How to Build Generational Wealth

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We’re interrupting this feed of money mishaps with the stories of some successful successors. Get into it! Intergenerational wealth may be a given for the most privileged among us, but holding onto it can be a different task entirely for Black families in America. Our wealth does not just start and end with us; it’s connected to a long history of advantages and disadvantages. So, when we inherit it, how do we hold onto it and keep it going for our loved ones to come? We’ll hear from two young, Black business owners who’ve found their own ways of harnessing the power of legacy against history.

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To follow along with a transcript, go to shortly after the air date.



Michael Barbour, Lauren Miller, X Mayo, Hoja Lopez

X Mayo  00:11

The Dough is a production of Lemonada media created in partnership with Flourish Ventures. Hey boo, Hey, welcome back to The Dough. And on this episode we’re taking a break from money mistakes, less […]. It’s halfway through the season. And I think we all deserve to learn from some folks who did right by their dough. And I’m not just talking about saving it. No, no, no. I’m talking about preserving it, letting it grow, and eventually passing it down. Let’s get into legacy, shall we? That’s right, shall we talking about legacy.


X Mayo  02:11

You see, dear listener, our financial backgrounds don’t exist in a vacuum. The present is always connected to the pocketbooks of our past. Our wealth doesn’t start and end with us. It’s part of a long history of advantages and disadvantages. And ya, some of us have more advantages than others. Could you some tea and get ready to sit because before we move forward, we’ve got to touch on some wealth gaps here. And we’ll start with me as an example. Guys, you somehow haven’t noticed in the last four episodes, I am black. And in this country. Baby they got a track record of fucking us over when it comes to everything. Yeah. But mainly letting his own things you know, we had slavery segregation little thing called Jim Crow redlining, you’re not stealing my 40 acres and a mule immediately. I don’t even know what I would do with a mule. But I won’t want okay, I reserve the right to just let it sit there Damn it. Because a lot of the wealth in this country was built off taking my ancestors out of Africa, selling them into bondage and forcing them to build wealth for white people. Okay. And the way that shows up in America today is unmistakable. Drumroll, please. The typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical black family, according to a 2019 survey conducted by the Federal Reserve. So that means if White people got a footlong sub, we got like two inches. Try eating two inches of a sandwich. Yeah, let me know if you still hungry. I’m also Mexican. And that wealth gap with white people is egregious to according to the same survey, white folks have five times the household wealth of Latin families. So you’ve got a slightly more sizable sandwich for child. Either way, neither side of my family is going home with leftovers. For most of us the idea of intergenerational wealth, a nothing but a fantasy. Okay. So when you like me and you have a chunk of change, the stakes are higher to keep it it’s hard not to sense a ceiling for our economic success. There are wealthy black families who have harnessed the power of legacy against history, holding on to theirs and teaching others how to do the same. And this episode will speak with two people who are inheritors of black wealth, carrying their families legacies as business owners and making their mark on where their money will go next, starting with my friend Lauren.


Lauren Miller  04:52

So I am Lauren Miller. I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I launched this trip One lifestyle brand back in 2013 was very much a part of like kind of pioneering the black travel millennial movement at that time. And I met you out here on a gig trying to try to make it had a dial in her dream at that time.


X Mayo  05:16

Okay picture this is the summer of 2012, I’m 25 years old and I took a gig doing makeup for a music video shoot. And Lauren was there too. I was doing her makeup she was at the Video vixen mommy we were both on the rise or hoping to be me was doing makeup in her with her travel brand. We have to start with saying that we was at a video shoot they got shot up okay, shot the video we had a hey man we have to start from the test about a girl we almost die we almost died. Damn videos. Yes. And that was the Lord that made me pee a man a man a man I went to go pee and then the shooting happened. I was like what me and Lauren was talking and we were like having some of the best conversations on set.


Lauren Miller  06:07

Listen, that was my first and last time in Compton. Okay?


X Mayo  06:13

Don’t worry, fam. Okay, everybody just calm down. Everyone was okay. Everybody was just fine. And amidst all this chaos to make some money, I remember talking with Lauren the whole time. She told me about her passion for travel. And this new business she started called can’t stay put. And you guys I was just mesmerized by her will and just her intention to just travel the world and teach other black folks how to do the same. It was truly a memorable moment for me. And her ambition struck me so much that talking with her inspired me to get my passport Just a year later. Yeah. And then shortly thereafter, I went moved to New York and then and then life just just got even better, which was amazing, right?


