Career: 5 Ways to Beat the Poverty Mindset

I can’t claim to know how it feels to grow up in poverty

Neither do I understand the full ramifications of being poor. What I can speak on is my experience falling on hard times 2 years ago when I moved into a pokey single room in a house for 10 months in a deprived neighborhood.

An area where the homeless regularly rummaged through the trash

Where the mentally ill roamed around after dark yelling at the top of their lungs and middle aged men hung out on street corners smoking joints from dusk to dawn. The neighborhood was littered with greasy fast food joints, liquor stores and internet cafes.

A permanent odor lingered in the atmosphere and I’m probably stating the obvious when I say that most buildings were grim and defaced meaning there was nothing inspiring to see let alone encouraging for anyone to strive higher or make the best of themselves.

My Dad will be heartbroken to hear this; with due respect to him, he has always been more than a provider

The entire experience was humbling and I’m lucky as things could have been much worse. Still my number one goal was to move out and I’m going to explain why below. I thought twice about releasing this post as I know the mere mention of poverty makes people uncomfortable.

This article isn’t PC and I want to apologize in advance if I offend you I’m addressing this topic to help not hinder

Upon moving into my new residence in 2012, life suddenly felt bleak. More than ever I realized that where you live has a tremendous impact on your overall psychology and wellbeing.

Let’s keep in mind that whatever affects your wellbeing has a compound effect on your ambition:

  • What you believe is possible: your mindset
  • The decisions you make: your lifestyle
  • The standards you set: your love life
  • The level of education you receive: your career
  • What you eat: your figure
  • Your health: your lifespan
  • The size of your family: your finances


It’s difficult to get ahead and succeed when you’re fighting to maintain your peace of mind

You may not have a choice upon where you live and that’s okay but the regrettable decision is to resign yourself to a victim mentality, and use your disadvantage as an excuse for not getting anywhere or doing anything with your life. Is this easier said than done? Absolutely.

And this is precisely why my mentor, Vivien Rose and I have joined forces to bring you this open letter…

For ladies preoccupied with living an A-list lifestyle in a Z-list area code

Unfortunately there are 4 stigmas attached to poor areas:

  1. People are more likely to engage in vice behavior: fast-food, sex, alcohol, crime, drugs
  2. People unintentionally become like their surroundings: in one way or another
  3. People are judged on where they live: by employers and friends alike

4. Where you live is one of the most important factors: to determine the caliber of men you attract and keep

I wish I could put this less bluntly. You don’t need a palatial living space but please ensure the space (especially where you lay your head) is yours and yours alone. Keep the place clean, modern, tidy and inviting. I’m serious.

A level-headed young woman with several children living in a nice accommodation and a reasonable area, has a much better chance of getting a good job and meeting and sustaining a relationship with a Great Guy, than a single woman with no kids in a dilapidated accommodation in the hood.

Disagree? Leave a comment.

Again if you aspire to be successful across the board or wish to improve your ability to keep quality men (as most of us can attract them) you may have to seriously consider our points below. These are long term strategies not overnight solutions to leaving the poverty mindset well and truly behind – and I practice what I preach:

1. Stop buying and start investing

Living like you “Don’t Give A: DGAF: has never been so fashionable. I mean why plan for your future when you can have fun and buy whatever you want right now? At the end of the day it’s your life. Take a step back for a moment…are you hearing yourself? No amount of luxury clothing, alcohol, drugs, sex, fast food can compensate for a life without meaning.

In any case life is not exactly fun when you’re stuck in a rut going round and round in circles year after year and not moving forward. There’s a saying that, “No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, it’s never too late to turn around.”

From today take personal responsibility for your future

Start thinking clearly about where you want to be in 5 years time?

You have 2 choices

You can either continue wasting your money and keeping up appearances and forfeit your best future or start saving today, and build the right foundation for the future you deserve.

A man ready for commitment is looking for a help mate that has her life in order ideally a woman in her 20’s (older ladies are also desirable) with the potential to buy or at the very least rent a decent place with a car. And a woman that can afford to buy groceries, and maintain regular grooming habits before he even enters the picture.

Otherwise he will simply see you as a burden. Or in other words you may attract him but you won’t be able to keep him.

Nobody said this was going to be easy

2. Make the right connections

Life may feel gloomy in your part of town but that shouldn’t prevent you from connecting with progressive people online. Those doing what you want to do are sure to inspire you to dream bigger. You just wait and see.

Likewise Vivien suggested getting dolled up and making a habit out of dining at an affordable restaurant uptown once or twice a month. Not to pose but to observe. You’ll be amazed how such a small act can motivate you to want more for your life and adopt a different mentality.

3. Make a plan and stick to it

When you say you’re going to save X amount or achieve a goal by a particular date. Do it. Once you have made the decision to save, draw up a feasible plan to set aside a small amount of money each month. There’s something about having moolah in the bank that actually boosts confidence.

You’ll be less inclined to fall for the standard line men use (like cash, cars, fake compliments) to get into your draws and you’ll base your relationship decisions around qualities like character. On top of that, you’ll be able to live life on your own terms and invest in activities that can add value to you as a brand. Such as travel, starting a business and helping family members.

4. Get a job 

Society may look down on immigrants but there’s no denying they enjoy a high degree of success. Why? Because they’re not complacent. From the moment they touchdown in a foreign nation they have a ridiculous work ethic as their survival depends on it. So what’s your excuse? With an increasingly unstable job market we cannot afford to be too prideful to work in menial jobs while waiting on better career opportunities.

5. Move out

The psychological fall back of remaining in the inner-city will affect your state of mind and curtail any desire you have to strive for success in your career and love life. Yes there are exceptions but for the most part there’s no way around this.

If you want more in life then you will eventually have to move to an area which offers more and surround yourself with people that are doing more in their lives and enter an environment that speaks life into your spirit.

The good news is once you begin to stop buying and start investing (step 1) make the right connections for long enough (step 2) you will be inspired to make a plan for your life and stick to it (step 3) and figure out a way to raise money for your plans (step 4). Honestly once you’ve taken steps 1-4 the next logical step will be to move out of a deprived neighborhood altogether.

Your best future depends on it.

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Relationships: 5 Ways to Stop Dating Potential

Photo cred: @damnrottenkid How to STOP dating potential Not going to take too much of your time know you have a busy week ahead mama nonetheless this is a post worth checking out because if you’re an ambitious black female, maybe you’re aiming for a graduate degree or you’ve just been promoted at work; now your career is sorted you’re probably looking around wondering where all the good brothas … [Read More...]

Comments

  1. the story though…i needed this today on step 1 still finding my feet i’m sick of thugs so….

  2. Thanks Blackcitygirl

  3. you say you practice what you preach are u living in a good neighborhood yourself?

  4. Deronke Haz says:

    Thank you, for this.

  5. Katherine Myre says:

    I absolutely love this it is so true

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