“I’m not black, I’m O.J. … Okay”
From the opening line of Jay-Z’s new single “Story of O.J.” you already feel like Hov is about to teach you a lesson. What you would think from the title to be another track named after a prominent figure like Rosa Parks, Barry Bonds, and even Jay-Z’s own Tom Ford, turns to be a hip-hop masterclass on financial investment. He says,
“I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was DUMBO
For like 2 million
That same building today is worth 25 million
Guess how I’m feelin’? Dumbo”
Not many of us have even had 2 million on hand to purchase a place in DUMBO (Down Below the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) , but we have all had that gut wrenching feeling of missed opportunity. I should have invested in… I should have asked her out when… Our minds love to think about the possibilities one decision could have made in our lives for better or for worse.
If we take a moment to think a few years ahead, what opportunities will we look back on with acute criticism, and how can we position ourselves to make the best decision now? I can’t speak for everyone but to say the least, black people in the United States should be on high alert. We have opposition socially, politically, economically, in our education systems, and to the very social fabric of the black family via the prison system. It would be foolish of us to believe that all of these things will be rectified completely on our life time, therefore we should be mindful of adjustments that we may can make in our own lives to prevent these negative systematic issues from consuming our lives.
Create your own opportunities.
It reminds me of a time in 2009 when I felt similar anxiety. I was living in Maryland and working for a real estate company in the middle of the housing crisis. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was also trying to work through a shitty relationship, be a leader in my local church, advance my career, etc. Straight chaos. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew something needed to be done. The universe agreed. I know this because in the midst of all of this, I was laid off from my job of 5 years… So what did I do?
I looked at my opposition as an opportunity.
A year prior I had already identified Seattle, WA as a potential location to move based on visiting and experiencing the city. Instead of allowing myself to be complacent or fearful of the situations at hand, I went all in. I sold everything I owned and couldn’t fit into my Honda CR-V. I drove 2800+ miles from Salisbury, MD to Seattle, into an apartment I had never seen. With no job.
Bar-none, one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life while being one of the most rewarding as well. Soon after my arrival I found a senior role with a biotech company that I didn’t even have on my radar, and the ball has been rolling pretty well since.
Being apart of the black community in the United States, in 2017, we have a similar opportunity. In the midst of our current adversity we should be thinking about what progress we can make in other parts of the country and world.
Seize your opportunity.
There is one thing even the poorest individuals in our communities have access to, that even the richest millionaire in China is envious of…healthcare (sike!)… a Passport from a country thats part of the Visa Waiver Program. Atlanta real estate is so cheap (relatively), what is stopping us from visiting for potential investment opportunities and relocation? There are several countries around the world like South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town), in West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana), Costa Rica, The Philippines, and many more that are not only welcoming to black people, but present great investment, business, and networking opportunities. What is stopping us from traveling to do the due diligence now to change our reality tomorrow? Very little.
But what about the cost?
My answer to that would be, What thing in life worth having, won’t cost you anything? Whether it’s time in researching options and destinations. Or, developing new skills to increase your marketability in other economies. Or honing the hidden art within the black community, saving! In order to make destiny defining decisions without hindsight holding you in contempt, we have to be willing to go beyond today’s self and current situations, to lay out a path for what we envision. If we want to make $23 million on a place in DUMBO years from now, we have to buy it at what “looks” like market value or higher now, which means we need to start saving yesterday…
And if you think I’m bougie….”I’m like, it’s fine
But I’m tryin’ to give you a million dollars worth of game for