Teaching My Children the Challenges of Black Entrepreneurship
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OPINION: Teaching My Children the Challenges of Black Entrepreneurship


The thought of building a business that could provide freedom, financial security, and create generational wealth was exciting to me as a budding 19-year-old entrepreneur. I started my first business that year as the father of a one-year-old son.  

My business offered vacation-relief services to independent bread vendors. No one else offered a similar service in Milwaukee, so my business quickly grew to six figures in the first year. Despite being a profitable business model, the business didn’t align with my passion and where I wanted to go in life. I sold the business 12 years into owning and running it. 

The year 2011 brought podcasts into my life, and I discovered how to make money selling digital information products and educational material on the internet. Since selling my first business, I’ve built a multiple-six-figure education company. My wife and I operate this business from all over the world. I’m writing this article to you from Nice, France. We have been traveling in Europe for the past three months, building our business and exploring the best of Europe. We’ve been to Rome, Lisbon, London, and Nice. 

Over the last 22 years of entrepreneurship, my children have seen firsthand the possibilities entrepreneurship can provide. They’ve also seen the challenges of building a business — especially as a person of color. They’ve seen racism in a vivid way as I’ve built my businesses. 

If you’re a parent and a Black entrepreneur, here’s how you build a thriving business despite prejudice and racism. Here’s what I’ve taught my children about the challenges of Black entrepreneurship: 

Entrepreneurship Can Magnify Racism 

There’s no denying the incredible freedom and financial growth entrepreneurship can provide Black parents. However, visibility for entrepreneurs of color can magnify racism and prejudice. You have to market your business as an entrepreneur. You’ll undoubtedly use social media and the internet to let consumers know what your business offers and how your services can add value. 

As Black entrepreneurs create greater visibility on social media and online to build their business, they will be exposed to more people. More exposure means more opinions about race, skin color, and who should be an entrepreneur. Racism is still a very real experience for entrepreneurs of color. As I’ve grown my business, I’ve been called everything under the sun. Random people on the web have tried to make me feel less than human through the use of racist words

My children have seen this, unfortunately. In these experiences, I’ve taught my children that you can’t let your identity be tied to what others say or think about you. We are the only ones who determine who we are and how we show up. I’ve taught my children that people can say whatever they want, but that doesn’t have to be my truth. 

Black entrepreneurs have to overcome so much to make it in a system that’s not designed for us to succeed. We are strong. Don’t let the racism you’ll experience as you build your business keep you from pursuing your goals. What anyone else says doesn’t have to be your identity if you don’t let it. 

We Can Create Generational Wealth Despite Prejudice 

One of the most important lessons I’ve taught my children is that we create opportunities that bring wealth and a lasting legacy. The work we do to grow our business is our lottery ticket. The internet, social media, and access to information are the great equalizers. As Black entrepreneurs today, we have opportunities not previously available to us. We can take advantage of these opportunities to create generational wealth despite institutional roadblocks.

There will always be some who will not do business with us because of our skin color — that’s fine. Billions of possible consumers could be our customers. Your goal should be to show consumers why they should pay attention to what you have to offer.

The key to building any business is focus and consistency. Ignore the racism and prejudice, and stay focused on your goal of creating a lasting legacy. Put in work daily, and do so with boss energy. 

Leading By Example Helps Break Generational Trauma 

Parents know that children mimic what they see. While we as parents teach our children things, they tend to follow the example of our actions. One of the best ways that I’ve taught my children how to navigate the challenges of Black entrepreneurship is through how I responded to adversity. I’ve tried to lead by example and show my children that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can and should control our responses. 

Entrepreneurs understand that sometimes you have to move beyond an emotional response. This is especially true for entrepreneurs of color because racism and prejudice are incredibly emotional and frustrating. 

Lead by example for your children. Even though not every child is meant to or will become an entrepreneur, it’s still good for them to see standards of Black excellence personified. 

Be the role model that inspires them not to put up with anyone else’s garbage. My children are now adults. My wife and I have six children, three of which are budding entrepreneurs. These are the lessons we’ve tried to instill about life, racism, and rising above the challenges. It can be a more challenging road as a Black entrepreneur but not an impossible one. We need more representation in entrepreneurship. We need more entrepreneurs of color to stand tall and support each other in the growth of our businesses. 

It starts with the example that we’re setting. Let’s teach our children to thrive despite racism and prejudice.

Kimanzi Constable is a lifetime entrepreneur. He is an author of four books and writer whose articles have been published in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Insider, SUCCESS Magazine, NBC, CBS, FOX, and 80 other publications and magazines.