The Ugly Truth to Pretty EntrePreneurship

I am rich. I am wealthy. Not just in the monetary form but all areas of my life are pretty golden. I’ve worked hard to maintain prosperity in all facets of my life; in relationships, health, and within my career. Life is pretty good over all. My thought life calls it forth. I pray scripture daily and I know good things are meant to happen to me every day.(1 Peter3:10) Yet, beyond all of this that I know to be true there are just some days my life simply falls short of these beliefs. The world is imperfect sometimes its imperfection tries to tamper with your life-fight through it. Money chases me I don’t have to chase it.  I know I was born to be an entrepreneur. Even with this understanding there are times on the journey the obstacles you face make you second guess your purpose.

As an entrepreneur there are periods my bank account is full. I have enough to save, store away, invest, give away and shop away. Then, there are times where a miracle day to day keeps me alive and well. Some would say during these periods “girl ya broke find a regular job lol!” They think too small.  I never claim broke, because it’s an unfamiliar state of mind to me. If you think broke you’ll always be broke. Reality is sometimes I have dry spells in business.  All startups and even big business go through this. There are season where my vision of the future is the only thing I have to hold on to because there are tons of days entrepreneurship just sucks. The setbacks, loss of friends, and sacrifice can be tough. It’s looks appealing and pretty on the gram but sometimes there is temptation to give up, give in and call it quits.

I remember one particular day, three bills were due and I only had enough to pay half of one.  Sales were slow and due to me losing my 9-5 which supported outside of my business I was really in a bind. God said, “ask for help.” I didn’t want to. I am independent, a hustler I hated asking for help. After I exhausted myself thinking of ways to make the money on my own I asked for help and all was well but this is the reality of taking a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t see your works outcome immediately. Great things take time to build. The fruit of the seeds you plant will take time to grow but you just can’t stop watering or fertilizing. The very thing you’re planting could be used to feed many so trust God. Trust the way he’s building your character through waiting, and trust the process.

Sometimes I’ll have the hardest week ever and God will send a random word, a random opportunity, random check, random buyer or just a sense of his peace to calm my storm.  This walk with him in entrepreneurship gets rough but it’s worth it when you know your destiny. That’s why it’s so important to stay in your lane and do what God tells you because when it gets rough you’ll need to know you’re still in his perfect will, and he’s got you. It will all work out for your good!(Rom 8:28)

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. ...

 

Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Love, Gab

Why Entrepreneurship is The New Wave of the Future (Featured on Blavity)

I wrote myself a 90-day escape plan as I sat at my desk pretending like I loved my job. I didn’t hate my job, but I knew I needed more out of life. So, I mapped out a game plan that would lead to an eventual resignation from my position. It included how much money I needed to save in order to be comfortable, a list of bills that could never be late and detailed how many connections I needed to make that would provide me with assured customers while I was on my journey to entrepreneurship. One week after I wrote this, I was let go from my job. God has a sense of humor. Immediately after this happened, I knew it was go-time!

I had to hustle, just like I always told people I would if the day came that I was out of work. I did just that. For months, I built my business from the ground up and, thanks to friends and family, while I humbled my lifestyle, I never lacked anything. Months later, I had a pretty popping start-up for an entrepreneur newbie. My first book had sold out of stock and my speaking/lifestyle-coaching business was taking off.

Out of 585 US billionaires, 62 percent are self-made, according to Wealth-X 2016. If that’s not a stat that encourages one to pursue your personal ventures, I don’t know what will. This tell us that it is possible to start a business from the ground up and be super successful. Genhc.com provided statistics that show over 60 percent of millennials believe job security is within owning their own business, and over 30 percent already have already established one. Beyond these stats, after graduating college, my circle of friends journeyed onto corporate jobs, yet, now more than half us no longer work a nine to five because we’ve started businesses. This is the new wave. We have low-risk starting businesses because we have less to lose. Many of us aren’t married yet or have children, so we have the freedom to sacrifice, fail then try again, work hard and give entrepreneurship our all without neglecting those priorities.

Among the Atlanta circuit, entrepreneurship is popular, fashionable and quite easy to do, if you ask me. We foster the environment for it. Especially among innovative African Americans, there is a strong community that encourages small companies. The National Association of Education Statistics informed us that black women are the most educated segment within the U.S. population. With this education, we are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. This utterly excites me.

Our generation is not lazy. We millennials love to work, but if we can’t get into a career field that suites us, we create our own. Sometimes our jobs aren’t paying enough and we create business to supplement our income. This is ingenious. We create opportunity and don’t wait for anyone to hand anything to us. With the rise in technology and the potential for many jobs to become extinct thanks to robots and such, we create a better future securing our own access to wealth and longevity within the market we so choose.

