Friday, May 29, 2009


Setbacks get such a bad rep. I'll hear folks complaining about this or that not working out like they had hoped and really, really being upset about it. They'll say it was a disappointment. I disagree. A setback can be disappointing, but it should be viewed as a disappointment. That would be saying that you are a disappointment, and we both know that is far from the truth.

To me, setbacks are safety brakes. I view them as "take a closer look " or "look at this from another angle" statements. Life puts us in precarious situations at times and human nature causes us to act or react irrationally or impulsively. I believe a setback is just giving us a bit more time to look at that situation without the emotional baggage attached. Once we've let go of the emo-bags and dead weight, we'll have allowed ourselves to make better, smarter and much more logistically sound decisions.

I'm not saying you should be happy-go-lucky because you've had a setback. What I am saying is to access the setback. Then honestly access why it may have happened. Not enough funding? Not enough experience? Not enough time? Not enough effort?

With practice, you'll soon start to see setbacks for hat they really are... points of accessment.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Ever been planning something and just as you were about take your first step, something or someone comes around that claims to be more important that what you planned? How did you handle that? Did you move forward with your plans or did the "something more important" change your plans?

I have been guilty of the latter more times than I care to admit to. Everyone else's issues were just more pressing than whatever it was I had initially planned. Ha!

We let so many deterrents stop us (or slow us) from achieving success. From exercise and health choices to family and business decisions, we let the deterrents run rampant. And after they've run their courses of blockage, we are left with a void of goals unfulfilled.

So how do we combat this? Simple. Pay yourself first. It's a concept used in finance, but it applies here. Get to your finish line. Run with folks running in the same direction as you are. Attempt to catch up to those running successful races ahead of you. Deterrents are roadblocks. Deterrents run against the grain, against your grain.

Success cannot and will not ever be a deterrent. No one can stop you. It is you who choose to stop. Push the deterrents aside and if they persist tell them, "You are going to have to wait. I've got a race to finish."

But they won't stick around. Deterrents are impatient. Let them find someone else to stump.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Avant-Garde

Last week there was a report that came out regarding the jobless market and the numbers, just like the month before, were staggering. The numbers that really struck me were the number of African-American men unemployed - from 13.3% up to 15% to date. That's crazy. But hasn't it been said that necessity is the mother of invention?

During the depression in the U.S., new and innovative companies sprouted up out of necessity of jobs, goods and services. As convoluted as some of this country's values are, it is still one of the greatest countries to build an empire from a fleeting idea.

Now is the time for the great thinkers and people of innovative thought to step up. And some of those great thinkers are nestled right within African-American communities across the nation, both impoverished and affluent.

Let us think ahead and move forward, not by reinventing the wheel, but by building better, faster and revolutionary vehicles of thought around and on top of a sound foundation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The (Residual) Power of the Network

I got this quote from a friend of mine who posted it on his Facebook page. "Wise people make complicated ideas seem simple, while foolish people make simple ideas seem complicated." Whoever spoke these words of wisdom, spot on... spot on.

Sometimes I really think people don't get the simple task of networking. Showing up, talking, listening (not hearing) and building relationships are all parts of networking. Most folks talk about what they are doing or what they are planning to get into. While this is good, many don't listen to each other, so it just becomes a battle of who seems to have more of a life or I.R.R. (Individuals Reaching for Relevance). Not a cool club.

While networking is cool, it's the residual power of this networking that makes all the difference. Case in point: you head out and meet someone at a bar or club, talk about your business and they talk about theirs. You find common ground and offer your services/advice to help their business. Later down the line, you get a call from someone who was referred to you with high regards by the person you met in the bar/club. See? Residual.

While networking is such a simple concept, we do tend to complicate it to the point that we end up over planning and underacting.

The beauty of networking is that you make a new ally. The beauty of the residual network is that others will speak on your behalf, creating a web of allies.

Try it. You'll be amazed at the results.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What's the hold up?

I live and work in an industry of big talkers and excuse makers. It is also an industry of hurry up and wait folks. I can't tell you the amount of times people (performers) ask for production only to sit on it for months without following through. Don't get me wrong, I understand the creative process, but does it really take that long to get a song done?

My point is why do we have issues following through and finishing? For some of us, we dream so big the dream itself becomes overwhelming and causes us not to act at all. Some just don't know what the first thing is that they should do to move forward. The rest kinda take a 'I'll wait and see what happens', which translates to 'I'll wait to piggyback off of someone else's success if I can'.

Stop waiting for someone to do it for you. Go get it done!