Big Words start conversations and open doors to new places.
Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct Examiner.com, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath.
Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics.
Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.
A key focus of my blog is Organizational/Management Discussions. Leadership is an amorphous word which can mean any number of things. When it comes to management in an organization, it does however mean very specific things. Exceptional managers tend to have a specific set of skills that make them successful. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Leadership Skills Any Manager Needs.
While many people believe they are not cut out for leadership, for others, it feels natural. However, just because you think you were born to be a leader doesn’t mean you have the skills to do so. Without the proper leadership skills, whether in business, at home, or on the field, you risk seeing negative results. To avoid this, you must obtain leadership skills to ensure you can motivate and inspire your team. You could argue that all skills are as crucial as each other, but some are more important than others.
Excellent communication skills are vital in many aspects of life. If you are unable to put your point across, you will struggle to pass messages on or explain the plan of action for different challenges.
This does not merely mean clear and concise speaking, but also demonstrating that you can listen to others. Through this, you can use your practical communication skills to overcome problems, inspire ideas in your staff, and deal with any issues without coming across as aggressive.
Too many managers and leaders will see their staff as commodities, especially if they are part of a large corporation and are rarely in the office or area themselves. However, your team are people, and they have their own lives, meaning compassion and understanding are crucial.
From unreasonable requests to repairing condensate pumps for the AC system, it’s vital to provide them with a comfortable office or classroom. You should also accommodate their requests, whether to leave early or start late, because they have lives outside of work that demand their attention, and their work should revolve around their life, not the other way around.
Success and relationships go hand-in-hand. Without the ability to build relationships, you will not achieve the heights that you expect or desire as a leader.
But how does a leader make relationship-building a priority? You need to create foundations of trust with your staff, clients, suppliers, and customers. Furthermore, your organization should boast the accessibility that everyone requires, as this will allow them to feel welcomed at your business no matter who they are. Often, merely showing your face regularly will also help you appear more involved than faceless CEOs.
Leadership is not just about what you expect from your employees, but also what they expect from you. There will be ideas you have that do not work. But, rather than dig your heels in and close your eyes to the problem, it’s vital to reflect and adapt.
No one is expected to get things right every time, and the same goes for being a leader. You will make mistakes, but standing up and admitting what went wrong and taking clear steps to change it will demonstrate fantastic leadership qualities and boost your team’s respect.
Leading the Pack
Being a leader is all about recognizing when things are not working and adjusting your approach. If you can show this while also demonstrating fantastic compassion and communication and building relationships with your team, you can guarantee you will grow into a strong and effective leader. You will see the results reflected in your team.
Two key focuses of my blog are financial literacy/money and business/entrepreneurship. If you’re building your own personal residence or purchasing a home from a previous owner, you want it to have the most modern and functional features available. If you’re an investor renting property, you want your units to have the most appeal possible for potential renters. Kitchen space is an important consideration in both instances. The following guest post is entitled, Top Kitchen Cabinet Handles In The Market.
Function and decorative purposes. These are the two factors that people consider when looking for kitchen cabinet handles, or just cabinet handles in general.
A lot of hardware stores sell good quality functional cabinet handles, but not in the design that will match your style and vice-versa. Sometimes it feels like you are going in circles because there are just too many choices and too many hardware stores to choose from. If you are remodeling your home, it can cause you much hassle.
To help you save time on picking, here are the top kitchen cabinet handles in the market.
Stainless steel bar pulls
One of the most popular cabinet hardware that people look for in stores. This sleek pull benefits minimalist designs and modern kitchens. It features round shapes that contrast stark 90-degree angles. This design makes it easier for a person to pull a cabinet because it lets you wrap your fingers all around the handle.
This variety of kitchen cabinet handles is moving fast to becoming a staple in numerous homes. Elegant pulls have the luxury of being modern yet conventional which makes them adaptable. Its adaptability makes it an effortless update to your kitchen hardware.
With a black finish on, arch pulls are the simplest way to dress up a sterile cabinet and counter combination. Putting a black finished arch pull on your basic Shaker cabinet makes them stand out because of the white paint. Another little good thing about arch pulls is that you won’t get any fabric stuck in it because of the allowance it has between the cabinet door. They are also excellent choices for wooden cabinets.