My favorite part about entrepreneurship is working harder for myself than I have ever worked for anyone. I love going to my office and putting the eight hours I work for someone else into my dream. The flexibility of being your own boss is amazing, and so is the freedom. It is exhilarating knowing you’re going from being employed to being the employer. You can be that amazing boss to someone else that you wish you had.

The hard part is that no one is writing a check for you. You’ve got to go out and create your own everyday. Most often, you work overtime nights and weekends; your business is your baby you never want to neglect it. Money comes and goes and there are definitely peaks and valleys. Sometimes you’re the CEO, accountant, fire extinguisher, marketing director, recruiter and maintenance all in one. Some days you tell yourself to give up and just go get a job because it’s easier. This road isn’t for the faint of heart, yet, it is quite rewarding.

Everyone isn’t meant to be an entrepreneur. If you’ve found a career path you love, kudos, seriously. Lucky you. Being a creative is tough. You seem crazy all the time because ideas never stop flowing, and you’re often restless. I never felt comfortable anywhere except in my own business. Why? Life wouldn’t let me be at peace until I connected to my divine purpose. Because of my connection to the creator, I’ve been blessed to be so in tune with myself that I feel shifts in my life before they come. I just try to prepare as best as I can for their arrival. You are the master of your fate; you are the delegate of your time. Whether you work a nine to five or you own a company, choose a path you know at the end of it you will be fulfilled. All I want to express to you is that millennials are changing the game, whether it’s being innovative on their jobs or creating their own. Don’t miss the wave!

Source: https://blavity.com/why-entrepreneurship-i...

Church #WAKEUP Start Preaching to the MEN!

The first chapter of my book talks about how I was almost sexually assaulted by a minister I was dating. He was gifted, attractive, and charismatic but as a ‘man of God’ he did not allow the power at work in believers to change his fleshly wicked heart. (2nd Timothy 3: 4 ..traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power Turn away from such as these! 6They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions,…!) He wanted his desires fulfilled in any way possible completely disregarding my needs. He tried to convince me, even manipulating scripture at times, to have sex with him although I was a virgin.

I understand why he was like this. His past was tumultuous. (I discerned his there were skeletons in his closet from childhood, this was later confirmed in conversation) What he experienced in his youth tainted his perception on love. His other issue was the call on his life was so great it left him feeling weighted and burdened. He often felt alone although surrounded by many. He need companionship, emotional support, and healing but self-medicated his emotional short comings with sex. He wanted sex by any means necessary like an addict. Is this an excuse for his behavior? No! It does show me the frailty of men and why church should spend as much time working on men as they do women.  We both need work.

I have a close friend who told me joining a men's group at church changed his life. He found a safe place to share, learn, and grow. So many men need this but don't know where to go so they live life broken and then break down others. Hurt people, hurt people. Church get to assisting the healing of these men!

Let’s talk about the root of this conversation. The fall of man in Genesis was not just a consequence of Eve eating the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3) It occurred because THE MAN, Adam did not guard over her and keep the command God had given Him.  As the first human and groundskeeper of the garden, before Eve was even created God gave the specific commandment to Adam. Adam told her this command later after she was formed from his rib and God  probably told her as well, because they walked in the garden together. Adam didn't follow through with the directive. Eves mistake was a direct result of Adams shortcoming. She wanted to be like God desiring what most women want love, and validation. Tricked by the serpent she bit of the fruit and told Adam to bite as well. Instead of saying no, he followed along although it was the rule given to him initially not to break! Now God knew this would happen-He planned the salvation story through Jesus from the beginning, but the point I am making today is many issues faced in relationships are much like that of the garden scenario. It begins with the man not stepping up. Many of the issues in the church… divorce rates, high percentage of single women, sexism, misogyny, ect. begins with men.

Listen, I know how women can be we are not perfect either. I know we have a power unlike any force in the world that can be used for good or evil. I just can’t let the fellas get away with saying, “they don’t make em like they used to” and “women settle for anything these days, they don’t make us work” when men should be holding themselves to higher standards as well.  LEVEL UP MEN. We don’t mind keeping our standards if you rise to the occasion. You are kings, warriors, leaders, valor’s and your tarnishing your throne by accepting society’s subpar standards of what being a man should be.

