Thursday, September 12, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author and Financial Manager Peter Sorrells

Peter Sorrells, Author

Peter Sorrells is an electrical engineer and holder of eight patents who learned about financial management the hard way—by making his own mistakes. His appreciation of the art of writing led him to pen 100 WAYS TO SAVE AND GROW YOUR MONEY: FINANCIAL FITNESS FOR REGULAR PEOPLE—his latest contribution to help us manage our money. Reviewers praise his ability to take complex financial concepts and make them understandable.

The son of a minister and teacher, Mr. Sorrells' religious beliefs help guide him in his writings—and his life. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys, riding motorcycles, and playing guitar.

Q: What drove you from a career as an electrical engineer in high-tech to writing books on financial management?

Peter Sorrells: When I was young, I enjoyed reading a lot, mostly fiction. I always loved how words go together to teach, uplift, and wring emotions out of a reader. And ever since college, I've enjoyed writing. Putting just the right words together, gives me the same satisfaction as creating something artistically/visually appealing. I spend too much time writing emails with too many words, and writing/rewriting Powerpoint presentations, for this reason.  I appreciate so much reading other authors' work in books, articles, famous quotes, even song lyrics. I did not set out to be an author; it just sort of turned out that way.

In 1989, after a failed real estate event and other financial challenges, I set out to compile a list of money-saving ideas.  That list grew into a book.  But I didn’t publish it for two decades, though every few years I pulled out the manuscript and did some more editing.

In about 2005, while leading a small church group in my home, I wrote a short course and taught the group during two or three short sessions. That course was based, in part, on my earlier manuscript.  I love teaching and loved seeing the light bulbs go on.  And the epiphany for me, was that nobody knows this stuff coming out of a home and a high school.  They still need to learn some basic concepts that will make a huge difference in their lives.

In 2009, after a much larger failed, giant real estate event which devastated our family finances, I rewrote and updated the draft of 100 Ways to help others avoid and recover from similar painful financial situations.  It is absolute misery to be in financial hardship, with creditors calling all day and wondering how you'll make it to the next paycheck. Wondering if you'll lose your house, your car, your everything. I've been there, and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Pressure like that causes stress, medical problems, marital problems, and sometimes spirals into more bad decisions. I put these books together to uplift & help as many people as possible.

Q: You have a background of international negotiation as part of your high-tech career. Can people from other countries apply your principles, or are they U.S.-centric?

Peter Sorrells: Anyone and everyone can apply them. My negotiations are based on treating people right, telling the truth, working toward agreement that satisfies the customer’s needs and protects my employer. I work to understand where the person across the table is coming from, what is needed and why. And I explain our position in terms they can understand, based on their own experience. If I can’t help them, I say so.  I wrote more about this subject in  The Humanity of Marketing Business-to-Business, an ebook published by ExecSense.

Q: Most of your reviewers for 100 WAYS TO SAVE AND GROW YOUR MONEY: FINANCIAL FITNESS FOR REGULAR PEOPLE claim that your methods take complex financial concepts and make them understandable. How do you simplify financial principles for us inept financial managers?

Peter Sorrells: I have been an inept financial manager!  I have made more and larger financial mistakes than most people. Despite my best efforts and investing a lot of money in investment courses, I lost huge amounts of money. Meanwhile some of my friends, who used simple financial principles, kept and grew their money. And my mother and father, an elementary schoolteacher and the pastor of a small church, neither of whom ever earned a lot of money, saved and grew their money carefully. They put three of us kids through college and retired comfortably.

I made 100 Ways simple by breaking it into small pieces, easy steps that anyone can do.  Could you buy brand B instead of Brand A, to save a dollar every few days?  Could you take a lunch to work one day a week instead of eating out?  Could you make a phone call to your credit card company, say a few specific words, to save hundreds of dollars in interest fees? Anyone can.  Do that with a few ideas in the book, invest the savings at rates you can find in Getting 10%, and retire a millionaire.   

Q: Although you hold eight patents and have a BS degree, you don’t seem to have any finance degrees. What makes you a credible author of books on financial management? 

Peter Sorrells: Making lots of large mistakes and learning from them.  And going back to basics, reviewing how my parents did it, learning from friends who did a better job than I did. Reviewing the mistakes I had made, figuring out how I could have done things differently. And using some pretty straightforward math to model the way the world works, to prove to myself that it can really be done. I’ve climbed out of a huge financial hole by using the concepts in this book. It is not really about finance; it’s about making small, specific life changes that drive big results over time. I’m more of an engineer that appreciates how the universe works, than a financial guru.

