Becoming A Millionaire, While Black

 It took me 3 years to earn my first $1,000,000.

In the following 12 months, I did $1,000,000+ cash collected in the calendar year.

And that next year, my personal net worth exceeded $1,000,000.

I did all this by the time I was 30.

I’m the definition of New Money: Those whose wealth is recently acquired rather than inherited; the nouveau riche.

I come from parents with high school diplomas, who worked hard, employed under two to three jobs, doing their best to make ends meet. My grandmother and aunt played a huge role in my upbringing, raising me for the latter half of my adolescence.

Even though I never had anyone sit me down and teach me about money, I knew from an early age what poor money management looked like. That was enough for me. I didn’t know how to go about it but I knew, first hand, exactly what NOT to do.

Sometimes knowing what not to do is even more valuable than being told what to do.

Being from (metro) Detroit, we are the land of the “get it how you live” and the home of the hustlers. From lemonade stands to making money selling mix-tapes in middle school, to buying knock-off Evisu jeans and shipping them down to my cousin in Alabama to sell them where they were in demand, I’ve always been about the Benjamin’s.

I was an average student, applying myself in the classrooms I really enjoyed but learned how to play the game to get by. I went off to college on financial assistance and student loans — come to find out, that stuff runs out eventually. I found out the hard way my senior year of school when I received an email stating that either I was going to have to come out of pocket or not be able to enroll in my final year of classes.

My goal at the time was to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering so I could get a good job with good benefits and a good salary. My mindset was either Plan A or Plan A. There was no other option because I was my safety net. No one was going to bail me out. No one was going to send me money to cover this “surprise to me” tuition bill. It was my only option.

This started my true journey into entrepreneurship. Sitting in my college apartment with Law & Order SVU playing in the background, within 7 days, I launched a website, purchased my initial order of retail products, secured my EIN # and retail sales license and l launched my first business, Love Struck, an online clothing boutique. Long story short, within 12 months, I made over $50,000, paid off my last year of tuition, bought a Ford Fusion cash, took a trip to Thailand, and shut the business down. #MissionAccomplished

I graduated with my degree in Civil Engineering, a minor in Mathematics, started my career as a Pipeline Engineer and you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t living the American dream.

Shortly after being in corporate America, I realized how messed up the game really was and that I wanted a life that was better than good. The idea of working for the same company for the following 40 years, receiving an annual salary increase of 3–5%, just didn’t add up. The budget that my desired lifestyle cost and the amount of money I forecasted for potential earnings wasn’t matching. I was exhausted with code-switching in the workplace, dealing with micro-aggressions, and deflated by the lack of representation in roles black and brown folks held in higher-level leadership positions within the company. I was grateful for everything God had given me, but I wanted more.

This desire for something different, this urge for something bigger, this deep internal knowing that my contribution to the world existed beyond my current career was the birth of my second entrepreneurial journey. I started publishing live stream videos sharing my perspective and the rest is history in the making.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve coached over 1,000 experts, helping them repackage their existing expertise and launch ethical high ticket group coaching programs organically.

I’m sharing this with you as proof of what’s possible.

They sold us a dream but baby, we are coming for the real thang!

No more “what-if scenarios”. We want the game plan “how-to’s”. No more solely relying on prayer in the spirit. We are here to fully align and apply the prayer with the practical here in the flesh. No more false hope of what could be. We are here to reclaim and obtain financial independence.

My articles here will be the unwritten rules that no business book written by a white man will ever tell you.

I’m not saying I’m exempt from privilege — I’m a light-skinned woman who fits the mold of Western beauty standards commonly accepted within society which comes with its own set of advantages — we all are born with different sets of privileges.

I’m writing here to document and share how I’ve personally navigated (and what I’ve taught my clients how to navigate) the margins, that space between breathing freely and silently suffocating due to improper understanding of how to maneuver the system.

Keep up with best business practices for online coaches over on Instagram.

Listen to my podcast, Jereshia Said, for deep-dive discussions on building a profitable coaching business.

 — for insight and lessons learned on the #FinePrintOfBeingaCEO.

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