‘Career Dreams 101’ From the Old-School to the New-School: Eva Longoria and Tamron Hall Have Turned Theirs into Media Ventures and Breakout Productions

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Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives on TV? It was one of those shows that gave daytime drama a new primetime feel. It was like “As the World Turns” meets “The Bold and the Beautiful.” One of its stars, Eva Longoria has gone on to do big things including her new project Grand Hotel.

Then there’s the music biz. One of the pioneering rap groups, Boogie Down Productions would fuse dancehall with hip-hop. A group member back then known as D-Nice, is now doing ‘Instagram Live’ parties he calls Club Quarantine. Longoria and D-Nice are also doing their own virtual graduation events.

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Of course, who can forget Tamron Hall as a former NBC ‘Today Show’ co-anchor. She left the scene, started a family and now hosts her own talk show. They have turned their career dreams into media ventures and breakout productions. They’ve all had to make a career shift that gave their dreams new lift.

For Longoria, she got to a point of memorizing her lines, taping the show and going home. But it felt as if she was short-changing her full potential. For D-Nice, the changing music landscape made him shift gears. And with Hall, her earlier hopes of having a show were pre-empted by TV Network execs.

There’s lots to learn from them for our own next steps. As high school grads make college decisions and as college grads prepare to enter the workplace, there are a different set of circumstances. Add in the Coronavirus crisis and there is more stress. But the road from here to there, from 0 to 60 is about your:

  1. Start

The Desperate Housewives series lasted for about eight years. Longoria became a staple on the show. In a Forbes interview she shared that while she was playing her role on the show, she was also taking notes and learning about showbiz. The show was a start that she has since turned into her own production gig.

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  1. Stairs

In a line from the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes are the words “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stairs.” That’s what D-Nice and Boogie Down Productions were basically telling/selling in music, based on life in the Bronx, aka the ‘Boogie Down.’ Since then he’s climbed those stairs to new heights.

  1. Storm

The storm that today’s generation might best relate to happens on social media. A tweet-storm is when someone just goes off on a rant. But there’s a different kind of storm that can happen in life where it feels like things go off the rails. Hall had her moment in feeling passed-over but she’s handled it with class.

  1. Story

No matter the start, the stairs or the storms that come our way, career achievement isn’t simply about our status as much as it is about our story. On social media, your status is kind of a running update. In pop culture, your status might give you more swag. But your story is the difference-maker on the road to glory.

These days, almost err’body’s going through a shift in their environment. Some working from home while others try to restart their livelihoods. The next few months will see new efforts to bounce-back or reboot the game. So, hold on to the memories and godspeed in your journeys when life feels like a hard place.

Tip: The ‘stairs challenge’ on social media might be about how to dance up the stairs as something you do for the culture. But in the workplace, it’s about how to reach new heights in skills and thrills as something you do for the glory.

Talkback: Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives, Boogie Down Productions and Tamron Hall on the ‘Today Show’?

Tracks: Buju Banton ft John Legend – Memories – https://youtu.be/t9pMjc0-Vlk

H.E.R. – Hard Place – https://youtu.be/zfHbuTG8IHE

Rihanna & Dwyane Wade on How to Jump on Your Dreams No Matter How Shaky or Far-fetched It Seems

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NBCs The Voice is back with a new celebrity judge. Nick Jonas is the new ‘kid-in-the-spinning-chair’ on the show. As happened when John Legend first joined the crew, Jonas is getting a taste of being the newbie of the bunch. As with anything we do in career or biz, he’s still getting the hang of things.

They’re looking at coaching the next crop of budding singers on the show. Rumor has it that Rihanna was also recruiting for her upcoming album. For those looking to collab, they had to do an audition to get her approval. She’s been in the game a long time, so chances are she knows what it takes to catch fire.

Rihanna made a rare Awards Show stop recently and had some inspiring words to share. Meantime, Dwyane Wade packed-up his sneaks and is focused on other things that tap into his passion. The Miami Heat had a big jersey-retirement celebration where he thanked friends, family and fans for the good times.

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While Rihanna was telling folks that they need to ‘pull up’ to make a change on social issues, Wade’s documentary caused many to ‘tear up’ because of the rough road his career has traveled. He’s seen many a moment of struggle, pressure and pain during early childhood and family challenges.

