I finished reading my second book in less than a month (previously Jay-Z Decoded), by Def Jam / Phat Farm / Baby Phat founder and business man, Russell Simmons’ (with Nelson George) 2001 memoir, Life And Def: Sex, Drugs, Money + God . Rather than critique, I would like to offer a summarized version of the “lessons” he offered at that stage of his life to that point to serve as a form of inspiration:
1. In any new business, someone has to have a vision. You may have investors. You may know the market exists. But you need a point of view on the business, a definite vision.
2. You are only as good as the people around you. You can have a powerful vision, but without a staff that can make it happen, its just a dream.
3. People aren’t good or bad – just smart or stupid. In other words, you must try to keep yourself open to people. Don’t be too judgmental. Don’t make snap judgments. Today’s asshole may be tomorrow’s innovator.
4. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Identify your core audience (community) and go from there.
5. Nothing happens the way it’s supposed to.
Next up to read is Rosalyn Story’s More Than You Know . A classical musician and writer that I was lucky enough to meet and actually share my 2009 Presidential Inauguration experience with, even our 10 mile walk.
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.