Lauren Miller  06:56

I mean, you’ve been glowing up.


X Mayo  06:58

I guess I have been just a little bit but listen to saying about me. loyal listeners know my story of starting from the bottom by now. And if you don’t, you ain’t loyal. So go back to Episode One. Anyway, when I first met Lauren, it felt like fate. Soon after her business would take flight, Lauren became a full fledged travel influencer and her company took off from there. She’s basically the baddest business baddie, I know. And large part because she came from a long line of them.


Lauren Miller  07:30

My family have been farmers and landowners for over a century. And so our entrepreneurship is very much rooted in agriculture. And so my father was raised by Entrepreneur, he was raised his mom was a my great grandmother, who I’m named after she was a farmer, she ran the farm herself. And so it has always been in our DNA. As a kid, you know, seeing my father work from himself, I just knew that I was going to work for myself to, you know, being in this country and being able to see black people free. Our version of what freedom can possibly look like in this country, I think oftentimes, is attached to some type of ownership and entrepreneurship.


X Mayo  08:16

Her father grew up the son of a farmer, and when he came of age, he added to their lineage of family businesses. He built a consulting firm that advises governments and corporations. It specializes in creating inclusive policies and providing dope solutions that are good for diversifying the business space and beyond. Clap it up, go black man go. Lauren watched him build the business from a young age. She remembers titling around the office watching it all come together around her as a young black girl in the south watching her father not only work for himself, but create something new left a huge impression on her.


Lauren Miller  08:55

Exposure is probably one of the most valuable things you can give to anybody at any stage in their life is just being exposed to something that is not their norm, can unlock so much in somebody’s mental space and just in their own journey in terms of what they’re seeking out. Yep. being parented well is a privilege.


X Mayo  09:20

And this came with a business education. Lauren’s father had two fundamental rules.


Lauren Miller  09:26

He had these sayings like Lauren, there’s two working days after Friday and two working days before Monday, don’t be a weekend person. And that came from the fact that like, you know, him being raised on a farm, the pigs and the cows still gotta get fed on Saturdays and Sundays. And it’s not so much, you know, work to the bone. But if you have a mission, you need to be working like every day is an opportunity to make advancements on whatever your goals and your mission is. And then I think the second thing he used to always say was, don’t ever get comfortable sign In the back of shakes, you want to sign the front. Mic drop.


X Mayo  10:04

Yes, dad, okay. Don’t just take money on something, and let the white man and voice you. That’s some wisdom right there. I mean, this advice is his boss bitches you can get. Her mom taught Lauren to follow her dreams. She led by example, she worked at the Gup bam, White House, and pulled off long distance parenting while upholding her career. Lauren’s parents were divorced, and she spent most of her childhood in Atlanta with her father, her mom would fly back and forth from DC. And Lauren would too.


Lauren Miller  10:38

And so my mom worked under the Bill Clinton administration, she had a White House appointment that she manifested, and a lot of people judged her you know, how could you leave your daughter behind, and you know, all of these things, but at the same time, we’re also the same society that says Men need to do more as it relates to their being and father. And here she is having my dad step up to the plate, but she’s still got a lot of slack from it. My mom flew in all the time. And so I sometimes would joke that like, I still saw my mom, just as much as kids who have parents that sit on the other side of town, I would have never started flying by myself at five years old. If my mom didn’t follow her dreams, she is the reason that I was introduced it to travel at such a young age because I went to visit her often.


X Mayo  11:27

You guys. Okay, I just need to stop here. Pause for the cars. And imagine my little Lauren with her little suitcase and our little boarding pass. And her little cup of ginger ale on the rocks, I assume soaring high. Oh, thank you.


