African AmericansBlack AmericaBlack InterestsMoney/EconomicsMr. Free Spirit

Entrepreneurship by Mr. Free Spirit

Its raining money

Publisher’s Note:  This month Mr. Free Spirit tackles the issue of entrepreneurship.  I don’t know if he knows what he’s about to unleash with his article.  Entrepreneurship, especially in the black community has many facets.  One of the questions that Mr. Free Spirit asks is “How old must you be to be an entrepreneur?”  That is a great question.

When you take a detailed look at how black people spend their money, most people will agree that entrepreneurship is a very viable option.  If you have no idea how black people spend their money, and want to learn about how different ethnic groups spend their money click here to read an informative blog post.

The following links are just two examples of young entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their communities: (BeeSweet Lemonade)

I applaud Mr. Free Spirit for writing about entrepreneurship and I hope you enjoy his article.  As always, feel free to scroll down to the end of the page and express yourself in the form of a comment.  You can also suggest a topic for future discussion.

Gary Johnson, Publisher – Black Men In

Entrepreneurship by Mr. Free Spirit

Posted March 15, 2017

Let me start this column with two questions.

Question #1:  How old must you be to be an entrepreneur?

Answer:  Any age.

Question #2:  What is an entrepreneur?

Answer:  a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with a considerable initiative and risk.

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire, and the people who do so are called ‘entrepreneurs’.

It has also been defined as the “…capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”  While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of businesses have to close, due to a “…lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis — or a combination of all of these” or due to lack of market demand.  In the 2000s, the definition of “entrepreneurship” has been expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth.

Recent advances stress the fundamentally uncertain nature of the entrepreneurial process, because although opportunities exist their existence cannot be discovered or identified prior to their actualization into profits.  What appears as a real opportunity might actually be a non-opportunity, or one that cannot be actualized by entrepreneurs lacking the necessary business skills, financial or social capital.

OK, let’s break it down; first age is not a factor.  You can be 9 years or 90 years old to venture into the world of independence.  At the age of 9 years you may shovel snow, cut grass or do odd jobs for the people on the block.  Once you retire from your 9 to 5 job, you may not want to sit around with nothing to do, and you want to do something light.  You have a talent, use it.

Start a company!  Doing something of which you have knowledge and you think it’s fun, is not guarantee for success.  We all have a talent of sorts, maybe it was your hobby when you had a job and you found it relaxing.

I found a company that picks up your clothes and takes them to the cleaners and returns them a week later.  They started with 5 customers and now have 700 customers.  This is a legitimate business.

I met a man that did home remolding in Iowa.  He is now the local handyman and he takes the jobs he wants and turns down others.  He only takes cash (no money trail to the IRS).

I also found a lady who was a volunteer at the local hospital.  She now uses her SUV to take disabled people to their doctor and medical appointments.  Again, this went from a hobby to a business.

You have a talent, use it!

Black Men in was launched in 2001 in Gary Johnson’s basement to counter the overwhelming negative images of black men in the media with positive images of black fathers, husband, sons and friends.  Today the site reaches millions of people and has site visitors in over 92 countries.  Black Men In is fast becoming a brand in addition to being a business.

You can do something other than sitting around complaining that you have nothing to do.  You have a “Honey-Do” list.  Look at that list and get creative.  Think out the box.  Is there anything on that list that you can convert into a business?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling real “secure” right about now.  It’s no secret that the world is undergoing some big changes.  President Trump and all of the uncertainty surrounding his administration is terribly unsettling for small businesses and middle-class people and below.

And while I cannot tell you what will happen next, I can tell you this much:  “When the world is in flux, it never hurts to prepare for the future.”

One way to prepare for the future is to create an emergency fund.  Pay yourself first.  Put away some cash.  Even if you have to put away $5.00 a week, do it.  Over time you will be surprised at how much money you will have saved.

You can also create an emergency fund so that when something unexpected happens you will be prepared.

I understand that for some of you reading this article it is very hard to put money away for an emergency because you don’t have “extra” money.  I also understand that for many people your interest rates are high, which mean you are paying more money for your mortgage, your car payment and your credit cards and loans.

If you are fortunate enough to have a high credit score, your interest rates are lower because you have demonstrated that you can pay your bills on time over a sustained period of time.  To the lending institutions you are a “safe” risk.  This means that it is easier for you to find “extra” money to save for an emergency.  People with high credit scores can also refinance their debt at a lower interest rate, which again affords you the opportunity to save money.

With this political turmoil, I am reminded of a song written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.  That song is “Wake Up Everybody.”  Here are the lyrics:

Wake up everybody, no more sleepin’ in bed
No more backward thinkin’ time for thinkin’ ahead
The world has changed so very much from what it used to be
So there is so much hatred war an’ poverty

Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
‘Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
When you teach the children, teach ’em the very best you can

The world won’t get no better
If we just let it be
The world won’t get no better
We gotta change it, yeah, just you and me

Wake up all the doctors, make the ol’ people well
They’re the ones who suffer an’ who catch all the hell
But they don’t have so very long before the judgment day
So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away?

Wake up all the builders, time to build a new land
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
Surely things will work out, they do it every time

The world won’t get no better
If we just let it be
The world won’t get no better
We gotta change it, yeah, just you and me


Mr. Free Spirit Out

“It’s not the length of life…but the depth of life.”

Black Men In
Since our launch in 2001, Black Men In has evolved from a news site focusing on black men to a well-rounded social, current events and political website featuring content that people want to share and talk about.  We have thought-provoking content that aims to educate, entertain and inspire our site visitors to become good citizens and role models in their community.  Please do not use this site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law. You alone are responsible for the material you post.


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