The Sneaker Market Crash Was Bigger Than You Think

The Sneaker Market is Bigger Than Some Of The World’s Stock Exchanges

  • Grails” or top sought-after sneakers have fallen instantly in market value by 30% this year.
  • Pyramid schemes were uncovered that bankrupted many sneaker traders.
  • Sneakerheads are taking matters into their own hands.

The sneaker market has crashed and it will take a lot more time to heal than most sneakerheads want to believe. Yes, the sneaker market is worth billions of dollars in trading …and yes, sneakers are traded like stocks. The market is bigger than NFTs and it’s bigger than many of the major stock markets in over 40 countries. For the ones trading shoes in these markets, this is pretty obvious but for a novice like myself, this shows how prevalent the sneaker culture is to society as a whole.

The steady rise of sneakers prices is no more. Traders are undercutting sneaker enthusiasts with unbelievably low prices.

There are two major online clearinghouses for sneakers at the moment, Stock X and GOAT. I won’t go into too many details about them but they are the biggest clearinghouses for buyers and sellers. You send your sneakers to them to have them check for authenticity, making sure they are from legitimate sources like Nike, Addidas, and so forth. Once authenticated, they will store and list your sneakers. Once a buyer is found, Stock X or GOAT collects the money online and ship the sneakers to the buyer. Afterward, the seller gets paid minus the clearinghouse fee.

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This is What Changed The Market

The major clearinghouses control 40% of the market. Private exchanges of sneakers are handled one on one or at events. Large volume traders buy and sell sneakers with private collectors. This is where the problem began. Certain high-volume traders started selling their sneakers at below-market rates to corner the market and become one of the few places private collectors will buy.

The problem became exasperated when these traders kept selling sneakers not only below market rates but below the cost of what they were purchasing the sneakers. Creating a “Robbing Peter To Pay Paul” dilemma. It’s a scheme where they bring in fresh money from new clients and slowly pay off sneakers they have on contingency. In essence, creating a pyramid scheme within the sneaker market.

Clearinghouse employee checking the authenticity of a pair of Jordans

Bankruptcies?

The shocking headlines about sneaker traders going bankrupt and leaving collectors high and dry on their orders have caused a ripple effect in the shoe industry altogether. Some collectors and traders have lost as much as $150k from large orders they never received. Shoe companies that were pumping out new and retro sneakers are now seeing orders dry up and they are starting to consider slowing down production drastically.

In 2015 Kanye West was $50 million in debt. Now, with his 11 percent stake in Yeezy, his estimated worth is $6.6 billion with $114 million dollars earned in the first quarter of 2020.

Certain brands are tightening their belts because of fewer orders from shoe stores with fewer “plug” guarantees (explained more below). Yeezy’s brand, which raked in over 1.3 billion dollars in sales by the first quarter of 2020 and made Ye, better known as Kanye West, over $143 million with his 11 percent stake in the brand has fallen in market value by almost a third in the second quarter of 2022.

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What can save the sneaker market?

Scarcity is what makes any commodity valuable. It becomes a lot more valuable when it becomes difficult to find and purchase a particular type of Grail. At the moment, there is a glut of high-brand sneakers within the market. Certain sneakers are traded more than they are worn. A worn sneaker loses value over time but brings up the value of never-worn ones. Right now, there are too many pristine Jordan 1s and Yeezy 450s sitting in closets not being worn. Companies that produce high-end sneakers will have to drastically reduce their production and possibly buy back some of the stock of sneakers out there and destroy them. This may sound draconian but it worked for de Beers in the diamond industry.

Sneakerheads Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

Some sneakerheads and traders are creating their own kicks online and making deals with local high school and college athletes to wear their brand and promote it on their Tik Tok or Instagram page. Influencers with a small following on social media are also being approached by sneakerheads. You can invest in a small influencer for around $150 and your online designed kicks can be produced and dropshipped per order with no upfront cost or worries about keeping a stock of inventory.

Can A Sneaker “Buy Back” Work For Nike & Addidas?

