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Tawan Davis Discusses The Long-Term, Intergenerational Asset Class – Real Estate | 196

Tawan Davis Discusses The Long-Term, Intergenerational Asset Class – Real Estate | 196

I want to create long-term wealth that will last multiple generations and that produces cash; among the different options to invest, real estate is a very, very clear option.

Our featured trailblazer is Tawan Davis.

Tawan Davis is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of The Steinbridge Group, which has structured, executed and invested nearly $1 billion in commercial and residential real estate. Under Mr. Davis’ leadership—which includes managing the investment program and overseeing the day-to-day operations and transaction pipeline—Steinbridge is now investing more than $425 million in the urban single-family home market.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM TAWAN:

  • I am, and so many of us are, really a product of our collective context. 
  • In my family’s tree, I am the first person that I know with a four-year college degree. There are people who have started and stopped, but I was the first person to go and stick it out.
  • The conservative, religious context in which my mother raised me has a lot to do with that [my accomplishments]. On the one hand my mom was just a stickler for good behavior and ethical behavior, and so I didn’t get involved with a lot of things that other people got involved in.  
  • I grew up with several cousins who are like brothers to me to this day.  There were five of us, and my great-grandmother would have to take care of all of us while our parents worked.
  • I’m the only guy that finished high school in 4 years and not even to mention having gone on to have the opportunity to get a higher education.  So, it was my mother’s unique focus on personal and ethical discipline.  That, plus the fact that I became very involved in my community and in the church very early, gave me a reason to want to go to school, gave me a reason to want to improve myself, it gave me a reason to want to do more and affirm myself.
  • Because I was involved in my church, I was involved in the youth programs, that led me to be involved in the NAACP at a state and national level.  I was a member of the youth and college committee, the national NAACP.  I served as an interim chairman for half a term.  So all of those things exposed me to a whole new world that growing up in Portland, Oregon would not have exposed me to
  • Growing up there, there was not a lot of exposure to very well educated, very accomplished African-American people, and so there were one or two glimpses of that — one was in the church being surrounded by people who had at least some accomplishment, some aspirations, ministers that were forward looking and the NAACP where I met a guy name Lucius Hicks who was chairman of the Oregon State NAACP, and who was the chairman of the Portland School Board, and who was a pusher of education that let me travel with him to the state, regional and national events of the NAACP where I met Merley Evers at the time who was chairman of the board of the NAACP and all of these remarkably accomplished historic leaders in the African American community and that transformed my vision of what was possible as a young man. 
  • My approach to real estate, broadly, is that real estate is a long-term, intergenerational asset class.
  • Let’s start with where you put your money.  Most of us only have so much money, so you’ve got to make a few, kind of broad decisions:  Do you put it in the bank or do you invest it? Do you spend it? That’s decision #1.
  • Decision #2:  If you’re going to invest it, what do you invest in? Do you buy stocks, bonds, options, private equity or real estate?
  • For me, the answer was that I want to create long-term wealth that will last multiple generations and that produces cash; then, among the different options to invest, real estate is a very, very clear option. Then you have to decide, do you invest in the US or Latin America, United Kingdom or Europe or elsewhere?
  • The United States remains the most lucrative, stable, risk-adjusted investment market in the world.  More money comes here than anywhere else in the world, and the United States still produces better returns over longer period of time, because they're stable returns.  You might make more money investing in Latin America one year, but you could also lose more money in the next year.
  • Over long periods of time, the United States, for the developed economy is the strongest investment profile.
  • My mantra is to build long-term, intergenerational, cash flowing assets. So, the goal, over time is to acquire real estate and then augment or increase the cash flow over time. 
