What does Donald Trump’s election mean and why ALL Americans must be self sufficient!

November 9, 2016 at 06:44 (2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, Ethics, Hillary Clinton, Social Media, Women Empowerment, Your Bottom line)

Hi Peeps,

The “Trump Stump Brigade” will strive to fell the diversity pool that makes America great. This country was built by immigrants and will continue to be defined by them long after he is gone.

While President-elect Trump managed to reach out to many disenfranchised Americans in the rust belt, he also completely alienated a whole sector of the populace he called “Rapists, Drug dealers and Terrorists”; even so far as accusing President Obama of being the founder of ISIS.

Indeed this was an historic election. One for the ages. No doubt this election and results will be studied for years to come. Despite the fact that a percentage between 20% to 36% felt concerned and scared about the future and; even a higher percentage at 63% did not like or trust him, Trump still managed to win the highest office in the land with no political background or understanding of the three branches of government. He stated, “I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace” Obamacare. If Congress is already IN session, there is no need to convene a special session.

Americans, it appears, have too long held out for hope for a “saviour.” President-elect Trump is not it. The role of the President is to be a Steward; to guide others by example and inclusive action that has a lasting and impactful benefit. What was evidence during this election cycle was that President-elect Trump had to be guided himself and cajoled into certain actions and inactions, as the case may be. This included a halt to his Twitter rants.

During the campaign trail, Secretary Clinton was not the only victim of his off coloured comments. In one instance, he made fun of a disabled journalist and on the other; stated Senator John McCain was not a hero because he was captured. He preferred heroes not to be captured. Melania Trump’s words resounded loud and clear, when during an interview, stated she had “two boys at home.”

President-elect Trump’s loss in his home town of New York, coupled with the upcoming Trump University trial, plus his Twitter and campaign rants, should provide a clear indication of the true personality behind the facade. CNN Political Commentator Van Jones had stated that we are living in a social media world, where bad behaviours are rewarded with increased followers and likes.

Americans can no longer rely on a personal bail out. They must rely on their own steam, their own conviction, their own will power and their creativity. They must also rely on their own research, stop following the herd and; think for themselves. The idea of being self sufficient and self reliant is not a dream. Comfort, complacency and fear has crippled many communities and individuals from action. We must stop waiting around for the next great “Hope.”

We have to STOP “Waiting for Gadot” and get on with life.

We hope that President-elect Trump realises his enormous responsibility to shepard a new era; advance the country forward and; protect the rights of ALL its diverse citizens.

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. #ADVOCACY

© 2016  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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I Am…What’s Wrong with the World? “Tom Shadyack”

April 21, 2011 at 09:39 (Ethics, Health & Wellness, Money & Finance, Relationships, Women Empowerment, Your Bottom line)

Tom Shadyack, the director of the provocative documentary, “I Am,” explores what happened to “civilisation” as we know it. We had an opportunity to screen this film back in March. The film resonated with all of us as we continue our journey for more “altruistic” ventures. He was on Oprah yesterday with an epiphany that changed his life forever, as it did ours in 2003.

Tom Shadyack is no stranger to filmmaking or Hollywood. He has turned out comedic hits as “Bruce Almighty” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” starring Jim Carrey and “The Nutty Professor” starring Eddie Murphy. He averaged about $8M per film with points for box office receipts. At one time he owned three (3) sizable “mansions,” flew on private jets and lived by any standard, an “extraordinary life.” He gave it all up for a more “happier life” a “double wide” and a bike and; as he stated, “the less weight I had the happier I became.”

His “ground-breaking” new film explores his own journey to discover where did civilisation get it wrong? Whilst the film does not condemn life as we know it, it questions where society sets “priorities,” and the notion that “more” will make us any happier, or that we are hard wired for competition. On the contrary, we are “hard wired” for “collabouration.”

