This past weekend I surprised my best friend with things I thought would be helpful in encouraging her on her journey as a massage therapist. While she was away on training for two weeks I planned, schemed and organized a shelf in her apartment filled with things meant to show her that I support the work she is doing as a mother and as a  bomb ass massage therapist. Her appreciation for the gesture got me to thinking about the way we “invest” into our loved ones and their ventures.


Speaking life into your entrepreneur can be the difference between them giving up or pushing through. Understand that value and know that it costs you nothing to do it.


Bankrupt Support

We’re always talking about how we should invest in black businesses but are so slow to actually invest in those closest to us attempting to make their dreams a reality. Let’s Talk about it!


For the purpose of this article lets define an entrepreneur in my context:

“local entrepreneur”: Someone in your personal or social circle, including social media,  who have started a traditional business, podcasts, blog, or brand for self, service or products geared toward a passion, monetary achievement, or recognition.


In the last few months, several people reached out to me who wanted to learn more about blogging. I was happy to oblige but it was important for me to point out a very hurtful truth; sometimes those closest to you are the last to support. Preparing them for this reality ensures that they don’t get discouraged down the line and give up on their blogging venture. However, the lack of support is true in other aspects as well. Many entrepreneurs I’ve come into contact with said that they found it difficult to garner the support of their immediate circle. This is a problem I wrote about when I first started blogging in Where are Your “Day Ones” on Day Two?.

Strangers shouldn’t see the value in the entrepreneurs in our circle before we do. We should be the first to ask questions, share content and provide insight in an effort to invest in the people we love. So, why don’t we? One reason why could be constantly underestimating what we have to offer or invest. We mistake investing in others with monetary abilities when investment actually takes on many forms. Time, words of encouragement, shoutouts/references, and adding to their vision are all great ways to invest in the entrepreneurs in your life.


An Assortment of Investments

Investing in your surroundings doesn’t really take as much as you might think. Sometimes I randomly go on a rampage attempting to invest time, encouragement, and insight into those who are brave enough to try something as an entrepreneur.


Investing time.

Take the time to actually learn about their business/venture. This will come in handy when you are around others who need the service they provide. My bestie asked if she could give me a massage so I could review her skills for her (spoken like a true professional). She trusted that my honest review would help her improve and/or sustain some things. Not only was I able to give a stellar review ’cause sista got the kinks out my neck;


but I was also able to refer others to her based on my personal experience with her service. Familiarizing yourself with their product/services is also important so when possible buy it/use it/read it/listen to it. The best reference is a thorough, honest one.


Investing words of encouragement.

There will be times when your “local entrepreneur” gets overwhelmed, anxious, or just plain burnt out. Speaking life into your entrepreneur can be the difference between them giving up or pushing through. Understand that value and know that it costs you nothing to do it. Randomly and sporadically speak words of encouragement over your local entrepreneur.


Investing attention and vision.

As a creative mind, I often find myself seeing the possibility of improvements in other people’s vision/business. I use to hate it. Who did I think I was trying to mentally improve someone else’s business when I don’t even know how to fix my own. Yet, it’s when I share my outside ideas with those who asked that they were able to reach levels they hadn’t even seen. If you have a gift for providing wonderful insight that propels the ideas of others forward; use it. Invest your insight. Only when solicited though. Never freely offer your opinion without first feeling out the situation and/or asking first.





I have like 5 Instagram followers. 2 actively interact with me (I’m joking and yet, so serious). I do believe in utilizing social media as an advertising avenue. In the past two months, I have found ways to improve my own image and promote the Let’s Build brand, but once I started writing this topic I realized that there are so many wonderful entrepreneurs in my online circle that I haven’t invested in.

This week Let’s Build will be sharing entrepreneurs to practice exactly what it preaches. Shoutouts and references help to build up businesses by allowing the cycle to continue. When you give an awesome reference and get at least one person to try and they love it; then that person loves it and gives a reference to someone else and on and on like Erykah Badu.


Pay it Forward

Honestly, doing these things are part of a healthy, loving connection with those in your life. But they should especially be a part of interactions within your circle. Investing yourself in small ways into what the entrepreneur in your life finds important communicates that you truly support them. Investing in the ones you love will only circle back to you. Paying it forward means knowing that one day you will need these same investments deposited into your spirit; hopefully, you’ll have someone there ready to cut that check. Everything little thing needs nutrients to grow; so nurture the energy of that “local entrepreneur” and watch them grow like wildflowers.




