Miss Sistanomics 2018 Book Challenge

I LOVE books! I mean, I REALLY LOVE books! They make me happy. I enjoy getting lost in other people’s stories. Books became my friends as a child. I was pretty reserved, some say shy, and stayed to myself mostly. I hated playing with dolls…. HATED playing with them. The best part of a doll for me was chopping her hair off into what I thought was an edgy bob at the time. (I know that went left real quick). But put me in a room by myself with a book and I was in HEAVEN. I am a daydreamer…I can daydream all day long if you let me. It’s just a love affair that I have with my imagination and words. Words have POWER. I vow to never teach my kids that words don’t mean a thing because they do. Words can change your life. I know they have mine.

I thought it’d be great to share some of my favorite books with you all from last year as well as let you know what is on my reading list for this year. My goal is to read a book a month and I have my list below for the first 6 months. Feel free to join me! You don’t have to read the same books I am reading; the goal is to read MORE this year. I enjoy audiobooks but I know some of you like to read an actual book or on your iPad/Kindle so do whatever works for you. Let’s have discussions and challenge our thinking this year. If you want to join my 1 book a month challenge, post a picture of the book on Instagram, and tag me with the hashtag #Sistanomicsbookchallenge.  If you are not following me on IG, do that now! My handle is here. Comment below or send me an email at miss.sistanomics@gmail.com so we can chat about the books each month! Maybe I will start a FB group specifically for the book club. If you like that idea, let me know. Also, let me know what books you are planning on reading this year…I need new books for the second half of 2018. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE misssistanomics.com.

Top 5 books of 2017:

 Black Privilege by Charlamagne Tha God: If you listen to The Breakfast Club, you know how crazy Charlamagne is lol! I loved this book because it raw and he keeps it real. Setbacks happen to all of us and he details out how he never let his setbacks define who he is. This was my favorite book of last year.

 Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday: This is one of those books that force you to check yourself. We all let our ego get in the way of our success at some point. This book basically says, humble yourself girl.

The Tanning of America by Steve Stoute: If you are a hip-hop head and love business…this book is for you. (I listened to the audiobook and Kerry Washington narrates it which makes it even better!)

You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero: Jen is very honest about the struggles of being a successful woman trying to navigate the world of money and wealth. I like her straight forward attitude. I am reading her first book this year AGAIN. That should tell you something.

We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union: This has to be my 2nd favorite book of the year. Gabrielle Union says a lot of things in this book that a lot of people simply don’t have the courage to say. She is unapologetic about her experiences, both good and bad. I admire her for being so transparent.

2018 Reading List: 

February – The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

March – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson

April – The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

May – I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart

June – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Happy Reading!

 

Getting My Life Together #2018 Goal Setting Edition

Big thangs poppin, and lil ish stoppin

Big thangs poppin, and lil ish stoppin

Big thangs poppin, and lil ish stoppin

Ball on these ******, being broke is not an option

AYE!!!!

Welcome to 2018!!!! Yo, I cannot believe that it’s a new year BUT ya girl is so happy to see 2017 go! Now, don’t ask me why I quoted the great philosopher T.I., the King of da South, song up above…I literally was opening the document to write this blog and it popped in my head. Sometimes in order to look forward, you’ve got to take a step back and T.I. vs T.I.P was a classic southern rap album worth bringing into 2018 so there you have it! I think it may be my theme song for the year simply because it states that being broke is NOT an option for this year.

So, let’s dig into the gist of this blog post and talk about slaying our 2018 goals. I am not a big New Year’s Resolutions person…I know I can’t keep them so I don’t bother making them. It’s a waste of time and energy on my part HOWEVER, I do like to set goals for myself. It’s important to express the desires of your heart and it’s exciting to watch those desires manifest over time. I am super pumped about 2018. I have nothing in particular exciting happening but just to be in the land of the living is enough for me. I just have this feeling that it is going to be one hell of a year and I can’t wait to experience the highs and the lows. I decided to break my goals into 5 key categories. I like doing that because I may not know the specifics of what I want to accomplish in that particular area of my life but I do have an idea that is an area of importance. I used to be very rigid in my goal setting but I am trying a new approach to be a little more fluid. Let me know your thoughts on this and if you like the category idea.

Here we go:

#1 – Be the best Ashley I can be

CLICHÉ’!!! Yes, I know this is a very typical thing to say but hear me out…2017 changed me. It helped to realize that being my true, authentic self, even if it’s not the person that people think I am or want me to be is the most freeing thing in the world. I read a quote that says, “I didn’t ask you to be her. I asked you to be you. God.” WOW! I love the Lord…with all of my heart, mind, soul, etc. and I am a Yo Gotti groupie, I drop a few expletives at times, I have an MBA, a corporate job, I say yassss too much, my group chats with my girls would probably get me kicked out the church, I like wine and cocktails, I snap my fingers in the air twice for anything concerning black people that I like, I can switch between watching RHOA and the Profit on MSNBC, I know which fork to use at a business meeting and I can be bougie-ratchet. I am a multifaceted, black, Christian, natural haired sista that will not apologize for being all the above. I am her, she is me and I am okay with that. If you notice…I didn’t say but in the above sentence. Saying but negates anything said previously so I used and for a reason because it is a conjunction. I want you to understand that I possess all those characteristics. I am not perfect and there are things I need to work on but I am choosing to practice self-love this year. I challenge anyone reading this to consciously start living in your truth. Oprah told us to speak our truth and auntie Oprah rarely steers us wrong.

I promise the next 4 will not be so extra but I had to get that first one off my chest…it was very therapeutic J

#2 – Focus on my health

My physical health is so important to me. I still am not done with treatments for my AVM (if you don’t know what I am referring to, read about my brain injury here). Physical health is not the only thing I am focusing on though; my spiritual and mental health are main priorities as well. I will continue to go to therapy. It is a part of my life now and depression is a big side effect of my injury so it’s very important for me to keep my mental health in check. TRAVELING is a part of my mental health too. I plan to go to Hawaii, I had to cancel my Dirty 30 trip from last year, and Mexico. My spiritual health always comes first in my life and growing my relationship with God is my main priority. Learning to truly trust in him and turn things over to him is what my focus is on this year. I want to be a FAITH WALKER and not a FAITH TALKER. I am not trying to quote the scriptures; I am trying to live the scripture. Evaluate your current health status. Are you physically, mentally, and spiritually where you want to be? If not, let’s work on that this year.

#3 – Career and Finances

First things first, I just want to get back to work! Yall, I have been off since August 21st and though I am blessed with amazing benefits, I miss the hustle. Being a business woman is truly apart of who I am and I miss that part of me so I am looking forward to going back. When I get back, hitting my numbers will be a goal of mine and ending the year in the top 3. I want to hit 6 figures and save 5k. I have got credit card bills and medical bills that I want to pay down. Being sick came with a price but I’ve got a plan. I’ll share specifics in a later post. Normally, this would be the area of my life with all the specifics. It’s not this year. This is one of the areas of my life that I simply want to enjoy the journey. Your goals will be completely different than mine in this category but whatever your goals are, get a system in place. I’ve got something in the works to help you reach your savings goals.

#4 – Deepen my relationships

Relationships are extremely important to me. I want real relationships with the people in my life, not just these surface level interactions. If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that life is short so I am choosing to live my best life with my family and friends. I want to get to know them better and listen more. I want to truly hear them. I want to be more present. I need to put the phone down more, ask more questions, and see them for who they are and not who I want them to be. That’s the goal.