Pair up unique cabinetry hardware with colorful cabinetry to produce visual delight in your contemporary kitchen. Wave pulls make a splash when mounted. Satin nickel pulls like these provide the best upgrade to the traditional home design.
Complete length pulls
Definitely a perfect fit for large cabinets that contain more stuff than usual. This develops a smooth look and a minimal clean surface in your kitchen. It will also most likely standout depending on the color of your kitchen cabinetry.
Stainless steel finger pulls
A modern-style kitchen can certainly gain a thing or two from stainless steel finger pull handles. These specific pulls have an industrial feel which means, it can match an apartment with many metal-touches in it.
Bronze-finished T-bar pulls are the best compliment for traditional Colonial style cabinet doors. Long T-bar handles, on the other hand, look great mounted on two-tone kitchen cabinets that are larger in size. For kitchens with a non-traditional layout, you can use the shallow t-bar handle because it serves an attractive accent to Shaker doors and cabinets and it doesn’t consume unnecessary space.
Metal ring pulls
Metal ring pulls give the last touch to traditional mission-style kitchen cabinetry. To really pull-off the said look, you can duplicate the oil-rubbed bronze surface of the hardware with your faucet and lights.
Cabinet handles are the simplest way to decorate and improve the look of your kitchen. There are many to choose from depending on the style you’ll have to incorporate them in. Choose wisely to achieve the best ambiance for your kitchen.
Rosette has a knack for anything “Do it Yourself” (DIY). She spent her younger years learning about the different hardware tools and equipment in the hopes of establishing a hardware business in the future. Her career options may have changed, but today, she continues to write so passionately about her first love.
Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Technology. The internet has created multiple ways to make money beyond the traditional way of punching the clock every day for hourly wages. Making money online is still a foreign concept for many people but there are many methods for doing so. The following guest post is entitled, 5 Quick Ways to Make Money Online.
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One of the best things about the internet age is how easy it has become to earn money. If you know a few tricks, you can add to your bank balance quickly without really doing much in the way of hard work at all. To help the students and hard-up people who may be reading this blog, we have put together a list of the five easiest ways to turn a profit online which involve little or no effort.
1. Online Casinos
If you have a good memory and a head for numbers, online gambling can be a great way to make money. Nowadays, the choice of games and bonus offers available at the massive number of online casino sites is almost endless. Visit https://www.casimba.com/en-ca/ for one of the best online casino services on the internet.
It may not seem like you can make much money from simply filling in a few surveys. However, if you look hard enough, there are now a number of survey sites that offer reasonable sums for your information and opinions on products and services. It is just a question of finding them!
3. Matched Betting
Have you ever noticed that incredible welcome bonuses that sports betting sites offer new customers? What if we told you that there was a way of winning on these offers every time? Well, there is! It involves a few calculations and finding a rival bookmaker that is offering similar odds for the opposite outcome in a sporting event. Playing one bookie off against another might sound sketchy, but in fact, it is entirely legal and a guaranteed route to free money.
4. Review Music for Money
Do you love music and sometimes wish that you could help new bands get signed to record deals? If you sign up to sites like Slicethepie.com, you can! All you have to do is create an account, listen to tracks and give them a ranking depending on how much you like the song. You then receive money in your account for every band you review.
5. Trading in Domain Names
If you have a bit of liquid capital, you might consider buying and selling domain names. On sites like GoDaddy.com, you can pick up domain names for as little as $0.99. If you are perceptive enough and can see the way markets are going to turn, you can make a lot of money. For example, if you had bought a domain name for a cannabis site years ago in anticipation of legalization, you may be able to sell it for thousands of dollars today.
If you are strapped for cash, try turning to the internet for a bit of financial assistance. The online world is a veritable treasure trove of money-making opportunities. The ideas detailed above represent just the tip of the iceberg. With just a bit of imagination and inside knowledge, you can make a fair bit of extra pocket money to keep you afloat when you need it the most.
Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. The longer you’re in business, the more you’ll have to think about expansion. With expansion comes numerous risks and rewards. The following contributed post is entitled, Expansion Of Your Business: The Ideas To Think About.
