Versiti - Stand Out From the Inside Podcast Series

How to Stand Out and Overcome Fear

This podcast episode of “Stand Out from the Inside” is part 2 that features business owner Jamie Elder. The episode dives deep into so many topics like overcoming barriers, entrepreneurship, systematic inequalities, community evolution, the importance of social networks, values, and health system perceptions

Podcast Specific Hashtags: #racialbias #blooddonations #racialdisparities #racialequality #racialunity #racialdisparity #blackexcellance #blackowned #systematicchange #leadership #entrepreneurship #economicdevelopment #healthcareinequalities #healthdisparities #healthequity #healthinequality #healthcareequality

Guest(s): Jamie D. Elder

Social Media Handles: Instagram @shirleys.boy
Email Business Ownership:

About Our Host:

Edgar Daggett born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. He currently serves as the Specialty Programs Marketing Associate at Versiti Blood Centers, where he focuses on direct involvement and campaign management on specialty products and diverse groups. Past family experience inspired him to begin his journey at Versiti in 2020. He knew that the need for diverse units was growing year to year, and because of his personal history, he decided to make the change – and help make a change.

Through the Stand Out From the Inside podcast, he hopes to empower new and bright individuals in his community and beyond to spread the word on the need for diverse blood products through donation and blood drives.  

“I hope you all enjoy the Stand Out from the Inside podcast presented by Versiti, where we talk about the needs of the community and ways we can become stronger!”

About - Podcast Show Series

STAND OUT FROM THE INSIDE presented by Versiti is a podcast where—we recognize community with light, uniqueness, and identity. Edgar Daggett will talk with individuals to celebrate ethnicity and blood type — it is part of our survival. Because within our communities, we have attributes that we give and serve in our community. This is a fresh podcast that will give voice to diversity and inspiration. We will promote strength, trust, caring, inclusivity, and positivity. And will go deep on the lifesaving impact of blood donation. How do you Stand Out from the Inside?

Edgar: That's amazing. So that diversity that, people getting outside of those roots is what kind of shaped you basically, like the way you think, the way you do, because you can, obviously you said it right, in Chicago, you can stay on the outside the city, and it's a large population of either African-American, black, brown, Hispanic, but those that venture out and be like, I don't want to do this. I don't want to live here. I want to live there. In that large city, that large building, those are the individuals that take the lead and that enjoy life. They want to do something different. They want to be away from each other and just spread, just learn new people. And I had the privilege of traveling to Wisconsin [00:30:00] about a couple of months ago, late in September, 2021. Yeah, September, 2021 for a meeting and the first thing I did was go to the middle of downtown, go to the arena of the Milwaukee Bucks go see them and nowadays, now from the, from what I saw, very diverse, you can see tons of different types of people, different ethnicities. Asian, black, brown, Hispanics. I went inside this building and they were like, where are you from? And I was like, yo, I'm from Panama and we literally just started speaking Spanish. This is like in the middle of nowhere. Then I went a couple of buildings down and it was a big Scottish bar.

Jamie: Yeah.

Edgar: They were like, yo, come in. And it was super cool environment. That's why I love to see. That's the evolution that you see within people and yeah, you have roots. You have specific roots were in a specific state that's where they reside. But as time goes on things change whether where you live, the people, your influences, [00:31:00] and we see it all the time being at Versiti. Where Versiti it started in Wisconsin and we're spreading out, we're in the Midwest. For those who are new, we are in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan as well. And we're seeing those influences. We're seeing those people change that those groups are getting wider and wider. Getting into different areas and zip codes. Me and my team and the marketing team, we run different campaigns where one year we're looking at a specific area, specific zip code and that's brown community, but then we do it two years later. Now it's four zip codes. Now it's six zip codes and it keeps spreading and spreading. And that's what we love to see and hear and experience, but that's amazing. I wanted to go into a little bit about your story. Today you have your business partners and you're in a company where you work and try to influence those community members by connecting basically communities with communities and also businesses. How's that going? How's it going right now? You said you've traveled between [00:32:00] Illinois and Dallas, correct?

Jamie: Yup.

Edgar: How is that, how has that experience, how's that traveling like traveling must be crazy now during the COVID time. Are you getting tired of that mask?

Jamie: I mean, I used to love airplane traveling. Now I like it less and less. It's one of those things where I have a very unique life. It makes it also very hard to date. That's not going for me. I'm still not married. Still don't have no kids. It's weird these days, right? I'm like, Hey, I'm single, never been married, never had kids. And women are like what's wrong with you?

