You know what I find so funny?
The percentages of black and latinxs in tech as well as entrepreneurship. Literally, when I see these numbers I have to laugh at how low they are.
Why? Because this is a false representation of the black and latinx community. If you go to Caribbean islands, African, Latin American countries literally almost EVERYONE is an entrepreneur.
Creating is in our blood, entrepreneurship is in our blood, HUSTLE is in our blood.
Over the years America has conditioned black/latinx entrepreneurs to think they should chase the "American Dream" aka get a great job (instead of creating a great job), buy a nice home and live well. And all the individuals who went back to their entrepreneurial roots ...well we know how that ended. Black wall street, Durham enclave, the war on immigrants who start businesses and much more.
Entrepreneurship is back on the rise in Black and Latinx communities. But how do we make sure it stays that way?
1.By offering support to those who choose to take a leap of faith. Support can be monetary but it doesn't have to be. If you see someone trying to get their hustle on? Offer to do their hair, offer to give them a car ride to pitch, offer them a meal, offer them a shoulder to cry on when things aren't going so well. These simple things count as support.
2.Creating safe spaces to talk and share ideas. Our brains can trap us with ideas, concepts, failures and accomplishments. Having meetup groups, mastermind groups, and friend circles that just allow you to feel comfortable when gather and share goes a long way.
3. Promote without being asked to. If your entrepreneurial niece has an e-commerce business, well share , retweet, repost, and everything when she shares online. This small act will show that you care and again that you want to support.
These simple things will keep the numbers of blacks and latinxs in tech and Entrepreneurship on the rise.
Let's make the stats reflect the truth!
We were all at tryouts. Everyone was there. The room was completely filled with people. Some were paying more attention than others. But me, i had my head in the game. I was fully focused, making note of everything and listening.
Some people made the team, some didn't but that's normal. After all it was tryouts anyways.
I made the team and today was practice. I sorta went in the zone at practice. I gave it my all. I would go home sore and tired but i gave it everything i had. Some people couldn't handle the intensity so they started skipping practice or just not going hard in practice.
Now we had arrived at game day. There were only a very few people there, i thought to myself , didn't the roster say 7am? Where is everyone. Regardless I stretched and did a few warm ups to prepare. Time was passing and the few people I saw when I arrived were now leaving. I started to panic, is the time on my clock wrong? Did they mean 7am in a different time zone and I missed the race? None the less I figured for the fun of it , I would still go to the starting line.
I got in position, and I heard the start gun go off. I immediately started running, fast bust steady so i wouldn't burn out before the race was over. I ran and ran and ran. Then i stopped for a moment and looked back and realized something that blue me out of the water.
People we just arriving to game day, people were just now starting to stretch, they were just getting here.
I was early, I was ahead of everyone else and all this time I thought I was late!
When you work hard, get in the zone and do what you have to you will leave others behind. You will sometimes feel like you are the one behind until you look around and see that you are actually Ahead.
Quote to take with you today -- Dont limit your challenges, challenge your limits!
A month ago, on September 12th I got the pleasure of attending the very first Ulster County Tech and Entrepreneurship Tour. I know you may be thinking.. What the heck is that!?
Well Ulster county is a county in upstate New York. Still confused? Well think of Apple Picking, fresh air and mountains.
As apart of a community initiative the Ulster County Executive office curated a Tech and Entrepreneurship centered tour for NYC residents to get a chance to see what Ulster County has to offer. When I first heard about the tour I was a bit skeptical. In my head only the city had a booming tech and entrepreneurship community. Anytime I thought of upstate New York I instantly thought about a more rural kind of lifestyle where Tech was used but wasn't priority. My gosh was I wrong! The tour stole my heart and had me ready to move to Ulster County the very next day!
Here's a Run down of the amazing adventure that took place that day:
I never win anything and on October 2nd I got an email from Gary Sharma letting me know that I had won tickets to Savor the Success' Rock the World Conference.
Thanks Gary! ( Learn more about Gary at Garysguide and apply to win event tickets)
This day long conference was just Magical. Savor the Success is a membership based support Network for Women professionals. With over 100 trailblazing women in the room I got the opportunity to hear some great advice, insights and life lessons on being a woman.
As a mom and a business woman it’s hard to balance both my personal and professional schedules. I get invited to events all the time in which I want to attend but then the issue of childcare arises. I have to find a sitter, then calculate how long I will be out, pack and prepare my son to go to the sitter and so many other details. Just planning out who will be his temporary care giver while I am out is a whole new job and quite frankly a very time consuming process. Then the issue of picking him up and heading home after events was a whole new dilemma especially living in New Jersey and commuting to New York. Then I came up with a simple and pretty obvious solution. This solution was to BYOB (Bring our Own Baby) when attending events. For the last few months I have been bringing my son along with me to all sorts of events. Networking, Tech Meetups, Demo nights, Mastermind Groups, Conferences and more.
