Last night I came to the realization that the time is NOW for us to leave our mark on the world in a meaningful way. For context, I just turned 30, I have all the prerequisites (degrees and work experience) behind me and now I feel like the only actual accomplishments left are to make a dent in the universe. The goal of this post is to encourage you to do the same. When we have more people striving to make history that only amplifies the heights we can attain.
We know so much about what is now antiquated black history but we are the history our children will read about. My question is “are we doing anything worth writing about”?
Last night I made a post about not celebrating being the first black but instead celebrating the first person ever to do something. The goal of that post was to inspire you to innovate to excellence not become a follower of what has already been done. You can’t get out of last place if you aren’t out in front making a way. Innovation is worshiped. I don’t want the crumbs, leftovers or pity anymore. I want the whole steak. I want YOU to have to whole steak.
Much of this was sparked by a great book I am reading entitled Black America Inc. where the author A.R. Morton speaks about investing in black tech and science. He went on to share examples of all the great inventions we have created and all the contributions made by African Americans even if they are overlooked. He also challenged the readers to invest much of our trillion dollars worth of spending power into science and tech so we can compete at the head of the pack not merely beg for jobs from the Twitters, Facebook’s and Googles.
The problem with integration is there is a quota. When you BEG they will allow a few in while the rest of the folks (the majority) get left out in the cold. When you create your own you get to dictate the rules and hire your own in abundance. Don’t believe me? Look at the staff of most black businesses. I don’t blame any American company for hiring people who look like them. That is what they are supposed to do. I blame us for expecting them to put our interest ahead of or in line with their own. It wont happen. I wouldn’t make this claim though If I didn’t think we weren’t creative enough to make our own progress happen.
There is no denying the creativity of black folks. What we lack is the confidence in our ability to execute and create what has never been seen before. Thus we settle for cracking jokes and making fun. Jokes don’t pay the bills though and your kids cant inherit your likes and RTS. I read a while back in the Science of Getting Rich is that wealth comes through creation not competition. This is unique because most of what we learn about comes from competion. Most people are chasing wealth by thinking they have to beat someone else to the dollars because they operate based on scarcity thinking. The truth is that “wealth exists in abundance and flows to those who create products, solutions or services”, Grant Cardone. We need to use all our creative juices to create products, solutions or services because that is where the wealth will come from, not from beating out the few black hired or from living below your means or from collecting a government check. Wealth is in your mind. If it hasn’t been done before that means there is likely a lot of money tied to the person who can do it. Don’t allow what hasn’t been done to dictate what can be done.
I challenge you to not only create something that is of value to the market but also create a way to execute your plan. There are roadblocks and there are difficulties but your creativity can’t just be limited to the product. You have to create and maneuver and manipulate all the way to the finish line. By grinding through it you make the way easier for those behind you. What you grind through will be easier for your heirs, no matter what it is. If you are a first gen college grad, your kids have an easier path. If you are a first gen business owner, your kid will have an easier path. The key though is to create the path not look at the obstacles in the path because the obstacles help protect you once you make it through. The obstacles don’t merely disappear, that is your job security because anyone who wants to follow you will have to make the sacrifices you made. That is in part why I feel so secure as an attorney. I grinded for this and I know that a lot of people aren’t willing to live through what I lived through for three years, not when they are already comfortably middle class.
With all that being said, NOW is the time that we have to leave the legacy. Now is not the time to rehash past strategies that, if they were effective, would prevent us from having to redo what they did. We have to blaze a new trail toward greatness. Something that has never before been seen. The key is that we have to have the goal of legacy. Not merely getting by and not merely making it. Do something worth talking about and execute on your greatness.
We are the history that our kids will read about. Make it something worth reading.