Someone recently said that you shouldn’t grieve until the person is actually gone. Part of me agrees. Yet, part of me is familiar with that technique among others that I get advised to take. Grief is defined as a loss of something. If you perceive you’ve lost something or are losing something, is that not grief as well?

Couples divorcing grieve over the life they envisioned for themselves, growing old with a wife/husband, that will never happen. After a serious injury athletes grieve over the dream career they will never be able to achieve. Grief to me, is loss, whether realized or pending. Grief for me set in when hospice sat us down with calm voices and soft smiles to tell us about the end of life care they can provide for my dad. He’s 59. Grief set in.

Maybe he will live long enough to walk me down the aisle or to hear my child affectionately call him PaPa. Maybe. There’s hope in maybe. There’s heartbreak in maybe. I’ve lived through both. What is definite is that we will forgive, shower love and try to convince time to slow down in the coming months or years. What is Certain is that we will watch him grow weaker and the heart beat that echoed in my ears as a child will fail him. We will watch him leave.

A niece.

A brother.

Two grandmothers.

Two grandfathers.

A close brother-in-law.

An Ex.

We watched sudden and slowly as they left.

Around times such as these there will be a band of people confident that their sage advice about “death happens to all of us” and “enjoy the time you have/had” will be of comfort when it’s just infuriating for the person on the receiving end of it. Personally, I don’t want pity; I would settle for the closest thing to understanding.

To help both sides through difficult grieving, here are some ways to support your loved one and also some tips for those who are in the grieving process.


Tip #1

You don’t have to be happy, peaceful or “together”

Recently, years of grieving has taken its toll on me emotionally and mentally. There use to be a time when I dished out and took the beautifully simplistic advice that others throw out in times like these. That was about three deaths ago. For those of us born into a family where hospitals and funerals are the norm like reunions and yearly cruises are for other families, it’s easy to hide or downplay your grief. Don’t. It’s the process necessary for you to get back to living your life. At times during this process you may be angry and want to scream or want to be alone to cry. It’s okay. Feel what you need to feel in those moments. The world won’t give you permission to be a mess right now but I will.



Sage Advice #1  SAY LESS

So you’re along for the ride on your loved one’s grief and let’s be honest; it’s a complete downer. When you’re not in their front row seat some advice seems logical. But this is the time when you should SAY LESS. Between all the different stages of grief including anger, which I’m currently in, the last thing your loved one needs are words. If you MUST say something it should be confined to something like this:

I love you. I know this has to be hard for you but I am here every step of the way. Period.


Tip #2  It is not Your job to make others comfortable with your grief

Like the first advice of feeling what you need to regardless of others, this goes hand-in-hand. Negative emotions generally make people uncomfortable. They say too much or not enough. They smother you or avoid you. It’s because negative emotions, especially grief, are things we are convinced should be hidden and dealt with alone in the late hours of night. Work only gives you 3 days to process it because society dictates it’s not important. Get Over It. So essentially most of us are terrible at dealing with it. Expressing your grief, trying to gain control of it or make sense of your situation will make other people uncomfortable.


Their world could be just fine and you are like a rain cloud sitting next to them. Understand their awkwardness or discomfort but don’t apologize for it.


Sage Advice #2 Create Peace

Your loved one’s world just got turned upside down and the grief of their world has created chaos in your otherwise peaceful relationship. It’s then important for you to create peace, for your sake and theirs. They likely don’t expect you to know what to say. And just as you are confused on what to do or how to handle things, so are they. So, depending on their personality something like taking in nature, to make sense of life or playing Call of Duty, to distract from it, could be the thing you both need to find peace in a chaotic situation.


Personally, I don’t want pity; I would settle for the closest thing to understanding.


Tip #3 & Sage Advice #3  Give Yourself Space when needed

The reality of the situation makes it hard to be honest with ourselves. Someone who’s constantly dealing with negative emotions can strain/stress someone who isn’t use to them or the frequency of them. Getting the space needed to ground yourself but not so much that you’re absent from the scene can create harmony in a less than ideal situation. It is, however, important to communicate this because seeking space in a critical moment can cause a rift in an already emotionally charged environment. Love each other enough to see the other’s perspective while loving yourself enough to get the space needed to be true to your emotions, good and bad.

The tips and advice discussed are there to get you both thinking of ways you can improve this experience so that all parties are getting what they need. Grief is not a science nor is it controllable but our actions are. Make sure you’re caring for each other during this time.

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So Builders, what are some other tips or advice that can help during the grieving process. Comment below and Let’s Talk!

Ever made the right choices and got the wrong results?

