Don’t play with a broken heart…

It’s hard to go through life and not be bruised and battered. We can suffer in so many ways. Most people had to pick their poison at a very young age. There is so much pain in so many people. The pain gets worse when a hurt person tries to love another hurt person. We hurt in different ways and we respond to the pain in different ways. There are some innocent hurting people who just want love. There are some innocent hurt people who just want revenge; and they’re willing to take it out on anyone in their path.

Be careful when loving a damaged person. It’s OK to try to love someone but make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process. If they aren’t ready for love then you have to be willing to walk away. If they don’t want to healed or even want to be helped, then you have to help yourself. You can’t save everybody and you can’t change anybody. You have to love as if you’ve never been hurt before and if that’s not good enough for them, you have to walk away. Don’t feel like you’re abandoning them. You’re just not the person meant to help them. Someone else will come along. We all hurt in different ways and we all have someone in this world who can help us heal. Know who is for you and be willing to let go of someone who isn’t. If you don’t have anyone, God’s grace is sufficient. His love is the ultimate love and will be the love that heals your heart. He may or may not use another person to help. Trust the process.

Don’t play with a broken heart. Don’t play with theirs and don’t play with yours. Someone can get hurt very badly because brokenness can be unforgiving at times. Be willing to let go of the past and heal the pain. Be willing to give love and allow love. It’s enough pain in the world already. Be the cure not the cause.

Blessings,

Tony Gaskins Jr.

Make it work…

Relationships are struggling at an all-time high. Social media and our fast paced society play a major role in the struggles. Without healthy relationships our world will suffer more. That’s why I created this course. If you’re in a committed relationship this course is for you. Each week I’ll teach a lesson and then we will have Q&A with further discussion. We will help one another. The questions, comments and answers will be added value to each couple on the line.

Not many couples sign up because not many men are open to it. I hate to say it, but that’s not good sign. When we aren’t willing to grow and learn, we’re in a bad place and it’ll only get worse. But even if your partner isn’t willing to sign up, you can and just save the recordings for when they come around. You can listen to the information and implement what you learn and see how he/she responds. In my marriage, I changed my ways and it influenced my wife to analyze her ways too. We grew together.

To learn more about this course and claim your spot CLICK HERE!

Class starts next Tuesday night and I hope to have you in it!

Talk soon,

Tony G.

When a man wants to give the world…

I struggle with finding the balance between giving what’s needed and giving everything. I’m starting to understand more why so many men say they want to be financially stable before marriage. When I got married I wasn’t that type of man so I never understood the mindset but now I’m realizing why that mindset is normal for good men.

As the head of the household I want to provide for my wife and kids. I find myself wanting to provide their wants as equally as much as I want to provide their needs. That can get expensive fast. It really sends you into a space of evaluation where you’re trying to determine what’s really important in life.

When it comes to the kids, my wife and I may have made some mistakes, but all parents do. None of us really know what we’re doing, we just do the best we know how to do. We have two sons, a 10 year old and a 3 year old. They go to a Christian private school and for the both of them it’s about $2,100/month. We aren’t wealthy and money doesn’t grow on trees but I compare my 10 year old to some of the 10 year old’s I meet from the public schools and it makes Christian private school seem necessary. There’s a big difference for us between a Christian private school and a private school. At our son’s school they instill Christ in the kids and into the lessons. They try to emulate Christ and the love He showed the world. To hear my son learn new scriptures every week really blesses my heart. When he was little and was struggling with his allergies and eczema issues he would miss about 3 days a week. To know that he could go to school with skin completely red and not be bullied for it really meant a lot to me. He would say things like “mommy, I’ll be ok. Jesus will heal me because my friends at school are praying for me.” To hear that from the mouth of a child really blessed me. When our oldest son started going to Christian private school we were on financial aid and we couldn’t even afford that. We had to borrow some months but it meant the world to my wife that he went to a good school. She felt that it made a huge difference in her life and I couldn’t argue with that because I went to public school from K-9th grade and my mindset and behavior was totally different from my wife as she went to private school from K-9th. Her foundation was totally different from mine.

