Michael B Jordan & Tracee Ellis Ross Bring Sexy Back for Career Sake as a Signature in Showbiz

The Grammys are coming! Yet, as Awards season rolls-on there’s another casualty due to Covid-19. The Red Carpet before the live show has been quarantined. So far, that’s the case for the People’s Choice and American Music Awards; no cat walks, celeb interviews or fashion slip-ups to set social media abuzz.

With the holidays also a good time for family and friends to gather, this year it feels like 2020 can’t end fast enough. So for some, they’re happy to feast their eyes on Michael B Jordan being named as People Magazine’s sexiest man alive, or to celebrate Tracee Ellis Ross as People’s Choice Fashion Icon.

As if on cue, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joked that he’s not ready to concede the ‘sexiest man’ title. It’s something he won a few years ago. But People magazine editors say going into each year’s final selection they give thought to what the world wants and needs at that point and who’s bringing sexy back.

Jordan and Ross add style, looks and mojo to showbiz like the king and queen they are. Their pre-Hollywood careers helped set them up for making waves today. At first, Ross worked in the fashion magazine industry and credits her mom, Diana Ross a fashion icon herself, in forging her dreams.

But maybe it’s also the way they engage the consciousness of fans that adds to their mainstream appeal. Whether it’s with the diversity rider in hiring talent at his production company, or supporting #MeToo initiatives in her off-screen roles, they inspire us to strive and arrive with:  

  • Clout

Ross has her own, even though she could have gotten some from mom. It’s a matter of how she builds-up reputation which takes time to turn into clout. In the early part of your career, reputation follows you. But in later years when reputation goes before you, that means it’s been built up with its own track record.        

  • Chops

Jordan and Ross have developed their acting chops for primetime in a way that attracts large audiences. It’s in how they bring to life a character and bring character to life. That’s also been true for their career success. It’s about bringing to work a skillset and bringing a skillset to their life’s work.        

  • Calling

Clearly, the acting and biz side of things aren’t all that they’re about. They are often very vocal when it comes to social justice issues. Calling for them is seen not as a call to self-service but to higher service. While for some Calling might have a religious feel, it’s really about connecting with humanitarian zeal.   

  • Culture

Some might drool, swoon or even lust for their presence, but their impact is in what they do for the culture. They seem to cause a wake-up, level-up, serve-up, rise-up effect on people. Some celebs might impact us in one or two of these areas. But they don’t let things go to their heads as they keep it real.     

It’s hard to imagine that the Red Carpet will be back for the Grammys. Plus, word is that the holidays are going to be much different this year with Covid-19 taking its toll on gatherings. But if we can hold on a bit longer while using time wisely, we can come out on the other side shining a little brighter.        

Tip: The ladder of success has rungs that take you from skillset to your best yet.

Talkback: For the Grammy nominations, who got snubbed and whose fans feel a little rubbed?

Tracks: Common – The Light – https://youtu.be/OjHX7jf-znA

Brand Nubian – Don’t Let it Go to Your Head – https://youtu.be/500F9W1qku8

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Turned Campaign Trail Moments Into Career Trail Magic

It’s T-minus-70 and counting towards the inauguration of the next U.S. President. The campaign season came to a halt when the projected winner was declared by media and other independent observers. As a gradual shift begins to unfold around Washington, some still hold on for dear life to a different reality.

Going from candidate to “you’re hired” has ups and downs, twists and turns, ebbs and flows. Over these months we saw political ads with their views on certain issues. We could review their professional backgrounds covering years of public service. Then it’s the people who made the hiring decision.

Along the way as candidates debated and fund raised, they hoped to win primaries like rounds in a boxing match. There were good rounds and bad rounds which helped determine who survived and who exited stage left. Biden and Harris on the campaign trail was like where the magic happens on the career trail.

A potential candidate for a job gets to respond to a company opening. They’ll send in their resumés as a professional background summary. Then the decision is made among the hiring team on who gets the call back. Plus, there’re intangibles (like an endorsement or referral) that can change the outlook in a flash.

