Discipline is not a subject we like talking about. It's not sexy - like the idea of being a millionaire or having financial freedom. It's not fun like jetting off to an island with friends and family. However, it is the foundation to have any success in any area, including your money.  Most people aren't void of vision. They are void of the discipline needed to make the vision come to pass. I often work with clients to establish savings plans so they can afford to invest in their dreams. Some accomplish their goals and some don't. The determining factor is ALWAYS discipline.  Life is always going to happen. There will always be a need. There will always be something you could spend the money on. There will always be something working to get you to spend your money today so that you can't live your dream tomorrow. This is why discipline is so important. Discipline is the force that helps you say "yes" to your dreams and goals" and "no" to the distraction sent to derail you.  Let me give you an example: I worked with a client who wanted to start a business but first wanted to reduce her credit card debt. When she came to me, she thought she was tapped out and couldn't afford more than minimum payments in savings. When I challenged her to look at her spending and see where she could trim the fat, she could an extra $478 from cutting out eating out, Starbucks and iTunes purchases. She put $200 towards savings and the other towards paying down her credit card. In a year, she had $2400 in savings, one credit card paid or and her credit score was up 60 points. Now she's focusing on getting the next two cards paid for and attending trainings that will help her launch her business.  She is moving forward because she is choosing discipline. She still wants Starbucks - she just doesn't want it more than she wants her dreams. The great news is that her present isn't her forever. If she continues on her current, she will be able to enjoy Starbucks, dinners out and her business.   She recently told me that she didn't realize how much money she was blowing until we started working together. She realized spending $3 here and $10 there was costing her the dreams she wanted most. She had a choice to make. She chose discipline.  What about you? Have you chosen discipline? Do you have a clear plan for your money? Are you honoring yourself by following the plan or do you find yourself constantly missing your spending goals? Just like my client, you have to make a choice.  Here's a question to consider: Are you actions with your money setting your up for freedom or bondage? Once you know the answer, you must choose to make the decision to discipline yourself.  Discipline isn't a one time choice. You have to make it every day. Every time you walk in a store, see a commercial advertising a sale or see that famous Starbucks' cup, you have to decide what's more important: this moment or your future.  Remember, you have the power to make the choices that will lead to your goals and dreams. Discipline may not be sexy but it sure is necessary!    

Discipline is not a subject we like talking about. It's not sexy - like the idea of being a millionaire or having financial freedom. It's not fun like jetting off to an island with friends and family. However, it is the foundation to have any success in any area, including your money.

Most people aren't void of vision. They are void of the discipline needed to make the vision come to pass. I often work with clients to establish savings plans so they can afford to invest in their dreams. Some accomplish their goals and some don't. The determining factor is ALWAYS discipline.

Life is always going to happen. There will always be a need. There will always be something you could spend the money on. There will always be something working to get you to spend your money today so that you can't live your dream tomorrow. This is why discipline is so important. Discipline is the force that helps you say "yes" to your dreams and goals" and "no" to the distraction sent to derail you.

Let me give you an example: I worked with a client who wanted to start a business but first wanted to reduce her credit card debt. When she came to me, she thought she was tapped out and couldn't afford more than minimum payments in savings. When I challenged her to look at her spending and see where she could trim the fat, she could an extra $478 from cutting out eating out, Starbucks and iTunes purchases. She put $200 towards savings and the other towards paying down her credit card. In a year, she had $2400 in savings, one credit card paid or and her credit score was up 60 points. Now she's focusing on getting the next two cards paid for and attending trainings that will help her launch her business.

She is moving forward because she is choosing discipline. She still wants Starbucks - she just doesn't want it more than she wants her dreams. The great news is that her present isn't her forever. If she continues on her current, she will be able to enjoy Starbucks, dinners out and her business. 

She recently told me that she didn't realize how much money she was blowing until we started working together. She realized spending $3 here and $10 there was costing her the dreams she wanted most. She had a choice to make. She chose discipline.

What about you? Have you chosen discipline? Do you have a clear plan for your money? Are you honoring yourself by following the plan or do you find yourself constantly missing your spending goals? Just like my client, you have to make a choice.

