Wow, I don't know about you, but these last few days have been quite the emotional rollercoaster.
On Saturday, I spoke to the Bay Area Black Designers group at Pandora's headquarters in Oakland, CA about how to attain and maintain wealth.
Usually I talk about the nuts and bolts of wealth-building. Which investment vehicles to use, which applications are on the cutting-edge of helping you keep your finances organized...
But, my inner voice told me to share the real deal behind wealth-building.
At the event on Saturday, I shared that for people of color, the REAL work they needed to do to attain and maintain wealth is to unearth the deep-seeded anger held against white people and transmute that into forgiveness. And eventually compassion.
Until that happens, people of color will be fighting a losing battle to gain and maintain wealth.
HOWEVER, like every relationship, this is a two-way street. People of color can not be expected to do all of the work. White people also have to take part.
But, where do you start?
Over the weekend, I received a number of private messages from my white sisters who felt stuck because they were unsure of how to make a tangible impact after they marched on Saturday.
And while marching is great.
While protesting is honorable.
While reading Eckhart Tolle and watching Super Soul Sunday is progressive.
While practicing love and compassion towards all is beautiful.
We must remember that MONEY is the vehicle that yields power.
MONEY is the most effective way to spread your enlightenment.
As white people, until you vote with your dollars and make more conscious decisions with your wealth, all of the spiritual work that you do WILL BE IN VAIN.
IF you are committed to walking your talk and truly being an agent for change, here are the three steps you need to take.
1) Make a commitment to get serious about your financial health. If you have been avoiding it. Or allowing your husband or father to be your safety net, you are a part of the problem of why women (as a whole) are not in a position to create lasting change. Less than 5% of women-owned businesses break through a million dollars. And over half of women-owned businesses earn LESS than $52,000 per year BEFORE taxes. As business owners, we have to be leaders and that begins with making your financial health a priority.
2) Address the guilt you feel for the access to resources you have. As a white woman, whether you feel like you have a lot of money or not, as a collective group there is a paralyzing sense of guilt for the opportunities that have been afforded to you. At best, this guilt leads to undercharging for your services, playing small in your business and not taking the action you need to take to step up and be a grown-up about your finances. At worse, this guilt leads to gripping anxiety and waking up at 2a with downward spiraling thoughts.
3) Put your money where your mouth is. If you are serious about women's rights and helping people of color rise, talking about it is no longer enough. You must invest in your fellow woman. Your fellow black woman. If you believe in your sister's message, then take the credit card out of your wallet and purchase her services or products. Excuse my french, but liking her Facebook posts and sending sweet text messages means jack shit. If you are not helping her bank account, then you are not helping her rise.
Take action now:
Write down three women entrepreneurs, include at least one woman of color, that you have been procrastinating on working with. Reach out to learn more about their work AND sign up for their services (or purchase her products).
Cheers to your wealth and wellness,