  • In the United States there is a perennial demand, a long-term perpetual demand for good housing and for residences, and so it became clear to me that the opportunity in real estate, for my generation, over the next 10-, 20-, 30- years was really in the housing sector, providing good quality housing for American people. 
  • Most good businesses, in fact, all good businesses identify and strategically solve a particular problem.  Solving a problem is the opportunity.
  • There is a huge housing crisis, and how most investors and real estate developers respond to that housing crisis early on was by building really high-end, really fancy buildings.
  • If you are the average person in the United States, if you are a teacher, or a nurse, or a police officer,  or a firefighter, you cannot afford what the real estate development community delivered as a response to the housing crisis. … It’s the wrong solution for the average American family.
  • There is a humungous housing crisis in every major city in the United States for working people, and we all know that because we all feel rents rising; we all feel and observe the displacement of communities like the one I grew up in, where people have been there for generations but can no longer afford the taxes that are associated with those neighborhoods.
  • The solution is not to build yet another glass tower and charge people 4 or $5,000  for rent. The solution here is to invest in the very same neighborhood where  these people, want to live, these nice neighborhoods, these transitioning neighborhoods, these improving neighborhoods, and provide a product that is affordable.
  • I understand how jarring it is, as an African American person, to experience gentrification, but the most gentrification is actually not even ethnic and racial, it is economic.
  • The most challenging part of our business is the people, and I will admit to you that that is an iterative process.  Any entrepreneur, it they are honest, will tell you they never get the people right the first time.  It is either their problem because they don’t know themselves well enough to attract and retain complements to themselves or they have attracted the wrong people.  But I don’t know a single entrepreneur that has done it right the first time. And that's been our experience.  It has been iterative.  I have gone out built teams and then over time, little by little, you better understand what you need and you have to make adjustments. You add people; you take people away.  And so being okay at the centre of this kind of perpetual dynamic and constant change, as a company grows and matures, is a very important part of being an entrepreneur; being at the centre of the changing landscape of people as the company strengthens and matures is very important. So that’s mindset #1.
  • Mindset #2, I think for me, was to identify and strengthen your core.  So once I was able to really clarify what the company needed and attract those people, I have been able to really strengthen and solidify.  I know who the core of our company is.
  • Lesson #3 … it’s so important to be values.  People have to connect with your values.  I always tell people that come to work with us and for us, “I don’t want you to do what I want you to do .  I want you to do what you want you to do.  I want you to achieve your goals.  I don’t want you to achieve Steinbridge’s goals.  But if it so happens that Steinbridge’s goals overlaps with your goals, then we should work together for awhile, and you should join our team.  And, if on the other hand, Steinbridge’s aspirations, goals, values and ethics don’t overlap with your aspirations, goals, values and ethics, then let’s agree to be friends, but we shouldn’t work together.”  
  • I don’t run a manufacturing plant per se, where I just have to attract people just to play a role.  I actually have to attract people to make a contribution. 
  • I am a man in process.  I am a man on a walk.
  • For an entrepreneurial CEO, which is a very specific skillset — the most important skillset for an entrepreneurial CEO is to consider himself an evangelist. I preach the gospel of Steinbridge. I preach the gospel of development, the gospel of empowerment, the gospel of economic opportunity.  I have to be a constant champion for the cause, and that requires a certain amount of passion, it requires a certain amount of clarity.  It requires irrational conviction. 
  • My path has been to beat down the doors of poverty and economic opportunity by building a company, by building a big business, by building a company that employs people. 
  • So, I am passionate. I am an evangelist for my particular calling and that is the calling of economic development and economic opportunity with Steinbridge as a vehicle for that impact.