In 2003, we made the decision, as a collective, to downsize out of economic necessity. We were once again “Going to war.” One cannot live on just a military salary, alone. We also made a conscious and ethical decision not to take our usual Board of Directors stipends whilst on deployment. In the years since, just like Tom Shadyack, we, as a collective, became happier with less weight and; realised that we did not miss the “management of “stuff” nor the “stuffy” and “pretentious” world we were once part of.

To be clear, being part of “high society” is not stuffy at all, but the trappings of which others see as being important was. We also realised in our unique personal journeys, that the people we associated with were MORE important than those things that defined our status in life. Whilst we were products of good stock and education; associated, some would say, with a “privileged” life, we never let that which was afforded to us “go to our heads.” We were able to put things into perspective, select the friends who made us whole, be part of a team that made us thrive and seek out projects that gave us the opportunities to achieve.

A reporter who interviewed us during our pre-deployment once asked if it was “easy” to give up most everything we owned. Our ownership extended to properties, cars, lucrative stipend and luxury items including memberships at exclusive clubs and a private jet. Absolutely! When you are on the front line, your priorities are totally shifted to “What is really important in life.”

Today, we are still lean, and still don’t miss “all that.” With that said, we did not have to compromise our love of travel, entertainment and joys of life. Matter in fact giving up the other “weight” afforded us greater freedom to play. Tom Shadyack stated that when he told people he worked 18 hours, he received “positive” feedbacks, until he stated he played about four hours a day…to blank stares! No wonder people are stressed out and unhappy! We love the blank stares…so bring it on!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

© 2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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“Stand in YOUR Truth”

April 10, 2011 at 11:15 (Business Development, Ethics, Money & Finance, Your Bottom line)

We have been admirers of Suze Orman since the 90’s. In 2005, we produced the programme “Young Fabulous and Broke” using Suze’s book of the same name and in 2007, “Women and Money” where we also promoted the “Save Yourself Plan” through TD Ameritrade. In 2012, we will be back with another popular Suze book, “The Money Class” where she engages readers to “Stand in your truth.”

What we admire about Suze Orman is her “no nonsense” approach to personal finance. She definitely puts things into perspective and; some would say “too direct;” but does one have to be “meek” when it comes to a “reality check?” We believe that “Political Correctness” has all but destroyed our civilization as we know it to the point that there are very few people standing in their own truth and others “afraid” to say it like they mean it.

We do not want to scout around an issue looking to “feel” our way around for a “proper response.” If someone asks for our honest opinion, we will tell it, without being abashed. If we see something wrong, it will be addressed head on…”appropriately.” Calling it like you see it is not about “name calling,” attacking the person or being down right vicious. It is about providing a response that directly addresses the matter, without being malicious.

Suze Orman uses the phrase “Stand in your truth,” that in order to make significant positive changes in one’s own life, you have to be authentic. Whilst Suze applies this meaning to personal finance, we apply this to business and the troubling trend we are unearthing.

In today’s business environment, people can “hide” behind walls like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn spewing”quotes” and guiding people’s lives, but then we always wondered; who are these people? What is their background? How did they get started? Why should we believe anything they have to say?

Unfortunately, the contents of most websites do little to dispel the “myth” about the person who is the principal. Other than some “questionable” testimonials from “friends,” there is nothing unique to distinguish the “claims” this person makes about his/her “business.” Some are not even legitimate businesses. For instance, if you check ANY State business filings online, you can see ALL RELEVANT and “legitimate” businesses listed.

After a recent incident in one our beta programmes where participants were caught lying about their business status, we did a complete search. We were shocked how many of them were “Administratively dissolved” by the State for FAILING to file their ANNUAL REPORT, so in essence calling themselves an Inc., LP or LLC without “proper authority.” A few got “reinstated” after paying the hefty penalty fee and others just started a new business, without even bothering about their old business. Still others changed their business name like a baby changing a diaper and unfortunately, for some, nothing matched up with what they were currently doing. BLOWS YOUR MIND! Would you do business with such “questionable” entities?

