Dream and Hustle

How to Stay Black and Strong in 2021

Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020 was an awful year; many cannot wait to get 2020 behind them. There were some good things in during the year of COVID-19, but it was mostly bittersweet. The truth is, too many bad things outweighed the good during 2020:

Goals and Plans Derailed. Many people had big goals canceled due to COVID-19 shutdowns and travel bans. I had significant plans I had to cancel or place on indefinite hold. A lot of people had to experience heavy setbacks due to events beyond their control. This setback can be devastating for a person who has goals to see them crushed.

People Died of COVID-19. It was frustrating seeing people dying or almost dying of COVID-19. Real people lost relatives, friends, lovers, and associates. Even worse is that people cannot attend the funeral to show respect and had to be limited attendance members. It was alarming to see conscious people just being labeled a goner and moved to triage to die while giving the existing ventilator to someone else who may have a slighter better chance to live.

Relationships Strained or Severed. Long-distance relationships in COVID-19 made people realize they are in virtual relationships and not real relationships. A lot of lonely people, single people, found it harder to meet someone quality. Married couples who probably never spent time with each other regularly now in the same house hating each other and arguing. I have been in situations where I saw a fine woman at the grocery store, but we blocked ourselves from further physical/talking interactions and had to keep it moving.

Businesses Diminished or Shut Down. I heard from a pundit the best example of what we experienced in 2020 regarding the local economy. We saw city mayors playing with their local economy like a kid playing with a light switch turning it on and off with no concern about the implications. A hyper-massive layoff of the service sector, especially in the club and dining venues, was devastating. Many businesses had no cash reserves to carry on for a few weeks and had to close, the owners in debt with their commercial and vendor invoices.

Travel Restrictions. Many people who had travel plans to visit places or do business overseas got canceled. It was not just casual travel – people who needed to visit relatives or attend to business affairs disrupted.  While some of us did more staycations and road-trips, those getaways were ruined by clowns who don't want to wear masks and crowds of people at popular spots like the Grand Canyon. Cities started banning other people from other states in a petty fashion.

Courts Closed. Not able to have access to courts is a big deal. Courts being closed allowed people and businesses to act like civil fools engaging in torts and liability actions. A lot of people had to languish behind bars as their court date pushed out. People could not get business licenses, wedding licenses, gun licenses, get divorced from their ignorant-acting spouse – it was like people can act any way they want, knowing the courts are backlogged.

Polarized Election. The 2020 election-year was full of negative ads and negative statements, and we saw corporate media lying and presenting fake news to push their agenda. Social media was toxic and adverse as well. Everything was attack messages instead of politicians and media collectively figuring out how to help people get through a pandemic and faltering economy.

People Showing True Colors. We discovered who our friends and foes are. We saw many people we worked with at the job site, people we talked to during breaks go ghost on us when we started working from home. There are people you helped in the past now turning on you when you needed their help. Ed Dunn dealing with former stuck-up/funny-acting chicks in Atlanta turn 180 trying to mack at him and his stacks. Then you see Black media showing their real colors - focused on getting Black people to vote for the Democrats than create solutions for Black folks out here struggling.

Only Option: Go Harder Than the Situation You Facing

As a Black person in America – the only option you got is to go harder than the situation facing you. I know some of you grew up on some weak-ass side of town, but if you from the West Side of Chicago, you had no choice but to outsmart, out-maneuver, and outdo everything around you to survive. That means illegally cutting the lights back on at your girl's apartment after the electric company cut it off to waiting in the car outside the corner bar to strike first on someone you heard plotting on you by your female neighbor you also hitting. But the best move you can make is prepping yourself for whatever, and don't be surprised by anything.

You know what we are facing in 2021, so I don't need to explain that to you. We will have an unemployment crisis, food crisis, pandemic crisis, a housing crisis, and a mental illness crisis with people making dumb, irrational decisions out of desperation. These crises are more prominent than me and you- nothing can be done to stop the inevitable.

The only thing you can do is go harder than the crises and take hard action to stay on top of handling whatever is coming your way. I'm going to provide you with a list of strategic moves that you must do right now and during January as soon as you wake up from that New Year celebration. Here are the quickest decisive things you should be doing right now.

