Another cautionary tale on working with the wrong people

Being an independent contractor in America is not easy especially when it comes to loans and signing leases, for just about anything. Unless you are technically a business bringing in 20,000 + per month, you won’t find many companies have done their due diligence to earn the money of the hard working IC’s in America. Even if you are an IC who earns 20,000+ in a month or two, in order to be able to easily sign leases and gain approvals, you had better spend a bunch of your working hours figuring out how to track and record all your income, because for some reason the American financial system is intent on not really benefitting people.

*I’ll do a separate post on how to track your IC expenses, some good software, and the importance of tracking all your expenses, and some ideas for funneling money into your accounts as income to help you prove your IC expenses in another post.

I mean really, I’ve had a job and been earning income since I was twelve when I got my first job. Now, I’m not the one to tell you I make all the right choices, but a large issue comes with the government taking no responsibility for not being able to teach people how to handle finances or really do anything well.

Basically, you have a system where they will offer crazy loans to anyone, then when that does not work out, instead of actually fixing the issue, they just make ridiculous new and difficult rules about getting loans.

then when these people who have not shown years of work experience, which should REALLY be the qualifier,

Like if you get a car note, do you show that your the type of person who will get up off your ass to make 200 dollars a month to pay it. Well, it should not be that hard for this country to establish a freaking “score” for people who have earning history. The credit score is bullshit, it just shows if you took out a bunch of credit lines when you were young and then if you paid them off.

If life happened anywhere in between, or you did not follow this track exactly, well pretty much your screwed. I mean this seems completely dumb.

A) if you show an earning history, odds are you will keep earning. If you are not on foodstamps and checking the box that says Homeless every year, then you are obviously living somewhere, so you’re able to either FIGURE it out, or your paying bills on time. Fortunately, finally there is a company now that actually lets you input your rental payments and it will send them to the 3 major credit bureaus. One example is

The crazy part about it is that they already ask you on jobs applications if you’ve been on food stamps in the past three months, or on government assistance, why do they ask this, it doesn’t seem like it benefits me to take my time every time I fill out a job application to provide this information, if the government is intent on being completely useless.

If you have been on food stamps and government assistance for 5 years, and are unable to get a job that pays enough for you to get off, and feed your family, then you should probably save up cash to pay for your car, but a person who has shown that for years they are able to work anywhere, at different types of jobs, manage to move around the country, pay for their living expenses, they just should not have any difficulty REGARDLESS of credit history to get a car loan, and if the ONLY company that is putting any effort into fixing this issue is Uber, then most car companies simply are not doing their due diligence.

Really, this is the government’s issue. This should be a simple score, that shows who is willing to get up off their ass to go to work and pay bills, and leave it up to the companies to collect their money, and reposses cars, etc. And yes, I have actually gotten up off my ass to repossess a car.

Are they just that lazy that they cannot seem to figure this out and why is that hard working ICs who actually do work and are probably doing highly skilled jobs that other people either can’t or won’t take, are the ones who get pooped on by this system.

I suppose if we all follow the track of get a job, work at the job for our whole life, pay bills every month, get a house, and whatever, we do not every have to worry about our companies screwing us out of our pensions, potential illness, or potential bankruptcy, or the government taking any responsibility for the lack of financial intelligence in the country by actually teaching anything useful in schools.

All of this is brought up by a recent terrible experience I had trying to lease a car with Paul Blanco Mitusbishi. I had the worst most appalling experience with a member of their corporate team today, in which I was literally told to be quiet and it was my fault because I made a call to them.

Here’s the email I’m sending their corporate office regarding the call.

Paul Blanco Mitsubishi,

I am quite alarmed by my recent experience in trying to lease a Mitsubishi with your dealership.

Not only did I not feel like your team put any effort in actually getting my application approved, but I then received and took a phone call with a person in your corporate office, telling me that they were interested in earning my business. I divulged more information about another way your office could try to approve the application, a little more than annoying to me, because I am an independent contractor who moves around the country and takes jobs with many various companies, including working for myself specifically. I have multiple earnings statements showing my high earnings, and also that I do not have other payments such as rent, etc.

In the meantime, I received yet another call from your office stating that you had good news. I called back and was told that you still weren’t able to do anything on your end about the approval.

You did not earn my business, from the moment I stepped in the door, to this next call.

