DERRICK Interview with RedShift Writers Founder Daniel J. Cohen

January 28, 2014

DanielCohenEncouragement 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 Daniel J. Cohen who is the Founder and Lead Writer of RedShift Writers, Houston’s fastest growing content writing company. Cohen and RedShift provide businesses with high quality content that helps achieve specific business objectives, particularly exposure and sales. 

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

I envision a world where learning is a goal for everyone. Education is so essential to everything that I do. If learning and teaching were our focus, we would be learned and well-taught; peace, dedication and resilience would reign over hatred and struggle. Fear would fade. Love would prosper. That is my dream.

So far, I have brought a small piece of that to world. I would love to continue to do everything I can to contribute more.

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

My formal education is an undergraduate degree in political science from American University and a Master’s Degree in Communication with a PR focus from the University of Houston. Just as importantly, I have extensive career education based on experience. Just shy of 30 years old, I have had more than 15 jobs in ten different fields. Every job brought something to light for me. My job at the movie theater when I was in high school taught me character. My job in fast food taught me humility. My jobs in telemarketing taught me to sell. My jobs in marketing firms taught me to move quickly. My jobs teaching bilingual education and test prep taught me to teach others.

Each day, I use my ability to learn and my ability to teach to my advantage. I train 100% of my staff in-house and keep an eye out for the latest tools and technologies that I can use to my advantage. I believe in the power of education, of learning for self-improvement, of teaching others to be successful and find their own success. I do this with my clients too, showing them the best possible path to achieve their own goals by explaining what it’s going to take to conquer the market they want to conquer.

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

First and foremost, I and my team are excellent writers. We craft language that positions companies to succeed in the open market. We message for businesses in unique ways that cannot be found in the standard firm or in the toolkit of the standard consultant. Our writers are capable of creating PROLIFIC amounts of well-organized content in a short period of time, and doing so with excellent service. We also provide high level messaging related to the name, slogan and category of companies.

Simply put, we are excellent wordsmiths.

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

About six months into my last job, I realized I was working far too any hours to not own a company. I was a lead content writer by day for the corporate marketing arm of a classifieds company and a fast-paced free lancer by night. I began to realize the need there was in the market for good writers. The only available options were independent free lance writers and marketing firms, and both had major drawbacks. The power of a content writing stable is that you can find a writer that works for you but still has the backing of a company infrastructure.

I made plans to exit the company and start my own immediately upon that realization.

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

There are plenty of names I could give here. John Whaley, host of FM 92.1’s Executive Entrepreneur Hour probably knows as much or more about the economy as anyone I have ever met. Michele “@prosperitygal” Price is the queen of building an audience. But if I had to answer this question with the first name that came to mind, that would be Marc Nathan. Marc is probably the best networker I have ever met. Everyone can make a valuable business contact with Marc because everyone can make a valuable business contact through Marc. His business insight is also generally fantastic. Great person to know.

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

I am very fortunate not to have what most people would call a major disease or injury. My challenges have come down to many of the standard service challenges companies face: late payments from clients, collection issues, problems with time, and more.

One thing that has been difficult for me is hiring the right people. However, I have recently brought in some great talent on a contract basis and hired one full-time staffer who has been wonderful. I still have the standard scalability issue most entrepreneurs have, and would love to figure out how to package my products to sell them better. We do fairly well overall, though.

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

1) Be nice to everyone. You don’t have to be a pushover in a bid or leave yourself vulnerable. But when it comes to your general public outreach, be warm with everyone in every room you enter. Your competitors are in your industry; be nice to them. The strangers you meet are potential clients, friends, family, lovers, etc. Be nice to them, too.

2) Educate yourself. Learn. Aim to teach. Leave others with something lasting and valuable.

3) Pursue fearlessness. Fearlessness is like world peace in that you can strive for it every day but you may never achieve it. Strive for it anyway. It’s worth it.

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

Writing is an amazing skill that can bring great clarity to what you do. Try it. You may just like it. And if you need a professional content writer for your business, RedShift Writers is the company for you.

