I am first generation everything

I am first generation everything

I am first generation everything. I am the first to go to a multi racial school. In fact I was one of the first black kids in my school. First one in my family to go to university. First to get a masters degree. First to vote at 18. I’m the first one in my family to work at a multinational. I am the first one to travel extensively. I’m the first even first to get married then have a child. I am actually the first one in my family to have only one child. 1st to start a business. 1st to employ people.

Whilst first are usually good and I guess reflect some measure of progress, particularly inter generational progress. The downside of being first means you are traveling an uncharted path. It means it is lonely as there no one before you can ask for advice. This is worse for an entrepreneur. When you don’t have an uncle or anyone in your extended circle of trust who you can ask for wisdom when the going gets tough, you are likely to quit. I think most entrepreneurs expected than running a business would be tough but they certainly didn’t expect it to be flipping difficult. So they quit when it gets difficult because they think they are doing it wrong. It is not the obvious business decisions that are difficult. It is decisions you never expected to make that are difficult. For example I always believed that it was a dumb idea to hire family members. But when you have many family members unemployed, you’ll invariably relent and before you know it, there is a cousin here and there. What no one told me is that a third of my family no longer come to the 30 year tradition of my family’s Christmas lunch. This is all because I had to let go of a cousin who was insubordinate. So a third of my family have taken sides and no speaks to each other anymore.

It turns out in my many firsts, I now I have to add the first to break a 30 year old tradition of a family Christmas lunch. Even worse it was the side of the family that did dessert the best.

For Gen 1, speed of progress is slow and has casualties. 3G will be faster. My grand children (3G) will have me to ask for advice so it is imperative that I lay a great platform for them.

I do have to thank my mother for giving me a great education. She is an OG…see what I did there😉

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