Freedom Dividend vs. $15 Minimum Wage

I’ve been trying to analyze why I and so many others are into Andrew Yang and his ideas. I mean, it just makes total sense?

Here’s a personal example: my husband hasn’t had a fulltime job for about a year now. As a matter of fact, he’s been laid off twice. The first job let him go because they were shutting the company down, the second time was due to them automating the tasks he would typically do for his job. In Andrew Yang’s book The War On Normal People he talks about automation taking people’s jobs and it’s already happening – self-checkout, self-driving cars and trucks, AI customer service, robots that do repetitive tasks like chopping up food, etc.

And while automation has made life a lot easier and convenient, it’s also putting people out of jobs a lot faster.

So if you’re wondering why I would like everyone to receive $1000 a month from the US government instead of a Federal Job Guarantee from Bernie Sanders? This is why.

People who oppose the Freedom Dividend / Universal Basic Income assume that people are just going to fuck off, become lazy and not work. I don’t think that’s true as many people – including myself – would love to have an extra $1000 to:

+ Pay down some debt – like a student loan or credit card bill
+ Use it to pay for an unexpected expense – car repair, medical bill, etc
+ Save it for an emergency.
+ Invest it in the stock market
+ Take a class or workshop in your personal interests
+ And so much more.

It doesn’t solve all the problems but it’s better than nothing. Why is it so hard to just give people money?

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How to Succeed This Decade

I saw this on Roberto Blake’s Twitter so I figured I should save it somewhere to remind myself of my own goals:

– Save Money
– Self Care
– Learn a High Level Skill
– Read More
– Schedule Your Days
– Eat Healthy
– Invest Your Money
– Take More Risk
– Spend Less on Things
– Create More Income Streams
– Treat People Fairly
– Be Consistent

At this point though, the term ‘goals’ has become diluted in my opinion. Everyone’s constantly talking about their ‘goals’. So I’m going to strive for the things on this list and hope I make progress. Remember, small changes done consistently become big ones over time.

but I’m also going to add to it, because I’m not a duplicate.

– Write More
– Learn New Things
– Stay Creative
– Make Magic

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The Sacrifices of Owning Your Own Business

If you are serious about investing in yourself and owning your own business, then sacrifices have to be made. For me, here are some of the ones that I noticed needed to happen in order for my business to flourish:

  1. Eating out less
  2. Driving less, especially when gas prices are expensive.
  3. Not spending as much money on clothes, new music, going to the movies.
  4. Keeping it basic and only buying the necessities

So where does the money go?

  1. Pay down the credit card you used to purchase stuff for your business
  2. Use the money for advertising your business on Google Ads & Instagram
  3. Use it to keep on learning and acquire more knowledge.

But you just contradicted yourself. You’re not trying to spend yet here you are spending on advertising. Why?

Again, sacrifices have to be made. Do you choose to spend your money on food, gas and entertainment, or do you spend it on advertising for your business? Which one’s going to give you a return on investment? Think about that.

What I mean when I say ‘return on investment’ is a lot more simple than the definition used in the finance and business world. For this blog post, return on investment (ROI) means what you get in return for what you put into it.

So if you enjoyed the movie you watched, it was worth watching. Your return on investment (ROI) is entertainment.

If you spend money on ads and you got a client from it, then your ROI is your client; that or more people are starting to get familiar with your business.

A lot of people don’t advertise because they think marketing and advertising is gross.

Trust me when I say that I used to be in the same boat as these people – I really just wanted to be an artsy fartsy graphic designer – until I was forced to think about marketing and why the words and images I used for our advertising campaign is important. I learned over time that marketing & advertising is a necessity for anyone who owns a business -– big or small.

If nobody sees your offer, how is anyone going to know what you are offering?

If you don’t talk about your business or tell people, how is anyone going to know about it? This is what sold me on finally learning how to advertise on Google and Instagram. There are people out there right now searching for the exact thing that you are offering, so really – your marketing doesn’t have to be “gross”.

Start thinking long term

Those who want their business to flourish aren’t thinking of a get-rich-quick-scheme…or maybe they tried but it didn’t work out. They’re all thinking for the long term.

Life is short but it’s also quite long. Stay focused and be consistent with your offering – especially when no one’s paying attention yet. And then one day, people will finally start to remember you and take your offering.