For more information:


DERRICK Interview with Entrepreneur Mark Pelmore

January 30, 2013

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 Mark Pelmore who is a disabled military veteran (US Army) from Champaign, Illinois. His educational background includes pursuit of a PhD, a MS in MIS, a BS in IT, and a BS in CJ. Professional experience in the Business, Educational, Medical, and Textile industries.

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

My dream & goal was to be a Renaissance man, being able to control my time, my capital & the outcome of my own destiny. To accomplish my dream & goal I thought my efforts needed to be well rounded but centered on being a businessman. My pursuits shifted to becoming a sound business owner, after gaining priceless experiences taking the scenic route of college, the military and corporate America.

E is for Encouragement: What encourages you?

Besides the Holy Spirit, the scriptures, my wife & my parents (family), I am encouraged by other believers that help those in need or pay it forward genuinely without expectations of reciprocation.

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

My goal of becoming a Renaissance man lead me to select paths were I traveled the world, become immersed in high levels of educated and indoctrinated through experience based professions. Being exposed to the globe, trained by great minds, and groomed though a number programs I gathered information & experience to become a resource of sorts to help others beginning on a similar path I took.

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

The journey to get to this point has taken 20 years of preparations (most of my adult life) as I had to gain knowledge in practically 5-6 different industries. To the insider it seemed like I was a professional student, a frequent job changer and had no plan. Honestly at times it made me doubt if I was following the right path. Now that the plan is gaining and  as I expose pieces of the true purpose of my Renaissance approach it makes me realize I couldn’t have gotten here faster if the plan was to be correctly executed.

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

I think the person the world should be introduced to is Crystal Cain, the founder of raisingCAIN multi-media. The company and plan she is building is complementary to where my plans are going for my company. I envision our young companies can grow simultaneously while providing a benchmark, resources & platforms to each other.

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

I imagine something profound could be said about my inner drive to be successful, however as I have progressed in purpose & age I think being an aspiration to future generations is much more rewarding than proving to myself I can continuously get of the mat when knocked down.

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

The decision between working for and owning should never be taken lightly. Gaining experience & knowledge in your industry of choice is very critical for being effective.  I think addressing a need is a staple of business however customers drive business therefore meeting their needs should be equivalent to addressing business needs. I biggest hurdle I have faced in knowing the importance of capitol and other financial practice that are not taught about small business. For leaders equip yourself with more than a specialty and always be willing to improve your people skills because our people will shape progression.

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

Identifying oneself into a box, position or an industry is a mistake…what you do cannot be equivalent to who you are. Pour into others that are coming behind you & others that you would not customarily involve yourself with, will broaden your scope and give invaluable knowledge to someone else

Visit Mark Pelmore for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado

January 24, 2013

RichSalgadoEncouragement 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 Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado who in 1988 founded Coastal Advisors, LLC. as a way of keeping his clients protected and making their lives better. After a strong college football career at the

University of Maryland, Rich understands the importance of athletes and corporate figures and safeguarding their lives, careers and families. The mantra that he tries to get across to athletes is that you need disability insurance now because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

With his stellar knowledge and relationships that have developed over the years, Rich has the ability to speak with GMs, NFL, NHL and MLB draft picks and veterans about disability and career ending insurance. In the last three years alone, Rich has seen a significant increase in insuring college players in their senior year. Within the past five years, Rich has insured more than 30 1st Round NFL picks for disability, career ending insurance, as well as life insurance and estate planning. Coastal Advisors not only insures players but also insures teams and the contracts that they offer their players.

A staple in the world of sports business media, Rich has become a regular on FOX News Channel’s Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox & Friends and the FOX Business Network, while also making appearances on ESPN, FOX Sports, NFL Network and Bloomberg News. Further, the Wall Street Journal, Sports Business Journal, NFL Network, Sports Illustated, Newsday, the New York Post and many other journalistic websites have profiled his business. Traveling more than half the year and attending more sporting events than most dream of, an average day includes texting Justin Tuck, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Bush and Michael Strahan, having pregame rituals with NFL owners like NY Giants’ John Mara and traveling with Scott Gomez to name a few. Rich’s comprehensive insurance strategies and ability to complete the loop of communication, is the major reason for his success.

