FIRE RANT: Media Covid Fatigue

Is it me, or is covid getting played out to death by the media?  It seems like every day the various news media cycles thru the same handful of ideas or information.  Covid cases seems to always be on the rise despite all the vaccinations, social distancing, and mask wearing going on.  There’s 100 new variants out there.  Appears that every time we report that the vaccinated population increases a new variant is discovered.  Then we get some conflicting information and or instructions released that don’t make sense.  One expert will say that its okay to not wear masks if all parties in area are vaccinated but then in same week, we get news that fully vaccinated people have died.  The covid cases will be increasing in an area the same week that mask mandates or other rules are relaxed.  Trump was a lot of things but maybe some of the things he said about the media was right.  Media likes to grab and hold onto our attention and best way to do that is to pray on our emotions.  This can be done by providing conflicting information and instruction, making us fear by hearing about deaths and news threats, and make us relieved when we hear about increased availability of vaccinations and people vaccinated.  We basically go thru a stage of being relieved, scared, confused, and angry.  For months now I’ve been glad to be occupied with work because the small sound bites I get from TV and CNN aren’t too helpful.  I would recommend protect yourself from infection, making safe choices, and keeping your head down until this is over.

If I Ruled the World: Mass Shooting Silver Bullet

Seems like we have mass shootings now weekly.  Whether they are confrontations at parties that result in bodies being dropped, random encounters at stores, or retaliation from workplace incidents.  We’ve almost gotten used to them.  We know that folks are going to send thoughts and prayers, create hashtags, and that congress isn’t going to execute any substantial legislation that brings about change.  If I ruled the world there are several things I would recommend.  First, I would prohibit the sell of any military grade or mass assault style weapons to the everyday person.  Whatever lists that currently exists that civilians can’t purchase over the counter, add military and or mass assault weapons to it.  Second, I establish psyche evaluations that registered gun owners would have to take every 3-5 years.  If person fails the evaluation and gets flagged for sketchy answers they have to hand over their guns for 6 month period.  They would only get them back after passing a psyche evaluation.  Third, I would limit the number of guns that someone can own.  Probably isn’t a reason for someone to have 10 types of guns just to pick a number.  Fourth, any time someone purchases a gun they need to pass a background check.  If they don’t pass, they can’t purchase anything.  Fifth, registered gun owners would have pass background check every 3 years to maintain gun ownership.  Lastly, if someone is reported to authorities for specious behavior and or accused of planning a mass shooting that person shall lose their guns for designated period of time.  Additionally, they must pass psyche evaluation.  I must admit I don’t have much experience with guns, I’ve held one in my hand several times.  Got to shoot one a several times back in a college ROTC class with terrible aim.  However, that’s where my experience stops.  The above actions recommended prevents mass assault style guns from being sold over the counter, requires passed psyche evaluations on regular basis for gun owners, limits the number of guns someone can own, requires background any gun purchase, requires registered gun owners to pass background checks every 3 years, and takes away guns from specious people temporarily.  Maybe some of these laws exist a less useful forms but this is what I would do.  Again, the ideas are listed as bullet points below.

  • Restriction the sale or military grade or mass style assault weapons for over-the-counter purchase
  • Require passed psyche evaluations on regular basis for registered gun owners.
  • Limit the number of guns someone can own.
  • Require background checks on any gun purchase.
  • Require registered gun owners to pass background check on regular basis.
  • Take away guns from people reported for specious behavior temporarily.

Business 101: Multi-Task Work & Play

Its common knowledge that no one can work or play all 24 hours of the day.  I believe its healthy to have time to destress and relax daily.  Whether your relaxing task is exercising, praying, watching television, partying, etc. it’s critical to find something you enjoy.  However, we must be mindful of how long we spend taking a break.  Now if you are a person that simply wants to work your career for 30 years than maybe it doesn’t matter if you spend your free time every day doing random tasks.  However, if you have other aspirations, I advise on finding ways to multi-task to get make time for your entrepreneurial endeavors.  For example, when exercising on a bike, treadmill, or elliptical you could read a book, business plan, or your business emails.  If you are binge watching brainless television you could write articles for your website, create social media posts, and or update your website.  I myself, am writing this article as I have Lovecraft Country playing in the background.  Last night, I did something similar.  Another thing you could do it multi-task two or more of your daily obligations that have nothing to do with your business.  I do a lot of cooking at home so what I often do it cook and consume television at same time.  This allows me to focus on business tasks more when I’m done cooking because I’ve already had my fix of leisure activity.  Main thing is to remember that while somethings in the world are black and white, there are shades of grey that can be leveraged to make time for work and play in our lives.

