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BUSINESS: 10 Things We Can All Learn from Byron Allen

"I don't want to play in the Negro League I want to play in the Global League. I'm chasing Trillions Not Millions." [caption id="attachment_243377" align="alignnone" width="1633"]radio facts,radio djs,Black adult,Urban Radio,
Black radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singers (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators)[/caption] "I don't want to play in the Negro League I want to play in the Global League. I'm chasing Trillions Not Millions." The industry is paying a lot more attention to Byron Allen these days and that's no surprise. It's the way entrepreneurs are often treated. If your name is not attached to a corporation your PERCIEVED value is often limited. SURPRISE! But it's just like wearing expensive designer clothes or driving luxury cars, MOST wealthy smart money managers LOOK average. Every time I bring up Byron's name to other entrepreneurs he is like a rock star and we discuss MANY successful entrepreneurs but Byron Allen always gets the most respect and I cannot deny ... I feel the same way. I really don't think the community gets how brilliant this man is. I've never seen Byron Allen brag or boast about his achievements. While I've never personally met him, I know I've been in the same room with him over the years and I know several people who work for him. His business savvy, knowledge and style even from a distance is second to none. He is confident and well aware of what his value is and I know several successful entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, that are greatly inspired by him. Byron comes off as a very laid back even-tempered nice guy but he also takes command when he has to, like his massive 20 billion dollar lawsuit against the FCC and Charter Communications a few years ago. This lawsuit benefited the ENTIRE black community especially when it comes to business and inclusion but for the most part ... from the press, or so it seemed ... crickets. It was evident at that time that he was in it to win it ... at all costs. The FCC? Here are a few tips that we can all learn from Byron about doing business.

No Excuses ... Because A Black Man CAN!!!

I would never say that racism does not exist nor would I dare to say that a black man is not at a disadvantage from birth in this country. I KNOW this to be true. Racism, conditioning, no fathers in the home and poverty exists ... but so does opportunity. In the early 80s, a very young Byron Allen was a comedian on a show called Real People. He was the only Black comedian... doing the same job as his white counterparts but they were making a lot more money. He let it slide for a couple of seasons then finally went and asked for a pay increase from the powers that be and instead of giving him the money that he deserved ... they fired him. The experience could have crushed him and he could have relegated himself to the sidelines of life consistently rehearsing the experience for decades after giving up. Instead, he states, it was at that moment that he wanted to be in control of his OWN destiny.

There is Greater Value in Promoting Your Achievements over Desires

Have you ever noticed that most of Byron's press comes AFTER he has made an acquisition? That's pretty savvy considering 99.999% of entrepreneurs promote future events. It makes sense, we need to garner capital and pay expenses and bills BUT, as legitimate Black entrepreneurs, we also limit ourselves because we often only aim for just enough to get by instead of honoring our value and focusing on building generational legacy and wealth. Many of us with valuable brands are always struggling because we are chasing money instead of making it. Perhaps we feel as though we don't deserve wealth. As Byron stated in an interview with Black Enterprise "I' don't want to play in the Negro League I want to play in the Global League. I'm chasing Trillions ... Not Millions."  What a powerful affirmation. How many of us say that to ourselves repeatedly ... every day or have it hanging on our mirror? When your press is about what you have already DONE, you separate yourself from the masses because it makes you more intriguing, eloquent and powerful. You are not asking for anything, you've already acquired what you want, you're simply letting people in on the news. Instead of going to the press this is when the press comes to YOU. And that's a very powerful position to be in. People want to know 'How did he do it?' 'What makes him different?' and 'Who is he?' Byron has become an expert at this. You rarely see him on social media saying "look at me, look what I've done, love me, please accept me, please believe in me, tell me how good I look." I'm not even sure if Byron has a personal Instagram or Twitter account. There are a few fake ones that others have set up in his name. He's a quiet riot who is constantly making great deals and letting his business acumen and achievement speak FOR him but he is not just doing it for himself.