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Lil Tony at his Band Concert

As much as we want to believe that everything at home makes all the difference, that’s not true. A child’s environment outside of the home is very important. We’ve always prayed for what we wanted and we went after it. We couldn’t afford it but my wife’s faith made it happen. That same type of faith helped me grow my brand and business and our son’s don’t receive any financial aid today but God has made a way. Looking around and seeing so many other kids in our neighborhood going to public school and seeming to be pretty good kids, I’m torn many days. I say to myself “man I could be saving $20,000/year. If i put that on the market or invested that into my business it would turn into millions.” But then I remember how being in public school I started having sex early even though my parents were ministers. I started stealing and even went to jail in the 9th grade. I was cursing, stealing, fighting, and all kinds of stuff because even though I had good home training, many of the kids around me didn’t and that pressure was greater than my parents influence. I turned it around thanks to the grace of God, but I could be dead or in prison today if just one thing had gone wrong. So I’m brought back to the investment that we’re making for our kids to be in a Christian private school getting their foundation set in place. I also feel some guilt because some families can’t even afford $100/month for school and have no choice other than to put their child in the public school system. I’m sure some private school parents don’t care about that but it bothers me many days. I thought about this the other day and I realize that by the time our sons are ready for college we will have already paid a minimum of $252,000 for their schooling and it’ll probably be much higher than that. It’s crazy to think about it. It hurts and it feels good at the same time. It’s sad to think that there has been a system created to protect the kids of the “rich.” I also realize that faith and the desire to have more for your kids play a part in it because not all kids at good private schools come from the same social class.

This also leads me to the understanding that sometimes we can do more for our kids but we don’t just because it doesn’t make sense to us. We will make our kids suffer just because we suffered in the same way. We limit our kids just because there were limitations placed on us. If it wasn’t for my wife having been exposed to the private school system my sons would probably be in public school. I know you may not think there is a difference, but there is. I’ve seen both sides of it and the difference is very noticeable. So even if you can only get financial aid, it’s worth at least asking the schools before just deciding to put your kids through the public school system. At my son’s school he was doing work in the second or third grade that I literally could not do. I helped him ONCE with his homework and it’s the only D he’s gotten since being in school. My wife can do all of his work of course because her education foundation was much different than mine. Because of her education my son earns straight A’s because she can teach him even what his teachers can’t teach him. Granted, they both are also naturally smart.

I’m left to the thought that maybe this is the way to go in this day and time. Although it’s a sacrifice and paying $2k/month for school is very hard to do, I see a big difference and it would break my heart to give my sons less than the best if there is a way I can make it happen.

To throw in a little note for those of you who are upset right now and saying “yeah that all sounds good and I’m glad your sons can go to private school but that’s not the case for me because it’s just not affordable, not even with financial aid.” I will say, by having a deep desire to give my sons more than what was afford to me it pushed me to new levels in my life. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t have a mentor. I don’t have any full-time staff. I’ve started 8 companies and created over 40 streams of income, many you have no idea about, all because I wanted to be in a position to give them more. My point is that there is a way to make it happen if you really want to make it happen. Don’t sell yourself short before you’ve tapped into every possible resource and option. Sometimes just pleading with the school and asking them to give you a chance may do it!

lilTandTayden

Now, to setting my family up for success. This is a calling that many men accept and it is no easy thing. Many women have accepted the same calling out of necessity. I’m investing in my gifts and it changed our lives greatly. I would spend every free dime investing in myself so that I could yield a return. I knew that I was sowing on good ground and that a harvest would come. There was a 6 year stretch that I went from earning $20,000 a year to $500k a year. My faith, my hopes, my desires, and my love for God and my family pushed me on that journey. This fuel in me is pushing me to become a Billionaire one day. I don’t know how it will happen but I didn’t know how $100k/year would happen either. I just trust God and keep working on myself and investing in my gifts. Because I did it and I know it works it has lead me to invest in my family at any cost.

