I thought being a millionaire would solve all of my problems.
I was soooooooo wrong.
Being a millionaire AMPLIFIED how very poor I am.
Hear me out… Please.
I don’t mean poor like sleeping on the streets, individually poor. I mean generationally poor.
If you have money but the people you love don’t, through no fault of their own, being a millionaire feels like you ain’t ____.
I am not talking about guilt or imposter. I’m talking about the utter helplessness one feels realizing just how much we DON’T have as a People.
Making millions put a spotlight on three very important factors.
1. While I had money it wasn’t enough to take care of my bloodline. Meaning, I could buy gifts or give money but I couldn’t buy life insurance in enough time to save my cousin’s life.
Or pay the astronomical hospital bills each year for my goddaughter who was born with a week immune system.
Or pay for my grandnieces and nephew’s college education enough though they were honor roll students.
I had “money” but not the kind of money that could impact the quality of life of the people I love in any way but superficially. #ThatHurts
2. I didn’t know enough about wealth acquisition to account for the built-in expenses of having money. Taxation and Inflation eat millionaires for breakfast.
As a millionaire, I’m in the 40% tax bracket. That means for every one dollar I earn, Uncle Sam AUTOMATICALLY takes 40 cents. Do you have ANY idea what it feels like to make one, two, FIVE million dollars and forty percent goes away?
Yes, you can do tax write-offs but the useful write-offs are reserved for the Trumps, Elsons, and big corporations of the world. For small business owners, EVERYTHING becomes a write-off just to try to lower your tax bill. But it’s a fine line between being “smart” or being criminal.
While you are turning over every rock to find a legitimate write-off, expenses keep going up. Each year you make money, each year you have to pay more for the same thing or service you had last year. Now you have to raise your rates, which you are loathed to do because it feels like passing the buck to your clients. So you don’t. Now YOU have to take a pay cut to make sure your team gets paid.
3. Working hard and alone. All the profits I made from my company went back into the company to grow it. And it did. But even with a team of 20+ amazing people, I STILL was working 60 hour weeks. And I eventually became sick.
So I dissolved that business and created a new one.
The new one is not dependent upon my labor. It’s designed as a “we” business instead of a “me” business.
It’s leveraged and scalable because it’s rooted in technology instead of sweat equity. I’ve built in a self-referential ecosystem so that the different constituents (I.e., content creators, equity partners, potential investors, and “sister keeper’s” affiliate opportunity, etc.) are monetarily rewarded.
If you want to learn more about my digital platform that is designed “for us and by us” go here: http://venusopal.com/reveal
I firmly believe that if we as a People are committed to generational wealth, we will have to do so collectively instead of individually. I don’t simply mean “buy Black.” I mean create, fund, and own our own infrastructures. Technology adds the speed.
But it takes cooperation.
Jay Z has a song, “Family Feud.”
The music video is directed by Ava Duverney and stars a who’s who of Black celebrities. It starts in the future and works it’s way backward. One of the lyrics states, “What’s better than one billionaire? Two/Especially if they are the same hue… Nobody wins when the family feuds.”
If we are committed to generational wealth, we can only achieve it by healing the distrust and generational betrayal we have acted out on each other from slavery to the present day.
I’m willing to heal, build and grow with you sis.
I’m willing to fund a digital platform that features Black Women content creators to provide you a safe and inclusive space to connect, grow and heal.
I am also willing to be the first and take ALL the risks so we as a People have a business model that is PROVEN and can be modeled for generations to come.
The real question is this, sis: Are you?
Are you willing to support Black Women in business the same way you support red bottoms, or lace fronts, or Netflix? Wherever you spend your money is what you support.
I know you don’t see it that way.
I didn’t either until I started to see how much we spend with very little awareness about how powerful our buying power is. We build markets, fund trends, as well as source other races’ billion-dollar valuations (think Clubhouse) but not our own.
But we COULD.
So, I ask you, sis are you willing? I’m not asking for a knee-jerk yes that sounds good in the moment but isn’t really thought through. Please read this entire article again so you truly comprehend what I am asking of you.
(I’ll wait. Long pause.)
Do you comprehend the depth of my “are you willing” question?
Your actions will be your answer.
So…we will see.
I love you.