Yes, like any stock purchased back by a company, headlines about companies buying back their sneakers will cause a shift in perception. Especially if that stock of a certain shoe is destroyed, never to be replaced. It will cause a reverse panic and sneakerheads will hold tight to the few sneakers of certain styles that haven’t been completely destroyed.

eBay’s pop-up store “Wear ‘Em Out” encourage customers to wear their new purchases right out of the store.

Another scheme that may have some effect on the sneaker market is what eBay announced, the Wear ‘Em Out Store, a pop-up shop that rewards sneakerheads for actually wearing their new kicks out of the store. The Store featured “some of the most exclusive and coveted sneaker styles for up to 70% off today’s market price,” according to an official press release. Moreover, the Wear ‘Em Out Store offered exclusive pricing on collectible kicks to those who literally wear their new purchases out of the store.

Limit The “Plugs”

Benjamin Kickz, known as the “Sneaker Don” is famous for using plugs to buy up sneaker inventory of newly released kicks. Plugs are stores that sneaker resellers have a relationship with that allows them to buy up their inventory of new sneakers before they are released. This actually works for the shoe stores and for the shoe companies that release the new sneakers. The sneaker reseller who uses plugs to acquire a whole stock of newly released sneakers assumes all of the upfront cost of the shoes while the shoe company and stores make a quick profit. The problem with this particular scheme is that it’s becoming too predictable.

Upgrade & Emphasize The Raffles

There’s nothing more exciting than to win a Raffle as a sneakerhead. To be the first to receive new high-end kicks in your city or town feels like a lottery win even though the winner still has to purchase their winnings at a store. It should be encouraged over “Dons” taking over complete inventories. No one wants to wait for a small percentage of individuals to corner the market and resell them at a higher price to everyone else.

In Conclusion

As with NFTs, the market may have been softened by a glut of products but we may be surprised where this may lead. Unlike NFTs, the sneaker market is a lot more robust and has been around much longer. It may move into a hypermarket at any time with a new type of sneaker design or technology. In the meantime, market losses of 30% are nowhere near as bad as the free-fall of cryptocurrency and NFTs are experiencing today. It may be a rocky road for a while but it’s still a safer market than the alternatives. Once the market goes through this harsh correction, I believe within the next 2 years, sneakers will bounce back with fewer roadblocks and more innovative ways to procure your favorite sneakers for your collection. And with prices this low, this may be the time to position yourself for an upswing.

Armand Lucas
Armand Lucas

Serial entrepreneur and writer for Millennial Entrepreneur, RelyOnPros, NY Style Magazine and HomeRestored.com

Why Moving Companies Are Left Over Mafia Relics And What You Must Do To Protect Your Wallet From Them

Car dealerships are usually at the top of every news outlet’s list of predatory companies the American population voted as the most dishonest and at times they deserve this moniker but if people hired moving companies as often as they buy cars, they would easily put moving companies at the top of everyone’s list of the most dishonest and “mafia-like” of all other industries they find difficult to work with.

The goal of this article is to lay out some of the more dishonest moving company tactics and how you can protect your wallet from them. Now, not all moving companies use Mafia-like tactics. In fact, there are some that have stellar reputations and because of that fact, you’ll pay a high premium above the dishonest ones to use their services. You may also find yourself on a long waiting list to have them move you, wreaking havoc on your moving schedule.

The not-so-honest ones are always available and will even send out a friendly face to meet with you and discuss every detail of your move. But be forewarned, if you haven’t researched the company, your final invoice may be way more than you were promised, or worse yet, some of your furniture and belongings could wind up stolen or sold.

Here are 3 common scams and incidents you may run across with dishonest movers.

The Scam

The worst of the worst movers are notorious for using this tactic and if you are told that you’ll be charged by weight, this is the most unscrupulous way they can take advantage of you. Now, let’s say your belongings are estimated by the moving company to weigh 3,500 pounds. Funny thing is, you didn’t see them weigh anything as they packed their truck. Later you get a call from the moving company stating that the truck with your belongings was just weighed at a facility and minus the weight of the truck, your belongings actually came out to 7,600 pounds and you’ll have to pay the difference which comes out to an additional $1,300.

The Payoff

If you refuse to pay the additional charge, they”ll state that they are in the right to sell your belongings or dump them at a refuse facility. In a panic, you’ll probably come up with the additional funds quickly to get your belongings delivered to your new home safely.

