Stop Trying to Use the “Black Privilege”!

Stop using "Black Privilege and show minority businesses the respect they deserve.

Business isn’t difficult. It is actually a very simple concept. If you have a product people want, at a reasonable price, most of the time, they will buy. Notice I said most, not all. Not everyone will buy your product, for different reasons. Don’t be discouraged, or disheartened; that’s just part of business.  Some people won’t buy because they can’t afford it, this isn’t about them. We all have something we would love to buy but can’t yet afford.

But some people are just cheap. There is just no other way around it. Some people are looking for the hookup. It’s the old “Black Privilege“. That’s right, I went there. I know some of you know exactly what I’m talking about, because we have discussed it. It’s the old  “Come on brother, can you hook me up?” I can’t tell you how often I get this. I am a private clothier, and my services are priced very reasonably. Most people will approach me, find out about my product, hear the price and  they usually buy. But there is a segment that will always ask me for a hookup. Though I have no reason to give them one.

It wouldn’t bother me so much if I was selling bootleg DVD’s out of the back of my truck, or if I had a booth at the swap meet. But I don’t. I run a legitimate business. I offer a superior product and I expect to be compensated for it. I’m not looking to get rich off of a client, but I expect fair compensation and respect for my goods just like a white company would get. This really gets on my nerves when someone asks for a hook up, but they pull up in a Benz or a Lexus. Or they tell me they usually shop at some high end stores like Nordstrom’s or Neiman Marcus. If you can pay the ridiculously overcharged prices at those stores you can pay my prices, and receive a better product. What really makes me mad is that they wouldn’t go into those stores and try to talk them down, because they would look like they couldn’t afford it.

Maybe they feel that since I don’t operate out of a storefront, then I must be on the hustle. Don’t get it twisted fellas. I am by no means on the hustle. I have a client list that reads like a who’s who of Charlotte elite. I don’ t operate from a storefront because I am a PRIVATE tailor. My target market is businessmen that understand the value of custom clothing, and having a private tailor. They have demanding schedules and having an on-call tailor that will handle their needs, at their home or office, allows them to be more productive. Though they are not looking to get cheated for the service, they acknowledge that convenience, luxury, and exclusivity come with a price. And by exclusive, I mean TRULY EXCLUSIVE. I limit my client list to 200 globally. Once I have 200 clients, I am not taking on any more clients. My clients see me as an integral part of their success. If you are one of those people that are always looking for a hookup, then I am not your  tailor and you are not my target client. I”m not a swap meet hustler just trying to make some cash. I am a recognized and respected businessman.

And I know many of you are dealing with the same thing. I can’t count the times I have spoken with minority business owners and they tell me they are tired of people trying to “get the hookup” from THEM, but they will walk into a white establishment and pay full price, and turn around and brag on how much they paid. Stop treating minority businesses like barbershop hustlers that only operate through hookups. Show them the respect the same respect you show other businesses. If they have a legitimate product,come out of your pocket. If you can’t afford it, just walk away.

Now to my fellow minority business owners. IF you want to be treated like a legitimate business, ACT LIKE ONE. If you run your business like a swap meet, expect to be treated as such. Dress like a professional, have a decent vocabulary, and understand how to operate in the business arena. Some of you handle your business so poorly, no wonder you are never taken seriously. But I will touch on that in future posts, for now we are talking about the Black Privilege.

And please stop volunteering to “wear one of my suits” if you have no real status. I know your game. I’m not stupid. If no one knows who you are, then why would I spend the money to make you a suit? How dumb do you think I am? I have clients that are seen nationally in the NFL, in NASCAR, and that perform in front of sold out arenas; and THEY pay for my suits. Why on God’s green Earth would I pay money to just give you a suit, when I won’t get a return on my investment. Now if you have status, and there is a potential business arrangement that can be made, then we can work out a significantly discounted rate for my services, But even then, it has to make smart business sense.

Before you stop and as me to make you a suit again, here are a few things to consider :

1.What have you done for me? Meaning, have you ever bought or sent me any clients?

2, Do people know, or CARE, who you are?

3. Who are your peers?

4. What would your peers say about you if I mention you? If they don’t speak highly of you, what good would you do me?

5. What’s your level of influence? Basically, how much credibility to you have in your circle of influence? If people don’t appear impressed by you, I don’t need you.

6. How do you dress/act now? I’m not a thug or a gangster. If you dress/act like a thug, why would I want you to represent me?

7. What kind of events do you attend? I need to know if you are at events that my clients go to. If you are the big fish in a room full of people that dress like Lil Wayne, I don’t need you.