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What I want you to understand is that these investments aren’t from an endless supply of money. There are many times that I spend our last dime to make an investment in my wife or our sons or myself. I don’t think scarcely. I think abundantly. My oldest son says he wants to be a professional soccer player. So I invest in club soccer each year, it’s around $2k right now and he’s 10 so I know that will grow to $5k and then $10k when you include all the flights and hotel stays that await us. Just to be on the team is $1,200. Then the uniform is $250. Then some tournaments we have to pay extra. Then some tournaments are 1-2 nights and we have to spend travel money and $200-$250/night on a hotel room. It gets expensive. Many families are swimming in credit card debt investing in their kids. This summer my son is going to an overnight camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. This camp cost $2k for ONE week! It is absolutely crazy to me, but I’m doing it because I don’t want any other child to have any advantages over him. When he is grown, even if he doesn’t play a day as a pro soccer player I want him to look back and know that we invested in him and gave him every chance to be successful. Outside of those camps he’s going to two other camps. One was about $600 total and the other will be about $400 total. I want to cry just thinking about the fact that his younger brother will have to be afforded the same opportunities. So this summer alone another $3,000 is being invested into my son’s soccer dreams. I probably won’t do this every summer unless I see that it was really worth it. So here you have it, just for my oldest son I’m looking at an investment of $15,000 a year with school and soccer. It’s insane to think about but I’m painting a picture of how our world has separated us by how much money we earn. What we spend is small for some people. These opportunities are not afforded to everyone. I do believe if you want it bad enough you can find a way but it won’t just fall in your lap unless you win the lottery or find a sponsor. I just understand that I’m no one special. I’m just another child of God who has enough to believe that I can have the best this life has to offer.

I’m growing now and learning more about “smart money.” I’m learning that all the designer shoes, clothes, and cars aren’t important. The investments in our gifts and our lives are most important. I’m spending money differently now.

Those investments for our sons will have a return so that’s why I’m calling it an investment. It’s more than what I have to do and it’s not normal. It could be seen as borderline crazy. But I’m doing it because I don’t want them to have any excuses.

Outside of the money there comes, time. As a man or head of your household, the time you invest is more important than the money. The time you spend talking, playing, and bonding with your wife and kids will make all the difference. I remember my father being in the front yard with me all the time playing sports with me and training me to the best of his knowledge. He never paid for me to go to a single camp and I’m not sure why that is, but he put me through his own camps in the front yard or in the driveway playing basketball. I went on to play football in college because of his investments and sacrifices.

Yesterday, I went outside and juggled the soccer ball with my son and it was so hard. I’m lying here typing this in pain. My thighs, calves, shins, ankles, back, all that is hurting! I told him we will do an hour a day, 5 days a week. That’s the goal but if we at least get 3 days in, I’ll be happy. I know he won’t forget that just as I haven’t forgot what my Dad did with me. At the same time I watch my wife spend 15-20 hours a week with my sons helping them learn their academics. She also takes our oldest to the fields and works him out, putting him through a training regimen. She was a college athlete too. She ran the 800 in college until injuries and school work took over.