Can I raise two hands and a leg to show that I have, multiple times throughout my young adult life?

Currently I’m battling the cancer of student loan debt, have just been informed that my broke ass actually owes the federal government in taxes and still can’t seem to get my blogging schedule on a set pattern. Meanwhile as I scroll my feed for funny videos after a roller coaster day, I find myself double tapping successful business ventures, vacation photos and new home purchases all made by people from the same town/school/background as me.

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In those moments it’s not envy that I feel (‘Cause live your best life boo) but confusion because I want to know how they’re making life look so effortless. Now you know “the home girl” in my head from Fifty Shades of Crazy just coolly reminds me that on social media everyone highlights the good, disregarding the bad; even me. Still, I want to take a moment to be there for those who feel the same confusion.


Let’s talk about when you’re doing it right but everything is going wrong.



Right Concept. Wrong Execution.

So there you are, a degree in one hand and debt in the other.

So there you are, a business in one hand and no support in the other.

So there you are, a plane ticket in one hand and no money in the other.

With a decreasing faith in the “American Dream” and no rich relatives to even fall back on. You did the right thing in seeking an education/starting a business/traveling the world but somehow your execution of the endeavor fell to pieces. This caused damage to how you enjoyed the rewards of your labor. Now your early morning and late night mental question is “Was it worth it?”

You had the right concept,

Get a degree, Get a good job, Escape poverty.

Be a boss, Become a millionaire before 30, Retire at 40.

Travel outside your small town, Experience different cultures, Embrace life.

But you didn’t account for factors outside of your control like the economy, job market, or getting sick. You didn’t account for life being life.

You made a perfect plan for an imperfect world.

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Sometimes the execution is wrong because we didn’t do enough research, get enough details, ask enough questions or have a mentor. It’s OKAY. BREATHE. Adjust your plan. Take where you are now and figure out several ways you can maneuver yourself out of the sticky spot you’re in. Make a plan B for your Plan A and a Plan C for when those don’t work out.  Find a mentor. Make a vision board and know that you’re on the right track just going in the wrong direction.


Right Time. Wrong Place.

You’re at the height of your creativity and ambition more than ever before. Ideas and strong work ethic radiate off you like a steam engine but now you just feel like wasted energy. Ever watch a scary movie where the person is running toward a door at the end of the hallway but no matter how fast they’re running the door just gets further away?

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That’s how it feels to be at the right time in your life in the wrong place. You said you’d stay to be close to family. You feel that all you’ve ever known is where you are and moving would be too scary to do alone. But how can you stay in the same spot you’ve seen not work for others who’ve gone before you. If you plant yourself in a different environment/work industry/relationship/city you may just find that your life takes off into the stratosphere.


Right Frame. Wrong Mind.

You made it out. The only problem is you don’t realize you made it out. You’re hoarding stacks in your savings because you’re convinced that the peace you have is short-lived and too good to be true. You could take that vacation but you don’t because you’re saving up for a rainy day or twelve rainy days. You could start-up that non-profit/business/program but you don’t think you’re qualified enough. You could not only be making it in life but living out your dreams yet somehow you told yourself that they don’t belong to you.

Right now, you’re in the right time frame with the wrong mindset. Traumatized from the troubles of your past, you inflict unnecessary pain and longing in your present; then you wonder why you’re unhappy even with money in the bank and good credit. Post Traumatic Broke Syndrome  and Suspicions of Me talk a little about this mindset and how to overcome it. You keep waiting for the perfect moment to align in the stars before you make any moves. What you don’t realize it that you’re living in that moment. Take a chance on yourself. Fix the way you see yourself and your circumstances so that you won’t continue to hold yourself back.

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Was it Worth it?

Was it?

I definitely can’t answer that for you. I can; however, encourage you to look at the full scope of your life and your choices. Realize that you’re not the only one at a crossroads in life because if no one else says it, I will…I’m still getting my life on track. I don’t have it all together. I’ve made good decisions with bad execution. In fact, I can relate to all three of the topics I covered. I’ve even made bad decisions and I’m still figuring out this complicated, convoluted, mysterious , beautiful, make you wanna simultaneously cry and laugh, life, out. Let those doing well around you be a beacon of light and hope. Reach out to those doing similar things or overcoming similar things that have happened in your life. The greatest lie of the American dream is the idea that we can go it alone. Everyone needs a little help so let this post be that help.


