Lead With Thought… We Stopped Leading When We Stopped Reading

Readers are Leaders

Books are like the quiet ‘straight A’ students that sit in the back of the class. Rarely do we see or hear them, but they have so much to say and so much we can learn from.

They answer our deepest questions, sometimes without us even asking, as if they were each assigned to tell us something — which, if we really think about it, they are. They even tell us stories, which can often be more insightful than the most complex definitions because of one element — context.

Context can make a subject much more relatable and understandable allowing the reader to comprehend a complex message from several angles.

On the internet, you’ll find a ton of definitions for some of life’s most complex concepts, even some that can’t be entirely explained in a few sentences. For someone looking for answers, this can often provide little to no help.

Do you remember the time when the internet was still in its infancy — no Twitter, Youtube, or Google? Since the birth of these massive platforms, all kinds of information has run rampant and has frequently been misrepresented and misused.

However, before digitized research became a trend, Black people valued reading and it’s hand in helping one to become intellectually sound. Back in these times we had

some of the most powerful black leaders and, irrespective of their status, some of the most brilliant men and women in history. Our leaders sought knowledge beyond the textbooks and

documentaries shown in school and weren’t distracted by Google, Kindle, or hoards of Instagram followers.

Today, we’ve been spoiled by convenient sources of “knowledge” which never quite sat right with me. There once was a space and culture built around reading and books in general. The black readers eventually became black leaders.

Fatimah Nyeema Warner, professionally known as “NoName”, is a rapper from Chicago, Illinois. In July 2019, instead of opening up a restaurant or a fashion brand, she started a nationwide book club supported by Black bookstores all over the country. The idea was to make reading a sought after hobby again while fostering a positive shift in mentality and motivation amongst our community.

There’s a particular level of intellect that is required to cultivate a movement that will leave a perpetual impact on the Black culture. Let’s awake our resting giants. If we create readers, we can create leaders.

Founders of CodeHouse Receive $1 Million Grant from Google.org

CodeHouse

CodeHouse, a non-profit organization that focuses on cultivating a strong pipeline between students of color and industry-leading technology companies, has just received a $1 million grant from Google.org. This grant will be used to further CodeHouse’s mission of closing the diversity gap in technology-based fields.

According to the press release, the grant will allow CodeHouse to expand its initiatives to students attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina over the next two years. It will also allow CodeHouse to grow the CodeHouse Scholars Initiative (CHSI), its four-year mentorship and scholarship program designed to prepare underrepresented students attending HBCUs for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. and Morehouse College Alumni, Ernest Holmes and Tavis Thompson, founded the non-profit to encourage Black and Latinx students to pursue careers in STEM and to further the organization’s reach while strengthening its mission to build a diverse tech workforce. When discussing CodeHouse’s current and future impact, Holmes stated,

“Since CodeHouse’s founding, we’ve been able to reach thousands of students of color in the Atlanta area and equip them with the tools they need to successfully pursue careers in tech… With this grant from Google.org, we’re able to take our efforts to the next level and impact the lives of thousands more.”

Although the STEM workforce has reportedly risen rapidly in recent decades, this new push may be right on time. While STEM fields are expected to experience the highest growth in jobs between now and 2030, Black and Hispanic workers remain underrepresented only making up 7% and 6% of the workforce respectively.

In another statement, Holmes added,

“As a Morehouse College graduate and current Google software engineer, securing this funding from Google.org means the world. Not only does this grant help CodeHouse support even more HBCU students throughout their tech journeys, but it also reaffirms that my employer is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. To find synergies like these between your personal and professional endeavors is truly what it’s all about.”

Read more about the grant at the official CodeHouse.org website.

Black Tech Founders Close the Health Care Race Gap in Innovative Fashion

Black Founders

Many of us have heard the stories and statistics — in every category from childbirth to cancer, Black communities across America are significantly underserved when undergoing major medical treatments or even standard services. Still, while so many of us are aware of the problem there hasn’t been substantial dialogue regarding solutions to said problem, until now.

When Ashlee Wisdom first launched her health and wellness website, over 34,000 users — most of them Black — visited the site in the first two weeks. According to Wisdom herself, this early version of the platform wasn’t the most functional. Still, the launch was successful nonetheless with Wisdom’s company, Health In Her Hue, connecting Black women to culturally sensitive doctors, therapists, doulas, and nurses across the country.

Health in Her Hue launched in 2018 with only six doctors on their roster. Two years later, users can download the app at no cost and scroll through roughly 1,000 providers.