 

ONE ACTION

  • Write it down! If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist.
  • We have limited time on the earth, and we have limited time to engage in a particular pursuit; and so anything we must do, we must put it on a schedule. It has to be a realistic schedule; it has to be an accomplishable schedule.  But it still needs to be on a schedule because if it’s not on a schedule, it won’t get done.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Anthony Smith: Keeping Young Black Men and Boys Safe, Healthy and Hopeful | 190

Anthony Smith: Keeping Young Black Men and Boys Safe, Healthy and Hopeful | 190

Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful. Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.

Our featured guest today is Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM ANTHONY:

  • I’m grateful for the time and space created at the convening to reconnect with our ancestors and recognize the 400th year since the first enslaved African came to the shores of America.
  • Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful.
  • Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.
  • @CitiesUnited: Our goal is not only to keep Black men and boys alive but to help them thrive, with better educational and employment outcomes.
  • @CitiesUnited:  We work with cities to create a two-pronged approach to balance and prevention: (1) how do you keep young people, those who are in harm’s way, alive today; and (2) how do you create agendas and policies that break the cycle, so that we don’t have young men and women and girls in harm’s way.
  • We help cities design a comprehensive public safety plan, reimagining what public safety is, how it is defined, and how it’s funded.
  • Public safety is access to quality education, access to great housing, and access to jobs.
  • If young people are in harm’s way or in trouble, their parents are most likely in trouble, too.
  • We look at a two-generational approach — not just the youth in front of you, but who they go home to, and who supports them along the way.
  • Homicide is a national epidemic, but it happens in cities.  If we can help the cities with good strategies, we can help reduce that number.
  • Do your work in a way that it can be owned by the community, and no matter who is in office, the community is going to demand that this work continues.
  • Black male achievement highlights the fact that Black men and boys have always been able to achieve even with the disadvantage of racism and certain policies.
  • On Black male achievement, we consider how to celebrate those who are achieving, and how to create space for those who are struggling, and how to make sure that this is not about some of us but all of us.
  • We have to help young people find their purpose and then live in that purpose; we have to create space for them to do that.
  • If young Black men and boys are growing up in communities where they see themselves, where they know they can connect and thrive, we won’t have as many homicides and shootings, because they see other options and other ways out.
  • What we’re dealing with today is the remnants of all the bad policies — from redlining to urban renewal — all of the things that have kept our communities cut out of opportunities.
  • It doesn’t matter who is in office, because nobody is paying attention to the root causes of why we’re dealing with these issues.
  • Everybody wants to be tough on crime, but nobody wants to deal with the issue of why crime is produced.
  • Mayors are central to the strategy for creating the change we want to see; they have convening power with the ability to bring people to the table.
  • We’re about coaching and preparing the current generation of leaders and making sure that we create space for others.

 

 

ONE ACTION

  • Find your purpose — what you’re supposed to be doing — and stay true to that. 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

A Nicole Campbell: The Power of Being Relational | 189

A Nicole Campbell: The Power of Being Relational | 189

Being relational drives business. Your brand/business must be about more than just transactions in order for it to thrive. The beauty happens in between the transactions/deals. When you are relational, you step into the spaces between transactions, so to speak, and that step-in is what makes clients come back, makes them choose you, makes colleagues recommend you, and makes people want to work with you.

Our featured guest today is A. Nicole Campbell.

Nicole (Nic) is a mom first, and everything else falls into place because of it. She's an MIT graduate and an attorney who has served in senior leadership positions for two billionaire hedge fund giants. 

Nic recently transitioned to a new role, having founded Build Up Advisory Group (February, 2019). Her firm specializes in designing and building systems to help nonprofits, philanthropies, social entrepreneurs, and philanthropists thrive. She's working to scale it to create the kind of workplace she's always wanted to work in.

Build Up, Inc. is a boutique capacity builder that holistically supports leaders of color and projects and nonprofits led by people of color that serve under-resourced communities. Probably the first of its kind, and hopefully it can serve as a model for other fiscal sponsors.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM NIC:

  • I really am so thankful and grateful to have my two little girls.  They have really aligned my priorities and my life.  I used to ask myself the question of ‘what could I be?’ and they’ve made me change that to ‘how good can I become?'
  • My mom instilled in us that education is important, and this is how you can achieve anything.  It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you. 
  • With an education and a strong foundation, you can pretty much do anything.
  • My education at MIT set me up to be a problem solver that comes to problems with different levels of expertise and experience to bear on how I then solve that problem.
  • I’m no longer a lawyer that comes to the problem and gives you my legal opinion; but I am a problem solver that happens to have legal experience and expertise.
  • Build Up Advisory Group specializes in infrastructure design.  We focus on building out the organizational infrastructure of philanthropists and non-profits.  We spend a lot of time with leaders of these organizations, helping them set up the foundation, so that they can deliver on their mission and make sure that their programmatic work is supported.
  • We serve these organizations through the lens of governance, grant making, and organizational design.
  • If an organization is doing good programmatic work, and you strengthen their infrastructure, they will do outstanding work.
  • Black Male Achievement means the celebration of Black boys and men, recognizing how amazing they are, and putting that at the forefront of the conversation we are having about society and how we can improve.
  • If there is Black Male Achievement, then everyone is achieving.
  • Being relational drives business.  In service-based professions, we tend to move on a transaction-by-transaction basis, but there are spaces in between those transactions.
  • In between those transactions, in those spaces, are where your client and the organization are most vulnerable; that’s where they have the need.
  • If you’re not asking questions about what’s happening in between transactions and providing a level of support in between those transactions, you’re missing out on a huge part of the relationship with your client and a huge part of the service that you can provide to your client.
  • People keep coming back to you because of how you relate to them and how they relate to you.
  • They will keep picking you, want to work with you, and refer you to other people, because they feel supported, and they feel that you are a resource.  You can only get there, if you are relational.
  • While you might be able to provide transaction-level support, you’re not able to provide the holistic support that your client will benefit from, without expertise.
  • If you’re a grant-making organization, put organizations that are focused on under-resourced communities — particularly those that are led by people of colour —  on your radar; and allow them to tell their own stories rather than you or the organization stepping in to tell their story for them, thinking that you’re doing it better.
  • Build Up, Inc. helps to create or build the capacity of leaders of colour and projects and organizations that are supporting under-resourced communities.