While the campaign trail had its nasty-lie moments, we can learn what it takes to jumpstart the job search, advance career moves or rebrand a biz venture. Along the way, folks are checking the record and comparing notes. They’re watching to see who makes the grade or who’s worth getting paid based on:

  • Ambition

The difference between Biden and Harris is like old-school and new school. Biden has been in the game for many years. Harris has been rising up the charts over recent years. Their journeys came together because of shared ambition. Ambition helps in making a name for yourself and a role for your skills.      

  • Vision

Biden’s vision is about unity of purpose in saving the soul of the nation. Since Harris isn’t at the top of the ticket, her vision lines-up with Biden. But from a history-making standpoint, she probably shares that broader vision of women breaking the glass ceiling in their careers.      

  • Reinvention

Biden has run for President three times. He had a chance to reinvent himself the last two times. He says it was the events of Charlottesville that got him into the race the third time. Sometimes when career goals seem hard to come by, we have to find ways to reinvent ourselves to better meet the moment.  

  • Connection

Beyond qualifications, it’s also connection that helped things come together as running-mates. Harris first knew Biden when she was Attorney General of California and his son Beau was AG of Delaware. What she probably was reminded of was that people don’t care how much you know, but how much you care.   

Biden and Harris might ask what’s your reality? Is it stuck on past miss-steps or geared to future step-ups? When people see how much you know your stuff, they say you’re good. But when they sense how much you care, they can tell you’re good for the part. That’s how they bring magic to what they do.        

Tip: Your ‘happy’ is in bringing magic to what you do by how much you know and how much you care.

Talkback: What’s it like seeing “you’re hired” and “you’re fired” getting played out right before our eyes?

Tracks: Bruno Mars – 24K Magic – https://youtu.be/UqyT8IEBkvY

Pharrell Williams – Happy – https://youtu.be/ZbZSe6N_BXs

Beyoncé and Lizzo, ‘Two Peas in a Social Change Pod’ Who Aren’t Just About the Brand but Also Being at Their Best and Taking a Stand

Remember when Lizzo melted after finding out that Beyoncé sang happy birthday greetings to her? She didn’t think one of her idols would have her on mind. It’s the kind of thing Beyhive fans knew all along. She tries to look beyond herself just like when she called out public officials in the Breonna Taylor case.

These days it’s almost as if Beyoncé and Lizzo are like two peas in a social change pod. They’re looking at the issues and making it plain. They’re connecting with fans letting them know they feel their pain. Over the past few weeks, they’ve been clear about one thing: it’s time to do our civic duty.

The music biz as with everything else has seen shutdown due to Covid-19. Concerts on pause, album drops have slowed. The usual hype before project releases are low-key. That hasn’t stopped these ladies in their tracks. As artists, they aren’t just about the brand, but about being at their best and taking a stand.

With her latest fashion line statement about to drop, Beyoncé is still turning it out. She’s building on the ‘Ivy Park’ brand she started and teamed-up with Adidas. It’s a kind of throwback to an 80s vibe, while the promo says to find your ‘beast bode.’ It’s as if the subtext could also be to flaunt your ‘beauty streak.’

For Lizzo, she’s brought much attention to being ‘body positive’, or as she prefers to say, ‘body normative’. For the ‘big girls club’, she has become proof positive about feeling good in your skin. But what they both bring beyond fashion statement or plus-size placement is how to find your flow when you:

  • Be Still

The impact of Covid-19 on essential workers has been seen over these past months. They tend to be more out-front and vulnerable. The impact to others has been things coming to a grinding halt. For Beyoncé, “It was the first time in my life I’ve been so still.” Sometimes that’s where your flow starts.       

  • Be Creative

After releasing the first edition of the clothing line, Bey’s looking to make waves with the updated looks. During the downtime of her music she’s been busy in the uptime of her fashion. When you flow your gifts, talents and skills, there’s always room to be creative. You might even surprise yourself sometimes.   

