Poetry Month: I Lost A Friend Today

I Lost A Friend Today

(Whispers) It’s late, it’s midnight. If you’re up… wow, you’re a night owl too. Great to know.

In honor of it also being National Poetry month, I wanted to share something of my writing with you, if that’s all right:

I lost a friend today
when I spoke my truth
or was it my truth
or just a ruse?
A ruse for anger?
A ruse for pain?
I don’t think it matters
the friendship is slained.
I lost a friend
because I couldn’t smile
and nod my head
knowing all the while
the choice she was making
would be a huge mistake.
And the words I chose
were enough to break
10 years of trust
10 years of secrets
10 years of laughs
10 years we’ll now forget.
I lost a friend today
today, a friendship I lost
I ask myself repeatedly
was the truth worth the cost?

YES! You Can Raise Your Fees

Yes, You Can Raise Your Fees

Girlfriend, listen. If people are willing to pay $119 for an annual membership of Amazon Prime after it went up about $20 a couple of years ago, you can raise your fees too. I’m speaking from a small business owner stance and as someone who pays that damn $119 fee to Amazon every year.

The first thing we grapple with as huslters and business owners is fear. The fear that if we raise our prices or fees, we’ll lose customers. We’ll lose the clients we already have. And if that’s the case, how will we get more?

Breathe. As I’m going to let you in on a little secret: that’s okay. In fact, if we lose clients that don’t want to pay us what we’re worth, that’s completely fine. We only want clients that can afford us. And this isn’t my bougie self talking (although she’s known to make guest appearances). What is the point of improving our talents and skills, taking workshops and seminars, doubling down on our business if we have to settle for a client base that’s only looking for the best bargain prices?

Fact: cheap clients are the worst! They hate to pay and they love to complain. Kick them to the curb. We don’t need them.

Truth: the latter half of last year, I did away with varying my travel fee for my notary business. Instead of trying to offer what I thought was fair to my notary clients based on how close they were to me, I offered one flat fee across the board. About 90% of my notary clients are same day clients. And they’re usually “how soon can you get here” clients. Meaning, I’ve gotta stop what I’m doing or rush through it, GPS myself to their location and fight traffic along the way. Lowering my travel fee was unfair to me. So I stopped that and I feel so better that I when I leave my house, I’m leaving it for the right dollar figure.

And you know what, business has never been better. December 2020 was my best month as far as income from clients and March 2021- last month- was my best quantity of clients month.

Truth: I had a client this month, last week in fact, who called me on Easter asking for same day notary services. Because it was Easter and he was asking for same day, right now service, I charged him $15 more for travel. Easter is a holiday for me, even if it isn’t a holiday for my clients. He replied back asking, when I gave him the full quote, was that the best I could do. And I was firm and said yes. When all was said and done, he said I was the most pleasant person he’s worked with. So, yes, he “hired” me, he paid me the full amount of my fees and has my business card for future services when he’s ready.

Yes, go ahead and raise your fees and blow yourself away (as in, impress. Need to clarify that statement). You might find that was the best thing you could do for your hustle or business.

Count Your Money

Count Your Money, Honey!

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it took me more time than I care to admit to learn to count my money in front of clients. I know this probably seems strange to admit, but it’s the truth and if we’re going to keep discussing all things financial and educational this month, let’s talk about counting our money. Especially in front our clients.

It was a tip my mother taught/told me a while back. She said whenever I got paid in cash, count my money right there and then. Don’t even assume someone paid me exactly what I told them it would be. This isn’t to make everyone out to be crooks and liars, but the moment you get paid for something, it stops being a hobby or side project and becomes a business. And if you’re going to make money in a business fashion, you need to show up as such. That means counting every dollar, and knowing the total you’re owed for services rendered.

The first time I counted the cash of a client, he didn’t even move until he knew I had exactly what I told him my notary service would. It didn’t embarrassed him (as I thought it would) and it didn’t embarrassed me. If anything, counting my money right there in front of him assured him I was, indeed, a business woman about my business.

Listen, I even confirm the payment of clients who CashApp, Zelle, PayPal or Venmo me. I don’t leave their sight until my phone has vibrated or dinged confirming I have received the funds.

Count your money.

Good money management, especially for side hustlers and business owners is not being afraid to manage your money, especially money coming in. And don’t be afraid of making anyone else feel uncomfortable that you do so. You want to be taken seriously but you also want to take your finances seriously.

Count your money.

Personal Finance is Just That….Personal

Personal Finance is Personal

I want to dedicate this month to talking about all things money in recognition of it being Financial Literacy Month.  And as we continue to make talking about money openly and honestly less taboo, let’s jump in with personal finance.

And let’s also remember that when sharing our personal finances journey… it’s personal. Personal in the individualistic sense, not hide it away in shame sense.

My personal finance journey won’t look like yours and yours won’t look like mine.  Our debts don’t look the same, our savings don’t look the same, our investments don’t look the same, our income doesn’t look same and our financial goals aren’t the same.

Personal finance is literally personal, tailored to our our income, our expenses and our spending/saving habits.  So don’t feel like you need to compare yourself to others you know or multi-millionaries who are further along in their personal finance journey.  On the flip side, don’t feel like you’re stuck in your journey either.  You change directions by changing your habits. A journey, after all, is about momentum, progress snd moving forward. 

Let your personal journey always be moving forward to where you want to be financially.

