Can I Vent?

Stop It Granny

We’ve all heard the phrase, “You’re too young to be thinking about settling down with anybody” or “You need to have as much fun as you possibly can while you’re young.” Personally, I’ve heard this on repeat since I was a kid. I understand what they’re saying, I just don’t agree. I also don’t agree with people pushing their own regrets, ideas, and mistakes on other people, but that’s for a different post.

Since I was young, my goal was to eventually be married when I became of age. Growing up, I was always looking to be in a relationship. My first one was in 5th grade with…….nevermind, just know that I was in 5th grade. My point is, I’ve conditioned myself to be a good man to a good woman for a large span of my life. Unfortunately, this mindset falls into the minority with men.

Generational Curse

People, in their infinite wisdom (insert sarcasm here), will advise against this lifestyle and will even mock you for wanting ONE person to spend the rest of your life with. Most of these people are too closed minded to imagine life as a faithful human being, or they may simply be unhappy PERIOD. Isn’t it insane that the MOST miserable people will attempt to have the MOST say so with the way that you live your life? Sorry, that’s another post as well. I need to focus.

Imagine if I grew up as a complete misogynistic asshole, or fuckboy. How on Earth would I know how to treat anybody that I wanted to actually be with? More importantly, how would I even know the TYPE of person that I wanted to be with? If your answer is anything other than, “you wouldn’t,” then you’re wrong. You can just close the blog and return to your corner. The truth is, thinking about settling down at an early age rewarded me with the experience and wisdom to at least have an idea of the type of woman I wanted, know what I’m willing to deal with in a relationship, and how to treat a woman that actually met my dating criteria.

These are all lessons that most of our generation is not even close to learning. Most of us have “hoed” around our entire lives and have developed absurd ideas about the how, when, and why of relationships. I’ll use Cardi B’s marriage to Offset as an example. Offset cheated on Cardi. This would be considered a FOUL in ANY relationship other than an open relationship. However, men and women are jumping to Offset’s aid and telling Cardi to take him back because, “All men cheat,” “Marriage is supposed to be through thick and thin,” and “Everybody makes mistakes.” (Insert eye roll here).

Begin Rant

First of all, all men DO NOT cheat. We’ve become such a society full of unfaithful individuals that cheating has become normalized and some men and women are now okay with their partner sleeping around. Aht! KILL ALL OF THAT. If your partner cheats on you, then you OBVIOUSLY aren’t valuable enough for them to remain faithful to. We have to STOP inviting unfaithful individuals back into our lives. In most cases, you’ll end up taking them back. You’ll break up later on from an issue that’s rooted in lack of trust. Then they’ll go out and do it to the next person because YOU took them back when they did it to you. Now, you’re a broken mess that has serious trust issues. These trust issues prevent you from giving the next person a proper chance regardless of how good they are for you. Simultaneously, this also plants a seed of bitterness in the victim of your issues. This bitterness can be directed toward your specific race, age, or your entire gender. It’s a vicious cycle that we NEED to break.

Secondly, I agree that marriage is supposed to be through thick and thin. The question is: HOW thin? In my opinion, there has to be a limit on how thin ONE individual can push the parameters of a marriage. To me, thin is a stressful situation that both parties of the marriage enter into TOGETHER. For instance, a decision to uproot the family and move them across the country. Thin is NOT complete selfishness. Thin is NOT adultery. Thin is NOT physical or mental abuse. Thin is NOT intentional neglect. I feel as though toxic individuals in marriages and relationships use this vow as a crutch rather than simply conducting themselves in a manner that’s beneficial to their partner or overall situation.

I shouldn’t even have to address the third one, but you all already know I am anyway. Everyone does make mistakes, but some mistakes aren’t exactly mistakes. A mistake is usually a momentary lapse of judgement. Any “mistake” that could negatively affect your partner and way of life is NOT a mistake, it’s a POORLY calculated decision. A decision is something that takes thought, time, or instinct to make. Many people will make poorly calculated decisions that negatively affect their relationship and then chump the decisions off as mistakes. They convince their partner that this decision was a mistake and their partner runs with it using the phrase, “everybody makes mistakes,” as backup to defend the offending partner.

I don’t consider adultery, or cheating, to ever be a mistake. There is too much thought, too much time, and too much effort that goes into cheating for it to be a mistake. Especially since the engaging partner can back out of the situation at ANY time. There’s no amount of seduction, temptation, alcohol, or drugs that should leave you in a situation where you’re in a bed or mentally unfaithful situation with someone who is not your significant other.

