20 Keys to Success for College Students

July 11, 2013

CollegeStudentIn my DERRICK Interviews the last question I ask experts is “What Keys to Success can you leave for others?” Dr. Will Moreland took it one step further and suggested that I start sharing these Keys to Success in the form of articles, reports and books. With that thought in mind I looked back at my career and realized how much it would have helped me if I had a team of success stories in my corner.

Networking with and interviewing celebrities and experts has given me a front row seat into the lives of people at the top and I’m here to share their insight with you through #20 Keys to Success for College Students.

1. Set Goals. Goal setting is used by top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. To have a goal in mind is a thought. To write out your goal is to have an action plan. There are many Goal Setting tips online. Do your homework – that starts with writing out your goals. Create your plan and review your goals daily. Are the actions you are taking propelling you in the direction of your goals? If they are not, readjust and get back on track!

2. Know your Priorities. Priorities are the handful of things in your life, career or business that are important to you. Priorities are broad elements of life, and they often become misplaced somewhere amongst life’s daily routine. It is wise to have only a few priorities. If you have too many, you’re not likely to respect each of them adequately. Goals support priorities. A single priority may have one or more goals associated with it.

A goal is a statement that is specific to what you intend to accomplish, and when you intend on accomplishing it. All the goal setting and attainment you ever fantasized about or hoped for, however, won’t be fulfilling if your goals don’t support your carefully chosen priorities. Of course, your goals can change as previous ones are accomplished and if some of your life priorities change. Each goal has to support a priority, and each priority is supported by at least one goal.

3. Get Experience. There are many ways to get relevant experience – volunteering is a great start! The vast majority of grads wish they had more than one type of experience during college. Employers comparing graduating seniors as job candidates want and expect you to have experience outside the classroom. Freshman year is not too early to start! Look for volunteer work, a part-time or summer job that will be a stepping stone to something more competitive later.

Networking is extremely important in a competitive job environment. By networking throughout your degree, you are creating meaningful business relationships with peers in your field. Having a solid network and great connections upon graduation within your field will prove to be an invaluable resource.

4. Own your Calendar. Get and use a calendar. Write things down! Time management for students is a crucial component to your success. There are many things to juggle and effectively planning for them will help you deal with the stressors of college life like having papers due, studying time, social events, exam prep, part time job and seeing your family. These all put strain on the multi-tasking student. Throw in a little procrastination into the mix of a project and it could spell disaster. Being an effective planner and even planning for the unexpected can assist in juggling multiple priorities. Planning ahead will assist in not feeling overwhelmed.

5. Manage your Money. It is very easy for college students to get caught up in spending. Those people behind the table giving you a free t shirt when you sign up for a credit card are hazardous to your personal wealth! The thought of getting a credit card now that you’re an adult and having access to cash instantly is very tempting, but it also puts a lot of students in big debt when they can’t make payments on time and their credit history gets impacted.

Buy used textbooks. Walk instead of having a car. Use your student discounts. Pay your bills on time. Save then Splurge. Track your spending and save your receipts! There is a lot of non-academic spending that takes place on a daily basis. If you aren’t on top of the little spending here and there it can really add up and effect your monthly budget. Money management is a big component to your overall success. Decisions made on campus can have a ripple effect for years to follow. Enjoy your time on campus but spend wisely, you’ll be miles ahead when you are ready to move on to a full time job!

From Brenda Bourns of  http://www.brendasfitarmy.com

6. Use your Resources. Using one’s resources is fundamental in assisting you in achieving your goal, but what does that really mean. Resources are avenues to your arrival. For example, if you have a passion for speaking, a resource for you could be a pastor of a church or a teacher at your school. Why? In order to be a good speaker, you must know how to research, write, organize thought and deliver the thoughts via teaching/instructing. How many salespersons do you know? What about community leaders, business owners who have to use presentations to obtain customers. How resourceful can YOU be?

7. Ignore the Naysayers. These are the people who are discouraging to your dreams, visions and goals. They are what I call “toxic people”. They shoot poison and every target that screams success. These people are dream-snatchers and vision-killers. Stay away and keep looking up!

