Entrepreneurial Ethics & Black Economics (w/ Tony Lawson)

Zach sits down with Tony Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Shoppe Black, a digital space dedicated to Black entrepreneurship and business, to chat about ways Black folks can better serve and support one another economically.

Struggling with your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) work? Kanarys—a Black-founded company—has your back. Regardless of where you are on your DEI journey, we arm you with the insights you need now to take action now. From audits to assessments to data-informed strategy, we’d love to be the partner you have been looking for. Email stacey@kanarys.com or learn more at https://www.kanarys.com/employer.

Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.

Interested in finding out more about Shoppe Black? Check out their website and connect with them on social media – they’re on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

TRANSCRIPT

SPEAKER 1 0:10

What’s up, y’all this is Zack will live in corporate and wow, the years coming up to an end, y’all. We have a couple more weeks till Christmas. How do y’all feel? Are y’all ready to take a break? I recognize I know I’ve said this before, but I recognize that this is not the easiest season for everybody. But I do hope that you’re able to get some rest and some restoration from a very halation here. So look, you know, we do it right. Every single week. We’re having really authentic conversations with black and brown thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, activists, educators, civil servants, and elected officials. And this week, I’m really excited because we have Tony Lawson, who’s the CEO, co-founder of shot black. And we’re going to talk a little bit about shot black and black economics and what it really means to like be entrepreneurial in this season. Some of y’all call this a band Dimmick, something like a band they make for those who don’t like a band Dimmick is like a play on the term pandemic, because it’s been a very successful year for a lot of entrepreneurs. And I bring all this up to say, like, as we think about practicing entrepreneurship and creating wealth within the black community, I think it’s important that we realize we can’t practice the same capitalistic models that are exercised upon us like it’s just not sustainable. And so, you know, we’ve talked about that in this conversation. And as we kind of explore what it really means to build business and build community in that process. So we’re going to go there. Before we do, we’re going to tap in with Tristan.



SPEAKER 2 1:55

What’s going on living corporate, it’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. With the mean the end of the year, many companies are doing their performance reviews, so let’s talk about them. We initially talked about annual reviews on Tip Number 22. You can go back and listen to the basics. However, in short, I mentioned how to better prepare yourself for your self-assessment. By keeping better records of the results you’ve created, your achievements and any recognition you received. Remember, utilizing this information can help make a case for a raise or even a promotion. With the pandemic being a significant factor in our work experiences. This year, I want to discuss a couple of things to remember for your self-assessment. First, the most obvious is any results you were able to create, especially if they affected the company’s bottom line. If you are an employee whose productivity stayed the same or increased or you were still able to produce results for the company during this time that is a significant thing that you should highlight. It could even be the thing that helps save your job if your company is forced to conduct layoffs again in the near future. Next, if you help with your company’s COVID work from home or back to Office transitions, make sure to list it since the pandemic force many companies to make that shift quickly. If you helped to ensure that process was smooth, it could work in your favour. From helping with policy or virtually on boarding a new hire to training team members on new collaboration tools and picking up extra work when a co-worker got sick. Make sure to document all of that in your self-assessment. The last thing I’ll mention is to list any significant employee resource group involvement. We all know about the uprising the head companies quaking in their boots and releasing statements about and pledges to diversity, equity and inclusion. Well, in many companies, a large majority of that work has fallen in the hands of these employee resource groups. So if you’ve helped leadership, brainstorm policies, recruiting practices, or anything to help them with their DNI initiatives, put all of that into your self-assessment. While it is always important to advocate for yourself during your performance review, with the financial constraints, many companies and organizations are feeling right now it’s even more critical. Take some time to reflect on everything you’ve done at work this year, so you can highlight the value you bring to your company. Thanks for tapping in with me this week. This tip was brought to you by tracing of life on resume consulting, check us out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at lay field. Resume or connect with me Tristan lay field on LinkedIn.



