The Have And The Have Nots

Alesha Peterson
19 min readDec 29, 2019


By entrepreneur and Getty Images

I had several eye opening experiences and it totally changed how I saw wealth in my 20’s. I had a couple bad run-ins and I didn’t want to rely on people for money ever again. I won’t depend on people for money ever again. (They say never say never. I just don’t think my walls would let anyone trust in that capacity again).

After getting my scholarship taken away something snapped in me. (Read the story in another blog post. Infact over a few blog posts. This article links to others and after you read them you will get the point).

I was thinking why in the hell I put myself in this situation? Why did I believe they would take care of me? Alesha are you f**** nuts.

If my mom wasn’t around and the medical issues went into overdrive, that could have easily put me on the street easily. I would have been homeless, and The cold harsh reality: There was no way I would be able to do any work. Doctors told me whenever I’m in that state, I’m out for the count. In other words, I’m no good to anyone in that state. I was in so much pain and so many opioid drug pain killers that I was high as a kite. I stopped taking them opioids which made my recovery longer. I didn’t want my body to get too dependent on those addictive suckers. That’s one of the things that makes me nervous, doctors gotta keep an eye on it so it doesn’t flare up again.

By allowing myself to trust them as a 18 year old, I put myself in a compromising and vulnerable position. It was a dummy move that I didn’t repeat. I didn’t see the medical issues coming, so that really could have put me in a bad spot. It makes me cringe to think about it.

Mike Bloomberg recently said something that I really appreciate. He funds his own campaigns instead of asking for donations. By doing it this way, he doesn’t have to answer to people. Other politicians said he’s trying to buy his way into being President. (Not necessarily because the people still got to vote).

By signing student financial aid, I was bought. By asking for help from the wrong people, I was sold down the river. When he said he doesn’t want to answer to other people and be bought, that was very powerful statement to me.

When Van Deer was eliminated from Dancing With The Stars after he and his wife miscarried, I really absorbed then how cold people can be.

Infact, I swore to myself I wouldn’t put myself in a situation ever again where I would trust someone financially. Even if someone says they will financially take care of me, I will always have my multiple income streams and security blankets in the background for peace of mind. I don’t want to be “bought” again. I don’t want to answer to anybody.

I notice that some people hate people with money. (I also notice some people hate on other’s successes, but they don’t want to put the work in to make their own successes.) I rather be hated and able to help myself. I’m not completely suggesting that I go into a hermit hole never to come out again. I remember being too trusting and bought. I’m not going to feel that burn again.

I spent the majority of my 20’s putting myself in a better position, and I believe and know for a fact I still have more work to do.

The biggest things I learned from being in the middle class, upper middle, million range and how people treat you when you are on either side.

I come from middle class. (Hopefully when this publishes I can still be welcomed by my middle class kin-folks). Grew up with the thought that you go to grade school, high school and college. You get a job (or 2 to 3 jobs) to earn a living. By the time you’re 65, you hope that you earned enough to sustain you in retirement.

But what was never apart of the conversation was building wealth. How to earn money in your sleep? I used to secretly question middle class ways in my teens. Instead of working 2 to 3 jobs, why not build multiple income streams, so earning money is not based on what you physically do? What if social security doesn’t exist by the time I get older? Why put faith in a system that does nothing but keep you down?

I wondered why some smart and hardworking people I know isn’t as successful as they could be or what they were told they should be, and why I knew more college dropouts who were just damn killing it. Do you remember being in school and all those times where they told you that you had to make “good” grades, and if you didn’t do this or that, you would be a failure? When you check in on all the smart asses from your classes years later they wasn’t doing jack s***? Then I realized then that people who succeed in school don’t always succeed in life.

I talk about it here and here.

By the time I was 22, I poked holes in all my middle class teachings and adopted more of a millionaire mindset. I started to not relate to many of peers, because they were focused on interviewing for corporate america and the rat race. The last semester of school I realized that their teachings was outdated and I did not want to lead that kind of life. (Sure, we need doctors. I don’t want a dropout operating on me. Sorry loves.)

