Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Greatest Gift of All

I am asked all the time, Lil Mogul, give me one piece of advice which you think every entrepreneur must have or do to be successful. To me the answer is very clear, FIND a mentor and/or mentors. Business and Life Mentors are trusted friends, counselors or teachers, usually a more experienced person in a specialized field. Some professions have "mentoring programs" in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance. As an entrepreneur, you must seek out that special person and/or people who will provide expertise to assist you in advancing your business choices, enhancing your education, and building your networks. I have personally benefited from being a part of a mentoring relationship in many different arenas of the business.

I was introduced to entrepreneurship at an early age by my parents as well as aunts and uncles. I watched, listened and learned how my family ran a venture capital fund, a construction company, a paper cup factory, a mini supermarket, an aluminum foundry and a business consulting firm. My Dad, Lil Mogul Sr. is my go to business mentor. He is my biggest cheerleader. Charles Kelly is my business and life mentor. He tells me what I need to hear. I have a number of mentors that I don’t talk with everyday; but, I watch and try to emulate because I look up to them and respect their position.

On Sunday, August 2, 2009, George Faison, Founder/Artistic Director of Harlem’s new Faison Firehouse Theater and Tad Schnugg, Co Founder of the Faison Firehouse Theater created and hosted the Special Event celebrating the 85th birthday of one of America’s most celebrated author James Baldwin. The standing room only event was not only attended by family and friends of James Baldwin; but also by, people of the literary, performing arts and entertainment communities that were influenced by him. As you know my concentration and interest in business are fashion, beauty and entertainment. Not only do I look up to both George and Tad as entrepreneurs, producers, teachers and my mentors but their large network of associates too.

Such honored speakers that shared part of their late afternoon on Sunday at the Firehouse were: Playwright/Poet, Amiri Baraka; Award Winning Poet, Sonia Sanchez; Editor-at-Large of Vogue Magazine, Andre Leon Talley; Nephew of Mr. Baldwin, Trevor Baldwin, Sister-In-Law of Mr. Baldwin, Helen Baldwin; Protégé, Alexa Birdsong, Historian & Writer, Herb Boyd; Musician & Singer, Genovis Albright and Chair, English Dept. Howard University, Eleanor Traylor.

“… we are preparing the next generations of leaders here in Harlem.” says, Faison.

After the event, I walked home and reflected on my mentors and what they all mean to me. I look at myself an entrepreneur living in Harlem who is a creative businessman, producer, manager, leader and a mentor that enjoys living this exciting career path. I can’t thank all of mentors enough. So, I ask you, who is your mentor and/or mentors?
All Photos Courtesy of Dex Star G. The Peoples Photographer


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Drop the science lil mogul! much love - LWEbb.

Deadra said...

Excellent article Rick - inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the future. Nice to see a site with the latest on news & lifystyle info. Only thing missing is more on sports. B

DeShawn said...

You are my Mentor and I thank you for all the Talks and motivation you give. Thank you for being you





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