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From Success to Significance

From Success to Significance

Today, I lift my head and I see this seed that I planted over 200 weeks ago. And I didn’t just plant it and leave it. No, I  watered, nurtured and cared for this podcast (my baby) each and every week. Not a Monday morning at 5am went by that I didn’t have an episode going live for you in nearly 4 years. And today, we celebrate yet another amazing milestone in episode 200.

There are so many of you who over the years have shared a DM or a WhatsApp, a text, a post or a tweet or a 5 star review and in whatever way you did that and given me a big ups, you’ve let me know you care and that you’re listening.  And I can’t tell you just how much I value and appreciate every  last one of those notes and messages. 

My call to action today is to move from a pursuit of success to that of significance because what we are leaving, matters! What we leave will impact others … for good or bad.

My ask today is that you’d join our NEW Blazer Nation community on facebook.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY

CONVERSATION AND TRIVIA:

  • What was the first date that Trailblazers went live inside of Apple Podcasts? 
  • How did you learn about the podcast? 
  • At the beginning of last year, 2018, we had six episodes to open the year talking about wealth and how we approach the wealth gap. We did it again this year, and we're working on it right now for January of next year for our third annual wealth series.  There’s an episode in that 2018 wealth series that broke down estate planning, and it’s hands down, one of my favourite conversations that I had because of the impact of that episode. Who knows the name of that guest that we featured? 
  • What was your most impactful episode that you probably think back to and you were really moved by? 
  • How do I go deeper, right? Do I even need to do more? Has this actually helped you guys to blaze your trail? 
  • The last two questions that I ask on just about every episode is about resources and about action.  Do you guys find value in those questions? Are you looking to those books? Are you taking action on what they're recommending? Do you find value in those questions? 
  • How many countries has Trailblazers been downloaded in to date?
  • What can you imagine for trailblazers.fm in the years ahead? 
  • How do we incorporate the element of community for Trailblazers.FM

 

KEY POINTS:

  • There are three levels to life:  survival, success and significance.  But neither survival nor success is going to ever give you a true sense of fulfillment in life. Only significance, the third level to life can do that.  Let's chase a life of significance.
  • Yesterday at my church, my pastor shared, that  are three levels to life. First level he described as being sort of in survival mode, right. Survival. Where you're just living day to day. The second level is where we're chasing after success in all its forms — whether it's the money, the title or prestige and power. And I love that he emphasized that success is largely an external pursuit, right? Give thought to that. It's pretty much true. Amazing takeaway from this though is that neither survival nor success is going to ever give you a true sense of fulfillment in life. Only significance, significance, which is the third level to life can do that, right. And so over the past several weeks our pastor has been pouring into me about chasing a life of significance and that, you know, it's not just what we do with our lives, but it's about what we pass on. 
  • It's not just what we do with our lives, but it's about what we pass on. It's about our impact that we have on others.
  • It's about our impact that we have on others and as a parent obviously thought of the importance of what Kristin and I are passing on to our kids. You know, we want to pass on some good things to both our children and to the next generation. And this line from our pastor hit me like a ton of bricks. He said what we are leaving mattters, what we leave will impact others for good or bad. And it really hit me. It hit me hard, right? Because you and I, we've seen a great many cases of bad passing on bad right? And if we don't have the right things in our hearts, in our minds, in our possession, we can't pass it on. If we don't have it, we can't give it. You can't give an inheritance you don't have, right? You can't pass on money to your children that's not in your bank account;, you can't gift a successful business you don't own. 
  • So it's important we recognize that what we are doing, what we are leaving matters. And so today this message really spoke to me, right? If the good Lord called me home today, I know that I'm leaving my family a financial inheritance, thanks to Art Steele on episode 103, right? There is a will and an estate plan and an insurance policy that's going to take care of the family. But beyond that, I'm happy I've given this generation and the next generation, this podcast, right? I'm blessed to hear each and every day the impact of this show and what it's done in the lives of others. From day one, it's been my heart to impact, impart the knowledge and the wisdom and the tools of the successful trailblazers of our day, knowing that it's going to help someone both today and at some point in the future that will go on to rise above and go beyond and blaze their trail in life. 
  • I'm happy that I've given this generation and the next generation, this podcast. I'm blessed to hear each and every day the impact of this show and what it's done in the lives of others.
  • From day one, it's been my heart to impact, impart the knowledge and the wisdom and the tools of the successful black trailblazers of our day, knowing that it's going to help someone both today and at some point in the future that will go on to rise above and go beyond and blaze their trail in life.
  • I look back at the seed I planted over 200 weeks ago; and I didn't just plant it and leave it right. I watered it; I nurtured it; I cared for it. I cared for this baby – my podcast – each and every week. Not a Monday morning at 5 AM went by. I didn't have an episode going live for you. Nearly four years now, and today we celebrate, we celebrate our 200th episode. We celebrate this milestone with you – our community – who I affectionately have called our Blazer Nation. And there are so many of you who listen week in and week out; and over the years many of you have shared DMs, you've shared WhatsApp messages and text messages and social media posts and tweets and five star reviews; and in whatever way you did that, you gave me are big ups. You've let me know that you care and, most importantly, you've let me know that you are listening. And for that I can't tell you how much I value, how much I appreciate every last one of those notes and messages.
  • On this our 200th episode, I just want to thank you because you are my motivational mission fuel. You're reminding me through those notes and those messages that my life is so much better when I'm pursuing this life of significance over this life of success. #grateful
  • … We hit this 200th milestone episode. Huge! We are nearing our 300,000 download. We have now been downloaded in 140 countries around the world. Those are external metrics of success and they’re great, but what's even more impactful to me is the impact we have had in each and every one of you. 
  • Listen up! Our first ever Trailblazers Listeners' chat with 16 people who I consider our champions, our Blazer Nation elite, if you will. I celebrate them and I celebrate you, and I'm so happy to share this conversation with you all.
  • My silent supporter, Kristin Hart – hardly ever listens to an episode of the podcast, but without her allowing her husband's entrepreneurial light to shine bright, this wouldn’t happen.
  • I’m grateful for my dear brother, Shawn Dove and our sponsoring partner, the campaign for black male achievement.  Shawn is a daily big brother, spiritual brother. You know, a leader, a guide.  Rarely does a week go by where I don't get a text message or an email with a video or a podcast episode or a book or something else to help me fill up my tank, so I’m able to pour out …
  • The last two people that I have to give thanks to, because they are behind the scenes, they make this engine go, week in and week out are Mike Slavish, who is the producer, and editor of the show, that makes me sound good, and Mrs. Annette Richards, who for the last two years have have been so gracious with her time on the weekends.
  • It's such a blessing, to look at some of these places I'll never go and to know that the podcast content is reaching people into spaces.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Stephen A. Hart: 5 Takeaways for Building a Dynamic Podcast and Personal Brand | 199

Stephen A. Hart: 5 Takeaways for Building a Dynamic Podcast and Personal Brand | 199

Many of you might be online, but your website or social media profile doesn't have the right visual and verbal identity. You aren't clarifying  your purpose and mission, and no one can really make sense of who you are, who you’re serving and what you’re serving. In today's episode, we discuss the 5 elements that helped me lay the right foundation for my podcast and personal brand to overcome some of these obstacles.

This week's featured trailblazer is yours truly, Stephen A. Hart.

So more about me: Stephen A. Hart is the founder of Isles Media, LLC, and a Brand Alignment Strategist who guides busy heart-centered entrepreneurs and leaders through a clear and proven process to build, market and grow their amazing personal brand.  Trailblazers.FM is the #1 interview style podcast that explores stories of today’s successful black professionals. The podcast has featured more than 150 black professionals and has been heard by more than 250,000 from 140 countries around the world.