Do I still do work that’s related to what I physically do? Yes. Acting. Taste testing.(I’ll take pocket change for eating anytime haha). You do have to work on business aspects upfront before the income becomes passive. What I physically do is not my main breadwinner.

As much as I love the beach and days off, I’ll eventually want to work on something and won’t ever truly “retire”.

A classic example: Peter Rahul, founder of RxBar sold his company to Kellogg for 600 million dollars. That dude doesn’t have to work on anything for the rest of his life. But he’s working on other projects, he doesn’t want to get bored. I understand his drive to keep growing, creating and thriving. I don’t have 600 mil yet.

I give my time and donate to my favorite causes. People treat you nicer when you have or when they think you have money. Somehow, my name ends up on other donation lists. I don’t talk about when I give but somebody is saying something, because it’s not me.

Afterall, the best way to help people when no one knows about it.

Here’s why people stay broke. And they didn’t teach me this in school.

I learned this from people wayy wealthier than I. To get more in depth you can read other articles I’ve written.

Here’s a recap of some of my multiple income streams, another short article I wrote.

#1. You think the government is gonna take care of you.

The government is not your friend….read my student loan post for more details on that end.

Government programs that gives you free stuff is just sustaining you and keeping you in your place. A friend told me once that they think they are getting over with food stamps, but they are giving you scraps. He put it in first person so I can put myself in their shoes.

When you try to improve, they take the benefits away from you. You are not getting anything, but because you are getting it free, you think you are getting something. Some people get comfortable with the benefits and never get out of the vicious cycle. Use it if you need it, but get out of it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It’s a trap. It’s a way of thinking and living. Some people go through their whole lives not understanding what I mentioned in this paragraph. They don’t ever see the non-sense. He said Alesha remember this, and build instead.

I forget exactly which friend I heard this from. But that has always stuck with me.

The free stuff and “benefits” you get when you are rich/wealthy is a lot better. (I donate and what you get in return makes it worthwhile. Not to say that you should be looking to get something to get something, but you get my point.)

Another friend told me stories about the goodies that you get when you go to Grammys, Oscars and award shows (he goes to different award shows all the time). He said the freebies you get in these goodie bags are worth more than government benefits and some people’s yearly salaries combined. I’m like damn dude. He googled the stuff he got from an awards show one year and it equaled 100,000. I said damn again.

The one thing that has always bothered me about the system and I’ll move on. Why do you have to look the part or be dirt broke before they want to help you? You have to fall so low and go through so many changes before a government agency will help you. Why can’t you get cut a break for trying to help yourself?

I was home recently and heard that the Pacers was having a Thanksgiving dinner at Conseco. This lady on the red line said in order to go, you gotta get a wristband from Wheeler Mission.

Why can’t they have a gathering for people who got it going on, but are just $100 short? The point? Maybe they can also help people who help themselves in addition to the people who really need it.

And maybe they have something like that, but they don’t show it on TV.

Finishing question: If you are a person of privilege and need a pick me up, where can you go? We need help too. (They say we can go people in our circles, more on that below). Just because you have money and the lifestyle doesn’t mean problems go away.

Example: While in high school, because I attended a private school, many assumed that I didn’t need anything because of “my privilege.” Because your parents want to put you in a rigorous and challenging atmosphere, people think your problems go away. I attended this program where I turned in assignments first, but they awarded my scholarships to the public school kids instead.

Example 2: I was the only kid. My mom didn’t look the part or play the role. I noticed that my relatives who had a lot of kids, paid bills late, had problems and trouble makers out the wazoo got more help and more sympathy. These are the same people who have 100s of gifts under the treat because they milk every charity they can. The more irresponsible you are, the more the system helps you. It’s the same idea that if I did prison time, I could get a free education. What gives? What about the people who never did anything bad, but have student loan people chase them into the ground for money? Why is bad behavior rewarded so much? (Moving on now, because if I say more on my mind, I’ll get called cold hearted and cruel. Omg Alesha you’re too hard on people and heartless….)

