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America is a land of success and dreams. You could dream, and you could make the dreams come true only if you keep pushing harder. They say all success stories require hard work, and it never comes easy. Everyone hears this and listens to the stories of how it could be challenging, but we all have a choice to make. To either quit before starting or face the unknown.

Yes, you read all the books and stories that prepare you, nourish you, and give you long-lasting skills. At least we all need to be encouraged in one way or the other. Either from books, friends, family, and the best thing to happen: a spouse. There are various ideas to keep going, to be the next big thing. These include starting small and dreaming big, starting big and growing bigger, or starting small and not growing too big. There is a saying, a good dancer is only known when he gets on the dance floor.

I chose to face the unknown. Yes, the African immigrant with a lion heart was ready to challenge for the future and dine in places where few attempted to try. I always wanted to reach my career’s zenith, which was always a struggle when you consider your background, experience, and natural inhibition. This comes from cultural differences, educational challenges, and of course, the color of your skin and accent. While we could change some things, some things can’t be changed, especially with the perception people have about you and your ideas.

There are many challenges, the known and the unknowns. Those that are inflicted by societal prejudices or those that are natural with the business traits. Which one do I tackle, and which do I live to fate. It starts with the need for financial stability, providing for your immediate family, support for your parents, the need to have a proper retirement plan, 401K savings, and college plans for your kids. Having kids is another topic requiring more discussion.

In order to become an entrepreneur, the first step is the business idea — how do you determine what product or service would make the lives of many people easier. The dream was to create a long-lasting solution for the immigrant community as this remains an ever-growing population. To make an impact, you have to make people smile to bring acceptance. That means I need to go brush up on my leadership and business development skills. That’s what they say. I never knew there were other skills that I must acquire to succeed. While we could read and listen to all the great things needed to succeed, no one told me that what is required of a black man is significantly different. Not just a black man but even worse for an African immigrant and particularly with a Nigerian background.

The African is weird before you could go too far. He is brash, rough, unpolished, and so dark-skinned that he stands out in every crowd no matter how short he is. That’s the first natural tattoo that needs to be removed. Oops, sorry, it will cost you an arm and a leg to do that, so forget it and stop dreaming. This is the first entrepreneurial skill that is yet to be harnessed and discovered.