual Plan Support pricing will not increase before the 3rd year Annual Plan anniversary date.

*NEW 2-year price rolling locks will be applied to all Annual Plan Support Services clients.*

Monthly Plan Services Support is billed at the current pricing level without a price lock and is subject to change.

What are the different Plan Support Service pricing options?

You have the option to engage in either Annual Plan Services Support, with reduced costs and a 2-year price guarantee, or Monthly Plan Services Support at current monthly pricing

Can I save money by switching to Annual Plan Services Support?

If you are currently subscribed to Monthly Plan Services Support, you can save 16% (Pay for 10 months – Get 2 Months free), by switching to the Annual Plan Services Support. You will also receive a 2-year price lock guarantee.

Questions, Concerns or Frustrations? 

I want to hear from you, contact me directly. I would be more than glad to answer any and all questions that you have!

Why I Believe In What We Believe In

As the president of CatchFire Funding, I’m always on the lookout for entrepreneurial inspiration, especially since my company helps people fund the business or franchise of their dreams, one that makes them want to get out of bed every morning. As such, when I ran across Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” like so many other business owners who viewed the Ted Talk, Sinek’s words got my wheels turning.

In Sinek’s Ted Talk, he asks business owners, “Why? How? What?” He says this little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders can inspire while others can’t. “Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent.

“Some, know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by ‘why’ I don’t mean to make a profit. That’s a result. It’s always a result. By ‘why,’ I mean: What’s your purpose?” said Sinek in the Ted Talk.

Sinek’s Words Resonated With Me

As I watched his video, Sinek’s words resonated with me to the core because there were a handful of times that I had this very conversation with my staff: What is our purpose? Where are we going? That’s the kind of language my employees would use. They wanted to know our path. “Where are we headed? Bill, where do you see the business going in the next year and in the next five years?” are the types of questions they asked of me.

I remember sitting down with some of our core staff members and having a conversation about where we’re going, and the challenge was always the why. I could say I’m going to do this until age 65, sell, then move on, but I needed to give a sense of the “why” behind what we do at CatchFire Funding.

My staff was asking what, and I couldn’t answer “what” because I didn’t know why, and that’s when I realized it was the why that I needed to discover. That’s where Sinek’s video on “begin with the why” resonated with me.

Initially, we headed down the road of Sinek’s start with the why exercises, but then I stumbled across Roy H. William’s “We Believe” video. In his video, Williams was saying that before you can do the why, you have to set the concept of your beliefs. In a way, he was countering Sinek’s start with why conversation with instead, start with your beliefs. For me, Williams’ video made the most sense.

To illustrate my point, here’s an excerpt from Williams’ video:

“Wouldn’t it be great if your employees were consistently delivering the experience you always believed in? The process is called message integration. The key is to take what’s in your heart, your highest and brightest and best intentions, and bury those intentions deep in the hearts of your employees.”

I got so much out of Williams’ video that I brought my staff in and had them watch it, but that was only the beginning. I realized that as the president of the company, it was up to me to find out what was in my heart, what my core beliefs are, and what inspires me and my staff at CatchFire Funding every day. I admit, it was easier said than done but so worth the exercise. In fact, if you run a business or intend to one day, I highly recommend it.

My Belief Statements for CatchFire Funding

I had insomnia one night, so I brought out my green cards and pen and wrote down my belief statements. That’s how I got started and we just kept chipping away. I went through the process, narrowed it down, edited it and made it simple and not wordy. After we got through the initial phase, there was more excitement, more buy-in from my staff. The employees began to ask, “When are we going to finish that project, Bill?”

I found that having those little extra weird ones got the employees to emotionally connect – the taco shell one and the inspiration at Red Rocks. My team knows those are important concepts to me…”Yes, Bill does talk about how being a corporate employee is the prefect training ground for a business owner, and Bill does have a soft spot for individuals in uniform.” As we narrowed it down, my employees were able to connect the statements with what Bill says and the why we believe statements.

It wasn’t a quick project. The whole process of coming up with our we believe statements took months and many hours, but in the end, we came up with 14 things that motivate and inspire us every day at CatchFire Funding. Now, I can say with absolute confidence that my staff knows the why behind the we believes, and as an outcome of their active participation in the process, they truly understand the why.

Instead of telling you what CatchFire Funding is all about, we had fun making a video that does all the talking for us. This video is our belief statement, our purpose statement, the reason why we exist, the reason why we do business the way we do it. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it! And if you like what you see, contact us directly to learn how we can help you make your entrepreneurial dreams come true!

American Shoe Success! An Immigrant’s ROBS Story

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In our latest client spotlight, we share the inspiring story of Petr Kovarik, an immigrant whose roots in shoemaking run deep, roots that eventually brought him to the United States where he and his wife realized the American Dream.

