Withholding Nothing

 

So on Monday I posted “We’re all gatekeepers of some form of information”, this wasn’t from me. My good friend Robert was basically taking me and his girlfriend Alexis, through this conference that he was able to attend. It was a very eye opening experience for him and he felt the need to practice his gatekeeper duties by passing along information he had access to. Listening to him speak about all of us having information that is valuable to SOMEONE really struck me. He said that we are never useless, we always have opportunities to be some kind of resource to someone else. He asked the question, “Are you projecting powerlessness?” are you projecting powerlessness by not owning up to your skills and what you have to provide to people that need it? That need you. This talk changed my entire perspective on my personal journey. I realized that my journey is literally something that needs to be shared. I am a gatekeeper to a lot of things, even if it feels small to me.

Fast forward to today, Thursday. I posted my #DearBlackGirl and it’s pretty much in the same vein of being a resource and understanding that it’s a tool of uplift and empowerment. I now view my reason to explore new things, learn new things, create new things not only as a means to benefit me. But honestly I want to do all these things so I have the knowledge and capacity to put other people on. I feel like we’ve been tricked into believing that knowledge can’t be a privilege, and that there isn’t enough resources, audience, etc. for every single one of us to flourish. Of course I want a seat at the table, but I’m trying to get to the table just so I can pass some plates back, some forks, a napkin, you good sis? I believe once we take on this mentality we’ll be unstoppable. YOUR GIFT, YOUR TALENT IS NOT JUST SOLELY FOR YOUR BENEFIT! Your greatness lies directly in your impact. We need YOU. You have something to offer that can advance many, and then they can advance more and then it’s like a domino effect. You can start a fire that many need.

I just want you to first realize that YOU ARE SPECIAL. Yes you are unique! That’s something I’m having to realize about myself as well. Man, regardless of how normal people will try to make you feel, how they will try to dim your light, it’s a trick. Some people even want you to believe that understanding how different you are is a cliche. But it’s not. That’s the first step. Walk into your dopeness, let’s just own up to it. We lit. There, it’s said. Let’s make conscious efforts to recognize our own raw beauty and share our knowledge with anyone looking to elevate themselves. It’s your duty to. No point in being full and the people around you hungry. We all gone eat! You won’t ever have to force your knowledge/journey, the ones that truly need to be filled will reveal themselves to you. They’ll be open to what you have to offer. Find your #Libheration and it’ll bleed into your tribes and beyond.

Perception. “What you got to lose?”

I heard one of my professors say one time, “Perception is reality”. That stuck with me. But it was in a different context for me then. I understood it based on how people view each other. What we perceive is actually reality for us, if we don’t take time to thoroughly understand. What we think is our reality. That fact can either effect us positively or negatively.

Perception is strength for me. I pride myself in how I view things. Right now I’m in a very transitional place in my life. If I had perceived the things that were going on around me as negative things, it would’ve been so easy to get stuck in a funk instead of finding the positivity in all things and moving forward on my journey.

So recently I lost my job. It was basically politics, it was super unexpected. Where I worked was where I lived. It was a complete uproot. I was so shaken at first, no lie. I’ve had relationship dynamics to COMPLETELY change. My life was changing so fast, I didn’t feel ready AT ALL. I thought I was stable, I was good, and everything just up and changed. In that change I was able to see that life was just pushing me to move. There was no denying it. I had to move my feet. Sometimes being in Oxford, MS felt so lonely. The post graduate life is TOUGH, and post graduate depression IS REAL, sometimes you feel like your life just isn’t spanning out how you had so perfectly planned. But that’s a completely different post for a different day. But I felt like Oxford was the perfect place to stack some money, make a few moves, for the time it was right for me. I had great benefits working there, and the money was good. It was always tactical for me. It was economical. I didn’t realize I got complacent though. I was still growing as an individual, but I got caught up in the day to day, in the routine and lost sight of all the other things I want to do.

I got BIG dreams. I got BIG ideas. And true enough Oxford was a good move for me, but TEMPORARILY. Of course. I realized that being uprooted only gave me room to sew new seeds. The draw back from people felt bad for a second, but I realized I needed that to get to my next level. I didn’t let the HOW or why it ended shake me. Yeah, it hurt but I saw the glory behind it. The HOW didn’t matter, because it just had to happen. I had to get to a place where I had no other choice BUT to choose me. There was nothing to consider, there was nothing keeping me where I was anymore. I also had to realize that God doesn’t only move for me. I had to realize that that separation may have been necessary for the other person too. We’re in a very critical point in our lives. This is the time for us to genuinely get to know ourselves, and choose ourselves, and blossom into who we’re meant to be. The time to find our passions, our purpose. Places, people, situations, jobs can sometimes deter that progression.