In addition to the business at hand, Rich finds time to give back and support charities both within his hometown area of New York City and nationwide.  He supports his clients’ many philanthropic efforts such as Justin Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy, The Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation and The North Shore LIJ Health System. Rich recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Nassau County Sports Commission. Currently in the 2nd year, the Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Classic is a big fundraiser that supports the neurological studies at North Shore LIJ and to build children’s aneurysm center.

D is for Dream. What is your Dream?

My dream was to be a teacher and a football coach but my dream changed directions due to wanting to be a football player. I wasn’t good enough to be a professional athlete and I did go to school with players that went on to play in the NFL. One of those players was Neil O’ Donnell who was my roommate and played successfully for many years. Neil played on two teams that went to the Super Bowl, Steelers and Titans. I was able to land a career in the Insurance services business. In this business, I help athletes both on and off the field; protecting their careers and their families. My goal is to make sure that ALL athletes and business professionals understand the value of having someone like myself in their camp and part of their team. Professionals should stick to their profession and not pretend to know it all. As for what I have achieved, I’m not done achieving. My passion is to protect my friends, clients, and associates and educate them all.

E is for Encourage. What Encourages you?

What encourages me is that people now welcome me as a professional. I have some of the biggest and most successful names in sports, television and media that not only utilize Coastal Advisors, LLC services, but also refer me to their peers.  Ten years ago, I was some BIG GUY and nobody knew what I did. I believe I have changed that perception and that has given me the confidence to walk in any room regardless of who is there. I walk in proud knowing that I do so many things and work so many hours to build and gain confidence of clients. This encourages me and keeps me working hard for my clients. I have also survived an Aneurysm in 2008. I could not believe that happened to me and it was a lonely time in my life but prayers and great care from North Shore -Long Island Jewish Medical Center got me through it.

R is for resource. What Resource do you have that makes you stand out or unique?

The resources that I bring to the table is having 18 years of experience and a client list that speaks for itself. I wouldn’t be working with the clients that I have if I was not considered an expert in my field. Everybody in sports, media, agents, financial advisors, business managers know me as “BIG DADDY” because I stand out for my size.

This nickname has helped to brand my name. Most players in all sports may not do business with me but they are told that when they get to NYC, call Big Daddy. It is always a pleasure to help anybody regardless of the profession.

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

I knew I was ready when I started because I had a niche market in place since I was a kid growing up. I had relationships that started when I was in high school. I owe a lot of people for helping me along the way. One of those people is Bill Hampton Jr who was my dear friend who passed away last year. Billy gave me the opportunity to work for him on occasion and introduced me to the players, media heads and executives. Billy later on became an executive at the NFL and then after became a VP of the Cleveland Browns. The second is Mike Newsome who currently works at Nike. He was my roommate for seven years, my best friend and my brother.

There is also Neil O’ Donnell, who was my roommate in college and post graduation when we lived in Pittsburgh. Lastly, Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. I learned from Ronnie the importance of phone calls, extra cell phone batteries and networking!

I is for individual. Can you name at least one Individual that we should learn more about and why?

WOW!  There are so many people that it is a challenge for me. Well, the one that comes to mind is Rick Bellando, who is the Chairman of the NY State Independence Party. He works at the Oheka Castle in Long Island. A couple was getting married there once and the person needed a kidney transplant. Rick was a match and he donated one of his. Such an INCREDIBLE STORY about one human giving up their kidney for another. Check out www.oheka.com to learn more about Rick and the wonderful place he runs.

C is for Continue. When things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to Continue?

Well, I have a self-motivating button. My business is very difficult and people run the opposite direction when it comes to talking about insurance. This business has a negative stigma on it and my job each day is to make people feel comfortable with my services and teach them why they need my services. I also have to make sure they are insured properly meaning that they have the right amount of coverage. There are a lot of sales made in the insurance world that only benefit the sales person and not the client. What makes me continue is that I want to be successful. I want to be a role model in this field as well as in the world of business. Being successful doesn’t mean being the wealthiest it means that I can be looked upon as person people can trust.