Business 101: You Want Your Own Business, Work On It

Many people want to be rich, be their own boss, have ownership, celebrity fame, and the list goes on.  However, how many people actually do anything beyond running their mouths?  Folks sit on dreams for years, decades, lifetimes and die without action.  It isn’t enough to claim what your goals are.  Nor is it sufficient to simply write them down or pray to God for them and walk away as if your part is done.  A to do list isn’t action and God isn’t a genie that just grants wishes.  There’s never a perfect time to do something.  Folks prioritize what matters in their lives.  We have our jobs near the top of our responsibilities because it represents our income that supports our livelihood.  People will deal with poor treatment, discriminations, and disrespect at their jobs that they won’t tolerate in their everyday lives.  They will brave weather conditions to get to work that they pass on when it comes to church or errands.  When an emergency happens, we find time to shift our significances in our life.  If we have a crush on someone, like them, or they have something we want we make time.  Why can’t we apply that to our personal dreams and ambitions?  I’m not talking about working a full second job in addition to your 40 plus hour a week career.  I’m saying that if you want something you need to find time within the 24 hours to continually work on it.  Maybe its 30 – 60 minutes in the morning before you leave the house, lunch time at work, or at night after everyone is in bed.  Trade some of that brainless Netflix time or social media surfing for your business.  No one said it was going to be easy and desirable to create a business.  However, if you don’t take action no one else will.  If you have an idea and don’t make time to work on that’s YOUR FAULT!  There are single parents, children, and less than perfectly healthy people that create businesses everyday.  Figure it out or hold your peace.

FIRE RANT: RACISM Has No FACE!

Another day, another racist incident at Starbucks.  Within the past week or so a female customer called a black employee the n-word because he tried to enforce the company mask requirement the lady wasn’t following.  What makes this incident even more disappointing is that the white woman had at least one kid with her that was biracial indicating she had sexual relations with a black man.  When bystanders pointed this out the lady admitted it and still didn’t have regrets about hurling the n-word at the employee.  We already know that having black friends, employees, teammates, and idols doesn’t prevent black people from getting disrespected and called out of name by white person.  However, a white person having sexual relations and conceiving with a black person doesn’t mean the person doesn’t have hate in their hearts.  I guess that’s no different than what the slave masters and former presidents (shout out to my uncle George Washington) did hundreds of years ago.  What kind of lasting damage is going to be done to a child that grows up with a toxic parent like that?  What caused the lady to act like?  Did the baby’s father do her wrong tainting her views on blacks and or is she just trifling?  What makes this situation even worse is that when I tried to look up the incident to put the lady on blast, I couldn’t even find the article easily because this has happened at Starbucks multiple times over the years!  If we continue nurturing and bathing children in hate our world will continue to suffer the racism illness.  The punch line of this article is that a non-minority having bi-racial or ethnic kids doesn’t mean that someone isn’t racist.  Hope everyone can sleeps better with that reminder.

Business 101: Keep Track of Business Expenses from Day 1

As I started getting serious about my various business ventures, I made sure to note on my personal finance spreadsheet what expenses were business related and even gave them a different color.  If you have expenses from multiple businesses, you will want to track them separately as well.  For example, I have a sheet for U-prayer that tracks the costs for the website domain, g-suite email account, and monthly podcast costs.  I also have a tab for fantasy block where the cost to create the LLC, develop the app, website domain, g-suite, trademarking fees are all tallied up.  Tracking costs allows you to quickly see how much money is being spent on all your businesses.  Maybe you decide that when looking at your costs versus benefit that you want to discontinue one of your businesses.  Or maybe you use the sheet for tax purposes to remind you of what documentation or receipts you need to find.  Lastly, tracking your expenses allows you to potentially factor those costs into your break even and profit margin point for your product or service.  Along with tracking business costs I would recommend trying to funnel the purchases you make thru a PayPal dedicated to the company which would require you to register the business with the government.  If you don’t think the business is serious or proven enough to make it a corporation or LLC than I suggest dedicating a personal credit card to the business that you seldom use.  This will create another avenue for you to have decent documentation on your business transactions.  Of course, you could ignore all this advice and just chose to waste double or triple the amount of time digging the bank and credit card statements looking for past costs.  Do you self a favor and do track your business expenses right the first time.

