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

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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

Howard Schultz & Steph Curry Enjoy the Best Work Life Ever as Masters of Their Game

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It was just over a week ago when news hit the wire that Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz would be stepping down. He’s been the head honcho responsible for building the company to its massive presence in the marketplace. In the announcement he described his days at Starbucks as the dream of a lifetime.

While Schultz might be stepping down, Steph Curry just took his team another step up in the annals of NBA history. Having been to the finals four years in a row, they won the last two in back-to-back fashion. Schultz and Curry enjoy the best work life ever on the field of dreams as masters of their game.

For Schultz it’s been about building a world-class brand. For Curry it’s been about building a Warriors team dynasty. Their achievements are so many to mention but what they seem to have in common tells us something about what it takes to be masters of our own game and have the best work life.

Their success reminds us of what it means to act like a player and think like a brand. In our early days of primary/secondary education that’s essentially what we’re learning. In that case it’s a cross between school and sports. But in our adult years it’s a cross between how we develop socially and professionally.

What we learn from Schultz is a sense for how we brand our skills. In the case of Curry we might see how to swag our skills. Those skills have helped to build their competencies into a global franchise and all-star professional. They’ve been through the good, bad & scary and came out ahead by managing:

  1. Passion points vs selling points

Curry’s got game and as a player he thrives on his unique passion points. Schultz’s got mojo as a market leader and helped the biz thrive on its unique selling points. Whether it’s your passion points or selling points these can have different levels of impact starting from the ground-up and starring at the top.

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  1. Bad pain vs bad press

Both had some downtime (or dark time) in their careers. More recently, Curry was out with a sprained ankle. Schultz had to deal with the discrimination incident at a Philly store. Being masters of their game forced them to be ‘twice-baked.’ That’s where you have to grow both personally and professionally.

  1. Skills ballin’ vs niche rollin’

Every year the NBA draft welcomes a new class of players. Some make it through training camp and the Combines to eventual become a household name. A similar journey happens for an emerging brand or ‘on the verge’ artist. What we’ve seen Curry and Schultz do is turn skills into ballin’ and niche into rollin’.

  1. Good fit vs big hit

There’re times we see players on a team for years without making it to the championships. Then they’re traded to another team and somehow things begin to click. Curry hasn’t had a need to be traded and Schultz didn’t jump ship to another brand. They simply became a good fit on the team and a big hit for the fans.

Curry says he’s looking to win a few more rings. Schultz says he’s open to new opportunities in philanthropy and public service. There’re rumors that he might even have an eye on higher office. When their hall-of-fame story is told there’ll be moments when you realize how they enjoyed the best work life.

Tip: Whether it’s becoming a world-class brand or first-rate player, the good ones know how to turn their skills into thrills and their passion points into a big hit.

Talkback: Who should get NBA league MVP this season: Steph, Harden, or Lebron?

Tracks: Carrie Underwood ft Ludacris – The Champion – https://youtu.be/HgknAaKNaMM

Ne-Yo – Good Man – https://youtu.be/3xv9YIOKIZw

Taraji P. Henson & Tyler Perry Give It Their All to Produce an Epic Movie Project like ‘Fatal Attraction’

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Who was that little girl at the recent Art auction? The viral video showed Blue-Ivy Carter sitting with her celebrity parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z at a charity event. She placed a bid on a picture of Sidney Poitier that had folks laughing. It even caught Tyler Perry’s attention since he wanted to have that picture.

Perry told the story during media rounds for his upcoming movie Acrimony which stars Taraji P. Henson. The movie’s title turns out to be one of the most online-searched words this month. Perry teamed-up with Henson for this epic project because he envisioned her as the ‘black Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.’

You can imagine what it was like filming this movie in eight days. Word has it that the universe was created in seven days so this project may be of epic proportions coming on the heels of Easter. Henson also returns to the TV screen as Cookie on Empire for which she’s still about doing big things.

What it takes to be epic is a story Perry and Henson know well. In the professional world it’s about knowing your ‘main thing’ and supporting it with your favorite ‘sides’ or side-hustle. Think of it the way you enjoy a meal. There’s the main thing you’re good at and the supporting side-skills to round-out the work.

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Perry and Henson have used their talents to land bigger roles, raising their market appeal to a higher level. In addition to working with the OWN Network, Perry has signed production deals with other outlets. It’s like an alphabet soup of TBS, OWN and BET. Their inspiring stories are rich in the success mix of:

  1. Faith for the next mountain to climb

Perry recently shared how the Black Panther movie was one of the many showbiz projects shot at his Atlanta studios. The site was an old military base that’s been transformed into ‘Hollywood South.’ How do you go from ‘dead to alive’ in any aspect of career, biz or life? Perry might say it takes mustard seed faith.

  1. Passion for the next road to travel

There were times life presented Perry and Henson with options for the next road to travel. It might be a new project assignment, a new lane in business or a new lease on life. They’ve found the passion for the next road to travel and even for the road less travelled. That’s a choice people make to become epic.