Wade’s gone from baller to brander with his many biz ventures. For Rihanna, her career isn’t limited to just music. She’s become a fashion icon and philanthropist in her own right. Their take on how to jump on your dreams no matter how shaky or far-fetched it seems, starts with looking for that:

  1. Bright spot

His was on the court, hers was on the stage. For others it might be an idea or a feeling that turns an interest into a growing desire. For Wade, basketball became a bright spot as a relief from something. For Rihanna her bright spot was to release something through singing.

  1. Deeper purpose

When Wade found out he’d be a young father he was worried it would ruin his career. After a sit-down chat with his college coach he was able to gather himself, regroup and fast-track his game. Basketball wasn’t just about hitting shots and winning games, his situation called for greater intentions.

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  1. Imagination shift

These days fans are awaiting the next album from Rihanna. Let’s just say it’s long overdue. But in the meantime, it’s almost as if she’s gone through an imagination shift in how she sees her career. She’s building a fashion brand, broadening her social impact and challenging industry players.

  1. Inspired action

In accepting her award recently, she made a resounding ‘call to action.’ Whether with professional dreams or social change, she understands that more can be achieved as a force for good when we’re taking steps of inspired action. It’s a kinda game-changing message that she’s bringing to the culture.

Wade’s documentary showed his journey as ‘life unexpected.’ Rihanna’s award celebration showed her journey being socially connected. Their stories echo the words of Mayo Angelou who said “A person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dreams.”

Tip: People who ‘jump on their dreams’ will use a deeper purpose to turn a bright spot of an idea into inspired action and an imagination shift into greater traction.

Talkback: What’s next for D Wade, Basketball Hall of Fame?

Tracks: Justin Bieber ft Quavo – Intentions – https://youtu.be/9p2wMpVVtXg

T.I. Ft Justin Timberlake – Dead & Gone – https://youtu.be/6mEx9FtuN0k

Breakout School: Jimmy Butler has Lessons to Teach and Taysom Hill Has New Heights to Reach

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The Superbowl is behind us and the dust just ‘bout to settle on the halftime show. With two Latin divas on stage, let’s say it was for some ‘too hot to handle.’ They continue to rack-up views on Youtube even as Jlo reminds fans that the performance was more that just sizzle, it had some steak (message) as well.

While Taysom Hill and the New Orleans Saints didn’t make it to the big game, he’s considering what might be his next move. As a restricted free agent, he’s able to test the waters to see if any other team wants to sign him. At this stage he says he’s ready to be a starter as a franchise quarterback.

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Jimmy Butler has been through this before as a basketball pro athlete. The last few seasons have seen him bounce around between Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia and now with the Miami Heat. Butler seems to have found his groove and is having a breakout performance as a franchise player.

Since Butler has been to ‘breakout school’ as a free agent, he may have something to teach. And since Hill is ready to be a starter, he has new heights he wants to reach. Hill hopes that a decision by Drew Brees on whether he’ll return for another season, will hopefully help to work out the details.

Butler’s been doing some soft recruiting to get Joel Embiid his former teammate, to join him. Maybe team chemistry isn’t working on the homecourt. But Hill doesn’t have that problem. Whichever way things playout with Butler’s court magic and Hill field presence, time at breakout school is spent building your:

  1. Genius

The thing that makes Hill special is his versatility. He’s played multiple positions on the field including quarterback, tight-end, wide receiver and kickoff return. Will that genius make him more marketable as a free agent? It depends on whether teams worry about him losing that edge if he became a starting QB.

  1. Flow

Hill was an undrafted player after college. He did tryouts for the Green Bay Packers but didn’t make the cut. Then the Saints pick him up for their squad which got him in the flow of the league. Sports commentators wonder if Hill will be like a Tim Tebow in terms of the impact he can have as a starter.

  1. Niche

Usually when a player gets traded like happened before to Butler, they’re bringing a certain skill set to a team. Sometimes it’s a one-for-one replacement and other times it might involve multiple players. It can be filling a position on the team or a niche in the game based on the value they bring to the mix.

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  1. Bliss

Butler probably has spent time off-season and after practice working on his shot. He’s had to expand his game to boost his stats. For some players it’s about working on free-throw percentage. For others it might be a mid-range or three-point shot. The breakout seems to come when skill plus thrill bring more bliss.

