Cancel Culture Explored

William H. "Bill" Cosby and his life achievements were previously celebrated in the month of February.

Cosby was sentenced in September to three to 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004. The case came after dozens of women came forward with accusations that Cosby had drugged and assaulted them in similar incidents over his lengthy career atop the entertainment world.

Responsible for promoting positive affluent black imagery on television, he has been canceled culturally.

Robert Sylvester Kelly inspired many with uplifting songs like I Believe I Can Fly and Step In The Name Of Love. However, an annulled marriage to a 15-year-old Aaliyah and predatory sexual behavior with underage black girls have given pause to the genius in his musical catalogue. The Surviving R. Kelly docu-series exposed an even deeper psychosis rooted in his toxic upbringing.

As a result, the #MuteRKelly movement has canceled him.

Never before has black culture faced a mass cancellation of achievement. Social media has created a culture where heroes are under a minute-to-minute microscope.

However, it begs the question: can #CancelCulture erase black achievement?

Kanye West and Beyond

When Kanye West donned a MAGA hat and began speaking about his love of Donald Trump, Black America swiftly canceled him. West's was a slow burn as his musical virtues became secondary to his highly polarizing opinions, deeds, and perceived selfishness.

As a result, a man formerly celebrated for "George Bush doesn't care about Black people", was now lampooned.

What amounted to being bi-polar and depressed became a meme-worthy spectacle of abandonment en masse. Today, the Yeezy's look tarnished and West's music is not playing as much.

There are many more cases where we have realized that the person we held up high was not who we thought they were. However, the contention is that we never really knew them anyway.

Should we really cancel their accomplishments as a culture?

History For History's Sake

The annals of time have a whitewashed history.

People rarely bring up Dr. Martin Luther King as a womanizer, however, there were tales of infidelity in his past. King's amazing civil rights advocacy changed the scope of America and he will forever be lauded for that work. If social media were around during King's day, would he have been muted?

Louis Farrakhan has lived with the speculation that he conspired to have Malcolm X murdered. Still, he is celebrated for his bravery and positive unification of Black people globally. If social media campaigns would have churned demanding answers from Farrakhan, would we have still had the Million Man March?

Frederick Douglass was married to a white woman. This was after his first wife, who was African American passed away. Does inter-racial marriage diminish the advocacy of his race?

There are no saints in this world, only martyrs.

There cannot be an annexation of a person's undesirable side in exchange for their achievements of excellence.

Today's millennial and digital culture has made it convenient to destroy a person's achievements for their real-world shortcomings. However, the more layers of Black history you pull back like an onion, you are bound to find something foul.

A continuation of cancel culture down this new dangerous path risks the belittling of black excellence. Reality is full of inconvenient truths. The question to ask is will Black America erase its greatest accomplishments as it awakens to a non-fabled truism?

Naomi Osaka Should Take A Look At The Serena Branding Playbook

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Now sitting at No. 1, Naomi Osaka will need to leverage her athletic prowess to make real impact across the globe.

Naomi Osaka is the number one ranked player in women’s tennis.

This is an amazing feat when you think about how far she’s come in just one year.

From winning the Indian Wells tournament to becoming a two time grand slam champion (U.S. Open and Ausralian Open), Osaka is now a household name.

Now, for the Japanese-Haitian athlete who lives in South Florida, the pressure will be on to brand herself for greater financial gains.

Over the course of her career, Williams has earned a total of $84 million in prize money. She brought in $27 million last year alone according to Forbes, and the relationships she's built off the court have led to multi-million-dollar partnerships and investments. She is the only woman to land on Forbes' 2017 list of The World's 100 Highest Paid Athletes.

A quick perusal shows her athletic dominance has translated a corporate confidence rarely seen in a tennis business woman.

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Williams joined the board of consumer survey startup, SurveyMonkey. Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey's former CEO, were longtime friends of the tennis superstar. Williams met the company's current CEO, Zander Laurie, at a dinner party at Sandberg's house where the two discussed ways in which they could work together.

In addition to pairing with her sister Venus in November 2016 to open a community center in their hometown of Compton, California to supports resident affected by gun violence, Williams has recently been named an ambassador for the Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse initiative. Through this partnership, Williams will be working to help bring awareness to the financial impact of domestic violence.

In addition to a line with Puma and a five-year endorsement deal with Nike worth $40 million, Williams also has her own clothing line, Aneres, and a handbag and jewelry collection on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

In 2009, Williams and her sister Venus become minority owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first female African Americans to hold an ownership stake in an NFL franchise.

In 2016, she and 23 other celebrities became investors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), after the company was purchased for $4 billion by a group of investors led by talent agency WME/IMG.

Naomi’s Turn

Osaka has already won millions in prize money and looks to continue 2019 on top of her game.

Now as the world comes at her fast, she will need to balance athleticism on the top tier with the savvy of an elite businesswoman.

Government Shutdown Wake Up? Self-Sufficiency Is The Only Answer

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Donald Trump’s administration enacted a partial government shutdown at midnight on December 22 after the Senate failed to break an impasse over the president’s demand for more funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell sent senators home that Saturday until Christmas Day, all but guaranteeing the shutdown would last until then.

The government shutdown has now reached its 13th day.

The Secure Job Myth

Certain sectors of professional life have always been seen as bulletproof.

Federal government jobs are high on that list as the system employed by this country cannot operate without a working government.

We all have been fed the narrative of security and the infallible job that, if fortunate enough to receive, you must work until retirement to cash out for a golden parachute.

