I finally started crying this morning, thankfully. I was hoping I hadn’t become too disassociated from all the trauma over so many years.
I see the lack of clarity about what underlies this moment in America. I understand, there has been intentional miseducation for many years on the topic of justice in this country.
Yes, this moment is about the murder of George Floyd. And, it is about much, much more. This moment is also about the system behind that murder. That system’s roots are the stealing and enslavement of Africans by America and the enormous inequities that persist today for their descendants.
I am one of those descendants.
Five years ago, I was called to write a book.
Because I began to reverse engineer one of the key contributing factors to the enduring inequities in our country: systemic poverty.
No, our inequity can not be solved through economics alone. Certainly, there are matters of justice, policy, and more that must be resolved. But America’s inequity issues cannot end without addressing the underlying economic problems either. The systems that perpetuate the wealth gap, anchored in slavery, are core to the inequity in America.
Economic disparities are not isolated to Black people, but Black people in America feel them the most, and because I’m Black, I understand these disparities deeply. They connect to everything. The quality of food we eat, the healthcare we receive, the influence in politics we have, and more are all in some part connected to the wealth gap.
Over the last twenty years, I’ve gone on a journey that has given me many valuable experiences and lessons about economics. I’ve distilled what I’ve learned down to the path of “ownership through entrepreneurship.”
So in this painful time, I’m grateful to share that the book I was called to write five years ago, “Create and Orchestrate“, is finished and will be in the world on June 30th. I’m a builder, and sharing this work is how I best know to help right now.
This is the hardest and most important work I’ve ever done, including putting it out right now.
Given all the givens, I am a very fortunate Black man in America.
I taught myself how to code, and led Emma Email Marketing’s technology team successfully for four years with no prior experience, earning 7% equity along the way.
I co-founded Jumpstart Foundry, which became the most active venture capital healthcare fund in the country with no prior experience, now owning just under 20% of it.
I navigated Nashville’s soccer community through the ranks to a professional franchise with no prior experience, and now am a minority owner of a Major League Soccer team.
But I started twenty years ago as a college dropout, waiting tables, living in a week-to-week motel. There wasn’t a clear path to economic mobility for someone like me.
I shed many tears and swallowed many bitter pills along the way. The wisdom I gained is hard-earned through determination, luck, a trail of mistakes, and the purpose of protecting my children.
For the last five years, I recalled that wisdom and wrote the book I wish I had to guide me. I wrote all the words. And I own it 100% because I now understand how to own my work.
Create and Orchestrate is my small offering to help make this world more equitable right now. I wrote it to share everything I learned for two decades in the many rooms where I was often the only person who looked like me. We have to demystify entrepreneurship and send more well-equipped heroes into the world. I couldn’t be more grateful to share it at this epic moment in our collective story.
I hope you’ll accept my intent to be part of the solution and help me get it out to the world on June 30th.
Humbly, with sorrow, determination, and hope,