DERRICK Interview with Middle Man Out Entertainment Founder Darrell Boysaw

March 25, 2018

Encouragement Speaker 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 Darrell Boysaw who is the Founder of Middle Man Out Entertainment. Also known to the music world as Pappa Doc Luv, an Artist, Music Creator and Entrepreneur from Central Illinois in the Twin Cities of Champaign-Urbana who moved to Sacramento in Northern California in the 90’s to pursue a football scholarship opportunity.

As Boysaw continues his musical endeavors he knows full well the importance of making sure there is food on the table and that his ends always meet so he has service ventures like Boysaw’s Moving Delivery and Transport and the Boysaw’s Jump Houses that are available for the public to support in the Sacramento area.

The beat that inspires PDL Hip Hop Heart has been influenced over the years by artists such as Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, BDP, Rakim,Redman,Dr Dre, Outcast, Dougie Fresh, Slick Rick, and the Grand MFFF.  A great moment in his career was when he  opened up for Jamie Fox at the Crest Theatre in Downtown Sacramento.

Middle Man Out Entertainment continues to thrive and stay alive because he still feels the love when the crowd understands and feels and responds to what he’s laying down.

Darrell Boysaw AKA Poppa Doc Luv is never shy with his words and leaves these words of wisdom for others to live by “Never wait on someone too long .. you’ll Never finish your music projects. I’m not going for the banana in the tailpipe, neither should anyone else. Don’t look up to anyone, just respect what they actions do.”

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

Making music that’s inspirational and appreciated. My goal is for my music to help me travel the world and create a great legacy.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I attended Delta Junior College and Sacramento State University and didn’t finish but I learned the concept of Middle Man Out and graduated with my own school of throught because I had too and I don’t like to wait. To tell you the truth what little education I have I use it to question all the BS I was taught in the US school system.

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

I think quick so that helps me be creative on the spot, not afraid to entertain large or small crowds, decent connections to help finish music that I mostly have conceived.  I have had other businesses already working for me so that helps me not have to depend on others which helps me be able to focus on my goals and making music for souls.

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

When I invested my own money and realized most will not invest in me like me.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

Gene Hicks because he’s reshaping the fitness world with Hip Hop Fit. His impact on people has always been enormous, he is also the my main producer on my album which is one of the the best ones I have created thus far. He is a giver.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

Being immature, waiting on someone else to finish my project Middle Man Out

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

Middle Man Out every chance you can with everything you can.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

Blessings to each and everyone of you that read my DERRICK Interview.

Visit www.cdbaby.com/pappadocluv for more information.

 

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DERRICK Interview with Motivational Speaker and Author Jonathan Rivers

February 12, 2018

Encouragement 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 Jonathan Rivers who has as a BS in Marketing from Auburn University and MBA from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Rivers is married to his wife Erica and they have four children; Kingston, Ezra Adah and Titus. He is also an author, motivational speaker, professional development consultant and youth coach and mentor.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dream is to travel around the world with the purpose of transforming mindsets through speaking, encouraging and enlightening. I plan to create a program that sends young men and women to leadership camps to build their acumen and leadership skills, which they will bring back to the community and share with their peers.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I have my BS in Marketing from Auburn University and my MBA from the University of Phoenix. I consistently speak about the principles I learned in college such as the product life cycle and human capital. I also discuss my experiences of discovering my purpose, overcoming adversity and building relationships.

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

I consider myself unique because of my versatility. I am a powerful and passionate storyteller with knowledge and experience because of my background as a former collegiate athlete, high school educator, motivational speaker and believer in Christ.

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

I realized I was ready to run my own speaking and consulting business when I was laid off from the University of Phoenix in 2014. I applied for at least 40 jobs and got told no every single time. I then knew I wasn’t being told no to anyone’s organization; I was being told yes to my purpose!

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

Darren Palmer is my publisher, one of my mentors and a driven individual. He is the owner of his own self publishing company (selfpublish-N-30days) and he has helped me step into a new level of greatness. His vision and preciseness regarding his professional direction is inspiring and beneficial to anyone.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I was abandoned by my father at birth and raised by a single mother. I was sexually abused as a child and involved in multiple life threatening car accidents. There was a time I only had $30 in my checking account but I did not allow those circumstances to make me a victim because I chose to allow them to make me a victor.

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

1. Do not compere yourself to anyone else! God made each of us in his mold, but unique in our own way. Everyone has a purpose and it is not predicated on being just like the next person. Work to be better than you were yesterday, rather than being better than someone else.

