03 May

How Coaching 4th Grade Basketball Made Me A Better Entrepreneur

Lessons From My Real World

During the summer of 2015 I decided to stop working on ThePhatStartup and focus more on my number 1 business; MY FAMILY.

After 3 years of the grind, building a great community and challenging myself beyond belief, I was thirsty for some family time. Especially time with my 9 year old; my mini me. I wanted to put him on a basketball team and see what he could do. It was his first year playing basketball after 6 years of soccer but I knew he had what it took to be great.

I can’t even describe how good it felt to walk in and sign him up for a basketball league around my neighborhood. What I didn’t know while walking in was that I too was going to be challenged this year. They asked me if I could be the assistant coach for our team.

I didn’t even wait for the details, I immediately said YES! I didn’t even think about the time commitment and even the heart aches ahead. I just knew I wanted to spend more time with my son and figured this was a great way to do so. I am all about that #PresenceOverPresents life!

I just ran a business for 3 years with no experience, how hard could it be to coach a group of 9 year olds? I was wrong about how hard it could be and it reinforced a few business lessons along the way besides the importance of being PATIENT!  

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29 Apr

Built On Wax: #Bars4Motivation Vol V

#Bars4Motivation, Built On Wax

For me not only did Hip Hop tell a story similar to my own, but it also helped motivate me to chase my dreams. Hearing someone like Biggie say it “It Was All A Dream” and then accomplishing those dreams inspired me to chase the things I only dreamed about.

For #Bars4Motivation I will explore lyrics that keep me inspired and hopefully will do the same for you!

This week’s motivation came by the way of Curren$y! I remember visiting my friend Peedi out in New Orleans back in the early 2000’s. He took me to a studio owned by Mystikal’s old DJ where Curren$y was working. These were the days of Blackberry BBMs and barely any wifi anywhere.

I watched Curren$y smoke all day with his crew but also saw how hard the man worked before anyone knew his name. This was before JetLife and before all the whips, the myspace days. He would jump into the booth and just grind. Take after take, perfecting his craft while enjoying life.

Not only did I respect his work effort, but I respected the RESPECT he had for his craft and market. He could have sold out and made pop tracks but he never wavered from his community. He consistently put out material that smokers and non-smokers would love and grew with his music and business.

Curren$y dropped the Kilo Jam track this week (listen below) and it immediately brought me back to those days in the studio. The days when a “nobody” was grinding to share his talents to the world. He came a long way and lucky for me I got to witness the hustle from a far and learn from his hustle!

These bars kept me motivated this week; hopefully they do the same for you!

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26 Apr

Holding A Meeting Like A Boss

Lessons From My Real World

I seriously, seriously hate meetings! When I started my corporate career, all I ever wanted to do was be part of huge meetings. The meetings my bosses’ superior would be in, you know the one we don’t get invites to.

I always thought something special was going on in these meetings until I actually got to attend some. My 1st meeting was full of excitement; it was time for me the entry level employee to shine!! I was going to leave my mark!!!

The only thing that came out of that 1st meeting was a drained feeling. Here I was at my 1st major 2 hour meeting and I was bored as hell! I watched as my superiors argued about everything that popped up and I also watched some serious disrespect. How was this going to help the business we worked for? Would the founders or board members approve of this nonsense?

None of that mattered, what mattered was that most meetings really sucked. They are boring, long, and don’t necessarily add a positive impact to the organization or a team. Sounds familiar?

I vowed to do better, and wanted to share a few of the tips that helped me hold productive meetings for the past few years.

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22 Apr

Built On Wax: #Bars4Motivation Vol IV

#Bars4Motivation, Built On Wax

For me not only did Hip Hop tell a story similar to my own, but it also helped motivate me to chase my dreams. Hearing someone like Biggie say it “It Was All A Dream” and then accomplishing those dreams inspired me to chase the things I only dreamed about.

For #Bars4Motivation I will explore lyrics that keep me inspired and hopefully will do the same for you!

This week’s motivation came as I sat down at The Bronx Veteran’s Hospital. While my dad was getting his procedure done, I went to eat breakfast at their cafeteria.

While eating I saw an older veteran playing outside with bubbles, the simplest of things with no kids in sight. Just chilling outside enjoying life, the weather and eventually others started to show up. I thought they were going to mock him but instead they participated and shared laughter.

He was happy and was winning by eventually forming a tribe that very morning. Some were missing limbs from battles, some were moving along while attached to machines, but happiness brought these vets together to form a new crew of friends. Their leader for the day was waving a bubble wand instead of a machine gun.

They were REALLY living no matter the circumstance enjoying the simplest of things; laughter and reminiscing.

They made me appreciate life and so did these lines below. Enjoy and remember to live it up! Life is too short to be negative.

