5 reasons why talking about money can enhance a relationship

Thinking about combining finances with your significant other? Whether you’re getting married or just thinking about getting serious, talking about money can help couples understand each other and avoid unhappy surprises down the road. Here are five reasons why talking about money can enhance a relationship.

It makes couples happier.

Talking about things like spending, saving and debt may sound business-like and unromantic, but financial experts agree that money is a frequent topic of arguments in many relationships. In fact, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association, almost a third of adults with partners reported that money is a major source of conflict in their relationship.

“What I see when talking with couples is that learning how to resolve money disagreements – and there will be disagreements – helps build important relationship skills,” says Daniel Prebish, director of Life Event Services with Wells Fargo Advisors. “Those skills will be valuable both at the beginning of a relationship and likely for a couple’s entire time together.”

It helps couples connect by understanding what’s going on.

Couples should discuss pros and cons of combining finances versus keeping finances separate. According to research by Wells Fargo & Company, about half of couples choose to combine accounts, while the other half prefers separate accounts. Regardless of where you and your significant other fall in this spectrum, both people in a relationship should understand how their financial habits impact – positively or negatively – the life they are building together.

It helps couples track their short and long-term financial goals.

Be open with your significant other about your full financial picture. Questions that can help open the door to meaningful conversations include:

1. Are we paying ourselves first?
2. Do we have a safety net?
3. Are we paying all our bills on time, every time?
4. Have we reviewed our insurance needs in the last year?
5. Do we track our spending to know where our money is going every month?
6. Are we paying down high-interest-rate debt first?
7. Do we know where our credit stands?
8. Are we saving for retirement?

It helps couples afford the “extras” that make life fun.

Building a solid financial future shouldn’t mean forsaking enjoying life. When couples have a common understanding of how they’ll prioritize and manage their day-to-day finances like housing costs, grocery and utility bills, it’s easier to figure out where splurges fit in.

It helps avoid financial surprises.

Hearing your friends shout, “happy birthday” is a welcome surprise. What’s not welcome is suddenly discovering you can’t afford to pay this month’s bills or that retirement is farther away than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Being up front about money issues and sharing complete financial information with your significant other helps avoid financial surprises that can add unnecessary stress to a relationship.

While discussing money may not feel romantic, it certainly is emotional. So how do you get started? Here are tips:

1. Admit the conversation can feel awkward, but commit to having it anyway.

2. Pick a mutually agreeable time. Your candle-lit Valentine’s dinner may not be the right setting. Pre-arranging the conversation will help ensure both people are mentally prepared.

3. Be open with your significant other. Share your values and opinions about spending and savings habits and goals you would like to achieve together.

4. Work at it. Commit to an annual meeting to talk about money, credit and whether you’re on track to achieve your financial goals.

By opening the lines of communication, you can get on the same financial page before joining financial forces.


(This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and Consumer Lending)

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo Consumer Lending Group provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Findings were a part of the 2016 Wells Fargo &Company’s “How American Buys and Borrows” survey. Over 2000 American adults ages 18 and older were surveyed. Survey results were not published in their entirety.

Article by BPT

Tribe of Dumo

Who we are: The History and Company

Tribe of Dumo, previously known as Afro Kouture was launched in Houston, Texas in 2015 as an African-Inspired accessory line. In August of 2016, the Fashion House chose to rename itself to Tribe of Dumo. “Tribe of Dumo” coined from the designers West African last name “Odumodu” literally translates to mean “LION”. Symbolically, this translates to “STRENGTH”. This name originates from the IBO tribe in Nigeria. As a people, the Ibos have been know for their industrialism, artistic qualities, drive for educational improvement and business development. Both designers of this brand belong to this tribe and they share the same qualities as the Ibo people. Our choice of textile and prints comes from the love of our tribe, country, and nation. The history of our bold prints is believed to stem from one prevailing theory. In the mid-19th century, the Dutch enlisted of West African men, both slaves, and mercenaries to beef up their army in Indonesia. While there, these men took a liking to the local handicrafts and brought these Indonesian prints, now known as ANKARA, back to their home countries. Since then, these beautiful prints have been the predominant choice in many African Designers around the world.

African Fashion boasts of the use of beautiful bold prints and textiles and our mission is to bring this love of African Fashion to the world’s stage and intertwine our textiles with everyday western styles making every man, woman and child feel like a part of the Fashion Tribe, the Tribe of Dumo, where Culture meets Couture.