Lauren Miller  11:41

I remember my first lie. Of course, I was terrified. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. But I will say over time, like my ability to talk to adults, my level of confidence, my ability to navigate. There’s a certain level of fearlessness that I’ve experienced as a young age, because I’ve been in this type of environment. I don’t know if I will put a five year old on a plane and the world we live in today. But I do recognize the the value of parents not projecting their fear on their kids. You know, I think one of the things that I learned from both of my parents was like, not thinking that there’s a ceiling, it really comes from seeing people kind of like, pursue lives in that sit their souls on fire. And both my parents really did that.


Lauren Miller  12:30

Flash forward to Lauren in her 20s, when she went through, as she put it her own quarter life crisis. She worked in events and marketing, but she said it felt like anyone could do her job. It didn’t feel like hers, you know, and that bothered her especially growing up seeing the passion of all her elders that came before.


Lauren Miller  12:49

And so, on my 25th birthday, I prayed to God to please reveal to me my purpose. I told him that I promise I’ll run 100 miles per hour towards it if he would just reveal it to me. And I submitted my notice right after my birthday. And I was like, God, this is my signal to you in a universe that I’m serious. Like, I’m not pussyfooting like I’m ready. And maybe about a half, say three months after that. I went to Maui to kind of celebrate kind of have like this Eat Pray Love experience, if you will. And guy was like, You need to figure out how to do this. And I was like this, like, what is this? It was like you need to figure out how to use your experiences to inspire people. And I was like, hmm, you know, it’s not a coincidence Laurie that you started flying by yourself. At five years old. I bought a ticket with Scott mouse at 12 like travel was something that was very specific to me that nobody could take away. I know I can brand this and I can help people and use this privilege to help people that look like me. So I decided that I wanted to be an inspirational explorer, I made the title up. Because at the time I’m like, Man, why people make up titles all the time. So I’m gonna make my title and I’m going to be inspirational Explorer. And at the time, I didn’t really know how I was going to monetize it. I just knew I had a unique voice and that was really what it came down to. And I had a dial in a dream and gave him my apartment. I got rid of all of my overhead expenses, because I didn’t have a job and so for good three and a half years. I was living on couches and guest rooms on the floor. I’m just trying to figure it out. Listen, I was outside outside like not having a room to call your own like listen like that. She was crazy.


X Mayo  14:45

No Lauren we when Lauren said I was outside she was like I was outside like literally like I might have to sleep here today. Yeah, so key. Yeah, can I just let me just get that little caught.


Lauren Miller  14:55

I was in LA ran into a life coach and I was like, oh, I need to talk to you. And so essentially we met up a couple days later. And he was like Lauren you are what it is that you want to be already the world just doesn’t know what yet you need to start branding yourself as what you want the world to see us. That night I started can’t stay put started my website that night I was like, Alright, I need to come up with a big project. I was like I’m gonna go to Southeast Asia.


X Mayo  15:22

And so Can’t Stay Put was born. It’s a lifestyle brand where Lauren creates travel content in an effort to motivate her fellow millennial black folks to step outside their comfort zone. And 2013 she went on her first official trip, documenting 30 days of travel through Southeast Asia on a $30 a day budget. Something inspired by her mom with some money skills passed down from her dad. But a year or so into building that brand, Lauren got a phone call from her family that put a wrench in her travel plans.


Lauren Miller  15:59

I got the call when I was in California, but it wasn’t until I actually pulled up in Atlanta. Did I really realize the magnitude of the situation. Like I live in Atlanta at 17 and go to college, I went to Howard. And of course I had been home throughout that time period. But I had never like really moved back home. And so you know when you leave and go out into the world, like you’re still talking to your parents, but you’re not seeing them day in and day out. And so it would have been a long time.


X Mayo  16:31

After the break, Lauren confronts her new reality. Lauren’s dad was dealing with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which makes breathing harder over time, and he wasn’t doing well. And so she headed home to Georgia for what she thought would be just a few months of helping her dad get back on his feet. But three months turned into three years pretty quickly. And that was all a part of Lauren’s day. adds plan. This wasn’t just about his health, it was about the future of his business and what role Lauren would play in that.


Lauren Miller  20:08

His ask of me was to help him live as long as possible to get me and my siblings ready for his departure. And, you know, that is that’s such a loaded request honey. And at the time, like, I’m probably a year and a half into building can’t stay put. So I’m a little angry, right? Like, God, why would this be happening right now? Like, it was a hard pill to reconcile. And to be honest, I’m still reconciling to this day. Because Absolutely, there’s a part of me that feels like I had to give up my journey.


