Beer Company and Local Membership Club Encourages Entrepreneurs to Fail Quickly
Failure is a commonly feared phenomenon within American culture. It is resented by most and embraced by few. In a way, we’ve been presented with an idea that “success” is the only product that matters since we were young. That myth was debunked during an intimate panel discussion in Atlanta called “Business and Beer.”
The event was a collaboration between global, beer brand MillerCoors and Atlanta’s invitation-only membership club The Gathering Spot. Panelists included: Rashan Ali (talk show host for TV One’s, Sister Circle Live, sports reporter & radio personality), Donald Albright (Co-founder of Tenderfoot TV & Producer of #1 Podcast in the Nation, Atlanta Monster), Grant Hill (NBA Hall of Famer), Killer Mike (Hip-Hop artist and Activist) and Marcus Harvey (Celebrity Barber). The discussion was moderator by ONE Music Fest founder J. Carter. The panelists were no-hold-bars with their talking points, highly some of the failures that made them who they are today.
“Don’t fear failure. Fear success…more people are ruined by that,” says Grant Hill. Along with his part ownership of the Atlanta Falcons, Hill is also involved in real estate and finance (an area he had no prior experience in). Hill discussed how his transition from acclaimed basketball star to “regular” citizen was difficult and how he was pressured by peers to “follow the path” that others retired athletes took.
Hill says he was persistent in pursuing his business ventures, even if it meant failing a few times in the process. Hill described his determination during his early years in entrepreneurship as “own or be owned.” Hill emphasized that it was his desire to be in complete control of his fate was what made failure, not an intimidating factor.
Rashan Ali offered a very compelling story about her career journey. The recognized radio/television personality and Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni highlighted how gender bias during her early career put out of a job on three different accounts. Ali recalled how her managers attempted to reassign her to different (less popular) segments during the day, as she was becoming a household name.
“Similar to today, people (men) often feel intimidated by a Black woman leading the conversation…they were trying to break me” says Ali. Things only got worse for Ali five months into her second pregnancy: she found herself in the unemployment line.
“My story isn’t that different from most…I persevered over my anger until I got the place I deserved.” Ali’s perseverance not only allowed her to get your radio segment back but opened doors for her in television as the lead host of “Sister Circle Live.”
Probably the most inspirational (and comical) talk points during the panel discussion came from Atlanta-native Hip-Hop artist Killer Mike. Born Michael Santiago Render, the Hip-Hop superstar detailed his career journey in music, while echoing the necessity for Blacks to have ownership of something (i.e. business, property).
“There’s nothing worse than being a rapper that’s fallen off,” says Mike jokingly. After making his debut on Outkast’s 2000 Stankonia LP, Mike began to see the flaws within the music industry. He recalled the moment he realized that his record deal was benefiting high-power music executives, who didn’t share both his creative or political visions.
As a result, Mike pursued a career as an independent artist and entrepreneur working to improve the conditions of his hometown. His most notable accomplishments since making this transition have been forming Run the Jewels (a rap duo consisting of Mike and rapper/producer EI-P) and his involvement in Georgia’s Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams.
“When I was coming up, everything was Black owned from the Westside to 69th (historically Black Atlanta neighborhoods now undergoing the effects of gentrification),” says Mike. He emphasized that as Blacks continue to contribute to changing the culture (in business and technology) their demands for equity need to be met.
Success is the byproduct of failure. Big wins don’t happen overnight, they arrive from losing a number of smaller battles. The “Business and Beer” panel presented a unique viewpoint that all entrepreneurs should consider when planning or launching their first business: fail quickly to have long-term success.
For more information checkout: MillerCoors Business and Beer