Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.
Lately, there's been a lot of chatter around Forex and cryptocurrency, but do we really know what it is or how to use it? Thankfully, Umanagement Public Relations' lead publicist Milan Mobley is a business coach, Forex trader, and investor willing to dispel any myths about the system for us. Though the D.C. native is well-known for her work as a full-time entertainment and corporate publicist, she has developed a passion for teaching millennials how to build generational wealth and deeper understanding of multiple streams of income. "I entered the Forex market almost three months ago, my girlfriend Che` introduced me to it. She's been in this space for a few years now. She ended up taking a break to focus on her career full-time, but she never lost touch," she told xoNecole.
During the pandemic, Milan's business slowed down and she began to fall into a depression due to the unexpected pivot of her business thanks to COVID-19. From there, her friend began to show her the ropes and through following by example, Milan is now developing a steady cash flow and effortlessly recouping from any financial loss she may have suffered. "Now I am still growing to be a master of the art but it is a skill that I am forever grateful for. It changed my life when life was changing the most."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
Now with a current ranking of P1000, meaning she's been able to mentor and educate over 31 new investors, Milan is able to pay the education forward by passing along any and all information that was once given to her by her partner Che. "I made this choice based on Che`. Her mentorship and guidance made me the trader I am today, and allowed me to be educated in a space I was unfamiliar with. Becoming an IBO, I've been able to educate others on the Foreign Exchange Market who were in the same space of wanting to build generational wealth, needing an additional stream, and wanting money working for them. I do not have the conversations of becoming an IBO (independent business owner) with my mentees until I see they are being successful in the FX market."
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the Atlanta, Georgia resident on being a "Frugal Fran" when it comes to spending habits, her worst money decision, and why she believes most people think Forex trading is a scam. Check it out below!
On myth-busting Forex and why most people believe it’s a scam:
"People believe it is a pyramid scheme because they are uneducated of what the difference is between Forex and the iMarkets Academy. The Academy is the number one educational platform/software for Forex Traders. This platform was designed to assist traders in their learning about the market, learning how to trade, software and strategies to assist in developing signal points for profitable trading and a special chart known as the Harmonic scanner. All of this is to help you earn while you learn. In an illegal pyramid scheme––or scam as we like to call it––there is no way for anyone who is under the head honcho to profit as much as that one person or to exceed them. Forex trading is a skill and trait you obtain and become successful with, on your own with the proper teachings."
On what being a trader and investor has taught her about her business and personal financial habits:
"It taught me how to capitalize financially. When you first start trading, not everyone has thousands to invest. In trading, you commonly use the word 'compounding', meaning you take what you invest and you build your account over time. For example, Che' and I encourage our Mentees who are afraid of the process or have lower capital to invest $50 but only trade with $20 and build your account slowly. With those teachings, our mentees have taken $20 and turned it into $95.00 in a day. We also tell them to focus on growing your account by 10% daily.
"All in all, teaching them has taught me to focus on compounding my personal finances and act always as if I have the lowest capital possible. Using money management on your investment amount will take you further as long as you are patient and not looking to get rich overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is wealth. In the business aspect, there's a strategy and system known as S&S for everything. Based on the S&S you select/determine, your journey in business or trading can be either very simple and profitable or it can be complicated and a struggle."
"Using money management on your investment amount will take you further as long as you are patient and not looking to get rich overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is wealth."
On questions she wished people would stop asking her about Forex:
"'How early can you actually start seeing profit coming in for yourself?' And, 'How much have you made?' It's a common question and I get it. However, that is like asking a fitness trainer, 'How soon am I going to see results?' The answer a trainer would give is the same answer I give. Everyone is different, no one person is the same. How early you start seeing profit and how much profit you see is how much effort you put forth to see results."
