In a world where children are surrounded by fear, hope can be found in the faces of those adults who look like them.
Do you remember the first black entrepreneurs you met? I do. They were my parents and neighbors.
As a child, my parents owned several businesses, including Creative Lady Boutique and Quickies Hotdogs. Our neighbors to our right, the Williams family, owned a lawn care business. Our neighbors to our left, the Bias family, owned a grocery store named Nina’s Grocery, and our local convenience store was owned and operated by Mr. Eddie; an African American male who actively gave back to our community.
As we enter Black History Month, it’s important to remember and recognized those who trail blazed, influenced, and encouraged us to step out on this journey of faith called entrepreneurship. To those who I owe my foundation, I pen this letter and say, “Thank You.”
As a very young child, you helped to shape the lens that allowed me to see my endless possibilities. It was you who first taught me that I could do and be anything I set my mind to, and that if others would not offer the opportunity; that I should create my own.
Through you, I saw black entrepreneurs, who fostered relationships and built bonds within the communities they served; saw black husbands and wives work side-by-side to grow a better future for their families; saw black business owners employ young black adults and pour encouragement into their lives. It is through you that I learned that a traditional career path was not the only path to success.
Little did I know that, as a child, I would choose to follow in your footsteps. I am often asked, “Weren’t you afraid to start your business? Where did you get the courage to begin? How did you know you could do it?” And immediately, I think of you.
It is because of your fearlessness, I was not afraid; it is because of your courage, I gain strength; and it is because you’ve paved the way, I always knew it was possible.
This world could never produce enough words to express how important your presence in my life has been. For all that you’ve shown me and all the lessons you’ve shared, I am forever grateful.
This article was written by The BOSS Network Influencer, Rachel Green
Rachel Green, CEO of A Brand Called U, Rachel has cultivated her passion for public relations and brand management into a multifaceted award winning business that operates successfully in highly competitive arenas such as sports, lifestyle, tech and non-profit.
Learn more about Rachel via her website at abcupr.com.
Follow Rachel on Twitter @msabcu.