Catch Fire: How to Ignite Your Own Economy

Catch Fire: How to Ignite Your Own Economy

by Douglas Scott Nelson


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A tragic accident in 2002 nearly took Doug Nelson’s life. But he not only survived, he thrived. For Doug spent several years prior to the accident working towards, and achieving, financial freedom. In "Catch Fire: How to Ignite Your Own Economy", Doug Nelson provides the simple tools and the knowledge to teach YOU how to achieve financial freedom. Doug reveals how money works FOR and AGAINST you, while debunking numerous financial myths. His Financial Playbook provides both offensive and defensive strategies to help YOU ignite your own economy!
If Financial Freedom is your goal, this is the book for you!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781600375286
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 11/30/2011
Edition description: Limited
Pages: 226
Sales rank: 609,636
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Doug Nelson started his first of many successful businesses’s at the age of 23. He was completely financially free at the age of 34. He is an International trainer and speaker and has trained hundreds of thousands of people all over the world the principals to creating financial freedom. He has appeared on Fox News (Denver) as well as many radio programs.
Resides in Blackduck MN

Read an Excerpt


How I Caught Fire

Ever have one of "those" days? You know, the kind of day when nothing seems to go right. Have you had one lately? Perhaps you're even thinking that today could be one of those days.

Like most people, I've had a few of "those" days. But one in particular forever changed my life. In fact, this "one of those days" set me on a new path that led me to writing this book.

It was late spring in Butte, Montana. I will remember the date forever: June 1, 2002. The sun was shining; the temperature was a pleasant 70 degrees. The blue sky hung effortlessly over the Montana Mountains. At the time I had achieved financial freedom. I had bought and was refurbishing a beautiful old home originally built in 1906. I had the day to myself, so I decided to knock a few things off my home improvements "to do" list. I decided to first tackle putting up a picket fence by the garden. It was a simple enough project: a few saw cuts, a few screws, a couple of cuss words, and the fence was up.

Now we all know the unwritten rule about picket fences, right? They must be painted ...? White, right? Exactly! So I made a quick trip to the lumberyard, bought some white paint, and came back and began painting. So I'm painting away, and as it often does so quickly in the mountains, the weather changed, and changed fast. Black clouds rolled in. All of a sudden, it didn't begin to just rain, it began to POUR, and I mean pour. So I called it a day. I gathered up all my paint supplies and threw them onto the back porch, then took the remainder of my tools down into my basement.

The basement to this house wasn't much; the floor was half cement, half dirt. It's the type of basement where you have to duck under the beams and pipes. I put my tools away, and then, because my shirt was soaked from the rain, I stripped it off. Sounds pretty mundane, right?

Here's where this story gets ... interesting. What I didn't know then (five words no one ever likes to hear, right?) was that for nearly two weeks, there had been natural gas leaking into my basement. Now, natural gas is invisible — you can't see it. But you can smell it, right? No, not when it has been filtered through dirt. So here I am, shirtless, standing in the basement that's filled with natural gas which I can neither see nor smell.

Now, I might not have had one of "those" days except for one thing: at the time, I was a smoker. So while standing at the bottom of the stairs, I took out a cigarette, placed it in my mouth, and flicked on my lighter.





That which does not kill us makes us stronger. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Now you know why they call me the Burnt Guy.

When I hit that lighter, BOOM: I was standing in a ball of fire. The basement literally blew up, sending a gigantic fireball out and up through the house. Have you ever been in an accident or even a near miss accident? You know, the kind where time literally slows down and your mind speeds up. For the few seconds I am standing there in this fire ball, my life is literally passing before my eyes. I know I am toast (sorry, couldn't resist). I began saying good bye to everyone I love. I mean, in all due seriousness, when was the last time you heard someone tell a story about how they blew themselves up? It's not something you often hear from the person it happened to.

Seconds later the fire goes out. But now the pain begins to set in. Have you ever burnt yourself on something scalding hot, like an iron or a stove? It hurts like hell, doesn't it? At this point, I am realizing that I am hurt really, really, really badly. Why? Because the pain searing across my upper body hurts like *&^%$ and my skin is beginning to fall off.