Okay, I’m done venting. I HAD a real topic for you guys, I promise. It just ended up turning into about 5-6 different ones. Sorry about that. Anyways, I’ll have a bit of free time on my hand this semester since I won’t be taking classes until the Fall, so I’ll be updating the blog every Friday. I also have an important announcement and I’m super excited because it’s something that I’ve wanted to do since the day I began blogging.

My Twin Flame (Look it up)/girlfriend/future wife/ pre-engaged Queen/everything will be posting content to the blog. This lady honestly has more sense than me and you combined. Plus her style of writing is, for lack of better words, beautiful. She’s working on something right now as I speak……I mean type.

Share, comment, like, and love here or via FB.

Peace and blessings as usual.

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No More Losing!

Some of us have taken so many losses in life. It would seem that they began to constantly happen since birth. We continuously try to turn things around and win for a change, but life usually has other plans. How do you attempt to win a contest against life? Life has a large variety of advantages over you including, but not limited to: Other people, illnesses, finances, and, most importantly, yourself. We can blame life’s worst events on everything else, but the last person we think of pointing the finger at is ourselves.

I have a task for you to complete. Don’t worry, it’s for your own good. This may be more difficult for some, but I need you to do it anyway. Take a trip down memory lane and visit your most recent struggle that you lost against life. Is there anything that you could’ve done differently that could’ve turned that loss into a win? The chances are that there is absolutely something you could’ve done to alter that result. I, of course, can’t tell you what that “something” is, but I can assure you that there was an alternate path you could’ve taken.

Why is it entirely unheard of for us to take responsibility for our own actions? There is nobody constantly standing behind us pointing a gun threatening to shoot unless we make bad decisions. If this is your case, then this post isn’t for you. What’s currently going on in your life that isn’t good for you? Can you turn the tables, take control of the situation, and win? If not, then there are moves that you need to make in order to remove the situation from your life completely. However, if there is a possibility that you can gain the upper hand, move accordingly, and figure out how to win. 

In order to win, we must first figure out how to control the game. 

Stable Individuals to the Back of the Bus….

Life Lessons

Throughout my military career, I can admit that I’ve collected a profuse amount of information about myself and the ways of the world. This information came through mentally gruesome lessons that ended up in frustration, but eventually granted me wisdom. There’s one lesson that has stuck with me over the years and continues to prove itself true over and over again. That lesson being: If it makes sense, it won’t be done.

In no way am I saying that nothing in the military makes sense. What I am saying, however, is that humans make decisions that are usually void of logic. In other words, we usually approach situations using a variety of different resources except common sense. I’ll be applying this lesson to the way we go about choosing who we expend our emotional resources on.

The Thought Process

We can probably count on one hand how many people we know who are with an individual that makes the most sense to be with compared to the individual that they actually choose to be with. We usually decide to spend time building a relationship with someone that we have to constantly keep our mind on.  Whether the thoughts be positive or negative, we always have them somewhere in our thoughts. This thought process applies to how we choose our friends, partners, and  who we will show loyalty to.

Applying Common Sense

Things that remain constant in this world are often overlooked. How often do we consider the fact that gravity is the only reason we’re able to maneuver on Earth? None of us do, and it’s mainly because we know it to be constant. No matter what we attempt to do in order to get rid of it, it’ll prove that it’s still there in some way, shape, or form every single time.

If we look at the way we choose our relationships, we would find that the individuals who we know will always be there, or constant, are often overlooked. Rather than building a partnership or a deep friendship with them, we push them to the back of the bus. Meanwhile, the individuals who leave us with worry are invited to, and occupy the front.

I believe that most of us can agree that constant is repetitive, or downright boring. There’s no way that something we consider boring can also be considered interesting at the same time. Unfortunately, by definition, we can’t be interested in anything that isn’t constantly on our minds. This means that most of us, more than likely, seek instability. It may sound a bit harsh, but it’s our reality.

New Seating Chart

Take the time to consider what your life would be like if we reversed the seating chart of our dysfunctional bus. The individuals that occupy the front are given seats in the back; The individuals that occupy the back are given seats in the front. How different would your life be if stability was given priority over instability? Shouldn’t stability be one of our main priorities when doing anything in life anyway?

I’m going to perform the actions that make the most sense. Therefore, the individuals whom I know will be there regardless of any given situation will now be given priority over the individuals who have proven themselves to be unstable in my life. I refuse to waste another second attempting to force an unstable individual to become a constant. If they haven’t proven to be constant from the start, then chances are that they will never reach that point.

