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

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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

Rihanna & Steve Harvey on How Doing Great Work Takes More Than Just Winning at Awards Shows

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No matter how you feel about the recent Emmys, it’s safe to say the stars came out before night. The pre-show gets folks ‘spilling some tea’ or flashing some skin. The fashion runway is where some go to work. It’s also where some come to play. But doing great work is more than just winning at awards shows.

Think about Rihanna and her philanthropic efforts. She’s bringing attention and resources to the issue of global education. She’s putting a spotlight on places around the world where getting an education is less a right and more a luxury option. She hopes to train-up a ‘schooled generation.’

Recently Steve Harvey and his wife got props for social media posts of their grandchildren showing some home training. The Harvey’s were sure to give credit to the kids’ parents. The clips became a ‘cheek pinch’ moment that might even be seen some time later in a segment on his daytime TV show.

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Their efforts remind us of the steps that are involved to train-up as a child or as an adult. Plus, there’s a difference between how we train-up for a job and how we level-up for a great performance. It’s as if life has an Act I with formal educational training and an Act II of more informal training that’s ongoing.

Rihanna made a similar point in a recent Op-ed article where she talked about her education experience in Barbados. But she’s also grateful for the global education she’s gotten from traveling the world through music. For them, great work and ‘hustle love’ is in travelling the 4-corners of success by way of:

  1. The Dream – and how gifts let you pop

In his book Harvey talks about discovering your gifts. A gift is like your secret sauce, your magic potion, your hidden gem. How gifts work is like popcorn. Each kernel has a pocket of water. As the temperature rises it becomes steam which makes the kernel pop. As your energy kicks-in, gifts let you rise & pop.

  1. The Calling – and how hope lets you shine

Oftentimes ‘calling’ is seen as a ‘church’ thing. But really calling comes in grades just like colors come in shades. Sometimes professional, sometimes spiritual. More generally for Rihanna and Harvey, it’s the true essence for which before they were born they were equipped to be a lighthouse to the world.

  1. The Purpose – and how heart-string lets you care

It seems like Rihanna is expanding her global outreach with a greater sense of purpose. Purpose for her might be to raise-up kids with broader educational opportunities. Purpose for Harvey might be to train-up young boys into manhood. In other words, purpose is about how they serve some earthly good.

  1. The Flow – and how love-force lets you go

Imagine if the ocean had no current, what would make it go? If your home had no electricity, what would make your devices go? Well love-force is like current and electricity. It lets you go. And whether the going for Rihanna and Harvey is about ‘hustle love’ at work or play it lets them move and groove.

Rumor has it Rihanna’s working on her next project. Some say it’s gonna to be reggae-strong. Time will tell. In the meantime, she’s busy putting her passion to work in other ways. Who knows what Harvey’s got up his sleeves. But as they travel the 4-corners of success they get to level-up their name and their game.

Tip: Successful people use GPS as their ‘Go-to Positioning System’ to get things poppin’ and rollin’ for a great performance at work.

Talkback: Was the Emmys a hit or a miss? Was there a ‘cheek pinch’ moment?

Tracks: Gregory Isaacs – Rumors (Reggae) – https://youtu.be/rAMT16tYO34

Ciara – Level Up – https://youtu.be/Dh-ULbQmmF8

John Legend & Chrissy Teigen Celebrate Showbiz, Motherhood and How They Refresh Their Shine for a Brighter & Wider Fanbase

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Who remembers the fast-food chain that made famous the question ‘where’s the beef?’ It was a way of saying their burgers had more beef than their competitors. These days the question some are asking is ‘what’s the beef?’ Nicki and Cardi are still working on the answer. Drake and Meek Mill say they’re done.

Well there’s no ‘beef’ between John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. Actually, there’s nothing but love. Sometimes sexy love other times ‘hustle love.’ Teigen says she’s getting back into the sexy swing of things now that she’s upped her role in motherhood. With two mouths to feed ‘hit and run’ has new meaning.

Legend is busy doing the showbiz thing after winning an Emmy for his work with the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ production. With this award he joins a select group of celebs who’re among the EGOTs. He’s the youngest and first black male to get an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony for his artistic roles.

This summer they spent a few weeks in Bali where Teigen appeared in social media posts wearing her ‘headband of the day’ while hubby John serenaded her with a song. That’s a long way from her days as a teenage catalog model and then gaining major fame as a Swimsuit cover model.