Today, Petr and his family reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan where they run their business, Liberty Footwear, which proudly manufactures work boots in America. As we learned, the inspiration for the family business began many years ago when Petr was just a boy in the Czech Republic working side-by-side with his father.

By day, Petr’s father worked in a shoe factory, but off-work hours, Petr’s father moonlighted as a shoemaker, a local cobbler, who took his son, Petr, under his wing. The father and son would make sandals, repair shoes and soccer balls, whatever needed sewing out of their home. They did it quietly for cash for friends, family, and neighbors because it was during communist time. It wasn’t technically a “business,” he explained.

“I went to shoemaking high school in Czechoslovakia, then in college I specialized in shoemaking,” says Petr. In college, he studied product development, samples, commercialization, and management. Everything he learned was geared toward practical application, he said.

In Petr’s youth, Czechoslovakia was a powerhouse for shoemaking, but when Russia fell apart,  many of the shoe companies in the country ended up filing for bankruptcy. So, Petr eventually accepted a job at a large American footwear manufacturer with factories throughout the United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.

While working for the American footwear company, Petr was in factories daily; he also spent a lot of time in China. According to Petr, the Chinese started asking for cost increases. They were making cheaper and cheaper shoes to make more money for the company, and Petr struggled with that. “I started planning. I wanted to do things my way,” he said.

Taking the Leap to Entrepreneur

Petr was determined to leave the company on his own terms, and that’s what he did and it benefited him later. He said he had two main motivations for striking out on his own. First, the fact that he couldn’t do what he wanted in Corporate America, and second, he wanted to manufacture his boots locally – that was a big thing.

“When I worked in Czechoslovakia, each of the factories suffered majorly. The production was let down, people were let go…thanks to imports from Asia as well. I didn’t want to have the same thing happen to me here, and I thought there could be a better way.”

Realizing the American Dream

Petr and his wife, who is a native of Poland, moved to the United States in 1998 and became citizens in 2003 and 2004. The couple eventually started Liberty Footwear after using CatchFire Funding’s SELF-DIRECTED 401k program (also known as Rollover as Business Startups or ROBS) to fund the family shoe business with their retirement dollars.

When we asked Petr if he was aware he could roll over his retirement dollars to fund a business, he said someone told him about it. But he ultimately contacted CatchFire Funding after receiving an email from us. Petr interviewed many providers and he was really close to going with another company, but a phone call with Bill Seagraves, our president, is what made him decide to go with CatchFire Funding.

Petr spoke with our competitors and he spoke with Bill. “He [Bill] was the most compelling, it wasn’t just about the price,” he said. “I spoke to another guy that I wasn’t as at ease with – that made a difference. Who are you comfortable with? Who do you trust? Who do you believe can support you beyond the product and service?”

What was “it” that made Petr choose CatchFire Funding? For one, he chose CatchFire Funding because of Bill, and second, because he felt we could give him the most support and work with him rather than sell him something and be done with him, he explained. Our level of service that we provide, was also a big draw.

“Cassie [his plan services representative] can tell you that we had many phone calls and she was really patient with me on how this [the SELF-DIRECTED 401k] was set up.”

Petr said he really likes it how he can offer a 401k to his future employees; it was actually a deciding factor. “Bill sold me on it better without a hard sell.”

When we asked Petr if he would recommend CatchFire Funding’s 401k rollover program, he said, “Of course because of the customer service and because I actually got the help that I couldn’t in my view, get from other companies at that cost.”

A Little About Liberty Footwear Boot Company

Petr’s customers are tradesmen, such as construction workers, HVAC guys, plumbers, those who lay out tires and do siding, roofers, truckers and those who do drywall. They also have a lot of customers who are janitors and warehouse workers. “We’ve had a few bus drivers and the DIY, who just need a good pair of work boots at home and when helping friends and family,” he said.

Liberty Footwear recently added the safety toe version and the hiker to their selection – they now have 50 different versions of boots that widened the reach of various customers and occupations.

Thank you, Petr, for sharing your amazing journey with our readers! If you’re interested in learning more about CatchFire Funding’s ROBS program, we invite you to contact us directly to jump on a call with Bill Seagraves to get your questions answered!

Next: A Love For Beads Turns Into Big Business!

The CatchFire Crew’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving days away, we thought it would be fun to involve the CatchFire Funding family and showcase some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes. And no, we didn’t get any recipes for green bean casserole, although some people love it. If you’re looking for a new recipe to try, we highly recommend experimenting with one of our taste-tested, family-approved recipes below!

Penny’s Waldorf Salad

Penny Haag does bookkeeping, sales and office support at CatchFire Funding. Her Thanksgiving recipe is Waldorf Salad. “My mom always wanted this salad at Thanksgiving, so it totally reminds me of her. I think she was the only one who really liked it though.”

