The past year has been one for the books — I’ve literally been perfecting my Chance The Rapper *Blessings keep falling in my lap jig*. In that everything was not perfect (so let’s make sure we are on the same page with that), over the course of the last 365 days: I’ve took a few L’s — and bounced back, I’ve learned numerous lessons, I’ve found supportive communities, lost friends, grew stronger in my faith, expanded businesses, dissolved businesses, and so much more.
When I tell you I study Shawn Carter like a living and breathing case study — I mean it. Hov epitomizes what it means to have a mogul mentality, influence the culture, and lift as you climb. Granted I’ve never had an in-depth discussion with my mentors but I attribute a large fraction of their success to their “inner circles.”
If someone asked you, “What do you do?” How long would it take you to answer the question? 30 Seconds? 60 seconds? If you are anything like how I used to be, this may be a struggle but if you are in the pursuit of building a business or brand — it better not look (or sound) like one!
Let’s face it, you either really love networking or you pretty much hate it, it’s seldom that you find those that are in-between. As someone who networks often (read: practically 24/7), I’ve realized to be effective you’ve got to treat networking like a hustle- it’s all about strategy, genuity, and opportunity.
Nas made it clear, he’s a one of one, and there’s no one that can produce his value quite like him. The same goes for you! It’s your personal brand that communicates your value to the world. It outlines your purpose and the impact that you are trying to make.
In all seriousness, I realized somethings had been a little off over the past few weeks. As a firm “Toot Your MF’in Horn” advocate, I’ve been consistently downplaying my own value (I’m still battling with the dichotomy of “Being Great & Being Greatful”). I also found I was spending so much time focusing on providing value to others that I was left drained, tired, and energy-less, leaving little time to provide value to myself.
What I love most about mud runs? They are the perfect balance between being challenging and annoying. Swan diving into a mud pit doesn’t bother me as much as having to continue to run whilst covered in that dry, heavy, earth-residue. When asked why I don’t just run, “regular races,” I tell them that it is the challenge, monotony, and discomfort of completing these mini obstacles (“the mud”) that makes the reward that much sweeter (“your light”).
Someone sent me a message earlier this week— they told me I post too much about my businesses, and that I should “turn my arrogance down a notch.”
But this statement on my unbeknownst arrogance, prompted a week-long introspection of my passion, purpose, and intent. This post is my long-winded affirmation, that I actually #dgaf (look it up, Baby Boomers) about that person’s opinion.
It’s a Sunday morning, and like a plethora of folks my age: I woke up entirely too late, I had a headache, was pretty hungry, and I would have been one hundred percent content laying in my bed for a couple of hours binge watching Netflix. My reminder went off that Dallas’ Debonair Society had their monthly Mingling over Mimosas event and with admitted hesitation I threw on some clothes and headed to the African American History Museum to attend — and I’m glad I did because the event fed everything I needed.
I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the most in-depth, thought-provoking relationship panels that I’ve experienced. When I tend to think “relationship panel” I tend to think of all of those cavalier events that we all attended in college from “battle of the sexes” to “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” To my satisfaction, BAES & Bombshells’ relationship panel was the antithesis of that.
On average, I get the questions — “how do you have time do everything you do?” and, “you must not sleep, what’s your secret?” once a week.
On my end, I feel like there’s so much more that I could be doing. I’m really only getting started. I credit a good deal of my efficiency to building solid, committed teams of equally determined and talented individuals. A portion of my efficiency to using collabetition as a resource. The last bit of efficiency is a result of my knack for magically creating time.
I recently had the opportunity to attend an inaugural brunch for an up-and-coming Dallas startup — The Prototype. And by brunch, I mean a one-of-a-kind experience that mixes all of the core necessities that any millennial mogul in the making would need
Without promotion something tragic happens… nothing.
I don’t know about you, but humbly speaking, I used to get frustrated when people weren’t noticing the innovative, ground-breaking, world-changing stuff I was doing (I’m laughing as I write this FYI). I would think to myself, “is it even worth me putting effort in this anymore,” or I would be visibly, and definitely audibly, less passionate about the projects I was working on.
So that really happened, huh? There was a collective “deep exhale” of an entire country, a showering of social media with impeccable imagery of the first president that looks like me, and entanglement of divisive news and rhetoric of hope.
So, we are going to physics class. I’m here to tell you that your rate of success, your impact, and your momentum can all be described by a few simple physics equations. Just in case you slept your way through Physics 101 in undergrad let me define two terms for you and try my best to relate these terms to your business and influence.
I vividly remember attending a networking event I recently attended in Dallas, numerous highly qualified and affluent peers were in attendance and since I’m fairly new to the city I had my networking hat on and was fully engaged. What took me by surprise was how many people shoved their business card in my hand before I even knew what there name or business was.
I know once I get my foot in the door I have what it takes to make the magic happen to close a deal, but getting my foot in the door is not always an easy task. Through working with my nonprofit, The Black Burdell, and lifestyle website, The Scheme Team, I’ve started to define and refine the art of “Shooting My Shot.”
This past weekend I was afforded the opportunity to be a part of a private, hand-crafted Entrepreneurs Dinner in Downtown Dallas, Texas. The dinner brought together entrepreneurs of many industries and backgrounds to share what their business is, their business challenges, and how they can help others.
Above all else I left the dinner with a new community and new business (and life) lessons.
Winners love to see other winners win, I say it all the time. Though, you probably don’t care about seeing others win if you can’t figure out the whole “winning thing” yourself. Over the past few months (years, actually), I’ve talked to countless hustlepreneurs — those who are hustling night in day in hopes of their business taking off, that they’ll get that next promotion, or that they’ll get noticed.