ONE BAD DAY AWAY: HOW LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK IS BIGGER THAN JUST MONEY

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“Pay check Friday, gone by Saturday, back broke by Monday.”


For me growing up in a household with a working poor mother, it was tough watching her struggle. One sick day, one missed pay period, and we could have been one of those families in a homeless shelter. What do you do when you’re living a life that feels like all hope is gone? When you look forward to the end of the day before the beginning even starts. That is the feeling of so many people in America. But living paycheck to paycheck is more than just a financial strain. It’s an emotional strain that causes more issues than not having money. People who are living poor generally have lower self-esteem, lower confidence, poor health, and their mental instability is typically higher. So what happens that places a person in these types of conditions?

Well, for me, I have a mother and father that both grew up poor and both their parents grew up poor. And that’s when you realize that poverty in America is more than just not having a job and not being able to get a job. It’s not the idea that people are lazy or don’t care about their futures. Poverty in America is generational; with every passing generation, you notice times get rougher and rougher. At least when my mother and father were young, there was a sense of community. In today’s society there is no community in the poor communities. You don’t even have the support of your family in life. So you almost have to cross your fingers and hope for the best. And if you fall, it’s not too hard of a fall that you can’t recover.

Another reason people live in poverty in America, is that there are so many people not in the know. And the know, is all the pieces coming together with all your knowledge to make your life make sense. And if you are not skilled enough to make your life make sense, then you cannot rise above where you are in life. Even with a good education, which helps, you still have to be able to put yourself in the know. Because a college degree is the icing on a cake, not any of the ingredients to make that cake. The ingredients come from you, and most people don’t know how to bake their success cake. They look at success like a fast food restaurant, “Just show me how to work the fries, and then I’m off to the races making big bucks.” It’s not that easy; it takes the elements that are skills, smarts, hard work, and some luck.

And in the end, when observing some of the prior elements of success, so many just don’t have in them. And if they do have these elements, they are totally unaware as to how to get the elements working for themselves. So they will live their entire lives not achieving anything remotely close to even an idea of success.


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QUID PRO QUO: HOW BARTERING CAN AID IN GOOD BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

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“I will gladly pay you tomorrow for your services today.”


The quid pro quo system goes back as far as we can remember as people. Another name for this is the barter system. And if applied the right way, quid pro quo can be a very productive measure of conducting business. But it involves a lot of cooperation and people must for the most part be on the same page. Because a great system of trading goods and services can easily get quite messy. This method of business can be very beneficial to a poor community where the community does not have many resources. You might have a loaf of bread and your neighbor might have a gallon of milk. You guys could trade slices of bread for this person to make a sandwich, for a certain amount of milk so this person can bake. Now, could that work in today’s society like in the past?

And my answer to that is absolutely it could. But like I said before, you need cooperation and like minded people. If you have these similar character traits then you’re going to have a pretty productive environment. Because now, money is not the only precious commodity in our communities. If you are trading goods and services for other goods and services, then the good and service is valuable. And for the most part, people are trading for things outside of housing expenses and not household. What do I mean by housing and not household. The housing expenses are priorities such as rent, mortgage, utilities; whereas the household expenses are bath soap, toothpaste, lotions, deodorants to food and beverages. This is how everyone in the community will be able to live and work together. Not only that, but if I can only pay rent, but I can provide a service to you in exchange for food, I don’t have to worry about monetary expense.

Meaning, let’s say after I pay my rent and utilities, I have a hard time feeding my children. But I can provide a service to a neighbor in exchange for food. You give me what a babysitter would get paid in food. So let’s say a babysitter charges $15 per hour, I will babysit your child for four hours. In exchange, you give me close to $60 worth of food. Because the babysitter may not have food, but could babysit for the person who has food, but need a babysitter. You will do each other such a service by operating in this fashion. Another action that will take place is a close nit community that is based around people helping each other. But inevitably, in our today’s society this does not work.