Missing Furniture

Now, I wouldn’t say this is because moving companies are being dishonest. Let’s just chalk it up as mismanagement. Sometimes, a moving company will use one large truck for several moves, especially if you have a small amount of furniture to move. When they drop off furniture and belongings in several locations, they sometimes drop off too many items at one or more locations. 

The Result

When a chair or ottoman goes missing, they don’t mind knocking off the moving price by a few dollars but if you’re missing an armoire or large screen TV, they may claim that the item wasn’t picked up or pay you very little (as it is a used item) to compensate for it.

The Long Haul Blues

If you’re moving far or out of state, You’ll have to deal with long-haul movers. You may be subject to the weight scam and find out you have missing furniture. The other egregious act of long-haul movers is not moving your belongings at all. They may “sell” your load to a middleman who packs as many loads together that are going in the same direction. This means that your load of furniture and belongings may sit for weeks and sometimes months before it gets to its destination.

The Result

If you’re on a tight schedule, because of your job or your kids’ school situation, tough luck. Long haul middlemen make very good money squeezing as much furniture as they can into a semi-truck or double load containers. If you complain about the wait time the original movers might offer a premium fee to get your load to its destination faster. The price is usually exorbitantly high and in a few cases, they just pocket the extra cash. Claiming that they are using a faster long hauler service.

The solution

The quickest way to get your number blocked by family and friends is to ask them to help you move. Don’t do that! Instead, take matters into your own hands and rent a truck for 48 hours and hire professional moving helpers. 

What’s the difference between a mover and a moving helper?

Moving helpers are exactly what they sound like. You can find teams of moving helpers on sites like U-Haul and Executive Loaders in Chicago. From these sites, you can see detailed ratings from others who’ve used their services and scheduled a move. You can also use them for a long haul using two teams for loading and unloading. 

You control the pickup day and the professional helpers will wrap, prepare and load your furniture and belongings on the truck you’ve rented. You can even hire your own driver to drive the truck. This puts you more in control of the move.

Another reason to use Moving Helpers

Moving Companies have a hard time retaining employees. Funny enough, they happen to use the same moving helpers others use to keep their schedules running. Why pay a middleman when you can go right to the source and hire the same talent.

Why rent a moving truck for 48 hours?

Two words, schedule conflict. Moving helpers and movers are notorious when it comes to showing up at a scheduled time. Now, I will say, this is sometimes out of their hands. At times, they are moving 2 to 3 loads a day. The previous customer’s scheduled appointment sometimes misrepresents how much furniture they need moved or delay the process by other means. Other times it’s the fault of the movers or helpers for overbooking the day. You can minimize this by asking to be first on the schedule for the day but keep in mind, that it may be as early as 6 am. Even then, there could be unforeseen events that delay a move.

Because of this, renting a truck for 24 to 48 hours ensures that you have a truck ready for the loading and unloading of your furniture.

Overall, moving helpers can save you a large amount of money and spare you plenty of headaches. Hopefully, in the near future, moving companies could be better regulated to protect consumers from fraudulent activities. But, until then, it’s your responsibility not to be taken advantage of.

Study Show That Young Entrepreneurs Are More Likely Today To Become Millionaires Before The Age Of 30

  • Young Entrepreneurs are creating profits faster than Fortune 500 companies.
  • They hire for specific tasks, not employees
  • Crowdfunding projects are preferred over Venture Capital

Forbes magazine interviewed entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 30 and found that they have a tremendous advantage over older adults with the goal of becoming self-made businesspeople. Young entrepreneurs usually do not have access to the type of funding an older adult may have. Nor do they have the amount of work experience. But young businesspeople today may find this to be more of an advantage to them than a hindrance.

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What they do have in abundance is energy and access to like-minded young entrepreneurs with skill sets and time on their hands to create content and handle unique tasks like social media management, the medium to communicate to millions of potential customers within minutes.

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Young entrepreneurs can run rings around an established business or older entrepreneur because the tools that are available to succeed are literally in their hands every day. They can create ads, hire talent anywhere around the world for specific tasks, and crowdsource money and ideas within mere hours.

