#SWAAYthenarrative

3 Simple Tools To Change Your Financial Reality

Career

Have you ever made 2-minute noodles? You know, the noodles that come in a pack that you add to boiling water with a packet of spices, and viola! In two minutes, dinner is served. Well, when I was in college, I ate a lot of 2-minute noodles. They were cheap. Rather than feeling sorry for myself because 2-minute noodles were on the menu yet again, I got creative. It became a challenge. How many new recipes involving these boring noodles could I come up with? How creative could I be? What would make this fun?


Years later, when I found myself $187,000 in debt, I used the same approach to my finances as I did with those noodles. Rather than seeing my situation as a problem, rather than focusing on debt, I started looking at it from the question of, “What else is possible here?” And, “How can I change this?”

Today, you can often hear me say, “No one should have a money problem – especially not you,” and “if you would like to turn your money situation around, know that it is possible.”

The following tools can be used to help transition your financial situation from tumultuous to a sigh of relief.

1

Ask Questions Continuously

People make statements about money continuously, but very few ask questions. If you desire something greater with your finances, ask questions continuously. Many of us were told not to talk about money when we were growing up. Many of us were told we asked too many questions and urged to stop. Questions are actually the beginning of change. They open the door to new possibilities.

Start to ask questions like, “What else is possible here?” Or, “How many revenue streams could I create?” And, “If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I choose?”

Consider sending out exciting mail to clients or prospects to grab their attention. Take a cue from fashion houses who often send elaborate invites to their guests. The idea here is to stand out and build anticipation for a great show. Often guests have so many shows to attend that they must choose some and forsake others. In order to pack the house, elaborate invites makes them stand out. Louis Vuitton is known for sending beautiful clutches with the invitation enclosed.

2

Ask Money to Show Up

What if you could ask for money, just because you know life might be more fun with it than without it? What if the purpose of your life is to have fun?

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Ask and you shall receive.” Most people don’t ask for money because they have so many beliefs about what it takes to have it, how hard you have to work for it, where it can and cannot come from, and more. These beliefs keep people from simply asking for money to show up.

Get clear on how much money it would take to live the way you want to every month and then ask, “What’s it going to take for this to show up?”

3

Acknowledge You

Are you waiting for others to acknowledge you so that you finally know what you have to offer is valuable? What if you were the one who recognizes you are valuable, no matter what anyone else thinks?

If you are going to change your money situation, you have to be willing to acknowledge you. When you do not acknowledge you, you diminish you. When you diminish you, you limit your creative abilities. A much easier way to go forward in life is to acknowledge what you have accomplished, to open your eyes to your greatness and not dismiss the things that you have created and changed.

There are three ways you can begin acknowledging you more effectively:

Acknowledge the value of you
Acknowledge what is easy for you to do
Acknowledge what you create

It might be difficult for you to see your value at first. Commit that you will do it anyway; no matter what. Get a notebook and write down what you are grateful for about you - add at least three different things every day.

The best way to change your financial reality is to simply start. Wherever you are. Whatever your current situation, just start. Ask questions. Acknowledge you and all that you have already accomplished. Never stop.

6 Min Read
Politics

All My Life I've Had To Fight

I live the pain and stress of being black in America every day: I am a black woman, the mother of a black son, sister to black men, and aunt to my black nephews. I remember what it was like as a young girl to be afraid to go to Howard Beach for fear of being chased out. I know what it's like to walk on Liberty Avenue and be called "nigger" and being so young that I didn't understand what the word meant, I had to ask my mother. I know too well that feeling in the pit of your stomach when a police car pulls up behind you and even though you know you haven't done anything wrong you fear that your life may be in danger from what should be a simple encounter. Like all African Americans, I am tired of this burden.

African Americans have a long history of having to fight for our humanity in America. We have had to fight for freedom, we have had to fight for equality, and we have had to fight for our lives. The fight continues to go on. I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight." When I say this to my white counterparts it can sometimes be uncomfortable because it's clear that they just don't get it. They view it as melodramatic. But it's not. It's part of the black experience, and it is the part of the black experience that black people don't want.

I have often quoted that line from the character Sophia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight."

While I was out yesterday, passing out PPE and talking to people, a woman asked me, "What is it going to take for this to change?" I told her that I think peaceful protesting is a good start. But it's just the start. We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.

This injustice, inequality, and inequity will not spontaneously disappear. It will take bold, outspoken, and fearless leadership to eradicate the systemic racism in our country. We must address the violence at the hands of a police force paid to serve and protect us. We must address the recurring experience of black people being passed over for a promotion and then being asked to train the white person who was hired. We must address the inequities in contract opportunities available to black businesses who are repeatedly deemed to lack the capacity. We must address the disparity in the quality of education provided to black students. We must address the right to a living wage, health care, and sick pay.

While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system. One that works for all of us. I am running to become the mayor of New York City because I can't assume there's another person who has the courage to do the work that needs to be done to create a fair and just city.

We can't elect the same people for the past 20-30 years, some in the same positions, and then talk about how nothing has changed in the past 30 years.

There are some things we may not be able to change in people, but at this moment I think that whether you are black, white, purple, or yellow we all should be looking internally to see what is one thing that you can do to change this dynamic. Here's where we can start:

If we want change, we need a total reform of police departments throughout this country. That is going to require taking a hard look at our requirements to become a police officer, our disciplinary procedures when civilian complaints are filed, and a review of what and how we police. No one deserves to lose their life based upon the accusation of carrying counterfeit cash. We also need to hold police officers accountable for their actions. While it is their duty to protect and serve they should not be above the law. Even at this very moment, police officers are overstepping their boundaries.

If we want change, we have to build a sense of camaraderie between the police and community. A sense of working together and creating positive experiences. We have to be honest about the fact that we haven't allowed that to happen because we have utilized our police department as a revenue-generating entity. We are more concerned with cops writing tickets than protecting and serving. Even during these moments of protest we are witness to the differences made when the police supported the protesters and stood hand in hand with them or took a knee. It resulted in less violence and more peaceful protest. People felt heard; people felt respected; people felt like they mattered.

While we like to regard the system as broken, I've come to believe the system is working exactly as it was meant to for the people who are benefiting from it. We need a new system.

If we want change, we have to be willing to clean house. And that means that some of you are going to have to step up to the plate and take roles of leadership. In my city alone, there are 35 city council seats that are term-limited in 2021. There are some that aren't termed but maybe their term should be up. Step up to the plate and run. If nothing else it will let our elected officials see that they need to stop being comfortable and do more. We don't need you out in the street taking selfies or reporting the problems to us. We need solutions. We need you in a room implementing policies that will ensure that these things don't continue to happen.

If we want change, we need to support grassroots candidates that are not in corporate pockets, who are not taking PAC money, and who really want to make a difference to their community. We need candidates that know first-hand and can relate to the experiences that many of us are going through.

We are at a pivotal moment. It is inspiring to see people from all races and backgrounds in the streets protesting, standing up for justice, and wanting to see change. We must seize this moment, but we must also be mindful that change requires more.

People often ask me why I decided to run for office? I am running for me. I am running for the little girl that was called nigger on Liberty Avenue. For the woman who has been pulled over for no reason. For my nephew who was consistently stopped during the era of stop and frisk. I am running for your son, your brother, and your nephew. I am running so that the next generation will never have to say, "All my life I had to fight." Because although we won't stop until we see justice and changes that address inequality and inequity effectively, this fight is exhausting.