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.
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.
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.
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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