Companies I’m Looking Forward To In 2015

My story is all about access. I remember going to the library everyday, researching and looking for ways to connect with people in the tech industry. Obviously that was a little tough with a few factors against me: Black, no degree, little coding skills, no mentors. This list could go on forever, but you get the point. It really doesn’t surprise me that many of my favorite organizations or projects i’m personally invested in, are all about creating access.

So in 2015 i’m looking forward to seeing a few companies grow. Here is my list and my “why?” as well.

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2014 The Year Of Thankfulness – My Wrap Up

As I write this, it’s Christmas Eve. Random “Merry Xmas” texts are coming in on my phone, while some random holiday movie plays on HBO in the background. For some strange reason every Christmas gets less festive for me, and that kind of sucks. Its one of the rare times I wish I was a kid again. Besides the lack of holiday spirit, usually around this time I get really reflective like most people do around the world. You start to realize that there aren’t many days left in the year, so you either write down new goals, or stress over old regrets.

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In order to win, learn how to lose

It’s easy for someones success to look overnight. When I see someone gaining success, I always try to imagine what their journey was like. The struggle, the sleepless nights, the empty bank accounts, mountains of debt, relationships lost, this list could go on. That person learned how to lose!

So why embrace losing? Well, i’m not embracing losing, rather redefining it. 2014 has been a year of much progress for me, but only because I figured out how to lose as well. I just replaced the word lose with grow. When that investor passed on my pitch, I grew. When that relationship didn’t quite work out well, I grew. When I spent all night working on a product launch, and nobody paid attention to it, I grew. Did you grow?

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How To Create A Online Course In 4 Easy Steps

For the past 2 weeks we have been spreading around these small promo cards that showcase our upcoming tech conference Tech808 on November 21st (shameless plug, grab your ticket!). On one side it advertises the conference, on the other it gives you a free promo code for a course we made on how we land our interviews.

Here I was, excited that people wanted to learn how we land our guests, but I got more requests on how I created the course itself. There is more than one way to do this, but i’ll detail exactly what I have done, and learned from others doing the same. If you find an even simpler way than the 4 steps below, post in the comments.

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The Only Bad Idea Is Not Taking Action

I was talking with my good friend Jimi Olaghere, who is founder of GeekSupply.co. The topic of the discussion was: Ideas. We were going over product ideas for gamers, since a new generation of consoles were released. The conversation went beyond it’s initial start and we just started wondering where good ideas are born. Here is how I feel about this topic.

There are no bad ideas. In my 7 year journey of being an entrepreneur I discovered bad ideas are temporary, because they turn into good ideas when action is applied. You learn, you grow, and you discover how to improve the idea. If the idea doesn’t work, sometimes you realize a new one from the experience.

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The Men Who Failed 1,000 Times

Welcome to the club. That’s what you hear when you tell someone about your bad day at work. They go through the same shit you do. But that’s the magic of being human. We are all the same, we breathe the same, and most of all we bleed the same. So what makes the ordinary extraordinary? What makes the smart, smart? The dumb, dumb? Effort, it’s the only thing we can control. I’m learning about effort in a whole new light these days. Effort is the gas that keeps our entrepreneur engine going. Even taking the topic slightly off of entrepreneurship, effort is what it takes to succeed at virtually anything.  I never looked at it that way before. I was blind, but now I see.  So why do most people lack effort? Pain.

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The Art Of Not Giving a F*ck

Pardon my French. Not giving a fuck isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It’s actually more about focus and caring only about things that matter. I recently started reading “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday, and the entire book is a tactical guide to only focusing on the things that matter to get through tough times.

On Life Or Death Situations

I remember it like yesterday. I was 14 years old. My mother is very religious, so she used to drag me and my older brother William to church with her all the time. One night, she had us come with her to a meeting that involved the church anniversary. We were upset, but understood that it was pretty late, so we didn’t want her to be alone at night. So we went along.

Lucky for us, we were not the only kids who got dragged along with their parents to this church meeting. We grouped up with 2 other boys and went just outside the church doors to talk. We started debating who we thought were the best rappers at the time and what the best video games were. I don’t know how it lead to this, but we began to start freestyle rapping to one of the church boys beat boxing.

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Build Your House On Value

Common advice I used to always receive is to network and be a connector. While that’s a good way to come up, it’s not stable by itself. Its shaky, like a house of cards. I think networks are definitely important, but creating some form of value as a foundation to build your success “house” on is even better.

Value doesn’t catch feelings, value can’t stab you in the back, value can’t just decide it doesn’t like you anymore, in other words value isn’t human. If you build a house based on connections alone, you can go very far, but one card can cause the whole house to collapse. Then what do you have to fall on?

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