Attorney Eric Kornblum Speaks With Katherine On “This Needs To Be Said” About The Importance Of Time And Helping People Become Debt-Free. – Part One

Katherine:

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for joining us on This Needs To Be Said radio. One of our friends, attorney Eric Kornblum, is coming to talk with us about managing something that seems elusive to most of us, time. Welcome back to This Needs To Be Said. How are you?

Eric Kornblum:

I’m well this morning, thank you. How are you today?

Katherine:

I’m doing fantastic and you think about running out of time, wasting time, using up too much time, not enough time. We can always have a pun on the word, but it’s so serious. I need more time. Give me five more minutes. Especially waking up first thing in the morning, five more minutes please. But when you’re talking about this elusive topic, what are you talking about in the world of helping people be debt free?

Eric Kornblum:

Well, you know I appreciate you, in the intro, saying that I was going to help people manage time and you know I wish I had that much power. I’m my own worst enemy in that respect. But we find that time you know there’s poems and stories written about time, certainly songs written about time and how elusive it is or how it is gone in a moment. But if we can really try to harness ourselves so that we’re not either a victim of time, and you know also help us manage our time better, we can be a lot more profitable, both maybe in our wallet but also in just the matter of a regular human relations.

Katherine:

I think you’re right. Give me some examples because you’re an attorney and you come on and you talk with us about many different things, bankruptcy or a way to be debt free or live debt free or to have a better handle on your finances. What part does time play in that?

Eric Kornblum:

Well, most of us going about our daily lives and things happen, life happens, you know the car breaks down, the water heater goes you know any unexpected things can happen that make us have to open our wallet or put things on credit. And you know most of us work and we get paid based on our time. If somebody takes a couple of days off, they’re sick, maybe you’re not getting paid you know. If I’m billing by time, I need to put in a certain amount of hours in order to get the pay I expect. But we don’t have control of those things, and with credit cards we’re able to pay on time, right?

You know we can charge things now and I don’t have to worry about it for a little bit and more often than not, I think this gets out of control, where it’s not in front of us, we just keep pushing it to the back and interest adds up and things get out of control and again, life happens to throw us curve balls, people lose jobs, they get sick, and after a while maybe these things get out of control and like myself, I know the things that I want to deal with the least I put on the back burner.

Katherine:

Oh boy. Yeah.

Eric Kornblum:

A lot of us procrastinate. Whether I have a rash or something, so maybe I should go to the doctor. Nah you know I’ll take an aspirin and maybe it’ll go away you know. So we wait on that. Dealing with the debts and even you know those things that we need to do, whether it’s I’ve got to work on a certain file that is uncomfortable I’ll work on something else or a couple other things. Or if we have to clean the cat box even, well, let’s find other things we can do before that.

Katherine:

Everything.

Eric Kornblum:

So in one sense, procrastination is great because we’re productive at a lot of other little, meaningless things. But that job that we need to, or test that we need to work on, is still there and usually festers or grows with interest or just you know whatever, rash gets bigger. So my first thing that I have to keep reminding myself is that we just have to tackle it.

We have to take control and jump into it because once we get moving on it, well, we’re in it now. We’re not, Oh, I got to do this. We’re actually doing it and I have so many clients that, after years of going through financial problems, and then they meet with me, but even then, they still sometimes drag their feet getting me information, getting things ready to move forward and once we finally get to the point where we’re moving forward and getting them the relief, they invariably will say to me, Oh, why did I wait so long? I wish I didn’t wait so long. You know I get that realization myself. Gee, you know that project, that wasn’t so bad. If I started earlier, man, I wouldn’t have put myself through all that anxiety and or such an ordeal and all that angst.

So what I try to do, when people come into me presenting me with their own financial problems and we look at different options are available, I try to bring this up to them and I should probably make a bigger deal of it, of showing how important time is because they hold the cards. I can give them the solution, but they need to do certain things.

If they don’t, they’re not crossing the finish line. They’re not moving anywhere. But time, time keeps moving whether we want it to or not.

Katherine:

It sure does. Waits for no man or woman.

Eric Kornblum:

And you know there’s that expression when they say, don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today. You know I remember once I was a teenager working in a city agency somewhere and some of the employees there told me I was working too fast.

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Katherine:

Oh boy.

Eric Kornblum:

So yeah. You know like the play Annie. The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow?

Katherine:

Yes. Yes.

Eric Kornblum:

You know that’s just their ingrain. That’s how they were. But for me, I know if I have projects I need to tackle them. I want to get them out of the way and go on and get bigger. Because if you don’t move forward, you’re not moving forward, you know you’re not moving or maybe just slipping backwards.

Katherine:

That’s possible, yeah.

Eric Kornblum:

So we want to keep moving forward, but we don’t want to feel like we’re just running on a treadmill, spending a lot of effort and not getting anywhere.

