We have all heard of riches to rags celebrity stories.From Mike Tyson to Nicholas Cage, these stars prove that poor financial literacy can lead to insane amounts of debt and massive PR recovery. The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines financial literacy as, “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being.” With the popularity of entrepreneurship and uprise of creatives, it is no surprise that financial literacy is a must-have skill.For many entrepreneurs and leaders alike, this skill is not only crucial but essential for long-term success.
Whether you’re a millionaire or just beginning to build your savings, your financial wellness affects various aspects of your life:
Your Drive: There are many surveys that reveal finances are among one of the most impactful stresses to employees and entrepreneurs. HR reports found that compared to many external factors, financial stress is the primary reason for decreased work performance. Money can be stressful, especially with the burden of debt and an increasing anxiety surrounding changing political tax policies.
One way to curve this financial anxiety is to plan. Set aside a few hours to set some financial goals. Do you want to be debt free by 2020? Sit down, look at your finances, and plan.When planning, think about the sacrifices you need to make, even If it means not going out for an entire year.If it means picking up a part-time job, indeed.com always has some good leads.When planning set smart ( specific, measurable attainable, realistic, timely), daily, weekly and monthly goals to help you get there. Once you have a plan, you can now spend time working on your brand!
Bonus Tip: YouTube has an array of financial wellness videos. While you’re saving money by staying in, check out some financially savvy experts on YouTube.By watching them achieve their goals, you can gather some mid- 2018 inspiration.
Your Skill Set: My parents taught me how to file my taxes in high school. Granted, I wasn’t making a ton then, but I was able to gain this skill set and pass on this knowledge.Y’all there is something powerful about being able to hold a conversation about investments, stocks, and national fiscal responsibility. It’s impressive to approach your bank teller and be able to tell him exactly what you need. Once you take hold of your financial literacy, the world of finances becomes less intimidating, as you approach every situation with courage and excitement.There is an abundance of free finance courses on the interwebs. Explore these opportunities and use your knowledge to serve your company, partners, brand, and community.
Your Credibility: Remember the riches to rags celebrities? After filing for bankruptcy, these celebs had to start from scratch; rebuilding their tarnished brands and credit.The queen of Neo-Soul Lauryn Hill faced jail time and a PR storm when she failed to pay taxes.For months the media painted her as greedy and dishonest.When it comes to your finances, your brand can not afford these mistakes. Your credibility is essential as an entrepreneur.When potential investors are doing their research, they want to know if you’ve been accountable with your resources.To avoid making these mistakes, educate yourself on your professional tax responsibilities and prepare yourself for any potential hiccups.
Your Impact: Let’s talk community.Recently, my town underwent significant redevelopment.I became furious as my neighbors and friends unable to afford their childhood home; as longtime landlords gave community elders notice; as the place, I once called home felt less and less like one.When discussing this with my mom, I expressed how someone needs to help those being taken advantage of.She responded with, “You could help if you could buy a house, or community center right? You might want to work on those finances.” Despite it being a low blow, it was also a major wake up call.My passion lies in bringing justice to the disadvantaged and marginalized. But with the way my bank account is looking right now, I am not in the position to help someone in need,
Memphis GreenSpace recently bought two parks with the help of local attorneys and City Council. The public parks used to be home to two confederate soldier statues. To many, these figures symbolized oppression and America’s dark history of slavery. After several denied requests by the city to have the statues removed from the public park, Memphis GreenSpace bought the parks and, removed the statues.We live in a world where money speaks louder than words it should.
To make a difference, you must acknowledge that money is a driving force that creates change and impact. So for your brand, company, and community, it is imperative that you begin to refine your financial literacy skills.
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