I remember my dads speech about the birds and the bees! It went a little something like this…
“Kenny. Have you ever had a furburger?”
With his drunk friend Larry standing over his shoulder laughing!
I was embarrassed of course because, no dad! I have not had a furburger! I would spend the rest of my days trying to find out what a furburger taste like and who had the best one.
I share this because I’m sure many young men experience similar conversations with male figures in their life. Rapper Boosie was recently on the hot seat for saying he got his sons d*** sucked at the age of 12 or 13. Not far off from 11 when my dad asked me about furburgers.
Is sex really the number one priority for young men?
I rarely agree with the phrase “toxic masculinity”. On one hand I feel it’s a term used to emasculate men and knock us off our game. On the other hand I see instances where the term genuinely can be applied. The birds and bees conversation definitely falls under instances I may consider to be toxic.
Everything starts with men
Most men understand they need to work to make a living. What they don’t understand is how to actually make a living off of their work.
I would be a stone face lie if I told you my pops didn’t teach me to…
- Work Hard
- Be productive
- Not to be lazy
- Make something of myself
However, his hustle was more about living that day!
It wasn’t until I moved into foster care where I saw a whole new style of men putting their work to work that I realized I needed to learn how to combine my hustle to survive mentality with a hustle to sustain mentality to truly maintain a healthy life style.
When you’re hustling to build your life. Sex should be the very last thing on the priority list for young men.
Although sex is probably one of life’s greatest joys. We have to open our eyes to the liability it actually is to our young men. The focus on sex is the number one contributor to diminishing communities all around us in my eyes. Single mothers and broken fathers are a direct consequence of frivolous sex.
Other things for young men to focus on besides sex!
- Building a solid network
- Learning a trade
- Creating a solid savings plan
- Monetizing your trade
- Accumulating assets
Building a solid network
Have you heard the term, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know.” Bank on that!
What you don’t want to bank on is the idea of being a “self made millionaire”… That’s a myth at best!
Even though it is on you to do the work it takes to accomplish your goals. Part of that work is building a strong network of people to help you see your vision come to life. We all have skills unique to us. Surround yourself with people that compliment your uniqueness with theirs.
Learn a trade
My dad was known to be an excellent fisherman. Most days we ate off of the fish he caught on the Brazos.
That was his job and he did it well.
What most don’t know about my dad is that he was a master carpenter. I mean when he met my mother he was cat calling her from the roof of a house he and my uncle had built from the ground up!
This may further explain my visions of a wood shop in the garage, and my natural instinct to work with my hands 🤔.
I’ve said it for years! Blue collar work is not slavery! Its actually the very tool we need to build stronger communities
Learning a trade not only opens the door for you to earn a living. It provides a foundation for young men to develope work ethic and build camaraderie while giving back to the community in a positive and uplifting way.
The idea is to have young men working in unison to build strong healthy communities instead of in competition.
Build up your savings!
I mentioned earlier how my dad’s hustle was about doing what he needed to survive the day. So he never really implemented any savings plan. Therefor my savings skills are not very up to par.
What I do know for sure about saving is you need to start with your first job.
Disciplining yourself in the art of living within or below your means. Is probably the greatest skill you can acquire as young men.
5 QUICK STEPS TO START A SAVINGS PLAN
- Track your expenses
- Create a budget
- Set a savings goal
- Pick the right tools
- Automate your savings plan
May I suggest something?
When you start saving. You’re going to want more than one savings account for different things. As you grow you will be able to determine which accounts those are that best serve you. Consider starting with an emergency savings. Second, educate yourself on high-yield savings accounts. While finally investing money into a retirement account like a 401k plan or Roth IRA.
Monetize your trade – Put a price on your hands
There are a number of benefits for being able to work with your hands. I cant tell you a better feeling than being able to handle things a man needs to handle on your own. Like, changing a tire, your own brakes or fixing things around the house. Being able to do all these things makes you valuable…….
You are a walking asset!
I can remember one time in my life my dad had a real 9 to 5 job. It was about 1990’ish. He worked at the Purina dog food factory in Denver, CO. If you’re from any where in Denver you ‘smell’ …I mean know… what I’m talking about! Although, he never really maintained a job there was never a day we didn’t come home from school without a meal ready or a place to sleep.
He was good with his hands. If he wasn’t plowing snow in the winter, mowing lawns, picking pecans or selling fish. He was fixing something for someone and getting paid through his handyman service!
After getting caught up in the corporate lifestyle and being let go from two really good paying jobs. I realized why my dad never maintained a solid career. Relying on his hands to make a living.
The problem he ran into was not knowing how to properly monetize his skills.
Earn, Save and Invest. That’s the order of operations you should follow to generate wealth. Your trade is your lifeline for earning a living.
They goal of learning and developing your skill is to pass it on and build up the next generation. Its about putting your staple on life. Saving and investing during your working days is to set you up not to have to be a Walmart door greeter in your retirement years.
Your time is precious. You don’t want to wake up everyday, make money, spend it and repeat the same thing each day until you’re dead like my dad did.
Assets increase in value over time. They either appreciate or serve as a cash cow for life. Eventually your assets will earn enough money to maintain a living for you.
3 Most Common Asset Profiles to Build
- Stocks and Bonds
- Primary residence
- Rental property
- Physical business
- Online business
When you have purchased assets that generate money for you in your sleep. You have reached the stage of making your money work for you or “putting your money to work!”
This is the goal!
Before sex, kids and marriage. Young men need to learn how to provide for themselves and feed a village. Introducing sex early takes away from that focus.
These are the steps it takes to make a living from your hard work. These are the principals and values we need to instill in our young men to develop a good future for our communities.