... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Something for Your Toolbox

Cash Erodes… Equity Endures

Cash Erodes…  Equity Endures

This was instilled in me at a very young age, and it is an integral part of creating generational wealth.

I was dating a highly celebrated professional football athlete in my early twenties.  It was easy, in my impressionable youth to be dazzled by the multi-million-dollar sports contract and trappings of the “Baller” lifestyle.  I obtained my real estate license at 19, and I sold my then sports star boyfriend a Kirkland waterfront penthouse for $750K. My father, a big believer in investing, berated me for selling the highest priced non-income producing property in the vicinity.

According to the NFL Players Association, the average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years.  The money is good, but short lived.

My father continued to intervene and try to get my circle of professional athlete friends to sit down with him and discuss investing.  Most of these young men had been raised with meager means, and it was their first encounter with real money.  So, the fancy cars, Rolex watches, swank home furnishings, exotic golf vacations, and so forth made the acronym NFL translate to  “Not For Long”.

I attempted to broker the sell to one professional athlete a 16-unit Capitol Hill apartment building.  Ironically, the cost was the same $750K price of the Penthouse I had sold my boyfriend.  The athlete’s agent didn’t think it was a good idea.  Today, that same building is worth north of 7 million.  I ran into this guy a few years ago and he lamented that he didn’t invest as the cash had long eroded as did his relationship with the agent.

Daddy enjoyed collecting exotic cars. However, these purchases were long after he had established himself in the investment arena. Below are photos of he and I in a Clenet, a roadster modeled after the open cars of the 1930s.  The other photo is my father with my sister and co-blogger, Tracie and her son, Marc in an English roadster called a Centaur.    I have no idea where these cars are today, but I can still touch the real estate used to finance them.  Equity Endures….

Something for Your Toolbox

Generational Wealth- Vigilante or Villain

As I have shared about the payoff of the grit, and often arduous path to the creation of generational wealth, I would be remiss not to weigh in on the hardships and when methods of operation clash.

Ask anyone who knew our father, Gerald Frank and you will most likely hear two sides. He was generous with his time, knowledge, and he enjoyed mentoring young aspiring minds.   He was compassionate for those down on their luck, often to the consternation of our family renting to the unemployed, drug addicted, or previously evicted.  He believed in giving anyone and everyone a second chance.  However, if he found something unjust, unreasonable, or if someone took advantage of his generosity, all bets were off.  He did not play by any “Business 101′ Rule book.  Often times, his tactics left my mother, sisters and I mired in lawsuits or cleaning up his messes.  Our family battles on how to tackle issues was always a source of contention.  If Daddy was wronged or felt wronged, he was not above hiring pickets (including us his daughters) to march in front of lending institutions, local businesses, auto shops, and even bank president’s primary residents.  He reveled in the movement of Freedom of Speech and utilized the power of exposure to in his own words, “bring em to their knees.”  I recall the shame and humiliation of carrying a picket sign in front of SeaFirst Bank in downtown Seattle during rush hour.   Daddy reasoned and was proven right that if we just laid down and accepted the banks denial of his refinance request, we could never continue to amass generational wealth.  As I read in the news in 2020 about JP Morgan Chase’s pledge of $30B to end the banking’s systemic racism, I know he would be celebrating this long overdue victory.

I can only imagine the unconventional measures he would have taken against the 2020 City Council imposed moratorium (cessation of evictions for non -payers) on rents.  Daddy considered himself a vigilante, and as the definition states, he was a self-appointed citizen who took the law in his own hands because the legal authorities were inadequate.

During the moratorium, I along with my son had a sit down with one of our state representatives and expressed how the Pandemic has affected us housing providers.  I plead on deaf ears that some residents are just “bad actors” using the moratorium as a rent holiday and living for free. Meanwhile, it was mandated that I still pay my mortgage, utilities, maintenance repairs, taxes and so forth.  I guess that’s why we are called Landlords- the Lord will provide?