Next, I was told that the good news was not good news and you actually were not able to find the car I was interested in. Then I was told that your team wanted to try to run my credit, because you had not tried that yet. It’s just too much, you can’t seem to do your end of your companies work, but yet you want to affect me, because you’re lazy.

Wow, so your company prides itself on providing car leases to young Nevadans who are working. But with all the resources at your disposal, and the fact that Uber is now providing car loans to people who are “able” to work. Based off of the simple reasonable idea that if someone has a job and shows they have earned income, plus a job history, it would follow that they would be financially able to pay a simple car note, but yet with all of your resources, money you spend on ads etc, it seems you are still unable to earn my business.

Then when I am on the phone with the person at corporate, expressing my reasoning behind my frustration, mind you, it has been over 2 weeks, that your team has sat on my information, without reaching out to me to try figure out how to do the approval,

your corporate team member seemed completely unaware of my situation, of being an independent contractor,

and if that was not all she literally interrupts me, tells ME to be quiet, and let her do the talking, tells me about letting her assist me,

without even trying in this entire 2 weeks she has had my information to understand at all what my situation is, or to send me one email, leave a message asking me about MY situation,

I told her “yes I would like your assistance now to cancel my application”

Then tells me, it’s my fault because “you’re the one who called me, and if you do not want my assistance fine bye”

Your corporate team member, literally told me, “You’re the one who called me!” like a petulant child.

Well, Paul Blanco Mitsubishi, you did the absolute least amount of work you could possibly do to earn my business, and in fact, you made me a permanent non-customer. I will not ever purchase a Mitsubishi nor will I recommend you, your cars, and your customer service is in top ten of the worst I’ve dealt with.

Congrats on really not being great.

Erin Elizabeth Cotter- PS: I won’t be taking any more calls from your company, please do not call me in reference to this email.

Anyway, all of this goes to show how important it is to choose to work with the right people, because working with the wrong people, whether it is an individual partner, a company, bank or even a school, if you end up working with the wrong people, and trust me I have made some pretty bad mistakes, you’ll be the one that gets screwed even if it’s not your fault, sometimes it will be out of the blue. Going forward, I’m going to try to be more careful than I ever have in reading contracts, reading people, and more. Again, that is why try to be really careful about who I recommend and what products I do endorse and the ones I do not.

And the type of people you should do busniess with are the types of people who will repossess a car with you.


Traveling to Silicon Valley California

For the first time ever I find myself in Silicon Valley, and I am really loving it here! My first reaction when I found out that I was going to be moving with my boyfriend from Reno, Nevada to Milpitas, California was, “OMG I can’t wait!” I am still not sure if we are going to make this a permanent move, and I will be traveling back to Reno at the end of this week. My Mary Kay sales director has already hooked me up with a team out here in Cali though *awesomeness* but for now, we are only planning to be here for another week.


What I love about it here in California is that they do things a little differently, for example, the movie theaters sell Indian food- and it is vegetarian! And there is a lot of great Indian food in this area, and the Chinese food is bar none, the best Chinese food I’ve had since I left China- I spent a month and a half in touring China when I was in high school, as a part of the People To People Student Ambassador Program.

The Chinese place I went to was called the Golden Garlic, and when I went in, almost everyone in the restaurant was Chinese (always a good sign) and the decorations were so cute. (the pictures on Yelp are outdated and the new decor is super trendy and cute) They had a large menu of traditional Chinese fare, with vegetarian options.

These are a few photographs of what I ordered from their Yelp website, you can see the reviews here

fish with tomato sauce  Chinese Wontons

The fish with tomato sauce was incredible and the dumplings with chili sauce were the best I’ve ever had.

Also, I since my boyfriend and I regularly eat homemade chicken with mole, I decided to try ordering from Postmates, and it was amazing! We ordered fresh tortillas, chicken with mole, rice and beans, carnitas tacos, and chicken tamales delivered to our suite in the hotel, all for under $40 dollars.  The food was soo yummy! Plus it was delivered very quickly! Since it was national kissing day, I ordered this as a surprise breakfast in bed for my boyfriend, and it definitely got me lots of kisses!

food from postmates

you can use Promocode 1skcx the first time you order using Postmates to receive $100 in delivery credit!

