Don’t settle for the cheap thrill

The important lesson I learned from my grandmother about temporary thrills and lasting impact

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

I was addicted to soap operas as a teenager. I cringe as I share this but it was my guilty pleasure. I would take every opportunity to catch the “stories” as they called them – my escape from my everyday life.

I remember sneaking around during the day trying to find a TV in one of the rooms where I would not be discovered because my grandmother ran a tight ship and if you weren’t cleaning, she wanted you outside playing.

You had to be working or playing, but sitting around watching other people work and play just did not sit well with my grandmother.

My grandmother was a true business woman. She had at least 4 streams of income that I was aware of – she did paper routes, picked up aluminum cans to sell, babysat and cleaned homes, and we (the grandkids) were her workforce.

I hated working with my grandmother, of course, because what kid can appreciate the lesson involved in getting up at 5am in the morning to go throw papers and pick up cans? Or who wants to be stuck with a baby for 8 hours during the summer?

Needless to say, I did not really see the value of work at the time but I did appreciate the fact that she always paid me and although I was required to take certain shifts, if I wanted to volunteer for additional shifts, she would pay me extra money. 

Photo by Ali Lander-Shindler on Unsplash

A seed was planted here because this was my first exposure to the fact that I actually had some control over my income potential. Alas! it wasn’t enough to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in me or tear me away from my soap operas at that time in my life but it was a seed.


There was one thing that my grandmother would say every time she caught me watching TV that stuck with me. She’d say “why are you wasting your time watching that? Those folks already have their money. What are you going to do?”

I would look at her, hate that she was making me miss “the good part” and keep watching, but those words never left me.

My grandmother grew up during one of the most difficult periods in our nation’s history but she made the most of it, hustling to make money to care for her family and eventually saving up enough to buy real estate.

I never saw her watch TV. She was always involved with helping people or making money.

Now, in 2018 as I embark on my journey as a business owner, I am so grateful for that lesson and her words. We live in a world that is constantly offering us limitations and it’s easy to settle for the cheap thrill.

I understand and appreciate my grandmother now because I see that she was trying to give me something that would last a lifetime. She clearly understood that wasting my life watching TV was not going to prepare me for success in any way, shape or form.

Today, I rarely watch TV because there is very little on it that is helpful to me as I pursue my dreams. As a matter of fact, I avoid anything that would deter or distract me from the vision I have set in my mind.

As my grandmother so wisely pointed out “All of those folks already have their money”. I was able to build on that foundation and now I am creating a business and building the future of my dreams.

So I now put that same question out to you – if it’s not adding something to your life, why are you wasting your time with it? What are you going to do?

Originally published at

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