Who we are: The Designers

Ijeoma Odumodu:  She is the creative Director behind our brand. Currently attending The Art Institute of Houston, she has risen to the top and made a mark for herself while chasing her dreams to design and create. An entrepreneur at heart, she has always wanted to design and create fashion forward pieces that stay true to the simplest form of design but are yet edgy and playful. Her passion for fashion and design is overwhelming and channeled towards pushing the envelope in the design world. Working alongside her sister, Ijeoma is able to balance her persona with her co-partner.

Chioma Osibodu (nee Odumodu): She has always thought of herself as a designer at heart. She currently has a career as a Nurse Practitioner and caters to the health needs of her patients. She always believed she was gifted with her hands and learned how to sew at the age of 17 after graduating from high school in Nigeria. Also an entrepreneur at heart, she always believed there was more to her than her career. She believes in “birthing” ideas from the inside, never taking “No” for an answer and striving to be the best you can be.


Juice Knits is our kids line. Creative Director is Uju Odumodu. Received her Masters in Business Administration and decided to venture into the world of fashion. With her passion for producing one of a kind pieces embedding the art of knitting and crochet with the use of African Print, she wanted to showcase the versatility of African Printsin the kids department.


pitch to your audience

Pitch to your audience: Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs- Designed.LIFE

There is something called glossophobia – the fear of public speaking, entrepreneurs find themselves in positions that require them to address an audience or panel. Glossophobia makes a speaker freeze and shakes vigorously in the front of the audience, irrespective of how small the audience is, or even when they are familiar faces. The major cause of glossophobia is shyness, embarrassment, first attempt, etc. In schools, some students find speaking terribly difficult for them. Glossophobia is a major trouble for budding entrepreneurs who may find even the smallest task difficult in front of an audience. It could be very difficult to tell the audience your name without freezing, your thoughts run out and lose a bearing.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner Dictionary, Confidence is ‘that feeling that one can trust, believe in and be sure about the abilities or good qualities in somebody or something’. The Oxford Miniference Dictionary reads ‘Self – assurance’. Confidence is that assurance you develop even when your thoughts are falling apart.

Confidence in public speaking

It is quite valuable. When a Public Speaker mounts the podium, it is expected from such Speaker not to totter when he/she speaks. In avoidance of this, confidence prevents Speakers from tottering. The fear of standing before the crowd shouldn’t be heard from a Speaker. The audiences are who you are directing your message to, whatever you say that day, turns into reverberation in their ears.

At that moment, see yourself as the number one person there. You are in control of lives. The souls of the individuals you are speaking to are handed over to you. You are the main man and everyone is subject to you. So take the authority. Don’t be timid. It doesn’t matter if there are professionals or professors there take authority and assume authority. See yourself impacting. Let it flow from within and release every tension.

Everyone is now under you. You have to be free to get your message to them. Though some say it is good to be able to come up with an impromptu speech, but to give a message people will understand and flow with it is also important to rehearse your speech well. Let your message speak to you first. Let it minister to yourself first, and then it germinates in you, sits down in you, grow roots and comes alive. Demonstrate your ideas and illustrate with relevant stories.The very first thing you should flaunt before the audience is confidence, you need to possess that quality if you want to speak and present.I’ve met with intelligent Speakers, and in many of their words you would hear them saying ‘it is not easy’.

