Ray Charles was the first black artist to negotiate a deal that allowed him to own the masters to all of his recordings.
If you are like me, you discovered this amazing news while watching the movie Ray, starring Jamie Foxx. He knew the importance of owning the masters to his recordings because it meant that he had full control of the asset and the earning potential that would benefit not just him but his family.
Every time his music is played he is earning the lion share of those royalties unlike other musicians today that are earning only 12% of the industry’s revenue and most of that is from live performances.
Musicians and entertainers are basically highly paid employees and we are just like them, we make good money and are able to buy the things we want but still, most of us don’t own our own masters.
It just seems we are the last place in all the important items such as:
However, there is hope…
The hope is in Entrepreneurship, now this is not the entrepreneurship where I’m selling t-shirts on the side. This is the entrepreneurship, where I’m creating jobs, changing history, building wealth and earning millions in revenue. Sounds great, right?
There is a scripture in the bible that I believe speaks to the benefit of becoming an entrepreneur/business owner.
Proverbs 14:4(KJV) – “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”
Here is a great quote as well regarding Entrepreneurship – “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
How to begin? There are three pathways to Entrepreneurship and they are Build, Buy & Partner.
- Build – Is when the entrepreneur literally builds the business from the ground up, whether it is a tech startup, a new invention or even a new construction company. Example: Earl G. Graves, Sr., Founder of Black Enterprise Magazine
- Buy – This option, unfortunately, is not a common pathway in the black community, my guess its because of the upfront cost of buying an existing business. Although, if you are able to buy a house you can buy a business. This option is one of the fastest ways to become an entrepreneur/business owner and start making money right away. Example: Reginald Lewis, Private Equity Investor
- Partner – This option only allows a limited number of individuals that can participate because it requires them to be accredited investors. However, this option is needed to fuel the two options above by either becoming an equity/silent partner. We need people of color to partner on various deals to help build or buy companies. Also, if you are not an accredited investor but are a family or friend to the entrepreneur you can still help either through capital or other resources. If it is capital, just be cautious. Example LeBron James, Investor & Blaze Pizza Franchisee
Let me know your thoughts below? Do you think entrepreneurship is the pathway to decrease the income, homeownership and wealth gap?