by Sandy Malone
When I look back over my years growing up I realize how truly blessed I am to be an entrepreneur. I grew up with two parents (Thomas and Gloria) whose families migrated from the south to Milwaukee when they were young, where there were more employment opportunities; especially in factory jobs.
Over the years, these high school sweethearts would meet while attending Lincoln High School and raise six children: four boys and two girls! My father worked at a local factory, A.O. Smith, (as did many African-Americans), after graduating from Bradley Tech.
My Grandfather, Roosevelt Malone also had a grocery store in the neighborhood while working at A. O. Smith to support his family. While working, my dad decided he wanted to get into real estate and had his own business for many years. My dad was a young man in his twenties when he was mentored by a real estate owner in the community who helped him learn the business while he attended real estate school. He obtained his license, my mom followed by getting her license, and they opened up their own agency.
While growing up I was always reminded of the hard work and sacrifices they made for us to have a good education and opportunities that they never had. We all pitched in cleaning the office after school, learning how to speak to customers, and answering the phone.
My desire to travel and see the world grew as I got older and attended Spelman College. I was able to meet people from other countries and other parts of the US who were willing to work hard to achieve their dreams for the generation.
My parents are now both deceased. My Mother’s death occurred in November, 2020 forcing me to witness the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on a personal and global perspective. I know that now is my time to take the baton and run with it.
My reasons are simple:
I want my nieces and nephews to know that they don’t have to be stuck in a job they don’t enjoy because they have bills to pay. I tell them that life is too short not to use the gifts and talents that they have been blessed with. Now, my nephew wants to become a carpenter and have his own business, and my niece just started a business applying eyelashes! I am hosting family meetings now where we are planning our first family vacation since COVID-19. I am also sharing options and strategies to teach them how to travel more. It’s all about planting seeds…. And with hard work and perseverance, watching those seeds GROW!
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