“People are constantly talking about Black women’s poor health outcomes, and that’s where the conversation stops,” says Wisdom.“I didn’t see anyone building anything to empower us.”

As more patients begin to seek out healthcare that acknowledges their cultural values, beliefs, and traditions during treatment, Black founders like Wisdom are here to help. Motivated by their own experiences and those of their loved ones, Black entrepreneurs want to revolutionize the way people eat, exercise, and communicate with doctors. This has led to the launching of health startups that aim to close the cultural gap in healthcare using technology while also creating profitable businesses.

Startup Health, a company headquartered in San Francisco, has invested in a number of health companies led by people of color with its president and co-founder, Unity Stoakes stating,

“One of the most exciting growth opportunities across health innovation is to back underrepresented founders building health companies focusing on underserved markets,”

He further stated that the leaders of these startups have “an essential and powerful understanding of how to solve some of the biggest challenges in health care.”

Kevin Dedner, founder of D.C headquartered startup Hurdle, started his company three years ago, but saw significant growth after the killing of George Floyd. In his own words, Dedner’s company connects patients with therapists who “honor culture instead of ignoring it”. Dedner also says, “We’re really speaking to a need… Mission alone is not enough. You have to solve a problem.”

Memphis, Tennessee founder, Erica Plybeah, focused her attention on providing transportation through her company, Medhaul. Medhaul works with providers and patients to secure low-cost rides to get people to and from their medical appointments. Plybeah’s team helps schedule rides after caregivers, patients, or providers fill out a form on MedHaul’s website.

Although Medhaul is for everyone, Plybeah understands that people of color, as well as low income residents and people living in rural areas, are more likely to face transportation difficulties. She founded the company in 2017 after years of watching her mother care for her grandmother who had lost both legs to Type 2 Diabetes. They lived in the Mississippi Delta where transportation options were scarce.

Plybeah recently received funding from New York-based banking giant, Citi.

Clinify Health is a startup founded by Nathan Pelzer — yet another Black founder. His company works with community health centers and independent clinics in underserved communities and analyzes medical and social data to help doctors identify their most at-risk patients and those they haven’t seen in awhile. By focusing on preventive care, the medical providers can help patients improve their health and avoid trips to the emergency room. 

Pelzer has described it as a company that supports triage outside of the emergency room.

As Black tech founders, Wisdom, Dedner, Plybeah, and Pelzer find ways to support one another by trading advice, chatting about funding, and looking for ways to collaborate. Pelzer and Wisdom met a few years ago as participants in a competition sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. They reconnected at a different event for Black founders of technology companies and decided to help each other.

“We’re each other’s therapists,” Pelzer says. “It can get lonely out here as a Black founder.”

As the community of Black Healthcare Founders continues to grow and Black patients continue to seek out culturally competent healthcare, the Black community as a whole is bound to see unprecedented benefits. With that being said, we are only in the beginning stages of what appears to be an economic revolution.

Source: https://khn.org/news/article/black-tech-startups-health-care-apps/

30 CAIR Leaders to Attend Inauguration of Lynching Memorial in Alabama

On April 26, some 30 national leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will attend the inauguration of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala.

The facility is “the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

SEE: This New Lynching Memorial Rewrites American History (CNN)
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/lynching-memorial-montgomery-alabama/index.html
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/memorial

“It is critically important that American Muslim leaders and activists learn about the legacy of those who suffered under brutal slavery and segregation for hundreds of years, who fought for basic dignity and human rights, and made the civil rights movement a reality,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, who will attend the memorial’s inauguration.

He said CAIR national and chapter leaders will also visit Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham as part of a three-day civil rights educational tour.

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

National Geographic Publishes “The Race Issue”, Exploring Race and Diversity in the 21st Century

National Geographic has published a single-topic issue exploring the subject of race in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination this April. The April edition of the magazine, The Race Issue, features a pair of black and white fraternal twin sisters from the United Kingdom, Marcia and Millie Biggs, on the cover. The Biggs twins on the cover are a catalyst for readers to rethink what they know about race.