 

ONE ACTION (+ A LIL EXTRA)

  • Lean in to you! In the morning, affirm “I believe in me.  I believe in my capabilities.  I believe in my abilities. I believe in who I am.”
  • Once you leave your home, your cocoon, your safety net, and you go out into the world, there is going to be so many things that are trying to tear you down from that and pull you down from that.  So, if you start your day with this affirmation, it goes a very long way when you fail in something and need to recover.
  • When you come back home, reflect and assess, “How did I lean into me day?  Where did I show up? When did you shy away?  When did you step away? and Why?”

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Jim Shelton: The Opportunity and Risk of Black Male Achievement | 188

Jim Shelton: The Opportunity and Risk of Black Male Achievement | 188

When Black males start to achieve, the mobility rates for our community will pick up exponentially.  That is the opportunity for us, but it is also the risk, if we don’t.

Our featured guest today is Jim Shelton.

James “Jim” Shelton is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blue Meridian Partners.

In this role, Jim is investigating new areas where significant focused capital can help solve problems at scale and advising Blue Meridian. Jim is also a founding partner of Amandla Enterprises, Senior Advisor for Education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute.

Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Impact Officer of 2U, Inc. and was deputy secretary at the US Department of Education (and head of its office of innovation and improvement) under President Obama. There, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and served on and led multiple interagency efforts focused on poverty reduction, economic development, entrepreneurship, and increased opportunity, such as the Investing in Innovation Fund, Promise Neighborhoods, and ConnectED. He has served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company advising CEOS and other for-profit and non-profit executives and has experience as a growth investor, education entrepreneur and program lead for the Gates Foundation. He began his career developing computer systems.

Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Morehouse College and master’s degrees in both business administration and education from Stanford University.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM JIM:

  • I’m much grateful for my family being back in DC, my son starting off school right, and my wife feeling happy about it all.
  • I am just an ordinary man who had extraordinary opportunities.
  • All young people need the same kinds of things adapted their different contexts.
  • If we start at birth, everybody is born with the same potential to excel; however, our experiences, relationships and environments shape how much of our potential is actually realized.
  • We want to stack the kind of relationships and environment that is going to help a young person thrive.
  • We need to get in the business of designing pathways for young people that look like that from the time that they are born until they become thriving adults.
  • We’ve got to have the kind of training and resources for teachers, so they know how young people actually develop and learn, and the kind of experiences they create in classrooms actually meet the needs of the kids they have in front of them.
  • The vast majority of what determines a young person’s success starts before they get to school everyday.
  • Key questions for determining the wellness and preparedness of young people:  Are their basic mental and physical health needs met? Are they socially and emotionally stable and developed enough to form healthy relationships? Do they have a sense of identity?
  • These are shaped by many, many factors outside of school, but they have a huge impact on the academic and cognitive development that the child has in school.
  • @JIMSEDU on Black Male Achievement:  We’ve created these environments that expect little, provide little and therefore the results match, and we seem surprised.
  • The major factors that impede progress (exposure to violence or exposure to the criminal justice system) and get in the way of many of our best and brightest young men actually achieving across the spectrum from the earliest age into adulthood.
  • For those who are not impeded by these systems, we often forget about these Black men, and begin our conversations talking about their deficits and not their assets.  So, our young men who are high performing are often ignored, without us creating the kind of opportunities that let them continue to excel.
  • The question is, ‘How do we create the kind of relationships, experiences and environments that allow our young people to express their full potential?'
  • Recognizing that the injustices and barriers won’t disappear overnight, how do we as a community surround our young people and insulate them from the impacts of them as much as possible, so that they can actually look into the future and see their potential, see that other people believe in them, and keep pushing?
  • For the Black community, our overall success is now in the hands of what happens for Black males.
  • When Black males start to achieve, the mobility rates for our community will pick up exponentially.  That is the opportunity for us, but it is also the risk, if we don’t.
  • People believe most in people who look like them to be able to solve problems.
  • The challenge for African Americans is getting over the hurdle of not being like the other kind of folks that investors encounter, to instill the confidence in them that you’re someone they should bet on.
  • @JIMSEDU on African Americans potential vying for the attention of investors — It’s a higher bar.  It’s not a fair bar, but that’s the game that we have to play.
  • Consider who that one person is, who could help you with whatever your mission is — that person you’ve procrastinated on calling — and make the call.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Tonya Allen: Changing the Odds for Detroit’s Children | 187

