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Friday, September 9, 2011

The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group Financial Seminar & Networking Event

Join the L.A.D.I.E.S. Group for our very first event....

A Financial Seminar & Networking Event for WOMEN ONLY brought to you by Executive Life Coach and founder of The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group, Niquenya D. Fulbright and featuring Chicago Tribune personal finance columnist Gail MarksJarvis.

When: October 21, 2011 5PM - 6:30PM
Where: Ing Direct Cafe
21 E. Chestnut Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Get Directions

Buy tickets now!

This 90 minutes of power-packed fun FOR WOMEN ONLY includes:

•Networking - Meet & greet other L.A.D.I.E.S. and exchange your business cards.
•Learning - Get inspired and educated by Gail MarksJarvis, an award-winning author, TV commentator and personal finance columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
•Eating - Enjoy a number of delectable treats, fine wine and other beverages courtesy of Drinks On Me Catering.
•Winning - Attendance includes participation in a raffle with amazing prices you won't want to miss!

Get your tickets today as space is VERY LIMITED for our first event. Don't miss out on this exciting networking opportunity and educational event! And in keeping with The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group's mantra to "Share the Wealth!", a portion of all proceeds will benefit the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago's Income Initiative.

Buy tickets for The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group Financial Seminar & Networking Event

Can't attend but still want to contribute?

You can give to the United Way by mailing a completed Pledge Form along with your donation to:

United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
c/o Niquenya D. Fulbright
560 W. Lake Street
Chicago, IL, 60661

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact Life Coach Niquenya D. Fulbright for additional details!

This is a women only event! Please note that absolutely no refunds or admittance to this event will be available to men. All ticket sales are non-refundable after 10/11/2011.

About The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group:

The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group is a free, public, virtual Facebook group for women to Learn About Debts, Investing and Economic Strategy. Our mission is to create a safe space for women to gain control of their economic station by becoming financially literate, savvy savers and strategic investors. Facilitated by Executive Life Coach Niquenya D. Fulbright, the group is moving burdens through the promotion of economic self-sufficiency. For more information, visit The L.A.D.I.E.S. Group on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Financial Confessions

Financial freedom involves being honest with yourself and others about your financial situation. If you avoid taking a good look at your saving and spending habits then you risk falling into a downward spiral of economic despair. If you pretend that you have more than you really do then you put yourself in a position where you can fall into the trap of living beyond your means simply to keep up with the Jones'. Almost everyone has some guilty pleasure that is preventing them from reaching that pinnacle of prosperity that defines their own economic success. The longer you keep your financial situation in the dark, the more you allow yourself to sink into the abyss of economic destruction. It is time to gain control of your finances by facing your situation head on; thereby, successfully destroying any roadblocks that stand in your way to prosperity.

Because I walk the walk and not just talk the talk, I am going to share my own financial confession and subsequent wake-up call. Yesterday, I drove to work ($14 to park), bought Dunkin Donuts for breakfast ($6.49) and ordered delivery from the local pizza place ($10 after tipping the driver). I spent a total of $30.49 in one day simply because I was being too lazy to walk to the train or prepare my meals at home. Now what if this were typical of every day (and I'm embarrassed to say that it is more often than I would care to admit), then I would have spent over $600 every month and that is not even counting the gas money I eat up by driving.

Now let's look at the other option. My monthly transit pass is $86. Last night I purchased instant oatmeal packets, cereal bars, a box of teabags, cold cuts, cheese slices, a loaf of bread, Miracle Whip, a family pack of chip snacks, cookies, and a box of Capri-Suns for a total of $36. Combined with my other groceries already in stock at home, this should last me at least 2 weeks so we can safely say $72 worth of groceries for just breakfast and lunch would get me through the month. $72 in groceries plus $86 in transit is equal to just $158. So if I did the smart, responsible thing and both took the train in to work as well as brought in my meals, then I would save well over $400 every month which can either be put away in my savings and other investments or redirected to pay off credit card bills, loans and other expenses that are accumulating interest.

So I ask you, what is your financial confession?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Believe, Achieve, Receive

This morning as I drove into work in my new-to-me Toyota Rav4, something amazing hit me. I had spoke and willed my ride into existence. Seriously! The power in thought and words is immeasurable. I had been dreaming of owning a small truck for a very long time and had even wanted it to be forest green. I told everyone that one day I would have it and now I do and it is exactly as I had imagined years ago. But it wasn't just the thought and words that brought my dream into fruition.

Words are powerful. In fact, a great deal of the Bible talks about the power of the tongue as a double-edged sword and the effects words can have on our lives. We are cautioned about how we use our words with one another from early childhood because of the impact that they can have. An entire revolution sprung forth after the book/movie "The Secret" highlighted the benefits of the law of attraction. But something very critical was missing in that movie.

My thoughts and words by themselves are very powerful indeed but in order for me to fully realize my dreams, I had to also be moved to action. Because I did want a new ride, I chose to believe that I would get it but then I also performed the necessary steps to make it be. I started reviewing and revising my credit history in case I needed a loan. I began saving specifically for the vehicle and I launched a search to begin pricing vehicles. Then I went out and test drove my options until I was ready to make a purchasing decision.

I share this with you because not too often do things really happen on a wish and a prayer but many of us walk around with our heads in the clouds thinking this to be true. I know that I have often dug my hands into the hope chest - hoping my dreams would come true.

