Last year I topped the Most Dynamic Black entrepreneurs list. Not being a gracious winner there I was . Then wait, it hit me! Why black dynamic entrepreneur. Why not just dynamic entrepreneur period?! Is there a different dynamic pool for other races?
I think there are categories where race or sex makes sense as a sub category, but dynamic entrepreneur is not one of them. For example, I don’t understand why there is a category for best female actress in the Oscars? Shouldn’t there just be best actor and both male and female can enter that category. There is no best female director category nor is there best black male actor, etc. If you want to make impactful change in the world you have to compete in one category, we can’t just create sub categories because it’s to hard to change the main category. Not sure about you, but I don’t want to major in the minors.
Let me be clear I am not blind to the fact that race and sexual discrimination still exists. I watched a movie the other day for 2 hours and there was not a single black person in it, not even as black up…see what I did there
With that being said I think we shouldn’t divide entrepreneurs into sex or race. If you are an entrepreneur you are an entrepreneur and all ideas matter. I was on panel at GIbs the other day, and my co panelist was a phenomenal woman who started Quali Health a low cost clinic that is revolutionizing health care. The fact that she is a woman had very little bearing on her as entrepreneur except for the fact she may have to overcome many more barriers precisely because she is a woman. As we are in Womans month, she will certainly receive awards as best woman entrepreneur and be celebrated as a woman doing amazing things; when in truth she should be awarded and celebrated as an entrepreneur. As long as we have things like Womans month I believe we are undermining women from the human category to the sub category of woman.
Great ideas have no sex or gender, the problem comes in execution. Execution, access to advice, access to capital, access to role models…these indeed have both race and gender. It is true that depending on which side of the spectrum you are on, the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur can be more difficult.
However, the grit (doing what it takes) and the perseverance that it takes to be successful is not defined by your race or sex. It is defined by you.
You and I know many people who born on the right side of the spectrum and had best education money can buy, access to successful family members and capital and today they have not amounted to much. The smartest guys at school are not the most successful in life. Grit is an equal opportunity employer. Even in the same household kids given the same amount of love and resources, one will be more successful than the other regardless of race and sex but because of grit!