Academic Failures Can Make The Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Academic Failures Can Make The Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Many of you have absolutely no idea who I am, and that’s okay. In fact, it makes me all the more excited and appreciative of you taking the time to read my posts. In my articles, I like to give you a bit of information about me and my personal journey, as well as allow my personality to shine through my words with the hope that you will connect with what’s being discussed. This article is no different, and I’d like to start off with giving you a little tid-bit about my Mista (my husband). Don’t worry, we’re still very much talking about #RaisingBlackMillionaires.

pic for blog 15 black_studentMy husband (a.k.a. The Man Of All Of My Dreams) is a school teacher who specializes in teaching children who have been labeled as having “Special Needs.” Additionally, he works mentorship programs throughout the year, and he’s explained to me countless times that while many of his students/mentees may have been labeled as having learning disorders or perform below grade level, they’re very intelligent but often are not confident in their own abilities.  They’ve bought into the stigma of being handicapped or less than what has been deemed as the standard; and this is really the greater handicap, not the low academic performance.  He says that a lot of them could actually do the work, if they believed they could.  So the issue becomes more so about self-confidence versus mental capacity.  It reminds me of how Les Brown says that he was labeled as Educable Mentally Retarded as a child.  From where I stand, he seems to be doing quite well.

Now there are so many points I need to highlight from this point and a Ted Talk that was done by CEO & Business Coach Cameron Herold, that I’m going to have to reference them both for the next two or so articles. If you’d like to watch the Ted Talk, here’s the link . For this particular article, we need to focus on the part about the self-confidence of students. If we were a group of teachers in this forum, I’d place more emphasis on the methods my husband uses to improve his students’ success rates. But since we’re primarily parents, I’ll focus there, for now.

picfor blog 15 report_card_3Cameron Herold over-emphasized the fact that he and most other uber-successful entrepreneurs he knows performed very poorly in school. In fact, he started off the Talk saying that he was sure that he was the least intelligent person in the room. He also mentioned that he has what’s considered a severe learning disorder _18 of the 19 signs of ADD_ but for the sake of time, we’ll discuss that part in Thursday’s article. Nonetheless, Mr. Cameron, like my husband’s students and many of our children (especially young boys), performed well below grade level throughout every part of his academic career, well through college where he attended the only college that would accept him.

What’s important to note here is his parents’ response to his poor academic performance. He said that they had two responses that struck him; one was far more significant to his success than the other. He noted that when he was in second grade, he won a state-wide speaking contest, but no one ever encouraged him to pursue speaking or enroll him in speaking clubs or lessons. Instead, his mother got him a tutor to help him with his academics…Response #1. The question he raised was why do we spend so much time highlighting our children’s weaknesses versus celebrating and nurturing their strengths?

Mr. Herold’s father recognized that he and his two siblings really didn’t fit in anywhere (not with other students, in sports clubs, extracurricular activity groups,…nowhere); so, he decided that they would likely have a difficult time fitting into groups as adults, as well. The result was that he groomed his children to HATE the idea of working for someone else. . . . . . I just want to let that sink in for a moment; so, I’ll wait. . . . . . Why would he do that? Because he was wise enough to recognize these traits that his children exemplified as entrepreneurial.pic for blog 15 sad-student

This is soooo big. I really need you to hold my hand; walk with me; talk with me.

Entrepreneurs are not like everyone else. We just aren’t. Entrepreneurs are the ones who think completely differently than the majority. We often stand out, and if we’re given the tools to be confident and unapologetic about who we are, we’ll soar in ways and areas that most people never ever ever even consider. But far too often, we don’t gain the confidence and perspective to embrace our differentness until or unless we go off into environments where other like-minds are present; or we create something (a product or service) that people marvel at and praise us for, and usher in broader acceptance that way (i.e. Steve Jobs). What Herold’s father did was instead of trying to force his children to change or work to develop them into people they weren’t naturally for the sake of meeting a societally established standard, he trained them to observe their environments and identify areas of lack then figure out ways to fill those areas of lack with goods or services.