#5 – Grow my business

I started Miss Sistanomics with the goal of teaching African American’s more about personal finance. This business has morphed into so much more since I sat down and wrote out my plan in 2015. Our finances are only one component of who we are. Our minds dictate so much of what we do so I want to take a more holistic approach this year. Our money, our spirit, health, relationships, and mindset all play a part in how we handle our finances. We’ve got to get clear on the root of our issues and I believe they lie in those things. My goal is to bring awareness to those things, create actionable steps to correct any missteps being made, provide accountability and support so that we may live our best lives in 2018 AND make money moves while we’re doing it.

I am CLAIMING that 2018 is our year. Big thangs will be poppin and I hope you choose to take this ride with me this year. Let me know your 2018 goals below. Subscribe to stay up to date on what’s coming up this year, like my Facebook page here, and follow Miss Sistanomics on Instagram here!

Happy New Year!

Ashley

I Am Grateful To Be Alive

Hello world…it’s Ashley here. I have wrestled with how I was going to tell my story. I’ve thought about how much should I tell, does my story even matter….is it relevant and will people be inspired or encouraged from my journey? I’ve been gone for a few months and to be completely transparent, I have struggled to get back in the swing of things. I have attempted to blog a few times. I remember being in OH with my mother for a work trip. She asked me to ride with her because at the time, I was still very sick and couldn’t be alone, and I had a total melt down. My balance was off; I couldn’t focus for very long periods of time but I wanted to write. I picked up my Mac and I remember how much the light irritated me. I went to type but all I could really do was peck at the keys. I’d write a sentence and have to read, and reread and reread it again for it make logical sense to me. It took me about 15 mins to write a 3-4 sentence paragraph. I slammed the top on my Mac down and slung it across the bed! I cried so hard! What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I do simple tasks like type or read?!? That same, dreadful day, I decided to order some food from UberEats. I met the delivery lady outside the hotel and I thought I was going to die!!!! The noise, the lights, the people…it was just too much. I was stuck. I felt so loss in that moment. Another break down. And to top it off, I had a major headache so I took a pill…the wrong pill…my mama’s water pill instead of my headache medicine. So, I had 2 melt downs, a headache, and I couldn’t freaking stop peeing…what a day!

So, you’re asking…what the heck happened? Well, here’s my story:

On August 21st, the day of the eclipse, I like everyone else was super excited to experience this once in a life time event. I headed into work in preparation to not do too much lol (this was welcomed because I normally work like crazy and must remind myself to get up and move). The previous week, I was out traveling for work so I knew it would be a day of catching up and with the excitement of the eclipse, the office setting would be more lax than normal. I remember sitting at my desk and all of sudden feeling nauseated. Like most women in that situation, I thought, dang…am I starting early? I got up and headed to bathroom and nope…nothing. As I sat there though, my head felt funny. I wish I could accurately describe to you the feeling but I can’t. The best way I can describe it is that it was like how you’d picture a dam overflowing…water just bursting through the dam and overtaking everything around it. I felt like something broke and fluid began filling up in my head. I called my parents. One didn’t answer so I hit up the other one. I must’ve sounded odd because I was told to head out of the bathroom and my aunt was on her way to get me.

There’s many things I have questioned over the last 9 weeks…one of them is how the hell I got back to my desk. Our bathroom at work is not close to my cube…in fact, we must badge in and out of the hallway if we want to take the short cut so how I made it from the bathroom to my desk, in my condition, I have no clue. Apparently, I made it. From what I have been told, I told my bosses I didn’t feel well. They asked me if I wanted to go to the emergency room or the walk-in clinic…me being the person that doesn’t like causing a scene or having too much attention on themselves said…walk in.

This is the moment where things get blurry. I don’t remember much from this point. I know my aunt came and my work friend helped me down to meet her. I’m so grateful for her and my aunt. They worked quickly together and probably saved me from having a full-blown aneurism. I, in my bossy ways, directed my aunt to the closest hospital…I threw up. That’s all I can remember. I was transported from that hospital to another in the ambulance because my CAT SCAN showed that my brain was bleeding and I needed to see a neurologists ASAP.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced what it is like to have memory loss but it SUCKS. 3 weeks of my life are gone from my memory…now there’s a few sprinkles of memories in there…like my nurse telling me I got my catheter. Or looking up to see my cousin’s faces and my grandmother squeezing my hand. I remember telling my best friend who is a nurse to check everything the nurses were doing because I trusted her. I also asked for my God-sister who is also a nurse to come in and handle things lol. I had a diva moment when my other best friend came to feed me and I spit out some nasty meatloaf and told them the broccoli they brought me stank. O, I also called my boss and told them that I may be sick but they BETTER have my money (I think Rhianna’s song was playing in my head)…I sent a text too lol. I don’t think I’ll ever live that one down with them. HAHAHA! Once I realized I did this, I was mortified but not surprised. They both know, Ashley don’t play about her money lol! I also am very grateful for my work group and my bosses which are two people that I greatly respect and respect me. I enjoy my work…which apparently, I told my surgeon as well and said he had to fix me so I could go back to work. I’ve been told that I have said some crazy things… so in order to protect myself and those that I love, I’ll leave the rest of them out of this post lol.

I know you are wondering, what is wrong…what condition do you have. Well…I have an AVM. I don’t know what it stands for. I haven’t Googled it. I haven’t Googled anything and ya girl LOVES Google. I have a Google Home!!! But I don’t want to know any more details than what my surgeon and parents have told me (this is unusual for me). My brain bled is all I know and that was the fluid like feeling I had. It was blood. I was in the hospital for 7 days, 6 were spent in the ICU. I had to be woken up every hour to go through a series of test to make sure I didn’t have a stroke. My hearing and sight were extremely sensitive. I remember being in so much pain that I asked my surgeon for more morphine. I had no control. Everyone has a defense mechanism. That thing that we hold onto that will keep us safe. My safety net is control. That was gone and it hasn’t quite been the same since (which everyone around me has appreciated and I am glad I’m not as intense). When I was released from the hospital, I came home and my parents moved in with me. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for my parents. Their lives changed that day too. They spent 6 weeks sleeping in the full bed in my guest room. My AVM caused me to have extremely severe headaches. If you’ve had a migraine before, think about that times 10. I had nightmares because of the strong medicine I was on. They would have to get in the bed with me and rock me to sleep. I was in pain for weeks…unbearable pain…pain that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Pain meant I needed meds…heavy meds…so if I wasn’t in pain, I was drugged up. I spent weeks like this.

I remember my mama having to give me a bath and realizing that I couldn’t walk that well. I’d later find out that my bleed effected a nerve in my right leg. I had to have a sound machine to sleep because any loud noise tore me up. I remember getting upset with my family one day while they were cooking. I heard a loud noise that sounded like a helicopter. I kept yelling for them to cut it off, cut it off!!!! We realized it was only the microwave vent. I went back upstairs to my room and cried. I just wanted to be normal. I had many days where I just asked God…pleaded with him to be normal again. I couldn’t bathe myself, I couldn’t think normally, light bothered me, I couldn’t walk normally, I couldn’t hear, my body hurt from being in a hospital bed for so long…all while I had horrible headaches multiple times a day.

I got through it. I remember going to see my therapist for the first time after it happened. She asked me how I felt. I told her…I feel like I died and I could look down and see my funeral and experience the love that I never knew I had. It’s not that I didn’t know people in my life loved me. I just didn’t know how much. My family and friends are the most amazing people. I cannot describe how much they mean to me. They ALL stepped up. They fed me, did my hair, were my nurses, gave my parents a break, my brother has been my side kick, they drove hours to come see me and bring me Cheesecake Factory lol. They prayed with me and for me. I had sooo many people come see me in the hospital. My church family…what can I say…they are my family. I am an extremely blessed individual to have so much love surrounding me.

