The Top 3 Reasons I Am Always Inspired by New York City – Part 2

The Top 3 Reasons I Am Always Inspired by New York City – Part 2

This is a continuation of Part 1.

Reason Number 2: It is Where I Soared Above Academic Challenges

From negotiating my own recording contracts as a teenager to reviewing leases for my father’s parking garage business, “lawyering” is something I knew I was destined for. I will share more about my academic challenges later, but suffice it to say, due to an academic label that was placed on me years ago, I went from a student who received mostly A’s to a student who delved into a writing depression that last for more than a decade and caused me to be academically suspended not once, but twice from college all rooted in an overwhelming fear of writing.

I left academia in New York City academically suspended from college, but I returned as a New York attorney. That was no small feat.
 

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If you know anything about me personally, you know that I have overcome a tremendous amount of obstacles in this life. From the music business to academia to entrepreneurship, most of my greatest achievements were ultimately only obtained after first overcoming extreme hurdles before reaching them.

If you know me intimately, what you know for sure is that I am an unrelenting fighter. And when called upon, I can go into complete warrior mode and not retreat until the victory is won. This is by far one of my greatest qualities.
 

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Reason Number 3: The Strength of Its People

My father and I are not the only people who have gained tremendous successes in New York City. There are centuries of unbelievable stories of overcoming that make up the intricate pieces of this magnificent city. From those who ran from horrible atrocities in other parts of the world to those who were birthed here, the dreams and aspirations of millions have been born and bloomed here.

No matter what I may be going through at any given time, when I see the image of New York City and I am in its sphere, I am reenergized anew and even supersized in a way that I would just never be outside of its walls.
 


 

It is that very special feeling I take deep inside of me everywhere I go to remind myself from whence I came, and if I’ve overcome once before, I am surely destined to overcome once again.


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The Top 3 Reasons I Am Always Inspired by New York City – Part 1

The Top 3 Reasons I Am Always Inspired by New York City – Part 1

New York City literally runs through my veins. I was born to be rooted in this city. I’m not sure exactly what it is, as I think a lot of it is intangible, but there is just something about the air, the vibe and the atmosphere that tells me this is home.

From the overwhelming skyscrapers to some of the best places in the world to eat, New York City has everything that you could possibly desire. Many of my life‘s most fondest memories have been created in these streets and no matter where I may be in the world, New York City will always be home to me.

 

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From Harlem where I was born, to midtown which has been my business home for the last 20 years to the financial district, there are memories of my life all over the city.

Reason Number 1: I was birthed there in more ways than one.

Whenever I am entering Manhattan and I have the honor of seeing its full majestic view, I am always overwhelmed by the feelings of inspiration and overcoming that New York City evokes in me. The city itself and its people represent resilience. Millions have flocked to America through the gateway of the city looking and hoping for a better life for themselves and their families.

 

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I think about all of the desires, hopes and dreams that millions of people have when they show up here. And I am literally strengthened by it all. I am encouraged and I am inspired. It is the city where you can make it irregardless of where you come from and your social economic status. And there are an abundance of success stories to reflect this.

I am also encouraged by all of the entrepreneurial dreams that were birthed here. I think about my own family legacy that was started on these streets decades ago. If you saw my feature on Women on the Move, you heard my parents share a part of this story.

This is the city where my father, who could not read at the time, was able to start and build a legacy of business for himself and his family.

This is the city where he was able to go from a person parking cars in parking garages to owning parking garages all over the city and east coast. This is where he would continue his entrepreneur career by owning Chinese restaurants, convenience and retail stores as well as a variety of other businesses.

It would be in those very parking garages, all those years ago, where a little girl would spend her summers, sick days and days off from school as a cashier and get her first lessons in running a business and all of the intricate pieces of what was required to do so.

 

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Entrepreneurship does not occur without great challenges. But what New York City teaches you is when you get knocked down, you just get back up again and go harder and smarter for the next round.

This week marks 10 years that Lehman Brothers collapsed, starting the financial crisis that led into the Great Recession. The scars for many entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens still remain from that time.

I have had my share of challenges as an entrepreneur. There is no way you can be an entrepreneur for over 2 decades and not have your fair serving of them. But resiliency will win the race and that is what I am always reminded of in these New York City streets.

Check out Part 2 of this article on Friday.


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Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

What an interesting question to ask. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of American business. Small businesses are the engine of the US economy and account for the creation of the majority of new jobs in the country. Some of the greatest minds of our time are entrepreneurs. Many believe entrepreneurs are born with certain skills, abilities and characteristics that give them an advantage to succeed as an entrepreneur. Others believe absolutely not. They think that many or all of the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur can be taught. I happen to believe the answer is both.

