4 Things to Stop Doing in 2019
Ah, the sweet noise from folks in the peanut gallery. I don’t know why it can be so comforting or feel like a remotely good idea to talk to people who have no idea what the flying f--k they’re talking about. You know what I’m talking about. Your friend without $200 to their name, but will go on and on about how buying a house is a poor investment. [Insert side eye here. ]
To put it candidly, stop taking advice from people you wouldn't like to trade places with.
So for the first part of 2019, here’s some adulting advice to live by.
1. Get a financial mentor.
This is number one on my list because if your paper isn’t right, adulting is that much crappier because of bills and other financial obligations. Do you ever notice the most broke and financially illiterate people stay blasting their advice via Facebook? Instead seek someone who is good with money or better yet, someone who has achieved what you would consider a financial goal. Maybe someone who has bought a house, invested in their company, sent a child to college or retired early.
I have one friend who I admire because she goes out of our friend’s circle to network with millionaires. For years, she has told be me her goal is to be a millionaire. Never one to sit rest on her laurels, she made friends with a dynamic group of women who are self-made millionaires. They impart incredible wisdom to her about the importance of investing and having multiple streams of income.
“The really rich never depend on one flow of income but instead create a number of revenue streams,” writes Grant Cardone, author of “The 10X Rule.”
As good as I am with money, I can’t give my friend advice on how to be a millionaire because I’ve never seen a number with that many zeroes in my bank account. It would be stupid to ask me how to become a millionaire. It would be equally silly to listen to me if I gave unsolicited advice about being a millionaire. Maybe one day, but today ain't that day.
2. Stop taking financial advice from people who keep money under a mattress.
To be clear, my use of the mattress example is a metaphor, meaning people who don’t understand the stock market, bonds, 401ks, Roth IRAs, etc. In our complex financial world, this can include a lot of loved ones who received pensions from work or considered land or house as the sole way to generate wealth.
During the recession, I had some well-meaning family members encourage others in my family to pull completely out of the stock market out of panic. Fortunately, we had some financial gurus in the fam articulate to them why this is a horrible idea. Essentially, the idea is that markets will eventually recover. If you take money out as soon as there is a dip or crash you’ll miss out on the gains (aka leave money on the table). Keep in mind this is for a long-term strategy only.
If you’re afraid of losing money due to a big upcoming purchase like a house, you need to plan. For example, take that amount you need out of the stock market a year before you buy a house, but let the rest of the money you need in the distant future to ride the market. Or you could keep it low-risk stocks. However, I am not a financial guru, so you need to ask an expert
Want to learn more? Get a financial planner or adviser. There are some super smart people who can teach you some thangs.
3. Stop letting memes dictate your science knowledge.
My favorite meme on the Internet poses the question, “If vaccines are effective, how can they endanger vaccinated children?” Umm, they put children who are too young to be vaccinated at risk, right?
Now I’m not going to front like I didn’t get a solid C in high school biology, so don’t take my advice about science matters or vaccines. Instead talk to a chemist, a doctor, a nurse, not someone who didn’t even see inside a biology classroom at an accredited COLLEGE. And no, the science courses designed for English majors don’t count.
4. Don't entertain dream killers
Stop sharing big dreams with small-minded people. I may not be old yet, but I’ve seen things. Y’all, there are people who make a living off playing Pokemon Go. I legit went to a friend's house and saw her watching a man on YouTube, talking about catching Pokemon. Millions of people like my friend watch this man. What does that tell me? Anything is possible.
Need someone a little closer in my network to believe me? Six years ago I had the amazing opportunity to run some social media campaigns for Issa Rae, the creator of HBO’s Insecure. At the time, Issa Rae wasn’t the Hollywood star she is now. She was a girl with a dream. We weren’t BFFs so I don’t know her full journey from YouTube to HBO, but I’m sure there were dream killers around who told her she was crazy and should pick a more stable job.
I tell you all this to say, why not you? Someone has to live their dream, so why not you. If there’s one thing that adulting has taught me is that life is hard and short, so you might as well take a chance and try.
What other points would you add to this list?