Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stacking The Deck For Or Against Yourself As A Black Business Owner

Over the years, there are certain recurring themes that keep coming up in the conversations I have with other Black business owners. Let me publicly say something that I’ve repeatedly told other African-American (AA) business owners during private conversations:
If you want to make a living from your various income streams, then you MUST create “White” products for White consumers. And leave that Black and “multicultural” stuff ALONE.

This is what I believe, and I can’t repeat this enough. I believe that if you (as a Black business owner) want to make a living from your business, this means to:
STOP writing any sort of fictional works (novels, screenplays, plays) that feature Black main characters.

STOP writing non-fiction content about AA/Black social issues.
STOP writing non-fiction content about Black cosmetology, Black hair care, or anything else that specifically pertains to Blacks.

STOP creating products specifically for Blacks.
STOP creating “multicultural” anything—that’s a sure tip-off that you’re Black. From what I’ve seen, the winning strategy is to have a “colorless” business. Meaning a business that allows Black, White and other consumers to comfortably assume that you are White.

The above applies if you want to make a living from your business. If you’re conducting your business as a hobby or a social service project and don’t care about making money from it, then keep gearing it toward Black consumers.
I know this is a bitter pill to swallow for many aspiring and beginning Black business owners. But it is what it is. Structuring one’s business around serving Black consumers is a well-worn path to unnecessary hardship and ultimate failure for Black business owners. I hate to see Black businesses fail.

Let me stress that when I say this to other Black business owners, this is NOT some sort of control thing with me (the only things I go "control freak" over are my own projects—everybody else's stuff is everybody else's stuff).

I'm definitely not any sort of guru.  

I'm not trying to persuade anybody to change their mind if they’ve come to different conclusions.

I'm not trying to persuade anybody to follow my suggestions.

I’m giving sincere food for thought for those aspiring and beginning Black business owners who haven’t already come to their own firm conclusions about these issues. My views are based on my own experiences and observations.

I’m not offended by those Black business owners who disagree with my views.

Everybody knows best about their own particular situation. And everybody's mileage varies with these issues.

Here’s part of a real talk comment that I previously made over at Halima’s blog. It might provide some food for thought for aspiring AA entrepreneurs. I explained the reasons why I didn’t want payment in exchange for [the Sojourner’s Passport] blog’s premium content:
I deeply appreciate your call to action, but NO—I DON’T want anybody sending me money for my premium content—please DON’T do that!!!
Here’s the primary reason why:
As a Black business owner, I don’t believe in trying to do serious business with “typical” AAs/Blacks. It never works right for the reasons (I’ve outlined in depth at my blog). I refuse to do business with slaves in that direct fashion. A Black business owner who tries to do direct business with slaves is only setting themselves up to be sabotaged by those slaves.
A reader at my blog previously described the AA slaves’ behavior pattern regarding Black businesses: First the slaves pretend to be excited about the Black business endeavor. Then, they start backbiting it. Then, they work their fingers to the bone to pull it down.
I’m already an online business owner. My side business is totally oriented toward mainstream, NON-Black consumers. I don’t want hateration-type AA slaves to have any possible openings to do any sabotage that could potentially spill over onto my side business.
That’s the primary reason why I don’t mix any direct exchanges for money with my BWE activism. I know that there are legions of DBRBM, disgruntled colored girls, and other trolls who would looove to have an opening to file false complaints to the Better Business Bureau, etc. about me out of spite. If I accepted money for the BWE premium content, doing so would give bad-faith slaves a lever to use to potentially impact/sabotage what I’m doing with my side business.
Keeping the premium content free protects me from the disgruntled colored girls and other Black haters.
I know that I have to protect my side business from MOST of the people in the reading audience. As Halima noted, there’s an undercurrent of resentment toward many BWE bloggers. Even from audience members who aren’t full-blown trolls or haters. That’s why my name is not on my side business. So the haters in the audience will never be able to find it and connect it to me. They can’t sabotage what they can’t find.
For any Black business owner’s self-protection, AA slaves must be kept at arms’ length from one’s business, and only dealt with via 3rd parties like
That way, when the hateration-AA slaves falsely claim to have a problem or issue about their order, they have to take it up with the 3rd party such as And the Black business owner is removed from the main “line of fire” from hateration AA slave-consumers.
There are secondary reasons why I don’t want money in exchange for the premium blog posts:
(1) I don’t want folks to be able to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as actually being about “money-grubbing.” I know that this is how AA slaves think; and I want them to genuinely learn what reciprocity means. AND
(2) I’m already a business owner, and my online business is totally oriented toward majority, NON-Black consumers. I want the Sojourner’s Passport social activism blog to pay for its own upkeep (through book sales), but it’s not like I’m trying to use the blog to put food on my table.
Let me emphasize that I don’t feel that there would be anything wrong with accepting donations or making the blog paid-subscription only. Other folks—people who are not African-Americans—understand how it’s often necessary to pay for valuable, life-enhancing information. Sadly, most AAs are simply too primitive and slave-minded for that—they don’t want to pay any other Black person for anything sensible.
It’s an interesting paradox: Most African-Americans are cynical and yet gullible at the same time. We’re quick to interpret any other Black person seeking fair monetary compensation for their life-enhancing work as somehow inappropriate. Yet, we’re simultaneously delighted to throw piles of money to all sorts of useless Black (mostly male) hustlers who are peddling less than useless wares such as Steve Harvey, most AA male pastors/imams, etc.
So, even though it would be perfectly appropriate to charge for the information I provide, I don’t want to do that. In addition to the concerns I mentioned in Part 1 of this comment, I believe charging for premium content would actually work against the reciprocity lesson that I’m trying to teach.
It would make it too easy for indoctrinated AA slave-women to dismiss the reciprocity lesson as just an attempt to “get over.” Which is what they’re inclined to think, because they don’t understand the idea of reciprocity. All they understand is exploitation. Either from the perspective of the user or as the person being used. How very sad . . . and downright savage.
Aspiring AA entrepreneurs: Don’t be naive about the typical AA consumer and their behaviors.