Acquisition Trumps Partnerships

This is one of Byron's strongest points, why partner with someone who has added control over your business decisions who is there to look over your shoulder when you can do it yourself by owning it and hiring people to do the needed work instead? Why incorporate someone else in on your idea? Everyone that I know of who has done partnerships describes it as a disaster. That's not always the case but the best way to do it is to be the sole owner. Once you establish enough capital, of course, acquisitions can more easily be done. Business is very similar to real estate but can be even more profitable more quickly. You would be amazed at how acquisitions can be done on any level with or without a lot of capital and the benefit, of course, is the blood, sweat, and tears are already invested. Who has time to continue to establish businesses when you can buy, hold or sell what someone else has started but doesn't want to finish? What black man do you know of that would have thought about buying the Weather Channel? Probably none. Byron is a businessman. He saw the opportunity. The huge platform was not owned by a major media corporation and he was aware that there is actually a large audience that wants to watch the weather all day and if you have had a chance to see it recently, it's very interesting to watch with all the added digital effects.

Serve the Greater Audience

When I say "greater" it's not as in "better" but as in LARGER. The black community holds the key to trends, culture, music and so many other avenues, yet as a community, unfortunately, we still don't respect black-owned businesses as much as we should. Entrepreneurs are not able to change the mindset of their teams, but they can change their teams and they simply have to put the best people in place if they are to grow. I know a restauranteur who makes great soul food and while most black entrepreneurs would think they could make the most money positioning that restaurant in a black neighborhood, he is in a very affluent white part of town where there are luxury cars parked on every street and expensive homes. He makes a killing because he's the only game in that area. Byron thinks about the widest possible audience he can attract instead of limiting himself and his business.

Make Your Presence Known!!!

Byron's position on this is evident by his lawsuits, hanging all the dirty laundry of major corporations who make a killing off of black people but fail to spend or return any of that profit in advertising or support. I have heard black radio owners complain about this for decades, usually behind closed doors but I have never seen anyone go public and sue the FCC. Byron even exposed the beloved Al Sharpton and Comcast for sham diversity deals. These are often "hush money" deals designed to line the advocate's pockets instead of fixing the racist policies.

Don't Acquiesce, Stand Up For Yourself

As stated, most people would not even think of suing an organization like the FCC but Byron did. I implore you to research what that suit was about and you will see how it actually benefited the entire black community. There is not enough room to talk about it here.

Ask for, Acquire or Get What YOU Want, Not What Others Think You Deserve

Your ability to achieve is none of anybody's business except your own. Byron is still relatively young and he has achieved more than most people could ever dream of. I'm sure that he has been discouraged in some of his deals but that doesn't stop him from aiming for his trillions.

Navigate in Silence

This goes back to Byron not revealing his plans until they are done. When you tell the wrong people your plans they WILL discourage you. If it's not with their words it might be with their energy. This also lends itself to surrounding yourself with the right people. If you are in a room with the same people you were in the room with five years ago, you're not growing.

Entrepreneurship is Key

The BEST way to do it is on your own. This is not to say that everybody can do it but true wealth is available to the man or woman who builds their own structures where the sky is the limit. A corporation can instantly lambaste your influence and power with a pink slip but an entrepreneur is not likely to look in the mirror and say to himself ... "You know, we've decided to make some changes and we're gonna have to let you go." That is unless he has lost it. Even if you are not an entrepreneur these same rules apply to brand building. Congratulations to Byron Allen for being an amazing businessman. More to come.

Why is #NoNotoriety only used for whites?

