I was kind of in my ...
I was kind of in my office one day
and I just said, you know,
I think I could be
really successful here,
but this is just not
a business that I loved.
And what I was concerned about
was that in competitive places,
if you don't really have
a passion for something,
it's easy to get outcompeted.
Welcome, everybody, to Disruption Now.
I'm your host, and
moderator, Rob Richardson.
Here with me is Karim Hutson.
He is an entrepreneur, a developer.
We're going to hear a lot
about his background.
You definitely want to stay tuned.
But before you do,
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And now I definitely want
to turn my attention
to Karim Hutson,
who is, as I talked about
earlier, is a developer
he's an entrepreneur
has been a developer
in the space for about 17 years,
and he's in New York, New Jersey,
pretty difficult place to be a developer.
So he's got a lot of good experience.
But they say if you can
make it in New York,
you can make it anywhere.
I think that statements still true.
So, Karim, v welcome, brother.
Thank you, my friend.
Thank you, Rob, for doing this.
No problem, man.
It's great to have you on.
How did you get started in real estate?
What what hit you
one day to say this is what I want to do
and how did you get into it?
Well, it's funny. I was
I'll fast forward to when I was in
in a General Atlantic Partners,
which was a very successful
venture capital firm, focused on,
you know, technology.
And I was kind of in my office one day
and I just said, you know,
I think I could be
really successful here,
but this is just not
a business that I loved.
And what I was concerned about
was that in competitive places,
if you don't really have
a passion for something,
it's easy to get outcompeted.
so at that point, I knew that
I wanted to make some sort of change.
And I started thinking
when I was in business school about, hey,
what's something that I think
I could utilize my skills
for somebody to be passionate about that
I felt like would have some connection
to community, to uplifting
where I could be,
you know, just not behind a desk,
but also really active in the community.
And real estate was really a
natural place to go.
so I tested out when I was at Harvard
I was actually taking the bus down
a couple of times
and maybe once every other month
to the community
board meetings in Harlem.
I would just listen in
and listen to what was happening.
I started in going to the real estate
community board meetings,
and that's where they plan
all the things that are
happening in the community.
And I ended up meeting, you know,
two black developers
who end up being my first bosses
out of out of business school.
And from there, you know,
I just love the business
and started started Genesis
a year later in 2004.
So you did that right out of college?
Wow so basically
out of business school,
out of business school, OK.
Well, so not quite our college,
but maybe like five or so years.
OK, that's still pretty good.
That's still pretty good.
So you started Genesis
if you were talking to your younger self,
you know, when you first
got into development,
what advice would you
give your younger self
and what would you ignore?
I think the advice I would give
my younger self would be
whatever you think is big, multiply it
by three hundred and aim for that.
And I just think, you know, when I first
started my business,
I think I had a big dreams.
But I think,
you know, my my mentors always say,
you know, think bigger, think bigger.
And I think as you've been
in the business longer
and you've seen the possibilities,
you kind of don't know
what you don't know.
And and I would say, like,
I wish I had, you know, just not only,
not only aim for that
grand slam, I wanted to,
you know, hit it out of the stadium
and into the lake. Right.
Still got time.
And not that we haven't done well,
but I think that's you know,
if you're young and you're thinking
about what you want to do
and where you want to go,
I think, you know,
whatever you think is big,
you know, think about it
being just bigger and bigger and bigger.
I think the other thing
I would tell myself is, you know,
there's a lot of pressure that
comes on you as an entrepreneur.
I don't think people
Yeah, it is.
It's a lonely place and it's hard.
It's hard to know
unless you've been there. Exactly.
And and so and I think
you get pressure
to do a lot of things
in order to make sure
your business works. Right.
And I think one of the things
specially that black developers
get pressured on is, you know,
do you have enough,
quote unquote, capacity, you know,
This is the day that that folks
talk about to try to justify
or really explain
why you can't do the deal.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's
You're absolutely right.