Here is the link to Penny’s Waldorf Salad, which we learned, was first presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel back in 1893.

Andrew’s Butternut Squash Soup 

Meet Andrew “Andy” Nieb. He is our business development manager at CatchFire Funding. Andy says butternut squash soup is his go-to dish. “This is always a Thanksgiving guest favorite!” says Andy.

And if you happen to be vegetarian, he says a vegetarian or vegan alternative is also super tasty. “Swap out butter for your favorite butter substitute, and swap out the chicken broth for a high-quality vegetable broth. The vegetarian variation will require an additional teaspoon of fresh ginger and an additional pinch of nutmeg.”

This soup only takes about an hour to make and it’s great for freezing! Here’s the link to the recipe, which has a secret ingredient – a tart green apple!

Angela’s Cranberry Salad 

Angela Slizowski is one of our client managers, and her recipe comes straight from her grandma’s kitchen. “My favorite recipe is my grandma’s cranberry salad,” she says. “This is a Thanksgiving staple for us! It reminds me of being little and helping my grandma cook!”

2 packages cherry Jell-O

1 cup hot water

¾ cup of sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1 package ground cranberries

1 orange- ground

1 cup crushed pineapple- drained

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped pecans

Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Add sugar, lemon juice, and pineapple juice. Chill until it just begins to set.  In a separate bowl, combine cranberries, orange, pineapple, celery, and pecans. Add to Jell-O and chill until firm.

Debi Says, ‘Don’t Stress’ 

Debi Barton is in our Plan Services Department. Debi’s tip: “Don’t stress and pre-order pies from Village Inn (VI). According to VI, you’re not getting just any pie, but The Best Pie in America® and they have the ribbons and awards to prove it. If you don’t feel like baking, be like Debi and click here to order your Thanksgiving pie from VI!

Cassi’s Thanksgiving Margaritas! 

Cassie Ciardullo is a client manager here at CatchFire Funding, and she sure knows how to “spice up” any holiday occasion. Who needs traditional white wine at Thanksgiving when you can have a Thanksgiving margarita instead? To make a Thanksgiving-themed margarita, Cassi’s favorite,  that adults of all ages will love, click here.

Bridget’s Homemade Rolls

Bridgett  Bradley is in our Plan Services Department, and her family loves homemade rolls. “They taste so good with melted butter dipped in gravy,” she says. “They work wonderfully to scrape your plate so the person doing dishes thinks you already washed it. They also make for yummy sliders the day after Thanksgiving.”

Unfortunately, Bridget’s family will not give her a roll recipe, but this one comes pretty close!

Judy’s Grandma In Law’s Cranberry Relish 

Judy is another one of our amazing plan services representatives. She was kind enough to dig up a recipe from her husband’s family, cranberry relish.

“The first time my husband took me to his parent’s home for Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law made this recipe. I had three helpings! She explained that her mother always made this for their Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. It’s a side dish that can also be a dessert.  I make it every year during the holidays and have to double the recipe because it’s the first thing we run out of. I add a little fresh whipped cream on top. YUM!”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound fresh (raw) cranberries
  • 1 ripe orange, peeled, seeded, and cut up
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) or 2 (3 ounce) packages Cherry Jell-O
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup of cold water

PREPARATION:

  1. Wash cranberries and coarsely chop in food processor
  2. Peel orange and remove as much white membrane as possible before chopping up into small pieces
  3. Chop pecans
  4. Juice lemon
  5. Drain crushed pineapple
  6. Boil 2 cups water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine Jell-O with sugar. Add 2 cups boiling water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (add the 1 cup cold water last).
  3. Pour into a mold or festive glass dish. Let chill in the refrigerator until set.

If you’re looking for new ideas for Thanksgiving dishes, we hope you’ll try one of our favorite recipes. We love them and we’re pretty sure your family will love them just as much as we do!

A Love for Beads Turns Into Big Business!

Can you imagine taking something you’re passionate about and finding a way to do it as your own business? Your days would be full because you’d be doing something you truly enjoyed every day. You’d have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Well, that’s exactly what Jeff and Terri Landon did when they bought Bead Boys with the help of CatchFire Funding’s SELF-DIRECTED 401k program, also known as rollover for business startups (ROBS).

Bead Boys, a bead store located in San Antonio, Texas, has all the supplies and equipment necessary for people to make jewelry. The store also offers classes so customers can be introduced to different tools, supplies, and jewelry-making techniques. According to Jeff, they sell all kinds of crystals and semiprecious beads, including turquoise, malachite, labradorite, onyx, kyanite, and amethyst.

Catering to Hobbyists & Wholesalers

Jeff and Terri’s customers are mostly hobbyists and wholesalers, with about 80% being hobbyists. If the customer is a wholesaler with a tax ID, they aren’t charged tax. “Most of our customers are people who like to make jewelry,” says Jeff. “We’re not selling finished jewelry, but the supplies necessary to do that. People have traveled from as far as 200 miles away just to come to our store.”

