Is it even possible to be a successful black entrepreneur? Are we at such a disadvantage that we should not even try? If we are to believe the media, then it is rare for African Americans to gain and keep success; but is that the truth?
It's a fact, we are at a disadvantage
Some would say African Americans in the U.S. are under attack. We are being unlawfully shot, incarnated, facing residential segregation, workplace discrimination, and all-around racism. Of course, even if you bury your head n the sand you are probably very aware of these disadvantages and if you are anything like me you have probably let one or more of these disadvantages hold you back. This is the story crammed down our throats every day but is there another side to the story?
It that the whole story?
According to 2018 census data, about one in five black families have made it to the upper-middle bracket. Of course, sports players and music stars get all the spotlight but black people are climbing the corporate ladder as high as CEOs and building million-dollar black-owned businesses passed down to the next generation. As true as it is that we are at a disadvantage we are also overcoming it.
What is the secret of success?
If you read the "how I made it" stories from the many successful black entrepreneurs such as Oprah Winfrey, George Forman, Tyra Banks, and Tyler Perry they all share some similar characteristics.
- They believed that they could do it. Yes, It is just that simple but not always easy. If your environment is discouraging and all you see in the media is the downside of things then it is hard to picture a bright future.
- They bounced back from failure as fast as possible. We all fail and it sucks but they realized that failure is a part of success if you never quit.
Black people are at a disadvantage on the road to entrepreneurial success or any success for that matter. It is true but it is not the whole story. Despite all adversity, you know it is possible to achieve success because others are doing it. You just need to believe you can do it too and overcome every setback you encounter.
What do you think? What challenges you are facing as a black entrepreneur? Do you believe you can overcome the disadvantages you face? What are motivators for you to overcome failure along the path of success?
- Pilon, Annie. “20 Black Entrepreneurs Who Have Dented the Universe.” Small Business Trends, 19 Dec. 2017, smallbiztrends.com/2017/12/black-entrepreneurs.html.
- Roberts, Nigel. “Black Billionaire Shares Secret To Success With Young Black Men.” Black America Web, 28 June 2017, blackamericaweb.com/2017/06/26/black-billionaire-shares-secret-to-success-with-young-black-men/.
- Wang, Wendy, et al. “2.5 Million Black Men Are in the Upper Class.” Institute for Family Studies, 23 July 2018, ifstudies.org/blog/2-5-million-black-men-are-in-the-upper-class.