The story is tried and true. Some people rise out of poverty, leave the hood, start to enjoy their riches, and then boom–they wind up bankrupt or in trouble. Take Compton, California-born Suge Knight as an example. He co-founded, with Dr. Dre, one of hip hop’s most successful rap labels, Death Row Records. He had on his roster mega stars such as Snoop Doggy Dog and 2Pac. Now he has been charged with murder after allegedly running over a friend with his car and is facing prison–again.
Some say Knight’s downfall is due to his inability to leave behind the “thug mindset” despite having gone to college and becoming an entrepreneur. It’s why his ex-partner Dre was involved in one of the biggest deals ever when he sold his Beats By Dre to Apple, while Knight is facing prison.
Another example is the hugely successful MC Hammer, who took hip hop to a new level, filling massive arenas with fans clamoring to see his Vegas-style performances. But Hammer tried to bring all his old neighborhood buddies for the ride, offering many of them unnecessary jobs and winding up with an unsustainable payroll.
“MC Hammer had an entourage for the ages: a 200-person crew that reportedly cost him $500,000 every month,” reports Time.
There’s a reason for the saying, “You can take a person out of the hood, but not the hood out of the person.” And while someone can stay true to their roots, when it’s not balanced with new entrepreneurial sensibilities, it can be a disaster.
“They may have been able to scratch, fight and will their way out of the conditions that they were in, but unless they change how they feel–their expectations (what they truly believe)–will continue to be the reality that they repeat. While they wanted and achieved success, they may have beliefs that it won’t last, or the other shoe will drop, or that they’re unworthy of the success they’ve achieved,” explains life coach Christine Meyer. “The essence of their being is still about lack… they continue to create poverty to keep up with their mental image of poverty, and therefore live it again. In other words, what they want and what they truly believe, contradict each other.”
But you can change your mindset. It’s what Allison T. Moore did. Born to teenage parents and adopted, she lived a life filled with abuse, addiction and crime. She was a prison inmate declared a habitual offender and sentenced to seven years in 2007. But while in prison she decided to change her mental outlook on life and success and created Prison Break Success System, not only to help herself but others. And she now coached inmates on how to transition into society and become successes in their own right.
She also launched her own business when she was released “I started PamperPerfectMobileSpa.com and became a certified life coach to help others,” she tells MadameNoire.
To get to this point, Moore said it took a major look at her life. “I had to start from scratch and get clear about what I wanted. Then I did self-reflection to make sure that my core values were in alignment with the goals I wanted. I reevaluated my life to be authentic and replacing the old coping thought patterns, actions and behaviors. I challenged my thoughts and created my own reality,” she explains.
“Instead of trying to develop new affirmations about things I didn’t really believe, I presented my mind with questions in the form of positive new truths, like ‘Why am I so successful?’ That forced me to seek answers and find solutions,” she shares. Even 20 minutes of positive thinking each day helped her.
Meyer agrees. “Anything that you put your attention to will grow. If you want success and have achieved it, but fear failure or poverty, your attention is still on poverty more than on the success you’ve created,” she tells us.
Put your past where it belongs–in the past. “The story of how you got here–through the struggle and suffering to get here – only puts attention on more of what you would prefer not to re-create. Where you are now, how you feel now, what you’re in the process of creating ‘now’ is what’s relevant and current…the other stuff is old news,” Meyer points out.
Verbalization is very important, much the way Moore did with her daily mantra. “Pay attention to what you’re saying to yourself and others. Are you talking about the problems of your business/life/relationships, or the things that are going well?” asks Meyer.
Prioritize your goals and also celebrate yourself. Focus on what affirms the positive direction you’re moving in. “Make a list of things you love to do, and things you love to think about and do at least one of those things every day,” advises Meyer.
Also pay attention to the company you keep. Who you run with can be the difference between failing or thriving.
“You have to continuously expose yourself to new, positive and rewarding situations. Whether it’s through travel to see what else is out there and to learn more about yourself or joining like-minded meetup groups that expose you to art events, high-end realty, fundraisers, whatever it is that gets you out of your old ways of living and thinking,” says Juania Owens, founder of Amazing Perspective.
“I cannot stress the importance of having the right people in your inner circle and surrounding yourself with the right people. And by right people I mean those who encourage you and lift you up. Those who are honest and loyal, who are there for you– I mean really there during good and bad times and those who also want more out of life and are not sucking the life out of you.”
When you move on to a new phase in life, it becomes time to change your thinking and accept the new and improved you. Even while looking over your shoulder to remember all the things that have contributed to what makes you great.