College graduates: What are you planning to do with your degrees? What you know is only valuable if you know how to use what you know. was last modified: June 15th, 2017 by BJ Blog Staff
This was definitely one of many inspiring moments for me today as Brother Linton and myself went door to door in the Southeast Houston streets.
As we were wrapping up and heading back to our vehicle, this 23-year-old brother was walking in our direction from the nearby store. Like always, we were eager to introduce ourselves to him. We had an awesome dialogue about overcoming life struggles, the injustice system of America, finding purpose and more. While sharing with us a few legal roadblocks he’s battling to overcome, he talked about his interest in being a boxer and the training he’s been doing. I then shared with how the same way a skilled boxer knows how to take and give punches, that’s the same way the Black man has to be in a world bent on beating him down. I told him what he’s battling with is not a TKO, but just a “jab” that may have stung him; but true champions shake it off, make the necessary adjustments and deliver counter punches!! We encouraged him to stay in the “ring” of life!! He expressed gratitude for our conversation and we thanked him for his time. We exchanged information and looking forward to connecting with him further. A champion in the making!!
Don’t sleep on this generation!! This is fuel to stay in the streets! Praise be to Allah!
You’re full of it — passion, that is. But if you think it’s all you need to succeed in business, it’s overrated for entrepreneurs.
People might point to passion as the one thing that helped them launch a multimillion dollar empire, muster the courage to walk off a dead-end job or overcome insurmountable challenges along the path of entrepreneurship. But this oversimplifies the process.
If you want to succeed in business, you’ll need more than passion. Here are six fundamental reasons why:
1. Expertise to deliver value
You may be passion drunk, but your first priority in business is to establish an area of expertise or core competency that will enable you to distinguish yourself from your peers and let your reputation permeate the marketplace. To do so, amass and leverage your knowledge, skills and experience to attract clients and help them to effectively solve problems.
Without sufficient expertise, it’s difficult if not impossible to deliver value. In a world where substance and the final sum measure success, passion is no substitute for competence.
2. Grit to continue the pursuit
When times get tough in your business, will you dig deeper and manage the crisis or surrender to circumstances and claim defeat?
While passion may have initially ignited the fire in your belly, true grit is what will keep the fire burning. Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, considers true grit a highly relevant performance metric, just as critical as IQ. She has written that grit is “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.”
At some point, performing at higher, less comfortable levels for sustained periods will be essential for your long-term success. Will your performance pass muster?
3. Resilience to recover from hardship
Every business encounters some turbulence at one time or another. Without resilience, however, it’s tough to survive the uncertainty and the downturns of the business cycle.
You may not be able to control what happens in the marketplace or how events affect your business, but you can control your responses.
By recognizing that change is inevitable and that a resilient mindset (not passion) is critical to successfully navigating hardship, you can emerge from tough times stronger and even more capable.
4. Resourcefulness to manage assets
In a competitive marketplace, you need creative ways to achieve results even without having lots of means at your disposal. That’s where being resourceful is critical.
Bootstrapping your business, for example, can let you to grow a company without taking investors with strings attached. Your ability to strategically assemble needed resources will help determine your success.
5. Urgency to make forward progress
Without an internal push to inspire you to take the next, timely step, your company could languish in obscurity. Change expert John P. Kotter referred to having urgency instead of complacency, noting that, “With an attitude of true urgency, you try to accomplish something important every day.”
Having a passion without a true sense of urgency might result in your refraining from taking vital action needed to advance your goals.
6. Courage to prompt action
Many business owners experienced fear. But your success is determined by taking action in spite of it. That’s courage. The late management consultant Peter F. Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, [you know that] someone once made a courageous decision.”
Every business owner tries reach certain milestones, and without courage, most would be unattainable. When confronted by fear, your passion may subside. Your purpose may even become muddled. But courage can help you to embrace your purpose gain.
Are you passionate about your business and the value you bring to the marketplace? Let’s hope so. Passion is useful and plays an important role in creating feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. But passion alone is insufficient. You need an arsenal of fundamental skills to succeed in business. Go ahead. Create your arsenal and watch your success take flight.
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): As a public relations specialist, your primary goal is to maintain public images for high profile individuals, commercial businesses, and organizations. Before you embarked on this particular path, what field or occupation did you hold? Share a little bit about how you transitioned into Rhonda Ridley, President/CEO of Affinity Public Relations.
Rhonda Ridley (RR): Well, before I became a PR Professional, I was an elementary school teacher in New Jersey, a job that I loved immensely. It was while I was teaching that I began to help my godson’s mom, who was a recording artist with her press opportunities. I actually had no idea what I was doing or what it was called, but I did enjoy the risk it took to pick up a phone introduce myself to someone I didn’t know and try to inspire them to believe what I believe about a person, product, organization or event. It took me out of my comfort zone and fed the risk takers spirit in me that I hadn’t realized yet.
Helping my godson’s mom eventually led to more PR/publicity work and soon I had this serious desire to see this thing all the way through. So, from 1991-1998 my days were filled with children and staff meetings while my nights welcome me to a whole new world with clients, celebrities and press.
