I went to visit my mom 💜 the other day in my old neighborhood. As I walked by my old elementary school, the children were on recess. I stopped to take in the scene of all the children happily playing, and it brought to mind memories of me playing on that very same playground as a little girl. A few things hit me while I was standing there: My Old Elementary School
As I thought about it, I realized that as a child I would NEVER have imagined that I’d be who and what I am today. And while I am genuinely happy with where I am at in life right now (bumps, and bruises and all), I thought of 3 things that I would have told “little Yolanda” if I’d known then what I know now:
1) Throughout your life, regularly sit down and figure out what YOU really want to do. Figure out what you love and see how you can make a career out of it, instead of figuring out how you will "fit" into the careers that exist. I was taught that I had to accept what life handed me rather than being able to re-design my life the way I wanted. I’ve endured many horribly painful jobs because I simply did not "fit" in them (nor was I meant to) and tried to force myself to conform to them because I didn’t really believe that I could earn money on my OWN terms.
2) You life is going to be doubly challenging as a child of color. Although you are extremely smart and a very hard worker, prepare to encounter additional obstacles based solely on the fact that you are of color. Understand that you will experience being passed over for various opportunities throughout your life, despite performing “excellently” on paper and in person.
I know that sounds SO obvious. But believe it or not, this was not something I was taught as a little girl. I was not explicitly made aware of this reality. The first few times this happened to me it shook my confidence in myself and my abilities (before I came to terms with AND accepted this reality). Hearing and learning this truth as a child would have sped up my learning curve regarding discrimination. And knowing this in advance would likely have spared me at least some pain and confusion when I finally realized that I was being blocked on this basis.
3) Develop your own business(es) from Day One, instead of investing so much in learning how to become a “good employee” to work for someone else. Take time to learn how to create and run your own successful business(es) based on your personal talents and passions. Invest in yourself first and creating your own wealth instead of making someone else rich off your strengths and skills.
Thus far, my life's journey has been VERY interesting. However, now that I have taken FULL ownership of my own life, I look forward to my future getting even better and better!
In all truth, I have not yet achieved all of my financial and personal dreams. And there are (and always will be) many challenges and obstacles in front of me. But I am now viewing them – and myself – from a place of power. This makes all the difference in the world for me. And I truly believe that “little Yolanda” would honestly be proud of who I am and have become. 💜
What about you? What 3 pieces of financial wisdom would you give "little you" if you had to do it all over? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment!
About Yolanda Ransom
Yolanda Ransom is a Financial Educator, Speaker and Workshop Trainer who teaches clients to confidently master their money so that they can achieve all of their financial dreams. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and provides transformational financial literacy training. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at her website yolandaransom.com