Edgar: It's not the norm for a long time. Yeah. Your way your style. You're like, I'll get there eventually.

Jamie: Yeah. Plus I was in long relationship for like over five years to add to that, and I just jumped right back into business. And for me, I'm like, I'm gonna go getter because I was also taught by my father, no money, no honey. So you can tell me you want my time, but then when I give you my time, but I have no money. You gonna leave me for the dude with both. So right now I'm going to go get the money and then I could go back there. And when I get the honey, she'll stick to me. For the [00:33:00] most part though, it's just like it's business going well, is that. It was one of those things where I was kind of pushed to this direction, to where my mentor, Robert Bird. Again, I give all, he took on that father role for me after my father passed, I met him immediately as soon as I joined the MMAC Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce when I was 21, when I had 1-800-GOT JUNK? Franchise and he's from Chicago. He played basketball at Marquette. He won, he was on the 77 championship team. So he has Al McGuire's final recruit. A lot of like states like Wisconsin, like anytime you want a title, he'll say if you want a college title in Wisconsin you're on scholarship forever. And so he's been on a scholarship since 77 and in Milwaukee, he kind of taught me how to like, Hey Jamie, when you go into certain rooms that might be all white or whatever. You go in there with confidence because you can transform the room. Don't worry about the room transforming you and you walk out the room and people call yourself whatever. He's the person when I said Hey, I just lost my job. [00:34:00] I'm thinking about doing impacted investment private equity fund. I have no idea what I'm doing. I never managed a fund. I never bought a company before in this manner. He said, yeah, let me know how much it's gonna cost. I'll write to your first check. And he was our first major investor. That was interesting because I'm like, I don't even have anything to invest in. You aren't offering me money.

Edgar: Based off that relationship, that personal side.

Jamie: Exactly. That's why I said the social network is huge, right? Because I never asked them for a dollar, like I've done many interviews. He's never given me $1 to get a new suit or something. He's never, you know, say, Hey, here's some dollar buy some ink to update your resume, but now I've known for what 16, 17 years. He was my first investor and irony too is my ex girlfriend. She's my second investor. So all credit to her, she hates me shouting around, but Dr. Nancy . Yeah. Again, she helped me now when a lot of people didn't believe in me and when I was down. We were able to quickly raise money and the hard part was identifying, the funny part is this, when people may not realize it, [00:35:00] raising money is easy, finding money to invest something in is the hard part. And a lot of people probably said, that's ridiculous because you could give me money or I can, or if he gave me money today, I'll go buy X, Y, Z. But if you're being...

Edgar: Crypto is the new vibe right now.

Jamie: Yeah. And so if you've been intentional or strategic, trying to find the right opportunity to put your money, because this isn't like, I'm not playing with house money. I'm like I have to be, this is my mentors money. I have to find the right opportunity. So we do it that way. It took us months to do it. We got this one company going is going great. We're going to focus on growth for this year. And then we're going to go out there and buy probably another company or two next year. But the thing is ever sense you know, again, Robert Byrd and Nancy come along and said, Hey, we want to be our first investors. We've had about five more people already pledged capital to us, which is crazy. Again, I got more money and that I got to do with it.

Edgar: That's amazing. It's about, there's a saying that goes, it's not what you know it's who you know. [00:36:00] And that's all good. What I was thinking these people, they're ready, they're behind you. They've seen your ethic, your work ethic, and they see who you are and they're ready. They're ready. They're like here, take my money, go run. But it's also about, okay, now, what am I going to do? You got to have that strategic plan. And again, it's doing it a little bit backwards because other people around us. You get the idea. Then you go on Shark Tank and then you go invest. You give your speech and then may or may not come out with money, but you're setting it all out of different ways, but it's working out and everybody's journey is different and talking about journeys I want it to go. So you went from living in Wisconsin, you went into the military. Where was the time for school? How do you know what to do? How do you know these steps? How do you know, I'm going to go left versus right.