If I could describe my journey thus far using one word…it is clarity. I am clear on what I value most in life, I am clear on who loves me, I am clear on what matters the most, I am clear on what I want for myself at this point in my life. I am a very focused, driven, ambitious person…that can be good and bad. I’ve never really been good at slowing down and enjoying the moment. I am very goal oriented so after one goal is achieved, it’s onto the next. I have been a destination seeker…not someone who has stopped to enjoy the journey. My perspective on things have changed. I am calmer, more affectionate, more vulnerable, not as calculated, more laid back. I think this is a good thing. At times, I slip back into my need to be productive. It has served me well for a long time. Those attributes are part of who I am but going forward, I understand that I should have more balance in my life. This experience also taught me to take inventory of who I allow in my life. I’ve also had to place a mirror before myself and do some self-checking to ensure that I am presenting my authentic self at all times. Am I the Ashley that I want to be? Am I staying true to my beliefs and what I want for my life? Am I allowing other’s influences to dictate what I want for myself? These are hard questions to ask of yourself and I challenge anyone reading this to have those tough conversations with yourself. Overall, my faith is stronger than ever and I am at peace with my situation. I have had my what if moments…I was literally on a plane 2 days before I had my AVM…some days I wonder what would have happened if I was in the air. That’s my BUT GOD moment and I am GRATEFUL to still be here today.

I had some amazing moments with God during my journey. Dreams and visions…. some I remember…some I don’t. I never fully grasped what it meant to live in the spiritual realm until all of this happened. The things I could tell. I oddly haven’t really wrestled with asking WHY GOD? Why did this happen to me? Granted, I said I haven’t really wrestled, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come up at times. I am human…I just don’t stay in that place too long. My tangled blood vessels that burst had been in my head for 29 years at the time. I was born with them so why now? Other people have asked that question but it didn’t come up often with me. I thought it was kind of weird that I didn’t ask myself this. I have a close family friend who is preacher and one day, I dreamed about her. I forgot I had this dream until I saw her at a funeral. She said she was looking all around for me. Now, I was still on some heavy medication but when she sat down…I knew what she was going to tell me. She said, Ashley, God told me to tell you why this happened to you…and I responded with, I know. This journey has given me unshakable faith and restoration for my family. If nothing else comes of this, that is enough.

When you have a traumatic and life altering event happen to you…you cannot come out of it the same. You deal with those changes every day while the rest of the world moves on. The phone calls stop, the how are you feeling text cease…It is more comforting now for someone to tell me they are praying for me than it was before. My surgeon told I’d be irritated, have loss of focus and concentration, I’d get frustrated and may become depressed…all symptoms of someone who has suffered brain damage. Physically…I look fine. I am back walking normal; I can hear and see normally again but I have brain damage and I feel it. Some days I cannot focus on anything. I just sleep. Other days, I feel great and I wonder why I am still at home and not back working. I feel unproductive and lazy…like I should be doing more. It’s only so much Netflix and YouTube a person can watch PLUS cabin fever is real. No one can see my condition so at times, I get frustrated and irritated and I must remind myself…you have a brain injury. Take your time. This only happened in August. I look at the incision they made to do my surgery and it reminds me of how far I have come. I am grateful for my progress and I am learning to be more kind to myself.

I have to have radiation. I have been saying this for months now…it’s been rolling off of my tongue the same way you’d say; I’ve got to go to school. I’ve said it in a very nonchalant way. No big deal. BUT…it is a big deal. I freaked out the day they called to schedule my appointment. I had a MAJOR breakdown. I called my brother sobbing uncontrollably. I was going through it. The first part of all of this, I was high (I know I have been saying “on a lot of medication” throughout this but let’s just cut to the chase ok) I don’t remember much BUT this here radiation…I know it’s coming. I am scared. I have faith and all of that other stuff that is the politically correct thing to say but I AM SCARED. I don’t know how many treatments I’ll have to have, I don’t know how my body is going to react to it. I have good days and bad days with all of this…So that’s where we are. Am I back at work…NOPE…do I know when I am going back…NOPE…do I want to go back…. YEP. but first…. there’s radiation. So, I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my journey. I will keep you posted on my progress. Please remember that every day you get to take a breath is a blessing. I am well aware that my situation could’ve been different with a very different outcome.

Subscribe to keep up with my journey and remember to live life to the fullest!

Ashley

30 For 30

It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!! I cannot believe the day has finally arrived that I can say I am 30!!! Like the big 3-0…I feel like I have actually lived a little life at this point lol. See, I have been anticipating turning 30 since I was 28! My friends kept telling me, “girl, you’ve got to make it to 29 first!” Then, when I made it to 29 it turned into, “Ashley, you’ve got to make to 30!!!” I would have never thought that I could NOT make it to 30. I am a young, relatively healthy young woman out here living her life…that was until August 21st of this year. That day has changed the course of my journey. If you’ve been missing me, it is because I had bleeding on my brain (an AVM to be exact) which caused me to be in ICU for 6 days and the hospital for 7. I went from (almost) being a 30-year-old woman to a 3-year-old child. The last 2 months have been HARD but GOD!!! Soooo…. I am not going to go into full detail on what happened today, I will have another piece for you all to read about the details of what’s going on and my progress.

TODAY is all about 30 lessons I have learned over the last 30 years. I have been working on this for months but my sickness caused me to reevaluate some things in my life. Perspective is something else lol. Life doesn’t go as planned, roadblocks, heartaches, loss, and so on are all a part of it. The worst of times helps us build character. Our storms are what make us unique and human. So, below are 30 lessons from me that I hope you can either relate to or learn from.

Finances and Career:

Lesson # 1: Save your coin. Pay yourself first. Just do it.

Lesson # 2: Prepare for the unexpected – Life Insurance? Disability Insurance? Health Insurance? Do you have it? If you don’t, get you some.

Lesson # 3: Run up that check! – Now, I know you’re saying, “Ashley, didn’t you just tell us to SAVE?” And, I did BUT we are human! I have had my BALL OUT moments just like everyone else. I thoroughly enjoyed buying some of my “luxury” items and once I got it out my system, I was good.

Lesson # 4: Credit cards are the devil – BUT only if you don’t pay off your balance… BUT if you do pay it off every month, they can be very beneficial especially if you get rewards.

Lesson # 5: Money doesn’t buy happiness BUT it can support your happiness.

Lesson # 6: Your salary aint everything! We all have this magical number that we feel like will allow us to have financial freedom. I’ve learned that the salary isn’t everything. I figured out that I need to work somewhere that offers A LOT of vacation time and a 401k match. Figure out what other benefits are important to you outside of the salary.

Lesson # 7: Don’t let others limited view point of you keep you from pursuing your career dreams!

Lesson # 8: The career ladder isn’t straight up…it’s crooked, sometimes steps are missing, sometimes you fall off, sometimes you have to throw the whole ladder away and start over. Just keep climbing.

Lesson # 9: Don’t use being a woman or a minority as an excuse (I know there are challenges…trust me) but use it to your advantage. Demand your worth and if you aren’t happy at a job, QUIT!

Lesson # 10: The most valuable thing you can do to advance your career is to invest in your OWN personal development. You are your biggest asset.

Health:

Lesson # 11: Therapy is EVERYTHING!!! Yall, it’s the best money I have ever spent. I don’t think I’ll ever stop. It’s made me a better person. If you want to go, go. And you don’t have to be ashamed of it either!

Lesson # 12: It’s important to have a spiritual leader or mentor. No matter what your religion is or if you are not a “church” person, it’s important to have someone to discuss our spiritual lives with.