I've seen that.
Just to just a little bit on that,
that that cut across the across
the board is not just development, it's
any business you're in.
They assume if you're black
that you must not have capacity.
That's number one.
you know, they never ask
the same question
to white guys is like, all right,
if they got capacity
or they assume they have the ability,
even if they don't
have the capacity to do it,
it's just that like,
you know, something
we have to fight against.
It is being like small
or they've set up
these grandfather clauses. Right.
That's what my my mother said.
It well because she used to have a restaurant.
And they they they
they told her at this festival
that that she was working to get into.
They said, well,
people are grandfathered in.
My grandfather was a slave.
So, I mean, I'm never getting in?
So what's that mean? So,
no, it's so true.
And the sad thing about it is that,
you know, one of my friends
said it's almost like when
when Charlie Brown was going to kick ball
and Lucy, kept moving it every time
he was ready to kick it.
I mean, that's kind of
It's like whenever we get to
where it looks like we have capacity
and they always move the ball. Yeah.
So but I would say to that point,
be careful who you align yourself with
when you're trying to address
what people are saying
you need to address.
And I think, you know,
you know, partners are it's
like marriage, right.
And so you always have
to be careful, like,
you know, who you get in bed with,
sounds like there's a story there.
Well, there's a lot of stories that
I hear something coming so like it's
I feel like it's there
as though I want to try to pull
out of you here so.
One of the one of the hardest
lessons of being a founder
is building a team and building a founder
and finding the founder,
if that's right, fit.
Sounds like there's some lessons
you had there in terms of founder fit.
What lessons would you give
out there in this space?
I would just say it's really hard
when you're when you're out
trying to figure out
what you need to do a deal
and you're in the hustle.
You got to make sure you do
all the diligence you can possibly do.
And you got to make sure that
whatever folks that
I will say this and this is
that this will go to the advice
that I would ignore.
You also get your
you often get told, hey,
this is your first deal, young,
buck you know, you're going
to get the next one.
Don't worry about this. Right.
And I would say ignore that advice.
Please, please, please, please, please.
You know, always look to strike
the absolute best deal
you can for yourself
and understand, obviously,
all the pressure points.
But I would say that would definitely be
what I would be ignoring,
because, you know,
who are who look different
than us and have more potential power
at the table, at the point in time
you're in the negotiation,
you know, when they
have money on the table,
they're taking every dollar,
every single dollar.
And then some like it's they're not you know, and
and oftentimes, you know,
actually think, you know.
They're often reading
whatever agreement you have to
the detriment of of you.
And so and that's, you know,
especially if they feel like,
you know, you're
you know, you're young in the business
and trying to come up.
So I think, you know, you just gotta
you've got to be smart.
I'm not saying you got to be
angry or greedy.
I would also tell also of young folks
when they were in the business, like,
you know, sometimes
you got to share your concepts
with people, give you advice.
You don't want to have
your arms too close and your hands too
close that people can't help you. Right.
But at the same time when you have that opportunity,
I think you got to swing for the fences
and grab what you can grab and say,
hey, this is my chance.
This is what I'm doing.
Here's a value that I'm that I'm adding.
I want to make sure that value gets
acknowledged and that I get
monetary value for that.
And so to me, that's important.
No, I completely agree.
You know, there's often this,
I think there's this fear about
are we overcharging?
Is it too much?
And that's that's
kind of imposter syndrome one, two.
I really hate the mantra and that,
you know, we have to work twice
as hard to get half as much.
I'm like, no, I have no problem
working twice as hard.
But let's get twice as much.
So let's have our perspective
kind of change on that end.
yeah, I tell you what,
I think that's right.
And what I would also say,
I mean, to the best negotiators
out there, you know,
you're always looking you know,
I learn really quickly
in New York real estate
that you could be
that you could be negotiating
what you think your value add is.
And the other person on the table
is typically negotiating into your pot.
So you're like trying to get to
where you think you are.