X Mayo  20:47

And during this time, Lauren was part caregiver, part successor. As she was helping her father right out his final days, he was helping prepare her and her brother for taking over the family business. What an honor. Right? Well remember her life as an entrepreneur building her own brand was interrupted by all of this.


Lauren Miller  21:09

That was another hard pill to swallow too, because I was like that, well, you raised me to be entrepreneur, but you’re almost telling me to stop. That’s what it felt like as a 26 year old is like you coming in and just shaking up my whole world. And I remember I will be at my wit’s end. And my dad would just say, you know, stick with your daddy, baby won’t be too much longer, it won’t be too much longer. And, you know, I think about those times today, and it’s just like, oh, what I would give to just be back and it’s just like, I know, it wasn’t gonna be so much longer, but it was hard. We had that in depth one on one time, that had he not been sick, we would have never justified that he would have been out in where I would have been out in the world, there would have been no reason for me to like slow my roll for three to four years and spend time with you every single day and talk to you seven eight times a day.


X Mayo  22:01

Simultaneously doing can’t stay put right. In 2018 Lauren’s father passed. At this point, his company had been around for over 30 years, and it averaged an annual revenue of two to 3 million before he got sick. Laureen had a big task on her hands. As they say in business, it’s either Evan Oh is flowing. And around the time she and her brother got a hold of things. It was during an ebb. That company was in a rebuilding phase. Their client book wasn’t as extensive as it had been. And their team was small. The stakes were high to get the business back to where it once was. Laura knew she had to step up to the plate. So she tapped into the advice her dad had instilled in her over the years.


Lauren Miller  22:52

I remember as a young kid, when I was sweeping clean up, sometimes I would sweep up pennies to throw them in the trash. And I remember my dad almost popped me because he was like, if you don’t know the value of a cent, you won’t know the value of $1. Don’t you everything that you’re too good to pick up a penny or any value of money. And it’s crazy now because now that my father is an ancestor, anytime I see a dime or a penny on the ground, I feel like it is him. Yeah, and the spiritual. I liked the way you described that. Together with her brother. They sort of started over, reorganizing, remaking reinventing, since taking over, they’ve regained their market share, hired new staff and opened a new office. And they’ve grown the business back into the million dollar company. It was before her father pass. Go Lauren, Lauren was upset to give up her old life. But in taking over the family business, she discovered a whole new one and ran with it. And I think one of the things that helps with grief is that I do have a legacy that I’m continuing. So the business is doing well. My brother serves as the CEO, I handle all business development, I guess for me is you know, continuing to be a successful business owner continuing my father’s legacy, but then also carving out space to continue to build upon my own legacy. I think that’s probably one of the challenges is managing your inherited responsibility with your own sense of dreams and aspirations.


X Mayo  24:34

As a successful successor, a new lane opened up from Lauren, she’s embraced her dad’s business so much that lots of other people wanted to know how she made it all work. So she’s carrying on the Miller legacy by sharing what she’s learned along the way.


Lauren Miller  24:49

I’m five years in since his passing and I’m just it was just like it’s also also been a gift that keeps on giving because like you said I am Armed with so much knowledge and wisdom from that experience that can be so beneficial and helpful to our community that I just would have never guessed that would have been a byproduct of going through that during that time, I would have never guessed that I will be tapped in hired to like speak on succession planning or like pay to like talk about how to have functional meetings with your family, like all of like, I’ve cultivated a whole new lane for myself to generate more resources and income for myself and impact influence. Because of this, this experience with my father.


X Mayo  25:38

Can you tell me one financial lesson that you are going to pass on? Whether that be to your children, I know you want to be a mom, and I speak that for you. And I want that for you. And I believe that for you, but not just for your future children. But for anyone who’s listening for your friends, for your community, for for your homies for your siblings, like what is one financial lesson that you plan to pass on?