Pitch with these in Mind

  1. Do you know it is possible for a speaker with a good presentation not to be awarded their desired goals and the less prepared speaker get awarded? It is!Public Speaking itself has a broad scope and confidence as a major aspect of it cannot be over-emphasized. Now, relax, sit, be calm, and read the things to do to gain confidence;
  2. Start small if you are just a starter and a fresher in the school of public speaking. Don’t rush or be in a haste. Rehearse several times before the big talk.
  3. Time your presentation, prepare with a timer. Work towards saying as much as you can say with less, do not beat around the bush when you can hit on the points with precision.
  4. The moment you mount the podium or probably stand before your audience, don’t start your speech immediately. Catch your breath and give a spontaneous smile to your audience.
  5. Avoid stress before mounting the podium.
  6. Amidst the crowd, find a friend for yourself. You can achieve this by giving accolades to the people sited on the high table.
  7. Maintain a good standing position, stand right and straight. An awkward standing position is not a good feature of a good Speaker. Your position does not only present you like an expert, it provides you with comfort.
  8. Don’t start your speech unless you feel the best urge. You could stammer ceaselessly if you are not sure of what you feel.
  9. life is a risk and mistakes happen. When you in a speaking event, you could bump into mistakes unknowingly but don’t stop! When this happens, reduce your pitch. Observe the punctuation, comma(,) – synonyms to pause. With that, you try and gain whatever you want to say. I can remember my secondary school days, I loved representing my school in any debating competitions. It was an unforgettable event during a debate when I mistook ‘represent’ for ‘resident’. I was so much in a haste to oppose the motion that I stammered and stuttered till I finished. That little mistake wronged every right.The way we make our mistakes look before all and sundry determines how others will consider the depth of our mistakes.
  10. Be certain of what you want to say at every point in time.
Social media branding

Social Media Branding and Financial Growth.

The Economic realities all over the world are harsh as always, there is rarely a time in history when things have not been hard. It is becoming more of an ordeal to eat three meals in a day, and innovation has come to stay. These are times when social branding has become the most cost-effective way to attract clients or customers at almost no cost.

It’s one thing to find your circle and connect with entrepreneurs within the same industry; it’s a different to stand out stand out. Contrary to popular opinion, branding and not illegal or diabolical methods have been the major tool for many businesses in the 21st Century. Many young businesses fail because they lack personal branding techniques, we could give twenty fashion designers the same yards of cloth, but they would produce a large variety of styles and wears.

Branding is not always about your skills, it involves:

  1. Attitude: your attitudes towards customers. You don’t shout down your customers or clients for any reason at all, your business goals seek to please and retain loyal customers. Some staff become all negative when interacting with clients, some would be rude to say things like “Madam, are you in your right senses?”
  2. Style/Niche: Let people differentiate you from others; show them what you can do what others cannot. Be brave enough to try uncharted territories, sometimes that may just be what makes you shine.
  3. Mobility: Advance in your chosen path or career, take courses and attend seminars. Don’t be stagnant. Learn from people; make good use of social media platforms.
  4. Exhibition: Social media can help you showcase what you do, it can change your life, it can help you fulfill your dreams. Relate with influencers in your field, prove your works, beat your chest on what you do, tell them you can give them the best service.

These days the whole world is virtually online, decisions are made through social networks and money even change hands online.Brand yourself to sell, tell the whole world about what you do and why you do it.

Success is just like a KEY. You have the key with you, and you can use it whenever you want to.
You’re the KEY!
You’re the best thing that can ever be useful for yourself, so be the BEST for yourself. Create a strong online presence and watch your social media profiles serve as your office.


Collaborate or Die

Collaboration is essentially the lifeline of any entrepreneur. In essence, we can only rise by lifting others, by collaborating, by sharing, etc. Amazing brands are not a result of solo efforts, they thrive by joining forces to create brands that are beyond our imagination. It’s about letting go of the fear of losing control of our dreams and letting others teach us and help us grow.

Earlier on in my career, I decided that I couldn’t do it alone, even if I could. I have always believed in the power of collaboration. When I started Eleviv, I had wanted to go at it alone. I met with clients, designed their branding (alone), formulated strategies by myself. I realized pretty quickly that I was doomed to fail if I had continued being the QUEEN OF THE BALL. Although I wasn’t able to hire new talents, I collaborated with companies and individuals to help with areas in my business I wasn’t fit to master.


“Collaboration isn’t about giving up our individuality; it’s about realizing our greater potential.” ― Joseph Rain
Trying to be competent in all areas of your business puts you on a fast track to total BURN OUT. The most important thing is giving away some control so you can focus on what matters most.  Ideas are usually limited to one’s abilities when you go at it alone. But collaborating opens the doors of your business to innovation and exponential growth. You cannot afford to go on this entrepreneurial journey alone. It’s cold, and not too friendly to slackers. You need an amazing team, learn to outsource, give yourself time to focus on your core strengths.If for instance you’ve been commissioned to build a small house, and you gathered all of the materials to build this house, you have all of the master plan to build an amazing house however, your dreams were shattered because it took 3 years to complete. But If you were building the same home, and you have 10 people on your team. One can prepare the site, a second pour the foundation,  another the rough framing, the fourth person works on the plumbing, electrical and HVAC, the fifth installs the insulation, etc. You get the picture! Before long the home is ready to go and within a matter of months, it’s complete. There is strength in numbers, let that be your focus in the upcoming weeks.


