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Rastafari & Entrepreneurship

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: seestem Sent: 3/17/2022 11:43:50 AM


InI know that Rastafari should be self-dependent and resist the babylon system. But InI lives in babylon still, and need to survive day by day, the elders say one way to be independent is by doing Entrepreneurship.

So Iman question is, does the I them have any suggestions on how InI can go into Entrepreneurship without contradicting Jah livity and being a hypocrite. What are somethings that helped you in your business, what shoud InI look out for, how to do marketing... that sort of thing

Messenger: Cedric Sent: 3/17/2022 9:25:41 PM

Blessed Love Idren

seestem, What a positive topic for InI to reason on! Give thanks for the opportunity. Hopefully I man Ispective is helpful in some way.

I man will say please dont take this as advice, I man just reasoning about I man personal Isperience.

The first thing I man would like to promote is the positive role community has played into I man ability to be self employed. I define community as a group of people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives, that are working towards some of the same goals. I man blessed to live in a place where the physical environment requires I and I man’s neighbors to trust and depend on each other for certain things despite coming from drastically different walks of life. I man realize these types of locations are getting more difficult to find, but seem to be more likely to exist in rural settings. I man think it is likely to still find evidence of community in urban areas, but it might be more difficult to find. Maybe some one in the Is family goes to a barber shop where people gather, or attends a church? Just some gathering place of people from different households can be a form of community I guess. Self employment is much easier to realize with the support of a community

Anyways, I man spent some time thinking about things that I community needed, and if I man would want to do those things. NUFF jobs out there that InI have skills for, that are dignified and necessary, and not getting done. It seems like in these modern times it is difficult to find someone who will actually do work, so if one is willing to put in the work, the work will come. Also, dont be afraid to try something out for a little bit to see if the I is even interested in making a living that way.

In I man specific instance that started as general repair of vehicles. I was always interested in old cars, and by coincidence all the mechanics in I community were getting old and didnt want to take on jobs anymore. I had no schooling but I would use youtube and internet forums and shop manuals to learn how to do the specific job I needed to do, and do it.

I man had the privilege to have I parents support in I man vision. I father bought I a beginning set of tools, and I could work out of their small garage. However, I man have some good ideas on how to find workspaces and ideas I might have tried to get access to shop space if that is an issue for the Is situation, but I man will try to just give more broad overviews of things and the I can ask for clarification if interested.

So think of the thing or things to do, find the space the I needs to run the business, and get to work! Dont be afraid to be honest with beginning customers and say that this is something I am just gaining experience in, but happy and interested to do the work. Explain how normally a person might expect to pay such-and-such an hour but I am doing it cheaper because I am just getting started in the field. That way InI can learn on the job and still earn a living wage, and it leaves room to charge more in the future when one becomes more skilled.

In InI modern world especially, InI need to be aware of the terrible dream squashing thing called LIABILITY, but this is where community comes into it again. In a community, one might be more able to find a person who needs a job done regardless of the circumstances of who is doing it. For a long time starting out I didnt even have liability insurance which is crazy but thats how it happened cause I man community was so in need of that service. Now I man have good insurance coverage, but as a self employed person be prepared to spend time dealing with insurance and know it might be a sticking point depending on the services the I is doing.

One can do a cash business where on paper the business doesnt really make any money which is good because you get to keep all your money, but its bad because on paper you arent going to be able to qualify for loans or look like a viable business.

At first I was really a cash business where I man didnt even trust the bank and would store all I money in cash. That doesnt work out so well in babylon to try be a ghost like that haha. I was stopped in a traffic stop once with a seasons worth of pay and under civil forfeiture laws the police were able to take thousands of dollars away from I man because I couldnt produce a bank receipt for the withdraw. In the scheme of things, small price to pay in a negative interaction with police. In retrospect, I man would have preferred to have the bank receipt. Side note, if InI can find good legal advice from a lawyer as a self employed person, embrace it.

At the start I chose to be strictly a cash business because I didnt want to pay any taxes. InI can do this legally in amerikkka by “itemizing deductions” when InI do our taxes every year. And yes it is a federal crime not to do InI taxes. Give unto cesar and all of dem thing. However it is not a federal crime to over report deductions. Go figure. But if the I wants a cash business than save those receipts and save every receipt (get tricky and ask your friends for every “cash” receipt for anything they buy that they dont want to save the receipt for haha) and list those as expenses at tax time. InI can even lose profits on paper repeatedly and nobody really checking up on that it seems. These are the same type of tricks the rich use. InI can be eligible for various social programs like public healthcare when InI income is low on paper. Dont be ashamed to make moves like this when getting started.

