Swizz Beatz & Alicia Keys Created a ‘Success Blend’ by Putting a Certain Market Fix into their Business Mix

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The holiday season is almost here which means one thing… folks getting ready for Amazon on the block? Nah, for the Rockefeller tree lighting? The tree got cut, moved and setup in its usual spot on the plaza. When the switch gets flipped lots of bulbs will light-up and so will visitors and New Yorkers for sure.

This time of year also brings excitement for the Soul Train Music Awards. The original weekly show is where the famous Soul Train Line got its start. These days you see it at weddings after people had a few drinks and the fun’s let loose. Soul Train created a unique spin on how we move, groove and are inspired.

So have Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. They’ve created a ‘success blend’ at home and in the music game by putting a certain market fix into their business mix. Swizz has gone from teenage DJ to big-time record producer. He’s worked with many of the top names in pop culture. Now he’s back with some new tracks.

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Alicia took a break from NBCs The Voice. Maybe she’s putting the final touches on her latest project. They’re also working together in ways that go beyond the normal music story. Swizz wants to give artists of all stripes the chance to push their creativity where it’s not just to impress folks but to express a feeling.

After getting to a level in the game he chose to regroup and retool. He fell off the radar and went to Business School. He wanted to master the music side and the business too. If he could put together what he learned as a kinda ‘Hustle Love’ Letter to his fans he might say handle your business and handle your:

  1. Gift

Swizz is excited about the work put into his new album with a new spin on his gift. It’s been said that your gift is your gold. It’s like a hidden gem in you that needs to be discovered and extracted. Through a process of mining and refining you get to a point where it has value to consumers and the marketplace.

  1. Genius

Gift is to gold as your genius is to jewelry. Genius is turning gold into the finest pieces of jewelry with exceptional quality and bright sparkle. Swizz believes it’s important to work at your craft to crossover from pure gift to pure genius as your work quality sparkles. Along the way you might even make history.

  1. Niche

Swizz and Alicia might think of niche like a hole in the wall. If the marketplace is the wall, then niche is how you fill a void (hole). Maybe going to business school helped him see new ways for filling voids in the artistic space. Having his gift meet a niche gave him a shot at letting his creative juices flow again.

  1. Network

Swizz says he wanted to release an album that took him back to where he first started. In other words, he wanted to bring back the hook & feel to his music that connected with his early fans. That’s a nod to his baseline supporters. His focus was on making it good for the regulars before making it a hit for the charts.

Swizz & Alicia have created a success blend at home and in business with their unique style and flava. That’s caught-on for them in the marketplace. Maybe what has worked well is their ability for doing good work and spreading good times. Plus, it’s them having some good friends, good love and the good life.

Tip: A success blend at home and in biz is the combo of doing good work and spreading good times.

Talkback: Who’re you looking to see perform at the Soul Train Awards?

Tracks: Chic – Good Times – https://youtu.be/7j7rcSutYAQ

Faith Evans – Good Life – https://youtu.be/j28peB_dozs

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Simone Biles & Steve Harvey Share Great Memories and Power Moves for ‘Woo Woo Wooing’ the Crowd

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It’s a kind of on-again off-again story that some folks want to just go away. Whether Diddy and Cassie are back together has others guessing. But there’s no guessing these days as to who is seen as the sexiest man alive. Idris Elba is getting his time to shine in the hunk-a-licious spotlight. Yea he’s moved on up.

Lots of folks have different feelings about things we try to do to move on or move up in life. Maybe that’s where Simon Biles comes in. She recently became the first American to win a medal in every event at a World Championship. She even got the silver in the uneven bars, probably her least favorite routine.

Biles is the most decorated American Olympic gymnast in history. She recently pulled-off the feat of performing at a championship while suffering with kidney stones. She described the experience as “life wanting her to sit-out but she put that request on hold.” She got through it with sheer ‘hustle love.’

Whether rekindling a relationship or reinventing yourself in the game, two key factors are to feel the love and feed the brand. Add to that how Simone Biles and Steve Harvey share great memories and power moves for ‘woo woo wooing’ the crowd. A certain magic keeps them rockin’ & rollin’ on success street.