I am a proud graduate of the University of South Florida, Tampa. I reside in Maryland, married to my wife Kristin of 10 years and consider myself the #bestdadever to my daughter Layla and son Nigel.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM STEPHEN:

  • In this season of thanksgiving I’m extremely thankful for my wife, our children and all our family and friends, which includes all of you. I’m also especially grateful for good health and the happiness in our home. 
  • This year hasn’t always been smooth. We’ve certainly had our share of challenges throughout the year, but I’m feeling blessed as we near the end of this year and decade. I’m alive and healthy, and I’m ready to step into yet another opportunity to make this next chapter better than this one. 
  • You don’t need to be sick to start getting better!  I don’t know about you, but while things are for the most part good right now, I want to get better as a marketer, as a brand strategist, as an entrepreneur, as a podcaster, as a husband and a father and a brother and a son. That’s what personal development is about. You and I need to find ways to keep growing.
  • Are you considering starting a podcast?  #1 Start with your WHO, follow with your WHAT. … WHO you serve will absolutely impact WHAT you serve.
  • This is my first takeaway for a reason, because I’ve seen too few podcasters, and even entrepreneurs, creators, and leaders lead with WHO they’re serving.  Instead most people tend to  think of WHAT they think the world needs, and often those that lead with WHAT just think their podcast or product will serve everybody.. and what happens then is that the content or product is too broad in focus and so no one feels connected, and they don’t feel served by the content of your podcast. [[spp-timestamp time="06:44"] – [spp-timestamp time="07:37"]]
  • #2 Get crystal clear on the problem your WHO really needs a solution for … what’s keeping them up at night … challenging them most to their core … and what they value. 
  • And now armed with this intelligence, I’m out here in these streets trying to find the right types of people to interview, that can help provide the kind of knowledge, resources and tools that’s going to help you overcome those problems of yours.  So just remember that it’s your job and mine to put our listeners and our customers in a position to WIN.  [[spp-timestamp time="09:48"] – [spp-timestamp time="10:19"]]
  • #3 Continually develop a really great visual / verbal identity.  You want to really begin to develop a professional brand message that is easy to digest, because if you confuse you’ll lose.
  • #4 Consistency is King!  … when you launch your podcast, unless you had a prior community, you’re likely going to be met with a similar feeling — not knowing if anyone is listening. You’re going to have to have thick skin if you’re to break through the majority of people who quit before getting 10 episodes in.
  • #5 Know Your WHY!  If you’re not PASSIONATE about what you’re doing and you don’t have clarity on WHY you’re going to do this work, over the long term (I’m talking the next 3-5 years at the very least), I’m sorry to tell you that you’re likely to quit THE moment things get tough, and believe me they gonna get tough at some point.
  • Someone is Googling you right now, and the results they’ll find for you will leave them more or less inclined to do business with you, to partner with you or to hire you.
  • When I read up about many of you online, I’m not seeing a website or social media profile that’s got the right visual / verbal identities. I’m not seeing clarity of your purpose and mission, and I can’t really make sense of who you are, who you’re serving and what you’re serving.  And that’s not a good thing. No matter what you do, this is now almost 2020 and you’ve got to establish your digital footprint.
  • I created my first signature course  Brand You Academy  for busy, heart-centered leaders and entrepreneurs, who are needing to create an amazing personal brand and digital footprint, but maybe don’t have the $3,000 – 5,000 to pay a brand strategist or an agency to do it for them and wait 3+ months to design and build this all out. … with Trailblazers.FM, I learned about my audience, and their pain points, and it’s what led to my creating Brand You Academy.  I’ve been working on the course over the past 2 years, and I’m really blessed to have the feeling knowing I’m able to help busy entrepreneurs and leaders build their amazing  personal brand. 
  • For the 4 days from this Black Friday through next week’s Cyber Monday, we’ll be offering an amazing special offer for those interested in Brand You Academy. For those 4 days only, we’ll be offering a one time only 50% discount off the already low offer price.  You’ll need to hop over to my site at stephenahart.com/academy and use the coupon code TBPod50 to access the course for this one pay offer.  So it’s about this point where I know some of you might be allowing imposter syndrome to creep in.
  • Some of you will try to make an excuse and allow your age to cause doubts of you being able to build a personal brand that stands out from the crowd, but let me remind you that the loss of what you could have become is greater than any other loss you’ll experience in life.
  • The loss of what you could have become is greater than any other loss you’ll experience in life.
  • … don’t allow your past hurts and failures to derail you taking action on your future potential. Remember, when life knocks you down, try to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up. 

