Why African Americans Need to Learn Strategies for Building Wealth?

This is Black History Month, so I’m focusing this article on African Americans but the knowledge contained herein can benefit anyone.  The wealth gap is widening and African Americans need to learn new strategies for building wealth. “Median black household income was 59% of median white household income in 2011, up modestly from 55% in 1967; as recently as 2007, black income was 63% of white income.” [Source: PEW] It is often said that African Americans are a nation of consumers instead of creators. However, our survival depends on us changing from primarily being consumers to being the suppliers and creators of the products and services we consume.


African Americans have a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015. That’s a lot of dough to be distributed. Wealth is not a dirty or evil word reserved for those who are lucky, greedy, or lazy and seeking to take advantage of others!  Wealth is a vital birthright that offers the freedom to make choices that allow us to live joyful and fulfilling lives. Everyone has the right to life in dignity and to pursue their dreams.  

Watching my stepmother get denied medical services at age 85, and watching her toes blacken and almost rot off as she screamed in pain, taught me a very valuable lesson. Poverty is not pretty, spiritual, or dignified. She could not afford the care she desperately needed to live in dignity and I was powerless to help her. It takes money to help those you love, to choose the medical care of your choice, to buy the materials, training, and resources we need to excel in our crafts, to invest in our businesses, to give to charity, to tithe generously, to eat healthily, to travel, to vacation, to be there mentally for our families, or to live in safe and beautiful neighborhoods.

Growing up, I had only been trained how to trade time for dollars, which rarely if ever, builds wealth. At times my father was an entrepreneur, and during those times we worked even harder. I realized that if I kept following that old paradigm I would be destined to end up like those written about in a recent Forbes article, The Greatest Retirement Crisis in American History, which dismally projects that 75%  of those now approaching retirement have less than $30,000 in savings. And, that paltry amount won’t last that long, with the average nursing home stay (God forbid) being around $248.00 a day or $90,000 a year. So for that reason,  as well as, the dollar declining since 1972, and the cost of living projected to double over the next decade, the vast majority of people today are forced to delay their retirement. I did not grow up around wealth nor did my parents talk about wealth or teach me about it. They taught me to work hard, so I know how to do that. They worked hard their entire lives and still only barely eked out a living and died practically penniless.  They could not teach me what they did not know.  They did not know that the only way to build wealth was to have money work for you or people work for you.  That explains why the majority of small black entrepreneurs fail to build wealth either. They are primarily sole proprietors and thus still trading time for money.  To continue to part two, click here.

Warren Buffet advises aspiring wealth builders to have multiple streams of income.  Speaking, authorship, and training is my passion work.  I love doing it! But, I’ve learned that if I stop speaking or training, the income also stops.  I too want the freedom that comes with wealth, to be able to work with populations who can’t afford me, to be able to help my children and grandchildren, and to not have to worry about retirement after raising six children and working over 50 years already. 

Email me for more information about how to bring me in to speak to your group, OR train your employees. Luck has very little to do with wealth, but timing has everything to do with it. What if you had been able to be part of the beginning of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft?  How would your life be different now? You missed them but you haven’t missed them all. Email me to learn more about Talkfusion, a disruptive technology poised to be the next billion dollar brandI’ll direct you to an on-line presentation that explains it all.

Barbara Talley
To your wealth

The Future of Education: Free College Courses-Textbooks

Who says you can’t get anything of value for free anymore?

Now education is open sourced.  Several top universities are offering free on-line courses to anyone on any topic imaginable. There is no excuse NOT to learn a new language, skill, or to keep abreast of the newest technologies.  Just like You-tube, Firefox, and GoogleVoice have offered valuable free services, now colleges are catching the FREE wave.   There are even over 160 free textbooks. (The Textbook Revolution also is a resource for free books.)  You can learn right from your home or wherever you have computer access.  The training is free, but you pay for testing and accreditation.  For those who are changing careers or upgrading their skill-set and are tight on money, this could be the answer.  Knowledge is still valuable even without the certification which you can get when you can afford it later.  The knowledge now can assist in getting that new job or promotion.

ImageLet’s say you want to learn calculus, math, science, computer science, finances, humanities, physics, history, or prep for the Math SAT or GMAT, try out http://www.khanacademy.org.  They have over 3500 videos. WOW!

“MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.9 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.” http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

And, they aren’t the only ones, Harvard, Berkeley, and the University of Texas also offer free courses. https://www.edx.org

http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses (550 free on-line courses)

http://www.openculture.com/free_textbooks (160 Free text books)

http://www.academicearth.org (Pulls together lectures from multiple universities on a topic)

http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/ (Can’t forget Apple University. There’s an app for that!)


Another school based in South Africa advertises, “Regenesys Business School is the first business school in the world to offer free business education, making all learning materials freely available online in this revolutionary initiative.” Be sure to check them out also at http://regenesys.co.za/free-edu/

The OpenCourseWare Consortium Aggregates over 22 Universities

“Most courses offered on OpenCourseWare are available as free audio or video lectures for free, and under open licenses. The easiest way to find a course you’re interested in is to search the OpenCourseWare Consortium site, which aggregates courses from over 22 universities in the US alone, including MIT, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, and the University of Michigan, and features courses on tons of different subjects, from business and economics to architecture and physics. Most universities have their specialties, of course (MIT, for example, has a bounty of resources in engineering), but between them all, you should be able to find pretty much anything you want,” write Life Hacker in their article, Where to Get the Best Free Education.

The future is bright and a new education is just a click away, FOR FREE!

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.