And they are already
where they think they are.
And they're just trying to, like,
get further into your side of the table.
it's a different way of negotiating
and it's probably a trademark of
of kind of New York negotiating style.
I mean, New York
is a very aggressive place,
but development is a hard place.
Man development is a
you know, there's no easy business,
I guess, really.
But development is definitely
there's a lot of surprises
that can if you don't
you don't negotiate. Right.
You can end up
not only make as much money,
you can end up losing money very easily.
So it's a
talk about the importance
of really being in the game.
I think more of us need to be developers,
more of us need to be owners
and really understand how much money
is being given away in some ways, like,
you know, tax credits,
other grants, like there are
there is money being given
to do development.
Nearly every development
that is out here
is subsidized one way or another.
It is it is not completely paid for,
but a lot of it is it just requires
some upfront capital
to kind of bridge the gap.
But then if you do that,
you can have a lot of opportunity talk
just if you want to hear.
And people that are in development,
that want to get into development,
that aspire to be where you are,
where should they start?
You're in New York, obviously,
but there's probably some
things that that rhyme everywhere,
like there's probably some basics
that approach when
it comes to development.
I would say this about
the importance of ownership,
which I think you get on the exact point.
And, you know, I just recently wrote a
an op ed Impact Outfit
One of the things I was talking about
was the fact that,
you know, CRA
try to set up homeownership.
Right, for for for low
income folks or opportunity
housing for low income folks,
but for black people specifically
to prevent redlining.
Well, that's what they fail
to talk about specifically,
just low income.
But we you
so so that's one things I talk about,
is that there needs to be a mention of
black and brown.
But even on top of that,
I think what's important is that
we understand that
there is a tremendous
opportunity and there's a tremendous ,
I think, obligation,
especially for black
and brown communities
to be to be entrepreneurs
and to be owners. Right.
Especially in the real estate realm.
And so like in I would say, I think
for low income housing,
tax credits was a large way
that deals that are
affordable are being financed.
I think there are probably two
or three percent,
I would gather, of
those firms are owned and controlled
by black and brown people.
But those developments are built for by,
you know, for tenants
that are probably 70 plus percent.
I think the number sixty seven percent,
black and brown.
And so we can't replicate
the situation where we are
providing land to
to firms that are not controlled
by black and brown
folks and entrepreneurs.
They're not given the opportunity
to contribute to those communities
in a meaningful way as owners. Right.
On a mass scale,
however, you know, they're being owned.
And but folks who are living in them
don't look like those owners. And I do.
And I do think it makes a difference.
I'm very proud of the fact that,
my firm is hiring a lot of black
and brown folks to
to to to work there
that we're controlling
and making decisions
as black and brown folks, as women,
as black women in this company.
And also that we're
going out to hire folks,
whether architects, engineers
that are black and brown.
And even on top of that, that I think
there's an argument be made that
we think about the
you know, every morning.
You know, I live close to
a lot of the buildings that
I own in Harlem.
And I walk my kids to the bus stop
and they see the buildings,
they see the tenants that are there.
And, you know,
if there's something on the street,
that my eight year old doesn't like,
she'll say, daddy, how come.
This looks like that, right?
And and so there's an investment
in that community that's really strong.
But the same when I go to Jersey City
or what I'm going to East
Orange, all other places in
those communities are looking like me,
that there's an investment
there's an understanding what the issues are
and how to think about an ownership
from a holistic standpoint.
I would just be more for
we more subsidy to build
But what am I going to be doing
to really promote these families
to a place where they're sufficient,
where they can move up the ladder?
Those are the things that we're trying
to think about and solve.
You know, as I think black developers
in these communities
and not as statistics,
but folks who were sitting there
going to church with those folks
who we know, who
we know every day
when we go in the grocery store
and we see them.
So to me, that's important
and that's why we really got to promote
on the real estate level.
and I think, you know, starting you know,
I always tell folks, listen, you know,
you get low, get small
from the extent of understanding
at the local level, understand
what's happening in the communities
that you're interested
in trying to develop.
