1. Let us begin the flex by stating a fact: financial literacy is a crucial matter in the digital age. Now that's not to say it was never important prior to this era, but as millennials gain more inheritance into the well-being of our future, we must thoroughly be aware of how to budget and save our earnings in the world of finance. 

So how do we learn? Peep this, sis — BlackWallet — the ultimate financial literacy guide for Black millennials. BlackWallet has got the proverbial juice in enriching Black millennials with the financial tools and strategies necessary to leverage our money.

I had the immense pleasure to speak with Digital Marketing Strategist, John D. Saunders, on how to financially flex with BlackWallet, what revenue sources business owners should tap into, and how we as a Black community can finally close the racial and financial gap.

Check out the exclusive interview below. 

Photo: BlackWallet

  1. 21Ninety: Why is it important for Black millennials to be financially literate in today’s economy? 

  2. John D. Saunders: Great question! According to Demographic and Consumer Spending Trends, in the past five years, the buying power of African Americans topped $1 trillion. With a 27% increase in just five years. While we have a ton of buying power, we’re not allocating funds to the right places to create generational wealth. Our goal is to empower millennials with the tools to make informed decisions. 

  1. 21N: What can Black, female entrepreneurs and career-savvy women expect to gain from BlackWallet

  2. JDS: You can expect to gain insight on saving accounts, real estate opportunities, apps, opportunities to grow your money and more. We curate the best, most accurate information about financial literacy and make it simple and effective to help millennials make decisions on their financial future. 

  3. Photo: BlackWallet

21N: Speaking of a financial future, BlackWallet offers an array of financial literacy guides to educate its audience. For newcomers to the site, which guide would you recommend they begin with? 

JDS: I always suggest beginning with The Dopest Money Saving Apps. It’s one of our most popular reads and provides a quick overview of apps that help you save. It’s a great intro to creating more capital quickly with minimal effort. 

21N: You are the Founder of 5Four Digital, a Marketing Agency based in Miami, what is the most rewarding aspect since launching your own company? 

JDS: It has to be seeing my team grow in skill level and applying said knowledge to client work and internal projects. We’re lucky enough to work with some really great clients, who in return, provide the experience and action plan to execute our own internal projects like, BlackWallet.

21N: As a Digital Marketing Strategist and Investor, in your humble opinion, what are some revenue sources that aspiring or small business owners can tap to grow their business? 

JDS: One resource is digital goods. There are so many talented people out there that can gift wrap their skill set into a simple package to purchase and execute online courses and sell to others. It’s a passive income stream that can create additional working capital. It’s a good amount of work on the front end, but once it’s promoted well, you can make money in your sleep! You can view a few of our courses and tools here! Another resource is real estate! If you can buy a small property, live in it, rent it out and create cash flow, you’re most definitely on your way to crushing it. I’ve read a good amount of books by super, successful entrepreneurs and all of them have a sick real estate portfolio.  

Photo: BlackWallet

21N: Nice! And by the way, who are some influential Black entrepreneurs that inspire you?  

JDS: Oh, man! So many. Let me list them (in no particular order):

21N: Beginning April 8th, you will lead a 7-Day Financial Literacy Challenge to provide our subscribers with informative and actionable financial wellness tips to incorporate in their success journeys. One tip, in particular, you speak about regards diversifying one's income by starting a business — what are some business courses that you have taken to strengthen your entrepreneurial knowledge? 

JDS: Wow, great question! One, I’ve read quite a few books by David Ogilvy, Russell Brunson, Seth Godin. Regarding courses, I’m currently taking a course on Direct Response Copywriting by Digital Marketer. I access forums daily, read articles and work hard to stay at the forefront of digital marketing and entrepreneurship. I’m currently reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin!

21N: Back in October, you reported an article, on BlackWallet, entitled How We Can Close Racial Divides and Demolish the Racial Gap. Bearing in mind we are still early in the year, have you noticed a shift in our Black community closing that gap? What can we diligently do to continue closing that racial and financial gap?

JDS: Yes, most definitely. Currently, Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. African American women control 14% of these companies or an estimated 1.3 million businesses. That figure is larger than the total number of firms owned by all minority women in 1997. We’re seeing an influx of minorities working toward financial freedom by creating these ownership ecosystems. It’s amazing to see! To continue the trend we need to empower our youth with entrepreneurial programs and resources and show them that digital marketing, gaming, engineering, coding, and other STEM industries are available to them. 

Photo: BlackWallet

  1. 21N: Many mainstream media publications, such as Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, and The New York Times, have gone on the record stating that millennials have killed the economy. Personally, I believe this theory to be 100% false. What are your thoughts surrounding the subject? 

  2. JDS: 100% false. The economy was killed before us. We’re hustlers. We create businesses out of thin air and billion dollar companies from code. We’re striving for a better future. One, with some luck and hard work, can be better for our children. We’re focused on wealth because we can’t depend on a pension or social security. Our success is contingent on hustle! Plus, we want to carry this thought process into the next generation. We’re actually working on a mobile chore tracking app that teaches credit called KiddieKredit and will be launching soon!

21N: That's dope! Do you have any final words of advice for aspiring and/or established entrepreneurs on how to lead the helm at a thriving business?  

JDS: Most definitely. The most important piece: EDUCATE YOURSELF. Whether it’s online courses, YouTube videos, college, trial and error, whatever you do, never get stagnant! Secondly, provide value without expecting anything in return. The goal is to position yourself as a thought leader. Create free content, answer questions and network. All of the value you provide compounds over time resulting in brand advocates who will sell and promote your services for you!

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