Not only can younger entrepreneurs create a business from thin air, but they have also used the tools to do so since they were first able to hold a smartphone in their tiny hands as kids.

They use tools and apps like Fiverr to hire talent for specific tasks and go to “YouTube University” to learn processes for creating or finding a solution within minutes instead of toiling for years in a school that stretches out the same information to fill a curriculum.

Older entrepreneurs do use these same tools in abundance but not with the speed and confidence of a younger person who grew up using apps for creativity and time management.

Remember, entrepreneurs do not have to worry about the income ceilings of a 9 to 5 job. If they run a business as a side hustle while they work a traditional job, they can reinvest their entrepreneurial income back into their business for growth without incurring loan debt. Also, if they are running a business in partnership with another entrepreneur, the synergy of 2 or more people providing income and creativity to a project provides a solid foundation for extreme growth.

Here are 5 Things Young Entrepreneurs can teach us all about running a business in today’s environment.

  1. Funding is more of a crutch than a helping hand. Young entrepreneurs know that when you borrow money, you’re actually borrowing it from your future self at a high-interest rate. Savvy young opportunists see traditional jobs and crowdfunding as solutions to acquiring or saving money for their business.
  1. Young entrepreneurs do not hire employees, they hire talent online for specific tasks to be done within a specific amount of time. They use apps like Fiverr to find talent to make social media ads, create apps for their business, and more. They also use apps like Thumbtack to hire physical task workers to help organize, install, fix, or assemble products or services.
  1. The most innovative and creative mindset of a young entrepreneur is allocating work based on what electronic device can handle it. Anything that can be created, scheduled or allocated using a mobile phone within a few minutes or within an hour is worked on by themselves. Work that takes more than an hour or takes more computer power than a mobile phone or Chromebook is allocated to another talent.
  1. Just because you can do everything yourself in a business doesn’t mean you should. This is pretty much an extension of point number 3 but time allocation is emphasized more than anything else by young entrepreneurs. Bragging about 80-hour work weeks doesn’t sound compelling to them. In fact, it sounds counterproductive.
  1. For a young entrepreneur, businesses don’t fail; they get retooled, repurposed, or re-envisioned. Failure is a weird term for today’s young entrepreneurs. When a business doesn’t sell enough products or services, they retool a component of that business or change direction to fit the market. Failure to them is just data. With the right amount of data, you can make much better business decisions.

A Boxing Entrepreneur That’s Winning Hearts & Minds With His Quick Hands And Entrepreneurial Spirit

Corey Marksman won his professional debut match with his father in his corner
  • His unorthodox training made his legs and balance incredibly strong.
  • Corey became a marketing master to make as much as the headliners.
  • His father keeps him aware of the fighting and promoting side of the business.

Corey Marksman

You can’t help but like him when you first meet him. When he talked about his upcoming fight at the time and what it took to get into physical shape for it, you can’t help but notice the enthusiasm and confidence in his voice. This is partially due to his father, Angus Marksman, his personal trainer and manager. I would always see his dad training people on the front lawn of his house with a heavy bag and tons of encouragement.

I live around the corner from Corey and his father. I would see them train together from time to time which reminded me of when I use to train with my dad back in Chicago growing up. I think that’s why I took to

Corey. He was cordial and easy-going but he trained like a beast on a daily basis.

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Corey would also roller skate down the street as if he was born with skates to work on his balance and leg strength. As I said, he is easy-going but serious about his training.
From time to time, I would see him running to cut weight or taking time out to train with a neighbor. What I couldn’t see at the time was his commitment to building a fanbase. Most athletes just concentrate on training and performing. Corey had bigger plans.

Corey concentrates on his training along with his business

His Nickname is “Smooth” For a Reason

It takes courage to walk up to a neighbor and ask for money in exchange for tickets to an event. But Corey’s approach was way smoother than that. One day, I flagged him down when I saw him skating down my street as if he was in a music video. He laughed and told me that it was all part of his training and skating helps him relax when he becomes too excited thinking about his upcoming boxing match. He paused to
see if I would ask a question, and when I did, he smoothly took out his phone and said, “I’ll give you a heads up on my IG. The venue is off the chain and If you’re interested, you can buy tickets directly from my DMs. By the way, there will be MMA fighting as well as boxing at the
same event”. —– I was SOLD!
At this point, I realized I wasn’t dealing with a boxer. I was introduced to an entrepreneur. He recognized an opportunity and he went for the knockout. Another set of tickets sold.

