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Black Lives Matter

This episode has nothing to do with business but everything to do with business. Join me as I talk about what happened when I decided to get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Big Ideas

The Black Lives movement is important. And I almost didn’t get involved because I was scared. I was processing everything, because I myself, have a black son.

And part of that meant that I had to get clear on what this moment in time meant, not just for me and my business, but more importantly, for my son and his future. What I realized as I began educating myself and deepening my knowledge, is that I’m only at the very beginning of this journey. I discovered that I didn’t really know anything. And for a couple of days it had me frozen. It had me frozen because I was so scared of what to say and how to say it.

My guess is that there are many people in my audience who similarly want to do something but are either scared of the backlash, scared of not knowing what to do, or scared of doing the wrong thing. And I just want you to know that I totally get what you’re thinking and feeling. And I want to extend my support to you by educating you on my journey thus far.

Today , I want to share the three reasons why I decided to get involved…

Values/Purpose [08:00]

At the end of the day, this was deep rooted in my values and my purpose. And I think as business owners, we have to get clear on our values, our beliefs, and the things that we stand for. Ironically, one of the very first lessons that we teach in TRIBE, is this very thing.

But here’s the difference. Once you get clear on your values, your beliefs and the things that you stand for, you actually have to stand for them. This can’t be something that you speak up about when it’s convenient and easy. When you are deeply rooted in your values and your beliefs, you have to stand for those things; when it’s hard, when it’s inconvenient, and when there very likely will be something that you’re potentially risking.

This is why I am talking to you right now. This is why I’m leading discussions in our community. This is why I’m sharing this. Because for me, this matters. This is what I stand for. This is what I believe in. I want to see a better future for my son. I want him growing up where he can walk the streets of America or anywhere in the world and not have to worry. I want him to be able to be who he is, how he is, doing the things that he wants to do, without ever having to be concerned about changing any of those things because of the color of his skin.

Deeper Understanding = Serving at a Higher Level [10:49]

The second reason I decided to get involved in a more proactive way was because I realized the further I deepen my understanding of the hardship and the hurt, and the challenges that so many people have been experiencing, the higher level I can serve my audience.

So, if you truly care about your people and your audience, you have to understand them and get clarity about who they are and what they’re struggling with, including the challenges they face at a deep level.

I want to be there for my audience and I want to help them, but I can’t help them at the highest level if I don’t know them or understand what they’re facing. And what I can tell you is that because of the color of my skin being white, my path to success has been made easier. I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am. But because I’m white, and because I’m male, that road has been made that much easier. I’m not naive to that fact. But I was completely naive to the extent upon which those challenges are real, and what our black friends are experiencing day in and day out. And so for me, this was about deepening my understanding of the reality of the situation so I can serve and help in the best possible way.

Personal Growth [14:49]

The third reason that I got involved was because this is about personal growth. And I’ll just be frank with you. This has been hard, but it’s nowhere near as hard as the challenges that the black community have faced for such a long time. This is complex, but to grow and change means you have to face the reality of what is. I want to become a better human being and this is part of that journey.

I learned a lot in a very short period of time and oh my goodness, I have so much more to learn on this subject matter. But it’s forced me to look at some real hard things. And it’s forced me to grow in ways that I was completely unaware needed growth. For instance, when I look at my team, there’s not a lot of diversity there at all. And so, I need to learn how to develop a more diverse applicant pool for job postings.

This is about deepening my knowledge of what’s going on from a cultural competence to being more active, more intentional, understanding and playing the role of not just not being racist, but anti-racist, and understanding what that really means.

This is about deepening my knowledge and understanding of words and language that unconsciously, is perpetuating the problem. And the only way to raise it from a subconscious level to a conscious understanding, is by educating yourself. When you educate yourself, it’s like an awakening. Your eyes get opened to the reality of the situation.

I am very much at the very early stages of my journey in all of this, but this is part of that personal growth. Just in the last week, I’ve taken huge leaps forward in my ability to understand people at a deeper level and to be able to move toward a better future. Not just for me, not just for the black community, but most importantly for my son.

3 Things I Would Have Done Differently [19:46]

I want to give you three things that I would have done differently…

After having gone through this, I would have gotten educated earlier. You know, this is not a new problem. I truly wish I would have gotten educated earlier, so that I could have been more proactive about things. But look, when’s the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. When’s the next best time? Right now. The same is true for you and I. When was the best time to get educated about this? Decades ago. When’s the next best time? Right now! And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Number two is that I would have talked to my business partners and my team about what I was about to do. Because as I mentioned, I was processing all of this, and decided to post in the community that I was going to lead this discussion, and then everything started happening from there. But what I wished I had done was talked to my business partners and my team before I had made that post. It’s not that they don’t support me, because they 110% do. But when you do something like this, there is going to be an impact on the business in some way. And so I do wish that I would have taken time beforehand to just talk about it with my team.

The third thing that I wish I would have done differently is to have developed a proper game plan on how I could best go through this journey with my audience. I would have developed a better game plan with my team on how we could really amplify the message and the movement with the platform that we have.

Closing Comments

All right, my friends, what’s going to be your next step? If you want to serve your people at the highest level, you have to deepen your understanding of what is going on right now and how you are likely contributing to the problem without even knowing it.

My advice is to begin opening your mind and to begin raising awareness. You can join me by amplifying the voices of the black community, incorporating more diversity in what it is that you do, and donating and contributing to the movement.

For more educational information, check out the links in the resources section below!

Memorable Quote

When the time is called, you need to stand by your values, even when it’s hard, even when there is something at risk.” – Stu McLaren

How to Create Diversity Within Your Online Business

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