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When you checkout how they and others keep ‘going to the well’ and finding their ‘money stream’ there’re things they know about being in the flow. But there might also be some things they learned at Big Time University. That’s where you go to reinvent yourself and level-up your game by having a new:

  1. Look

Every so often Harvey will post a throwback picture of his days doing standup. The laugh isn’t always in the joke as much as it might be in the suit he was wearing. Dressing in the ‘90s for success has a different look than dressing for success today. How we reinvent ourselves sometimes needs a new look.

  1. View

The look is something that happens on the outside. But the view also happens on the inside. Biles was dealing with kidney stones on the inside so she had to have the right attitude in order to come out on top. It can be hard to reinvent yourself or level-up your game without a new attitude or big-picture view.

  1. Push

Biles knows that it’s not an easy road to return to the next Olympics after her breakout performance the last time. She’s on a new push to make the team and rack-up the score. When you’re the one others have their eyes on, it could be a blessing or a curse. So her push helps her reach for more as a big timer.

  1. Promise

Harvey tells the story of finding himself in a bad spot in a past relationship. He also had low moments where he was ready to give-up on his dreams. At those times, one thing that helped to turn things around was a promise he made to himself and to God. A promise can help us move on or move up in life.

Harvey’s new-look website gives clues for where he’s trying to go in biz. Biles’ new push has her performing at a major level with two years left to go before the next Olympics. The way they go about reinventing themselves is a good reminder for how a new attitude can help us reach for something good.

Tip: When you reinvent yourself, it takes a new look and a new view to create a new you.

Talkback: Which one has you rollin’: Harvey’s throwback pics or Biles’ next-level push?

Tracks: Patti Labelle – New Attitude – https://youtu.be/QWfZ5SZZ4xE

En Vogue – Reach 4 Me – https://youtu.be/QyhnTHihw3M

Kobe Bryant Brought ‘Mamba Flava,’ Kerry Washington brings Acting Chops with Their Talent on the Big Stage

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That never-ending question of who’s the greatest ever NBA player has surfaced again. This time it’s because of a TV commercial featuring Michael Jordan. In it he sets the stage for an NFL matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Of course folks thought Jordan was hinting at something else.

Often the question of the greatest ever basketball player brings up the name of Lebron James. But there’re times another name gets thrown in, that of Kobe Bryant. He went on to be known as one who brought the ‘Mamba Mentality.’ He says it’s a matter of ‘building your process and working your craft.’

Bryant has moved on from the player-roster but his name is still relevant. So is Kerry Washington who’s moved on from ‘Scandal’ on network TV to a new production on Broadway. Bryant brought his mamba flava while Washington brings her own acting chops in how talent rises on the big stage.

Sometimes people debate who is the greatest. Other times they debate a trend that’s the latest. What these two celebs know and show is how talent is to your it-factor as ‘hustle love’ is to your hit-factor. Bryant explains this by sharing that he worked at the small things so he could perform the big plays.

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When you peal back the player in Bryant and the layer in Washington you get to some core aspects of their success and greatness. Some of what they do can apply to the work court and career-you. Whether it’s to start-over on the daily grind or start-up a new journey in the real world they push their talent for:

  1. A goal

Washington who grew up in the Bronx has returned to New York to perform on stage. It’s something she’s familiar with as a child. She says she was a busy-body teenager when she caught the acting bug because her mom put her in extra-curricular activities. Her goal is to improve her ‘live performance’ roles.

  1. The game

Bryant says he worked at his skill and at his game. There’s the skill in how he shot the ball or how he made a pass. But there’s also the game in how he made talent become more than his it-factor. He would try to understand all aspects of the game (the detail) to deliver his hit-factor.

  1. Some guts

There’re times you see an athlete make a play that commentators say was a gutsy move. That simply means not everyone with talent might have been able to pull that off. Bryant and Washington from their career might say ‘gutsy’ happens when we commit to growing in the game personally and professionally.

  1. Pure glory

The ones who experience a measure of greatness are those who are remembered not just for their play but for their story. Washington has made her commitment to social justice a part of her story. Bryant is turning his champion experience into life-notes for trailblazers. Oftentimes the story is the road to glory.

Washington hopes to pass-on her childhood experiences while working in NY. She’s taking museum trips and other adventures with her kids. Bryant hopes to inspire the next class of great players. They know that regular folks and those with startup dreams reach the mountaintop by turning it-factor into hit-factor.