Long before any Pandemic, Daddy much to our family’s dismay had far too many bad actors.  When someone claimed they could not pay, he would then barter for services. Many became staff on our work crew- painting, mowing lawns, office assistants, and even tennis lessons one summer for me and my sister.  But one I recall specifically,  Mr. Jenkins wouldn’t work and wouldn’t pay.  Daddy arrived one early, blistery, rainy Seattle winter morning with his carpenter at the resident’s home and directed his carpenter to remove the front door.  The carpenter shrieked, it wasn’t quite 4 AM, but he proceeded as mandated.  By the time Daddy arrived home, Mr. Jenkins was on the phone screaming, “My front door is missing!”  Daddy replied, “Hold on… ain’t that a coincidence, so is your rent!”

There were countless battles that we as a family had to combat.  My mother, sisters and I took the long righteous road, and our father always took measures into his own hands and worried about the consequences later. Although we didn’t always agree on the path to justice, we were always in agreement on seeking and exposing “bad actors”.

Photo below from The Seattle Times – Daddy couldn’t wait for the sheriff.

Creating Generational Wealth- Visionaries

Ever since I started posting about creating generational wealth, I’ve had countless conversations with people inquiring about how our story began.

With the help of my mother, my memory from my 32 years with my father and our archive files, today I share the visionaries and our early history.

In 1950, eighteen year old Gerald Frank acquired his first house at 2527 E. Helen in the Arboretum neighborhood.  The asking price was $8500.  This was a tremendous financial obligation for a young black man from Detroit whose mother had died the year before and his father resided in Michigan and worked at The Detroit Light Company.  Daddy bought the property with the seller holding the financing and worked odd jobs to make the monthly mortgage. He drove a truck with “Now Hiring” signs.  He would go downtown to large office buildings and wash windows and present a bill to management, where once the work was complete, most felt obligated to pay.  He was an up and coming musician, and he would lie about his age and play at local clubs.  He went on to be listed in the Paul DeBarro’s book, Jackson Street After Hours, as one of Seattle’s best drummers.  He was studying art at The University of Washington and getting his student teaching certificate.  He found fellow students to rent out rooms in the house to make ends meet.

From 1952 until 1969, he acquired twelve more properties in the Central District of Seattle.  A brand new Capital Hill 20 unit building with a swimming pool, designed by architect, James Paul Jones was also purchased  on contract, with the architect’s seller financing.   The success of these undertakings is unique and unprecedented in that no financial assistance for the purchase of renovation was received until 1969 when the first loan was secured from The Liberty Bank of Seattle.

My parents did not allow obstacles to hinder their vision.  Creating generation wealth means seeing and believing  when others doubt.

Below  is the history of Liberty Bank and those who believed.


Gerald Frank, our father age 19, with his hand in cheek watching bongo player hone in skills.  Some of these residents rented rooms from him in his first home purchase in 1950.


Theresa Frank, our mama on the steps of our family home circa 1965.- I like to think she was headed to Liberty Bank for construction funding in this picture.



Liberty Bank Seattle Washington (1968-1988) and Liberty Bank Building

Generational Wealth- Who Cares?

As I referenced in my July 12th post, my business coach/mentor, Chris Flett asked me two questions when I launched my website  The first – What do I do?   I answered that I intend to share my insights on creating and transferring generational wealth.  The second question, is even more important: – Who Cares?

First off, I care.  I’m concerned about our youth of today.  I worry about the values and misguided priorities that social media has sold these young minds, creating a sense of entitlement and the ease of making fast money.  I see these young kids saving for a Louis Vuitton when some can’t even correctly spell the French designer’s name.  My Daddy always taught me “Just because it’s on your ass doesn’t make it an asset.”  I see job postings, desperately seeking to hire and a lazy society refusing to work. When I was a teenager, I revolted and refused to help in the family business.  Thankfully, I had graduated from the cleaning crew, but there was still plenty that I could assist with.  That Christmas, to my surprise and dismay, I opened a beautifully wrapped package and inside was a MacDonald’s uniform. I had an ultimatum, the “Golden Arches” or help out the family.  I chose the latter.  I had my driver’s license, and I was able to help cut costs by running errands for supplies, holding open houses for prospective renters, filing, collections, and bill pays.  It was on the job training. These days, I see an education system that is not teaching basic life skills, like how to write a check, balance a check book, or how to borrow money & credit 101. I see young adults coming to rent an apartment with zero clue about a budget.  I see misguided priorities when rent money is spent on X Y or Z.   I see a frustrated generation that won’t have the same means as their parents did before them to buy a home, finance a car or to travel to exotic destinations. I see pristine virgin credit being ruined after abusing a first credit card or getting an eviction on their record.  I see more and more adults moving back home to their aging parents or grandparents because of the lack of education and making poor choices.  I see parent’s grand years being dimmed by re-parenting lessons they should have conveyed earlier in life.