On how much she makes per year and her savings habits:
"It is very hard for me to say how much I make a year or a month honestly, being an entrepreneur that fluctuates so much––last year after the dreading amount of taxes, I made over $90,000. Normally, I don't share numbers in my finances since I am so private but I am comfortable to share that because that was my most profitable year in business. I try to save at least $2,000 to $3,000, that way it can be split between my business and added to my personal account. I have both my high-yield savings account through Marcus by Goldman Sachs and my Roth IRA is through my long-time bank Navy Federal."
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Health is wealth and having much abundance in your life through happiness and prosperity brings great success. Wealth to me is being able to live the way I choose to––not working countless hours and working about how much I've made or haven't made or what's to happen next. Living the kind of life that makes you happy and fulfilled. Success is truly being open-minded and opening yourself to a new level of life that challenges you to grow and develop mentally, spiritually, and professionally forever."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
"Wealth to me is being able to live the way I choose to––not working countless hours and working about how much I've made or haven't made or what's to happen next. Living the kind of life that makes you happy and fulfilled."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"The end of last year and the start of this year was the lowest I've felt – I was tapping in and having to drain my savings and not being able to replenish it for a while due to the decline in business from COVID-19. As stated previously, I was depressed from being in this unfamiliar state. I wasn't sure which way to turn for a while. Then I started focusing more on S&S and developing residual streams and being open to learning new skills. I could have counted myself out but a big part of my system was letting go and letting God. I started doing what I could and allowing Him to do the rest."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"I have never been a 'splurger'. My friends will tell you I am very financially responsible. I don't purchase much designer, I don't shop much, I don't spend money unnecessarily. I don't spend money that I can't spend two times over. HOWEVER, I did 'treat myself' last September for my birthday and that's because I didn't go out of the country or on a trip like I normally do. So I showered myself with the Louis Vuitton boots, red bottoms, one of the top suites at the W and a private chef all weekend. I can say that was a properly planned splurge I had prepared for that moment. It's OK to 'splurge' as long as you've properly planned for it."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"I am Frugal Fran––I am very much a saver. It wasn't training, I just looked at my environment and listened to mistakes others made and used that as my guide to not repeat the same steps."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"I make contributions to my Roth, to my 401k, business and personal savings, Digit (the savings app I use it takes money from your account daily without a notification), I want each to represent and hold six- to seven-figures in them. Retirement to me looks like never having to work again, fully enjoying life, my family, and all that it has to offer, without the worry of making money. Also, retiring in my early 40's late 30's, not the time that has been placed on us. If I can retire before my desired time frame, that is even better!"
On the importance of investing:
"It is very important to invest in my opinion––you don't become wealthy by having zero investments. The goal is to be wealthy and have a strong net worth, not to be rich. I invest in, of course, my trading, but I also have stock investments, life insurance investments, and plans to invest in property and other assets in the upcoming years."
Courtesy of Milan Mobley
"I make contributions to my Roth, to my 401k, business and personal savings, Digit, I want each to represent and hold six- to seven-figures in them. You don't become wealthy by having zero investments. The goal is to be wealthy and have a strong net worth, not to be rich."
On her budgeting must-haves:
"At one point I would have said my nails. After the shutdown from the pandemic and not having that luxury, I realized how I didn't need it in my budget. My budget must-haves now are groceries, daily incidentals, emergency fund, household maintenance, bills, work wardrobe, subscriptions for business, [and] gas."
On the intention behind creating her multiple streams of income:
"In my business, I have both live and digital courses, pop-up consultations for various aspects in business, whether it be social media, marketing, etc., e-books, digital products, business coaching, and more. When developing those streams, I wanted relief for myself––where I didn't always have to be so hands-on. I had those residual pieces and money working for me all days of the week, even when I'm sleeping. My intention behind having multiple ways to make money was to have financial freedom, build generational wealth, and to grow my companies."
On her money mantra:
"God will bless me abundantly financially if He sees I can manage a little. He will not give me a lot If I can't handle the little."
