Marsai Martin & Michelle Obama Might Not be Related but Share Similar Points for Putting Your Best Foot Forward in the Game This Year

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There’s lots of talk these days about whose winning streak is the best. Whether it’s Tom Brady being in eight NFL conference championships in a row or Lebron James in eight straight NBA finals. Some think Brady has lost a step this season. Others feel James has a long way to go for another championship.

For those looking at things through a different lens, then Marsai Martin and Michelle Obama might be the focus. Martin who’s one of the child actors on Black-ish is set to be the youngest executive producer of a feature film. She’s teaming-up with other more seasoned players in Hollywood on the project.

 

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Then of course there’s Obama’s Becoming book tour which might be on break now, but books are still selling. She’s maintained her own streak in the #1 spot as the best-selling book in 2018 since the 50 Shades of Grey release. The tour is gearing-up for a return in February with U.S. and international dates.

Martin and Obama aren’t related but share similar points for putting your best foot forward. For Martin it’s been a few years since landing her role on Black-ish as she’s an inspiration to the young’uns. For Obama it’s been a few years since leaving the White House and she’s an inspiration to young and old.

Since the new year is off to a fresh start, they give us the feeling that we can run-on and see what the next level might be. Whether it’s getting started on the good foot, turning-up with the best look or bringing the right energy. Their success steps have been like going from seed to tree to fruit in ‘Becoming’ a:

  1. Breakout

Martin and Obama might say they were nurtured by people who believed in them. That helped them develop from a seed to having a ‘tree’ mentality. When others believe in you and your work then there’s a good chance that your breakout will come. Like a seed becoming a tree, you’ll breakout in the right soil.

  1. Blossom

They can point back to a time when things began to blossom. Like blossoms on a tree, it’s where a certain beauty starts to flourish before the fruit appears. Making 2019 a year of ‘Becoming’ is more than just having good ideas. It’s letting the ideas blossom into something that’s full of beauty, color and value.

  1. Brand

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When asked whether she’d ever run for President, Obama is clear; NO! In a sense, that’s not how she sees her brand. Now that they’ve moved beyond their own blossom stage, they’re carving out a niche that sets their brand apart. Your brand helps to establish the fruit of your labor in the marketplace.

  1. Breeze

Beyond the cooling effects of a good breeze is the laid-back feeling you get. It’s the ‘no problem mon’ attitude some project. Whether as a child star or player on the world stage, Martin and Obama bring a ‘cool factor’ to their work. Maybe it’s why they project to fans a kind of cool, relaxed, laid-back feeling.

Taking a page from Martin and Obama in 2019 might mean looking more closely at the steps of ‘becoming.’ They both use the idea of going back in time to a ‘younger self’ to project their best self.  That’s a way to ‘believe in you’ and get to the spot of being a survivor or the #1 spot as a ‘brand new me.’

Tip: Going back in time to a ‘younger self’ has helped others leap forward in time to project their best self.

Talkback: What would it mean for your current self to feel like 19 again?

Tracks: Alicia Keys – Brand New Me – https://youtu.be/wOSv1TIa58M

Destiny’s Child – Survivor – https://youtu.be/Wmc8bQoL-J0

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Lebron James and Serena Williams Give Us a Preview of 2019, Using a Review of 2018

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The College Football National Championship was a shocker! Well, maybe not to Clemson players and fans, but to Alabama coach Nick Saban and the roll-tide squad who fell short at the end. The sports world will re-watch the game highlights and see that they’re some budding stars in the making.

Lebron James and Serena Williams are already big-time stars with lots of winning moments too. They were recently named AP Male/Female Athletes of the Year. James for the third time, Williams for the fifth. So, if you’re wondering what’s next for them, they give us a preview of 2019, using a review of 2018.

James has been recovering from a groin injury suffered during the Christmas Day game. He doesn’t want to return too soon, making sure that he’s fully mended. In 2018 he got no NBA Championship parade or MVP awards. But his ‘game stats’ were just as impressive in social advocacy and community impact.

The same kinda holds true for Serena who didn’t get to win that coveted 24th grand slam championship. But she did something that few have accomplished by returning to the game after a dicey child birth less than a year earlier. The AP selection group says she got the award for showing perseverance.

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Serena recently played a tune-up match in a mixed-doubles game. She’s hoping to get back to her usual ‘passion & fire’ form. For James during his absence, the Lakers coach is hoping that the team can find its mojo while he’s out. James and Williams on and off the court help preview 2019 for how to:

  1. Flex your stuff

During her pre-game warm-up and stretch, Serena was seen holding her child close. It seemed her baby was a little fearful and needed some lovin’. So, in the new year we can break the fear. Just take time to warm-up to how you’ll flex your stuff, bring some hustle-love to your game and stretch yourself in 2019.

  1. Up your game

James is probably spending a lot of time with the team trainers doing things to strengthen the injured muscle. How he plays the game might be about shots and rebounds. But how he ups his game might be about hustle and flow. It’s about getting mind, body and soul to work together and put you on a roll.