And then think big
in terms of the opportunities,
as I said to my point.
Don't just say, hey,
you know what, I'm
just going to go get this small building
and start small.
A lot of people give advice, say start
small, start small
in real estate I think it's the opposite.
You go as big as you could possibly get.
And you try to go for it
and be smart and hire a great team around
trying to get the work done.
And I think that usually results
in good results.
No, I agree.
I want to talk about ownership
a little bit more.
When you when you look at all
across the country,
you're seeing traditionally
upper middle class,
middle class communities
kind of being lost. Right.
There's communities in L.A.
Harlem might be I'm sure
there's some examples of Harlem
too where there was
of a lot of black professionals.
Grandma had the house.
All of a sudden
somebody offered a bunch of cash
and gave away the house
for the cash, thinking that, you know,
that was the better deal.
What's your thought on us?
Making sure that we keep grandma's
house leverage, that for future
just getting the quick cash?
My my my feeling on it is
that we need to we need to hold on
more to our property
because that's how we
A we should just do that.
But B that's how you really
because it builds as you have property.
That's how you can leverage that
to do things like you're doing,
like actually do development versus
just taking a million dollars
and know people
probably never see money
like that before.
But if someone offers
you a million dollars for your house,
that means it's worth a whole lot more.
Yeah. You know, it's funny.
My wife and I are looking at buying
a brownstone up in Harlem right now,
kind of trading,
kind of what we're living in now.
you know, we were
we there was a for sale sign
that just had a little number.
And we think that's weird
because, you know,
we didn't see like a play or anything.
And we so we called and on
the phone made an appointment.
There was an older black guy who
lived in there and his wife was there.
And they took us all up and down.
And he told the story
about how when he first got the property.
There was a black man who owned it
and he bought it from him.
He said, when I
when I shook hands with that guy,
I didn't have money,
but that guy was committed
to seeing me buy that property .
And and he said I had that
same commitment now as I'm selling
to try to figure out
if I can move another
black family in there
because of what you said.
I want to see that
ownership chain continue.
He said, look, I've done my course.
I've done what I can do.
I'm ready to move on.
But if I can sell to somebody
in the community,
you know, I would like to do that.
So I think those stories
are happening a lot.
You know, in the black community is not
that I think folks are saying, hey,
we don't want it.
We don't want white folks
here in the community.
I think what this is about
is about maintaining our wealth
and ownership and maintaining
our history, too.
These are historic places.
You know, Lardaro,
all these places are a lot a rich history
of black excellence.
And it's about maintaining the culture
and respecting the history
and also leveraging the wealth
to that's really what it's about,
because these properties
are worth a lot of money.
I mean, that situation I appreciate.
I was also more speaking to people
that inherit the property. Yes.
And they just give it away
for a lot of money.
That's not a good deal.
It feels like it is.
But long term,
just literally borrow the money
and that makes them more money
off of the house
Don't give away.
Grandma's property stop it.
I mean, there are some
People are desperate.
That's usually not situation.
Situation is wow.
That's a lot of money.
I've never seen that much money.
And and I get it.
But that's part of us,
I think some of us not.
of how money actually works
and compounds is not,
you know, you spend it,
it's it's gone versus letting it grow.
Well, I think that's
the real point, is that
what are you going to do with that money
when you're selling?
Look, we are investing into a business
where you're going to try
to create something of value,
then that's fantastic investment.
But I think the major point here
is that the understanding
of how money works,
how we can put money
to work more effectively,
you know, in our personal lives,
to me is a huge, huge story. Right.
And that's something that
we just think right now.
Just interrupt your point real quick
if you had the value of a house
that was totally paid off.
Money is super cheap right now.
You have that right.
You have that right now.
You can easily keep that property, right?
Let's keep them up.
Let's say sold it like they want to.