Luckily, though, I'm still coherent enough to know that I've got to get out of the basement. But I'm in bad shape. You see, while putting my tools away, I had been breathing in the gasfilled air. When I ignited the gas in the basement, the fire also ignited the gas in my lungs, burning those as well. So now I am coughing and gasping for air, barely able to breathe. I stumble upstairs but can hardly see anything because the explosion also burnt the corneas of my eyes. Somehow I make it to the top of the stairs. There I grab the metal door knob, only to immediately discover it is scorching hot. As I quickly jerk my hand back, I leave the skin of my palm hanging from the handle. While up there I also discover the door had jammed shut from the force of the explosion. I am trapped.

Now it's decision time — get out, somehow, or stay and die.

I didn't blink. Despite the excruciating pain and barely being able to see or breathe, I staggered around the basement attempting to find something to pry open the door. As I touched some of the metal tools looking for an appropriate one, the now white-hot tools burnt the palms of my hands. Luckily I found some hedge trimmers with dense Styrofoam handles I could grip. I staggered back up the stairs and began frantically trying to pry the door open. Finally, when I hit it just right, the door popped opened. I grabbed the cordless phone, called nine-one-one, and crawled out the front door to collapse on the front lawn.

My Revelation

I was life-flighted to the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the world's premier burn facilities. There I spent the next six weeks in a coma. Roughly half my body (everything from the waist up) was completely burned. After I awoke from the coma, it took me nine more months of agonizingly slow and painful rehab to learn how to do all those "little" things each of us takes for granted each day, like talking, eating, walking, and literally learning how to be comfortable in my own skin. I'm not going to spend much time here on my rehab, other than to tell you about Terrell, and how that little guy helped me find my true mission in life.

During the time I spent in Salt Lake City, I focused completely on my health — like I said; learning how to walk, talk, and so on. There was one thing during this entire time that never crossed my mind ... MONEY.

Through business I had been able to semi-retire to Montana (a dream of mine). I had streams of income coming in regardless of whether I "worked" in my business or not. I had built these streams of income on purpose, with that design in mind. I just never thought it would be so life saving.

This wasn't true for anyone else I came in contact with at the Salt Lake facility. During the course of my stay in the burn unit, I not only got to meet some of the other patients, but also their families. That is, all except for this little guy named Terrell. At the time, Terrell was 18 months old. He had fallen into a campfire and had gotten badly burned. While I saw other families visit their loved ones when they could, I never saw anyone visit Terrell. One day, I finally asked a nurse about this. What she said stunned me, and helped changed the course of my life. Terrell's mom was a single mother, the nurse explained. She couldn't afford the travel expenses to come to and from Salt Lake City, and was at home working so that Terrell could have a home to come home to.

Wow, what a decision for a parent to have to make. That burn unit — talk about a frightening place to be. I know it had me scared spit-less. I couldn't even imagine how it must have been for Terrell. Parents, could you imagine having to make the decision between being there for your child, or working to keep your home? For the first time, I realized how unique my financial situation was. I hadn't been worrying about money, or a job, or anything like that. On the other hand, here was a mother who couldn't even be with her son when that little guy needed her the most.

I had something I could share with people, folks like Terrell's mother, folks reading this book — a roadmap, if you will, to financial freedom. And that's when it all clicked in for me, as they say. On a spiritual level, I felt like God had told me that I wasn't done yet, that my time on Earth was not going to be spent just putzing around the house and fishing and traveling. I saw then how I should go forth (O.K., I'm getting a little carried away, but you get it ...) and help as many other people as possible achieve their financial targets, have freedom and choices in their lives. You see, I believe each and every one of us has something special to offer this world — gifts that were given to us to share. Most people are so trapped in their financial prison they can't give of themselves fully. One of the most rewarding things I feel blessed to do with my financial freedom and my "second chance" is to help others obtain their financial freedom so they can share their gifts and passions with this world and not make choices based on money or obligation.

