Success Tip: The Importance of Familial Role Models

I am one that often says that you must strike out on your own, you must go your own way. I believe that some of us must go in a way that is different from the way of our families. Each person’s journey is unique to them.

That being said, if you are fortunate enough to have a person in your family be a role model of what you can become, you are truly blessed.

My great uncle, Jack Hall, recently passed away. I don’t think I ever told him that I mentioned him in many of my How To Get Into the Entertainment Business lectures that traveled across the US visiting colleges and universities.

You see, Uncle Jack used to own Mt Vernon Cleaners in Mt Vernon, NY. When I was growing up, I’d often see George Jefferson on TV. George Jefferson as in movin’ on up with Weezy, George Jefferson. If you’re not familiar, check out Nick at Nite. Anyway, as a young African American woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur, I didn’t know many people in my family who had chosen that route. But, I knew that my Uncle Jack owned a cleaners. That was entrepreneurial. I didn’t have a close relationship with him. I didn’t even talk to him much, but I knew that he existed.

Whenever I would think of the challenges that I could face as an entrepreneur, I knew about my Uncle Jack. I thought to myself, he must have faced some challenges too.

And so, I became an entrepreneur knowing that so many people saw George Jefferson on their television set, but I saw Jack Hall at the family reunion.

His success was real to me in that it planted the seed of possibility in my mind as an entrepreneur. For me, it was one of the few familial entrepreneur seeds that was ever planted. Now that he has passed, he will never know the times that I lifted his name in the school auditoriums when I encouraged college students to pursue their dreams. But, I know and now you know.

So, today, this episode of Living Better with Yasmin Shiraz is a little different. I wanna dedicate it to Jack Hall, one of my entrepreneurial inspirations. One of the few people in my family that I looked up to as a business owner and knew that I could and would be successful.

Rest In Peace Uncle Jack.

Peace & Love,


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