Shakira & J-lo Bring a Wide Skill-Set as Two High Performing Stars in Music & Showbiz

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College athletes ‘bout to get paid! Well, it’s not happening tomorrow or this season. But it’s set to kick-in after a while in California with the new law signed by the Governor. Not everyone is happy with this new shift in sports marketing. Time will tell if fans think the players deserve to get a slice of the gametime pie.

While that works itself out, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez ‘bout to cash-in too. They’ll be the Superbowl’s halftime show headliners. It’s a first for both and a first for two Latin-infused artists to perform together. We can reasonably expect to see lots of shakes, rattles and rolls across the dance stage.

Some wonder if one really needed the other for this premier event. Both have similar backgrounds and achievements in the music biz, selling around 75 million records. They can sing in English, Spanish and Spanglish if it comes to that. They’ve both had their own world tours and soldout performances.

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What’s special here is that their musical medley could include a vast array of hits from hip hop, reggaeton, pop, R&B and Latin flava. What’s even more special is how they next-level their skillset as two high performing stars in music and showbiz. Their list of awards is too long to unpack right this minute.

Shakira with her belly dancing chops and Jlo with her Hustler movie role could bring a new level of sexy sizzle to the big show. Whether singing, dancing, acting or just sky-walking in the air, they’re ready to fulfill a dream that’s a long time coming. Their star power is an example of what it takes to be:

  1. Brand Conscious

Everybody knows sex sells in showbiz. But business savvy has taken them all the way to the bank. Jlo’s made her share of pop culture dollaz across music, movies, TV and consumer fragrance products. You get the sense that if they could find a way to be ‘brand conscious’ with dirt, they’d collect there too.

  1. Body Conscious

They’ve been known to use their bodies to tease male fans. Some people have a way to ‘fit it’ and others have a way to ‘flaunt it.’ It’s a case where fitness alone doesn’t make them hot in showbiz. These ladies are body conscious with it to the point where they know how to bring a swish and a swash.

  1. Socially Conscious

There’re two women Jlo admires, not so much for their ‘swish and swash’ but for their socially conscious dash. One is the notorious RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the other Michelle Obama. It’s the kind of socially conscious appeal she hopes to have, not as a duplicate but as a ‘Jenny from the block’ original.

  1. Style Conscious

It takes style conscious swag for folks to be so attracted to what they’re wearing. Imagine the number of outfit changes they’ll make during the performance? It only takes removing layer after layer right down to skin and more skin. We might even see a few magazine front cover spreads in time for the big event.

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Shakira is set to release the movie edition of her recent concert world tour. Jlo’s been getting Oscar buzz for her role in the Hustler movie. When these ladies bring it together it’s gonna be lots of hot momma ‘shaking and baking’ for the taking. If you know what I know, watchout for them wandering eyes. Hey ya!

Tip: Next-leveling your skillset is a good way for bringing high-performance hustle to the game and brand-conscious star power to your fame.

Talkback: Is college players getting paid a good thing and will it change the game?

Tracks: OutKast – Hey ya! – https://youtu.be/PWgvGjAhvIw

Mary J Blige – Know – https://youtu.be/hjCbGmVMcQI

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin as Star Athletes Have Been Able to Drop Some Things to Achieve Their Dreams While Holding on to Something Special

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Who’s ready for some Cookie? For those not sure, we’re talking about the lead character on Empire. The show is making its last season run and fans will be watching for a host of reasons. If that’s not your TV ‘cookie’ of choice, then maybe you’re waiting for This is Us or the new smash show The Masked Singer.

While you’re thinking about your TV downtime, others might have seen the feature story on CBS’ 60 Minutes about Shaquem & Shaquill Griffin. They’re identical twin brothers playing in the NFL. It’s hard to separate them not just based on looks but also on the pact they made with each other as eight year-olds.

Shaq & Shaq (sounds like a law firm) grew up playing football in the usual youth leagues before making it to college. The problem was that initially one was accepted on scholarship and the other was left out to dry. Eventually they’d both get scholarships and play at the Division I level.

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They made their way through the rigors of the sport and were ready to go to the next level. The problem was that Shaquem didn’t get an invite to the NFL Combines. His brother put in a word with the Seattle Seahawks who later invited him to tryout. Dude then ran the faster 40-yard dash for a Linebacker.