2. Be intentional about everything in your life! Too many people live life on cruise control with a laissez faire attitude because they don’t care what may transpire. If you don’t intentionally create your road to success, you are creating your road to mediocrity.

3. Learn, Learn, Learn! Continue to research what it is that you want to pursue in life. Do not allow the opportunity to learn be stripped because of arrogance or your perception of a specific source. Life is a teaching tool and it needs to be observed.

Visit www.Jonathanbamrivers.com for more information.

 


DERRICK Interview with Global Business Leader Vijay Eswaran

November 29, 2017

Encouragement 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 Vijay Eswaran who is a successful entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and philanthropist and the author of the best-selling book In the Sphere of Silence. An economist by training, he is the founder of a multimillion-dollar global business, A well-known thought leader in Asia, he has written and spoken extensively about business, leadership, personal development, and life management. His new book Two Minutes from the Abyss published by Networking Times Press is now available as an eBook on Amazon.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dreams of yesterday have been surpassed in many ways. I now yearn for dreams of today, which are of far greater significance to me. When I was in my teens, I dreamt of owning a Ferrari. I eventually got one (and it was a big deal at the time!), though getting in and out of it was more of a bother than it was worth! Comfort became a lot more important than speed.

Throughout my 20s, 30s, and 40s, my dreams have dramatically changed in essence, direction and depth. Earlier, my goals were materialistic in nature; today, I am focused more on spirituality and self-actualization.

I’ve come a long way in my life’s journey, and what I have achieved over the years is not as significant, when I look towards my dreams of today. At one point, making a billion dollars seemed an impossible goal. Not so much anymore. And with age and experience I have come to realize that there is only so much one can spend! What I now know is, whatever money you make in this lifetime it is never truly yours. You are merely a custodian of it before it moves on to someone else after you.

That’s why, today I dream of touching a billion hearts. Making a difference in the lives of a billion people and empowering them to live their life as they should. To its fullest potential.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I am a firm believer that education should focus only on helping an individual develop a vocation, rather than find an occupation. I spent years earning a college degree and training to be an economist and ended up working for others for a decade instead of following my heart to become an entrepreneur.

My education became somewhat of an anchor preventing me from leaving the security of the harbour. A part of me resisted the pull because I felt like I was abandoning all those years of hard work and investment I put into earning my educational qualification. I felt I had sacrificed so much to earn that degree and was obligated to put it to good use.

Today, I am still undecided as to whether my education served me in good stead or not. When I look at the top 10 richest men in the world and realize that most of them droped out of college, I am not so sure if my degree was of great use to me, or a great impediment.

However, it is the gap year – I call it the year of ‘debunking school’ – that I found most educational. I spent a year travelling around Europe, which taught me how to live and adapt to different cultures and countries, it taught me empathy, and opened up the world to me and me to the world. It taught me three values that I carry with me until today – Adapt, Adjust, Accommodate.

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

I am a non-conformist by nature and therefore I have an instinctive need to think out of the box. I cannot walk into a room and simply agree with everything I hear. Many a time when I find my team is discussing and agreeing to go in a particular direction, in my mind I am already looking for another, usually opposite direction. This is not to cause chaos, but to provide a different perspective and ensure that a given situation or problem is being examined from all angles.

I prefer to think of myself as a contrarian, and a disruptor by nature. Many have called me a maverick. My life has been one of lifelong rebellion. Accepting the norm has just never worked for me.

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

I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. I was 35 when I made the decision to give up full-time employment and dive head first into building my company. In my case it was not so much about being ready, but about making that decision.

And that is what I tell anyone who asks me for advice on preparing for entrepreneurship. You start by making a decision. And from there on it becomes a process of making a series of decisions that lead you to where you are meant to be. You rarely make right decisions at the start, but that’s part of the process. I prefer to work on making those decisions right.

If you wait for the right moment to do something, wait for the stars to align, for Venus and Jupiter to cross paths in the sky, you will keep waiting. I don’t think there is such a thing as being ready to begin something. I don’t think any of today’s successful leaders or entrepreneurs were ready to be where they are today. They made a decision and dove right into it.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

There have been so many individuals who have guided me to where I am today, those who I consider my mentors.

My parents have been my greatest mentors. They have molded and guided me to think the way I do. My father instilled in me an important lesson when I was growing up: Service above self. I live my life by that credo.