SPEAKER 1 4:28

Tony, welcome to the show, man. How you doing?



SPEAKER 3 4:30

Hey, how you doing man? I’m doing great.



SPEAKER 1 4:33

Man, it’s an honour. So let’s get into it right because you know, I follow? I subscribe to shop black. So I get all the newsletters, right I see the features and Ebony and black enterprise. And, you know, I see you know, Survey Monkey. I mean, I see you like I see y’all out here. Right. So just talk a little bit for those who don’t know about shop black, like, what is it and what’s the story on how we got started?



SPEAKER 3 4:57

Sure. I’d say right now shop black is a multimedia platform. And were dedicated to empowering black owned businesses. The short story of it or the short description, the way we got started was the ultimate disdain. And this was around the time when Mike Brown was murdered. They were calling for people who are, you know, boycotting. And you know, there were riots and black owned businesses, you know, had this been at it at a, and people were looking for options, you know, the alternative black owned businesses to support instead of the usual grant that they were using for whatever it was in cane or haircare, whether it’s clothing, whatever. And one of the issues that, you know, me and my co-founder and my wife actually were noticing was that people didn’t know what these alternatives were and people who are already supporting, you know, black owned businesses and going to do so we knew what a lot of options were. And we thought that you know, blog, actually a Facebook page, just putting like a list out there of what the options were. And that kind of glued to a blog, making articles on WordPress about it. And we just saw the demand for such content. And the hunger for that information was so great. And it just really didn’t coincide with what our values were, we were just like, hey, let’s make a thing out of this. And we’ve just been doing it since 2016. So, you know, 1000s of articles and hundreds of interviews later. And here we are reporting black on Google.



SPEAKER 1 6:34

You know, one thing that really shocked me about initially right as I engage how black because it’s like what 2018 was just like the aesthetic, right? Like everything is. So of course everything is like is black. But the tones these everything just seems very intentional. I like to hear more about how y’all arrived at your overall just branding approach?



SPEAKER 3 6:55

Sure. So my wife, I know, give her credit for that for sure. Because she’s a well-known or retired curator. So she has an eye for us. They’re very big when it comes down to how images should look and the quality of images and photos and whatnot. So you know, we have this joke, where she talks about when she first met me how I had all these blurry means on my Instagram page, or whatever it was, and she kind of put them into their social look like Abby said, my game of which is true, which is true knock and actually look at photos. And I’m like, yeah, you know, this is something that I like, this is something that, you know, I don’t like the intentionality of in the word intentionality between or behind that, when it comes to some black is we want to lead by example. And we know that if you are a consumer, and you’re going out looking for a new skincare product, right, if you come across a website, or a social media page, and their images look crazy, you’re probably going to be out of there in 0.002 seconds, right? Versus the feed that you come across, or a website that’s very pleasing on the eye, you see images that reflect you, the photos look great new, like, okay, you know, I’m intrigued, let’s see what these people have to offer. So I think that a lot of black businesses, a lot of people do it. But there are also a lot that I don’t think they’re taking into account the importance of that first impression. So your, whatever you’re selling could be the greatest service or the greatest product in the world. But if you don’t get people to get the first, okay, or their first nod, which is your initial aesthetic, people aren’t going to be able to take the next step, or they won’t want to take the next step to find out. So we do that with our site, because we’ve seen some craziness out there when it comes to, you know, businesses or a site that are related to this. And we’ve seen it as it relates to black owned businesses period. And we just want people to be able to get the recognition or the support that they deserve. And we just want to set like I said, set the example that, hey, we feel that that’s what x should look like. And we, you know, encourage or be who you to kind of take that into consideration as well, when you’re trying to put your brand out there, too.



SPEAKER 1 9:13

You know, I want to talk a little bit about effective relationship building and strategic collaboration. You talk about the platform shot black, and it highlights a wider array of individuals and businesses, right. And I recognize that the center spoke is black non-business, but then like you use that to then mobilize all sorts of other things. My question is like, what was the journey in building that connectivity? And then beyond that, maintaining it, like you have?



