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Ending the Cycle of Financial Illiteracy Starts With You: Author Erica Odom Shares Her Inspiration Behind Writing “Journey to Success the “Unforgotten” Teen: (All the Things You Don’t Get Taught)”

Erica Odom's “Journey to Success the “Unforgotten” Teen”
Photo Courtesy: Erica Odom

By: Ananta Ripa Ajmera, Founder, SoulWisdom Press & PR, Co-founder and Director, The Ancient Way and Jennifer Waters, SoulWisdom Press & PR

Many people know that finances are a necessary evil in making the world go round, but few understand how they truly work and, better yet, how to use them to their advantage. Author and successful real estate investor Erica Odom offers youth and adults alike a tangible asset to build their financial future in her book “Journey to Success The “Unforgotten” Teen: (All the Things You Don’t Get Taught).” In this captivating practical guide, readers will develop crucial real-life financial skills such as savings, budgeting, credit, and investments, all while providing a user-friendly guide designed with kids in mind. This gives teens the resources to learn all the things they aren’t getting taught in school to secure a financially stable future for themselves. 

Odom’s book is a powerful tool that can transform the lives of young adults in society. In this interview, she shares the inspiration that led her to write her book and how to find success by understanding how the world of finances works.  

What does it mean for someone to take control of their financial future, and what is the key to doing so?

Erica Odom: The number one starting point, in my opinion, is a person’s mindset. If their mindset is not where it needs to be, nothing will change. In addition, that person needs to be willing to sacrifice, focus, have patience, and be willing to grow through the process. Their financial situation will not change overnight but it will over time with consistency, effort, and dedication. Also, they need to understand that money is a tool, and they need to know how to properly use the tool and make it work to produce wealth.  

What are some of the things we don’t get taught, and why are they important to learn?

Erica Odom: Most people are not taught the skills and or topics needed to help them grow and sustain financially throughout life. My second book for teens was created because financial literacy is not a mandatory core subject in most schools in the United States. Most teenagers and young adults, unless they have had the exposure, don’t know how to save, budget, know how to use credit responsibly, or even know how to invest and make their money (their tool) work for them and multiply. These are things that I believe every person needs to know and have access to. There are studies that have shown mental health (anxiety and depression) related to a lack of financial literacy knowledge.

What inspired you to write your books?

Erica Odom: I wrote my books because of my journey. When I was able to rebuild myself and continue to go after my goals to be a real estate investor and a millionaire, I told myself I wanted to be a part of the change in the world by individually doing my part. My books are meant to give people factual information, basic concepts, and all the things needed to get them going on their journey. I always told myself that I never wanted people to experience the things I had to experience due to my lack of knowledge, and I am determined to break negative habits and generational cycles when it comes to financial literacy and wealth building in my personal family but also in several minority families around the world.

You are a social worker by career and a real estate investor as an entrepreneur, in addition to being an author of two published books. How do you balance all of these, and are there any things that have been key to helping you succeed in all three of these roles?

Erica Odom: Having structure, discipline, dedication, and focus are a few key things. Having a team and a support system. Most people have a competitive mindset but I have a collaborative mindset which is key to success. We all need other people and people smarter than us. What also helps is I start my day with a morning prayer and having alone time with God before I talk to anyone else in the world.  

What sets you apart from others in your industry, and what unique perspective do you bring to the world through your books?

Erica Odom: I believe what sets me apart is number one, I am a real person. I have struggled, I have lived paycheck to paycheck, and have failed more than once on my financial journey to success. The difference is I have never quit. I always keep going. I don’t just throw stats and things from a book I read to people. I give experience through things that I know to be true because I have personally experienced them. I didn’t come from a family of wealth and I was not the “rich kid” growing up that knew financial literacy. I had to grow through life and figure it out!

You can learn more about Erica Odom here and find her book on Amazon

Published by: Holy Minoza

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