I have to start this one off carefully. This one is embedded in the psyche of the American way of life. I have even been guilty on some levels of perpetuating this myth in my life with varying results. I have come to realize that in the pursuit of real wealth, it can stunt your economic growth and keep you trapped financially. “Fake it Till You Make It.” These six words can derail you from wealth and leave you fakin it forever.
If you are pursuing an acting career and lack some credentials while on an audition, “fake it till you make it,” may very well work in your favor. Putting yourself in positions where you have the skill but lack the experience, “fake it till you make it,” can be your friend. When dealing with wealth and wealth building in particular, this philosophy becomes a myth, and an outright fools approach.
Wealth building is a process that requires discipline, planning and steadfastness. There is no room to be distracted by shiny objects. How many brothers and sisters have I known driving “foreign cars” costing $60-$70k, but living with their family and children in substandard housing in comparison to the luxury automobiles they have. If your car note is almost equal to or more than your rent or mortgage, you have set yourself up for “fakin it till you make it,” for the very forseeable future. In the study of over 500 millionaires over a 20 year period, over 80 percent of them purchase their vehicles, no notes. Fifty percent never paid more than $30k for a vehicle in their entire lives! Easy access to credit, false perceptions of wealth mixed with societal pressures can lead to economic disaster.
There are lifestyle decisions that have to be cleared up from the start. Products change people. Often times when one acquires one status product, you will likely have to purchase another and another to keep your status. Before you know it, your whole lifestyle is based on and changed by these status products. Your neighbors and people at work may begin to feel that you are living large, when in reality you are living from paycheck to paycheck. Paying for a lifestyle that you will probably never be able to afford now, unless you re- prioritize what is really important to you.
Black people individually and as a group must re- prioritize what is truly important economically to build a stronger economic future. That 1.1 trillion dollar so-called spending power could truly become a powerfully efficient force for job creation, future investments and innovations to transform and benefit the next generation. We have to speak in terms of groups because this is the world that we live in. Everyone has a group in America and we are all in competition whether you realize it or not. Black people have to as a group develop industries and leverage our industries amongst ourselves and finally open up shop to the world. It’s all about economic unity with a shared vision for the future. We have already done this. You can look at life after the abolishment of slavery. Blacks began to open businesses that catered to the everyday needs of the people as a means to survive practically. We thrived. There is already a blueprint for black economic power in this country, we have to come back to that. Keep it simple, live below your means, save and invest. There will be no need to fake it.