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

My key to success is working tireless hours, knocking on all doors and collecting every business card I could get a hold of. I currently use social media to endorse my company, to reach out to athletes, media, parents, agents as well as business owners. I have the good fortune for being on air to discuss my business and my company. You can go to www.youtube.com/bigdaddyinsures to see some of my on air shows as well as the publications that I have been featured in.  My website also, www.coastaladvisorsllc.com is very informative on my services.

I recommend meeting people of all races, businesses and walks of life. People sometimes think that I only work with athletes and that is far from the truth. I work with business owners, my old mailman and many others as you never know who one day might be working in the mailroom then later on is running the company. People in the world of football know whom I am talking about when you read this last sentence.

Visit Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado for information.


DERRICK Interview with Running Wild Films Co-Founder Travis Mills

November 28, 2012

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 Travis Mills. After growing up in Ecuador and the Comoro Islands near Africa, he settled in Phoenix, AZ. His youthful interest in film turned into a lifelong passion and he has pursued directing through school and outside of it in his adult years. Travis has made more than 30 short films in Arizona and two full length movies.  Travis is a storyteller. Travis Mills is the Director/Co-Founder of Running Wild Films.

D is for Dream. What is your dream?

My dream is to develop a local cinema here in Arizona that is supported by the community and also has an international audience online. These would be self-sustaining films, produced and released outside of Hollywood, and featuring local actors/crews, highlighting local businesses, and telling local stories. In the last two years, I believe that with Running Wild Films, my team and I have started to lay the foundation for a true local cinema in Arizona.

R is for Resource. What resource do you have that makes you stand out or unique?

Our resource to this community is that we are committed to staying here. In film, most everyone wants to leave for L.A. at some point. We are not interested in that; we are committed to this place. So we are a consistent and dedicated business for the community to rely on and support, and we offer experience to all ages and skill levels interested in working on movies.

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

After seeing the direction most filmmakers took out of film school and being somewhat disillusioned with the limitations of being a filmmaker, my partner Gus and I realized the potential for a different kind of movie-making and that we had the freedom to create something new and vital here. That was a little more than two years ago and our passion has grown more and more.

I is for Individual. Can you name at least one person that we should learn more about and why?

Gus Edwards is a person anyone would be lucky and honored to know. He is an incredible source of knowledge about film, but also a great voice of liberation. He sees what film could be and encourages his peers/students to break new ground.

C is for Continue. When things look bleak what makes you want to continue?

When we fail, and we value our failures as much as our successes, it is our passion for storytelling that keeps us going. I am not doing this because it is “fun”. I am making films because I have to, it’s an undeniable part of me that I am not willing to ignore. When things get tough, I remember that I have no choice, I must continue.

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

Dive in without any hesitation. My favorite filmmaker Werner Herzog said that making a movie is like jumping off a skyscraper. You must take the leap and then embrace the fall. It’s a disturbing image on the surface, but an inspiring one beneath it. I think you must fully embrace your vision in any creative effort and not look back.

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

To anyone, I encourage you to stay where you are. Look at the place around you, value its people, its places, its stories. As the world gets bigger with the internet, I believe that we can and should focus more on the places, people and things around us more.

Visit Travis Mills for more information.


DERRICK Interview with Louis Tanguay of Circle Marketing

November 13, 2012

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 Louis Tanguay who is the Managing Director of the full-service marketing company Circle Marketing. Louis has been personally building online businesses since the mid-90’s while working for the Business Incubator Event Zero in Boston. Circle Marketing started in mid-2010 as a way to help bring large company efficiencies to the small businesses of America and help small business owners follow an efficient and effective path to success.

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

My dream is to help small businesses utilize the power of modern marketing strategies and technology, the internet and social media for example, to make just as big an impact as the “big boys.” The internet has evened the playing field, so that all a business needs these days is a solid product and or service, and the right strategy to marketing effectively and efficiently. We have helped every business we have worked with to grow in varying degrees (5-35% growth), and are looking forward to helping dozens more businesses in the coming year achieve that same level of success.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

Every time Circle Marketing helps a small business gain more sales, more social media followers, and finds efficiency in their revenue streams, we are encouraged to continue. Every bit of success we have solidifies what we are doing here, and proves to us that we are helping small businesses help themselves to bigger profits. That tells us we’re on the right path, and encourages us to keep it up!

