Category Archives: Career

The career category help young men of color understand and navigate their advancement in the corporate, military or private industries. The category is selected to get in, stay and excel in the corporate workforce.

Life is not a video game

I was talking to my friend Tanya about the carjackings in Philadelphia. We were discussing a scenario where an Uber driver returned fire defending himself and I zeroed in on our young people making reckless life decisions.

Our young people don’t respect life.

When I was young people got beat up, robbed, stabbed and sometimes shot, now…people get shot period. I’m not saying we didn’t have shootings or even that the shootings were justified. I’m just saying, shooting people wasn’t the ‘go to’ reaction. Now…everyone wants to be 50 cent, shoot someone, go to jail, come out, be a multi-millionaire…again video game reality.

There’s no coming back from that decision. If you shot someone, it’s likely going to be recorded somewhere and you’re going to jail, period.

Key Statistics:


In the 80’s you had the same mothers screaming that same delusional “he was a good kid” rhetoric. Ain’t nobody hearing that bullshit. Let me tell you now, if you shoot someone it’s your decision.

Like in the movie, “The Harder They Fall” Cherokee Bill shoots Mr. Picket in the back, Mr. Picket is standing there wheezing shocked that he’s shot, dropping his gun. Cherokee Bill says, “Why you got that look on your face?” Mr. Pickett struggles with the reality that he’s going to die. Looking Picket in the dead in the eye Bill says, “No. No, no, no, brother, no, no, no. Stop that. Don’t do that. You had a choice. You always got a choice.” Then in the Cherokee language he says, “Being scared will only give you bad karma in the afterlife.” Then he puts another slug in his chest.

That’s some cold shit…but that’s real. Like those people attempting carjackinging…you had a choice, now you sitting up in the damn hospital and when you heal, a nice cold cell is waiting for you. This is your life now dumb ass no points, no restart the game… jail.

I don’t want to hear the excuses from anyone. …he had a hard life, his father wasn’t around, his mom was on drugs, he didn’t have a good home environment. That’s bullshit…he had a choice.

Men know, you have a choice.

Don’t make excuses about your feelings, that’s some female shit…you’re a man. You made the choice, deal with it.

While I attended Peirce Jr. College, I lived in my grandmothers 1 bedroom apartment…on the couch for 2 years. I put my clothes on two shelves in the house and about a foot of closet space on the rod. I worked 3 jobs; the school night computer operator, Jeans West and the Cookie Co both on Chestnut St. I chased dudes away from my addicted mother the night before graduation. My father was killed by cops when I was 4 but still watched successful people. I made good choices, I’m working at the White House now…it wasn’t easy and I ain’t perfect but I didn’t treat my life like a damn video game.

If life was a video game, you would only get one life and you can’t start over.


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You’re not working hard enough, get a side hustle.

LaTanya J. , a close friend of mine, had just come from her hair appointment. She said, “Man we have got to get on our hustle.” I was confused…I said, “What are you talking about?!” She said her beautician had a store that she managed and she had two Super Shuttle vans in her parking lot. “Why two?” …because if one van broke down, she could still make money while the other was getting repaired.

“Wow…and she did hair?”

“Yup…in the back of the store she managed.”

LaTanya and I were both engineers with Lockheed but I immediately thought to myself…

how I could make money if I lost my job?

Currently, I have a couple of things I’m working on with real estate but what else? I have a bartenders certificate and I’m a certified rescue & master scuba diver. I’m working on some writing projects also. I could always apply to Chic fil a…I love Chic fil a.  :o)

So, I pose the question to you, What is your plan A, B, C or D?

Another way of looking at it, what hobbies or volunteer activities could you turn into money earning activities? How could you get that second revenue stream?

Think…most latino students have one quick advantage, they’re bilingual. Do you know Spanish? Are you handy? Are you interested in an apprenticeship?  I know plenty of people that have their own business and make a good living.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I was convinced early to go to college. Looking back, I don’t think that’s the best thing…not for everyone. If you don’t go to college, learn a trade or start doing something legal that’s going to allow you to become a business owner. Even if you don’t start a business with an apprenticeship you will have the skills to get a job. My experience has been that my piece of paper (bachelors degree) helped me attain a job…but, after graduating, the 3 jobs I worked while in college helped me keep the job. Not everyone I know, after graduating, received a job and if they received a job it wasn’t always in their career field. I know one thing, all of them had a mountain of debt.

You can start your own business, possibly take a loan for truck and tools, and be working towards financial independence. A degree is banking on getting a job that might not be there after graduation.

I say this to reiterate…What is your plan A, B, C or D?


Like working on cars = Get an ASE certification, become a mechanic

Like cooking = Learn to cook an entire menu, buy a food truck.

Like to drive = Get a loan for a car, drive for Uber

Like to dream =  Become an inventor

Good at lying = Go into politics (Joking)

All these hobbies are things you can do on the side. So in pursuit to become a doctor, lawyer, pilot a side hustle wouldn’t hurt. With multiple income streams, you can attain financial independence faster.

