What inspires you to show up at work every day?
I love the challenge and satisfaction of closing the deal and exceeding expectations. But ultimately my family and the hope of one day passing something tangible to my children is what drives me.
How did you determine your career path?
Friends would always ask me to make a connection, meet an influencer or help them get a foot in the door. I realized that I had a knack for it and that I should be getting paid for it.
What other industries connect to your career choice?
Journalism, advertising, social media and app development … you name it, it all connects to PR.
What innovative methods do you apply to your business and life?
Mobility is key for CSPR we’ll often have to be on site for a client while managing another account. So we’re big into working remotely, utilizing cloud computing and mobile apps to get the job done. Often meetings are held virtually, or via Google Hangout and FaceTime.
Describe goal-setting methods you use and how you evaluate your success.
From a business development perspective, I look at how often we’re referred by current clients, the intricacy of the project and retention.
Name your favorite role models for success in two industries.
Ebony and Jet founder John H. Johnson was an incredible representation of determination and homemade business acumen. As a publisher he shaped the way African Americans and the world received our news, fashion, arts, and culture. It all started by using his mom’s furniture as collateral to launch his first magazine. He eventually became the first African American to appear on the Forbes 400.
As a PR professional, Detroit PR executive, John Bailey would be another role model. Bailey launched his own firm in 1996 at age 57. His firm became the linchpin of business relations in southeast Michigan, with a roster of blue-chip clients that included Stroh Brewing, the North American International Auto Show and the Detroit Grand Prix until he sold his firm and retired last year.
Names three books that changed how you saw life and you recommend to others.
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks was the first book that pulled me in and made me feel that I had to do more as a young person.
I personally identify with the real-life situations of Chris Gardner’s life in The Pursuit of Happyness.
Lastly, Barack Obama in His Own Words is a more recent read that teaches the importance of speaking and writing with a deep personal conviction.