Conclusion:

Business success isn’t an overnight thing, it takes sacrifice and thinking for the long term.

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Some Things I’ve Learned from Having a Small Business

I launched my online only crystal shop on April 22nd, 2017 – I wanted to share some things I’ve learned since then.

Treat all of it as an experiment so you won’t get disappointed, at least not as much.

It’s going to be up and down. Some months you will make consistent sales and you’ll feel happy and accomplished, other times not so much. You will go through a slump, you’ll feel disappointed with yourself and your efforts and often wonder: ‘WTF am I doing wrong’?

There could be a lot of factors as to why you’re not making sales right now; the market you’re in could be oversaturated. Or nobody is really buying right now either. You don’t have to know it all, but it helps to pay attention to the current economic climate and what people are spending their money on.

Lots of people are selling the same thing online too. You’ll have to think of ways to stand out somehow. Get creative, play and experiment with different ways you could tell people about your small business. Social media is great for that.

Focus on doing what you enjoy the most.

This may or may not be true for everybody but having a small business means you’ll probably be doing everything: taking products photos, listing products, packing, shipping, admin and accounting, graphics, email and social media marketing, web design, video editing. The list goes on and on and it can start to feel overwhelming.

Like, there’s SO MUCH to think about. What should you do, what should you focus on?

Some things are a drag, like accounting and taxes but are necessary. As long as you stay organized and keep good records of your sales & purchases, you can stay on top of it.

If you have the resources to do so, maybe pay someone to do the stuff you don’t like to do or if they don’t mind learning and doing things for free, maybe teach or mentor them?

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing it all, pick one thing you really like to do and do that, consistently.

For me, I enjoy taking photos of the crystals, then listing and writing about them. Even though I didn’t build the website from scratch, I still put a lot of effort into customizing it as well as creating & writing unique visual content and posting on Instagram. I did a lot of SEO on it too.

Don’t quit your day job.

There was a time when I thought being an entrepreneur would be a good fit for me, even though I have only worked fulltime my entire life and freelanced when I was in between jobs. I wanted to quit my job so bad during my first year, thinking that my small business selling crystals would sustain me and my family and that I would be able to just work from home.

I mean, a bitch can dream right? Well, turns out I was naive and completely wrong about it. I’m glad I didn’t quit or else I’d be screwed. How would I provide for my family, how do I pay my bills?

Some people will say that you don’t need to spend money to start your business, and while that may be true – you’re going to have to put A LOT of effort. If you spend money, things will go faster meaning your business will really pick up. That’s just my opinion on it, I could be wrong.

Here’s a personal example of what I mean: I spent money on Google Ads and sure enough, I was getting traffic to the website and I made some sales.

Not quitting your day job means you can put those expenses (like buying Google Ads) on a credit card and pay it off with your paycheck.

Whatever profit you make from your sales, usually goes back to buying more inventory to sell, for advertising and for other costs of running a small business. But you also have to pay taxes, so you need to put some money aside to pay your federal & state.

It might take years before your small business is finally sustainable so until then, keep on working.

Conclusion:

There’s probably a lot more to this, I just can’t think of it right now. It’s easy to get swept away and romanticize entrepreneurship or having a small business. The reality is far from it. I’m just writing this based on my experience so far with my own small business.

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Random Thoughts About Wealth & Money

Since I am officially in my 40’s now, I’ve been thinking about money, wealth and retirement a whole lot more – like how to keep more of it.

I’ve been reading this book titled “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” and while reading it has given me regrets about my own spending habits for the first 40 years of my life, I still have about 40 to go that I can go about differently.

The main takeaway from this book is: no matter what your income is, you must live below your means.

The book gives a lot of examples of people who supposedly look wealthy based on what they buy – house, luxury car, spending habits, etc. versus the people who don’t buy very often but have a high net worth.

So even if you get a pay raise from your job, do not increase your consumption. Instead put that money away; pay down your credit card debts, create your emergency fund, then learn how to invest.

I feel frustrated that I spent my first 40 years of my life not knowing this. My parents did the best they could to educate me on finances but it just wasn’t enough.

So instead of regretting the past, I’m going to attempt to be frugal and more conscious of where my money goes from here on out. It would be nice to have at least half a million for retirement. We shall see, as I have so much to learn still.

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