What Are You Talking About?

When is the last time you had a thought-provoking conversation? These days, I find life happening so rapidly that I don’t know when my next good convo is coming nor who it will be with. I can usually count on between four and five a month (outside of home or work), between chatting with Sean, Maul, Vince, C.B.3, Juju, and Barry. While that’s more than many people I know have,  I miss undergrad and the think tank known as UNCG. I vividly recall going to the basements of Reynolds and Phillips-Hawkins to talk with other students from the wee hours of the morning until the sun came up. Or there were the countless times that the long hand on the clock hit the same spot two or three times as I sat in the cafeteria chatting with Devon or Jakiya.

Ideas flowed freely in college. We had time to think without the burdens that we would come to find accompany adulthood. We didn’t have to worry about bills. The only consequence to quitting jobs at that point for many was having to mooch for more hooch, a favor that would eventually be repaid when our generous friend quit his/her job and we were reemployed.

We have to create that free thought as (true) adults. Some people say childhood is the best time of lifetimes but I challenge that; College, for those of us who are privileged enough to go, is the best era. It is when we can be idealistic while having some semblance of control over our lives. No one can tell us when to go to bed, when to come home, or who to hang out with. We go into classrooms with people of all backgrounds and debate issues that actually matter but have been written off by the world because too much of the world doesn’t believe in happiness and change anymore. Life in college is inspiring.

My challenge to you is to make time to grab coffee or a drink with a friend who brings the best out of you sometime before the end of July. If you can’t get together because of distance, hop on the phone. Either way, without forcing it, make an effort to have an organic conversation with someone that you know feels comfortable challenging you and vice versa. Share what books you’re reading. Talk about politics, socioeconomics, and current events (without dwelling too long on the depressing state of affairs unless you’re figuring out a way to positively impact them). Discuss a business idea and have your friend shoot holes through it.

One of the many true things I learned from my fraternity is that, “college days swiftly pass, imbued with memories fond.” How can we keep those memories coming for years after?

Make free thought that stems from conversations a priority.

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#BelieveInTheG 2018

Hey everyone. While I usually use this platform to discuss issues affecting young professionals, today is all about helping young people become young professionals. My alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, kicked off its Believe in the G campaign today and will conclude it tomorrow at 11:59 PM. This is a great opportunity for Spartan alumni, family, and friends to show what the university means to them and their loved ones.

I had a great experience at UNCG and was on a partial scholarship while there. Now I am an established professional who adds immense value to organizations and comes with a wealth of potential. Much of this is because of the time I spent in Greensboro and I believe it’s only right to give back to an institution that taught me so much, both in and out of the classroom. That being said, I would love for everyone who sees this page to make a gift or pledge to UNCG today. There is a Daniels Dollar for Donor match on the table that Desirée  and I are sponsoring and, the more donors we get, the more we can give to help provide access to education and resources to more young people. The size of your donation isn’t as important as the act of giving it (but if you can give a large amount, by all means, please do!).

Visit BelieveInTheG.com today and make a gift. You can give to any fund you would like and the Daniels Dollar For Donor match counts but, if you don’t have any preference, please consider either giving to the Pi Zeta Scholarship Fund or the Deryle Daniels BBSA Scholarship Fund (you will have to select “Other” as your designation and then write either of those fund names in the comments).

Thanks in advance for helping a young person have a chance to better him/herself.

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Paying It Forward

Next week, it’s time for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s homecoming! Best time of the year for me every year since 2006. Shoot, it’s so great that we got married around the time of G’s homecoming.

Today, I had lunch with two members of the UNCG family and we discussed giving to the school. Many of my friends who don’t give don’t because they are paying their loans. And yes, you’re paying money back but are you paying opportunities forward?

Were it not for UNCG, I would not be where I am today. I wouldn’t have met my best friends. Secondly, I wouldn’t have been made a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. by way of the Playboi Pi Zeta chapter. And, thirdly, I wouldn’t have received the education I did.

Now, many would say that education is the primary reason for going to a university and I agree. But it’s not the most important thing I took from my university. From it, I took relationships, a spirit to give back, and a better understanding of both business and African-American studies (along with many other subject areas). UNCG made me a more well-rounded and more prepared adult.

That’s why I give back to my institution. Why do you give back to yours? And, if you don’t, you should give something. Every dollar counts.

Make giving back a priority.

Raw Materials and Raw Potential

The paper that you sign your name to when you sign your work benefits or go to the bank and fill out a withdrawal slip or sign an agreement with a new client is, at it’s rawest form, no more than wood that has been cut down by an ax or a chainsaw or some other tool. Raw materials make everything we have from smartphones to notebook paper to nutrients to even our bodies. Whether manufactured or not, everything on this earth was made from things that have always been found on the planet. Raw materials are the foundation of everything that our world is. It’s hard to think of it on such a basic level when we look at the greatness that has been created after millennia of human interaction but it’s all just rocks, wood, water, dirt, oil, and mined metals that have been manipulated to make that gorgeous Maserati you see on the street. Oh, and let’s not neglect the cows that made the leather interior. Either way, the car wasn’t made from car. It didn’t become great on its own. It was is the culmination of developing and combining many raw materials.