“We offer the lowest prices, the best quality and the largest selection of beads in San Antonio,” according to the Bead Boys’ website. Jeff said that some of their customers sell their finished designs on Facebook, and some do shows. They have quite a mix of customers, however, they don’t do any online sales; everything is sold in the store.

What about holidays? Do they get more business around that time? The husband and wife duo have seen an increase in interest for Halloween, the Day of the Dead, and Christmas. Their customers will make earrings, bracelets, and necklaces for those occasions explained Jeff.

Life Before Bead Boys

Just prior to buying Bead Boys, Jeff was a senior information technology business analyst with USAA for 22 years. At USAA, he assisted managers with budgeting, purchasing, and forecasting, skills that surely transferred over to the couple’s new business. Meanwhile, Terri was working at Bead Boys as an instructor, something she truly enjoyed.

When the previous owners were thinking about selling the store, Terri became increasingly interested in buying it. The couple explored the idea of buying the store and they came to the conclusion that they’d like to go for it.

When we asked Jeff how he learned about rolling over his retirement dollars, he said he heard about it from the previous owners of the store because that’s how they funded it.

“They told me the basics about it [a 401k rollover]. They said, ‘Oh, you can just use your retirement dollars, that’s what we did.’” Jeff started to research ROBS programs and he stumbled across Bill Seagraves’ webinar the next day, which he said was, “very timely.”

Jeff described Bill’s webinar as “very informative.” He said he was hesitant at first because he didn’t want to incur a huge tax liability. But soon he learned that instead of investing in the stock market, he’s investing in his own business, and that intrigued him.

When we asked Jeff what made him choose CatchFire Funding over the competitors, he said he didn’t look at anybody else. “I was just looking for the information and I found the webinar and I was really impressed by the people representing the webinar, and the way they approached gaining a new client.”

Jeff said we didn’t pressure him in any way, and he didn’t feel as if he was being pushed to “act now.” He said we moved through the process very quickly, and Angela was very helpful. We walked him through everything and made sure all the bases were covered because he was new to this, he explained. “ I couldn’t have done it on my own,” he says.

Jeff described the 401k rollover process as “extremely smooth.” Our team guided him through the process and he was “perfectly comfortable with it.” He said it was seamless and really easy to understand and thorough.

“I have a CPA now, and I told him how we did all this and he looked over my paperwork. If he’s happy, everybody is happy. This for us is a retirement job. A lot of people retire and they don’t know what to do. They play golf – that’s not us.

“Now, my wife has the opportunity to do something she loves. She’s built the business up. In the eight months that we’ve had it, she’s done a really good job. This is something that she wants to do. She’s an awesome teacher and the people love her – I love watching her. As far as retirement, I don’t think it can be any better than this.”

Jeff says he would absolutely recommend CatchFire Funding because of our attentiveness, attention to detail, and how we walk clients through the process. “I thought I’d have to have more involvement than I really did. CatchFire Funding made everything happen for me, and I really appreciated that because that made the whole process…enjoyable.”

Would you like to learn more about funding a business or franchise tax and penalty-free with our ROBS program? Contact us today to learn more.

Next: Software Developer Sings New Tune With Music Venture 

Software Developer Sings New Tune with Music Venture

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People playing music in small room.

At CatchFire Funding, a lot of our clients leave the corporate world to pursue their passion and Joe Fisher, the owner of My Music Skool in Colorado is one of them. Before realizing his dreams of entrepreneurship, Joe was in software development. He worked for various telecom companies and gradually moved up into management, with his most recent gig being a software development manager in the cable telecom space.

At 57, Joe was in the tech industry for a lot of years. He started his career in 1982, just out of high school. He was an expert in voiceover IP tech, which allows calls to be made over the internet. “Companies were struggling because they weren’t sure if they should maintain landline service or put money into new technology,” he says.

Joe was hired to fail fast and to help build products to test, he explained. “Conference calls, getting voicemails on your phone, all these technologies that were never heard of.” He said he’d throw a bunch of things on the wall to see what stuck. “It was fun to see that whole transition and the challenges of business to keep up,” he says.

Joe clearly, was in the right industry at the right time, just as technology started to take the world by storm. But like many of our clients, after decades in the same industry, he was ready for a change. He built a successful career in software, but he always had a passion for music, even if he had buried it deep inside since his high school days.

Joe’s instrument of choice is the drums, which he started playing when he joined his high school marching band. And just as he was getting into his senior year in high school, he convinced his parents to buy him a drum set. At the time, there was nobody in his little town in North Dakota to teach him, so he taught himself.