Hill is hoping one way or another that he has a chance to prove himself. This might depend on whether Brees returns for another season or if Hill gets a shot as starter elsewhere. Whichever way the wind blows he’ll come to see like Butler that breakout school is learning how to bring the juice.

Tip: A breakout performance is about getting your chance to flow by building your strengths on the job, juice in the game and bliss for the fans.

Talkback: Is Hill ready to be a starter and are the Miami Heat for real?

Tracks: Eminem – Loose Yourself – https://youtu.be/qvSx_1WVWiM

JLo – Jenny from the Block – https://youtu.be/dly6p4Fu5TE

Michael B. Jordan & Serena Williams Have A Lot Riding on How They Prepare for The Next Phase of Their Best Life

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The college football championship was the kind of game fans dream of. It brought together two undefeated teams and a Heisman winning quarterback. When the last play was over the LSU Tigers were crowned for having a perfect season. That’s not something that happens on the regular.

Then there’s Serena Williams and Michael B Jordan who’re champions in their own right. Williams with her superhuman performances on the tennis court and Jordan with his superhero acclaim on the big screen. They’re built like weight room stock as they reach for new goals and advocate for denied souls.

Plus, they have a lot riding on how they prepare for the next phase of their best life. Williams was recently named the AP athlete of the decade. She’s won more championship titles in a 10-year span than any tennis player past or present. Her grand slam wins have taken her to the top of the heap in the sport.

Jordan’s career brings flashbacks to a stint on the Cosby show before landing his breakout performance in Fruitvale Station. He’s described as having delivered an Oscar-worthy performance in Just Mercy. In between those movies he brought the Rocky-themed flick back to life by starring in Creed.

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Recently, Williams was seen working out in the boxing gym, with coaching tips from Mike Tyson. She’s focused on fine-tuning certain parts of her game in order to have more than a fighting chance to make history. They’ll tell you that their work involves preparing for the grind in mind, body and spirit for the new:

  1. Season

A new year might not always line-up as a new season. Sometimes it’s the continuation of things that have already started. What happens in the off-season sets the stage for the results during the season. She’s spent time readying for the grand-slam season on things like strength, flexibility, power and endurance.

  1. Project

Williams takes seriously her efforts to affect women’s issues. When not on the court, she’s exploring projects that help her grow personally or might make a difference generationally. She aims for greatness that isn’t limited to tennis titles she’ll earn but also the legacy she’ll leave behind.

  1. Level

Each time Jordan has played in a movie he’s taken his acting chops to another level. That’s a sign of his growth and development. We’ve watched it happen right before our eyes from Fruitvale Station to Friday Night Lights to Creed and more recently in Black Panther.

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  1. Role

For his latest role in Just Mercy, he remembers getting the script and feeling embarrassed that he didn’t know about the Equal Justice Initiative and Bryan Stevenson. But he spent time doing the research to up his social justice cred. Now he’s working on a new role in a Tom Clancy film called Without Remorse.

Jordan recently took a visit to his old high school that was part photo shoot and part meet and greet. Williams after her recent tournament donated all the prize money to the Australian fire relief. You can’t count them out as underdogs. That’s because they put the work in to advance their game and a cause.

Tip: You prepare for the next phase of your best life by how you put in the work to advance your game and a cause.

Talkback: So did Jordan also get snubbed in not getting an Oscar nomination?

Tracks: Alicia Keys – Underdog – https://youtu.be/izyZLKIWGiA

Billie Eilish – Everything I Wanted – https://youtu.be/SlnTiyjaFsg

Oprah & Jamie Foxx are Ready to Release Their Best Work for Fans to Use as a Jump-Off Point in The New Year

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It’s a new year and folks want to kick things off right! That means getting back to basics on a diet or a dream. This is usually a time when gym membership ads are seen all over and goal setting is a way to achieve a makeover. If that’s not where you are then maybe there’s something else in the works.

When it comes to Hollywood, they like to kick things off with the Golden Globes Award. It’s a celebration of all things film in an industry filled with glamour. That’s not how Oprah and Jamie Foxx kicked off their new year. They are ready to release their best work for fans to use as a jump-off point in their goals.