What I really love about it here is the air. I am originally from Georgia, where it is very humid, and after I left Georgia, I moved to Miami and then to Nevada. In Nevada, there are a lot of new plants I had to get used to like Sagebrush, which is known to cause allergies. California is a different story. The air here is clean and it is not humid and muggy, it reminds me of the Carribean actually.

Another thing I have noticed about California that there are so many jobs available here. It literally seems like every single restaurant and store has a hiring store in the window, and not just the stores, but there are so many other jobs that are based in this area of the country.  Tons of startups, tech jobs, retail outlets, and so much more is based here. There would be no issue finding a job for someone willing to work out here. A lot of jobs that have location restrictions are available to people in this area. ! But the price of living here is pretty high, definitely something to consider before making your move out to the valley.

It really feels like the land of opportunity. I can’t wait to keep exploring here in California!

Ready to plan your own trip to San Francisco? is offering you  $10 off your flight to San Francisco with promo code: FC6F0DD3210

Becoming a Millionaire In One Year

How do I become a millionaire in one year?

This is the question I posed to myself last month, and actually, it was more like this, “I want to be a millionaire by next year, how will I do it?”



I went for a walk, I picked up a beautiful river rock, and I wrote in Sharpie, “Make my first million dollars by June 2018.”

So I had a new goal! a new challenge! Last year I took a challenge to write 100 bedtime stories. It was an incredible and life-changing experience for me, and it really helped me to grow as a person. The 100 bedtime stories challenge, from the 100-day project, was the inspiration for this blog. It is amazing how one moment and one decision can change your life, and you can look back and say, “how could I have made it without that decision” that was what the 100-day project did for me. It really gave me inspiration for living.

Fast forward to today,

I know I want to be a millionaire, so I decided to make it a challenge.

There are so many quotes that use to remind myself of my goal, and one of my favorite quotes is

To get somewhere you have never been you must do something you have never done- Thomas Jefferson

I am going to try to document my journey to make a million dollars.

So far it has looked like this:

  1. I made the decision that I was tired of not having a million dollars and decided that I was tired of reading about people younger than me making their first million and that I wanted to be a millionaire too. DAMN IT I WANT A MILLION DOLLARS ALREADY!
  2. I wrote my goal on a rock and put it in the house where I would see it every day and be reminded that even though it is a big goal,  it is my goal.
  3. I googled “how to become a millionaire”
  4.  I started telling everyone I know that my goal is to make a million dollars in the next year. I began announcing this publicly and asking others to join me. Part of this positive energy I attribute to a woman that I met at my last job. We started talking together, and we discussed our goals, the stock market, real estate and travel. We sat at a small table at work, and dreamed together! When is the last time you dreamed with someone? It is such an incredible feeling, and if you have not dreamed with someone lately, I highly suggest that you do it with the person you are next to at this very moment! When I first met my boyfriend, he told me that he used to have dreams, and I asked him what his dreams were. Now, every day I intentionally talk about my dreams with my boyfriend, and he talks about his dreams too. This is one of the happiest things you can do, and it is TRULY powerful. After I talked about my dreams with my coworker, I started making sales like crazy, and I ended up pushing myself to become better and leaving my old job!
  5. I knew I would need to keep making money. I continued to work a regular job, I got a job at a food stand, just to force myself to make a set amount of money every day. Now, I am working full time as a virtual assistant, and taking classes to increase my skills. These skills I use to help my clients better manage their businesses. I got the job after reading a post on the blog Real Ways to Earn Online I also recently purchased the Real Ways to Earn Online new Ebook, “How to Find Real Work From Home Jobs” and am really enjoying it!
  6. I Watched the movie, The Secret, and looked up positive affirmations. I decided to make a mental decision to switch my thinking and to let go of thinking patterns that are not in line with who I want to become.

* sometimes this is really difficult!  in the movie The Secret, there is a man who is shown very upset about being late, and he keeps thinking how angry he is that he is late, and in the movie, the man ends up becoming late because this is what he is thinking.

I find that I used to think way too much about how other people affected me. Now I no longer dwell on how other people affect me, in fact, I do not think about it. I am putting such positive energy into my dreams, my goals, and my efforts to positively inact change into my life, that this no longer holds me down. I have broken these chains, I am inacting change in my own life, and I am affecting my reality!