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Starting your own business can be a really scary prospect for some, but the realisation that you have created something out of nothing is often a huge confidence boost. You may have seen your business grow from strength to strength, so obviously you may come to a point where you might need to consider some of the ways that you could expand. With that in mind, here are some of the obvious options to consider. Let’s hope it gives you the inspiration and push you need to take your at-home business to the next level.
Adding to your product range or the services you offer
One of the first things you could think about doing would be to add to your product range or the services you offer. This automatically opens up a new revenue stream and maximises your potential to make more money. It could be a similar type of product and service that already works well with your existing range, or you could even think about breaking into a new area and niche and trying something different. As long as things fit well with your brand your options could be broadened and, of course, the profit opportunities are endless. You could also look at the option of manufacturing your own products, and this might be something where you have to think about things such as industrial supply, tools and machines that could help bring the vision to life.
Storing stock elsewhere
Another option would be to maximise the sales you could bring in and store more stock. Of course, you may be limited to what you can have in your home, or within your current working area, but you could consider a warehousing option that could really open up the level of stock you could store and, of course, how much you can then potentially sell moving forward. There may be a cost to this, but compared against what you could potentially store and the amount of orders you could fulfill, it might be a worthy investment to help you expand your business.
Opening up a shop or showroom
A great option to consider would be to expand by opening up a shop or a showroom. This could really help you to branch out your business and take it from something you work on at home, into a fully-fledged public facing business. This could really help you to maximise your sales. You have a place of business that you could invite customers into, as well as having the option to store more and potentially sell more stock. A shop or showroom may have some costs such as a lease and you also need to think about the equipment that you may need.
Investing in your digital presence
Finally, everything is digital these days, so no expansion would be complete without you taking the time to invest in your digital space. That means making sure your website is up to scratch, your brand is on point, and your social media presence is good. So much is done online these days that if you don’t move with it, you can often be left behind.
Let’s hope that some of these tips help you expand your at home business.
Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Business is conducted much differently than it was years ago. As such as a business owner you want to make sure your operations keep up with the modern world. The following contributed post is entitled, It’s Time Your Business Started Keeping Up With The Modern World.
When you’re running any kind of business, one of the biggest challenges that you’re likely to face is that the modern world simply never stops moving. The modern world moves at a faster pace than any other time in history and attempting to keep up with it can be something that trips up a lot of otherwise incredibly skilled business owners. However, this isn’t to say that you’re always going to be stuck playing catch up with the rest of the world. Here are just a few things that you can do in order to make sure that your business is keeping up with the modern era.
Invest in efficient technologies
One of the best things about the modern world is that there is more technology available to business owners than ever before. Technology can be scary to some business owners but it the tech can make a huge difference to your business as a whole. The key is to figure out what the right and most efficient technology is for your business. From parcel lockers to specific software, the needs of your business are going to dictate the kind of technology that will benefit it the most. The key is to understand what you need and how to most effectively implement it.
Change your working methods
One of the biggest barriers to a lot of businesses is the fact that they often end up in a position where they’re stuck in the same few habits that they’ve been using previously, regardless of whether or not these habits are actually of any value anymore. Doing things simply because that’s the way that you’ve always done things is a huge mistake. Look at the working methods within your business and try to figure out adjustments that you can make in order to make it more efficient and allow you to keep pace with the rest of the world.
Streamline your business
A surprisingly common issue for a lot of businesses is trying to be too many things at once. Unless you have a great number of resources, there’s a chance that you’re not going to be able to handle doing everything. Instead, think about the kinds of things that your business does better than anyone else and focus in on them. By streamlining your business, you might be limiting your scope, but you’re giving yourself the chance to do those few things far more efficiently and effectively.
If you want to make sure that you’re always pushing your business forward and things are always staying as efficient as possible, then there is one thing that you have to be willing to do above almost anything else: plan. Without a clear plan for the direction that you want your business to go in, you’re never going to be able to get the most out of it. Trying to improvise and play things by ear when it comes to your business is a surefire way to lead yourself down to the road to disaster.