The investment of time is so important for the head of the household. The blessings or curses flow from the head. I do my best to make an effort to give my wife time as well as my sons. She is just as important as them. They have to see the way I love her so they will one day love their wives even better. They see us have date-nights every week. They see me grab her butt and rub on them thighs. I don’t intend for them to see all that but they see it. I slip up and get a little inappropriate sometimes with the public display of affection and my wife has to remind me to chill. As they grow older they will see how the head of the household has a large responsibility. I make mistakes too and those are the areas they will be better than me in. We always leave some room for our kids to grow because none of us are perfect. Sometimes I get agitated quickly and get snappy. I don’t curse or yell so it’s not that bad, but I get one of them nice-nasty attitudes that come with smart remarks, silent treatments and rude looks. It takes me about 10 minutes to snap out of it. When my oldest son gives me a look, I blame it on all the concussions I had in college playing football and tell him that’s why I don’t want him to play football, lol. My family watches my every move, the good and the bad. I’m the head and it all flows from me. I’m also writing this mini novel to hold myself accountable and remind myself of my calling as the head of the household. I’m still trying to get more time. I have to make more time actually. Being motivated and driven to earn more money to give my family more opportunities also comes with less time. So I’m constantly working on time management and creating a system that shows balance. I realize that they appreciate my time more than my money. Many men don’t believe that but it’s true. I know they say that love doesn’t pay the bills but in a very discreet way, it actually does pay the bills. My love for my family is what motivated me to become better so I could give them more. That love for them also has pushed me to another level to create streams of income that earn money while I’m spending time with them or even sleeping. Love is paying our bills.

Lastly, I want to make a point to the men about investing in our wives. She is so capable. She is so strong and so smart. She is smarter than you. She can earn more money than you too if given the tools. She has more longevity than you, in the bedroom, in the boardroom, and on Earth. These are shocking facts that I’m coming into the knowledge of. I’m writing this blog right now as my wife is at a conference. Her ticket to this conference cost us $400 that wasn’t in the budget. It actually cost more because of gas and parking so really about $500 plus. We were sitting in the bed early morning on Thursday and I saw it on my timeline. It’s a conference for women who blog, youtube, etc. It’s called “BlogHer.” When I saw it, I mentioned it to her and offered to send her. She accepted and I dropped $400 on it. Our budget is strict and tight because the more you build the more disciplined you have to be and it is a struggle. That’s why they say “mo money, more problems.” A lot comes with trying to make a better life. Nonetheless, we spent the money and she is loving it!! It’s reviving her and giving her a much needed boost to get back to her blogging and brand building.

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Anything she wants to do in her life, I’m here for it. Anything! We are talking about law school right now. I will need a great Entertainment Lawyer one day and I want that money to go to her and she likes that idea too. She has a bachelors in Bio-medical Science and her masters in Medical Sciences. Her initial goal was to be a Medical Doctor but our lives took us in a different direction and now her interests have changed. I’m willing to spend my last dime on her dreams. She’s a full-time CEO of Home and helps run all of the companies I’ve started. She’s the backbone of our family. Our sons wouldn’t be who they are without her. I would literally be dead or in prison if it wasn’t for her influence in my life. For that, I owe her the world. She’s played a major part in my life. I think as men we often forget about the grace and favor a good woman brings to our lives. I challenge you to remember that and to give back to her instead of draining her more. There’s so much more I want to do for my wife that I’m not able to yet. As of now, I’m praying for abundance so that we can pay for law school if that’s where her heart leads her. If not, then for whatever else she wants to do. My days aren’t promised so for all the focus I stole from her at one point in life, I want to return it 1,000x. As men we can’t get into the mindset that everything has to be about us and our aspirations. Her dreams matter too. So many men want a handmaid instead of a Queen. The woman in Proverbs 31 made power moves and held things together. We have to respect her heart and her hustle and get behind her movement.

Ok, I have to put our 3 year old down for his nap now so I’m going to let you go. If you’ve read this far, thank you! I may not have made a lot of sense but I’m trying to put what’s on my heart into words and sometimes that’s so hard to do without offending or alienating someone. Please know this post is only to share another example. However you raise your kids or run your home, more power to you! I’m not saying my way is the way, but it is my way and I just wanted to share it with you to add a different perspective.

God Bless,

Tony A. Gaskins Jr.

 

Love isn’t war

We’ve been lied to for a long time about love. We’ve come to the point that we think fighting, arguing, infidelity, and mind games are a part of love. It may be a part of the relationship you’re in, but it has nothing to do with love.