Now, let’s take that concept and apply it to being a young professional. Everything created by a successful person (however you define success) was created with raw potential. I’m not speaking of things that were passed down or gained by less than ethical means. I’m saying that any successful person who pulled themselves up did so by developing the raw potential they had into greatness. I look at the stories of motivators like Eric Thomas (at an elevated point in his career) or Greg E. Hill (at a strong point in his early years) and think about both of them hitting what they both expressed as being rock bottom, only to use that as momentum to shoot up. Or I look at Vince Jamael, a barber from Fayetteville, NC who is now one of the premier groomers on the east coast and I think about the fact that, when I saw him come to UNCG, he had raw potential and now he himself is a brand that is strengthening the brands around him. Or Devon Smith, a young man I met during his freshman (my junior) year who had a desire to succeed but didn’t know what he wanted  to succeed in. With some honing and grooming, he worked his way up to New York and now works at Revolt, a major player in the millennial lifestyle industry, as well as has developed a brand of his own, Infinite Magazine, that is gaining notoriety around the country. I even look at my immediate past blog post, A Moment of Clarity, and I realize that my raw potential and hunger primed me to take the risks necessary to just go for greatness. So, whether you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Mother Teresa, or Michelle Obama, you have to take your ideas, your passions, your skills, and your gifts and put them together to reach toward your potential and your purpose. And, if you didn’t know, you don’t have to do it alone. Your network is one of those raw materials that you have to develop. It may be the most important aspect of your success, especially in this day and age where one share from the right person can put you in a position to expand your brand’s reach exponentially. So take your most valuable resource (time), combine it with your most essential resource (faith), and go out grind, knowing that there is something better for you than what you have now.

 

Make professional development a priority.

Homecoming 2014 – What to Wear?

Welcome to October!  Though autumn officially started a few weeks ago, no one really takes that seriously until October.  September is that weird in-between month that is kind of summer and kind of not.   But there’s no questioning October.  It and November are the quintessential autumnal months.  And one thing that makes October so great is it is the time of most homecomings across the United States. For all of my upperclassmen and recent graduates, homecoming isn’t just a great time to knock back a few beers and watch your school pummel a slightly less than formidable opponent.  It is also a great time to catch up with old friends and network with older alum to see if you can secure that job or internship that can place you on the fast-track to success.

Preppy Look Men | Preppy style for men - PaperblogThin Brown Tweed Blazer, black Sweater Vest, Chambray Shirt, and Cognac Leather Accesories. Men's Fall Winter Street Style Fashion.

 Takes me back to my "days" (day dreams that is) in Korea ;^)Tan jacket, button up shirt, sweater, dark fitted jeans, boots, and a nice city day. Who could ask for more?

All of that being said, you don’t want to only pack a ratty tee shirt with the school’s logo or a frat shirt that could use a dry cleaning (or two).  There definitely is a time and place to wear that, like at the big game to show your school spirit.  But make sure your weekend wardrobe also has a pair of loafers and a nice jack, sweater, or blazer in it.    I don’t know how everyone’s homecomings are set up but at UNCG’s, we have a parade and then a big festival in front of the Elliott University Center (our student union) with a beer garden.  This is the perfect time to throw on your khakis (or even a nice pair of jeans), a collared shirt, blazer, and a pair of shoes.  And nice necktie or bowtie never hurt anyone either.  That way, if you run into a  professor, campus official, or an alumnus who has some pull, you don’t look like you’re on your 18th semester of undergrad.  And, if you are, please stop reading this blog right now.  You need to be reading a book.   With a tutor.  Preferably a tutor who is also your professor and who can be bribed.

Of course, I didn’t post a photograph of what I’m wearing because that would let people know how they can (try) to out do me.  But I did give you some pretty solid examples of outfits that would be a great look for the homecoming season.

And this isn’t just restricted to your college homecoming .  I’d make the same recommendation for those of you heading to your high school homecoming game.  You never know who you might run into and there is no such thing as overdressed unless you decide to wear a tuxedo.  Then you might look like a pompous buffoon.   So I guess there is such a thing as overdressed.  Don’t be that guy.

By the way, I recommend a blazer and pair of loafers on any and every trip you take where there is any chance of you going anywhere outside of a house, hospital (God forbid it is a bad trip), or fast food restaurant.  Just my 3 cents.

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The Eyes of the Line

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The young men above both began college one year after the other and both fell under my tutelage by happen stance. Mr. Reko Daye (top), also from Durham, was assigned to the hall I was the resident advisor over during the 2008-09 academic year. I still remember the day he moved in and began his college journey. A charismatic young man who needed some polishing and guidance to reach his potential. So I worked with him.

Then you have Mr. Devon T. Smith from Philadelphia by way of Fayetteville. He came the following academic year and was introduced to me because the business school assigned his class to interview an upperclassman in his field of study. Being that I was visible on campus through my fraternity and in the Bryan School of Business as the president of the Black Business Students Assoc., it was recommended that Devon interview me. I didn’t know him but after meeting him once, I knew he was ambitious and driven, he just needed a crash course in diplomacy. Who better to teach him than me? So I did.

Without my recommendation, both of these men decide to join my fraternity. Both decided to mentor other young people throughout the course of their college careers. Both took on the role of chapter president. Both were well-liked campus leaders who had grown in leaps and bounds over the years. Both graduated with jobs and are focused on starting their careers. Both have gone from mentees to true brothers and friends. And both are going to continue to do great things to make the world a better place. I’m excited for them and know that, when it’s all said and done, they’ll be right beside me at the top.

06.

BBSA Dress For Success Fashion Show

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I am proud to help publicize for to post a second time on this #WellDressedWednesday, especially since it’s to help promote the Dress for Success fashion show sponsored by UNCG, the Black Business Students Association, Dillard’s, and the Pi Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. I have membership ties to three out of the four aforementioned entities and shop at the fourth so it is great to see all of them working together. If you are in North Carolina and are looking for something fun to do tomorrow evening, please head out and support these young businessmen and women in their efforts to educate others on proper attire. Come dressed to impress. You never know what connections you might make.

For more information, contact the UNCG Box Office at 336-334-4889.

On Twitter:
@UNCG_BBSA #BBSAFashionShow
@UNCG #SpartanPride
@PlayboiPiZeta #TheIceStormCometh
@DillardsStores