John Hope Bryant

Bestselling business leadership author and philanthropic entrepreneur

The thing I am most proud of in my professional career is that I meet a payroll every two weeks, and have been doing this successfully for more than 20 years now through Operation HOPE alone. In 20 years, I have never bounced a payroll check, and never had an employee arrive at a hospital emergency room only to be told that their benefits were no good. I am proud of that.

The Power of Role Modeling

But I didn't just 'become' a guy who could do this out of no where. I meet a payroll, because my father did. I saw my father meet payroll when I was a small child, typically on Friday nights, out the front door of our modest home in South Los Angeles. My entrepreneurship DNA was planted at an early age. Thank God my parents instilled in me a powerful sense of "who I am," and "yes I can." Being a victim just wasn't an option in my household. Creating something, making something, developing something, adding to something, becoming something – was the only option my mom and dad gave me. And yes, I was also fortunate to have a mom and dad at home. This is not a foregone conclusion in an inner-city home.

Today, I am who I am, because my father was who he was. And I am thankful.

Those who make payroll possible once or twice a month in this country are a very unique breed, and as far as I am concerned, represent true American royalty. Why? Because they create the thing that drives most all other good things – JOBS.

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