Q:  Several of your reviewers said that they felt whole again after reading 100 WAYS; however, a few were critical of religious overtones. How important do you think some kind of belief or values system is for financial well-being?

Peter Sorrells: Many, many people have proven that money can be made in the absence of spiritual and mental health. Some very famous ones have ended up miserable, or dead early. They thought being wealthy and/or famous would make them happy, but we can see so many contrary examples. Belief in God, and/or a relationship with Him, is not necessary for making, saving, or growing money – the mathematical principles are sound either way. But the Bible contains a lot of wisdom on money management that is useful either way. And the small amount of life coaching and scripture that I wrote into this book, are there for another purpose: to help the reader into a successful life. For that, I believe we all need a higher power and a savior.

Q: How are your books different than others about personal financial management?

Peter Sorrells: Most finance books are about more general concepts or more complicated concepts – 100 Ways is the opposite.  It is specific and simple.  Sort of the way my brain works.

I’ve read the inch-thick financial books (er, started to – I’m not sure I finished any of them). Great books have been out there for years, but most Americans retire poor and depend on Social Security.  I wanted to make things easy, an everyone’s guide that everyone can understand in a few minutes (hence the subtitle).  And without investing weeks in a course or getting bogged down in complex financial terms or risky strategies.  Then I published a small enough format that it wouldn’t be intimidating. 

Q: What do you think is THE most important tip you can offer us everyday folks?

Peter Sorrells:

1.     Set a goal.
2.     Spend less than you earn, every month. 
3.     Save/invest that money and don’t touch it.

It really is that simple; but you won’t believe me until you read the very real ways to do this.

Q: Who should read your books? Who are your targeted readers?

Peter Sorrells: 100 Ways been helpful to people of all ages, high school to retirement age. Families in their thirties, businessmen in their 40’s and 50’s, seniors living on social security, and it’s been used as curriculum in a high school life skills class with 17- and 18-year olds.

Q: What’s next? Are you planning to write additional books on this topic? Others?

Peter Sorrells: After some reviewers asked about the interest rates used in some of the examples in 100 Ways, I wrote a companion guide showing where and how to get those rates.  That second book Getting 10%: Great Returns of 1%, 5%, 10 and More on Your Money is available as a Kindle ebook.

My next book will be a simple cookbook with a month of meals that can be made for less than a dollar.

After that… the answer to everything is “it depends”. I have a to-do list with dozens of titles that I plan to write, but they always take longer than I expect. I will probably write a few more money-saving books, but also have plans to write outside that genre in business, spiritual, and even fiction.

Q: Tell us about Pete Sorrells. What do you like to do when you’re not writing or working? Who are your favorite authors?

Peter Sorrells: I spend time with my wife and three boys, read, watch movies, exercise, play a variety of guitars onstage at small and large churches, ride motorcycles, and also enjoy shooting sports at two local ranges.

Some of my favorite authors:

1) Rick Warren, because his book The Purpose-Driven Life is such a powerful life changer, and his personal character is such a strong example.

2) Brian Tracy and Steve Chandler, whose practical teaching in books and audio helped me to crawl off dead center, break through the inertia of self pity and desperation, stand up and move forward again after a devastating financial disaster.

3) Todd Burpo, whose true story in Heaven is for Real gave me a fascinating glimpse into heaven.

About Peter Sorrells

Peter Sorrells holds eight patents and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree from the University of Arizona.He has held successful engineering, marketing, and management positions in a half dozen high-technology companies. His work has taken him to befriend and negotiate with the largest high-technology companies in the world, as far East as Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and China. And as far West as Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Canada, and every corner of the USA. An entrepreneur and teacher at heart, he speaks to large and small audiences on technical, business, financial, and biblical subjects.

His first Amazon bestseller, 100 WAYS TO SAVE AND GROW YOUR MONEY: FINANCIAL FITNESS FOR REGULAR PEOPLE, was originally written in 1990 - but not published at that time. It was later updated based on new technology and new life experiences, and first published in late 2009. The work grew from Peter's personal education in two disastrous financial events, conquering and recovering from those challenges, and distilling that wisdom in an easy-to-read, practical guide to help others. Peter's love of teaching and helping others is evident in his writing style.