Katherine:

Mm-hmm. So when we’re talking about just things in our lives, as you’re talking, I’m thinking of several things. Yes, I would procrastinate on cleaning out the cat box and everything you’re saying, I’m seeing it and I’m sure the listeners and the readers of the blog are going to be the same way, like, Oh yeah and what I find for myself, I thought I was the action taker. I have to tell you this. When I was realizing what we’re going to talk about, I said maybe I won’t have the reveal myself too much, but I’m saying that tongue in cheek, because there are things that I want to get done, big projects. I was going to do a garden this year and it almost didn’t happen because I kept putting it off. But you have to plant your seeds on time in the right temperature.

There’s a timeline. I have a watermelon vine that’s growing right now. But there’s no watermelon, and that’s because of the time I planted the seed. I could have had a watermelon last month, but I didn’t plant it in time. So you’re getting to when something would have happened, when the project would have been done, when you would have gotten a promotion, when you would’ve been able to consume the fruit, when you would have been able to go get your car, if you saved up enough money to go buy it at the set time. Anyway, I did get the garden done, but because of my procrastination, I found places where it shows up even later. There’s no way, 100%, to cover up a procrastination, my watermelon will not grow before it’s supposed to because I put it in the ground when I did and it’s going to come up at the set time, you know specified.

So it was like, wow, had I started at my garden and not drug my feet, some of the other things I wanted to put in the garden would have happened as well. But we find good reasons. Well, this is my first time. I don’t know what to expect. I’m not sure if that’s going to turn out well. So if I do get over procrastination, I have some excuses that I’ll make to slow down the process. Even like the workers that you were working with, they probably knew we could get all of his work done in a day or two and be done for the rest of the week, but what would we do? So they kinda drink their coffee, check their email, do a bunch of non-work-related things to fluff the day, because they’re getting paid for time. If I get paid for less time than I’m here, that’s going to affect my bills at home, and that’s going to give me a hard time. I can see how things play together.

But I wanted to ask you, have you ever figured out like the rhythm, because sometimes you can go too fast, sometimes your fast is too slow, maybe you’re procrastinating, but it works out? So, as we go through life, you know we’re trying to figure out, we can’t plan for the unexpected. The water heater blows. It could happen. We don’t know if it would happen. Maybe we did check and they had a 15 year warranty and we’re only in year five. You know what I mean? So, for your life, have you found even some places where you know when you’re going to have to adjust, when this isn’t just going to be just smooth sailing, Have you, because I haven’t?

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Eric Kornblum:

You know first of all, I want to say congratulations on at least getting that garden planted. Many people would say, Oh well, I’m too late you know It’s too late in the season. It’ll never grow. I’ll wait till next year. So again, putting it off. You said, well, maybe I’m a bit late, but you know I’ll plant and maybe with some more pruning or more sunlight or more Miracle Grow, you can yield some fruit. But at least you know by taking action, by going and planting your garden, you then learn and realize, Oh wow, you know I should’ve gotten it planted earlier. Maybe next season you’ll be able to do that. So unless we take those steps and do something, we’re not going to learn. That’s the whole … Procrastination, we say, Oh, well it’s too late or it’s too hard, or it’s too big of a task to accomplish, so I’m not even going to take a shot at it.

Well, you know if you don’t take that shot at, then you’re never going to accomplish something. They say, what is it, you miss 100% of the shots or the swings that you don’t take you know so good job for doing that. As far as what I’ve found, is that when I do take steps you know and move forward, and again, as long as I’m moving forward, sometimes I’ll find that I made a mistake or I took a wrong turn, but I can at least you know step back and say, okay, well, I can learn from those mistakes and move on and you know hopefully grow better and bigger and stronger and not have those same mistakes repeat on me and have the benefit of next time I do a job, time’s going to be on my side or I’m going to beat the time.

When I do get things accomplished quicker, it’s like, great, well, now I have time to either A, reward myself and kick back and play a video game or listen to music.

Katherine:

Absolutely.

Eric Kornblum:

Rather than delay work and blow it off doing things, get the work done and then celebrate. Or a friend of mine says, getting things done is the engine of more, meaning you get something done, it energizes you. Yeah, let me get this done. Now let me get that done.

Katherine:

Especially if it’s a hard task.

Eric Kornblum:

Yeah. Right, right. It’s something like, let’s say, you’re vacuuming the living room and wow, you got that done quick. Oh, okay, well, then maybe I’d go into the hallway. So you keep moving on to that next step and, Gee, it’s not that bad.

It’s funny, one of the things that I’ve been doing this summer is I’ve been cooking things in my smoker and the thing about smoking, or traditional barbecue, it takes a long time.

Katherine:

That’s what I’ve heard. I’ve never done it.