8. Evaluate your Purpose. It is not enough to say that you want to be something. There must be thought, research and analysis in order for your mind to see it as real. Ask yourself pertinent questions like, what are my true talents, what are my interests, can I see myself doing this 5, 10 15 years and more…? Short term and a long term plans will keep you focused, especially doing times when you feel like giving up

9. Execute your Plan. Once you have thoroughly researched, found and evaluated your purpose, you must put the plan in motion. Begin to set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and acknowledge your accomplishments along the way. Realize that success comes before work in the dictionary or if you are insane! Struggles are part of life’s way of granting you a character endorsement. Do not be afraid to fail..be more afraid of not trying! You must have thought, research and analysis.

From Doc Worley of http://barnabascommunications.webs.com/

10. Think Healthy. College students are on their own for the first time in college. In order for them to continue the success that got them there it’s important to eat well, work out and get rest in order to be the best they can be in class and as they study. Keep the body strong and the mind will follow.

From Dr. Shakeer Abdullah of http://www.docshak.com

11. Don’t Conform. I believe if success is a room, we are all born with a unique key to a unique room of that success. College is like a maze where we start to see the purpose, but the end result, or the key within us, is a long way off.

12. Expect Newness. Let new events, new, unexpected people and opportunities shape your character and let those events and instances, further illuminate who you’re supposed to be.

From Shannon Scott of http://www.shannonscott.com

13. Find Mentorship. You will either learn by someone else’s mistakes or make the same mistakes yourself. Regardless of how smart or lucky you think you are, the school of hard knocks is waiting to teach you some lessons. Find someone who has accomplished what you want to accomplish and listen to their advice.

From Richard London of http://www.ahandbookforlife.com/

14. Accept Responsibility. Nobody is going to push you! In college, you’re responsible for your own success. Mom and Dad aren’t there to tell you to do your homework- or remind you to do your laundry. Your professors will help, but only if you ask. They’re not mind-readers. Before you set foot on campus- accept full personal responsibility for your success.

From Jim Bouchard of http://thinklikeablackbelt.org/

15. Stay Positive. We all start our professional journey as a novice and throughout our journey, we will face many challenges and adversities and make mistakes along the way. My advice is to remain positive and be grateful for mistakes as they are the learning tools that we need to make us more efficient and wiser.  All you need to do is learn from your mistakes and remain positive.  You might be a beginner today but can change the world tomorrow.

“Hold close to your dreams…Whatever you dream for tomorrow, whatever you hope to achieve, remember that nothing is out of your reach if you only first believe.”

From MJ Pedone of http://indrapr.com/

16. Activate Connections. Find people who possess the same opinions and goals that are aligned with yours. When seeking the Win/Win relationship you raise the stakes to assure a Triple Win for ALL!

From Mechelle Tucker of http://www.1stclassconsultant.com/

17. Keep Learning. Take extra classes and never stop studying how money works. Having the knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting best practices will help keep much more money in your possession and less money leaving you throughout your life.

18. Be Humble. At different points in our lives we can’t fathom that we don’t already “know the truth/facts/everything.” However, knowing that you don’t know everything is one of the greatest frames of mind to have, because you’ll be open enough to be constantly looking for better and more efficient solutions. Be confident that you are talented and know a great deal already, but don’t be too cocky where you miss out on growing because of arrogance. Stay open-minded.

19. Never Quit from your ultimate goal. Sometimes, you may have to pivot from your original plan on how to achieve your goals, but never quit on your ultimate goal of what would mean success for you. Sometimes, you might be on the wrong path, but just change direction, alternate the plan, and keep moving towards that goal…and don’t stop until you get there!

From Louis Tanguay of http://www.circlemarketing.com

20. Be Flexible. I know being flexible may not sound like a profound key to success but truly I tell you from experience that the most perfect plan for success will, at some point, be disrupted and possibly be turned completely upside down and inside out. The wise person knows that its not what happens to us or what we achieve that determines our success but it is how we respond to the unexpected emergency, the unforeseen chaos, and the life altering tragedies that occur while we are on our journey to becoming successful. This is what determines who will be able to stand the test of time, and the trials and tribulations while on their way to unveiling their Greatness.