A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. We as a society incur lots of injuries and sometimes deaths a result of unsafe driving. Safe driving can make all the difference in our lives and those we’re sharing the road with. The following contributed post is entitled, The Ultimate Guide To Safe Driving.
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Driving in the twenty-first century should be easier than ever what with all the cruise control functions, automatic gearboxes, and advanced safety features. However, with increased levels of traffic and more ruthless individuals on the road, it can be a more daunting prospect to head to the grocery store in your car. To combat any hesitance you have about driving, you need to ensure that you employ safe driving tactics at all times. This means being a defensive driver. If you focus on everyone else on the road, potential hazards and you always stick to the speed limit, you can enjoy a fun drive whenever you put the pedal to the metal.
When out on the road, it’s better to go slower and reach your destination safely rather than never get to your destination at all. You must make sure that you take your time and stick to the speed limit to stay safe. Don’t be tempted to go just that touch faster because you are running late for an appointment. This could result in you getting into a collision or being pulled over by police. Set out earlier than you anticipate and mitigate for any potential traffic. Use a satnav with inbuilt live traffic updates to give you a heads up if congestion is building. An alternative route will then be suggested. Consider a dashcam from TDot Performance to ensure that your safe driving is evidenced should the worst happen. Utilize the tech on offer to help you drive more safely.
While you might be tempted to focus on your own driving, you need to consider all road users, including other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Everyone has a right to be on the road, so ensure that you consider their needs. Many cyclists have been injured because unobservant drivers have turned left without looking or have opened their doors without checking their mirrors. This shows a lack of awareness and can be detrimental to other road users. Remain aware and alert. Never drive tired. If you are sleepy, pull over, rest up and start driving when you are feeling more focused on the road.
While your car isn’t on the road, it needs to remain in a drivable condition. Do some fluid checks every month, such as oil dipstick tests and washer fluid level checks. Make sure that your tires are at the correct pressure and that the bodywork is free from excess rust. Keep a jack in your car and ensure that you have a red warning triangle, some spare oil and water should you break down. Ensure that you keep your break down cover up to date and have your insurance details in the glove box. By maintaining your vehicle, you can be sure of your safety on the road.
Being a safe driver means being defensive and thinking of your fellow road user. By following this guide, you can be a more confident driver when you next take to the road.
A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. Our mental health is absolutely critical to our overall well-being. It’s not something that can directly be seen but it impacts everything. It’s also potentially the hardest part of ourselves to fix once it breaks. The following contributed post is entitled, What To Do If Your Mental Health Is Suffering.
Your mental health is extremely vital when it comes to you being happy and healthy. If you’re having trouble functioning and are just trying to get by each day, then you may be suffering from mental health issues. The upside is that there is help available and there is hope for improved days ahead.
You must catch it early and take steps to feel better before your condition worsens. It’s a serious matter that you shouldn’t take lightly or ignore. You can experience brighter days ahead when you commit to healing and addressing what you’re going through head-on. Know that you’re not alone and that many people can relate and will understand what you’re going through.
Monitor Your Signs & Symptoms
You may not be feeling like yourself or right but aren’t sure why. Therefore, it might help to monitor your signs and symptoms so you can determine if it’s a mental health issue you’re experiencing. Write down what you’re dealing with and what has changed when it comes to your mood and desire to participate in activities you once enjoyed doing. It’ll help to identify what you’re feeling and what’s changing when it comes to your emotional state and behaviors.
Reach out for Help
It’s always a wise choice to reach out for help when your mental health is suffering. You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. There are many professionals and resources out there that can benefit you. You can find help based on your situation, such as seeking out assistance from the wounded warriors project if you were a service member and are now having mental health issues. There are also support groups for just about any type of condition you have so consider this outlet as another possibility when you’re struggling mentally.
You must take care of yourself daily and attend to your personal needs if you want to feel better. While this can be more difficult to do when your mental health is suffering, you must find ways to practice self-care. Eating the right foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all activities that impact your mood and mental health. You may be able to manage your symptoms more adequately when you make your well-being a priority and avoid overdoing it or putting yourself in stressful situations.