What are some of your “Rights” that turned out Wrong? Let’s Talk about it! Like, Comment, Share and #LETSBUILD



P.S. I appreciate you stopping by for another Let’s Build post about millennial mistakes and being young, broke and unapologetic. I write about the things happening in my life; attempting to make sense of it all and drop some kind of knowledge along the way. You, my fellow bloggers and followers, have afforded me the opportunity to be honest and vulnerable in my posts. As we step back from this one, I want you to know that even in the mist of my toughest situation I am inspired by your readership and interactions to provide the best material I can. You guys are awesome. Thank You.


Giving Support does not equal Getting Support.

This has been a sobering reality as I’ve embarked on the journey to explore my dream, ideas, and goals for the Let’s Build Mentoring Program and my blog.

Where the hell are my day ones on day two?

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Some close friends and family seem like the last ones to get on the train when it comes to supporting your dream. Could it be because they’re unsure of the destination, unclear on the goal or that it just doesn’t seem like something of interest until others hop on?

I’m exploring this question because I found myself feeling a little jaded and unsupported throughout my young entrepreneurial career in which I looked at how I freely give support and encouragement but felt I have not received the same back from those closest to me.

So I lashed out a little in posting…



That was the Krystal from a week ago. (So immature, eye-roll)

I have now come to other revelations that have helped me to understand what may be lying underneath the surface.

Like maybe I’m part of the issue. 

In the words of the great Ms. Badu

“I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t!”

I feel that way in my writing. Vulnerability being the culprit. I have a love/hate relationship with putting my thoughts out there so I hide it from those who would be the most honest with me. Insecurity and fear of judgement also play a part.

I just need to grow a pair in that area.


You’re supportive in nature.

I’ve always found pure joy in rooting for others. Maybe it’s the people pleaser in me or the fact that I can relate to wanting to be understood.

As Oprah says everyone just wants to be heard. Whatever the reason, I find myself hyping up associates, friends, and family alike whenever I’m told about a goal or dream. Hell, even when I see a random selfie.

I am especially more fierce in showing support and love for others on social networks now because I see how hard it is to build up a following around a project.


To me it takes very little time to show your support for someone in the online world. So why is it that so many are having trouble garnering support from those closest to them. The truth is, just like lending money, in offering support you should not expect it back.

But here are some other reasons outside of yourself that could explain the cricket sounds surrounding your dream.



They Don’t understand what the hell you’re doing or how to support it.

I think when we’re passionate about starting a business or venturing off on our own we hit family and friends with the headliners of the grand plan. This can translate to them as a pursuit that is either outrageous or complicated.

Uncle Leon may know how to DM the ladies on Facebook with the one hit pickup line he’s been using since 1974…

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but that doesn’t mean he knows what a blog is. Your grandma may be happy you’re attending college but may not understand you explaining Public relations to her when discussing opening your own PR business. Slow it down, take your time in explaining the basics and discuss small ways they can support your endeavor.

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Your pursuit makes them uneasy.

Seeing you pursue your dreams/passions causes others to look inward at their own life. This can go one of two ways:

It will either inspire them to pursue their own dreams (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers)


It will insight them to resentment as it is a reminder of you doing something they feel incapable of or afraid to do. For this reason people will only support you for as much as is comfortable for them to. Don’t sweat it. (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers!)

What can I say?…I’m human.


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Their support got lost in translation.

You may have a specific way that you show your support for others whether it’s likes, verbal encouragement or actually taking the time to read/buy/subscribe etc…

Your family and friends may have their own definitions of supporting your dreams. For example, my guy hates reading (I’ll break up with him soon, I promise); however, his verbal encouragement when I’m down, answering my “research questions” for my blog, and quick glance overs of my writing are all ways he shows his support for what I’m attempting to do.



They have their own shit.

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Expecting your loved ones to shout your business/project/dream from the mountain top to all they know is a little unrealistic. They may have their own shit going on in which it takes up most of their time/attention/money.

They aren’t as passionate about your dream as you are and that’s okay, that dream is yours because YOU are the one who loves it. It is then your duty to build up that dream in a way that it will appeal to even the least supportive in the pack.

They secretly hate you.





The point.

Relax young grasshopper.

It takes time to build support around your dream.

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Honestly, you need that time to perfect and tailor your dream to something that can be useful to all who encounter it anyway. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop being so judgey toward your loved ones.

Trust me, when your idea does takeoff that will be all the (TOLD YOU SO) you need. Some people get lucky and win the lottery big but don’t ignore that scratch off for $10; just go buy you a happy meal and keep grindin’.




Disclaimer: After reading this some friends and family may be tempted to contact LetsBuild via phone or text.

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I had to explore this topic; it called out to me like my name was Carol-Anne.