Lauren Miller  26:07

That’s a hard to sum it up in one. But I think if I would sum it up, it would probably be like a concept of delayed gratification when it comes to money. And that can be applied to, you know, saving, investing, whatever sacrifice you need to make, but be get comfortable with delay gratification. And knowing that the decisions that you’re making with your finances, it might not feel good today. But to set yourself up and just get in the habit of that, I want to free us from thinking that you need to be a multimillionaire to advance in next generation or to like, experience freedom, you don’t need that. So us understanding compound interest is a very real thing. So something that I hope to pass on to my kids or even my grandkids, like if you’re a grandparent for every grandchild that you have put $20 into a brokerage account. So that could be a downpayment on their first house when you’re 25. Now you have a legacy of home ownership. And your family has $200. Right? There’s not $1,000 At age, not even two racks, right? I raised that example, because compound interest is about delayed gratification is understanding that having somebody sit there and it grows, this lesson pulse through her family long before she even got here, it all goes back to the farm. And maybe even further, there have been seeds that were planted that did not bear fruit for my ancestors that have bared fruit for me and people in my generation. And so really understanding what a legacy really is, and being okay, that there are seeds that I may be planting today that I may not directly benefit from. And we have to be you have to be okay with that. Because that’s really what generational legacy really is. And I also think just the value of family right? And like the intangible wealth is like yes, well there’s the money and ownership and all that kind of stuff. But it’s really the intangible aspects like your your principles, how you carry yourself, what do you want your family to be known for? Like, how do we carry ourselves? How do we be good stewards of what this previous generation has worked very hard for. And that has nothing to do with a bank account number.


X Mayo  28:37

Amen. That’s why her business baby Lauren still owns all the can’t stay put brand assets. But it’s on a little hiatus for now. Because if you can tell she’s busy. She says she still lives by the travel lifestyle, her mother inspired in her from the very beginning. And she does have plans to relaunch can’t stay put one day and I can’t wait for that day. Money can buy a lot of things. But when it comes to family wisdom, honey, you’re gonna need the secret password for that. inheriting the physical wealth and wealth of knowledge of your elders is a profound thing. Especially in a country whose history took and took and took from you and yours. It’s almost like once the baton is passed, it becomes more sacred than before. Because it becomes MIT for you. And whatever you do next. Coming up, we’ll hear from someone who was tapped to take over a business that’s reclaiming space for Black folks via the Bougie is thing you can do. Baby grab your shades because we’re going on a yacht period. Okay, so let’s get right into it. Hoja Introduce yourself. And also tell me how you met Michael Barbour our next guest.


Hoja Lopez  32:51

Oh, yes. Okay, so my name is Hoja Lopez, and I’m a producer for the show and at Lemonada Media. And I’m based in Chicago, Illinois. So my best friend Stacy, who’s from Texas, we were in a long distance relationship. Bestie bestie style. I tell her, you know what, girl, when you come up here for your birthday, I’m going to do it up, okay, I’m going to essentially like we’re going to go on a yacht, we’re going to like charter a thing. And so I’m investigating who’s gonna take us. And essentially, it takes me quite a while to like, figure out the right price and the right person.


X Mayo  33:25

I can barely afford a tugboat. So like, how much was a yacht? Because when I think yacht, I think Wolf of Wall Street. You know, like, that’s where it’s where I’m at.


Hoja Lopez  33:33

Well see, that’s the thing about us who I was like, I would never be able to afford it if it was just by myself. But the thing is, the reason that we chose a Thursday is because it’s way less expensive during the week than it is on weekends. So I get 13 of my friends together. They all agree. Okay, so we ended up paying, I think it was like a $1,200 flat fee.


X Mayo  33:53

And because it’s 1200. And you said like 13 people, it’s less than 100 bucks per person.


Hoja Lopez  33:58

Yeah, I think we ended up paying for everything actually. Maybe like 127. So and that was for one of the larger boats. They all take off of work. Not all of them. majority of them are comedians, but you know what I’m yeah, they all sort of like, Make space to do this thing. The big thing that happens is essentially we arrive and we’re waiting for the captain. The captain is like not showing up. It’s noon. 15. It’s 1220. No, so I know exactly. I’m like, Okay, this is starting poorly. But when I look over at the guy who actually signed the contract with my best friend’s boyfriend, uh huh. Me. I’m like call them like what’s going on? So he calls the guy and the guy’s like, your contract is for tomorrow? Not today. And we’re I about lost my goddamn mind. Because Can you imagine me facing 13 other people and my best friend 13 other comedians, that’s gonna haunt them for the rest of my life.