There have been many others who appeared at various stages in my life who guided me through many ups and downs. Some of your finest mentors in life will come from the more unexpected places. Be open to them all. I have received wisdom from janitors and taxi drivers.

Know that you don’t always need to meet or know a person in order to learn from them or be influenced by them. Among the many great historical figures whose lives and lessons shaped my thoughts and my world, are Nelson Mandela whose life was his most powerful sermon to the world; Martin Luther King who filled me with so much passion and an abundance of fervour as to the equality of man; John F Kennedy who till today continues to inspire me with his brand of optimism and a flair for touching the hearts of those he spoke to, and Mother Teresa, whose abundance of love left a resounding wake in her path.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

Every challenge I ever faced felt enormous at the time and left me the better for it afterwards. The ones that I have beaten have taught me what I know, and the ones that have beaten me have taught me what I do not know. Either way, I live for every challenge, for without them it is hardly worthwhile to do what I am doing now.

I have encountered far too many challenges to count. When I first started out as an entrepreneur it seemed as if nothing was going my way. I didn’t have anyone to guide me; no one in my family had any experience with entrepreneurship. I had no powerful connections, or external funding. No one believed I could achieve what I set out to do. But I know I wasn’t meant to waste my life making money for other people. I’m so grateful I found like-minded partners, and the support of my wife. We’ve faced many setbacks over the years and continue to do so till today but I believe that if I don’t face them head on, I’m no longer progressing in my life.

I see challenges as opportunity for growth and progress. In the eventuality there are no more challenges in the offing, then I find myself duty bound to create one— be it for myself or those who follow me!

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

If only there existed a secret key to success, someone would have found it by now. The real secret is that each person must find his own key. I think an important aspect that many young people obsessed with winning at all times don’t realize is that it is dangerous to be successful the very first time. If you have never failed, you will never understand the value of success. It’s better to fail before one succeeds because that is the best way to learn. The worst failure is to allow yourself to be trapped in success.

Success does not teach. The longer you stay in its clutches, the more you regress.

Is there anything that we did not touch on that you would like to inspire others with?

You life is your greatest gift. Live life well by embracing everything it has to offer. Welcome challenges with patience, and enthusiasm.

Success does not respond to wishes. It responds only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence, perseverance and patience. Success, like life responds in equal measure to your ability to respond to it. Respond infinitely, respond limitlessly.

Visit http://www.vijayeswaran.com/ for more information about Vijay Eswaran and if you are an entrepreneur, expert or celebrity and you are looking for a way to promote you and the things you do then contact us for a DERRICK Interview.

Derrick Hayes is also known to the world as the “enTIEtainer” as he tells stories through neck ties to empower others to greatness.  Book the “enTIEtainer” now by visiting www.derrickhayes.com, emailing info@derrickhayes.com or by calling (706) 615-1662

 

 

 


DERRICK Interview with Buy Black Podcast Host Gerald Jones

November 11, 2017

Encouragement 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 Gerald Jones who is a husband and father living the dream in Omaha, NE. Professionally, who has been serving our nation’s military for 17 years across two service branches (US Marine Corps Reserve & US Air National Guard) while creating a rewarding civilian career as a Training, Performance, and Management Consultant. When he’s not working you can find him at the nearest basketball court or golf course (depending on the season), but the thing he loves to do most is Help Other People Win by organizing and structuring their personal goals.

Gerald started the Buy Black Podcast with the Mission to Draw Consumers and Business Owners together to Ignite the Global Black Economy.  Through this platform our socially conscious listening community will connect with black business owners and their companies, learn about their products or services, and support Black-Owned Businesses by buying from them.  Each week Mr. Jones brings you a new, compelling interview with an entrepreneur who will share their story, teach us some useful business information, and share their number one piece of advice for the Buy Black community as a whole.

What is your (D) ream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’ve achieved a great deal in my life, all of which set me up to realize what my dream is.  As of today, I’m at the beginning of the path to achieve it.  My dream is to create a platform that has a global impact in changing the way that we, as human beings see and interact with each other.  In short, I want to make the word “tolerance” a thing of history.  I want to crack the very difficult psychological code that moves people from “tolerating” the differences that make us unique to actively loving and appreciating how those differences make our teams, our communities, and our societies stronger.  “Build strength through diversity” is one of my personal core values, and I plan to instill that value into as many people across the planet as I possibly can.  My first effort toward achieving that goal is devoted to rebuilding economic strength and independence in the Black community.  I have developed and plan to grow a communications platform that offers free marketing exposure to black business owners via my podcast and forthcoming black business directory online.  When I close my eyes, I envision this podcast with an audience over 100,000 and a business directory with as many or more monthly visits, both of which will provide free exposure and listing for black business owners, as well as a reliable place where consumers can come to patronize black businesses and support our greater community.