The story focuses on Shaquem because he’s the first one-handed player in the NFL. But that’s not how he’d like to be remembered. He wants his stats to do the talking. He works at his game in areas and ways that others might take for granted. When it seems like things might hold us back, he shows us to drop the:

  1. Mask

So, about that show where stars perform behind a mask. Folks guess on who they think it is and then one is revealed. Interestingly, last season’s winner saw a jump in his cred. Well Shaquem didn’t hide behind his assumed limits and treat it like a mask. Nothing was gonna prevent him from achieving his dream.

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  1. Fear

It’s said we show up in life with two fears: of heights and loud noises. All others are learned over time. What Shaquem seemed to have done was work hard not only at the skill of the game, but also at dropping his fears. He might have realized that f.e.a.r. is really ‘fools error acting ready’ to distract or disable our goals.

  1. Scab

Remember when you’d get a bruise. It would hurt in the moment and for a day or so longer. Then a ‘scab’ would appear to protect the injured spot. Shaquem’s twin brother has been his protector through the long haul. But Shaquem has also dropped the ‘scab’ of not having both hands, where it doesn’t even matter.

  1. Excuses

When Shaquem didn’t get invited to the Combines that was some hurt. It might have even formed a ‘scab.’ But he decided he wasn’t gonna make excuses. He’d just keep plugging away. When he later got a chance at showing what he could do, he was able to run, tackle and catch like any player on the field.

No matter the career track or season, they’re some similar things we get to work on. Yes, there’s skill of the game, networking in the industry and challenges yet to overcome. When we make a pact or set a goal, we drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion we’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Tip: When folks make a pact or set goals, they’ll drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion they’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Talkback: So what’s Cookie up to these days and will fans see an appearance of Jussie?

Tracks: Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind – https://youtu.be/QsZlY0Vz4-o

Chronixx – I Can – https://youtu.be/fUREgj4i684

Lilly Singh Gets a New Show, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Gets a New Season as They Go Bigger and Shine Brighter for Work & Play Projects

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There’s lots of sports & showbiz milestones being celebrated these days. The NFL is in its 100th season and Monday Night Football celebrates 50. Then there’re those celebrities hitting their marks of career longevity and breakout opportunity. That’s where Lilly Singh and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson fit in.

Singh just launched her talk show on a major TV network. She’s best known as a Youtuber whose Indian heritage makes her the only ‘person of color’ host in the late-night space. Johnson just announced that his show The Titans was renewed for a second season. They’re on the map with years apart in experience.

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Things have been quite busy for Johnson with his recent nuptials. Of note, he and his longtime girlfriend were on their honeymoon when he left early to be a fill-in guest on the debut of Kelly Clarkson’s new show. Johnson says his lady loves Kelly and so he had permission to leave early to help-out a situation.

Singh who’s probably not yet a household name, gives props to Johnson and to Trevor Noah. Both have offered their support as she comes into her own game in the new Hollywood space. In a sense, they’ve been using ‘house money’ budgets from Broadcast/Cable Networks for their work & play projects.

They’re in their own lanes working to improve on personal/professional gains. There’s prob a lot for Singh to learn in Hollywood where Johnson can be helpful. And there’ll likely come a time when he’s a guest on her show. Johnson’s got so many projects on his plate, so his career advice might be how he manages:

  1. Focus

A circus juggler manages multiple balls going in circles in the air. They say the trick is as you focus on one ball at a time, it’s to focus on being centered. When you’re centered you maintain good posture, timing and purpose. Centering is what makes juggling acts work and multi-project acts in business soar.

  1. Fuel

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Johnson points to a rigorous fitness regimen to keep him centered and fueled. With all that he’s doing from sun-up to sundown, he’s got to manage his energy, passion and nutrition to fuel his drive. He knows that as with cars, there’re different grades of fuel needed to drive our dreams on the road to success.

  1. Franchise

A franchise is usually seen as a brick & mortar store that has hundreds of locations. But Singh will experience a different kind of franchise in showbiz. It’s where she’ll have to master a ‘production formula’ that keeps new episodes coming and new viewers watching, eventually into the hundreds of thousands.

  1. Fame

There’s fresh excitement as Singh starts a new show. Her core supporters will watch because they ‘knew her before.’ Others will come on-board as word spreads and they get to know her. There may be some slip-ups or mess-ups along the way but a good role model for her is how Johnson has managed fame.

While Singh’s a new name, Johnson’s one of the biggest in the game. He’s got five People’s Choice Award nods this year. His summer blockbuster ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ was a spinoff to the Fast & Furious series. They get to go bigger, shine brighter and let their dreams fly like a bird in every direction.

