I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve put out some content — you’re probably thinking:

“Brandon is all over social media timelines, what does he mean he’s not putting out content?” 

Fine, you’re 100% correct (and I’m 100% okay with that). 

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.

This all dawned on me as I apathetically climbed the stair-master in LA Fitness drenched in sweat and prepared to take a video specifically for my InstaStory. It was then when something incredible came over me. It was the slight crescendo of “baaaaaaaad boyyyyyyyyy” over an iconic Diddy beat. As my body succumbed to the subtlest of Harlem Shakes, I realized:

It was time to #DiddyBop and #DiddyCrop my life.

(If you are so inclined to empathize this feeling, listen to the track that inspired this post below and thank me later.)

The #DiddyBop.

I hope you are somewhat familiar with the infamous “Diddy Bop,” but for those of you who aren’t as acquainted with the 90's hype-man dance phenom, check the documentation below. I’d describe this signature celebratory dance as a symbol of the utmost confidence.

Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, Diddy, P. Diddy, the man of many names, coined the movement as he celebrated his many accomplishments, uplifted his peers, got loose, and thoroughly enjoyed his life.

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The #DiddyCrop.

As a creative himself, Diddy does his due diligence in protecting his energy, removing antagonism from his life, and controlling his narrative. He slapped Drake before Kendrick made “Slapping a P.A.N. (censorship) look sexy”, he pulled up to his co-owner with a baseball bat in his hand demanding him to release his shares of their company, and he also cropped the Kardashians out of his Instagram picture.

Puff understands the importance of cutting negativity out his life, and hence the #DiddyCrop movement was born.

The Diddy Bopping

Celebrate pouring into what fills you up.

“I’m gonna follow my heart and if you follow the charts or the plaques or the stacks, you ain’t gotta guess who’s back” — Get Em High (Kanye)

Recently, my bro Rwenshaun and I presented at a Black Male Leadership Institute at The Park School in Baltimore. This speaking engagement came on the heels of a hectic travel mishaps and a long week filled with stress at work — and if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t as excited as I originally was to speak. 

Fifteen seconds into my presentation, my mood completely changed. I spent three hour-long sessions talking to 8 to 12th grade students about the importance of personal branding, especially as young, black men. My energy sky-rocketed and I truly felt “in the zone.” After talking about the day, I realized the importance of pouring into what fills you up. We waste so much time doing menial activities that we don’t care about and neglect what it is that truly makes us happy.  

Celebrate a secured bag.

You better protect the bag / Don’t ever play yourself — DJ Khaled

Feeding off of knowing your self-worth comes securing the bag. Though traditionally, this is all about the money, conceptually this is celebrating your accomplishments. It’s being aware and giving yourself the best opportunity for more success. 

So many of us get wrapped up in the “what’s next” mindset, that we don’t appreciate the bags we’ve secured in the past. Success is momentous so be sure to celebrate your past accomplishments as fuel for those coming your way in the future.

Celebrate your value and self-worth.

You love a good hand whenever the card dealt / But what love got to do with it when you don’t love yourself? — Real (Kendrick Lamar)

You’ve probably heard me mention before, that despite all of the pictures I post (of myself) on Instagram, I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m 100% comfortable talking about myself. Though, I have gotten to the point where I am comfortable with myself: my strengths, weaknesses, talents, and passi`ons. So many of my close friends have reminded me the importance of knowing your value and your worth — and celebrate it!

Part of this celebration results in charging adequately for your services, promoting yourself on social media, and clearly communicating what it is you are passionate about. Be your own biggest fan, and #DiddyBop to the sound of you tooting your own horn.

The Diddy Cropping

Remove those who drain your energy.

Got a lot of people tryna drain me of this energy — Energy (Drake)

Have you ever had to deal with someone and just felt depleted after the conversation or situation? Maybe you feel as if you are more invested in their success than they even are. Well, put simply, you’re wasting your time and your energy. 

You’ll always have energy-drainers, but how you respond to them is your choice. Be sure that you limit energy-drainers influence on you by limiting time spent with them, limiting their access to you, or simply #DiddyCropping them out your picture altogether.

Remove obstacles on your climb to greatness.

That’s how my daddy raised me / That glitterin’ may not be gold, don’t let nobody play me — The Show Goes On (Lupe Fiasco)

I’m a self-proclaimed, slightly-ashamed “yes-man,” I’m very self-aware of this and I’ve come to terms with it. I genuinely like helping others — and I promise that is not going to change, that is what makes me, well, me. But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few weeks was the importance of balancing your relationships. 

On your climb towards greatness make sure that you 1) you identify those who are invested in helping you climb, and 2) you identify those that you are called to lift as you climb. It is inevitable that you will find others around you that will add obstacles that make your climb tougher, #DiddyCrop them.

Remove the pressures to tell other’s stories — tell your own.

We the boss in here we floss this sh*t cause / Ain’t nobody doin’ it like we do oh no. — Art of Story Telling Pt. 4 (Outkast)

As creatives, entrepreneurs, and movers and shakers its often that we get caught up in the “hype” of what is popular, what is trending, and what it is that make others successful. With these inward pressures, it is easy to lose sight of what success looks like to you. Don’t to lose your own voice or the intricate aspects that make you unique. You are your boss — be inspired by those around but #DiddyCrop any outside influence that tries to control your own narrative. 

Let’s take some time to practice how to #DiddyBop & #DiddyCrop yo’ life.

  • If you are still here rocking wit the best (team), maybe you don’t write rhymes but you right checks (because you’re a boss) — #DiddyBop That
  • If “they” are trying to push you, because you’re close to the edge — #DiddyCrop That (and don’t lose your head)
  • If you are a unique trendsetter and they can spot you by the way that you walk and the way that you talk (even if you aren’t from the state of New York) — #DiddyBop That
  • If you are surrounded by negative energy, who would rather see you die than to see you fly — #DiddyCrop That
  • If you have bright ideas, but know the sun don’t shine forever, but as long as you here, you and your team are going to shine together — #DiddyBop That

If you had to #DiddyBop for one positive aspect of your life right now, and #DiddyCrop one piece of negativity — what would they be? 

Let me know in the comments if you’re bout that life, don’t forget to hit the heart too!

Be Great,

To connect with me or see what I’m up to, visit, www.brandonemiller.com and follow me at @thatguybmills!

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