PR extraordinaire Angelo Ellerbee is an entertainment industry staple. Dubbed “the charm school for rappers” in the earlier stages of his career, Ellerbee’s career has spanned over four decades. He has managed big names like DMX and Ginuwine and assisted with the artist development of Mary J. Blige. Ellerbee had the keys long before DJ Khaled.
Following the success of his first book, Ellerbee is back with a new self-help book, The Sense of Success, which will be bundled with a scented candle line under his Ellerbee Elegance brand. He credits his mom for giving him the tools needed to succeed in life, Ellerbee said one of his driving forces was his mom stating that if you sat at her table, you had to make a contribution. “Sense of success” is the contribution that Ellerbee is bringing to society’s table and there’s something to feed every reader’s appetite.
What was the inspiration for Sense of Success and the scented candle line?
I’ve worked with every artist underneath the sun and it seems like 80 percent of them didn’t love themselves. The number one problem is we aren’t loving ourselves and we think that life isn’t treating us fair[ly]. But we have to be able to treat life fairly and start treating ourselves fairly. This is what the book is all about; it’s about learning how to be romantically in love with you.
I believe in serenity. Serenity is everything for me. I take 45 minutes a day to be lifted and pray for everything that he created and to be thankful I was given a chance. I want my candles to create an atmosphere of serenity for others.
What are some of the self-help tools this book will give to others?
The Sense of Success will really tell others how they must begin life and not to become accusatory [about] what has happened in the past. Particularly when you talk about the entertainment industry, it’s ruthless. You have to remove all things that are toxic and keep a clear mind of what you want to accomplish in the industry. You have to select your team members as if you’re selecting your lover. I don’t believe in management or the signing of a contract. I believe in dating, engagement and then marriage. You need to take time to learn them because these are the people who are going to control your life. Many artists today have their toxic boys and girls hanging around who allow them to lose their energy through partying and drugs. In the book, I talked about all of these things; how you should be aware of these people and how you should go about selecting your team members.
Having been in the industry 47 years, what would you say is one of the most common mistakes entertainers make?
Management. I’ve seen so many people fail when they shouldn’t have failed. You can’t always select people that you know. Have a trial basis because once you get to the marriage stage of a management relationship it’s almost like alimony; you will be paying them until the day you die.
My book tells you to ask questions. Ask your manager if they get high. Ask if they smoke weed. You need to know how much weed they smoke or if they drink, and how many days a week they go to the club. These are all of the things that will eventually mount, so asking ahead of time will help you come to the conclusion if that person is right for you or not.
What do you want readers to take from this book?
I want them to say, “I do love myself and I do have winning qualities.” To say, “I am successful and I can be successful.” I want them to see that if this man from north New Jersey can do it coming from a mother who had an eighth-grade education, living in a tenement with six brothers and sisters, they can do it. This book will teach people that it’s okay to be lonely and to be different because they will find friends as they go along. And not to let anyone come in and destroy their dreams.
What do you personally want to accomplish with the release of this book?
I’m trying extremely hard to give these tools to the world because we all deserve a chance to succeed. I’m sacrificing a lot with this candle line and book; I’m doing it all on my own dime. I really want to be a contributor to society. I want this book to come out so that other books can follow. And then I can go out and lecture; talk to kids and parents. That’s really what I want to do.
When is the official release for the book?
The official release will be June 28. There will be a release party on the 28th, hosted by Dionne Warwick, Mathew Knowles, James Mtume and Rev. Al Sharpton at Mr. Chow’s restaurant in New York City. I’m very excited and ready to get this book out there.
The Sense of Success will be available at the end of June via Amazon.