Dream and Hustle

With Financial Woes Ahead, Stay Resilient, Not Frustrated.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

We are looking at indicators that the financial outlook is going to be grim for the first half of the 2020 decade. We cannot pretend or ignore the economic lockdowns/lockout in addition to a societal disruptive pandemic is not a huge devastating event in our lifetime; it is. The government printing money to hand out stimulus checks and creating moratoriums on evictions, student loan payments, and mortgages were only buying time.

The US Fed is showing only a sharp GDP increase in 2021 and predicting smaller GDP increases in 2022, 2023 – this means we going into a period of stagflation. This is due to uncertainty about the global supply chain backlogs and the future of the pandemic in years to come. There is all kind of shortages from the chip shortages to natural ingredients stalling production. We are also seeing global tensions in trade and diplomacy.

Looking locally and observing on the ground, I’m noticing more and more lines of people visiting pawn shops trying to sell anything to get their hands on some money. I drive by a weekly motel that used to be $35/day or $125/week a few years ago, they want $350/week, no daily rates. We see more people in their 50s and 60s getting evicted from apartments and quietly living out their vehicles or in a homeless shelter. We see a lot of young adults just paycheck-to-paycheck surviving by gigging and can’t really save up the right kind of money to hit that next level.

During these periods - I and this blog lived through several of them, people get a case of anxiety and frustration at the horizon ahead. People are in their mid-careers worried about being laid off and some people wanted to start a business or plan a family but financial uncertainty is destroying all of this right now. We cannot do this anymore, we know financial stuff like this occurs in our society and we got to have better plans, like right now.

In this article, we are going to talk about being resilient and ready. There is no time to cry anymore and no time to be sleepless worried about losing income and if you can keep a roof over your head. Instead, we need to prepare ourselves for whatever and plan our lifestyle to enjoy the world right now while preparing for anything that comes our way. Here is a list of things that were mentioned on this blog before that you have to keep in mind about being resilient for the uncertain future ahead.

Keep a Cool Head.

When things go bad, it goes bad real fast and it’s one thing after another coming at you quick. Late bills coming at you, utilities cutting off, nasty past due letters showing up, and you trying to balance what little money you got for rent, food, and personal hygiene, and things get stressful. Then you see everybody acting crappy from that low-wage job to friends and family who now judging you and talking behind your back about your situation.

This time, the best approach is to keep a cool head. Don’t panic, if bills are due and it is not the electric or light bill, it got to be cut off. You can find free Internet somewhere and you don’t need streaming media subscriptions to anything. I have always downloaded a huge music collection to listen offline on my non-connected audio players like my old school iPod or Sony Walkman. Also, have a DVD collection and DVD game collection where I can go totally offline and enjoy some entertainment. Be surprised how peaceful life can be when you have a small portable radio listening to a smooth jazz station while making hot soup from stock.

Learn to react decisively by cutting off bills, setting up future payment arrangements, cutting off trifling people in your life you don’t need around right now. Never freeze, maintain a list of things to take care of, and scratch off your list every day as the action you have taken to fight the situation.


Change Your Lifestyle.

Let me say something that’s going to bother some sistas – as a proud Black man, you sistas are the first ones I get rid of and suspend during economic downturns. You sistas keep looking for materialism among us brothas instead of who can maintain when things get rough out there. Always want to go out and eat, want to be seen wearing Gucci and stuff, don’t want to take public transportation or ride a bike in the park or go to the beach and relax – just always high maintenance and this Black man don’t got time for that when the global financial situation taking a downturn. 

Being resilient means being able to upsize and downsize as needed throughout your life – the ability to date someone shallow and stuck up in Buckhead or Johns Creek around Atlanta when things are good to falling back on a 2nd generation American on Buford Highway around Atlanta when things are getting rough and you need someone solid. It means having that Range Rover when it’s good to downsizing to a very used Ford Escape when things go bad. Eating at the Crab Boil spot when it’s good to eating Jack Mackerel out of a can when things go bad. Have that kind of flexible mindset to be both rich and poor on demand but true to yourself always.  I have learned to enjoy biking, road trips, reading e-books, swimming

Stop Following Charlatans.

You are an idiot to be in 2021 listening to a certain person talk a bunch of garbage and nonsense. I didn’t realize there was an actual name until China defined it – toxic celebrity fan clubs. These are those losers grown Black men following Tariq Nasheed and Po Light or we got people talking about they part of the Beehive and stuff like that. The only person you should wake up and follow in 2021 is your own destiny and journey on the path to your destiny. No one should be telling a dumbass idiot this in 2021, seriously.

Follow real experts. Real experts don’t need your chicken scratch money like Boyce Watkins and Umar Johnson or Po Light be begging from you. I don’t need your chicken scratch either by the way, I can get real money from affluential people and global faceless corporations around this world with my expertise and skills, that’s what real professionals do. Your job is to know what you want then follow the real pros who got Discord Servers, Reddit subgroups, books, PDFs, YouTube channels and you take all that information and apply what’s important to you.