Tip: The road to glory might start-off with talent as your it-factor. But it moves from the valley to the mountaintop because of your hit-factor.

Talkback: Was that Michael Jordan commercial a tease or a throwback?

Tracks: Sia – The Greatest – https://youtu.be/GKSRyLdjsPA

Juice Wrld – Lucid Dreams – https://youtu.be/mzB1VGEGcSU

Tichina Arnold and Cedric the Entertainer Make Career Moves Look Like a Walk in the Park, But They Have a Simple Secret.

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Looks like things are about to change in the neighborhood. That’s one way to describe the theme behind the new CBS sitcom with Tichina Arnold and Cedric the Entertainer. They have new neighbors and let’s just say nobody saw this coming. They want to be welcoming but some things may have to grow on them.

That’s a way Arnold might describe her own career path. She’s been around the Hollywood block a few times. Some remember her on the show Martin. Others loved her on Everybody Hates Chris. Now she teams up with Cedric on a new show that’s gone from pilot to getting the green light for a full season.

Arnold and Ced have been making career moves that look like a walk in the park. What’s their secret? Maybe it’s in finding the right collaboration. They recognize when the right part needs the right partner. For Ced it’s doing the stand-up circuit with fellow comics. For Arnold it’s being with the right crew.

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Over the years they’ve racked-up some major roles on the big screen and TV tube. Ced recently got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s even featured on a Network TV magazine cover. They’re hoping to keep the jokes coming and the money flowing as they continue to grow their body of work.

Arnold thinks back to when her heart told her that singing was something she wanted to do. After standing before a church audience she belted-out a song that was part gospel and part nursery rhyme. They both moved to Hollywood to make it big. But Arnold says she got advice that was sort of like:

  1. Find your hustle love

Arnold tells of an Uncle whose advice was to look in the classifieds for acting auditions. He thought she could tryout and maybe find her hustle love. Sometimes hustle is something you do. Other times it’s something you have. Arnold and Ced are show co-stars. They might as well be like hustle love partners.

  1. Develop your amazing talent

The audition line was where Arnold found herself week after week. She knew she had something to offer. It was just a matter of talent and timing. She couldn’t control the timing but she worked on her talent. In normal circles talent is what you bring. But in showbiz, talent is who you are and how your value is sold.

  1. Live with real purpose

Sometimes moments of pain in life can push us to live with real purpose. Arnold had a moment where she was locked-up for using a stolen credit card. Her sister who works as her manager has had some health challenges. These experiences have helped to shape how she serves some earthly good.

  1. Do good work

There’s good work she does in her starring roles. These have allowed her to keep the lights on at home and give back. There’s good work you do that makes the God in you shine through. Plus, there are different levels to being a showbiz star in Hollywood. Arnold and Ced want to keep rising to new heights.

They and the supporting cast are excited about the new sitcom. In the TV world the goal is 100 episodes. That magical number puts you in the running for syndication. With syndication the checks keep coming long after the show is done taping. Career moves that bring a body of work tend to payoff eventually.

Tip: The stars in showbiz make level-up moves in career by finding their hustle love, taking talent to new heights and going all the way to the bank.

Talkback: What’s it like having a workplace side-kick, co-star in showbiz or hustle love partner on your level?

Tracks: Stokley – Level – https://youtu.be/phOiiWL_Ljg

India Arie – God in You – https://youtu.be/tkcpebHGHZg

Becoming Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey Isn’t Some Fairy Tale Story. It’s Real Talk on What it Means to Have a Be+ (Or Better) Lifestyle

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The Fall season feels like it’s just about settling in across many states. Maybe the seasonal winds of change have been blowing briskly in your neck of the woods. Well the political winds seem to be blowing as well as many are gearing up for the mid-terms. The yard signs are already popping up on the block.

For Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, it’ a different kind of trade winds so to speak. The former First Lady is getting ready for her book release entitled ‘On Becoming Michelle Obama.’ With lots of national tour dates already sold out she’s sure to get fans talking about her good old days in the White House.

Obama has also been doing the media rounds on a Global Education Initiative for girls as well as the ‘When We All Vote’ effort. Both Obama and Oprah have been asked about running for office and said no. But their stories of achievement tell us something about what it means to have a Be+ (or better) lifestyle.

