Tag Archives: Money

Turning the Corner… Fearlessly!

See you in the future

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

I decided to do a blog post link-up this week (click here for more details). Ironically, the topic of the link up fits fairly well into this week’s “The Monday Fits” where I wrote about selling your personal brand to yourself, before you can sell to anyone one else. The irony is that I write about the importance of our generation’s future quite a bit, whether it’s discussing taking risks, pursuing your dreams and chasing waterfalls. My most recent post asked my readers to reflect on what they’re selling to people and whether they believe their own story. So I have been selling to my readers about taking ACTION for their future, so to be asked to evaluate myself in a real way caught me a little off guard. What am I doing, what I am constantly selling to my audience? So with today’s post, I am evaluating myself, and I hope that you take the time do so as well. It is so important that we are intentional with our future

 Topic: WHAT ARE YOU DOING (NOW) TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD START DOING TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE FOR YOURSELF?

When thinking about my future, there are so small tasks that I think are necessary to literally do every day to get to the next level, and then there are the big ideas, your vision for the future. This is usually what are dreams are made of and sometimes they can make your stomach turn, because you’re never 100% sure if you will be able to accomplish them. Hence, why the small the tasks are so important to get to the end, they will lead you to the big vision, but it can be hard not to lose focus. So below I listed my long term goals, and what I am (trying) to do each day to prepare for my future.

  1. Being Bold  –  Professionally. This really manifests itself by trusting my gut. In my role at work, I make recommendations by analyzing problems through policy, research and data and look for solutions. Being creative and trying something new, when the evidence supports the idea, is important. But often, people don’t see or understand your vision or idea. So you really have to believe in yourself and not seek others approval.  We can talk ourselves out of taking a risk. I am guilty of it, but I work on it so that one day I may be able to be a fearless leader.  – Long Term Goal: Run a Non-Profit Organization
  2. Saving Money  I have a problem with this thing called self- control and prioritization. Self-control is important now, and not for the next day.  On a day to day basis, I am focusing on spending my money on items that are aligned with my long term goals and not the thing that feels good at the moment.  The main day to day task that I have to do is taking the time to say NO. Sounds simple, but it’s not easy. Denying one’s self today for the benefit for tomorrow is hard. I am an emotional being if you have ever read any of my intense Mondays Fits. Being debt-free allows me to be fearlessly in control of not only my finances, future business financing and financial freedom – Long Term Goal: Being Debt-Free  for business and personal investments
  3. Meaning What I Say Why is this a goal? Because at every job interview, discussion, or questionnaire, when someone asks what is one of my top 3 qualities that are important to me, my first answer is always integrity. In some areas in our lives, having integrity is effortless. In other areas, it takes some real soul searching to keep your integrity intact. But more times than not, its the small white lies or minor excuses that make us lose our integrity. Those small occurrences will turn into big ones if we don’t monitor our behavior. But being a positive role model is important to me and my future. Meaning what I say allows me to be fearless in the example that I set for those around me, who look up to me or those who are having to work an depend on me. – Long Term Goal: Be a good Parent, Role Model, and Co-Worker

Question Numero 2 – Now what should I start doing to create a better future for myself? My initial reaction to this question, is EVERYTHING. But that is clearly not possible or plausible. But I think there is one major thing that I should start doing to create a better future for myself is being able to make mistakes, pick up, and keep it going. It is easy to sit and wallow, and sometimes it is more enjoyable to do so, but allowing the bumps to stop you is the same as not having goals in the first place. If we allow one mistake to slow us down, we will begin to get bogged down, and never make any movement. The other reason I think this is important to start doing this is no one else can teach you how to do this or how to overcome when you want to give up. Those motivations come from within. The only person who can turn the corner fearlessly is YOU!

Your turn!  Answer the questions for yourself, What are doing right (NOW) to prepare for your future? What do you think you should start doing to create a better future for yourself? AND please be sure to check out POSTS from the other bloggers below.

Meg Biram
Liska Monet
26 and Not Counting
soak and simmer
Knowing Kelly
Carrie Loves
Alyssa J Freitas
Manifest Yourself
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White Cabana
The Yuppie Files
Little Wild Heart
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The Not Quite Adult
Random Little Faves
Perfect Enough For Us
Always, Anita
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Leigh Clair
York Avenue
Sequins & Strawberries
Emilie Lima Burke
with love from ellie
rejoyce
Bite My Fashion
White Oak Creative
StyledbyKesha
xo lacey
Whitney Bangel Blog
always craving
Evann Clingan
Turning the Corner…Fearlessly!
IN THE GREY
Beauty and the Pitch
PRBlonde

You Really Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know

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“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know” ― Confucius


I am a firm believer that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish just about anything that you set your mind to; it’s that optimistic gene. Optimism is just one of those things that you are born with or you’re not. You kind of can’t help it, and although, a pessimist never annoys you, you don’t quite know what their issue is with just about everything. Don’t Worry, Be Happy, right? Not quite.

What I mean to say is that I am firm believer that with hard work and dedication, the right resources, tools, and mindset, you can accomplish just about anything. See the slight difference? A lot of people choose to believe that hard work and dedication is enough to overcome obstacles such as poverty and a very difficult background, and I’m going to take a little time to disagree.