The Race Issue, which is accompanied by a discussion guide aimed at parents and educators, includes the latest research, powerful anecdotes and unparalleled visual storytelling to explore the human journey through the lens of labels that define, separate and unite us. Select features include:

  • “Skin Deep,” an article on the genetics of race and roots of scientific racism, by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Elizabeth Kolbert and photos by Robin Hammond.
  • “The Things That Divide Us,” a look into the evolutionary roots of group bias and current efforts to combat this bias, with text by David Berreby and photos by John Stanmeyer.
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America,” by renowned journalist Michele Norris, who looks to 2044 when America will be less than 50 percent white and details the cultural shift already taking place. Photos by Gillian Laub.
  • “The Stop,” a powerful piece featuring anecdotes from black and Hispanic motorists who’ve been pulled over by the police due to the color of their skin. This piece was reported in partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated, with text by Michael Fletcher and photos by National Geographic photographer Wayne Lawrence.
  • “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay, with text by award-winning journalist Wendi C. Thomas, on streets around the world bearing MLK Jr.’s name and how they reflect the legacy he left behind.
  • “A Place of Their Own,” which showcases a new brand of activism at historically black colleges and universities as racial tensions escalate across the country. Text by Clint Smith and photos by Nina Robinson and Ruddy Roye.

The Race Issue kicks off the magazine’s “Diversity in America” series. Throughout the rest of 2018, the series looks at racial, ethnic and religious groups in the United States, including Muslims, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans, and examines their changing roles in 21st-century life.

In conjunction with the publication of the issue, National Geographic has also launched a social media campaign, #IDefineMe, calling on individuals to share their experience with race and what it means to them. Through photos, videos or text across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the online community is encouraged to respond to the call-to-action: Science defines you by your DNA. Society defines you by the color of your skin. How do you define yourself? #IDefineMe

Additionally, “America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a documentary television series covering some of the most complicated and consequential questions in American culture today, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.

The Race Issue is available online now at natgeo.com/TheRaceIssue and on print newsstands March 27th.

Mayor Bottoms Signs Agreement for City of Atlanta to Join Employment, Education and Outreach Coalition (EMPLEO)

The City of Atlanta today announced that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an agreement for the City to join the Employment, Education, and Outreach (EMPLEO) coalition. The coalition is an initiative of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division to address the concerns of recent immigrants who are not familiar with their workplace rights and responsibilities in the U.S. Welcoming Atlanta, an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, facilitated the partnership with EMPLEO as part of its public safety and economic power programs, which also support Mayor Bottoms’ equity and education initiatives. The partnership will help protect Spanish-speaking members of the workforce, as well as employers, from illegal work practices that put them in unfair and unsafe situations.

“One of our city’s greatest strengths is found in our diversity. It is in that spirit that I am honored to announce Atlanta’s participation in the EMPLEO program,” said Mayor Bottoms.  “We believe that a government that works for everyone is a government at its best, particularly when informing residents of critical guaranteed workplace rights. In a time when certain segments of our society are targeted for their country of origin or nationality, Atlanta must send a strong signal to all its residents that they indeed have a seat at the table.”

Since its inception in Southern California in 2004, the EMPLEO alliance of community and non-governmental organizations, along with state, local and federal agencies and Hispanic consulates, has provided information and assistance to Spanish-speaking workers and employers regarding their workplace rights and responsibilities in the United States. EMPLEO’s toll-free hotline has been instrumental in helping thousands of workers recover more than $15 million in back wages. Over the last ten years, EMPLEO has expanded its reach to also serve immigrant workers and employers in Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Georgia.

The EMPLEO hot-line utilizes well-trained bilingual volunteers who are not part of any governmental organization to assist callers by referring them to the appropriate organization, consulate or state or federal agency for help. This arrangement can help ease various concerns of workers uncomfortable with contacting an agency directly. EMPLEO also protects employers and business abiding by State and Federal labor laws from unfair competition by those illegally cutting corners at the cost of the safety and wellbeing of their workers.

Overtime pay, minimum wage, discrimination, meals/breaks, and family medical leave are some of the top issues faced by Spanish-speaking employees. Most employees are afraid to report their concerns due to fears of retaliation or loss of employment. EMPLEO reduces the vulnerability of employees to retaliatory termination by investigating concerns and protecting them from reprisals.

“Workplace labor violations are one of the most common infractions reported by our Spanish-speaking workforce,” said Michelle Maziar, Director of the Welcoming Atlanta initiative. “By joining the coalition, the City of Atlanta can continue to inform and protect all members of our workforce and ensure that language is not a barrier to accessing justice.”

Georgia EMPELO participants include: DOL Wage and Hour Division, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Women’s Bureau, Consulate General of Ecuador in Atlanta, Consulate General of Honduras in Atlanta, The Latin American Association, Georgia Hispanic Construction Association, Tapestri and City of Atlanta.