We prefer “consistency in productive output” and REAL experts! History is important, but one does have to weigh a new business or a shift in business model with logical flow. If a person has too many “outstanding” businesses over a short period of time that resembles a “Start, stop and start,” with no logical flow, you need to question motive. For instance, if the business started out as a public relations firm, then decided they were financial planners; this would not be a logical flow. However, if the public relations firm added social media expertise, that would make sense.

Businesses should also “get” the importance of communications, “deadlines” and abiding by legal guidelines for their business. This to us shows “responsible and accountable business practices.”

If you “stand in your truth,” you will hold others to a higher degree…and by all means, you should!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

ADDENDUM (04-11-11) Since posting this blog, we received email comments from those who had their businesses “Administratively dissolved” by the State. Some of them got reinstated after paying the fee, “claiming” they did not know when their Annual Report was due. Others stated they just wanted to do something else and let the State take care of dissolving their business. To ALL, we say, “That is just plain laziness,” with all due respect. Most states send reminders of their Annual Report or Biennial statements, with a figure and fee for failing to file the report. In the matter related to dissolution, most states charge a nominal fee, such as $35.00 to “Voluntarily dissolve” your own business. THERE IS NOT EXCUSE FOR LAZINESS! To “Stand in YOUR Truth” is to take ownership of your responsibilities. Be accountable! If you fail in taking care of your own business, how can you “honestly” take care of anyone else?

© 2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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Suze Orman vs. Kim Kiyosaki

March 4, 2011 at 00:05 (Education, Ethics, Health & Wellness, Money & Finance)

We recently heard an interview of Kim Kiyosaki and realised the woman was “out of touch,” especially in this economy. She told the interviewer point blank that “no one” should live below their means or within their means. HUH? Really? Even the interviewer asked her “Why?” Ms. Kiyosaki responded, “Do you want to get rid of your credit cards and eat cheap meals? I don’t.” She then continued by stating that she was used to a certain lifestyle and she was not going to give it up. We found her response to be quite “elitist.”

We thought Ms. Kiyosaki’s statement to be “negligent,” as well, since the majority of women who “flock” to these conferences where Ms. Kiyosaki appears do not have the financial resources. They mostly come from the “working class.” Some are single mothers who don’t have the luxury of an extra income. Even if they have a spouse, some women feel they need to work to support the family. Rarely will you find women from Bel Air, Palm Beach or Riverside flocking to these kinds of events. Can you imagine the Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County, DC and Atlanta attending? So the message has to be tailored to the masses who do attend, not those who don’t.

We attended one of these Rich events for FREE, but rather have paid for “real value.” This event was more like a “Get rich quick” scheme where unsuspecting people were “sold” on a “system” that costs more than some of their pay checks. Of course, the price was slashed to $495 at the event!

The Rich staff members sat at long tables, behind the audience, “ready and eager” to take credit cards, and even suggested a “payment plan.” A guy at the front of the house “worked the crowd,” shouting and we thought, “touched by the holy spirit.” It sounded like a Baptist revival, all programmed to release the audience of their hard earned money!

On her website, Ms. Kiyosaki does bring up a good point that money can “set you free.” We totally concur with that. Being financially solvent and independent from debt and liabilities does set you free. There is nothing more EMPOWERING than being debt free and cash rich, but certainly NOT at the expense of others. Ms. Kiyosaki and her husband became rich selling their lifestyle ideals to others, whilst pocketing the profits.

Suze Orman got it right, and in our view, she is the “real deal.” She is a highly successful professional who can spin Ms. Kiyosaki in a wind tunnel of financial expertise. “True wealth” is knowing that you have the cash to pay for it outright, not that you can put it on credit. Once you put it on credit, you already carry a liability which eats away at your networth. Then you are trying to figure out how to make more money to counter balance that liability. When in the first place, if you did live either below your means, meaning spending less than you bring in (AND NOT as defined by Kim Kiyosaki), or within your means, you would not have to work so hard to generate income to make up the difference.