In a NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted in April 23-27, 2014, asked, “ Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Because of the widening gap between the incomes of the wealthy and everyone else, America is no longer a country where everyone, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to get ahead and move up to a better standard of living.” (source) 

The majority of the poll (at 54%) agreed with this statement. Do you know why? “After adjusting for inflation, the average income of the top 5% of households grew by 38% from 1989 to 2013. …By comparison, the average real income of the other 95% of households grew less than 10%.” (Source). This is a direct quote from Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, from about a week and a half ago in her somewhat untraditional speech as the Federal Reserve chairperson. “Ms. Yellen offered extensive evidence of increasing income and wealth inequality, offering a number of figures to support her case, including lots of data from Federal Reserve’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances. The report began in 1989, and was most recently conducted in 2013 and published last month”.(Source).

I understand why she used her platform to address such an important topic, because there are too many people who don’t believe the widening income and wealth disparity has the potential to hurt the economy. Yes, people should care and help the poor and impoverished, because it is the right thing to do. BUT we are also reaching a point, not helping the less fortunate reach a modicum of success, will affect the middle and upper middle class. And every one at least agrees that America cannot survive without the middle class.

One of the ideas that continue to the current climate of the wealth/income disparity is the notion that anyone no matter where you come from in America  can reach a certain level of success; those golden days are gone. What I find surprising is that many of the people who over emphasize that anyone can take the road out of poverty are people who themselves, pulled themselves up from their bootstraps, and don’t understand why everyone else or others are struggling more and more in the current economic climate.

What people fail to understand is diversity or more plainly is that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. But Americans can be rather selfish and egotistical. If I can do it, so can everybody else?

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People are different and come from different backgrounds, have different parents and experiences. Two children from the exact same parents, with similar upbringing and experiences, can end up very different. I think it’s insulting, as if people want to stay in a place where they cannot do better for themselves. Now wait, there is a segment of the population that is lazy, doesn’t care, and wants others to do for them forever, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THEM. But people who don’t understand the nature or nurture of raising a child miss the point.

A few years ago, I was a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and my little sister in the program told me one day that she wanted to be a teacher, but that she was only going to work for about 3 years, because she has this back injury from when she was 9. That girl was A okay. Here I was talking to a ten year old who already knew that saying you have a disability (even though it’s not a real one) could get you out of work was disheartening. The harder part is not being able to explain to her that this “mindset” that she was taught by someone she so desperately loves and tries to win their affection is wrong.  In that capacity, I felt helpless, all I could do was try to show her a different way.

Why is this important? As James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote, in their Washing Post opinion piece, “Getting more poor kids into college won’t fix income inequality”, they make that the debate by the time kids make it too college, it’s too late. The major problems plaguing the K-12 education system are hurting our children’s possibility of overcoming income equality. (Source). Now, I agree that the kids cannot be raised by the school system, but if you’re surrounded by laziness, lack of hope, or simply have parents who don’t know how to help, school may be the only point of access to provide a child with a light to want and dream of more. So if our school systems are ineffectual then the possibility of changing generational curses of poverty seem to get further and further away from us. I only saw my little sister twice or three times a month, I could only show her so much; our schools have to better for our youngest children.

I am a daughter of an amazing teacher, she would be amazing by the world’s standards, because she literally won almost every teaching award possible, but what makes her truly amazing are the things she did, and continues to do are outside of the classroom (and she’s retired). I would call my Mother, the “Queen of Social Capital” for poor and underserved populations. What people fail to realize is the lack of social capital that a person/child has, can make a difference where they end up on the totem pole. The definition of social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. But it is so much more than that, you have to first know the relationships and the network before you can begin to use it, and if you don’t know, you cannot function properly and succeed. I call my mother the Queen, because she grew up poor and reached a certain level of success, so she can relate to others who are born in a similar background, and help navigate them through the difficulties of being poor, making it through the K-12 school system successfully, and eventually college.

Now do I think it’s possible think all teachers have the capacity to do this? Not one bit. And in some communities, like Austin where I live, there are great non-profit organizations that help kids and their families obtain access to help their kids succeed. But in my mind, we need to better arm adults to improve themselves, recreate ways in America where you can improve your situation and pull yourself up from your own bootstraps, because I like that idea, but we can’t say pull up, if the bootstraps are not there.

I’ve mentioned in other posts about the never-ending, never-seems-like-they-are-going-to-fix it public assistance programs, or minimum wage problem. Not enough Americans are sitting down to discuss their differences and find a solution to this problem. But I think there’s more to it than partisan politics, I mean no one would be a loser for fixing social programs, and I believe that at the end of the day the democrats and republicans are not as far off from each others as they think are. Maybe they are, but the real truth is that “the policy preferences of the wealthy (average income over $1 million annually) vary widely from those of the general public.” – (source) . Money has seeped so far into the political system, interest groups drive many of Congress’ decisions. But pointedly, most legislators, judges, or people with influence are all rich. So unless they are truly empathetic, what is their real understanding for creating policies or reform for social policies that could really make a difference for the people. The way elections work it is hard for a person from the middle class or upper middle class who is educated to run for office.

A person who struggles to overcome the hurdles of poverty sometimes just doesn’t know exactly what to do during that journey is the same to me as a rich bureaucrat who doesn’t really know how to actually IMPROVE the system and combat wealth inequality. So please go vote, but in the next two years, let’s see if we can bring REAL change makers to the ballot.

M/P

Please comment and Share your thought! Let’s get the conversation started.