  • Be Ready

During the early stages of her music Lizzo wasn’t sure how she’d incorporate her classic side with her pop side. Her classic side comes with the flute. Her pop side comes with the lyrics. But her creative process flows from musical sound to breakout rhythm in turning out the hits with crossover appeal.  

  • Be Real

They both do their best to keep it real. For Lizzo, her ‘real’ flows from not acting like more than who she is, while being ‘bold & fearless’. For Beyoncé her ‘real’ flows from being even bigger than who we think she is, while showing ‘calm & coolness’.  Flow makes you ‘be real’ and when you’re real you find flow.  

As musical artists they might have different ways in how they flow. But as music stars they’re about being at their best and taking a stand on social issues. Their love for the game is just as strong as their love for their fans. And at their best, they make us fell good about ourselves in doing what it takes to level-up.       

Tip: Find your ‘beast mode’ or at least find your flow when you be still, be creative, be ready and be real.

Talkback: Which is it, ‘bold & fearless’ or ‘calm & coolness’ that brings out your best?

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

James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good) – https://youtu.be/Lrv-Morm-c0

Lebron James & Dawn Staley Give us Motivating Lessons on Rising, Winning & Shining at Work, Play and Round-the-Way

There’s more to basketball, than basketball! That’s how Tracee Ellie Ross begins as the narrator of that new TV ad. It gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges that NBA players had to overcome this season. When the first player tested positive for Covid-19, the league decided to shutdown all games.

Then, a few months later, a careful restart was underway with the playoffs. The players would live in a ‘bubble’ on the grounds of the ABC Sports complex. In the case of the WNBA they also went through a similar process, but they’d restart games at another venue with similar restrictions.

Well, they made it through without a virus outbreak and crowned the champions. The Seattle Storm won their 4th trophy while the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th. Their records say a lot about the ABCs of bringing your A-game, having a B-side to life-balance and proving your value to the C-suite execs.

Lebron James still has some playing days left in him, while former WNBA player Dawn Staley has since left the game and is now a college coach. They give us lessons in rising, winning and shining at work, play and round-the-way. It’s also what the TV ad tries to do without selling their next breakout shoe.

The importance of sports to biz and culture is well known. Whether at a restaurant, bar or hometown playground, folks talk about, study and emulate their fav player. It’s more than just what they do on the court that matters. They know that with preparation, passion and practice you can go the distance with:    

  • Work Ethic

Both James and Staley have played on Olympic teams. They made it there because of talent and work ethic. It’s the things you do that no one has to tell you that you have to do. You might do it for the love of the game. But there’s a need to improve, invest or capitalize on skills because work ethic demands it. 

  • Team Dream       

When pro players started going to the Olympics, they first became known as the “Dream Team.” They were among the best of the best in the game at any level. But what James has been able to do wherever he goes in the league is to have others commit to the team dream. That’s how they step-up their game.

  • Game Changer

When league play was put on hold, James wasn’t gung-ho about playing without fans during the restart. That was a game changer for the rest of the way. Sometimes being a game changer means being comfortable with starting over. That’s what James has done in his career with every team he’s been with.  

  • Street Cred

Staley grew up on the hard side of town. She was often with her brother and his friends at the playground. She wanted to play but wasn’t sure they’d let her. She brought her own ball, which upped her chances of getting picked. In time, her street cred wasn’t just from having the ball, but from “ballin” on the court.     

These days when it comes to sports, it feels like something’s in the water on the West Coast. The Seattle Storm wins the WNBA, the Lakers win the NBA and the NFL Seattle Seahawks are on a hot streak. These players show us that even in tough times, we gotta get up and rise each day to secure the bag.    

Tip: Get your hustle on, or at least bring your A-game so that your street cred as a game changer is in using work ethic to inspire team dream.

Talkback: What’s the off-season gonna be like for the players with social issues on their minds?

Tracks: Steel Pulse – Rize – https://youtu.be/m-bVaqDm7Hs

Ace Hood – Hustle Hard – https://youtu.be/r_dh16HQkqQ

Tyler Perry & Issa Rae Took Different Paths but Have a Similar Message on Turning Fed-Up into Step-Up

There’s a kind of hazy cloud hanging over people and places these days. In some parts of the country there’s the cloud of forest fires. With millions of acres burning during this ongoing dry season, we see news reports of damage and destruction. In some parts, the whole town has been wiped out.

