What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Martin Luther King Jr.

As I live my dreams of being an entrpeneur and leading the marketing efforts of a new client I realized I missed MLK Day. Yes, it has been commercialized and the perhaps the reason for giving Martin Luther King Jr. his own day is lost. But for the WOKE, this day is important and recognizing it as such needs to honored. If you read this blog regularly then you know that is an issue I face constantly. The balance between work and family. This year is no exception. I missed the Day of Service and that means my son did too. This post is my way to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. and to acknowledge all that he accomplished for me and my America.

I asked myself “is working on his day acknowledging him?” Is this the dream that Martin Luther King saw for us? Is my goal of being an entrepreneur and creating a legacy of wealth for me and my family part of it? I believe and did the research to know that the answer is “YES”. I have a dream and creating a legacy of wealth and self-reliance is key to why I work to accomplish it.

All of us start with a dream. This is my salute to Martin Luther King, Jr and all of us that are working on a dream.

This is where it starts for us. The dream we have for our lives.

I have a dream! #MLKJRquotes

Economic equality is a key tenet of all civil rights actions. The Economic Bill of Rights he presented at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference outlined the many ways to accomplish this equality. It is a shame that the issues presented in the bill of rights still exist.

I wish that he focused more on being an entrepreneur and creating small businesses as a path to economic equality. I believe in the power of entrepreneurship (full or part-time) to do more than creating a paycheck. When you start and grow a company you get a feeling of empowerment and confidence. You know that with guts, perseverance, and resiliency you can accomplish your goals. You know that YOU DID THIS and more importantly that YOU CAN DO THIS!

Today, as you read this and remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Let us understand what he was able to accomplish in his shortened life as an inspiration to all of us, but especially the entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Lessons We Learn from Martin Luther King Jr.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

We can not overlook the importance of believing in yourself when being an entrepreneur. You will see this time and time again in my posts. That’s why I write my Monday Motivations. You can not enter into entrepreneurship without a belief in your abilities. I don’t know, other his faith in GOD, if MLK Jr. knew he could change the outcomes of America. But I am 100% sure he had an underlying belief in his purpose, the mission and his ability to lead. He was a leader all his life.

No matter where we begin in our journeys, we have to believe in our abilities to create and grow sustaining businesses.

To reach our goals we have to understand that it may not be easy.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle”. #MLKJRQuotes

BELIEVE IN YOUR MESSAGE

There is no way that MLK could lead millions of people and change a nation if he didn’t believe in hs message. Even if his message was timely and necessary for the times. For him to inspire and continue to inspire millions he had tp have the conviction of believing in what he was saying.

I understand why the FBI was scared of him even though he preached non-violence. I understand why the establishment is always scared of the outliers. If you believe that anything is can be done it is a powerful thing. If you are able to take these beliefs and change the thoughts of a nation and bring people together to act to the delivery that is powerful. Martin Luther King Jr,. believed in himself, his mission and his message.

It is worth the effort.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance should be taken with painstaking excellence. #MLKJRQuotes

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER

I wonder what ammunition Martin Luther King Jr. brought to the table the first time he spoke to community leaders, doubters and naysayers. By the time he was at the table with presidents, world leaders, and other commmunity leaders. Yes, he was an orator on another level. Yes, he was a pastor of Dexter King Memorial Baptist Chuch so they knew he had a congregation behind him. But what did they really think when he told him they were going to boycott until the busing system of Montgomery was desegrated.

I’m sure the second time he spoke to them and after The Montgomery Bus Boycott was over the conversation was different. This time was he was the epitome of action speaking louder than words. Did they really want to wait, 13 months, 385 days more to see how actions could topple another economy? The truth is they doubted but they could not doubt that he was capable of putting his mouth where there money was.

I love a great speech. I feel I can change the world when I hear Martin Luther King’s speeches. However, without action behind those deeds, he’s great but just so. In his lifetime he accomplished much. He won the highest honor bestowed in this world, a Nobel Peace Prize. But when I think of the marches, the boycotts,his letter from jail, and on I realized that every action and reaction he took was tied into his mission. Imagine how his leadership and his followers felt when he emerged from that jail and wrote the Birmingham letter that is still so powerful, honest, and true.

After the boycotts and he said, WE will boycott and we will shut this city down the leaders had to listen and prepare. As entrepreneurs, we have to back up our words with actions. It is not enough to have a dream if you’re not working every day to make your dreams come alive.

We Need a Team

Martin Luther King Jr teamwork

When I was younger I thought Martin Luther King Jr. was Superman. It really did seem as if he could leap from tall buildings and was more powerful than a locomotive. ( We’ll leave the bullet part out.) I thought like Superman, he saved the world all by himself. It wasn’t till I was older that I realized that he had a team to help. A lot of this team is unrecognized but if you look at the fallen figures, the many who were arrested with the ones who just licked a stamp in the name of the cause, he was not alone.

MLK Jr. had a leadership team. It was made up of people he trusted, relied upon, and was there to take the mantle when the bullet killed him. These people were part of the team that changed history. People like Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, John Lewis, The Rev. James Orange, and let’s not forget his wife, Coretta Scott King and children. There were and are so many others who fought and continue to fight until their deaths to eradicate racism.

Now, most of us are not building legacies as expansive as Martin Luther King Jr’s. But, we are building “something” and we need to let others join our team. Or let’s find a partner that is aligned to our mission and purpose. We need people to assist us to build a better business and perhaps we will create one or two visions as long-lasting as MLK Jr.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?- Martin Luther King Jr. #MLKQuotes

I want to thank you for reading this and I hope you clicked on the links to read more about him. Reading about him as an adult was a journey. It made me hopeful and sad. Hopeful because I can see what happens when we are purposeful and led by greatness. Sad, because we, as a people, are still struggling to realize the dream and the legacy of Dr. King.

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