Stable individuals, welcome to the front…….

What He Really Meant to Say Was…..

Okay, so we (as men) swore to uphold a code the moment we arrived out of our mother’s womb. This code is sacred to us all and we’re not supposed to expose it in any way, shape, or form. The code is riddled with standards that are made to not make sense to women, ON PURPOSE. 

Yes women, we subliminally confuse you on purpose and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Oops. That was actually written word for word in the code. I definitely wasn’t supposed to let you all know that. I guess that means I’m well on my way to being a criminal in the eyes of men for the rest of my manhood.

Oh Well…..

I’m not the type of person that likes to half-do anything, therefore I’m going to go full-fledged convict by letting you know exactly what’s in this sacred man code of ours.

Most men have probably clicked off of this post by now, but the ones who are still with us have now become an accessory to my terrible crime. Welcome to the “thug life” guys.

So let’s begin.

“Show absolutely no emotion whatsoever when we know, for a fact, that it will fix the current issue.”

I chose to start with this one, because it seems to be the most frustrating rule of them all to women. The woman we’re with can have all of her things packed up and ready to go after an argument just to get her man to show that he cares by practically begging her not to leave. The fact that her leaving completely outweighs us muttering two simple words, such as, “don’t go” by a margin larger than any of us could possibly imagine just does not register in our minds.

What he really meant to say while he’s sitting there saying nothing, looking stupid, and watching you getting ready to walk out of his life is this: “Please don’t go. We can work every single issue that we have, and will go through in the near future, out as long as you don’t walk out of that door.”

There! I said it for him, because I can guarantee you that man code will restrict him from saying that or anything near that for reasons that he can’t explain. As men bound to man code, we have to figure out a way to let them know we don’t want them to leave. This can be a grunt, or a clearing of the throat that obviously means something. Your girl will at least turn around and look at your crazy ass. Use this attention to beckon her over, look her in the eyes, and just hug her as if you two have never gotten into an argument during the lifetime of your entire relationship. Trust me, she’ll know what this means and if not, then you did your best and I completely understand your efforts and frustration.

I’m kidding guys, do NOT let that woman leave you without you making it known that it’s not what you want.

Next up is:

“Regardless of whether we have a woman that we’re ready to spend the rest of our lives with, we must always keep our options open.”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is written and will always be written in our man code. A few of us have taught ourselves to completely break code and keep our options limited to the woman we are with, but this is such an advanced level of being a “man-convict” that we may not ever master it. Even if we’re really good at it, we still may look at other women from time to time. ALL THE TIME! It’s not as if we necessarily want the other woman physically or emotionally, but for some reason, we like to fight temptation. If you catch us looking, we’ll probably say something like, “It’s not like I’m jotting down the phone number that the girl conveniently taped to her ass.” Okay, maybe he won’t say that, but…..

What he really meant to say was, “The girl I was looking at has absolutely nothing to offer me compared to what we have together. Yes, I looked, but I can guarantee you that you’re the only woman that I want to look at every morning, afternoon, and night for the rest of my life.”

Chalk one up to another statement that I’ve made for your man who allows man code to grab him by the balls and force him to comply. Maybe you should take notes from the code and do the exact same thing.

Okay, another joke. I promise that’s the last one. Don’t take any parts of what I just suggested you do (unless you have to) to heart.

Instead, understand what he’s NOT telling you. Matter of fact, I’ve actually heard of women actually engaging in looking at other women with their men. Some of you are like, “Ewww, that’s borderline (insert sexuality here).”

But, hear me out ladies. How many times have you told your mom, sister, best friend, or an associate that what they had on was cute or that they simply looked good? Your answer is a million. Exactly one million times, you’ve done this. We know you’re not meaning it in a way that would insinuate (Oooo google that one) that you actually physically or emotionally wanted the person you’re complimenting in any way. It’s simply something that you all do and it means nothing. So, why not do it with your man? This will prevent him from feeling like he has to sneak behind your back and do it, but fact is: He’s going to do it.

The third and final code for this post is:

“Never let a woman with potential to be something more than what she is know exactly where she stands.”

I can’t be completely mad at this part of the code. Sometimes, when a man let’s you know that they’re really feeling you and hope to take what you two have to the next level, you either get really scared or you get really excited. We can deal with you being really excited, because I’m sure it took us a great deal of effort just to let you know that and our reward would be your excitement. But, you getting afraid is actually OUR worst fear of letting you know.

I understand that sometimes, it’s best not to put titles on what’s going on between you and another person. Yeah yeah, whatever. Hush. Since you don’t want to put titles on what you have, then don’t be upset when they meet someone that’s actually willing to put a name on it. That goes for both men and women, but hey don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

When you ask him what you two are, you’ll either get a blank stare or an answer that’s been so bullshitted around that you’ll feel inclined to not even accept it as an answer. Something like, “Yeah, we’ve been talking for a while and I really really like you, but a title……..*Deep Sigh* I don’t think we should put a title on it yet. We’ve only been talking for six or seven years, so it’s pretty hard to just up and say you’re the person I’m dating.”

Well if that’s the case, then why are you stringing her along? When exactly is the right time for for us to put a title on it? Six years is a long time with no title. You mean to tell this lady that you don’t know enough about her to put a title on it after six years? Boy…………Sorry. I got mad for you all. Back on track.

What he really meant to say was, “You’re actually the person that I want to take the next step with. I just didn’t know whether you were ready or not. I didn’t want to rush things along, but I’m excited that you actually care about what we are.”

Okay, that’s the last time I speak for your man. This will take an effort from both parties in order to do their research on each other and really know for a fact that the other person wants to actually take that step or not. When one person is willing to take the step, but the other is not, then it could completely kill everything that you two have been working on.

I saved this one for last, because it’s not all about the man and his code on this issue. This one concerns the woman’s code as well.

Yes, there is a such thing, and I think it’s only fair to get some of their rules and regulations out in the open as well. So, the big question now is:

Which lady will become my accomplice by exposing “Woman’s Code?”

To determine this, a writing contest will be held. It’s mostly a contest meant for women, but men are welcome to make submissions as well. Check Facebook.com/commonsenseadvantage for more details on the contest and don’t forget to click the like button while you’re there.

In the meantime, you can look forward to “What SHE really means is….” as well as a second part to “What He Really Means Is…..”

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share this post as well as my previous blog posts found at the bottom of this page with your friends. Don’t be selfish with this information ladies and gentlemen. Until next time.

“Peace & much love to you…” -Lupe Fiasco’s Grandma

 

Luckey’s Guide to Move the Hell On…..

Stress

Before you all even start reading, I want to let you know that if you’re truly not 100% sure you’re ready to move on from someone that you were previously involved with, you are wasting your time reading this and can click on the x at the top right of your screen. Thanks

Okay if you’re still here, then good. You’re ready to take steps in order to move on with your life and begin a new chapter. After you finally get these steps down and start practicing, you’ll feel like an entirely different person. I can GUARANTEE this.

Without further adue, (Somebody spell check this. I’m busy) let’s move on.

Step 1: Completely remove yourself from anything that involves them.

This is definitely easier said than done and will take some time to get used to. Some of you will complete this a lot sooner than others but it’s okay. Like I said, this is easier said than done.

What I mean by remove yourself from anything that involves them is this: Anyone they’re associated with, anyTHING that they’re associated with, and keep contact with them to a minimum. Don’t worry about what they’re doing, who they’re doing it with, or why they’re doing something. You pretty much have to pretend they don’t exist. Trust me. After a bit of practice, you’ll be living an eX free life in no time.

Step 2: Replace the time that you would be spending with them with an activity that yields results that you can be proud of.

When you do something, you want to see results. That’s the only reason we do anything. Duh! So, what I mean by this is to simply convert the eX time into productive time. For instance, engage in some type of physical activity. This can be jogging, lifting, or a combination of both. After doing the activity, you’ll feel extremely proud of yourself for the progress that you just made in a completely different task that completely doesn’t involve the person that you’re attempting to leave.

Step 3: Don’t engage in the back and forth banter with the new eX.

I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why you’re ready to leave now. The back and forth has to be the absolute most annoying part of a bad relationship. You have to put an end to this immediately, whether it be by just not responding to anything they say that could rub you the wrong way or just by blocking them from your phone altogether. I’ll let you decide that one. Different situations call for different measures. Some of you have the unpleasant pleasure of living with the individual that you are trying to leave. If this is the case, then you need to ensure that there is no way that you two are at the house at the same time until you can move into your own place. If finances don’t allow you to move out in a timely manner, then you simply have to ignore their existence. You have to ignore them even when they annoyingly and profusely insist on trying to start something with you. In every situation, cooler heads prevail.