X Mayo  34:54

How many were comedians, but just five comedians? Oh my God. You’re getting roasted for two hours.


Hoja Lopez  35:01

I was like, I’m about to try to make this happen. And so I essentially, this man is like, okay, well the captain’s live an hour and a half away. And I was like, we’ll wait, whatever. And he’s like, he calls me back. He’s like, I can’t get any of them foam. And I was like, We will wait, just keep calling people. And he calls me about 10 minutes later, and he’s like, You won’t believe it. We have a captain on the dock over literally walk 15 feet and knock and somebody will come pick you up now. And I was like, Oh, hell yeah. Okay. Okay, so we’re all talking and waiting or whatever. And finally, like, we all turn, and we see I’m not joking with you. Probably one of the most beautiful men we have ever seen in our entire life, just walking towards us on a pier with an open white shirt of guayabera. Which, you know, those are the those are the shirts of my people. So I was already like in Yeah, and he’s walking towards us. And I’m like, I think that’s our freakin captain, y’all.


X Mayo  36:07

That was in fact their Captain Michael Barbour. Who if you google you might recognize him from the latest season of The Bachelorette. Ciao. Yes with the Black woman. Okay. But spoiler alert. He didn’t make it to the final Rosewood charity, though but please don’t cry for him shot he got a whole host of yachts. Okay. Do Meridian private yachts a company that is Uncle Cliff started 12 years ago. And now Michael spends his summers on that boat life that lit.


Michael Barbour  36:37

1The addiction was immediate right? I mean, who doesn’t want to wake up and see the skyline out on the water?


X Mayo  36:41

Oh my god. Yes, I’m from LA please. Speaking of boats, digger, the Montgomery the Alabama.


Michael Barbour  36:50

New York Don’t bring that up. Oh my goodness. Did you see that man swim from the boat to the dock.


X Mayo  36:59

I’m gonna let you listeners into what I’m talking about, especially for my Caucasian brothers and sisters. You see heading into this conversation with Michael black people in boats. Were on my mind heavy and they was in the news. Yes, I’m referring to the epic bra at the dock in Montgomery, Alabama. Baby. Did you see unc with the chair?  I think this should be the premise for Blacking intoyes, I think that should be our sequel, says a bunch of black people joining each other and kicking the ass of some racist white dudes on a boat. I could see Queen Latifah playing my mama. Yeah. And an auntie Charlene got in it because the white lady came through and and they said well, let’s talk show escena waterway fading it show us. Why did you say to do jumping on water voluntarily. He just got out of there. Mark my words. This event is iconic. And it will be enshrined in the National Museum for African American history right next to MLK honey. Right next to MLK statue is gonna be that chair promise. There’s a video of it and it’s very easy to find. Watch it enjoy it. You’re welcome I’m so happy this this this interview couldn’t be placed at a better time is exactly what Michael the way that we’ve come together. They said lift every chance. See, see I can’t trust why people in boats which will Sperry assets. These are the same people that promises the Titanic wouldn’t sink. The same people sailing across the world to find trade in India. Yeah. Why people on boats is bad news. You know the last time black people got on white people’s boats. It did not go whale. This is why I am so glad we are getting our own boats. And let me tell you Michael and Uncle Cliff 60 is our baby to die for. They are gorgeous. Their business is part of Chicago’s thriving black boat scene. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this. You heard about black yacht weekend. I heard about it too late. It was my birthday weekend. I was pissed, but I saved it for next year. It’s the Summer Festival on the water for black boaters. Chicago is also home to the Jackson Park Yacht Club, which has not one not two but 300 Black members and calls itself the largest community of black sailors in the country. Okay to hell with Fleet Week. Okay, you need to be up at the black boat summer. And I’m here for it. Michael took me on a little zoom tour of the crown jewel of the meridian fleet. This is a hotel is like a moving hotel.


Michael Barbour  39:47

Then the roof peels back.


