I believe deeply in taking the high road; it is rarely good to lose your cool, especially in business. It’s part of what we call emotional intelligence…However, it’s not always best to walk away from a fight. There are some things worth fighting for, and for the right reasons…Historically, NAHREP has been friendly with consumer groups. We have not always agreed on everything, but I respect them and have worked hard to have a good relationship with them. But…
I am a big believer in being authentic and original…Last year, I started playing with an idea about how entrepreneurship can close the minority wealth gap in America. I floated an audacious idea that the wealth gap poses an existential threat to America’s leadership in the world economy. That was an attention-getter! To develop my thesis on how to close the wealth gap, I thought about my observations in the housing industry. I realized that…
We all have our own idea of what makes a successful career. For some, it is owning a profitable business, for others it might be the stability and prestige of a high-paying profession. However, for most people, success is some combination of earning a high income while preserving the freedom to enjoy it. Unlike some people, I enjoy the process. I like the early stages of a new venture, even more than after it becomes an actual business. I am not however an adrenaline junkie. I am not willing to risk everything to pursue my next idea. I am my best when my business is doing well enough that I have the time and the means to pursue a passion project and a moonshot.
Problems aren’t fun. Because of this, most people run away from problems rather than confronting them. The ability to deal with problems and stressful situations is a key component of strong leadership…one of the reasons NAHREP is one of the most successful business organizations in America is that many years ago…
In the movie Wall Street, Bud Fox’s goal was to work with a big fish like Gordon Gekko. Fox gets his wish, but it almost destroys him. Still, almost everyone wants to work with partners and customers who are wealthier and more successful than themselves.
We live in a society where people acquire strong opinions with only soundbites of information. Critics of affirmative action characterize it as a policy that allowed colleges to admit students of color who were undeserving and unqualified. However, the data showed that everyone who is admitted to Harvard meets the academic criteria.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.
We live in a capitalistic society. Economics drives everything. We work hard and we have more money to provide for our families and do the things we want. But what actually makes us happy? Some of us spend our lives looking for that answer and never find it. Some look for it in church, others pay life coaches, and some think the more money they have the happier they will be.
I teach my kids that they can do anything if they put their minds to it and do the work. I also teach them that life isn’t always fair, but you can’t let that deter you. I think we all try to teach our kids the value of grit and hard work. For most people, success is about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors said “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”. The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.” A few days later the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out “Your horse has returned and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” and the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”