This morning I was walking through the office, talking to everyone and I realized that this office is full of people who have their issues. I don’t mean issues as in that they are jacked up, I mean that they have imperfect lives and they choose to push through the cards they are dealt in order to win in some form.
To give you some context, I work at a private high net worth family office full of accountants, real estate guys and attorneys. They all make enough to live and raise their families in orange county, they all do well.
In walking through the office though I realized that everyone here kind of has their own issues. One guy is an immigrant from Cuba who came here, made savvy moves, raised ultra successful second generation kids who are attorneys and has done well for himself. Another person is a CPA woman who is hard of hearing but she gets here before everyone else and leaves after. She has done well career wise and investment wise. Another is a guy who had to go to jail but got a second chance working here and has been grinding like no other.
I realized that nobody here is perfect. Everyone has their issues but they pushed through despite all of this to make a life they can be proud of.
In life we are made to believe that in order to be deemed acceptable we must be flawless we must have no issues we must make no errors. This is impossible. The key though is you can have flaws, errors and you don’t have to be perfect. What you do have to do though is you have to hustle.
As African Americans in America it can feel like you lose by default. That is the narrative that is promoted on twitter, on IG and on Facebook. This is the woe is me thinking that prevents many from taking action. This is why kids who grow up in the hood limit themselves, aim low and engaged in deplorable destructive undesirable behavior. There is a narrative being spun that your skin color makes you imperfect and therefore you should just do nothing.
Now, I’m not saying life in America is easy. I am saying that the race hurdle is just the hurdle we were dealt. Other people have their own. These hurdles are surmountable. This is why I share the stores on the podcast and this is why I search out stories like Reginald Lewis, HR Russel and AG Gaston. The key is that its a hurdle its not a wall. The key is that its not a death sentence like so many “smart” people claim that it is.
The amazing thing I am finding though is that there are people who don’t have the skin color “death sentence” to fall back and thus they HAVE no choice but to find the solution as opposed to wallowing in nothing. Its not the circumstances its how you view the circumstances and your opinion about the circumstances.
An example of this is the store of Nike. Many don’t know this but when Phil Knight started his company nobody would fund him. Imagine that, the biggest shoe brand in America was overlooked for more established brands. Phil didn’t let this hold him back though. Phil instead went to Chinese banks and got large lines of credit that let him grow Nike into what it is now.
I find that the skin color excuse is an easy cop out for everything. Its a cop out when it comes to raising kids, being a good spouse, excelling in school, excelling in your career and handling your personal finances. Its just super easy to point at it. Other cultures don’t have that luxury. If you don’t have such a fall back and you fail then they point at you. This is why when there are school shooters they look at the person not the race.
The key is that you too are a person, not a race. If you succeed or fail its because you just didn’t do enough to succeed. Nobody else in America has a clear path. We all have our problems they just come in different forms. If you have an obstacle in your path that means you are human, not anything else. I challenge you to rid yourself of the ready made excuse of race, find a way, and be great. That is what every other culture in America is doing.
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Be great and invest well!