Then there’s the cloud hanging over people trying to take next steps. For some who’ve lost everything due to the fires it’s about figuring out where to lay their heads. For others who’ve lost their job due to the economic calamity caused by Covid-19, it’s a case of wishing and praying that things turn around.

While Tyler Perry and Issa Rae haven’t seen this kind of devastation in their lives, they have a similar message on turning despair into emergence and fed-up into step-up. Perry who was once homeless when he first started on his dreams, was the recent recipient of the Governor’s Award at the Emmys.

For Rae, it’s been a tug-of-war in emotions as she creates a path in her Hollywood career. She remembers having a meeting with an industry exec who liked what she was doing but missed the point of her work. The rub was in the exec not seeing her work for its worth but for his exerting power and control.

They know the feeling of having a hazy cloud over their heads. But they’ve also seen what can happen when things clear with peaks of sunshine. It’s those glimmers of light that have helped them build their showbiz following and business acumen as actors. They used that time of clearing to build on the:

1. Moment

Perry spoke in his acceptance speech about his grandmother’s quilt and how he realized he took it for granted. He visited an antique store and saw a similar quilt for sale. It was then he got the power of the message in grandma’s quilt. There’re moments in life when we realize the power to work our magic.  

2. Motivation

In the meeting Rae had with the exec she realized that it was a moment for motivation and change. She chuckles about how “someone got fired” in that meeting, but she turned the moment into motivation to build her brand cred. Now she’s known for her own HBO series and select roles in big screen movies.

3. Journey

Perry says he looks back from time to time to appreciate from whence he came. The advice he once got from Oprah to start a journal has now been turned into a journey. Fast-forward to where he is now in receiving the Governor’s award and you’ll find stage plays, movies and TV shows in his portfolio. 

4. Story

The magic and magnetic attraction Perry and Rae bring comes from the stories they tell. Sometimes it’s a fictional story made for TV sitcoms and acting stage. Sometimes it’s a real-life story adapted to a movie role. And sometimes it’s their own story of momentary digest, passion quest and dream conquest.      

As the fall season of TV shows take shape, there’ll be retuning favorites and newbie projects. Things might be a little different where shows won’t have an audience or have to comply with social distancing. But when the haze clears there’s always a bright light or spot for those who make hay while the shines.   

Tip: Good times come when life’s moments get turned into motivation that leads to a journey for your comeback story.

Talkback: Was Schitt’s Creek really waiting in the wings over the years for this many Emmys?

Tracks: Hill St Soul – One Life – https://youtu.be/9TL3rOzxU5g

Angie Stone – No More Rain (In This Cloud) – https://youtu.be/UgG0Hu_FeiA

Serena Williams & Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Working on Getting Back in Stride to Make that Move and Secure the Bag

The back to school season is really upon us now as pretty much most students across the country open their Zoom window. With Covid-19 still an issue, school districts are working on getting students back in stride for the upcoming year. Some started off with in-person classes while others do remote learning.

The Labor Day holiday is seen as the unofficial end of the summer and the first ramping-up of normal life. Kids return to school and parents wrap-up on vacation time. As to how normal things will be in the first few weeks is still a question. Whether at work or play, some feel being in lockdown mode is getting old.

In sports and showbiz, there’s some glimmer of hope in trying to get back on the regular. There’re events happening in a bubble, or at least without fans. Serena Williams is back on the tennis court at the US Open in NY while ‘The Rock’ surprised NY-area first responders with special props (or rather ‘kicks’).

Johnson recently announced a special giveaway of his sneaker-line to members of a local firehouse for all the work they’re doing on the frontlines. During this week of 9/11, he especially wanted to shoutout those who were impacted by tragedy as many reflect on what it means to serve your community/country.