  1. Earn your keeps

Downtime from the game for Serena allowed her to grow her family. Downtime for James might also be about how he grows his value with pro sports, his Foundation and other biz enterprises. Sometimes the work you do isn’t just about the 9 to 5, but also how you add value personally, professionally and socially.

  1. Rock your best

James recently re-shared a quote from former ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott who once said “Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your convictions to match your destiny.” That might be a good way to describe how they approach their game to amaze at work and rock their best.

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The clock is still ticking on James’ return. Fans want to see that magic again. Serena is getting ready for her next grand-slam tournament at the Australian Open. If the review of 2018 serves as a preview of 2019, they’d say you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.  Holla if you with me!

Tip: In order to rock your best and earn your keeps you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.

Talkback: What’s in-store for your new year to make it a “new you, new woo?”

Tracks: Jodeci – Get on Up – https://youtu.be/Sy6gPBix32k

Angie Stone – Do What You Gotta Do – https://youtu.be/4oS-GAy5MUY

Tyler Perry and Steve Harvey Bring a Dose of Laughs and a Drop of Reality to Get Folks Juiced-up for the Holidays (and Beyond)!

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No more drama! No more Madea? If fans had to choose they might say ‘No more drama for $200’ as Tyler Perry says he’s retiring the Madea character. It might be easier for them getting rid of the drama in life than for seeing the end of Madea. But at least Perry threw-in the fact that their layaway got pre-paid.

More Family Feud! More Little Big Shots! That’d be no-brainer for Steve Harvey. He’s set to host an upcoming holiday special where kids get to say and do their talent thing. While Perry and Harvey enjoy doing those projects, they know that in showbiz you gotta find ways to reinvent yourself.

In their work, they deliver a dose of laughs on stage and a drop of reality off stage. Even if it doesn’t get everybody excited for the holidays it might get some fans juiced-up for the new year. Either way, there’s enough good times and good vibes that can take us into next year for going from pre-lit to major hit.

Harvey says his wife loves to decorate for the season. Whether that means going with a pre-lit tree or starting from scratch is anyone’s guess. But the path we take to being fully-lit personally & professionally means embracing the things in life that come pre-lit: gifts, talents, calling, purpose, passion and dreams.

Perry and Harvey might explain in their tweetable moments that they’ve done the same in their careers. The holiday trees at home and across the country get to standout by adding some decorations. A good mix of ornaments, ribbons, tinsel and a tree-topper. So, success in going from pre-lit to major hit takes:

  1. Skill

While talent is something that usually comes naturally, skill is doing it with your eyes closed. Perry and Harvey spent years developing their skill by turning an ability into a capability. While talent gives us the ability to shine, skill gives us the capability to elevate things that come naturally to a level of superiority.

  1. Smarts

Harvey jokes about how his new beard has made him look and feel smarter. Well at least in the eyes of his grandkids. They keep quizzing him and he keeps answering. The smarts that makes folks lit professionally comes with more knowledge (as in book-smarts) and insight (as in street-smarts).

  1. Social

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Perry was a recent presenter at an event honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela. You remember, it’s where Beyoncé graced the stage like an African goddess. What he’s doing by supporting everyday lives at home and abroad shows a level of care and influence that brings social impact.

  1. Soul

Perry and Harvey give props to the God-side in them reaching new heights. Sometimes the things that hold us back are tied to F.E.A.R. – a case of ‘Fool’s Error Acting Ready’ to kill your hopes and dreams. But when God stirs your soul you get juiced-up with a new vision for going from pre-lit to major hit.

The Madea winddown tour is set for next year. Perry believes it’s time to bring new things to life. That’s also true when the holiday season ends and the resolutions-rollout begins. When we hit the stage for the upcoming 2019 wind-up it’s a good time for ‘no more drama’ and celebrating a ‘new you, new woo.’

Tip: Going from pre-lit to major hit personally and professionally means you don’t stop ‘til you get enough skill, smarts, social and soul.

Talkback: What’s in-store for your holidays, for your new year?

Tracks: Mary J. Blige – No More Drama – https://youtu.be/em328ua_Lo8

Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – https://youtu.be/yURRmWtbTbo

Steph Curry and Jennifer Lopez Give Fans the Best Feeling for Stepping-up Their Game and Living Their Best Life

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Lots of celebrations getting ready to happen over the next couple weeks. The office parties will have a little more ‘workplace buzz’ than usual. In college sports, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced. But another winner, 9-year-old Riley Morrison, recently got the attention of NBA star Steph Curry.

She wrote a letter to Curry asking why she couldn’t find his sneakers in girls’ sizes. After making a quick check with the manufacturer, he got back to his young fan with great news. His response was good enough for helping her get those shoes. But he also threw in a few surprises that made for a nice story.

Another kind of story, maybe a ‘second act’ version, is what we see in the latest project by Jennifer Lopez. Lopez might say it’s never too late to bounce-back from a breakup or get a breakthrough after a setback. Curry and Lopez give fans the best feeling for stepping-up their game and living their best life.

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Whether it’s the letter from Curry or lessons from Lopez on living your dreams, they know what it means to be on a winning team or star in the show. There’re some things you might have to do more of. There’re some things you might have to do less of. And there’re some things you might have to do ‘more or less.’

