I was speaking at a conference, somewhere, I honestly don’t remember, and someone made the comment that I was the only African American speaker in the lineup. As such, the reason why I was featured was because of my skin color and not my skill. The person who said it was also African American. I was not immediately offended. I suggested to them that if color was all it took to be consistently invited to speak on international stages then, I wasted my time researching my topics and preparing my presentations. I almost certainly should not have worked hard to make multiple clients profitable and more efficient, thereby validating my work. Most of all, all efforts to nurture a personal brand over 10+ years on social media was totally without merit. How foolish I’ve been to not realize my skin privilege.
When I said these things in a calm and matter of fact way, I think they were unnerved. Rather than harbor offense, I offered them a series of suggestions on how they could apply themselves and possibly mimic my success. To date, I don’t think they listened to me, preferring instead to blame outside forces for their own inadequacies. If they are reading this now and have not progressed in their career nor taken any risks since our encounter, they have only themselves to blame.