What is your (E) ducational background and how do you use it daily?

I have an Associate’s Degree in Intelligence Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Additionally, I am a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance, Gold Certified in using the New World Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation, and an ICAgile Certified Professional.  While I continue to serve our nation’s intelligence analysis efforts, my passion and daily devotion is in training, process improvement, and business development.  In my traditional career as an associate in a major consulting firm, I use my Intelligence & Training backgrounds as well as by Business degree to provide performance consultation to U.S. military organizations, helping them streamline processes in order to allow their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines to spend more time and energy focused on their missions.  In my personal time, I am building the Buy Black Podcast from the ground up, establishing a foundation of valuable evergreen content that will continue to draw a larger audience over time.  As a one man show, I’m responsible for everything from book keeping to marketing…from booking guests to editing, producing, and publishing my audio tracks.

What (R) esources do you bring to the table that make you unique or stand out?

Throughout my life, I have ascribed to the philosophy that you should identify the things you love, the things you’re passionate about, and become an expert in them.  Since we all have different skills and different passions, it stands to reason that we will have different combinations of overlapping capabilities.  What has made me unique in the marketplace to this point has been my experiences.  Very few people have taken a path similar to mine in life, which means few people are qualified to provide the kind of education and consultation that I can.  I spent 8 years as an infantryman in the United States Marines.  Since leaving that branch, I have spent 9 years as an Air Force intelligence analyst.  As a civilian, I educated myself on Instructional Systems Design and Training Facilitation, using that Google knowledge and subsequent real-world experience to earn and become a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP).  What makes me stand out in any environment is that I can learn any system within a short period of time and identify ways to streamline and improve it to save resources while making a bigger impact.  It is how I landed by position as a performance consultant long before I had a Bachelor’s Degree.  It is that unique ability that I am using to build my podcast platform today.

When did you (R) ealize you were ready for what you are doing now?

Last year, in the summer of 2016, I had just finished by bachelor’s degree and was looking for my next project.  The CPLP tests were months away, so I had no immediate challenge ahead of me.  At that time, on July 5th & July 6th, I saw the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile murdered.  More than any previous tragedy of the kind, the deaths of those men affected me deeply, to the point of action.  I made up my mind then that I would have to do something that could impact the world beyond my family and small circle…so I began brainstorming.  Over the next 9 months I tried several small projects…doing Facebook live videos, posting motivational quotes and images to connect with people, but those things were too small scale.  In that period I had also begun listening to several business education podcasts, and I began to think about what kind of podcast I might be able to create.  Finally, in April 2017, I happened to reconnect with a friend from my childhood on Facebook.  When I went to her page, I saw that she did lots of research on black owned businesses and was posting articles about them on her page to help promote them, simply because that was her passion.  That was the final piece of the pie.  The idea for the Buy Black Podcast came to me and over the next two months I put everything in line to produce and publish the show to the world.  On July 5th, 2017, I went live with the first show.  I chose that date to honor Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Name at least one (I) ndividual in your network that others should learn about and why.

I would say Gerald Harris.  He and I grew up in the same town competing against each other in sports.  He is now the Student Engagement Coordinator at Duke University and is also becoming very active in the local political scene in Raleigh-Durham.  Remember the name, I predict it will be common in your household in the not too distant future.

What (C) hallenges have you had to overcome?

The toughest thing that I have had to overcome is my own personal growth as a human being and a man.  I have spent a great deal of my life looking at the world through the eyes of hegemonic patriarchy.  I have challenged myself to confront my subconsciously sexist views of women, homophobic and transphobic views, my religious views, my political views, everything.  After building a course on Analytic Tradecraft and Critical Thinking for the military, I spent so much time teaching people how to question their own views and biases that I became mired in doing the same to myself.  I went through a period of intense personal growth.  It was painful to look in the mirror and see who I really was, how I had previously viewed and treated people (even if only in my own mind), and determine to change the way I interacted with the world.  In the end, I came to one conclusion.  Jesus stated that the greatest commandments were to love God with everything that is of you and in you (paraphrasing), and to love your neighbor as yourself.  All of the laws and the prophets hang on those two commandments.  I made a decision to live my life actively loving other people in and on whatever walk of life is true to them, and to do everything in my power to help make their lives better, stronger, and fuller.  Since that time, challenges just haven’t seemed so challenging, and no matter what happens I am always content with the outcome.

