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

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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.

Michael Strahan Pulled Off a Career Makeover That’s a Big Shocker

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

How does Michael Strahan rate the Giants these days? They’ve seen a 1-6 start this season, having finally won a game. Strahan still holds the single season record for the most sacks. He’s since retired and has adjusted to life after playing football. Strahan pulled off a career makeover that’s a big shocker.

On Sunday’s he does his thing as an NFL football analyst on Fox. On weekdays he’s co-host on “Live with Kelly and Michael.” Many didn’t think he had the chops to go from the gridiron to daytime personality. But Strahan’s new gigs work because he’s a natural. His skills and experience have become a natural fit.

The show’s ratings have seen top-billing in its timeslot. Strahan and Kelly bring loads of chemistry and confidence. He’s not shy to try something a little nutty. Strahan seems less driven by ego and more by his alter-ego. That might be how he made the switch so easily from Defensive End to being viewer-friendly.

After a nasty divorce, Strahan vowed he would be more successful in his new career. Even with the obvious smile gap, he’s gone on to be an eye-catcher with his new fiancé. He’s left football behind and now wants to be remembered more for his second run. So careers and dreams can take on new life.

Kelly and Michael recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of their show. He stands tall as a giant as she looks on like a princess. They’ve complemented their talents and marketable assets to deliver comedy, celebrity and a little crazy. Sometimes success pulls together the serious and the downright silly.

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The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

For Strahan, how do the Giants rate? Even though no longer on his plate? With a ‘1 and 6’ start this season. Could Eli trying too hard be the reason? Strahan still holds league record for sacks. That’s just plane ol’ football facts. Life after football with a career makeover. Adjusting to new work is a big shocker.

Sunday football analyst on Fox. Hanging with the crew is out the box. Weekday co-host with Kelly Ripa. Reminds you of British Kate’s sister Pipa. Many didn’t think he had the chops. To go from gridiron to daytime tv pop. The gigs work ‘cause he’s a natural. Skills and cred fit without a sabbatical.

Show’s rating has seen top-billing. In timeslot for those at home chilling. Kelly and Strahan bring pizzazz and chemistry. Not being shy to try something nutty. Strahan less driven by footballer’s ego. But more by the flash of his alter-ego. Might be how he career switched easily. From Defensive End to viewer-friendly.

With a nasty divorce in the rear. Vowed more success in new career. Even with the obvious in smile gap. An eye-catcher to fiancé in his lap. Left the game after 15 yrs play. To turn over new leaf and live another day. Hoping to cherish more from his second run. Showing careers and dreams can take on new fun.

Kelly and Michael just had one-year look at show. They’re a tag-team many feel are on the go. He stands tall as a huggable giant. She looks on like princess reliant. Talent branding to bring comedy, celebrity and some willy nilly. Their success takes a little serious and a big dose of morning silly.

Tip: Upping your game can sometimes mean taking the serious and adding in a dose of silly or taking the silly and adding in a dose of serious.

Talkback: Between Kelly and Michael which one brings the serious and which brings the silly?

Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Shows Green While Teammates Show Pink

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Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

The NY Giants haven’t yet won a game this season. The Chicago Bears didn’t make it any easier. That’s one of many surprises as some teams are bleeding red in the win/loss column. Many players have been wearing pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Brandon Marshall was seen wearing green instead.

Each October the NFL teams-up with the American Cancer Society. Their annual awareness campaign brings attention to breast cancer sufferers and survivors. It’ not that Marshall doesn’t support this cause. His green cleats were to promote Mental Health Awareness Week which also occurs in October.

So the NFL sent a letter to Marshall explaining why he was fined $10,500. It’s a lot of money for the average person. Marshall himself was diagnosed in 2011 with ‘borderline personality disorder.’ He understands the stigma people feel and maybe it’s why pro sports is such an important part of his story.

Marshall tweeted “Football is my platform not my purpose. This fine is nothing compared to the conversation started and awareness raised.” He makes a great point about how sports can play a purposeful role. It might also be an effective platform to stem gun violence, bias and mental health issues.

The debate in sports circles is that the NFL needs to broaden its support for other awareness campaigns advocated by athletes. Sure, it’s impossible to support every such effort. Some feel instead of making one campaign the “Queen” they can make a cross-section of campaigns part of their awareness strategy.

Footnote: Organized sports can provide an outlet for those dealing with hometown issues and a platform for a larger conversation on social issues.