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Black radio personalities, rap radio stations,r&b radio station, hip hop music radio, black female singersIn light of the horrific recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and the Garlic festival in Northern California the same sequence of events have been playing out.  Nightmarish video clips are released and people are running and screaming for their lives, condolences flood in from politicians, the media eventually dies down its coverage of the event in a few days in favor for another Trump administration scandal. It’s fair to say Americas have now normalized these events and our lawmakers are only doling out prayers and no action.  Also typically, social media has also been trending #NoNotoriety. #NoNotoriety means that the media should not emphasize the name of the shooter out of fears it will incentivize more people to commit similar mass murderers so they too can become notorious. But then I saw that Shaun King gave an excellent rebuttal to #NoNotoriety.  After the horrendous Garlic festival shooting that killed 3, including 6-year-old Stephen Romero and 13-year-old Keyla Salazar, Shaun King posted a note on instagram saying “I pass” on hiding the identity of the white supremacist mass murder. His justification is “any time a Black man makes a single [expletive] mistake, that man’s name and mugshot is everywhere” but when it comes to a white terrorist “[n]ow all of a sudden, you want [white] thugs and criminals and bigots to be nameless and faceless.”   A study published by PLUS ONE, examined the “Contagion in Mass Killing and School Shootings.” It found “significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past.” A website named after the hashtag deems it a “matter of public safety” to release the name and photo of these mass murderers. An interview with the founders of the website call for people to not “completely eliminate” the name of the mass murderers from reporting but rather “elevate victims, heroes, and survivors.” The media plays a major role in our perception of these white terrorists. For one, the national news media has finally begun immediately calling out attacks like these domestic terrorism. The national news media, however, has issues with sustaining their coverage on these mass shootings well past their immediate coverage. The problems extend to the Oval Office.  President Trump, when he came out later today for a statement, scapegoated mental illness as the reason for these terrorist attacks. Not only does this stigmatize millions of mentally ill people without any official diagnosis of the terrorist but no radical-Islamic-extremist is given a mentally ill excuse. Black men who commit crimes are demonized almost immediately and as Shaun King correctly pointed out, their mugshots and names are plastered everywhere on the internet bringing humiliation to them and their families.  Instead of seeing terrorism committed by whites as caused by radical hate-ridden ideology, we commonly attach it to some kind of mental illness before it is ever verified.  Law enforcement plays a huge role as well. How can William McCoy be shot 55 times in 3.5 seconds while sleeping in his car while the El Paso terrorist is taken into custody unscathed? There is a clear and distinct difference in how these two were treated.  As these mass shootings keep unfolding, the mainstream media needs to change how they form and present their coverage to the masses. For one, call terrorists for what they are immediately. Secondly, don’t suggest mental illness played a role without verification, it is horrible journalistic practice. Thirdly, be aware of your bias and how your coverage of black and brown criminals is different from your coverage of whites. Lastly, remember that your persistent, dogged coverage of these horrific events is what causes change and right now, you are failing miserably. 
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Meek Mill

Meek Mill Denied New Judge and Still not Granted New Trial

Meek Mill It seems this is the case that rapper Meek Mill can't get away from. A charge from 2008 continues to haunt him as his attorney's argued in court this week to have the judge removed from the case for her unethical behavior. The request was denied along with the request for new trial and the attorneys are headed to the Supreme Court to assist. While the world is watching, this incredibly interesting case of a wealthy black man entangled in the legal system, this can't sit very well with Judge Denise Brinkley who allegedly requested Mill do a remake of Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee" and dedicate it to her, while on trial.