Flexibility is your secret weapon. Flexibility in the sense of being able to be spiritually connected to God no matter what we face in life for He is our rock, flexibility in the sense that we know to maintain a couple of degrees of separation from anything and everything we are affiliated with so that nothing can emotionally break us, and flexibility in the sense that we understand we live in a dynamically changing time of technology advancement yet we stay true to our calling and flexible enough to adapt in order to stay relevant to the needs of our customers yet not change so much that when we look in the mirror we are surprised at who is looking back.

From Empowerment Speaker Capri Cruz of http://www.capricruz.com

Please share these Keys to Success with others. Have a great school year and feel free to reach out and network with the experts in this article. Remember this thought. Whether you Facebook or Twitter you have to be Linked In.

Derrick Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University is available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.

DERRICK Interview with Author Cedric Nettles

March 4, 2013

CedricNettlesEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Cedric Nettles who is the founder of SageRage Productions. Cedric is the author of ‘Torrential Waters’ and has a passion for creating other positive and hard hitting stories. His first film was a documentary on his alma mater which was the first black school to be accredited by the state Department of Education in South Carolina called ‘Mayo High School: 105 Years of Golden Heritage.”

Cedric served as an communications specialist and paratrooper for elite military intelligence unit. Later he was appointed squad leader for signal intelligence unit for the 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum NY.

He spent 6 years working behind the scenes for WPDE/WWMB Florence/Myrtle Beach. Cedric has acted in independent films and commercials, modeled, as well as consulted on other projects. He attended the University of South Carolina for Broadcast Journalism. He is a native of Darlington,SC.

D is for Dream. What is your dream?

My dream is to be a world class author and film producer. I just don’t want to make stories, I want to make a statement. I care about the messages I put out there, and I have a SINCERE passion for what I do. And for the people helping me do it. Not for ego, but for the message and the artistic way I voice that message.The resources are catching up to the dream, so look out! (:

E for Encouragement. What encourages you?

What encourages me is my Lord & Savior who gets me through life’s storms in order to make me stronger without ever compromising on my sense of ethics. You can’t stop what is for you, so that keeps me encourage.

R is for Resources. What resources do you bring to the table that make you stand out or unique?

The resources I bring to the table is being humbled in life threatening situations in youth. Humility is a resource because it helps me appreciate the many people that have helped me along the way. I maintain a high sense of humility to help ensure I never hurt another human being as I make my ascent to higher ground.I think that is a unique trait I have been told I had.

R is for Ready. When did you know you were ready for what you are doing now?

This is very simple. Every possible resource I dreamed of as a 17-year-old are trickling in now. Can’t stop it even if I tried. It is incredible. ‘I knew.’ So I knew my calling is kicking in at this stage in my life…And you know what? I am glad. It took the hard years to make sure I had the character to handle it.

I is for Individual. What individual do you think we should know more about and why?

My mother is the one person that comes to mind. She says to me to this day ‘Do the right thing, and things will fall into place.” It is hard, and that doesn’t mean you will get that treatment from others, but I always got 10 fold of whatever I put out there. ALWAYS CAME BACK.So why not do good in the first place. (:

C is for Continue. What makes you want to continue when things look bleak or optimistic?

I think right now at this stage of my life, I had to learn to take my eyes off myself and place it on other people. Again it humbles you when you try to uplift other people around you. Then you realize how blessed you really are.

K is for Keys. What keys to success can you leave for others?

Erasing the possibility of quitting. The word ‘quit’ should be a vulgar one to you. Run your race and don’t fall in the snare of comparing yourself to others running a different race. Take whatever time you need to get there…Don’t stop! If people really knew what is buried inside me and others they would be stunned. You think they are going to stop the pot shots after they find out?? Nope. People will criticize you for what they think of you, not what they know of you. You look me in the eye you see, passion,long-suffering, and faith. When I see that look in others, I already know where they are going. Get that look and never surrender your dreams,peace, and ideas to anyone.

Visit Cedric Nettles for more information.

DERRICK Interview with Entrepreneur Rhonda Mouton

January 22, 2013

RhondaMoutonEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Rhonda Mouton, CEO of The WISE Brand, has dedicated her professional and personal life to the empowerment and upliftment of communities throughout the world. She has been at the forefront of successful entrepreneurial ventures for over a decade.

D is for Dream: What is your dream and what have you achieved?