I also talked about this at length during the post If You’re a Black Business Owner Who Wants to Succeed, Leave The African-American Consumer BehindPlease take the time to read that post if you haven’t seen it before. I’m not going to repeat the arguments I made there in support of my views. I’ll just mention a relatively recent example that confirmed my previous observations about AA consumers.
The latest example I saw was when Curly Nikki came out with her book. I saw one self-proclaimed Natural Hair-Wearing Negress after another write in to several BW’s blogs to announce that they were NOT going to buy Curly Nikki’s book. Not that they were boycotting or anything like that.
The bulk of them claimed to like and respect Curly Nikki's work. But they were proud to announce that they just weren't that into hair (despite the fact that many of them are apparently long-term and current participants at Black hair forums), and therefore had no need for her book. Translation = The idea of another AABW making some money makes many of them sick to their stomachs, and so . . . . They. Won't. Stand. For. It.
All while claiming to support other BW.
Here’s the thing: We’re all free agents, and nobody owes anybody anything. AA consumers have NO obligation to support and patronize Black-owned businesses. The flip side of that equation is that those of us who are Black business owners have NO obligation to create anything at all for Black consumers. It takes time, energy and resources to create products and a business. There’s usually a very low return on investment (ROI) for Black business owners who deal with Black consumers. Why be bothered with that when there are much more rewarding opportunities in the mainstream?
Keep in mind I’m referring to folks who want to make a living from their businesses.
If your business is a social service project or hobby, and not something that you’re using to put food on your table, then it doesn’t matter if you get any real ROI. There’s nothing wrong with social service projects. I’ve done social service projects.
My BWE blogging and book are Paying It Forward social service projects. The Sojourner’s Passport book royalty checks that I get from the (non-Amazon) publishing company I used are totally separate from my business activities; and go toward the upkeep of my 2 BWE blogs (hosting fees, etc.).
If you’re a Black business owner who wants to make a living from your business, I would strongly urge you to do what you can to stack the deck in your favor:
Make things easier for yourself by swimming with the tide in the mainstream. Instead of swimming against it by self-segregating yourself among AA consumers.
Use stealth to reap the abundance of opportunity in the mainstream. Instead of staying within “hunt and peck” scarcity scenarios among AA consumers.
Enjoy the abundant fruit trees in the mainstream forest of White consumers. Instead of gravitating toward (or lingering within) the AA consumer desert that exists for Black business owners.
I’m not exaggerating when I say there’s plenty of fruit in the mainstream forest among White consumers. One problem with many AAs is that we’re so focused on flashy, superstar celebrity “hits” that we don’t notice the multitudes of unknown, unsung folks who are quietly making a living from their income streams.
You don’t need to be on anybody’s bestseller list to make a living from your combined income streams. Small passive income streams add up to a mighty river if you study the market, pick a productive niche, and create “colorless” products for mainstream consumers.
Back when I first decided to focus on creating additional income streams by self-publishing on Amazon Kindle, I decided to experiment with content that was relatively fast and easy to produce: a simple, cookbook ebook on Kindle. By simple, I mean no photographs of food inside the book, only recipes; and no paperback edition of the book. I wanted to see what was possible with that one little income stream.
I knew that I would want a souvenir to help me stay encouraged and motivated. So I made a copy of the first month’s earnings from that one little income stream Kindle ebook before depositing it. I also want you to be encouraged. The opportunities I’m describing are real. They can also be real for you as a Black business owner, if you step out of the AA consumer wasteland and reach for them.