X Mayo  39:51

Y’all the clouds? Oh my god. Okay, we’re going down the stairs. One of these yachts is his apartment like, baby if a man pulled me up to a yacht and was like, this is where I live. I will say me too, because now I’m your wife. Okay? Another big bed. I don’t like the big pimpin boat. But Michaels, Uncle Clifton always work in the lavish world of yachting. No, no, he worked as an electrician for almost 30 years before he discovered boating. After our zoom boat tour, we follow up with Michael to hear more about his family’s backstory. We found time when he was a calling in from a large body of water. So heads up. His voice is about to sound like it had a makeover.


Michael Barbour  40:39

With him working as an electrician, he had no idea about the boating world right when he first got his first boat. It was like a 20 foot boat, you know, it was a small little dinghy, almost. And, you know, he had people come out on the boat all the time. And they were partying and all that and he was known back then for his party’s like, he was known for like throwing these crazy like Doc parties and a truth be told that’s against the rules out here. Right? So of course, you know, that’s gonna rub people the wrong way. But it took a friend of his and this is just how important having the right people in your life means it took a friend of his to sit him down and have a you know, come to Jesus talk and say, hey, look, you’re having good parties. Like it’s all good. But maybe you should pivot, right and see about what it could be what it can mean to charter these vessels charter the boat out, just see what you like about it, right. And immediately, once he started doing that, he realized I’ve been doing this whole boating thing all wrong, right. And like I said, it’s only really been magnified in the last six years or so. But that was back before charters were even a thing. So he’s taking, you know, groups out every now and then what have you. But it became what it is. And he is I mean, rightfully so one of the first black pioneers of boating out here and chartering out on you know, 31st Street. I think it’s a it’s a testimony to just how successful we’ve been because of the relationships he’s developed. And people know him as being one of the first to be out here to do it and do it right.


X Mayo  42:06

[…] started his business through a lot of trial and error. But in order to grow it, he needed help. And that’s where Michael came in. Michael’s journey to boat captain started with a family tragedy, Michael stepfather, unfortunately, passed away. And while the family was together, Uncle Cliff use that time to get real with his nieces and nephews about turning his solo business into a family one.


Michael Barbour  42:34

And so that was a very, very hard time for the family in terms of how we had to come together and be there for one another. And it just so happened that while grieving while being down with the family, my uncle had a conversation with the nieces and nephews and basically spoke about the fact that he wants to pass down this business, he’s building a legacy. And, you know, establishing a foundation that he wants us to be a part of. And I knew it wasn’t the right time to talk to him about it, then. But me and my uncle always had a connection where I know I can pick up the phone and call him for anything. And I knew that at some point in time, we would get on the phone, and this would come up in conversation. And sure enough, maybe not even a month or so later, I’d say we got on the phone. And he immediately connected and he was like Hey, nephew, you know, all I can say is just come and try it out, see if you like it. And then we can go from there. And so he offered me to come and stay on the boat during that summer. So I came out here for a month I loved it. I fell in love with the the boating experience and all of the connections and network that is out here.


X Mayo  43:35

At this point, Michael didn’t live in Chicago anymore. He lived in Memphis, Tennessee, learning the ropes was going to take serious work and time, he was ready to prove himself.


Michael Barbour  43:47

And I knew that I had to pull the band aid off at some point. And so I made the tough decision that I was going to leave my job. You know, I talk to my director about it and show them what I was actually sacrificing for and I kid you not verbatim my director said Michael, if I was in the same shoes as you, I would do the same thing. So please chase after your dream. And that that was probably some of the best advice that I could have gotten because for a young 20 something year old who’s still trying to get their feet under them in their career space and their you know life on track and understanding what their purpose is. In this world. It’s hard to make a decision like that that is pretty much removing the security out of your life and then going into an uncertain path, right? So when I left the job and came down here full time, I immediately got into my captain’s course and got my captain’s license out the way.


X Mayo  44:34

And keeping his business afloat ain’t easy, it’s expensive. Check out these numbers. According to the 2022 US votes group market index. The average cost of a yacht was 1.1 million in the size range we’re talking about. And then Meridian has six of these things. That doesn’t even include the approximately one to 2k it costs to fill a tank of gas depending on Load size and maintenance costs can rack up 10s of 1000s of dollars yearly. But Meridian makes it work. Remember, Oh Ha and her friends only paid $130 USD, a person to experience for hours on the water. Mike and his uncle Cliff are working hard together to grow in a business that takes a lot of effort, capital and a shit ton of devotion.