In other words, his father knew that his children’s traits and poor academic (and athletic, …etc.) performances would likely label them as socially awkward and make securing gainful employment and overall acceptance very difficult _if not impossible_  once they became adults. To prevent that type of stigma from damaging their self-images and esteems, he trained them to be resourceful and create their own incomes, finding value in their own thought processes and senses of creativity. Instead of fitting them into “The Box,” he reared them to design their own boxes in which others would apply to fit later on (i.e. their own companies).pic for blog 14 112712-national-finance-progress-money-success-jobs-businessman-employment

This was important, because _as Herold stated_ entrepreneurs are these people who have these intense passions that are usually fueled by a need we see in the world, and we fearlessly put everything on the line to stand up and exercise those passions, working towards fulfilling those needs; even when that means we’ll be the odd-ball or the minority in our families or circles. So when we have children who appear to not fit in, perhaps we should take a page from Cameron Herold’s father’s book and seek out those misfit traits; help them find something they enjoy; and capitalize off their differences versus spending a lot of time highlighting or trying to change them.

In the next article, we’ll discuss an example of how Herold’s father did this with him and his siblings, as well as the promise that having a child who is Bi-Polar could bring in this journey of #RaisingBlackMillionaires.  Until then, be fruitful.


One Of The Best Ways To Raise Investing Children

One Of The Best Ways To Raise Investing Children

In the article What To Teach My Children About Credit, I introduced you to financial coach and CPA, Shannaan Dawda. One of the questions I asked Shannaan Dawda during our interview was what were the areas and/or ways of investing he felt were essential to expose our children to early on in their childhoods. His response was unexpected but made all of the sense in the world. I thought he was going to tell me something like “I think it’s a great place to start by having your children to research and buy stocks in their favorite stores” or something like that. But to my extreme pleasure, he said that he thinks the best form of investing we should teach our children is the investment of entrepreneurship.pic for blog 14 833405_t607

YES! YES! YES! I love it!

He emphasized (in so many words) that along with teaching our children to budget, there’s nothing else that so readily teaches them resourcefulness, delayed gratification, investing time & money in self, discipline, money management, and how to manage others, the way entrepreneurship does. So, of course, the natural question is “Thiah…Dear…what if I am horrible at all of those things or don’t know the first thing about business to teach to my children?” Well, as you’ll hear Mr. Dawda point out in the upcoming audio book How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire, it’s our job as parents to seek out the resources and aids our children need to facilitate objectives that we may not be able to guide them through first-hand.

pic for blog 14 sean-combs-nfte-7 So, just as we may not be so good in Math and find a tutor to help our children, we should do the same with business. This may mean taking our son or daughter to spend the day or weekend with Cousin Ray Ray or Aunt Tootie who have their own restaurants, corner store, tax service, real estate firm…etc. and letting him/her work under them to learn how to market, take orders, manage employees, create valuable customer service, keep books…etc. And upon their return, ask what their experiences were like; what did they learn; are there other areas or industries that interest them where they could see applying the things they learned; did they see areas where Ray Ray or Aunt Tootie could improve; did they think of any systems that they believe would be more efficient?

pic for blog 14 c7c0f937ebd50a07da49f34f3d76d05d Just find a safe environment where your children can get priceless experiences like this, at least once or twice a month, and ask them these types of questions; then watch what kinds of unimaginable answers, products, and services come from them. And most importantly, encourage them to TRY whatever they come up with. Even if you think it’s the most far-fetched idea that will never and could never work, as long as they express some type of enthusiasm about it, please, please, please encourage them. We should remember that even though we have far more wisdom than they do, they come here far smarter than we were upon arrival. So, let’s prepare ourselves to be amazed by providing our children with the environments necessary for them to grow and exercise the brilliance of what’s already within them to share.

pic for blog 14 download10.jpegOn that note, a subscriber sent me a message asking for books and clubs/organizations in which to enroll our children to help nurture them in their journeys to become millionaires. With many of our subscribers all over the globe, I’ll work on providing lists of resources in various cities, states, and regions and pass them along to you all. Please share your thoughts and any resources you have as we support each other in #RaisingBlackMillionaires. Until the weekend, be fruitful!

