Do I leave Mississippi to chase my dreams or do I stay here to build and create? This is the age old question that every ambitious Jackson Millennial is faced with. Jackson is a beautiful city with infinite potential, but in all truthfulness, the “Crabs in a bucket” mindset often stunts our city’s growth and development. Some are able to look past it and navigate to higher levels, where others choose to direct their energy and affairs to bigger and more diverse cities. Recently I spoke with Meco Shoulders and Briana Thomas, two zealous Jackson Millennials that have successfully relocated. Check out our conversations below:
Meco Shoulders, Chief Innovation Officer of Remington & Ra
What inspired your transition?
Unfortunate realities inspired my transition. Many times, I ran into situations thinking that they were my “way out,” but they all became dead ends. It all worked out for my good in the end because I ended up somewhere which has helped mold me into an even greater being with extended vision. I didn’t see it coming, but I’m ever thankful for my transition to the DMV.
From your prospective, what are the pros and cons of transitioning to a bigger city?
The Pros to transitioning are the endless networking opportunities, involvement in the community, exposure, historical sights, etc… There’s so much that could be implemented to aid an individual in a larger city. Association is powerful; especially in a big city.
The Cons to transitioning are relocation expenses, fear of the unknown, heightened cost of living expenses, etc… These are things that people run into when transitioning that could either make or break them. Personally, these things helped build my story.
What are some of your personal business goals? Do you feel that they will be obtained much easier now that you’re in a bigger city?
Our motto is to “Create paths for aspiring leaders to follow.” That being said, the main goal is to keep the ball rolling with the business. The ideas are there, merchandise is being finalized, the structuring of the business is becoming more and more concrete; therefore, we are moving steady with implementation and consistency. Also, establishing the core competencies for the business and driving continuous results.
Operating in bigger city makes things much easier because there are individuals that have extended networks that can assist the needs of the business. As stated early, the power of association is inevitable in a big city.
What is the social scene like? Is the contrast in personalities difficult to adjust to?
The social scene in itself is amazing. The hospitality is present in more intimate settings; however, things aren’t as hospitable in general. People’s personalities are very difficult to adjust to because of their approach. Certain things I’d take offense to in the south are norms here. The aggressiveness could be a bit of a shocker because everyone is the same. People here expect you to respect them at all times even if they’re in the wrong. That’s probably my biggest issue. All in all, I don’t bash them or anything, I just respect the culture and be myself. They eventually come around and thank me for my kind spirit. lol
This question may be direct for some, but umm that’s kind of my safe place lol Is the racism as potent as it is in MS?
Imagine the entire state of MS in one metropolitan area. It’s pretty shocking, but we, blacks, are still kicking ass. It’s still chocolate everywhere. I was speaking to one of my frat brothers recently and he mentioned that we’ve overcome obstacles that others could never endure. We overlook these things and move forward in our own culture and throughout society at large.
Would you encourage other millennials to transition?
I would encourage ANY millennial to transition to a bigger city if they had the opportunity to do so. The exposure is sensational. There’s great opportunity if they do not put limitations on themselves. I’d recommend at least 6 months just for the experience. We know that in most cases, small cities operate with the crab in a barrel mentality which can be very toxic. Not only that, it stunts the growth of people’s plans and dreams if all they rely on are things/people in that particular region. Transitioning would break many barriers for most if their morals are intact. Disclaimer: I’m not saying that transitioning is a must because there are many that have learned the system of operation in smaller cities and are doing excellent. But for those who are either unsure or feel that there’s more for them outside of their comfortable place, GO! I can assure them that there’s a glow on the other side. Lol.
Do you have any upcoming projects or events that you would like to share?
Actually, Remington & Ra will be launching a few products in the month of February. Items will be available for presale and we look forward to having a great turn out. It’s absolutely for, but not limited to the black culture. We’ve also partnered with another company which adds the gentleman’s accessory portion to the brand. There will be a workshop later in the fall of 2018 for millennials – the dates for that will be released soon. Everything else that’s coming can be found on our Instagram page: @remingtonra_
Briana Thomas, Realtor at Keller Williams
Since your transition from MS, in what areas have you noticed the most growth?
Mentally and spiritually. I’ve been so focused on expanding my mind and learning as much as possible. I interact with millionaires every single day and I know that it is possible to live an honest life and be wealthy and successful. Being in Mississippi kept me away from opportunities of this sort, so it is important that I learned from every situation. But, beyond all things, I know that it is nothing but God‘s amazing grace as to why I am where I am today. I am 23 years old and I am living my best life and crushing my goals. I am growing into a beautiful young woman with ambition and integrity and I will never lose.
What are some of the biggest differences between MS and TX in your opinion?
The biggest difference is opportunity. In response to the expansion of the state and continuing population growth there are a multitude of options for schools, jobs, restaurants, housing, etc. In which is incomparable to the lack there of in Mississippi.
What are some preparations you would suggest for those that may be considering a transition from Ms?
Do it! It is Absolutely a great decision and if you don’t like it, at least you tried! Update your resume. Texas employers are looking for ‘right now’ employees and will hire on the spot if you present yourself accordingly. Upgrade your lifestyle. We didn’t come to another state to live the same lives as before. Get a better paying job, get a dope crib, and enjoy life!
What are some of the greatest challenges and rewards that you’ve seen over the past year?
This past year was filled with ups and downs. I began studying real estate hard-core and pursuing my license all while in school for education at Houston Community College and working two jobs. I stressed myself out and ended up on probation in school and I failed my exam for real estate TWICE. A couple of weeks later I got laid off from the first job I accepted when I came to Houston. I was devastated but I made my way out of that storm without missing a beat. I focused hard on my final attempt of my exam and passed my national And state exams for real estate and began my journey with Keller Williams.
What are somethings that you’ve learned that you could bring back to Jackson that would help move our city forward?
Business development. I have been doing my part and becoming well acquainted with people in high places that know how to make things happen. Young, like-minded entrepreneurs are the ones that build up the city of Houston and continue to generate revenue that makes this city prosper and flourish. Due to the lack of education and resources in Jackson, building up businesses takes longer and can become more expensive. Instead of building new hair salons and boutiques let’s build up our city first with the necessities to keep our city together and which most citizens can benefit, and the city can generate income to build our city at its highest potential.
Do you plan to return to MS as a resident anytime soon? Why or why not?
Maybe so, but it will be solely based on business and real estate investments. I have a strong desire to invest in real estate and there is nowhere else I’d rather invest my money than in Jackson Mississippi.