Too many people are going into business for money. Not enough people are going into business to change things. This is a problem. It is a problem because then we create a bunch of useless products that don’t help people. We charge a lot of money for them and then we sit around wondering why we don’t get “support”.
It is a problem because we spend all our time building useless glamour businesses when we need to be curing our water issues or solving poverty. We build businesses that make us look good and we ignore the businesses that are good for us. Then we go out and protest for other people to do the things that are good for us. This is backwards.
When I was a child I would start businesses to make money. I have sold t shirts, promoted parties, washed cars. I would try to create demand where there was no demand. Now I solve problems for profit. The preexisting need is the demand, it is the market. Then I let the demand for that product dictate pricing. This is how the science of business should be done.
In all this, I have also found that by solving problems you create a built in WHY. When Apple started their business they wanted to make easy to use beautiful products because most computers were boring and difficult to operate. Microsoft wanted to create affordable computers because most computers were overpriced. Nike wanted to inspire and create better shoes for runners. Under Armour wanted to create better products that helped athletes perform better. Four great companies, none of them have a mission of making money.
A lot of people who don’t understand business, or who have a perverted idea of business and capitalism think that big business is what people mean when they speak on capitalism. That isn’t what I am referring to. What I am referring to is simply solving the issues in your community. If you need better schools, start a school. If you need better policing, start a private patrol. If you need healthier food, start a restaurant. Solve your problems with business. People will tell you that you can’t do all of those things. I have personally had people tell me that we can’t start schools. Or that we can’t have a private police force but then you look around and see other communities doing the very things we think we can’t do. The problem is not that things aren’t possible, the problem is that we think they aren’t possible and that thought does the limiting, not your circumstances.
The beauty of being black in America is that we are sitting on a gold mine and that gold mine is our never ending list of issues. All you have to do is solve one black problem and boom, money money money money. But don’t skip over the solving for the money, you will end up with no money and the same problems that you started off with.
Solving problems builds more wealth than real estate
In solving problems you become focused on the problem not the money that comes. In solving problems you create that need based business. If you are starving food isn’t a luxury it is a necessity. If you are freezing, gas and heat aren’t luxuries they are necessities. Both problems, both needs. So I think the “needs based business” idea is great but you find the need by finding the problem.
Another thing, please lets stop oversaturating a market. Just because that idea worked for one person doesn’t mean its the only thing that can work. We have to get away from the scarcity mentality of there only being a few ways for us to make it that has forced us all into music and entertainment. The truth is that we are dope at whatever we do, not just sports and entertainment. This means that if we decide we are going to make tacos we can have the best taco line out if we focus on the tacos and stay in our lane. This means that if we decide to make shoe laces we can make the best shoe laces out. We are a powerful people not a limited people.
In all this though I want you to get on the mission of solving that issue. Not pointing at it. Not protesting it. Not begging for other people to solve it. Too often we want to celebrate the discovery of the problem:
Yall: “well did you know about red lining”??
Me: “Well did you start a bank or community fund to fund your own?”
Boss up and build your own. Building your own is the sauce. Building your own is the why. Building your own is the mission. This will drive you, this will attract people to you. In pursuing that WHY you must be willing to do whatever you can as much as you need and in whatever form. For me, I stay in my business and real estate lane. Every business is business and real estate related. This allows me to have so many different brands and logos because they stem from my why and my why shines through.
That said, you will come against competition in pursuing what you do because people will see you getting money. They are too lazy to create their own so they will copy. IN doing this, STILL maintain your why. Work on your why because they will soon fall off. They wanted to create LLCs they didn’t want to build a black business community. When they realize that it isn’t as easy as the why focused person makes it look they will soon fall off. They didn’t have the fire they just were looking for a short cut to paper.
Jeff Bezos said the secret to business success is to be mission oriented not mercenary oriented. Long term success. 20 years in business success. You get there, I get there, we get there by doing what we do even if we don’t get paid for it. That is how dedicated you must be toward your WHY. They always say that if you would be willing to do something for free that is the thing you should do for life well the same is true in business. Get in a business that you are so passionate about that you would do it for free and when you find that business you have found your why.
People who do things like that create better products and they give better service. People who do things like that become the market leader. People who do that create businesses that never die.
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