When To Teach Children To Use Credit

When To Teach Children To Use Credit

For the poor and middle class, interest is quite frankly the devil’s pitchfork, right?! But for those who are into wealth building, there’s this thing called compound interest that can make the difference between how their assets are acquired and where their great great great grandchildren attend college. The wealthy use interest in a way that builds their assets, not deplete them. That’s, in my opinion, the greatest difference. We’ll talk more about that later, but for the purpose of this article, we’re interested in interest as it relates to credit cards.pic for blog 13 Compound-Interest-Albert-Einstein-2

When I decided to begin my personal journey of biting the bullet and holding myself fully responsible for building my family’s wealth, first through improving my own financial literacy, I determined early on that I would pretty consistently enroll in financial literacy and wealth building courses/trainings. One of the courses that has had the greatest impact on my personal asset building journey has been the M.O.S.E.S. Movement Training Course. During one of the trainings, William R. Patterson, talked about the use of credit. He mentioned how the wealthy only use credit when using cash or funds directly from a checking account would cost them more money. Let me give you an example of this.

I’m sure many of us have rented cars for trips or when your main transportation breaks down. If you use a debit card versus a credit card, the rental company puts a hold on your debit card that is beyond the rental amount. As someone who used to work for a renal car company, I know that the holds can vary from $150 to well over $500 per rental. If you’re traveling on a strict budget, that held money may be your gas or meal money. pic for blog 13 rental-carEven worse, you may find yourself in a position where you weren’t expecting the hold, your children are looking at you with excitement about the trip, and you end up accepting the hold and causing your account to be overdrawn; because, well, you have to eat…right?

While wealthy people don’t have to deal with the potential of their accounts being overdrawn, this is so; because they are meticulous about where they place their money and how they spend it. This equates to having complete control over their funds. So, if there is the possibility that they will be charged more or more of their funds will become forcibly held from them for a period of time, they use their credit cards for those instances. Once they’ve returned from their trips or finished their rentals (well within 30 days), they pay off the borrowed amount and prevent any interest charges. You see how that works? They manipulate the credit to their own advantages. Perhaps manipulate seems too strong of a word. pic for blog 13 compound-interest-calculatorLet’s say, they make the credit work for them versus allowing it to hurt them. They borrow the money to prevent losing money, then they quickly repay the borrowed money to the credit card company before being charged interest. In this equation, the credit card company has their money back, no third parties got more money than they had rights to, and the borrower wasn’t charged any interest. Everyone is happy. But let’s be clear, doing this requires the borrower to already have the cash to pay for the charges they’re putting on their credit cards. They’re not using the cards to pay for something they could not afford with cash, if cash was an acceptable option that wouldn’t cost them more money to use. They call this responsible borrowing. We discussed this a little in the article What To Teach My Children About Credit.

pic for blog 13 670px-Calculate-Compound-Interest-Step-4Just think, if everyone who has credit cards practiced this, the credit card companies would go out of business, because they wouldn’t make any money from lending; and hotels, rental companies,…etc. would have to drop these holding fees, because there simply wouldn’t be an alternative to debit or cash.

The challenge is, practicing responsible borrowing requires discipline and meticulous money management. Many of us get a large sum of money (perhaps in a tax refund) and we’re so entertained by the relief of having more than we’d previously had, that we relish in the feeling of carefree spending by not keeping close watch of how much and when we’re spending. This goes on until our cards are rejected or we’re hit with an overdraft fee that brings that carefree spending to a screeching halt. Our children see all of this. And if we teach them better habits by improving upon our own spending and money management, they’ll be in a position where they don’t have to unlearn the poor habits, because all they’ll know is the good habits. Additionally, if they learn these habits and how money works, now (presumably far earlier than teenage-hood), by the time they go away to college or graduate from high school, they’ll know how to properly use credit cards and do so to their own advantage.pic for blog 13 portrait-of-happy-couple-paying-with-credit-card-in-store-2

So, instead of just telling our children to be careful with credit cards or to stay away from getting a bunch of cards when they go off to college, like I was told, let’s provide them with greater mass of how and why this is so important, beyond just the concept of getting into huge credit card debt.


What are your thoughts? Leave your comment below and use the #RaisingBlackMillionaires. If you missed the last article, here it is Our Children’s Role In Legacy Maintenance.