Step 4: Keep things strictly business……

If you’re in a situation where you absolutely have to communicate with that person due to some binding circumstance, then ensure that the binding circumstance is pretty much the only form of communication that you have with the eX. Show and respond to absolutely no emotion. If they mix business with emotion, then don’t respond. Simply, wait for them to approach the situation in a calmer, more professional manner. The moment you respond to emotion, the back and forth will threaten to begin; Or even worse, you’ll be reminded of how you used to feel about them. This cannot happen and will put you in danger of ending up right back in the situation that you’re trying so hard to get out of.

Step 5: Accept and understand the thoughts……

Acceptance and understanding are contained within the mind of someone who has truly moved on. Surely everything that you two had were not always terrible. It’s okay to allow the good times to run through your head. Accept them and understand why they were good times. But, you also need to to accept and understand why and how things became terrible. This is the last step because once you have accepted and understood, then you can begin to appreciate the past relationship. You’ll almost want to thank them for the learning experience. That’s really all bad relationships are, learning experiences. Once you’re at peace with leaving, then you are given the opportunity to improve yourself and prepare for the next relationship. This is when you’ll bring everything that you’ve learned about yourself from the past relationship into the new one which will give your new relationship a much higher chance of surviving.

That concludes my guide on how to move on. When you leave someone, you should know exactly why you’re leaving and there should be no doubt that it’s what you really want to do. If you’re unsure whether it’s really what you want to do, then you need to search yourself and your partner for a way to make your situation better. Leaving is a last resort. 6-10 issues that a couple goes through can be worked out easily through simple communication. If either party is unwilling to communicate, then there’s a very small chance that your relationship will survive any issue whether it be small or large. Unresolved issues do nothing but grow and turn into larger issues later on. Unresolved arguments do nothing but continue where they left off once one of you pisses each other off. Communication is key to any relationship and is your first step into making yours work.

Fighting for a relationship involves participation from both parties. Don’t fight for something that has no fight in it. 

 

 

Generation Y & Finances

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Boy oh boy is this a big topic.

First of all, generation Y is the generation born between 1980-1994. I was born in 1992, so I barely made the cut. The generation after us is generation Z. The most obvious similarity between our two generations is…..

We know absolutely nothing about finance.

In school, we were taught to get an education so that we can get a good job. Unfortunately, they never told us anything afterwards. So, my financial series of blogs will be meant to educate you financially.

Let’s create a character. His name will be Ryan. Let’s pretend Ryan went to college directly after high school. He graduates and lands a job that rakes in $80,000 a year.

Good, right? Well, not quite. We need to break down this small period of his life. First thing Ryan did was go to college, so we’ll start with college.

According to collegedata.com, a 2015-2016 school year at a public university is roughly $9,410. School years are typically divided into two semesters, Spring and Fall, so we have to divide $9,410 by two and that leaves Ryan paying $4,705 a semester.

Some of you are thinking, “$4,705 a semester?  I can’t afford that!” Well, probably not without FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) you can’t. A person who gets the full amount of student aid in Texas gets about $5,760 a year, $2,880 per semester. This leaves Ryan to cover about $1,825 by himself every semester.

Well, there’s also a loan amount that they offer Ryan through FAFSA as well. Loan amounts vary, but they will cover the $1,825 and leave Ryan with a little money left over for wiggle room.

University life typically lasts about four years which means that all in all, Ryan pays about $37,640. Let’s assume that he took out a loan amount of about $4,000 every semester to cover his remaining tuition and add to his savings account. This leaves Ryan with a hefty $32,000 to pay back once he graduates, not including interest.

Ryan is finally in college and lives with a roommate. Rent is split down the middle at $400. $19,200 is the amount he’ll pay for rent over the span of four years. Combined with the tuition that he has to cover himself, he’s left with a negative $1,800. Ryan is short $1,800 to make it through a four year university.

This is simply unacceptable guys. When we think of college, we usually only think of a four year university, but we should really be thinking about a two year community college to keep expenses down. Rather than looking to move out as soon as we graduate high school, we should’ve stayed with our parents rent free until we graduated with an associates degree from community college. It’s up to our parents to allow this to happen, granted that you aren’t completely out of control. Tuition at a two year college can usually be covered with the amount that is offered through FAFSA, and will also leave you with at least $1,000 leftover per semester. All of which you do not have to pay back. In other words……

You’re being paid to go to school.

After getting an associates, we should’ve searched out a University that we would only have to attend for two years, rather than four. This cuts expenses in half. I’d much rather look at a balance of $16,000 on my loan instead of $32,000. That is a huge difference. This is also where we need to be building up our GPA’s so that we can be eligible for as many scholarships as possible. Scholarships are free money guys.

