An Open letter on Mental Health in Black Entrepreneurship and the trials of Ambition

“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it. ~Russell Wilson

I sold 900 books on Amazon from the years 2011- 2018. To me that was an incredible accomplishment given the nature and circumstances that were surrounding my life in that stretch of time including the loss of my father in 2014. Although, I fought long and hard to expand that business; I was never able to put together the mustard to sell even more books. Would I be considered a failure or success by most standards? It depends on who you asks. I closed the amazon store and moved on no harm no foul. Now, that I look back on those experiences what was those moment suppose to validate for me? Did selling 900 books on amazon make me an entrepreneur or just a side hustler?

Why wasn’t I able to leverage those experiences into an even bigger opportunity? Or did I confuse that process with what I was supposed to learn about myself and create this false sense of success that removes me from seeing my blind spots? What is it about Entrepreneurship that creates such friction in the mental development of African Americans? What’s the bigger picture that we are missing when it comes to our wealth journey; and how we are supposed to view success. While I used Kanye West as a symbolic gesture that doesn’t mean this post is intended to bash or degrade his mental aptitude. It’s no secret that Kayne West is very brilliant, outspoken, brash, weird and totally in this own Yezzy Planet.

The thought process really spoke to the suffering we entrepreneurs do in silence; without the wherewithal and address the deeper social and psychological impediments that inhibit our progression. If you truly look at Kayne West is like a Black Albert Einstein who married a playboy model. It’s very weird, obtrusive and may not make sense. Yet, it exists to confront our stereotypical notions of what success on one hand and what mental health on the other can look like if no balance exists to confront the drama that comes with both sides of the equation.

I am no mental health professional and don’t claim have mental health down to a science, so I am not here to even suggest that it’s a mental health issue at all outside of Kayne claiming that he suffers from bipolar. The mental makeup of black entrepreneurs can very perplexing. For the ones like Kayne who isn’t afraid to tread the fence of genius/insanity; a new type of creature begins to emerge. I am still baffled that his behavior makes the news. I get that he is Kayne West yet somehow people act like he is not part of the K clan. That alone can crush those who can’t align to their global dominance. No shade on the K clan and God Bless their success but nothing just happens. Let that sink in for a moment.

Regardless of color the path of entrepreneurship is fraught with many challenges that will come along what I like to call this wealth journey. Although, we like to sanction off and categorize mental health into color coded boxes of race types, it truly plays a big role in the way any entrepreneur processes life. Personally, as a black entrepreneur I am not afraid to say child abuse was prevalent in our culture and or that generational curses tend to shadow the destiny for many of us until we break the chains. In trying to come to grips as to what a black entrepreneur and you are supposed to balance the equation, realize that you are wired totally different from any other group or rational of people.

You think different. Your perspective of the world is different. Professionally you aren’t up to burning bridges or ruining the good name that God gave you. Yet, you must utilize the public persona of Kayne to understand how difficult it truly is to reside in the upper echelons of life not having been bought by corporate interest. I am not sure what type of “Entanglements” no pun intended that Kayne West is part of. All we can do is pray for him and wish him and his family all the best.

It’s lonely at the top and the next time you want that new Bentley, house, jet, rolls Royce or anything of the like remember that it comes with a cost; and one for which you may not be willing to pay. Stay the course and take every experience and learn to become a better thinker in your profession. The behavioral health of the black entrepreneur is important but that notion of being your own boss comes with hurdles and stumbling blocks. Even 50 cents got shot 9 times. Can you be trusted with money or will you lose your mind to the public pressure of conformity in the era of a non-conforming presidential leader? Covid19 is real and so is mental health. Learn to balance the equation.  

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