However, that dynamic is becoming archaic.

No longer is the world a monolithic place where there is only one train of thought for economic stability. Many who did not prepare for the whims of the 45th President, their fears were realized when his quest for border security encroached on their livelihood.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it was right before the holiday season for a toxic cherry on top of a poisoned sundae.

Alternative Facts

Today, there is a new reality that w all must face.

If you do not have a healthy mix of earned income, profit income, interest income, residual income, dividend income, rental income, capital gains, and royalty income you will feel the burn today.

Earned Income is revenue gained from working a job. I categorize small business owners here as well because you basically have created a job for yourself and others.

Profit income is revenue from buying and selling. Those who work in real estate understand this and also other investors like those in the stock market.

Interest income comes from lending money at a borrower’s rate. In poorer neighborhoods this is known as loansharking and can be a risky endeavor if you do not have protocol in place in case of a default on payment. Still, many who have liquidity have benefitted from short term loan arrangements where they can pocket the interest and do not need the loaned principal relatively quickly. I have written many business plans where the visionary was able to convince retirees or a group of investors to grant them short term loans for equity, interest, or both.

Residual income is when you get paid after the work is done. Many referral marketing businesses set people up for this level of revenue. Also creatives have gained this level of revenue from drafting books, crating licensable music, and more that will allow you to continue to profit from a catalogue of work.

Dividend income is revenue from owning stocks, investing in funds, and more that provide a payout based on an initial guaranteed investment.

Rental income comes from renting a property. The upkeep and maintenance might mean that you have cash reserves as an emergency preparedness measure, however, one certainty in life is that people will always need a place to live.

Capital gains are assets that increase in value over time. Precious metals like gold and silver, rare objects like minted coins or collectible art are a few of the options n this category.

Royalty income is revenue generated from others using your idea. With my consultancy, i’ve often sold concepts to companies and individuals or curated the concept for a percentage payout and/or ownership. This has allowed us to benefit from a well-thought out concept that we might not have had the capacity to operate on our own.

Persevere! We Have Your Back!

There is no singular answer to the changing times. The smart and the brave know to diversify as much as possible for fluctuation in life.

These are a few remedies to the issues we are all facing in life. If your goal is to start a business, rebrand your current business, or just have someone to help you navigate the terrain with a simple but informed conversation give us a call.

We are here to serve, even if the government refuses to.

Who Prepares You For Success? No One And That Is The Problem

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Welcome to 2019.

There is more access to people, information, and agendas. The primary mode of social interaction: social media.

The primary desire of most people: success. As a result, there is an unending drive to be known for something and the belief that once achieved, nirvana is reached.

Looking back at 2018, there were many so-called examples of success where the successful still felt unfulfilled after.

Th is not a cautionary tale but an exploration into what truly makes one successful and if we’ve all gotten it wrong.

Hey There Superstar!

Famous is ever so attractive.

It is used as the new currency within small and large circles. Being famous for nothing is rewarded handsomely today. A quick way to jumpstart that journey is to hire a team of experts to make you somebody.

Well intentioned clothing stylists, hair dressers, master groomers, makeup artist, as well as jewelers, exotic car service providers and more.

People are sacrificing the quest for their true talent for a faster path to fame and looking the part is one of them. Social media’s seduction is ever-present and the need to compete for relevance drives many to create a falsified existence.

However, living for “likes” is a dangerous game as each faux show of support only inches the user deeper into the trap.

Dedicated To The Fallen Stars

In 2018 many successful people died via suicide.

It is always a strange thing for someone who seems to have it all together to take their own life. Humanity cannot really understand why a person who has achieved a so-called high level of desired success would take their own life.

I would contend that once the level of desired success was achieved a quandary of emotions clouded the achievement.

Fear.

Emptiness.

Doubt.

Anxiety.

Pressure.

Fame brings out the worst in us all because it is a hollow state. If you are not whole internally or seeking wholeness then the vapidness of fame will expose wider voids within.

Last year, the world lost electronic music DJ Avicii and hip hop artist Mac Miller. The two are believed to have died from suicide based on various news reports.

Each pushed himself to the brink creatively, physically, and spiritually to serve the masses with music. Each received back fame and financial gains.

Each lost their life well before turning thirty years old.

As a storyteller, Anthony Bourdain was a silent hero of mine. The chef turned culture narrator looked like a food critic but was really an experiencer of life. He traversed the earth, eating, drinking, and becoming intoxicated with all the stories that life holds.

As a mixed martial arts fight promoter, I would see him front row at fights and relish at his affinity for all of life’s exotic delights.

Bourdain died of an apparent suicide on June 8th 2018 at 61 years old.

The Pursuit of Happiness

I have been successful in my life.

It always came with caveats, though. No form of success is pure because you cannot truly appreciate it without some pain.

However, when you view success through the lens of fame as the primer then you won’t even know if you are successful or not.

True success has nothing to do with wealth, celebrity, or anything else non-substantive.

Happiness is success.

Find what you love and enjoy it.

Happiness is the pursuit of passion.

Relish in the joy found in truly being interested in something and pursuing it. Never forget to feed your spirit with love, light, and forgiveness.

As you recognize your success, be mindful that it doesn’t cannibalize you. If you ever believe that you would be better off if you were not on the planet anymore, do not be afraid to reach out to someone you love for assistance.

No one should die from the consequences of a successful life. Give yourself flowers today for waking up and attempting this big challenge called life.

You are loved and it is not because of any so-called fame but because there will never be anyone like you.