I am sitting here on my rooftop looking at the New York City skyline. I see 57th street with these huge skyscrapers that people live actually live in. I’ve been in a few of those buildings over the last few years and have seen people actually live in these huge boxes in the sky.
3 years ago, I came to New York because growing up my mom and I would watch million dollar listings. When I first got to the city, I would go around and stare at every building. I romanticised my life, living there, and calling a place like that my home base.
I wanted to make a lot of money. When I first moved here, I studied finance because of how much they got paid out of school. I would look through salaries from Goldman, JP Morgan, and McKinsey & Co. Wow $150,000 a year after a bonus hits sounds pretty great to me.
A few months ago, I was in org comm and we had to pick slips of paper out of a hat and give a speech on whatever it said. My slip of paper said “Why do you do what you do?”. I stood infront of my class, took a deep breath, and said “I am here to do 3 things”.
First, I am a public school student. I feel like when I first got here at NYU, I was behind. It felt like people always knew things that I just straight up didn’t. I believe that there are two things inherently wrong with public school. 1) If we are good students, we aren’t prepared for college. 2) If we aren’t good students, we aren’t prepared for life. I think that we sit in this grey area right in between where they tell us that we need college but don’t truly prepare us for college. On the other side, college is a lick and for people that aren’t good at school, they aren’t prepared to take on life right out of high school. We sit in that school for 7 hours a day and it truly feels like a passage of time. Therefore, my first inspiration is to find ways to better educate my community.
Second, the racial wealth gap in America is so ridiculous that when I said it to my class, they were in disbelief. The median white family has a household income of about $188,000 and the median black family has a household income of $24,000. This is a result of years of oppression, slavery, Jim Crow, and prevention from education and housing. I am disgusted by this stat and want to find any way to help change this. I am an entrepreneur because I want to build businesses that can uplift my community financially. Business inspires me because companies like uber can connect so many drivers with opportunities to put food on the table for their family. Therefore, the second thing that I am relentlessly pursuing is uplifting the black community financially through business.
Third, I look around and don’t see anyone in this class that looks like me.I have a hard time finding inspirations and people that are in positions that give me the confidence that I can do or be that. I want to show the younger kids behind me that their dreams and aspirations are tangible. Someone from their school, city, and state that looks like them, made it. I want to show them what it looks like to create real change by being relentless with a pen and a notebook. I want them to believe that they can accomplish everything that they set their mind too.
I think about quitting entrepreneurship sometimes and using this stern diploma to get myself a nice comfy job. But the truth is that’s cap. I don’t. That’s not my path at all. That doesn’t abide by my ambitions and doesn’t relate to the change that I want to create in this world.
I started this piece by talking about million dollar listings New York. For the last 3 years, I have been inside too many million dollar cribs. I look at the people that live in them and see how comfortable they look. Then I think about where I live, in the East Village with my two roommates. I look at my bed, desk, chair, and whiteboard. I have a couch, a tv in the living room and I think to myself, I don’t really need much more. Yea, I’d love to live in a nicer spot, a million dollar listing. But I know the people that do. I think to myself are they happier than me just because they live here? Almost every time the answer is no. If they are happier it's for a different reason. So I sit here on my roof right this second, look at billionaires row from a distance, write this blog post, and think that I will be there one day. However, that isn’t going to make me happier then I am right now, it is only going to be a reward for change that I have made in this world.
I will be happy when I build a school, have people making upwards of $3,000 a month on FITS Create, and when I am able to show the kids behind me the true power that they have with their two hands.
Actually... (I actually wrote that above)
I am happy right now, I built the Power Struggle Movement, an online school for creators that teaches Crypto, Entrepreneurship, and Creative Arts. I didn't even know it was a school until I wrote about wanting to build a school. I am building a platform that empowers creators. I feel guilty that my product doesn't help people as much as I want to yet but the people that we are working with give me life and confidence to relentlessly stay on this path. At this point if I quit, I am quitting on them. Finally, I am showing people from back home that you can make it all the way to NYC, go to a big school like NYU, but still say fuck the easy life and take a path that has a huge change of failure and a tiny chance of success. I know this blog post is just heavily about me. However, I hope that you can realize that happiness isn't some tangible thing that comes when you reach a certain point. As long as you are doing something that makes you happy and fulfils your dreams: you are living a great life :)
My happiness comes from solving problems.