#2. You continue to take advice from people who are broke.

I don’t take advice from people unless I would want to be in their same position.

#3. You’re impatient and you want to be wealthy right away. You need to calm down.

I can’t begin to tell you how many people I come across in my life that will get into debt to front appearances and for show. The things some people do to look rich instead of being rich is shocking to me. Which leads to my next point.

#4. You don’t go and find real strategies to make money.

I think and know for a fact if I didn’t go to college or have medical issues, my net worth would be way higher. 60,000 here and 30,000 for surgeries overtime is a wallet killer. Insurance doesn’t cover everything and those medical bills rack up. I don’t make any excuses for shortcomings. I just stay busy. I have my collection of businesses I’m working on and I work.

#5. Learn from the people who are living how you want to live.

This one is my mantra.

When your worlds collide

I proposed a question to a family member about getting one of these hotel rooms in Las Vegas for a weekend and how they felt about it.

As I expected, they fussed and complained about the price.

Where spending $25,000 to a millionaire friend of mine for a hotel experience is just dimes in a bucket, to my some friends back home it’s a years salary.

I sometimes don’t tell my old friends about my plans because many would try to spoil the plans with their mindset and negativity. Some of it’s well intended but it’s trying to keep you safe. I didn’t tell no one about having a place in NYC.

That’s too expensive

That’s a waste of money

A millionaire friend would never say that to me. They usually say let’s go or let’s figure out a way.

Now since I live in NYC sometimes, people back home are wondering how I did it.

Another lesson I learned about moving up. It’s a mindset and a way of thinking.

Is $25,000 a lot of money for a hotel room? Sure. But it’s funny how the people complaining would be the same people wanting to go and posting pictures on social media when you make it there. AND THEY WERE THE ONES TALKING YOU OUT OF IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. But would gladly jump on the bandwagon given the chance.


Recently a IU professor was all over the news in NYC and back home because he reposted articles about black students are dumb, homophobic and sexiest statements and so on.

There’s a lot of people like him. (Including IU’s rival because I was on the receiving end of a lot of it. Don’t think you’re holier than thou because y’all are not). Mitch recently said that a black scholar is a “rare creature.”

I love Mitch because I met him. In person I would say, as a friend I got major love for you. What you’re saying is not cool.

Unfortunately, his way of thinking is too common. I would have loved it if people in my educational life would've done this; instead of jumping to conclusions on someone, they push their prejudices and perceptions aside. A lot of times you don’t get the benefit of the doubt (and maybe some diversity and cultural training would have done them some good, but some people are beyond help and too far gone…)

There’s a portion of the population that thinks if you are not a white male, you’re stupid. Or you can’t do things if you’re non-white. I’ve ran into people who said off the chain remarks all the time in school.

Dehumanizing comments in school was very much the norm. People didn’t see me as a human being, just someone to label and stereotype; and to throw the book at when make a mistake, and to chip away at you so much that you wouldn’t want to aspire to do anything, because they only saw you one way. I never hated on my friends who had/have “privileges.” I just saw the writing on the wall, and counted down the days when that period of my life would be over in food courts (food is good ❤).

I consider nearby Chicago home because I went there a lot to escape. It’s a city that became my holy ground; a mental sanctuary. No one knows my name, but everytime I go I never got the hate I received at school. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Chicago.

I had more racist experiences throughout my years of education then I ever had in the real world. And yet I was supposed to believe racist people who stereotype me in school at face-value about how to earn a living for the rest of my life.

That was a huge no no.

I remember a time when I ran for president in several organizations. They didn’t vote for me because I was a black/multi-racial lady and I wasn’t in the popular friend groups. If I were a white male, I’m sure I would have gotten elected because of a popularity contest (sad but true). It was only after I started my own businesses, became president of my own companies in the real world that I really reflected and realized on how badly I was treated in school.