I began to feel thankful for the universe doing the things for me I didn’t have the strength to, or even the understanding to know to do. I realized my growth when I could just walk away with no hard feelings, no bickering, no sadness, no regret and with real understanding of what was happening for me. I was very attentive of my perception.

Okay so fast forward, so many things started to happen. I felt lighter, I felt excited about whatever was to come. I wasn’t sure what is was, but the feeling of newness was overwhelming. My aunt said the same thing to me after I told her everything that was going on, she felt excited for what was next.

I had two friends to come down and visit from Austin, TX. In the middle of this beautiful chaos they offered me an opportunity to go back to Texas with them, to get a feel of the city and check out career opportunities. They were ACTIVELY trying to get me to just go for it. Why not? At first I was eeeahhhhhuuuhhh, ion know bout all that. They ended up convincing me, asking “What you got to lose?” and literally in the next few hours I was well on my way. It was like everything happened just when it needed to. It all just kind of fell in my lap. I landed an interview for the very next day after arriving. I got another one coming up next week. My energy is at an all time high. I feel good. I don’t know for sure how anything will work out, but I just know IT WILL work out. My Auntie DeeDee told me, “Girl, when things line up like this, it ain’t just a coincidence.” So here I am, taking a leap.

The more I begin to think about perception the more clarity I got on how it was important to keep it in check. Think about if you only saw the bad in things. Honestly. Think about how long it would take to heal if we stayed in victimizing ourselves. Imagine all the hurt and pain you would harvest. Think about the opportunities you would miss. The chances to enjoy your next level.

I know that when God removes us from something it’s not punishment. It’s just understanding that sometimes we don’t even have the slightest idea of what’s good for us. Or what we want. Sometimes it just don’t agree with the bigger picture. So for anyone who is out there tripping over things they’ve felt like they’ve lost. You didn’t lose. You’ve just been reset. Set back on your path. Once you find a way to will yourself to know that even in the bad, there is good. You’ll never fail. You’ll never be shaken.

Also understand this, keeping your perception in check isn’t being in denial about your emotions. You still need to understand how you feel, and it’s okay to succumb to your emotions. If you need to cry, sis do that. But that’s not something that we can SIT IN. Don’t deny yourself of dealing with it. But let’s always know that everything is intentional and in your best interest. Keep ya perception in check. Keep living. We still #Glowin&Growin. Never be ashamed of your story, of your process. It’s just that, yours. In all it’s glory. There’s Libheration in your truth.

The Ash Cash Podcast- Living Life Beyond Broke w/ @BrokeMillennial

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It’s #MoneyMonday!! So this week I’ve been listening to The Ash Cash Show Podcast. Which is AWESOME by the way. Please check him and Tashima Jones out on SoundCloud, the podcast is designed for Millennials seeking financial motivation!

On this episode (37) Erin Lowry author of Broke Millennial (IG: @BrokeMillennial) is giving tips to get our financial life TOGETHER. Erin Lowry has written a step-by-step guide to go from being broke to in full control of your finances. Visit her website https://brokemillennial.com to get a free worksheet to begin your journey to financial freedom! You can get the book on any website or any bookstore that sells books.

Tips I grabbed:

Reoccurring Advice: Understand how you feel about money. AGAIN! We internalize everything, especially as kids. Figure out what negative or positive connotations you have about money. We have to understand our thoughts about money in order to move forward. We have to find out what things we need to UNlearn and replace with financial literacy. What’s your money mentality?

Think short term, for long term goals. We can’t say “I’m going to be a millionaire” without millionaire habits. Erin talks about how personal finance doesn’t come cookie cutter, one size fits all. Her and Ash Cash talk about how personal finance is indeed that, PERSONAL. So how your friends manage their money, may not work for you. Your first budget may not work the first time you try. Don’t give up on your financial breakthrough, keep working to be better. Develop good habits that work FOR YOU.

Ash asks Erin why does she think millennials manage money so differently compared to generations before us. She makes a great point saying that everything is so digital for us. We rarely ever have to use paper currency or coins. We’ve isolated ourselves so far that we barely even see actual money. She also mentions how student debt also affects we feel about accumulating more debt or being attentive to debt.