Okay, back to Ryan……

Ryan has graduated and landed a job that pays $80,000 a year straight out of college. That’s big money for a kid straight out of college. This allows him to pay all of his college debt in the short time frame of a year. That sounds good, but unfortunately Ryan won’t do this.

Instead, since Ryan probably has never had this much money available to him, he’ll pay the minimum amount on his loan every month until it’s paid off. This leaves him with funds to buy just about everything that he’s always wanted. New car, new house, new clothes, new shoes, new accessories, a pet, you name it. Ryan is living the good life. Right now you’re asking, “How can any of this be a bad thing?”

Well little does Ryan know, the loan that he was only paying the minimum balance on monthly will more than double by the time he pays it off completely due to interest. Rather than pay the minimum, he should pay it off as soon as possible in order to avoid paying nearly that much. Rather than buying a new car, he should purchase a used car for cash or stick with the one he currently owns. The new house is fine, as long as he chose a one-two bedroom at a decent price and plans to eventually own it. New clothes, shoes, and accessories are fine as well, but only if they’re purchased in moderation. No way, he should be spending near $1,000 per month to improve his appearance. The money that Ryan has left over after paying his mortgage and his monthly student loan payments should be disbursed between a savings account and an investment account.

His savings account should equal about six months of his living expenses or more. This leaves Ryan with a lot of cushion, just in case anything were to suddenly pop up. The investment account, in my opinion, will be his most important account. Even more important than his savings account.

An investment account allows Ryan’s hard earned money to work for him. That sounds crazy, I know. But, that’s exactly what an investment account does. It’s basically like working two-three jobs, except you’re physically only working one. Sure, Ryan makes $80,000 a year by working his butt off, but an investment of $80,000 that grows only 5% will yield a return of $4,000. 5% growth can occur in as little as a day. Many people don’t see $4,000 in an entire month, but his money just worked for him and made that in just a second.

In actuality, Ryan could pay off his entire debt with the returns on money that he’s invested rather than trying to pay it using the money from his physical job. The only problem with that is that you have to have some type of understanding of the stock market, bond market, CD’s (Certificate’s of deposit), or the real estate market in order to even begin thinking about investing.

My next blog will break down the basics of the stock market, and explain how we can use this market to enable our money to work for us.

Generation Y, let’s get rich…….
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How I Built A Relationship With Your Bestfriend

I can say with a pretty large amount of confidence that at least 7 out of 10 of us have a bestfriend. Our bestfriend can either have a personality that’s thoroughly similar to our own, or our bestfriend can possess a personality that’s completely opposite.

I’ve had several bestfriends over the course of my life, but only one that I can really vouch for to have made it through all of the changes that I’ve put my bestfriends of the past through.

I won’t mention her name. She would be entirely too satisfied with that, and with the way our relationship is set up, it just won’t do. I can’t have her happy.

Where am I going with this?

I’m here to let you know, that I’ve successfully made your bestfriend interested in me through a simple, yet complex method of marketing.

I know, I know………your bestfriend has a girlfriend/boyfriend. They’ve been together for years, and there’s just no way of them being even slightly interested in me. Blah, blah, blah. That’s all fine and dandy, but you misunderstood me although I was extremely clear. I’ll even say it again.

YOUR BESTFRIEND IS INTERESTED IN ME!

I’m sure you all remember my first blog post which was roughly a week ago. Most of you were very receptive of my blogs afterwards, and 10 times out of 10, you’re reading this blog right now. This means that I’ve caught your interest in some way, shape, or form.

Using the statistics of the assumption I made earlier, 7 out of 10 of us have bestfriends. You’re someone’s bestfriend, and since most of you shared my blog through Facebook to your entire friends list, your bestfriend was more than likely the first person to read my blog that you shared. Therefore, your bestfriend is interested in me.

This process is very desirable to anyone who plans to market successfully using social media. Companies pay millions of dollars to other companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter in order to achieve results similar to the results and feedback that I was able to achieve.

