What many naïve entrepreneurs and consumers don’t know is that in everything you do, you are being profiled. Business is more about psychology than it is about profits. Businesses know who will do what before they even do it. This is why there is a concept in marketing called, “Target Market”. It’s because businesses know who they want and who will make their ideal customer. While doing so, they disqualify some people and view others as “bonus” but not core.
In working in advocacy, it is the same thing. Not everyone will agree with your work. Not everyone will see what you are doing as relevant. Instead of these people going about their business, they sometimes throw stones at you so you can stop what you’re doing.
Here at Black Businesses Matter, we understand the true perils of real business people who happen to be black. We know that there will be a percentage of black entrepreneurs who may never face one iota of setback because of their skin. However, for many others, that’s not a reality. When we look at black statistics, we keep ranking at the bottom of the wealth pool in all categories except spending power but rank at the top of the “at-risk” warnings. So for those people, we exist. This movement exists for the people who know that no matter how good their business plan may be; the bank would deny their business loan because the bank doesn’t identify with us or the culture of some of the businesses we would like to pursue. We exist for people who know that despite their harsh home environment, they are rising from the ashes to be great anyway, yet institutions may view them as “expected to fail”. We exist for those people who have blemishes on their past and can’t get into the best schools, but are worthy of solid business and entrepreneurial training (not the superficial get-easy-money BS that floats around the Internet and social media every second) so we may good substantive entrepreneur training available for those willing to take the real time to understand how to be good at it.
We exist for certain black people who know that there is an abundance of issues that holds us back economically but would love to find a way to navigate their way past them.
Then, there are people who tells us we are being divisive, negative and cynical.
To those people, we simply say, keep it pushing. Walk on by and pass us up. You are not our target. You are disqualified; at least today… the day may come when you hit the brick wall and have your own eye-opening experience. The day may come when you wished you had prepared for being marginalized, dismissed or denied in business (or employment) just because of who you are, not because of what you’re about.
For the rest of you, let’s keep the train moving. Let’s make this moment in history, the moment we made the most progress restoring our forward momentum. This isn’t a game for us and we really despise those who attempt to derail good movements.