Jamie: I don't, and I'll be honest. I'm the typical entrepreneurs. I go fast and break things and then I figure it out. I've been more lucky than smart in life and I'm trying to change that going into my forties. I want to be smarter then I was lucky, but yeah, when I went to the [00:37:00] army. The army wasn't because people always say, thank you for your service. I didn't enjoy it because I was trying to serve the country. Initially I joined cause I need to get the hell off the streets of Milwaukee. Cause something bad was going to happen to me. And so were the people I care about. When I was in the army, it was simply like, I'm just happy to be an army, but what a lot of people don't know is that once I got in there, I really got caught up in, I love the army. I mean, it changed my life. I loved it. I still live by the army values, loyalty duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage was acronym, spells out leadership. So just go onto my, so when I got to Fort Gordon, Georgia, the one thing I wanted to do was people were saying, Jamie, you got tremendous leadership skill. And again, I'm just, I thought it was a stupid kid from Milwaukee. I didn't think I had leadership skills, especially not in the military level, but a lot of people have been to like in Vietnam and Desert Storm and stuff like that. Pre 9/11, they were saying to Jamie, you got leadership intangibles. You, you can really make something out of this. I tried to join something called the [00:38:00] Green to Go program. Which I would have been allowed to leave the army, go get my four-year degree and come back as a commissioned officer and then finished the rest of my term. And so I actually joined the program. I got accepted by Texas A and M I was at, so I was going to be an Aggie. And then I was on my way. I was like, I'm about to become an Aggie. I'm gonna go knock out the next three years of my school and come back as commission officer. And it's going to be wonderful. I mean, that's when my father passed away. I had to just pivot and then take care of my family. At that point I was just like I want to do business. But I had to kind of, even though after, I was starting a business, I would say I was at Saint Leo University. I was taking like maybe three credits here. Every quarter. I wasn't taking a serious, I was just like, I need to earn my degree on the fly just to say I have my degree. But finally, by the time I got into, maybe by the time I was in state government, I was not doing college at all. And it wasn't until Eloise Anderson, secretary Eloise Anderson. And also my [00:39:00] ex-girlfriend's to her credit. Cause she's a doctor, she said two things. She doesn't date a guy without a degree and a guy without a passport. So I had a passport. I said, man, you know, this is one the baddest women I ever met, I need to get my degree. So now I was thinking that for all the wrong reasons. And then it was a secretary Anderson who kind of spoke life into me and said, Jamie, you're a dynamic person. You can go anywhere you want to in life. But once you leave Milwaukee where everybody don't know you, it's going to be harder. Like when people just look at people objectively, don't let the lack of a degree be the reason why you fell short. Don't give any person one reason to close the door in your face. Don't give them that excuse. She was like I don't care what you get your degree in. I don't care what school you get it from, just have it. That's why I started thinking hard about it. And then finally, she put me into this program at Harvard University Executive Education Program. I was intimidated at first, I walked, the first day I got there I walked off campus all the way from Harvard, MIT [00:40:00] to Fenway park and anybody familiar with the Boston area. That's a long walk, but I was so scared of the Crimson and white. I can't be on this campus, man. I'm not, I don't belong here. I'm a dumb black kid from Milwaukee. Like, why am I at the same place? All these great leaders who know Obama and Zuckerberg, like everybody's been here. I don't belong here. But when I first got, well, when I started going to the classes with other people, to Shara Jones who is the mayor St. Louis. She was in my class, my guy Louise, who used to be the deputy chief, police, chief in Miami. He was in my class when I started seeing all these other leaders and I could hold my own with them in these difficult courses. That's where I realized okay maybe I can do university work. Right after that I got, so it was 2015 I got accepted to Penn State University. And so I attended their world campus so I can still be in Milwaukee while taking the Penn State courses. Yeah, I got my first degree, my Associate's in Business Administration in 2019. And then I just graduated in May with my Bachelor's in Science and [00:41:00] Organizational Leadership. I did it backwards, but yeah, I can say I'm a big 10 college graduate.

Edgar: Congratulations congratulations. The Big 10, I always have to get my Big 10 reference in all of our podcasts that we do, go blue, always. Always have to give it out.

Jamie: It'd be this last week but its okay.

Edgar: I wasn't going to say it, but since you brought it up. Sure. Yeah, we did. Sending a shout out to our what second podcast guests Natalie. Yeah, I really agree. That's awesome and appreciated. Congratulations on getting your degree. It's an amazing thing too. You work so hard and you get that degree and you're like it's a piece of paper but it means so much more. Like your mentor said, you go to a different state and it's one thing less than they can hold against you. Oh, he doesn't have a degree. And being part of our communities, you're like, all right, he's a black guy who doesn't have a degree. You fall almost into that stereotype. Okay, they didn't go to college. They didn't go to school, but no, it's not it anymore. You went there, you're it. Plus now you have all that experience now. That can hold and use and move along in your career and moving [00:42:00] forward. But that's awesome. So I wanted to talk a little bit, here at Versiti we always are finding new ways to get involved in being part of the community. I wanted to go back to a campaign that we had in Chicago, where we found out these different zip codes and we reached out and we're always trying to involve people to give blood, donate, to be a host, to be an organ donor. I've been an organ donor for so long. My father is an organ donor but within our culture that's something that you don't do. That's something that you don't even think about. You have in our culture, you have that grandmother at the very top of the list that says that is not what you do. You do not donate blood. You do not donate organs. You don't go into those hospitals. Why? I have a remedy that works. You broke your leg. I got something for you. Don't worry. It's a liquid that'll heal your broken leg in two days, you'll be walking like nothing. And that's something that has to change because, and that younger [00:43:00] generations that are born here in the United States that are born here and now in our time are seeing that they're going through school. They're like, it's important because what I like to mention is blood is important. We have our core groups of blood, but little antigens within our blood works better. And we get it from people like us. So someone who's just like me has little antigens that maybe if I just need a regular transfusion. I can get any blood with something else, a little bit deeper. I might need that special blood or those we call 'em our old blood that we were using for sickle cell patients that we talked about in podcast one. Getting into those community and teaching or changing that culture. I'm going to put you on the spot. Have you done it? Are you a blood donor? Are you an average of blood donor or is it been some time since you'd donate blood?

