The Market America Convention 2017 was buzzing with celebrities, UnFranchise owners, and top business executives. Over 20,000 people came together for a weekend of innovative talks and unapologetic networking. One of the speaker sometimes surprises people outside of Market America. When people learn that he’s involved with Market America, people will ask him why and how he first got involved. He’s Fat Joe, the rapper. In a 2016 interview with Hiphop DX, Fat Joe says that he’s been friends with the Ridingers for over a decade and a half. “Scratch that; they’re not even friends. They’re family” he clarifies. A long time ago he asked JR Ridinger, the Market America founder and CEO, how many black and latino UnFranchise owners there were. Fat Joe was surprised to learn that there were only a couple. Fast forward to the present, and Fat Joe is now the President of Urban and Latino Development for Market America.
At the Market America Convention 2017, Fat Joe gave a speech titled “All the Way Up”. He started off by addressing that there’s tension on the news. “It feels like we don’t have a middle class no more” says Fat Joe. People used to be able to invest in their lifestyle, through purchasing a home and other ways. They felt like they were working for something, not just getting by. The economic and political environment was moreso tempered for growth and opportunity. It was easier for people to start their own businesses. “Nobody really has that no more. Nobody has that security” he says pointedly. And he’s right. Much of the world is now structured around systems that benefit corporations. In this, the power of earning and owning your future is not so concrete.
After he gave an overview of the current economic climate, he dove right into the question that many people ask him. “Yo Joe, why you doing this market thing?” It’s the only system he knows that works. He says that he feels like the country can learn from Market America. It’s where everyone works as one, regardless of the social group you belong to and regardless of your race. All of the UnFranchise owners are sharing one dream. He asks, where else you can see millionaires talking to people just starting out? Where else can you see Fat Joe the rapper talking to a former correctional officer? In a nine to five job, he presses, you don’t have the chance to just speak to the CEO. Here it’s different.
Market America UnFranchise owners are truly engaged and invested in the success of their fellow members. And that’s even if they have no financial connection to them! That’s just how it is. UnFranchise owners want to see their fellow UnFranchise owners succeed. “We encourage everybody” says Fat Joe. And there’s no other company you can join where you can be your own boss, he emphasized. With Market America, you’re accountable for the work you put in and the dedication that you have to the business. When you’re working for a corporation, you’re just one of the many people putting in the work so that a few at the top will make all of the money. Here, you’re in charge of your own destiny. And that might be intimidating to some. But taking that accountability for your own future is very fulfilling, especially if you trust yourself enough to give the Market America system everything you have.
Fat Joe says “These are turbulent times. You have to believe now more than ever.” Market America works. The plan works and the system works, he says simply. But if you come and listen, but don’t apply what you learn, it doesn’t make sense. The big secret of success is just doing the work and following the plan. Market America lays it all out for you, but you have to put the time and effort in. “This ain’t about getting lucky, it’s about working” he says. Market America is different from other systems in that it gives you a viable platform to sell your products. When you become an UnFranchise owner, you get it all laid out for you – from the tools to the encouragement. You’re becoming part of the Market America family.
In his Hiphop DX interview, Fat Joe says “Just because I’m Fat Joe ‘the rapper’ doesn’t mean I got a bigger hookup. I got to get out there and show the plan, sell products, motivate my team to go out there and become big businessmen as well.” He’s saying that anyone can do it if they put enough work into it. He doesn’t have a leg up for being famous and well connected. Fat Joe follows the same system as any other UnFranchise owner. This goes to show that Market America is not preferential. Anyone can succeed, not just those who know a lot of people.
After he talked about hustling like everyone else, Fat Joe brought up that a lot of times we are fueled by negativity. He relates to the crowd that you need to turn that negative energy into positive fuel for your dreams and goals. To demonstrate the point, he says that one New Year’s Eve, he overheard his dearest friends talking about how he would never succeed as a rapper. Fat Joe took that negativity and turned it into power to make the biggest album of his life. “You gotta take the negative and turn it into a positive” he says to the cheering crowd.
“We are the most optimistic, most loving, most receiving people in the world” he says about Market America. It’s a safe place for people who believe in their dreams. Being around those positive people naturally rubs off. The same goes with negative people, so when you’re not at places like the Market America Convention 2017, keep your head up. Don’t let the negativity of others impede your progress and make you feel vulnerable about your chances of succeeding. Fat Joe sure knows how to go all the way up. And Market America’s the way to do just that.