I remember when I used to be so excited to be one of the few people in my family to have a bachelor’s degree. My family was extremely proud of my accomplishment, and the numerous specialized certifications I received. Sometimes, my degree made me feel powerful and uplifted; as it would allow me to improve my community and help my family. I really didn’t understand real life at this time. My degree allowed me to obtain corporate- level job positions. I was exposed to high- level executives, who trained me in different skill areas. Proud of myself, because many of my friends made very different choices, and were unable to progress, professionally, as far as I did. I would work downtown, and then return to a once middle/working class community, which had transformed over the years into an urban zone. I didn’t understand why white communities of a similar socio-economic base were more inviting, while black communities seemed deprived, lacking basic resources. Honestly, I kind of felt like I had a chip on my shoulder, because I had such a great job. But, Covid- 19 humbled me very quickly. Everyone was laid off, and I would have to fend for myself, jobless. I was a single mother with two children, and a lot of bills. I was so depressed for about two weeks- life let me down, so many times. Covid- 19 was a reality check, for millions of people. I thought my degree elevated and differentiated me from the average black person in America. Covid- 19 showed me that I was a black person in America just trying to make it like everyone else. I lost my high- paying, downtown, corporate, job, and I had to create my own way; a new path. I took the knowledge I acquired from my job, and I created my own businesses.
Covid- 19 made me become an entrepreneur. I learned when your back is against the wall, development is essential for progress. My life partner always speaks of manifesting your destiny. You have to visualize your future, before it is physically tangible. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak minded. It takes a level of unwavering persistence and commitment; barring all unseen circumstances. Having my own business has really pushed me, to become a better person every day. My financial stability depends solely on the effort contributed to my businesses. I no longer sit and wait for a check every two weeks.
Covid- 19 has created a new, black, demographic within the lucrative online business platform. Pop up shops, retail stores, mobile businesses, and catering services, amongst many more. You don’t need a lot of money to start a business right now. The internet has made a way for entrepreneurs to create businesses for nominal investments. I utilized my skill-set, and began capitalizing off those skills. My creative ways to make a dollar definitely set me apart. Covid- 19, the virus that has taken so much from so many, has symbolically given me the drive and determination to withstand any trials and tribulations. I feel so inspired, imbued with a sense of pride and independence. I was so caught up in my 9-5 before Covid, never having time to work on my own business endeavors. Covid- 19, pushed myself and others to search alternative avenues, to take a chance, and pursue aspirations, previously not afforded to them by a lack of time, money, and resources. Unfulfilled dreams will fester upon a person, contaminating their spirit, similar to a virus. The irony is; the affliction which has destroyed so much, has also created new, productive, lives for many. Corporations can no longer dictate when and how we get paid. We are no longer puppets on a corporate string.