Jamie: Yes, because sometimes I'm one of those people who like, oh, the workplace has given blood for a gift, so I'll do it then.

Edgar: Yep. There we go. But so like that culture, how was that culture? Did your parents ever talk [00:44:00] about giving blood or being a donor? I know my dad, he's a donor. And I asked him when I started working for the blood, research group Versiti I asked him I'm like, why are you a blood donor? He goes, oh, I don't want to pay for a casket when I go. Here to take my body, it's free. I'm like, okay. It works, you're giving back. He's like, yeah, I think in a positive way, but he's like I don't want to pay for that casket. I was laughing at it and then I, I go out and I meet and I talked to other people and I heard that a couple more times. Huh, it's interesting. You're a donor, they're saying it's good it's also about the money, but then I ask other people in there, like, why should I give that to the hospitals? For what? What's the point of it? What did they do for me in return? You know? And then, like I said, you have those people that complete don't go to the hospitals. How was that culture with you from where you came from being Wisconsin back in the day? How was that culture with you? What were you told when you were young about either donate blood or being a donor? An organ donor?

Jamie: Yeah, I think, for me, I'm probably the typical [00:45:00] urban black culture might be also rural black culture. Healthcare is taboo. Right? And so my father, he had... he was older, right. He was senior citizen. So he had Medicare, my mother didn't have health insurance. So even the health conversation, so they take care of the kids. Like he was paying straight cash. And so we didn't go to hospital unless, we needed to go to hospitals. So like, oh, my son is about to die. Let's take him to the hospital. But if I was sick, no, we run the Walgreens. My mother figured it out she'll boil something, she'll bake something, but it's going to be a home remedy. The idea of giving blood, it would be like, okay, that's a time investment. I don't know if I got paid for it or not, but I don't understand it either. Right. My parents had high school education. You know why we're just come up with their life. You need to give blood. I think for me and my father might be a little different because in the army we had dog tags where it was important to list of your blood type because you're in the field and something happened to you. You might need a blood transfusion on the spot, even then we never had a conversation about organ donation and they'll give him blood. And I remember how [00:46:00] uncomfortable I was when I first got my license at 16 and woman asked me, you want to be an organ donor? And my father was right next to me. And I was like, if I say, yes, is he going to judge me? Would he give it to a racist white man? Let's keep the white man alive.

Edgar: It's shocking, you do expect that. You don't do that you're not supposed to do that

Jamie: Yeah. I just think systemically and generationally the relationship between healthcare. And I think people of color, it's just been a series of this trust. A lot of it has been like historical reasons. Yeah. If you're Native American and you heard that one time, you know, if you grew up hearing, Hey, this white man gave us sheets with measles and disease on it. Yeah, you might grow this trust of the system and society that other people give you medicines. Then what happens is, yeah, if you only stay within your community and that's why I say segregation is bad because we start some stuff might just be straight conspiracy. But if I'm only talking to other people like me, that conspiracy becomes fact, and then social media age, I feel like, oh, we have these tools of which I can follow somebody [00:47:00] in Beijing. But what happens is that people tend, people use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, they follow people who agree with them. People just like them. And so that conspiracy and their own ignorance still reinforces itself. I'm part of that. So where as before I was younger in my twenties, like I'm gonna live forever. Cause I'm a man and I'm young.

Edgar: Correct. Yeah.