Howard University Unveils New Bloomberg Finance Lab

Howard University School of Business (HUSB) recently unveiled its new Bloomberg Finance Lab in front of a standing-room only crowd of students, faculty and alumni. The lab, made possible through a generous $250,000 gift from alumnus Wendell E. Mackey, CFA, will be used to prepare students to excel in finance-related fields.

“We are extremely appreciative of Mr. Mackey’s donation to the Howard University School of Business, which not only supports the Bloomberg Finance Lab, but also student scholarships,” said President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick. “In this full circle moment, we get to witness a student who once benefited from a quality Howard education, return to give back so that the next generation of students can experience the same.”

Mackey fondly recalls taking photos in front of the then newly constructed School of Business on the day of his graduation ceremony in 1986. It was in that moment that he vowed to one day give back to his alma mater. Today, Mackey is a Founder, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Investment Officer for Channing Capital Management, LLC in Chicago.

“I am honored to present this gift to Howard University on behalf of myself and Channing Capital Management. I also want to thank my great business partners Rodney Herenton and Eric McKissack for their support along our journey together,” said Mackey. “The skills that the students will achieve with the added benefit of utilizing a Bloomberg Finance Lab will be invaluable to their careers.”

The Bloomberg Terminal is a software platform that provides real-time and historical data, market moving news and analytics to help leading business and financial professionals worldwide make better informed investment decisions. The service also features execution platforms for every asset class, research and a global network to communicate securely and reliably. Howard University has contracted to have 12 Terminals with two Terminals earmarked for economics and computer science students.

“We are thrilled to partner with Howard University and offer its students and professors access to the same market-moving news and data relied on by leading business and financial professionals around the globe,” said Erika Irish Brown, Bloomberg’s Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion. “We hope that Bloomberg Finance Lab’s training and coursework will give Howard students seeking careers in financial services an additional competitive edge, while also familiarizing Howard’s computer science students with the technology underlying the Bloomberg Terminal.”

“The Bloomberg Lab will greatly enhance the academic skills of our undergraduate and graduate students in finance, accounting, marketing, supply chain and management, and enhance their professional marketability,” said Barron Harvey, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University School of Business. “In addition, the lab will greatly impact the research productivity of our dedicated faculty in the School of Business.”

As part of the gift to the University, a portion will be used to establish the Wendell E. Mackey/Channing Capital Management, LLC Scholarship, which will sponsor four student scholarships over the next two years for School of Business students. During the ceremony, the two scholarships were presented to Christopher Austin, a junior finance major from Chicago, and Taylor Stephens, a freshman finance major from Atlanta.

“I very much appreciate this scholarship award for the simple fact that someone wants to help me advance my education,” said Austin. “There is no better feeling than knowing that others believe in my future and want to help me along the way toward pursing my goals and dreams.”

How Do We As Black People Get Our Wealth Back?

black business, black wealth, black lives matter, black entrepreneurship, black business

There is no such thing as a bad economy in sovereign nations; a sagging economy, yes. Bad? No. I can’t count how many times I’ve explained this, but doesn’t ache me to do so. The only thing sovereign economies do is experience a shift in needs. When trauma hits an economy, people shift what they desire to consume and invest in. While this demand is shifting, businesses scramble to be able to accommodate these needs of consumers and are often forced to downsize or lay-off workers as they reinvent. Now, during this process, the economy contracts and those holding the wrong investments see a financial loss indefinitely, while others see their losses temporarily. So who’s who? Fact is the rich lost money during our recent recession but because much of their assets are in paper (stocks, business ownership/sellable equity, etc.), and these are instruments, which, quite frankly, see fluctuations in value almost daily, gives these people the ability to bounce back.

 

The Worker Mindset

I remember when I bought my first residential property in Georgia. A security system salesman knocked on my door attempting to sell me one of their security systems. I wasn’t interested. He wasn’t pleased. He became irritated over my refusal and said, “I am only trying to help you protect your biggest investment.” I didn’t issue a rebuttal but I was silently insulted. I thought to myself “How could this be my biggest investment? What about my human capital, my stock investments, my children’s education, business investments, and my investment properties that actually generates cash and wealth opportunities beyond my physical labor?” Frankly, I believe a resident is a liability. Assets are those that not only gain value, but pay for themselves and generate additional income. We slave to maintain our homes.

