What I learned about “success” this past week…

What is true success for most people? Is it happiness, a lot of money, multiple houses or a happy marriage. Depending on who you are, success can be looked at in multiple perspectives. I bring this topic up because I was granted with the opportunity to volunteer for one of the biggest conferences in Black America this past week- The PowerNetworking Conference. The event is the number one conference where black professionals and entrepreneurs come together to provide and uplift each other. The speakers at this conference were Black business owners, millionaires, and even one of the few Black billionaires we have in America attended (Michael Roberts). Initially, I felt like I was inferior to these people. I would asked myself, “Do I even have the right to speak to any of these people. What would they think of me?” I was terrified that I would say something idiotic, so I just kept my mouth shut for awhile and just observed as if I wasn’t there. As hours passed by, I began to become more comfortable in the current setting. I engaged in a couple of conversations with people there. I began to feel like I belonged. So now it was time for me to learn…

My favorite thing about the conference were the workshops, which gave the attendees firsthand experience to learn from a lot of the Black business professionals. I was lucky, because I was able to listen in on some of the best world renown speakers. One of those speakers is Lisa Nichols, who is a highly successful African American woman who has been president and CEOs of her own multiple start-up companies and, currently, now has turned back into doing her passion of motivational speaking. I noticed that Lisa Nichols was a go-getter, she’s the type of personality who doesn’t stop working until she physically has it. Her speaking was beyond exceptional as well.

Another guy I was blessed to meet was a South African man who has his own business here in America. He spoke on seizing opportunities and seeing what you believe in. In Africa, he was never granted with the opportunity to receive the same education as Americans, or even start up his own business. Those opportunities just don’t exist there, he said. He had a long journey of getting here to the United States, but now that he has finally made it here to this country, he’s seized his opportunity, and now he’s living the American Dream. He said, “there is no such thing as an African dream”, but here in the United States of America, there’s no limit to anything you want to do. He said that the first step to accomplishing your dream is seeing it, visually see yourself walking into it, and then you absolutely must TAKE ACTION. The man was phenomenal. Later on that night, I caught up with him, and I just simply asked him, “What is one piece of advice you can offer to me?” He said, “find something that you’re passionate about and love to do, and work hard at it.”

So earlier, why did I bring up the word “success”. Well, I noticed a direct correlation about all the Black business professionals in attendance. Yeah, I could easily say that they were all wealthy; that was a given. But there was also something much deeper than that. I noticed that all of them walked with a purpose. All of them had a “why” for what they did. This conference I attended was not created for a whole lot of rich Black people to boast about the money they have, this conference was created to uplift Black America into places that it has never been to. Helping the Black community to just simply become better. These millionaires had the voice to do just that. I noticed all of them were leaders, go-getters, Christians and very pragmatic. Our culture depicts success as living in million dollar mansion, while having 15 Rolls Royces in the garage. But defining success can be much more than that. I learned that being happy, being content with one’s self and fulfilling what God has planned out for you is success. If you do that, God will without a doubt bless you with many things. Dr. George Fraser, CEO and founder of FraserNet and founder of the PowerNetworking Conferences, favorite quote is this: never chase money. Chase excellence, and then the money will follow. It’s the main theme I got out of the conference. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be rich. Who doesn’t? But I learned you must have a purpose to do what you do. Do it well, be consistent, keep God first, and from there, the sky is not even the limit; it’s actually too low. Success will inevitably be knocking at the door.

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