And in the end, the reason why quid pro quo has a tough time being implemented is because you’re going to have someone not repaying the favor. You’ll have someone not giving the equal value of product and service. You’ll have people who always want more than someone else. So the human conditioning is what keeps the barter system from working. And what’s said is that the poor communities in America could use this means of trading. If implemented well, no one starves or is forced to sleep in the street because they don’t have a roof over their heads.


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MAKING GOOD MONEY: HOW COME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE A MORE DECLARATIVE CAREER EXPLANATION

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“We all want it, but what is good money?”


Ever hear people who are either unemployed or looking for work while on a job say they want to make good money. What exactly is a good job or good money? We all have a different perspective on what that means, but no one can define it in an entirety. So when I hear people say they need a “job” making “good” money I pause. For me, I am currently pursuing my goals of becoming a successful writer (screenplays, playwrights, novels, and blogger), filmmaker, photographer, and podcaster. I would like to make at least $60,000 per year as a start to work for myself. I have given myself 10 years to break into my career as a writer/filmmaker. I am currently at year five almost six. And there you have it, a nice basic understanding for what my goals are in a career. But I always hear these very vague ideas of what it is that people want from life.

I said in an earlier post that adults who need jobs are like crying babies. You can’t communicate with a baby when it’s crying because the baby can’t talk. Only problem with adults is that we can talk. And unlike the baby where you have to give the baby milk, rock the baby, and do all these activities to guess the problem, it’s not the case with adults. A fully grown adult should know more than a baby their problem that is bothering them. And that is the problem with the I need a good paying job inquiry. What job? Paying what? What time period to get to that point? What is your level of expertise? Is this something you really enjoy doing? Do you have the stomach to build in your career choice? So many people don’t know the answers to any of these questions because they lack self-awareness. And that is the main problem.

Because when trying to look for employment, you have to first acknowledge the skills you possess. You can’t just say I need a job and expect people to know your skills. I know what I am good at in this world. It’s not my job to know your strengths and weaknesses. It’s not my job to give you a certain level of skills. Your job is to show me what it is you can do. That is what I mean by self awareness. By a certain age, you should have some level of degree to which you know your skills. That’s why the whole find a job, get a job is very vague. If I realized that my skill is writing, then I am going to pursue my writing career. If there are other skills I have, I’ll pursue those as well. You should pursue whatever you find that is a skill of yours that you not only love, but in the long term can make an income performing.

In the end, not having a firm understanding of who you are is going to be the defining outcome. If you don’t know what you are good at then who does. It’s your brain, you know what your mind wraps around. And if your mind does not wrap around the concept of anything, you’re not going to be hired even if someone was offering jobs. You should know to some degree what career title you want, income associated, and years to rise to another position. And it all comes together in knowing how to put yourself in the know of whatever it is you want to do in life.


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THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR OR SOMETHING LIKE IT: WHAT IS OUR MONEY BACKED BY REALLY?

Rolled 20 U.s Dollar Bill

“What if confidence is lost?”


 The United States currency has been a long subject of debate. And that debate is, what is our money really worth? Because in reality it’s just paper. And the real confidence is in our economy. Because if our economy begins to decline, then what are these sheets of paper? Well then, could it happen? Could we see America fall into a second Great Depression twice in America’s history? With the industrial age looking more and more like something of the past, what is going to replace it? It’s going to be this new technological space. Yet we have an uneducated populace who are not only unaware, but not willing to learn this new way. And with that comes uncertainty within the market. And now what you have is uncertainty in our dollars as well. So what do you do about the potential value of the American dollar falling or even collapsing?

The fear of this could send the nation into a tail spin. We are already behind the Euro and the British Pound. And with China now the largest economy in the world, who knows, their currency could be next to surpass us. Then, once all these different currencies start to pass us, can we truly say we are still this great nation? How are we such a great place when places that are seen by us as not as great surpassing us? That image dies and so does the status of America. Now, am I saying brace yourself for a catastrophe, no. But we should be mindful of the sensitivity of the market. Let’s say though for a minute that our system does collapse. What could this mean for the countries who we owe money to in debt? Would this mean that we would have to start cyphering off assets we do have left.