Curry wanted his young fan to see in real time that he heard her concern. He took a few steps to make it right. And he gave her more reason to work on her game. But even beyond the playing court, the office or the workplace of the day, Curry’s letter was good advice for young and old on how to:

  1. Fear less

Someone once said “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Curry saw that in his young fan. Clearly, basketball is a major love for her. It probably fires-up her world. Why wouldn’t you fear less when something you love lights-up your soul, brings heat to your game and energy to your grind?

  1. Limit less

So what Curry did was have his shoe company update the website to show ‘boys’ sizes versus ‘girls’ sizes. That small change took the limits off who could order those shoes. Curry wanted her to see that if they can take those limits off the website, she can also take any limits off what she could achieve.

  1. Dream more

Lopez might see herself in that little girl. She’s been in showbiz from the TV screen to the Hollywood side of things. Her latest project reminds us that when we dream more good things can happen. Curry sent a similar message to Riley in his letter by giving her first-dibs on the next release of his sneaker line.

  1. Party more

He even invited her to a special Women’s Day celebration next year. He plans to have her attend the event and maybe even get prime seats at a home game. They say no good deed goes unpunished. But Curry’s good deed will likely light a bigger fire for his young fan to go on and celebrate even more.

Some might say there’s no party like a holiday party. Curry’s seen a few parties in recent years as back-to-back NBA champ. Lopez has gotten quite a few awards across film, music and television. She knows a good party makes the journey more fun. They’re ‘game’ about having no limits and living their best life.

Tip: When it comes to living your best life, those who fear less tend to dream more and those who limit less tend to party more.

Talkback: How’d you feel if Curry or Lopez singled you out for a party invitation?

Tracks: Usher ft. Young Thug – No Limit – https://youtu.be/3w0yqAdJ1iY

Beyonce ft. J. Cole – Party – https://youtu.be/XWCwc1_sYMY

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Take Their Bankable and Likable Personalities to a New Level in Showbiz

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So who’s already in the holiday spirit? Ok step right here! And who’s not quite yet in the mood? Ok step over here! If that were a test for getting picked for a lucky prize, then some folks would be in the running and others would not. But what if the question was more about getting a promotion or a breakout role?

Maybe Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda can relate as they turn-up their game. Johnson is in high demand on the Hollywood big screen. While Miranda still draws a crowd to the Broadway stage. They’re taking their bankable and likable personalities to a new level in showbiz.

Their most recent efforts have them looking forward to how fans react to their work. Miranda points out a certain scene in his upcoming project that he describes as the “hardest 10 seconds of my life” because of its multi-tasking aspect. Johnson sees his new project as one that oozes with passion.

The journey to being respected in their field might remind us of what it takes to ‘woo at work’ and star in the game. For Johnson it’s about making sure fans don’t leave the venue unhappy from any of his performances. That might be true in the workplace for not leaving the boss or yourself unhappy either.

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In taking skills and talents at work to the next level there might be some multi-tasking as well. But even for Johnson and Miranda there are a few other things that go along with those good looks and bright smiles. Their specialness seems to have a certain completeness that helps propel their greatness by how they:

  1. Know the drill

One thing common to both as actors is having to know their lines. Oftentimes the role comes to life as they deliver the punchline or ramp-up the action. For success on the big screen or work stage we also have to know the drill for getting stuff done. Things takeoff as we ramp-up our performance.

  1. Shift the grind

Johnson has had to reinvent himself a few times. After a brief try at pro football, he made his name in pro wrestling before becoming an actor. We’ve watched him shift the grind the way an 18-wheeler might shift the gears. Some grit came with each shift and we saw that show-up in his many action roles.

  1. Bring the thrill

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Miranda has a knack with words. Johnson has a knack with force. The thrill the audience feels keeps them wanting more. Whatever it is that’s your knack is the punch you gotta pack. The thrill we feel is the chills they send from delivering their role with great entertainment value.

  1. Feel the fun

Imagine what happens behind the scenes of these productions. There’re lots of technical parts that go into making it happen. As they’re having fun doing it, we’re having fun experiencing it. That’s where the passion for what they do comes through. We get to feel the fun from start to finish.

Not everybody gets to win the big prize or meet their favorite celeb. But if so, Johnson and Miranda might share a tip on being a plus-factor at work or a breakout role. It’s taking care of the basics and sometimes knowing the right tricks. And on the other side of the game, get your hustle-love on and give them chills.

Tip: The key to being able to ‘woo at work’ or star in the game is taking care of the basics, getting your hustle-love on and giving them chills.

Talkback: What’s your favorite ‘Rock’ movie or memorable ‘Miranda’ moment?

Tracks: Erykah Badu – Other Side of The Game – https://youtu.be/3qpyDUfMq-8

Charlie Wilson – Chills – https://youtu.be/eGsXkZW6s9Q

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Gift

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

  1. Genius

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

  1. Niche

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

  1. Network

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Look

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

  1. View

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

  1. Push

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

  1. Promise

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

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

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

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

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

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