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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“Insanity rules” @TheView reboot: Same Look, different Co-hosts.

September 9, 2015 at 11:15 (Social Media, Women Empowerment, Your Bottom line)

Most of us know the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.” Well, that is how ABC’s The View feels like with their latest reboot.

Granted, there will always be a mis-match in Human Capital when hiring and casting talent. Unfortunately, if you keep changing stripes each and every time a formula does not work…should you NOT change the formula? The View changes co-hosts as often as I re-decorate my livable space.

It is also painful to watch this constant “Overdraft” happening in front of my eyes. Please STOP the insanity! The producers think that by changing the set, it will be a different show. This goes for the parade of co-hosts past and present. I happened to LIKE Rosie O’Donnell and Rosie Perez. Their departures, especially Rosie Perez’s reminded me that ABC’s The View is no different than the Today Show on how they handled Ann Curry on the air. It was quite painful to watch Rosie Perez tearfully say her good byes on air! SO CRUDE!!!

The producers should take a playbook out of CBS The Talk, instead. The ladies of The Talk have a RELATIONSHIP with their audience, both in front of and their television viewers. They are engaging and collabourative. They agree to disagree, without getting nasty about it. In addition EVERYONE’S opinions MATTER! Importantly, they have a winning FORMULA. You definitely know the direction of the programme, beginning, middle and an end. It is very basic, like the evening news, BUT it works!

I TRIED to give this NEW reboot of The View a try. It was terrific to see Joy Behar back in the co-host chair. I was a FAITHFUL viewer of The View at inception and launch; but honestly MOVED on to the ladies of The Talk in recent years. It is also nice to see Candice Cameron Bure, but a bit taken aback that she was not MORE involved at the beginning of the show, discussing of all things debate over Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis. I am a Liberal who knows how wrong this move was by the producers, regardless how ABC tried to spin it!

Regardless, I wish The View well, and hopefully ABC and the producers can work with the current talent to produce a show worth VIEWING!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

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

© 2015  |  Gabrielle Bourne – T.E.A.M. @gabriellebourne

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United States Postal Service @USPS Passport #Privacy breach – They still don’t “Get it!”

September 9, 2015 at 09:57 (Money, Money & Finance, Privacy, Security, Women Empowerment, Your Bottom line)

We noticed an uptick in complaints regarding United States postal clerks and how they handled the passport process. I renew my passport by mail and get a new one within six (6) weeks. The old one is also sent back to you. The old passports are nice reminders of past travel. The passport photos, on the other hand, is a different reminder!

You can renew your passport by mail if it had not expired past the five years or; you can renew within 15 years from the date of issue. It is a quick and simple process. But for millions of new passport candidates, you must apply in person. You must also renew in person IF your passport expired five years from expiration date or 15 years from the date of issue.

For this undercover SOCIAL EXPERIMENT, my partner and I went to the local post office to see how they handled our passport requests. My partner was looking to get a new passport. I had an expired passport of more than 15 years from the date of issue, looking to get a new passport.

At the local post office, one clerk was seen when we arrived. Another clerk soon came into the scene to help a customer. When we were called to the counter, we stated our need for new passports. The clerk rudely asked, “What are we doing?” Again, we clearly stated our need for new passports, and elabourated that both of us were getting new passports. I stated mine expired. The clerk, INCORRECTLY chimed in, “Oh yes, over 10 years.” The correct answer was over five (5) years, since that would be the correct time after the expiration date. This WRONG response made me feel less confident in the clerk’s abilities.

The clerk again rudely asked, “What do you want? Forms?!” We had the forms. She then rudely stated, “Give me what you got!” We provided her with our folder with the forms all filled out. You could fill out the application forms online and print them. She asked, “What is this?!” She started to crudely go through it and said, “I don’t need this…this is not needed,” and so forth, thumbing through the forms in a rude fashion. The first part of the passport forms are instructions which are printed out with the application.

We asked the clerk if she had a private room where we can process the passport application, since our paperwork was being manhandled with total disregard for privacy. She said, “Nope, this is it!” We were subjected to just the counter and a clerk who did not know the first thing about securing personal information. Mind you, ALL passport applications contain SENSITIVE information including social security numbers! Any ID thief could use the information to create a false persona and RUIN your credit, not to mention your life!!!

We made a request to have our documents examined on the lower part of the counter where there was plenty of space. This lower level would hide the documents from prying eyes. The top counter was visible to all. She again refused and said, “Well, I don’t have any room down there!” This was a LIE, of course. She had plenty of space. She just did not want to do it.

We lifted the folder flap so it created a barrier for prying eyes. Next to us was a customer who ACTUALLY was looking at our paperwork being disheveled by the clerk. He was waiting for some service to be done and it was taking quite a long time. I glared over at him and he quickly turned his head straight away. The clerk yelled at us and asked, “What are you doing?!” We stated, we were doing it to prevent identity theft!

Once we took our stand for MORE privacy, the clerk rudely commented, “Well, that’s ridiculous!” She then nonchalantly stated, “This was a first!” The clerk then rudely stated, “Let’s get the pictures done!”

The clerk took us down a hallway where she opened a door to the back room. A white screen was placed behind a stool. I waited about five minutes until she figured out the camera. She took two pictures. When I asked to see them, she made a long “Sigh,” giving me a clue that she could not even be bothered. She then stated that her battery was dead. I asked, how she could take pictures if her battery was dead. I waited another five minutes with my partner outside the door, until she figured that one out. We promptly ended the session with the clerk and asked her to delete the photos she just took. We were not interested in getting passports today.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Consumers have a RIGHT to take action, when they feel violated or their private information is nonchalantly handled. We all have a responsibility to protect our identity and; to call out others who do not. If we demand better service, often times we will get it. But, we must collectively voice our dissent in order to receive it. This also goes for other acts you too should initiate. If you see something…do something about it! During a recent visit to the CVS, I noticed a customer being ignored. I approached her and asked how long she had been waiting. 45 minutes!!! I promptly went over to the Manager, who was not doing anything of importance, and asked why was this happening on his watch. TAKE ACTION for yourselves and for OTHERS!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not every USPS experience is the one described herein; however, the privacy and security factor remain. Many USPS locations process passports at the counter and; yes, clerks have a propensity to read aloud information such as full name, address, contact phone number, email address and even; your parent’s information listed on the form. This is a DANGEROUS practice!

Healthy | Mindful | Wealth

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

© 2015  |  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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