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

I have the unique gift of not being very polar when it comes to marketing. What this means is that I understand a broad range of marketing areas, not just specialize in only one thing. Sure, there are better designers or developers than me, but I understand both their worlds, and just hire the best to work for Circle Marketing. My broad understanding and ability to translate what the client wants into an effective and efficient strategy, then translate that strategy to both designers and developers is a resource and gift I am so thankful to own. Understanding the entire concept-to-completion process, in my opinion, is better than only specializing in just one area.

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

When I was unemployed. I was laid off in the middle of the Great Recession in 2009, but I had 16 years of experience. The tighter budgets made it difficult for someone like me to get in the door, because of the titles I had in the past. So, I figured what is the best way to get a job right then and how could I never have to worry about money again? Well, I would hire myself to help other people make more money! And…it worked! I started Circle Marketing in 2010 as a way to help small businesses grow in any economy, and put together the general strategies we use today. So, if anyone says they can’t find a job, just encourage them to hire themselves doing something they’re passionate about!

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

I could say a great number of inspirational figures, but since we’re talking more about business here, I would suggest people read The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. Chet unfortunately just passed away due to complications with Leukemia, which is tragic, but he left behind an amazing system of business development which will help any business of any size grow bigger and act more strategically.

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

Failure is never something to fear. Failure, big or small, is the greatest teacher we will ever have. I have learned more from my failures than I have from my successes, because when you have success, you can just copy, paste, rinse and repeat. However, when you fail, you have to analyze why you failed, think about what you could have done differently, and have a plan for a different outcome if you are ever in that situation again. There are many great inspirational quotes to add in here, so I’ll just choose two that stuck with me over the years, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius … and … “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill.

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

To me, the Key to success is a simple formula:

Focus + Strategy + Hard Work + Determination x Positivity = Success. With that formula, you simply will not fail, and you will absolutely find the success you’re looking for…and then some!

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

I think the biggest thing I can say, which I hope people take more than anything else I said, would be to understand that no one did it by themselves, and then again no one is going to help you either. I’ll explain that seemingly dichotomous statement. When you achieve success, it’s because you had the right attitude, worked hard, cared about your product and customers, hired the right people, made the right connections, and built strong relationships which you leveraged for either bigger sales, bigger profits, or both. No one just makes a million dollars on their own one day, by themselves, without any help whatsoever.

Then again, no one is going to just hand over a million dollars to you, either. You have to put in the work. You have to build those relationships, do the market research, find the right partners, and not spend your time doing things which won’t help your business, while spending most of your time doing things which will directly help your business. You control your own destiny. You will get exactly what you deserve in the business world.

Business isn’t emotional. It’s business. If you work hard, build great relationships, never quit, and work efficiently and strategically and stay very positive the whole way through, then you WILL find that success you’re looking for…and then some. I promise you. Just keep smiling, stay focused, and NEVER QUIT!

Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Be A Winner!

Visit Louis Tanguay for more information


DERRICK Interview with Designer Steph Calvert

October 18, 2012

The #1 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 Steph Calvert who is the owner of Hearts and Laserbeams an Art and Design studio that offers everything from t-shirt illustrations to web design to logos and branding. 12 years of professional design experience, art seen worldwide, and friendly customer service combine to create projects that resonate with clients and their customers.

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

My dream is for my art and design business to help everyone get to where they’re going with their own businesses, while still giving me the creative freedom that makes me so happy. I want my own personal art to touch others and make their days a little brighter, and I’m always looking for way to broaden that audience. I’ve got some great style guides of cartoon characters that are just chomping at the bit to be put into action with some licensing deals!

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

The increasingly positive feedback I receive from friends, family and clients is such great encouragement! It’s also extremely fulfilling to see a progression in my design work. Designs I completed 10 years ago still look great, but the things I’m designing, coding and creating today are just so much better thanks to the experience and continued education under my belt.