I see friends who, like me run their own businesses and now as Menopausebarbees are looking at the reality that the clock is ticking towards their retirement.  My friends who own restaurants, bakeries, jewelry stores, winemakers, textiles, real estate, wealth managers, dental practices, hotels, landscape companies and marijuana shops are amongst those who care.  We spend a lifetime building, creating, planting, and seeding and we work hard and train our offspring so that our efforts are not in vain.  I see families afraid that selfish motives will destroy the whole.  I vividly recall my father financing properties in my sisters and my names.  He did this to protect against estate taxes as well as to get preferable interest rates as he would have us occupy the property and receive favorable owner-occupied loans.  He would constantly remind us, “Don’t get confused, just because it’s in your name, doesn’t make it yours.  The property is a part of and for the protection of the whole.”  Inevitably, children become adults and make their own choices in life.  My father had a real difficult time adjusting to us as adults with our own aspirations and life goals.  True story, the night before I got married, he shared that we could just have a big party.  He had trained me to be a career woman, not June Clever!  I believe if he could have, he would have us all still “Under the Gerald Frank Umbrella.” However, we did venture, even having our own “little Beavers”, and I’m happy to say although there may have been some dreary days, he had trained us, and we were all prepared for any storm.

Who cares?  We should all care!

For those who like stats- check these out…


Family Business Statistics

Family businesses are an integral part of the US economy. Any company that has two or more family members in leadership roles, and in which the family retains a majority of the ownership or control of the business, is classed as a family business. Some family-owned businesses employ just a few people; others employ thousands.

Below are some of the key statistics regarding family-owned businesses and their place in the US economy.

Most Quoted Statistics

  • 60% of the US workforce is employed by a family-owned business.
  • Family-owned businesses are responsible for creating 78% of all new jobs in the US.
  • Only 30% of family-owned businesses last until the second generation, and only 12% will make it to the third generation.
  • 47% of people who own a family business are planning to retire within the next five years but don’t have any kind of succession plan in place.
  • Family businesses are contributing more than half (57%) of the total US GDP.
  • Just under 20% (19.3%) of US firms are family-owned.
  • Of the family firms that reported an annual growth rate of more than 10% in the year 2018, more than 80% also reported having a clear sense of purpose and agreed on values within their business.
  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of family businesses report a strong sense of culture and values.

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Ableism and the ODTAA Syndrome 

Did you all know that July is Disability Pride Month?

I really wasn’t aware of this either–and really didn’t even consider it until I took a tumble almost two weeks ago, twisted my ankle, and had to dig out my crutches that I used for support when I had my hip replaced. Maneuvering the stairs in my apartment, carrying things, walking to the grocery store, and enduring the stares from people who didn’t need crutches, as well as the well-meaning concerns of my neighbors, made me start thinking. Added to this, of course, I mislaid things and would have to get up and search. And of course, I dropped things and had to bend down to retrieve. And of course, I had to go to the bathroom at 3 in the morning and had to grope in the dark for my aids. Soon, not only did I suffer from a twisted ankle, I found that I had developed the ODTAA Syndrome: One Damn Thing After Another. It was at this point that I began to wonder how those of us who are always challenged deal with their challenges or disabilities, if you will, certain that they must every now and again ask God and or the fates to give them a break. “Tracie,” I told myself, “factual ignorance about society is not charming.”

And so I dug in and here is some of what I found out.

There are many different types of disabilities–let me just say right here that I truly dislike the word ‘disability’—it conjures up too much ‘less than or not equal to’ in my mind. Nonetheless, I learned that it is in fact, acceptable. There are many disabilities resulting from many different sources. They can be broadly capped under these 4:  intellectual, physical, sensory, and mental illness.