Vivian Okojie


Launch Already

When in the process of creating a new business. Do not be held back by the need for perfection.
Sometimes we get trapped by the need to make everything just perfect before placing our products and services in front of the consumer.
I’m guilty of this as well! Pushing your Launch months ahead to get your system or product just right, can cause a delay and ultimately be the death of your business.

In product development, there is something we term MVP which is your Minimum Viable Product…
Putting out your MVP is less expensive, reduces your risks in case the product fails, and cuts down on time.
I understand the need to get your Branding just right, your website fully optimized, and your packaging just perfect. However, don’t waste time worrying about those things. Start your business and build up as it grows.

Yes Boss: Peter Lentini on Brand, Fashion, and Entrepreneurship

Peter Lentini Efezokhae is the Founder and Creative Director of Ankara Festival Los Angeles (AFLA), created in 2010 with the intention to create a social landscape for cultural pride in the U.S., increase the visibility of African culture and foster entrepreneurship through fashion, arts, music, dance, and food. He began the initiative while managing Naija Entertainment, a company he launched in 2004 that has been a staple in the party scene in Los Angeles and across the nation for over 10 years providing Afrobeat DJ services, event production for corporate, wedding and private events and producing music concerts featuring world-renowned African artists.

Through his years of service to the African community in Los Angeles, Lentini has proven himself a staunch advocate for entrepreneurship, cultural pride and volunteerism. He has helped create jobs and various business opportunities, promoted African cultural preservation and forged a framework to effectively build partnerships through a powerful and sustaining network of influential individuals.

He has taken an active role in improving the lives of underprivileged communities through various charitable work such as feeding the homeless every year with PATH in Los Angeles and donating a percentage of AFLA ticket sales to benefit a non-profit organization dedicated to health issues, poverty alleviation, disease eradication, education, and research. Aligned with his commitment of benevolence, Lentini travels around the world through the TOMS “One-for-One” initiative giving shoes to children in need. The program also gives the gift of sight by providing free access to medical treatment, sight-saving surgery and prescription glasses to people living in disadvantaged areas.


Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Peter Lentini was already a hustler in the entertainment industry from a young age as an event promoter, organizing street carnivals and concerts. As a little boy, he struggled as he balanced focusing on his studies and supporting his siblings raised by a single mother by peddling in the busy streets of Lagos selling water and snacks. As such, he has become the epitome of the American Dream since his move to the US in 2000 as an immigrant creating his own success through hard work and determination. With his commitment to be a positive social impact to everyone he encounters, Peter Lentini has been an inspiration and a mentor to a diverse youth group hoping to follow in his footsteps as he accomplishes various achievements never forgetting his humble beginnings.



On his thirst for education, Peter Lentini has made it his mission to continuously learn from his personal experiences and challenges that has shaped his spiritual growth. He also set himself as an outlier with a plethora of degrees from various Universities including an Ordinary National Degree (OND) in Mass Communication from Ibadan Polytechnic, Nigeria; a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; an Associates Degree in International Studies from Mission College, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from San Jose State University; and a Masters of Arts in International Relations from California State University, Northridge.  During his studies in the Bay Area, Lentini successfully produced African Student Union Cultural Shows and other events.

Peter Lentini has received numerous awards and distinctions including profiles by the Life and Times Magazine as a Youth Leadership Award recipient, Outstanding Work Award from TOMS and was also featured in the YES BOSS Campaign as an Influential and Inspiring Entrepreneur.

As a thought leader in his industry, Peter Lentini has been invited numerous times to speak at corporate meetings such as the Global Sales Conference for TOMS and at prestigious universities including Yale and Stanford University addressing students, professors, and marketing executives.

With his love, passion, and pride for his culture and his dedication in raising two young sons, Peter Lentini is inspired to purposely and intentionally create possibilities of empowering and supporting a thriving community in Los Angeles that can celebrate its astounding diversity through exposure to the African heritage and legacy.


