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Minnesota Artist Sells Works on eBay to Stave off Missing a House Payment January 28th, 2009

Well, when the Duchess of Earle talks real estate investing, she is usually discussing things like short sales – such things as occur when missed payments and foreclosure enter the picture, things that used to be mysterious to the average Joe, but have come to be more widely known due to the nation’s present financial climate.  But today she shares with her readers a little different slant on real estate matters.  Different – and yet not at all so, for the task of making one’s house payment looms as a large challenge to many families these days. 

While reading today’s edition of the Star Tribune, newspaper of the Twin Cities (for those of you outside the area that means Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota), she encountered an article about a Minnesota artist in a pickle about how to pay her mortgage next week.  Melissa Robinson, of Cold Spring, has decided “to do something bold and dramatic.”  She has put her life’s work of original art on eBay in the effort to market her way to making her house payment.

So the Duchess, who got into the real estate forum in the first place because of a friend who was facing foreclosure and divorce all at once, and who has an interest in helping people out when she can, has decided to write this post in the effort to assist this fellow Minnesotan in her attempt to make her payment.

The Duchess has gone both to eBay and Ms. Robinson’s two sites to take a peek.  The works she finds are simple, folk art-type originals, some with words incorporated into the paintings, some not.  It’s a rather whimsical style she has – trees float in the atmosphere, a cabin in the woods emits heart-shaped puffs of smoke, ducks ride bicycles and bird-shaped snow sculptures sport colorful winter gloves for combs and wear party-hat beaks (please note that not all works mentioned in this article are on eBay – some are on her website).  In addition to such fun things, there are more thoughtful and inspirational/motivational pieces, charming in their simplicity and ability to please the eye.  A tree standing in the middle of four blocks of color makes this writer think a bit of Paul Klee’s art.  Many of the works are current too – one depicts an airplane in the Hudson River.  The Duchess also located on the web a portrait of our new President Barack Obama, though this work is not amongst those shown as being for sale.

Now please know, dear readers, the Duchess does not personally know this lady, has never heard of her until the reading of this morning’s paper, but she puts this blogpost into the ether in hopes that someone out there will find an available piece appealing and take action.  The newspaper article quotes Ms. Robinson as saying that the opening eBay prices are waaaay below what things have sold for on her website in the past, so if you’re an art lover you’ve got a rare opportunity – both to get a bargain on something you can enjoy for a long time and to help a fellow human being out of a jam.  Even if the style is not for you, the Duchess hopes you’ll get a day-brightening smile or two, just for the experience of looking around on the eBay postings and Robinson’s website.

The Duchess closes this post with all best wishes to Melissa A. Robinson in her efforts to make that payment!  You go, Girl! :)


United First Financial VIP Meeting in Minneapolis September 28th, 2008

As mentioned earlier this week in this weblog, United First Financial held a leadership and training meeting these past two days in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park.  Mac Saunders, national Director of Sales for the company, was here to share his time and a ton of information largely focused on Version 4 of the Money Merge Account, which is UFF’s stellar debt-elimination system. 

Both the Duke and Duchess attended this meeting and both felt it a worthwhile event. 

One thing that the Duchess plans to check out is a book mentioned by Michael Isakson, one of the speakers.  It is The Dream Giver, written by Bruce Wilkinson.   Another thing, shared by speaker Bill Blanchard, is a quote from Jim Rohn:  “Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”

This last notion leads nicely into remarks shared by Gene Harris, who, like Isakson and Blanchard, is a Branch Manager with UFF.  Harris taught school for 31 years before retiring.  He was also a football coach – actually still does coach.  He shared this thought: The great Vince Lombardi worked his team on the fundamentals of the sport (starting with, “This is a football.”) and he did it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over – well, you get the idea.  He drilled his teams endlessly on the basics so that they could perform properly under the pressure of game conditions.  In the light of Lombardi’s approach to coaching, Harris relates the progression through the stages of incompetence or competence in dealing with situations in business – whether one’s business is football or not.

