to my black and depressed entrepreneurs… i know it’s tough but don’t give up

December 1, 2017
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By Jasmin Pierre*, AFROPUNK Contributor

I know it’s hard to be a black entrepreneur for many different reasons. On one hand you got the number of black people who no longer want to support us because “so and so had a bad attitude with bad customer service” and now they want to put all black businesses in the same category and support none of us.

On the other hand you have your family members who don’t want to support your dreams. You’re told “this dream isn’t making you any money. Go out and get a real job.” They push a college education on you and when you do finally get your degree you’re in debt and still broke… and they still blame you for that (which can be so depressing). So when you finally get tired of wanting to be like the rest of society and decide to go against the grain (because you rather not struggle 40 hours a week for the rest of your life at a job or career that you hate) you get told “it’s not going to work out”

You also get ridiculed being a young black adult who still lives with a family member (but you’re not being lazy and sitting on the couch) just so you can work on making your dream happen without having to pay so many extra bills. It’s unheard of to ask your black parents to help fund your dream. Nope, you’re suppose to get your black ass out their house as soon as possible and find your own way with little to no help.

Some cultures teach their kids the value of Entrepreneurship young. They don’t just kick their kids out as soon as they can. They help them make a way so that when they finally do leave they don’t have to come back. Unfortunately, due to internalized pessimism, many black entrepreneurs were not taught that by their families.

Many were taught to go to school (be in debt), work, have kids, get married, continue to struggle off low incomes and die with NOTHING… and the cycle continues from generation to generation… but you still get told that you’re crazy for wanting to go against the grain?

I’ve said all of this to say that no matter who doesn’t have your back keep going!

I know you may want to give up (hell it’s many times I still want to give up) but you never know who’s watching you and could finally give you your big break. Next time you may actually be approved for the loan you’re trying to get. That next book you write could very well be a bestseller. Don’t give up on your dreams just because everyone else can’t see the vision you have.

You were born to stand out. Let your black excellence shine. Keep your head up and just know the next step you take just might be a major move.

P.S. If my Dad ever reads this article I just want to say thank you for being a black parent that may not always understand my dreams but still ALWAYS supports me. I know I can keep going for my dreams because you have my back. When I make it you will never work again.

*Jasmin Pierre is a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Certified Mental Health First Aid Responder, Mental Health Advocate, Motivational Speaker, Author of the self help book “A Fight Worth Finishing”, and Owner of the Recovery based service LiveHopeChange. Jasmin is constantly fighting for the rights of those who battle Mental Health Challenges.
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