The Kennedy’s are seen as a Wealthy American family in every sense of the word, yet Rose Kennedy, the matriarch had no problem shopping at Woolworths. Warren Buffett is the second richest man in the world, yet has no problem eating a steak at a dive. You can’t even find the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha. They don’t have a marquee on the building. They rent office space, as they had done for years! We attend their Shareholders meetings annually. During our first year, trying to find their headquarters in Omaha was like, “Where’s Waldo?”

SMART Women know how to build wealth…SMARTLY. These women do not follow the groupies, the heard or the raving fan base. Be your own mistress to your destiny and take charge of your life and financial future by being SMART and living SMART.

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

© 2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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Here is a recent Tweet from Kim Kiyosaki. NO Ms. Kiyosaki, “Living below your means DOES NOT mean being “less” than who you are.

@kimkiyosaki Kim Kiyosaki says:

Often we hear “live below your means.” This means be less than who you are. We should be expanding to be MORE than who we are.

17 Feb via HootSuite

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Another SCAM event?

February 15, 2011 at 11:05 (Education, Ethics, Health and wellness, Money & Finance, Relationships)

Recently, we had a conversation with a colleague who was attending an event of a well known Motivational Speaker. In our view, he is known for making “lots” of money on the backs of hard working people. Whilst his message was interesting…nothing new or “earth shattering”…he was able to “hook” unsuspecting people to come to his events that cost hundreds of dollars. He not only expected them to pay, but did plenty of “upselling” before his event to ensure that he made even MORE money off these “suckers.”

Personally, we are ALL for events that are “altruistic” in nature that support the success and achievements of others. There are excellent examples of great events that do just that! Then, there are those organisers who approach their events with one “conflict of interest after another,” organising an event” that showcases themselves and their “friends.” They even promote themselves with tag lines such as “#1 Internet Marketer,” The “Greatest” Marketing mind, the “Worlds Top” Marketing Experts. Who determines these titles anyways? If you see one…RUN AWAY!

Anytime an event promotes “You can make money in your sleep” and talks about the Internet, we TRASH IT! Come on…have you REALLY met anyone that actually made money in their sleep this way? We have interviewed not less than 80 business owners/entrepreneurs in one such community and none of them did. We even conducted a focus group of 566 in 2009, and none of them did either. So, could these organisers who run their own show be blowing a giant smoke screen? Perhaps.

Be aware and just make it happen for yourself!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

© 2011  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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Energy Vampires…Stop Sucking your own Life force!

October 31, 2010 at 06:23 (Ethics, Health and wellness, Money & Finance, Women Empowerment)

In recent months, we discovered a very “disturbing” trend. We call it the “discombobulated” factor where intelligent small business owners, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors are adding on “unrelated” business entities to their mix of already “unsuccessful” list of “things they do to try to earn some money.”

Unless you are an “investment” or a “holding” company, i.e. Berkshire Hathaway or Unilever, a business should be crafted in such a strategic way to be identified with their “brand.” Therefore, if you are known as a “webmaster,” per say, and you start selling fashion clothing, we wonder how serious you are about your craft, unless you are making a concerted effort to “reinvent” yourself and have therefore left a “successful” venture to try something COMPLETELY new. It does happen!

Several months ago, we totally gave up attending any “singular-minded” business-related functions because we were so confused by the majority of the attendees. Chambers of Commerce and institutions that support small businesses are a good thing, but they are so similar in the way they approach business practice, they do a great disservice most times for their membership. Personally, we hate the “elevator speech,” the sing songy way of expressing what you do, usually in 30 seconds or less. We suppose it does help people from “rattling on,” as some do at these functions.

Regardless of the “elevator speech,” most attendees do not have a clear vision of their business or their brand. They seemingly take on more than they produce. They do not prioritize their strategic business intent which is evidenced by their rattling more ventures in a single breath, i.e. Printing service and an unrelated MLM company like Juice Plus; rather than highlighting their specialties or mission within their main business frame.