 

However, after looking at the numbers I can clearly see where he would get such a belief. He is not alone in his ideology. The average American’s major wealth is in their residential property and very rarely extends beyond that. We work hard to pay-off our homes and reach a vested pension or retirement. We try to play it safe. But is this really the safe route? In the book, “The Millionaire Next Door” the authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko said, “Being an entrepreneur or investor is the safest way to live in America. You have to upset all of your customers to lose 100% of your income, while being an employee you only need to upset one person (your boss) to lose 100% of your income.” After reading this book, I began to live by this theory!ent

Market Watch cites that just over 90% the middle-class worker’s wealth is in their home and between 2003 and 2007, these middle-class workers collectively lost (forever) $2.3 trillion in wealth. To top it off, those in control of real estate appreciation is the very corporate regulators who caused the bubble to bust in the first place. Since the no-down payment and “stated loans” are a thing of the past, investors are not rushing to make re-financing or purchasing easy, causing a slowdown in homes being built or available, thus leading to slow appreciation.

 

But why are the corporations able to stomach such wrongdoings? Why are they able to have such a negative impact on the lives of workers and move forward with business as usual?

 

The real problem lies in our financial dynamics. These dynamics doesn’t require millions either. It simply matters what position you put yourself in. Historically, we were in an interdependent relationship; workers relied on corporations for their wealth and corporations relied on workers for theirs. But the truth (that some doubters felt was fantasy) is revealing itself. Corporations indeed care less for workers as they do the financial gains. They are truly here for wealth not workers.

Technology is now able to work 10 times as hard with 10 times less errors than workers. Its productivity is well above the worker without the “emotional headache”, and let’s not discuss the workers overseas who technology has allowed corporations to employ in your place.

 

Think about it. The security guard is being replaced by sophisticated security systems, the receptionist is being replaced answering services, salespersons are being replaced by newsletter programs, the bi-lingual worker is being replaced by the translation software. So what do you do?

 

You Are Not Doomed

The truth is as long as there are people seeking convenience and Capitalists seeking returns, there will always be earning opportunities available for anyone who has guts. The beauty supply industry is one I advocate for simply because it is a $15 billion industry with almost 14,000 stores and less than 3% of them are black-owned. I see great opportunity because Blacks generate 96% of the revenue regardless of the economy. We can simply give ourselves a stimulus package by focusing our spending on these 3% of owners eventually creating 13% owners, then 23% owners, then 33% owners, etc.

 

Competition of non-blacks should not be the concern, it is replacing existing stores with our top-notched, professionally ran black-owned stores should be the focus. I am not speaking on some “hope” theory. I opened a store between two Korean-owned store that drove both of those out of business. We focus on replacing. Education in this industry is definitely vital. Entrepreneurship is key!

 

The solution for rebounding may lie in the pre-industrialization age; when money wasn’t backed by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and when the GDP wasn’t so speculative. This was a time when credit wasn’t popular and consumption was based on real demand. It is a time when entrepreneurship was the norm and employment was for those who were indentured servants, or were mentally or physically challenged. It’s a time when our career pursuit was mostly based on our love, expertise, and passion for the craft; not tied to the amount of income or desperation.

 

The bottom line is regaining our wealth isn’t even a Black or White issue. There are many race-based issues but this isn’t one of them. This is an insight vs. ignorance issue. Those who feel safe in their dependency will suffer and those who understand history may be repeating itself will survive.

How black employees unknowingly hold back black businesses

As we know, business start-up funding is often short in the black community. With only 19 black banks in the country, black entrepreneurs are often forced to seek funding from other sources, including major banks that mostly prefer working with entrepreneurs who are already well capitalized. Catch 22.

The thing about any new business is the staff has to perform impeccably in order for it to grow and become profitable. Those profits can then lead to more staff, higher wages, larger location, employee benefits, better technology and more. Businesses don’t have to start with all of this already in hand, plus that’s not a strong reality for black businesses, but they can build themselves into those things.

Sadly, employees often treat a business based on how it looks and feel visually, even in the beginning. This is businesses with large buildings and TV ads tend to get workers to give better effort in the workplace. To get workers to see a small unknown business differently, they would have to be visionaries and understand growth. Because black businesses are often underfunded and typically only attract black workers when it first starts, black employees treat the new black business as-if it’s undesirable and that behavior holds the business back. young black business man

While many white owned, Asian-owned and middle eastern owned businesses start with great funding, thus they have a great atmosphere, which makes workers put their best foot forward every day, it’s not the norm for a black business. If these non-black businesses do start underfunded, it is often offset by the very culture of those groups where they are more prone to be willing to be a part of something small until that something small becomes something big, especially if it is an origination of their own community.