Erin gives tips to help cash more on the forefront. CASH DIET. A cash diet is essentially only using cash for a month. Okay so when you get whatever form of income you’re pulling in, to help keep tabs on how much you’re spending, only use cash. Besides your bills. The cash that you use for entertainment, grocery shopping, going out to eat, buying shoes, going to the movies, whatever… allocate a specific amount that you can afford to spend weekly. Keep all your play money in cash.  Having the cash is more of an eye opener because you can actually SEE your money vanishing. Another tip?

Track every penny. For two weeks let’s start writing down all of our transactions. Every cent spent, write it down. Keep track of when and and what you spend money on. After the two weeks period, we’re going to sit down and figure where our money is going. After seeing where we are spending our money, no guessing. We’ll be able to see where we can cut costs.

Do you have bank alerts sent to your phone? For people who are thriving in this digital age, that may work for you too! Keep the alerts coming and keep up with WHAT you’re spending money on.

Get an accountability partner. This can be a coach or someone whose in a similar financial situation. It’s someone to help you stay on task. You should share the things that work for you, the things you conquer and the things that knock you down. You’re more likely to keep working towards your goal, with someone there to encourage you.

Paying back debt

So when Ash and Erin were talking about paying back debt there were two different kind of approaches they discussed. Debt Avalanche and Debt Snowball. So with Debt Avalanche you basically list your current debt from highest amount of interest to the lowest. Mathematically this will save you money. In doing this you still have to make sure you’re paying the minimum due balances on all open accounts. Debt Snowball is more of a feel good approach. You rank your debt from the highest amount due to the lowest, they described this one as the feel good approach because seeing the debt be eliminated will most likely motivate you to keep paying. Whereas with Debt Avalanche your highest interest may not be your lowest amount, which would take longer to clear. BUT again, you save money. So ultimately, IT’S UP TO YOU. Whatever works for you, makes you more at ease. That’s the route to take.

 

To Do’s:
Track your spending for two weeks
Try out the Cash Diet
Sign up for bank notifications via text
Owe money? Find out how you want to tackle it? Debt Avalanche or Debt Snowball method?

 

 

#MoneyMonday- @ThinkandGrowChick Podcast “5 Money Mindset Shifts to Help You Step Your Financial Game Up”

Mindset reset is the GOAL for this year okay? So every Monday I’m going to blog about money tips that I pick up from books, podcasts, my personal experience, wherever. Disseminating information is key. Each one, teach one. We all glowing and growing!

So I came across this amazing podcast by Ms. Courtney Sanders, Think and Grow Chick. Please be sure to follow her on SoundCloud! (IG: @ThinkNGrowChick) This particular podcast “5 Money Mindset Shifts to Help You Step Up Your Financial Game Up” is filled with gems. Courtney recommends books to read, entrepreneurs to follow and study and of course bomb advice on how to boss up ya finances. Give it a listen.

I’m going to give a short summary of the podcast and how the advice really resonated with me. Her experiences were so relatable, it was like I was listening to bits and pieces of my own life. It gave me hope. It made me realize that I can change, and I’m on the right path to do so. Let’s get to it!

Mindset Shift #1: Understand that you don’t have to honor every wish and want. For me this rule speaks directly to impulse buying. See, impulse buying is so bad for me because I’m an avid online shopper. I get the 50% OFF THE ENTIRE SITE, GET IT NOW type emails, I find myself clicking and then I’m buying. Ridiculous right? It’s not THAT bad, but I do impulse buy and I realize that’s a habit I need to change.

Courtney advises that we should prioritize what we want MOST over what we want in the moment. She gave the idea of creating a Wish List. Instead of just buying the things we want, add them to a wish list first. This will give you the chance to visualize your priorities and place your money in things that will actually benefit you. Money is a tool, a resource.

Mindset Shift #2: Demand and command what you are worth financially. This is for every woman. Not just the career woman seeking salary, but also the business woman selling a product or service. Never sell yourself short and know what you’re worth. This is important because if we sell ourselves short of what we’re worth we’ll be concerned about money. We’ll feel the need to find it, chase it because we aren’t being compensated as we should in the very beginning.

Mindset Shift #3: Saving is good! BUT. Make sure that some of the money saved is being invested. Make your money work FOR you. To go back to money being a resource. It’s important that we use our money as a means to create more money. We need to invest. Whether we invest in ourselves, our businesses, or in stocks and bonds. Courtney quotes a line from the book The Secrets of A Millionaire Mind that left an imprint on my mind. “Poor people see a dollar as a dollar to trade for something they want right now, where rich people see every dollar as a seed that can be planted to earn a 100 more dollars which can then be replanted to earn 100 more.”