Ultimately, I have come to realize this: my accident was not the greatest tragedy in my life, but rather my greatest gift.


Poor Me

Little House on the Prairie

Do you remember by chance a television show back in the late 1970's/early 1980's called Little House on the Prairie? It was about a frontier family who faced all the various hardships, trials, and tribulations of life as a settler. Well, I HATED that flippin' show. But regardless, it did echo my childhood.

You see, if you are starting out with millions of dollars and want to become financially free, I don't know how to help you. But if you are starting out with nothing, or less than nothing, I know how to do that. Let me share with you my humble beginnings.

I grew up outside of Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Ellsworth was and still is a little town. By American standards my family was poor. I recall how we used to find a house to "rent." We would drive along gravel county roads looking for abandoned farm houses. Once we found one of these shacks, my dad would then go talk to the closest neighbor to find out who owned it. More often than not it was the neighbor. Then my dad would barter, work out a deal where we could stay for little or nothing, often using my older brother's strong back as a bargaining chip. We would stay in these "homes" until the owner would kick us out to tear down the place, or even one time to convert it into a pig barn ... which with that house didn't take much. So for the majority of my childhood we had no indoor plumbing; instead, we had a well with a hand pump and an outhouse. (I will say this, though: using an outhouse in January in Wisconsin, you do learn how to get shit done!) To heat the house we had a fuel oil burning stove set in the middle of the "living room." It would be 90 degrees in the living room, but many a night I could see my breath going up the stairs to my bedroom.

One of the reasons I grew up in poverty was my father's inability to work. One day at work my father, a factory worker, badly injured his back. The company's doctor said it was a "pulled muscle." He told my dad to go home and rest for two days, then return to work. By the second day, however, my dad could barely walk. Now, my dad was not the type to complain; he was a tough old bird. He kept saying he would "gut it out." Finally, after countless trips back and forth to the company doctor, my mom had had enough and convinced him to get another opinion. I was around nine years old at the time, but even I could tell something was wrong; when he could walk, my dad was crooked as a corkscrew. Immediately the other doctor took X-rays, told my dad he had a herniated disc, and scheduled him for surgery. Like anyone would do, my dad filed for workers' compensation. But the company denied his claim because the company doctor only diagnosed it as a "pulled muscle." We went eighteen months with ZERO income. You KNOW you are in a tough place when your meals consist of government surplus cheese and donations from local churches.

Don't misunderstand me, my parents were good people. They did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. Through our "challenges" I learned one of the most important lessons in my life, something I still carry with me today: If I wanted anything, it was up to me to get it. With this in mind, out of necessity I learned how to be an entrepreneur, one of the most important skills I possess today. One of my first businesses involved selling my Halloween candy to my classmates. I had all kinds of ventures like this.

As I grew up, I also learned something else about myself: I'm NOT what you would call a good employee. I didn't like all the little rules each employer had, so I immediately jumped right into business. I started my first business at the age of 23, and for the next eight years owned and ran a series of businesses.

My businesses became successful. However, one day it hit me that I was financially trapped. This day began like so many others, getting up, going through my morning routine But this particular morning I REALLY just wanted to stay home. The thought of going out and working really sucked! I tried to come up with an excuse not to go, but I kept going back to the fact that if I didn't, I wouldn't have the money coming in to pay the bills. So I dragged myself out the door.

I spent that day thinking one thought: How did I get myself into this mess? I was not in control of my own life. I wasn't making my own decisions anymore. I was in a FINANCIAL PRISON. I had begun my own business to gain the freedom and control in my life that I could never have had with a job. I was building a "successful" business: I had more employees, more trucks on the road, more customers, more revenue ... BUT that day I also woke up to the fact I had more debt, more problems, and was working more hours than ever. And what I didn't have more of was the one thing I really wanted: FREEDOM! How did this happen?

I had bought into "the system" I had fought so hard against. Let me know if THIS sounds familiar ...

