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Coronavirus Edition: 7 Ways To Turn Fear Into Financial Favor

Sis, you can push through and find peace with these steps.

Finance

It's official. You've been grounded for a few weeks and are being forced to stay in your home, which can feel like solitary confinement. Mama Corona did not come here to play with you!

While you've been prescribed to socially distance yourself, the isolation can leave you feeling idle and anxious with concerns around the impact this will have on the economy, your job security, or your business. Times like this can feel like punishment, bringing up those same fears, frustrations, and feelings of being "bad", but this time with money, leaving you uncertain about your financial future.

Image via Giphy

Many people think worries about money are just a "broke" person's problem, but SPOILER ALERT, they're not. The truth is, even HIGH EARNERS can still have a TON of fear around money. It's the equivalent of hearing someone cough around you during this pandemic--the kind of fear that makes your body tense up and makes you question why your throat or stomach is hurting all of a sudden or why you aren't feeling well.

As a Money Mindset + Business Coach, I am here to help you replace panic with peace, and turn your fears into financial favor. Here are 7 steps to get started:

1. Get grounded (in a good way).

First, take inventory of your bills. If you are concerned about the months to come, figure out what is a necessity versus a luxury. If you have the money, pay your bills. If you're experiencing financial hardship, take action.

Call the creditors and see if you can receive a 60-day suspension of payments or interest.

This may apply to mortgages, rent, cable, electric, student loans, etc. While the debts won't necessarily be forgiven, it will provide you an opportunity to get on solid ground. Connect with nature, take social media breaks when needed, and make sure you are still connecting with others and not isolating yourself during social distancing.

Image by Giphy

2. Get out of your own head (and into your body).

With gyms shutting down across the country, your usual workout routine may not be available. Get creative with home workouts or take them outside for some fresh air and sunshine. You can find plenty of free workouts online or support your fitness friends that have taken their businesses online.

The endorphins will help you find a sense of peace in the midst of chaos, helping you to make better, more informed decisions. Make a habit of this, and if you find yourself overextended financially once the panic over coronavirus subsides, you can cancel your gym membership and pay yourself instead.

3. Shift your mindset.

Balance is key. Enjoying experiences and guilty pleasures are necessary as life is meant to be enjoyed. When you're feeling financial uncertainty, shift your mindset from CONSUMERISM to OWNERSHIP. Your emotions and boredom can get the best of you during this time which will only make you feel more financially strapped. With the way Amazon Prime is so conveniently set up, you may find yourself spending unnecessarily.

Rather than letting boredom take all your dollars that you won't see again, get in on the greatest sales of the year by making purchases that will actually provide you a return on your investment.

Just because you can't fly right now doesn't mean you can't buy and hold a piece of your favorite airlines. Those stocks might just bring you back some "free flights" in the future. Cryptocurrency and stocks are having their biggest sales in a long time right now. Plant a few seeds that will potentially help you rebound or pivot in the months and years to come.

4. Go digital.

Create or take your side hustle or business digital. And no, I'm not talking about unethical business practices like hoarding 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and getting banned from selling them online during a global pandemic. I'm talking about a business that feels like it's made for you because it is. Do you think it's a coincidence you've been forced to sit and slow down? It's times like this when you have more time to find and develop your purpose.

Take this time to assess your aptitude (innate gifts) and learned skill sets to monetize your talents. The world has been changing right before your eyes, and if you've been distracted by life, it's providing you with an opportunity. Will you take it?

5. Adapt.

Remember your ex, Blockbuster? It can be hard to recall when you found the current love of your life, Netflix. When Blockbuster didn't adapt, refused to do his inner work to heal and get with the times, he became a thing of the past and just didn't do it for you anymore as you evolved. This rings true more than ever today as society and technology continue to evolve. Some of the most lucrative and disruptive ideas were born from the last recession.

It is during these times it pays to be more receptive than ever to new money strategies and understand that through change comes opportunity.

Need an example of how to adapt? If you've been driving Lyft or Uber and this income stream has left you financially stressed, adapt to the current environment and consider food or grocery delivery (i.e., UberEats and Instacart, respectively).

6. Financial wellness is not determined by your bank balance.

This may sound counterintuitive. However, how much money you make or have does not determine your financial health. While being cash strapped can create anxiety, financial wellness is how you feel about your current financial situation. True abundance is being grateful and at peace no matter where you are. As we navigate through the unknowns in the wilderness of the coronavirus and the economic impact, focus on financial peace and balance. There are a lot of people whose identity is tied to money, who have lots of it, and they are being challenged to figure out what's really important.

Image via Giphy

7. Own your money mindset. Don't let it own you.

What does this mean exactly? It means to gain clarity and take hold of the way you think and behave when it comes to your money. Oftentimes our beliefs around money and scarcity mindset run deep, connected to our childhoods. If you've never healed your relationship with money, it's a great time to invest in doing so. The fear, anxiety, and avoidance around money that has you stuck in cycles of shame and guilt aren't even yours and it's time to unpack that.

A truly abundant mindset is being grateful with what you currently have no matter where you are in your journey to financial wellness, even during a quarantine.

Staying grounded and connected especially during these chaotic times will help you shift from fearful to favored, like scoring the last pack of toilet paper. Don't you agree?

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Featured image by Shutterstock

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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