Here's a question to consider: Are you actions with your money setting your up for freedom or bondage? Once you know the answer, you must choose to make the decision to discipline yourself.

Discipline isn't a one time choice. You have to make it every day. Every time you walk in a store, see a commercial advertising a sale or see that famous Starbucks' cup, you have to decide what's more important: this moment or your future.

Remember, you have the power to make the choices that will lead to your goals and dreams. Discipline may not be sexy but it sure is necessary! 

 

Death, Divorce and Poverty

Death, Divorce and Poverty

Last week, I had the awesome opportunity to share my message on the importance of women building wealth at Dr. Deedee Freeman's God's Glamorous Girls Conference. It was so exciting to stand before thousands of women and teach this message I'm so passionate about. You may be wondering why I care so much. I'd like to share two reasons: death and divorce.

In almost 20 years of being a pastor, I've heard too many stories of women who were left with nothing after death or divorce. While we may not all experience a divorce, death is a given. If we live we will die. If the breadwinner dies first without adequate insurance and assets, the wife often ends up in poverty. 

Far too often husbands die with no life insurance in place to replace his income. The lack of life insurance leaves the women who spent years at home raising a family scrambling to cover funeral expenses, pay off debt, keep their family home and find a job that will replace their husband's income with no financial support. The worst part is when they didn't know there wasn't insurance until they needed it. A lot of those same people who didn't have insurance took vacations, wore designer clothes while carrying designer purses and there is nothing wrong with that until they realize that those clothes and purses aren't assets they can use to feed their families. However, it's too late then. You can't get life insurance on your spouse after they are dead. As a result, many women have lost their homes, had to move in with family members and ended up living in poverty. The truth is that in almost every case I've seen, this outcome come have been avoided with prior proper planning.

If your husband dies first, do you have enough

life insurance to continue life as normal?

The second reason is divorce. Divorce is one of the fastest ways for a middle class women to end up in poverty. I know that we hate to talk about divorce in the church. We want every marriage to make it. However, we know that every marriage doesn't make it. If a marriage doesn't make it, the wives shouldn't end up in poverty because of it. But it happens a lot.  It happens way too often. I have lost count of the times I've seen a woman lose it all because she didn't have any income coming in, she didn't know exactly how much her husband made or what assets they had and when they divorced she got the kids but not the support to sustain them. 

My challenge to you is not to fall into either of these groups. Have the hard conversations. Here are some questions to guide you:

  1. Does your husband have life insurance?

  2. Is it enough to allow you to maintain your lifestyle at least for 5 years (I say 5 years because in that time you could go back to school and get retrained for a new career if you needed to).

  3. Are you the beneficiary? This is especially important if he's been married before. Sometimes people put insurance in place and forget to update the beneficiary. 

  4. Where are all the documents located? Review them annually.

  5. Where are the assets? Is your name on the stocks, bonds, investments too? 

  6. Where are ALL of the bank accounts? Are you on all of your husband's accounts?

  7. Talk to an estate planning attorney to make sure all of your family's affair are in order!

"Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poverty"

Even a good husband can leave you in a bad situation if business isn't handled properly. It's your job to make sure that it is. As Jewel Tankard says, "Don't let marriage turn your brain off." You are intelligent and capable of learning and implementing what's needed for you to be okay after death or divorce. Get your affairs in order because you are worth it!

