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Published On: Mon, Oct 16th, 2017

Confession: My Struggle With Prosperity

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Dime Media and Prudential but this story is my personal account of how this partnership came to be. Do not let this happen to you… Take action today.

This is one of the most sensitive topics I have yet to explore on this website.

IMG_4713The difficulty is rooted in the fact that in the world of social media, everything is driven by image. I live and work in a world where success is measured in likes and shares. Social equity is king and at times it creates a fantasy world that drives anyone who has over 100 followers to redesign their cards to include (insert favorite term here  -> __________ ( eg. guru, expert etc.).

At least in the Latino space, I want to shatter that “fake it till you make it mentality”. We have to help each other build wealth in our community and this is my first attempt in starting that conversation.

Before I start…

I apologize to many  of my blogger / influencer friends in advance for saying what I am about to say. I am apologizing because either they are in the same position as I have been in (many times) or they are aware and what to keep the illusion going. Note: his does not apply to everyone, only those that have not figured out how to make this a full time gig.

Monetization is possible, and this life can be very lucrative…

but prepare to work your ass off. Prepare to earn every dollar you have. Know that many of you will not become rich.

You will learn, grow in many ways but it may just prepare you for a career change.

I am going to say something that I have never said here. This is not easy because of my time in this business, it may appear to many of you that I am better off than I actually am. I started this business over 20 years ago, it took me 12 years to significantly monetize and although I have been doing it full time since 2014, I have a way to go before I consider myself a true success.

So I say all that to say, I have to confess once and for all.

(takes deep breath)

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THE TRUTH IS…

for many years, I have considered myself FINANCIALLY ILLITERATE. I worked my ass off, had pretty much everything on the American Dream check list but for over 20 years, I drowned in debt. I did not get here by spending and living above my means. I simply got here by not having basic financial know how that would have allowed me to make my money work for me.

I want to add, that what I just said does not reflect my work ethic, quality of work or ability to do amazing things in my business. It just means I have been working so hard I have not learned how to grow my business and get it ready for long term success independent of my contributions.

I realized this a few years back when Prudential sponsored the Hispanicize Positive Impact Awards. I spent some time at the booth getting to know the team while working the event. I had the realest conversation in a circle of bloggers and a financial consultant that was there (I really wish I remembered his name). Long story short… we collectively realized we all were in the same (leaky) boat. I also want to add that there was a serious contrast when I talked to people that had done the homework and were in the process of taking on investors or selling their platforms. It actually made me feel like I failed… I mean I started my site at least 12 years before most of these people. Why am I so behind…

So I dug deep… and here is what I found.

A list of things, warning signs if you will of where I was at that given moment that kept me in this cycle of financial insecurity.

  • No significant savings in the bank, essentially living check to check.
  • Living in a home, we could not afford (property taxes in our village were high)
  • Despite high taxes, school district sucked so the twins went to private school.
  • Used credit cards to fill gaps in necessary spending for life essentials (really bad decision)
  • Working my day job and running my business at night made me rely heavy on takeout (negatively impacted my health too)
  • Did not invest any money and actually pulled money out of a 401k after 10 years to save our home when I was sick and fell behind. This is a debt that currently haunts me 3 years after moving out.

This also means less vacations, family quality time, humble holiday seasons and sending our kids to college with $0 savings relying completely on loans and financial aid which is crippling financially. This also adds stress because relationships suffer in a financial crisis. I lost friends because I could not afford to attend milestone events in their family (weddings, birthdays etc).

The worst part is that, this story can repeat itself with my children if I do not do something fast. They need to learn everything I am learning before they start their families. In addition, it is not too late for me to create some security for them in my personal life planning.

I am sharing my story because there were a lot of things I had to figure out the hard way. There wasn’t the resources we have today via the web to educate ourselves about investing, starting a small business or preparing for retirement. I discovered this by building a relationship with Prudential in the last three years and in conferences in over 6 states. I will add, that I have only started working with Prudential in the last few months. My decision deeply rooted in teaching you what I am learning as I learn it.

I am happy to say, I am in a better place today than I was two years ago, but I cannot stop until I catch up.

So the call to action is… TAKE ACTION. Visit the Prudential Financial Education page now, find out what you do not know. Once you do that you can connect with a financial advisor that can help pull you out of financial despair.

Now… to my blogger friends. I have some specific advice for you that I will expand on in future posts / live videos. Please read this…

Be Your Own Boss: How to Start a Small Business

It is not the final solution for all of your financial shortcomings, but it is a great place to spark the thinking you will need to make your business thrive.

So you will be seeing the #Prupárate and #PrusperaNYC hashtags moving forward… pay attention and act now to make sure you do not have to go thru what I did. I want to share some of the live video I recorded just these last two weeks both in LA and NYC.

 

Latino Wealth Building – Hispanicize LA

#PrusperaNYC – A Celebration of Latino Entrepreneurship in NYC

Confession: My Struggle With Prosperity