As a Black business owner, why be bothered with chasing after Black consumer crabs-in-a-barrel when you can find opportunity-rich, less-hassle online environments with nonblack consumers? Why not make things easier for yourself?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Telling On Yourselves

This is a grab-bag post in reaction to several disturbing things I’ve noted within the last couple of weeks.
Telling The Entire World About Your Dysfunctional Marriage Dynamics Through Family Portrait Photos

Ladies, a careful observer can see everything—and I do mean everything— that’s wrong with your marriage or relationship dynamics just from the way you and your husband/boyfriend pose yourselves in photographs.

The disintegration of the African-American family has created several generations of fatherless African-Americans (AAs) who are clueless about what normal, stable marriage and family life looks like. The mass absence of functioning men from the African-American collective means that most modern African-Americans also have no idea what true masculinity looks like. They’ve never seen men who function successfully as loving husbands and fathers. They’ve never seen family men in real life. And so they define manhood by surface qualities, such as verbal aggression, bulging muscles, swaggers, and deep voices.

All of this leads to widespread gender role reversals in terms of what functions AAs actually perform in their relationships, with AA women taking on what’s supposed to be the MAN’S role of “the Ps.” Protecting, providing, problem-solving, presiding over his family unit.

This mass cluelessness and role reversal is reflected in how so many modern-day married AA couples pose in family portrait photos. The first time I recall seeing a weird AA family photo was at work around 5 years ago during the Christmas season. A middle-aged AA woman had sent out a Christmas card photo of her family.
What most of the adult women who saw the card commented on was the peculiar way that woman’s family was posed in the photo. Her husband was sitting in the “little lady of the house” position on the couch next to the kids while this woman stood behind them, stood over them, and presided over them in the photo. She also had her hands placed on his shoulders. Again, another protective physical gesture that normal MEN usually do with their wives and girlfriends in photos. A normal, masculine man will typically pose with his arm around his wife, or his hands placed on her shoulders if she’s seated while he stands behind her, and so on.

Most of the other adult women (of various ethnicities and races) present who saw that family portrait Christmas card giggled out loud when they saw that photo. None of the laughing women had to explain to the other horrified women what was wrong with that photo. They just said, “Look at this” as they passed it around and laughed. Which is how I saw it. I couldn’t laugh. I was mortified for that woman about everything that she was unwittingly telling the world about her marriage just with that one photo.
I will note that every woman who could see what was wrong with that photo grew up with their Daddy in the house. The fatherless women (who were mostly born out of wedlock) were the ones who didn’t immediately understand what was wrong with that photo.

A normal family portrait arrangement is for the taller people—the MEN of the household—to stand protectively behind and over the smaller people in the household (the women and small children).
For those who still don’t comprehend what normal marriage dynamics look like in photos, look at the photos on Evia's site of her with her husband. You will see that in almost all of the photos, her husband consistently places himself somewhat behind and over his wife. With his arm around her in a protective (and affectionate) gesture. That’s an example of how normal, masculine, family men—men who grew up with their fathers in the home—typically position themselves in photos with their wives. Normal men position themselves this way without any conscious thought about it.