My dream is to become an entrepreneur in business assisting other businesses in planning, procedures, and organizational tools to become successful. I have been working toward this goal for some time as a volunteer. I have achieved working with various organizations in their ventures.

E is for Encourage: What encourages you?

I am encouraged by the life of people who overcome adversity. Each person’s story is an inspiration of hope to continue my journey in life. I have approximately 20 years of experience in business and resources. Not to mention I am a life learner to better assist those who I help with cutting edge, business techniques and strategies. Helping others see their goals and visions come to life encourages me to continue on my life journey.

R is for Resource: What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

 My life experience is a resource for what to and not to do in business. I have a degree in Business Administration and Management. Networking, research and continued education keeps me updated on resources.

R is for Ready: When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I never knew I was ready because I had no idea media was a part of my purpose. However, once I truly decided to follow the instructions of God it was He that determined I was ready and I only followed the plans.

I is for Individual: Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why

 One person I feel others should know is Dr. Angella Allison Davis. She is an amazing woman, gifted to assist anyone realize their true potential. Dr. Davis is serious about helping individuals get to the root of their problems and better live life.

C is for Continue: When you fail and things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

Personally I do not believe in failure. When something looks bleak or not optimistic I stand still and take an evaluation of it. I always think God knows when or if something is suppose to take place. I know if I am given a dream or vision I have to see what the end result is going to be no matter the time frame.

K is for Key: What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

There are several keys to success I leave with entrepreneurs and leaders. They are (1) Be clear about your vision, (2) Be confident and do not stray when adversity comes, (3) Stay in your lane, (4) Get a support system, and (5) Pray.

For more information email rhondamouton@wisemagazine.org. Visit the website www.wisemagazine.org. Follow on Twitter @wisemagazine Facebook facebook.com/wisemag

New York Blog Series Part 8: The Legend of Sam Puryear

December 16, 2011
On our way to Charlotte we stopped by to see Sam Puryear an old friend I met my first year at TSU who is now the Golf Director at Queens University of Charlotte. Sam told me back in 1988 that golf would give him an opportunity to see the world.
I wanted to share this story about him that I found in Golf Week.   After graduating in 1992 with a speech and theater degree from Tennessee State, where he captained the golf team, Puryear wrote for a local newspaper and taught at an elementary school. He then took a job in Louisville, Ky., with the Boy Scouts of America. In December 1997, he got a call that changed his life. A college friend affiliated with East Lake told him the club was beginning to form a junior program and needed someone to take over. In his interview, Puryear gave the club’s board of directors a simple message.

Tennessee State University Alumni Derrick Hayes and Sam Puryear

“I told them, ‘If you thought you had a babysitter, you’ve got the wrong guy,’ ” Puryear recalls. “In order to have a good program, I wanted these kids to grow up one day and play East Lake.”

Puryear became director of the East Lake Junior Academy in January 1998 and admittedly didn’t know much about the community. Once a renowned club that produced Bobby Jones and hosted many of the nation’s prominent events in the early 1900s, East Lake and the surrounding neighborhood took a tumble in the ’60s when the property was sold to a developer who built low-income public housing on nearby land.

By the early ’90s, the crime rate had soared and drugs ruled the streets. In 1993, Tom Cousins, a lifelong East Lake member, purchased the club and with the help of a charitable foundation replaced much of the existing housing with new homes. They created the Drew Charter School (pre-kindergarten through eighth grade), renovated the golf course and unveiled the 18-hole, par-58 Charlie Yates Golf Course – a Rees Jones design. In ensuing years, violent crime fell and the area’s redevelopment fueled job growth.

Yet Puryear still saw people in need, especially children.

Most of the junior academy’s kids came from low-income families; some didn’t have families. Few knew about golf, and even fewer had ever touched a club. “Mr. Sam,” as Puryear was known at East Lake, went to great lengths to make sure each had every opportunity to succeed. Golf was always an option but never a requirement. Puryear took kids on family vacations. He made house calls when they didn’t show up to the course and let them cut his lawn for extra money.

“For Sam, it wasn’t just the golf aspect,” said Leon Gilmore, East Lake’s former junior academy director and now the executive director of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. “You’ll hear him talk as much about what he’s doing with a kid outside of golf, and that’s why kids respond to him. He’s developing the person.”