I quickly learned that no one cares about your problems, they only want you to solve theirs or get them what they want. Like detectives who gotta be at crime scenes, you disassociate in order to do your job. If you don’t you would break.

In the startup/business world I don’t bring up personal issues to clients because A: THEY DON’T CARE. B. It’s unprofessional. C. Your client is not a therapist. If the issue was that pressing, I would refer the client on to someone else.

So many things happened to me in the school of technology that no amount of articles I write on here, Huffington, Forbes or elsewhere could ever help me come up with the language to describe what I was dealing with. (I will keep trying and I will let you know if I can ever come up with a article that comes close. This article landed me on the Huffington Post.

I wrote so many blogs about it at this point that a number of them could come to a close 2nd, I suppose. Including this article I’m writing right now.

Racism still happens in the real world, don’t get me wrong. My head is not in sand and I’m damn straight not living under a rock. It happens subtly. It happens to Megan Markle. It happened to Gabrielle Union. I hated to see that happen to her on AGT, but the beauty came when so many people came to her defense and spoke out publicly to support her. None of my friends publically supported me at all when it happened to me in college. The way Sunny Hostin on the view was disppointed in Julia Hough for not speaking up for Union was how I felt towards a lot of my friend groups. When shit like that happens, as women we really need to be a united front.

I assume they were happy to see the shit happen to me because none of them said otherwise. Or they didn’t want to speak up and lose their position in their friend groups or jobs. When I find a true friend I keep them. Find you some friends that support you the way Halsey and Taylor supports Selena. Support doesn’t have to be big and emptying out your pockets. It could be you speaking up for someone if you have the platform or voice when they can’t do it them selves. It could be as little as sharing a post on social media.

Here’s the thing about what Mitch said. There’s several people out there that thinks just like him, but Mitch had the balls to say what he was thinking. Of course you have the people that are waiting for you to say something to jump and react to you. The closeted racists exist too, because I ran into a lot of them in school. I suspect some of my friends fall in the category. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do.

Or showing up to support your friend’s band and they only have 2 other people in a crowd. (Or showing up period). I like to take unpaid gigs from time to time to support a production or director. I get a lot of paid gigs already, and when you give back it comes back to you in a number of ways.

You can do little and it speaks volumes and does so much.

Find you some friends that will support you regardless if you had the best vocals of your career, or if they are the only ones in the audience. If you sing well or way off key like horse shit or cow carcass, they would still be there singing your song in the crowd with you.

In other words find people who will be there through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. They come few and far between. I find that most of the time if people can’t use you they don’t want to be bothered.

I don’t play the victim nor do I pull the race card. So for professors, teachers and the system to suggest that I play a role to make little people feel more comfortable is appalling to me.

I have friends from all different walks of life, races, religions and cultures. I never understood why they couldn’t just treat people the way they want to be treated, and accept people for who they are even if they decide to go against the status quo.

My multiple income streams and businesses had never judged me for my background, skin color, social class or education. They have never stereotyped me or judged me. They have never woke up in the middle of the night and told me they didn’t love me anymore. It’s why I became an entrepreneur instead of working a constant 9 to 5er.

The beauty about becoming a millionaire/multi-millionaire, etc is it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It’s your mindset and how much you are willing to work. It’s one of the many millionaire mindsets that I learned in my 20’s.

Had someone tell me that it’s hard to be successful ESPECIALLY for young blacks in America. I told him, “tell that to the people in my circle.” Most of the people in my circle are young, black and have made hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars, are on track to make it or may have already touched a million.

If you really believe that it’s “extra” hard on you because of your race, you just shot yourself in the foot. You already mentally screwed yourself and THAT’S why you aren’t making progress. It’s extra hard for ANYBODY from ANY race to make it. There’s no exception and success doesn’t discriminate. It rewards those who bust their ass and punishes those who don’t.