Social media has become such a valuable medium of advertising due to the sheer magnitude of individuals that can be advertised to through the press of a single button. For instance, I have about 873 friends and shrinking on Facebook. Shrinking because I’m starting to realize that I hate some of you, but that’s not the point. The point is that I successfully placed my blog on 873 different individual’s timelines by pressing one single button. Whether they open and read it or not is completely up to them, but the fact that they’ve at least seen it on their timeline makes them familiar with me (the advertiser) and my product (my blog). Chances are, if they continue to see me post with titles that they find interesting, they’ll eventually open up one of my blog posts. At that point, that’s all I wanted. That gets me a view and leaves me with a chance to get my blog shared with their 873+ friends. If two of their friends share the blog, then it gets shared with even more people, and so on, and so on.

So you’ve been successfully marketed to without you even knowing it. How do you feel? You said you feel like sharing this post? Great! Thanks for playing.

This is my third and final submission for my blogging assignment. However, this will not be my last blog post. My posts from this point forward will be personal, similar to “My Little Secret” which can be found here. Thank you all for reading and supporting me through the duration of this assignment.

 

Beyonce & the “Beyhive”

My apologies for the late post. I’ve had the stomach flu which means that I’ve had to make several trips to you know where, to do you don’t even want to know what.

 

beyonce-jpeg
Image from tumblr

 

Who is this beautiful young lady that you see above this text? I’m sure someone close to you has claimed to be her twin. Someone you know has probably claimed to have attended a high school in Houston with her. Maybe you’ve seen one of her adoring fans confess their undying love for her and affiliate themselves with the other millions of fans addressing themselves as the “Beyhive.”

I can say with the utmost confidence that 9 out of 10 Americans have heard of Beyoncé. Even as I type, my own computer just decided to correct me and add the accent mark above the “e” at the end of her name.

Um excuse me computer, but what if I knew someone named Beyoncé without the accent mark? I honestly cannot believe this. This lady has already climbed to the very top of possibly every chart you can think of which makes her a household name, but now you’re forcing me to add the accent mark at the end of her name. Jesus!

My apologies. I sort of lost it for a second. I’m back in my correct state of mind though.

So as I was saying, everyone pretty much knows Beyoncé. If you didn’t know who she was before the Super Bowl, then you most definitely do now. The amount of attention that she’s gotten for her performance at the Super Bowl is absolutely insane. I haven’t heard anyone talk so much about any half-time show performance since Justin Timberlake ripped Janet’s……..

Okay, we’re not going to talk about that in this post for obvious reasons. However, her performance can be seen here. (I mean her as in Beyoncé’s; not Janet’s guys, geesh).

This performance may have been a form of promotion for Beyoncé’s new tour that she announced immediately following the half-time show. If it wasn’t her way of promoting it, it obviously ended up promoting it any way.

As a result, you have individuals all over social media talking about the things they would do to get tickets to a performance on her world tour. I’m not going to give you an example of what they would do, but I highly encourage you to search twitter for the extent that individuals would go in order to land just one of these tickets.

The price of these tickets vary. The highest price that I’ve seen on a single ticket is $1,500. That may seem a bit steep, but you obviously don’t know the Beyhive. To them, this is a bargain price to see the woman that they idolize and respect as “Queen of the Beyhive.”

This is part two of my marketing assignment. If you have any suggestions about the next artist I should write about who has excelled in making their name known, leave a comment or contact me on Facebook.

The first step to closing your mind is to choose a side.

My Little Secret…..

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make.

No. I can’t say it’s an announcement.

I suppose it’s more of a….secret.

It’s a secret that I’ve pretty much kept in the comfort of my own family. Actually my mom can’t really keep a secret, so I’m sure my secret was actually pretty uncomfortable. However……

I’m going to make the secret even more uncomfortable by sharing it with the world, or actually just my small network of Facebook friends for the time being. We’ll make it the world later. But, first…..

Remember how we went to elementary school, and all the teachers would explain to us how graduating high school was our ultimate goal in life? Well maybe they didn’t say this at your school, but the town that I grew up in had standards and faith in their students equating to the size of a mustard seed. Now in the bible, faith of that size was more than enough for God to work his miracles. Outside of the good book, children need to know that someone, other than themselves, believe in them. That’s a little lesson to those of you who have, or plan on having, children.

Lesson aside, graduating high school was life. We had to do it. While we’re going through the motion of school, we’re constantly telling ourselves that we just have to finish high school. I was one of the kids going through the motion. I, however, managed to wake up one day and say…..

Timeout!

Before I continue, I have to say that my mother is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me, and she has been an inspiration in 95% of all that I do. Her cheerleader type approach to my life has helped me through more struggles than you can possibly think of. In other words, “She’s the real MVP.”