Tip: The key with ‘moving & shaking’ in biz is to go bigger, fly higher and letting your dreams fly in every direction.

Talkback: What’s it gonna take for Singh to rollout with a bang on the first season of her new show?

Tracks: Beyoncé – Bigger – https://youtu.be/k6A9vtrJF5I

Imagine Dragons – Birds – https://youtu.be/vOXZkm9p_zY

Rihanna Ready to Do Bigger Things, Kyler Murray Ready to Bring His A-Game; Both Looking to Flex What They’ve Got Next

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Whether as a sports fan or music fan, lots of folk got their eyes on the scoreboard. For sport fans it might be the NBA draft lottery or playoffs where Lebron James is out but Kawhi Leonard is in. After an almost magical game-ending shot, The Raptors moved on to play Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.

For music fans it might be the latest release from Ciara or waiting for the next winner on Idol or The Voice to be crowned. But even those primetime events might not be where it’s at. Folks are also watching for how Rihanna is ready to do bigger things and NFL #1 pick Kyler Murray is ready to bring his A-game.

Both are looking to flex what they’ve got next. Rihanna announced a major partnership for her luxury ‘Fenty’ fashion line with LVMH. Word is that she’s the first woman to have an original line with the iconic fashion house. She’s also the first woman of color to head-up her own high-fashion creations there.

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Murray took to the field recently as part of rookie minicamp. He’s got a lot riding on him playing for the Arizona Cardinals. They’ve had a few losing seasons and are hoping to turn things around with Murray at the helm as QB. In the days ahead, all eyes will be on the scoreboard for both Rihanna and Murray.

They didn’t get to this point overnight. Rihanna now 31, won her first Grammy at 19. She’s produced loads of hits and fans are waiting on her next project which is rumored to be reggae-infused. Murray comes from a football family and can’t wait to develop his pro game. They know it’s about working on the:

  1. Talent

At an early age Rihanna figured-out that she had singing chops. Then she was discovered by Jay-Z whose record label gave her the exposure and the resources for developing her talent. Now she’s a multi-award artist and international icon. She’s turned talent into far-reaching fandom and record sales.

  1. Player

The concern some sports commentators have about Murray is he’s got average height. Will he be able to see over the offensive or defensive lines? What he seems to bring is that he’s not so much a pocket-passer as much as he is an open-field scrambler. Maybe as a player he’s more like a Michael Vick.

  1. Star

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One of Rihanna’s big hits came with the words ‘shine bright like a diamond.’ It’s something she’s been able to do on the world stage. Murray’s got his chance in the big leagues. So what’s it going to take for him to be a star? Maybe a winning record or a breakout performance as rookie and starting QB.

  1. Brand

Just imagine, Rihanna started out as a little-known singer from Barbados. She made a name for herself on the music charts. Then she made some moves into fashion with boots, cosmetics and other sexy apparel. Now she’s stepping up her brand-name mojo and market appeal to having a luxury clothing line.

For Rihanna and Murray, it might feel like they’re at another starting point in their careers. Like a lot of recent college grads, they’re getting ready to flex what they’ve got next. If what they’ve done already in sports and music says anything, then they’re ready to do bigger things and bring their A-game.

Tip: Those ready to flex what they’ve got next bring their A-game to do bigger and better things by taking their talent from ‘diamond in the rough’ to brand-name star.

Talkback: Who’s ready to see Murray’s first scrimmage or waiting for Rihanna’s next album drop?

Tracks: Rihanna – Diamonds – https://youtu.be/lWA2pjMjpBs

Shaggy – Money Up – https://youtu.be/VW5ayZX38Jo

Checkout Spike Lee and Regina King Exchanging Notes on ‘Being in The Running’ and Getting That First Shot at the Big Prize

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It’s maybe one of the biggest no-calls in an NFL game. That’s the general feeling among players and fans after the Saints-Rams championship. Even the Rams defensive player helped make the point. That turnover moment will be remembered for how it took away Saints momentum during the late stretch.

Then there’s the roll-call coming out of Hollywood with this year’s Oscar nominations. Lots of buzz around Spike Lee getting his first pick ever. There’s probably just as much attention Lee will receive if he wins as Regina King got when she won at the Golden Globes. Imagine what we’d learn if they exchanged notes?

