On Wednesday night, I was up way past my bedtime scrolling Twitter, completely absorbed in someone else’s drama. 

Even if you aren’t on Twitter, you might have heard about it by now. Because, by Thursday, the situation became a headline on CNN, Yahoo, MSNBC, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, and other media outlets. 

What’s the “it” of which I speak? 

Keke Palmer wore a bodysuit under a sheer dress at the Usher concert in Las Vegas. And let’s just say, her boyfriend, with whom she shares a 5-month old son, didn’t approve. 

For the record, I thought she looked gorgeous. While her outfit was more revealing than anything I’d wear, she looked amazing. And while I don’t believe a man should tell a woman what she can and cannot wear, her boyfriend is entitled to his feelings. I just felt he could have shared them with her privately. Not on Twitter and Instagram!!

His comments, though, sparked all sorts of commentary and I was sucked in! 

My fascination had less to do with whether his comments were a red flag about the status of their relationship. Besides, as a good friend of mine always reminds me, “every couple has an understanding.” And theirs is none of my business. 

Rather, I was completely captivated by how the reaction to his comments were an exposition about money, power, societal norms, and expectations

Especially when you layer on the fact that, as a well-known actor, musician, and entrepreneur, she is the breadwinner in their relationship. 

The intersection of all of this is the “drama” that sucked me in!

Or, more precisely, the reminder that this intersection doesn’t just apply to “them.”

The Intersection

Keke is a high-profile celebrity with a networth of several million dollars. Coverage of situations like this by traditional media and social media can make it easy to relegate the need to navigate this intersection to something “other” people have to deal with. 

But here’s the truth: Contending with the intersection of money, power, societal norms, and expectations is a “drama” you and I have to navigate, too. Daily. It’s a universal experience. (Another reason why I say money is never just about the numbers!)

And guess what financial statement provides a bit of insight into how this intersection is playing out in your business and life: your income statement. 

Like I said in a video I posted on social media, your income statement isn’t simply an accounting of money coming in and going out. Mainly because I don’t just see numbers when I review an income statement. 

To me, it’s like a little crystal ball – one that provides a variety of clues regarding: 

  • your spending patterns and priorities; 
  • how you go about making decisions;
  • whether you are maximizing your opportunities to increase your cash flow; and 
  • whether you feel good about what you’re getting for the money you’re spending.

Wait, There’s More

Dig deeper and it can show even more. 

Like, how much power you have to really do what you want, when you want, how you want. In other words: 

Do you have as much control, influence, and access as you want or need?

Money is symbolic and carries with it many meanings that extend beyond its functionality. So, it can show the societal norms you embrace – some of which have been shaped by your family and culture, your social and professional circles, what’s happening in the economy more broadly, and the consequences you’re living with from past choices. 

When you look at your income statement, what does it reveal about your values, beliefs, and behavior, and your attitude toward work and financial success?

In addition to your own expectations regarding what you want money to do for you, you’re likely carrying the weight of others’ expectations, too. Your income statement puts a spotlight on these.

Do you have high expectations of having financial success (or more of it)? Is this reflected in how you save, invest, spend, and earn money?

What’s invaluable?

After last week’s SCOTUS decisions, maybe we needed a slow news cycle that led to even The Washington Post reporting on the drama between Keke and her boyfriend! 

But, traveling down the rabbit hole of reading as much commentary on his posts as I did, I am reminded of a few things: 

Zoom out and you realize that people’s reaction to one thing is often a reaction to something much broader. 

This wasn’t just about them. 

This was about every woman who is in a relationship where she earns more and her partner feels disempowered by that fact – while simultaneously benefiting from it, too.

This was about autonomy and agency and who gets to have it and exercise it.

This was a reminder for us all: When you find yourself stargazing, whether it is a high-profile celebrity or that peer who is doing incredibly well, remember to mind your own business. 

Meaning: focus on what you have; what you want and need; and what you’re willing to do for it. 

One way to focus on your own financial affairs is to pay attention to both the numbers and what’s behind them on your income statement. If you need help with this, let’s work together.

And here’s one more reminder Keke and her boyfriend have given us: The intersection of money, power, societal norms, and expectations is prevalent at all times. We simply tend to pay more attention to this concatenation when times are challenging. But they are just as present during times of growth, too!

p.s. ICYMI:  This summer I am offering Half-Day VIP Business & Financial Coaching Sessions. Doing a spending analysis, assessing your return on investment & return on feelings, is part of how we will spend our half-day together. Click here to book your session.

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