SPEAKER 3 9:40

Sure so the joints have been, I guess the relationships that we have. So far, there are many, I guess there are a few different relationships, right? We have relationships with the consumers, we have relationships with business owners, and we have relationships with service right. So in all those cases I think the overall boils down to is credibility. I think that makes it easier to build from the get go, because people are generally skeptical when you, you know, ask what it’s asking for an interview or is asking, you know, whatever you ask them for, they want to know, like a, you know, one or Who are you? What do you what’s in it for you, and then for me, so what I found has worked is coming to the table offering something of value. So I’m saying, hey, I want to make sure this is a win, not just for not having to be a win. It can be a win on their side. And I don’t need to win. Like, for instance, the first there’s shop lag, which is in November 2000, you know, 15. Until now, well, till now, we haven’t charged for any, like features or anything like that, right? And this whole time, like, almost out the gate, people are like, Oh, you’re asking us about promotional services? And how do you promote my business? And how can I pay to the promotion be charged for promotion. And I was like, we don’t offer promotional services, we’re just basically posting businesses that we’ve come across, and then we like them, we like what they’ve got going on. And we just look at them as great examples of what a business should be doing out there on social media, or just in the business sphere, period. And literally, so like I said, you know, just coming out there offering value, Cena, okay, we don’t want anything from you just want to promote your business, you want to tell people about this business that you’ve gone build product, because we’ve even seen it, we’ve used it, whatever it is, use a husband and wife business, y’all make lacquers a dope looking couple and English will be inspiring, who just want to bring some positivity, and you know, inspire our readers educate our readers, you’ve done. And that’s putting that out there without really expecting anything in return. So, you know, fast forward five years later, you know, we’ve built up a sizable following and email subscriber and folks have always been like, yo, when you’re going to, you know, make some money, when are you going to like, monetize it, you should monetize it at end of the day, What are y’all doing? I was like, No, we haven’t doing anything yet. We’re kind of just waiting right now, what we’re doing work, and we’re comfortable with that. So we didn’t really start charging gold maybe a few months ago, we’re like, okay, let’s start, you know, doing some promo and some advertising services. And my background is in marketing. So I’m like, Alright, that’s the heavier lift for me and Shinto, my wife, you know, her background in the arts and aesthetic wise. So that kind of work in that regard. So building those relationships basically came from just putting stuff out there for free, being able to build an audience. So we could now take that audience that we had, and actually go to another individual or group and say, hey, this is the audience that we have, are you interested in being on our platform? Right? So those are the ways that we build relationships, either there’s been value out there, or expressing or communicating the benefits of being on the platform, or whether it’s business owners or service providers, or authors, or whatever it is. And also, it’s important for us to make it clear, going back to the credibility thing that look, we’ve been here we’ve been doing this for a while, we’re not some new vibe, black shop black and mother’s black, you’re alkies, black, everybody black, you know, type site, we’ve been here, we’ve been doing it, and here are the receipts. We’re not some get some follow a quick game, or, you know, we’re not following a trend. So I think that when people see that it is build those relationships and maintain them because there’s, there’s an authenticity and there’s a level of trust that I okay, these people, they’re about it.



SPEAKER 1 13:55

You know, it’s interesting that you say that, right? Because I think, but what am I connected like back in fall 2018. And I remember like, you know, at that point, I think living quarters Olympics was only like two and a half years old. So at that point, we only we were only like, five or six months off. And to your point, like it’s tough, right? Like, and I know, this wasn’t a catalyst, we were just we were just running like we’re just busy. But it’s interesting, the reception that live in corporate gets now to like when we very first got started because you’re right, like there are a lot of spaces out there that aren’t authentic, or the intentions at least aren’t transparent, right? In terms of like, Okay, what am I trying to get out of this? And what are you trying to get out of me? It’s something that has to do I think it’s really white supremacy, man. It’s like this like attitude that we just have to dominate one another. Like, there’s very rare I think, sadly, it’s rare for folks to come together and be like, no, look, I have this intention. And I want to help you with this. I just want you to help me out this and like that, be it I’m trying to get something off you on the back end. Oh, Yo, I’m hiding this thing from you over here. It’s just like, No, I just genuinely want to build this thing. And like I just that really resonates with me. Because, you know, live in corporate is taking some time but we started just I think when we first connected like we were just a single pot now we are. We have like multiple content series. We have multiple web shows, we have a blog, we have, like other partnerships and things that were like that we’ve launched and other things that we’re going to announce soon. And so I think I think about like, but it takes me. I don’t know, like, Are there any people that like, are you thankful for that you like, still think about that, like kind of gave you a chance when y’all were young, that like really helped propel y’all to like continue to build relationships you have now.



SPEAKER 3 15:33

I would say, I mean, and not to sound crazy, but I wouldn’t even look at it as giving us a chance. Because if you’re a business owner, you’re hardly ever going to say no to free publicity, right? If you’re trying to sell something, why would you say no to someone who’s trying to publicize your business or product for free? I do feel like kind of stuff. And maybe I’ll think of an example, you know, after the fact, but I think that most of the whether it’s interviews or, you know, high profile or after we’ve had has been as a result of the work that we’ve done, you know, I don’t I can’t think of an example. It’s like, someone was like, Hi, let me throw you a bone and, you know, whatever. I actually don’t have an example of that.



SPEAKER 1 16:26

And that’s fair, I guess, I think because we probably so we’re different, like we’re similar, but we’re different, right in that like living corporate existence of media network. And we’re not necessarily like, focused on black businesses as much as we’re focused on like this idea of like, centering and amplifying people and I think maybe because also like, everybody has a podcast, right? And so like, if you just come and say, Well, I got a podcast. The reason I ask is, I think for me, some people that really like it’s a shot early in the game like DeRay McKesson Minda heart, like there’s some other people like who in our community have a little bit of juice, right? And they kind of help and then like, I was able to be like, okay, like I built I got this relationship Okay, now I got this sounds like you could kind of just bid against yourself until you just need to, you know, that kind of leads me to my follow up question which is shot blank almost kind of seems like a digital black Wall Street. Like there’s a sharing I’ll research and capital like in terms of just access information network. My question is, do you see any of these principles transferable to like, black and brown working professionals in like, a nine to five? And,



SPEAKER 3 17:30

Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen several parallels, you know, I mean, in the media space, and I think just in general, there are several types of skills and skill set that you’re going to need to add to your success rate. And I feel like, you can easily learn those at a job, you know, whether it’s sending professional email, whether it’s phone etiquette, email, customer service, you know, all these things can be learned at a nine to five and then transfer it if you want to, you know, pick up a side hustle or jump into the entrepreneurial pool. But I think that these are all things that can be learned at a job and intelligence. You dropping into corporate America should be teaching, we’re talking about corporate America job and even if you’re just talking about it, you know, your customer service reps, I don’t know wherever DMP you’re still learning how to deal with people, you’re learning how to read people over the phone, you’re learning how to still negotiate, you’re learning customer service and learning how to manage people you know, and pick up on non-cues, cues when you can’t see who’s actually on the other end of the phone. So I’ll be the transferable to business and entrepreneurship



SPEAKER 1 18:44

you know, how to shop black encourage entrepreneurship, for those aspiring, were interested in like really like going full tilt into entrepreneurship



SPEAKER 3 18:53

Full time. I would say that the stories that inspire so whether it’s a story about a lady who be cancer, and now she has a line of clothing or wigs for you know, other survivors, that’s inspiring, right? So you might have been on the fence about doing something but you’re like, damn this lady be cancer and she’s making it happen. I don’t have those problems, what’s my excuse? Right? We share information and resources to educate folks about Okay, I want to raise money or I wanted to invest in a company that’s in my business. So we would have some content about Okay, tips for getting in belly you know, whatever that is looking for what checkboxes you need to have taken care of for that for the taking seriously. All three to be prepared to go have this meeting or phone call with a VC or private equity or angel investing whatever it is all your uncle that has the money. You know what a few people before he’s going to take you seriously. And lastly, I mean in the interviews that we do with entrepreneurs, we you’re often asked, what are some advice that you have for aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners? You know, and they lay it out, like, Hey, I would suggest you do this, this that. And the third, my advice would be to, you know, keep your head up. My advice is, don’t let people tell you, you know, my advice is to, you know, focus on financial management. So there’s a wide array, we almost happen in every single interview just for that there’s a wide pool of opinions and advice for people who are trying to take that step or interested in entrepreneurship.



SPEAKER 1 20:31

Yeah, I’m curious, like, you know, we talked about shot black and like, you know, it’s been an interesting season, right. Like I said, you know, we have, you know, COVID-19, you know, he’s talking about this next recession is going to be, you know, even more challenging. The one is one before, and unless we, like, you know, do some more stimulus packages, like, you know, it’s going to be tough. I’m curious as to like, as someone who engages a network of black entrepreneurs and lightens the space, like, what trends or just observations are you making out there, you know, in this season?



SPEAKER 3 21:02

Sure. So bad. What I’ve noticed, personally, is that I don’t think people are actually prepared for what may be coming. And not that they don’t want to, but just financially, aren’t there. I don’t know the exact figures, I can’t remember. But a lot of people don’t have any savings, they don’t have enough saved up for you know, one emergency named unemployment. Crazy right now, there’s a lot of unprepared that even with entrepreneurs, like COVID showed us that you can’t rely on just having the brick and mortar business, you need to have some kind of e commerce setup as well. I didn’t know that, or didn’t take that into consideration. And COVID is hit, you’ll be going out, nobody’s coming to your store. And now you’re, you know, you’re kind of like struggling and trying to figure out okay, how do I sell online? And even if I add some type of e commerce system set up on my website, how do I actually focus on that now? What does it take to actually pivot from 100%? Brick and mortar to 100%? Online? Or what’s the right mix? Like the marketing, SEO, all these things? It’s not just like, okay, now I’m online, and I’m good to go orders. Where are you? You know, there’s a whole bunch of work that goes into being found online as well. That’s also what we try and help people with I okay, well, here, no, people don’t want to support black businesses, we can plug you into the people who are pretty much looking for you. And also it would help if you have these things in place, the vendor kind of goes back to the aesthetic thing, because we already know what works for us. We know what people have been looking for, you know, some like, hey, but your barbecue sauce is a bomb in all counties in Texas, but no one’s going to know or get a chance if you don’t have these certain things in place. So I’ll say that lack of preparedness in some technical aspects, specifically as a e commerce there, when I say that another trend that I have is that people are doing his side hustles like people realize the importance of picking up a stream of income, like okay, how do I learn that people are really actually hungry for knowledge right now. So whether it’s courses, whether it’s learning a new skill, whether it’s learning about stocks, and investing, people are really into that and go the people, the entrepreneurs who have digital products, courses, whether it’s about how to invest, when it’s about how to market when it’s about how to crochet and sell some product. They’re doing pretty well, because inflammation is selling right now. People are hungry for information, and the entrepreneurs that have inflammation are doing well. Now, there’s some people out there who are making money, not because they have this huge Oh, they’re selling you they’re basically making money from selling you something right? Some people are basically making money from selling you ideas about how to make money, they don’t really know how to make money. They’re just telling you, Hey, this is how you can make money pay me $10 you pay them $10. And now they’re becoming rich. And you’re like, you know, where the dream is?



SPEAKER 1 24:11

It’s kind of pyramid scheme?



SPEAKER 3 24:12

Yeah. It’s very pyramid scheme, pyramid scheme, a little bit of sleaze going on there. So that’s definitely out there. That’s another trick. Yeah, so in information grades, and it’s even better when you know what you’re doing. Or even if you aren’t the expert in what you’re selling, at least have done your research to the point where you put like a great product together where you’ve done the research and you’re like, Okay, these are facts that I’m putting out and sold the house flips, you know, 20 homes, and I’m putting out a course on how to live longer. I haven’t closed the warehouse, but I’ve scoured the internet, I’ve done my research. I’ve watched these videos and I collected all this data, and now like COVID for you so you don’t have to watch 1000 videos and read 1000 books. It’s all here. In this course, now you can actually take this information and go prove a house, or whatever it is, is yourself that saves you the time and money. So now, it’s worth me getting paid for that time and effort that I put into putting this. You know what I’m saying?



SPEAKER 1 25:13

I like that, like, no, so there’s value in that. So let me show you somebody. Michaela was side hustle Pro. Right? Yeah. So like, Leah Michaela is the homie. And she’s a perfect example of Okay, look, I have this actual bit of insight. I’m going to charge you for it. But I’m going to charge you at a wild discount, like, I’m not going to try. And guess what, if you follow these steps, and you’re consistent, like, blow up? Yeah, like, that’s worth it. Right? Like, I think, man, you know, something I talked about it like a while ago was just like the concept of like, it’s tough, because like, I really believe in group economics. And I think there’s this thing that like, black folks, sometimes, like, we can’t practice the same capitalistic tenets that white folks do in terms of just like extorting each other, like, I can’t be out here, just like charging you like everything, right? Like, there has to be. Like, I mean, like, maybe yes, of course, I want to make sure I give you something. But we can also bought or something of equal value. And like, we can do this. And we can do that. So that we’re not like, you know, killing each other out here. Right?



SPEAKER 3 26:12

Yeah, you don’t need to lead everyone.



SPEAKER 1 26:16

Cuz like from something I literally tweeted this a while ago, I was like, you know, look, I’m a social entrepreneur. Right? Yeah. And so like, my intention is to give away all the content, like so we have, I mean, hundreds of podcast interviews, we have all these different ones content that is like, I mean, peak content, right. But I’m never going to, I’m never going to create, even if we do, like, if we ever do like a subscription model, it’s always going to be like free subscription, just sign up, but you’re not going to paint, I never going to charge black people for content to help them be free. Right? Now what I will do, though, I will like be creative and how I engage. Like these white institutions that want our time and space, I plan on just charging them a premium, what we do is like, we charge like, we hate each other with these just wild price tags. And like, again, I’m not talking about like a restaurant or a clothing store. Like I get that, you know, I’m saying you pay for quality you pay for you got to eat, you pay for that it’s not talking about, you’re talking about more so like, to your earlier point around like services, right? Like, those types of things is like I get it like again, and I get that we have to also survive. I wish collectively we could like, be a bit more community centric, and just how we practice our economics, right? Because I don’t think it’s sustainable for us to be charging an arm and a leg for each other. We got to figure out ways, I think, to go and charge the people who have it. You know what I mean?



SPEAKER 3 27:32

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I’m completely what you mean, I don’t think that’s sustainable either. You can’t believe people that are broke, you know, and I’ve not said the black community is broke. But I think it’s on us to, like you said be social entrepreneurs, don’t just be out there trying to be a shark and gouge everyone have some type of social intent that is beneficial to the people that you’re serving, providing a good service. And I think that that’s, that’s actually the better way to get ahead. Other than the whole The Fast Money, Oh, I got him or I got her got it. That’s how it’s not going to last, you know, that’s not going to last long. The other thing if you’re giving, you’re getting just be a giver. Make your money because you’re [Inaudible] too but be a giver.



SPEAKER 1 28:23

I think the other thing is that we lose it. You say I want it, I don’t want it. The black man is broke. It’s okay. I’m saying we are broke, like, comparatively speaking. Like, we don’t have the same house coat. Like the like, the household wealth is like the disparity is so stark. Yeah, there’s projections showing that like, we might be down to like, $0 by 2050. So it’s like, it’s just scary. You know, negative, negative. You’re I’m boosting underwater, it wasn’t 2050 it was like $0 by like, 2030. Summer 2014. It was like, ridiculous. And so to your point, though, like, I think, to that end is like the other reason why you want to do that is because, man our community is small. Like, you know, I’m saying like, I didn’t know that you knew and Kayla, like, I didn’t know that you knew her. And so like, you know, like, everything’s like one to two degrees.



SPEAKER 3 29:07

Right.



SPEAKER 1 29:08

That’s what’s up. I am. Yeah. And this, this is not an ad, which I’m excited. But yeah, like, it’s interesting, because it’s easy to get a bad reputation. Like all it takes is, you know, like, let’s say, you know, so you and I, right, we kind of had it before, like, I was being persistent or whatever. All it takes is for you to hit up the kale and be like, Man is annoying or respecting my time. And then all of a sudden, like, you know, two or three people in Atlanta and not the job. Not that we’re messy, but it’s just like, we’re about relationships. And so if you go out here and you bleed a couple of people one too many times. You don’t think that’s going to get back because I’m out here, man. I know. I know that, you know, some people who like our whatever, some whisper who like had this, whatever reputation but you go by and he’s like, Oh, no, do not deal with that person. You know, we all we all know at least three or four of those people. Well, it’s a small world. You got to you got to be thought what you said I think is 100% got to be a giver, man. It’s like how you operating from an abundance mind-set. So let’s do this shop like is constantly growing y’all doing y’all staying as you look at the calendar right as you look over the next like 12 months 18 months, like what are you really excited about?



SPEAKER 3 30:13

I’m excited about some of the partnership conversations that we’re having right now. I think that they are going to benefit business owners in a tremendous way. I’m excited about the directory that we’re building I’m excited about I mean, I’m excited I wake up at times black I wake up early and I go to sleep late You know, just shot black and I don’t mean shopping all day but I mean like working on this business. So those are the things that we have going on some tremendous partnerships and the directory as I said, and also working on offering services to business owners whether it’s access to capital, whether it’s access to consultant for customers branding, whatever it is, we’re building all those relationships also, you know, thinking about relationships and strategy so that’s what we’re doing. And you know, just figuring out what makes sense you know, from the people are black and the people are not black but it to me on the face whatever benefits my people you know, at the end of the day, if you’re the best person to provide this info by all means let’s make this partnership happen because your platform is going to help them get to where they need to be. That’s the most of the things and hiring so I can take some weight off my shoulders because I need to know right writers social media, you know manager.



SPEAKER 1 31:36

No I heard him and I look y’all got to know knows to check him out and I’m right there which is how you know it’s been so hard for me to find his interest because it’s not hard to find people who want to do like media like you know hosting like audio visual content but man finding writers that’s been…



SPEAKER 3 31:50

Yeah, you know what you could do that night work and I’m going to start doing this actually reaching out to HBCU and journalism major.



SPEAKER 1 32:01

Smart that’s it Look at you see that right there this is this is it man says it right in real time and sharing ideas resources. Exactly. Yes. Yes. Yes. Now Tony was not here live in he’s living shot black, you know, like, Yo, this is not you know, I’m saying here is his body you talking about don’t play. And this has been a dope conversation man, before we let you go any parting advice you want to you want to give to our audience any shoutouts you want to have.



SPEAKER 3 32:25

Advice, I would say no matter what you’re trying to do, if someone has something that can help you get to the next level, you know, relationships from a position of bringing something to the table, you know, add some value. So you know, you’re respected you know, you give them the respect that they give you and that they deserve. I would say my advice is the good thing to develop emotional intelligence, whether this is corporate or in the business world, you know, recognize your emotions and not take things personally and be able to pick up on you know, cues from other people. Like I that’s one thing that I am always trying to get better at, like someone could email me and say, Oh, you know, I’ll get back to you. You know, my goldfish just died or Coronavirus, just went blind. And a mom just left my dad after 50 years of marriage. And I’m like, [Inaudible].



SPEAKER 1 33:33

No, like real story. Empathy is like super important. Empathy is super, super, super important. I’ll never forget when I had this, I had somebody man. And we were talking out of nowhere, they just fell off the face of the earth, like literally just stopped talking for like, four or five months, I finally hit them up a little eye emoji. I was like, man, what’s up? And man, when I tell you, they hit me back and he said, Oh, you didn’t know, posted a Tony this person had gotten carjacked, at gunpoint and be up was on disability for several months here’s the thing I didn’t, I didn’t come with him crazy. Nothing. But in my heart, I felt I was like I said, I was going to I was going to stay with him. I was like, you know what? Read that extend some grace man. And the wild part is that, like, it’s important to like, read social cues and like, kind of and extend grace because man, you can look up and you don’t need that same grace, if not more.



SPEAKER 3 34:25

Definitely, you know, definitely. Yeah, no, it always comes back around I’m learning how to you know, be more mindful of the things and not just get straight to the business of the point like them via you know, be listening to what this person just said, you know, the human about it type of thing. So, can you email yesterday, I think they’ve been trying to reach us over after we send like newsletter to send like a few emails, but it’s like an inventor who’s like an elderly man, like he had some patents that he was trying to sell me $1,000 and I kindly you know, refused. I know. No, thank you. And then you know, anytime I send out like a newsletter, goes with my Lego. This is your last chance Take it or leave it and I’m like I already left it, you know? I don’t want it yet. Oh, then last email I sent out he responds, and he was like, black business last but no black business, its set on your face. So normally like a few years ago, I did like literally not even care and I was like, you know what? He’s probably to stop and stuff isn’t going right in his world right now. And let me just kind of ignore I helped him unsubscribe from the email list because he doesn’t remember he doesn’t know how to do it.



SPEAKER 1 35:41

That I helped him unsubscribe, which means you enter into your MailChimp and you copy and paste that man’s email. Yeah, and you say, remove.



SPEAKER 3 35:49

I said remove because [Inaudible] I bring him joy.



SPEAKER 1 35:59

And sometimes you got to have the emotional intelligence and maturity to guide others where they need to go to right which is something which is sometimes off your email. I mean, that’s okay.



SPEAKER 3 36:08

Right? They don’t know they need it.



SPEAKER 1 36:10

They don’t know that they need it. Okay, well, look here man. We appreciate you, y’all you know we do this every single week right? We’re having conversations black and brown folk’s center in black and brown experiences where immediate network Okay, so you know, hit us up you got us you know, we’re all over the internet. So you know, I’m not going to give on the domain just type in live in corporate we pop up. Now SEO is actually popping out here. That’s a call back to the early part of the interview. What else? Let’s see here. Subscribe, Share, follow, retweet all of that stuff. Till next time y’all been listening to Tony loss and CEO and founder of sharp black make sure you check the links in the show notes Till next time, peace. And we’re back. Y’all just want to thank Tony Lawson. Again. Make sure y’all check out shop black. It’s literally everywhere. Just google it but it’s also in the show notes. And until next time, y’all. Peace.



SPEAKER 4 37:11

Living corporate is a podcast, living corporate LLC. Our logo was designed by David Dawkins. Our theme music was produced by Ken Burns. Additional music production by Anton Franklin from musical elevation. Post production is handled by Jeremy Jackson. Got a topic suggestion. Email us at living corporate podcast@gmail.com. You can find us online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and living dash corporate.com. Thanks for listening. Stay tuned.

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