  1. Savvy for the next dollar to make

Perry shared how he was watching TV news and heard the word ‘acrimonious’ used in a certain context. He decided to look up the meaning. Then the light bulb went off in his head to put a different spin on the word for his movie title. Professional savvy is about using a skill or applying a concept in another context.

  1. Smile for the next advice to give

Sometimes when comedians tell jokes they do it with a straight face. There’s a certain seriousness that adds to the punch line. There’re also times when the impact is best made with a smile. Perry and Henson have a way of doing the same when sharing their stories with a little advice thrown in for good measure.

Maybe that’s what was memorable about Blue-Ivy placing her bid. From the looks on her parents’ faces and hers as well, folks weren’t sure if she was serious or playing. But Perry had his mind made up. Like his Madea role, he was seriously-funny about getting his hands on the picture and landing it with a smile.

Tip: When it comes to doing big things in 3 days, 8 days or the rest of your days you might need a mix of faith, passion, savvy and a smile.

Talkback: So who was it that bit Beyoncé in the face?

Tracks: Kirk Franklin – Smile – https://youtu.be/Z8SPwT3nQZ8

Stokley – Level – https://youtu.be/phOiiWL_Ljg

Hoda Kotb & Lionel Richie Make the Dream Stage Look Like a Place Where They Belong

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The stage has been set with the return of American Idol’s rollout. A new slate of judges hit the road for the audition tour. Lionel Richie joins Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to give their two cents on making it in the music business. Richie as the elder of the bunch seems happy to share a hug with the contestants.

The Today Show studio was also set for the return of Hoda Kotb from the Winter Olympics. While doing the show from South Korea the studio got a makeover as they moved on from headline-making changes. Kotb got the nod as co-anchor, rising up the ranks from correspondent to guest-hosting duties.

Kotb and Richie make the dream stage look like a place where they belong. These days it’s where they’ve landed as they keep getting better at their game. It’s a kind of coming together of fate and focus that has helped to make them a force. Kotb even has things falling in place for her as a new mother.

The dream stage is where passion and style can leave us speechless for a while. The stories of Idol contestants create room for Richie to show some love. Plus, the performances are often reminders that it’s not just how they sing it or wing it but also how they bring it. Kotb can relate even for Olympic athletes.

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Some industry watchers weren’t sure if Idol still had cred in the marketplace. Others weren’t sure if the Today Show would have staying power after the shake-up. But Richie and Kotb are showing young and old otherwise. Their stories of longevity and bounce-back-ability in the business are a case of turning:

  1. Talent into a unique identity

Richie first gained popularity as one of the Commodores. The group became a smash with R&B audiences. He later left the group for a solo career. He knows bringing it in your game means turning talent into a unique identity. In biz they call it USP – Unique Selling Point. My own USP is about ‘bringing more flow to life, putting more life in flow.’

  1. Timing into seizing opportunity

Kotb might not have been expecting to be named new Today Show co-host. She already had a hosting role in the ten o’clock hour where she’d be seen sipping on wine. But when the door came open she was ready to seize the opportunity. Timing isn’t just about the clock but also about delivering the right stock.

  1. Talk into more life-learning ability

Some Idol contestants show up ready to seize the opportunity. Some may be there to checkoff a bucket list item. Others are just there to get 15-seconds of buzz. But in any effort for going to the next level, the ones who move from unknown to making it on the dream stage are those who up their life-learning ability.

  1. Test into rising star-quality

When you hear the backstory of these contestants you get a sense of them taking-on life’s tests. It’s as if life was trying to separate the ‘men from the boys or the women from the girls.’ Making it on the dream stage is about using those tests to shape your unique identity and rising star-quality.

The numbers are in and Idol’s season opener pulled 10 million+ viewers. It seems the Today Show is also keeping its numbers strong. Most people start the dream journey unaware or less learned in some area of the game. But they push, pull or tear as they stretch their sail towards good times that never felt so good.

Tip: Making it on the dream stage is about how we push, pull or tear in stretching our sails towards good times that never felt so good.

Talkback: Which Singing Competition Show has created some of the best rising-star moments?

Tracks: Commodores – Sail On – https://youtu.be/Bt95h5yKyYE

Allen Stone – Unaware – https://youtu.be/o4uYo7lRgqA

Jordan Peele & Iyanla Vanzant Take Audiences on a ‘Sharp Turn, Best Life’ Ride that’s Filled with Ooh’s and Aah’s

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The countdown is underway for the next big events on the pop culture calendar. Some fans can’t wait for the NCAA March Madness team selection. Others are looking forward to the iHeartRadio Music Awards. But in the meantime there’s Jordan Peele and Iyanla Vanzant taking fans on a ‘sharp turn, best life’ ride.

For Peele it’s in the success of his movie Get Out which won at the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. It’s the first time that’s happened for an African-American. The movie is part horror, part thriller and part comedy. It starts out with a car making a sharp turn on a local street as the plot unfolds.

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It was a different kind of March Madness in the season opener for Iyanla’s ‘reinvention show’ on OWN. Things didn’t work out the normal way where the guest accepts the chance to find a path towards their best life. Peele and Vanzant generally put their gifts to work on their first audience.. which is themselves.

