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Young, Gifted and Black

Age ain't nothing but a number ... so let's not quibble about age.

How many times have you heard your parents, friends and family tell you "because

you are black you have to be twice as good as the rest/do it better than anyone else".

This statement alone is the thing that drives many ambitious black men and women.

In reality, even though I know plenty of black men and women that are twice as good as the rest, in fact incredibly talented and educated individuals, these are the individuals who go around thinking "they are not all that!", and the fact that they are unemployed proves it. RUBBISH! They fail to see that they truly are "DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH!".

We as black people are always having get-togethers and we pool together to get the party going, you name it, we organise the food, drink, clothes, entertainment etc - raw talent - that we fail to recognise as potential business start-ups or even fledging businesses.

For example, we have event management skills, cooking skills, singing and dancing skills, talents and skills that we take for granted.

We can be community-oriented ... The evidence shows that when we want to come together we can work together. Therefore it is more than possible for us to pool together and create great businesses, schools etc.

The raw talent is there, we should understand we are far better equipped to create success, prosperity, wealth and abundance after all, from the cradle we have been taught that "we have to work twice if not harder than the rest".

My friend Malakh, from Zebulun Mobile Health & Beauty, made a comment to me recently that "our circumstances have provided us with plenty of opportunities to do things on a shoestring budget."

This alone encourages me to say there are plenty of us with the makings to be successful entrepreneurs.

You got skills, you got talent ... go for it believing that your offering is twice as good as the rest! Let us EXPAND OUR MINDS TO THE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES ON HOW WE CAN USE OUR RAW AND NATURAL GOD-GIVEN TALENTS

This is why I am a woman on a mission .... my mission is to encourage and uplift and complement every black man, woman and child who is gifted because I believe if I tell them enough they will start to believe in their potential and see what I see.

My parents never told me I was beautiful and intelligent, had they done so I would have

appreciated me more - they were supposed to be my mirror.

I guess their mirrors i.e. parents, family and friends did not tell them that either. This is the legacy that my parents left, I guess there are a lot of similar stories like mine. Unintentionally mind you, they did not know any better.

This reminds me of the time I suggested to an old school friend for us to go into business as she had just qualified as a teacher.

By the time she had finished with me, the seed had been squashed with her stiletto heel! "The people perish due to lack of vision".

This was certainly not what I had expected, a little encouragement perhaps from the sista ... something at least! She had failed to see her potential and ridiculed my idea, she had failed to see how much faith I had in her abilities and could not even see the compliment I had paid her.

My friends Debbie and Dawn gave me a wooden plaque all those years ago with the inscription "No matter what I may face today, together with God's grace I will handle it".

This has been my motto and boy, have I faced challenges. Giving my gifts away, simply because I did not recognise them, value them or myself, thus allowing others to pool from me, that what was really mine to give to myself, and I think about other brothas and sisters that are doing the same, all because they fail to value themselves and tally up the many gifts, talents and skills that they have available to them to increase their income.

Every day I tell my son how wonderful he is, what a gift he is, that he is a genius, I encourage his leadership skills by tending not to rescue him when obstacles present themselves.

Although I am a parent I do rely on my coaching skills to empower my son to believe in himself and his ability to overcome any challenge he faces is facing or will face in the future.

In years to come, I would like my son to say "my mother held up a mirror full of love, encouragement, belief in my abilities to excel beyond my wildest dreams", and that I was always encouraging him.

That I taught him how to attain and maintain a positive mental attitude and that I taught him how to be solution-oriented and too confident in his abilities to create a lifestyle of his choice.

It is time to break the cycle, we must be more supportive of one another, by complimenting each other, we must love ourselves enough to make those changes.

Time and time again, too many times, in fact, have I been in environments where the people being most disrespectful to me are my own brothas and sistas.

We are all connected, and when I hurt you, I hurt myself and when you hurt me you hurt yourself and continue the cycle of mistrust, lack of appreciation, lack of respect, etc. Enough is enough!

Through my past experience with my parents, I know better and I am making it my mission that when I see a black brotha or sista who is young, gifted, black, talented, intelligent and creative, I will compliment, encourage them and support them in whatever way that I can and reveal to them that thing in them that they fail to see, that gift, that talent, that special something that they have but has not quite recognised or connected with them.

You see my purpose in life is to get people to see their vision ie. plans, dreams and goals and get them to catch it .... so that they can run with it.

Over the years I have been fortunate to work with black men and women, and have used my coaching skills to empower them to see their "divine greatness", and begin to see their

potential to live their dreams.

And so here is a question; are you willing to compliment your brotha and sista in the future so that they can begin to believe in themselves? Are you willing to go the extra mile to help someone find their way or put them in touch with someone who can?

What I am really asking is can we hold up mirrors so that both brotha and sista, sista and sista, brotha and brotha can each see the divineness in one another so that we can begin to believe in ourselves and each other once again.

If we can do this we can create a more positive and nurturing legacy of love, support and respect for our children and their children's, children's, children.

Sandra Jarvis is a Motivational Speaker, Empowerment Trainer, Life Coach and event organiser of 3 Networking Clubs these include: Mumpreneurs Club, W.I.S.H. Networking Club for Overworked Women Executives and VIVA Business Networking Club for Men & Women

She can be contacted on 07747 372754 or

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