So when I’m not being fabulous all over Detroit, I can be found counseling adolescents in a socio-economically challenged neighborhood (we’re not all stylists and interior designers). Real talk? It’s the kind of neighborhood my mom would lock her car doors in while saying “You can never be too safe!”
I love it here. It feels dangerous, and I get to live out my secret “Stand and Deliver/Lean on Me” fantasies and work through my white man guilt.
Kidding. A little. Maybe not.
The one thing I’ve learned in the sixteen years I’ve spent at this job is that some of my kids, no matter how hard I try, will end up dealing drugs. No judgment here. I get it. I understand the situation in this neck of the woods. Unfortunately we live in a world that doesn’t want to give everyone a chance. I encounter systematic, organizational discrimination on a daily basis. It’s not all J. Crew and summer cabins out there, people. If you need to sling some weed to pay for those community college composition classes, I say good on ya, just make sure you’re selling that dope to build a future for yourself that doesn’t include running around from apartment complex to apartment complex (people in apartments LOVE weed).
If you need to ball that way to get a leg up, do what you gotta do, but let’s focus on building some skills that will serve you better in a more “traditional” work setting while doing it, shall we?
Title: There is much needed change in this department. The title “Drug Dealer” is off-putting to the average American. It conjures images of Nancy Reagan and Columbian drug lords. Not exactly how you want to market your business. You are now a young entrepreneur and your title needs to reflect that. There are myriad ways in which you can get this point across with a simple change of title. If you are looking to go the medical route, maybe you’re an independent Pain Management Consultant. If you’re looking to capitalize on the party-planning boom, you are now a Social Facilitator specializing in “creating climate.”
Appearance: With your new title you’re going to need a look to match. It’s time to retire that Coogi hook-up, fitted cap and untied Timberlands for an updated, more modern take on “drug dealer.” This is definitely a “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have” type situation. Thank God for Jennifer Aniston’s portrayal of Kate Mosley in the blockbuster “Picture Perfect” to teach us all such a valuable lesson. I know I’ve never forgotten it. Changing your appearance can help reinforce your branding. Have fun with it. For a light-hearted dealer look, pair a nice pink Polo with a good chino and dock sider. It’ll tell people “Hey, I’m easy, breezy and bound to get you super high.” If you’re going for a power player vibe, then run over to the Collection and get yourself some black, Hugo Boss flat-front trousers, a heathery gray, Brunello Cucinelli cashmere sweater and some Bruno Magli loafers. This look commands a room. It says “If you buy from me, you’ll be living in a Harmony Park loft by April.”
Transportation: Consider this an investment in “future you.” Yes, it’s a lot to cough up right away, but you are dealing drugs. You’ll make that money back real quick. Again, examine the big picture. You do not want to be tooling around in a tricked out Impala for various reasons. The police do not like window tint, so why draw unnecessary attention to yourself? Oh, and reclining your seat 180-degrees does not hide you from police view. It actually makes it look like an unmanned vehicle is rolling down the street, and as far as I know the police discourage that. Again, consider your brand. If you are purposely reaching out to the suburban mom (if you’re not you’re an idiot, because those broads are frazzled…), then play her game. I’m not saying you need a minivan, but a nice small to mid-sized SUV would be totally appropriate. I personally drive a Volkswagen Tiguan. I don’t deal drugs, but I do get reasonable gas mileage for an SUV. Just remember, bullet holes are a no-no, but a garage door opener on your visor eases people.
I want my kids to be the best they can be. Sure, I’d like them to apply their skills in more productive ways, but if they’re going to go down that road I’d at least like them to approach it with some thought. Be the best Pain Management Consultant/Social Facilitator you can be. Take some pride in your work and go out there and chase that cheddar.