Love should be between two mature adults who want the best for one another. Love is selfless not selfish. Love gives instead of taking. Love is understanding and compassionate. Love may compromise some likes and preferences, but never does it compromise morals and values.

Make sure the person in your life wants to be with you. If you have to wonder about their love, it may not exist. Don’t get caught up in a daily struggle trying to keep someone in your life. Don’t lose yourself trying to keep someone else. Don’t lower your standards to accommodate their self-hate.

If you’ve found yourself in a war and calling it love, it’s time to rethink some things.

Blessings,

Tony G.

Upcoming events:

Atlanta 4/2/17

Houston 4/8/17

Memphis 5/6/17

Should you go back to someone who left you?

Reader submitted question to inbox@tonygaskins.com:

I received a question from a young lady who was left by the father of her children. She wanted to know if she should go back to him and try to work it out once she’s done working on herself.

I couldn’t imagine the pain you may be going through raising kids alone. I know it’s not easy and many days you probably feel lost and lonely. Sure, millions have found a way to be a single parent just fine, but that’s not the case for everyone.

I can’t tell anyone what to do with their life but I do want to speak from a man’s perspective on what’s going through a man’s mind when he leaves…

1. Love doesn’t leave:

You have to understand that when a relationship is filled with real love, leaving isn’t an option. Real love stands, fights and gets stronger. When a person has to leave to protect themselves it’s because there’s not enough love in the relationship. In that case love isn’t leaving, self love is just standing up for itself. So if a person leaves you it’s for a reason that is valid in their mind and you may never understand it.

2. When a man leaves, he’s done:

Men are not like women, at all. Men are very straight forward in their decisions. When a man leaves you, he’s done with you. He has weighed his options and the consequences and when he leaves, he’s sure. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule but most of the time this is how it is. If he leaves and then you chase him, you’re setting yourself up to be hurt.

3. If he leaves you, he’s not yours:

If a man leaves you, he doesn’t want you and you don’t need him. It’s a man’s job to help heal your heart. It’s a man’s job to protect and provide. A real man knows that women are preyed on in this world and he understands that it’s his love that can bring you back to your normal self. A man’s love should be so strong that it erases your feelings for anyone before him. That’s the way the heart works when real love is present. If a man leaves you that means he doesn’t see you as someone worth his efforts to help heal your heart. He doesn’t see you as the one to sweat and toil in the field of love for. He sees other options that seem a little more fitting for him or he just doesn’t feel that he is the one who can help you heal. It’s not always that he’s a weak man or less than a man. Sometimes he’s just not the man for you. It doesn’t make him or you any less of a person.

4. If you chase him, he will run:

It’s human physics. You have to let a man pursue you. If you chase him, you relinquish all your power and you give him an opportunity to play you for the fool. Remember it’s the man who pursues the woman, courts the woman, and then gets on one knee to ask for permission to love you for the rest of your life. It’s that way for a reason. We are made differently and it’s of great importance to know that a man wants you before you let him know you want him.

5. Never hit rewind in life:

Life is meant to be lived moving forward. Never hit rewind. You may hit pause to gather yourself but after that you need to hit play. If you go backwards in life, you’re going the wrong way. Everything happens for a reason. If a man leaves you and he wants you back he will hit fast forward and catch up to you. Don’t go backwards.

Those are just a few reasons on why it may not be a good idea to go back to a man who left you. Please note there are exceptions to all rules but in those cases it will be clear to you that it’s real love. It will sweep you off your feet. It will remove all doubt from your mind. It won’t be a struggle or a fight. It will happen naturally and it will feel right. If it doesn’t remove all doubt and flow smoothly then it’s probably not meant to be!

To the fellas who are the good guys and you left a woman to protect yourself, this doesn’t apply to you so get out of your feelings this very moment. I don’t want to hear your mouth about “what about the good men?” We know you are out there but this isn’t about you. Yes, I understand that sometimes men leave a woman for reasons other than just wanting to be with a different woman. What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained.

