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I woke up this morning to the word ‘believe’. It was related to North Carolina’s NCAA championship win yesterday. This is a word that is used on the Authenticity Grid, so I immediately decided to use it for today’s newsletter.

I only heard a brief part of the morning dialogue and it was about people in the stands using the word ‘believe’ during the final game. It didn’t take too long to find the reference for its use as it relates to North Carolina. When I found it, I smiled broadly.

One of the players, Joel Berry has the word tattooed on the inside of his left bicep. It’s a word that his father shares with him every single day, either by phone or text so that Joel maintains optimism and hope. Evidently, the word and the message is a family tradition also followed by Joel’s sisters.

This is a powerful message and a powerful tradition. Let me share with you another family that has a phenomenal tradition.

A week ago, I was the MC for the annual Salute to Black Women given by the Black Business Association of Los Angeles. Every year we honor eight women who are trailblazers and have noteworthy achievements. Five of the women who were honored this year remind me of Joel Berry’s family.

This is a family of three generations of women entrepreneurs. The matriarch, Connie Bass, had the best cookies in the state of California a couple decades ago. I was a regular customer but had no idea that a few years later I would learn so much about her accomplishments. In addition to multiple successful businesses since her cookie days, she has two daughters who are both very successful entrepreneurs. And two of her granddaughters were also honored for their entrepreneurial success. One of the granddaughters was a week away from delivering the fourth-generation female who will likely also be an entrepreneur.

Connie’s daughter asked her daughters an interesting question once they finished high school. It was ‘what business do you want to start’? It wasn’t a question about ‘if’ you wanted to go into business. It was expected that they would go into business and only needed to decide what business to pursue.

I wonder what kind of world we would have if all parents raised their children with such expectations. One family teaches that you ‘believe’ and role models the value of the word by phoning or texting the word to his children every day. Another family raises daughters with the expectation that they will be successful in business, it’s only a matter of what society has to offer and the gifts and talents the daughters want to express.

The thread in these two examples is twofold. One is the parental role modeling. I’m reminded of an old poem that is probably still popular now. It says that children ‘live what they learn’. The most powerful teacher we have for our children is what we say and do.

The other thread is setting expectations. Joel’s father gave his son a life of optimism and hope that he embraced and saw to success. The Bass family gave their daughters the expectation that they would be successful as an entrepreneur. Both family were role models, gave expectations and undoubtedly support and the results are outstanding.

What do you believe in? Do you believe that you can impact the lives of the generations in your family? What are you role modeling? What do you need to ‘tweak’ to help the generations following you to raise their chances of success?

I hope you believe in yourself enough to make the tweaks to be a better role model, sharing optimism and hope. I believe that you can and that it will make a big difference in your world.

With Love and Authenticity


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