Your mind has to prepare for the mission to do for self, our people, our community and our future. This means you have to align how you live, how you think and how you act upon reaching your goals that lies before you to accomplish. In this article, we want to help brothas and sistas understand how we are going to work towards creating economic empowerment, quality of life and wellness for African-Americans in the 21st century global economy. The Ecosystem of Empowerment I have read Powernomics by Dr. Claud Anderson and me and the 3rd Strategic Institute will officially adopt Dr. Claud Anderson teachings as a predecessor to the 3rd Strategic mission and respect Dr. Anderson findings as an elder. That does not mean we drink the Dr. Claud Anderson Kool-Aid – it means we openly acknowledge Dr. Anderson works and also validate or invalidate Dr. Anderson claims with true field research and real work and move forward on the mission for the betterment of our people. Me and my crew simply refuse to be like the sorry bitchy morons at Black Enterprise magazine that tries to pretend people like Dr. Claud Anderson do not exist so they can get corporate advertising dollars. We going to love our elders and show them love over here. But Powernomics is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece of the puzzle comes from Elijah Muhammad with Eat to Live that is basically a book that explains that the majority of our problems is based on the food we put in our mouth. You cannot empower a group of people who eat junk food, their blood is circulating junk and it affect the mind ability to function with free blood flowing and the energy level is not there. The body actually turn on brothas and sistas for eating processed foods, fast foods, pork and all that other crap. How you treat your body is your most personal level of empowerment that matters more than economic. Then you see the shape of our community and not just businesses but the quality of life. Having a nice walk in the park or the ability to have a family picnic or a summer outdoor festival. Having safe communities with little to know crime and everybody have a mutual respect for each other. Many of you guys have not grew up where your last name meant something – when you say your last name around the block, people knew your father, your cousins, your elders and the things about you, including teachers who knew your elder brothers and elder sisters. So this is the quality of life that has to be in place. So with that said, empowerment involves establishing economic stability and growth, health and wellness as well as quality of life. This is why this blog talks about relationships because communication and positive intimate relationships are important because this involves all of the elements of empowerment. Unfortunately, black people have a lot of work to do to convince themselves that the black family is the true nexus and center of all black empowerment frameworks and the end goal. Building a dynasty that can last centuries and contribute great things for generations and leaving an impact on society. It Does Not Take Money to Become Empowered You see this lot in black media ran by these sorry Boule characters who want us black folks to admire them so bad - they talk so much about getting money and being validated by the system of White Privilege. These cornballs running black media and trying to talk about being black entrepreneurs want you brothas and sistas to badly believe you need to be on Shark Tank, you need to get validated by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm or an angel investor or you need to be special and liked to get to the level of success. All you need is your will and when you have will, there will be a way and that’s the West Side of Chicago way I was taught to get mine up in this world. My father told me as a kid to always work with what I have right now and to realize all I had to do is think hard on using the resources already around me and I can use them to accomplish what I really going after. If you think long and hard and look around at what you have right now, you can make a lot of things happen for you. When we start the Rise of Empires for brothas and sistas, you do not see me talking about you getting a SBA loan or qualify for credit because all of that is debt you have to start paying back while you struggling to generate revenue for your business. So why even entertain getting an SBA loan? Then you have other cats telling you to get a professional image and rent an office from Regus to look important and have a business address you can share on your business card but you don’t even have customers lined up to make use of your professional image. Dream and Hustle taught brothas and sistas how to buy post-it notes from the dollar store and turn their home office or extra bedroom into an innovation center, not a home office but center of innovation. Dream and Hustle taught brothas and sistas how to use a $5/month GoDaddy web site and ASP.NET MVC that can be created with Visual Studio Express that is free to build web site solutions that can be both mobile and have a social empowerment purpose in the business model and design. All of the stuff I code out and articles I write on this blog is being written on this cheap ass $299 Lenovo laptop that is over 3 years old and the shift key is broken on it. You will understand soon enough that you do not need to have SBA loans, someone invested in your business or bring on partners to actually run your business. You can learn to plan your hustle and model your hustle with pilot testing, prototyping and simulation which tells you what works and don’t work and save you money by not making mistakes in the field you have to correct. I use play money and as people learned on the Global Urban Collective Facebook group, I also build custom scale models to visualize the hustle and realize some things that I could not realize when just writing on paper. Then you can find open source software and other free resources to build your hustle up. Even if you have to hire people, you can use Fiverr and other cheap resources to just do simple jobs that you can scale up. You can access cloud services on demand when you need to. And you can do pop-up operations as well as rent items instead of buy and most important do drop-shipping instead of buy inventory upfront. Remember that it does not take money to make things happen for you to get things up and running. Dream and Hustle already proven this over and over and the majority of our success was just by actually going out and trying to do something and making mistakes and learning but we read so much upfront we avoided the more expensive mistakes and able to access resources to help us achieve instead of spend heavy money upfront. This is the same approach Dream and Hustle will bring to you to help in the Rise of Empires, including yours to reach the goal you are trying to achieve. Developing the Mind of Leader Leaders are not born and there are no such thing as natural leaders. The only attribute of a leader is they give a fuck, that’s it. Barack Obama gave a fuck to run for President, Bill Gates gave a fuck to help Africa impoverishment problems and I give a fuck to spend my time writing this article while other black people just sit at home and watch cable television. You have to care and take responsibility and ownership and show that you care. Apple just release their latest devices iPhone 6 and a watch and the one thing they introduce was the payment ecosystem. Apple created all kind of safeguards like two-factor authentication and tokenization but the thing is, Apple never had these problems but Apple took ownership of the problem and created the solution. When you want to do for African-Americans, you have to take ownership of African-American problems and work towards the solution to better the lives and situation of our people. Leaders also have to be decisive and take action and not think too much. Take action even if it is crazy or wild but make sure you are not spending money and taking risk. But if there is action and opportunity, go and take it and if you fail, then you fail but always take advantage of any opportunity before you. I personally watched in amazement how hawks and falcons take decisive low-flight strike actions against small animals and sometimes they miss but then you see them go back in the air and then make a second pass and strike hard and fast against their prey. You have the same attitude and strike hard and fast and make decisions and go for it. It is also important to be prepared and equipped. Back up your data, have extra money in reserves and have a plan b for your hustles and operations. And always know what equipment you need to get the job done and take inventory of your equipment and supplies and the purpose. This is extremely important because this is where you can waste both time and money. You waste time by having to run out to the store and buy something to finish up what you working on and you waste money if you lose something and have to spend money to ramp things back up. And you also have to be smart enough not to start any hustle until you are well-equipped and prepared. And last, keep it real and simple. Always be authentic and true to yourself. The person you are is all you have in this world and don’t sell it out for nobody. I’m a member of the Dunn family and from the West Side of Chicago and I’m always going to be that. When you talk to others, just be you and don’t give a fuck how they think or feel about your presentation. All they need to know if they have a problem with you, then it’s going to be a serious problem they will never face before trying to come at you like that. And keep things simple – the biggest mistake I see in the technology field and business is when people try to be too complicated. At the end of the day, everything boils down to the simple transaction and exchange of goods and services for money. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of building things like an office building, a waiting room or put a pool table in a Laundromat or create a Facebook group for their travel-related stuff instead of create true and direct channels that lead to a transaction. Amazon and eBay leads to a transaction at the end of the day. Wal-Mart leads to a transaction when all is said and done. In our business models we presenting on Dream and Hustle, your mission is to accumulate members, merchants and drive them both to conducting a transaction which each other and with you at the same time.