       Is Your Mindset Killing Your Money?   The key to changing our lives is to change our thinking. The way to change our thinking is to take in new information. We must do the work of transforming our minds if we want to transform our lives. Black Women Build Wealth is about just that. I share the dismal statistics about Black women and wealth with the hopes that as my sisters read them, they will join me in saying, "Enough is enough!"   It's not enough to get mad about pay inequality and negative net worth, we must be intentional about renewing our minds and taking new actions that will shift the statistics. I get it, learning about money is hard. It's overwhelming and it's frustrating, but it's still necessary. After all we are spending hours each week working for money, shouldn't we invest our time learning to make money work for us?   Last year, I wrote a workbook that focused specifically on helping Black women develop a wealthy mindset. I did that because I am a Black woman, I have Black daughters, I pastor a lot of Black women and most of my coaching clients are Black women. As a result of spending so much time with Black women, I noticed there were some common patterns of thinking that impacted our money. My goal in writing the workbook was to help us to become aware of the patterns in our thinking that we need to change and to identify some steps we can all take to move forward.  Here are top three negative mindsets that I believe keep Black women from creating wealth.   We don't think we have the power    Power simply means ability. Wanting to break the cycle of poverty and build wealth isn't the same as believing you have the power to do it.  Some of the challenge is that we underestimate our own genius. Everyone of us knows a Black women who can fry the best chicken or bake the best cakes. We have grown up with women who can decorate on a dime, dress to the nines on on a budget or make crafts that outshine anything on Pinterest. We have seen it so much that we think it's common. When we devalue our gifts, we don't understand they power they have to help us build wealth. We minimize them. We do them for free. We simply don't use them to create a shift in our financial status. A huge part of break poverty is identifying, cultivating and using your gifts. I challenge you to do just that. You might discover that your power to create wealth is hidden in the very gifts and talents you take for granted.   We don't have a clear vision     "Where there is no vision the people perish." If you go to church, you've probably heard that a lot. But, what does it actually mean? It means that when you don't have a clear vision, you don't go anywhere. Most of heard that we should go to school, get good grades and work hard. We also heard that we should pay our bills and be responsible. Few of us heard that we should learn to take the money we work for and make it work for us. We didn't hear about investing, life insurance and creating streams of income. If we haven't heard of them how can we have a vision for them? We can't. The other challenge is that most of us don't know what would make us wealthy. We know we want more money, but how much more?  What would it take to pay off all your debt?  What would it take to make you financially free?  How much would it take to allow you to live the lifestyle you dream of?  If you don't have the answer to these questions, you don't have a vision for wealth. Just like a builder needs plans to build a home, you need plans (vision) for your money. I encourage you to take some time to develop your vision.       We help others to our detriment    I have lost track of the number of Black women who have told me how they gave away their rent/mortgage, bill money or retirement helping someone else. The truth is that it a part of Black culture. Big Mama helps everyone even those who make more than she does. We have watched our grandmothers, mothers and aunts sacrifice to help everyone else. We've also watched them struggle because of it, but somehow we end up repeating the cycle. This is the perfect example of the power of a mindset. We know what they did isn't healthy, but yet, we find ourselves doing it too. It's time to change our mindsets. I'm not advocating that we don't help others, I'm advocating that we stop helping them at our own detriment. I'm advocating that we stop loaning out money we can't afford to loan. I'm advocating that we stop carrying the burden of being the bank for our families. I'm advocating that we break up with the guilt we carry from doing a little better than our siblings and our cousins. I'm advocating that we free ourselves!  This isn't an easy task but it's doable. Here's what I learned to do: I have a certain amount of money I can afford to give away each quarter. When it's gone - IT'S GONE! I had to break up with the unhealthy mindset that made me responsible for other people's financial problems and learn to give what I could afford to give without damaging my family and my credit. Yes, it was hard, but not it's normal. If I did it, you can too.     If you can see yourself in any of the three mindsets above, I invite you to get your copy of  "Arise and Shine, The Black Woman's Guide To A Wealthy Mindset"  in the Resource section and invest in changing your mind and your money. Remember,  You Are Worth It!      
 
	 Order Workbook

Your mindset about money dictates your money. This blog discusses three mindsets that kill wealth for Black women. Identify if you have any and if you do, renew your mind! You are worth wealth!