Oprah has just launched a nine-city tour focused on personal wellness. It’s part health kick and part life’s work. While she has no plans to return to the daytime talk studio or to run for higher office, she sees this as giving folks the tools and motivation for a higher living. It’ also a way to connect with her fans.

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Foxx is no slouch either with lots of projects on his plate. He had fans asking whether he was the fox on The Masked Singer. Now he’s gonna be a guest panelist and is psyched about being in Just Mercy. He says it’s his most important movie role to date and was able to draw on experience in his own family.

Oprah says she’s feeling most centered spiritually and Fox says he’s grateful to have been mentored in his early showbiz days. As powerhouse celebs, the easy question is whether they do resolutions? If not, then how do they keep raising the bar on their body of work? The answers line-up with being:

  1. On Point

Oprah talks about her wellness 2020 vision not simply in terms of weight. She says she’s no longer a slave to the scale. What she’s focused on at this stage of her life is being ‘on point’ in her general health numbers. She’s less focused on having the perfect weight and more focused on hitting her best marks.

  1. On Purpose

In doing her recent ‘year-in-review’ before the start of 2020 she was struck by the things she got done on her work checklist. But she began to wonder if they were done simply to be on schedule or if she needed to do more things ‘on purpose.’ Giving ‘purpose things’ more attention is high on her 2020 list.

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  1. On Game

Foxx was happy to have a chance to work with his long-time friend Michael B Jordan. They share a bond of mutual respect and trust. Foxx thinks back to those who helped him get into stride when he was new to Hollywood and it’s what he’s been to Jordan over the years. It’s about being ‘on game’ in their careers.

  1. On Fire

Working together on the Just Mercy film allowed them to bring a real-life story to the big screen. With all the film projects he’s done, this story has probably lit a new fire to his game. A passion project is one thing. But there’s nothing like a story that’s relatable or hits close to home that might set passion on fire.

Oprah knows when she’s done with the tour, the re-connection with fans will be like a return on investment. She says that’s how life works. When you think you’re out there trying to pour into others, the feedback, love and support that boomerangs back will keep her on point, on purpose, on game and on fire.

Tip: You raise the bar in life by finding fresh ways to be on point, on purpose, on game and on fire in how you go about producing your best work.

Talkback: What are you doing in 2020 to release your best work?

Tracks: Aretha Franklin Ft. Fantasia – Put You Up on Game – https://youtu.be/PjnU8X_P104

Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire – https://youtu.be/J91ti_MpdHA

Lebron James and Allyson Felix Share Something in Common that’s Less About Speed and More About ‘Flowe’

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The Grammy nominations are out and a bunch of first-timers top the list. It seems Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish are the new faces of pop music. Lizzo leads the way with eight nods while Nas X and Eilish scored six nods. It’s their first time being nominated and represent a kind of ‘next gen’ Grammy class.

Some pop culture watchers say it’s becoming less about album sales and more about music streams as a gauge for how fans are listening. That’s the situation in the music business while in sports there’s a similar debate. As new athletes come on the scene how do veteran athletes stay relevant in the game?

Carmelo Anthony faces that question as he joins a new NBA team in his late playing days. He might look to Lebron James and Allyson Felix for clues. They share something in common that’s less about speed and more about ‘flowe.’ That seems to be the key to how they keep their game up and their gifting relevant.

Felix was recently seen in an add with Usain Bolt with a stack of medals around her neck. She has passed Bolt as the most decorated World Championship athlete with the most gold medals. Now she’s looking towards the 2020 Olympics to add more hardware and to possibly make history with team USA.

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For James in his second season with the Lakers, he made history himself, becoming the first-ever player to score a triple-double with every NBA team over his career. The Lakers are off to a big start with the best record in the league. So how do they keep making it ‘do what in do’ in their careers? Well it’s with:

  1. Focus

Jams and Felix seem to do a good job managing their off-season focus and their in-season focus. When it’s off-season they’re busy building market cred and hometown impact with new projects. In-season they’re doing things that have fans thinking they haven’t lost a step from start to finish of the season.

  1. Leadership

James has played for three different teams in his career. Each time it seems he brings a new level of leadership to the mix. Felix has been running her tail off for as long as most can remember. She recently had an issue with a sponsor for lack of support during motherhood. She’s still showing poise and grace.