This trend of the multiple unrelated, discombobulated “features” in one’s business does little to promote the business. It is too darn confusing! However, this trend has been growing in recent months due to the recession. People, especially sole proprietors are feeling rather “desperate” and with it, unfortunately, comes despair and with that comes a need to “try anything” to stay afloat. In other words, they try WAY TOO hard to be heard and in essence, spread themselves too thin. Their life force is being sucked out of them and they don’t even know it.

These Energy Vampires are more dangerous because they suck the life force out of you from within, leaving you nothing but a shell. You are not enriched by this experience because you have lost your sense of direction and focus. Instead of successfully maneuvering the challenges of your main business, you have now taken on yet another “task” that is completely unrelated, and neither your primary nor supplemental job come to fruition because you had no plan.

The “triple threat” like J-Lo, aka “Jenny from the block,” come to fruition when you successfully maneuever all three (3) areas of talent exceedingly well. Each talent block, ie. singing, acting, dancing, MUST co-exist and collabourate, not become discombobulated. There is nothing wrong with “dominating” an industry, i.e. Oprah (Media/Entertainment Mogul) or Tyler Perry (Writer/Director/Producer)…just do it well.

A “triple threat” or any addition to your known public “brand,” should be a building process, not a “stick to the wall and hope it will stay” mentality. Examples of successful transitions are all around including Jill Ireland (Model/decorator/investor). Yes, there will be missteps (i.e. Oprah’s “Beloved”), but just keep moving and with each step, you will get stronger and better.

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

© 2010  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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Primum non nocere

June 7, 2010 at 09:42 (Ethics)

“First do no harm” associated with the “Hippocratic Oath” in the medical profession, is now a practice of a growing number of MBA students. Amidst the aftermath of recent corporate scandals, graduates of prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Wharton, U-Penn, and Kellogg among others, have banded together to take an oath promising to abide by ethical standards of “do no harm.”

“Primum non nocere” should not only be standard for the medical profession, and elected by MBA graduates, but a modern day practice applicable to everyone in their respective personal and professional lives, regardless.

Primum non nocere influenced a five (5) year research study on the subject of “ethics and integrity,” a journey started in 2004. We came to the same conclusion as John Maxwell in his book “There is no such thing as business ethics” which was a good read in 2004. Dr. Maxwell most likely wrote its contents during or immediately following the Enron scandal.

Dr. Maxwell argues that there is no such thing as “business” ethics. There is just ethics. He purports that one standard should be applied, not one for business, one for personal or one for spiritual. Even when people hold others “ethically accountable” they don’t apply the same to themselves; then he lays out the “Golden Rules.”

We discovered a number of “business professionals” who preach ” collabouration” but in fact practice “segregation;” and associations based on “perceived value” not face value. Further damaging the professional landscape are associations based on “quid pro quo” and not based on integrity.

Identities are also crossed when representations are questionable at best. We once met a woman who represented herself as a “trained” weight loss professional to find out that she managed a franchise that provided “pharmaceutical” grade drugs as part of the programme.

One of our favourite books, “The Millionaire Next Door” co-authored by Dr. Thomas Stanley, makes the argument that some of the most wealthiest people, whose networth exceeds $1million, live way below their means. Instead of “flash,” they own practical cars (bought outright); have comfortable, affordable homes in middle class neighbourhoods and; go on “thrift-conscious” vacations. Most did not belong to a country club or dined out every day. Their kids were enrolled in public education, not private. They neither flaunted their wealth or portrayed themselves any differently.

Yet, there are clear evidence of people living way above their means, trying to “keep up with the Jones,” debt rich and cash poor. These are the very people coaching about “prosperity” whilst they show off their “leased” car and “equity depressed” home.

Whilst we would like to believe in Dr. Maxwell’s “Golden Rules,” not everyone is on board, especially in the business mindset of “entitlement” and “self grandeur.” Be vigilant and know that not everyone understands what ethics entails or practices it in their own personal or professional lives. Hypocrisy is alive an well…everywhere!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

Twitter contact: T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne. Ask questions at hashtag #TEAMSOUNDOFF

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© 2010  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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June 7, 2010 at 04:39 (Ethics)

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