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19 Apr

What’s Worse? Missing An Alley Oop Or An Open Layup In Business

Lessons From My Real World

A few weeks ago I was playing basketball with some friends. We were tied with the opposing team and we had the ball. I inbounded the ball to our fastest player, who immediately drove down the court and missed an open layup. We got lucky and still won but we let my teammate have it for missing the layup anyway.

My teammate quickly got upset and blamed the ball. He didn’t blame the pass, or anyone else, just the ball. It was the ball’s fault that he missed, what type of shit is that?

One teammate walked over and told him, “That’s why we never give you the ball. You miss open shots all the time and lay the blame on everyone else.”

He was right and this got me thinking about the few times I dropped the ball and didn’t make my own layups in business. That feeling of missing a “gimmie” or a sure shot is the worst feeling when you actually take a second to think about it.

It also got me thinking about which was worse in business; missing an alley oop, or missing an open layup. Better yet, does it even matter?

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15 Apr

Built On Wax: #Bars4Motivation Vol III

#Bars4Motivation, Built On Wax

For me not only did Hip Hop tell a story similar to my own, but it also helped motivate me to chase my dreams. Hearing someone like Biggie say it “It Was All A Dream” and then accomplishing those dreams inspired me to chase the things I only dreamed about.

For #Bars4Motivation I will explore lyrics that keep me inspired and hopefully will do the same for you!

Another week just flew by! Can you believe we are in April already? Hope you got some of those “2016 is my year” goals out the way! Last week was rough with me overcoming the flu, but this week started with a bang. I was fully motivated to kill it, and the remnants of my flu weren’t going to stop me.

Sometimes we have bad days, sometimes we have bad weeks, but it all comes down to making up for them with the good days. This week I caught myself really inspired by melodic Hip Hop. It kept me in the gym, kept me writing everyday but more than anything, it MOTIVATED me to be the best me.

Here’s a few of the tracks in my playlist that kept my movement moving!

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12 Apr

Key To Success: Mind Your Business

Lessons From My Real World

They don’t want you minding your business.

But that’s exactly what we are going to do, MIND OUR BUSINESSES.

It’s similar to what our parents always told us but it doesn’t mean that you the entrepreneur should be oblivious to the world and what’s going on around you.

What I mean by MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS is that you should FOCUS on your business. Focus on the experiments, the growth, the distribution and the overall products. The things that actually separate you from other businesses or from people that say, “I want to run a business like yours one day!”

They say building a business is like running a marathon not a sprint, so you must be productive. You can’t do that spending time watching everyone else build, take some of the tips below and MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

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08 Apr

Built On Wax: #Bars4Motivation Vol II

#Bars4Motivation, Built On Wax, Lessons From My Real World

For me not only did Hip Hop tell a story similar to my own, but it also helped motivate me to chase my dreams. Hearing someone like Biggie say it “It Was All A Dream” and then accomplishing those dreams inspired me to chase the things I only dreamed about.

For #Bars4Motivation I will explore lyrics that keep me inspired and hopefully will do the same for you!

This week was rough; it was a week that started off great. Workout habits in place, hustling on a new project was running smoothly but then I got hit with the FLU!

It took me out of commission for 2 days and I started to feel guilty even though my body needed the rest. On the 3rd day I rose out of my bed and said “f**k this shit, I can’t do this anymore.” I needed to get some work done, so I went to my trusty source of inspiration, spotify; listened to a few tracks and the rest was history.

The Hustle Doesn’t Stop, Unless You Stop! Here’s this weeks 3 bars that got my mind right!

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05 Apr

Landing Speakers For Your Event Or Conference

Lessons From My Real World

People always ask me how we were able to get such sought after speakers for our Tech808 Conferences and our local meetups especially after an event.

My answer used to be “hustle!” Even though that is the 1st thing you have to do, I always knew that it was more than that!

Out of all our events with The Phat Startup I would say I secured at least 90% of our speakers including the bigger speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Ben Horowitz and one of my favorites Paul Brunson. I wanted to put together a quick and simple post that could get YOU started on land some game changing speakers along with speakers that your community may not know but need to know.

Here are a few things to be mindful of, but if you need more help hit me up!

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01 Apr

Built On Wax: #Bars4Motivation Vol I

Lessons From My Real World

If you’re like me, chances are Hip Hop plays a big role in your LIFE. Hip Hop tells the story of the forgotten one or in my case the poverty stricken one, highlighting the struggles many of us experienced while growing up.

For me not only did Hip Hop tell a story similar to mine, but it also helped motivate me to chase my dreams. Hearing someone like Biggie say “it was all a dream” and then accomplishing those dreams inspired me to chase the things I only dreamed about.

I listen to Hip Hop everyday to keep my own movement moving and decided to grab three old school bars that really inspired me this week. Hopefully they put you in the right state of mind to hustle for everything you ever wanted.

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