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

There’s lots of artists and illustrators out there, there’s lots of print graphic designers. There’s lots of folks that can build a WordPress site. But the truth is there’s NOT a lot of creatives that can do all of that, and do it well. I’ve got a dozen years of professional work experience in a wide variety of art, graphic design and web design, and have worked with large corporations like OshKosh B’Gosh and Kohl’s as well as small indie brands like Sweet Perversion .

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

My past full time permanent art and design positions have all prepared me to be the best self employed graphic designer I can possibly be. Couple that with my extensive customer service background working retail before that, and you get an illustrator and designer that is easy to work with, understands the needs of the customer, and communicates well.  All of my past career pieces fit the “become self employed” puzzle when I came back from maternity leave after having my son Phil. The job had changed drastically while I was out, and it was immediately clear that it was just not going to work. Rather than stay in a suddenly-stressful job and let that negatively affect my family and our newborn, I emailed everyone I could think of to see what freelance work was out there. Three days after I returned from maternity leave, I was self employed. It was the right move, at the right time. Two years later, business is still going like gangbusters and shows no signs of slowing. Clients are ecstatic with my work, and I absolutely love what I do.

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

I know I have to keep it to one, but I’m naming two! Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson are the ladies behind Craftcation Conference.  They’re amazing creative powerhouses, and have been super supportive of my journey to self-employed success. Also, I am constantly and consistently amazed by the work coming from Remy Holwick. The progress she’s made in launching her fashion line is nothing short of inspiring.

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

I keep going because there’s no other choice. Number one, there’s bills to be paid. If I stop doing what I’m doing, I can’t do my part to support my family anymore. Then Phil has to go to daycare, I have to get a job in an office, most of that check goes to pay for daycare, and we’re screwed. But more  importantly – I have to create. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon when I was little. When things look bad, step away from the project. But then come back to it, and push yourself forward. You’ll get through it, and the truth is everything is going to be okay.

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

Be grateful for everything you have, and where you’re at in life. Don’t spend your time wallowing in how much something in the past sucked. That bad stuff made you stronger and you have to be at least a little grateful for that, too. While I’m obviously not at any of my past jobs anymore, I’ve gotten something great from all of them, and they’ve all contributed to the designer I am today.

Visit Steph Calvert for more information


DERRICK Interview with Hustle University Founder Hotep

October 17, 2012

The #1 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 Hotep a native of Long Island and a  Georgia resident since 1991. Hotep is the Founder of  Hustle University which he calls the HBCU for entrepreneurs focusing in areas of self help and entrepreneurship that can turn your Dreams to dollars, Ideas into income, Passion to profit, and Craft to cash.

I first met Hotep a few years ago at the Twinkie Awards that is produced by Letitia Owens.  I still get energized ever time I talk to Hotep and that is why I wanted to DERRICK Interview him.

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

My dream is for Hustle University to have a seat at the United Nations. When this happens we will effectively be able to broadcast the Hustlers Gospel to people all over the world. This makes it official that you have been brought to the table to make things happen and represent hustlers worldwide.

E is for Encourage. What encourages you?

I’m encouraged by young people that are out there showing the commitment to make their own way. I’m encouraged by people that lead by example , people bold enough to live life on their own terms.

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

Combination of leadership of the civil rights movement,  intellect of the highest academic, swag of the Hip Hop generation and Culture and the business savvy of an entrepreneur. The mentality of a Hustler.

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

When I realized that people liked what I did but were more interested in learning  how I did it.

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

Marcus Garvey because he set the precedents and is the prototype for the Nation of Islam  and is the archetype for people like Malcolm X, Minister Louis Farrakhan and even President Barack Obama. People should learn more about Dr. Benjamin Mays  from Morehouse College as  he is the one that inspired  and influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

I’m an optimistic opportunist and it is in my nature to see the world for what it can be and also to take advantage of the opportunity to make it so.

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

Here are the  Hustlers 10 Commandments.

1. Network is your networth 2. Image is everything 3. The early bird gets the worm 4. It’s Lonely AT THE TOP 5. Success is where opportunity meets preparation 6. Business is personal  7. Everything is negotiable Everything 8.It’s not what you or who you know its who knows you 9. It takes dough to make bread 10. Know and believe in thyself

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

It is good to have faith but faith without works is dead so get on your hustle.

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