10 Tips to Create Wealth in the Black Community

09/29/2016 12:54 pm ET
Ingrid L. Morris, Corporate Controller, Xerox
Zondra Hughes
Ingrid L. Morris, Corporate Controller, Xerox

Real Times Media and Who’s Who Publishing Company partnered with Prudential Financial, Inc. to launch a six-city tour, the Titans of Industry wealth and wisdom speaker series.

The tour hit Chicago last night at the swanky W City Center, where panelists Zeb McLaurin, founder of McLaurin Development Partners; Shari Runner, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League; Maurice Kuykendoll, VP of Financial Reporting, Prudential; Ingrid L. Morris, Corporate Controller for Xerox Corporation; and Dr. William F. Pickard, Chairman and CEO of Global Automotive Alliance, gave advice about generating wealth in the Black community.

Ed Gordon moderated the lively event that was simultaneously streamed on Periscope and FacebookLive.

Here are 10 tips for generating and sustaining wealth in your home and community.

Pickard, Morris, Kuykendoll, Runner and McLaurin, panelists, Titans of Industry event in Chicago.
Zondra Hughes
Pickard, Morris, Kuykendoll, Runner and McLaurin, panelists, Titans of Industry event in Chicago.

1. Believe in your dream--even if no one else does.

“Oftentimes you may go to someone, believing that they will buy into your dream, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get someone who really does,” says Ed Gordon. “You just have to keep believing in your dream; there are a lot of naysayers out there. And, know that most people who promise help, won’t necessarily help you.”

Dr. Pickard adds, “Drake said if you work real, real hard, your idol will become your friendly rival.”

In other words, believe, grind, and don’t give up.

Zondra Hughes

2 . Show compassion.

“A lot of times when we say people don’t show up (for seminars or networking opportunities) we have to go out and get them,” says Shari Runner. “We have layers and generations of people who have not had a lot of stuff.”

Sandria Washington, a guest of the Titans of Industry Chicago event, and panelist Dr. Pickard.
Sandria Washington, Facebook.
Sandria Washington, a guest of the Titans of Industry Chicago event, and panelist Dr. Pickard.

3. Serve your community.

“There’s enough to be done for everybody to find something to do,” says Dr. Pickard. “I spend my time on Black college campuses. Am I going to save everybody? No. But that’s what I love—that’s what I do everyday.”

4. Look for what’s needed--and fill that void.

“From a trend perspective in real estate, there is always a cycle of business,” quips Zeb McLaurin. “If [a drugstore] closes a store in your neighborhood, it creates a void. And some entrepreneur is going to figure out, if I can prevent Mrs. Jones from driving those extra two miles to get her lipstick [from another drugstore], maybe there’s a business opportunity for me.”

5. Quantify your business, or business idea.

“Know your numbers, understand the statistics, understand the risks, quantify it,” says Ingrid L. Moore. “When you are in a position when you get access and exposure, you must know your numbers. That is what’s going to keep you in the room once you get there.”

6. Look everywhere for opportunity--even in bankruptcy court.

“I had 11 manufacturing companies, I bought four of them out of bankruptcy,” Dr. Pickard says. “Bankruptcy is an intricate part of the American way of life; sometimes it can lead to a great opportunity. Of the four companies I bought out of bankruptcy, I still have three of them.”

Dorinda Walker of Prudential, attendees Anita Bennett and Lutonya Lang.
Dorinda Walker of Prudential, attendees Anita Bennett and Lutonya Lang.

7. Pool your resources.

“African American women are the highest contributors to the economy when it comes to spend, yet the majority of that spend is on beauty and makeup products,” says Dorinda Walker, Director of Multicultural Marketing, Prudential Financial. “If Black women would pool and invest just ten percent of that imagine how much impact it would have.”

(Tip: Want more statistics? Read Prudential’s African American Financial Experience Study.)

8. Work with government programs to fund your business.

“I bought my first McDonald’s with a student loan from The Ohio State University,” Dr. Pickard reveals. “What was so great about it, was that the government had a program that, if you taught at a university or a college, they forgave three percent of the loan every year. There are all kinds of ways to work with the government to get started.”

9. Support Black businesses.

“How many of us do business with other Black businesses?,” Dorinda Walker asks. “When you go to the dry cleaners, the hairdresser, the nail salon, how many of those businesses are Black? If we don’t support those businesses, those businesses are not going to survive.”

10. Insure your elderly; prepare for the inevitable.

Maurice Kuykendoll pulled no punches on the panel. “You are going to die, we all are,” he quipped. “Don’t go to Go Fund Me to pay for your funeral expenses.”

Instead, Kuykendoll advised, family members should insure their eldest relative, and when that person expires, there’s money to pay for the final expenses and extra money to send the kids to college.

The Titans of Industry is on Facebook. Follow the conversation on Twitter, #TheTitansExp, #pruAAFE, #realtimesmedia.

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