By Trina Bowers
I had an amazing opportunity to speak with Dr. Farrah Gray, an American businessman, investor, philanthropist, author, columnist and motivational speaker. In this article, he will give priceless advice, inspiration, motivation, and personal development. I know that you will be inspired to reach for more in your future.
Trina: Good afternoon! I am so happy to be talking to you, Farrah Gray. How are you?
Farrah: I am great! How are you?
Trina: I am doing very well.
Farrah: Thank you for having me.
Trina: We are honored to have you! I just wanted to speak to you for a few minutes about everything that is going on in your life; especially about the new book, “The Truth Shall Make You Rich: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity”. Can you tell us how our young Black leaders and entrepreneurs can get there? Can you tell us about that?
Farrah: Well, I want to thank everyone who has made my books a mega-success. Now we are in twenty-four countries and thirteen or so different languages. My new book is coming out this year and it’s called, “Comfort is the Enemy of Achievement-A 52 Week Path to Action, Prosperity and Purpose”. So, I really wanted to motivate people to know that if I could come from the “hood”–then especially young Black leaders, that I believe, that everybody has leadership qualities and greatness within them to lead. If I made it from the “hood” then anyone can. A lot of people say we are the leaders of tomorrow. I say that we are the leaders of today, especially my generation– we are and we can do it today. The internet being now twenty three years plus old, at the end of the day, that’s the generation that got the President in office, that’s the generation that really isn’t divided or disconnected. We now have the power to build and launch the next generation of the world’s solutions that will contribute to our communities, our cities, our states and ultimately improve the entire nation. So, I would say, if I could do it growing up very poor or “ebonically” speaking “Po”; I would say that jokingly! So poor that roaches, they scream “it’s a wrap” and for us, it’s like move over, we have to go to sleep! (He laughs.) I think it’s very important to have a dream and a vision and to go to work to make that dream and vision happen. Of course, we love Dr. King and people call him the “dreamer”. I would say no, he is a visionary because a dreamer keeps his eyes closed while a visionary keeps his eyes wide open. So that’s some of the things that I learned as it relates to being successful. I put that in the last book, “The Truth Shall Make You Rich” and I am moving forward, basically. The book comes out on my thirtieth birthday so I’m getting old.
Trina: Well, that’s pretty young to me! (Trina and Farrah laugh.) Awesome! Well, congratulations on your new book. Now, I want you to explain to me about the radical prosperity? We have a lot of people like you said that are dreamers and visionaries that have their eyes closed or wide open. What about the people who sit back on their dream? We have so many people that are scared to take the next step. What are the steps to radical prosperity?
Farrah: First, we must realize that everything we deserve is on the other side of fear. Once we develop a healthy fear of doing things that need to be done– a lot of people say, ‘How did you become so successful? You just automatically know everything to do. You must have been a natural.’ I tell people all the time show me a natural born brain surgeon. It doesn’t exist. It’s something you have to work at, when we develop a healthy fear. For example, people may ask you, “How did you climb to the top of the mountain?” Whenever there’s a mountain lion at the bottom of a mountain chasing you up that mountain which is a healthy fear, it motivates you to get to the top of the mountain. You don’t really pay attention to the distance, you pay attention to the fact that you are running for your life. And the key thing is when we find our area of excellence, we must pursue it. And a lot of people just exist. The new title for the book that I’m releasing this year is, “Comfort is the Enemy of Achievement”. So we get comfortable in our lives, our positions, maybe our jobs, maybe in position that we have in a major corporation, or money that we are making. We are just not showing up and I think that’s the biggest challenge. We just don’t show up. We are not showing up in our personal world, in our relationships, at work, or professionally. We are not showing up. You can’t win if you don’t play. The people that matter are not the naysayers but the ones that are actually in the arena a part of it and doing it. So that would be my message.
Trina: Wow, what you said is profound. A lot aren’t showing up and a lot of people aren’t showing up because there is a lot of work to be done with any business that you have. What do you have to say to the leaders, entrepreneurs, pastors and ministers that may read this magazine that may need to go after their next business? They are at one point of success and they are comfortable. How do we stay hungry to go the next level?
Farrah: The first thing I would say to leaders, and you talked about pastors and you talked about entrepreneurs. I would ask them to ask themselves, “Can God trust you?”– I would say with the few P’s– with His people, with His privilege and with His power and the fourth ‘P’ is basically your personality. A lot of times we are successful but are we significant. Especially with Black people, we have a lot of Black people in high places but when we get there we forget. We forget that we stand on the shoulder of giants. We are the descendants of royalty and the people who have taken the greatest fall ever! So everything that we do, we have to think how it’s helping or advancing my people. So I would say, “Can God trust you?” In West Africa, the Ekon people, when they install someone into royalty, into a position of power or influence, they give them a hand which is like a statue piece with an egg in the middle of the hand. What that represents is the hand represents the power and the egg represents the people. You can be selfish and make scramble eggs for yourself. You can be rough and crush the egg or you can nurture it to grow. So we call ourselves leaders or role models or public figures. We have to understand the power that we have and the fact that we need to really move our people forward because every other race has mastered unity. Their good ole boy network but we as people are so busy trying to out dress each other. I got to look better than you and I got to out get you that we can’t move forward together. And that’s the key; I would say that my corporation is nothing without my people’s cooperation. So I would ask that we remember that we did not get here by ourselves. And even with the Civil Rights Movement, a lot of people would say, “Civil Rights did not write my résumé.” As Rev. Sharpton always talks about it “but it made somebody read it and that’s the key.”
