Time Management

So age is a function of time…

To a seven year old, one year is 1/7th of their life, so it seems like a very very long time in their eyes. But when you are 40 that same year is 1/40th of your life thus far, so it goes by very fast. You’ll eat 1/40th of a pizza much faster than you would 1/7th… chewing and all.

But age is also a function of how much time you think you have left. For a seven year old, it feels like an eternity, if the typical life expectancy is 80 years, 73 whole years left… But again to a 40 year old, that’s only half your life left, half of it already lived, and most likely a lot of mistakes and wasting time along the way. The desire to limit those mistakes going forward and to waste NO TIME is paramount! Not one second.

That holds true most in matters of success and matters of the heart.

“Kids…dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music” -William Stafford

As we age there is this increased desire to accomplish. We look at where we are and we thought we would be, and we seek to hurry and either make that happen or come up with another bigger goal. I can recall finding out I was going to graduate from college early, and thinking to myself that it wasn’t so much something I had intentionally worked hard at, but just believed I could, and so I did. There were definitely, looking back, distractions in my path, but to me, success was inevitable. I was the little girl showing out on stage, to the people in the audience, but just being me in reality. It wasn’t until I got older that I even had a notion that there were things I couldn’t do.

I couldn’t be a Janet Jackson dancer at 40, with a child and a career and back pain. I mean maybe I had one shot in 1,000,001 but who likes those odds. I had a much better shot at 20, and I won’t bore you with my extra curricular dancing activities, but I certainly put in a good try to at least maybe do one hip roll in a Dirty Glove video (shot out to Dirty Glove ENT, Detroit record company and entertainment conglomerate ✋🏽) … but hey time and place. But this idea that suddenly I had to give up on my dreams to get serious about my future was new. I had always thought I was serious. I mean tell me old girl above isn’t serious!

Truer still was how I looked at my love life. As a young woman I did whatever felt right. A boy moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor to be with me, a boy with no college dreams at the time in THEE college town. I traveled hundreds of miles away to be with somebody’s son. I was the serial monogamist, ending what had no purpose and open to those who spoke to my passions. A “talk that talk money” kind of girl. But at 40, a divorced woman with a child, the stakes was high.

Welcome to reality, see times is hard…Better watch the way you spend it/Cause the stakes is high.” DeLaSoul Stakes is High

So I decided to wait it out, stick with my bid, my possible, to see if he materialized into a sure thing. I forgot about doing what felt right and instead was overly worried about what would be, how much time I might waste with the wrong one. I no longer went with what felt right, but it had to make sense on paper. But love, which is what I was ultimately looking for, was freeing and open hearted, my bound and gagged view was limiting me to what looked right, but felt like a waist trainer. And of course, you could have bet on it… I wasn’t wasting time as much as I was ignoring the signs that kept telling me to move on. No matter how many times I tried, that possible was never going to materialize. The only sure thing in the equation was me… I forgot that… so busy going over my steps I forgot to dance.

“Life is the dancer, you are the dance”-Eckhart Tolle

While there is certainly nothing wrong with time management, there is something very defeating about dancing only to the steps and not allowing your body to sync up with the music. But how do you do both. I don’t want to waste time but I certainly don’t want to make decisions that lack passion only to accomplish some purpose that might change. That will likely change, as I get older and wiser. Let us pray for the wise part… I’m still buying Jordan’s and I love them, but I got Nike stock too. Aha! Growth.

Anyway…

So how do I both get a bit more serious about my moves, while still allowing myself the space to do what feels right?

Well first, I have to know what I want, or at least what I want it to look like. So how is what I’m doing right now helping me to get where I want to be. Truth is, I no longer desire to be a Janet Jackson dancer… but I do want to dance and perhaps some hip rolling could knock this vertebrae back into place. I used to want to be a lawyer, interior designer, and urban style writer for Vogue or Harper’s Bazarre. Now, I know my passion is bigger than one distinct career but being an example of wealth building for my son and people in my community. I can still do all of that, if I choose to, but with age my priorities have become less individual and more familial and communal.

As for men, I learned the biggest lesson of my love life this year. It actually applies across my life. Love is not made in words or in funds. True understanding of another human being, and acceptance of them once you reach that understanding is what love is all about. It’s my job to secure myself. That is my belief. Any man that wants to partner with me must be able to do the same for himself, and then show me through his actions in his choice. Period. It’s really rather simple. That, is what has always felt right. This idea that I needed a mate that checked all these boxes, on a checklist that I didn’t create, so I wouldn’t waste time, is ludicrous. Cosmo cannot tell you what you need, neither can Grandma, your bestie, or a blog.