For all you exception-hunters out there: No, it doesn't happen this way with normal, masculine men 100% of the time. But that's how normal men position themselves most of the time.

For all the exception-hunters who are reading this: The exception does not erase the rule or overall pattern. You can chart the rise of AA majority out of wedlock childbearing (oow) and the mass fatherlessness caused by oow by looking at the decay showcased in AA family photo albums over the past four or so decades.
First, you will notice that men (extended family photos including multiple men who are husbands and fathers) become missing from the photos. Earlier AA family photo albums from the early 70s and before were jam-packed with multiple examples of Cousin So & So And His Wife, and Uncle So & So And His Wife.

Baby daddies, baby mamas, one night stands, and jump-offs generally are not included in family Christmas, Easter, birthday, and assorted other holiday photos. So nowadays, you’ll see a lot of AA photo albums that are increasingly filled with multiple generations of unmarried women and their oow children at these celebrations.
Then next sign of decay you’ll notice when you take a look at AA family albums over the decades are the increasingly weird poses that the crippled, oow-created non-family units start taking in the photos. Fatherless AAs don’t perceive anything strange about having women standing over the family unit in these posed photos.

When you look at family photo albums from back in the day, you generally won’t see Big Mama posing like that. Big Mama might be posed as the central focus of the group photo, but Granddaddy/Pops was protectively standing over her or slightly behind her. And Granddaddy/Pops had his arm around Big Mama.

If Granddaddy/Pops had passed away, then Uncle So & So was standing over Big Mama (and his wife) while the women in the family sat on the couch in the photo. The visual message communicated in almost all those couple or group family photos of AA women back in the day was “This woman has a fully-grown MAN looking out for her.”
Unfortunately, you don’t see that in these new-school AA family portrait photos. This AA Woman Presiding Over The Family Unit While Her BM Husband Sits In The “Little Princess” Position is the very worst of the weird, new-school poses I’ve started seeing in large numbers of AA couple and family portrait photos. I consider this one the worst because it showcases some of the most damaging dysfunctions impacting that particular marriage (gender role reversal, one or both of them grew up fatherless, and/or a husband who is not a masculine man). There are some other Weird New-School Family Dynamics Poses that are becoming commonplace among AA couples and families, but I won’t discuss them here.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been horrified to see multiple examples of the AA Woman Presiding Over The Family While Her BM Husband Sits In The “Little Princess” Position family photos. I was recently shown a photo in which both the wife and teenage daughter were protectively standing over the husband and almost-grown teenage son who were sitting as the “little princesses” on the couch beneath the women. That photo was the last straw, and what prompted me to do this post. All of this is crazy, and reflects decades of mass fatherlessness among AAs.
Those weird, new-school family portrait poses raise RED FLAGS to any sensible person from a wholesome family background who’s vetting you or your children as a potential spouse.

As discussed in THIS POST in the context of couples’ photos after they have kids, you can tell a lot about a particular couple’s relationship just from the way they arrange themselves in photos. What do YOUR family portrait photos silently tell the world about YOUR marriage/relationship?
Not Taking Online Security Seriously

AA women are the ONLY resource that AA males have ever controlled. AA males are not going to watch passively while increasing numbers of AA women escape Blackistan. Bitter Black Males will physically lash out at escaping AA women.
As more AA women escape—and especially escape into wholesome marriages with nonblack men—there will be more Bitter Black Males physically attacking and murdering BW who date and marry nonblack men.

BWE/Common sense bloggers have been giving this warning for years. HERE'S  an example from 2009 that still applies.
Meanwhile, many of you are newbies who are negligent in terms of your personal online security. You mindlessly give out all sorts of unnecessary personal identification information that makes it much easier for a deranged Bitter Black Male to seek you out in the real world. To harass. To maim. Or to kill, such as in the case of Asia McGowan detailed HERE.

It’s one thing for BWE/Common Sense veteran bloggers to make informed choices about what to reveal about themselves. Because the BWE/Common Sense veterans were around at the beginning, and are very aware of the risks posed by Bitter Black Males. Most of the veteran BW bloggers I’ve been in touch with have put a number of protective measures in place.
Imma be real: Veteran BWE/Common Sense bloggers generally know what they’re doing when it comes to online personal security (because they’ve lived through various online situations). Most of you newbies don’t. Because many of you are newcomers who first learned about BWE from 3rd and 4th generation BWE/BW-centric blogs that weren’t around at the beginning to have to deal with active online stalking and harassment from Bitter Black Males.

