World Class Americanized Brazilian

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Who's Johnny Terra?

Prudent CPA. Savvy CISA. Caring Mentor.
I'm going to be the teacher of your success while being the student of your business.

Basketball Court

I believe that all relationships are based on Win-Win Attitude. I’m not really interested in a relationship that I win and you lose and I’m not really interested when you win and I lose.

So, don’t think I’m this naïve guy. I don’t want to lose either.

And we lose whenever you don’t achieve what you're seeking and whenever we don’t learn anything from each other. I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know everything.

I’m looking for those who mean what they say, do what they say, and believe on the GOLDEN RULE.

Integrity and authenticity are my utmost way of living life while respecting the golden rule.

I’ve found that when I win and you lose, and we do it again the "I win and you lose scenario", we don't do it again.

Tour Guide

I’ll never send you where I’m unwilling to go myself.

I'm your TOUR GUIDE TO SUCCESS and never a travel agent of your success.

I want to jump on the bus of your success and tell you everything I know about the places, the people, and all the technology to where we’re visiting.

Trail

I want you to come with me. Together, we’re going to blaze the trail of financial success.

I’m not taking this trip by myself. The only way we ever commit ourselves it’s when we buy into something.

That’s the difference between a person renting life and a person who owns it. When was the last time you polished a rental car?

Ambitious

I’m on a never-ending search for ways to clear the path for others so they can push themselves and their organization further.

The time to think about ourselves is done. It's about our legacy and to help those who come after us.

If enough of us do this, then we leave our families and this country in a better shape than we've founded.

I truly care about what you DO.

Your doings are an OUTER EXPRESSION of what you

RATIONALLY THINK, EMOTIONALLY FEEL, AND SPIRITUALLY BELIEVE!!!

Do You Want To Know My Story?

Can I talk to you about something really quick before we jump into pivot financial information?

Yes?

Please?

YES!!!

Awesome.

Thank you so much for your time.

I want to tell you a story of a super tall, skinny, 18-year-old Brazilian, and only child who was so excited to play college basketball in the United States that he didn’t care if he spoke the language or not.

All he wanted to do was to play basketball, get a degree, and move to Europe to make the big bucks playing professionally.

That kid was so lost when he first got into the airport in 2008 that he had no idea where to drop off his luggage. He also had no idea on how to ask for water during the flight, scared that the “fancy” serving people would charge him many dollars that he didn’t have.

Fast forward a few hours later, I mean more like 24 hrs later, he landed in Lubbock, Texas. He thought that the pilot got lost. From the windows of the airplane, he saw these big circles on the ground, and asked to himself:

“Do Aliens really exist?”

Later, he found out that these big circles were ground marks from the irrigation system of the farms around the area.

Oh man, what a naïve kid.

Sorry for talking about myself on a third person – enough of that.

Anyways, let’s fast forward a few years. I truly didn’t know any English when I got here. I stared at my professors for the entire time while they taught and I had no idea what they were talking about.

During basketball practices, every time my coach would call a drill for us to do, I would let my teammates go in front of me so that I can figure it out what in the world my coach was asking us to do.

Basketball is basketball no matter at what part of world you come from. The drills were pretty much the same, but the vocabulary and the environment was completely different.

Oh, if we mess up, then our coach would put us to run like Forrest Gump.

One pre-season we ran so much during a 5K Run Fundraiser for the cross country and track and field team that our point-guard beat one of the track athlete and finish the race before him.

However, the language barrier didn’t limit me. I didn’t care if I mess up or not, I wanted to talk to people. There was no other Brazilian in the university at the time. So, if I wanted to talk to someone I had to speak to them in English.

If you know another Brazilian, you know that not engaging and interacting with people is not an option for us. All we do in Brazil is party. Well, we do other things like work, but we mainly party.

Have you heard of Carnival?

It’s like Mardi Gras times 10. The entire country stops for 2 weeks on this rampage of enjoying life to the fullest. No matter what your problems are at that time, you are drawn to forget them and enjoy with everyone else.

It’s awesome and a lifetime experience if you can go.