I want to sell for a million dollars
instead you keep it.
You longer have a mortgage,
but they pay like
you still have a mortgage.
So that pay you pay for that one, two
Then you borrow money on top of that,
which is not taxable, to then
get another piece of
property to add income.
Three, you use the value to depreciate
from your from
to actually reduce your income tax.
So there is no like.
But, you know, we I didn't
I didn't learn this stuff until recently.
I'm like, oh,
this is why people keep property.
Like there's I mean, not only
can you make money,
it also helps reduce your taxes a lot.
So there's like getting rid
of the property.
Generally speaking, is a is a bad move.
And think about and think about that
when you're an entrepreneur
in real estate as opposed
to just a homeowner
and multiply that value
and those savings.
And that's why that proposition
of black folks owning
and becoming mass owners
scaling real estate is so important
for exactly that.
You know, look, I agree.
I kept my own property and
moved into this property
that we have now.
We we moved here,
but I kept the old property
and I'm renting it out.
I'm like and it's saved a bunch of taxes.
And they paid the mortgage like
this is the life
to do this a little bit more
like I do.
I'm starting to understand why
people do why people do this
So I ought to get a few more
properties on this man.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
I mean, I would also say that, you know,
a lot of folks I do warn people
and it's not to count on your point,
but I would want
I would want people to say, listen,
if you're going to be a property owner
and that's what you want to do, right.
Even if it's a side business.
Make sure that you take into account
everything that it takes
to manage the property. Oh yeah it does take time.
You got to set aside some money too
you got to set aside some money
That's called reserves, right?
Yeah, I think a lot of folks
don't think about those things
and they quickly get over their head
and then they get into a situation
where I got to sell
because I got to get out
of this situation. Right.
That creates the problem.
So I think you've got to
be smart regardless
whether you're keeping a real estate,
putting your business,
figure out another way
to utilize your savings,
investing in the market.
You got to be smart with your money
and think and think thoroughly
about what you're doing.
No, I agree.
But again, what's originally taught us
is that you go out
and you get a good job.
You have just enough
to pay your mortgage,
and that is success.
And I'm not saying that's not successful,
but we need to think
on a higher level now.
We need to think about
not just make it enough
to make ends meet,
not just getting there,
but actually excelling
and then providing a path.
So the next generation behind us
doesn't have to struggle in the same way
they get a head start. People look at
this, there's this
false story that's told often in America
and that people pull themselves
up by the bootstraps. I'm sure there are.
That's that's not that's not
that's not the normal story.
The normal story is.
Jeff Bezos, who's
very smart, man, brilliant.
I'm not saying he's not brilliant,
but his parents gave him
three hundred thousand dollars,
like twenty five years ago
to start a company. Right.
I mean, like Bill Gates,
other people like these people had
a privileged life
to get to the level of
status that they did.
And so, yes, you can definitely make it
without any of that.
But you have a much stronger chance
if you have a support system
and you don't have to go through
some of the struggles that most of us do.
So we do have to
we do have to think
not just in this generation,
but the next.
No, you're absolutely correct.
I mean, look,
the story of wealth generation
in America has been the story of home
ownership over time. Right.
Which is exactly
what you're talking about.
And the fact that
this goes back to CRA act
we were legislatively not allowed to get
the benefits of homeownership
like all the LBJ
New Deal stuff sounded great.
But when it got down to the local level
to to administer those programs,
they typically have provisions
which stopped African-Americans
to be able to participate in them.
And so we lost out on all
the postwar post-World War
And so you're absolutely right.
I mean, and it's and it's
one of the reasons why we look at ourselves as
we are in that capital
and we're forced to do stuff
to try to solve it.
That may not always be the wisest
because we're trying to get them done.
And so that's the legacy.
And I think the question now is
how do we solve it? Right.
Part of it is recognize
what the issue is.
Take it face on and say,
hey, this is a problem.
We've got to figure out a way
to deal with it.