The truth of the matter is that no matter what your dream is, it is probably achieveable; but, you have to DO something to make it happen. To ensure that your wildest dreams come true, you have to set your B.A.R.

B. Believe that it can happen and speak it into existence.
A. Achieve by creating an actionable plan that you consistently work on completing.
R. Receive all the fruits of your LABOR!

Your level of engagement, or how high you set your B.A.R., is a direct indication of how fast, if ever, you will make your wildest dreams come true. I set my B.A.R. really high and have yet to be stopped.

Choose to continue sifting through the hope chest or become unstoppable. Really, it's your choice!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Two Cents on Higher Education

In order to make and have more money you need a good, quality education. But what does that mean? Many people are concerned about the rising costs of higher education. Afterall, tuition costs have risen by almost 50% in the past decade alone. College graduates remain in tens of thousands of dollars in debt long after they finally secure that coveted "great" job, that is if they even are successful in landing that job in the first place.

The problem here is that one must understand the difference between education and a credential. An education is an in-depth understanding and gaining of knowledge, concepts, skills and practicuums that will help you to accomplish something whereas a credential is a sort of social sign that you have achieved a certain level of accomplishment. Think about this: Bill Gates dropped out of school where he would have earned a credential and became a business owner where he grew his education. Running your own business and diving into real-life experience is the best education that there is. Does Bill Gates need the credential to prove his value? Absolutely not!

Does this mean that quality education isn't important? Absolutely not! You must have a quality education in order to be taken seriously. This means that you must possess the necessary knowledge, understanding, concepts, skills and practicuums to do the things you want to pursue for financial gain. You just do not have to follow the traditional pool of thought that success means you go to school, get a good job, buy a house, and have a family. That might not be your idea of success and, let's face it, may take way too long to help you out right now.

So what do you do? Your education can come from experience (open your own business, shadow someone doing what you want to do, etc.), reading good books, attending seminars and workshops and many other ways. The bottomline is that you do not have to go broke in pursuit of a credential that few people will even care that you have if you are able to prove that you have the knowledge, skills, and understanding to practice.

Using myself as an example, how many of you have asked me what my qualifications are to run my L.A.D.I.E.S. group on Facebook or this blog? How do you know that the information I am providing can be trusted? The same goes for my coaching practice. I have coached close to two hundred people by now over the last decade. How many times do you think I have been asked for a coaching certification? I have provided consulting services to dozens of businesses and have lectured and trained at dozens of organizations. How many of them have asked me for a college degree? The truth of the matter is that this has NEVER been asked of me. And I just last year graduated with my BS in Technical Management and just became certified as a Christian Life Coach four years ago.

My education came from reading, doing, observing and living. Knowledge is power and the best education is a cheap but quality one that allows you to dive in fast. Afterall, does it make sense to go into debt in the several tens of thousands of dollars for a credential that will only allow you to secure a position that makes maybe a third of that in the first year? Absolutely not!

My advice: think about what you really want to do and then find ways to learn how to do it without the credential. If there is no way to get around the credential due to legal issues, (think doctors or lawyers), then find the cheapest and fastest ways to get the credential so that you can start earning faster and amass wealth instead of debt.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

So it's a new year and a new me. I've started off this year with a whole lot of changes, many that went into effect last year but I am continuing full-force with them this year.

First, I am back in school full-time pursuing my MBA in E-Commerce. This is a bit of a change because initially I was all gung-ho to get my next accolade in Psychology. I'm also considering adding a CPA track to my MBA pursuits depending on how I can work in the extra accounting courses. As it stands, I should be in good position to finish up by September.

Second, there is a new man in my life. We actually started dating in the summer of 2009 but since we made our 1-year anniversary last August, things are heating up to something serious. Pretty sure I have landed my husband. It is true what they say, once you stop looking, you find love. I definitely wasn't looking and he found me. Yay!!! I am truly blissfully happy.

Third, I made a super serious huge decision to reenter the corporate workforce. I've been self-employed for so long that this transition was very dramatic. Don't worry! I am still working my own businesses as a life coach, mediator and all of the other services that I have been sought after for. My priorities have just changed a little to require that I have more regular, consistent, "guaranteed" income. I was lucky that I found a really great position at a well-known nonprofit agency. I get to use all of my skills, continue learning new ones and help people while doing it! I think for the first time ever, I might actually LOVE my job. The compensation isn't too shabby either.

Fourth, I am on a super savings kick. I am stacking dollars from every income source. If you know me by now, then you are very aware that I am a strong believer in multiple income streams. So yes, I have my full-time gig, my coaching and consulting business and this year I am also preparing individual income tax returns. I needed somewhere to grow all that loot I'm making so that I can set myself up for the long-term and acquire some assets I've been looking forward to (a new car and house are on the agenda). Of course I pay myself first through my job's retirement plan and taking advantage of as many pre-tax deductions as I can via flexible spending accounts and such. But I am also beginning to invest on my own using my Ing Direct Sharebuilder account so I am the proud owner of several shares of stock which are already working to increase my income and net worth. I am also sharing a lot of what I learn about building wealth in my L.A.D.I.E.S. fan page and group on Facebook.

Finally, to be on a traditional New Year's resolution mode, although I'm really not calling it that, I have a goal to lose a LOT of weight. My boyfriend is helping me out by being my partner and competitor in our own Biggest Loser type competition. You can check on my progress by taking a look below or at the new widget in the top left of this blog.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

So in a nutshell, 2011 promises to be an interesting journey for me. I hope it proves to be just as fruitful to you as well.