Confide in Trusted Friends & Family Members
You can also consider confiding in trusted friends and family members when your mental health is suffering. Open and be vulnerable so you can let others in and make them aware of what’s going on with you. While they may not be able to solve the problem, they can offer you support and comfort and listen to your concerns. They may also be able to point you in the right direction for getting the help you need so you can heal and feel like yourself again. Talking about your problems or mental state can take some of the burdens off your shoulders and help you not to feel so alone.
A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A key wealth-building strategy is the purchase of our primary residences. As easy as it may seem, finding our dream home is not easy. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Top Tips For Finding Your Dream Home.
If you’re on the hunt for your dream home and you don’t know where to begin then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’ve been renting for years or this is going to be your first house, you need to ensure you’re doing all that you can to find the right home for you. Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks you can bear in mind to ensure you’re doing exactly that. From setting yourself a budget to looking at all of your available options, the more you’re doing the easier the process will be. With that in mind, here are 5 top tips for finding your dream home:
Set Yourself A Budget
One of the first things you need to do when it comes to finding your dream home is to set yourself a budget, as this will ensure you’re not looking at houses that are out of your budget. Whether you’re thinking about the cost of the deposit or the monthly remortgage payments, you need to be sure you’re choosing a house that you’re going to be able to afford comfortably. This may mean taking a look at your overall budget, as thinking about the other costs you have is important. For a guide to creating a personal budget, you can visit this site here.
Look At All Of Your Available Options
When it comes to choosing your dress house, often it’s all too easy to look at just a few of your favourite options. Whether you’re saving yourself time or you think you’ve got your heart set on a property, you may be surprised if you start researching all of the options that are available to you. From looking further afield to working with different estate agents, you never know what you could find. For a great estate agent, you can visit the Lake Murray real estate site here.
Make Sure You’re Viewing Places In Person
Another thing you should make sure you’re doing when it comes to finding your dream house is to ensure you’re viewing all of your potential choices in person. Although it may take some time, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find when you do. For a guide to viewing a potential house in person, you can visit this site here.
Consider The Local Area
When you’re thinking about the perfect house for you, you may want to think about the local area too. Whether this means finding somewhere close to your child’s school or choosing somewhere that has great transportation networks, you need to be sure you’re choosing a house that is in the right location. If you daily to do this, you will soon start to resent the house you’re in.
Don’t Make A Decision Too Soon
Finally, you need to be sure you’re not making a decision too soon. Although you may find a house that seems perfect, it’s always better to take a break and think about it first.
With lots of great tips to bear in mind, you can be sure you’re finding your dream home in no time. What else do you need to do? Did we miss anything off of the list? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
The first principle of my life is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Financial Literacy/Money and Health/Wellness. Some people feel stuck in where they are, but there are changes that we can all make to improve our lives right now. The following contributed post is entitled, Make Changes to Improve Your Life Right Now.
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It is so important to make the most of things that can make changes in your life. You have to understand what it takes to make the right decisions in life and to try to make positive changes as much as you can. As much as you can do to take your life in a positive direction, you need to try to do now, and there are a lot of factors that play a part in helping with this.
Life can often not go the way you want it to, and this is why it is essential to make sure you plan and prepare for this. Try to do as much as possible to help you make the right improvements in your life, and there are a lot of things that can play a role in this. Here are some of the key changes that you can make to improve your life right now.
You have to make sure you do as much as possible to get as healthy as possible, and this is something you need to keep in mind as much as you can. Getting a healthier body and mind is one of the best approaches you can take in your life. This is something you need to make sure you focus on as much as possible, and there are a lot of ideas you can use to achieve this. Healthy eating and exercise are the order of the day, and they can go a long way toward helping you with this.
It is essential that you do as much as you can to protect yourself in your life right now. There are a lot of things you can do to achieve this, such as staying fit and healthy and buying health insurance. However, there might also be times when you need to make sure you take steps to look after yourself in other ways, such as hiring a misdemeanour lawyer to defend you if you need to be protected.
Take Charge of Your Money
Taking charge of your money is something that you need to make the most of right now, and this is something that plays a massive part in the process of making your life better. You’ve got a lot to think about here, and getting a handle on your cash is something that you need to work toward right now. Budgeting your money is something you are going to need to focus on as much as you possibly can, and this is so important moving forward as well. Keeping yourself financially comfortable is something that you need to work on right now.