I thought I was the teacher. Then I realized I was the student. I come from a marketing background and ran a few businesses here in Central Florida and in Chicago. I thought I would take this young 20-year-old under my wings and show him the “real world” of marketing oneself.
What I didn’t realize, is that Corey had developed his own unique marketing skills that I needed to learn. Before I even got a chance to “mentor” him, he had already paid himself by selling almost 25 percent of the tickets sold for his upcoming event and he already made a nice percentage off of each of those tickets. In retrospect, he was already paid even before he put on his gloves to fight.

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Corey realized that he was the underdog when it comes to dealing with promoters.
When you are starting off in any venture, you are going to be the underdog. The promoters of the fight set the parameters of how much a fighter can make. Lucky for Corey, his father realized the potential of dealing with a promoter that allowed you the potential to make as much money as you can by selling tickets to your event and sharing in that revenue.

He developed his own marketing to expand his reach
With every new person, Corey meets, he listens to where this person is coming from and if he can find common ground. Corey comes off as humble and rarely starts a conversation about himself unless he’s asked about it. Once common ground is established, he exchanges social media info. Once his new fan checks out his posts about the upcoming fight, they’re, hooked!

How much did Corey Marksman make on his first-ranked fight?
Tickets to the event ranged from $40 to $150 depending on seating. Corey sold a mixture of seating options through his social media posts and in person. Undisputed Boxing Promotions shared 20% of the ticket price with the fighter who sold the ticket. Corey sold tickets to roughly 25% of the crowd. Bringing in almost as much revenue as the title fighters. The venue was massive and was able to hold 2 rings. One was for MMA fights and the other for boxing matches.

Positioning himself to be the negotiator and not the pawn. Most first-time fighters get paid as little as $200 to take a fight because they

don’t have any leverage to negotiate. Smaller promoters are smart enough to know that they can spend less on promotions if fighters bring in the crowd through ticket profit sharing. The smarter fighter proves himself by bringing in a large amount of the crowd with their own marketing engine. Promoters of all sizes will have to negotiate with these self-marketing geniuses just to survive and thrive in the cut-throat world of fight promotions.

Keeping his options open

Corey is keeping his options open. His father, Angus has shown him how to handle the hustle culture and Corey’s success in and out of the ring gives them a lot to think about.
With his fan base ever-expanding and his social media skills on fire. Corey

has a lot of options and very few limitations. I will keep up with Corey and

his dad to see where they land in the next several months.

You can read the rest of Corey Marksman’s journey in the Fighters Issue of Millennial Entrepreneur Magazine

An Investor That’s Trading Sweat Equity For Sweet Profits

  • Smart investing is like a muscle. Don’t attempt to lift more than what you’ve trained for.
  • Prepare to lose almost as much as you gain. You only have to gain a little more than what you lose in the market.
  • Starting a micro-business gives you more freedom to re-invest your market earnings.

Nana Yaw Ampofo

“Smart Investing is not a skill, it’s muscle memory. You could read all the books written by gurus that talk about investing and you will still suck at it until you develop and train your reflexes to the market.

You train by getting started, even if it’s a few extra dollars. You will have your ups and downs. That’s why, in the beginning, you need to invest small amounts because if your goal is to live off your investments within a few years then you need to learn how to track market trends and not jump because of good or bad news cycles.”

“I’m a day trader of currency, and yes, interesting news can turn the market upside down TEMPORARILY but what newcomers fail to realize is that you can ride trends in micro-movements that may happen in less than 3 minutes. Fortunes have been made and lost in that small window of time.”

I myself made and lost tens of thousands of dollars in that short amount of time but you have to step back and look at your trading as a whole. Losing half of your $200 investment in a few minutes can be painful but losing $20k in that amount of time is crushing.”