Jamie: In my thirties, like I'm a black man. I feel vulnerable going to the doctor saying this hurts because I used to be able to play basketball for eight hours straight when I was a kid. And now when I wake up, my knee hurt, now one of my, I know that. I still don't want to put myself in a vulnerable position of working in healthcare and also seeking treatments are also, used to even having a conversation is uncomfortable. As I got older though going back to Dr. Nancy, she opened me up a little bit by saying, okay, you might not feel comfortable talking about the specific treatment or asking questions about a blood transfusion. I remembered for a longest time as growing up, don't get a blood transfusion because you might get HIV or Hepatitis. We know we have measured to [00:48:00] prevent that, but that still persists. And she gives me the clinical reasons why, Jamie, that's not gonna happen. You might not trust a mysterious doctor in a hospital, but anytime you feel that certain please call me and I will literally fly or comes wherever you're at. We can go through this process together. So, if you don't feel comfortable giving blood, let me walk you through what's happening. Not just, from the beginning, but I'll let you know, what's the process of the blood happening at the end. And I'll also put you in touch with experts. People who are not just foreign people, but people who look like you, company who share your circumstances, share your situations. To your point, making a cultural connection about these difficult taboo topics has been really beneficial for me.

Edgar: And do you think, when you're growing up, especially in that black and brown community, you're always taught as a man that you gotta be tough, you gotta be hard. You said it, you fall. You better get back up and just put a bandaid on it. Those younger people, you grow up and you hear that and you see that and you don't realize it until it's slightly too late. You're 65 years old and you're like, [00:49:00] my back hurts or something's wrong in my knee. It's from not taking care of yourself when you were younger. And so all those steps involved, you have that base and that's just how the culture is. Unless someone gets in there in the community and to talk to you about it, like personally me, I go down there. I talk, I try to explain much. I try. Even if you can't donate you, you become a host. Don't worry. I'll try to get you to become a host too, or to donate a couple more times a year. It's just something thats a standard. It's a part of the culture. Those are things, small things that, they're changing, but they're changing slowly. We try to increase the number of diverse donations, whether it's Asian, Hispanic, black and brown communities per year, we try to increase it. It's a very slow process. We were taking an inch at a time or we're trying to find new ways. Again, it starts with people like yourself, Jamie or other people in the community where we share a story, we share a message. We share how we're alike, [00:50:00] what we have in common, how to go from there and how to spread. A question for you, Jamie is when you find that new community, right now, you're in Illinois. You're Dallas. You see that new opportunity. What is that first step to get in there? Is it somebody that, you know? Or is it you said, you say you're the African woman that goes running and crashed. What is that process like? What does that look like? Yeah.

Jamie: To the point you just made, I think one of the things that I realized, that I had to recognize, like I knew about it, it's called when I was in Milwaukee, I knew that working with the police chief, he said 90% of our violent crime offenders. They had Chicago origins or affiliations. So, Chicago was a huge export of crime to our city. And it was kind of like always equated, like killer bees, African killer bee coming to a European honeybee. That's what was happening to where, people at South Side, West Side Chicago coming to the Milwaukee North Side. It was causing all kinds of chaos. So, I said I need to go to Chicago and see what the symptoms or root causes of the problem is there. [00:51:00] See, can we solve the problem there? And then it would make it safer communities like Milwaukee or Ann Arbor or Detroit, St. Louis and Minneapolis, all these places where people were just Chicago, like to become transplants are transient. And then one of the things I learned, it's off a documentary at first, but then Bishop Omar told me the concept is called city breaking. Becoming in Chicago you got to respect the five P's. If you don't build relationships with the five P's, you won't go anywhere. And that's when you say they're called, the pimps, the police, the preachers, the professors and the politicians. If you don't get permission from, if you don't be a relationship with them, if you don't engage them, you can't go anywhere in a city. You can't do a business. You just can't do nothing. And I took that same approach to every other city I go to. So it's going to the, one of the P's it might look different, or it might be an S versus a P, but those power structures in terms of people exist in every single city. Right. You're not gonna go to Dallas and talk bad about the Bush family. That's just his [00:52:00] city. If you don't like the Bush's don't go to Dallas and then try to like, I'm gonna be a big person in Dallas. That's not gonna happen. And same thing the bloods gang, it was big time in South Dallas. You gonna go down there and disrespect the Blood Gang. You're gonna have a problem. So even though you might say I want to come in with something positive. You might not... How I look at my value is my best approach is to say, I'm an unlikely person who work with unlikely partners to do unlikely things. So that's why I'm saying. I'm no longer in the streets. I'm not gang banging. I'm part of the toxic aspects of urban culture, but I still need to partner with and engage with those people who are still a part of that. Hopefully I might transform them, but even if I don't, we might be to do something unlikely together. That's how I go about doing things like that. So even to the point about how do we improve health outcomes? I think this is a very important time in conversation because I'm not a disease expert, right. Or a virus expert, but COVID-19 has, ravaged the world is definitely in its disproportionate impact the communities of color, [00:53:00] because why, for the same reasons, a lot of, HIV is still ravishing the communities of color and other diseases that can be transmitted are still ravaging us because we don't take the preventive steps to do things. One of the things I'm always trying to do is say American culture, urban culture is American culture. At this point, a lot of people might disagree with that. I think a lot of this tension in this country has to do with that. It's just like, I remember people, my father used to laugh at rap music now, rap music, it's going to be football, basketball, hockey, Snoop Dog is going to be hosting. He does stuff at hockey games and boxing events like urban culture is American culture. But the thing is, if we going to just as urban cultures, get out, promoting the materialism part of things, we also gotta get better, especially as those who grew up in urban culture. And as we get older and become more responsible, we also gotta get better at communicating the importance of these things of saying, Hey, let's learn about what the COVID shot is and if it doesn't work for you great.

