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At 17 years old, I decided to request the prospectus of various investment companies. Once they arrived, I couldn’t understand the majority of what was written, and legally due to my age couldn’t do anything with the information even if I had the money to. The world of investing is something that I knew nothing about, and I wondered just why that was? Eventually, I became licensed to sell insurance and investments, and found myself apart of an industry that wasn’t nearly as glamorous or lucrative as I once thought. But, I certainly loved the work hard /play hard mentality coupled with the underlying mafia undertone driven by the Director and his top henchmen. He had a corny, hug it out, “Danny Tanner” vibe, with the ability to make people immediately fear and trust him. The majority of words he spoke were typically about family or business. I’m sure he’s rubbed off on me.

Although I had prepared myself to be a seductive, busines maverick like Heather Locklear from Melrose Place, surprisingly I had never been told more times by men to find a nice person and get married. In their eyes family meant bills, and bills meant you were forced to make money, and that meant make them money. There was no time for a single, sexy, and care free attitude. Imagine that?

About a decade and a half ago, there wasn’t nearly as much marketing done about financial companies on commercials like it is now. And certainly, these companies wouldn’t randomly pop up on your screen to try and get your  personal information. At times it could seem like no one wanted your money, and you hoped to one day bump into someone that could assist you with it. The profession of Finance was very vague, and not nearly as accessible as today’s beginner licensees dying to build their book of business.

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Like anyone who was a teen in the 90’s, when you wanted to learn about or become something it took a lot of work and research. People truly valued who they were, and so did others. Everyone knew it didn’t happen overnight. Today, people naively assume that all they need to know is given, so there isn’t a reason to dig further. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. An even more laser focus is necessary to weed past the senseless distractions, and seek after the knowledge that can take you to the next level.

In essence, please do not be content with the instruction anyone will easily give you. Do the hard work so you can truly reap the rewards. Even if you end up feeling like a 17 year old girl that can’t do anything with what you have found, there will come a day when you will be able to, and you will be armed and dangerous. In my case, after I had sold enough expensive sunglasses to Financial Advisors I finally had the courage to ask one of them, who is still the best dressed woman I’ve ever met, “How do you become one?” It may not be an industry that many stay in forever, but there are some hugely successful people who spent time in this sector before their curiosity took them elsewhere.

With the recent exposure of the reckless behavior of some politicians, police officers, fraternity’s and members of our own communities, all of us need not assume we know how things work. Many systems and practices are disguised as modern, but underneath are not too far from the way things “used” to be. And, maybe if we had been just a bit more interested in seeing that before, we could have done something about it up to now.

Rachel Bryant Lundy


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My post this week was going to be about Spring cleaning, but it will have to wait. For some reason I cannot stop finding the opinionated, headline making, soon to be pop culture icon Amber Rose interesting. She keeps my attention more than cleaning so she wins. I never intentionally look for her, but when she ends up on my newsfeed or if I hear about something she’s involved in, she never disappoints. The replies she gives to her critics are audacious and humorous. Not to mention she has pretty thick skin, and is able to take the kind of insults that would make many hide under the covers for days until people forget, but she instead quickly uses them to her advantage. And, of course how could I not love that after she finishes “schooling” her biggest critics online, she lovingly signs her post “Muva”.

What I admire most about Amber is that this African, European, and Italian chick doesn’t conveniently fade into the background just because she’s not a favorite, or at times even liked at all. She’s a bit of a problem child, and that I can relate to. While I’ve never been a former stripper, there are many times I’ve chosen not to conform, follow the masses, or let past mistakes get in my way. She doesn’t mind being unpopular and she doesn’t run from people or situations that are stacked against her because of the bias support they give to her rivals. Ms. Rose refuses to be the only one in a room full of “wrongs” to apologize, just so everyone can get back to business as usual. This mentality hasn’t been seen often in a female, it’s one that will only take responsibility for their issues, and you dare not trick them into carrying anyone else’s. One can only wonder how different things could have turned out for Monica Lewinsky? If she only would have seen things this way, stood up to the President, and not allow society to shame her while the man involved is idolized? Thank goodness it’s no longer the 90’s.

This is increasingly becoming a world where there are so many people famous for nothing, or only for who they are dating. But, let’s be honest even that still has been reserved for a few. I respect that Amber is determined to also become rich and famous for the same, whether people want her to or not. If I had a daughter would I want her to grow up and be just like Amber Rose? No. I whole heartedly hope I can prevent her from having a difficult childhood, and succumbing to the fast money pitfalls that helped to create the persona of Amber Rose. However, what I do hope is that like Amber whatever hand she is dealt, she will play the hack out of. And also like Amber, won’t get up from the table to leave the game until she’s ready, and not any time before then. It wasn’t easy finding pictures of Amber Rose fully clothed, hence the head shots being used. There’s no doubt that as much as I encourage people to be aware of their self- worth from within, that I would be more comfortable tooting Amber Rose’s horn if she wore pant suits like Hilary Clinton, but she doesn’t. And, I’m adult enough to understand that she doesn’t have to be like me, doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, and that hopefully this isn’t her final chapter.

