Last week we took our first look at a Black History related topic as it relates to successfully running a business, that of fighting for the business you want. Many people say that there are no new ideas, we’re just repeating stuff or seeing it in a new light. To an extent many things are repeats. We do see lots of copies and similar things. But to look at the technology, if you will, that the Romans had, it’s much different than the technology we have today.
So it’s no surprise that we see the combination of old and new when looking at Black History throughout the years and the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60s. We see lots of people who did important firsts for Black people as well as firsts for all people. Madame C J Walker, Dr. George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, and Dr. King Jr are just a few examples.
In business we have several choices and all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. We can do what others have done in the past and be successful advancing or to an extent replicating what they have done or we can go down a road that no one or very few have done before. In following the path of others there’s some in-built confidence that we have a greater chance to succeed because there’s proof it’s worked before and people are interested, and in choosing to write our own story and go in a new(er) direction we’re able to give the world something it may not have and not just be a copycat or try to sell the same thing as everyone else. Of course the downsides are that we’re doing what everyone else is doing which is boring or could mean the market is over-saturated, or we might not succeed because there isn’t a need or desire for what we come up with in our new path.
The Civil Rights movement wasn’t anything new, African American people have been working for freedom and recognition of rights for centuries. But that movement was new to that generation of people and touched the US and world in a way that had never been seen before. So go ahead, make your move, step out and stand for what you believe in, create the products you think the world needs, sell the services you think people want and don’t be afraid to fail a little because you’re going first.