I believe there are people that are born entrepreneurs. It’s just in their blood – their DNA. These are individuals who regardless of their environment or exposure, they were just born with the natural attributes to become a successful entrepreneur. What are those qualities you might ask? There are many, but some of the essential ones are determination, tenacity, problem-solving and creativity. You don’t have to have equal amounts of each, but you must have an abundance of the most vital ones. Those would be around endurance, perseverance and grit.

The road of entrepreneurship is not an easy one to travel, so you must have an unrelenting commitment to see it through.

 

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Even with that, I absolutely believe that you can be taught many important skills required to be a successful business owner and entrepreneur. These teachings can make an entrepreneur soar. Many of these are related to business principles and leadership.

I often think of myself when reflecting on this topic. Has my serial entrepreneurial journey come from what was already inside of me or was it developed from being raised in a home of entrepreneurs? My first jobs were working in my family businesses – parking garages and working on homes to rent. My dinner table conversations were around the stock market and what types of businesses could be created to fill the gaps in particular areas.

I certainly don’t believe that those elements in my life were meaningless. But I definitely don’t think I would have been able to do it had there not been some of the vital characteristics already inside of me to draw from, such as an undying will to persevere. Entrepreneurship can be grueling. It is not a trek for the weary. So, if you don’t possess some of these fundamental components already, you very possibly may not endure. And those are characteristics that are very difficult to teach, if they are even teachable at all.

 

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I think the best entrepreneurs are the ones that are smart enough and wise enough to know that whether you were born an entrepreneur or you developed into one the smartest and most effective entrepreneurs are those who know you must continue to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. You cannot just rest on your laurels.

Regardless of how you became an entrepreneur, if you don’t understand the critical importance of continuing to expand in that role, you will be doomed to run into tremendous challenges, setbacks and often defeats as a result of you simply being left behind. You will be at a huge disadvantage, because the world, including business, continues to evolve.

If you are not willing to keep up and expand your mind, you will essentially remove yourself completely from the entrepreneurship lane.

 

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Which do you think? Are entrepreneurs born or are they made?

I can’t wait to read your comments!


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The Misconception of Failure

The Misconception of Failure

Many of you who have heard me speak know that I had been greatly affected financially (like so many Americans) by what is now termed, “The Great Recession.” As a real estate attorney, broker, investor and developer, I was hit very hard by the real estate bust.

I was speaking with a new client yesterday and she was sharing with me how deeply affected she was by that time and how it makes her feel like a failure. That sentiment is shared by many and the affects from the recession are still very present in the lives of many Americans today. It has been a reoccurring theme I’ve been hearing a lot lately from clients and just from people in general which moved me to write about it today.

So, I just want to share with you what I shared with the client that I spoke to last night.

 

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Failure and disappointment is something I’ve talked about repeatedly on Women on the Move. Although, I myself don’t even believe in so called “failures,” I do understand that the vast majority of people think in those terms. I happen to believe that every life experience comes to teach us a lesson. And if the lesson is learned from the experience, how could it possibly be deemed a failure? But for the purpose of this blog post, I will use the word failure in the way it is most commonly used.

Having obstacles and challenges to overcome in this life do not make you a failure.

You must pick up the coat of failure and put it on to claim it. It is not mandated for you.

You have to take the lessons that come from them, dust yourself off and push yourself forward. You can’t imprison yourself in a space and place that doesn’t allow you to move forward, because that just doesn’t serve you.

 

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So, if you are in that place and space, whatever the failure in your mind may be, you must release it. It could be a perceived failure in a business, relationship, situation or a dream. I now ask you to let that perceived failure go. Take a moment to grieve it, if you so need. Cry, scream, get angry, write your feelings and disappointments down, do whatever you need to do to release it and then very simply – let it go. You must let it go.

Because if you don’t let it go, it will haunt you and it will destroy anything, and everything, you attempt to do moving forward. There’s a great quote by Iyanla Vanzant that says, “until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.” And it will bleed in ways that you don’t even know. It will bleed into and onto things that you will be totally and completely unconscious about.

 

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So, my prayer for you is that you learn to let it go and instead of sitting in the pain of that perceived failure and disappointment, you courageously get up, run on and proceed to your next level of being. I will be praying for you to get there and holding space for you there until you do.

Click Here for additional information on failure.

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