I think it is easy for people to get comfortable where they are. We get complacent. We stop setting new goals because it is easy to stay where we are. Recently, I was listening to the Damon Dash interview on the Breakfast Club. By now this interview is famous and has sparked the twitter hashtag #TweetLikeDameDash. While I disagree with a large majority of what Damon Dash said and how he said it, I do agree that more people need to invest in themselves and learn how to conduct their own businesses. I think it is important to set up a strong foundation for your children and community to build off of and business and property ownership is a powerful way to do that. It is imperative that we teach our youth and ourselves that we can be “Bosses” and that being stagnant in the workplace is not mandatory.
The black community, in particular, is a group that is in need of ownership in both business and capital. There are so many people growing up who have never left their community. They are not taught to dream big and they are not taught that they are a BRAND.
You are your own brand! Build upon that brand and invest in yourself! Invest in your community!
I think it is important to teach people that there is power in their brand. The better educated you are, the more opportunities that are open to you. Let me note, that when I say educated I do not necessarily mean school. I literally mean the amount of knowledge you have acquired (books, Youtube, Documentaries, Word of mouth, lectures, etc). We have to use what we know to fulfill a need.
We need to carry ourselves for the jobs and ventures we want, not the ones we have. Dress to impress, speak eloquently, stay organized and always work to improve.
I am always planning, not because my plans always pan out but because it keeps me on my toes. It keeps me organized and it keeps me aware. Sometimes, great opportunities magically appear, but most don’t. You have to create the opportunities. You have to network and you have to speak to strangers as if they could be the next partners in a business.
During the 1900s Black Wall Street flourished. The black dollar was only spent in black communities. That money stayed within the community. This allowed black people great power and independence. Today, the black dollar is not reinvested in black communities and it’s apparent in our school systems and our neighborhoods and black homes. The constant struggles and disadvantages are proof of this. The growth of black businesses is essential to the development of black communities. Click the link to learn more about Black Wall Street… http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2011/02/greenwood_oklahoma_from_the_black_wall_street_to_the_tulsa_race_riot.html
Damon Dash had a point in setting up a foundation for his son to build upon. Historically, many ethnic groups in America have not had a foundation for their children. Slavery left blacks dependent on white slave owners long after the abolition of slavery. Native Americans (indigenous) were forced off of the best land and given the crappiest land to live on. People of Color in America have historically had to start over from generation to generation. It is now engraved in the mind of many that this is the way it will always be.
As black people, we have grown up knowing that we have to work twice as hard to get to the same place as our white counterparts. Don’t settle for what society has decided is good for you. Do not accept average. Always go for the superior option. By breaking down the barrier in your own life, you break down barriers for the people in your community and family. Building yourself up as a brand and becoming a boss are not selfish goal. By putting yourself in a position of power, you create an environment conducive to aiding others. You create an environment the breaks down the inequity that has disadvantaged people of color in America.
I could go on forever discussing branding and business development in the black community but I won’t bore you with my rambling. I leave you with this; Never stop improving, Never stop wanting more and Never stop building a solid foundation for yourself and those who will come after you.
Damon Dash Interview:
Dr. Boyce Watkins Interview: