This post is really about perseverance. My mother worked at a temporary job for years and finally earned a full time position which led to her moving us out of the “hood”. The first 12 years of my life I attended a different school every year. It wasn’t until she earned a full time job that our living patterns became more consistent and for the first time I attended the same school from 7th grade to 12th grade. I made friends and felt stability. I didn’t have as much as the kids at the school I went to, and I didn’t dress as well, but I fit in.
When my son and I were talking I realized that I couldn’t leave him with no answer, because he looked pensive. I reverted back to teacher and thought about my book F Speeches and Inspiration. I told him that even in the worst hood there are nickels, dimes and quarters. He asked what did that mean. I explained that a kid in the hood is surrounded by older people. Those people have laundry and trash that has to be carried and taken out. If a kid asked 30 of the tenants in the building to pay him a quarter a week for taking out their trash he would earn 7.50 cents a week. Which is 30.00 dollars a month and 360 dollars a year. If they added the laundry that would be 720.00 per year which he could share with his family.
My son asked me how that would work if every kid tried to do that. My answer was every kid won’t, just like every parent didn’t show their kids a work ethic like my mom did for me. I finished by explaining to him that it isn’t fair that some people don’t make it out, but there are always doors that can open. It may not be earning a quarter. It might be staying after school and asking a janitor to pay you a dollar a week to help out around the school. He immediately said, nobody would do that and I said, “If you’re hungry enough, you would.”
I guess my point is that in business, you won’t have the answers, but you don’t stop trying. Doing your best may not garner you anything. Doing nothing though will guarantee you nothing.