I graduated in December of 2011 with my bachelor’s degree in accounting and had the honor to be chosen as the graduation speaker.

Can you believe the honor and the feeling of accomplishment I felt when my fellow classmate chose me?

A foreigner who didn’t know English 3 years ago and now had the privilege to deliver a message to an audience of a few hundred of people?

WOW I did a fairly decent job, people said that I spoke really well and they really enjoyed my speech.

But guess what? I made a small mistake that many people didn’t noticed but I still remember to this day.

In the beginning of my speech, I was telling the audience how proud I was to have near me my mom and my older cousin with his girlfriend at the time. They were present in the audience watching me deliver the speech. I don’t remember the exact phrase but while pointing to my family in the audience, I said I was very emotional to have my mom, my cousin, and “her” girlfriend.

My older cousin, Rafael, is like my older brother. When we were younger, I'd follow him everywhere. He got to be my Best Man. Check him out on the far left.

Terra Family

Yeah, a little mistake that can be interpreted in many different ways in our society. It was a little mistake that later I apologize to him.

A little mistake that we can go on and on about it, right?

I say these stories above because we need to get to know each other. We're going to spending a lot of time together. Learning, reading, talking, and traveling that if you trust me as your friend, I'm doing a good job.

I wanted to show you that not only I’ve made mistakes in life, like anyone else, but I’ve also made mistakes financially while learning how to manage my own money as you read below.

Mistakes are okay. We have to be okay that they will happen. We are all human.

What you shouldn’t do, it’s to accept the fact that you can’t learn anything from them.

Who hasn’t made any mistakes right? Especially financial mistakes.

I remember vividly when I got a job offer to work for a CPA firm in town. Even before I worked my first day in the office and definitely long days before I got my first paycheck ever deposited in my bank account, I had purchased a brand new 2013 Dark Grey Ford Edge Limited Edition.

ZERO percent down, the true NINJA loan that helped crash the world economy in 2008.

No income, no job, and no asset – that’s what a NINJA loan is.

Without realizing, I spent my entire yearly salary in one purchase spread over six years. The salary I didn’t even have received a portion of it. Not even a cent.

Looking back, this was the moment, that one purchase, that made me realize that I needed to learn how to master my money.

Hey, I get it. I come from a very decent family where my father was a branch manager for one of the biggest bank in Brazil and my mom was a government employee who knew how to take care of business. They have taught me good morals and principles all my life.

Yet, here in United States, they weren’t next to me making the decision for and with me. They were so far away that if I waited to talk to them about buying the car, they would’ve told me it was dumb and stupid move.

On top of that, I just graduated from college with a business degree. You would think I knew what in the world I was doing right?

Accounting major, high GPA, good family background, no student debt. I had everything lined up to succeed right from the beginning, but I mess up big time.

Fast forward a few months and I got rid of the car, lost a few thousands of dollars and now I didn’t have a car to drive to my job.

I lived 15 blocks from my job. Not too bad, but it’s those distance where it’s close to drive and far to walk.

And I walked...

I walked 15 blocks one way and 15 blocks another way when the day was over to get back home. I had a little workout bag where I put my dress shoes in before I started walking to work. While wearing dress clothes with running shoes on, it would take me about 35 minutes to walk to work.

I had to get to work. I was blessed many times by my boss’ wife and a few other people who would promptly give me rides every day they could to help me out.

They were doing me a favor; they were helping me out big time.

They even gave me a bed to sleep, which I will tell you more later about this story.

If you are one of those people who helped me during that time of my life and you're are reading this right now, I want to tell you how grateful I am for your generosity. I will never forget your loving gestures. You are eternally imprinted in my heart.

Aside from their kind gestures, at the end of the day, it was my ultimate responsibility to get to work on time and perform to the best of my ability. It was during tax season and my clients depended on me to do a good job.

There was no other option. Failure and quitting was not an option for me.

Which leads us into…

Your Financial Life is NOT OPTIONAL

Let me be very specific here.

Successful, soundness, strong financial disciplines are not optional.

