My Grandma Was A Better Hustler Than You

My Grandma, The Hustler

The Ultimate Hustler

Whenever I think of the words hustler, businesswoman or enterpriser I think of my Grandma. My Grandma was the ultimate hustler. She knew how to put in the work to make money. You could tell by the way her home was setup that she was a multitalented, multi-passionate hustler.

The Hustler Setup

As soon as you walked into the front door of my Grandma’s you could tell that something was different. The first thing you saw was a glass display case. Inside the display case was candy to sell to the neighborhood kids, fireworks in the summertime and her own brand of hair care products. A few feet from there were 3 beauty shop chairs were women came to get their hair done. The place always smelled like perms, wash and sets and roller wraps. It also smelled like money and opportunity.

Just pace there was a small restroom and the stairs that took you down to the basement. As you could probably guess, this wasn’t the typical basement. There wasn’t a man cave or a TV down there. There were boxes of Janitorial supplies that she would sell to casinos, prisons and whatever other businesses she could get into.

The Community Hustler

Pass the boxes were a few political signs that she would stick in her yard during election time. I remember her speaking highly of our local politicians, specifically Julia Carson. I also remember marching with her in the streets of Indianapolis chanting “Down with dope and up with Hope! Down with crack! We’re gonna take our neighborhood back!” She was heavily involved in anything that would better our community and our city.

At the back of the house was her garage. Only it wasn’t a garage. It was a daycare complete with a computer lab, a kitchenette, a play area and restrooms. This was more than just a place for me to play Oregon Trail and Number Munchers. This was a place that my Grandma made her dreams come true.

The Hustler Dream

Most hustlers are born when they don’t like the options they are presented or when they don’t have any options at all. They look at the world and work hard to make it into what they think it should be. How it should look, how it should work, how much they should make etc. It wasn’t about glamour or showing off and being flashy. It was about driving a used tan van. Working until her eyes were puffy and her feet hurt. It was about doing whatever she could do to get what she wanted. If a woman, a black woman growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in the south can do it. What’s your excuse?