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Whether as college student at night school or campaign worker on the trail the mid-terms can be one of anxiety or enthusiasm. It could bring a little stress before the test. But Obama & Oprah believe it could also be a time of great enthusiasm in doing what it takes to pass the test that positions us for success.

Obama hopes to share a similar message with young girls as they work on expanding their education. Of course in the case of Oprah, it’ something she’s been doing for years in her life’s work. They might also want other folks know that having a Be+ or better lifestyle towards living your best life means you have to:

  1. Be yourself (+conscious)

Oprah often says that if she weren’t an entrepreneur or media mogul she would likely be a teacher. In a sense she sees her true calling as one of sharing knowledge and ‘aha’ insights. Part of being herself means doing the best she can with what she’s been given. She’s also attuned in more conscious ways.

  1. Be clear (+care)

It’s one thing to see life as it is. It’s another thing to see it as it ought to be. Obama and Oprah help us do both. Over time in their professional lives they became clearer on who they are and what they wanted to achieve. They’re not only clear on these things but they also care about people and what matters most.

  1. Be ready (+resourceful)

Others have said that just showing up is half the battle of getting ahead. There’re times we might show-up as a spectator and there’re times we might show up as a game-changer. No matter the reason, we show-up ready for the fun or for making an impact. The difference in getting more done is being resourceful.

  1. Be sure (+secure)

There’s a feature in Oprah’s magazine called “What I know for sure.” It’s been turned into a book where she talks about some of her ‘sure’ experiences. We can be sure of some things like our age, height, color, weight, taxes and more. What we love about these ladies is that they’re sure and secure in such things.

Recently we learned that Oprah’s magazine got spun off into having its own online presence. That’s not just brand talk but also personal and professional talk. We go through similar Be+ stages as well. After all, we admire Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey for how they help us focus ‘on becoming’ and just be for real.

Tip: As you focus ‘on becoming’ what you envision in life you have to go through some Be+ stages towards having a secure lifestyle.

Talkback: What’s your favorite Obama style or Oprah moment?

Tracks: Amel Larrieux – For Real – https://youtu.be/8kN-QJXhu7I

Des’ree – You Gotta Be (’99 Mix) – https://youtu.be/pO40TcKa_5U

Will Smith & Jennifer Hudson Know Sometimes Dreams Take a Little Bit of Nerve Which Grows into a lot of Spunk and Funk

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The top 10 list of summer hits is out and maybe your favorite artists made the cut. These songs got so much airplay it’s hard to get the lyrics out your head. Meantime the TV season premieres are rolling out. There’re some new shows and some retuning favorites that’s got fans jumping.

Speaking of jumping, Will Smith and Jennifer Hudson are taking leaps of a different kind. Smith recently did a bungee jump from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon to celebrate turning 50. He says he also did this thrill adventure to let what he does in his life be a contribution to the betterment of humanity.

Smith and Hudson know sometimes dreams take a little bit of nerve which grows into a lot of spunk and funk. For Hudson it’s the honor of being chosen to play the lead role in the Aretha Franklin biopic. For Smith it’s getting past his fears by doing that big-time jump. When it was over he had crossed off a bucket list item.

He’s even gone back into the studio some 13 years after his last album. Who knows what Big Willy might come up with. It’ll sure be funkadelic in style and flava. Smith and Hudson are taking things to next-level status. With new dreams and remixed dreams, they’re making waves in the marketplace.

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Whether starting from scratch or finding something that’s a perfect match, the nerves it takes can be a sign that you’re on to something good. Sometimes it means going from idea to concept to big dream. It’s like taking a step to a walk then a jump before you fly. But beyond that they took time to consider:

  1. What’s the vision?

Smith says before he decided to take the jump he had to see himself in that moment. The vision part was having that big picture in his mind that he believed would help him overcome his fears. But there was also the visualization part that helped him see himself in the place and space of a major accomplishment.

  1. How’s your voice?

Not everybody shows up with a voice like Hudson. She can hit those notes with or without the music track. Your voice isn’t something that’s only tied to singing. It may even be about how what you do speaks loudly for you. Smith and Hudson use their voice to power a music track as well as a social track.

  1. Where’s the vehicle?

Most of us didn’t know Hudson before her appearance on American Idol. Maybe her exposure at the time was limited to the church. But she found Idol as a vehicle to catapult her on the main stage of the music scene. It was the industry vehicle that would take her from no-name to breakout star and help her fly.

