A Financial Makeover & The Emancipation of You, Inc.

Last week’s post about the delusion of hard work really struck a cord. Some comments were simple and direct – “This was written for me.” Others took a more anthropological stance, and talked about how the North American immigrant experience, history of slavery and Industrial Revolution affect our present day concept of hard work. The above, along with the other responses I received, are deep and personal. I also think they represent an undercurrent playing out in many work environments – a desire for a different way of living and being. Please, Please, Set Me Free As I said (here), the problem with deeply-rooted beliefs and long-standing examples that laud hard work and struggle over ease is that you end up working harder for your money than it does for you. And since there are people whom have flipped the script and the switch on this paradigm, wouldn’t it be really, really cool if you, too, were living a life where your money worked harder for you than you for it…all the time?! Can you imagine really living life on your terms and having control over your time and your lifestyle – instead of wishing it were so. Can you imagine working in Corporate America but setting a new standard for what it means to be a “hard worker” and committed team-mate? Or, if you own a business, can you imagine actually running it instead of it running you. In other words, can you imagine taking time to think and be creative instead of being in a constant state of doing and reaction? Can you imagine what it’d feel...
First Love, Then Money; First You, Then Them

First Love, Then Money; First You, Then Them

What does self-love look like to you? How do you know when you’re practicing it? Do you think it is selfish to practice self-love? When I write, I fancy myself with the notion that I’m writing about topics you and I would actually discuss over coffee or a cocktail. I picture a lively conversation; I see us agreeing and disagreeing; I see us laughing, as well as being contemplative. Yet, there are times when I wonder if the conversations I’m initiating hit the mark – or if I’ve pushed the envelope a bit too far (like with last week’s post, “Head, Heart, Hormones“). Yes, I was slightly nervous about pressing “publish” on that one… But then I get private emails, and I know all is well. Based on the responses I received to last week’s post and to the week’s before about the false intimacy that ensues when people practice credit-card dating, it is even more evident that as individuals, couples, and a society, we have a lot of healing to do! First Love, Then Money One email I received put the whole credit-card dating ridiculousness in (historical) perspective with this: “…if potential mates were initially screened and selected based on financial status as measured by credit scores, the black race could be seriously at risk.” Man, talk about an emotional landmine. I could write an entire book about the social, economic, and familial issues raised in her less than 140 characters comment. In fact, her words remind me of one of the profiles in my book, Patrice: Her great-grandmother, who was born in the late 1800s, graduated college,...
Talking Love & Money: A Trend is Developing That Disturbs Me

Talking Love & Money: A Trend is Developing That Disturbs Me

There is a trend happening when it comes to the matter of talking about love and money. You may have noticed it as well. Heck, it may even be a bandwagon you’ve jumped on. It’s a trend, however, that I find disturbing. Because I believe it is causing couples to miss the whole point of the purpose and intent of talking about love and money. Paul Carrick Brunson, one of the people I follow on Twitter, who works as a modern-day matchmaker and is the co-host of LoveTown on the OWN network, shared a link to, “Bad Credit: A Deal Breaker for Many Singles.” It reminded me of a related piece that appeared in the New York Times almost a year ago – “Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score.” There have been countless other articles like these, recently — articles that put a spotlight on a particular number: one’s credit score. My problem isn’t with the question of asking about someone’s credit score. That is certainly important information to (eventually) know. My problem is with the timing and the seemingly associated judgment without context. False sense of intimacy People who proclaim they “won’t even give someone their digits until they know their date’s credit score,” are missing a critical point: intimacy is earned…over time! Intimacy – financial or otherwise – it is not something to which you are entitled from the other person. And the connection that leads to intimacy is formed from shared experiences. This is how intimacy is earned. Otherwise, at least in my opinion, it falls into the false sense of intimacy...
Why Most Money Advice Is Not Helping You Make More Money

Why Most Money Advice Is Not Helping You Make More Money

Why Most Money Advice Is Not Helping You Make More Money In today’s guest post, Leesa Renee Hall – of faithfullyrich.com – raises an important question: Is your money tempo sabotaging your financial growth and success? (Oh, how I love a music analogy!) Read on and then share your thoughts by leaving a comment. I started playing the piano when I was 8-years old. My piano teacher was a petite woman with a thick Eastern European accent. And she was exceptionally harsh. To help me understand how fast or slow to play a song, my piano teacher used a device called a metronome. It’s placed on top of the piano and when it’s turned on, a small silver arm swings from side to side making a tick-tock sound. Whenever my piano teacher wanted me to stay on beat, she’d turn on the metronome and set it to the desired tempo. If I didn’t play on the same tempo as the tick-tocking metronome, my piano teacher would smack my knuckles with her hand and yell “Again!” So I had to start from the beginning of the song and try my best to stay on tempo. My mother wasn’t happy with the piano teacher’s style and stopped the lessons and I continued to teach myself music. I taught myself to play with 2 hands instead of just one. I taught myself to play more complicated arrangements. Eventually, I taught myself to play the organ, an instrument that keeps both hands and both feet very busy. Today, not only do I compose songs, but I also play the organ for a church with 500...
Are You Having Fun?

Are You Having Fun?

One of the reasons I conduct surveys is to get out of my own head and world. It gives me a chance to see the many facets of money through the eyes of my clients and potential clients, not as I or my professional peers do. It gives me a chance to validate some of my assumptions, as well as to have others challenged. It gives me a chance to discover what I’m missing that I don’t know I’m missing. Weekend before last I randomly approached total strangers in my neighborhood and asked them to share what came to mind when they thought of love and money (the focus of these posts the last few weeks). This past weekend, on various social media feeds, I asked people to complete the following statement: “The real reason money disrupts a perfectly good, or great, relationship is…” If we’re not connected on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or we are, but you missed this, how would you complete the above statement? Leave a comment in the comment section (see link above). The Great Recession Took More than Money & Jobs From Us As I reflect on the responses to each question/survey, I couldn’t help but think: “Man, the Great Recession zapped more than money and jobs.” Five years later and the stock market is at an all time high, with the Dow crossing the 15,000 threshold for a brief moment; unemployment numbers look better; the personal debt-to-equity ratio is a wee-bit better (for most); and savings and investment accounts are on the rebound (for most). But something is missing. During a conversation with...