How President Barack Obama Mentored Me in My Business



I caption this picture “The day he introduced me.”

The story (my version) goes a little something like this…

It was a lovely summer day at the White House in Las Vegas, Nevada 🙂

The reporters piled into the room in the oval office during an impromptu press conference. They were dishing out questions about his newly appointed cabinet member, an inner city girl from the west side of Detroit. The statements were coming one after another. Some said, “She doesn’t have the background for this and she’s never had experience for that” but in the president’s usual articulate manner, he gave responses that stopped them in their tracks.

He said, “You don’t know Benita Tyler? Well, let me tell you a thing or two about her record.”

Then he went on to say, “She’s published hundreds of articles on small business finance, guided thousands of entrepreneurs through their startup and growth phase and racked up tens of thousands of hours mastering skills in her profession… She’s done these things to make small business owners financially aware.”

As I stood beside him, it was like having an outer body experience. I could hear his words and fought to hold back my tears. “Was he really introducing me to the world like this”, I thought. “Did the President of the United States really believe that I was fit for the job?”

By the time the press conference was over, the reporters were fully satisfied and never questioned the president’s choice for Director of Entrepreneurial Finances again.

Now, of course, the meeting with President Barack Obama never actually happened. This picture was taken at the wax museum in Las Vegas many years ago (hence the reason that I’m casually dressed). However, this vision has played out in my mind countless times. In fact, I have the picture on my vision board with very specific goals around it. Does my family consider it crazy? Yes. Do my friends think it highly unlikely? Probably. But the reality is this. If others don’t think your dreams are bananas then you should be thinking bigger. The point that I want to make is that you have to stretch your imagination and get to work. Remember nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream.

Today, the United States closes the chapter of having it’s first African American president but it doesn’t close the chapter on hope. Like President Obama, I too, have the audacity to believe in the American dream of equality, fairness and justice for all.

As for me, I may not have been appointed to the cabinet at the White House but I have shown up daily in my business to do the work.  Why? Because the words that I’ve penned here aren’t just a story. It’s my goal everyday to get up and make a positive difference.

What about you? Do you truly believe in your vision? Are you being the change that you want to see in the world?

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