These various assets could mean natural resources, or better yet, land. Imagine the chaos if people found out that we no longer were in control of our land anymore. Like I said, this is still a stretch, but it has happened before. And in the end, that is the true fear. Chaos has happened once before. And for some reason, we as people tend to always forget history and repeat the same mistakes. Hopefully, we are able to maintain our confidence in our dollars and our economy can grow. Otherwise, we’ll fall victim to our own lack of hubris and ignorance.


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WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE: THE REALIZATION YOU’RE NO LONGER IN SCHOOL

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“I just finished, now what do I do?”


You have worked from elementary school, through middle school, and coming through high school. You worked tirelessly to plan for college, you get accepted, and get into college. You go through college, and might even go through grad school. But now that you have completed school, or at least your formidable education, what now. Today, I am seeing so many students go back to school today. But what about the students who are no longer in school? What are they to do now? You graduated over the weekend, but there is no change to your life. You’re the same person you were before graduating. There is not this new physical form your body takes on now that you have graduated. What is the first move to make? What direction should you take in life? Are you sure you still want to do what you set out to do?

And that is when life sets in; you are on your own. You were told that the key to success in life is attaining a good education. But here you are Monday morning, working your job you once had, without anything special formulating in your life. Because for starters, attaining an education is more than just going to school. There is a lot of self-education in becoming successful in a career. Going to college alone is not enough to pull yourself up in life. You have to be willing to put yourself in the know of whatever it is you’re seeking to attain. I heard hip hop artist 50 Cent make a statement about school. He said, “If everything you needed to know about business were in those textbooks, the professor wouldn’t be teaching you.” “He’d be out generating wealth himself.” Now that’s not to say that the professor hates his job. It’s aiming at understanding taking full advantage of opportunities in front of you.

Basically what I am saying is that no one is going to teach you in society how to win. Why, well there isn’t a course you can teach, nor is there a conversation you can have, that is going to make you successful. It’s about working smart, consistent, planning, preparation, a little luck, and persistence. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, years of arduous and tedious work. It’s almost as if you have to kind of toss out some of the principles you were taught in school in regards to building a career. Because since it comes from your work ethic, there are things you can’t learn in school. There should be life courses in college that expose you to real world scenarios. Scenarios like real competition, failures, success, and building. But to the university, that is your job to build your own life, they just provide you with a basic template for life.

And in the end, that is the job of the collegiate institutions. Giving you the basics of what you have in store for you in life ahead. To you, you might think to yourself, $40,000 – $50,000 per  year does not sound basic. But that in itself is futile compared to the grand scheme of what life really cost. So to all who have graduated this year and are now in the real world, good luck grinding. Because there is no life book or class for the road ahead. Put yourself in the game, and take risk. Put yourself in harms way. (figuratively speaking)


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STANDING POWER: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR AMERICA

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“The shift has caused conflict, but will it last?”


With all the social issues that have been popping up in the news recently, you have to ask yourself the question. Does America have standing power over the long haul? Because people are getting real antsy regarding the lack of jobs and their lost of freedoms. Not to mention these different regions are preaching sentiments of the past that could only hurt America not help. So what does the future hold for the country? In my opinion, I think that America is just fine, it’s just a rough patch we’re going through right now. But if it is, what is the reason, and when will it end? Or, on the other hand, maybe we just see more today than the past. That could be another reason it seems we’re heading downhill. Whatever it is, it has people off the rails.

