March 2022


You got a dream. You got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves… they want to tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period. – Pursuit of Happyness Movie

On your path to achieving your goals, dreams, and aspirations, you would have to deal with the following sets of people: naysayers, critics, experts, killjoys, dream killers and stealers, the spiteful, frenemies and foes. You’ve got to find a way to protect your goals from these sets of people, especially when they do not see your big picture.  Dreams are somewhat fragile, exposing your dreams to any form of negativity can be detrimental to achieving them.  When you were young, your dreams were wild but as you grow older, the world beats it out of you.

It is the people closest to us who first indoctrinate us with self-limiting beliefs such as “You can not become successful because you are a person of color”, “Money is the root of evil”, and “You need to live cautiously” etc. Your spirit gets dampened by people you thought had their Sh**t figured out. But the reality of life is that: Everyone is trying to figure it out. It is ok to get feedback from people but you need to be mindful of who you share your dreams with. 

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.― T.E. Lawrence

Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.

American journalist and Filmmaker Nora Ephron, a 1962 alumnae of Wellesley College, delivered the commencement address to the graduating 1996 class.

It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.

Without an understanding of profitability, every business, no matter how big, no matter how “successful,” is a house of cards

In Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine, Small Business author Mike Michalowicz describes a framework that he calls “Profit First”. It is a behavioral approach to accounting wherein the entrepreneur takes profit first and appropriates only what remains for expenses. Mike noted that by following this approach, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows.

A financially healthy company is a result of a series of small daily financial wins, not one big moment. Profitability isn’t an event; it’s a habit.

In his 2020 memoir: The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever, American Fashion designer Steve Madden writes about the origin story of Steve Madden, his battle with alcoholism, drug addiction, parenting, family trauma, dealing with grief, going to prison and bouncing back. He started the brand with $1,100 and as of March 2022, the Steve Madden brand has a market cap of $3.13 Billion.

Leonard Alan Lauder was born in 1933 in New York City, where he grew up and helped his mother as she founded what would become The Estée Lauder Companies business out of the family’s kitchen. According to Forbes, Leonard is the 68th richest person in the world with a net worth of $USD 23.2 Billion. Leonard and his brother,  Ronald Lauder, are the sole heirs to the Estée Lauder Companies cosmetics fortune, founded by their parents, Estée Lauder and Joseph Lauder, in 1946.

In The Company I Keep, Chairman Emeritus and former CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Leonard A. Lauder shares the business and life lessons he learned as well as the adventures he had while helping transform the mom-and-pop business his mother founded in 1946 in the family kitchen into the beloved brand and ultimately into the iconic global prestige beauty company it is today.

In its infancy in the 1940s and 50s, the company comprised a handful of products, sold under a single brand in just a few prestigious department stores across the United States. Today, The Estée Lauder Companies constitutes one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of prestige skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. It comprises more than 25 brands, whose products are sold in over 150 countries and territories. This growth and success was led by Leonard Lauder, Estée Lauder’s oldest son, who envisioned and effected this expansion during a remarkable 60-year tenure, including leading the company as CEO and Chairman.

A routine is a habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure. In computer parlance, a routine is a sequence of computer instructions for performing a particular task. 1 The word routine is etymologically derived from two words route + one from the french routine “usual course of action, beaten path”, from route “way, path, course” + noun suffix -ine. 2 It is the customary course of action, more or less mechanical performance of certain acts or duties.

Show me your routine and I would show you who you are. How you do anything is how you do everything. As ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Your routine grounds and routes you. One of the major hallmarks of highly successful people is their daily routine. They show up daily, do first things first, they work in accordance with their priorities, value, and mission.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

So throughout this journey, I have learned to block everything out and focus on my truth.  I had to answer some basic questions for myself:  Who am I?  No, really, who am I?  What do I care about? 

The former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama delivered the commencement address at the 2015 Tuskegee University graduating ceremony in Alabama. She delivered a powerful speech about racial discrimination and the pressure of being the first black first lady of the United States of America.

I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values — and follow my own moral compass — then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.

Messy and Finished beats perfect and incomplete every time.

Starting is not a challenge most of us have but finishing is the hard part. In Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, author Jon Acuff shares strategies and tactics for moving from being a chronic starter to becoming a consistent finisher. He writes extensively on the perils of perfectionism and ways of dealing with it.

If you want to finish, you’ve got to do all that you can to get rid of your perfectionism right out of the gate. You’ve got to have fun, cut your goal in half, choose what things you’ll bomb, and a few other actions you won’t see coming at first.

Sometimes taking a step back enabled you to see the path that could move you forwards in the future.

Reebok was founded by Joe and his late brother Jeff in 1958, following the footstep of their family heritage of shoemaking. Their grandfather had established J. W. Foster & Sons in 1895, the company pioneered spiked running shoes for runners and athletes in the early 20th century. Joe writes about the origin story of Reebok, the lessons learned, the successes, failures, losses, grief and the price of greatness.

Shoemaker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand by Joe Foster, is a great biographical account of how they built one of the most recognizable athletics footwear brand in the world. The book contains lots of great lessons, anecdotes, insights, strategies and tactics for building a great business brand.


Here are some great quotable quotes from Shoemaker by Joe Foster:

The Emmy-nominated star and creator of the award-winning HBO series Insecure, Issa Rae uses her signature do-it-yourself ethos, humor, and voice to offer writers and creators of all types the motivation and tools they’ll need on their journey. Issa shares how she has navigated Hollywood while Black and inspires you to reach your creative dreams and never take no for an answer.

In The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell From Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever, American fashion designer and entrepreneur Steve Madden reminiscences how he took his eponymous shoe company from a startup selling shoes out of the trunk of his car with $1,100 startup capital to a multi-billion dollar global brand. Along the way, Madden made some mistakes that landed him in prison, he speaks at great length about his battle with alcoholism and drug addiction, family trauma, lessons learned, and his path to personal re-invention.

Madden writes about his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), his losses (Grief, Divorce), and his wins (Grass to Grace to the bottom and getting back up). As of March 2022, Steve Madden has a market cap of $3.13 Billion. From selling shoes from his car trunk in the 90s to a billion-dollar company. Very Inspiring.