Disability looks differently for everyone who experiences it; we cannot always see disability–sometimes it takes the form of a chronic illness. Sadly, oftentimes, people with disabilities are ignored, and their needs are invalidated because the world was not designed for them, and that’s why it’s difficult for them to receive access to secure housing situations, and job environments–critical issues.

All bodies are unique and essential. All bodies have strengths and needs that must be met.

The disabled are powerful, not despite the complexities of their bodies, but because of them. They are unique and essential to society. Even if that essentiality means that they make us ‘abled’ become more aware, and empathetic and do what we can to do away with the discrimination of and social prejudice against them and stop thinking that typical abilities are superior. You know, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people need ‘fixing’ and defines them by their disability and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations about them. Many of us ‘abled’ struggle on a good day, so I’m sure you can understand that these viewpoints are incredibly damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of these people.


I’m certain that I don’t need to point out that using disability as any kind of a punchline, or mocking people with disabilities is not only taboo, it is cruel. Do not ever forget that we are all challenged in one way or another. Every single one of us MATTERS. Every single one of us has  VALUE.

We all have our own unique experiences of discrimination, oppression, or being othered, based on our race, gender sexual orientation, religion, disability, or you name it–in any event, what is certain is that anything that marginalizes people is not a good thing. 

Let’s toss our mental crutches out the window and do what we can to ensure that people with disabilities are at the decision-making table. I’m certain we are able to do that. There’s room. 

For my friends in Berlin, there will be a celebration of Disability Pride in your city SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 AT 2 PM: Pride Paraden –Straßenfest –Heinrichplatz.






Creating Generational Wealth- Raising the Grit and The Grit

THANK YOU to all of you who responded so positively about the launch of my website, podcast, and upcoming book.
As many of you have expressed, the generational transfer of wealth is a long overdue conversation. When we were prepping to launch, I had a meeting with my business coach/advisor, Christopher Flett, and he asked two questions.
What do I do?
Who Cares?
A huge Thank you Susan Long-Walsh for introducing me to Chris through your Phenomenal Women Workshop. For too many years than I can recall, l love his blunt, get to the point effective approach. So with that in mind,
today, I will address the answer to number 1, and follow up on number 2 in a future post.
WHAT DO I DO? I remove obstacles and the mystery of how wealth is generated and transferred in families. As a life-long housing provider, I have witnessed every aspect in property ownership and management from aspiring to acquiring to hiring and firing. I liken having property to raising children- you must be present to win. And while you are presently raising them, teach them early, so that they can appreciate and respect what it takes to thrive and survive. This is mandatory, not only if they chose to work with you or in another field. Children truly do live what they learn. It is the early life training of “get up and get on it,” that becomes second nature- like personal hygiene. Turn off the television, read and expand your mind. It is the grit, the daily grind, and often times battles when you create, develop, train, and transfer that is key.
I detested, let me express it again DETESTED as a child growing up when my father would make my sisters, our friends and me spend summers expunging filth from vacated units. We weren’t allowed to go to Welch Hardware on Jackson, (Sick’s Stadium was home to what is now Lowe’s) and replace soiled tray pans on the filthy Hotpoint stoves. Daddy reasoned elbow grease over buying new ones was economical. Each of the four stove eyes had to be scrubbed until every last morsel of dried black muck, or stubborn food was removed. We had to pick up cigarette butts thrown in the bark and daily grab all the litter residents carelessly tossed about. I especially hated driving with the exterminator each month location by location into each bug infested unit to be treated. We detailed units for rental turns, and then showed to prospects. Trina, my bestie from the 6th grade and I at the age of 12 even painted the entire exterior of a house one summer. My sisters and I didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in for three months of summer fun. When we stumbled in our home office at 8:10 A.M., Daddy would joke, ‘Come on now! Half the day is gone.’
It was tough. But Daddy was setting a solid foundation. We all know anything in life worth achieving is not easy. Looking back, I’m grateful for the gift of the grit my parents instilled in us. I think the earliest and best lesson and gift any parent can give their offspring is a work ethic and to strive. I was blessed with this drive on both sides of my lineage. My maternal grandfather was a carpenter and my maternal grandmother a lifelong domestic. Together, they worked hard to raise and encourage their brood of eight in a small home with only two bedrooms. My grandfather’s motto should be a mantra for every household, “Be a task great or small, do your best or not at all.” This little house around the corner from Garfield High School in Seattle’s Central District produced my mother, Theresa, Seattle’s first black Seafair Queen in the inaugural year of 1950 when Queens were represented from every nationality. She continues at 90 to be the rock of our family who has been the backbone in creating our family legacy. It also produced one of our world’s best producers, my Uncle Quincy Jones. There is no better example of the verdict of a hard work ethic than my Uncle Federal Judge Richard Jones as well as my Auntie Margie, Alaska Airline’s first African American Flight attendants and celebrated retiree. My uncles, Boo & Lloyd, Aunt Catherine, & Aunt Janet whose spirit and drive lives on in my beautiful cousins all hailed from these walls.
The home my mother and her eight siblings were raised in.
The home my parents bought in 1964 for our family
The same family home brought in 1964 where I was raised in. My parents saw the vision and used grit to make it.
Daddy had a saying, which I love and live by, “If you don’t do nothing, only one thing is for sure, ain’t a G*damn thing gonna happen.”
Wake your kids up and make it happen! #generationalwealthbuilding