They know the road to redemption or achieving aspirations usually starts on ‘Self Street.’ Oftentimes how we reach higher is an extension of our comfort with self. Peele and Vanzant turned what appeals/reveals to self as a formula for a successful movie or unscripted TV show that could have been counted out.

In a recent ‘Oprah at the Apollo’ interview Peele gave an inside look into the steps he took in moving his dreams in the right direction. Vanzant often shares hers by saying that she had to do the work to achieve the healing before her place of shining. Their first audience of success started out by taking:

  1. Preparation Steps

Before celebration there’s always preparation. That’s true whether planning a party or going after your dreams. Before becoming a computer engineer I took preparations steps in college. Before going after my dreams in business I took preparation steps as a novice-in-training. These steps help put us in the game.

  1. Production Steps

It’s been said that people can have beginners luck when playing a game for the first time. Things kinda come your way even without trying hard. Where beginners luck ends is where production steps begin. It can be a surprise to do things well the first time. But you build production value doing it again and again.

  1. Breakout Steps

We expect to eventually have breakout steps along the way. The ‘Get Out’ movie is a sort of breakout step for Peele after leaving his Comedy Central gig. Vanzant had her breakout step when she first hosted a daytime talk show. They’ve used breakout steps in taking a risk or setting out as a trailblazer.

  1. Comeback Steps

They’ve also shown they can turn setbacks into comebacks. It’s something we’re teaching our daughter who’s been dealing with a leg (hamstring) injury. Each time it seemed like she was ready to return to her sport she’s had to pull back. Comeback steps help us with raising our game and elevating our dreams.

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step. Whether we choose to walk, run or drive there can be lots of oohs and aahs on the ride. Steve Harvey reminds us that things might go south or get rough as part of God’s plan. But those who get back up keep things moving because they have dreams to celebrate.

Tip: The dream journey of a 1000 miles starts with preparation steps that might set us on a path as trailblazers taking breakout steps.

Talkback: Is it drama or trauma that makes things come alive in Get Out or on Vanzant’s TV show?

Tracks: Drake – God’s Plan – https://youtu.be/xpVfcZ0ZcFM

T.I. ft Chris Brown – Get Back Up – https://youtu.be/B9qZz-m6BL4

Oprah took 15 minutes, Jordin Sparks Took 3 minutes to Go ‘Back in Stride’ with Career Goals and Breakout Dreams

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By now kids have settled into a new school year. There’s probably been a review period to get them up and running with topics they should know. Then things will shift into learning new stuff. Recently, Oprah took 15 minutes and Jordin Sparks took 3 minutes to show us what ‘back in stride’ in business looks like.

Oprah returned to a role she mastered in her earlier career. As a new contributing host on the CBS program 60 Minutes she said it felt like ‘coming home.’ She moderated a panel discussion on current affairs in a way that would disarm those on the ideological ‘right’ and charm those on the ‘left.’

For Sparks it was a chance to sing the anthem at Monday night’s NFL game on a national stage. She’s been working her way back into pop culture venues after a period of being off the radar. It’s been 10 years since she won American Idol and a lot longer than that since Oprah worked as a news reporter.

What does their return to primetime tell us about reaching a new breakout stage in career goals or biz dreams? There’re things they’ve done which remind us about going from career hold to career gold, from career grind to rewind, from dream seed to dream shoot. In part, it’s in what they did to channel their flow.

After doing daytime talk for 25 years, Oprah decided to launch the OWN Network. She saw it as a next-chapter step in her life’s work. To understand that journey from start to destiny is to see her professional shifts from job to career to vocation. But it’s not always that ambitious or straightforward for everyone.

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In the case of Sparks, she kinda disappeared from the scene after injury to her vocal cords. She says it was a close call of possibly not being able to sing professionally again. She took time off for rest. What happened for her in the downtime and for Oprah in the meantime was what they did in ‘service to grow.’

To understand this, think about the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. When the seed is first planted there’s a period of no visible change or growth. This goes on for three or four years. Then suddenly after a while the bamboo tree can grow to heights of 70, 80, 90 feet or more in the space of a few weeks.

While nothing visible was happening it was still doing things in service to grow. That’s what Oprah did as she became cable channel OWNer. There was a period of ifs and buts. It’s what Sparks might also have done when it seemed like her career lights were about to go dark. I’ve been there a time or two as well.

But you realize that when surprise moments come your way that it’s not really a surprise to life. We see this on NBCs The Voice every so often. A contestant starts singing while the judges are turned away in their chair. After hitting the buzzer they turn around to see a face that doesn’t match the voice.

It might surprise the judge, but it’s not a surprise to life that the contestant can ‘sang.’ It was a surprise for some to see Oprah on 60 Minutes or Sparks doing the anthem. But it wasn’t a surprise to life to have that part of their dreams get the green light. They channeled their flow and are reaping what they did sow.

Tip: When you channel your passion’s flow, you’ll reap what you sow as you ‘service your grow.’

Talkback: Who was Oprah ‘channeling’ in her 60 Minutes debut as old-school news reporter?

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

John Legend – Green Light – https://youtu.be/o-AbEO6J8s0