Kwanzaa Day 4 - Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics

Updated: Jan 28

I’ve meant to do this in the past but never felt I had the right outlet or platform for it. Now that I’ve finally got my own site it’s definitely the right time. I’ll be celebrating Kwanzaa by writing a new piece every day for 7 days based on each of the 7 principles and what they have meant to me this past year and how I’ll be incorporating these principles in the future.

4. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics - To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

I’ve never wanted to be a business owner but I’ve always technically wanted to be in business for myself. The 9-5 grind has been something I’ve done since I got my first job at 15 but it’s turned more into a way to slightly survive instead of a way to live. I’ve wanted to be the biggest rapper in the world at one point in my life and now I would much rather be respected for my craft and comfortable enough to not have to punch a clock. Being a millionaire is cool and all, but I can’t say that it’s my honest goal. Hell, at this point in my life I would love to make $50,000 a year. If I got to $100,000 I wouldn’t complain so long as I made it from writing and making the content that I love. Sure, my passion would be my job but it would make more sense to me in the long run, especially for the freedom to be creative and comfortable for my family. So that’s what I’m starting to do with this site.

I’m spending money instead of making it right now to run this site and post certain things online while not generating a penny of revenue yet. That’ll come in time and with other things I plan to put out. I don’t want to discuss too much because I want to have it ready before I make an announcement but know that I want to go into business for myself and sustain it permanently. With that being said, I have also created a platform that’s my own to put out what I please. I can blog week in and week out but I can also do good for my friends and those deserving along the way. While working at the bank, I saw so many small businesses being created and others being maintained that I never would’ve known existed. Creating the business isn’t even the hard part (depending if it’s a sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, etc.) it’s just keeping it going and a good amount of the time that comes from word of mouth. And I plan to be a big mouthpiece in the coming year.

I have friends that are photographers, artists (literally paint and digital art creators) as well as people who are looking for a way to get their own names out in the world. With a good amount of white-owned businesses, they’re given loans from banks and family at a rate so much higher than non-whites. It’s a cycle that’s been going on since the creation of this country and it’s not going to stop soon. Generational wealth has passed us by in so many respects but I feel that now is a good time to start building up at all levels. Just about all businesses started out as small businesses. So I plan to promote my friends and families ventures through my own in hopes that they’ll do the same. They can come to one of my ventures to hear about my photographer friends, who will, in turn, tell them about someone to help with art, who then can tell them about a caterer and so on and so on until they get back to me and I can tell them about my friend who has their own Etsy shop. I want to create a virtual ecosystem similar to Apple but with businesses. You should know that when you come to us, we’re going to provide you not only with excellent service and content, but we’re going to make sure that every aspect of your needs are met and helping those out who will benefit more from keeping our dollars circulating amongst ourselves. Eventually, I want most everything I own to come from either someone I know or benefit a business owner I know that can help to live a better lifestyle.

We’re all going to start somewhere, might as well be here.