After I saved a lot of money I man invested in education to learn how to weld. This was a great way to avoid debt and further I man education only when it was necessary and when I knew a specific field that I man wanted to learn about. This is also an example of how InI can work to change and redefine InI business as InI see fit. InI shouldnt be afraid of letting the vision evolve so to speak. Fast forward to now and I man literally turning down jobs to just do what I want to do. Ever blessed.

Anyways, as time went on after I man education, I needed to make I man business more legit, to try and become eligible for loans. I learned in the state where I man reside, the service I man provided was subject to sales tax. I man registered I business with the department of revenue and report sales tax quarterly and have to factor that percentage for each customer and add that to the bottom of every invoice.

If one previously had a cash business but then makes more legit moves, this is when one should work to inflate that business income amount as high as possible. One can even deposit untaxed cash from previous years and add it in as legit income later. Having the business income look as high as possible will help the I get loans and look like a strong business. With that comes more taxes and ineligibility for a lot of social programs. InI need to weigh the pros and cons of each choice for InI specific situation.

As far as marketing goes, I man business is pretty much entirely word of mouth. Again, one of the blessings of a strong community. I do advertise in a local paper that allows I man to enter an ad for free because they support businesses in I community. I have seen random people at the gas station that had a broken car that I knew I could fix and politely and respectfully introduced I self and explained that I man would be willing to do the work that it appeared they needed done and offered I man contact info if they were interested in having I man do the work. There is something to be said for being a genuine and respectful person, and I think there are ways to “cold call” and offer one’s services in ways that are unobtrusive and welcomed even in today’s modern world. It might sound idealistic, but I man have proven it can work haha. I man have asked businesses that do similar types of work if I can display a business card and ask if they might be willing to refer customers to I man. Again community helps.

Another thing is further networking with other businesses that are doing similar or even the same work. If I man knew of one that was looking for work right now, that was honest, dependable, and actually wanted to do work, I man could provide that one with NUFF jobs. Maybe there is someone running a business nearby that has more work than they know what to do with. Maybe they have smaller jobs they arent really interested in doing. Maybe they have a type of job or service that they no longer want to offer, and are only doing so because their customer base relies on them for that. For a long time I had people basically begging I man to do general repair on their vehicles but they couldn’t pay I man enough because I man wanted to do welding and had already found a customer base for that type of work. A number of I man friends made good incomes from the general repair jobs I man turned over to them just because I man didnt want to do the jobs. Again, this is where community can be mentioned because of course it is easier for people to trust someone that is connected to a community. As a business owner I man might have to be selective about who I man refer I customers to, but maybe not if it is a service that only one person will do. Overstand? I know if a stranger walked up to I man as a business owner and introduced themselves and expressed a genuine interest in I man labor and seemed honest, I man would be willing and able to help them get paid.

Some other things I would say is invest in good safety equipment if one is looking to do potentially hazardous work. Self employed people are at a much greater disadvantage if hurt on the job.

I man know I can share some other knowledge but maybe I man have shared too much information for the I already haha. Let I man know if there are things I can expound on to share I man Isperience.


Messenger: seestem Sent: 3/18/2022 1:55:16 AM

Idren Cedric

Iman give thanks for the in depth answer. It is Haile appreciloved.

InI noted down some of the keypoints:

- Community
- Find a spot
- InI can start out as a cash business
- Register business
- Marketing depends on a strong community
- Network with other businesses

Yes Idren, InI would like to hear the Is ideas for finding workspaces. InI is in the IT sector.

InI don't not know anything about LIABILITY in the context of business, so Iman is looking that up now.

InI will be doing a cash business for the first 6months or so and see how it goes, then register everything, Iman give thanks for the tactics the I provided for doing this.

The point about networking with other businesses is profound and InI never considered it. It goes against the capitalist notions of competition and more in the spirit of Ubuntu making it more sustainable and symbiotic. InI will definitely utilize this tactic.

Give thanks
Haile I Mennen I

Messenger: Cedric Sent: 3/18/2022 12:02:42 PM

Bless Up Iyah

Looking forward to reasoning on these points further

Daily works call I man

Soon come

Empress Menen I & HIM Haile Selassie I Love

Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 3/18/2022 4:24:42 PM


I am also in the IT sector.