Tonya Allen: Changing the Odds for Detroit’s Children | 187

Instead of helping children beat the odds, our work is about changing the odds for children.

Our featured guest today is Tonya Allen.

Tonya Allen, a serial “idea-preneur,” serves as The Skillman Foundation’s president & chief executive officer. Her two-decade-long career has centered on pursuing, executing and investing in ideas that improve her hometown of Detroit and increase opportunities for its people, especially children, who live in under-resourced communities. In her current role, Allen aligns the complexities of education reform, urban revitalization, and public policy to improve the well-being of Detroit’s and the nation’s children.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM TONYA:

  • I am really grateful for this broader discussion about racial equity and what it means to be an equitable organization.
  • A lot of times people confuse representation with equity.
  • Inclusion is messy, but as a leader, I have  the opportunity to question everything to make sure that we show up around the values that we have.
  • My fondest memory of Detroit is actually growing up in neighborhoods and communities with lots of children and adults watching over us.
  • Being outside and playing in the neighborhood, children were exploring and expanding their world and learning the natural consequences of boundaries.  That’s how we grow up.
  • Power is organized people or organized money.
  • The Skillman Foundation is a private institution that focuses on children’s issues in Detroit, and creating the opportunity agenda for Detroit’s children.
  • Instead of helping children beat the odds, our work is about changing the odds for children. @allen_tonya
  • We’re focusing on preparing our children for their future, using a rock climbing versus a career ladder approach.
  • Hope has more significance and more importance to your trajectory in life.  Do you believe that it can happen?  Do you believe it is possible?
  • Black male achievement should be a normal part of our vocabulary. These are words that should describe our norm, not our aspirations.
  • For a long time we have talked about the challenges and barriers that Black men face, as things that they have constructed, rather than that these are challenges that Black men have to overcome. 
  • “My work is rooted in neighborhoods and schools. I would talk to parents about the things that they care deeply about, and almost every conversation I had there was a woman there who said ‘Help us save our boys! Help us save our boys!' And it wasn't to say that they didn't care deeply about their girls, but they could not name all of the challenges that were facing their boys and they could feel it. It was palpable for them and as much as they were working hard to protect their children, they knew that even though they were doing as much as they could, It would be very difficult for them to navigate all of the challenges and the barriers and it would be very difficult for them to achieve what they should achieve, like any other child.”
  • You can’t talk a bout Black uplift, community uplift or children’s well-being without talking about how Black men are doing.
  • Black men are the bellwether for the Black community and for our children.
  • We have to figure out how to do targeted work at the same time that we are doing broad, collective and expansive work.
  • The challenges we face are not a Black man problem.  This is an American problem.  This is the construct of our country, and our country is responsible for fixing this problem, not Black people.
  • It is a false narrative for Black men to think that they need to own the solution because they know the problem so intimately.
  • I try to use my seat at the table to focus on results. @allen_tonya
  • Data doesn’t define you, but it should inform you.
  • Let’s get off the conversation.  Let’s start doing the work, and then we can perfect the work as we go.
  • When you get focused on intentionality, the money will follow.
  • It takes courage to take our idea to implementation and get to tangible results and impact.
  • Get exact.  Get intentional and move! Create momentum.
  • Not being successful doesn’t mean that you are a failure @allen_tonya
  • If I fail that means I have a higher platform and a better shot the second time.
  • I’m not worried about failing, I’m worried about winning.  I’m trying to create a trajectory or pathway that allows me to win.
  • I have to be resilient, consistent and focused on my goal, and I know I’m going to win.
  • Whatever it is that you haven’t done, take the idea and break it down into four steps.  Focus on step one, and make the commitment to complete step one no matter how long it takes.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.