For anyone.

No matter their age, their income levels, their social status.

Financial failure is not an option.

It’s not an option to your future self, to your spouse, to your kids, to your co-workers, to your society, to your country, and to the world.

In any level.

Not constantly seeking a solid foundation for your finances will lead to unavoidable pains in your life.

And as part of life, mistakes will be made.

Just like I did. However, the sooner you realized that it is only a mistake if you didn’t learn anything from it, the faster you will turn your financial life around.

No one ever told me exactly what to do and I had to and continue to figure all this stuff out on my own. I was by myself, foreigner in a country, and my family was too far to constant give me advice.

So, I had to figure all this stuff on my own.

I don’t want you to go through the same pain cycles I went through.

Just like me, you can turn your situation around in a heartbeat.

All you gotta do is to have these 6 things:

The Discipline of An Athlete

I’ve been an athlete all my life. I’ve played for my country’s national team back when I was 17 years old. I’ve played high level college basketball.

And one thing I’ve learned throughout these 20+ of being a high-level athlete is that you have to be discipline to be great at anything you do.

Wake up early, eat right, practice as hard you can, and give your best all the time. Every day, day in and day out, if you’re not performing, someone will, and they will take your spot on the court and I hated sitting on the bench.

One of my peep peeves that you might hear me saying over and over again is that I don’t believe in 110% effort. People who say that constantly live in their 70%-80% pace.

When they do push themselves to their personal limits, they think they achieved greatness to a point of 110% capacity of their abilities.

The extra 10% doesn’t exist. They were going at 100%.

They were just now realizing that they could do so much more than they ever thought they could because they were coasting at 70%.

The Adaptation of A Foreigner

Life is constantly changing whether you like change or not. It’s just the nature and the speed of the world we live.

When I came to the United Stated, I realized that not everyone ate pizza with their forks and knifes (I still do that eventually, which drives my wife crazy).

But I’ve adapted to the American culture of also not putting ketchup on my pizza lol (Yes, I do that as well, I’m that guy).

Elasticity is the name of the game. The faster you change and the more you adapt to your environment, the better you become.

The way your grandparents taught your parents about finances, was not the same way your parents taught you about personal finances (if they ever taught you anything).

And I believe you are going to agree with me that your ways of doing finances won’t be the same way your kids one day will be doing their finances.

It’s okay to go through the valley of rejection – there will be a few items in here that you might not like it in the beginning, but after implementing them for a few months, you’re going to realize how much that has impacted your core.

You will be talking differently.

You will be living different.

You will be having different opportunities.

And you will feel different.

And different is better. It’s okay to be that the weird foreigner who eats pizza with his fork and knife and ketchup on top.

That alone gave me countless opportunities to be a conversation starter. Which now, without those endless conversation about how weird I was, I can actually write in English where you can actually understand what I’m writing.

They were a blessing in disguise, don’t you agree?

The Loving Heart of A Husband

Aubrey and I were great friends in college. She also played basketball. After college, we went out ways and it took us about 2 years to start talking again as good friends as we were.

During these 2 years, I devoted my time to learn about finances and really seek the best woman for myself.

I’m easy going. I’m easy to please and nothing really bothers me. But choosing my wife and seeking out to be the best husband I could be, I really had to understand what I wanted in a woman.

If I had a checklist to the top 1,000+ characteristics I wanted for my wife, then Aubrey checked every single box.

When I met her, I told her that she gave me hope. I realized that there are still good people in this world. People with a pure heart that always want your best.

She is the heart of our relationship and with her sincerity and true compassion has taught me so much about caring for others.

Your financial success depends how much care you are willing to devote to make a change. Life on the other side is such a loving place to be that the benefits of living in those moments outweighs any struggles you’ve gone through.

I wasn’t paying the price to wake up early, eat right, and give my best on the basketball court.

I was receiving the benefits of becoming a better player and reap the success that came with it.

So, you shouldn’t think that you are paying the price to put a budget in place, save for emergencies, or even better, to spend late nights learning how to START A COMPANY.