[00:54:00] But let's really learn about it. If you need to get it, get it. Same thing about wearing a mask. Same thing about donating blood, same thing about being an organ donor. The thing I'm probably most troubled by is we have the black lives matter movement, but I want to be able to say, let's be intentional about truly saving black lives. Not just from what happens with bad police encounters, a bad police violence. Also I want to do it when it comes to increasing our health outcomes, because we know this is something we know reaches the choir here was that if every black and brown person and even white people, if we just did our routine checkups, right? Every year, 12 months we went to the doctor, our life expectancy across the country would explode. I'm not just talking about saving lives, right? If you get sick, the amount of time you take off work increases, that means less money to bring in. That means you have less money to pay bills. It's an economic component to all of this that we don't talk about. We're going to talk about hip hop and urban culture. As it relates to get [00:55:00] money, get money, get money to buy cars, buy shoes, buy that. Also talk about improve health, improve health, improve health, to get money, to buy cars and buy shoes and all that

Edgar: 100%. what I tell everybody is you gotta be realistic when it comes to what you want. You got to know what you want, what you need and have your own mindset. Yeah, you can listen to your environment and your people around you, celebrities, but make sure what they're saying is actually true and they have a meaning for it. I'm not going to talk too much a little bit about it, but when it comes to the Black Lives Matter, we can't put all the blame on all police officers. Not all police officers are bad. I have friends that are police officers, super cool people. I've been stopped by the police multiple times. Thank God. I've never had an experience, but they've been super cool joking with me, it's fun. But then at the same time, there's also the other side and that comes from their culture. They're growing up there. When they were young, they were probably taught in a different way that whether it's through school or through their parents, but [00:56:00] be realistic. One important thing that I want to point out is also, don't be afraid to step out, to stand out. Because one thing that I always tell everybody on this podcast is how do you stand out from the inside? Like you, Jamie, you've stood out, you had a tough upcoming, you seen your friends go to jail. You could have stuck in that environment. You could have been one of them, but you chose to. Your father pointed it out, pick your choice and you could have easily been like my friends are here or that means I should do this. If my friends are doing it, why can't I? And if they're doing it, that means it's fine. You chose a completely different way. It was harder. It was longer. But look where you're at right now. You gotta be able in your culture and your community to be like, okay, what's beneficial for me, for my family in the future. And again, whether it comes from health, get that checkup every year, go to the dentist. Cause if you don't go for example, but you don't go to the dentist, you don't get clean in two years [00:57:00] you'll have a cavity and it's going to cost you more money, more time. Those are things that you don't want to go through, but don't be afraid to stand out, ask the question, to ask what you're doing. Make sure you have all the facts and then be proud and be happy on what you do. And Jamie, before we start wrapping up this podcast, which I want to say, thank you so much. I got to ask you, you lived in multiple cities, multiple states, traveled. Best city or state that you've lived in three things that you loved about it. And don't worry. I won't judge you. If you say not Illinois and you're living in Illinois. I won't tell anybody.

Jamie: No, no. I think that the best city is always Chicago. That's why I literally sat there. So I thought I was going to Dallas but Chicago is always my favorite city. I've been in New York and I've been in New York a few times. I feel like New York has a lot of pride. It's just overwhelming. It's too much including garbage and rats was like too much

Edgar: And it's tight. It's really, really tight.