Merging golf with school was vital, so Puryear pitched the idea of a golf section in the school’s library to East Lake board member Chris Millard, a golf writer and author. Millard e-mailed colleagues, asking for donations.

“Then books just started coming in,” Puryear said.

Soon nearly 500 golf-related books filled the Drew Charter School’s library, giving kids a place other than the course to learn about the game.

“We can have all of the First Tees and can have Tiger Woods. We can have all the inspiration at a national level, but what really matters is individual contact with children,” said Lew Horne, former executive director of the National Minority Golf Foundation. “He reached kids that some considered were previously unreachable.”

One summer morning in 2000, Puryear was hitting balls at the club’s practice range and called out to a boy who was carrying bags on his way home from a nearby grocery store.

“I asked him if he had ever hit a golf club,” Puryear recalls. “He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Here, hit this 5-iron.’ ”

The 10-year-old took a whack and made awkward contact. Puryear told him to drop off his groceries at home and, if he wanted, to come back; he would be there. An hour later, Brandon Bradley walked back onto the range and joined Puryear. He and “Mr. Sam’’ hit balls for the next two hours.

“Once you met him, there was just this bond,” said Bradley, who became a regular at the junior program. “I used to get in a little trouble growing up, but he was just always there to help us. Coming where we came from, there were kids that moved because it was too violent. No matter what I needed, he was there for me.”

In 2005, Puryear took Bradley and Shelton Davis, who had been attending the junior academy since he was 8, to the British Open at St. Andrews. The boys worked as credentialed assistants to PGA staffers, assisting the Web site’s photographers and editors. Their hotel (300 yards from the first tee), first-class flights overseas, and rounds of golf after the tournament were funded by donations. The rest of the money came out of Puryear’s pocket.

“For some of us, our father wasn’t around,” Davis said. “He was like a father figure for us.”

Bradley now is a sophomore on the Grambling State golf team. Davis, a freshman for Winston-Salem State who led the Rams in scoring in the first fall event of the year, was the first in his family to graduate from high school. A college degree, he says, is next.

Added Bradley: “I wasn’t really even thinking about college, but (Puryear) put it on my mind.”

When Puryear arrived at East Lake in 1998, the program had roughly 40 youths who met daily in the basement of a church. By 2006, more than 750 kids had been involved in what is now known as the First Tee of East Lake.

If you missed any episodes of the New York Blog series:








New York Blog Series Part 7: Walmart, Frito Lay and Herman Cain.

December 14, 2011
As we left New York our goal for the day was to make it to Charlotte, NC.  and rest for the night. During the journey we had to make an emergency rest room stop for the children. On US 29 in Charlottesville, VA I saw a Walmart on the right so I thought it would be a good idea for us to use the restroom and get our snacks for the rest of the trip. I was happy as I got  a Pepsi, Snickers and a bag of my favorite chips from Frito Lay Cheddar and Sour Cream.
I started to drink my soda, ate some of my candy bar and as I opened my bag of chips all I could think about was Herman Cain and his 999 Plan. All I saw was 9 chips in the bag that I just spent 99 cents on. The laugh I received was worth what I didn’t receive in the bag.  Dear Cheddar & Sour Cream, you are still my favorite chips. As we exit right out of Walmart and back on US 29 I see a sign that reads Charlotte is only 3 hours away.


If you have missed any episode of the New York Blog Series:







New York Blog Series Announcement

November 28, 2011

If you have never got in your car and drove for hours one day find the time to do it. As a unit we all teamed up to travel and visit my wife’s family in Brooklyn, NY and we made the track all the way from Columbus, Ga.  With stops overnight in Baltimore, MD on the way up to New York and in Charlotte, NC  on the way back home we were treated to life and love through friends, family and the experience.

When my wife suggested that we drive I thought she was crazy. If we would of flew I would of missed out on a lot of the great stories that I’m able to tell you. I look forward to share my experiences with you in hopes that you get inspired to travel where life is ready to take you.

Like my friend Ty Howard always says ‘Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained.”    Through the New York Blog series I will take you from Columbus, Ga to Brooklyn, New York and back.

Are you ready for the NY Blog Series? Tomorrow will arrive with the New York Blog Series Part 1.