Regardless of the path you start on, have a plan and goals along the way.

To be honest, my plan A is really working out but I’m close to realizing my plan B and C…but it’s MY plan…get yours!


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Ask yourself, what are you doing today to get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.”


Shout out to LaTanya  owner of Pink Piggy Sweets ~ Organic Baking at its Best.

Historic Downtown 125 N. Center St, Goldsboro, NC 27550


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While attending the Black Men Xcel Summit in PGA National Resort and Spa in Florida, I was given the chance to learn, laugh, network, golf and just enjoy influential people of color. This is my second time attending the event formerly known as the Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challenge.



Every Labor Day weekend, BE creates an environment that provides access and resource for people of color making “money moves”. (I get that from Cardi B.)

As expected, the event was well attended and very positive. This event, in parallel to the magazine, falls into a niche for people of color that are pursuing & finding a path to success. This summit, as other BE summits, is educational and evolving. Workshops and coaching sessions this year included “Golf: The Sport of Business”, “Succeeding While Black”, discussions on community engagement and a panel on prioritizing mental health.


The reason why I found it appropriate for this blog audience, I think it’s important not to confuse movement with progress and while I’m running a business, working and traveling, it doesn’t mean I’m successful at it. You have take time to invest in your yourself and your goals in iterative patterns. It’s not always a fun holiday weekend but it’s necessary to identify and walk deliberate paths to your goals.


“Dreams without goals are just Dreams”

Denzel Washington

#BMXCEL is a great environment to resource individuals that are successful and maybe a little further down their path than you.  As with success in anything…it’s not convenient and placing myself in this environment annually provides me examples of success, whether their individuals, companies, or strategies.  It’s a checkup of where I am and where I would like to be.


Last thing…”Mental Fitness” is the newest term I’ve learned and it’s so obvious. It’s the same as working out, it helps you with your physical fitness…your mental fitness also should be cared for in the same level of importance.

Malik Yoba discussed his 5 Pillars: Spiritual, Mental, Financial, Physical and Emotional…he shared how he works on each of those tenants in his life. I believe that covers just about everything but you find your own. That panel on mental health helped me identify other ways to improve, I hope you can look to make the same improvements in your day to day life.


“Poor people stay poor by trying to look rich, while rich people are busy getting richer acting poor.”

Ramen Phase


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Handling leaving a job & moving on in your career

A rainy day finally happened.

Without a job lined up, on Feb 2nd I turned in my resignation. I’ve never quit a job without having another one lined up. I quit because I was being over worked and after joining the company my quality of life had not changed for the better. Yes, my commute was about 15 minutes walking but when the owner of the company that hired me stated, “We gave you 3 full time jobs” I knew I had to leave. About ten days later with his CEO present, during my 90 day evaluation, he adjusted his statement with “we gave you 3 tasks”. My response was, “Ok…but if each task required 35 – 40 hours per week, what’s the difference?” I wasn’t angry or mad, and I said it with a smile on my face. I had also been very vocal about the level of work asked of me. The Tuesday after that meeting the CEO said I had to be “flawless”. On the Friday following, I turned in my resignation. I won’t go into the culture that people of color are expected to work harder than their white counterparts, that’s not what this blog is about, but it’s a very relevant to this story.

One of my coworkers said, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to handle the work coming your way.” Another coworker said, “I knew you were F@#$?% 2 weeks after you came on board.” Both of them were white, that’s not saying that if they were black I wouldn’t believe them but basically I was set up to fail and staying on board any longer than 6 months was going to cause more problems.

That’s the background for this blog.

I was able to quit without worrying about a job for a while because I have a savings account, “rainy day money” saved up to look for another position. I also used the time to get many of the things done that I had been putting of in other arenas of my life. Also, because of my reputation and resume, I had no insecurities about getting another job. One of my managers said, “I feel like we chewed you up and spit you out”, I laughed and said, “Pretty much”  He asked, “Are you worried about having a 5 month job on your resume?”  I responded, “In 25 years, I’ve never left or quit a job in less than 2 years, so that speaks volumes…I’m good.” He offered to write a recommendation letter. I said, “Thanks” and agreed,”that might help.” Throughout the entire process, I’ve been professional and 2 managers offered recommendation letters.

The time off gave me some clarity and allowed me to reset some priorities with my other business endeavors. With a lot of home tasks done, my business tasks at a good stopping point, I can focus on the job I accepted and start Monday recharged. If that doesn’t work out, my old position from last year has an open offer so there’s a parachute there.

PS…it’s crazy waking up not knowing or caring what day it is, I’m looking forward to retirement.

Key takeaways:

  1. Finances provide freedom to make a decision that’s best for you
  2. Your reputation follows you…the good and the bad
  3. Leave and start professionally
  4. Keep a positive attitude






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