7. Thinking of million dollar ideas. I knew that I would have to come up with million dollar ideas, I could not simply work at a normal job, and save my money, to become a millionaire. Since I have set a date to become a millionaire, it is pushing me to actually go through with developing my ideas. When was the last time you had a great idea for a business and thought you would not be able to really ”

When was the last time you had a great idea for a business and thought you would not be able to really “do-it”. For me, this time has passed. Now, I will be writing down my

For me, this time has passed. Now, I will be writing down my

Now, I will be writing down my ideas, and creating action plans for bringing them to fruition.

8. The first idea great idea I had, I latched onto it, and decided to really give it a go. I created the idea of GMMosquites Boxes, which is now in its first round of funding! I have been looking for investors for my idea. I have emailed some investors privately, and have applied at angel investing companies. You can view the company profile on Gust if you are interested in investing. 

9. I am applying to better higher paying jobs and re-evaluating my own worth. I am great at what I do, and I am no longer listening to self-doubt. I am bringing my million dollar self to my ventures. That means brushing off insecurities and pushing myself to seek jobs with the best benefits packages, the best pay, the best situation for myself so I can be happiest and the most creative. I am offering more of my personal services to others and investing in my own education by learning new skills. I can use these at my virtual assistant job and in my entrepreneurial endeavors. Also, I completed my Mary Kay University before June 30th, and achieved the goal I set for myself. You can join my Mary Kay team by visiting my website.

10. Pursuing my goals to own real estate. I started watching youtube videos of Grant Cardone. This guy is a genius, he helps me believe in myself, and my abilities to close big deals, he inspires me to dream of things that I have never thought possible.

11. Trying to overcome fear. Yes, I am still nervous about so many things, and navigating how to not let fear control me is a daily task, but I am so powerful that fear is only weakness, and something I am not concerned with anymore.

12. I am taking an online entrepreneur class offered by MIT. It is free, so I decided to take it.

13. Another thing my boyfriend and I decided to do, was to stop discussing anything related to drugs or sex (unless we are talking about it in the bedroom). Talking about this type of thing does nothing for me, and it is not a part of our conversations any longer. We talk about our ideas, our goals and dreams for the future, and how we can make positive changes in our lives, what things we want to collaborate on, art, museums, zoos, and we try to support each other more. We are putting out what we want to get back from life.

14. I am watching videos on how to grow my social media followers and putting conscious effort into growing my following.


These are some of the actionable steps I am taking on my million-dollar challenge. This is not everything that I am doing, but this is part of what I am doing. I am lucky to have a supportive boyfriend, who inspired me to set this goal.

I asked him what it would take for him to stay home with me all day and we just have fun, and he told me “go make a million dollars”, and I said ok.

But even if you do not have loved ones who support you, you can still make it happen! I believe in you and me, and I can’t wait to achieve my goal!

Please comment below how you are making this happen for you, and other ideas on the subject and use the hashtag on social media #milliondollarchallenge or #makeyourfirstmillion 

follow me on Twitter @erinelizacotter and on Instagram @erinelizabethcotter 



5 Surprising Ways Inbox Dollars Has Benefited Me Financially

I’m more excited than ever to tell you 5 Surprising Ways Inbox Dollars has Benefited me Financially, and some of these may be pretty surprising! Read on to find out more!

buy 1 get 1 free

I started using Inbox Dollars regularly around June of last year, along with many other survey sites. I was recovering from a financial disaster and am still in the process of recovering. It was probably about 3 or 4 years ago that I found myself in a ton of debt and pregnant with my daughter. How I got into that situation was that I had not paid my bills, because I was just too overwhelmed by misfortune that I had kind of given up trying to be financially responsible, and was only 24 anyway so I suppose I did not think it was that finances were all that important.

Once I decided I was definitely having my daughter, I worked tirelessly to pay off all my debt on a minimum wage salary and I did it. I’m officially debt free, but my credit was a whole different story. What they really need to tell be telling kids in school is how difficult it is to recover from bad credit and financial immaturity, IMO. 

** This is why I am very discerning when I recommend financial products, services, and banks. I only recommend products that I really think can help.

About one year ago I was faced with the situation that the only way to improve my credit would be to take a secured credit card with a bank. Because my score was so poor and I was so young with little credit history, it seemed to be my only option. To me, this was just the bleakest situation. I did not want to put what little money I had into a bank for a secured loan when I was not comfortable with the bank or my situation. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, even the thought of many traditional bank offered credit cards makes my stomach feel nauseous. So I never got one, and my credit stayed low.