 

ONE ACTION

  • A lot of times we can psyche ourselves out by trying to wait for the perfect opportunity to pursue an idea. It's never going to be a perfect time to do it. So, you just have to get out and do it.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Marcus Blackwell: Using Music and Creativity to Teach Children Math | 198

Marcus Blackwell: Using Music and Creativity to Teach Children Math | 198

Teachers are blown away because they'll give me the kids that say they hate math and I'm like, yeah, I'll take those. That's what I look for. And from there they'll do more work in my class the first day meeting me than they would have the entire semester. So this is really impactful.

This week's featured trailblazer is Marcus Blackwell.

Marcus Blackwell is the CEO and Founder of Make Music Count, a math curriculum taught through music. He received a B.S in mathematics from Morehouse college and has played professional gospel piano since the age of 16.

Students are not performing well in mathematics. Marcus dedicates his energy to developing creative methods that convince students to embrace mathematics. His company is designed to go into the school systems to work directly with students connecting the mathematical dots where the traditional methods of teaching fall short. Marcus believes that he is able to connect well with students because he also struggled with math growing up and it was music that allowed him to eliminate the intimidation he had towards mathematics.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM MARCUS:

  • I've got to say, I’m most grateful for the birth of my baby girl. I'm a new dad. My daughter is eight months, little Victoria Elizabeth Blackwell, and it's just been amazing. She's a fantastic baby. She's already, you know, just, it's amazing. Everything about her is amazing. Something different every week and it's just something that I don't know if you can really prepare for, you know, like you know you're going to be a dad. But when it happens it's just like, Oh my gosh, this is incredible. 
  • Make Music Count is an Ed Tech company that I created where we're all about using creativity to educate children. And so our first product that we created is an app that teaches kids how to get better at math by learning how to play popular songs on the piano. And so, we believe that there's no such thing as a student that cannot do math. It has a really bad stigma attached with it. And so a lot of people think that they can't do math. Well, we just think that it's low confidence. And so what we created was a way for us to introduce cultural relevancy that speaks to actual students in their backgrounds — so music and the music that they listened to at home. And we use that as an incentive and reward for applying their understanding of math concepts. It's almost like an educational guitar hero, but on the piano.  That's what it's like.
  • Make Music Count is honestly like a combination of both my mom's background and my dad's background.
  • I want to be careful with how I talk about like education in Connecticut, cause all teachers aren't like this. But the ones that I had didn't really know how to treat me as someone that wanted to be there. You know, a lot of teachers assume that black students don't want to be in school; they're misbehaving. Well, I did. And so, you know, I wasn't given the extra help needed when I was like, ah, I want to be good at math, but I need some extra help. 
  • Coming from a household of educators — my dad was a Morehouse man, my mom went to community college — they were like, well, there's no bringing home bad grades in this house, so we're gonna need you to find a solution. So what I had to use was playing the piano; and it was really just one day in college realizing that playing the piano means that you understand math, that it gave me the confidence to say, ‘you know what, if I'm this good at playing the piano and it takes math to play the piano, it's got to mean that I'm also good at just math in general.' And so that gave me the confidence to then become a math major and you know, just further investigate how this math and music piece kind of came together. 
  • I lived through a real math phobia, found a solution, and kids can tell that I've been there. And to just use something that was a passion of mine to fix an issue that I had … that's really the core of what Make Music Count is. 
  • I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was. The way that this started was, again, I had to find a solution for my own math phobia. I said, “How can I fix Marcus' issue?” And when I finally made the connection, I just started investigating …
