Blacks Entrepreneurs Should Avoid Being Orthodox

Several months ago, I was at the Small Business Administration Center seeing what resources they have. I didn’t want any SBA resources at the time, just wanted to see what the SBA was about. I signed in the desk, sat down and was sitting right next to this brother who had the most internalized pissed-off look I’ve ever seen. He look like he was very frustrated. I saw he had his business plan in his hand waiting for an SBA counselor. See, some of yall think I’m angry but you really don’t know how angry and frustrated most of these cats out here on the streets with a legit hustle are feeling. I was sitting next to one of those frustrated cats. I did something that separated me from the rest of the wannabee clowns up in this game – I asked the brother if he can tell me about his business and why he look frustrated. Bottom line, he was trying to get financing for his business and couldn’t get it from the banks because he felt they didn’t like his business plan. After hearing his story, I explained to him that his biggest barrier facing him is his belief in orthodox methods for entrepreneurship that he probably read somewhere. That brother is not the first person I encountered with who was frustrated and running into a wall trying to build a business based on crap they read from Inc Magazine, Business 2.0, or some other crap like Business Startup books, conference seminars or whatever. Those publications are about the same crap content and for the business magazines, they just say the same thing year after year. Look, you can read BusinessWeek all you want about how to deal with Venture Capital firms, but if you are Black like me, you simply probably won’t make it past the token minority receptionist. You can also have the best business plan in the world, but if your Black behind don’t understand bankers make up the majority of the elitist culture in America and very selective on who they give money too, then you just chasing a pipe dream. Building a business is a people and networking skill, not nice written business plans and presentations. Just keep it freaking real – the status quo in this country has always been hostile towards empowering African-Americans unless they believe we hate our own race and only then they will reward us for having such self-hatred. Look around kid – money is thrown at self-hating rap artists who get rewarded to portray Black women as sleazy hos and want to rap about shooting/killing other Blacks and having material stuff. Look at the self-hating Black business leaders who work in these majority-White sectors who have nothing but condescending, elitist hostility towards other Blacks who don’t subscribe to the White privilege system of entitlement. You can’t be reading those damn business books, going off to get your MBA or whatever because when all is said and done – when you go about it orthodox, you put your fate in the hands of status quo bigots who will make a discretionary decision whether your Black ass should go to the next level or not. And trust me, those bigots want nothing more than to have you worked that orthodox route so they can tell you “no” just to see the look on your Black face, just to remind you of your place. Look, one of the best things that happened to me was growing up on the West Side of Chicago. See, most cats want to think I’m trying to romanticize the West Side ‘hood life’ or whatever and that only shows their lack of knowledge of the ‘hood’. On the West Side of Chicago, I had nothing but real role models of Black entrepreneurs straight hustling. Marva Collins started her own private school in the hood with no help or financing. My father always went out and made legit money putting in work just around the South and West Side of Chicago. My classmates’ parents made their money by being the candy lady, the barber or beautician out of their own house. When I was in 11th grade, one of my classmates started driving for his father tow-truck business on the West Side of Chicago when he turned 16. We had an elder named Duwell who ran his own seafood store, own medical center and other business just on the West Side. I even remember going to the liquor store to by candy and found out the Black liquor store owner had a licensed cab business in the back of the business. That West Side cab business is how a brother got around to see his girlfriends in K-town when he didn’t want to catch the Cicero or Madison bus after dark. Now these are real people, real role models I’m talking about who straight hustling, doing their own thing without having to play that orthodox game or seek some status quo bigot approval. African-Americans have over a 100 year history of unorthodox entrepreneurship from New York, to Chicago to North Carolina, down to Atlanta, all the way to Los Angeles and Seattle. That’s how we had to do it when these status quo bigots don’t want to see us do better than working a dead-end job. And today, ain’t a damn thing changed among these status bigots except some Blacks who want to believe they have a shot because they “did everything right” like getting an MBA, wrote up a business plan or whatever. It don’t work like that when you got people in position of power that hate you for no other reason than being Black. When you are an African-American entrepreneur with a goal and dream to succeed, you have to accept the anti-Black culture around you at face value, reject it because it is not right and then do it your own way knowing God will be by your side. And when we African-Americans entrepreneurs do that, I’ve inspired to know from Black entrepreneurial history we actually accomplish anything we do because we rejected the negative mental barriers that status quo society want us to believe and accept. Black people have everything to gain and nothing to lose as an entrepreneur and that's the mindset that made us successful in the past. So all I’m saying is screw all that business plan and strong management team stuff – just go for yours by seeking to work with people that want to work for and do business with you. And believe me as many African-Americans who been around the block will tell you this – a lot of people from a lot of countries respect and admire African-Americans and very willing to do business with our people, so don’t buy into the negative hype you hear. Overall, African-American entrepreneurs have options and do not need to be playing the ‘orthodox’ game to succeed.

2 thoughts on “Blacks Entrepreneurs Should Avoid Being Orthodox

  1. If this ain’t the truth I don’t know what is. Brothers and Sisters “business rules” found in books generally don’t apply to us. We all know there are some disadvantages to starting a black business but realize there are MAJOR advantages too.

    For one being Black gives you a major advantage in Black business. Who knows the Black market better than you? Who understands the wants/needs, risk, rewards better than you? It’s not an accident other cultures sell to Black people it’s because we spend a lot of money. We, for a lot of backward reasons, seem to shun that reality and don’t realize it’s us who are suppose to be on the sells side too not only on the buyer side of a transaction.

  2. While reading the posts on this website, I am getting flashbacks of reading Mr. Carter G. Woodson’s, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” while in High School. Bravo and Salute,

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