      Money is one of those subjects most people prefer not to talk about it. Money, like sex, politics and religions falls into the list of taboo subjects. Even though it impacts us, let's just pretend it doesn't, okay? NO! It's not okay. Money isn't the most important thing but it impacts everything that is important. Money determines where you live, what (or if) you feed you family and whether you have life insurance and health insurance. That's just the basics. Money determines if your kids can take lessons to develop their gifts in art or music. Money determines whether you can afford to drive them to the lessons or not. Money determines if you can go on vacation. Money determines if you can afford to retire. The truth is the money matters a lot.  Research says the media net worth of the Black women ages 36-49 is $5.00. Yes, you read the right. FIVE DOLLARS. Reading that along with the other disturbing stats about the state of Black women's wealth motivated me to do something. It's the reason I started "Black Women Build Wealth." The goal of Black Women Build Wealth is create a revolution by transforming our mindset about money because changing our minds is the first step to changing our money.   Here are a few mindsets, we as Black women must develop to properly deal with our money:   We have the POWER - too often we under estimate our power to learn about wealth and use that knowledge to transform our money. We have accepted the false narrative that money and wealth building are too complex. It's simply not true. While the language and strategies of money may be unfamiliar, that's because we haven't made studying it a priority, However, we are smart, capable and able to learn what we need to know to put ourselves in the best financial situation. The power is ours for the taking!  We have the right to BUILD wealth for OURSELVES - we are so good at taking care of everyone else. We can move mountains and part the Red Sea to get the money to help our kids, family or friends. We will make it happen. But...when it comes to us...we find a million excuses. We allow others to guilt us into to giving up our savings. We are constantly rescuing others to the detriment of ourselves. My sister, if no one else has told you, let me be the first - YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BUILD WEALTH FOR YOU! You don't have to give it al away. You don't owe anyone your financial security - ANYONE.  We DESERVE wealth - this is a big one! I meet so many Black women who believe that they have to put themselves last on the list. Are you one of those? If I look through your bank statements would I see how you've helped everyone but didn't add to your savings or invest in the book or class that would help you handle your money better? Often when I'm coaching my clients, the issue of worthiness comes up. Do I really deserve this? Is it really okay to say "No" to others to say "Yes" to what's best for me? Yes, you deserve it. Yes, it's okay to say, "No" to them and "Yes" to yourself.   I believe understanding when we understand our power, rights and worthiness we will will shift how we handle our money. There are already many valuable resources out there about money. We can read books, take classes and work with professionals. However, until we decide that we have to the power and right to create wealth and that we deserve it, we will continue to repeat the cycles that allow poverty and struggle to keep their grip in our lives.  I challenge you to get comfortable thinking and talking about money. Make it point to read articles and books. Make it a point to save and have insurance. Make it a point to learn about investing. Most of all make it point to remember that money matters because it impacts everything that matters to YOU!

Comment

Money is one of those subjects most people prefer not to talk about it. Money, like sex, politics and religions falls into the list of taboo subjects. Even though it impacts us, let's just pretend it doesn't, okay? NO! It's not okay. Money isn't the most important thing but it impacts everything that is important. Money determines where you live, what (or if) you feed you family and whether you have life insurance and health insurance. That's just the basics. Money determines if your kids can take lessons to develop their gifts in art or music. Money determines whether you can afford to drive them to the lessons or not. Money determines if you can go on vacation. Money determines if you can afford to retire. The truth is the money matters a lot.

Research says the media net worth of the Black women ages 36-49 is $5.00. Yes, you read the right. FIVE DOLLARS. Reading that along with the other disturbing stats about the state of Black women's wealth motivated me to do something. It's the reason I started "Black Women Build Wealth." The goal of Black Women Build Wealth is create a revolution by transforming our mindset about money because changing our minds is the first step to changing our money. 

Here are a few mindsets, we as Black women must develop to properly deal with our money:

  1. We have the POWER - too often we under estimate our power to learn about wealth and use that knowledge to transform our money. We have accepted the false narrative that money and wealth building are too complex. It's simply not true. While the language and strategies of money may be unfamiliar, that's because we haven't made studying it a priority, However, we are smart, capable and able to learn what we need to know to put ourselves in the best financial situation. The power is ours for the taking!
  2. We have the right to BUILD wealth for OURSELVES - we are so good at taking care of everyone else. We can move mountains and part the Red Sea to get the money to help our kids, family or friends. We will make it happen. But...when it comes to us...we find a million excuses. We allow others to guilt us into to giving up our savings. We are constantly rescuing others to the detriment of ourselves. My sister, if no one else has told you, let me be the first - YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BUILD WEALTH FOR YOU! You don't have to give it al away. You don't owe anyone your financial security - ANYONE.
  3. We DESERVE wealth - this is a big one! I meet so many Black women who believe that they have to put themselves last on the list. Are you one of those? If I look through your bank statements would I see how you've helped everyone but didn't add to your savings or invest in the book or class that would help you handle your money better? Often when I'm coaching my clients, the issue of worthiness comes up. Do I really deserve this? Is it really okay to say "No" to others to say "Yes" to what's best for me? Yes, you deserve it. Yes, it's okay to say, "No" to them and "Yes" to yourself.

I believe understanding when we understand our power, rights and worthiness we will will shift how we handle our money. There are already many valuable resources out there about money. We can read books, take classes and work with professionals. However, until we decide that we have to the power and right to create wealth and that we deserve it, we will continue to repeat the cycles that allow poverty and struggle to keep their grip in our lives.

I challenge you to get comfortable thinking and talking about money. Make it point to read articles and books. Make it a point to save and have insurance. Make it a point to learn about investing. Most of all make it point to remember that money matters because it impacts everything that matters to YOU!

Comment

      Let me confess: I'm not naturally a saver. I'm a spender. Learning to save was hard for me. I failed a lot trying to master it. I tried saving using spare change, one dollar bills, five dollar bills, unexpected income and automatic withdrawals, but eventually something would happen that would cause me to use my savings. It took a long time to understand that my inability to maintain savings was based more on my thinking than my circumstances.   The truth is that I didn't value savings. I knew that I should but whatever I wanted or thought I needed always won out. Then one day I read this scripture,   " Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren"           Proverbs 13:22a (NLT)    It wasn't the first time I read it, but it was the first time I fully understood it. Wise people leave something for the next generation. It was a lightbulb moment. I understood the money I was carelessly spending could be used to ensure that my children and grandchildren had an inheritance. I know the scripture doesn't just refer to money, but I thought about what it would be like if my grandchildren could go to college without loans or if I could provide the money for the down payment on their first home or to invest in their business. I realized that if I wanted to be wise according to the Word of God, I had to change my thinking and begin to value saving.  I wish I could tell you that once I made the decision I never again spent money I should have saved. It didn't quite work that way. However, the more I focus on the legacy I want to leave, the better I get at saving for the future. I'm growing and becoming.   Maybe you're like me and you've failed trying to save money. May I suggest that you find a compelling why. Find a reason that's bigger than your Starbucks' habit or a new purse every other month or eating out five days a week. You don't have to go cold turkey either. What if you just took two days of Starbucks or every other purse or one day of eating out and consistently saving what you would usually spend. Find a future goal that will give you so much satisfaction that you'll have the strength to say "no" to some things today.  I'm not where I'm going to be but I've come a long way, baby. I'm excited about the future. You can't change the past but you can change your future and the future of your grandchildren. Remember, it's not where you start but where you end up! 

Comment

Let me confess: I'm not naturally a saver. I'm a spender. Learning to save was hard for me. I failed a lot trying to master it. I tried saving using spare change, one dollar bills, five dollar bills, unexpected income and automatic withdrawals, but eventually something would happen that would cause me to use my savings. It took a long time to understand that my inability to maintain savings was based more on my thinking than my circumstances. 

The truth is that I didn't value savings. I knew that I should but whatever I wanted or thought I needed always won out. Then one day I read this scripture,

"Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren" 

Proverbs 13:22a (NLT)

It wasn't the first time I read it, but it was the first time I fully understood it. Wise people leave something for the next generation. It was a lightbulb moment. I understood the money I was carelessly spending could be used to ensure that my children and grandchildren had an inheritance. I know the scripture doesn't just refer to money, but I thought about what it would be like if my grandchildren could go to college without loans or if I could provide the money for the down payment on their first home or to invest in their business. I realized that if I wanted to be wise according to the Word of God, I had to change my thinking and begin to value saving.