And and let's and let's
And let's do it let's do it
wisely and let's do it directly,
you know, and not hide behind
what the real issues are.
No, I agree. And
it requires us working together too
trusting each other enough
to not believe the narrative
that have been put out
about black businesses,
because we are sometimes
guilty of that, too. Right.
And then being able to work
and working together
means investing, too.
It means giving some dollars at
So like it's
I've learned as I ran for office and
and it was a it was still an education
to get a lot of black
folks to understand. Yes.
I'm glad you're voting for me.
But we also need money
like we need money.
You need money to win anything.
You need money to run a business.
You need money to win an election.
And we had this idealistic point of view,
like, well, you know,
everything should be grassroots
and yes, it should.
But it's not. Right.
So I like it takes money to have impact
no matter what.
And if you want to have someone that,
you know, believes
in the things you believe in, then, yes,
it takes multiple
levels of participation. Everybody can.
Most people say they're
going to go out there and do grassroots.
Most people aren't out there
handing out leaflets on Sunday like for real
So like if you can't do that.
Give fifty dollars. Right.
And then if you want
to support a business, go out
and find a black business to support.
There are tons now.
There are there there
there are funds you can give to my friend
He has his own rare, rare
You can you can donate to him.
You can donate to
Monique Isla Molesley.
She has her own as well,
That's the key to that from the LPN.
You can you can participate as a
as a as an angel,
then you can participate
on on on real estate
deals that you guys have.
I mean, what I'm saying is
we have to begin
to trust each other
with our capital, too,
just like we trust others,
because that's how we're going to
I mean, that's how we're going to rise.
The Jewish community,
that's what they do.
And I and I commend them for it.
That's what they should do.
We should do the same thing.
And I agree.
And I always talk to black businesses
that we've got to reinvest,
make sure we're reinvesting
back in the community,
you know, that we're hiring
smartly, that we're looking
to promote other black businesses
and that were participating monetarily
and for community service,
you know, in the
in the in the in the community.
So the community doesn't forget
how important it is for us,
for that asset, for the
black business to be there.
It's because oftentimes,
as I have to go around and remind folks,
because they're saying,
you know, they'll come and say, well,
what's the difference between
you doing it or somebody else? Right.
And like I said,
at different levels of business.
And we want to make sure
they're not saying that,
that they understand
see hey, we're here,
we're part of this community.
We care about what's happening.
And then by definition
and by force, we're
forcing everybody else
who may not look like us
to also be responsive
because they got to compete with us.
And the things that we're doing,
so we're pushing.
Excuse me, the effort to be responsive.
The community forward in a fast pace.
Let's ask a couple of our lightning
round questions I like to ask.
So can you think of a time
that you failed, had a setback
and you learned or pivoted from that?
Can I think of a time?
Or the time that sticks out,
sticks out in your brain the most?
That's what I want to hear.
I want to hear the details of that.
Oh, man, there's something there.
See, I can tell. Just go ahead
Bring it on
And so a time that I failed and I
and how I pivoted from that
or you learn from it
or it made you better.
I mean, it's pretty wide question.
But a time time
you time you failed, had a setback
and now you are
you learned and grew from it.
I would say like.
The toughest time, I think, from a
from a from a business standpoint was
when I kind of had
a tough time with one
of my first investors.
And I would say that
I learned a lot quickly
that I didn't know
about how the world works, how
the litigation world works,
how a bunch of things work.
And I would say choose your investors
wisely, brother choose them wisely.
Now, I would say that, you know,
we were able to pivot from that
because we had a lot of strong
institutional support from folks
who believe in our mission.
And I would say because
and white institutions
supported us and supported
what we were doing.
And and so I learned a lesson,
not only that you have to choose
your investors very, very, very wisely.
But, you know.
This is a journey
and there's ups and downs
and twists in the road,
and that's all part of
what happens in life.
I remember one of my mentors,
Don Peebles, called me
when some stuff was happening
and he just said, you know what?