Let me give you some advice that I am not using personally, but should.

Well, that's not completely true. I'm just not taking this advice specifically how I'm going to give it to you which is how it was given to me.

Let me preface this advice by saying we come from a different natural world. Therefore the things that naturally occur to us are not the same as what comes naturally to those born into and adapted more into capitalism.

In my first real job, I got hired at the same time as a white lady who became my boss. Her name is Angela. She is a pretty blonde-haired lady. More importantly, she must have been raised to know the system in ways I had not been raised to know it. She was aware of loopholes; loopholes that become opportunities that people can exploit. The system works for these people but it doesn't fairly work for them. It discriminates also based on who they know and what they know about the system. They pass on these advantages to each other while hiding them from the rest of us.

One day at work, Angela and I were talking. Talking is important. People are part of the system both consciously and unconsciously. They do not all possess the same awareness of what they know or the value of these things they have been taught. But conscious and unconsciously this information is often hidden from us. There are secrets being revealed on Tiktok and Youtube, but this conversation was long before all that started happening.

In this conversation, Angela talked about buying furniture. I must have said something like I needed a new couch. This triggered her instinct to share. Without this trigger, she probably would have never thought to share this. So she asked me if I had a sales license. Mind you, this conversation was about 22 years ago. It's still applicable. I said no. But more than that I was surprised she would ask me that. I was basically finishing up my degree in CG. The job I was working with her was doing Flash development; a combination of graphics and programming. What did that have to do with sales? Why would I want a sales license if I didn't want to be a salesperson?

I don't know if she read the confusion on my face but she explained that she purchased furniture for herself using the same kind of discount that a store would get from the manufacturer. Especially, since we were talking about a single furniture piece, furniture stores are not expected to buy large orders of the same item. So there wasn't a minimum quantity that could be ordered.

Once she said this, I got it. It clicked. This was "inside information". Whether she wanted to sell anything or not, by getting the license she was basically conducting business on a different level and getting a discount that you or I wouldn't get. If it were us, we would simply pay more even though our salaries were inferior to hers. Do you see?

Survival should be more cooperative but it's not. It's both coop and competitive. You could buy something expensive, as a business, and use that discount to sell it so someone else, making the same profit that a store or dealer would make. And what if you know what someone wants and you already have a buyer who knows what products you have "access" to? They could buy it from you, and you could take their money, buy it at a discount, and give them the profit will keeping the difference. But this is just an example. You probably don't want to be in sales so this wouldn't apply. This wasn't the advice I was going to give you anyway. This conversation is simply what proved to me that she knew what she was doing and that survival in the system heavily depended on INFORMATION. You've already done a smart thing by asking people for advice. So simple and yet how many people do that? Not many.

The company I worked with Angela at turned into a "dot com" and fell victim to the internet bubble of the early 2000s. But professionally, Angela kept my contact info. After all, she was smart enough to know that contacts were valuable.

So maybe 2 years after that she reached out and asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was basically freelancing and making websites. She reacted like I was doing something wrong and that I had somehow disappointed her. Because she thought I was smarter than that.

It wasn't really a question of intelligence. I actually liked the work I was doing. And there's nothing wrong with that. HOWEVER... I could have been smarter in how I did it. The reason she was disappointed was that she knew the trends in the IT industry. She was familiar with the trend towards globalization before most people started talking about it and feeling the effects. But globalization was more than just corporations becoming multi-national and filling voids and beating the competition on the global stage. No, globalization also meant that people could work from anywhere. You could live in Jamaica and get a job in New York because of the internet.

The same way that factories had moved operations to China, exploiting the difference in wages, in cost of living, in the Chinese currency, etc. goods could be made much cheaper in China than anywhere else. But this benefited China because they had a lot of people and needed to export their labor. It also creates a dependency in the marketplace where many things could be made in China which means they learned how to make everything and could make their factories better and more efficient. And if they raised their prices it wouldn't matter because the cost of paying a little extra wouldn't be the same as the cost of building and operating your own factory in America.


There are also many other parts of the world where IT people live. Their currencies, cost of living, etc. may be so different that you would be doing them a favor if you employed them. And I don't mean they work for you as an employee. I mean you make yourself a business owner and find work in the US that you can outsource to them. This is what Angela was trying to see if I was smart enough to do. I could have still done part of the work myself, but with a team, I could have taken on larger jobs, paid them well, and made a bigger profit myself which is pretty much the opposite of what I was doing and what I was getting. For all I know she's probably rich and retired by now just from making smart moves.

