It has been a minute. I’ve missed it. Writing this blog is like journaling for me. It is healing. Healing is something I need at the moment.
- Firstly, why did I disappear? Because I was locked in on my mission of creating Black Millionaires. I am glad to report that eight talented Black individuals are on their way to becoming millionaires. I can not articulate how much energy I got back talking to the squad every 2 weeks. And this is the beginning of the journey only. I was busy because we do not only want to impact people 4 by 4. We want to build a system to mentor people at scale. We are talking NFTs to grant access, on-demand videos, special guests, etc… All this is possible because of a new business partner.
- Secondly, why do I need healing? Because I am exposed to new situations, and I approach them differently. I am focusing on my mental freedom. People typically would call this being selfish. I dislike that term. It sounds negative. Mental freedom is like financial freedom to me. People who are not on that journey do not understand. I want financial independence to be free to use my time as I see fit. To make the most of my freedom, I am noticing that I need mental freedom. What is the point of having options if you choose the one that someone else chose for you?
- So, what is the problem? I am focusing on what I need first and foremost. No longer on what other people expect or demand from me. This is allowing me to grow. But that growth is coming at a cost. Let me explain using the example I heard from Snoop Dogg. “As you grow, you lose certain homies; it is called closing the gap” He then shows, using his hands, that the gap at the beginning between him and his friends was small. But then he shows that the gap widens as one grows and the other stays in the same place. So how do you close the gap? You come back down. But when you do, you lose. So you must keep going up, and they have to come up with you. “If they can not catch up, you have to leave them behind. You can not look back. If they were meant to be there, they would be there.”
You get the point, even if I find the message a bit extreme. A few additions because I’m not too fond of the idea that one person is better than another. So my good friend Phalakone helped me find another comparison many of us can relate to. We all had friends when we were like ten years old. Maybe we all liked playing basketball. Fast forward 8 years later, 1 may have the scholarship to play in a top university in the US, 1 may have switched to Volleyball, and 4 play just for fun on the weekend and have started together a promising startup. I like this example because no one is better than anyone. It is simply people going on different paths. It also shows that if the best basketball player follows his passion, he can not bring the people who started with him. And it is ok because the others also have great things going on if they follow their passions.
If I recap, I see three options:
- I stop growing. I maintain the status quo, which will maintain existing relationships
- I grow in line with what others are expecting from me. In this case, I do not only maintain relationships; I fuel them. Some people are likely to like me even more because my growth means that they grow too
- I grow based on who I am. Some people will prefer the status quo, and I need to “close the gap.”
For most of my life, I chose option 2. It looked like the best option out of the 3. And it is very much aligned with the culture I was brought up in, what I saw in Hollywood movies, and the lyrics of my favorite rap songs. When I spoke with Miriam about trauma, more specifically in the Black community, I understood there was another option.
Grow based on who I am and build new relationships. It is so hard for me even to write this. It is so against my nature. Loyalty was key where I grew up. Having a squad was essential to safety and entertainment. I have known some of my friends for more than 35 years! There is a strong bond. One I want to keep forever. Others that I needed to cut. Some ties were easier to cut. BLM, Asian Hate, and LGBTQ+ helped me weed out people fast. For others, it was slower. I hesitated to cut people who helped me ten years ago, even though since then, they did not bring much to my life, and I probably did not bring much to theirs either.
Instead of hoping for a glorious past to come back, why not celebrate the past for what it was and create space for new relationships? The single way that I built powerful connections was with my mission of “creating Black millionaires.” By being clear on my goal, I attracted many like-minded individuals. And what I love even more is that these people are so different from each other, which brings a ton of learning. And we still get along because we have a common goal. Does it sound transactional? I could see why. But it does not feel like this to me, probably because my mission is not transactional. And people connecting to it are also not superficial.