  • I started this out just as a volunteer. It was just something that I thought could help. And so, what ended up happening is that after doing it for free for about six months, other schools found out about my work and began to call me to ask me to come and do it at their school, too. That's how my business got started.
  • It was not, ‘Oh, I have a business idea’ … it just kind of developed along the way of just kind of doing the work. That's what I would say. You got to do it. You just gotta do the work, and things just kind of work themself out. 
  • I was a math major. This math phobia thing was real and you know, at that school they're always pumping us up like, ‘Hey, you can be whatever you want to be.' And I was like, well, there was always one issue I've always had. And that was with math and that's when the discovery started coming like, ‘hey, maybe music can help me do this.'
  • … you're always going to need mentors when it comes to building any type of business.  You’re going to need help. No one can do anything by themselves.
  • Because as an entrepreneur you're wearing all the hats, you know, you're the financial person, you're the content creator, you're the marketer, right? You're the pitch competition participant, like all of that, you know? So my corporate experience definitely helped me develop a work ethic. But then also my math major mind kind of contributed to, okay, if I'm going to teach kids how to play the piano, what are the steps needed to start from the very beginning?  
  • Like we are covering all this math and making it fun, you know? And so teachers are blown away because you know, they'll give me the kids that say they hate math, you know, and I'm like, yeah, I'll take those. That's what I look for. And you know, from there they'll do more work in my class the first day meeting me than they would have the entire semester. Right. So you know, this is really impactful. 
  • … we might as well meet students where they are and use what they're listening to, to get some results in education. And that's really what we were able to accomplish here. 
  • So success for us is seen in many different forms. So number one, we were seeing math performance increase. So math scores, performance going up. So that's one, but in addition, confidence — increase in confidence. That's what we're all about. So the confidence that kids gained from using our app transfers over to the classroom. So, like, kids will, you know, solve algebra equations to produce a song in my app and that confidence will go back to the classroom. Right? So, that's what we're all about here is like confidence is increasing.  
  • And that's really my hope here is that our app that teaches math through music will serve as a spark to other teachers to be creative, to connect the dots between other subjects. Right? Like what we're talking about here is a brand new way to educate kids. Again, cultural relevancy, the connectivity between different subjects. Like that's new, that's new, right? So that would be my hope here, is that we could start a movement where teachers are deliberately being creative and just seeing what will happen.   
  • My end goal is to close the achievement gap, number one. I think that math is presented to minority communities. Now we have a way to fight back and that's going to be through methods like this. So number one, closing the achievement gap.  But number two, eliminating math phobia. You know, like there's no reason for anyone to fear math.  It's no different than any other subjects that you have to learn. And then I would say, third is, I dunno man, just starting this conversation around how to be creative with education.  Like the traditional ways of teaching are not working anymore, and we're seeing the results from that. So, it's time to do something new. So, you know, I would love for this to be the start of a major conversation around changing how we think about education.   
  • When you have an idea, you really are obligated to pursue it, because there's other people that can benefit from your solution.
  • One thing you can guarantee is that somebody else definitely has the same problem that you have, but they may not have the creative solution that you may have. So, if you have an idea, you're really obligated to pursue it, because in my mind, I think that's selfish, if you have an idea and don't help others.
  • We need these creative ideas. So just get out there and try it, man. What's the worst that could happen?