Williams and Johnson are working with different motivations. For Johnson he’s bouncing back from being Covid-19 positive. For Williams, it’s her ongoing quest to hit that 24-mark in grand slam wins. No matter where we live, whether we’re trying to make that move or secure the bag, we can get motivation by being:               

  • New York Tough

As the song reminds us, “if you can make it here (in NY), you can make it anywhere.” Many (including the Governor) might say that’s a dream confession of a ‘NY Tough’ state of mind. There’s a certain kind of ‘grit & grind’ that makes NY a place people love to live and others want to visit as a global attraction.

  • New Jersey Strong

When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, there was loss of life as in 9/11 but there was also more widespread damage/loss in property. The strength that people showed in bouncing back became known as ‘Jersey Strong.’ No matter where things are career-wise or in life we can up our game with resilience.         

  • California Dreaming

There was a time when heading west meant reaching new lands. Plus, there was a period of ‘California Dreaming’ as seen in the Gold Rush. Well, after Labor Day might be a good time to think about reaching new heights. But to make that move and secure the bag these days is a different kind of ‘gold rush’ and life dreams.  

  • Colorado High

The CBD business has taken off across the country. One of the first places it started was in Colorado where recreational use was legalized. The State isn’t only known for the ‘mile high’ city of Denver. It also represents a kind of ‘Colorado High’ on figuring out new streams of opportunity for success.     

This week, NY Governor Cuomo gave a blistering readout on hometown rebound due to Covid-19. He thinks the Federal government has a silly vendetta against NY. Well, for the economic situation to get back in stride where folks get to secure the bag, it will take leadership that’s more than just a ‘sugar high.’      

Tip: To get back in stride and secure the bag takes adding ‘NY Tough’ to ‘California Dreaming’ from coast to coast.

Talkback: What other State slogan gets you going?

Tracks: Maze ft Frankie Beverly – Back in Stride Again – https://youtu.be/waSM0rXDLys

Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar – https://youtu.be/E07s5ZYygMg

Daymond John and Sophia Popov Show How to Get Dreams Moving from the Background to the Headlines

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This week was Mamba Day at the NBA! The league remembered Kobe Bryant on 8-24 to honor his game and the numbers he wore. There was a kind of mamba spirit at work as LA sports teams had lots of success in their games. Both the Dodgers and Lakers won big with players showing love to their icon.

For different reasons, folks gave props to Daymond John and Sophia Popov. Both made news recently for their ‘hustle and flow’ credentials. For John, it was a program feature to honor Dr King’s famous words, “I Have a Dream.” John is known as a ‘Shark Tank’ personality but his biz skill came from the streets.

Popov made history winning the Women’s Golf British Open. Her rank in the world was somewhere in the 300th range. It’s only happened once before where someone with such a junior rank wins a golf major. She placed 10th in the qualifying tournament, providing her a chance to play among the game’s stars.

daymond-john

The backstory told by John is he learned from watching his parents about what it takes to ‘rise & grind.’ They’d work their regular jobs and then after that did stuff with their side hustle. For Popov, it’s been about believing in herself and her game and knowing that she could perform among the best of them.

Their success is an example of what can happen when you give your dreams a ‘shot of r-u-m’ by putting it in ‘roll-up mode’. It’s not what you have in a beverage sense but in the way you mix skill, talent, passion & mojo. That means we get our dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how we:

  1. Work it

John realized he wanted to be a ‘bid-ness man’ after selling baseball caps on the street corner. He had borrowed money from a relative to make a few caps for himself. People started to like them, so he made some extra ones. He hung-out on the corner and made $800 selling them. That was his ‘work it’ moment.

  1. Play it

Popov went from relative unknown to becoming a golf champion. Some might say timing was everything because Covid-19 prevented few of the ‘regulars’ from playing in the tournament. But she showed how you ‘play it’ is just as important. This comes by maintaining poise and not being distracted by life’s noise.

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  1. Build it

John then started with the brand FUBU and was able to ‘build it’ from the ground up with help from friends & fam. When you build it, things might start out as a ‘proof of concept’ and end up being your ticket to the big time. So that means staying on message or on track to build momentum for a breakthrough.