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Whether it’s the sexy love between them or the ‘hustle love’ that fuels them, they celebrate how they refresh their shine for a brighter and wider fanbase. Teigen has a new cookbook while Legend is set to release new music. It’s the passion for doing their thing that tells us about how they up their game using:

  1. Script – learn the job, produce the work

Every job has ways for getting stuff done. It could be as simple as learning a script and executing the task. That’s how it goes for TV sitcoms and scripted programs. As a songwriter and singer, Legend knows the process. He uses that same skill to learn the job and produce the work with other projects as well.

  1. Sound – find your voice, rock the game

With most work assignments there’s usually a learning curve. It takes some time to get the feel and flow of things. After a while a rhythm develops. That’s how it happens in the music biz and in other lines of work. There’s the groove track to which you add lyrics. This way you find your voice and rock the game.

  1. Screen – stretch your sights, see the big picture

A beach trip or Caribbean vacation is often a time to slow down and chill. Some might even checkout the view as the sun rises and sets beyond the horizon. It’s like watching time pass on life’s big screen. You get to stretch your sights while seeing the big picture. This does wonders for R&R and helping dreams go far.

  1. Stage – do it up, bring the fun

The stage is where performance comes together. John Legend’s stage as a music artist is different from Teigen’s stage as a model. With your job or career, when things come together on the work stage there’s usually a sale, a promotion, a cheer or other forms of excitement as a return on commitment.

It seems like their celebrity side hustle of ‘headband of the day’ videos have taken a break. As they get back-to-the-grind they’re juggling work, kids and other steps that come with the role. And as they get out of bed to face another day they’re doing those things to shine in ways that moves fans and dollars.

Tip: As we get out of bed to face another day it calls for ‘hustle love’ which means doing those things to shine in ways that moves customers, fans and dollars.

Talkback: Hey Tiffany Haddish, what’s the beef between Nicki and Cardi? (I don’t Know)

Tracks: Ne-Yo – Sexy Love – https://youtu.be/mgaeGW-2z6w

Vivian Green – I Don’t Know – https://youtu.be/HNg80zNpPwU

Serena Williams & Tyler Perry Show They’ve Got ‘Hustle Love’ for Money Moves and Making the Daily Grind Matter

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Wow, where did the summer go? It seems like yesterday that we were looking forward to being beach bums. With the Labor Day holiday behind us, it brings the unofficial end to the season of bikini bottoms and tank tops. While things might be winding down in one sense, it’s like back-to-the-grind in another.

When it comes to the tennis court Serena Williams returned to the game earlier this year after giving birth. She hopes to find championship form again. Tyler Perry did his Aretha tribute and offered Geoffrey Owens from Cosby Show fame, a chance to work at his studio. Owens has been hustling on-the-regular while hoping to do more acting gigs.

Beyond the baby feedings and series tapings, Williams and Perry show they’ve got ‘hustle love’ for money moves and making the daily grind matter. Every work situation has some ins & outs that come with the job. Plus there’re other things at play that might involve money, status & legacy.

Owens was surprised about all the attention he got in the news after being spotted working at a retail chain. He’s somewhat puzzled at how the dignity of work is being turned into ‘job shaming.’ That’s probably something Colin Kaepernick can relate to from not playing NFL football last season.

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Whether it’s getting past ‘mom shaming,’ ‘job shaming’ or ‘issue shaming’ Williams and Perry are still making the daily grind matter. They’re taking care of business and the needs of family. Their ‘hustle love’ lessons remind us of what it means to ‘act like a player and think like a brand.’ It’s in how we manage:

  1. Career jumps vs hustle moves

Years ago a workforce survey said that the 21st century worker will have difference job responsibilities across different careers during their working lifetime. That means that success isn’t always about vertical moves but sometimes horizontal moves. A side hustle can be your ticket to the big time.

  1. Job shifts vs status updates

With Serena being off the circuit for a year or so her tennis ranking took a hit. Now she’s trying to work her way back to #1. Owens has been off the radar as well. In these days of social media status updates no one even knew. So a job shift from Perry that allows Owens to level-up his game is a good status update to have.

  1. Vocation choices vs social places

Serena as a Brand Ambassador for Nike kinda has her own line of gear. She uses her celebrity status as a positive role model in many circles. She’s even included in the 50th-year anniversary campaign with video clips from her days in Compton. Her vocation choices put her in social places that’s heart-felt.

