Upcoming Speaking Events

13 Mar

 

Here is a list of some awesome event that I am speaking at in the next few weeks! I hope to see you there!

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What the Most Successful People in Miami Do Before Breakfast

24 Jan

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What the Most Successful People in Miami Do Before Breakfast

My Jamaican grandfather’s favorite quote, “Early to Bed, Early to Rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” but according to Cafecito, Miamians need a coffee break at 3:05pm just to get through the day. So I decided to crowd source fellow entrepreneurs and successful business professionals in Miami about what they do before breakfast. SPOILER ALERT!!! Most of them hit the ground running before 8am.

Create List for the day

Merdochey LaFrance Chief Executive Officer at Taylormade Strategies, LLC

Every morning, I create my SMITTD List “Six Most Important Things To Do.” It centers me and gives me a target to work towards daily. I eliminate wasting time by knowing exactly what I have to have accomplished daily. When I can celebrate productivity daily that puts me closer to accomplishing my goals, so I’m #winning.

Dawrance Constant – AIO wireless franchise owner

I envision what a successful day looks like and then I plan for it via a mind mapping app on my iPad.

Exercise

Stonly Baptise EVP & Member, Board of Directors at independence IT

I think through the potential challenges of the day while swimming.

James Taylor – CEO of Taylored Athletes- I play basketball at 6am with other entrepreneurs and we talk smack and talk business on the court.

 Feed the Body

Brian Brackeen Founder of KARIOS.IO  Eat! It’s bad business when I forget.

Riana Lynn Social Entrepreneur I set an alarm 1 hour earlier than I absolutely need to get up. I get through emails, my schedule, and I drink lots of water.

Meditate

Pam Bruno Comedian – I meditate, and then write on my Gratitude list at least 10 things I am grateful for.

Simone Kelly Founder Give-N-Take Network- I meditate and write in my journal as soon as I wake up.

 

Get Straight to Work

Indie Craft Bazaar Every morning, we go to Starbucks and use it as “office hours.” Rather than gluing ourselves to the computer behind four walls and losing motivation, being out in public and enjoying coffee keeps our work experience fresh and dynamic. We bring our laptop and iPad and dedicate a couple hours to answering emails, paperwork, research and social media marketing.

Tasha Jones ·

I am a writer. I awake every morning at 3:30am when the house is quiet! My morning ritual is simple, I sit and wait until the silence is at its peak, and then words come clashing like cymbals and I hear the drums playing the set list. It’s then that the writing begins, and that’s my morning cup of Joe!

If you are looking for a way to jump start your day and meet other creative types check out the upcoming  CreativeMornings event.

Creative Mornings is a breakfast series for the creative community was started by Tina Roth Eisenberg in September of 2008 out of the desire to create a casual, accessible event. Think of it as a local morning mini-conference and inspirational community boost before work

Check out my interview on NPR-Doing Business while Black

20 Jan

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Listen to the interview here. 

Roundtable discussion about doing business while black in South Florida among CEOs, Suzan McDowell, Adrian Foster, Kevin Michael and Felecia Hatcher.

The quartet pictured above own and operate their businesses.  Some may consider them black businesses.  Some may not.  But they all operate in a commerce climate in South Florida that has been partially shaped by an economic boycott 24 years ago. In 1990, South Florida’s tourism industry was boycotted by blacks for three years.  It led to new opportunities to participate in the region’s economy. What are the lasting effects and what is the outlook? These four business owners operate in different industries from construction, retail, technology and marketing. What does it mean to be a black business owner in South Florida today? And does the label even matter?

The Sunshine Economy’s The Color of Money: Doing Business While Black in South Florida episode hears from boycott organizer H.T. Smith and Don Peebles, the real estate developer who built the hotel that resulted from the boycott, The Royal Palm. Smith contends despite the much-touted diversity of South Florida, the economy is shared but separated along racial and ethnic lines. Peebles, meanwhile, is undertaking a new real-estate development project locally — this one in the historically black neighborhood of Overtown in Miami.

Brian Brackeen founded the facial recognition software company Kairos in Miami Beach. He’s among the next generation of business leaders finding a fertile environment to grow his technology business globally from South Florida.  What’s changed from the days of the economic boycott, and what hasn’t? Tell us below for our live chat during the show curated by producer Elaine Chen.

Why you need to become a Master Storyteller!

4 Dec

Storytelling in Business

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“The reason I think storytelling is the most underrated skill in business, is because it doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, and I don’t think people realize it’s happening when it’s happening, and most of all, I don’t think that many people are really good at it…”  

-Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, Wine Library TV and Vaynermedia

 Some of the most powerful and longstanding ideas in our culture started their life as stories. Storytelling and the oral tradition have been around almost as long as humans have used spoken language. Stories are such a natural part of everyday communication that we often don’t notice their prevalence and power. Almost everyone, regardless of background or culture, has grown up with stories being the backbone of learning new ideas. It should come as no surprise that many of the most successful marketers in the business world have harnessed the power of story.

 Storytelling in business is an effective force for allowing ideas to spread in a meaningful, authentic way.

How to Use Storytelling in your Business

 

Stories Have a Structure

 While we encounter stories all the time, we often don’t think critically about what makes a story different from other types of messages. Here are the structural elements to consider:

  1. 1.     Plot – A definite beginning, middle and end, and a progression through each stage. Instead of a static description of things, stories are moving, they take the reader on a journey. Where does a user of your product begin, physically and emotionally? Where do they end up?