“I didn’t choose. I was chosen to dance…” -Martha Graham

So don’t stop succeeding and loving in freedom just because you have reached some age where you thought life would be different. Life has been exactly what it was supposed to be… and how you react to that says everything about how much favor you will receive in the future. The rest is up to you. Time will pass. You will grow older. But trust that you can still bust a MF move and you can still have it all…

Time is not about how much you have spent or what you have left, as the only real time, is right now.

This issue isn’t closed like an elevator door/But soon re-opened once we get to the next floor where the Stakes is high.” -DeLaSoul

Stocks and Bonds: P/E Ratios

I hosted a stocks class recently, tryna get my money up, secure the bag, harness the power of the almighty dollar… in other words, make some money. The teacher… I’ll link his classes below cuz that’s how we do… was phenomenal.

And I bet he didn’t know it, but that wasn’t just Stocks 101 it was a class in Nigganomics as well. What, you ask, is Nigganomics, well according to Webster, (of George and Ma’am not Merriam), it’s the cost of dealing with ignorant mofos. The stakes is high y’all… the stakes is mighty high.

When you get to be 40ish, lots of things change. Your urgency in some areas skyrockets and your utter inability to can in others plummets. A few areas where shit is very urgent is your time, peace, mental health, and pockets. Whereas anything that puts you in the red, in any of those categories, can die slow. Nothing costs you more than dealing with the wrong people.

“Money Trees is the perfect place for shade” Kendrick Lamar

It’s time to do an audit, and in this audit everyone gets assigned two values, a price, what it costs you, and a earnings, what you profit. If it’s clear that despite Ike being fun, he is hours late for every date you make and a big disappointment in general, he’s an asshole. If despite being friends with Sophia a long time, she’s jealous of you and wants you to shrink yourself, she’s a hater. They both need to beat it. Their P/E ratio sucks and it costs you more to have them in your life than it rewards you. But Craig and Peanut bring both something to the table that benefits your life, and in turn are worth that cost. Craig loves spending time with you, he’s fun, present, and listens. He’s caring and genuine. Peanut is a real one, he helps you make that schmoney, gives you good financial advice, invests in you for real, and is trustworthy. He is supportive and wants to see you grow. These people are good investments if your time, money, peace, and mental health. You win with them in your corner! Ike and Sophia are lessons in Nigganomics… pull your money out and make better investments.

Here are a few lessons in who to invest in based on simple calculations of that person’s P/E ratio:

1. Don’t shed tears, that’s valuable hydration, over broke ass partners … you wouldn’t go into business with a pauper, don’t spend your emotions on them either. They are a liability. Bad investment.

2. Haters bring with them a litany of unforeseen costs, because jealousy and insecurity are dangerous liabilities. You can’t predict which way they’ll go at any moment or their intentions. Bad investment.

3. Don’t get bogged down by how long you have known people. Toxicity makes you sick… and you can’t secure bags when you are bedridden. Sometimes you just outgrow people, or you grow in different directions…and that doesn’t make folks bad it just makes them bad for you. Don’t let relationships that have overstayed their welcome ruin your life’s portfolio. Bad investments.

4. The biggest LIEability of all is that you are stuck with your family. Listen, if you are surrounded by folks you call parent, brother, sister, aunt, or cousin that carry around those generational curses like shields to protect them from taking responsibility and owning their own shit… it’s perfectly fine to care for them, from afar. Don’t allow relationships you didn’t create but were born to keep you depositing funds into an account you cannot collect from and that pay no dividends. Bad investment.

Now, take some inventory of your relationships. If the price far outweighs the benefits, abort mission and find a new place to invest your time and love. Apply these principals to your life and watch the value of the company you keep and the value of your life increase, and the price you pay to have these relationships far outweighed by the benefits! And “skrt skrt” on these haters.

Stocks Classes: The Bullish Institute

I’m out for Ancestors to represent me…

So I’m about to school you, get a pen and paper… I’m serious, where is your pen and paper?

Simple and Plain… Black Consumerism killed Black Entrepreneurship

Wealth is not common in the Black community. I’m not talking about the ability to buy a Gucci belt for every outfit, but real wealth which is both a mentality and a lifestyle. We have not yet collectively mastered the science of economic health and the transfer of wealth generationally. Period! Some if it is not our fault… but some of it is!