The home my mother and her eight siblings were raised in.

The home my parents bought in 1964 for our family

The same family home I was raised in.  My parents saw the vision and used grit to make it.

Daddy had a saying, which I love and live by, “If you don’t do nothing, only one thing is for sure, ain’t a G*damn thing gonna happen.”

Wake your kids up and make it happen! #Generationalwealth



Something for Your Toolbox

I thank my amazing son for sharing this life lesson. It truly reflects his mind and spirit. 

Share it with your children, your grandchildren, with everyone you know. To reach our potential and improve our mental and physical well-being, we have to take control of our inner voices and learn how to tame them and transform them into a positive force.

 Learn to catch your critic!


Ich danke meinem erstaunlichen Sohn, dass er diese Lektion mit mir geteilt hat. Es spiegelt wirklich seinen Geist und seine Seele wider. 

Teilt sie mit euren Kindern, euren Enkelkindern, mit jedem, den ihr kennt. Um unser Potenzial auszuschöpfen und unser geistiges und körperliches Wohlbefinden zu verbessern, müssen wir die Kontrolle über unsere inneren Stimmen übernehmen und lernen, sie zu zähmen und in eine positive Kraft zu verwandeln. Lerne, deinen Kritiker zu fangen!

“Sprich nicht negativ über dich selbst, nicht einmal im Scherz. Worte sind Energie … Ändere die Art, wie du über dich sprichst, und du kannst dein Leben ändern. Was du nicht änderst, wählst du selbst.”

Generational Wealth

Twenty-six years ago, on this very day, July 6, 1996, my life changed forever as this marks the anniversary of my father, Gerald Frank’s passing.  As most of you who know me or follow our blog, you know that our father was the most impactful person in my sisters and my lives.

It was Daddy’s dogged determination, grit, business acumen, and fight of a system that was designed to keep him at a disadvantage that became ingrained in our beings. Daddy also fought personal demons of alcohol and drug abuse which shortened his life to only 64 years.  But the legacy of what he created lives on.In honor of my father’s memory, I’m pleased to share today a passion project which I intend to release in June of 2023.  My story, From Behind His Glasses reveals our family’s journey in creating generational wealth.  Most family businesses are built in one generation and lost in three.  Legacy is planting a tree today, so that your great, great, great grandchildren can enjoy the shade of tomorrow. My father, my toughest teacher, harshest critic, and greatest inspiration, you live on in all that you created.  You, a young black man from Detroit, without any financial means, you never accepted the mindset of I didn’t have the opportunity. You were way ahead of your time, and 26 years later, I still have people tell me the impact you had on their lives.  I will continue to share the magic you taught me on removing the obstacles and the mystery of how generational wealth is generated in families.

When you passed me the baton, I told you, I was your heir, not your error… And as I prepare to pass the baton to your grandchildren, I know they will continue to grow from the seeds from the trees you planted in your 64 years.


Daddy and me


A special thank you to my team, my friends and family for their support and contribution to this website and book.

Here we go!