Eric Kornblum:

You don’t keep looking. It was an expression I heard, if you’re looking, you’re not cooking. So it’s one of these things where if I’m cooking a brisket or ribs, we’re talking six, eight, 10 hours, and basically leaving something alone, maybe occasional checks or turns or whatever and I have so many people that just say, Oh, I don’t know how you can do it. I said, well, it’s great. I let the smoker do everything. I make sure there’s enough fuel and things, but then I’m working on doing other things around the yard and I know that I’ve got to stay near my house to keep an eye on the fire, but at least while I’ve got things moving, I’m working on the yard, I’m working on some repairs on the house, and I’ve got friends over. So we’re having a social time and then the reward after the eight hours or 10 hours of doing stuff on the house is we get to share some good food together. So, you know that was the one thing that’s taught me patience and taught me to be productive or multitask and get a few things-

Katherine:

Now that is true multitasking because nothing stops because you’re not touching it. People think of multitasking and, the minute you stop touching a thing, it stops moving forward, and then you go touch something else to work on it. The other things still need your attention. So that’s not multitasking. What you were talking about just now, being able to do yard work while the smoker is still smoking the food and friends are socializing, that’s multitasking. People, just so you know.

Eric Kornblum:

Yeah, that’s the true multitasking and definite reward there. You know my other thing is just do, just move forward and do stuff and I have to keep reminding myself because, Oh, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do that. How many people say, Oh, they don’t want to get up. I love what I do. I love helping people get out of their financial situation, a bit in a jam, so I’m excited and motivated, but yet there’s still tasks that I don’t want to do. My desk is covered with things I’ve got to clean up, but I’d rather just have the elves come when I’m sleeping and get done, but you know they’re not going to just take care of themselves. So I have to invest some time and effort in getting it done. I know it’s not going to take me that long, I just have to put to it. The best example I was thinking of, or maybe not the best example, but-

Katherine:

We could have lots of examples I’m sure.

Eric Kornblum:

Yeah. Yeah. Because I was thinking about, if you think about back in you know the high school days when you’re at a dance or something like that and there’s the pretty girl you know or handsome man that you want to ask to dance but you’re nervous, you procrastinate. For whatever reason, you just, well, I’ll do it later. I’ll do it the next time. Next thing you know, somebody else had the courage and went up and asked that person and now it’s lost. It’s gone. So, you know time is precious, fleeting moments. Go get that stuff and take that work.

Something else I saw in my readings or my travels, it said, you know no one on their deathbed ever says, Gee, I wish I spent more time at work. You know people may have regrets that Oh, life, if you will, is too short. If you don’t appreciate people in your life, or things in your life, before you know it, they’re gone or you’re gone. So why waste the time you know? Even just simple tasks can be precious. But if we don’t do anything and if we don’t take that action, then the time has gone and we have nothing to show for us.

Katherine:

Well, I know we have to wrap up this time together, but everything you said, I’m wondering if you have a nice nutshell to put it in. I’m going to say a couple of things in closing, but everything you said can be applied to every part of our life from the way I’m seeing it. From our finances, from a very serious reset of our finances, to something as simple as I don’t like washing the dishes. However, I don’t like the dishwasher more. So it may take me a little while to get the dishes done, but I’m going to hand wash the dishes because I don’t trust the dishwasher. But it’s one of the things that I do have to talk myself into because once I get going, I’m probably humming something in my head or I’ve cleaned up everything else around the kitchen and the sink is the last thing to go to.

Everything you talked about can be anything. Every time you’re talking, I’m thinking, Oh, that could be on schoolwork. That could be on, definitely, work projects, that could be on yard work, that could be the garden, taking the car to the shop, anything. Anything that time affects, whether we have time to do it. I don’t have enough time to make that phone call. Me and my mom can talk for one hour without blinking or breathing. I said I can’t talk to my mom. I have work to do. So I reward myself with catching up on all the gossip of my sibling when I finish everything because she’s going to fill me in and I have to give her some dirt to give them too.

So I’m thinking that what you’re talking about today’s topic is very relevant to everything of our lives. So it’s not just limited to, Oh, Eric just talking about finances, so I don’t have to worry about that. I’m talking about yard work. No, it applies to every single thing, and a little thought goes a long way to make sure that that time can be maximized and used best for what you need. Let people know how to get in touch with you along with your closing words for this interview.

Eric Kornblum:

Okay, so let me give you the closing words. I think so many people may feel like they’re trapped or they’re bogged down under this financial burden or debt and they don’t know how to get out of it or afraid to take the next step. Think they’re never going to get of it, and I would just encourage them to take action now. Stop wasting time or letting time go by. Take steps now to find a professional that can help you or can at least give you options and that, itself is a plan you know. Even if you don’t take the step, by taking those actions to get the information is still a step in the right direction. Then we can talk about more of this stuff next time you and I talk, but to reach me, people can call my office at (413) 568-3900. That’s (413) 568-3900 or reach out to me, my website, www.debtfreema.com. So debt, D-E-B-T, free, F-R-E-E, M-A.com and we can respond to people and there’ll be some real good information on the website as well.

Katherine:

Awesome. Until next time, have a super day and thank you for being a part of This Needs To Be Said.

Eric Kornblum:

Thank you for your time.

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