It begins in grade school. There you learn how to work eight hours a day, five days a week. You're programmed to get up every morning and go to school, all so you can eventually get into a college to get a "good education," so that ultimately you can land a "good job" (which I have always believed to be an oxymoron; it's like having a good heart attack). While continuing your education, you rack up a butt-load of student loans. In today's world it's even worse: universities and colleges are more expensive, and credit card companies target college kids.

Maybe you graduate, or not, but regardless now you're seriously in debt. You've JUST begun your financial life and you're already in the hole. (It's like starting a football game 21 points down.) Now you do what you need to do — you "get a good job." You now have money coming in; you're paying down some of the debt. Here is where you are taught to save some and invest it for retirement (401(k) account, mutual funds, etc ...). Life seems good. Along the way you meet that special person and you get married and it's great, because you have combined your households and reduced your per-capita overhead. This makes you D.I.N.K.S. (dual income no kids).

Now it's time for the American Dream. You buy your first home, which puts you even more in debt. You have a mortgage, at least one car payment, and you're probably still paying student loans. Then the family starts and your expenses have grown exponentially, but you figure hey, that's what they made credit cards for.

This all seems nice ... until you realize that YOU ARE NOW IN FINANCIAL PRISON. By now the novelty of your job has completely worn off, and you are at the mercy of your boss, your industry, and the economy with a family to feed, house, and clothe.

Here is when many plan their escape. They decide to "start their own business" so they do what people who start their own businesses do: they find start-up capital. Maybe that comes in the form of credit cards, a business loan (good luck), a second mortgage, or even the old let's-drain-the-life-savings (the most common, and my personal favorite).

As a new business owner, you have listened to the business news, pundits, and a few friends and family, so you know not to expect a profit for three to five years. As a result during this time you sink further and further and further into debt.

Most of these businesses WILL FAIL. These are real FACTS, folks. The businesses that do survive not only run their owners ragged, they typically put them in serious debt. Regardless, what started out as a way to free yourself slowly turns into a prison of your own creation, one which you run but are still locked up in just the same. It was at this point when I became truly irritated and open to learning the ways to creating true freedom. The only thing standing between me and freedom was the series of things I didn't know and needed to learn about money and business.


Excerpted from "Catch fire"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Doug Nelson.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Garrett Gunderson,
PART 1: How I Caught Fire,
Chapter 1: How I Caught Fire,
Chapter 2: Ka-BOOM,
Chapter 3: Poor Me,
Chapter 4: THE vs. MY Economy,
PART 2: The Problem,
Chapter 5: Myth Busting,
Chapter 6: The Three Hands in Your Pocket,
PART 3: The Solution,
Chapter 7: The Scoreboard and Playbook,
Chapter 8: Mind Your Own Business,
Chapter 9: Be a Tool,
PART 4: Size Matters,
Mark Rothstein: Increase Your Tax IQ,
Stewart Welch, III: Asset Protection,
Dino Watt: Relationships,
Melanie Nelson: A Healthy You,
About this Book,
About Doug Nelson,