Reigniting the Passion at a Guitar Center

“When I went to college, I put them [the drums] in storage. Then, my career happened. Life happened and I forgot all about playing music and the drums,” he says. Then, about five to seven years ago, Joe was cleaning his warehouse and he found his old drum set. “I was inspired because I walked into a Guitar Center. This guy was doing a drum seminar…I got to know him and it brought back the passion.”

On the work front, Joe realized that when he wasn’t constrained by the bounds of a corporate position, when he was building or creating something [he’s a handyman and he fixes cars and he does woodwork], the reward of having the freedom to do it on his terms and not be bound by the position of a job made him think, “This is what makes me happy.”

As he contemplated his current job and his lack of fulfillment, he realized what truly made him happy was being creative and doing things his way. So, he decided to find a business or franchise that would fill that void. His search led him to a franchise broker who told him about rolling over his retirement dollars to fund his new business, My Music Skool. “When I learned about CatchFire Funding through a franchise broker, I already knew about that approach. I was able to compare and I talked to Bill.”

What Made CatchFire Funding Different

When we asked Joe what made him choose CatchFire Funding over the competitors, he said it was the personal interaction. “When I called CatchFire Funding, it was Bill who I talked to directly and when I met him in person, he took a lot of time with me. He gave me his book and took the time to answer my questions. He didn’t try to sell, and I thought that was really wonderful,” he says.

Joe described our 401k rollover process as smooth and straightforward. He also said it was minimal, very clear, and “not complicated.” Joe said he would recommend us because we care about our customers and we’re reachable. “CatchFire Funding is very straightforward and there were no surprises,” he says.

For Joe, CatchFire Funding is local, but he recommends us nationally because of the personal care that Bill and our team put into it. “It doesn’t feel like you’re calling up a corporation, it feels like you’re getting personal services.”

His Managerial Experience is Coming in Handy

Not surprisingly, Joe’s managerial experience is coming in handy as a new business owner. In Corporate America, he was managing software developers, who he described as being smart, intelligent, and very creative people. According to Joe, software development is actually an art, not a labor skill.

“Those personalities managing developers is very much like what I’m doing now,” he said. “Overseeing, supporting, and leading music instructors, teachers, and educators in the arts field. It’s surprising how similar it is – the way they approach problems and the way they are creative.”

We hope you enjoyed hearing about Joe’s entrepreneurial journey as much as we did. If you’re interested in learning more about how our SELF-DIRECTED 401k program (ROBS) can help you achieve your dreams of business ownership without debt, contact us today.

Next: Mompreneur Fulfills Passion with Yoga Startup! 

Mompreneur Fulfills Passion with Yoga Startup!

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Woman teaching yoga to another woman.

Our latest client spotlight is about Harmony Greene, the owner of Everglow Yoga Studio & Wellness Spa located in Overland Park, Kansas. Everglow’s name came from the idea that we all have a light within us that is forever burning, and the light keeps us going, even when the going gets tough. Since we’re all the caretaker of our own light, Everglow’s mantra is, “Lit from within.”

Everglow strives to help everyone shine from the inside out. Whether an individual is new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, there is a class for all. And with a variety of class offerings, such as Beginner Basics, a range of Hot Yoga classes, Advanced Vinyasa, Yoga Pilates Fusion, and Classical Ashtanga, Everglow has something for everyone.

All Are Welcome at Everglow!

“Everglow’s main mission is to provide a space for students of varying backgrounds and differing lives. Believing fully that yoga is for everybody, there is no one demographic we seek or cater to. All are welcome. With special outreach and discounts to our communities First Responders, Veterans, and active-duty military members…as well as teachers, students, nurses, etc.…we plan to make yoga as accessible as possible,” according to Everglow’s website.

Harmony Greene is the mompreneur behind this incredible yoga startup, and she used CatchFire Funds’ SELF-DIRECTED 401K program (also known as Rollovers as Business Startups or ROBS) to turn her passion into a beautiful studio that now serves her community. This is her entrepreneurial story.

It All Started with Finding Her Passion

Like many entrepreneurs, Harmony has more than one gig going. She has been working as a hairstylist for years, and she still does, but she also fell in love with yoga back in 2011. She started practicing yoga and about a year later, she was approached by her now mentor who taught her how to teach. Her mentor saw that she was a natural and planted the seed.

“I fell in love with yoga head over heels. Yoga was the first place for me that I was able to find that peace that I was missing in terms of the mental state of peace,” says Harmony.

When we asked Harmony about what motivated her to pursue entrepreneurship, she said she went through a divorce and become a single mother. Like many divorcées, she was at a turning point, and thinking about what she was going to do with her life.

She enjoys hairstyling but wanted to do even more with her talents. Since she developed such a deep love for yoga, she started thinking about following her heart’s passion and opening her own studio.

When she looked at all of her options, the right choice for her boiled down to pursuing something she loved, and much of it had to do with her kids. “I’m trying to set an example for them and enjoy my life,” she says.

