Friday, October 19, 2018

Financial Freedom Literally Changed My Dna.

December 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Money, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( When I left my job at Syracuse University, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All of us can be nervous about going out on our own, like a 4-year old who takes off the training wheels for the first time and is no longer being pushed by their parents.

Ironically, I found out two interesting things about myself on this journey.

First, I found that freedom is a paycheck in itself: I love not having to take orders from anyone, working from home, taking naps in the middle of the day, going to the movies when the theater isn’t crowded, etc. That’s better than money.

Second, the money is a lot better, and the upside is far greater than the 4% raise that I might have gotten from my old job (they didn’t give me many raises, since I was technically a “trouble maker” at Syracuse after my fight with Bill O’Reilly).  By making the right deals, or finding the right market, you can easily double or triple your investment value.  I once invested most of my portfolio in stocks and bonds, but I’ve earned rates of return as high as 200% a year by investing in

Third, I’ve literally found that I am simply unfit to take orders anymore, like an animal released from the zoo who would rather die than being put back into captivity. I would honestly rather go broke than work for other people.  Maybe I’m spoiled, maybe I’m addicted to freedom, I don’t know what it is.  But when I was offered the chance to work for someone else, I literally felt my heart sink, as if I was being asked to return to a very nice prison.  This is no disrespect to those who work for other people, but I can say that I didn’t know the value of freedom until I had a chance to experience it.

Fourth, I’ve found that faith has been huge in all of this. If you’re a Christian, it can be Christian faith. If you’re a non-spiritual person, it simply be hopeless optimism. Whatever it’s called, this faith that things will work themselves out has carried me through the darker times, and I’ve found that the dark times have pushed me to be harder-working, more innovative, and more thoughtful about how to solve difficult problems. In the end, I always come out a better and stronger businessman.

Fifth, I’ve become a generally happier and healthier person since I started working for myself.  I’ve always been pretty upbeat since the age of 18, when I overcame a fight with depression and low self-esteem during my teenage years.  In adulthood, I’ve always been glad to be alive, hard-working, big on goal-setting, and able to turn lemons into lemonade.  But what I found was that, when I no longer had to deal with the BS of racism and bowing to bigots just to get by, I could actually breathe easier….LITERALLY.  I don’t feel as stressed, as angry/frustrated, or as nervous about what white people think about me.  In fact, I really don’t care at all, since the racists who employed me are no longer paying my bills.   I have no problem giving them the middle finger.

Also, rather than relying on the degrees on my wall as proof that I am qualified for a job, I am forced to actually show that I’m good enough to earn a living at what I do.  It’s like the difference between having someone bring you your food every day vs. being forced to go out and hunt for it.  In the real world, a PhD can’t hide behind his credentials; life will gladly inform you that you’re unqualified.

I’m not saying that working for yourself is for everyone. I am not saying that you’re a sell-out if you choose to work for somebody else.  But I am certainly here to say that financial freedom is about much more than a paycheck and if you haven’t tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. In my experience, being an economically-liberated black man has been a truly addictive and empowering way of life.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit

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