Trina: Awesome, you just said a mouth full and we could talk on this for days. Our race needs unity so much. If we came together and realized there is power in unity. In all your travels and everything you do, what is the main ingredient that we need as a race to make us better ourselves and better our communities?
Farrah: As we just talked, unity is the most important element. You look at one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Ujamaa– we need cooperative economics. So with cooperative economics we are able to no longer brag about that our buying power is roughly at one trillion dollars but we are actually able to build. We are the number one consumers. We are technically with the buying power strong, that we would be out of 196,940,000 square miles of the planet earth, we would be the 16 th richest nation in the world. We are really a nation within a nation that isn’t producing. Our biggest challenge is that a sense of pride comes from what you produce but for us our sense of pride has come from what we consume. So we end up buying things what I call Lie-ability, things that are in style today and will go out of style tomorrow. We become fuel for the economy. Where is our wholesale/retail distribution system? You go to Wal-Mart- -made in Korea, made in China. We are the only race of people that has an international stomach. We eat Chinese food, Italian food and pizza. We do not feed nor produce our own products. So I think that’s very important. Individual tiny snowflakes are meaningless but when they come together they become powerful enough to shut down cities and states. We too have that same power. So I think that unity is very important and also cooperative economics.
Trina: Awesome! Awesome! You know I’m so glad to speak to you because it’s powerful what you are saying about cooperative economics. I see everything you are doing and I could go on and on about everything you do. What is the Farrah Gray Foundation doing right now to help our communities and what are you guys going to be doing in the future?
Farrah: The Farrah Gray Foundation was established when I was fifteen years old. So, my feeling and my mission with the foundation was to give back my contribution to society. When I realized I was making more money than I could actually responsibly spend, I said, “To whom much is given much is required.” I was blessed to be a blessing. So, I created a foundation to give out scholarships to not “at risk” youth but “high risk” youth, those who were voted “least likely” to succeed. The ones that society had forgotten about that just need a chance and someone to believe in them. A lot of times that’s all people need. We need resources. We don’t have rich uncles and rich aunts and people who can just sprinkle down wealth and for those of us that do have rich family members, they have moved out of the hood and want nothing to do with the struggle anymore. With the understanding that I said I’m not waiting for anyone to change the condition of my people– I’m going to each one, reach one, and teach one! So, I’ve been giving out scholarships. I also have a program that teaches entrepreneurship, leadership, financial literacy and ward robing skills, as I always say, your visibility is just important as your ability. So, I’m really training the best and the brightest for the future. You know and I believethat when they go out in the world that they will train generations yet unborn! So it’s really planting a seed and also I am the ambassador for several other organizations whether it be (NMDP) National Marrow Donor Program for bone marrow. You know I lost my sister to AML leukemia and we have roughly six million people in the bone marrow registry but less than five percent are African American. So, it’s really important to get more of us in the registry. Why? Because we can save someone else’s life while we are still alive just by entering in the registry we might be a match for someone. Like my sister, if she were able to have find a perfect match – – what we call perfect ten out of ten, where the antigens and alleles match up, then she would still be here today. But unfortunately, she didn’t have a perfect match. She did get a bone marrow transplant but her body did not take it and her cells began to fight the bone marrow. So, also I personally feed roughly a couple hundred homeless people each week, out of my own pocket. This is the first interview where I’ve actually mentioned that to anyone. I don’t make a big deal in the media or social media about it. It’s something I do because I believe we should all be ashamed to die unless we give a contribution to society.
Trina: Wow, you just touched my heart. I have a heart for the homeless too. Once you know what it’s like to be hungry, you don’t want to see anyone else hungry.
Farrah: No, you don’t. You know the average age of a homeless person is roughly nine years old.
Trina: Yes. Yes, so many people look nice but many are struggling to eat. I love it and everything you are doing for the community. Your heart is great. I love people that think of community and the homeless. I’m your biggest fan for that! It’s a great thing that you are doing. So before you get off, what is Farrah Gray doing right now, where can we reach you and what is really going on with Farrah Gray? What do you want us to know about Farrah Gray and for our ladies? That’s what we really want to know! (Trina and Farrah laugh.)
Farrah: A reality show, my new book– I’m really excited about the reality show, so stay tuned. And I’m really a serially entrepreneur, so I own businesses as diverse as the commodities market, precious metals, to restaurant business, to car dealership and I’m getting back into a few other industries that I was in previously. So again, like I said, I believe in multiple streams of income. A job (just over broke) was never created to make you wealthy. Look out for the show, look out for the book. Guess what?
Farrah: You don’t just have to look out for the new book. I’m releasing the e-book early and for a limited time everybody that goes to my website will actually get the book for free.
Trina: Well, okay! Well, we are on our way. I’m on my way today! Farrah Gray, I thank you for taking the time out to talk to us at K.I.S.H. Magazine. We are honored and we are behind you with the reality show and the new book. I pray that God blesses you and shows you great favor. It’s such a great inspiration to see a young man who is thirty doing everything you do! I pray God prospers you and gives you great success.
Farrah: God’s speed and I humbly thank you all for considering me and putting me on the cover. God bless!
Trina: God Bless you, Farrah Gray!