I wish I could tell you that once I made the decision I never again spent money I should have saved. It didn't quite work that way. However, the more I focus on the legacy I want to leave, the better I get at saving for the future. I'm growing and becoming. 

Maybe you're like me and you've failed trying to save money. May I suggest that you find a compelling why. Find a reason that's bigger than your Starbucks' habit or a new purse every other month or eating out five days a week. You don't have to go cold turkey either. What if you just took two days of Starbucks or every other purse or one day of eating out and consistently saving what you would usually spend. Find a future goal that will give you so much satisfaction that you'll have the strength to say "no" to some things today.

I'm not where I'm going to be but I've come a long way, baby. I'm excited about the future. You can't change the past but you can change your future and the future of your grandchildren. Remember, it's not where you start but where you end up! 

Comment

Invest Like the Virtuous Woman

Invest Like the Virtuous Woman

Over the last year, I've started a practice of waking up a little earlier to work on increasing my financial IQ. After I pray, I start my day, learning about wealth. As a young woman I was taught to aspire to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. I use to hate that because much of the teaching was about cooking, cleaning and decorating. The teachings overlooked that she was a wise business woman. Her financial decisions helped increase the wealth of her family.

 

 Proverbs 31:16 - "she considers a field and buys it."

Consider means - "to take something into account when making an assessment or judgement."

 

To me this means that she understood the real estate market BEFORE she made a purchase. She didn't just depend on other people to spoon feed her information. She was a student of the industry she expected to make profit in. We know she was a sharp business woman that brought honor to her family. She was prayerful and profitable.

 

For many years, I didn't do the work to be financially savvy. I counted on my husband to make all the right decisions with his retirement. I counted on the news to tell me what was happening in the market which usually left me afraid to invest or investing late. And if I'm honest, I had this false expectation that God was just going to bring wealth to my door because I was a faithful giver. Over time, I realized that it wasn't just my husband's job to build wealth for our family, that the news couldn't be my primary source and that God would help me but I had to give Him something to work with. I had to learn how to create wealth so He could bless the work of my hands.

Those shifts in thinking caused me to become a student. Maybe you need to make the same shift. Maybe you just need to know how to take the journey. Here are several steps I take to ensure that I am competent in investing.

 

1) I subscribed to several investing lists so that I could get a wide variety of information. I read at least 5 articles a day most usually before 7am.

2) I look up terms. I don't skip over words that I don't know. How can I make wise decisions if I don't know the difference between a "bear" market and a "bull" market and which one we are in?

3) I watch the prices of silver, gold, oil and other stocks BEFORE I buy. I've learned that being a woman who "considers" before I jump in helps me make wise decisions before I invest.

4) I often start with a small investment to learn. For example, I'll take the price I would spend on a nice dinner ($100 or less) and invest it in something I trying to learn about. I realize that I've blown $100 a lot of times in my life so if I lose it at least I learn a lesson.

5) I am committed to be financially competent. I have taken my own power. I don't expect anyone to do the work for me. Even when my wealthy friends make suggestions, I make them tell me why and then I do my own research. Ultimately, it's my money, my future and my wealth that's at stake and that's too important to leave in the hands of someone else.

6) I stick with my vision. There are a lot of ways to invest - multi-level marking, real estate, commodities, stocks, business, art, etc. I have to make the decisions that are aligned with my family's goals. I stay focused on that and when someone offers me what seems to be a great opportunity for them, I ask if it aligns with the goals and vision I have for our family. If not, I let it pass.

 

I hope that you will continue the journey to be financially competent. Be committed to saving at least 3 months of living expenses. Get out debt and become financially competent. After all, it's your life, your future and your wealth that's at stake. #blackwomenbuildwealth

 

24 Ways to Jump Start Your Savings

24 Ways to Jump Start Your Savings

What do you think of when you hear the word “hustle?” Many people see hustling in a negative light. They think that a person who hustles is someone who is dishonest, fast-talking and conniving. What if I told you that the word hustle was first used in the 1800s to describe a person moving aggressively towards success? It defines a person who is clear about their goal to succeed and actively moving towards that goal! Is that you? Are you a hustler? Do you have a clear financial goal outlined that you are committed to achieving?  