Lee and King spent a lot of time ‘being in the running.’ Over the years Lee has produced a host of films that made waves in pop culture. But it seems he kept being overlooked by the Academy. King was a child actor on the sitcom ‘227’ before becoming a Director and making her powerful statement at the Globes.

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They’d tell the story going from no-call in Hollywood to roll-call in nominations and going from first-look to getting that first-shot in industry. They kept doing their thing even when overlooked. As they worked on their performance styles and pleasing audiences, they had love for the fans and hustle-love for the game.

Lee has produced films that raise social awareness and deliver entertainment value. Sometimes he appears on sports-talk shows debating crossover topics. King has seen roles from the small screen to the big movie sets. And she’s preparing for a new career goal in 2019 as she steps-up her game with some:

  1. School Days

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There’s the movie School Daze that Lee produced around the HBCU college scene. But there’s also ‘school days’ that King is ready to tackle. She knows there’s more to learn about herself, her craft and showbiz as an industry. That’s probably a satisfaction Lee now feels having gone down that road.

  1. Challenge Days

King realizes that her goal will come with some challenge days. These aren’t just days of a social media challenge which can get out of hand. Folks are doing crazy stuff for no good reason. The challenge days King expects involve doing big stuff for greater results. Such challenge days can bring greater meaning.

  1. Tough Calls

With the Saints game, one view is that the no-call was a tough call to make. That’s maybe why the NFL plans to consider whether pass-interference plays will be subject to video review in the future. There’re tough calls to make when it comes to being in the running and getting your first shot at the big prize.

  1. Pitch Calls

Over the years Lee has probably done a few ‘pitch calls’ where he’s made the case for his next project. A part of stepping-up her game means King will have to do the same. Making the pitch often involves figuring-out the niche. That helps with opening new doors and bringing new ideas to the marketplace.

The Vegas bookies will give the odds-on favorite for which team has the best chance to win in the Superbowl. The showbiz talkers will get into the nitty-gritty on who’s got the best chance to win in each Oscars category. Lee and King know it’s not an easy road, but they meet the challenge by taking a shot.

Tip: Showbiz & sports stars know success is in having love for the fans and hustle-love for the game.

Talkback: Is it time for Spike Lee to win that big one and for pass-interference calls to be reviewable?

Tracks: Buju Banton – Not an easy road – https://youtu.be/5JQcn9w_PUk

Ella Mai – Shot Clock – https://youtu.be/RR1_p1zjeSI

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

#ActLikeaSuccess Book Notes and Reader Commentary (part 4)

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Who knew that Hans and Franz from SNL fame would make a comeback? Their TV ad roles played by alum Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey are seen getting Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumped-up for the NFL season. Harvey’s also using the airwaves to pump-up careers and dreams for getting paid.

His professional travels have taken him to comedy clubs, TV/radio studios and the White House. The first thought of what he might do for a living came in elementary school. The teacher asked the class to share what they wanted to do as a career. Harvey said he wanted to be on TV. His teacher wasn’t buying it.

There’re different jobs that people have on TV or any other career field. Some are behind the scenes while others out front. Some are in management while others are regular workers. Where we are in our careers is likely built around some professional training. It’s related to skills, talents and ‘gifting’ intellect.

At times we get visions of our professional paths in different ways. Most of us as kids have big ideas and lofty dreams. Harvey has seen his vision evolve and expand over time. He explains in a tweet that he’s come to learn that your career is what you’re paid for but your calling is what you’re made for.

Sometimes a calling comes across as being only for certain people. But one way to move beyond that limiting view is to consider our purpose. In one sense our calling is how we make the Creator look good. Our purpose is how we serve some earthly good. Our career turns passion into us being damn good.

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Harvey has taken his career from insurance salesman to talk show anchorman. With all the money-making roles he’s had over the years he reminds us that success is also about having our professional life be complemented by purpose. This way each day becomes more than just bringing home the bacon.

Moreover, where we are in making a contribution is not limited to the workplace. How we maximize our cred goes beyond the paycheck to the payback. It’s even in matters of public service. Harvey’s foundation provides mentoring opportunities to boys because he sees this as a way of serving the community.

OK, so the NFL season is about halfway thru. Some teams will likely not make the playoffs. The calendar year is almost done and maybe some people are looking ahead. Harvey’s take on getting pumped-up for going to the next level might mean doing a ‘double check’ on where we are and where we hope to be.

Footnote: If purpose is why we’re here then career can help get us there. This way getting paid is more than just filling in the blanks day after day and year after year.