You know, keep your head up.
Remember who you are
and don't worry about
what other folks are saying,
you know, be aggressive
and and keep moving forward.
It was ome of the best advice that I had gotten.
And so, you know, we we
we plowed through that.
We actually ended up
securing equity investment
from three huge institutions
for our foundation
True Fund and Morgan Stanley
that, you know more than
more than made up for what
that person had done.
And so, you know,
we've been up and running
and moving forward ever since.
And I think that this statement
you just made me think of something.
A good statement I heard today
is that everything
when you're in the middle,
everything looks like failure. Right.
So when you're in the
middle of this drama with that investor,
it feels like failure.
I have had so many points in my
both in my public service career
and my entrepreneurial career.
Now that you're in
the middle of the grind,
you're in the middle of the grit,
and it looks like failure,
but it's not just a process, right?
No, I think that's absolutely right.
And you learn so much from them
because you see things that
this person had much more experience
and had much more developed
strategies than I had known on
how to deal with simple things
and showed me a lot about about
about aspects of business
that I thought I had known.
And so it made you sharper.
Even though it's a pain in the ass.
Yes, it made you sharper.
Made me sharper, that's for sure.
But I think, you know, just staying out
and knowing who you are.
Look, I have a business plan
that makes sense.
And I know that I'm doing it
wisely and earnestly and fairly.
And that's at the end of the day what keeps you going.
final couple of questions.
So you have a committee
of three, living or dead,
to advise you on life business again.
They can be living.
They can not be with us
at any point in time.
Who are these people and why?
Oh, man, that's a good one.
You know what I must say, Sam Cooke.
I'm going to say.
OK, Sam Cooke, Jimmy Carter
and who else we get?
I want to know why each one of these.
I thought I was going to
be able to say the name I said and why.
I said why?
So tell me about Sam Cooke why Sam Cooke?
Well, I, I watched
I watched a ducumentory on on on Netflix
about his life.
And I admit I mean, I knew his
music from my parents. But,
you know, what really
inspired me about him was how he pushed
the the the he pushed a line on ownership
when it came to musicians
and the production of black music
, really supporting
ownership from that perspective.
And so I thought
that was really inspiring.
And I and I thought it was also,
you know, I
I understood the difficulty of trying to
be in two different worlds. Right.
You've got a world where you feel
you have to be an image
that maybe you're not. Right.
So yet the images
of white America had of him,
but still feeling that urge to speak out.
Right, in a way that you feel like
you need to as African-American
against injustice, injustice.
Every socially conscious black man.
can understand that position.
And so I kind of
I really I really appreciated that.
And so I feel that's why
I say Sam Cooke,
Jimmy Carter, I don't hear people
mentioning him as a president,
that they would listen to Jimmy Carter.
Tell me why. I like to hear that.
Just like the way he's lived, his life
post presidency is inspiring.
I think, you know, taking on the Israeli
and speaking out about it.
And whether you agree or not, I thought
it was really courageous.
So I would say, you know,
I would I would I would, I would.
So that's why I would mention him.
it's going to sound probably.
But I would probably say
Martin Luther King.
That is his his passion, his.
You know, his ability
to speak out on issues,
I think to be a change agent
right to me
is how I kind of think of myself
as a developer like you.
I want to be successful.
I would do great things in the community.
I want to be a good business person,
but I also want to be a change agent.
Right. And effect change In a real way.
And and so to me,
you know, that's why I would include him.
All right, final question.
You have a billboard
or maybe a Google
ad to be a little more 21st century
that says your theme
or you're saying for life.
What does that say and why?
Life is a journey.
I think that's pretty obvious
about why you got to stay focused.
So, yeah, stay focused.
Karim Hutson, brother,
has been a pleasure to have you on.
Definitely look forward to having you
stay in touch
to be a part of the discussion down
network, it's been an honor.
Thank you so much, Rob.
Thanks for having me. Thank you so much.