He says there are four stages of growth in any business person’s experience and that, to succeed, one must develop a beginner’s frame of mind – an awareness that will allow one to get one’s own self out of one’s own way.  This represents a humility of thought that is willing to learn.  But sometimes it takes a bit for one to realize that one needs a bit of assistance in getting there.  He points out that failure is often the agent that provides the awakening wherein one learns to be receptive to mentoring.   Commenting that all success is built on failure, he cites some of his own failures and then the numberous failures of another man, asking if we know who the man is.  His record reads like this (the Duchess sincerely hopes she got all this down correctly):

This man had a difficult childhood.  He failed in business in 1831.  Was defeated when he ran for the legislature in 1832.  Tried another business and failed in 1833.  His fiancee died in 1835.  Ran for speaker in 1838 and was defeated.  Ran for elector in 1840 with the same result.  By 1842, he was in a troubled marriage.  He was defeated in his run for Congress in 1843 and did succeed (hooray for him!) in being elected in 1846.  The Senate was his next attempt in 1855; he was not elected.  In 1856 he ran for Vice President – no dice.  Two years later, he lost a race for the Senate.  One bright spot in all these attempts, folks. 

But, of course the story doesn’t end there.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, this may be the hint that tells you his identity: He ran for President in 1860 and was elected.  This gave our country one of its finest Presidents: Abraham Lincoln.

So what stages did Mr. Lincoln go through as he battled his way up the ladder?  What are the stages that everyone must face in getting to the point of running a good business?  As previously stated, there are four.

The first one is called unconscious incompetence – it’s that sorry state of affairs wherein a fellow doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.  He may think he can do, but he really isn’t ready to, so he bumbles along until he realizes he has completely botched the job.

The second stage, which is called conscious competence, is born of that experience of failure – and that experience brings the dawning within the thought that one doesn’t really know how to achieve the goal.  This leads to the conclusion that perhaps some training or a mentor would be a good idea – and it’s truly right where one wants to be.  A truly full perception of this view brings with it a humble, receptive, listening state of mind.  One becomes willing to be a student through the recognition of what they don’t know.

So with this epiphany, comes the forming of a conscious purpose and effort to grow in competence.  This is the frame of mind that would bring one to such a trainig session as we were sitting in today.  The fruit of this striving and educating is the third stage: conscious competence – being aware that one is now capable of doing the task. 

And the last phase comes as the result of performing the fundamentals learned in gaining the conscious competence.  By this time, the individual – as Mr. Harris humorously puts it – has developed “ninja lips.”  Those with ninja lips have become so proficient in their business that they have moved into the ultimate stage, called unconscious competence.  Having this unconscious competence signifies that one can pretty much run on auto-pilot because the information or action required is thoroughly ingrained and one can still deal successfully with the  task, even without thinking too much about it.

So, as he wraps up his comments, he poses the question:  “Where are you today on this scale of one to four?”  And he adds this urging: “Develop the purpose to become an unconscious competent!”  

There was much more and perhaps the Duchess can share some later, but now she’s off to catch some zees – and sends her wishes to all the world for sweet dreams tonight!

United First Financial Exec Comes to Minneapolis This Week September 24th, 2008

Mac Saunders, one of the top executives at the award-winning company, United First Financial, is coming to town this weekend to spend some time with the troops in the Minnesota field.  Saunders comes in the wake of a series of outstanding recognitions for his company, including the Ernest and Young Entrepreneuer of the Year Award, Utah Region, presented at the end of June.  Douglas Andrews of “Missed Fortune” fame also endorsed the UFF software at that same time, as did Personal Real Estate Investor magazine

There will be training for agents offered, which will focus on the new Version 4 software, which leaves all other programs in the dust, including UFF’s own Version 3.  This software carries a capability NO ONE ELSE has – and the results of which NO ONE can duplicate on their own.  That may sound like over-the-top bragging, but it’s the truth.  So how come that is?  This new version not only utilizes an extremely complex algorithm, but it also exercises the benefits of factorial math to determine the fastest way for the client to get his or her debts to zero.  And there’s the other benefit of the Version 4 – the client doesn’t have to have a mortgage to make it work.  This program will work with any kind of debt – and in this financially woeful day and age, that’s a BEAUTIFUL thing

If you’re in the Minneapolis area and would like to learn more, c’mon down to the Doubletree Park Place hotel in St. Louis Park.  It’s just south of of I-394 and Xenia/Park Place exit.  The meeting starts at 7:00 P.M. this Friday evening, September 26th.  Come early to get a good seat, because the Duchess expects the place will be hopping!  And when you get there, ask those at the registration desk how to find the Duchess of Earle – and she and the Duke will be glad to greet you!  Come and let Mac Saunders show you how you can get out of debt faster than you ever thought possible! 

Countdown to Version 4 of Money Merge Account: 21 days left June 6th, 2008

Well, it’s June and the long-await United First Financial annual Convention is fast drawing near.  This year’s convention is to be held in Atlanta, GA, at the end of the month.

