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It’s been a while since we’ve published a blog post. But honestly, it’s because we’ve been incredibly busy over the summer. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been producing and shooting a video series, Money on the Table. The idea came to us over a year ago as we would have such amazing conversations with our fellow money nerds and content creators.
We would often find ourselves thinking, “man, there are so many people who would benefit from being a fly on the wall right now“. So, we started thinking of creative ways to bottle up those conversations and share them with you. But unfortunately, the pandemic of 2020 made the original vision of having dinner with our amazing friends impossible. So instead, we did the next best thing and opted to share some of the conversations the two of us have about money and life over dinner.
But that’s not all. We’ve been cranking out chapters for our upcoming book, writing articles for other media publications, partnering with brands on marketing campaigns, completely re-organizing our business and flirting with the idea of creating another online business venture [shh, don’t tell anyone]. Somehow in between it all, we found time to take a short and much-needed family vacation to Greenville, SC, celebrate our five year wedding anniversary and Kiersten’s birthday.
Quiet moments are hard to find these days, but every now and then we do find ourselves venturing into completely new areas of interest and thought we’d share that with you too. They don’t all directly relate to money or entrepreneurship, but they do help to keep us sharp, which in turn, helps to keep us balanced in all aspects of our life. So, in the spirit of making the most of this pandemic, here are 3 topics we’ve been digging into over the summer.
If you’ve been exploring them too, drop us a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts or recommendations.
The Future and Virtual Reality
Right out the gates, we have to admit that it’s a hell of a privilege to be exploring this subject. Particularly when it comes to money, most people are primarily focused on dealing with matters of the past or present. Meanwhile, our curious a$$es are peeking into the future to gather clues of what’s next! Naturally, this also gives us insight into potential investing/entrepreneurial opportunities or the path to innovation for products and services we use today.
For example, last Christmas, Mr r&R bought an Oculus Quest headset. Knowing that we’d be working from home alot, the goal was to introduce an element of fun and curiosity into the mix so that even when we were staring at a screen, we were doing it in a way that actually sparked our imagination. Little did we know it would lead us to deeply thought provoking questions like…is virtual reality the future of apps? What would paying bills or visualizing an investment portfolio in VR look like? Click To Tweet
Like you, we’re a bit tired of attending Zoom, Skype and Google Meet webinars. When might we expect to virtually attend keynote speeches or conferences? Or, what would consulting or coaching services look like using virtual reality technology?
A few years ago, the extent of our familiarity with VR was minimal. Now, we own one of the best headsets in the market [Oculus Quest by facebook] and have noticed they are one of the lead sponsors of the NBA Playoffs [which have been amazing by the way]. We’re old enough to remember when people thought driving in another person’s car, who wasn’t a taxi driver [Uber] or sleeping in a stranger’s home [AirBnB] was absolute crazy talk. Now, less than ten years later, it’s a commonly accepted practice in almost every corner of the world and a multi-billion dollar industry. Things change and it happens fast.
Meditation and Journaling
Every single morning, without fail Mrs r&R wakes up, meditates and writes in a journal. It doesn’t matter if she’s slept in, woke up early or is in a rush to start the day, she begins every single morning with a cup of coffee and a clean expression of her innermost thoughts. Doing this has helped her make the transition from employee to entrepreneur, coping with the stress of the pandemic, the trauma of social injustice and parenting a three year old. There’s no shortage of things trying to steal our peace-of-mind these days, so we’re doing our best to stay healthy and focused.
Some days, we use the Calm app to help set the tone for moments of reflection. On other days, we rely on Apple Watch to guide us through a few minutes of slow intentional breathing. We’ve even used Tripp, [an app on the Oculus Quest] for really deep and immersive meditation. The video below gives you a brief overview of what it’s like but honestly, it’s nothing like the real thing.
It’s pretty trippy [pun intended] and about as close to Black Mirror we ever want to be.
If you’ve gotten this far and you’re not already wondering if we’ve completely lost our minds, then hopefully you’ll stick around for a few more paragraphs. To be fair, only one of us has been exploring intermittent fasting [Mr r&R]. Like many of you, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in our fitness routines. To help with this, we’ve purchased workout gear, kettlebells, jump ropes and have committed to more active weekends instead of just binge watching TV on the couch. Despite what the Georgia government has to say about it, we’re just not comfortable going back to the neighborhood gym yet.
Well, all of this, in addition to poor eating habits has led to weight gain and sluggishness that we’re focused on reversing; hence the interest in intermittent fasting. In short, every Sunday morning for a month, Mr r&R is committed to only consuming spring water until 3 PM. That means, he wont be eating for the 18 hour stretch between 9 PM Saturday and 3 PM Sunday afternoon. Some people say that’s nothing. Other people have looked at him as if he’s lost his damn mind. Either way, the goal is to push ourselves mentally, deep-flush and re-hydrate the body. The hope is that through a greater emphasis on consuming a plant-based, high-fiber and low sugar diet, we’ll see noticeable improvement in health, mood and overall wellness.
OK, so maybe we lied. There is certainly more swirling around in our heads than those three things and one of the biggest topics is intellectual property. We were recently accepted into an initiative to support Black businesses by the Miles and Stockbridge law firm. Given neither of us are experts in that area and legal support is ridiculously expensive, working with them has helped to keep us organized and allowed us to redeploy capital to other parts of our business.
Primarily, we’ve been working hand-in-hand with them for the past few weeks to build our intellectual property [IP] architecture. This ensures we have the right protections over our ideas, registered trademarks and copyrights. Once these are in place, we will be in a more advantageous position when engaging with companies who might want to collaborate with us and better positioned to scale our business without interruption.
For example, today, we own the trademark to the term rich & REGULAR™. But when we filed that trademark back in 2017, it was for a specific set of activities [blogs]. Looking forward, assuming we wanted to venture into app development, multi–media production, merchandise, events etc, we need to ensure the trademarks we own cover those areas of interests [referred to as classes by the US government]. We’re really excited about this because we believe our IP has the potential to be incredibly valuable over time if we protect them correctly. But the other reason we’re bullish about this is because…there are countless examples throughout modern history where Black wealth has been eroded, stolen or lost due to a failure to protect creative work. We don't want to repeat history…we want to change it for the better. Click To Tweet
Good examples of this include Aretha Franklin, Master P, Tyler Perry or the inventor of the Super Soaker, Lonnie Johnson. They own their products, the rights to how their products are distributed and/or the underlying patents that make valuable products. Poor examples include practically every 80s and 90s popular Black musician that doesn’t own their masters or collegiate athletes who get no share of the revenue they produce for the NCAA despite bringing in billions of dollars annually. Their music, likeness, names, content and other bodies of work can be sold with little to no compensation being paid to the creators of the work. We see this moment as an opportunity to show how it should be done, and as soon as we do, you’ll be the first to know.