 

ONE ACTION

  • A lot of times we can psyche ourselves out by trying to wait for the perfect opportunity to pursue an idea. It's never going to be a perfect time to do it. So, you just have to get out and do it.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Maya Elious: Monetize Your Message | 197

Maya Elious: Monetize Your Message | 197

Messaging is so important because it just makes it clear how you add value to your industry, and a lot of people just aren’t clear about that.

Our featured trailblazer is Maya Elious.

Maya Elious is a personal branding strategist that teaches experts how to position themselves as the go-to authority figure in their industry so they can confidently launch their signature offer.

She’s helped hundreds of students and clients get clear on their message, confidently increase their prices, have successful five-figure launches with their masterclasses, webinars, courses, and programs. Her main mission is to help women increase their impact and income with their gifts and expertise.

When she’s not helping her clients build their online empire, she can be found traveling, scrolling through IG, or watching Hulu.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM MAYA:

  • I’m most grateful right now for my house.  I’ve been in here for maybe like two months now, and I wake up everyday, and I’m like wow! I can’t believe I’m in a house and not an apartment.  That’s crazy.  So, that’s what I’m most grateful for right now.
  • The main issue when people hire me for websites was that they didn’t know what they wanted on their website.  They just knew they wanted an online presence; they wanted to look cool online — essentially branding and positioning — which I didn’t know those terms back then, but they wanted to look good online; they wanted to make money on the internet.  But they just had no concept of really how to do it — how to market themselves, what words to put on their websites.  And so, I would help a lot of my clients figure those things out, and that’s how I got into like the messaging space and marketing.
  • Starting out a lot of it was just self-taught.  Like, I googled a lot.  I went on YouTube a lot.  That’s how I figured out how to really become a good designer, how to actually make websites, how to, you know market yourself, like what to put on social media — all of that stuff. So, I studied a lot of things just based on what I would find on the internet, and then I would find specific experts that I really liked following.  And I would just subscribe to their newsletters, and I would study like when they did their launches, or how they marketed to me and why they were sending out newsletters on certain days or how they ran their webinars — all of those things. 
  • @MayaElious shares her entrepreneurial start:  I used to follow like experts and bloggers and really just study, you know, their moves, and try to help my clients imitate that, but specifically in their field. 
  • I really loved all that self-study stuff.  I was just really hungry to learn.
  • Being able to take an idea and make it tangible with your knowledge, that’s what was exciting to me.
  • The messaging is so important because it just makes it clear how you add value to your industry, and a lot of people just aren’t clear about that. Like they put out the pretty pictures, and the perfect colours, like they think they know what branding is.  They think that branding is just looking good in the online space, but it’s really like why should people be following you?  What am I doing on your website?  I used to make the analogy that your website is pretty.  People go there because of the invitation.  Maybe the invitation is  pretty but when they go there what is there for them?  What is the substance?  Branding is really the substance of your overall brand and letting people know how you serve them, how you add value to the industry, and how they can pay you.  
  • I think now a lot of people lack confidence because of comparison.  There is so much noise in our spaces and everybody is like “my industry is saturated” because they are seeing people post consistently, and they just feel like they’re going to get lost in the sauce.
  • When I started out there really wasn’t any comparison, and I also didn’t have to do it for money.  Like I was making money, but I wasn’t dependent on my business to pay my bills. I could actually just enjoy it.  And I feel like a lot of people start off with so much pressure to stand out among competitors, and there’s so much pressure to make bills with what they’re doing.  I could simply just enjoy what I was doing.  So there was no reason for me to not be confident in what I was doing because I didn’t have these pressure-based standards against me.  I just had fun.
  • I think the biggest mistake is probably just not playing big enough and just not going for it.  Like waiting longer than necessary to just do what you should be doing.  Because any mistake or losses it’s really just lessons learned.  But you can’t even learn the lessons if you don’t do the work.  So, I would say like any of my big mistakes was just like not charging enough, not being specific enough about who I wanted to work with. And I think that’s something like starting out you’re so thirsty to just work with anybody who is willing to pay you, and then you realize when you work with people who aren’t a good fit, it reflects poorly on you, because you can’t work at your best for them.  And then it’s just a headache;  it makes entrepreneurship not fun. So, I think any biggest mistake is just not being real about what I wanted and going after that; like settling for projects, or settling for my comfort zone, or settling for clients that I really didn’t want to work with. 
  • I spend a lot of my days simply just thinking … how can I get better? Why did I decide to make this decision?  — really understanding myself.  I  feel like self-awareness is so important.
  • I don’t do a lot of things.  Like I try not to do too much at once.  I’m never in more than one program at one time.  And I don’t join programs if I don’t feel like I need them in this season.  Sometimes I feel like we join programs to like justify that we’re doing the work and investing in ourselves, but it’s like you have to know yourself well enough to know like is this the right time for me to join a program to write a book?  Is this the right time for me to join a program to launch my signature offer?  All of those things.  So, really again just knowing yourself — self-awareness.  But it’s always a good time to read for at least 30 minutes and journal for a few minutes a day and just get your brain going. 
  • You have to be confident that you can actually do this, because people can tell whether or not you’re confident; and people are not gonna buy from you, if you’re not confident. 
  • What are you really confident in?  What do you know that you do the absolute best?  This is why I think it’s so important to niche down instead of trying to do all the things.  If you can figure out that thing where you’re like “I’m the absolutely the best” at, you’re going to show up so confidently.
  • Show up confidently.  That’s the first thing.  Because if you’re confident, and you feel that you’re the best then you’re not going to play yourself on pricing, which is what a lot of people do.
  • @MayaElious on important attributes for new entrepreneurs:  Confidence, pricing and then knowing how to package your skillset.  That thing that you’re the best at, how can you deliver that to an ideal client?
  • Figure out what you’re the absolute best at, package it up, put a price point on it; don’t over think it.  Just tell people that this is what you offer; there’s gonna be somebody out there that pays you.
  • Find out more about Maya’s Impact Weekend at BuilttoImpact.com.  The 2.5 day event will focus on your messaging, focus on your marketing, and definitely going to touch on mindset. Because again that’s the best thing, and just make sure that you have the most successful year of your business yet.