Being a Black Man is Dangerous to Your Being… a Black man is…

3600df4cf4bdd417f3c2754d6a01930faa84fcf3be583e937a60c41892998492_large Being a black man is dangerous to your Being... a black man is dangerous to your Being... It is really hard to convince me that there is not a war on black men in this country even by some people in the black community. Black men have so few resources when it comes to support, that it is no wonder many of us are led astray. It appears that nobody cares so why should we?  We see the injustices every day and we often ignore it or make a comment, blow it off, get pissed or even march when a black man is killed but then we go back to where we were and who we are. This includes many Black radio stations around the country, where are you when we need you most? This is not the time to laugh it up and giggle about stupid content it's the time to help our community because we are in dire need of your support. If there is one thing that is the MOST irritating, it's those who stand up and speak out for black men in situations like these but then turn around and discriminate against us when we apply for a job at their company or corporation or they deny us a promotion and pass us over. I'm referring to those who appear supportive but who really have a very discriminatory and limited view of black men, you know who you are. Sadly this INCLUDES some black people all using the opportunity to resolve their own intra-discriminatory practices, self-hatred or anger and animosity toward black men by showing up when everybody else shows up then removing their disguises when nobody's looking. Social media does not make this horror anything new it's just exposing what has been going on for decades I mean CENTURIES. How many more times must we see organizations like The Innocence Project free black men who have been incarcerated for crimes they did not commit who have been locked up for decades, some even asked to sign documents that take away their right to sue as a condition of their freedom? They come home and everybody is dead, they missed their parent's funerals, kids are grown with their own kids and their lives have never moved forward stopping dead in the tracks in 1985 and it's 2016. They have lost the opportunity to have a career, a family and to create a legacy all because they were railroaded by the legal system and in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is anywhere in a black neighborhood and poor.  How in the hell do you rob a man of 30 years of his life KNOWING he was innocent, just to get a conviction and a notch in your belt then blow it off with a simple apology (if that)? I saw one TV show where the white prosecuting attorney did exactly that.
The boy who was now a man was freed after 40 years in prison (coupled with a diagnosis of lung cancer) and the prosecutor admitted he failed the boy and simply wanted to win the case.
This prosecuting attorney KNEW the black 16-year-old boy was innocent but he didn't provide the evidence to help him during the trial and the kid was sentenced to life as an adult for murdering a white store owner who had a store in a black neighborhood. The boy who was now a man was freed after 40 years in prison (coupled with a diagnosis of lung cancer) and the prosecutor admitted he failed the boy and simply wanted to win the case. So he INTENTIONALLY railroaded this black boy and 40 years later he felt bad about it? Awww. But not bad enough to rescue him right away, he only came forward after a DNA program was the catalyst to prove the man's innocence. He would have been satisfied to spend the rest of his life knowing that he destroyed the life of a black boy (and without question many more black boys) for his own success. The prosecutor, who was now retired and enjoying the fruits of his tainted labor, came to the sick black man during this show who was hooked up to all kinds of machines in a meager apartment, each cough sounded as if his lungs would come expel from his mouth and it would be his last. The attorney had the audacity to ask this man, whose life he had completely destroyed, for his forgiveness. The black man looked him square in the face and without a drop of anger said "No" and there is not a church on this earth that could convince me that he was wrong to feel that way. The only coincidence in the two most recent police killings this week is that they were both taped.  This is NOT new. D.L. Hughley makes an extremely important point about how when black men are accused of anything illegal, we are interrogated immediately but when a police officer shoots a victim as we have seen in both videos this week, they are put on leave and given 30 days to explain what happened during an investigation by their superiors and support systems. Can you imagine if a black mother was assigned to investigate a crime that her son is accused of committing after he is arrested? That's more than enough time, as DL puts it, to get your story straight. Then there is no indictment and these people go free.  Anyone with vision can see that George Zimmerman is a mentally ill man who was absolutely capable of killing Trayvon Martin and he did and he is walking the streets today proving his mental instability. This has happened so many times that many of us have lost count. Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg, who I have gained a whole new respect for, made another interesting statement, why don't the good cops tell on the bad ones? The oath of the officers protecting each other and not wanting to be labeled "Rats" gives them ALL the bad name and makes the black community not trust ANY of them including the black officers. This is the time that the white media will dig up all the dirt they can on the two victims this week to make them look like they deserved to be murdered which only adds massive fuel to a massive inferno. The media plays a HUGE role in creating a divide using their networks to garner ratings in any way possible by bypassing the truth and evidence even when it's on video. Anything for ratings. Urban radio is needed more than ever in times like this to create balance or should I say truth, not just this week but as an entity to create programs, dialogue and to serve as the liaison not just to the listeners and music but to the community, politicians, state laws, and incentives to stop this problem. What we have seen this week is absolutely disgusting and for those of us who are black who sit on our high horses like we are above reproach,  think again or go visit OJ Simpson in his jail cell in Vegas. It can happen to you or your sons. At the end of the day the question is what in the hell are we going to do about this because it's obviously not going away and every time a bad police officer (and they are not all bad but it would be great to see the ones who are good take a stand) is freed and ruled innocent (again) by our legal system it's a slap in the face to the ENTIRE black community that says not only do we know what we are doing, we don't care how you feel about it. To an extent they have a point, if WE don't care why should they? And there are many of us who don't. We'll get pissed, talk about it and then retreat back to our lives waiting for the new Jordans to come out or watch the next episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and watch with delight as black women rip each other to shreds until the next killing where we will get pissed, talk about it then retreat to our daily lives as if nothing happened.  They KNOW our routine which is why it KEEPS happening! At the end of the day we are all that we have. We can't stop marching or talking about it, we have to keep going in order to incite a much-needed change.  As long as we retreat and don't take a MUCH more sustained and supportive role in our own damn community, politics, policing and legal systems we can continue to watch ourselves shrink, one black man at a time until we are compleltey defeated.