Make sure you do as much as you can to improve your life and make the best changes you possibly can. Try to think about some of the best ways you can go about making the right changes to take your life forward as much as possible. Taking steps to try to look after yourself and take your life forward in a more positive way is so essential right now.
“How much money do you have saved in the bank? You ONLY have $2,000 to $3,000 saved? That’s NOT money!”
Before I start this story, I want to issue a warning to the “low attention span” people. This post is roughly 2000 words. Thus, if you can’t focus for that long, feel free to leave now go and read something else. I can assure you though that this is a fun and educational story with some very important points at the end. With that, I’m going to jump in.
Well it’s that time of year again, Father’s Day. As such, just as I prepared a 2020 post for Mother’s Day, I’ve prepared a 2020 post for Father’s Day. Like my first ever Father’s Day post on my blogging platform, this story involves a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, money and wealth building. As with all my Dad stories, this one made a lasting impression on me as I hope that this does for any readers.
In his prime and slightly beyond, my Dad was a force to be reckoned with, one which struck fear into me, even in my early 30s. I lived with him in New York State’s Capital Region during my postdoctoral fellowship which turned out to be an educational experience on several different levels. It was a surreal two and a half years in hindsight that forever changed me. Some of the changes were due to external factors while some were due to internal factors.
Just before leaving Ann Arbor, MI for the Albany area, I picked up Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad” book and discovered the worlds of financial literacy and wealth building; worlds I didn’t know anything about at that time. Most of my life I had my eyes set on being an employee. Reading about being and an investor and all the concepts associated with it was exciting. According to Kiyosaki, there were people becoming wealthy not by slogging off to work everyday and punching a clock, but instead by acquiring financial asset investments.
In addition to Kiyosaki’s books, I purchased a copy of his game, “Cashflow 101”, the electronic version. Unlike the board game version which you have to play with other people, I could sit down at my PC and play every night. The goal of the game is to get out of the “Rat Race” and onto the “Fast Track”. For those who have never played the game, you must choose a profession. The chosen profession comes with a salary, and a certain number of assets and liabilities. The cost per child varies with profession as well.
The game is realistic in that high income professionals like doctors, lawyers and airline pilots make more money than the janitors or the web designers, but they also have greater expenses and usually more student loans in the case of the doctor and lawyer. Take a look at my 2018 Father’s Day blog post which has a special significance for my brother, my father and me. That post coincidentally involving careers in medicine and law which Dad wanted my brother and me to pursue. Going back to the game, individuals playing the game must figure out how to generate enough passive income from their investments to pay all of their bills monthly and annually. This allows them to become financially free and moves them onto the Fast Track, and live the life of wealthy business owners and investors.
On the road to getting out of the Rat Race, in addition to getting the opportunities to participate in stock and real estate deals, participants sometimes also have children, have to purchase doodads (random expenses or luxuries which drain your money), and face unexpected crises like car accidents, all of which can act as financial setbacks. This forces players to think about their objectives creatively and still figure out ways to get out of the Rat Race. In terms of the game, I’ll stop there. It’s an intoxicating game, and it’s one that I highly recommend. Suffice it to say for now, that as I played and started learning, I started experiencing a paradigm shift and aspired to do the same things in real life, that I would later find was easier said than done. By the way, Dad saw me regularly playing the game and probably thought I was nuts.
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One of the things Robert Kiyosaki discussed in Rich Dad Poor Dad was real estate investing and I became interested in it. Some friends of mine in the area were also interested in it and turned me onto our local real estate club which I won’t name. There were monthly meetings where the President encouraged us to get into deals and to, take action. There were also big time real estate speakers like the land lording guru Don Beck, whose program involved putting your rental properties on cruise control and also creating rental leases that were as protective as possible for the land lords against the problem tenants.