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Catch Fire: How to Ignite Your Own Economy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
jeremiahstover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very approachable read with some very important points to make - I have not made it all the way through but have been enjoying the book so far and even learning a couple of things.The author has a no apologies approach to talking about what he sees as errors and myths that are commonly held. This is a relief to those of us who believe as he does but I have no doubt he will be perceived by many to be stomping on their toes.He puts a lot of emphasis on team (as do most of the business success instructors) and its importance to your future. If I could just find a few other people that read it would be a good start but in the mean time back to studies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dispatch1345 More than 1 year ago
If it is anything like his live - in-person 4 day program that he does. What a great program. I need to make time to read this book although I have five before his.
DavidR1 More than 1 year ago
I read a limited self published version of this book, it motivated me enough to act toward my financial freedom; not that I didn't want to act before, but the book made it clear to me how to head toward financial freedom and the importance to act now. I took advantage of the bonus that came with the book and it was a great experience, I recommend this book. Great book.
PatrickTsang More than 1 year ago
This book is simply amazing. It taught me the easiest system on managing money and maintaining a budget while having money for fun at the same time. The most important lesson I learned from the book, along with the Catch Fire University curriculum, is developing a proper attitude to be completely honest about myself, and constantly measure, monitor, adjust to get to where I need to go. With that behavior, I can thrive in any situations in life. And most amazingly, I'm already showing it in my business.
StuW More than 1 year ago
Doug is the real deal. Using his unique skills as a Master Trainer, he's helped hundred's of thousands of people find their path to financial freedom. Now he brings his 'You can do it too!' message in his first book, Catch Fire. If you're ready for your own journey to financial freedom, then you must own this book!
Mariana_Juliette More than 1 year ago
Worried about THE Economy? Read this book and you will realize that you are in control and You can change YOUR own Economy. Doug Nelson is a good friend and mentor of mine who helped me change the way I think and act and from there he helped me realize some of my dreams. When I learned that he is writing this book I was one of the first to pre-order it and get as many copies I can so those I care about can benefit from his teaching as well. Doug can help any entrepreneur out there as well as those who are stuck in the rat race he can show them how to become financially free and gain their time freedom as well. The book is packed with valuable content not only from Doug, but from the people who he is learning from. When you read it you will learn how to improve not only your financial situation, you will end up having better relationships, better health and will be in a total control of your life. I am buying this book to everyone I care about and this will be my gift for them. Enjoy reading it and Be Free!
LWPowerful More than 1 year ago
There is the outside world and there is your world. Catch Fire is about taking control of your own economy. Author, Doug Nelson gets down right under our skin but he does it to make us reflect on our current financial position. He gets you to explore your attitudes about money, debt and financial freedom. Chapters of this book are not taught in school and a whole new awareness happens when you take the time to complete the 'well thought out' trigger questions. Doug is here to support and guide you on your journey to financial freedom. He has walked miles, lived through miles of rehabilitation from a horrible gas explosion and has mentored miles of people across the world. Do it for yourself! Only you can make the changes of 'health and wealth' in your world! Catch Fire - A book by your side. L. Whitefoot
LeanneChesser More than 1 year ago
This book isn't just a bunch of theory or information. It's practical and useful and contains strategies that can be immediately implemented. It's also inspirational, thought-provoking, educational, direct and potentially life-changing. I discovered this book at the perfect time for me, when I was seriously working to create financial freedom in my life. It took me deep into a number of significant life areas and previous roadblocks, helping me to build a solid foundation for financial freedom and actually move toward my goals.
Cheryl_Sam More than 1 year ago
A friend turned me on to the book "Catch Fire" by Doug Nelson. I BLAZED through the first 40 pages in no time flat--I was RIVETED! I wanted what he and his wife Melanie HAVE. And after reading the book I knew their methods could shine a light on what was holding me back and how I could GET OUT of my OWN WAY to achieve my financial and personal DREAMS! Doug and the contributors in Catch Fire share the reality of our economic times and present a solution-oriented, "nuts n' bolts" approach to creating a plan to get out of debt, create ongoing income, and thrive regardless of the financial/political/social situation. This book is for EVERYONE at ANY point in their life who wants to get the truth, get real honest with themselves, and make a plan to succeed. It's an awesome (and TIMELY!) "kick in the butt"! :)
kedginton More than 1 year ago
This book showed me how fragile the economy is and why we need to take control of our finances to create our own economy. More importantly, it has encouraged me to take that journey to become financially free. I have wanted it for as long as I can remember and I have done many things to get there, but this book has helped give me the confidence that I need to step up my game.
DrSteveSV More than 1 year ago
If you have been at a loss to make enough money Doug Nelson's book "Catch Fire" sets the foundation for each of us have a successful personal economy. It reminds us of the basics as well as gives us specific steps to move from just surviving to flourishing economically. Its practical knowledge and associated programs will show you the way to financial freedom. If you want simplicity and the steps needed to get out from under Catch Fire is for you. CATCH FIRE WITH CATCH FIRE!