Enter CatchFire Funding

When Harmony decided to open a yoga studio, she had not looked into rolling over her retirement money through a SELF-DIRECTED 401k or ROBS. Instead, it was a financial planner who suggested it. “After my divorce, it became really obvious that it would be a great way to utilize those retirement funds that were sitting there. It provided me with a great opportunity to start my own business,” she says.

Harmony eventually settled with CatchFire Funding. “You guys have been wonderful,” she says. “I have no regrets.” Ultimately, whenever she had a question, CatchFire Funding was on the ball, she says. “They made sure I had the knowledge I needed in order to make a good decision, and not every company works like that.”

Harmony described the rollover process as “very smooth and very easy.” She says the transition happened with no problems whatsoever, and we told her what she needed to do on her end. What about surprises? There were none at all, she says.

The Rewards of Owning Her Own Business

When we asked Harmony about the benefits of business ownership, she said, “So far, it’s just the joy of seeing your dream come to life. I have my gorgeous space. I’m so happy with it, and it was really fun decorating.”

She also finds great joy spending time at the studio. “I really enjoy meeting new people and recognizing for my own self because I’ve never done anything like this before. Recognizing that I can do this; I’m perfectly capable of it.”

Support has been instrumental too. “Whenever you do something out side of the box, friends and family are well-meaning but they’re scared for you: ‘Oh my gosh, I hope she makes it.’ I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been surrounded by all the right people.” And having run all the numbers, Harmony knows they’re going to make it and that pleases her.

At CatchFire Funding, we love Harmony’s story and we’re so glad we had a part in making her dream come true. If you have a passion that you’d like to turn into a business, and you want to learn more about our ROBS program, I invite you to contact me directly. I’m always available to take calls from aspiring entrepreneurs like you.

Veteran Uses 401k to Fund ‘Float Therapy’ Business

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Man standing in front of float pod.

In our latest client spotlight, meet Joseph “Joe” Lidy, a military veteran and owner of Float Evolution in Redlands, California. After a rigorous career filled with world travel and government contracts, Joe now helps people calm down at a skeletal level, reducing the triggers that lead to frustration and nervousness, nullifying the ill effects on the body and mind.

Joe always dreamed of owning his own business. When he was younger, he thought he was going to sell everything and when he turned 30, open up a scuba diving business. While he didn’t follow his original plan, his business still involves water, and plenty of it.

When Joe first visited a Float Evolution, little did he know it, but his life was about to change. Floating helped him on such a deep level that he ultimately decided to ditch his day job and do it full-time. Now, he helps others calm down through floating, so they can better deal with the everyday stressors of life. Here, Joe shares his entrepreneurial journey, and how CatchFire Funding’s SELF-DIRECTED 401k program, otherwise known as ROBS, helped him find peace and purpose through his work.

The Turning Point

Before business ownership, Joe was working a lot. His career started out in the military, and after that, he was working for a German company, doing automated engineering 80 to 115 hours a week. Because of his background, he explained, security was very important to him. So, when the German company said he could work as much as he wanted, he thought it was a great plan. “But after 12 or 13 years, all I’m doing is working. My life was flying by,” said Joe.

“All these things I want in my life, I can’t have because of the amount of time I’m working at this job. Then, you realize these people are just replaced, and the work goes on,” he says. Joe began to question his work and the whole point of what he was doing. At his job, he was promoted to the top, so there was nowhere for him to go. “I hit a point where I’m like, once you make enough money, that doesn’t matter. Helping people is at the top.”

Joe was in Portland and had just visited his cousin. “She was like, Dude, you’re all stressed out. You need to go float.” He went and, “It was this oh my gosh moment, this is amazing,” he says. He couldn’t stop talking about it. He ultimately sold his house, quit his job, rolled over his 401k, and went for it.

The 401k Rollover Process

When Joe started researching what it would take to open a business, he looked at the different options that could help him pull money from his 401k. He came across CatchFire Funding from several fellow veterans online, who discussed their experience. CatchFire Funding also has a Veteran’s Discount, which interested him.

Joe said he chose CatchFire Funding because we had all the answers available, veterans’ incentives and because our team made him very comfortable. “I had a lot of questions, and  they dealt with me very kindly.”

The 401k rollover process was very smooth according to Joe. “Actually, it was really easy from start to finish, and if I didn’t understand something, Cassie or Bill would say, ‘Hey, let me give you a call and discuss it and break it down.’”

What is Floating?

A lot of readers have probably never heard of floating before, so we asked Joe about it. Joe describes it as a sensory deprivation studio. “Sensory deprivation is removing the stimulus from the body to be able to give the mind and body a very untypical atmosphere to relax to a level that is very uncommon,” he says.