A lot of y’all came to BWE after all of that previous online stalking went down and had been dealt with by the veterans. Many of you don’t take security warnings seriously, because you came on the BWE scene after Bitter Black Males (BBM) learned they had to be more cautious and quiet online.
Years back when I was actively blogging, Bitter Black Males especially learned to be more cautious and quiet online after a couple of them found out the hard way that I won’t hesitate to call the FBI field office in their jurisdictions regarding any statement that I consider to be the slightest bit threatening.

Bitter Black Males have learned the hard way that it’s best for them to silently lurk at BWE/Common Sense blogs. Many of you newbies misinterpret this silence as the absence of Bitter Black Male nuts who are listening in. You give out personal identifying information as if the only people listening in on your blog conversations are friends. That can turn out to be a life-threatening mistake on your part.
Five or so years ago, the Bitter Black Males were very vocal in their harassment of BWE/Common Sense bloggers. Thankfully, Bitter Black Males for the most part didn’t feel their interests were threatened enough to take their aggression and hatred offline.

Previously, many Bitter Black Males actually believed that bs they spewed about how supposedly nobody wants BW; nonblack men will never marry BW; and that all this talk of AA women expanding their dating and marriage options was just some sort of revenge fantasy for BW. Bitter Black Males took comfort in those erroneous beliefs.
However, that was before the victory of the BWE movement. Before a critical mass of AA women got the memo to expand their dating and marriage options. Before the trend of BW-WM couples and marriages started growing by leaps and bounds within the last 5 or so years.

Bitter Black Males are starting to panic because their supply of AA women safety nets, Plan Bs, and meal tickets are getting away from them. Any parasite will get upset about the host body disconnecting from them. By definition, parasites cannot sustain themselves. Even if they hate the host, they literally need the host body. If the host body ever wakes up and cuts ties to the parasite, it's “game over” for the parasite.

Now, the situation has reversed: Bitter Black Males have learned to become more cautious about their online activities regarding the BWE/Common Sense bloggers, and yet Bitter Black Males have also become more likely to physically lash out offline against random AA women who are dating and marrying out of Blackistan.

Bitter Black Males’ offline violence against BW who are dating and marrying interracially (and the nonblack men in these women’s lives) has increased:

3 Bitter Black Males brutally raped, tortured, and murdered Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak and her husband Sgt. Jan Pietrzak. See story HERE.
In London, a Bitter Black Male attacked a BW and her 2 year old mixed-race son and broke the toddler’s collar bone. See story HERE.
3 Bitter Black Males beat a White man to a pulp in public square for dating a Black woman in Savannah, Georgia. See story  HERE.

These stories generally won’t be reported as the hate crimes that they are. These stories are usually buried and pass without commentary. Bitter Black Males have been committing these types of attacks on BW who date out (and their nonblack partners) for a while. HERE'S a story buried in the NY Post daily blotter from 2003:
An interracial couple was attacked this weekend in Brownsville by three young men, in an apparent bias incident, cops said yesterday.
The 56-year-old white man and 40-year-old black woman were attacked on Saturday night after the trio yelled racial remarks at the woman outside a Park Place building, police said.
The woman suffered a cut lip and the man received bruises on the head.
Two of the three suspects, a black, unidentified 15-year-old and Shawn Martin, a 20-year-old black man, were arrested and charged with assault. Police are searching for the third attacker.
Just because Bitter Black Males have learned not to do as much active online trolling as they did around 5 years ago, does not mean that these same Bitter Black Males have stopped monitoring BWE/Common Sense blogs.

These physical attacks committed by Bitter Black Males will continue and increase as more AA women date and marry out.
Unfortunately, there will be more fatalities caused by these Bitter Black Males.

The only question is whether or not YOU and YOUR loved ones will be among Bitter Black Males’ future victims.
You increase the odds of being victimized by failure to pay attention to offline and online security issues. You increase the odds of being victimized when you leave an online trail of personal identification bread crumbs for Bitter Black Males to follow to your doorstep. You decrease the odds of being among their future victims by getting serious about security issues. The choice is yours.