This month we choose to feature Earl Lucas a local business owner born and raised in Reading Pa. I think this title suits and defines him well. I like that he doesn’t fit the norm of a businessperson as he has his own way of working. He is what I like to call a hustler and one that is living his best life on his own terms.
If you know him today, you know him as the owner of the Grill then Chill Lounge which he happens to jointly own with my friend Maribel Cosme. However, he has dabbled in many things to get to where he is today, and he has worked his way there. I know the word hustler has a negative connotation but for some people including myself, it’s actually the opposite. To be a hustler is someone who is a self-starter determined to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship. Usually, a hustler has lots of confidence in themselves with or without an education.
I will tell you why I describe him as a hustler. When I met him, he worked at a country club cooking, but had already owned Jakes Steaks, he sold rims, cars, Christmas trees, rode a school bus you name it. Then he founded Afro-Latino Magazine in Reading. A few years later he along with his partner Maribel bought the Grill then Chill Bar. Then he started dipping into real estate and now is doing house flips and has rental properties. He however still cooks it up in the kitchen and is known for his wings, and fish among some great soul food.
As you can see why we at Palo believe that Earl is the true definition of a hustler. He is truly an enterprising person determined to succeed; he is for lack of other words an ambitious person. Everyone knows that a hustler doesn’t talk but gets things done. He is a mover and a shaker, and he uses every opportunity to make a decent buck. A hustler doesn’t live off of one way of making money, they find 10, 15, or 20 or more ways to make money. A hustler can see far beyond today. Sometimes they don’t even have a clear plan or even have much of an education, but they can talk the talk and know how others think. They usually come from nothing, but this is why they have extra pride knowing that they weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but they crawled from the bottom to the top.
This is where I connect with Earl on a business level. You see we both agree that we are now unemployable. We just can’t see ourselves working for others. I don’t think you will see us punching a time clock anywhere ever again. That’s because we are rich, maybe not super financially rich, but we are rich in the sense that we are at a stage in our life, where we love what we are doing, we are making money doing it, we don’t have to deal with morning rush hours, we open or close when we want, we don’t have to wear stuffy clothes unless we want to, and we can travel for as long as we want. Isn’t this the true meaning of living a rich life & being successful? Many people work too hard and don’t enjoy the in-between hoping that tomorrow they will make so much money and will have time to relax, however, the really successful person is the one that discovers that life is a journey, and you have to have fun and enjoy it on the way as tomorrow is never promised. Also, the days when you waited until 65 to enjoy life, was a lie that was sold to us, but not anymore. We must break the poverty mentality and not allow our families to repeat the cycles.
We asked Earl what message he wanted to give to our readers. He stated he wanted to tell everyone, especially the youth the importance of staying in school. He is not stating if you didn’t finish school that you will never make it, but it will make your life easier. Having those basic skills of reading, writing & communication will be so useful when you have to do business proposals, transactions, apply for loans or grants. Or just to express yourself or communicate with other businesspeople. Congrats Earl for being strong in continually pursuing life on your own terms.
To fully understand the message, make sure to Google “The Story of the Mexican Fisherman” it’s a great quick two or three-minute read on the true meaning of living life now.
“Live your life before life becomes lifeless”- Unknown
Rosa Julia Parra
CEO & Founder of Palo Magazine