Michael Barbour  45:26

And at the time, when I came on board, we only had three vessels, we only had three boats. And now we have six, you know, we’re working on a seventh, the seventh one is going to be a doozy. I will tell you that once we get it, it is going to pretty much put the cherry on top to the fleet.


X Mayo  45:40

It makes me so happy to hear Michael riff on the possibilities for his business. It all goes back to what Lauren said her parents impressed on her. There’s no ceiling, no matter what history has done and continues to do to black entrepreneurs and their families. In the words of our forever President Barbie Issa Rae. I’m rooting for everybody black. asked for advice on taking over a family business. Uncle Cliff says accountability is everything. hold yourself accountable for your actions. But hey, hold those around you accountable too. Because it’s not just about business. It’s about culture and maintaining a good one. Problems will always come up but keep your hand on the wheel. Keep steering. You like that. I said that because we’re talking about boats and hey, captain, that was clever.


Michael Barbour  46:30

The boat owners that are around us are like a big family. We take care of each other’s boats, we help clean them we drive them if need be. You know, when it comes to the chartering out here, you just never know what’s gonna happen. So you got to always be prepared to kind of step in and fill in where need be.


X Mayo  46:44

Legacy for Michael, it’s everything. And the alignment between his uncle’s dream and his own dream was a match made by timing, hardwork, and compatibility. To be associated with success via your family is a privilege not everyone gets to have. But when it’s this special, you know it and you protect it.


X Mayo  47:16

Where do I even begin to end the Alabama bra that did have you watched it? By the end of this episode? DM me because I want to see your favorite part. But no What? No. But for real, I love black people. I love being black. And I love what we’ve created for ourselves and for each other spaces like the ones Michael and Cliff have created on the water are special because they’re black owned. It’s black wealth used to create Black joy. When I eventually set sail on a meridian yacht and baby mark my words I will I know I’ll get to be myself completely floating along throwing ass and having a good time. Completely unattached to anything owned by a white man. That’ll be my version of real Yeah, girl shit period. Speaking of I’m apparently a yacht bitch now as the first person in my family to have accumulated a certain level of wealth. My next challenge is how the hell do I keep this gravy train going with for my present and future loved ones? What shape will my legacy take? You know what, I just buy a bunch of Ferraris? Or will I invest in some houses and stuff? Maybe I’ll get one house perfect. I’ll text my business manager. I’ll start by taking notes though from these esteemed elders mentioned in this episode. Thank you so much to the uncle, cliffs, moms and dads of the world for stewarding the black folks of today into the business of hope. We’ll see where I go from here. But for now, it’s looking like my successors will get more than I was handed, including my extensive birthday collection because baby is good. Okay, I got one new one that got heated. It’s Chrome and pink. Oh God, but my kids are gonna be so blessed. Next week on the job, we’re talking to a financial therapist. Yeah, you heard that right. They exist, right? I was I was like, what is the find out? Yep. Yeah, she comment. People got financial therapist these days.  And she’s answering your burning questions about money. So get ready to get uncomfortable. I’ll see you next week. Bye.


CREDITS  49:35

There is a more of THE DOUGH with Lemonada Premium, babe. Subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like what it takes to be an entrepreneur and a bus bitch with my girl Lauren Miller. Subscribe now and Apple podcasts. The Dough is a Lemonada Original. I’m your host X Mayo. This series was created in partnership with Flourish Ventures. This episode was produced by Kristen Lepore and Becca De Gregorio. Tony Williams is our associate producer. Mix and sound designed by Ivan Kuraev. With additional mixing and engineering from Andí Kristinsdóttir. Original Music by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Kelsey Henderson is our production intern. Additional production help from Jerusalem Truth, Claire Jones, and Hoja Lopez. Jackie Danziger is our Vice President of narrative content. Executive Producers include me X Mayo, Stephanie Littels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Help others find our show by leaving us a rating five stars, and writing a review. You can follow me on IG at @$80inasuitcase and Lemonada at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms, not including MySpace. Follow the dough wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership. Thanks so much for listening. See you next week. Bye.

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