The key is that nothing she did was illegal. It's about knowing the system, just like a lawyer would, and figuring out to exploit whatever laws and rules there are, just like a hacker figuring out how to get inside a system by knowing and understanding its security.

So if I were you... And I was in your position... I would put together a small team. Make sure 1 or 2 of those people were good at sales and marketing. The mistake entrepreneurs make all the time is trying to wear too many hats. Focus on what you're good at. But be the principal owner. Even if everyone else on the team was smarter than you, who cares? If you put the team together then you can preserve the largest share of ownership. And then your team can win bids and take on projects across the world and you can outsource the work to multiple teams in other countries, whether it be India or Bangledesh, or wherever. Can't find people? Use They are there. And then you be the quality control person that makes sure that they're doing a good job according to what the client needs because you're the one who's responsible and its the reputation of your company on the line.

And many governments give incentives for business owners so figure out what those are and utilize every last one you qualify for. If you do all this successfully, you can become financially secure while building a business that can create jobs for other people in your community. And as long as you are making a comfortable profit it's also important to find causes you can financially support and help change other people's lives for the better. And then you can also wait until someone else needs advice and you can give it to them so that they can give it to someone else.

We are discriminated against and the system isn't working for our benefit. But if you're smart and wise and cunning, the system cannot stop you from being successful.

Messenger: seestem Sent: 3/18/2022 4:47:08 PM


That is upfull advice that InI will add to the bag of tactics and utilize it well. InI is a programmer as well, so this is much relatable.

Give thanks
Haile I Mennen I

Messenger: Cedric Sent: 3/19/2022 1:08:47 AM

Bless Up seestem

Give thanks for the Is kind words. I man will just pick up where I man left off in the hopes the I can find more useful information.

As far as finding a place for business, the main things I would do is find out how much space I need, and think of ways I can utilize that space the best. I man not sure about IT sector, but I would imagine there would be a lot of ways the work could be done in a public place. Maybe meeting prospective clients at a coffee shop or even park and explain something like, sorry I dont have a private office to meet in, I am working on renting office space soon. Most people like to hear that someone is enterprising and coming up with solutions, especially if they are thinking about hiring that person to solve a problem!

But lets say a physical space is a requirement just because. Maybe the I is going to go into computer repair and needs a space or whatever. Again this is where community can make a big difference. Try asking around for anyone connected to the community that has some space available (again just enough for what the I might need), and get creative about making it work. Maybe someone has a space that they are using but not too efficiently. Maybe there is space available but it needs improvements. The I can offer to do the labor to make the improvements on the building in trade for money off rent. Maybe if a spare corner of a lot is available, one can bolt together a small shed bought from a home improvement store. I have even done plenty of repair jobs outside when the weather permits. There are millions of different combinations of potential solutions when coming up with business arrangements like these. Homeowners and landlords are usually happy to get a deal on someone making improvements to their property. Trust is a big part of any sort of agreement like this which is why I would lean on community connections for deals like this.

I parents garage that I could do work in when I started out? I had to insulate it Iself and run the wiring and install outlets. Situations might call for a slight branching out of ones skills in order to acquire the work space, but in I man opinion learning new skills is a healthy part of attaining self-sufficiency.

Zoning laws are important to be aware of when looking for a workplace. Those laws are usually unique to the town/city one lives in. Maybe they are restrictive or not. Even with restrictive zoning, there are always loopholes. The loopholes get real big when backed up by a strong community. I would imagine it could be easy to do IT work totally under the radar where zoning wouldnt come into play, but lets say the I needed a physical work space for whatever the I decided to do, and for whatever reason it was not compliant with zoning laws to run a business from there. The only way zoning enforcement is going to hear about it is from a neighbor complaint. Keeping the neighbors of the Is workspace informed and/or happy about what is going on can solve a lot of problems. Again, I man giving I own personal Ispective related to things that I man have come across. Maybe non of this will even be relevant in the Is situation. I man have restrictive zoning in I location, and I man still not fully compliant. All I neighbors are I man clients so if they rat I out, we all lose haha.