Lesson # 13: Pay attention to your body. Your body will let you know when something is off so listen.

Lesson # 14: The people in your life can have positive and negative effects on your health so watch the company you keep.

Lesson # 15: Eating well can make a ton of difference. Drink water. Eat ya fruits and veggies. Eat cookies. Chocolate chip to be exact. They make me smile and smiling is good for your health.

Love and Relationships:

Lesson # 16: Love is a verb, not a noun. It requires action. It’s takes daily work. It should be cherished and respected. We all need it.

Lesson # 17: You get to choose your partner. That sounds self-explanatory but we make it so complicated. I get to choose what characteristics I want in my partner. My early 20’s was full of checking phones, pants pockets, social media post, the “where you at”, “who you with”, “where you been” conversations (lack of trust) …I aint bout that life anymore. I date differently now. I have decided that I will check myself when it comes to my baggage. We all have it by the time you reach 30. I am consciously deciding to not EXPECT a man to cheat or run game on me. I feel like if I expect that and anticipate the day it’s going to come…the day is going to come. I date men who are complete…NOT PERFECT and NOT a man that has it all together (because who really does?) … BUT a man I don’t have a desire to fix (can’t fix them anyway but we try). You decide what you are going to put up with. Point blank. Period.

Lesson # 18: Throw the long list of the perfect guy away. He doesn’t exist. The list will have you out here curving really good guys but because you have created this ideal man in your head and he doesn’t fit that fantasy. Stop it. Trust me.

Lesson # 19: Patience is truly a virtue and it is hard as hell! Relationships take time to build. I think we live in such an instant gratification world that we grow accustomed to getting everything we want when we want it. I try to remember that anything worth having takes time and that’s (NOT) my time lol. (See lesson 27)

Lesson # 20: Advice is just that…advice…it’s not bible. Relationship guru’s, IG and FB quotes, friends, family, and everybody else will happily give you advice on what you should or shouldn’t do…I am not saying that the advice from the sources is good or bad…I am saying, you get to make the ultimate decision based off of your relationship. Nobody is in that relationship but you and the other person.

Friends and Family

Lesson # 21: No new friends is just not smart. It’s just not. My opinion. Everyone that started out with me at 20 is not with me at 30 and that’s okay. Some friends are in your life for only a season. We grow as people and sometimes that requires us to expand our circle. It is okay.

Lesson # 22: You have to nurture and grow your relationships with your family. Sometimes your family members can only see you in a certain light. They don’t always see the person you’ve become even if they spend a lot of time with you. Relationships with your family requires work just like anything else.

Lesson # 23: You get to choose who you do and don’t want in your life. Let toxic people go. I don’t really care at this point the length of time someone has been in my life, family or friends, if you have a toxic, disrespectful, judgmental attitude, we can’t be cool.

Lesson # 24: Friends make life better. True friendship should be cherished and appreciated.

Lesson # 25: You only get one family. Love them hard. Tell them you love them. Spend time with them. Hug them. Check on them. Forgive them.

Top 5 Lessons

Lesson # 26: Shoot your shot girl! It’s nothing wrong with showing interest in a man. I think we over use the term thirsty. If you like him, tell him.

Lesson # 27: Let go of fear, let go of perfection, accept failure, and stop being a CONTROL FREAK. I work on these things daily.Some days I do well, other days…I don’t. It’s called balance.

Lesson # 28: You have the right to change your mind, without explanation. You also get to say no, without explanation.

Lesson # 29: Get real with yourself about your future. I’ve always known that I wanted to get married but kids…that was different story. I wasn’t against having kids but more on the side of if it happens, it happens. And only two because I refuse to drive a minivan.  Something about getting ready to turn 30 made ya girl start freaking out about my biological clock. I started thinking, did I wait too long, will I be able to have them, what if I can’t, what if I don’t get married until I am 40…then what?!? (see lesson 27…I am a control freak) These things started to overwhelm me. By my definition, I am a successful woman but I don’t have a husband or a child and that really started getting to me. I wasn’t unhappy or desperate…I just started having too many “what if” conversations with myself. I had to have a really serious conversation with myself (and my therapist) about what I want my future to look like. NOT what society or other people think my life should look like. I arrived at, God will give me the desires of heart but in his time. I am currently resting in that.

Shout out to you if you made it this far!!!

Lesson # 30: I am going to keep the last one simple. Go after what you want. Life is truly short. Take the trip, take the dance class, try a new dish, go on the adventure, make the mistakes, do whatever brings you joy… but most of all, LIVE!!!

Bonus Lesson: FORGIVINESS IS KEY! Forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive God.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my 30 lessons!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time,

Ashley

Girls Trip! 3 Ways to Not Blow Your Coins

Girls Trip! 3 Ways to Not Blow Your Coins

Cues, “You’ve got that whip appeal, so whip it on me. It’s better than love, sweet as can be.”

This is a lyric from my favorite, and I do mean Favorite…I’m talk at 5 years old singing this song in the hospital FAVORITE song of ALL time! My will change on August 11th, 2o17 because I get to see BABYFACE!!! (Insert DRAMATIC scream!!!!!) I would love to be super extra and try to make it down to the stage BUT since he’s going to be at the symphony, AND I am going with my parents (I have an old soul and BabyFace just aint my friends swag ya know), I have decided that it would be best to be sophisticated ratchet LOL!

Now, that I have gotten my semi relevant but not EXCITING moment of the week…. Let’s get to the topic at hand.

This concert kicks of the start to the LITTIEST (is this a word?) GIRLS TRIP WEEKEND!!! Aye, Aye, Aye, Aye!!!

See, I don’t know how I got sooo blessed that the good Lord saw fit for me to see 2 of my favs in ONE weekend? What did I do to deserve such favor?!?!

My girls and I are headed down to the ATL to see Myleik Teele’s LIVE podcast! I am so excited! I love Myleik and everything she stands for. She’s like my online mentor.

Her podcast is EVERYTHING! >>>>>>Check out her latest one here<<<<<<

So, my girls and I decided to turn going to see her into a trip and we all know that traveling with friends, eating out, clubbing, and shopping can BLOW our budget with the quickness. In order for me not to suffer the loss of ALL my coins this weekend, I decided to use these 3 tips to help keep me in check. See, I don’t want to avoid my back account for 2 weeks because I KNOW I have done the absolute MOST and then I am eating PB&J sandwiches and contemplating cutting out HBO&STARZ, then pissed because everybody on FB is spilling the tea about the 2 Tasha’s from Power and Insecure (does that not irritate every nerve in your body or is just me?) so then I am lost and pissed and blocking EVERYBODY and now I have no friends and yea…….

If you read my very last, very long, run on sentence, you get my point.

Let’s get to these steps!

#1. Budget for the turn up!

Please, Please, Please set a BUDGET for your trip! When we are around other people and they are spending money, we tend to spend more than we should, BUT only YOU know what your bank account looks like so in order to not fall into the trap of overspending, BUDGET. I like to look at the menus of the restaurants that I know we are going to be dining at and plan my meal. I look to see exactly what I want…from the appetizer to the drinks. This helps me budget for my dining cost ahead of time. Then I always add about 10% to that and I budget for 20% for tips. I budget a little more if I know I am going to be in a party of 6 or more. I also plan my outfits so I will shop BEFORE I go on the trip. This helps me curve impulse spending. If I know we are going shopping, and you know we LOVE to shop, I think about things that I may actually need to get. Maybe it’s a new top for work or I know I am going somewhere in a couple of months and I can hit a store that I don’t have near me. It’s all about budgeting and PLANNING ahead.

