Tag Archives: high school

Hand Up or Hand Out


Do you have an overall end plan?

On Friday last week I attended a very interesting event with David Erickson of the Federal Reserve in San Francisco (author of Investing in What Works for America’s Communities) and Miami Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. There was also a panel of 3 local influencers.

I was very moved with the amount of non-profit organizations that are working to make cities livable to the under privileged, unemployed or underemployed. The thing that touched me the most was just how separated and disjointed they felt amongst each other.

The low income housing person for the city was on the panel. He was stating how so many units were developed last year and they see so much more growth.

I was so happy that I got to ask a question. Hand up or Hand out? When for instance low income housing puts people in homes, what is considered successful? Is it when the units are occupied or when an occupant moves out because they got back on their feet? I said a bunch of other things as to what was covered in the presentation and panel discussion and some of what I do to help non-profits. When I finished 4 of the people on stage looked completely lost!

As a business person I look at the overall and my mind starts asking questions as to how to solve the problem. This problem may not be what others (especially the higher ups) think the problem is. David Erickson in his inspiring presentation stated that we must start thinking differently about helping communities. Then someone talked about higher education. What I don’t understand is graduates of higher education are just as unemployed and underemployed as those who didn’t go to college. I think another avenue should be explored. In middle and high school entrepreneurial and personal financial skills should be introduced.

I have a master degree in IT and a bachelor in Business. The companies that I’ve met with in South Florida have told me that they can’t afford me. What is up with that? Thankfully I’ve always been entrepreneurial by nature and was presented with a company which I agreed with and has the benefits of:

  1. Original members of the management team is still VERY Active with the company’s growth
  2. We are a Product Brokerage firm meaning we don’t manufacture products but work with companies that already have successful products and we broker a more superior version of it
  3. In every Billion dollar industry – the versatility was what I love the most
  4. The compensation plan is simple and promotes helping others succeed
  5. Low investment to start
  6. Ease of start up

The distributors of my company (including the top people) have a limit of how much they earn per business unit, so the company will always sustain itself and everyone is equal. Can the company you work with say this? How much is your company’s CEO make? Basically in network marketing YOU ARE THE CEO of YOUR COMPANY!

Many people I talk with about my company have told me that they love their job or they get paid enough. Are you like this? Do you think of the overall? Are you living pay check to pay check? What would you do if your company downsized you? How quickly would you NEED to be back at work before your debts default? Do you feel the stress of living hopefully above pay check to pay check? Do you have the freedom to take a vacation at any time? Do you ever stop to think when I retire will I be able to support myself or will I have to work to still barely make ends meet?

Watch the documentary “Rise of the Entrepreneur.” If you feel you don’t have time to watch this… you are actually the person who needs this the most. Do you have more time for yourself this year compared to last year? Do you see anything changing so that next year you will have more freedom?

I think we should be working with others to raise and support entrepreneurs. Could you imagine a world where people are truly self sufficient and independent of the developed hand outs?


Do you ever wonder…


A couple years ago I met a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. I was telling her a story about my wanting to befriend Dwayne Johnson, she told me she went to University with him… *dreamy eyes* sorry I digress. OK! She said something that made me think about how my actions affect those around me.

I don’t remember what brought up the subject, but she said “you know that is something that I always admired about you. You always spoke up for the weaker person, with sarcasm to put the other in their place.” I looked at her not knowing what to say, so I accepted the compliment and thanked her. She said in school I said things like “Weren’t you paying attention when your mom was teaching you manners” if someone bounced into another on purpose making them drop their books. She said I didn’t think anything of it or of helping collect the books. I was shocked as I don’t remember doing that. But this reminded me of 2 other things.

About 5 years ago I was a door to door sales person. At 2 art festivals and Costco someone remembered me coming to their home and ALL 3 knew my name! My friend who was with me was as shocked as I was! How did these people after not seeing me for 2 years and only as a sales person still remember me? AND be happy to see me?!

Flashback a few more years… This was a couple years after graduating high school literally 5 people came up to me in different places and ALL conversations started: “You are Steffany! We’ve never met, but I remember you from the halls of high school!”  My first thought was “What on Earth was I doing in the halls for these people to not only remember my face but also my name?” I remember asking a few of them and they said “You were always so happy and said Hi to me like we were friends.” Again at the time I was so shocked! I am one of those people who do smile and say hello/good morning/good afternoon if I see someone looking at me but I didn’t think people remembered it after a few day much less years.

This has taught me that people are watching and are affected by my actions. Since having my son I hope that I positively affect him.

How do you think you are affecting those around you? Has anyone ever came up to you?

with a little help


This evening I met my cousin’s friend. He is in his first year in college and studying to be an IT guy. After talking for a little I asked him where does he want to go. He said the “correct” answer we were always taught I plan to graduate and get a job doing…. I then asked him if he could do anything what would he be excited about doing. He looked lost for a little and said no one ever asked that so he never thought of it. I told him to think about it and dream BIG. The only way a GPS can get you to a destination is to be programmed as to where one wants to go first then calculating a route to get there. This is the same with one’s life.

The other thing that we talked about was a field that is growing now. Being that he has 4 years to graduate I told him to look at that field and see a secondary level to it. What is a branch of the field and how can one start a company addressing this branch. I think one of the things that school teaches us is how to follow and tries to squelch one’s true Brilliance and creativity.


This was written on the night of the 8th. I don’t know why it didn’t post.