8. How do you live your life? If you are always getting drunk, high, or in the strip clubs, buy your clothes from someone else. You don’t represent my brand.

9. How much money will I make from working with you? If I make you a suit and never see a return from it, I’m just making a donation to your closet.

10. Am I impressed enough with you to spend hundreds of dollars on you? That’s what I would have to do to make you a suit.

Odds are, if I don’t offer to make you a suit, and you have to offer to wear one, I won’t make you one. So don’t ask. I am literally around some of the most popular and successful people in Charlotte, all day. If they are willing to buy, then so can you. Stop trying to play me for a fool and give me, and other minority business owners, the same respect you give the storefront operations. Do you think Paul Simon will make a suit for you to wear? Of course they won’t. But the bigger issue at hand is, you would never ask them. They would laugh you out of the store. Show us the same respect.

Stop Wasting Time- Get It Done

We all have things that we need to do, that we just don’t want to do. We either hate doing it, aren’t sure how to do it, or are afraid of the consequences of doing it. Whatever the reason, we put it off until we absolutely have to do it. This is called procrastination. Though this is common practice and completely understandable, it is the single most counterproductive thing you will do (or not do) all day, and it will DESTROY your business.  My thing is purging emails. I’m not a big paperwork guy as it is, and sitting at a desk doing it could not interest me less. I know this sounds crazy, considering I will spend hours at a computer doing research. But I LOVE doing research, and I HATE purging emails, but I get about 100-120 emails a day, if I don’t purge them regularly, they will gang up on me. So, I have to do it. I found the best thing for me to do is set aside 15-20 min 4 times a day, allocated strictly to email purging.

Time management is a crucial part of the success of your business. There are only so many hours in the day. In order to maximize it,

You can't make time, but you can waste it. Treat time as a valued commodity; because it is.

you need to schedule out as much of it as you can. Now before I go any further, let me admit, I am not the best at this, so I know what many of you are going to say, so don’t. Quite often if we will do the little things that need to be done in a timely manner, they won’t pile up on us.

Does this sound familiar to you? You have a small task to do. It won’t take long, but you don’t want to do it, so you put it off. Over time it adds up and becomes a bigger issue. The bigger issue it becomes, the less you want to deal with it. By the time you finally get around to it, it has become a deadline item, that has to be done and will take you two days to do. The first thing you think of is man, I should have done this earlier. Sound like anyone you know? I’m not too proud to say it sounds like me. But I’m working on it. Here is the best way to categorize and prioritize you task: Urgent and Important, Not Urgent but Important, Urgent but Not Important, Not Urgent Not Important.

Urgent and Important- Do right away. (Preferably first thing in the morning)

Not Urgent but Important- Do second (Stay ahead of this so it doesn’t rise upexpectedly)

Urgent but Not Important- Knock them out if you have free time, but don;t get too lazy about it.

Not Urgent and Not Important- Do these when you get a chance.

Follow this little trick and it should give you back a part of your day. (Or at least get morethings done.)

Wealth Isn’t Made on a 9-5

Entrepreneurship is a calling not a job or a career. It requires a commitment and dedication that few possess. There are a number of factors that go into becoming a successful entrepreneur. Things like infrastructure, financing, marketing, sourcing, branding, and image are all important factors. But to me, the most important factor is training. You have to know what you are doing if you are going to become a successful entrepreneur. Many of us start businesses because we have a passion and a skill, and we feel we can monetize it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it only works for a while. Sometimes it works for a long time, but it never grows. You reach what we call a business plateau. Much like working out, if you do the same thing all of the time, you will not gain any more benefit, though you may not lose any either.  But no entrepreneur I know just wants to make a little money. They want to build empires, pass down legacies to their children, and never have to worry about money issues again. As I said, all of them want that, but few of them ever achieve it.

Though "Diddy" is a $300mil global brand. He still works 16-20 hour days.

I have been fortunate to have started a couple of successful businesses and either adjusted the plans for them, or got rid of them before things could go bad. However, things were not always wonderful. I have had a plethora of business ideas that I have researched and even tried to start, only to fall flat on my face. But from each of those failures I learned something, even if it was just that I was over my head, and had no business trying to run a business in that industry. But the most valuable lesson I learned, I learned from my friend, Mike Rucker. We met up one morning at Panera Bread in Concord, and I had about 3-4 businesses I was thinking of starting at one time, or in close succession. He told me to find one thing and do it well. Then if that takes off, then think about adding to it. But make sure that your businesses can all support each other. That was great advice. But I actually learned 2 things that day. The additional advice I learned, and without a doubt the most important, is to seek advice and answers from people smarted than me, or that have been where I am going. This opened up a brand new world to me.

