The African American community has been given a gift. That gift is that our stuff is jacked up. Why is that a gift Todd Milli? It is a gift because problems create opportunities for solutions and solutions mean wealth.
Every single successful business solves problems. Grocery stores solved the problem of not having readily available food at all times. Cars solved the transportation problem. Banks solved the problem of having nowhere to put your money. Business owners are in the need business and the black community has a lot of needs that need prioritized solutions.
Instead of chasing business fads, chase problems
So many people are starting trendy businesses that are cool to brag about, not a lot of people are chasing problems. Wealthy people know that if they can solve problems they will be made wealthy. As Grant Cardone says “give me a problem, any problem, the bigger the better and when I solve it ill be a hero and ill become wealthy”. That was a paraphrase but he said something to that effect.
My favorite stories about black wealth came from entrepreneurs who solved problems. AG Gaston created his first business feeding black workers in coal mines who couldn’t eat in restaurants. He then started a life insurance business and a funeral home because white businesses would not serve black customers. As a result, he became massively wealthy. The examples go on and on but instead of crying for someone to solve his problems, he created something, made life better for his people and made a fortune.
That is all it takes. Find a problem. solve it, create wealth. Repeat.
What I see in the urban community is people looking at problems and throwing their hands up.
They are defeated. Instead of being defeated they should be inspired. We have been giving a gift of wealth if we look at it correctly. On the other side of that problem is one less problem in their community and likely generational wealth for their family. I have experienced this personally in rental real estate. We specifically buy in the hood and hold rents at a reasonable rate. We created affordable safe housing and we make money doing it. We found a problem, solved it and everyone involved wins.
I find that where we mess up is that we don’t see ourselves as big enough to grow over our problems. There are people with a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset think that they are the way that they are. People with a growth mindset believe that they grow to the size of person needed to tackle those problems. That growth is innovation.
I think what holds a lot of people up from innovating is because they are creating something that nobody has ever seen and that is uncomfortable. It is comfortable to follow a proven path. It is comfortable to create the black version of a white business and call it innovation but that will only take you so far and it wont work for everything.
The community has to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Instead of striving to be the first black, strive to be the first ever. There was no first white Facebook, there was merely Facebook. There was no first white Ford there was just Ford. Instead of following we must become leaders of innovation and enterprise. Celebrating first blacks is like celebrating second place. Except its not second place because there were likely 100 other white folks there first. So we are really celebrating coming in dead last. Stop it. Innovate. See the need (and in the hood that are a ton of needs) and take the lead. Step into the uncomfortable unknown and create.
The beauty of creating is nobody can tell you the right or wrong way to create what has never been seen.
When you take the lead there is no wrong way to go about it. Taking the need is liberating. It frees you from criticism and comparison. Nobody can tell FB that what they are doing is wrong because nobody has ever been FB. Nobody can tell Google that what they are doing is wrong because again, nobody has been Google.
Instead of retracing their steps, instead of forcing your way into their spaces, instead of crying out for justice, create your own and tailor it to the characteristics of your community. Your people will be better of for it.
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Be great, invest well,