I’ve never heard a black or hispanic millionaire say those words. Only weak, broke idiots who think they know something. They throw the rock by spreading that poisonous mentality amongst their own people, then hide their hand and blame their reason for failure on others. I don’t care WHAT videos you watched on Facebook, I don’t care how many shares it got, it’s a bullshit excuse and it will keep you broke if you don’t drop it.

Wish they taught this in school… Your destiny is in your own hands!-Ray Alecio

Because another honest truth in my life is?

I’ve noticed that it’s changed financially for some relatives. Some had cars and now they don’t. I also observe family members with a lil change. Some don’t want others to know they have it, in the fear of being treated like a bank. It’s really a clash of different worlds ans different ways of earning and managing money. If you think about it too much you get a headache.

It sucks because some of them justify it by saying “oh it’s ok because it will get better.” But it never does. It keeps getting worst. To see financial and mental deterioration in front of your face sucks.

As a young kid, I don’t recall observing as many struggles (or maybe it DID happen, but I didn’t notice. In childhood it didn’t seem like an issue. The good old days).

Somehow I know they know that what we were taught growing up about money is off. They now are complaining that no matter how hard they work, they still end up short. And the richer relatives should share more of their “wealth”. And they confirmed it with all the conversations we had. And accuse me of mooching when they said I can ask for help. Or when they said they would pay for a meal, tell me not to worry about it then talk shit behind my back later.

I do test people in my family to see if they really mean it if they say I can ask for help. Most of the time I’m met with a lecture. I go to my friends if I need to. They come to me when they need something.

A while ago a friend asked me to borrow 10 grand for a real estate project. I told them I couldn’t do that, but I can give them some or half of it.

Why stick with the same hamster wheel, spinning constantly in the same direction and being stagnant? And if you say you can help but really don’t want to, why lie?

Instead of expecting rich relatives to hand you money, why not work on your own money strategies so you can become wealthy yourself? And why would you let someone borrow money from you when you know you need it yourself? My rule of thumb is don’t loan out money you can’t afford to lose. I didn’t give my friend 10, but I gave them some of it. And I wasn’t going to bug them about giving it back because I could afford to lose it.

If you gotta keep reminding someone what you did for them, that probably means you didn’t have good intentions. You were doing something looking to get something out of it versus doing something just to be nice.

It’s easier to stick with what you know, even if it makes you miserable and doesn’t move you forward; then to go into the unknown. People fear what they don’t understand.

These are lessons I learned based on observation.

There’s times when I don’t reveal everything I have or every thing I know. It’s best this way.

If you don’t remember anything else from this article: money is a terrible master, but a great servant.

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Hello There! I’m Alesha! I’ve been involved in different businesses in several different capacities from being ceo, coo, co-founder, and more. I’ve learned so much from creating businesses, and I look forward to all the learning experiences I will have from starting new ventures. 2019 I’m excited to announce that I’m going to add more businesses to my portfolio. STAY TUNED! I’m going to introduce them sometime next year!

With one business I was involved with, we made it possible to install a little device with customized hardware and a SaaS solution implemented to the router, the business owner was able see live data about social media info collected.

With another company, we had professional internet marketing company that focus on digital marketing campaigns, services and jobs such as SEO, PPC, Online Reputation Management, and social media marketing.

With EYT, I oversaw day-to-day operations and keeping the CEO apprised of significant events;Yes I actually talk with my business partner on a daily basis. I created operations strategy and policies; Communicated strategy and policy to employees and interns; Fostering employee alignment with corporate goals; and overseeing human resource management. I also delegated tasks to my team.

With Bones’ Custom Guitar. We created custom guitars for musicians with imported wood. No one Bones’ guitar is the same.

The Wish Benefit Concert is a concert founded by Ayana Carter, Mel Sexton and Alesha Peterson. It’s privately held at Riley Hospital For Children.



Alesha Peterson

Howdy! Entrepreneurship, fitness, music, acting, real estate, tequila & investing is sexy. Idea for an article? Input wanted!