The two biggest factors in determining wealth are home ownership and inheritance. In The Hidden Cost of Being African American, Thomas Shapiro cites reports that 1 in 4 white families received an inheritance after a parent’s death, averaging $144,652, while only 1 in 20 black families inherited, with an average inheritance of $41,985. Those numbers are wild… but they are explainable. First, Black people make, on average, about 8 cent to a White person’s dollar, so earning potential in the Black community is stunted. You most certainly cannot save money you don’t have. Additionally, Black families are less likely to own homes, missing out in the ability to earn equity in those homes and the many money saving tax advantages of home ownership. Then the discriminatory laws and policies in everything from employment, incarceration, housing, and the environment that have plagued our community leaves us at a huge financial disadvantage. Many say segregation hasn’t helped much either…

At one point in the Black community, we had communities that were largely self-contained. Black people in Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, Brooklyn Charlotte in Charlotte, NC, Black Broadway in D.C., and Denver’s Five Points we’re living in Black Meccas surrounded by Black churches, businesses, healthcare, and home ownership. Many of these neighborhoods were bulldozed to make way for highways or simply left underfunded and unsupported by the masses in the 50s and 60s.

So at a point when Black market owners, doctors, cleaners, furniture stores, etc were creating black wealth, modernization, gentrification, the influx of drugs, mass incarceration, infrastructure, and racist policy turned that on its head. After the civil rights movement and the desegregation of our communities, our once natural proclivity for entrepreneurial endeavors waned as we couldn’t get space in these now gentrified and more expensive cities and towns. We were cut out of the small business circle, as we were denied loans and generally denied access. Where there is a lack of creation, people are forced to find alternative sources for their needs. So our ancestors creativity turned into our parents consumerism, and companies owned by everyone but us profited from the demise of our self-sufficient communities.

Black people in this country have been the biggest targets of consumerism. And when you are consuming and not creating… you are going to generally spend more than you make. So there is little left to save, and less to leave to your children. Consider this. Big brand companies such as McDonalds, Ford, Target, Coca-Cola, and General Mills have made the Black market their target audience in many campaigns. They still manage not to alienate White customers, as their privilege makes it hard for them to feel left out. In contrast, marginalized people have a history of being left out, not considered, and disregarded. So the Coca-Cola commercial featuring Tyrese, or even going back farther, the hip hop inspired “Big Mac Attack” commercial from ’86… yes I remember… didn’t alienate White consumers and the diversity pulled in more Black customers. This is what Forbes calls a “niche first strategy”, and as it took off, well…

Quite simply, we started spending money before we even made money.

“Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten”

According to statista.com, the number of Black owned businesses in the U.S in 1972 was a little over 180,000. In 2018 that number was 2.6 billion, with the increase favoring Black women owned businesses. We are indeed a people of resilience! However, the Black wealth gap has not closed in similar fashion.

Cuz y’all be TRIPPIN!!!!!!

Last month, I dedicated myself to purchasing from Black businesses. As I delivered that message, some of my peers made comments about rejecting that notion “just because” the company was Black owned. Demanding that the company provide excellent service to earn their dollar. Yet, I’m certain, those same people don’t always demand the same of the big names companies they frequent… none of which are owned by for us or by us. If you eat at McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any fast food conglomerate that shit is killing you. I can think of several Black food businesses in Detroit that never have a line, sell well seasoned and healthy foods, and instead, the McDonalds line is over the river and through the woods, and they are guaranteed to give you a Big Mac missing a patty and the special sauce. That’s inexcusable and ludicrous. And I have been to Walmart… it’s not what’s poppin! But y’all be up in there buying those bad apples, tart ass grapes, chemically laden lotions, and irregular work shirts. The Eastern market and local farmers markets have Black farmers and Black business owners selling high quality and healthy products. Instagram is a sea of Black owned clothing boutiques. So where dem dollars at?!?!

We must decide to keep our dollars circulating in the Black community for much longer than the reported “6 hour” statistic ( a statistic that has never been proven and really has no impetus that can be tracked), and do our part in keeping more of our 1.3 trillion dollars in spending in our hands and ultimately the bank accounts of our children. We can invest in a few Black businesses, to both make a return on my investment and help provide a Black entrepreneur with some of the start up cash they need. We can free ourselves from the misuse of the credit industry… which promotes the borrowing of money to keep you in debt. No thanks! Credit is a tool. Debt is a hinderance.

When we start to value wealth; understand how we can truly build wealth, both in our families and in our community; learn from history; and stop being so unfairly judgmental and harsh on the businesses that people that look like us run in our communities, generally with limited financial support, we will start to build the kind of wealth we need to pass that down to our children… so they are born into wealth. Hustle for your last name and not your first.

Don’t be the only anti-affirmative action Black student in the room. Buy Black, just because it’s Black! There a millions of Black businesses, research, educate yourself, and find companies that match your needs (webuyblack.com is a great resource). I know when I write a book, y’all better buy it and read it, and buy an extra copy, just because. Black is only synonymous with inferior to those that hate us and don’t want to see us win!

Who you wit!