XXIV Karat's Launch Party Hosted By Amber Rose


Although her unrepentant, in your face, over the top sexual image has helped her gain popularity, I’m waiting to see what else she chooses to do with it. Hopefully, it does not keep her in a box and becomes the foundation that launches her into superstardom, with her business savvy being revealed. Their are plenty who have been successful at doing just that. One in particular, whom I didn’t want to mention, but to be fair I have to…Kim Kardashian.

Rachel Bryant Lundy

I Like my Odds….Completely Against Me

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Last week I reluctantly gave in and decided to not watch my favorite character, Cookie, on the hugely popular television series, Empire. I instead watched the 3 part BET mini- series “The Book of Negroes”. The title references a historical document that list the names of  former slaves, many who were Black Loyalist that helped the British in the Revolutionary War, and were willing to relocate to Nova Scotia in promise of better treatment, and more opportunities. It is brought to life by a fictional female character, Aminata Diallo, an African who was kidnapped from the continent and sold into slavery. Because she was able to read and write, Aminata was given the job of writing each name down of those who wanted to leave. In the latter part of her life she was given the opportunity to write her autobiography, which she also titled “The Book of Negroes”.

I’m not typically interested in watching stories like these because rarely is new information presented, or depth shown in the characters. But, this one surprised me. It sheds light on the global dependency of the institution of slavery, which caused many Africans to settle in various countries, not just the United States. It does not conveniently ignore the Africans who contributed to the daily practice of kidnapping other Africans from their village, and selling them into slavery. And, it also reveals the human need to be redeemed from a guilty past that haunts them into their present. Specifically, this is shown with Aminata’s husband, Chekura, who initially helped capture her when they were children, then was sold into slavery himself. As well as one of her owner’s Solomon Lindo, who taught her how to manage his business. However, he also secretly sells her daughter, but by the end of the mini- series gives her freedom, and reunites mother and daughter back together.

What I admired most about Aminata, was despite the amount of unfair tragedy and trauma she faced, she always chose to move forward. Often she had to decide whether it was time to give up or not, try again or not, and believe things could change or not. As hard as her life was, it would be completely understandable if she chose to bow out and accept her fate, but again she would not. Aminata was strong, educated, beautiful and carried these attributes with pride, even though they were thought to in some ways make things harder for her.

After watching, I could not help to make comparisons of what was considered hardship back then versus now. Unlike the 18th century, we do not have laws that enslave people, prevent them from being educated, and progress in life. Yet, we do now have a society that often resents those striving towards success, mocks handwork, having high morals, and those that have a desire to do better than what is in front of them. Not to mention, the rich controls the majority of the wealth, the poor continues to have assistance reduced, and the middle class is increasingly shrinking.

The after effects of slavery and additional enactment of laws that allowed for racism, injustice, and inequality to persevere has given way to many having little regard for their life or anyone else’s, division based on skin color, and an unwillingness to allow the majority to prosper instead of a small percentage. With this in mind, it can be easy to forget how grateful we should be to live in this century, and not be distracted by unfair disparities and policies that plague us. Inspite of it all, like Aminata, we must decide to still pursue our dreams and hold close to our beliefs. For ultimately, regardless of our circumstances, either we are someone that still does what they need to….. or we are not.

Rachel Bryant Lundy

Your Self Worth: A No Haggle Policy



Don’t you wish there was always someone around to remind us how to conduct ourselves respectfully, and  show people how we should be treated? Well we do, it’s you and I. Embarrassingly, not too long ago, when I found myself in a situation that required me to show I was aware of my self worth I was incapable of doing so. At any given moment, I expected my fairy godmother to magically appear and do it for me. Not to mention, I didn’t understand why I had to do it in the first place. Naively, I assumed because I am a nice person people would always behave appropriately. But, I guess they didn’t get the memo. I also thought expressing my feelings wasn’t always necessary, and would justify the thought by imagining people probably could not relate to how I felt. What I’ve learned is, regardless if people understand you, your feelings always need to be important to yourself. If not, you can safely bet they won’t stand a chance of mattering to anyone else. Acknowledging your value and making others do the same is not reserved for the fearless or entitled, it is simply a practice that should be non- negotiable for everyone.

If you are reluctant to accept it’s significance like I was, let me explain why you have to take this stance. Think about how much everyone loves to get a good deal while shopping. Even if we know what we are buying is worth more, not many of us would insist on paying above what is being asked. Being fair is not our job. It is up to the seller to set a price that accurately reflects the value, and stick to it. Similarly, you can see how many could use the same strategy when deciding how to behave with people. If they can get away with treating someone poorly, even if they know the person deserves better, they still would. It’s up to the person who is being mishandled to reject the behavior and insist on respect. At the end of the day, ownership and responsibility of ensuring this happens falls on the individual.

Our self- value also plays a critical role in determining the goals we set for ourselves. Do we aim high or do we only go after what is easy and requires little effort? Additionally, it acts as a guide and allows us to limit interactions with people and circumstances that don’t appreciate who we are, or add to our well being. Until we have a high level of self- worth, it will be a challenge to whole heartedly go after and expect the best to come to us.

Whether it’s having success, finding true love, or maintaining good health, we are the one’s that first have to believe we are worthy of them, and then everyone else will follow.


Rachel Bryant Lundy