Almost two years ago, I made an appointment to interview a young man in anticipation of one day writing a book about him. Not for the things he had accomplished, but for what he would. He was the sort of man that radiates purpose and destiny. That he would do great things was certain, my interview was preparation for what is sure to come.
I’ve known this man all his life, so I was able to bring up some items to discuss that he may have forgotten. I reminded him of the lesson he taught me about perseverance. We were watching Ryder Cup Tournament that covered two days. After the first day, the European team had a commanding lead. I had conceded the American’s defeat. He told me, “It’s not over!” On the next day, the US team roared back and claimed victory against incredible odds. He raised his fist and said, “Persevere!”
He knew two years ago he wanted to start his own business, he was still working out exactly what. His full-time job was with a Chapter Thirteen Bankruptcy Office where he reviewed all the files before submission. He had become excited about a Mortage Modification Program which only whetted his appetite to do more. He’d seen what had befallen homeowners and investors. He said, “I want to help.” I reminded him that while he was still in high school, he wanted to train service dogs which would then partner with humans after 1-2 years of training. While he didn’t ever train service animals, his desire to help others never left him.
During the interview, I asked him what had prepared him for the next step and how was he feeling? He said he was, “nervous and confident.” Being part of the FAMU Business Program made him fearless in his ability to network. He said, “that training prepared me to be able to talk to anyone” regarding his business. He discussed partnerships, traveled from coast to coast meeting potential investors in New Jersey and California. There were setbacks to be sure but he never stopped pressing on. He didn’t even have to use the word, “persevere,” he’d just raise his fist and the meaning was clear.
As exciting as it has been to watch him pursue his goals with a laser-like focus. I’ve been more impressed watching him mature as a man and as a father. He never forgets the why of it all and the trust his family has in him is a joy to watch. His oldest daughter might be playing behind him while he’s seated and suddenly launch herself over his head saying, “catch me, Daddy!” He says, “you have to warn me first,” but he has never failed to catch her. His youngest daughter calls to him to save her when captured by the evil grandfather. He never lets her down.
He recognizes the work his wife, Jessica, puts in being a stay at home mom, who has completed her MBA since their marriage and runs her own business, Jessica’s Cookie Jar. They still have date nights, he supports her business as she supports his. They are a team in every respect. Regarding those cookies… I must warn you, they are the best cookies ever and you can become addicted faster than crack.
I probably should mention that this young man I know so well and have always admired, is my son. My contribution is to babysit his two girls on those date nights and other occasions. And to be the official recorder of his success. An additional disclaimer, at the end of this article I will ask you to make a small contribution towards launching his business or at least share this post with others should some of them be interested. Let me tell you a little about the business.
Alan has formed the Social and Sustainable Community Development Fund which will help create affordable housing and help people facing foreclosure issues. Among other things, they will acquire underwater mortgages and offer mortgage modifications including principal reductions. They’ll also provide one-on-one counseling with distressed homeowners.
They have just started a campaign to raise $55,000 in start-up costs to get this thing off the ground. When you click on the link. You can watch the video about what their mission. You could read about how they plan to become a Community Development Financial Institution. What I’m hoping for is that you contribute, and/or share.
While there will be opportunities to invest in the future, this is not that. It’s hoping you can give to a company that will give back far more than your contribution. Not everyone will be able to donate but anyone can at least share this post. I know this venture will be successful because I know the man behind it. Alan Spivey: Shadow Warrior