My Right Before Moment: Kenneth Duncan

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Share This Post

Right Before Magazine is my story, my reality, and unfortunately the reality of millions of dreamers. A lack of resources, a lack of support, a lack of funding, all are challenges facing entrepreneurs and those that want change.

I have been a victim of the paralysis that is caused by fear. Millennials are often allowing fear to rule our minds and influence our decision making and I was no different. I started two “small businesses” (more like ventures) during college and my own holdings company “Transcendence Management Group”. I can admit now that I had literally no idea what I was doing and I was pretty much bound to lose the thousands I lost.

I was nervous to the point that I was scared of starting anything ever again. Reflecting back on it I can’t believe I was so ready to pack it in over mistakes I made at 21! After I graduated I now have bills and things to pay for so I cannot “afford” another let down. After the last few years of school my brand and image was all of the sudden “the guy that couldn’t get the job done”. You can sort of tell when your friends are tired of “yet another idea”. Instead of the excitement of my next breakthrough, most people around me were “bracing for my next failure”.

I realized that my attitude towards success was too laissez faire. The only person holding me back from reaching my full potential is me. I relied too heavily on other people to identify with the goals I had, and yeah, I wanted them to help me. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, but that cannot be the hub of the plan. After interviewing many people for this magazine, I realized that the loneliest place in the world is being an idealist and innovator. I could not just sit still and passively let all of my ideas die because of my embarrassment from my past failures. I believe in them too much to do so.

A lot of people who may read this were either a part of, or heard about my goal to host a GA/FL party in 2015. After the complete failure, I was beside myself for weeks. I issued public apologies, refunds to dozens, and even refused to speak about my attempt. My brand and reputation was trash and there was little I could do. Fast forwarding a year later, I am stronger and able to learn from the “egg on my face”. That party still haunts me because it was a good idea, I had a plan, executed, and failed. Ultimately it turns out the lessons learned were what sparked this magazine.

We talk so much, but are a group that is less defined by action and more defined by potential. Over the least 10 months, I have been inspired by some of the movement and conversation taking place in our country today. On a daily basis, my social media is flooded with some of the smartest people you could meet, yet I still feel like as a whole we are stuck in neutral with nobody putting their foot on the petal.

…but the {man} himself has to be made aware of the importance of going into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community. What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. -Malcolm X

I started Right Before Magazine to be the resource, the friend, and the inspiration we all need. Right Before Magazine has articles similar to FORBES 30 Under 30, yet our goal is to tell the story not after one has reached the peak because that just glorifies the success. We aim to tell the story as it unfolds, as it manifests, and in the period Right Before success. A lot of times prior to success the end goal appears to be elusive or a moving target. I know that most of the most successful people in our country from Bill Gates to Michael Jordan had to meet failure head on to ultimately become the “richest” or the “greatest”

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, yet “we” hold our shots until we have more money. We wait until we have more experience, we wait until we are secure, and sure enough we end up waiting forever. Year after year I witness dreams of loved ones fall by the wayside just because there isn’t enough time. Our “friends” fail to support or goals and endeavors. Our attention is dragged around to numerous efforts often.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. -T. E. Lawrence

Measuring success by an outcome is inherently limiting because it does not measure the quality of the work itself. Success often times does not measure the work or the grind that went into accomplishing things.  In school, your teacher may mark the final answer as wrong but award 80 percent credit for the methods and applications to arrive to the solution versus just “right or wrong”. Life should be approached in a similar manner and not in a pass/fail train of thought. A quote hangs on my wall by Booker T. Washington that reads:

Success is to be reached not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

At time of writing, I have “failed” three more times than I have succeeded. My various business ventures lacked focus and organization necessary to be successful. But I can find the silver lining in starting my own company at 19 and look to draw more from the positives than the negatives.I really hope that by encouraging the conversation and opening the dialogue, that more people that look like me and come where I am from will decide to pursue their passions and try to chase their dreams.

I ultimately want to build a community so strong that many of us can experience financial freedom, economic equality, and ultimately the peace of mind and lifestyles we dreamed of. I think we are at that place RIGHT BEFORE and this magazine is only the PHIRST step to taking us there.


Kenneth Duncan is the founder of Right Before and a regular contributor. He focuses on the education of financial literacy in underprivileged communities.

Write A Comment