The expression “in the black” is commonly heard in the financial world, used to convey that a company is profitable, financially solvent, and not overburdened by debt.
But T. Dallas Smith uses the phrase in a different way in his new book, In The Black: Changing The Dominant Narrative In The Commercial Real Estate Industry. The CEO and founder of a groundbreaking African American-owned commercial real estate brokerage firm shows how he turned negatives into positives. Smith takes the reader on his journey of overcoming obstacles and breaking through and succeeding in a non-diverse industry.
Against the odds, Smith became the first Black broker at the Atlanta firm of Cushman & Wakefield, then built a successful career leading his own commercial real estate company. He dedicates the book “to everybody who’s ever thought about being in commercial real estate and everyone who ever thought they were not enough, couldn’t do it, didn’t come from the right place, didn’t have the right connections, who were told no, that they were too young, too black, too anything.”
His message is: “Please know that you can do whatever you want and that you are more than enough.”
Smith has lifted others as he has climbed – mentoring, hiring, and inspiring people of color to realize their full potential. Throughout his narrative, another long-term message is clear: There is still much work yet to be done diversifying the commercial real estate industry. He says it’s time to hire, train, and mentor more Black brokers, and the book takes steps in that direction by introducing young Black men and women to a field they may not have previously considered.
In this book, readers will learn:
• How diversity is a key to unlocking unlimited possibilities in business
• Life lessons, such as choosing optimism over bitterness
• How personal relationships are the foundation of success and an enduring society
• The payoff of persistence and constant effort
• Authenticity is the only currency that matter
* This article was originally published here