 

ONE ACTION

  • Create an environment where you can be more productive.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Tawan Davis Discusses The Long-Term, Intergenerational Asset Class – Real Estate | 196

Tawan Davis Discusses The Long-Term, Intergenerational Asset Class – Real Estate | 196

I want to create long-term wealth that will last multiple generations and that produces cash; among the different options to invest, real estate is a very, very clear option.

Our featured trailblazer is Tawan Davis.

Tawan Davis is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of The Steinbridge Group, which has structured, executed and invested nearly $1 billion in commercial and residential real estate. Under Mr. Davis’ leadership—which includes managing the investment program and overseeing the day-to-day operations and transaction pipeline—Steinbridge is now investing more than $425 million in the urban single-family home market.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM TAWAN:

  • I am, and so many of us are, really a product of our collective context. 
  • In my family’s tree, I am the first person that I know with a four-year college degree. There are people who have started and stopped, but I was the first person to go and stick it out.
  • The conservative, religious context in which my mother raised me has a lot to do with that [my accomplishments]. On the one hand my mom was just a stickler for good behavior and ethical behavior, and so I didn’t get involved with a lot of things that other people got involved in.  
  • I grew up with several cousins who are like brothers to me to this day.  There were five of us, and my great-grandmother would have to take care of all of us while our parents worked.
  • I’m the only guy that finished high school in 4 years and not even to mention having gone on to have the opportunity to get a higher education.  So, it was my mother’s unique focus on personal and ethical discipline.  That, plus the fact that I became very involved in my community and in the church very early, gave me a reason to want to go to school, gave me a reason to want to improve myself, it gave me a reason to want to do more and affirm myself.
  • Because I was involved in my church, I was involved in the youth programs, that led me to be involved in the NAACP at a state and national level.  I was a member of the youth and college committee, the national NAACP.  I served as an interim chairman for half a term.  So all of those things exposed me to a whole new world that growing up in Portland, Oregon would not have exposed me to
  • Growing up there, there was not a lot of exposure to very well educated, very accomplished African-American people, and so there were one or two glimpses of that — one was in the church being surrounded by people who had at least some accomplishment, some aspirations, ministers that were forward looking and the NAACP where I met a guy name Lucius Hicks who was chairman of the Oregon State NAACP, and who was the chairman of the Portland School Board, and who was a pusher of education that let me travel with him to the state, regional and national events of the NAACP where I met Merley Evers at the time who was chairman of the board of the NAACP and all of these remarkably accomplished historic leaders in the African American community and that transformed my vision of what was possible as a young man. 
  • My approach to real estate, broadly, is that real estate is a long-term, intergenerational asset class.
  • Let’s start with where you put your money.  Most of us only have so much money, so you’ve got to make a few, kind of broad decisions:  Do you put it in the bank or do you invest it? Do you spend it? That’s decision #1.
  • Decision #2:  If you’re going to invest it, what do you invest in? Do you buy stocks, bonds, options, private equity or real estate?
  • For me, the answer was that I want to create long-term wealth that will last multiple generations and that produces cash; then, among the different options to invest, real estate is a very, very clear option. Then you have to decide, do you invest in the US or Latin America, United Kingdom or Europe or elsewhere?
  • The United States remains the most lucrative, stable, risk-adjusted investment market in the world.  More money comes here than anywhere else in the world, and the United States still produces better returns over longer period of time, because they're stable returns.  You might make more money investing in Latin America one year, but you could also lose more money in the next year.
  • Over long periods of time, the United States, for the developed economy is the strongest investment profile.
  • My mantra is to build long-term, intergenerational, cash flowing assets. So, the goal, over time is to acquire real estate and then augment or increase the cash flow over time. 
  • In the United States there is a perennial demand, a long-term perpetual demand for good housing and for residences, and so it became clear to me that the opportunity in real estate, for my generation, over the next 10-, 20-, 30- years was really in the housing sector, providing good quality housing for American people. 