Jamie: I don't need 25 [00:58:00] Chinese restaurants. I could do five in Chicago. Right. I guess it's like, it's the same. I'm only gonna eat once. So why do I need 25? I could have five. I just love Chicago because I feel like it has that New York vibe. But it's cleaner and still got the Midwest feel. There's still, I still got space between people. I love my personal space we have in the Midwest. New York, I feel crowded all the time. A little bit in DC, too. So definitely Chicago, man. I love the Midwest in general because I feel like we have this humble hustle. Puff daddy gonna be or P. Diddy, whatever he calls himself of these days. He's always going to be like flashy and same thing a lot of New York people, especially if you get guys from Harlem, I feel like the Midwest represents more a Brooklyn or a Bronx where it's just like, we're going to get to the same means, but we're going to basically do it through this humbleness and this quiet hustle. That's why I say a lot of times you'll see a lot of people, now to more notable, it's like a Kanye. You'll see a lot of people who are famous in other places, but they started in the Midwest. That's why I came to Chicago. I was like, I want to be a part of that movement, [00:59:00] even though we're not as known as Atlanta these days or known as Miami and LA and other places. Definitely my second favorite place is DC. I would probably live there half time, like in the winter months, the cost of living is extreme, but I still got that government side in me. I love being in the seat of power. Like DC is the seat of power. I love history. I love the fact it's like an Olympic team. So many people, talented people from across the world go to DC to work. Now we can argue whether or not they accomplish anything. And me included when I was there. But, they do, they are there and they do put forth the effort and you can measure yourself against them. I love being in DC. And then lastly, probably my third city is, Dallas is just that, I feel like Dallas and it's probably a tie between Dallas, Charlotte. I always say Charlotte is if Milwaukee tried harder, it would be Charlotte. That's why I call Charlotte. Cause I was feel like they don't, they're not so close to Atlanta as Milwaukee is to Chicago. So Charlotte gets to define [01:00:00] itself and dictate itself. And I think the same thing in Dallas, like it's not so close to Houston or San Antonio, other cities that it's independent and it can define stuff and dictate itself, to get tremendous challenges there. I would say their economic disparities between race is greater. Then what's happening here in the Midwest. When I go to their south side and south side of Dallas and I see the poverty there for black and brown people, I'm just like, this looks almost rural. This looks like Jackson, Mississippi versus a major city. And I don't understand it because they have so much wealth there like no Texas instruments at Exxon and AT&T and it's so many fortune 500 there but there is no pipeline. There's this disconnect between getting that population into those opportunities. And to the point you just made, and that's how in here is just like, every segment of pocket of society, every segment of the population, there are good and bad elements, right? That's that's why in school we get grades A, B, C, D, U students or F students. Society works the same [01:01:00] way. Every organization, every group works the same way. We have your A students, your B students, and C, D and students. There are good and bad cops, like I'm in the army. A lot of cops are a part of the reserves and guard. So I call a lot on my friends. Anytime something happens nationally, where I'm like, yeah, that was a real act of police violence that shouldn't have happened. I also call to check on them. It was like our be okay tonight, because right now society, the community feels a certain way. It might conflict, you might increase harm doing your job. I hope you don't overreact and add to this tragedy that's happening, at the same time I want you to protect yourself. Keep me in mind, I'm praying for you, stuff like that. And, but same thing in business, right? I watch American Greed all the time. I read the newspaper all the time. They are a lot of greedy, bad corrupt businessmen and capitalist, but I still choose to be a businessman. I still choose to go into private equity because I know my values, my vision, and my principles. I allow my faith to guide me in doing the right thing. Versus me demonizing all the bad business people, all the bad wealthy people, all the bad [01:02:00] capitalists. My goal is to do business the right way or money the right way. And hopefully I can transform them by saying, Hey guys, check this out. I'm getting as much money or more money than you. Doing it the way that's beneficial to society. Versus doing it the way that you were taught, do it my way, because that's all that was happening as I was in the streets of Milwaukee. I wasn't a bad kid. I was just doing bad things because I wasn't exposed to any alternatives when I got exposed alternatives. Now I'm here today as Jamie Elder, who could speak back on things I used to do, not things I currently do. I want to provide alternatives to bad policing, bad business, bad teaching, bad doctors, bad healthcare outcomes. Just keep trying to find out or give a platform to the good people and allow them to transform to bad from the inside out versus everybody on the outside just attacking the whole system as being better.

Edgar: You want to give those people options. You want to give them options. That aren't what they're seeing right now, or that they can't see because they're blocked [01:03:00] by their community, their culture around them and that's amazing. I want to ask you one question, you say you move to two different states for money and for job opportunities. What would you say to those individuals that are scared to take that leap. To say, I live in California or I live here, let's say Michigan, Wisconsin. Okay, I have a job opportunity in Texas all the way on the other side of the United States down south, I don't know anyone. I don't know people. The only people I will know will probably be my boss or maybe that one person that interviewed me for those who are scared to take that leap. What would you say?