In April 1998 I had a very serious accident that took me out of teaching and I never went back.
The transition took place at the end of 1999 when I met the man who would soon become my husband. He noticed that always talked about and admired public relations and suggested that since I had so much experience that I should just open my own agency. I loved the idea but thought just too ambitious a task to take on. His belief in me and my desire would, in a matter of months, birth Affinity Public Relations.
EM: What qualities and characteristics does one need in order to be successful in public relations especially if they are coming from a “9-5” work environment?
RR: One must have love. I repeat, you must love people. The word “public” in Public Relations, means just that; you will be a constant fixture in the public eye. This is where a decision must be made to define what you want people to know about you, your character, your attitude and your work ethic. “Relations” means each and every person you come in contact with becomes an opportunity for you to create a relationship. For too long the PR industry has become known for its ability to deceive and manipulate.
Be able to multi-task, work long hours, a great writer, self-disciplined, creative, be an amazing problem solver, understand people, organize well, keep accurate records, delegation, listening and speaking skills.
EM: What are a few major mistakes you’ve seen others make in the PR industry?
RR: Well, let’s start with some of the mistakes I’ve made. When I started I wasn’t great with organization, I didn’t feel very creative and I often missed extremely important deadlines. For the past 10 years Affinity Public Relations has been run from my home; this was not by choice, initially, but over the years, I do know that this is what God has always intended to do with this PR firm. When starting the company in 2000, I wasn’t clear about what it meant to create a true working schedule for your day.
Industry mistakes that I’ve seen have been:
Lying: Sharing inaccurate information with the press in order to get their clients in the press.
Deception: Some people will invite you to an event based on false advertising about who’s going to be in attendance.
Manipulation: Trying to buy press or bribe press to feature their client or attend a client’s function.
EM: What realistic expectations should one have when going into business for themselves?
RR: Anyone going into business for themselves must know that they are responsible for EVERYTHING. You can’t hope to walk into your business space, whether it’s a corporate office or your home and not have a complete understanding of the entire business. Of course that’s a negative and a positive; negative because familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of business is seriously time consuming, you may become overwhelmed quickly, positive because there is an ethical and moral substance that you can run this company by on a day to day basis that helps you stand out from the rest. Also, don’t expect to make a profit immediately; that’s totally unrealistic, you need to have great leadership skills; if you look behind you and no one’s following you then you may not be a great leader.
EM: What sets Affinity Public Relations apart from other firms?
RR: As a Christian Urban PR firm we are set apart because our standards, goals, mission and vision statement are all based on God’s word. We recognize daily that we are a business, but we are a ministry as well. God directs all that we do, who we take on as clients, who we partner with and how we operate the business.
EM: Your motto reads, “Serving You, Serves God ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters; you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:45”. What lead you to choose this particular scripture? How important is it to implement spirituality in what you do?
RR: First and foremost, I recognize myself as a servant and a servant doesn’t question who to serve, but chooses to step up to the plate and serves everyone no matter the job; we must make ourselves available at all times. Then when starting the company, we knew that this company was intended to take on clients that normally would not be able to afford the normal Public Relations fees; we’d allow them an opportunity to have effective, successful and God-inspired publicity. Additionally, we’d be able to create relationships with people that we’ll share an eternal existence with.
Our faith is totally important to the success, growth and sustainability of the company. This is God’s company and He’s entrusted me to oversee it in a manner that glorifies Him and a place where people know they’ve experienced something different.
EM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
RR: Additionally, never just follow your heart, it has a tendency to only want to serve the flesh, allow God to reveal to you all that you’ve been created to be and do that. That’s totally where your true success, both financially, but more importantly spiritually will be. You’ll never have to ask if you’re doing the right thing. As well, you’ll always have a passion for it like nothing else. It’s okay to love what you do, but love often fades. However, if you have a passion, which includes the pinnacle of sacrifice, God will be glorified, you will be successful, employees will flourish and customers will return.
EM: Thank you so much queen!
RR: My pleasure!
Read more interviews like this at Hurt2HealingMag.com!
Rhonda Ridley, President/CEO
Affinity Public Relations
New York’s Exclusive Christian Urban PR, Marketing and Branding Firm.
Q: How do you know when you are fulfilling your purpose Allah has for you? Is purpose and gift the same?
Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: Look deep within yourself. There is no human being that the Creator did not bless with a gift from Himself. When you find what you love to do and what you do best, you have found your gift. Develop and use that gift for the Glory of God and the rest of our people and all humanity.1
Q. What are keys in finding your purpose in life?
Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that we are all born in the nature of God. He gave us six words: “Accept Your Own and Be Yourself.” You may ask, “What is my ‘self’?” The answer is “My ‘self’ is a righteous person (Muslim).” Once you accept righteousness and strive to live a good life, in that action, you will discover your purpose and unleash the gift that you have been given that makes you unique.
For more guidance on related and as well as other subjects, get your copy of The Teachings 2.0: Twitter Sayings of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan!