Bonus Blog – Declaration of Independence

So during last week’s episode of the show, The Porch Reloaded with Brandt Edwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jerrod Johnson, Founder and CEO of Bajree Couture. Through the course of our conversation we discussed the formation of his company, the necessary steps taken to make his dreams come true and Black entrepreneurship. There weren’t any groundbreaking discoveries made to change the way business is conducted; no innovations revealed that couldn’t be found at a seminar hosted by your favorite personality; it was real, genuine, authentic dialogue held between two (2) individuals discussing the differences in being self-sufficient as opposed to a “wage slave.” He pointed out that in the Black community children are taught at an early age to attend school, graduate and pursue a career in the workforce. There’s no incentive reinforced by the elder generations to own a business or stray off the beaten path. Mr. Johnson reflected back on the career of his father, stating that while growing up his dad held a high ranking, prestigious position in the Miami-Dade County Public School System earning an exceptional salary. He relayed that his father would frequently come home disconcerted at the end of the work day and at the time he couldn’t understand why that would be the case. The explanation was simple; it doesn’t matter the dollar amount being earned or the title that precedes your name before it’s spoken, as long as you’re employed by someone and aren’t in control of your own destiny, you’ll forever be a slave. Although I had heard this before, I couldn’t help but be taken aback because the lesson was all too familiar. He then punctuated the conversation by asking the listeners this question: “Who do you know that has gotten rich by working at their job every day?” Now everyone has their own interpretation of wealth, but for me I would define it by being debt free, have a Trust (Trust Fund) to past to future generations that accounts for residual income, owning their home (homes) with no mortgage, travel to and fro without the worry of the cost of expenses, etc. Not amassing a fortune like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Bill Gates, but the ability to live comfortably and have no pressure on their money despite any circumstance. Go down the list of your family members, peers, co-workers. I can honestly say I don’t know any. There are always exceptions; stories frequently emerge where someone invested wisely and turned their meager salary into a half a million dollar nest egg. But for the most part, many of the people I know are one paycheck away from poverty. That’s crazy!!! Furthermore, Mr. Johnson stated that anytime you’re employed by someone, you’re dependent upon them for your livelihood. If you’re fired, laid off or experience some unforeseeable life circumstance, your income is essentially cut off. In which case, most people don’t have a “Plan B” and are reliant on family members or credit cards to maintain their standard of living; or spiral into an abyss of debt, dissatisfaction and depression. What he continued to reiterate was, if you have confidence in yourself and believe in GOD (or whatever deity), why are you dependent on anyone other than yourself to feed your family and earn a comparable wage. And though it makes sense, many people weigh the factors of “Risk/Reward” and are scared to test the boundaries of their convictions. Failure is deflating; and when you involve money, the odds of people being willing to gamble on themselves in the pursuit of independence are greatly reduced. For some, it’s a matter of semantics; making a daily salary, long hours, ebbs and flows, gratification upon achieving success versus stability, pension, and health care. The choice appears obvious but there’s something to paving your own way and having something which is solely yours that you established that’s appealing. At the close, we both agreed that children should be encouraged to pursue the possibility of entrepreneurship and not directed to join the rigors of the workforce; be another replaceable cog in the wheel of industry. “If you don’t build your dreams someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskins “We Are The Change!” I’m gone! (b)

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One thought on “Bonus Blog – Declaration of Independence”

  1. This hit home. It’s been so many times my friends and I considered starting a business. Since college, but self doubt always got the best of us. Great read bruh

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