What (K) eys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

Everyone has their different keys and tips for what to do to be successful.  In my heart, I believe the absolute most important thing that anyone, be it a person or a business, needs to be successful is a Mission, a Vision, and a set of Core Values.  I believe people need to invest the time to identify those three things for their lives, write them down, post them where they can be seen, then proceed to live every moment in life adhering to those values, working in their mission, to make the vision become a reality.  Our Core Values are a statement of who we believe, in our best selves, that we want to be.  Our Mission is what we believe our purpose is in life…why we were put on this Earth.  Our Vision is the end game, the future that we want to create for ourselves, our families, and our communities.  All of these give us the “Why” of being on this planet, doing what we do.  I’ll leave the “how” and “what” tips to someone else.  For reference, my personal Core Values are a list of action statements.  I don’t believe in using cliché, abstract words to describe “values”.  No, your values must invoke ACTION in order for them to be real.  My Core Values Are:

  • Love People and Lead from Your Heart
  • Exhibit Ethical & Intellectual Integrity
  • Build Strength Through Diversity
  • Listen for Understanding
  • Practice Innovative Entrepreneurship
  • Model the Behaviors You Want to See in Others
  • Always Exceed Expectations

Visit http://buyblackpodcast.libsyn.com/ for more information.


Book The WOE Man Show

April 30, 2017

In the summer of 2017 you can bring in the WOE Man Show to give motivation inspiration and encouragement to your group youth church program city town organization association school college business or company.

While faced with divorce with his after college sweetheart Derrick Hayes moved with a friend and slept on his apartment floor without a bed for over a year. Next to Derrick was a bible that read woe is me and a dictionary that defined woe as a trial and tribulation. When Derrick pulled out a pen and pad he received his life changing statement, “Before you leave work or go to sleep tonight, give someone a WOE, a Word Of Encouragement.”

Derrick had Derricknyms but when facing adversity the universe used him to give the world WOE by speaking to him through words so that others would receive entertainment education and elevation.

The WOE Man Show came to life after Derrick Hayes developed his craft  as a Motivational Speaker at several events sponsored by such entities as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Subway, Legacy Chevrolet, Brown Sanders College, Georgia State University, Tennessee Childcare Facilities Corporation, Mississippi 4-H, American Camping Association, Bowie State University, Tennessee State University, Georgia Power, Jackson State University, and many others.

Derrick Hayes is never selfish with his success as he gives back to others by providing them with guest blogging opportunities, publicity with DERRICK Interviews, recognition via his blog Today’s Honoree and motivation with The DAILY Message and the Android and iPhones app Motivation To Your Mobile.

Book the WOE Man Show by visiting www.derrickhayes.com, emailing info@derrickhayes.com and by calling (706) 615-1662.


TIP (To Increase Possibilities) Tuesday

April 25, 2017

Welcome to TIP (To Increase Possibilities) Tuesday where I give you a nugget that can help you build a gold mine.

Write down your first name or industry keyword and put the word Interview right next to it.

For example my name is DERRICK so I started to give a DERRICK Interview with others that were an expert entrepreneur athlete or philanthropist.

The industry I work in is education with an emphasis in autism so I created the AUTISM where I interview parents so that they can help other parents who have children on the spectrum.

After you write down your name or keyword give a special keyword for each letter in your name or industry word.

For example the words for the DERRICK Interview are Dream Education Resources Ready Individual Challenges and Keys.

The next thing you can do is to put your word into a question that you can ask others. In the DERRICK Interview the D is for Dream so I ask people all over the world, what is your Dream?

You can add more life to your blog interview series by including pictures, bios and social media links. Here is a link to the questions in my DERRICK Interview along with some of the other DERRICK Interviews that I have donehttps://encouragementspeaker.wordpress.com/derrick-interview/

The AUTISM Interview series was pitched to and picked up by Autism Parenting Magazine and their website where you can subscribe to and receive these interviews and more is http://www.autismparentingmagazine.com

Don’t delay and start your interview series today and you will see in a few days how this process can pave a way.