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  1. Outlook

Making it ‘do what it do’ in career is sometimes a question of outlook. As with the aspect of their leadership, how they see things gives them a sense of self-accountability. They know having a good outlook means seeing the big picture before the big moment, seeing the forest from the trees.

  1. Work-Ethic

Maybe one of the hardest parts of having a good work ethic is being able to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, when no one’s really watching. That’s what the off-season is probably like for James and Felix, even though today’s social media world gives fans more ways to be watching.

There’re probably more medals and championship feats left in James and Felix. Who knows, they might be a good pairing for an ad campaign too. He’s trying to win one more NBA crown and she as Track & Field’s queen, is trying to win one more Olympic event. Maybe ‘sports gods’ are waiting to play their part.

Tip: It takes a fresh stream of ‘flowe’, that’s focus, leadership, outlook and work-ethic to keep your game up and your gifting relevant.

Talkback: Can you see James and Felix together in an ad campaign? For what product/service?

Tracks: Alicia Keys – In Common – https://youtu.be/4HazJhPnrB8

Janelle Monae Ft. Erykah Badu – Q.U.E.E.N. – https://youtu.be/tEddixS-UoU

Ashley Graham and John Legend Are Dusting Off Shelf Space for More Awards & Pics of Their Best Selfie

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What do Ashley Graham and John Legend have in common? They’ve both topped lists that most folks wouldn’t even dream possible for them. Graham has graced the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine as one of America’s ‘Hottest Full-Figured Women.’ That simply means lots of voluptuous to go around.

For Legend, he was named People Magazine’s 2019 ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ Let’s leave that to the ladies on what that means. It’s not as if he doesn’t already have his hands full. As a singing coach on NBCs The Voice, he can be seen on weeknights giving praise to emerging artists on their melody and high notes.

So, if folks are wondering what it takes to get named on any of these lists, for legend it might start with him being a crooner. He’s known for love-letter type music ballads that crossover music genres. Legend today, is like Sinatra of old. How his words flow does the same thing to fans today as Sinatra did then.

With Graham, it’s about being true to herself. She’s never shied away from her physical features as a plus-sized woman. Her self-acceptance has developed into inner confidence. This has carried over into becoming a pop culture crowd favorite on the runway and in the podcast world.

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Bu there’s one list they might say that everyone gets the chance to top. It’s the ‘Best Self Alive’ list where who you are aligns with your purpose and what you do is developed through strength, courage and wisdom. Even if we don’t make it into People Magazine or Sports Illustrated, we can still pack our:

  1. Handsome

It’s the first things ladies see in Legend. But Graham knows becoming ‘Best Self Alive’ might also mean turning what’s in your ‘hand’ into ‘some’ thing of value. Graham shares how she learned to sew at a young age. Not everybody brings handsome to the table like Legend. But most can hand-some value.

  1. Headband

Legend is known for featuring his wife’s headband creations on social media, especially when they’re on vacation.  It’s how she works creatively with her hand as well as her head. The real power players in the game also know that when creative minds band their heads together it raises the level of fine work.

  1. Heartstring

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Graham might say voluptuous for her was simply a ‘means to an end.’ She didn’t start out hoping to be full-figured. She just owned her package and celebrated her lineage. Even though she’s expecting her second child, Graham is still doing jumping jacks in the gym and stroking the heartstrings of fans.

  1. Home-feel

For Legend and Graham, being in the limelight isn’t something they necessarily crave. It simply comes with the territory. Even with their star power and rave reviews they give fans a kind of at-home, hometown feeling. They also get props for how they’re raising a family and developing success at home.

If Hollywood were to put together its ’40 Under 40’, then they’d likely top the list. He’s already gotten the major performance awards of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony which is why he’s called an EGOT. Their good looks and humble charm make you wanna show them love ‘cause they got juice.

Tip: The ‘Best Self Alive’ list leaves room for packing your handsome, headband, heartstring and home-feel that adds to your success.

Talkback: Is John’s team the one to beat on this season of The Voice?

Tracks: Alicia Keys ft. 21 Savage, Miguel – Show Me Love – https://youtu.be/Qr1kiCDAdxQ

Lizzo – Juice – https://youtu.be/N8ZI1Jlrf-w