On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:
"I haven't had to do anything crazy––I just had to learn to be still and fully rely on faith. God gave me everything I needed; I just had to use what was in front of me to pivot."
On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:
"Investing in t-shirts was the worst money and business decision I've ever made. The sayings on the shirts were great––but it wasn't the right product, right audience, or the right timing."
On her budget breakdown:
How much do you spend on rent?
"For an entire year on rent––$20,280.00."
Eating out/ordering in?
"Monthly, around $500 eating out/ordering in and $530 on groceries. I cook for the majority of the week. But Thursday-Saturday is up-for-grabs for eating out! [There's] two of us, so it is very hard to eat out/order-in and stay with a $20 minimum."
"I don't have a car note any longer and I don't drive much because I don't go anywhere since COVID is still a thing. I spend about $26 monthly on gas. I pay $110 monthly in car insurance."
"$160 monthly on personal expenses [including] nails, lashes, personal items."
For more of Milan, follow her on Instagram!
Featured images by @heytobs and @Toontyvisuals.
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Here's Why Very Few Relationships Can Actually Be 'Platonic'
Recently, while in an interview, someone asked me if I think that men and women can be just friends. I didn’t even hesitate to answer; my response was immediate, “Absolutely.” What I followed that up with is what intrigued them — “Life has taught me that not a lot of male/female dynamics are ‘platonic,’ though.” When they asked me to expound, the interview ended up taking a whole ‘nother turn.
As a writer who really pays attention to word meanings, something that can be a bit frustrating about our culture is the fact that based on whatever is popular at the time, folks will just up and change the original definitions of words to suit a particular agenda or whim — and the word “platonic” 1000 percent fits into this category. And perhaps that’s why we seem to continue to go in circles about whether or not people of the opposite sex can (and should) be friends and what that even can (and should) look like.
Let’s talk about it for a bit. Because as a word-literal type of individual, while again, I absolutely believe that men and women can be friends, at the same time, I think it’s about as rare as a red diamond to truly find yourself in a friendship that is…platonic.
It’s Time (More) Folks Knew What ‘Platonic’ LITERALLY MeansGiphy
So, let's do first things first — let's define what it literally means for something to be platonic. If you go to your favorite search engine and put something along the lines of "What does platonic mean?", the first thing that you're (probably) going to see is a ton of dictionary definitions that say something along the lines of "of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex" (Merriam-Webster), "designating or of a relationship, or love, between a man and a woman that is purely spiritual or intellectual and without sexual activity" (Your Dictionary) and, my personal favorite, "purely spiritual; free from sensual desire, especially in a relationship between two persons of different sexes" (Dictionary). Yeah, bookmark that last one; I'll be circling back.
Keeping this in mind (and please do), where does the word "platonic" actually come from? From what I've researched, the philosopher Plato once penned something entitled "Symposium." In it, he addressed the topic of two people sharing the kind of love that is free of any type of sensual desire, one that is based on divine love alone. An author from the 1800s broke it down this way: "Platonic love meant ideal sympathy; it now means the love of a sentimental young gentleman for a woman he cannot or will not marry." A write-up on Merriam-Webster's site stated that "The term platonic was initially used to mock non-sexual relationships, as it was considered ridiculous to separate love and sex, but eventually this connotation faded away leaving us with today's notion of close friendships." Yeah, we used to live in a culture where love and sex were not separated. Hmph, that's another article for another time, though (check out "We Should Really Rethink The Term' Casual Sex'").
Anyway, as with many things (especially in our culture), the word "platonic" is kind of used in "broad strokes" these days (bromances, female friendships, etc.). However, because there continues to be this forever discussion — and oftentimes debate — about whether or not men and women can be "just friends," I'm going to tackle this topic strictly from that angle — from the place where platonic actually originated.