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#Derrick Hayes at www.DerrickHayes.com is an #Author and #MotivationalSpeaker for #Teams

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DERRICK Interview with Blind Filmmaker Michael Schwartz

November 11, 2016

michaelschwartzEncouragement 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 Michael Schwartz who is a legally blind filmmaker and owner of Trailhead Productions brings fifteen years of experience in television news and production to the table, and you’ll see what that means all along the way. An award winning reporter, Michael knows television and works for you with the same dedication and ideals valued by the best in the business.   “We’re the storytellers, not the story.”  That means that at Trailhead, we never forget that you and your dreams are the stars of the show.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’m a big believer in breaking through boundaries. Although I’ve been gradually losing my eyesight since I was thirteen years old, my dream was to pursue a career in visual storytelling, and I’ve never taken “no” for an answer. Through a career as a broadcast reporter and photographer, and now as a documentary filmmaker, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s possible to merge the worlds of visual storytelling and visual impairment. From my first job all the way through my current film. Following my own passions, though, cannot and should not be the end of the story. My dream is to change perceptions, raise expectations and make a difference in the world of inclusion for people with disabilities.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I went to the University of Missouri School of Journalism. What I loved so much about my education there is that no matter what your specific goals were, you had to learn everything about the business. It wasn’t good enough to want to be just an anchor, or a reporter, or a photographer, or any of the other jobs in journalism. You had to learn it all, and I had so many opportunities to learn skills that have benefited me throughout my career as a storyteller. Understanding what makes up a good picture, learning how to tell a concise story, understanding how to combine dozens of stories to build a newscast that makes sense… it’s all about crafting stories that make a difference.

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

The first resource actually doesn’t have anything to do with tools of the trade. It has to do with drive and resilience. The fact of the matter is that if you’re going to be a visual storyteller who’s visually impaired, there has to be an inner belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, nothing else matters.

I also rely on the twin pillars of of communication and partnership. While it’s easy to talk about the mechanics of how I do my job – working with the spatial and acoustic dynamics of an environment or a set to frame a shot, or shooting on a 4K camera to edit in a 1080 timeline, or not thinking of color itself as much as color profiles to use waveforms and vectorscopes to craft the mood and design of a shot, these are all just that” mechanics. They explain how do my job, but not why I do my job. I do my job because I get to work with a team of creative professions who share a creative vision. It’s what gets me up every morning in search of great stories to tell.

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

I think the key to realizing your dreams is that you shouldn’t wait until you feel you’re 100% ready. The truth is that day may never come. There will always be at least one unanswered question, one skill you could hone a little more, one step you may feel you’re not ready to take yet. Life is about leaps of faith. When I set out to start my own business, one based on a risky proposition and an uncertain outcome – staring a video production company even though I’m visually impaired – the one thing I had was a belief that I could succeed. Yes, you start a venture with as many resources as you can muster and your prepare as much as you can, but success is based on action, and action requires at least a certain amount of faith in yourself. Really, I knew I was ready because I believed in myself.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I can’t speak highly enough of my colleague and friend Maxwell Ivey. Max calls himself the Blind Blogger, but his life is about so much more than his blindness. It’s about always seeking self-improvement, expanding horizons and making a difference. Max knows how to start with a dream, use the resources he’s developed over the course of a lifetime of finding unique solutions to difficult challenges, learning new skills to help him achieve his goals and always looking to the future.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I believe that the challenge anyone with a dream has to overcome is facing down low expectations. What I’ve found is that people tend to rise to the expectations we set for them. As a creative artist – a filmmaker – who is visually impaired, I work every day not only to coordinate a creative vision with my team, but also to lead others to a world where there is no barrier to achievement. I direct and even shoot documentaries, and will continue to do this throughout and beyond the process of losing my eyesight. This is because there is a certain truism that we all have to come to accept, that pursuing one’s passion is the best starting point, because there are no barriers to accomplishment.

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

There is really one key to success. Set the bar high for yourself and for those who share your passions. This doesn’t mean you’ll never make a mistake. As they say, that’s why pencils have erasers. High expectations push you to challenge yourself, and it motivates you to constantly question your own assumptions… even the ones you don’t know you have. Expecting the highest level of performance from everyone you work with encourages you to pursue nothing short of excellence.

Michael is a friend of mine, and I want to encourage you to support his new documentary series, “The Palette Project: Losing Sight, Maintaining A Vision.” He’s made it really easy to pledge with a micropayment of just $1 for the videos he’s posting on his Patreon feed. This is a great way to show your support, and you can make a difference by helping him make a difference. Plus, you get to see some pretty amazing videos of some pretty amazing people, and learn what it’s like to be a visually impaired filmmaker. – Maxwell Ivey