REFLECTIONS & LESSONS LEARNED FROM NEXTOPPSOCIAL INTERVIEW W/ SHARON MADISON

LESSON #1: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS NOT SECURITY, BUT IT’S WORTH IT

Madison was transparent about the difficulties often associated with starting a business and committing to entrepreneurship. Unlike the YouTube & Instagram extravaganzas speaking to the grandeur of business ownership, Madison recalled vividly the shared family sacrifice that was required: the moving around frequently, the never being off, and having to be on 24/7. Vacations never quite being vacations. The real pressures of constantly having to evolve, grow, and develop. The challenge of repeatedly having to prove yourself, and the awareness that you’re only as good as your value proposition every single day was ever present.

LESSON #2: THEY SAY NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF ALL INVENTION & ENTREPRENEURS ARE BORN AND FORGED BY IT. BUT DEFINE LET’S NECESSITY.

Madison spoke proudly and solemnly about her grandfather’s struggle to find work. Robert James Madison was a brilliant, industrious man, and in today’s environment would have easily elevated himself and gained recognition as a renown engineer, architect, or mathematician. She believed he died of a broken heart, as he was never able to find anything above what was considered menial work (despite his advanced training and education), absent the opportunity to display or showcase his full potential.

HOW THE ACQUISITION OF THE JULIAN MADISON BUILDING CAME TO BE. A WHOLE LOT OF NO’S. PLENTY OF STUBBORN FORTITUDE AND BELIEF.

Madison drew strength from her family. Watching her parents succeed, despite being denied loans. Being shut out of business opportunities they were overqualified for. Being denied jobs. Repeatedly being denied the capital to expand into highly appraised neighborhoods and hold commercial properties. And yet, succeed anyway, informed her of what was and is possible.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH EXPERTISE & WISDOM. DON’T BE TOO PRIDEFUL TO ASK FOR HELP.

Entrepreneurship is not a game for chumps, and too much pride will certainly result in you getting your teeth knocked out. In fairness, the super-majority of us have been trained to adopt the mantra, “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” And due to much of the miseducation most of us receive, we buy into the adage that in order to succeed we have to know everything; be the expert; be more capable in every way, and in everything in.

HARD WORK, COMMITMENT, SACRIFICE, DEDICATION

PARTING THOUGHTS AND TOUGH LOVE.

THIS IS ABOUT RESULTS, NOT EXCUSES. NOT A DISCUSSION OF RIGHT OR WRONG, BUT CONSEQUENCES.

  • You have no choice but to invest (you get what you pay for) in an online social presence (with time or currency) or your business will die.
  • Get your documents in order. If you don’t have an operating agreement, contracting agreement, non-circumvent, and confidentiality agreement in your tool box, along with a host of business resources, stick a fork in your business….it’s over. What are these documents and why are they important? Read this article . And re-introduce yourself to your personal banker TODAY!
  • Excuses and complaining won’t save you. No one is coming to save you. You either make it your business to show up unannounced, learn what you need to learn, invest where you need to invest, or simply fail. This is entrepreneurship, not flag football. The market doesn’t care about your tale of woe.
  • You are an entrepreneur building in a capitalist economy. Capitalism is competition. And it doesn’t care about your hunger pains, or cries for equity. What if Jesse Owens simply resigned because the cards were stacked against him?
  • The pandemic exposed the fact that ebony business owners have a fragility problem: fragile savings habits; fragile adherence to basic business principles; fragile employment accounting tools, CRMs, marketing tools, HR tools…..
  • Too many are too busy trying to siphon money out the cash register without employing basic accounting and tax principles. The result being when opportunities present themselves (Paycheck Protection Program — Small Business Administration), too many are ill equipped to seize the opportunity .
  • If ebony men and women do not make the decision to invest in African American businesses, nothing is going to change. Remember, Malcolm & Martin, were gunned down when their commentary began to focus on economics.

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JuJuan Buford

JuJuan Buford

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I’m believe that change can occur when people are equipped with the tools to exercise agency in their lives. Entrepreneur. Writer. #catchjsbuford