Fast forward to this year and I’m ready to tell you 5 Surprising Ways that Inbox Dollars has benefitted my financial situation.

  1. I was able to find unsecured credit card offers for people with bad credit. Even when I am in a bad situation, I really do not like to have to compromise on what I truly want. I wanted to improve my credit with an unsecured line of credit. The interesting thing about some of these credit cards, is that they actually are a good deal *** When you are in need of improving your credit score*** I am not saying they do not have annual fees, and initial cost and a high APR, but unlike some of the popular secured cards on the market which may not allow you to increase your credit limit EVER, some of the ones featured in the inbox dollars offers do have the option to allow you to ask for a credit limit increase. This is an important feature to me. Another thing I like about these cards is that they do help you improve your credit score by reporting your use each month. Basically, it was not until I really started paying attention to my offers that I found what I was personally looking for.
  2. Another surprising thing I have found just today on Inbox Dollars is a savings account that offers 5% APY! This is the same rate as CD accounts at some banks! How did I find this offer?  I decided to take advantage of two of Inbox Dollars offers and earn an extra $2 for completing 2 offers. This was a special promotion that they are running right now. I chose the Netspend Visa and the Rush Card offers. I had been hesitant to sign up for these offers before, because of a bad experience with the GreenDot prepaid card, which left a sour taste in my mouth on all prepaid cards. But I wanted to increase my earnings to over $40 by the end of June, which I have done (Yeay! I completed my goal today!!), so I thought what the heck- just do it. Well, after I signed up for my NetSpend account I went to the website to find out what the dealio is. Apparently, once you complete direct deposit totaling over $500 in a month, you are automatically in their premium client services, which includes a savings account that gives you 5%APY on all your money over $1,000 that you keep daily in their savings account. All money $1,000 and less kept in your savings account earns you 4.9%APY. WHAT?? that is awesome. Especially since my main goal right now is savings!! and to earn that type of savings, simply by direct depositing into my bank account is, well AWESOME!
  3. The Rush Card- I’ve been looking at this offer for a few months and seeing it on TV, well, again I was so hesitant, because of my past experience with GreenDot prepaid, but actually there is a really interesting service that the Rush Card offers. They will give you $30 in your account for recommending the card to your friends, plus $30 your friends/ recomendees account! Well, the really awesome part about this referral program is that they allow you to earn $600 a year this way. Which is completely feasible. Personally, I always feel better recommending a share & earn offer when I know it will be easy for my friends to share & earn too. It’s an ethical thing. Now, I never would’ve given this card a chance, had I not been prompted by InboxDollars, and then I never would’ve found out about the referral program.
  4. When researching Inboxdollars, I read an article that basically said, you do not need to try to log on every day to benefit from using Inboxdollars, the recommendation from the article I read, said to just let the emails amass throughout the week, then check them once a week and in a year you will earn (I can’t remember the exact number) ~$14 if you ONLY check your emails. This was probably the best advice I’ve gotten on how to take advantage of the site. Actually this advice, surprisingly, has increased my earnings this go around. I’ll be getting over $40 dollars this time I cash out, and it has just basically been something I do not think about too much. So, in the past year, I will have earned over $70 dollars with inboxdollars, not bad for me considering how little I am actively participating in income producing activities on the site. I look my inboxdollars earnings like I’m earning interest in a savings account. The Paid Emails basically are my earned interest on my daily emails. And I rarely actually check them through my email account, I usually check them on the inboxdollars website.
  5. I’ve found some really good deals through the site on entertainment, food and other services. I found out about a couple great services I enjoy using, like SundanceNow. Also I’ve found other ways to increase my income each month with different websites per recommendations from Inboxdollars. I love that it recommends services that actually save me money or increase my current income.

Basically, a lot of people talk about how it is a way to increase your income, but for me inbox dollars has done more than that, it has helped me be able to bounce back from some seriously difficult life situations and help me gain more financial freedom. Thinking of the emails as savings day in and day out has helped me constantly every day to think about savings. It’s almost become my own an email accountability partner, reminding me to set daily earnings goals, and helping me every day reinforce in my mind the importance of savings, and generating passive income. If you’re on the fence about signing up or maybe you have quit using this survery site, I really encourage you to try inboxdollars or give it another look, because it is actually helpful.