Yes, Men and Women Can Be Just Friends. But…Giphy
At this stage in my life, I'm pretty sure that I have more male friends than female ones. There are layers of reasons why, yet I think a huge one is because I like the balance that masculinity brings to my femininity (especially as I'm learning to embrace different aspects of my femininity, intentionally even more). And while every single one of my male friends is respectful and is a super safe space in my world on every single level that I can imagine (and have been for years now), there are probably only a couple who I would say 100 percent qualify as being…trulyplatonic.
Why would I say that? Well, I'll illustrate this point with something that one of my male friends once said to me. He's super cute. He can sing his ass off (and definitely has one of my favorite speaking voices). People see us out together often, and some have told us that they assume that we've had something going on at some point. Anyway, after hearing someone share their theory about us, I told it to him.
Me: "I told him, 'He's my brother. We would never mess around.'"
My Friend: "Correction, you are like a sister. You are not my sister, though. Under the right conditions, you could still get it."
When I shared that exchange with another male friend of mine, he basically cosigned on the sentiment: "Shellie, I have never approached you like that because I really respect you. I want to be good for you for the rest of our lives." (That reminds me: check out "Question: Is The Man In Your Life Good 'TO' You? Good 'FOR' You? Or...Both?" when you get a chance.)
Then I went to one more guy homie and ran both statements by him: "Girl, yeah. If I didn't want to keep you in my life long-term, I would've tried to holla a long time ago!" And he and I have been friends for almost 20 years at this point. When did he get around to telling me this? Eh, maybe two years ago. LOL.
So, my takeaway from all of these "for real?!" exchanges is even though men and women can be just friends, there is a certain level of intention, self-control, and ability to see into the future (on some level) that must go into account — because, just because something more-than-friends-like may not have gone down, that doesn't mean there isn't a "dormant seed" lying around somewhere…whether it's one-sided or on both sides of the friendship dynamic.
As you can see, I just provided you with three instances where the male friends in my life; we've had nothing sexual or even physically intimate beyond a hug when we greet each other in nature — although things aren't exactly platonic if there is some sort of attraction or sexual/romantic curiosity that simply never got explored. Because again, according to Plato, a platonic relationship is free from all of that kind of…tension — or possibilities. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
And now you probably get why I entitled this article in the way that I did…right? I mean, just think about it — out of your male friendships, where is there NO sensual desire or dormant romantic interest…on your side and/or on his? If you're not sure about "his"…have you ever asked him? Or them? Because again, once I really let the definition of platonic sink in, I think maybe two guys in my life totally fit the bill.
This brings me to my next point.
Are You Platonic? Or Are You Friend-Zoning?Giphy
Now that you know that probably 70 percent of the people you know (both online and off) have been using the true meaning of platonic all the way wrong, let’s go about deeper: when it comes to your friendships with men, are they genuinely platonic or…is it more like you’re friend-zoning them?
A few years ago, I penned an article on the topic entitled, “Before You 'Friend Zone' Someone, Read This.” If you’re skimming this on your lunch break, I’ll summarize friend-zoning as knowing that a guy has so-much-more-than-platonic feelings for you, yet because you basically want to keep the benefits of the friendship or even his emotions around, you will string him along on some level.
Personally, I can’t stand friend-zoning. I think it’s selfish, with some sprinkles of manipulation and wasting someone’s time. Don’t agree? How would you feel if a guy was friend-zoning you? (Yeah…exactly.)
This all needs to go on record because, knowing that a guy wants to “take it there” with you (whether sexually or romantically), you not full-on addressing it and/or giving him just enough hope to take you out, listen to all of your stories about other men and give you the attention that you need knowing that he doesn’t have a shot in hell — that is NOT a platonic friendship and honestly, you’re not being a good friend at all. Friends protect each other’s hearts, not abuse them.
A platonic friendship means that you both have no interest in each other, and, as Plato put it, while you may have a strong and solid bond, it’s spiritual love that connects you. And what exactly does that mean? Spiritual love also deserves its own article, yet the gist would be that you recognize there is a purpose in your friendship, yet it’s about wanting what’s best for one another and even helping each other to get there.