#2. Split the bills

This one sounds self-explanatory but can be overlooked. Split major cost like the hotel and travel. If you can take one car, split the gas bill. Have a sleep over and split that hotel cost! You aren’t in the room that long anyway. Also, think about splitting food cost. A lot of restaurants allow you to split entrees so get a couple for the table and an appetizer. Doing this can help cut your food cost in half if you PLAN.

#3. Learn the Art of Pregaming

Now you know you want to turn up on a Girls Trip! But, that liquor cost can be something serious. You can easily spend $100’s of dollars on cocktails and wine. Buy a bottle (bottles lol) of wine and get liquor ahead of time to mix cocktails in the room. Don’t blow your budget on $15 drinks! Have one or two and the rest of the turn up can happen in the room before you head out.

Remember that a Girls Trip is about friendship and having fun! You go on the trip to make memories and spend quality time with some of your favorite people!

Cheers to a Girls Trip to Remember!!!

Ash

O!!!! I have started a PODCAST!!!

<<<<<<<Check out my first episode>>>>>>>

The Cost of Grief

The Cost of Grief

Hey!

Let me start off by saying, when I woke up this morning, I had NO intention of doing a podcast today! I purchased a mic about a month ago.  I also setup a few systems and read a couple of articles on podcasting but that was about it.  The box from Amazon with my mic has been collecting dust on the floor, in my mud room for a while so….yea, no intention of recording a thing.  AND yet, here we are. The spirit always has a way of telling you when to act and today, I heard the message loud and clear!

*DISCLAIMER*

I don’t know how to quite edit audio yet soooo, you will hear my wonderful notification sounds from my computer in the podcast. Eeekkk! Don’t come for me too bad okay 🙂

I hope you enjoy the content, I pray that it is encouraging to you, but most of all, I hope you recognize that it’s coming from the heart and I am preaching to myself.

I also referenced a great article in this piece, you can read it here:

>>>>>CLICK HERE TO READ<<<<<

 Leave me a comment, send me an email, message me on FB….get in contact with me however you want and let me know your thoughts!!!

 

>>>>>CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE COST OF GRIEF PODCAST<<<<<

HAPPY LISTENING!!!!

ASHLEY

 

The Grind Girl: My Interview with Jada D.

Ashley: Jada, tell the Miss Sistanomics tribe a little bit about yourself.

Jada: Okay, well my name is Jada Davis and I am, well I would say probably the most resourceful person that I know. I pride myself on being resourceful and my definition of resourcefulness is, if I don’t know how to do something or know something, I know the person that can get the job done.  And that has carried me very far professionally and personally. I also feel like I’m pretty confident on what my God given purpose is, which is to connect people. In every aspect of anything that I do, it has a foundation of that premise. It’s about connecting people in some capacity, whether it is to do businesses, or whether it is help people collaborative creatively, or if it is just to bring together like minds. I think, that is what God has me on this earth to do and so everything that I do, needs to align with it.

Ashley: So, what do you feel has helped you get to the point where you’re confident in connecting people? Anything that happened during college or growing up that help you build that confidence?

Jada: Well, I’ve always been taught confidence in my home and just the kind of the environment that my parents placed me and my sister in. They’ve always put us in environments where relationships are very important, and not just having a friend per say but understanding how integrity is important and how that leads to sustaining relationships. So, when I talk to people, whether casual or professionally, I always find a way to connect with them whatever the conversation is. I tell people all the time, whenever I’m meeting young people or potentially the people that I may mentor or just people that I feel like I need to pour into, I let them know that you never know who you’re sitting next too. That’s what my parents used to tell us, you never know who is in the room, you never know who you’re sitting next to, and so the valuing and maintaining relationships is super important and I definitely get that from them.

Ashley: So, it seems like your parents helped you create a value system and helped you get a sense of yourself early on. What was their relationship like with money? What did they teach you about money growing up?

Jada: Like most kids I didn’t really listen to them. LOL!  I would be a lot better off and I would be so much further in life if I had taken in their advice.  If I just took their advice, you know, I could’ve saved time. But my mama always says, “you learn later in life and keep on living. Their relationship with money has always been a cash is king. My parents always paid cash for multiple vehicles, but they cared for all of them. They weren’t necessarily used cars or super old. They also bought new cars, straight off the lot or newer cars that were a few years old but they’ve always paid cash. So, when I got my first vehicle, they bought it with cash and my name was on the title with them. They didn’t want me to have a bill and so they decided that I would pay them back. That was the first moment of setting me up, so I still paid the monthly car note but it helped me learn the responsibility of paying them. And so besides cars, real estate and things like that, we’ve owned several rental properties and began building wealth that way. When it comes to my own, like I said, I didn’t listen to my parents so like most people in their teens and in their 20s, I got into credit card debts and I over used it. I’ve paid for it and before I knew it, I made the same mistakes again. I thought the only way that I was going to recover is if I got more credit cards so, I got into more credit card debt. It’s not like I didn’t know better, there is no doubt in my mind I knew what NOT to do. I just didn’t apply those principles that I had been taught, but I’m definitely doing it now.

Ashley: So, what do you think the turning point was for you? Going from, OK, I know I don’t need to have the credit cards, I know I don’t need to carry a balance every month, to the point where you’re like OK, I have got to get my finances together? Let me start down a different road.

Jada: Probably the first time I attempted to purchase a home. I was actually in a decent place financially, as far as credit score and all of that, but I knew that I wasn’t in a place where I had as much savings as I desired to have, or should have to purchase my first home. This was because I was still paying down debt. A lot of my discretionary income was still going towards paying down that debt. So, that would probably be one of the major things that happened to me.  If I have to think about something that’s even more important to me, I would say probably when I got a strong desire to travel. Realizing that if I wanted to pick up and leave the traditional work type of the environment and just pick up and just travel for a living, I couldn’t because I am not in a place where I can do that financially because I’m not rich.

Ashley: So, traveling has become more of a focus than home ownership at this point?

Jada: Yea, absolutely! But to elaborate on that, because of the lifestyle that I desire to have and whether it happens or not, I am not sure, but if I had to decide, my first property wouldn’t be in necessarily be in the continental United States. It will more than likely be in a U.S. territory. Ideally, my first property could be in Puerto Rico, or it could be in St Thomas or somewhere I could take full advantage of the amenities of being in the U.S. But if an opportunity presented itself, it could be in Europe, or Asia, or Africa. If I could find my first property there and it aligns with my budget, I’d move there too. I don’t necessarily see myself living the regular traditional life of home and work in the future.

Ashley: Wow, that’s very interesting! So, staying on the subject of travelling, you went to Greece, right?

Jada: I did!

Ashley: Did that open you up to having more of a desire to not have the traditional work, live in the United States, and more of a desire to live abroad or did that come before that?

Jada: It came before Greece, and it came probably last year. I feel like it came in 2016 because that was when I started liking and getting big into using Airbnb’s.

Ashley: Okay

Jada: When I got big into the Airbnb’s, one of the things I realized when I started searching for a property for wherever I was planning to go, I saw this young guy, this young black guy, that is a host. There was this property I think that was in India or Asia or somewhere. His bio stated where he was from and where he has other properties. His bio also stated that he lives in New York and it was one of his properties and it said that he would have someone there to assist. That’s when I realized I wasn’t doing this right lol! At all!!! Then when I went to Nicaragua on our first trip, my first group trip was to Nicaragua and I stayed in a good resort but the unique thing about this resort was it had a lot of land! Nicaragua is such a really poor country, it’s like second in poverty to Hatti. And anywhere else outside of this resort, pretty much looked like what you have heard about Nicaragua. However, this resort was beautiful and I was able to meet like one of the property managers who happens to be ironically enough, from Tennessee.