Every agent in U1st has been waiting with bated breath to learn about the new version of the Money Merge Account software, which promises to quadruple our potential client base.  And why is that?  It’s because it will no longer require a client to have a mortgage.  All a client needs to have is a debt – it can be student loans, vehicle loan, credit card loans/debt, mortgages, lines of credit – any of that stuff will qualify to be able to work with the Money Merge Account. 

This new version will put U1st head and shoulders above the competition – no one will have the breadth and depth of a program to compete with what the Money Merge Account will offer.

Agents will not only see the program revealed, but will leave the convention trained to assist people shovel their way out of their debts.  In today’s debt-ridden climate, that will be a light to many struggling in financial darkness. 

This posting is written very early on the morning of June 6th, so we now have 21 days until the convention and the unveiling of the new version of the software.  We’ll be counting down to the last day, cheerfully awaiting the certainty of being able to assist many, many people to getting control of their finances. 

Come along for the ride! It promises to be a good one!  We’ll really have reason to blow up those fireworks on the 4th of July in celebration of a new freedom for Americans – and, now, Canadians too!

Questions?  Write the Duchess at

Hints of things to come for Money Merge Account Hopefuls April 30th, 2008

Here follows a snippet from a letter received today from one of the top people in United First Financial (UFF).  It hints at what is to be revealed at the 2nd Annual Convention of UFF, when it meets in late June:  

What would happen if 100% of your clients that wanted to change their lives and start using the Money Merge Account software were able to qualify?“That is just one of the many programs that will be introduced at this year’s international convention.”There is so much to look forward to!  Those of you that wish to be on the Money Merge Account, but for one reason and another haven’t been able to qualify in the past, will be able to get another look at it by having a fresh analysis run, then get on the program and get debts of all kinds on the run!  Most folks don’t need refinancing, but please know that, if you do, the Duchess is also qualified to offer that service.  It’s a one-stop service shop with the Duchess of Earle! :)   

Keep watching for hints of what is to come!

Duchess launches new Money Merge Account Website April 10th, 2008

Exciting News! 

The Duchess of Earle is pleased to announce the unveiling of her new website about the Money Merge Account online software program from United First Financial. 

UFF Co-Founder Matt Lovelady Visits Twin Cities April 4th, 2008

One of United First Financial’s co-founders, Matt Lovelady, arrived in Minneapolis today to spend time training the local UFF agents.   This is his second visit in about six months.  Two of the other co-founders, Skyler Whitman and Mac Saunders, were here for similar purposes in January.

The team of agents working in the Twin Cities has grown rapidly in the last year, as has the number of people now utilizing the Money Merge Account to pay off their mortgages and their debts, such as auto loans, student loans and credit card debt. 

There are exciting changes coming for the company and its agents, because at the second annual convention to be held in late June, the fourth version of the software will be announced.  The new version is expected to be far more advanced than the version presently in use.  Watch for such improvements as being able to include up to five properties at once in a single Money Merge Account program (a wonderful thing for real estate investors) and also a program for those without mortgages to pay down their various debts. 

The Money Merge Account program is poised to revolutionize the way Americans handle their money.  Check it out – you may be the next person to discover this fantastic system of money management!    

JLO of the Mortgage Loan World April 2nd, 2008

The Duchess came to what, for her at least, was a humorous realization the other day. 

She’s been a Loan Officer with Mortgage and Investment Consultants (MIC), a correspondent bank based in St. Paul, Minnesota, since December 2007.  As a newbie LO, there have been classes required by both the State of Minnesota and by MIC in order to be properly schooled in the mortgage loan process.  In reading a little educational article, she discovered that there are both Junior Loan Officers and Senior Loan Officers -which gave her a chuckle to realize that she was a JLO!  It left her feeling in good company and hoping that the great success of the beautiful and talented actress/singer often referred to as J. Lo (Jennifer Lopez, the most prosperous Latin lady ever in Hollywood), might rub off on her own mortgage loan business. 

So, whether you need a new mortgage, a refinance or a line of credit, you’re invited to contact the Duchess of Earle, JLO of Mortgage and Investment Consultants!    

New Money Merge Account Website Announced March 28th, 2008

The Duchess of Earle

is pleased to announce

the unveiling of

her new website for the

Money Merge Account


United First Financial.


You are most cordially invited to attend our

Open House Celebration,

Twenty-four hours a day

Seven days a week.

Virtual tea and crumpets will be served,

Along with Free, No Obligation Money Merge Evaluations


To accept your Invitation, Click here

And follow the prompts for your Guided Tour