Recently a plumber showed up at my home with his son to do some work, and by the time they left we were new friends, and I was a fan. Reggie is much more than a plumber in actuality — he owns RFW Home Designs, Inc., which is a multi-faceted company that Reggie created and still runs. And I mean he RUNS this company. He still steps out first on every job and does the work as role model for his workers. One of his workers on this day, was his son, Reggie, Jr. What Reggie, Jr. did not fully recognize was that his father was preparing him for a future as business owner; which is a legacy more African-Americans and people of color need to leave for their children. That and a habit of hard work.
Reggie, Sr told me (proudly) that while his business is not glamormous, he has put all of his children through school, paid for a home and taken care of his family all these years. More so, as he is driving down the road in his work truck, and professionals are passing him on the freeway here in Atlanta, driving their fancy high-end sedans — Reggie, Jr. is probably worth more (big smile).
We need many more Reggie Wesley's in the world, and a new generation of small business owners and entrepreneurs too!
Okay, let's go.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.