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In Case You Forgot, You Have Something To Say

In the spirit of celebrating independence. May I speak Independently? Happy 4th of July! 

Navigating the various seasons of life has taught me more about myself than any textbook or business venture ever could. As I get older, I'm discovering the ebbs and flows of my voice—moments when I'm clear and passionate about my convictions, and times when I retreat into silence.

 The first five or six years of my journey as a full-time entrepreneur were largely silent. I was focused on building my firm and selling, leaving little room for anything else. This period wasn't just about laying the foundation of VSNWKS; it was about understanding the silent strength required to build something from nothing.

A pivotal moment of change came after the loss of my grandad one year ago. Grieving his death over the past 12 months forced me to reimagine my life not just as an entrepreneur, but as someone no longer tied to the demanding role of caregiver. My days no longer revolved around home health aides, doctors' appointments, and relieving my mom of her full-time caregiving duties.

Last August, in the depths of grief and feeling disheartened with my business, I attended the 123rd National Black Business Conference presented by the National Alliance for Black Business. It was a decision made on a whim, spurred by a free ticket and a desperate need for inspiration. At the conference, I attended a workshop by Jice Johnson on creating institutions of change through our businesses. Her words opened my mind to new possibilities and sparked a resurgence of passion within me. I felt my spirit awaken, my baby leap, signaling the end of my season of silence.

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, the power of your voice as a founder cannot be overstated. Beyond the mechanics of running a business, your role encompasses being a beacon of truth and a catalyst for change. Whether it's about industry insights, the broader business landscape, or lessons from your personal journey, your words carry weight and can drive significant impact.

As founders, we have a unique vantage point. We see the intricacies of our industry, the challenges and opportunities that others might miss. Speaking out about these observations can shed light on important issues, spark innovation, and drive the entire industry forward. Your voice can bring attention to unaddressed problems and inspire collective action toward solutions.

To be clear we a living in an age of misinformation and conflicting messages are rampant, your clarity and authenticity are invaluable. The ability to distinguish facts from fraudulent truths is becoming increasingly challenging. This makes it even more critical for you to use your platform to share accurate, thoughtful, and constructive messages. Your voice can be a trusted source of truth and a counterbalance to the noise.

Remember that conference I went to last year? Fast forward to today, and I find myself working with a dynamic group of leaders planing the next generation of programming for the same conference that was instrumental in resuscitating me as a business leader. The experience helped me reimagine how I could use my business ventures to drive meaningful impact in my community. I realized I didn't have to hide these efforts; I could scream them from the rooftops.

I am developing my voice around economic development, social justice, civic engagement, philanthropy, and real impact for Black folks through entrepreneurship. My journey has come full circle, from a period of silence to finding and amplifying my voice for the causes that matter most.

So what am I saying in all this? Your influence extends beyond your immediate business operations. You have the power to shape opinions, influence decisions, and drive societal change. Use your platform to advocate for ethical practices, inclusive growth, and sustainable development. Your voice can help build a business landscape that is not only profitable but also just and equitable.

Never underestimate the importance of speaking up. As a founder, your voice is a powerful tool for empowerment and positive change. Use it to challenge the status quo, to enlighten and inspire, and to foster a world where truth and integrity prevail. Your words matter—make them count.

Let’s Work Together!

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