Joe’s studio has various suites and pods that match skin temperature. They put 1700 pounds of Epsom salt in the water so the individual stays 100% positively buoyant, even if they don’t know how to float. Some people say they can’t calm down, Joe says, but it happens naturally when they’re floating.

“When you put your body in this environment, 98% of gravity’s effects are removed. You start to pick up magnesium on a muscular level.” He went on to explain how the magnesium heals the cells, tissues, and organs from the inside-out, thereby lowering cortisol and blood pressure while boosting the immune system.

Floating also removes the stimulus for the flight or fight triggers, says Joe. To help us better understand the “stimulus” he was referring to, he compared our everyday lives to all the apps on our phone being open. “We trick ourselves into thinking we can multitask so much better than we think.”

Floating, and what it can do to help our bodies destress sounds amazing – surely, we can all benefit from more peace and calm! At CatchFire Funding, we’re glad we were able to play a role in Joe funding the business of his dreams! If this story inspired you in any way, feel free to give us a call and see how our ROBS program may help you too!

Why Former Paramedics Invested In CrossFit

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Black and white photo of mature couple at a gym.

At CatchFire Funding, we help people from various employment backgrounds so they can realize their dreams of business ownership. That said, our latest client spotlight comes to you from Arizona. Here, we share the story of Alan and Kare Williams, a husband and wife team who went from saving lives as paramedics, to transforming them through fitness.

Read on as the midcareer entrepreneurs share their journey with CatchFire Funding, and how they funded the business of their dreams with our SELF-DIRECTED 401k program!

From Paramedics to CrossFit

Alan and Kare Williams are the proud owners of CrossFit Milo located in Tucson, Arizona. CrossFit is different than traditional gyms; instead of relying on fancy gym equipment, it is a high-intensity interval training program that combines Olympic style lifting, bodyweight exercises, and gymnastics-type athletic skills. These exciting and intense classes are directed by certified coaches and performed in a group setting.

When we asked Alan what “Milo” stood for in his gym’s name, he explained how Milo (pronounced M-e-e-l-o) is a legend about a Greek wrestler, who won the first seven Olympics. From a philosophy and marketing standpoint, it was a simple name that was both unique and easy to say, so it was perfect for their gym.

Life Before CrossFit Milo

Before embarking on their entrepreneurial journeys, Alan and Kare Williams were paramedics. Kare was a flight medic and Alan was a medic with the fire department. Like many of our clients, the Williams reached the point in their careers where they were burned out. “I didn’t want to be in my late 50s and look back and go, ‘What if I had gotten out earlier?’” said Alan.

Alan and his wife grew tired of death and dismemberment. He reached his breaking point one day when he was inside a housefire, which the police suspected to be a meth lab. As Alan was crawling back to the bedroom, feeling around the bed for people to rescue, he thought to himself, “What are you doing? Get out of this house, it’s a meth lab.”

Someone was losing their home and belongings, he explained. They could be in danger. He and his crew could be in danger…”That coupled with if I never pulled a drowning baby from a pool again, I’d be perfectly happy. I was 48. This is a young man’s game,” he said. That day flipped a switch for him.

Turning Passion Into Business

Alan explained how he and his wife had been doing CrossFit for 8 to 10 years, but Kare was very serious about it. She was a CrossFit competitor, who made a name for herself. She was also a coach and a manager at a CrossFit gym. That was her passion, her thing, he said. Meanwhile, Alan’s passion was filmmaking. Alan’s original plan was to transition into filmmaking, but he could see how alive Kare was managing the gym, so the couple’s wheels started turning in that direction.

Alan had a 401k and he thought to himself, “I can’t believe I’m sitting on this money, and I can’t use it for anything until I’m much older.” That’s when he did his research and sure enough, he discovered there was a vehicle that could convert his 401k plan into a business opportunity.  “I was looking at this chunk of money. This is my money and I was refusing to believe I’d have to sit on it and let it grow and not access it until I was 65-years-old,” says Alan.

The Williams’ original plan was to buy an existing CrossFit, but the gym’s owners were going through a divorce and the negotiations fell through almost immediately. That’s when the couple decided to open their own gym in what Alan called, “a journey of discovery.”

“Typically, CrossFits start small – $30 to $40K of basic equipment, but we did things a little differently. The financial nest egg we had allowed us to move into a larger space, and invest in more equipment. It was a huge risk – if they build it they will come concept is risky but it worked,” says Alan.

The Williams built a beautiful facility, and the people loved it. According to Alan, they came because of Kare’s programming and the culture they created. “That combined with the facility we have, our business has grown predominately because of referrals. We took a chance and it worked out for us,” he says.

401K Funding Process

Alan admits that when he started researching the SELF-DIRECTED 401k, there was a learning curve. He explained how he’s not a financial guy, so he “spent a lot of time from a skeptical point,” and did a lot of research. He said CatchFire Funding was very patient with him as he asked a lot of questions and was very skeptical. “Cassie [Alan and Kare’s plan services representative at CatchFire Funding] said, ‘There are no dumb questions, we are going to get through this.’”