Begin Asset Liquidation. Begin to declutter your home of stuff you don't need. Either sell it or give it away to charity. Have only things you need or the minimum. Being decluttered will allow you to have an open space environment to think more relaxed instead of being in a messy space messing with your mind thinking of a master plan. Convert as much as you can to cash, even if you have to sell 1/3 of the value. Review your 401k if you have one, as it should have made you money in 2020. Consider taking a loan out to have some cash on hand versus trying to get some money from your 401k after things hit the fan because it may be too long, too late.

Create Asset Hedges. This is very important – only purchase two types of things. Generic basic brands off Amazon and high-luxury resale items. Only buy real Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Buy investment-grade gold and silver. Buy only Tag Heuer and Rolex. You want assets you can hedge for a short-term loan or resale at near cost. Sneakers are not asset hedges because the buyers are not solid wealth – people who want used Rolex are solid wealth and it will always be a demand.

Cancel Unneeded Bills. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Spotify that charges $14 a month adds up to $60/month is a serious monthly bill – get rid of it. Your real 2021 goal is for you to have a bill-free or low-bill footprint for your peace of mind and freedom. Personally, I got several streaming services, but I watch YouTube all the time in my real life. Focus on paying only on things that impact your credit score if you care about that.

Cancel People. This will be the most challenging choice, but you have to cut out people who do not bring you joy but bring nonsense in your life. I had to get rid of a woman I knew for 15 years because she kept bringing less than the best I deserve out of a relationship. Family can get cut off if they are not supportive and understand the gravity of 2021 impacting all of the bloodlines. If you are trying to be a mogul or run an empire, you got to learn to cut out and let go of people, even those related or personal to you.

Cancel Social Media. Delete social media in 2021. Only use social media to transmit your business communication to potential customers. Social media engineered to use your personal information against you to sell advertisement impressions. Just use social media for your business operations and leave it at that. Too many people use social media to argue and get emotional; avoid these weak people.

Stop Budgeting and Start Ledger Entries. Never manage your money using budgeting or constraints. You are a natural human being and be free to do what you want. You focus on a ledger review session each day by seeing and analyzing how you lived your day and how you spent your money. Your real goal is habit change, not restricting how you spend your money. Understand what you do, where you go, your spending impulses, and log it as an activity. Learn to change your activity to doing other inexpensive things or replacements – that's how you live out your life, not focus on a budget.

Stop Following Charlatans. This is the biggest failure of the current Black young adult generation. The young Black adults are following Black Internet celebrities who are charlatans promoting get rich schemes or relationship counseling sessions or training courses. This 2021 situation we are facing is too severe to mess around with clowns.  Surround yourself with real people, real experts who are genuinely at that next level or genuinely headed in that direction.

Invest in Yourself. Continuous knowledge for your peace of mind – learn a new skill. Learn to cook for yourself. Learn to recycle and refurbish things. Watch tech conference presentations on YouTube. Learn a new language. Read and take notes. Keep focusing on prepping yourself for the next big opportunities that you seeing coming in 2021.

The strategies I just provided to you are good enough to get you a baseline and motion to make decisions. You need to continually adjust and make decisions and create action and keep working. Even busy work like cleaning and maintaining your house to keep your mind focused on always solving something is essential to train you to always to be ready to put in that work for yourself. If you feel or see coming down or potential, you create a preparation plan even if it is some paranoid thought in your head – don't be surprised by anything and trust your paranoid thoughts in 2021.

The Black community has made many miscalculated steps and will have to pay the piper. Black folks want to front when artificial intelligence comes for Black jobs, Black spaces, and Black culture.  Watch some corners in the Black community turn into data hosting centers or distribution warehouses – Black folks not ready for gentrification by robots. See, it's stuff you haven't even realize or have the capability to think ahead of what 2021 is going to have in store – better take care of yourself and make hard decisions because that's the only option you got going for you. 

Contributor

Ed Dunn

From Chicago West Side to Worldwide