  1. What’s the venue?

Hudson went from a vehicle named Idol to a venue named The Voice. Smith went from a vehicle named ‘hip-hop’ to a venue named Hollywood studios. As with any transportation their success vehicle took them to their ultimate venue. Sometimes the venue is in the vision so that the vehicle can showcase your voice.

Their stories say something good about getting past fears or upping careers. Whether it’s with new dreams or remixed dreams, they’ll keep making waves in the marketplace. They sail the wide ocean of success by asking certain questions that help them jump to it and achieve beyond their wildest dreams.

Tip: Those who sail the wide ocean of success use new dreams or remixed dreams to put themselves in the place and space of major accomplishment.

Talkback: What’s your Top50, those things you want to achieve by age 50?

Tracks: Aretha Franklin – Jump to It – https://youtu.be/lHxrNJ2fNNA

Justin Timberlake ft Chris Stapleton – Say Something – https://youtu.be/8MPbR6Cbwi4

Kevin Hart & Tiffany Haddish Turning the Comedy Biz Upside Down Like Two Night School Clowns

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The news these days feel like things are spinning out of control. There’s Russia, Supreme Court and mid-term elections on people’s minds. Desperate times call for funny measures. Maybe that’s how Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish see things. They’re turning comedy upside down like two night-school clowns.

They’re busy doing the promo tour for their new movie Night School. Written and produced by Hart, he also plays a major role in the flick. Hart’s comedy tour has been selling out large venues like a Rockstar. He’s doing what it takes to ‘Hustle Hart’ with ‘laugh-out-loud’ projects that have social media on fiya!

They can point to a big-screen movie that helped raise their film cred. Hart played a key role in Think Like a Man while Haddish was the breakout star in Girls Trip. They’re learning from each other in their careers. We can do the same in watching how they act like a showbiz player and think like a first-rate brand.

Some say it’s their likeability that’s got fans over-joyed. A lot can be said about the ‘lead story’ of their lives. It’s what’s hot that leads news. But there’s something to their ‘real story’ that reveals what makes them winners. It’s the ‘hustle love’ for what they do that has fans feeling good through and through.

From some of Hart’s upbeat motivation posted on social media we get clues for what makes him tick. He might put it this way: “how you’re wired says something about how your goals and dreams get inspired, become reality and not get tired.”  But there’s more. Their media interviews show us how to:

  1. Laugh Away

For them it’s been a grind for many years on the comedy circuit. The art of telling jokes took time to fine-tune. But when the jokes are from their own life it comes across even more real. That’s why folks can laugh away through the ups & downs, good & bad, happy & sad, mess-ups & fess-ups of celebrity life.

  1. Press play

Hart and Haddish have a way of making the serious funny and the funny serious. They ‘play with it’ which makes their unique flava get fans over the blues. There’s an element of play in their work that might fool you on the surface. But behind the scenes major biz moves are happening on speed dial.

  1. Earn that pay

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Haddish says she’s been learning a lot from Hart about how to grow her brand. It’s about finding new and innovative ways to ‘monetize the fun.’ Maybe what Hart has been able to show her is how the marketplace works to earn that pay in business-to-business and business-to-consumer dollars.

  1. Make someone’s day

A few years back, Hart heard that one of his fans who was a school bus driver was suspended for taking a selfie with him. When word got back he made a short video to the fan’s employer asking that she get her job back. Some of their authentic appeal is in making someone’s day along the way.

It’s as if they’re wired with a laugh-track mind. Plus, Hart’s school of success says to block out the noise to become your best self. Haddish jokes about feeling like Oprah’s voice plays in hear head as she gets up out of bed. They know even if you’re not taken seriously at first or seen as a threat, let folks see you as an asset.

Tip: Not everybody can sellout stadiums like a Rockstar. But at least with some ‘hustle love’ we can ‘press play,’ earn that pay and make someone’s day.

Talkback: Is Katt Williams still hating on Tiffany Haddish or did Kevin Hart put him in his place?

Tracks: Jason Derulo – In My Head – https://youtu.be/UyG1FG3H6rY

The Ojays – For the Love of Money – https://youtu.be/kjuRhETwbI0