The times have changed! Gone are the days where working for a company for 20 years is rewarded with a retirement and gold watch. Now companies will often “downsize” more seasoned employees to be able to hire two or three for the salary of that one. Social Security is a joke and even if it’s around when you are older, do you really want to live off $797 per month? I don’t think you can do very much traveling and enjoying retirement with that. There’s much to complain about, but complaining doesn’t change anything. It’s time for us to get passionate, educated and moving towards creating financial independence! 

Psalm 112- 1-3 tells us that the man who fears God and honors his commandments will be blessed with wealth and riches in his home. Why are so many Christians broke? I believe it’s because many believed riches would just happen – like fall out the sky. While I’m fully convinced that God can have someone walk up to me and give me a million dollars, I’m also convinced I can make my own million (and when the other person shows up, I’ll have 2 million)! 

Almost five years ago I decided I needed to become a hustler (remember that’s a person moving aggressively towards success). My husband has a good job and we live fairly well, but that wasn’t enough for me. I got passionate about leaving a legacy of wealth for my children. I want them to go to school without student loans and to help them purchase their first homes and invest in their business and our current income didn’t make that a reality! I wanted to be a millionaire overnight, but it doesn’t work that way. It takes a plan, a mind shift and ACTION to create wealth so I started with a goal that stretched me but didn’t overwhelm me! My goal was to make an additional $40,000 without having to work 9-5. I wasn’t sure where to start so I decided to try several different avenues to accomplish my goal. By the end of 12 months I had accomplished my goal! It wasn’t easy. I had to be willing to be committed to the outcome but flexible in my approach.

One thing I learned is “opportunity is everywhere.” The more I looked for opportunities to make money the more I found. Not every opportunity I found was for me, but I found enough things that I loved to do until I was able to accomplish my goals. Now over a year in the process I’m learning how to monetize my passion and get paid for doing what I love. I believe everyone can do it!

Even if your goal isn’t to be an entrepreneur, I encourage you to find additional streams of income because the last several years have proved trying for many people. When gas goes up so does everything else and most employers aren’t giving raises to match the speed of gas prices, but you still have options! 

Below I’ve listed 24 things you can do TODAY…every item on the list was actually tested (by my friends, clients or myself) so I know they work!

1.     Have a garage sale – I know a couple of people who paid their mortgage doing this – Most people have a bunch of stuff they don’t use. I bet you do too!

2.     Have a private sale, inviting people expressed appreciation for your fashion sense – I had a friend make $300 selling costume jewelry she wasn’t wearing – You can sell shoes, clothes, art, etc. This is an upscale garage sale!

3.     Babysit – you know at least one couple that would like to go out tonight without the kids! 

4.     Sell books on Amazon – Especially textbooks – I made $100 in less than 2 hours (check out www.amazon.com for more information)

5.     Sell your gently used items to a consignment store – One of my clients made $150 at one store selling items she was no longer wearing.

6.     Braid or Twist hair (this service is usually in high demand especially if you are GOOD!)

7.     Use your truck to help people move items or pick up items from a store

8.     Use your truck to haul off unwanted items

9.     Sell your cds/dvds – A lot of stores will purchase these items if they are in good condition

10. Sell cookies, cakes or cake pops or other desserts – People love sweets! Make sure you can bake. :-)

11. Sell plates, especially soul food – People love good food and a lot of us hate to cook. See note from #10

12. Prepare someone’s taxes (only if you are qualified)

13. Donate plasma (that would be LAST for me)

14. Provide rides for people who need to run errands (this could become a full time business – there is a great need for transportation for the elderly) Update: when I first wrote this blog in 2012, Uber hadn't hit the scene, but now we see this really works!

15. Do alterations for people – both tall and short people are always looking for a good tailor.

16. Design a t-shirt and sell it  - have your customers pre-order and pay. Prepaid orders will prevent you from spending money you don't have.