Psst – It’s Also National Poetry Month

It’s Also Poetry Month

(Whispers) hey! You still up? For all my writimg hustlers – authors, screenwriters, copy writers, novelists and of course, poets… let me share a littlr of original work with you in honor of it being Poetry Month.

There’s such a pain

from a lively loss

that no truth could’ve paid

for its higher cost.

No marks on the body,

no scuffling of feet

just a broken bond

when two sister-souls meet.

No love is “unconditional”,

we always take measure

when unwanted words take flight

it endangers what we treasure.

It gives pause to questions

that were never, ever asked

it casts shadows of doubt

of something insidious being unmasked.

I dare not ask

for the pain is too fresh

what happens to those two sister-souls,

what becomes of their flesh?

No longer bonded,

no longer bound

are they still sister-souls

or extras in the background?

Thanks for letting me share!

Grant Us: L.A. COVID Relief

All right ladies and yes, my gentlemen. There is a new COVID Relief Fund granting small businesses in the Los Angeles area business grants starting at…$10,000. That is free money, does need tk be paid back!

The grant opens today and the window to apply ends April 11th, so don’t waste time pondering if you should or should’nt apply. Whenever there is free money out there for your business, you always should apply.

A few stipulations for this grant as you’ll read when you visit their website. You must be brick and mortar business. You online business, this one is not for us. Trust me, I feel your pain. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other grants out there. But to your fellow business men and women and colleagues, here is their chance to get the much need small business relief they desperately needed.

In addition to being a brick and mortar, to be eligible for this grant, your business needs to be the personal service or retail space. Think nail salons and or anything to do with selling goods out of store. Yep. This grant is for you.

The grant opens today and closes Sunday. Don’t hesitate. Apply today: lacovidfund.org.

Hello, Hustlers. It’s Financial Literacy Month!

Welcome, Financial Literacy Month

April, the month that Congress dedicated to help all Americans learn more about personal finance is Financial Literacy month.

I like to think of it as get your money right, month. And the best part, it’s still early in the year so now matter what kind of hiccups you may have already experienced, we can get everything back on track. Fix the budget, create a budget, separate business expenses from personal expenses, creating a spending plan and my favoritest one of all… paying yourself.

So, we’re gonna talk things that matter about money to hustlers. Sit back or chime in. Together, let’s drop some knowledge and make it rain!

I See You

International Trans Visibility Day

I think it’s been interesting that we’re ending the month on a day of visibility, in light all the STUFF going on in our little ol’ chaotic country right now. I’ll just be happy to get through the remnants of the pandemic and know what our new normal will look like.

With that being said, I steer away from topics that can lead to divisive commentary. There’s enough hate, there’s enough ignorance and there’s enough closed-mindedness that I refuse to engage just to give someone else a reason to be upset or mad. Gurl, I ain’t trying to be mad, I’m trying to build my emergency fund, establish a travel fund, upgrade my standard of living, pay off my student loan debt and help those I can along the way do the same. I have no time for being divisive.

I did come across a newsletter in my inbox that talked about today’s celebration of Trans Visibility Day (awful segue, I know) and something disturbed me – as a person, as a hustler. There was a commentary piece in there trying to persuade those who believe in only binary genders and sexes that there was more than those two. Let me fast forward – we can disagree and still be supportive. We can see things differently and still respect one another. This whole notion that I am wrong and you’re right and now one of us doesn’t deserve human rights or to be treated like a person, I’m over it.

Do you know how many hustles that be created by any given one person, depending on their skill set and background? All of them would be legit as long as they’re above board. I say that say one than one opinion can be valid and we don’t have to be each other’s throat to prove the other wrong. Let’s agree to disagree and STILL support one another! Still validate each other. Still treat one another with kindness, dignity and respect.

Trans people, I see you. I don’t have to agree with you to see you. But, I see you. You have my allyship and support, because we’re all people out here…

HUSTIN‘!

Yo, It’s National Equal Pay Day

National Equal Pay Day

It’s National Equal Pay Day today, ladies. And gents, you can get on board this too. But ladies…hey! Not that this is the only day or chance we have to tell the world that we should get paid the same as a man who does the same work us, but to also a chance for us to set the example.

I’m a firm believer that we, as women, should get paid our fair share and that all starts with having an open and transparent conversation about money. But we got to be the example to ourselves and for other women around us.

To my lady business owners, when you hire other women, negotiate fairly their compensation package. Men business owners, pay the women what they’re worth. To my lady side hustlers, charge a fee worth your time and knowledge and don’t worry if broke clients don’t want to work you. Trust me, you don’t want those broke clients either. They are just headaches ready to explode. You want clients that won’t bat an eye when you tell them your fees. You want clients that won’t b*tch and complain when you raise your fees in accordance to inflation and the cost of living.

Oh, their Amazon prime subscription went up, they still paid it but they dont want to pay you. Tell them to get to steppin’.

I had someone reach out to me for notary services last week, and they needed services like pronto. He also need to travel to him and he was like a 30-45 minute drive from me. So when I gave him the overall fee and broke down the charges, he told me I was too high for him. You know what I said? “Okay”.

I’ll be damn if I’m going to negotiate my fees, especially for an area I don’t service or for an immediate service request. I didn’t get his business but it didn’t mess up my money, because I already had an appointment booked with another client later on in the day. And I didn’t have to deal with a broke client’s foolery. Because I hustle. And I’m good at what I do.

I’m good enough be paid what I’m worth, my fair share. Get your equal pay ladies. If you work hard, get paid right.

And to all the men who are allies, thank you.