Thursday, December 24, 2015

Around the Web: What you missed in Dame Dash's Breakfast Club Interview

Back in March, Dame Dash did an interview on The Breakfast Club. I don't follow the show or Mr. Dash hence this delayed post, but a friend recently brought the interview to my attention. I've reached a place in my career where entrepreneurial thoughts monopolize my days in the office and this interview gave me a lot more to think about. It was interesting. Even if the underlying messages of "be your own boss" and "invest in yourself" are worn out, the delivery and examples of practical applications make the interview worth the watch. Warning: The interview is long, combative and offensive to pretty much every category of person. It is full of many ideas to which I do not subscribe. Watch at your own risk.

Here's what I found when I stepped back to think about Dame Dash's statements:

Diversify your Network

Mr. Dash appears on the show with two individuals with whom he has both personal and business relationships with. These men are not in suits, they don't have fancy titles...these are neighborhood dudes from Harlem that challenge him, encourage him and support him. CEO's don't become successful and remain successful by only spending time with other CEO's. One of the biggest mistakes new Corporates (especially new Black Corporates) make is assuming that people who are not in Corporate America don't have anything to teach you or offer you to succeed in Corporate America. Grandma may not have had the opportunities to go to school and succeed in the business world because of a whole host of 'isms, but she probably knows how to hustle in a way your roommate at WhoGivesA University does not.

Having the same job for 20 years is no longer a sign of success.

The old regime of Black middle and working classes sold their children a dream of finding a "good job," working hard and not getting fired. Job security is a survival technique and back then just surviving was success. Thrive > Survive. Mr. Dash comes for the radio hosts by criticizing the fact that after all of the years they've spent in their field, they still have a "boss." His claim is that "real men don't have bosses." I'm not in the business of defining manhood, so I'll leave that part alone, but the message behind the madness is that you should work for yourself to increase your own wealth. What percentage of the money that you bring in for your Corporate company actually goes to you? That bonus ain't sh*t (we'll talk about that in another post). A recurring message throughout the interview is the danger of complacency.

Legacy is important.

Corporate Culture encourages self-centered and hedonistic mentalities. We've lost the concept of building something that lasts beyond ourselves. I'm not saying that you don't have savings set aside for your kids, but how often do you think about your grandchildren's grandchildren? The ones you won't live to see. We're building tents instead of laying the foundation for longstanding structures. Yes, the tent is easy, convenient and keeps you warm and dry in the short term, but it won't last and your grandchildren will have to start from dirt to build a new tent. Mr. Dash uses the example of his daughter having problem at work and leaving her employment. He has the ability to say to her "It's okay. Come work at my company." There are those that will criticize the nepotism - mostly those who are jealous of it or those who have benefited from it and don't want others to benefit - but it is not about whether giving her the job is a good idea or fair. It's the fact that he can give her the job. Mr. Dash made just this point to the radio host by asking, "If your son needed a job, could you hire him?" The answer to the question was "No."

You'll never be rich being afraid of being broke.

The best example of a time when many of us subscribed to this mentality was deciding to go to grad school. If I was afraid of being broke, there is no way I could have gotten past the hundreds of thousands of dollars that oversized piece of paper costed me. Many Corporates have already made this decision in the context of schooling, but the moment they step into their new offices, this lesson gets lost. Being rich may not be the ideal for everyone, but if it is, fear of being broke will hinder you. Mr. Dash claims to spend every dime he has on his next endeavor. He stays broke. He seems to advocate for not having any savings, retirement, or safety nets. This writer has a 401k and a high interest savings account, I have no intention of spending literally my last dime nor do I advocate it. However, starting small, making money with the money you have (flipping it), and taking major risks are all key components of wealth building that get lost in the messages from companies who make their money on you making the "safer" saving and investment choices.

Here it is. I warned ya'll:

At the risk of being called a "Chatty Patty," what were your thoughts on the interview?

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