Most of the club members were seniors in terms of age and my two friends and I may have been the only minorities there. Coincidentally an older woman, named Mary, agreed to mentor me. Mary had been in the game for a while and had already started acquiring properties. I think she had her Multiple Listing Service (MLS) certification and had the ability to search its databases. I met another younger guy, whom I’ll call Tyler, who also had the wealth-building mindset and was living it. We talked one Saturday during a field trip we took around our area to look at properties. Tyler turned me on to T. Harv Ecker’s book, “Secrets of The Millionaire Mind”, which is a short but good read.
Like our President, Mary also encouraged me to do my first deal and we started looking at properties in the Albany area. I recall once going into an empty brownstone and looking around with her near the Albany state capital where my research lab was located. We eventually found a duplex in the downtown area, with a flat roof and one tenant living in it already. Mary suggested that I could live in one unit for a little and rent the other unit out (owner occupied). Eventually I could move out and ‘cash flow’ the entire property. It all sounded cool and a little scary. I wanted to do it, but how would I do such a thing?
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For those unfamiliar with purchasing real estate, there are usually three critical items lenders want to see: employment history of some sort (especially if you’re new), your credit score and savings of some kind (over a series of months, not random gifts). Depending how savvy you are, you may be able to structure your deal so that you don’t have to pay the closing costs up front. I just barely qualified in terms of my credit score. It wasn’t great at the time, but it was just good enough. I’d only finished my Ph.D. one to two years earlier. I paid my bills on time, but I was over-leveraged credit-wise for numerous reasons which I won’t discuss here. Finally, I had $2,000 to $3,000 in the bank, but I knew that I would need more. Where would I get it from though? Enter Dad!
Now before I go on, let me warn you that this part of the story gets a little painful, but exciting at the same time. I could save this detail until the end, but it’s worth pointing out here. One of the things this experience (and others) taught me going forward was that while we are all physically living on this world together, we can all exist in different worlds and have different world views. Science is a world of its own. Salsa dancing is a world of its own. Writing is a world of its own. Real estate investing is a world of its own. Being an employee is a world of its own. Each world has its own unique set of rules and mindsets.
Dad was an employee and an excellent at budgeting and saving. He was also risk averse money-wise, and he had his own personal real estate experience that turned him against land lording forever. According to Dad, he once had a tenant in his lower unit, an older woman. According to Dad, he went downstairs to collect the rent one day, and the woman slid into a supernatural trance where her eyes rolled back and her ears pointed upwards. From that point on Dad never wanted anything else to do with real estate investing and land lording, no matter what the upside was.
I don’t know whether Mary suggested it, or by default I decided to ask him for a loan, but after much internal deliberation, I did and that’s when things got, how shall I say, exciting. I know my father and my ask lacked confidence. I was pretty scared actually. He didn’t say no immediately, but instead looked me with a blank stare and told me he’d think about it. I intuitively knew that instead of simple yes or no, it was going to turn into a long drawn out process, and Dad didn’t disappoint.
Dad did, in fact, think about it. His thinking stretched from days to weeks which for me was like death by a thousand cuts as one of my favorite YouTube content creators often says. He asked me questions about my investment idea often from the other room when I least expected them. In some instances, we were in the same room and he’d ask me questions about it with his back to me with no eye contact. Yes, I know it’s odd, but it was just how he communicated with me at the time. At some point I told him to just forget about it, but it continued.
“How much money do you have in the bank?” I don’t remember when in this ordeal that he asked me this question, but I just remember that he asked it. The question suddenly made me feel defensive, naked, picked over and violated. “The bank will want to know how much money you have!” Dad was right about this as I found out in the future when applying for mortgages and refinancing on my own. I actually uttered these same words in a money-related dispute with an ex-girlfriend; that didn’t go over well, by the way, so be careful in those instances.
“That’s NOT money!” Dad quickly and sharply declared with the precision of an assassin. His words were cutting, and I felt insulted and angry afterwards. I didn’t understand why this whole thing had to drag out like this, and I didn’t understand why we couldn’t just sit down and have a simple step by step discussion about why it wasn’t a good or bad idea. The thing I learned later though was that Dad was right.
What Dad meant by saying that, “$2,000 to $3,000 is NOT money,” was that it wasn’t enough money to safely do what I was thinking about. As in all cases, money is relative. There are people who don’t have $400 saved up and there are people who don’t have $1,000 saved up, so to those people, $2,000 to $3,000 is a lot of money. Speaking of $1,000, losing $1,000 can hurt if you’re not prepared to lose it, which I did when trying to do a real estate deal one to two years after moving to the Washington, DC area.