You are receiving the benefits to provide and to give yourself a chance to CHANGE YOUR FAMILY LEGACY.

The Trust of A Christian

Although, I would never shove my personal spiritual principles on anyone, I would also by no means forsake them for anyone.

You good with that?

Being a Christian means that there is a higher power that is watching over your actions, taking control of your destiny, and supporting you in every decision.

Trusting is the ability to drive at night the 316 miles that separates Texas from Oklahoma without knowing what the next 10 miles are going to look like.

While you’re driving your car, your lights only shine as much as a 1 mile ahead. Yet, you still managed to drive 316 miles without knowing what was coming.

You knew your destination. You knew that you had to take US-62 eventually.

You trusted your abilities to drive well and the GPS in your phone to take you to the right place.

Your financial life is the same way. You know your destination:

To push your legacy further and confidently transcend one financial pivot at the time.

You have the desires to succeed and to make an impact on those around you.

Think about the ripple effects, or you might call the domino effect, of the financial decisions you make. If you learn one thing from me, you've became a better person to your family and those around you.

As they learn from you, their families and friends will become better because of your dedication to learn from me.

Deep inside we all want our finances to matter. We might know that the end of the month is coming and we’re eagerly waiting for our paychecks, but you might not trust where you’re going.

One of the transformations you're going to have reading my information is to trust your financial decisions today so that you change your destination.

And your destination is going to be to open a business for you. Personal finances is just the beginning, not the end.

It's the foundation to prepare you to do bigger and impactful things with your money.

Have you ever thought about the first person you're going to hire or the first contractor you're going to pay to help you finish a project?

You just helped a family put food on their table just because you started your own business.

THAT'S OUR DESTINATION.

That's our journey together.

Financial success is possible, but we all need a foundation before we go any further.

The Geekiness of A CISA

Yes, I was that kid who played video game, computer games, and watch Japanese cartoons.

How about that for a stereotype?

However, I’m also a man who has audited computer system for U.S. Banks. CISA stands for Certified Information System Auditor.

I had to make sure there were steps, procedures, and controls in place to not only protect the bank’s sensitive information, but the bank’s customers information as well.

I was auditing the information flow to make sure it was getting through the right people, network systems, and user interfaces.

21st century finances is much more than just doing a little envelope system, pay everything with cash, and track your financial activity with 20 different spreadsheets.

We have mobile apps and computer softwares to help us be accountable with each other.

Technology is evolving where we can and should use to benefit our finances.

Don’t get me wrong but there are venues out there that think we still live in the 1950s and still don’t accept cards as a form of payments.

In our current days, we can use our smartwatch to pay for something.

Isn’t that crazy?

For me it's crazy. Crazy good!!!

So, we need to be in agreement on this technological world because technology isn’t going to slow down and we need to use it to help us on our destination to financial greatness okay?

And The Knowledge of A CPA

I’m not saying you need to transform yourself into a bean counter. I’m not saying after reading my information, you’re ready to sit for the CPA exam or prepare a few tax returns or even put a financial statement together for a client.

You can turn your financial situation around in a heartbeat. All you gotta do is to have the foundation deep sewed on your being, that the topic “money” will come easily to you.

I’m going to take you on a journey to truly understand how money works, so you can make better financial decisions.

One thing I don’t understand in our industry, financial experts and financial coaches, is that we continue to separate the coaching of personal and business finances.

Their principles are governed by the same money.

Last time I checked, $1 is the same dollar on either side.

Just like my naïve-me, you’re going to learn (another word for we’re going to make some mistakes) that personal money works the same way as business money.

But we gotta continue to master the art of finances so we can build a legacy for our families.

For a CPA, rules and regulations are constantly changing.

For you, the individual and soon a solopreneur, you need to constantly seek more knowledge, to invest in yourself, because YOU matters so much.

You’re special, you’re unique, you’re capable of achieving so much more when you focus on the right things.

There is nothing like you. You can do this. I know you can, because I’ve done it.

Are you ready to join the team and push your financials skills further?

Let's get started.

Sincerely,

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