  • Most good businesses, in fact, all good businesses identify and strategically solve a particular problem.  Solving a problem is the opportunity.
  • There is a huge housing crisis, and how most investors and real estate developers respond to that housing crisis early on was by building really high-end, really fancy buildings.
  • If you are the average person in the United States, if you are a teacher, or a nurse, or a police officer,  or a firefighter, you cannot afford what the real estate development community delivered as a response to the housing crisis. … It’s the wrong solution for the average American family.
  • There is a humungous housing crisis in every major city in the United States for working people, and we all know that because we all feel rents rising; we all feel and observe the displacement of communities like the one I grew up in, where people have been there for generations but can no longer afford the taxes that are associated with those neighborhoods.
  • The solution is not to build yet another glass tower and charge people 4 or $5,000  for rent. The solution here is to invest in the very same neighborhood where  these people, want to live, these nice neighborhoods, these transitioning neighborhoods, these improving neighborhoods, and provide a product that is affordable.
  • I understand how jarring it is, as an African American person, to experience gentrification, but the most gentrification is actually not even ethnic and racial, it is economic.
  • The most challenging part of our business is the people, and I will admit to you that that is an iterative process.  Any entrepreneur, it they are honest, will tell you they never get the people right the first time.  It is either their problem because they don’t know themselves well enough to attract and retain complements to themselves or they have attracted the wrong people.  But I don’t know a single entrepreneur that has done it right the first time. And that's been our experience.  It has been iterative.  I have gone out built teams and then over time, little by little, you better understand what you need and you have to make adjustments. You add people; you take people away.  And so being okay at the centre of this kind of perpetual dynamic and constant change, as a company grows and matures, is a very important part of being an entrepreneur; being at the centre of the changing landscape of people as the company strengthens and matures is very important. So that’s mindset #1.
  • Mindset #2, I think for me, was to identify and strengthen your core.  So once I was able to really clarify what the company needed and attract those people, I have been able to really strengthen and solidify.  I know who the core of our company is.
  • Lesson #3 … it’s so important to be values.  People have to connect with your values.  I always tell people that come to work with us and for us, “I don’t want you to do what I want you to do .  I want you to do what you want you to do.  I want you to achieve your goals.  I don’t want you to achieve Steinbridge’s goals.  But if it so happens that Steinbridge’s goals overlaps with your goals, then we should work together for awhile, and you should join our team.  And, if on the other hand, Steinbridge’s aspirations, goals, values and ethics don’t overlap with your aspirations, goals, values and ethics, then let’s agree to be friends, but we shouldn’t work together.”  
  • I don’t run a manufacturing plant per se, where I just have to attract people just to play a role.  I actually have to attract people to make a contribution. 
  • I am a man in process.  I am a man on a walk.
  • For an entrepreneurial CEO, which is a very specific skillset — the most important skillset for an entrepreneurial CEO is to consider himself an evangelist. I preach the gospel of Steinbridge. I preach the gospel of development, the gospel of empowerment, the gospel of economic opportunity.  I have to be a constant champion for the cause, and that requires a certain amount of passion, it requires a certain amount of clarity.  It requires irrational conviction. 
  • My path has been to beat down the doors of poverty and economic opportunity by building a company, by building a big business, by building a company that employs people. 
  • So, I am passionate. I am an evangelist for my particular calling and that is the calling of economic development and economic opportunity with Steinbridge as a vehicle for that impact.

 

ONE ACTION

  • Write it down! If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist.
  • We have limited time on the earth, and we have limited time to engage in a particular pursuit; and so anything we must do, we must put it on a schedule. It has to be a realistic schedule; it has to be an accomplishable schedule.  But it still needs to be on a schedule because if it’s not on a schedule, it won’t get done.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.