  1. Change it

At times we might have to tweak things in our game to get better results. Plus, when things get stale or feel stuck, we might have to ‘change it.’ John sees that happening now with the public unrest. He’s frustrated that we’re still ‘stuck on stale’ when it comes to dealing with social justice issues.

It’s still hard to fathom that Kobe was ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ As players send love to his family, we can live our best life in honor of his story. Some go the entrepreneur route by how they ‘build it’ while others worry during Covid-19 if they’re gonna ‘play it.’ But no matter what, let’s ‘change it’ or ‘just work it.’

Tip: You get dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how you work it, play it, build it and change it!

Talkback: Will this win for Popov be a career one-off or a dream jump-off?

Tracks: Pharrell Williams ft Jay-Z – Entrepreneur – https://youtu.be/bTOoY5MIkvM

Missy Elliott – Work It – https://youtu.be/cjIvu7e6Wq8

Lebron James and Dak Prescott Wanna Bring on Their Comeback Tour, But Life’s Got Things on Hold

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It looks like Miami Vice is back! Not the TV show but the style though. The NBA restart’s in full swing and Lebron James stepped out looking like detective Tubbs as ‘The Don.’ Everybody knows he’s got game but dude’s ready to take his old Miami stomping ground by storm. One problem, Covid’s got him in the bubble.

Meantime, the NFL pre-season has been cancelled. The off-season drama and trade rumors have been low-key. Dak Prescott knows things aren’t the same as players opt-out from the upcoming season (if it happens). James and Prescott wanna bring on their comeback tour, but life’s got things on hold.

Dakprescott1

Before the TV coverage play-by-play of a game, we’re used to seeing players roll-in with their fashion avenue looks. Sometimes it’s formal being ‘suit to boot’ dressed. Other times it’s informal with a sport shirt and knee-length shorts. These days that kind of runway arrival isn’t possible because of social distancing.

The sports season is a different kind of animal with challenges to deal with. For example, players can’t leave or return to the bubble without getting ‘Covid-cleared.’ So what have they been doing? It seems golfing, video gaming and ‘social justice explaining’ are high on the list of fillers and off-day activities.

But for the rest of us still trying to get through this new reality, what’s on the agenda while life’s got things on hold? These days our mental health is being tested. For some, building wealth is being re-forecasted. But those that are built tough will survive and have lasted. How we get there depends on having:

  1. Open Mind

At first, James wasn’t sold on playing without fans. Throughout his career he’s been hearing cheers and jeers to motivate him on the court. But now it’s a different ballgame. He’s had to approach things with an open mind. Sometimes that’s needed to put your dreams or career trajectory on the open road.

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  1. Inner Strength

Physical strength we understand when we exercise our muscles. But we appreciate inner strength when we’re bent and stretched emotionally. Sometimes that comes through loss whether it’s a family member or a missed opportunity. Prescott finds himself building inner strength after losing his brother recently.

  1. Game Flow

With the economic shutdown and sports cancellations that’s affected us all, we’ve had some extra time to reflect and recharge. Think of the ‘before and after’ picture for turning this around or taking it to the next level, like what happens after half-time. Teams that make a comeback find a way to get into ‘game flow.’

  1. Winning Spirit

As the old saying goes “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” Yes, winning isn’t everything. It’s the learning that happens along the way that’s turned into a winning spirit. It’s how James has been able to keep his performance at a high level by not just feeling the ‘high’ but finding new skill levels.

Folks say they’ve seen a change in Prescott’s off the field game, with a new cause around social justice. His gridiron game’s got room for turning inner strength into winning spirit and open mind into game flow. If a championship is in his future, he’ll know like James that the comeback tour starts with a person of one.

Tip: Whether after Covid-19, economic shutdown or social unrest, the comeback tour starts with a person of one before you get so fly.

Talkback: What’s it looking like for college football or NFL games?

Tracks: Baby Bash ft Frankie J – Suga Suga – https://youtu.be/6rgStv12dwA

Ledesi – High – https://youtu.be/MEiM2iokvFs

‘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