1. Our Love Affair With Excuses
PROBLEM: We see Beyonce with cute $550 pumps, or we notice our favorite lawmaker’s $2,000 watch and think those items would make cute gifts for our boo-cakes. Of course, they would. Boo-cakes like pretty gifts; pretty gifts make boo-cakes feel really warm and special inside. Problem is: we don’t have any money in our retirement savings, we have never heard of a 401(k), we have no investments, no wealth, and, in short, $3 in our savings accounts after all our bills are paid—if we remember to pay them. Now, instead of shifting our mental gears and saying, no, we cannot buy what we cannot afford, we charge our Beyonce- and favorite lawmaker-inspired “gifts” to our credit cards, go deeper in debt, and blame the Bush economy, the Obama economy, the white man, the milk man, our parents, our dogs, everybody and everything besides our lavish music-video mentalities for the fact that we’ve just made our own selves broke.
SOLUTION: We need to go from a “why” mindset to a “how” mindset. Let’s ease up on unpacking “why” black people “this, that and the other excuse,” and start building task forces in our homes. Having a task force mentality in the home will enable households to set goals and achieve them step by step, with each family member assigned a responsibility. For example: Mom, your responsibility is to ensure that we put $500 a month in our wealth bucket, and ensure that Dad doesn’t spend it. If you’re single or a single parent and have zero wealth, and no one is employing you, either employ yourself or find out why. If people are not hiring because you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, your task is to see if you can get one. We need to get that “task force mentality” in our homes, whereby we lay out our toughest problems and come up with a plan to end them. We can also lay out some tasks based on our dreams. Either way we want do it, just no more explaining away why somebody didn’t let us start a business or finish a degree or raise the kids we fathered or mothered or whatever else!