Don’t Say It, Do It!


I have never been one for HBO shows, but ever since Christmas I have been hooked to the recently cancelled series, How To Make It In America.  My brother got it for Christmas and we ended up watching the entire first season that morning.  Every so often we watch the season over and end up more inspired to continue what we do.  This past weekend we spent the afternoon at an art event in Georgetown and spent the rain covered evening at home having an impromptu How To Make It In America marathon.  What can be better than that?

For those of you that don’t know, the show follows a pair of best friends that are also business partners, trying to start their own clothing line in New York City.  In other words, it’s all about the hustle and the truth about making something out of nothing.  Ben is the more cautious one of the two and he often finds himself leaning closer to the safe option than anything else.  Cam, on the other hand, is the more street, never back down kind of guy.  The two have their pros and their cons, but somehow they always balance each other out to create the perfect duo.  Like I said before, the show emphasizes the importance of making something happen out of nowhere and the idea of perseverance.  For a pair of entrepreneurs who are trying to do just that, the show couldn’t be anymore inspiring for myself and my brother.  Plus, let’s face it… the series is just plain awesome.

During the first episode of the series, Cam is told by a successful business owner to stop talking about his ideas and to show what he’s done.  Anybody can have a great idea, but not everybody will put in the work to actually develop a real sample, prototype, or product.  Basically, Cam is told to stop talking the talking and stand out by actually walking the walk.  He’s only going to get the backing he needs if he makes an impression by putting forth the real effort.  The first time I saw this episode this scene pretty much flew right over my head, but, after a few more times, the message is now sinking in and I couldn’t agree with it anymore.  (One reason why I always support re-reading, re-watching, and re-listening.  You will almost always find something new to pay attention to.)

Throughout my life, I have definitely heard a lot of great ideas.  Some from my family, others from my friends, and many from acquaintances, but I can count on one hand how many of those ideas have been developed into something tangible.  A lot of these ideas are really de la boca pa’ fuera rather than concrete plans that will actually be carried out.  As the series continues, you see Ben and Cam struggle with this A LOT.  They face plenty of setbacks that can ultimately be discouraging, but, despite all of the things that are against them, the pair continue to push forward until they get their first denim sample and a few other things they should be proud of.

To me, proving that you can create something real is amazing and worth fighting for.  Forget about whatever fears you may have and go for it.  What do you have to lose?  The worst that can happen is that you end up back where you started.  Sure, this isn’t ideal, but you’ll never know unless you give it an honest effort.  Instead of talking about what you want to do and what you’re planning on doing, just do it.  Stop wasting precious time with your breath.  Use the time that you’re using to pitch people something that doesn’t exist to actually make it real.  Ben and Cam may be fictional characters, but they really aren’t so fictional now are they?  They’re really more a representation of every young entrepreneur who’s trying to move up in the world.  Everyone who has ever had a dream that they’ve reached for can relate to the two.  They represent a piece of all of us and that’s what makes it incredible.  Everything that you see Ben and Cam doing can be done by you, but only if you really want to do that.  If that desire is strong enough and if you have the right mind-set, then why can’t you do it?  Why can’t you make it in America your own way?


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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