Learn how to cook and preserve food, learn how to perform a new job skill or pursue certification, get on Clubhouse and listen like a fly on the wall on professional conversations. Leave the charlatans alone and stop giving your money to them, you stash every dime you got because you going to need it as wealth inequality grows among the haves and have nots. 

Consider Your 401k and Pension Plan.

This is a common problem in the past economic downturns – there were folks who had $800k in their 401k set to retire then the economy hit and they end up with only $300k to $400 with a massive wipeout and cannot retire or don’t believe they can and they get depressed.

Had they moved that money into a cash IRA/Roth quickly when they saw the early signs they would have retained the majority of their retirement funds and even if they did an early withdrawal would still have retained more than what they lost by keeping it there.

Most of you have a good amount of money in your retirement and let me be honest – that money ain’t worth much when you actually become old folk. You need to consider using that money right now while you in your 50s and 60s, even a small percentage of it can be used to get you somewhere especially in an emergency to cover right-now situations.

Let me explain something, don’t ever regret investing in yourself using your retirement because when you get old, I don’t think getting some 401k and pension payment is a real reward in life, keep your financial situation resilient and pursue opportunities right now. Some of you can pull everything out and start a new life in Latin America or Thailand like a lot of people are doing right now and enjoying their right-now life.

Transition Everything to Liquid Assets.

Do not purchase anything except state-of-art or top-of-line products. Only buy Louis Vuitton and above, do not buy Coach or Gucci as they do not hold their resale value. Purchase items that you can liquidate at a pawn shop at a good price or pawn as leverage when you need emergency funds. The best things from my understanding are video game consoles, laptops, power tools, luxury bags that should be top of the line, in great conditions with the original packaging and receipts.

I have discovered this early on in Tokyo, I was wondering why the Japanese had top-of-line cameras, watches, electronics and if you go to used spots like Book-Off, the used items are in original packaging and good condition. That’s because it allows good trade-in prices and uses that money to buy the next luxury item at a discount.

I would avoid items like used luxury cars like Range Rover HSE and stuff like that because they depreciate and too much maintenance and cost of upkeep. Brothas, focus on building up a nice used watch collection with stuff like Omega, Tag Heuer, Rolex, and Sistas, focuses on building up nice vintage and used luxury purses like Hermes and Louis Vuitton, and Versace. Get nice cameras like Sony mirrorless when you see one even used at a pawn shop. All of these items can be quickly pawned for enough money to last an emergency.

Focus on Digital-First Hustles

We are in the golden age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. You can create a full business model on a serverless cloud platform and work from anywhere in the world. This is your biggest resilient plan and transition you away from depending on a job. 

You can create data hosting centers to move digital bytes through your servers for a fee – you can set this up in your living room right now. Your kid's multi-player video game pushes more data than what you can make a lot of money pushing through your personal Internet pipeline in your house. You can run services like managing coupon codes, storing media assets to display on local advertising signage and management membership club status, and more. You can run this kind of personal cloud service as a digital-first business.

You can also focus on creatives such as being a digital content producer, appropriating shallow, short-lived clickbait stories from cornball content platforms like Blavity, and creating more professional, polished package content to distribute and sell on major platforms. Make soundtrack music, create paid podcast productions, perform video and audio editing for people's social media pages, and more. All of this you can do either as a side hustle or main hustle.

We are in a new era where it is a lot of open horizons opportunity to create digital-first media companies that produce, license, and distribute content. Also, the opportunity to host and perform services on data at both streaming and at rest with encryption, backup, syndication, and more with live streams and backup hosting especially with all this ransomware going on.

Not the Time to Get Frustrated, Time to Prep

In the past when money started getting tight, our people did everything from selling their bodies to settling for bad relationships out of economic gain. We cannot be doing desperate moves in 2021 and we see some problems on the horizon.

It is always a good idea to become resilient and that means you get started today, right now to prepare yourself for any headwinds. As the article indicated, be flexible to upsize and downsize on demand and get rid of people and influences that trying to hold you to a certain lifestyle standard. You need to be able to quickly switch from being in a studio apartment eating fish out of a can to driving in an EV to a luxury apartment based on how the wind blows. You also need to have assets on deck to swoop in and always get money on your table by pawning the Tag Heuer, pawning the Louis Vuitton, or selling your stash of Morgan Silver Dollars on eBay.

This time around, we got a lot of options. The major problem in the past was our people were so caught up following charlatans who they were making rich while they were personally going broke faking like they were doing good. We don’t do that anymore – too much opportunity out here to do things on our own by learning from the experts and handling things right. Get your plan together and focus on being both resilient and progressive at the same time.


Ed Dunn

From Chicago West Side to Worldwide