Alan said he didn’t run into any surprises with CatchFire Funding, but he’s grateful we exist because the process is involved, particularly if you’re not business-minded. “I’m really glad there is an expert because I never would have been able to do it myself,” he says.

When we asked Alan if he’d recommend CatchFire Funding to a friend, he said, “Absolutely.” He then mentioned a friend who was in the fire service with him. “He’s a woodworker and the same thing. He was burnt out and didn’t want to do it anymore. He wanted to expand the furniture business that he runs out of his garage.” So, Alan recommended CatchFire Funding to him as a funding possibility!

Would you like to learn more about funding a business or franchise tax and penalty-free using our SELF-DIRECTED 401k (ROBS) program? If so, reach out to us directly!

Is Fear Standing in Your Way of Business Ownership?

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Man sitting on suitcase because he missed plane.

I recently ran across an article on the subject of fear by British entrepreneur, Richard Branson, who launched Virgin Records more than forty years ago, which eventually led to Richard building the multinational Virgin Group.

I don’t know how familiar you are with Richard Branson, but the self-made billionaire’s life story is remarkable. Born in 1950 in Surrey, England, to a father who was a barrister and a mother, who was a flight attendant, a dyslexic Richard struggled academically and dropped out of school at the age of 16.

While most people would view his daring maneuver as a career-killer, his decision to drop out of high school ultimately led to his creation of a mail-order record company called Virgin, followed by a record shop in London. From there, the high school dropout built a recording studio in 1972 in England.

High School Dropout Enjoys Massive Success

After he took several leaps of faith and his entrepreneurial ventures succeeded in the music industry, Richard developed a real belief in himself and his business acumen and expanded into other sectors, such as the Virgin Atlantic airline in 1984, Virgin Megastores, and the space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic.

In Richard Branson’s article, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear,”  he says, “We all feel fear at some point in life, particularly when starting out at something new. Fear is a healthy human emotion, so long as it doesn’t cripple other emotions to get in the way of opportunity.”

In the article, Richard shares a story about a time he was participating in a Q&A session with BBC Radio 1, when a young Scottish singer-songwriter named Natalie Clark took the microphone to ask him about fear. To her surprise, Richard turned the tables on Natalie and asked her to come on stage. In an impromptu challenge, he asked her to sing a song. Facing her fears, Natalie wowed everyone with an off-the-cuff performance of her song, “Weakness.”

Natalie could have turned the invitation to sing down for a dozen reasons – she could have said she wasn’t prepared, or that she was too nervous, but she didn’t. Instead of shying away from the spotlight, Natalie took Richard’s challenge and blew everyone away. “She is proof that we should use every opportunity that comes our way as a step towards achieving our dreams,” Richard Branson wrote.

Natalie’s performance was played on the radio, and she went on to seize the biggest opportunity of her life, moving to the US and pursuing her singing career. Her incredible story can be used as an inspiration to each one of us. While she was afraid of quitting her job as a primary school teacher, she chased her dreams to become a recording artist, and she faced her fear with a “now or never approach,” according to Richard.

“The moral of the story: Don’t let fear hold you back from achieving your full potential. Harness it and channel it into passion. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear,” says Richard.

In the Face of Uncertainty

Richard Branson’s article hit me emotionally for different reasons. It made me think that whether you’re facing the uncertainty of a job, career, or health situation, there are things that are consistent. You don’t know what you don’t know – your mind starts thinking about all the what ifs. What if this bad thing happens? What if that bad thing happens? When we’re fearful, we have the tendency not to balance our fears with the potential positive outcomes.

In regard to business, sure there is risk, hard work, and the fear that it could go down in flames, but then it could also be very successful. In the same context, there can be another road bump in life, such as a health scare or a divorce. For me, the way I manage my personal issues is very much the same way I manage business. You never get where you want to go if you get turned around by fear – that is the theme in Richard Branson’s article.

Overcoming the Fear

Fear is natural, especially when you’re trying something new like leaving Corporate America to become an entrepreneur. A component of this message is the passion context that people are being pulled to do something in life. But the problem is they are fearful of letting go of the safety net of their job and their paycheck, to follow their dreams. That’s kind of what Richard Branson’s article was leading to…being pushed out of one’s box.

Richard Branson mentioned one of my favorite quotes from Greg Adair, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” This quote truly resonates with me, as I’m sure it does with most people, especially aspiring entrepreneurs. I actually discuss this phenomenon in detail in another post entitled, “Self-Inflicted Obstacles: Get Out Of Your Own Way!”

What opportunities could you create for yourself if you faced your own fears? If entrepreneurship is on the list, I encourage you to contact me today!