Black men in America are subject to many unwarranted stereotypes that if believed could subconsciously affect the developmental growth of the black family. However, how does one combat emotional disparities and a generational plight that can be traced through the roots of our ancestors? Although complex in theory, the answer could be quite simple which is lead and be an example. Business mogul, father, and husband, Todd Tucker, is setting the precedent for what a strong male role model influence has on a family’s infrastructure. Todd’s ability to pour into his community, provide a lineage of inherited wealth for generations to come, and demonstrate what love is, especially black love, is proving these stereotypes to be fiction. Read on to learn what this new age Renaissance Man had to say to The Quintessential Gentleman about the Business of Family.
How are you able to juggle having a family and running your business?
A lot of help. It sucks. In order to be successful, there is always something that’s going to suffer because you have to spend a lot of time working at being successful. I just do my best. For instance, waking my son up every morning and taking him to school. I might not be able to pick him up but at least get him off to school. This morning, me and my wife we just took him to the Puppetry Museum before we had to run and go handle business. So, it’s like trying to make time and forcing yourself to maybe push back a meeting or push back on a few things to make that time for your kids and for your family.
How do you carve out time for yourself?
For myself? That’s a good question. It’s tough with the amount of hours that we put into all the projects we work on. For me, it’s like every day I’m missing out on something but I do carve out time. Next week, I’m going away for a week for my birthday when I probably should be here dealing with building my restaurant out but sometimes you just gotta take it. Let somebody else manage or take over some things for me. I’m probably still going to make some phone calls and check my cameras. I’m still going to be working but it will be somewhat carved out time.
Old Lady Gang is a family restaurant and you have a production company with your wife. Why is it important to build family businesses and allow the family to generate their own wealth?
Well, I think at the end of the day, I don’t know of many black Rockefeller families so it’s very important to build generational wealth. Right now, Old Lady Gang employs quite a few of our family members. I think the main thing is trying to be able to pass a few good things down generation to generation. That money that can continue to take care of our family. Not always selling everything. Not selling our home and being able to leave it for the next generation. Hopefully, we teach them something so they continue to pass it on and take care of it.
Some people may say it’s intimidating for a man to have such a well-known wife and a boss in her own right. What are your thoughts on that and how do you stay secure in your own?
I think it takes a level of confidence, knowing who you are and believing in what you bring to the table. For every young lady that’s out there, who’s powerful and doing their thing, they can’t do it all by themselves. It’s the same for men. We all need that companion that kind of balances us out, motivates us and keeps us going. For us, that’s exactly what it is. We work well together. I’m definitely confident in what I bring to the table and what I’m able to do to help to grow her and grow myself.
Black love has always been a goal but now it’s becoming a movement. We have hashtags and TV shows like Mara Brock Akil’s Love Is. What advice do you give couples who are looking to have long-lasting relationships?
I think the key to all of it is communication, listening and understanding each other. Understanding queues of when I need alone time and when you need alone time. Being able to understand that, compromise and always wanting to see the other smile, do better and be better. At times, it’s tough when people aren’t all in. If you’re not in a situation to where you’re all in, it’s not the right track. If you’re gonna be in it, try to be all in and always want the best for yourself and for the other person. When you mutually have those same views, the sky’s the limit.
We always see you with your son Ace doing your “daddy daycare” thing. What activities do you like doing with him?
I really like just sitting on the floor playing with him. We’re playing some of the games that I enjoyed as a kid, whether it’s with a train track, race car or whatever. I really like just sitting there and becoming his buddy. I think it’s something that will last a lifetime in his memories. I think he’ll always remember, “my dad, we use to get down on the floor and play cards or play whatever.” That’s my thing.
You’re also raising two beautiful young ladies. What relationship advice are you giving them when it comes to dating?
I don’t know if I am giving them so much relationship advice as just trying to be a man in my own right. Someone, they can look up to and identify as this is how my mom or my stepmom is being treated by this man. I’m showing them a good example of what a man is. I’m hoping that they see that, understand they want that same thing and letting them know you don’t really need a man for anything other than to complement what you’re doing. You don’t need a man to buy you this or take care of you. You do need a strong figure that’s going to be aggressive. That’s what I really want for them more than anything. For them to really be able to identify what a real man is and what type of man should be in their life.
What advice do you give to fathers who are raising black sons?
Just time. Spending quality time. Take them back to those things that help mold you and create who you are, and instilling values in your kids. The key thing is time, creating memories, putting smiles on their faces, teaching them lessons, making sure your kids give you eye contact, stand up straight and project confidence. Instilling the right values in your kids, telling them that you are there, you believe in them and that you love them.
Are there any lessons you learn from your parents that you are instilling in your children?
When I was young my mom told me, “Nobody’s better than you. You always remember that.” One day I said, “Mom, I’m better than that person.” She said, “No, you are not better than everybody but nobody is better than you, you’re never less than anybody.” I always carried that with myself and when you say, “oh your wife is this power person,” nobody is better than anybody, we’re all human. I respect what she does but at the end of the day, we all bring something to the table. We all have to be confident in it and we all have to go for those things that we want. Also, not letting anybody else’s shine or what they have make us feel less than.
What can we look forward to from Todd Tucker?
Continuing to be a good husband, continuing to build the empire, leaving a legacy and leaving something for my children to be proud of. Giving them something that they are able to, if they want, create their own path, their own journey. If they want to own money-making ventures or careers, I’m able to help them with it. That’s really what I’m working on. Just family. I think I am on track with building wealth but really creating a generational thing for family and relationship from vacations with my daughters and their kids. Something that we can look back and say, “We did this. We built an amazing family.”
What is your definition of a Quintessential Gentleman?
My definition of a Quintessential Gentleman is a man that has confidence. A man that does what he says he’s going to do. A man that loves his family. A man that’s not afraid to be vulnerable, not afraid to show love, and not afraid to be all around human. You can’t be a tough guy all the time. I may tell my son “you are a big boy, don’t cry,” but at the end of the day, there are many layers to who we are as men. It’s time for us to be able to show our friends and family those different layers and not be ashamed of them. We’re not always the strongest. We’re not always the toughest. Just being able to show the many different layers of who we are as men.
Check out the Family issue of The Quintessential Gentleman Magazine.