Getting rich can be hard work. Getting comfortable is even harder. This being Black History Month, I think we need to use this time and space as a teaching moment. Below are needed lessons Black people should be asking and answering...
1) The value of family
2) The value of a family business
3) The value of having a goal for the family
4) How each family member fulfi lls his/her passion in the family setting
5) Becoming financially independent as a family unit
6) Marriage, children and the family residence
The value of a family question we must answer first is what type of family? Gang members consider themselves a family. Their purpose is to gain as much power and wealth as possible, as soon as possible. The wealth can be legal or illegal.
A traditional family of my generation is composed of a husband, wife and a child or children. Their traditional goal is to perpetuate themselves. They, therefore, take on a family name, a home, goals and expenses. It takes on the family values and acts in the alleged best interest of the family. While there is nothing complicated about this. It can be when one of the family members begins to stray onto their own path, breaking the family goals and path.
One family goal can be as specifi c as making sure one member becomes a public offi ce holder, a preacher or pastor, a school teacher, principal or headmaster, or any number of professions. A goal may be as simple as making sure all family members graduate from college. Whatever the goal, a family must all be committed to it. A goal for an African American family may mean they would all complete college and become teachers, scientists or dentists or doctors. Some families are public service worker, where dad, mom, son or daughter are police offi cers or fi re fi ghters. When a family has a single goal, each are obigated to assist each achieve their goal. Success is more likely than not.
A family goal may seem like everyone could not fulfi ll his/her goal however it can be done. If, for example, everyone wanted to enter the dental fi eld, one could become a technician and make crowns. While another does extractions. Or one may become an X-ray Technician while another could make prosthesis or become a lab technician. Everyone could fulfill his passion and gain success in his/ her chosen field.
Becoming financially independent can be accomplished with each contributing to a fi nancial pot like paying an agreed tithing amount. By making this a group practice, the pot could eventually pay an amount into a “community pot for a share or two of stock in your own company or corporation. It can work. Ask Kaiser or Marriott or One United Bank. It’s not magic. It takes dedication, commitment, patience, persistence and resilience, as each member of the family looks forward to their turn to receive the funds from the pot to start their business.
A family business serves multiple purposes. It provides a training ground for young people. They get to work in the family business, while learning with less pressure than they would if they were in the corporate world. They are also
d-facto bosses, therefore, learning leadership skills.
Marriage, children, and the family residence are all things to be considered as you start a family business, and even more important at time of transition .If your child marries someone who has no interest in the family business or doesn’t want to allow their family and spouse to take part, you’ll have a problem. Consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to place that person in the proper position so there will be no threat or loss to the family.
Children can pose a particular problem with a family business. They often played no part in the business when they were children and want no part of it after they have grown up and it is their turn to step up and assume control. Get your family lawyer involved before it’s too late. You want a trust to protect the rights to all the family has built up. Soon enough that child will later realize the value of the asset.
Be patient and keep control until that sibling is regularly contributing to the pot.