Also, I man have heard about places called “Maker Spaces” which sound very useful as studio space for someone interested in making things. They are basically buildings that charge a monthly membership fee to gain access to the work shop space they have available. They are filled with everything from simple tools to big expensive and specialized machines. I have heard about them from friends but never been to one. The closest one to me is a few hours drive away, but I keep it in the back of I mind in case I run across a project or job that requires equipment I don’t currently own. From I man friends who have attended them before, it sounds like it is relatively easy to find skilled people there who are willing to share knowledge. Maybe there are ones that include some form of an IT sector?

Liability is just the possibility to get sued for damages done to life or property or income. In the unfortunate event of an accident, insurance companies will trace that fault back to someone to try and make them pay for it. Again, in the IT sector, liability insurance probably isnt going to be any big deal. In I man chosen profession, I deal with it in a lot of different aspects. In order to get liability insurance for I workspace I was required to get the building inspected which led to a list of things I was required to have (fire extinguisher, exit signs, these types of things). Don’t worry about finding all these specific requirements beforehand, let the insurance company tell you what they will need.

Also, there might be ways to make liability insurance less painful, depending on what the I is trying to accomplish. For Isample I man wanted to be able to tow cars when I was doing general repair. I bought an old tow truck which has been very useful for I man work, but liability insurance on heavy equipment can be expensive. It would have been much cheaper to pay for insurance for a pickup truck and car hauling trailer. Insurance agents can help the I find information related to the Is profession. Even better if they are somehow connected to the Is community.

May JAH bless the Is vision and work!

IPXninja, give thanks for the advice about sales licenses. I man will look into that

HIM Haile Selassie I Bless

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 3/20/2022 3:06:04 AM

Give thanks Iahs

Messenger: seestem Sent: 3/22/2022 2:35:59 AM

Idren Cedric

I an I give thanks to the I for taking time to write such in depth response. It is Haile useful for I an I.

Haile I Menen I

Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 3/24/2022 10:03:15 AM

Cedric: Also, I man have heard about places called “Maker Spaces” which sound very useful as studio space for someone interested in making things. They are basically buildings that charge a monthly membership fee to gain access to the work shop space they have available.

This is great advice. Seestem, if you're going into IT it is very important to keep yourself on the cutting edge. Technology moves like the ocean, in waves. If you don't move with the waves they will crash into you and your boat may not survive it.

Companies are looking for ever more efficient ways to do business, to upgrade. And let me say that a lot of "our" businesses, in the black community, truly suffer from not having equal access when it comes to IT. Therefore, our businesses often rely on other platforms like Squarespace, and that's only if you have a product to sell. Most of our businesses are service-related. This is 2022. Traditional marketing isn't nearly as effective as it once was. For local businesses, this isn't as much of an issue. But for any business hoping to operate more globally, it can be a show stopper.

Business itself is evolving. Business meetings being done over skype today might be done in Virtual Reality in 2-5 years. When these changes happen, they can be fast and unforgiving. An IT company that's not on the cutting edge is a car repair shop that only worked on cars from the 1990s. So make sure you have a presence on platforms that are on the cutting edge. I think Cedric's idea is a good one so that you don't get tied to a space and have the full burden of paying rent. Or you can even create, depending on the area, a shared space like that and have other people pay you to use it.

Think of creative ways like that to work with other people. Because you're always competing against other people; usually people you cannot see. So give yourself whatever advantages you can.

Also, 3D printing technology is improving. This is one of those core technologies that have all kinds of applications and so will continue to improve and grow. I don't know exactly how you want to serve within the IT field (hardware or software) but having this understanding of 3D printing could actually help black people in your area develop and create their own products. Some shared spaces may already have 3D printers. Or maybe you can go to the owner and barter 3D printing capabilities for access to the space. Black people have no shortage of ideas and a 3D printer can help many bring their ideas to life. I would even be willing to invest in something like that depending on exactly where it would be located.

And make sure you find partners in the IT space to who you can throw extra work and who might possibly be able to throw extra work to you. You don't have to form a company to do this. It's basically just referrals for freelancing. You can combine this with outsourcing and build a network of people that can help provide opportunities. The more you can do this, the faster you can go from "worker" to "manager" and then to "owner/investor".

I hate get-rich-quick schemes. They are a waste of time. However, there are ways to get there if you have social skills and aren't afraid to use them. If you lack these skills find someone who has them and who has a lot of charisma. You might even want to find a white person as a business partner. Because they can open doors for you that you may not even know about and can be the face to other white faces. You should try to have a business that doesn't require a large investment but a white face is almost crucial if your idea does require a lot of startup capital. But it's your social skills or access to them, that will really make the difference in how far you can go.

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