Now, thankfully, I got away from the “bad boy minister “ in my life but I have many friends who didn’t get away from theirs. They trusted a leader who took advantage of their innocence and because they were taught to protect their leaders never said anything. I have other associates who did speak up but it was brushed under the rug. We’ve all kept our faith because our understanding of God was deeper than the mistakes of malicious men. Yet, these situations changed us. I personally became mistrusting of men in power especially in church. I had to rewire my brain to the fact that there are many good, solid, godly men out there. I know a few; my dad, my best friend’s dads, a few uncles and ministry big brothers I have are awesome men of God.  Yet, there are so many who struggle with issues that need to be addressed. It is not just ladies who need to learn to keep their legs closed, how to raise kids, or how to be a good wife. Those are good lessons but we also need to be taught we have a destiny outside of being with a man and that sometimes the issue is simply is not US! We are beat over the head with advice on these subjects many Sundays, but what about the men? I've been in church 26 years of my life I can count on one hand how many times men's issues have been addressed in regards to relationships. Men need to learn their manhood is not defined by sex. They need to learn being a gentleman is still in style and that love is work but its worth it. Family provides safety, validation, and focus. God tells men in scripture finding a wife, finds a good thing because a woman can help a man focus to believe he can conquer the world if she is behind him.  Anyway, I am not here to tell a man how to be a man. I just want us to refocus as the body of Christ. We have misinterpreted the word of God teaching doctrine that puts women in an emotional bondage to cater to men until it kills them, while many men are free to go about their day to day with no constraint or regard.  Lets work on these men, build them up to be who God has called them to be -humble fearless lovers, who love their wives like Christ loves the church he sacrificed his life for. At the end of the day we need each other. Its not about figuring out who is to blame but that each gender take responsibility for his and her part in where we are as a society. Lets mature the conversation and make family a thing again. People are still getting married out here! Lets learn how to stay married, how to build community and most of all love each other like God desires. He loves family and happy healthy relationships. so should we. Lets get to work!

 

In Love,

Gabby

Why Hood Love is Good Love

I remember right after college telling my best friend who had recently turned into my boyfriend, “This ain’t no hood love! Don’t put me through a bunch of unnecessary s*** .” I wanted to be married before 30 and didn't have time for foolishness.

Hearing Mary J. Blige’s song in the background, “Hood Love”, prompted me to make this statement because all I could think of was the movie Baby Boy when I thought of a ghetto love story.  If I had it my way, I would always choose a boring love story over one that drove me crazy.

I came from a Rev Runs House type of family. People came over to my house to see the black American family dream. My parents loved endlessly. The occasional times they argued, it was passionately but they forgave continually.  They really showed me a healthy view of love and partnership. I refused to have anything other than that.

In an era where true love and marriage seems to be fading becoming a thing of the past, hood love is making vulnerable, true love popular again.  I am so glad, thanks to Jay and B, Cardi and Offset, the Wopsters, and others! I am elated at their contribution to the culture! I don’t care if people call it a stunt or claim these relationships won’t last ..all I know is a bunch of these rap stars are creating happy love stories for us to drool over. Regardless of what their music says they are wife’n up their ride or die chicks and sailing off into sunsets. If this is what hood love is these days, I am cool with it.  If it gets me a ring like Kim K. sooner than later, why not try it out! I’m kidding, my simple love life is fine. Yet, what I will say is the new wave of ‘ghetto fabulous’ fairytale marriages is showing a generation repulsed by nuptials, it’s cool to dedicate yourself to the one you love. I like how they parade that love in front of the world. So what, they are getting hefty checks to get wedding specials on our favorite networks, they are giving the next generation hope. Love may not be perfect but it’s worth it, when you find the right one!

I am not calling these love stories ‘hoodtastic’ with a derogatory, superfluous, stereotypical tone. I admire their hard work toward success and their music that pays homage to their humble beginnings. #Hoodlove afterall, is a positive these days. We all know there is no roadmap to love but as long as you go into your relationship with a willingness to sacrifice, patience, and a desire to grow together daily you’ll be alright.

I love that popular meme that says, “If it ain’t that 90’s R&B type of love I don’t want it!” Why is 90’s music such a standard for our generation? It is because men weren’t afraid to sing their emotions. The songs gave us stories of passion, pursuit, and heartbreak.  Ladies sang about the innocence and excitement surrounding falling in love.  I am worried about the next generation because their love songs include loving money, cutting people off, and never settling down. Sheesh!  Before I go into a rant let me just say; this is why the hood love stories matter now, tomorrow, and forever!  Kids are not watching Martin and Gina, the Huxtables, or shoot even Seventh Heaven anymore. I am okay with that, as long as they have something positive to aspire to. Depictions of healthy relationships that showcase respect, dedication, and long-lasting love are vital.We need to keep showcasing love and family it is a building block to society and most of all so darn beautiful to see!