 

  1. 2.     Character – How are you engaging with your audience as the protagonist, and who (or what) are you up against? Can viewers of your story easily visualize themself as the hero of your story?
  2. 3.     Drama – The struggle in a business story is in desire versus danger. How do you and your company desire to change the world? What are the dangers that threaten this desire?
  3. 4.     An Idea – Your product or service is the idea, the secret weapon that’s going to allow you to win in the end. How will your product accomplish this?

 

 

Tell the Truth

 

Authenticity is an extremely important aspect of any marketing message. Savvy, connected consumers are very sensitive to being misled, now more so than ever before. Even if you are presenting a fictional or hypothetical scenario, you must resist the urge to overtly persuade with your story. A story that presents your product or service in a realistic way, and has a ring of truth to it will be far more compelling than any pure fiction. Audiences can easily tell when a story is based on truth, and gravitate towards truthfulness with their tastes. When I first started Feverish I was embarrassed to tell people that I came up with the idea for the company falling down chasing after an ice cream truck in heels. But now when I tell the story people have a instant connection to our story and it humanize Feverish.

 

Trim the Detail

 

Using the example of both Flipboard and Dropbox, keep your story short. Explainer videos in particular rarely need to be longer than 2 minutes in length, and are often more impactful when they are shorter. Stories in general suffer when they become too long; nobody likes having to listen to a story that’s overstayed its welcome. Look at every detail of your stories and make a frank assessment of whether that detail absolutely needs to be included. Work with a desire to tell your full story in the shortest way possible.

 

Make it Personal

 

Like Gary Vaynerchuk, make sure you engage with your audience and include them as part of the narrative. Stories are most impactful when we are able to involve ourselves as part of the drama. Remind your audience that you are taking a journey together, and use examples, like product demonstrations in explainer videos that allow the audience to easily visualize themselves using and benefitting from your product.

 

Give your Audience an Idea, Invite them to Dream

 

Steve Jobs’ presentations were often impactful because they left the viewers with an idea, a vision of the future that was made better by Apple’s groundbreaking products. This instilled a desire in the audience to help create this future by buying the product. End your stories with an idea, or vision, and make it general, don’t be too specific. Allow the audience to fill in some of the blanks by inserting their own desires into this vision, thus creating engagement. End your stories by showing the world of possibilities that your product or brand creates. This is the “happily ever after” idea. By creating this vision, you invite your audience to turn the story into a reality by engaging with your brand.

Get the new Feverish Pops Recipe E-Book!

11 Nov

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Happy Monday!!!! Exciting News

 

You can now get our famous recipes to make your own pops at home. Check the link for more information

https://gumroad.com/l/nKfQQ

What Scandal’s season 3 premiere episode teaches us about entrepreneurship and technology innovation in the black community.

10 Oct

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“You have to work twice as hard to get 1/2 of what they have” Watching Scandal last week there was a point that the hair on the back of most African American’s neck rose. As Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope was scolded by her father who made her repeat words that clearly, like many other parents he had drilled into her mind since she was a kid. You have to work twice as hard to even get 1/2 of what they have. I know it struck a cord with me.

Week after week we admire Olivia Pope’s confidence and sharp tongue, watching Pope deal with some of the most powerful people in the world. But in the first few scenes we saw something that made her, and especially most of us vulnerable.

I grew up hearing the same thing. “There is no room for failure, you have to work twice as hard to be half as good.” I started to think, as much as that statement is meant to motivate us, does it really do more harm then good when we look at how risk adverse we are especially when it comes to pursuing entrepreneurship and technology innovation in our community.

There is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success and failure to motivate our community.

If at a young age you are told you cannot fail, it breeds a culture of pursuing very safe paths because it leads to financial security, insurance and BENEFITS.  So we purse careers not because we are passionate about it, but because it comes with a title and prestige that will impress our community but often times will not move the needle forward in our community. I was there, working in corporate America wanting to leave a high profile job with the NBA a job that literally made me feel sick but my mother championed for me to not leave a “good job” forget the fact that there was no room for growth or the hours and my salary would not allow me to build anything of substance in my community. It was a good job and I had worked twice as hard to be unhappy and uncommitted to changing my community.

The continuous rhetoric of “Failure is not an option” frustrates achievement. Instead we need to know that failure is part of the process, and in fact you will fail, but you must fail fast and bounce back quick. This change in conversation allows our community to take the risk to resurrect Black Wall Streets and build vertically integrated communities.

The areas of innovation that our black community needs are in technology and entrepreneurship where we can, not only help

ourselves but also truly provide opportunities that will reshape the trajectory of our community. But to follow those areas takes being comfortable with being uncomfortable, it means becoming risk promoters, and going outside the norm to not just being consumers of what society is handing to us but becoming creators of our own financial pipelines, old boys networks and  pursuing hard skills technology training that our community needs to really have a seat at the table as technology ecosystems are being formed in our community. 

The biggest risk have already been taken by our ancestors as James Baldwin so eloquently put it “Your crown has already been bought and paid for. It’s just waiting for you to put it on.”

Shout out to Awesomely Luvvie for the perfect Scandal gif! http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com

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Join me live tonight for an Epic discussion about Entrepreneurship!

30 Sep

Join me live tonight for an Epic discussion about Entrepreneurship!

Join myself along with some amazing & successful entrepreneurs from all over the country as we discuss: Are entrepreneurs born or made? Plus learn how these entrepreneurs went from “idea” to launching successful businesses!

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