I hope this helps those who are going through this.

Blessings,

Tony G.

How to get over someone…

You can’t prepare for your next if you’re still focused on your ex.

Reader submitted question:

It’s always tough getting over someone. Sometimes we make it harder than it has to be. It’s hard because we form a bond and although it can be a toxic bond, a bond is still a bond. It’s important to know when it’s time to let go 100%. When you know it’s time to go you have to leave and not be willing to look back.

Here are some things you can do when trying to get over someone…

1. Cut All Communication

You have to stop texting, calling, and social media stalking. You can’t get over someone if you’re randomly texting one another about things that aren’t business related. By business related I mean an actual business or your children. If you’re texting and arguing back and forth with your ex then you’ll never get over them.

You also have to block them on social media. You can’t move forward if you’re checking their posts every day. Each time you come across them online or anywhere else it will strengthen the tie you’re trying to break.

2. Cut off mutual friends and their family for a period of time

You can’t move on if you’re talking about your ex with their friends or family members. They may be specifically checking in with you just so they can let your ex know how you’re doing. I know you may love their mom or siblings but if you’re serious about getting over your ex, you have to separate yourself from their family and friends until you have the strength to be cordial without feelings being involved.

Honestly, when you break up with someone you have to break up with their friends and family as well. Your next partner won’t be ok with you being besties with the friends and family members of your ex. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it will help you.

3. Get New Knowledge

While you’re trying to heal and grow you have to feed your mind new information. Go to seminars. Take online courses. Read books. You have to wash your mind of all the old junk you’ve learned about love and relationships. You have to learn what real love is and what a real relationship is.

4. Work on yourself

While you’re healing make sure you are working on your brand. Start your blog. Start your company. Start your non-profit org. Get back in school so you can advance in your career. Jump out there and live your dreams.

Those are just a few helpful tips to help you heal from a break-up and get over your ex completely. If you have to deal with them, keep it short and sweet, and only about the necessary topics like the kids or business matters.

If it gets too serious or dangerous you may have to do more like moving, changing churches, or jobs if you have those things in common with your ex. It all depends on how serious the relationship was and how bad you want to get over them.

Blessings,

Tony G.

*Make sure you subscribe to the blog so you’re updated each day when I release another one. If you know someone in need, please share this with them. Also, submit your question to inbox@tonygaskins.com

The Love of My Life…

It could be a million dates, a million love notes, and a million dollars in gifts but nothing physical can truly express my love; because this is spiritual. This is divine. This is Heaven-sent. My woman loved me before I had a dime to my name. Before I had a name to my name. She saw me at my core. My character and my dreams were my currency. My pockets were empty but my mind and heart were full. She saw that and saw something no one else could see. She had to see the Vision with me. She had to speak life into me. She had to believe even when I didn’t believe. She never settled. She gave me some time to get it together but she didn’t let me get complacent. She never compromised her standards. She never forgot her self-worth. Her knowing herself and what she wanted from life helped me become a better man. A man does not become a real man without a real woman by his side; contrary to popular belief. A man’s rite of passage is to love a woman with all his heart, be 100% faithful, and to treat her the way God treats her. I wrote a book on this love. Imperfectly perfect. Flaws make it worth it. Growth is the only option. Getting better every day. When society goes left, we’re going right. Our standards for love are getting higher, not lower. Don’t get comfortable! Love harder! Love deeper! You’re reading words but they fall infinitely short of this love. We’ll never be able to fully define God or anything He’s created. I believe in God and I believe in Love. I wouldn’t lie on love. Love is just that real. I hate they’ve reduced it to a day, but I love like this 365. Most other days our love is private but because this is the day of public love I just wanted to let you know that God sent me a Real One! I’m thankful for this love. Always a work in progress but I wouldn’t trade that work for the world. Let Love, love you! I love you @SheriGaskins