  1. Life-assignments vs lifestyles

Not many jobs are a lifetime assignment. Plus the marketplace often has a ‘window of exposure’ that comes with the territory. Even as things change for Owens or others in the workforce or pro sports, it’s usually about going from job to career to vocation. We get to grow our game and raise our lifestyles.

Williams gets a lot out of her game and makes a living doing so. Perry gives a lot of his resources and makes a life for himself and others. Whether it’s about their brand or lifestyle they get the chance to drink to that. So we all can prove our worth and give it all we’ve got with ‘hustle love’ to make it happen.

Tip: Sometimes getting back-to-the-grind needs a fresh dose of ‘hustle love’ in order to make it happen where you have the chance to ‘drink to that’ as a work-in-progress.

Talkback: What’s it about Tyler’s work or Serena’s play that inspire us to make it happen?

Tracks: Rihanna – Cheers (Drink to That) – https://youtu.be/ZR0v0i63PQ4

Mariah Carey (live at MSG) – Make it Happen – https://youtu.be/TELGPgTaSpY

Tom Brady & Steve Harvey Turn Their Work Muscle and Side Hustle into a Formula for Rocking Their Game

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As the ‘lazy hazy crazy’ days of summer get ready to roll on, fans at home and abroad will be cheering their sports teams. Whether it’s at the College World Series on the baseball diamond or the World Cup on the soccer field, they’ll be watching for that big play while chewing on their favorite snack foods.

These days, Oprah’s summer reading is giving some press to Tom Brady’s new book. On a recent interview on OWN he talked about his ‘winning ways’ and approach to peak performance.  Meanwhile, the summer TV ratings are getting a big kick out of Celebrity Family Feud hosted by Steve Harvey.

Some people ‘feel the love’ for Brady and Harvey for how they’ve risen to the occasion time after time. In a sense, they’ve turned their work muscle and side hustle into a formula for rocking their game. Brady’s a 5-time Superbowl champion. Harvey’s hosting so many TV shows that bring laughs to young and old.

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They enjoy the best work life ever in their field of dreams as masters of their game by acing the process. Plus they act like a player, think like a brand and keep taking their game to the next level. They work at getting the best out of themselves while inspiring peers, teammates and fans to reach higher and higher.

In a few weeks Brady will be spending a little less time on the golf course and more time in training camp. Harvey on the other hand just wrapped-up quality time spent with young boys at his mentoring camp. Both seem to practice the things needed for peak performance and market appeal by balancing:

  1. Main hustle vs side hustle

When you think of an entrée menu item there’s usually a main thing and some ‘sides.’ Similarly, on the success menu there’s usually a main hustle and some ‘sides.’ Brady’s main thing is football skills. Harvey’s main thing is comedy skills. But they have ‘sides’ like author and philanthropist to go along.

  1. Heart & soul vs silver and gold

Some fans might have a love/hate relationship with Brady or Harvey. It’s as if one day folks love them, another day not so much. But most won’t deny that it’s the heart and soul they bring to the game that adds to the party. They show us how heart & soul gives more ‘feeling and meaning’ to our silver & gold.

  1. Grow in score vs grow in service

Brady says he wants to play a few more years as long as he’s still competitive and having fun. While doing that he wants to be able to grown in score and in service. One deals with putting points on the board that leads to a win. The other deals with putting points on the map that leads to a legacy.

  1. Shine with mojo vs shine with flow

The joy in what they do shines through. Brady might not always carry a smile on his face but there’s an excitement he brings to fans when he’s on his game. Harvey’s known for making faces especially when talking with kids. They use their personal strengths to shine in ways that spread mojo and stir market flow.

So how’d Brady go from being drafted 199 of 200 to having one of the highest QB ratings? How’d Harvey go from stand-up to having the highest ratings on ABC’s Fun & Games Sunday line-up? They chose well from the success menu and now they get to shake their groove thing on the playing field and big stage.

Tip: Choosing the right entrée from the success menu means balancing your main hustle and side hustle in a way that adds heart and soul as well as silver and gold to your game.

Talkback: Did the Oprah Interview show another side of Tom Brady?

Tracks: Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing – https://youtu.be/FafIty_-08c

Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life – https://youtu.be/BspHjvU11y4