One main reason, like I said above is because of the availability of the news in society. In the past, we didn’t have 24 hour news cycles that never seemed to never end. And when there was breaking news, the news really was breaking. Now, if the president is wearing an article of clothing we don’t like it becomes breaking. administration, articles, bankThe internet does not help the situation either; with social media, everything seems so much more worse than it is in real life. If you didn’t know any better you would think that we are on the brink of a major catastrophe. Then when something does happen that is bad, we start to really panic. Because all it does is further validates what we thought was really going in society. But is the news media the only aspect of society that makes you question its longevity.

What about the idea that jobs that have long been the source of America infrastructure have left and it seems like nothing is replacing it. We have so many people in America who only knew the factories, yet now what are they left with since everything is leaving. What are they left to do? Well, if they would educate themselves, there is a lot of money to be made in our country. adult, blur, booksAnd the money lies in this new tech space, yet so many don’t know how to access such information. The answer is to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, or YouTube it. Look up information and try to put yourself in the know. But this is tough when the status quo has been the same for so long. Most people get up and work as if there will be a check for them every two weeks. Only problem is that this is not always the case. Sometimes you have to learn new things to keep you abreast of every change in time.

Which brings me to the last reason I think America is spiraling. We need to jump on with this new wave instead of rekindling all flames. American citizens are like someone looking up to see how someone who they used to date is doing. When you should be moving forward in life instead of trying to check on old flames. One U.s. Dollar Beside 100 Philippine PesosThere is a reason it ended, just leave it in the past. And that in the end, is a problem in America. We think by heading backward we can move forward. The problem with that is that we are not in the early to mid 1900’s. This is a global economy, and in order to thrive you have to find your place in this space. Other emerging nations are starting to make their come up and if America does not shift ourselves, we might be left lagging behind. China has already surpassed our economy as number one in the world. So it’s up to us to not only be the change, but make the change as well.


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FIGURING OUT YOUR FUTURE: HOW PLANNING EARLY CAN AID IN YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS

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“Cross the bridge now, so you won’t have to worry later.”


We have all been told as it pertains to our futures to plan early on in life. Though planning does not guarantee that everything will go according to plan, but at least you have a template for how to move yourself ahead in life. If you don’t have a plan, you will find yourself in a rut, and can’t seem to get past wherever you’re currently at in your space in time. For example, you might sit down and create a laid out plan for after college while you’re in college. Does that mean once you graduate from undergraduate school you will have this great career. No, but it does mean that once your college years are over you have some type of road map for where you want to be in life. And back to the rut, what do I mean by the rut.

In my opinion regarding the rut, when you have not properly prepared for a future in whatever it is you want to do, you get down on yourself. And then you start to see people around moving in directions toward their perspective careers. Meaning if you want to get a job working for a great company, then you should mostly likely get yourself an internship in college. Connect with like minded people who you feel can aid you in your future growth. And that future growth will mean that you are setting yourself up for things to happen; success being one of those things. And if you are not setting yourself up for success, then I don’t know what you are setting yourself up for in life. Sounds like a lot of work, but that in a nutshell is life. A lot of work, a lot small victories, that will get you in the space where you want to be.

Some still might be a little shaken up regarding how do they move forward in life. Where do you really start when pursuing a career. Put it this way, if I want a job working in finance, and I am college student, the first thing I would do is read up on the economy. Learn to read the market, and also take courses that will aid in you graduating from college. That literally means majoring in economics or finance. But while in college, I would say you try your best to get an internship working in finance. Now does that mean you will be learning finance, chances are no. (Isn’t that a joke, not learning finance in a finance internship). But when you meet people in the financial world, they may refer you to other internships or even recommend you to jobs. Another “ship,” that would suit you would be a fellowship and an apprenticeship.

You want to also prepare yourself for graduate programs by taking standardized testing to get into a good grad school. Now, all of what I have said prior is real, but may not always work out that way. Because me for example, I went to grad school for my MBA, yet I am pursuing a career as a writer. So anything can happen along your journey, but even with my writing I have a plan. So in the end, plan, even if the plan does not pan out that way. Because it’s like the old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”


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