From that point on, I have sought advice from a number of people, and on different topics. Sometimes if I’m thinking of making a move, I will ask a complete stranger if my idea makes sense to them, or is something they would buy in, or participate in it, and why. I am smart enough to know that I don’t know everything. I am constantly learning something new. And I love it. My business has flourished and it has opened a lot of doors to me that were not only shut, I didn’t even know they existed. But they have opened and i have been welcomed with open arms.

How did I get these doors to open so quickly? Was it being in the right places? Was it knowing the right people? Was it wearing the right clothes? Was it speaking the right language? It was all if these, and it was none of these. It was because I did my research. I once posted on Facebook, While you are partying, I’m doing research. While you are “in- line” at the club, I’m “on-line” looking for the next move to make.” I spend countless hours in front of my computer reading, studying, and learning. Sometimes, I’m on it and I turn around and the sun has risen and I realize I’ve been on this thing 14 straight hours. I’m not suggesting you spend that kind of time (especially if you have a wife, family, or girlfriend), but you are going to have to put in some hours to be successful. I sleep on average 4-5 hours a night. Not on purpose, that’s just how I’m built. Sean “Diddy” Combs once said, “When you are sleeping, you are losing money.” He spends ridiculous hours working like I do. Wealth is not created from a 9-5. You may become well off. You may even become rich. But I’m talking about wealth. The kind of wealth that assures financial freedom for 2-3 generations. The kind that generates more money in interest in 6 months, than most people make in 6 years. Not the “I got a Benz with custom rims money”, but “I have my own private island money”. That isn’t accumulated on a 9-5.

I am re-focusing The William Wilson Perspective because I feel I can help people. We are blessed to be a blessing. I will be offering information and advice as I see the world and how I have applied it. Some of you won’t take. That’s okay. Everyday someone asks me if I will mentor them, advise them, or just want to know how I got where I am. I wish I could take the time to help everyone, but I can’t. My schedule is too hectic. But what I can do, is share the knowledge that I have, and that I gain, to assist those that will listen. In less than 2 years, I have started a company, got a who’s who client list, and landed a spot as a spokesperson for a private jet.  11 years ago I moved to Charlotte in an 84 Chevy Blazer with 175,000 miles on it, no a/c, no furniture, 1 suit, a television, a vcr, bean bag chair and air mattress. Now I have a 3000 sq. ft. house, a collection of luxury watches, national recognition, and when necessary, I fly in a private jet. I don’t say that to boast, I say that to let you know, you can do it too. I’m just a country boy from Arkansas. If I can do it, anyone can. But it all starts with knowledge, and wisdom.

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Is Your Mouth Costing You Money?

I’m not a man of few words. I never have been; never will be. But when I speak, I try to make sure that I speak with a purpose, and I substantiate my facts. Doing otherwise is just blabber, and I really don’t have the time to indulge in that. Don’t get me wrong. When I’m hanging out with my friends, we have totally senseless conversations at times; just like anyone else. But even those are limited. Quite often, we have very poignant and diverse conversations.  I tell you this for a reason. There is a time and place for senseless rhetoric and during business isn’t it.

I’m not saying every conversation has to be profound and thought provoking. But during the workday, a majority of your conversation should be of some substance. In addition, if you are going to engage in conversation; have at least a moderate knowledge of the topic; especially if you are going to get into a debate over it. I was just in a sports bar the other day, and I heard some guys arguing about the President speaking to the kids. The conversation got pretty heated; as do many political conversations. So that didn’t surprise me. But what did surprise me, was the fact that the guy that opposed it, didn’t have a single fact to substantiate his argument. He was just anti- Obama, and it was obvious. That’s not new to me either. I see a lot of that. What really caught my attention, and opened my eyes was a statement from a fellow spectator.  He made the following statement, “I really don’t have a problem with the President speaking to children. That’s neither here nor there, but I didn’t realize how ignorant this guy is. He’s my financial advisor, but I think I’ll be seeking a new one.” I saw him this morning, and he has a new financial advisor; same firm, new advisor. That got me to thinking. If you are going to have a debate with someone, have knowledge of the subject matter. You can make a lot of money with your knowledge, but you can also lose a lot of money. Ask yourself, how often you engage in a public argument, without a good basis of fact. Is that argument really worth winning? Until next time…God Bless and dress well.