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

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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