Ashley: Really?

Jada: Yes! He actually moved to Nicaragua because he had the opportunity to be the property manager for this resort because they sell plots land for purchase. People are building their property on this land at the resort. It was gated community and had armed guards. It was hundreds and hundreds of acres of land right on the beach. So, I started talking to his brother, and he said that since his brother was the property manager, he decided to come visit him four months ago, and as soon as he visited, he went back home, and packed all his stuff up and moved there! And now they have a barbeque restaurant in the middle of Nicaragua.

Ashley: That’s so Tennessee! This is sooo interesting! Like how do you just go and open a barbeque joint in the middle of Nicaragua like that hahahaha!

Jada: Right! So, that became my defining moment. When they said, we were going to eat BBQ, I was like what?!? Then I smelled it because the restaurant was like an open-air restaurant and I said, this smells like BBQ that I am used to lol! Then I heard their super country accents and realized they were from Knoxville so, it was a WOW moment!

Ashley: It’s crazy how you can just go anywhere in the world and find somebody that is not that far removed from you. It’s really a small word. So, when you got ready to go to Greece, what steps did you take to plan for that trip in your budget?

Jada: So, I’m big on having multiple streams of income, and I understand that my main job and my career, and I’ve known for quite sometime, is not going to necessarily fund the lifestyle that I have currently have or want to have in the future. So, I have taken other steps to change that and in the mean time, I know that I am not the type of person that is willing to just wait, I’m impatient, so like I said I’m not waiting until maybe I get a new job, or get a raise or promotion. No! I’ve always had multiple streams of income as long as I’ve been working, so I just kind of set those things up. It may be getting an extra part time job while I am still running my businesses since I don’t pay myself from my businesses yet, so I don’t mix those funds. I said to myself, let me just get a part time job with consistent income on a weekly basis and I would also do some freelance work.  I just kind of did that for a few months. I used apps to monitor flights and stuff like that. I also had a set amount in my head where I knew how much I wanted to spend on transportation and how much I planned on spending on everything else. I stayed within those guidelines and so when I started searching for things, I realize that hotels may not be the best option for me going to Europe. I found that Airbnb’s were super cheap especially when you were willing to do a shared property so I took the shared property route. I was already accustomed to using Airbnb’s but before though, I was used to having the whole property to myself, however on this trip, I understood that this was a once in a life time type of opportunity, I was open to sharing the apartment or the house with someone else. A trick I used was, I looked up business properties because you have the option to select business travel. I did that just to see if the quality of the properties would be a little bit different. I then found a host that had properties all over Europe that were called self-serving properties where you would never meet her but, you got all the instructions you can possibly think of and she had over 200 reviews on her properties. That allowed me to feel pretty confident that it would be exactly what she said it would be. It was exactly what she said it would be and even exceeded my expectations. That’s what I did and even in Santorini, instead of staying in an Airbnb, I stayed in a boutique hotel and I still stayed within my price range.  Knowing that it was a different city, environment, and culture there, I found that a hotel would most likely be the better option. I just found a boutique hotel that didn’t necessary have all the amenities. It wasn’t a Ritz Carlton but it wasn’t a Motel Six either. I mean it was equivalent to like a Hilton but it didn’t have room service, a restaurant on site, and their offices closed at the same time everyday around 6 or 7 o’clock in the evening. That meant you wouldn’t necessarily have somebody readily available if you needed something, you’d just have to wait. Those were the things that I was willing to not have to stay within my budget. I was flexible and I think that’s the biggest thing for the whole trip, it was that I remained flexible.

Ashley: So, I know experiences in traveling is important to you and you started a business around that, so can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Jada: Yea, so giving back is something that am big on. I don’t necessarily always publicize all the things that i do like most people. Most people that say they want to do some good, just do it because they want do it. Keeping that in mind, I knew my desire to travel was growing. I had an opportunity to meet a lady that I met through some of my mentors and my “board of directors” type of circle of influence, and they introduced me to her. The conversation wasn’t even centered around travel when they thought that i should meet her, it was just a normal conversation and I guess and they were like, you know that there is this lady that I think you should meet because she is a black woman and has a travel agency. They said that she does some volunteerism with service based travel. Her company is called “Travel to Do Good.”  We met, talked, and long story short, I found out that she was traveling for a living, so they got my immediate interest, that not only does she have a travel agency that she has had for many years, but she herself was traveling for a living. That is one of those things that you don’t often find. A lot of people do a lot of things on the side and may be a travel agent but they don’t necessarily go anywhere, so I was immediately attracted by the fact that when we first exchanged emails, she was in Africa. Then, the next time she was in Amsterdam! She was literarily a global citizen. So, then I was like yeah! I need to connect myself in some kind of way with her because I’m trying to live this life. From that we built a relationship, getting to know each other and understanding how we could benefit each other. She was already doing exactly what I was interested in and wanting to do, but she wasn’t reaching our demographic. She already had a company that created exchanges for people and while they were abroad, they contributed to some type of service project or component. A lot of times, a trip could be 7 days or it could be a month long, it just depended upon what they wanted. I asked her if she’d ever reached an under 40, black, professional demographic and she said no. So, I told her that would be something I was interested in. I planned a trip to go to Nicaragua, and said this is when we are going, came up with the basic information, and i put it out to my social media. Literally from there, business was born. I got a huge response and it literarily blew me away, so I realized, oh, I may have something here. I already had been planning before this, just not formally. l was already good at booking my flights, flights for my family or my friends that like to travel. They were always asking me, is there a way you can help me find this flight, help me find a hotel, can you help me put this trip together? So, I was already kind of doing it, but just like a hobby and for myself personally. So, it kind of made sense for me to turn this into a business once I understood that this is something that can work. Now I have my own division and my company, which is called the Global Intent, focuses on global volunteerism from a black, millennial perspective. It is a division of her existing company, so I’m a brand of her company called, Travel to Do Good. So yea, that’s how it was kind of born!

Ashley: That’s awesome! So, I know having multiple streams of income is important to you so how many streams do you currently have right now?

Jada: I like to only count the businesses that are consistent so let’s say 4. My goal is to keep 6, ideally 6, because that’s a good goal, but I mean, I don’t think 4 is too bad.

Ashley: No, it’s not lol. Most people only have one! How do you manage all 4 while working on the popular, Tom Joyner morning show?

Jada: Well when I first meet people, I don’t like to tell them everything that I do, because when I listen to myself, it sounds like a lot lol!

Ashley: It is a lot Jada!

Jada: Most people are like, WHOA, you do have a lot going on. So, I often give people bits and pieces of what I do because everything doesn’t happen at the same time. Since it all doesn’t happen at the same time, it doesn’t seem like a lot to me and it is manageable. The greatest thing when it comes to having multiple streams of income is making sure that most of the streams are almost running on auto. That’s where you are building an income without physically having to do anything, so that’s kind of why I always try to switch my brain and make sure that I’m working smarter not harder.  I make adjustments a lot of time to my apparel line, my Shut Up and Keep Grinding line, and then also with the travel business. I am constantly coming up with more creative ways to make income off of existing ideas or businesses. Even outside of my travel group, I also book other people’s trip for them. That’s one way I can make money. I can book personal trips; I can also book group trips for people that would like to add some type of service component to their trip. The benefit is I have someone that is on the ground for me and kind of do the leg work. I have built the relationships with the board of tourism and other non-profits around the word that are contributing to philanthropy and stuff like that. Because I have those relationships with people, those organizations and other groups, are asking me to help them add something to their existing trip. I do believe that a lot of times you must make sure that you’re working smarter. I am NOT team no sleep, I take naps, I love it, I still enjoy my life, I still go out, like I do ALL of that! As much as I love multiple streams of income, I will never be okay making a whole lot of money but not being able to live and enjoy life you know. It is the most important part of being financially stable but it is important to make sure that I’m happy with everything that I have going on. I must balance it. If I feel like I am too stressed, because I pick up event work and stuff too, that will have me out till 1 am, the I may be too tired, and not able to function, trying to catch up on some sleep the next day, I won’t do it. So even if it’s an extra $200 or $300, I feel like, I’ll figure it out another way.

