Cassius F. Butts is an American business executive and former Region IV administrator for the United States Small Business Administration appointed by President Barack Obama. He has served and advised officials in four United States presidential administrations.
Butts is also the author of the book Exceptional: Being the Exception to the Rule, which outlines a journey of supporting everyone, from small-business stakeholders and entrepreneurs to seasoned executives, to define their passion for success while cementing their purpose.
Tell us about the book.
This is about having an opportunity to look into the mirror and realize that there’s a journey for you to be on, there’s a place, and there’s a purpose that you have for you to accomplish personally, or professionally. Sometimes we need help getting to that next level, we need help navigating through these challenging times, we just came through a pandemic. Many people were looking to scale up. This book is for corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners looking to transition. All of these creators are always looking for that inspiration and push to get to that next level. There are 14 chapters of life lessons that I talk about and took place in my journey. I’ve come across some pretty interesting people over the years, and it’s just a matter of putting those things into a story that is real and people can associate with. That’s what I’ve done with this book.
How can people become the exception to the rule?
I try to give people the opportunity to do what they do best. Everybody comes from this premise called self-actualization. Self-actualization was deemed many years ago by psychologists here in the United States. The point is that self-actualization talks about achieving and knowing who you are and really knowing what your purpose is. In life, you self-actualize, and once you self-actualize who you are, then you should spend the rest of your life in that lane. Being that exceptional individual and being the exception to the rule because you know what it is like. Sometimes people will say, “Hey, you should do it this way. You should go to college, law school, grad school, or should go do this.” People always tell you what you should do, but the reality is that that may not be what your lane is about. Some people are successful within their own lane, so you have to be that exception to the rule and create your own rule and stay within that lane and succeed.