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Trend!
As a seasoned trader of British Pounds, Euro, and other currencies with large movements in the market, where I can lose and gain 20k is part of the job. Once you build enough muscle memory that triggers your recovery reflex, your emotional reaction to market waves becomes trivial.

What happens in the case of a bad market move where you can’t recover. – I’m still working on inoculating myself from going all in. One thing I have is continuous income from my moving helper business.

The steady income allows me to make market moves others can’t because they need to pull income from their trading instead of positioning themselves for a trending move.

Smart Moves

“I’ve created a business that gives me cash flow outside of my currency trading. I make bold moves, so, the last thing I need to worry about is cash flow.

“It doesn’t matter if you are trading stocks, currency or cryptocurrency, If you have to live off your investments, you invest differently. When your back is against the wall, you invest in desperation. Creating continuous cash flow gives you the freedom to invest wisely and not make desperate trades.”

“You can have a number of micro-businesses that bring in just $500 a month. They can seed your investments or keep the lights on.”

You can read more about Nana Yaw Ampofo in the Investment Issue of Millennial Entrepreneur

CL KID & Be the Reason * Never Give Up, Always Give Back

What does it take to make a difference?  Is it money?  Is it being there when called upon?  What about acts of random kindness?  Do they qualify as giving back to your community?

The truth is, it ALL matters.  Change comes in many forms.  CL KID, a recording artist and producer from Orlando, FL, believes strongly that anyone can create a better situation for others in society.  So why wait?

Be the Reason is a non-profit organization co-founded by CL KID (Charles Martinez) and Johnny Ruiz.  Together they bring positive change to their community using financial education and on-going events.  We got in touch with CL KID to discuss music, being an entrepreneur in 2022, and his goals for Be the Reason.

You’re a music artist and producer.  What made you want to start a non-profit?

I love giving.  There’s no better feeling.  I love my home.  Orlando has been my home for a majority of my life.  I was born In Springfield, Massachusetts.  I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that town, but it’s known as the birthplace of basketball and hosts the Basketball Hall of Fame.  It is the birthplace of Dr. Seuss, as well.  It is the location of America’s first armory and home to the first American-made automobile.  Springfield is known as the “City of Firsts”.

You would think that would equate to a beautiful city with character and prominence.  In many ways it is just that.  However, it is heavily poverty-stricken and has one of the highest crime rates in the country.  My parents grew up in New York City.  I love the northeast.  I love the people there and the way of life.  Even so, I am highly aware of the needs of the communities there.  I was raised within them.  Now that I call Orlando home, I want to try my best to meet those same needs here in my community.  My father has always been there to help those around him.  Through that exposure, I’ve always loved doing the same.  Be the Reason allows me to have the platform to do just that.

What are some initiatives Be the Reason looks to achieve in Orlando?

Our first event was based around helping the homeless.  Thanks to donors and others in our community, we were able to put together care-packs that were given directly to those in need throughout the city.  This was a huge success for our organization and we look forward to completing a similar event in the future.

Our overall direction is financial literacy.  Both myself and Johnny Ruiz are well-versed in business and the stock market.  Mr. Ruiz is a licensed trader with years of experience in the market.  We aim to give that knowledge back to the youth by creating Investment Clubs in local high schools.  Through these clubs, students will learn how to navigate the market, place trades, handle portfolios, and other advanced skills in investing.  This is in the process and there should be updates in the near future.

Does your music reflect what you are trying to achieve with Be the Reason?

Not intentionally, no.  My music is something I enjoy on a personal level.  I love being creative.  I love writing and producing.  Music works as therapy for my mind and allows me to be creative with any emotions I’m feeling or have felt in my past.  One way I will say my music connects with my community goals is by bringing attention to mental health awareness.  I can admit I’ve been depressed.  I’ve had bad anxiety.  I’ve felt alone in my path.  Sometimes these feelings can be a launching pad for success.  Other times they can make you feel trapped in life and afraid of each day.