I haven’t quite gotten investing down, I’m only saving but I am acquiring knowledge to learn how to make my money flip.

Mindset Shift #4: Recognize and undo the limiting beliefs you have about money. This is an overlapping lesson for me. In the book You Are a BadAss Jen Sincero talks about how our subconscious is the reason behind a lot of our actions, even if we can’t recognize them. This mindset shift speaks to that same message. If we believe that a certain amount of money is too much, or can’t be obtained. We’ll continue to have our actions align with those same beliefs. In order to BE rich, we have to THINK rich. We can’t be governed by fear or greed. It’s time to undo how we think about money.

Mindset Shift #5: Realize that wealth and financial freedom is a behavior more than it is a bank account. THIS! Okay so this part of the podcast I felt was just for me, all the way down to the example Courtney gave! Our habits define our outcomes. The example she gave is how good students aren’t defined only by the good grades they get. They’re good students because they go to class, study regularly, meet with teachers, etc. We have to have the same outlook about our finances. Being rich isn’t just about the amount of money you have, it’s about the habits and behavior that allows us to be rich. “Your bank account will be an outward manifestation of who you are as a person and what your mindset is, so if you want to be a wealthy person it’s important that you focus on developing wealthy behaviors, or financial freedom behaviors”.

Affirmations: I am financially wealthy. I am financially free. 

Things to do:
Find out your problem area.
How are you spending most of your discretionary income (income remaining after deduction of taxes, other mandatory charges, and expenditure on necessary items) Food? Clothes? Shoes?
Make a feasible budget. Your budget has to to do-able, don’t make a budget that cuts so much that you’re unhappy and lacking.
Make a wish list to help prioritize your spending

Journal Prompt
Understand your feelings ABOUT money. Write down the first words that come to mind when you think about the word money. Think about what your idea of A LOT of money is? Is it obtainable? This will start the process of understanding some of your subconscious thoughts about money and what mindset blocks to change. When I did this one of my first thoughts was “hard to get”. That’s not really a positive outlook and it could be affecting HOW I behave about money.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Like, comment and share! #MoneyMoves

 

2018 Reading List

For 2018 I want to become more of a boss. I know I want to eventually run my own business, but I realized business owners don’t just wake up and have everything they’ve ever imagined. They have to be knowledgeable.

The books that I chose mostly align with becoming an entrepreneur and becoming financial literate. I want to learn about investing, and making my money work FOR ME. I don’t want to work for money. So! With that in mind here are the books that I plan to finish by the year out. Enjoy.

 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
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I chose this book because most of our bad money habits are learned. A lot goes back to how we view money, and how we saw our parents use it and their parents so on. This book is a contrast of the lessons learned from the author’s “poor dad” and  his “rich dad”, who was essentially a friend’s dad who showed him the ins and outs of business and money. 

 

Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It
by Charlamagne Tha God
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Honestly, the title alone had me intrigued. What is Black  Privilege? Right? Charlamagne believes that we have to create the lives we want, and I completely agree. This book is about living an authentic life and allowing that to be a guide to get everything you’ve ever dreamed. It’s about accountability, confidence, and walking in your own truth. 

 

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
by Gary Vaynerchuk 
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I had a friend to recommend this book a while ago, he’s very social media savvy. Not just posting, but posting intentionally. [Shameless Plug] Check him out! Amazing graphic/content designer (IG: @iam_hank). But yeah! I’m looking to improve how I use social media to promote myself and my blog. This book focuses on how to develop high-quality content, and how to tailor it to different social media platforms. How you interact with your audience isn’t the same for every outlet. I want to master integrated communication.

 

Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice
by Dennis KimbroNapoleon Hill
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Think and Grow Rich is originally by Napoleon Hill, which is a success guide to change your mindset to get rich. Well, Mr. Dennis Kimbro redesigned this version with a sprinkle of culture. It still is inspirational, and models the steps to success. He includes success secrets from Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, Dr. Selma Burke, Oprah Winfrey, and others. I can’t wait to get into this one!

 

The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage
by Daymond JohnDaniel Paisner
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Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, and star of the TV show Shark Tank talks about how being broke breeds creativity. He believes that his drive and hard work comes just from that. He says that starting with nothing forces you to use your resources effectively, desperation breeds innovation. With wanting to design my own innovative fashion product, I think this is a great place to start. 