Ashley: I totally agree with you, i am not about the team no sleep life because you cannot function and run multiple businesses and do what you need to do if you are dirt tired every day. It’s not possible, you can’t do it, so i don’t know why people are on that, bandwagon but they need to get off because it’s not realistic. But I digress, lol! To wrap up, what is your one money goal for the year?

Jada: One money goal for the year that will probably be to pay off one of my credit cards and NOT pick it up again!

Ashley: I know that sounds hard but it is a great money goal to have! It’s one of those things that if you can discipline yourself enough and pay the balance off every month, credit cards can work great for you! But it is hard to pay it off and leave it alone! But, I know you will make it happen Jada!

Jada: Yes, I will!

OMG! Jada gave us soooo much great information in her interview! Thanks Jada for sharing your knowledge and being transparent with us!

Check out Jada’s businesses below:

If you need some encouragement, check out her motivation apparel line, Shut Up Keep Grinding at grindmatch.com

Instagram: @grindmatch

And if you’re ever in the mood of traveling to DO GOOD, check out theglobalintent.com

Instagram: @global_intent

 

For the Culture: 3 Money Lessons From Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.”

First, let me at this, Jay-Z is brilliant! I spent my entire morning on last Friday trying to figure out how to listen to this album. I downloaded Tidal (fail), iHeart radio (semi-fail), tried out a friend’s link and NOPE. I was losing out here. I decided to just give Apple Music my coins. I was tied…not tired…TIED! (Some of you will come for my very urban, grammatically incorrect paragraph but check my credentials on my about page). I digress. But I went through hell and high water to listen to this album and y’all gone hear about it ok.

First of all, he’s dropping gems THROUGHOUT the entire album but he schools us in “The Story of O.J.”

Lesson 1: Invest

“Please don’t die over the neighborhood

That your mama rentin’

Take your drug money and buy the neighborhood

That’s how you rinse it”

We all know someone in the game, that’s been sent up for the game, not cut out for the game, etc.  You can look at what he’s saying from the literal viewpoint of, take your money and clean up your neighborhood or from the viewpoint of change your MINDSET! We’ve got to learn to invest in our communities. We’ve got to do it and stop complaining about the folks that’s not doing it. Put your money back in your community. Hire each other. Support black businesses because 9/10 we know exactly where they are located. We talk bad about them. “Girl! I give them 3 weeks! Or asking for that cousin discount. If you seeing them making a mistake, TELL THEM! Don’t just let them sink so you can say, “I told you so.” Go be a mentor to some girl or boy and teach them how to hustle the right way. Don’t pump the toxic stuff back in your own community then blame “the man” for your circumstances. And if your brother or sister is trying to better your community, please stop fixing your mouth to talk about them and help. Yep, I said it and I mean it.

Y’all on the ‘Gram holdin’ money to your ear

There’s a disconnect, we don’t call that money over here”

He also has everyone in an uproar about the above lyric.

I’m confused.

I. Don’t. Get. It.

He’s teaching you how to move different. He’s saying, I grew up in the game and now I’m trying to put you up on game but y’all trippin. He’s leveled up. Flaunting money does not mean you actually really have it. You can look rich or be rich. It’s your choice.

Lesson 2: Get an asset

“I bought every V12 engine

Wish I could take it back to the beginnin’

I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo

For like 2 million

That same building today is worth 25 million

Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo”

Jay gave us a very simple example of how assets appreciate. Cars and clothes depreciate. Black folks love cars, clothes, and shoes! I love them as well but we need BALANCE.

“I bought some artwork for 1 million

2 years later, that ish worth 2 million

Few years later, that ish worth 8 million”

You know why white Americans average net worth is $135,000 compared to black Americans at $9,000? Homeownership!!! Land=wealth. Simple. If you are paying $2,000 a month for a luxury apartment, understand this, that’s $24,000 a year can easily go towards a down payment. Yes, you may have to sacrifice something’s but it’s worth it. I moved home for 3 years and saved for my down payment. You would’ve thought I turned into a 10 year old from some people’s perspective. I was grown enough for them I guess. But, I’ve owned my home for a little over a year and it’s appreciated about 3%. Soooo….yea. Start being okay with working on your dream. People are going to talk one way or the other.

Side note: I know that location matters a lot when making a home buying decision as well as career aspirations but the fact remains the same, owning appreciating land is key to wealth building.

Lesson 3: Legacy

“I can’t wait to give this shit to my children”

“Y’all think it’s boguie, I’m like, it’s fine”

Leave something for your family. Creating a legacy for the people you love is a selfless act of kindness in my opinion. Jay is saying take risk. Invest in yourself. Open the business then reinvest into the business. Read a book, listen to a podcast, take a class, do what you need to do to invest in you. Then take what you’ve learned and invest in someone else. Do something to differentiate yourself from the pack. He moves different. He’s used his street smarts to make money. You can hate on it or realize he just figured how the game was played. We can have foundations for scholarships, become venture capitalists, become CEOs, or whatever else we want if we get out of our “ALL ABOUT ME, I AINT LEAVING MY FAMILY NOTHING, ATTITUDE!” Let’s do better okay. 

Bonus Lesson:

Get your CREDIT in order. Credit can be your greatest advantage or thing that can STOP you from achieving any of your goals. Jobs, banks, leasing offices, car dealerships, etc. ALL check your credit. Those dollars in the club may give you a temporary high but if you had to take an Uber to get there because your credit is jacked up and you can’t get a car then something is really wrong with that picture…I’m just saying. All 3 credit bureaus give you a free credit report every year. Check it. Simple as that.

(I’ll dive deeper on this at a later date)

Jay’s lyrics should spark you to evaluate your life….I mean, I am not perfect by any means so I am learning too. We can all debate his greatness, infidelity, and everything in between but please, PLEASE take that million dollars of information he gave us for $9.99 and do something with it.

My 12 Daily Affirmations to Manifest Greatness

My 12 Daily Affirmations to Manifest Greatness

Hello Everyone!!!!! Today we are focusing on AFFIRMATIONS.

But, I know…I know…where have I been?????

LIFE HAS HAPPENED!!!!

Yall, June has been a month that I am extremely HAPPY to see go! Lol!

But, I am a true believer of speaking things into existence and speaking things into your life. Having affirmations allows you to do that.

When it comes to your affirmations, choose things that are IMPORTANT TO YOU!

I am going to give you my 12 but your affirmations need to resonate with you and they need to reflect what you say you want in your life.

So everyday, I say these affirmations to myself and I meditate on them. I then have a quick prayer that I say at the end and that is what helps me to manifest the desires of my heart. It also helps set the tone for that day so no matter what I am faced with, I have affirmed my future.

