CU: Valentine Global is a firm I started last year. Our mission is simply to help empower young people with the knowledge of their options early on in life so they are better prepared to make their mark on this world. We create workshops, seminars, curricula, and programs geared to teaching Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy mostly, although we have other topics we cover such as the college experience, and job & career readiness. We also help create and develop mentoring programs with schools, churches, and not-for-profits, mainly in under-served neighborhoods. Valentine is actually my middle name, which not too many people know…. until now.
TheBlackManCan: You are the Co-Founder of Real People Motors, LLC. What was the inspiration behind starting this website? What kind of content can be found?
CU: The site, www.realpeoplemotors.com, was created out of the love that your every day person has with cars, bikes, trucks, etc. Founder, Andrew Lym, and myself, being true car fanatics, created a space where people who don’t drive Ferrari’s and race Porsche’s could go to upload & watch automotive videos of all sorts. Providing people who loves cars & bikes with the ability to virtually connect with one another worldwide in a cool space is priceless. We also educate kids about the automotive industry and help people purchase vehicles they need at dealership rates, not dealership prices.
TheBlackManCan: You have worked at various financial firms and have a vast amount of experience. Can you provide some steps that people need to take to ensure upward mobility?
CU: When it comes to the corporate world, you should first look for a company with upward opportunities, not lateral, in whatever your field is. Fit in at first, and then stand out. Dressing for the position you want and not the position you have is definitely helpful, while working towards that next career goal. Of course your knowledge and performance speak for themselves. It might be whom you know at first, however it ultimately ends up in what you know. Know your craft!
TheBlackManCan: How important is knowledge of financial literacy, especially within the Black community?
CU: Knowing how to handle money is key, especially in our community. The Black dollar does not circulate the community once before leaving it; conversely, Jewish and Asian dollars circulate their communities at least 5 times. The realization that I had no basic financial education taught to me when I was younger and running into credit card debt in college helped fuel my passion for making sure our young people know as much as they can about money early on, so they can do better later on. For my generation, the rules of money changed in 1979, once it was taken off the Gold Standard. At that point, money became currency, and the old ideals of going to school to get a good education, getting a good job, and working (for somebody else) until you were 65 started to change drastically. If you were born after 1970, and you’re not a teacher or a cop, those old ideals are pretty much obsolete. Our entire community must learn and adapt to the new rules of money.