I have multiple songs which connect with these emotions deeply.  “Revelation”, which was released in 2019, lyrically discusses my battle with anxiety.  It’s my favorite song of mine.  I have a line in there which I say:

“My thoughts inside me, remind me, that I’ll be, alone, on my own, as they talking beside me.  Grabbing me, dragging me, back to my agony, struggling managing putting behind me” – CL KID

Revelation Official Music Video

That song really allowed me to express how I felt in those moments of my life.  I have made other references to mental health in various songs.  “Invisible/Lonesome”, a project I completed in 2020, utilized a visual storyline of a homeless man.  The video used a split-screen to show the story of a man who had a home with a loved one, then lost it all and ended up homeless and forgotten.  The video itself lent itself to homeless awareness.  However, the lyrics were more biased towards mental health awareness.

Invisible/Lonesome Official Music Video

One long-term goal of Be the Reason is to create a hub of communication for those struggling with mental health issues.  Covid shutdowns helped shed light on mental health complications.  It allowed people to feel comfortable with speaking-out about what they’re feeling without fear of judgment.  Be the Reason aims to one day be in a position to further help those who struggle with their mental health.

If you had one message to connect with your audience, be it through CL KID or Be the Reason, what would that message be?

Always be patient, humble, and empathetic.  You never know what people are going through.  You never know what difference you can make, even in the quickest moment of interaction.  Stay positive in your own mind and always try to believe in your path.  You will get to your destination when you are meant to.

“Every challenge is an opportunity for growth, designed to strengthen your character…not change your personality.  Always be you.” – CL KID

If you wish to connect further with CL KID and Be the Reason, visit them online at:

Quickly Raise Your Home’s Value By Upgrading The First Thing Buyers See

We’ve all heard that kitchens and bathrooms are places within a home you should zero in for upgrades. A number of fixer-upper-shows on TV push the narrative that to sell a home fast, you need to spend thousands of dollars on these upgrades. Ranging from $10k to 80k depending on your square footage and taste. But there’s a problem with that, your taste in cabinetry, appliances and sinks, may not be the taste of someone else who may be interested in buying your home.

“Home owners selling their home, sometimes overlook the golden rule”, says Joe England of Geneva, Florida. “You want to wow them the moment they pull up to your home with their real estate agent. It’s what they see first that seals the deal.”

Landscaping Seals The Deal

“I’ve been in the landscaping and tree removal business for years and people who flip homes for a living in Central Florida understand that landscaping gets home buyers to fall in love with their homes, site on scene.”

Joseph England has seen it from both sides, as someone who has worked with both contractors and sellers directly. “Contractors are going to try to get you to spend tens of thousands of dollars on projects that may not get the best return on investment.”

Joe further elaborates. “Landscaping with a bed of flowers, manicured trees and bushes, power washed driveways and touch up paint around windows and doors can cost a small fraction of any upgraded kitchen or bathroom”.

Joe’s right. Seasoned home investors know you have to concentrate on the least expensive upgrades before you factor in more expensive ones.

Upgrading a kitchen can cost tens of thousands.

Don’t Gamble With Expensive Upgrades

Diana Sumpter, a 49 year old real estate agent in Orlando says that, “Flooring is the first thing I notice when I walk into a home but if the lawn look as if it needs work, I find myself making excuses for the seller’s landscaping before I can even do an indoor walk through with my client”.

“Upgrading your kitchen is a big gamble. It’s a great selling point for me but a lot of the times, my clients see potential in making changes to the cabinets and tabletops that reflect their own taste.”

Joe agrees, “If you spend $30k or more upgrading a kitchen and/or bathroom, you may be cutting your margins down to a slim profit. The real estate market is in a flux right now. If more real estate becomes available within the housing market soon, which may happen because of the home building frenzy we are seeing now, you may find yourself upside down on your investment.”

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Diane simplified it even more for us. “If you’re going to make changes to the kitchen, upgrade the appliances. A beautiful refrigerator and stove is pretty much all you need. Let the new homeowner take out a second mortgage upgrading their new kitchen cabinets.

Joseph England adds one more piece of advice, “Start with the golden rule, invest from the outside in first then put your home on the market at your asking price and get feedback. Let Real estate agents know that you’re interested in feedback from potential buyers. Only upgrade what is often mentioned. You’ll sell your home much faster with a fatter profit margin”.