Harry Parson celebrates Black History Month with the House!
I have been fortunate with my life. Growing up, I mingled with an incredible group of people, who, luckily for me, remain incredible, uplifting and profound.
This Black History Month, I would like to share some of these people, along with others I have met along the way, who are genuine, contributing members of my community. They have inspired me and I hope they do the same for you!
Today we speak to Harry Parson. Fellow New Orleans ancestry, love of hope and a mover and shaker, Harry has been my pal for over 25 years.
all images courtesy of Harry Parson
House ~ What does Black History mean for you?
Harry ~ Black History as told by the right people is uplifting, inspiring, and rich. Black History told by the ethnocentric is depressing, confining, and detrimental. But Black History is actually both. This duality still exists today and is the irony of being of African descent living in America. Black history is the history of family shaped by culture, language, love, and religion. Black history is the story of my parents, grandparents and on. Black history is different for everyone and is only uplifting, inspiring and rich if it is told and written by those that love enough to share it. The positive history of our culture exists when we share.
House ~ What are some of the lessons you would like to share for today's young men?
Harry ~ I would urge young men to start working on making their dreams a reality: to learn the difference between a Dream and a Plan of action. Any dream not written down remains a dream. Dreams cannot manifest themselves into reality unless you make a detailed plan to achieve them. If there is no plan there is no action. People don’t plan to fail they fail to plan.
Most people don’t act on their dreams and those thoughts stay locked away as “perfect images” in their minds. But nothing is perfect so why not work towards achieving it? There are two types of motivation: happiness and fear. Most people are afraid to act on their dreams because they fear having their dream destroyed. Following a dream starts with deciding how you are going to get from point A to point B and asking yourself, or others, how do I get there, what do I need to know, who can help me, what is my purpose, who is my audience and what are the obstacles. Lay it out on paper, add to it and edit it every day. Manifesting a dream is just like creating a business plan. Businesses have mission plans: so make a mission plan for your life. Business plans include a detailed structure and a strategy. Structure you life and formulate a strategy to reach your goals.
The plan for my life is not perfect so I keep editing it. Each day brings a new idea, a new addition, and new discovery. Be flexible enough to change your dreams so they can one day become real and change you. You can have anything you want in life in as long you help others get what they want.
House ~ You've led a colorful and varied life, how has that impacted you as a businessman/entrepreneur?
Harry ~ Describing how my experiences have impacted me as a business owner is a long novel. But I can say that my experience growing up on Chicago’s south side, going to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Edinburgh University in Scotland, watching a parent die of cancer, living and evacuating from New Orleans the day before hurricane Katrina and moving back to Chicago and starting a business from scratch has been self-inspiring. Owning a business is one of my greatest joys. Doing what I love each day has had an incredible impact on my life and the thoughts I have about my own self worth. Whether I am fortunate enough to eat peanut butter and jelly or steak has mattered little. Making myself accountable for my success or failure has meant the most. Being able to help other businesses grow is my goal and that helps my business mature.
House ~ What were some of your goals as a very young man? How have your moved forward?
Harry ~ Interestingly enough I cannot pin point all the goals I embraced as a young man. I can say that my goals have constantly changed and have been edited to meet the challenges I have faced.
I wanted to be a watch maker when I was young. I was always amazed by how the gears interacted, intertwined, and created motion. I used to cut the bottoms out of Styrofoam cups, cut squares into the circles, pin them into the carpet, connect them together and by turning one gear set all the other gears into motion. I guess that is good example of my goals. My goals are gears. Goals change because additional gears have been added to the machine. The machine has moved me forward and who knows what turn my life will take tomorrow. The key is to keep adding gears and replacing those that no longer work or move you.
Harry ~ The majority of businesses in the United States accept credit cards, debit cards, and checks as payment for services. Most start up business will take one of these forms of payment in addition to cash. Parson Enterprises, LLC helps new and old businesses, large and small, reduce how much they pay for accepting cards and checks. MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express and the merchant account provider charge the business owner a small percentage and transaction fee for each purchase.
What we do is simple: We act as a broker for business owners and find them the lowest possible credit card and check processing fees in the industry. We educate our customers on how the merchant account industry works and help the merchant make the best decision on which provider to use. We work with five different merchant account providers and two check processors. We provide each business owner with a line-by-line cost comparison and say, “This is what you are paying now, and this what you should be paying.” We train the staff on how to use the new services and provide 24/7 technical support.
We act as consultants to municipalities, government entities, non-profit organization, restaurants and retail stores. We understand the industry and help educate our customers so they can find the right solution for their needs. We are paid by the merchant account providers. As a result, our research, advice and evaluations are free to the business owner.
We provide face to face credit card processing, processing done over the phone, wireless credit card processing, and ecommerce gateway accounts for accepting credit cards over the Internet. Our check processing services allow a business to take checks over the phone and do ACH transfers or we can scan each check and convert it into an electronic deposit. No matter how a business wants to take plastic or checks we can help them.
House ~ Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Harry ~ Within the next three years Parson Enterprises, LLC will become a Merchant Account Provider rather than a broker and be directly tied to national banks.