Peter contributed a chapter to Brian Tracy's new book, The Secret to Winning Big, which was released and hit the Amazon bestseller charts in November 2012. He also released his own second Kindle book on finding high investment interest rates. Getting 10%: Great Returns of 1%, 5%, 10% and More on Your Money was released in early December 2012.

Most comfortable in blue jeans and a T-shirt, Peter most loves spending time with his (very patient and understanding) wife and three boys. Self-described as a man with too many hobbies, he can be found coaching others in the financial ministry of his church, facilitating Financial Peace University groups, riding motorcycles, shooting a variety of firearms at the local range, and performing music on stages of some of the largest and smallest churches in Arizona (he plays the electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, writes music charts, and helps to MD the band).

Peter considers himself one of the luckiest and most blessed humans on earth, and meets each day with a list that's too big to finish.

Packed with easy, step-by-step actions anyone can use to save and grow their money. Endorsed by young and old.  Are you frustrated with the month left at the end of your money? Are you starting from zero with no money at all, or worse - starting with a load of debt? There is hope! Do you have a "why"? A goal that absolutely must happen? A dream vacation, new furniture, college tuition, new church building, big medical bill, or well-fed credit card debt that's outgrown all your other bills? This book is for you! Through simple and practical ideas and examples, you'll learn how to put money back into your pocket, purse and bank account regularly and safely. You can watch your debt shrink and your money grow month by month. It's easier than you think.

Downturns in the stock market and real estate in the last few years have made us afraid to invest in anything but an insured savings account or cash in a coffee can. But today's environment has driven bank savings accounts to such low interest rates, they're not much better than cash. Is it possible to get high interest rates in today's environment, when banks are paying 0.1% on savings accounts? Is it possible to find 1% without high minimums and penalties for withdrawal? What about 5% return? 10%? Yes! Even more than 10%. This Kindle book is dedicated to everyone that has ever lived with near-zero savings rates from the bank, while paying high service charges and high interest rates on loans and lines of credit… often to the same bank. And to anyone who's ready to start growing their nest egg at a much faster rate. In this book you'll learn where to look for those high rates, and some new ways of managing your money. Includes links to many resources. Over 6750 words. A companion to the larger book 100 Ways to Save and Grow Your Money: Financial Fitness for Regular People.

About THESECRET TO WINNING BIG (co-authored with Brian Tracy and other leaders)

The first man gets the oyster, the second the shell. ~ Andrew Carnegie Everyone loves to win, each in their own way for their own reasons. Winning means the position at the forefront of any endeavor. Winning Big is a term which expands this concept to define the impact of a 'significant' Win. Winning Big suggests a game-changing experience, a purposeful accomplishment that affects the way we are treated, as well as the outcome. How does anyone 'Win Big'? It usually starts with a determination of our goals. This may be referred to as our mindset, which indicates a measure of purpose. We move through stages of mindset to get to a position from which we can focus our actions to achieve our goals. The Celebrity Experts® in this volume have all done this. They propose to teach you mindset, methods and appropriate actions that can help propel you into the Winning Big circle. The hallmark of these authors is that they have 'been through the fire' themselves. They have endured the 'tempering' of their lives to get to this point of achievement. So you are not hearing from players that merely wish, speculate or plan, but from those who have acted, achieved, and Won Big! We all wish to be taught by the master, not by the apprentice. In this volume, these masters give you the opportunity to benefit from their knowledge. Follow them and they will mentor you from a position of strength. These Celebrity Experts® coach and teach... The Secret To Winning Big. The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers. ~ Brian Tracy

Humans. We are a strange breed, complex and simple at the same time. Each of us is a bundle of needs, wants, goals, passions, joys, and pains both personal and professional. This is true of every single human being, making us all the same. But with a mix so unique, no two humans are alike. We tend to think of ourselves in these terms, each as an individual, and we work to highlight that individuality, striving for achievement, recognition, success, distinction. At any moment in time, someone around us is having their best day and someone else is having their worst. One just got a promotion, another was given a final warning before termination. One is at the peak of fitness, another is ill and weak. A new marriage, a new divorce. Life is happening to every single one of us, and everyone around us—including our co-workers and our customers.  This book teaches how to treat those humans that work for our customers, negotiating with empathy and integrity while protecting our bottom line.


Twitter: @PeterSorrells

1 comment:

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