What does it mean to live a Designed Life?: For me, Living a designed life is all about loving what you do, and deriving joy in doing it. Living a life with a purpose, touching and changing lives with what you do and most importantly putting family first in all you do.

Favorite Quote: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi


To learn more about Peter Lentini and his brand visit 



The Reality of Dreams

Sometimes pursuing your goals can be exhaustive. I had spent hours planning a photo shoot for my new product, only to be let down by the colors of my labels, the lighting, and the sunlight. I was disappointed and got very emotional.

Dreams are sometimes like that, they are never as expected. We plan things out perfectly in our heads but reality gives us a check and we must adjust accordingly. There are several ways to combat the funk that comes up when things don’t work out as planned.

#1: Let it flow

Sometimes what we focus so much on perfecting isn’t always necessary. In the case of my photoshoot, I focused on the positives, adjusted a few things and went along with the process.

#2: Don’t get funky:

It’s easy to get upset, discouraged, and downright funky because you didn’t have your way. You have to keep one thing in mind (nothing good comes easy). Always remember that when next you hit a block on your way to greatness. In my case, I focused only on the positive and put a spin on the photo shoot.

The truth is your dreams have a life of their own. They may not always take the intended course but be rest assured that they will come true.

ambition is catalyst

Ambition is the greatest catalyst for success, Protect yours.

It is not ambition that kills you. Ambition only acts as a catalyst. It drives you and fills you up with positive energy which you can harness into achieving something great. Stasis, on the other hand, can drive you nuts. Staying dormant will never propel you toward greatness. It will, however, enslave you and create room for resentment towards yourself and others. It kills you slowly.

Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be a better version of yourself. Be with people who bring positive energy to the table.

Protect your ambition, Protect your space.

You cannot allow negative people into your space. They will only end up stealing from you without remorse. They will steal your happiness. They will steal your joy. They will make everything you worked so hard for seeming worthless until you become one of them; not going forward, not going backward- caught in the middle. They will not stop until you are on their level and that is when you begin to die slowly, your creative energy and enthusiasm for life wanes until you become just a shadow. The painful part is you know you are spiraling downwards yet you are helpless because the type of people you allowed in who ought to have been the people helping you regenerate are doing the opposite of that. They are degenerative and that is your disadvantage.

You cannot make progress if you do not put a stop to it. Be done with all that. Enough of all that.What your mind can conceive, you can achieve. Draw from your well of strength and break free. Even when they are clawing at you, fight them off. You cannot be in the dark and expect to see the light without lighting a torch and once you break free, never look back. Re-establish yourself and amplify your energy by connecting with those who not only remind you of who you are but also help and challenge you to put your energy to good use and see your dreams and aspiration through.


startup team ideas

3 Startup Ideas to Keep Your Team together

Daniel has been trying to build a team for his startup business idea and he is frustrated. He has no money to pay team members, he needs volunteers. Daniel calls his team members up and sends a lot of messages concerning the goals of the business but it has been much of a struggle. No one is ready to break a sweat on the matter. Daniel wonders about his business model, he starts attending a lot of seminars. He loses his peace and feels frustrated every time because his team members just seem laid back and too busy with their own goals.

Daniel’s Startup Rehab:

1. The Fuel:

your team runs on the steam you generate, motivation fails when you are not passionate. So maybe there is a need to change your business idea or get more passionate about it. If your team members are at 30 km/h, you should be at 100 km/h.

2. Pick Right:

The goals of some team member would not fit into yours, decide quickly when you need to cut some people off the team. It’s better to have no team than to carry dead weight. You may be friends but it does not mean their passion or goals would be fulfilled while they work on your team.

3. Help Out:

Your team is probably a volunteer, you need to be constantly aware of their needs. If you do not care about them, why do you think they should care about your business? Even in paid positions, you can maximize the performance of staff by checking up on them frequently.

I have applied these ideas to writing teams, I wake up every day thinking about how to help my team members achieve their goals. I put in extra effort when team members are not available, and I stay focused on the big picture. we may find it hard to run alone most times but it also helps us as leaders to understand how far we can stretch without help. This is a good time to test our limits and push boundaries. Yet like David in the Bible, when there is progress even those who seem laid back should be acknowledged.

We must understand that there may be nothing wrong with the idea, it may just be our lack of commitment as leaders that makes team members lose faith. Leaders should be ready to run alone but we also need to carry everyone along.