Jamie: Yeah, that's fine. Yeah. So definitely going back to what I said, so two of my moves were for a honey. If you're a smart guy, you always follow the money. If you're honey got money follow her, let's just do that. You can't go wrong, if you are moving for opportunity though, right? This was something different that I had to overcome because when I was growing up in Milwaukee. Everybody was like, it's kind of like LeBron James, it's like my own little version of [01:04:00] LeBron James. It's like, Jamie, you're successful. You can't never leave Milwaukee. You gotta stay here. You gotta come back and reinvest in the community. And I felt that pressure, even though I want to go to DC, even though I want to go to Chicago or New York or wherever, I feel pressured to stay in Milwaukee, even though I don't feel best served by Milwaukee. There's this internal pressure I finally had to break and say, you know what, let me look back at my story. I'm only second generation of Milwaukee. My father came here for opportunity. He came here from Memphis for opportunity and let's go back even further in history that United States as a whole started because people came here for freedom and opportunity and even the course of the United States, right? When I can start reading the history that at one point in time, eight of the 10 largest cities in the United States were in Massachusetts. But then what happened? We start having westward migration, so Chicago as a city exists and LA as a city exists in San Francisco as a city exists and Dallas exists as a city because people at some point in time said, Massachusetts [01:05:00] is cool, New York is cool, Virginia is cool. South Carolina is cool. We need to expand a westward and find new opportunity, a new lands to do bigger and better things. You don't get to Tesla if everybody says, man, let's stay in Boston because I'm from Boston. I'm a rep Boston, I'm proud of 1776. I'm gonna do that to the day I die. That's insane. We don't get to LA that way. So that's something, I think people in a migratory pattern figured out, definitely European settlers, definitely people right now, new immigrants or refugees. They don't care what they go from. A lot of people come from Africa, settle in Chicago. Not because they like the weather. Not because they liked the culture because that's where opportunity is. If you be here in multiple generations in one city. You comfortable in that city. My thing is you really have to say, if you really have dreams and goals of doing something bigger, you cannot allow the fear relocation to be a barrier to you. Now, if it's a situation where you're saying like my mothers, I need to take care of her. That's different. If there's [01:06:00] something else that's like that important anchoring you there, that's different, but it's literally a situation of I don't want to leave because I like my social circle, my social network. Well, if you're social, but if you outgrow your social network, your network and your social circle, definitely take that step forward. Because if you look throughout American history, everybody who has become successful has always moved to opportunity. Even Elon Musk has left California and moved to Austin, Texas, and this guy has $300 billion. If he's still in a mobile pattern and he's still relocated for new opportunity. I think every person can learn from that.

Edgar: Amazing. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that with our viewers, our subscribers. Jamie, I want to tell you and say thank you so much for joining the stand up from the inside podcast. It has been a privilege to get to know you, and we are happy that you were here to share your story and to share your knowledge with all of our subscribers. So thank you.

Jamie: I appreciate it, man. Having this, I love telling my story. I can, every time [01:07:00] I talk about it, I learn new things about myself and I just love the work that you're doing. I think this is so important and vital. I don't think we talk enough about men's health, our health in general, especially not men's health, especially not black mens health. So I'm all about supporting us, strengthing us and making sure we can live longer lasting healthier.

Edgar: Awesome. Definitely. Definitely. I completely agree. And if you want to learn a little bit more about Jamie, his story, go visit him on all of his social links, social profiles. We'll be tagging them down below and also in the descriptions and also go visit his website surface go visit. Go learn more, go see what he's up to in the Illinois area, Dallas area, and more as well through the Midwest. Again, Jamie, thank you so much for being here.

Edgar: So reminder you guys. Thank you all for tuning into the Stand Out From the Inside podcast presented by Versiti. Again, if you're new, please subscribe. Follow us on all of our pages. Go on our Instagram, [01:08:00] Tik ToK to learn more about donating blood, what it means to be an organ donor. Again, look out for all those links down about Jamie and his story and where he's going next. Thank you all for tuning in. If you're new go visit is all of our other podcasts. But for now, I want to say thank you all for tuning in this is the Stand Out From the Inside podcast presented by Versiti again, I'm your host, Edgar Daggett and we'll see you all next time.

Jamie: Hey, Edgar man I love this conversation right now, but I know we ran a little long on time, so I'll see you in the next podcast.

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