HERE WE GO:

  1. I WILL ALWAYS PUT GOD FIRST
  2. I WILL RELEASE FEAR
  3. MAKING MONEY IS NOT HARD
  4. I WILL HAVE A 6 FIGURE BUSINESS AND BE ABLE TO RUN MY BUSINESS FULL TIME
  5. I WILL HAVE A LIFE GIVING IMPACT
  6. I WILL SPEAK SUCCESS INTO MY LIFE
  7. I WILL FIND LOVE. I WILL HAVE A MAN THAT TRUST & LOVES GOD, THAT ADORES ME, THAT LIKES TO TRAVEL, THAT’S AMBITIOUS, THAT’S SUPPORTIVE, THAT IS ATTRACTIVE, AND IS SENT BY GOD TO ME (yes, I am THAT specific)
  8. I WILL NOT SERVE MY EGO
  9. I WILL PROVIDE VALUE TO MY CLIENTS AND MY TRIBE
  10. I WILL HAVE TRUE PEACE
  11. I WILL REMAIN HUMBLE
  12. I WILL UNDERSTAND THAT MONEY SUPPORTS MY HAPPINESS

MY PRAYER:

“GOD, I INVITE YOU AND ASK YOU TO HELP ME UNDERSTAND AND RECEIVE WHAT YOU WANT FOR ME AND LET THE REST GO”

SOOOO….what are your thoughts?

Let me know if you have affirmations that you say everyday or if you meditate. I think doing this has helped me tremendously!

Leave me a comment! I enjoy reading them and make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.

AND IF YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED…tell your FRIENDS to SUBSCRIBE!

 

Until next time,

Defying the Odds: A Single Mother’s Journey to Homeownership

Hey! Hey! Hey

I am so EXCITED about my sharing my conversation with Miss Anji Barner!

When I decided to embark on this Miss Sistanomics journey, I knew I wanted to highlight every day women that were out here doing their THANG! Miss Anji is DEFINITELY doing that. She is actually one of the most ambitious women that I know. She is a beautiful, single mother of 4 that has used her faith and determination to achieve her goals. She is a nurse and is currently working on her Masters degree. She’s been through many trials and tribulations BUT she is defying the odds and has an AMAING testimony. I hope that you gather from her that no matter what your circumstances look like TODAY, they don’t have to look that way TOMORROW. Check out my interview with Anji!

Anji, as a mother with a successful career, how have you been able to balance motherhood and your career ambitions?

The balance of motherhood along with my career hmmm……. Well, I am not a superwoman. It was very difficult being a single mother, going to school, and working full time. Anything related to myself, was always put last (my schoolwork, my health, my needs). I’ve always placed my children’s needs before my own. So with that, there were many days that I would come home from work and think I would have time to do my own homework but would end up spending the entire evening helping my children study or do projects for school; leaving me to stay up late at night to finish or spending time during my work day to do my work.

There was never a day of coming home after work and just relaxing (if I did, it was because I crashed from exhaustion).

I was constantly doing two things at once. I basically just had to make many sacrifices including lack of sleep to maintain momentum on my goals. I have a wonderful support system: my siblings and mother; they help me out a lot. (some days feeding my children, or picking up my children from school events, and watching my youngest son when I work night shifts). Without them, it would have been more difficult to balance life. I have two children that are older (as I had them at age 17 and 20); they help out a lot too. If I needed an hour or so to take a test or do my homework, they’d try their best to keep my other two children occupied. I really try not to ask people for much help, but I know I can’t do everything on my own. So when the help was available I used it.

Your FB post about purchasing your first home received a lot of amazing feedback! I mean you had THOUSANDS of likes, shares, and comments! You went VIRAL!!! Can you go a little more in depth about your testimony and journey to homeownership?

My faith has always been my strongest asset.

I truly believe this.

I don’t stress or worry over things.

I just pray about them and let them go.

Everything that I’ve prayed about has been answered.

I hear God speak to me quite often and I do as he says. I try my best to be faithful to Him. He gets all the praise for me being blessed with a home. I believe that I was blessed so soon because of my faithfulness.

Last year was probably one of the worst years of my life. I had many things stacked against me and many obstacles that no one even knows about (bad relationship; sudden financial problems due being stalked and harassed; having to unexpectedly pay for things that were damaged of mine; literally having to use my last dime to pay for lots of things out of my control- these were turning points for me and my drive to homeownership.

I’ve always been a saver and not a spender, so when I go to where I was literally living paycheck to paycheck from having to constantly spend money unexpectedly, I took action legally against my ex and then also got a second job. Because at the end of the relationship, my child’s father decided he was no longer going to help me in regards to my son (which is okay with me). Daycare is very expensive and there was no way I was going to be able to do the things that I wanted to do and save for a home with all these sudden financial obligations I had. I’ve always wanted to own my own home. I never qualified to receive assistance for homeownership, so I knew that I would have to do all the work myself to make that dream a reality.

Last year I decided to get a second job to build my credit score just a little bit higher. It wasn’t bad, just not where I wanted it to be. Around the same time I began to read Dave Ramsey’s book and did some of his financial peace university. I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow his plan completely, but I did take lots of advice from it. So once I started working the second job, every cent that I received, I used strictly for tithing, paying down my student loans and car note (my only two debts), and saving.  I paid double on my car and student loans; sometimes triple every month to help raise my credit score faster.

The second job was never used to buy anything extra that I “wanted”. I didn’t spend money on clothes, shoes, hair (I’m sure I was looking a hot mess the majority of those 10 months towards homeownership) But it was all worth it. I carefully chose a job that would help me the MOST without having to work myself to death. I committed to working just 16 extra hours at my second job on a weekly basis and worked 40 at my primary job. I was only able to do this so fast because of my career choice as a nurse. But being a nurse, allowed me to buy a house that met the needs of my family size.

WOW! You have given us a great blueprint of how to go the EXTRA MILE when you have a GOAL that you want to achieve. What would you say is your money mindset?

As I said earlier, I am a saver. Lol. When my bank account gets below a certain mark, I begin to get nervous. I like to have enough money that if something suddenly happens to me or my children and I am unable to work that we will still be okay. I have months worth of expenses saved “just in case.” This account doesn’t even get looked at. The money is in savings and doesn’t get touched. I do think it’s important to save for the unexpected. Had I not, I would have been in a world of trouble last year. I would’ve/could’ve been begging someone for help had I not. I also truly believe that tithing is so important. I’ve never really given 100% towards tithing until last year. God loves a cheerful giver. He was the reason I was and am still blessed.

I know you have had A LOT of accomplishments throughout your life but what are YOU most proud of?

I take pride most in my strength and my ambition to make sure my children were taken care of; and not limiting myself based on what others thought I’d be capable of doing based on my circumstances.

I never wanted to become a statistic.

I always wanted to beat the odds.

I never wanted to get comfortable living off the government. Being a young mother, having my first child at 17, I’m so thankful that I never pushed my children to the side. They were never someone else’s problem. I knew they were my responsibility whether the father was in their life or not. For 9 years or more I took care of my oldest two without anyone’s help (at that time being a single mother of three). My oldest two know the sacrifices I’ve made for them. They may not completely understand but they will in a couple years.

Anji, you’ve dropped soooo many gems throughout this interview girl! Let me wrap up by asking you this, what advice would you give women that are trying to reach similar goals as yourself?

My advice for similar women in my situation would be to never give up. Always ask God for direction and assistance. He never let me down. Even when I thought there was no way, he always made a way. Building that relationship with Him is important. Trusting Him is of Great importance. I literally would give all my problems to him and sure enough he’d solve them or give me direction to solve them. Take advantage of any assistance there is that may be available to you. Make sacrifices, sacrifices are not forever. They only last for a short period of time. So if you have to need to go without for a little while, then do. Knowing the benefits of the sacrifices I was making, made everything so much easier.

 

 

I hope you PICKED up some of the gems Anji dropped for us! Her story is full of inspiration and perseverance. If you know of any women out here doing their thang! Hit me up! Send me an email or leave a comment below! Let me know what you thought of Anji’s story.

Until next time!