We had the good fortune of connecting with Jice Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jice, how do you think about risk?
I see risk-taking as necessary to success. However, you can be reckless when taking risks by not doing your homework and becoming familiar with the pathway you’re looking to take in order to achieve yourdesired outcome. I believe that you mitigate your risk when you approach it from an informed perspective.
I also believe that you must grow your tolerance for risk over time. That means being okay with the idea that things may not work out as you hope and accepting that growth and success come with loss and with trial and errors.
For me, I have taken many risks and have suffered many setbacks, but each setback has come with a lesson. I study those lessons. I ask myself what I could have done better, what decisions may have been poor, what was out of my control but I may want to be aware of for the future, and how I can mitigate those uncontrollable issues. Then I keep going. I try again. This process has helped me build an amazing network and peer group as well as grow wealth, growmybusiness and my staff.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I founded the Black Business Initiative in 2015 as a response to the need for small business/entrepreneurial support and development in the Black business community. With an understanding of how important small business is to the immediate family and community as well as the overall leverage and social agency for a socioeconomic group, I realized the Black community’s weak economic base is a threat to intergenerational wealth building and legacy building, saw ell as many of the disparities and gaps we see today.
Until the murder of George Floyd, building this organization has been meaningful but also a struggle. Of course building any business is a struggle, but this business faced a lot of obstacles with funding and support because it was an organization built to address issues specific to the Black community and I was clear to not use ambiguous terms like BIPOC or POC or minority.
While the brutal death of our brother George Floyd spurred a philanthropic movement and pledges to be more equitable, I want people to understand that we are not a charity case. We stand for Black Excellence and agency. We have real products and services to sell, skills and talents to be utilized in the economy. We can be producers when systemic barriers are removed and we have access to the resources we need to be the innovative and creative people we have always been.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely have to stop at my 3 favorite coffee houses, Whitter Cafe, Coffee on the Point, and TeaLees. They each have a different vibe to them but I frequent them all. I love Millienial Bridge and the River behind it to just take a walk and get some fresh air.
I also would have to stop by La Lomas. It’s one of my favorite spots to have lunch.
Down by Larimer I’ve found a little rooftop I like called Nola Janes.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take them down Welton St to Brother Jeff’s Cultural
Center or Welton Street Cafe for some awesome wings.
Close to the city I really enjoy Evergreen Lake for a nice picnic or paddleboarding.
And who wouldn’t visit Red Rocks. I usually take beginner hikers to their Trading Post trail to get their feet wet.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shay J and CTN Media have been a source of love and encouragement and a sounding board to help me as I’ve continued to grow both personally and professionally.
Other: You can follow me personally on FB, LinkedIn and IG @jicejohnson