It’s a vicious cycle. Underfunded black business, even when they have a great product and great leadership can still suffer from poor workmanship out of its workers. It’s not that black workers hate black businesses, they just hate the feeling of working somewhere that is not prestigious, plush and powerful. It’s a human thing more than it is a racial thing.

Because enterprising funds are not bountiful in our communities, it makes our businesses look shotty and poorly ran. Meanwhile, that is not always the case or often has another cause. The cause stems before the performance of the worker. It begins with how the worker views the business. How the business is viewed can be closely tied to how much money was invested and how much remains in its kitty. The kitty is often tied to the start-up funds the business was able to attain. You get the correlation?

Well, you may say, “What about them getting funding once they are already in business, it’s usually easier then, right?” Well, the thing is most banks only issue loans or lines for up to 10% of the company’s gross revenues. Here again, if the revenues are low, then so will be the funding even after being opened; and revenues are the direct result of the product, people and process. (Back to square one.)

It’s a rippling effect. business partners

However, the more we start to wake-up and see the end result of great black-owned businesses that started out of the gate with a limp, the more confidence our workers will build in performing well for them. Let’s not stick our heads in the sand anymore. Let’s truly be committed to build our finances, businesses, patronage, commitment and overall wealth by loving our community so much that we are willing to “work” for it.

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS MARKETING TOO SOON?

Most entrepreneurs start out with a great idea. This is where entrepreneurship is born; in the mind. It is usually born out of frustration over something in one’s daily life or some type of problem they would like to see solved. This is where innovation lives.

The problem with most entrepreneurs is they don’t even realize they have an entrepreneurial spirit until they actually want to start taking steps. They overlook those brilliant ideas that hit them on a whim and charge it off to just “another good idea”.

Because of this, most entrepreneurs don’t prepare and cultivate their spirit early. They don’t invest in building upon their spirit until they are at the place of actually producing a product, service or launching their business. Not preparing themselves for entrepreneurship way ahead of time is the very ideal that causes so many entrepreneurs to fail right out of the gate. They go into business thinking everyone will play fair, meanwhile the competition has been readying themselves for years with training and finance management. The competition already in business protects their territory and won’t throw you a housewarming or bring you a pie when you have your grand opening. Remember that! It’s a battle for the customer. no money

Recently, someone asked me to give them cheap marketing ideas for marketing their product. They even cited they were a single parent. It is something I commonly hear. (Sidebar: Ladies, stop doing that. Stop highlighting your “single-parent status as a way to play victim or get sympathy. It shows weakness, in my opinion. It’s like you’re starting off with excuses. Just know in your mind that you’re a single parent and deal with that privately. Don’t lead with that. Too much received sympathy will weaken your entrepreneurial prowess.)

Here’s what you need to understand in the grand scheme of things. When you are young in entrepreneurship, your focus should be on going and getting as big as you can. It should be rooted in the idea that you can win! Now, this idea should be invested in as well, way before it is time for you to market. This would mean that you’ve adjusted your life so you can set aside adequate enough funds to produce quality goods or services and are prepared to serve the wave of people that may come in from your marketing campaign. So let me get to the question. Is there such a thing as marketing too soon? No. Building-a-Business

Marketing is a culmination of activities: word-of-mouth, advertising, publicity, surveys, speaking engagements and more. You can get involved in these activities even before you actually have the goods or services ready to go as long as the market has an “expected time of delivery” and you meet that date. However, what you can do too soon is get massive exposure. You may not even realize how great your idea is until you see the demand you have created. You may not know how great of an idea you have until you begin marketing. However, once that crazy demand is created, then what? Are you ready to serve them?

The thing you really don’t want, especially as a new entrepreneur, is to create a bad first impression. Remember, you’re not some inconspicuous employee. You are the entrepreneur, the enterpriser, the owner, the face of the idea you just launched. What you don’t want is to go down in flames with a bad, shaky or flighty name, a place many entrepreneurs find themselves. When I see people wanting to market but have no money, I get scared for them. I worry that they may be another person with a bad experience at entrepreneurship who now relegates their self to a life as an employee because of the traumatic experience and criticism they received from their customers and friends due to such a bad entrepreneurial approach.

So, as you are working on your idea, work on putting up the money to fund it. Ensure you market within your ability to deliver on that promise to your customer. Exposure can be a blessing or a curse. Too many people want to hit “Good Morning America” but don’t have the money, time or capacity to meet the demand after the sale. And “after the sale” is really where your money is…