17. Clean homes

18. Organize closets and/other spaces

19. Sell your gold (make sure you shop around for the best price)

20. Make and sell gift baskets

21. Sell your old phones and electronics

22. Sell handmade items – scarves, quilts, jewelry

23. Be a personal trainer – works better if you are in shape

24. Tutor

I’m sure there are many more ways to make money. Maybe you can’t do all of these, but you can do at least 1! Doing one is a great start! The more you train yourself to look for opportunities to make money outside of a traditional 9-5, the more opportunities you will see. With the money you earn, you could pay off a debt, take a vacation or my favorite – use the money to invest in something that will make even more money. The purpose of this list is to help you see – you have options! You aren’t stuck! You don’t have to wait on your boss to give you a raise or the market to improve. You can improve your own economy, starting TODAY!

For more help building a wealth mindset, get your copy of The Black Woman's Guide To A Wealthy Mindset @ http://www.blackwomenbuildwealth.com/resources/black-womans-guide

Let the Church Empower Black Women to Create Wealth

If you look around the average Black church, you see lots of Black women. Black women are leading, serving, singing and giving. Most Black church have more women than men in attendance. 

 

The research reveals:

 The media wealth of single Black women is $5

 1 in 4 Black women are uninsured

One third of Black women over 65 live in poverty

 

That research includes many amazing Black women we see in church every Sunday. They are our mothers, daughters, sisters, best friends, they are US. As a result, it's time for us to get serious about empowering Black women to be financially savvy and to build wealth. I see the church leading this revolution.

 

Historically, the  Black church has always served as the center of  the community. The Civil Rights movements was birthed and mobilized from within the church. The financial revolution should be as well. In addition to making sure people know Jesus, the Black church has always had the responsibility of equipping people to deal with life. The church is a place of empowerment!  

I see the Black church more like the Jewish community than the traditional evangelical church. We have to operate as a community to truly thrive. I believe it's time for the church which is the hub of the community for many Blacks to begin to equip people to build wealth by creating companies that provide jobs.

This year at FOC, Edwin Strickland and I along with Sirtric Dilworth started a project that will take several years to implement. It started with a 20% challenge - tithe 10% and save 10%. The church needs money to operate and people need money to LIVE. Many people told us they had never heard about saving in church. That's sad. We are educating people on the importance of having 6 months of savings (at least) and good credit. In the 10 months, our partners (what we call our members) have reported paying off $152,000 in debt! The years not over. Debt freedom is crucial to building wealth!

The Black church is the perfect place to deal with poverty. We can tap into the wisdom of God and the expertise of those around us and ensure that it's not the Black women in our church who are in those statistics I mentioned above. 

If you would like to stay connected then go to www.blackwomenbuildwealth.com and join the revolution

Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time

If you are new to the revolution of Black women building wealth, you may feel overwhelmed as you pull your credit score, add up your expenses and look at your debt. Your finances or lack thereof can seem like an insurmountable mountain that you will never climb. Because the problem has seemed so big, you've treated your finances like the elephant in the room, you know it's there, but you just ignore it.

 

Whenever I was facing a big problem, my grandmother would say, "How do you eat an elephant?" The response was "one bite at a time." She did this to remind me that I didn't have to fix it all in that moment. Often times it couldn't be fixed in one moment, but if I was consistent in addressing it, I could resolve it over time.

 

If your credit score is poor, please don't waste your money trying to find some to "fix it." Instead take the time and address what's on your credit score. See what you need to pay, what you need to dispute (if something is wrong) and what you to work on. Make a list and deal with one step at a time. 

 

If you haven't been a saver, set a savings goal that you can manage. Don't despise the small amounts. Your change will add up over time. Just keep eating away at the elephant.

 

You also eat the elephant by what you focus on. If you haven't purchased your copy of "The Black Woman's Guide to A Wealthy Mindset, then grab a copy. It will definitely show you what to focus on as you work on building wealth.

 

Remember, you didn't learn your habits overnight so you won't fix them overnight. But you can fix them - one bite at a time.