My mom used to tell me stories of her uncle in Trinidad who was a tailor. He had clients and a machine, and was amazing at what he did. She would hold my hands and look at my fingers while she talked. She would tell me that even though my hands were, at first glance, miniature versions of my dad’s, my long slender fingers reminded her of her uncle’s.
In my mind, I could see his long thin fingers holding a needle and thread, guiding it through button holes and lapels, weaving it through the fabric with spider-like skill. Then a happy customer would gladly place colorful TT dollars in his hand. I pictured him folding those dollars into his palm with slender fingers that looked like mine. That was business to me – using your talent to make a living… to make a life.
“Apples on Cloth” – One of my middle school masterpieces… framed and up in my dad’s house.
My parents came to America and each eventually owned small businesses. They were able to realize the “American Dream” that so many Caribbean immigrants had, and I wanted to live that dream too. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to own a business.
As a kid, I painted paintings (my dad still has two hanging up in his house now that I painted and sold to him 30 years ago), made Easter baskets (we didn’t even celebrate Easter like that), and tie-dyed shirts (even though the trend was just about over by the late 80’s)… you name it, I probably did it… and my parents funded it. Any money that I made could go back into my business. It wasn’t a loan or an investment; it was a gift.
Now that I am an adult, and a small business owner, I look back at those years and think about how great it would be to have the kind of infusion of money – a gift – to fund my dreams that I had as that skinny little kid with the spindly fingers… today.
Tonight at 11:59 pm EST, AT&T’s #AgilityIs Challenge ends. If you (or someone you know) are a small business owner, and you would like the chance to have up to $50,000 to fund your dreams from AT&T Small Business, today is your last chance to enter. Chris Gardner (from “The Pursuit of Happyness”) is working with AT&T’s #AgilityIs campaign to help to reboot the “American Dream” for small business through “agility,” a mindset and method of approaching business.
There are two ways to enter the contest: (1) Post a photo and description of your business, along with #AGILITYIS and #CONTEST to Instagram. Be sure to use your business account and include what AGILITY means to you and how you would leverage $50,000 to become more agile or (2) complete the form here and hit SUBMIT.
The #AgilityIs Challenge/Contest gives small business owners an opportunity to invigorate their business dreams with the help of AT&T. Business owners tell AT&T what agility means to them, and AT&T, through the #AgilityIs Challenge, gives small business owners an opportunity to invigorate their business and a chance to win up to $50,000.
While my fingers may resemble my great uncle’s, I am not a wizard with a needle and thread. They are more suited to the keyboard and the pen. I thought of my great uncle when I saw my daughter carefully threading a needle the other day. Like us, she has long slender fingers suited for typing, or sewing, or playing the piano, if she wants.
She seems to think that she’d make a great pastry chef or violinist. Whatever she chooses to do with her hands or her mind, I hope that she has the opportunity to make her dream a reality, and that there is always someone who believes in her dreams as much as she does.
There are two ways to enter the contest:
(1) Post a photo and description of your business, along with #AGILITYIS and #CONTEST to Instagram. Be sure to use your business account and include what AGILITY means to you and how you would leverage $50,000 to become more agile or (2) complete the form here and hit SUBMIT.
The link to enter and get details is: https://bizcircle.att.com/agility-contest/
Follow @ATTSmallBiz on Twitter and like AT&T Small Business on Facebook.
This is a sponsored post for AT&T, and I was compensated for writing it. As always, my opinions are my own. Share this post, tell a friend. It is easy to enter and the contest ends on 6/16 at 11:59 PM.