Now that that’s out of the way, I can go ahead and let you in on my little secret. That secret being that……

I didn’t necessarily graduate from high school……

I know. I know. How could I, right? How dare I not finish what I started at the age of five? Who exactly do I think I am, trying to become successful without a real high school diploma?

I could, because not walking across the stage with diploma in hand hasn’t held me back from anything that I’ve attempted to accomplish. Without my diploma, I’ve been able to join the United States Air Force and finish out my term with my G.I. Bill, so that I could attend a university near you.

The most shocking part about the whole thing is that the stats have been in failure’s favor ever since the second I decided to lay in bed rather than wake up to ride Ms. Billy’s bus to my high school campus. (The lady’s name was really Ms. Billy. Honestly people. I can’t make this up).

Statistically speaking, I’m supposed to be in someone’s jailhouse wondering where the system had failed me. I’m supposed to hear someone blaming the three E’s right now. Environment, form of Entertainment, and lack of Education.

Instead, I’m a veteran on track to become a doctor of finance. How does a high school dropout become a doctor?

Your guess is as good as mine. Actually, my guess is a lot better and I’ll tell you exactly how a high school dropout is on track to become a doctor.

I’ve had to shut out everyone and everything that made attempts to halt my success.

Friends who stayed still had to be left behind.

Family who chose to chase destructive paths had to be left in their own debris.

That may sound mean and cold-hearted, but I’ve learned that sometimes you HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. This phrase is usually not followed by anything afterwards, but I’m going to add “in order to be happy” to the end of it. Although happiness is the most important thing an individual can possess in life, it’ll be a topic that I’ll cover some other time.

Don’t ever let anyone stop you from achieving your goals in life. At the end of the day, you’ll have to live the life that someone else influenced into the ground. Not them.

J. Cole: From Start to Finish

Marketing Without Marketing?   JCole

In order for a company or entity to be successful, they must appeal, or market, to some type of customer. This is done through a process of marketing techniques in which J. Cole, or Jermaine Lamarr Cole, has pretty much skipped. He has become a walking marketing tool that he uses with no effort whatsoever.

Track Record

Cole doesn’t need nor desire to be in the faces of millions of people with meaningless content and soulless commercials. He also doesn’t boast about his accomplishments during interviews, although he has every right to. He’s only released three official albums with two out of three stopping at gold status. The one that didn’t stop at gold, 2014 Forest Hill Drive” went platinum. So, how is a man who neither brags or boasts almost single-handedly taking over hip hop? The answer is simple. He has the character of “The Guy Next Door.”

J. Cole 3

Successful Marketing

J. Cole has been making music for a very long time. Music that most of his die hard fans haven’t really dove into yet, specifically from “The Come Up” and “The Warm (In their respective release order). Although they were only mixtapes, they were able to set the foundation of his entire fan base. This foundation pretty much did his marketing for him through “word of mouth advertising.” This is when a fan informs an unaware individual of a new product, or in this case, new music. The previously unaware individual then becomes a fan and begins spreading the word to other unaware individuals turning them into fans, and from this point the new music spreads like wildfire. This is how J. Cole “Came up,” and how he has caught the attention of some of the biggest names in entertainment such as David Letterman. If you turn the radio on for longer than 5 minutes, you’ll hear a J. Cole song. If you type “J.” in a google search bar, J. Cole is the first option that is displayed (which companies work extremely hard to accomplish). At this point, anyone who listens to any hip-hop at all can easily quote a J. Cole song. This is how marketing geniuses wish they could market their product.

J. Cole 4Unchanged

Even before his first mixtape, “The Come Up,” J. Cole knew that he would excel in the realm of hip-hop. He can be heard explaining this throughout the entire mixtape. Since his name exploded after signing a label deal with Jay-Z and Rocafella Records, he hasn’t let the fame get to his head at all. He’s remained a humble individual throughout his professional career and seems to chase the things that make him happy rather than conforming to the commercial nooses of mainstream hip hop. You don’t see him all over television, hear about him making terrible decisions overnight, or being sent to jail for any ridiculous reason. Instead, you hear him on interviews explaining how he’s managed to maintain the character that his mom raised despite the new found attention that he’s acquired throughout the years. The character that his mom raised is the character of a guy that possibly lived right next door to you and for this reason alone, he has created a relationship with his listeners that not many have been able to create before.  His success can be largely attributed to the way he’s marketed himself. Although he hasn’t seemed to do any of the “legwork marketing” himself, his brand has reached the home of millions ultimately earning him a platinum record, which is the second highest achievement in the Recording Industry Association of America.