FIRE RANT: Make Your Inputs Make Sense

One thing we can all improve in is making sure what goes into us aligns with what we are trying to be and accomplish.  For example, if we want to keep putting crappy food into our bodies, consuming alcohol, and doing drugs we shouldn’t expect to be in elite physical shape.  Nor would we expect to lose weight with that kind of behavior.  You don’t put fish in your oven and expect hamburgers to come out.  Our inputs and outputs should match.  Another scenario would be if we were trying to quit a bad habit like removing bad language from our vocabulary.  If we want to stop cussing it wouldn’t make sense to listen to bad music that will subconsciously get into your mind.  Probably wiser to listen to clean music or no music at all.  Or if you were recently released from prison and wanted to avoid going back there’s certain actions you would take.  You wouldn’t want to hang out with a bunch of folks that are presently committing crimes because that probably increases the likelihood that you get back into the life.  Sometimes it’s best to step back and look at what we are trying to get as an end result from a situation and work backwards to reverse engineer the inputs.

Business 101: Screw the Instagram Marketing Gurus

One thing I would advise not to get worked up over is all these folks on Instagram that claim they have the follower and or like secret.  Most of these folks with hundreds of thousands of followers are frauds unless they are a real celeb, athlete, and or sell actual products/service.  If someone’s biggest claim to fame is being Instagram relevant walk away.  All you must do is look in their comments section to see what’s going on.  If someone’s follower to comments ratio is way off that’s indication of bought follows.  For example, if someone has 20K followers but can’t consistently get 100 likes on their posts something isn’t right.  Another indication of bought followers and likes is when you look in their comments section and the same 15 people post on every time (and they post multiple times) and half the times their remarks make no sense in relation to the content. Or maybe the comments will have a bunch of spam remarks (forex trading, conspiracy theories, etc).  Full disclosure, I’ve bought followers instantly to see how it works and you can literally by 50, 1000, 10000, etc. in less than a few days.  Once you realize the game that’s being played it liberates you and allows you to just make content without pressure of who’s going to follow or like it.  If you take nothing else away from this article remember this, if someone’s only claim to fame is being Instagram marketing relevant look somewhere else for help.  Take your butt online and look around for marketing assistance from people that do it in real life.

FIRE RANT: SICK of PARTISAN POLITICS? ME TOO!

Like most people I was somewhat satisfied to be blessed with another stimulus check on the way that would allow me to continue paying off debt, generating wealth, and investing in my entrepreneurial desires.  Additionally, I liked how the new bill provides support for small businesses and communities that need funding.  However, I was not in impressed to see that the bill only passed because my Soror, Vice President Kamala Harris, broke the 50-50 split with her vote.  I need the government to set better examples and to show the collaboration and compromise we teach are children at home and school.  The same negotiations that trade labor unions, athletes and owners, and employees at corporate America work thru should be displayed by the countries supposed “best leaders”.  Nobody is truly all conservative or all progressive with their views if we are being honest.  Congressional leaders are so scared to lose their position in office that they use group think at every turn which isn’t healthy.  Maximum benefit can’t be created in a negotiation and agreement when one side or person pretty much can push thru what they broadly believe independent of the other side.  I believe that fair deals where both sides get something, they think is important creates the best overall result because you stay away from extremes.  Rarely, is the extreme of anything the best decision short or long term.  Whether its food, sex, fun, work, or rest too little or too much of any of those doesn’t breed accountability and desirable results.  Why do our politicians think its acceptable?  Maybe the current system as it exists is too fear based to allow people the heart to speak their conscience without being censured by their party.  If that’s the case, shame on us for not demanding a more bias-less system.

Sports BLITZ!: The GLASS Ten, I Mean Big

So, I’m not a big NCAA fan regardless of the sport but I do passively pay attention to the Big Ten schools based in Illinois given that I grew up in Chicago.  Needless to say, I took notice that Big Ten had an extraordinarily strong conference for Men’s basketball and had record number of participants in the tournament.  However, my enthusiasm subsided as I saw teams get eliminated one by one like snowflakes in the summer.  I don’t care if some of the losses were good old fashion butt whippings.  The results were embarrassing.  They scream fraud, soft, and underachievement.  To have over 10% of the field be occupied by Big Ten affiliated teams and only have 1 team make it to the 3rd round or sweet 16 is a joke.  Have some pride!  Some of these fools were low single digit (highly ranked) teams like Ohio State and Purdue who didn’t have enough self-respect to make it out the first round.  Maybe Michigan will keep advancing and cover for the sins of their brothers.  UM probably needs to make it to final four to save the conference from ending the year with egg on their face in my opinion.  Additionally, Michigan has the chance to punch Alabama in the mouth in route to claiming a final four spot which would avenge what happened in football season to Ohio State during the college football championship game.  We shall see what happens.