Our Children’s Role In Legacy Maintenance

Our Children’s Role In Legacy Maintenance

During my extremely enlightening interview with Dr. Michael V. Roberts, Sr., he explained that while he didn’t require his children to work for the family businesses (the hotels & resorts, the aviation company, the television stations, the real estate developments…etc), he imparted upon them their freedom to work for companies outside of those under their company’s umbrella of businesses; but that their obligation was to experience and learn all they could while working for those companies and bring back their newly developed skills and insights for the betterment of their family company. This lesson struck me particularly deeply, for many reasons.pic for blog 12 MotherDaugtherINC_General2

Continue reading “Our Children’s Role In Legacy Maintenance”

What To Teach My Children About Credit

What To Teach My Children About Credit

The other day I interviewed financial coach Shannaan Dawda of True Financial Coaches. You can check him out at Our talk was phenomenal. You’re certain to gain a lot from it in the upcoming audiobook release How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire. In the mean time, let’s discuss one major point Mr. Dawda emphasized in our talk and his book, From Paychecks To Power: 7 Power Moves To Unlock Wealth Building. That point is the lesson of the value, or lack thereof, of credit.

pic for blog 11 creditcards Continue reading “What To Teach My Children About Credit”

Two Of The Biggest Investments To Make In Our Children

Two Of The Biggest Investments To Make In Our Children

So anyone who knows about me and my social media learning journey, knows that I love me some Nikki Woods! Check her out at  In fact, she is one of only three people whose Periscope broadcasts I check for daily. The other two are the fantastically fabulous Dr. Monikah Ogando and Jai Stone.  I’m sure we’ll talk more about them in a later article. But, I love Ms. Nikki Woods (I call pic for blog 10 roi1her Ms. Nikki Nikki – so nice you gotta say it twice), because she gives so many rich resources and steps in relation to media, marketing, and authorship, that I learn from her all of the time. On a broadcast she did the other day, she just happened to mention the fact that she has homework coaches for her children. Now, that was not at all what the scope was about, but I thought it was an excellent point to highlight for all of us who are on the journey of #RaisingBlackMillionaires. Would you like to know why? Let’s get into that.

Continue reading “Two Of The Biggest Investments To Make In Our Children”

Rich People Don’t Gossip? Girl Please!

Okay so in one of our previous discussions, we mentioned a guy named Tom Corley who wrote a book called Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. One of the many points he makes from his research is that just under 80% of the poor are admitted gossipers, but only 6% of the rich are.  In an interview, he talked a bit about how some wealthy entrepreneurs have No-Gossip policies to which all under their employ are required to adhere.  So now, if you’re anything like me, you must be wondering three things: 1) Why do the wealthy make such a strong point not to engage in gossip? 2) How does this huge difference in values/priorities (whatever it is) relate to one group being so significantly more financially well off than the other? And 3) What in the WORLD does this have to do with #RaisingBlackMillionaires, Thiah!

pic for blog 9 76400-talk-positive Continue reading “Rich People Don’t Gossip? Girl Please!”

Examples of How To Teach Finances To My Children

Examples of How To Teach Finances To My Children

One of the biggest themes in this body of work called #RaisingBlackMillionaires is the importance of talking about money, finances, wealth with your family on a regular basis, just as commonly as you talk about things like your favorite foods or family activities. For the wealthy, money talk is had at the dinner table. It’s just routine to converse about money matters as it relates to income, management, business, investing…etc. For them, it’s normal. And it didn’t become normal when they became wealthy. They became wealthy in large part, because money talk was normal. The question is: “How should one teach money to their children, especially if he/she himself is still learning about how to manage money the proper way?” Let’s deal with that. I have a couple of ways in mind for you.

Continue reading “Examples of How To Teach Finances To My Children”

What Are Two Of The Most Important Habits To Teach Your Children?

What Are Two Of The Most Important Habits To Teach Your Children?

I hope that, by now, we all understand the extreme significance of building within our children (and ourselves) the proper mindset and how it is the single most essential ingredient to wealth building.pic for blog 6 self-improvement-tips As a parent who came into this world of wealth building already having learned bad habits, I experienced more times than I’d like to admit, the rude awakening of the fact that I absolutely had to unlearn some fundamental beliefs and horrible habits in my daily living. But, also as a parent, I found myself more easily motivated to struggle through the mindset changes for the sake of my children and teaching them the right way; so that they wouldn’t have to wait until they reached adulthood and go through the agony of such drastic change. No, I would go through that and teach them good and profitable habits early, so that they would grow up with the advantages I simply didn’t have. Today, we want to cover two of the most significant of habits we should nurture within our children in our How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire journey #RaisingBlackMillionaires.

Continue reading “What Are Two Of The Most Important Habits To Teach Your Children?”