Here are 10 Reason why you should also BYOB:
Everyone will remember you
Every time I bring my son to an event people automatically attract to me. Well actually they come for him to compliment him and play with him. I have even had people come up to me at different events to say "Hey I saw you at this other event, I remember you because of the baby"
You will have more time to network
When I use to get a sitter I would have to time out my entire agenda to make sure I had enough time to drop my son off, get to the event on time, attend the event, meet people, transport back to the sitter, get my son, then transport home. Imagine how annoying it would be when public transportation would experience delays
Your schedule becomes more flexible
Having my son with me the whole time cuts down all the running around I have to do and also allows me to maybe chat a few more minutes after an event. Just now I have a lot more times on my hand to work with
Exposing your kids to the world of what you do
a majority of the events I attend are Tech or Entrepreneurship focused. Although my son is only 3 this gives him an introduction to this space. For example at the NYTM there is a boy that attends with his mom every month. I believe he is 9 years old and has been attending for years now. This 9 year old is always asking very interactive and well thought out questions. I am sure that this experience and exposure will work 100% to his advantage in the future
helping to merge mom into work culture
Parenthood is becoming more of a norm in work culture. With more and more companies allowing longer maternity/paternity leaves, having flexible work hours for parents, daycare's at the place of work and much more. BYOB to networking events shows that there doesn't have to be such a thick barrier between family obligations and work obligations
helps you to stay focused
when you know that you have to run and grab your child after an event your mind tends to float. Being in the same place just focuses your mind
I would stress over "Is my son okay?", "How long will the train take?”, "Will I get home in time?" Just many things would add to the stress factor.
More mommy & Me Time.
When you are away from your child all day 9am-5pm then you are away 6pm-10pm how many hours are you getting to have Mommy & Me time with your little one? Having your baby along will help you gain back those mommy and me hours
Your kid will love it.
My son is all about networking. He hones in all the emotions as the rest of the crowd he claps, laughs and interacts just like everyone else.
You will have more fun
Having my son at events is a great ice breaker. Kids don't worry about putting on poker faces till they warm up. Their personalities just radiate around the room. Him being around allows me to just be myself and happy the way he is
Disclaimer: I am not saying that all moms should just start bringing their babies to events. That could get a little crazy. I am just showing parents that they have an option to gain more flexibility in their schedules so they don't have to overly separate work and family. Of course if you have the support of another parent or family/friends that have the time to help you out by all means have them watch over your little one while you go out. But for families who don't have much support this is a great option.
P.S my son started to go to events with me at 3yrs old. Every child is different. You know if your child can handle sitting down for a 1 or 2hrs at an event vs if they get irritated easily. Bringing your child to an event isn't for everyone.
Yes you did indeed read that title correctly. I am an ordained minister. More specifically I am a wedding officiant. Why did I become a wedding officiant? Well I don’t have just one reason I have 10 and they are:
I usually try my best to stay out of these trending topics on social media. But this one sort of hit a nerve. Pretty hard actually.
You probably heard about Kiran Gandhi who Free bleed (let her period bleed freely without a pad, tampon or any other menstrual catching device) in a London Marathon. This story has been trending over the weekend in the Huffington Post, People magazine, Cosmopolitan and many other media sites.
What’s my problem with this? Well I have many problems with the coverage:
1. The marathon was ran back in April this year (2015)
2. People are calling her a crazy feminist
3. The terrible and disrespectful comments people are directing towards Kiran
I follow the HMC (Hot Moms Club via Facebook) and today they shared their own article on Kiran. I clicked the post and the comments that WOMEN were leaving were plain and simple bullying. Some comments below:
I am in a women’s group called Dreamers and Doers and guess what… Kiran alongside over 2500 other badass women are in that group. I think of these women as my friends or better yet as my sisters. When I saw all the negative chatter and bashing against Kiran I had to jump online and fight back for her!
Yea I’m not going to act like I am some super feminist or something. When I first saw the posts about free bleeding I was totally confused as to why would women choose to bleed on themselves when there are currently so many options! But I didn’t just jump to leave ignorant comments and opinions. I went to google and simply searched “Free Bleeding” I received loads of information as to why women do it, where it started, and much more valuable information. I also read Kiran’s original post on what led her to free bleed through the Marathon.
After exposing myself to all that knowledge on free bleeding, I can now give my honest and educated opinion. Which is:
What Kiran did was super brave and she shouldn’t be bashed for it. The bashing she has received in the media is exactly why more women should free bleed. Periods have been around FOREVER! Yet people get freaked out to see a woman bleed on herself. Why must she hide and feel ashamed or disgusting because she is experiencing something that she has no control of? Let’s start talking about period’s not laughing and shaming women for having them.
Kiran is a Badass and deserves nothing but cheers. Which she received from her fellow Dreamers and Doer sisters (photo below)
If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all. Do not cyber bully others because you are ignorant to their situation!
** DROPS MIC ... EXITS STAGE LEFT**
As a young black mother in Entrepreneurship things get though. I created this blog #ShesABadass so I can have a place to share these experiences. You will learn all about the trials and tribulations of being a woman, young, black and mom in tech/entrepreneurship (some my own experiences and some experiences are from other women). These experiences are generally fun, exciting and I learn a lot but some can be lonely and depressing.
Along with this blog series I will be conducting a brunch series targeted towards 14-24 year old women in tech/entrepreneurship. I know personally those were my hardest years being a girl who preferred to write business plans than worry about partying. And I was deemed "Tom boy" for not only my simplistic style of dressing but for my interest in tech and entrepreneurship.
Don’t worry ladies! You aren’t in this alone! And always remember #ShesABadass (AKA YOU!)