I want to tie up this blog post with my major learning points from this story. They are as follows:
• It’s best to invest safely: Whether you’re investing in real estate, stocks or something else, it’s important to do so from a place of safety. At the time of writing this, to me that means allocating funds strictly for that purpose separately from your essential expenses. This way, if the investment falls through, you’ll still have a place to live, food to eat, clothes on your back, etc. Investing is different from outright gambling, but think about how much more fun a trip to a place like Las Vegas is when you have enough money with which to gamble. Don’t invest your emergency money, the rent or the mortgage. This leads to my next point which involves friends and relatives.
• Be careful about involving the finances of friends and relatives in your business/investing ideas: From 30 plus years of being his son, I knew that Dad was risk-averse and didn’t play around with his money, but his not loaning me the money turned out to be the best thing for both of us because it would’ve poisoned our relationship, potentially beyond healing. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable around him, and it would’ve always been on his mind whenever he thought about me. If you have a money idea, I think the best things is to figure out how to launch it on your own, or until its far enough along for others to see the upside (and benefit for them). This way, if you take the loss, you take it on your own. If you are going to partner with friends or relatives, make sure you share the common vision and that they understand the risks. Finally, I’ve learned that when you’re launching an idea, whether it’s stocks or some other opportunity, savvy investors/partners are more likely to participate in your idea if they can see that you’ve already thought out and invested a significant amount of your own resources into it, unless of course you have an extensive track record of doing what you’re proposing.
• Real estate is a fun and potentially rewarding area, but a complex and dangerous one too: Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow 101 is a fun and educational game which to this day I highly recommend. It’s just that thought, a game played with fake money. The game is designed to expand and transform your mindset. Getting out in the field and taking action which most real estate teachers teach, is a different matter. Getting an investment property was a good idea, and Dad admitted that, if I recall correctly. However, not only did I not have enough of my own money in the bank yet, it also wasn’t clear if I was staying in the area.
Now let me be clear. Am I saying not to own property out of state? Absolutely not. There are investors who own property in other states or cities, and in some instances other countries. Most of them are experienced though. They have the systems in place to be able to do so, and in some instances, they’re partnering with other experienced and like-minded people.
Think about the martial arts. Dad was a Judo guy so let’s use Judo. The masters in martial arts dojos typically wear the brown and black belts, and one must practice and train hard to reach those levels after starting at the color white. Some trials and errors are involved in ascending to the brown or black belt levels which includes blood, sweat, tears, and being thrown to the mat innumerable times in this case. I would equate this to my lost $1,000 described above which I’ll revisit later on. In short, at the time of my asking Dad for that help, I was the equivalent of a white belt in the real estate dojo.
• Be careful who you share your dreams and aspirations with: Finally, I’ll just say that not everyone is going to understand your dreams and visions, so you can’t share them with everyone. This includes friends and relatives, and this is what Robert Kiyosaki meant towards the end of Rich Dad Poor Dad about finding new friends. Let me be clear in that this doesn’t mean discarding your old friends. It just means that if people don’t understand the world you’re operating in, have had a negative experience in it, or are just not like-minded in general, they may kill your dream. This goes for significant others and love interests as well. So, for your own sanity, be mindful.
So that’s all I have to say on this matter, and I hope that this was educational for someone. It was a bitter situation to go through at the time, but I can look back and laugh at it now. I can also admit that Dad’s response towards me helped me see things from a new perspective in terms of the world around me regarding personal finances, dating and mating, and finally, when being approached by friends and/or relatives to help them start their own ideas like coffee businesses, for example.
Thank you for reading my 2020 Father’s Day blog post. In the past I’ve listed my previous Mother’s Day and Father’s Day blog posts out, but this time I’ll simply refer you to the bottom of the cover page of my blogging platform where I’ve listed out select personal stories from my collection. To receive all the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site. Please subscribe to any of my four YouTube channels. Lastly, follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, on Instagram at @anwaryusef76, and at the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.