It’s about time we do more than just check boxes and we start moving needles. We don’t wear diversity as a badge or lapel, but rather it’s our active culture. Instead of kicking the can down the road, we crush it and face it head on. It’s about time we stop treating business ownership like some exclusive club that’s only for the select few, “the elite” that have an endless cash supply, a rich relative, or win the lottery. What then is business ownership all about?
Business ownership is much like getting a driver’s license.
Business ownership is much like getting a driver’s license. You may decide never to get one out of fear of getting into a car accident, the cost of a vehicle purchase, insurance, vehicle maintenance, and not to mention the rising gas prices. Regardless of whether you obtain one or not (or do your best to delay the inevitable), you’re most certainly at minimum going to be a passenger in a vehicle to reach your destination. You may use a rideshare service, taxi, or public transportation. You would likely agree that having a general knowledge and understanding of the local traffic laws is not only a protection, but something you’ve acquired naturally by observation whether you have a driver’s license or not. It also helps you from getting lost or being taken advantage of by a taxi driver who may be trying to run up the meter.
Well business ownership is very similar. You may decide never to get into business or get a “driver’s license” for yourself out of fear of going bankrupt, startup costs, insurance, capital expenditures (CAPEX), and not to mention inflation. Regardless of whether you get into business or not, you’re most certainly at minimum going to be an employee or “passenger” in a company providing a service or “vehicle” to reach your personal financial goals or “destination”. Agreed? Well, you may work for an employee-owned (ESOP) company or “rideshare service”, private company or “taxi”, a large public corporation or “public transportation”. Do you see how nicely that ties together? This is where I insert the following…
DISCLAIMER: Just like not everyone can or should be a driver, not everyone can or should be a business owner. However, for the most part, everyone should be given the opportunity to make that decision for themselves and not feel excluded from the possibility.
Back to my analogy, you would likely agree that having a general knowledge and understanding of business best practices or “laws” is not only a protection, but something you’ve acquired naturally by observation and personal experience whether you’re a business owner or not. It’s likely helped you receive a fair wage, benefits, and protected you from getting taken advantage of. Ok, what now?
Would you like to drive?
Just like you have a choice in the type of vehicle you purchase or lease (i.e., gas, diesel, hybrid, electric), there are a variety of business models or “vehicles” that are available to a business owner or “driver”. The real question is: Would you like to drive? You may not and that’s totally ok, just like I mentioned in the disclaimer. Just know you do have the option and you shouldn’t feel automatically excluded from the possibility.
You may even choose to remain a “passenger” – while still opting into reaching your personal financial goals or “destination” in a self-driven vehicle as a passive partner – where you’re not active in the day-to-day decision-making or “driving”. However, if you would like to sit on the driver’s side, but don’t know where to start, you’re afraid, or would just like to educate and prepare yourself for success, you do have options. You don’t have to figure things out on your own by trial and error. Join a community that’s not exclusive, but rather inclusive. Of people from different backgrounds and walks of life. A community made up of experienced business owners or “drivers” that – just like you and I – don’t have an endless cash supply, a rich relative, and have not won the lottery.
What we do have are a variety of well-maintained business models or “vehicles” that can help you reach your personal financial destination. This is the reason I decided to partner with my friends and colleagues Jack Wilson and Jennifer Callender to create The J3 Collaboration Project. We’re not Sales people (no offense) that are focused on reaching a monthly quota, we’re just people that care about people. We especially care about the underserved minority communities that we are actively a part of and serve daily by providing valuable resources, tools, and education. You may be wondering, what’s this J3 Collaboration Project and community all about?
WHAT IS THE J3 COLLABORATION PROJECT?
“J3” consists of 3 independent businesspeople with a common 3-pronged passion: 1st) supporting and enabling business ownership for African-Americans, Hispanics, & Women, 2nd) advocating business ownership diversity and 3rd) making an impact in our respective communities.
J3 Core Values
- Let’s not just check boxes, let’s write checks.
- Let’s not just talk about potential, let’s provide opportunities.
- Let’s not just aspire, let’s inspire aspirations.
- Let’s not just identify the problem, let’s provide solutions.
- Let’s not just search for talent, let’s fund it instead.
- Let’s not just reach the bar, let’s set it!
- Let’s not just talk about change, but rather change what people talk about.
Co-founder of The J3 Collaboration Project