 

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
by Kelly McGonigal
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I discovered that my willpower is a little low, lol! My health and fitness journey taught me this more than anything. This book explores the science behind self control and how we can use it to improve our health, happiness and productivity. Just what I need. 

 

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B. Cialdini
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With wanting to bring an innovative product to the market, I need to know how to sell myself. This book focuses on the psychology of getting a “yes”. I’ll need that for investors, sales, even in personal relationships. 

 

Rich Habits: How to be successful with fingertip habit changes
by Stephen Dalton
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This book is self-help for people who are easily distracted, and jump between tasks. It focuses on small changes we can take to ensure productivity and financial success!

 

The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials)
by Benjamin GrahamJason Zweig (Contributor)Warren Buffett(Contributor)
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So Benjamin Graham wrote “the bible of investing” as a lot of people call it. He’s known as the greatest investment advisor of the 20th century. Jason Zweig and Warren Buffet use the same principles from his book but with a contemporary twist to reflect today’s market. I’m reading this basically so when I get rich I know how to make my money make money. 

 

The Magic of Thinking Big
by David J. Schwartz
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If you haven’t noticed just yet.. changing how I think is my biggest goal! I realized I have to change my perception to change my habits and then my life. The Magic of Thinking Big deals with just that. David believes that success isn’t dependent on intellect or talent but our thinking habits and learning to behave to reach that success.

 

Starting a morning routine. Eliminating excuses.

Background: Les be honest. Mornings are THE WORST for me. I have to be at work everyday at 8:30 AM, I normally roll out of bed around 8:10, 8:15. YIKES right? I will hold on to my bed with every piece of strength I own. I’m sure my snooze button hates me, lol. I’ve always had this issue. This cold weather ain’t making this no betta.

One of my goals for this year is to get up earlier, get a morning routine going. I don’t want to roll out of bed, starting my day off sluggish. I want to work out, drink tea & have breakfast. For now. I hope to eventually have enough time to even read or blog every morning.

Yesterday morning my alarm went off, I was having the same battle. I ended up just convincing myself, “I don’t have anything to DO anyway” I failed, but I took something away from that failure. It made me realize that I had to eliminate my “way out”. So last night before I got in the bed I made a plan. I wrote down what I wanted to get done when I got up the next morning. I made a goal, so there was something to work towards. I eliminated my excuse of not having anything to do after getting up early.

This morning my alarm goes off.  Of course. I hit SNOOOOOOZZEEE. Twice. I didn’t get up until a little before seven, but I was up and at the gym by 7:15!!! I’m extremely proud of myself. I set a goal, and I achieved it. I didn’t get up as early as I wanted, but I did better than yesterday. That’s what matters right? I’m finding the value in to do lists. Checking things off can be so satisfying and it keeps you well aware of the things you need to accomplish. 1 day in, forever to go though, ya’ll pray for me.

2018: Growth & Manifestation.

2018_ The Year of Growth & Manifestation

First off, Happy New Year! I’ve taken the first few days of 2018 to really reflect on 2017, to make sure 2018 really pop. 2017 made me realize a lot about myself, 2017 was a complete year of lessons. It was the year that I became more open minded to who I am, more honest about me.

Lessons/Realizations of 2017:

There is no one like me. I have a divine purpose and path.

Sometimes, it’s me. I have toxic tendencies and I’m not perfect. 

I can’t claim I’m going to be wealthy, with no knowledge on HOW to be wealthy.

Procrastination will ruin me. 

I can overcome ANYTHING

Life works FOR me and not TO me.

My physical environment is a manifestation of my psychological one. 

  • If my room/space is cluttered, my mind is too
  • What I think is what/how I create

I have to change how I think to change my life

All the thoughts, good and bad, I internalize. Be mindful of my thoughts.

Balance.

Share my story. Never be ashamed of my experiences. What I go through, someone may be able to relate and pull through too. 

The list could literally go on forever.

Since 2017 was the year of realization. I’m making 2018 the year of manifest. This is year I WILL change. I’m growing and glowing up all year. It’s my road to riches. Rich in love, rich in knowledge, health and wealth.

I usually hate resolutions. It feels so cliche. Despite all of that, I wrote down my goals anyway. I realized resolutions only feel cliche if they’re short lived and unfulfilled year after year.

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I’ve broken my goals down from what they are, to how I’m going to achieve them. I’m in the process of actually planning my process and what it looks month by month, weekly and even down to daily habits. Keep a look out for more blogs with more details! This year will be the year of me, come along for the ride.