For instance, a platonic friend of yours may know that you desire to be married one day, so he has no problem setting you up with a good guy in his life. And if things go well, he would have no problem standing up as your own best man (without feeling like he’s dying inside) because he never saw you beyond anything but a friend. A guy in the friend zone doesn’t move like this; he likes you too much to help you move on with someone else. See the difference?
Why Relationships Should Start Off As NON-PLATONIC FriendshipsGiphy
Before I end this with some tips on how to properly care for the few platonic friendships you may actually have, since the use of the word may require a bit of mental reprogramming, I do think we should also address that if you've got a good guy in your life, who right now is a friend and either you've never thought of him in that way or the topic has never come up — he's someone that you may not want to brush off.
What I mean by that is, it's one thing for there to be absolutely no interest in someone vs. never considering it before — and the reason why you might want to give it some thought is because, ask any healthy married couple who's been together for more than five years and I'll bet you my next rent check that they will say that the best relationships are birthed out of friendship (check out "Are You Sure You're Actually FRIENDS With Your Spouse?").
Yeah, just because you've filed someone in the "I see him as a good guy" category, that doesn't automatically mean that y'all's friendship is platonic. For instance, I have a male friend who is fine and I adore on many levels, yet the reason why it would never work on my end is because there are certain relational standards that I have that he does not meet. However, don't get it twisted — I've considered him because, on so many levels, we "fit." So, the mere fact that I ever seriously thought about him on that level means that we are "good friends," yet it's not exactly platonic.
I'm not free of potential sensual desire…I just choose not to act on it. Yet because I get the value of having friendship as the foundation for my own future marriage (should life play out that way), I am wise enough to know that I would've been a fool to not at least…ponder him and the possibilities.
So yeah, if there is a male friend in your life that the thought of dating or having sex with him doesn't make you want to throw up in your mouth, there's a pretty good chance that it's not a classic platonic dynamic — and you might want to consider if it could/should go to the next level — if not immediately, eventually. Because there's a pretty good chance that if you are thinking that way, he probably is as well.
Protect Your Genuine Platonic Friendship(s) At All CostsGiphy
Let me end this with how one of my platonic friendships rolls. We both think that the other is attractive, yet neither of us is attracted. We both give each other opposite-sex insights. We both have said that the mere thought of dating each other makes our noses turn up like there’s an odor in the air. And even when I try to imagine us together, my mind goes blank. I love, love, LOVE this man — oh, but it is absolutely nothing more than platonic — and he feels the same way. It’s as close to familial love without being blood relationships. It’s a rare dynamic, and that is what makes it so special. There is definitely a spiritual type of love there; no more, no less.
If you’ve got someone in your life who you feel the same way about (again, it’s got to be mutual; he must feel that way, too), you’ve got a gem of a situation going on because there is nothing like having the kind of friendship where you and a guy can hang out, exchange perspectives and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, knowing that’s all it is and will ever be. Things will never get weird. No one’s feelings are gonna get hurt (from the whole friend-zoning thing). You don’t have to walk on eggshells. You can just be.
And that’s why I’m all for platonic friendships. And listen, if you’re blessed enough to have even one in your lifetime, be fiercely protective of it. Don’t take it for granted. Nurture it in a way that your male friend needs (because it probably won’t be the exact same as your female friendships). Y’all, platonic friendships are so bomb because, if it’s honored and protected correctly, it’s the one male friend that you can probably keep for life because even your romantic partner will not find it to be a (true) threat — hell, they honestly could probably end up becoming (some level of) friends with your platonic homie as well.
I hope that I broke this all down enough to where, when you decide to use a word to describe your opposite-sex friendships, perhaps you will pause and ask yourself, “Wait, is this a platonic friend or a good or close friend?” Because the clearer you are on the differences, the easier it will be to know how to maintain your friendship — and feel about your friend. Feel me? Cool.
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Featured image by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images