Tell us about your journey, your “distance traveled” as an entrepreneur. What inspired you to do what you do?
From the Southside of Chicago, to the South Bay of San Francisco, I have been driven by an innate sense of urgency that compels me to use my gifts and talents to build a world that is inclusive, creative and imaginative.
What inspires me to do it, is my faith, my family and my love for bringing imagination and encouragement to every child in the world.
You are an inspiration to many. Who has been your biggest inspiration and why?
My parents. They have been together since their early teens. They overcame unimaginable circumstances to provide a life for us that was full of unconditional love and reassurance. We didn't have much but we had love and one another.
Which life or work experiences have made your path a little easier?
The struggles I faced at an early age provided grit, which in turn has made overcoming adversity easier. In my struggles, I discovered the importance of patience, a calm mind and clear heart. These are things you need to get through periods of uncertainty.
“Adjusting to the world seeing me for the first time as the person I knew I could always be, which is unapologetically me.”
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
“Do not play small, so that others can feel big.” Gina Warren, my mentor, friend and renown Diversity + Inclusion executive/expert.
If you could share a piece of wisdom with us, what would it be?
Do not fear trying and failing, fear failing to ever try.
During your incredible journey, has there been a memorable moment where you had to overcome significant adversity?
Working my way up at Nike for 14 years to become the Senior Global Designer of Nike Air Jordan and then quitting at the top of my game. I was ridiculed by my peers and many in the business that I helped to create and scale globally. Why would anyone give up a senior role in a great company, and all the access to athletes and celebrities that came with my role? For me, it was a choice between a certain kind of life and my family. People didn't understand my decision, my motivations and my desire to challenge myself. I was insulted for making a choice based on my faith and desire to live a life of greater meaning and purpose. A life that would allow me to to build a legacy for future generations.
I’ve managed various business that I started since I was 10 years old so I have learned how to be an independent thinker. Fulfilling my life’s purpose and being true to my family is all that matters to me. I learned not care what people think about my decision. Because of it, I’ve had a chance to build an unbreakable bond with my wife and my children. That makes me the richest man in the world.
Early bird or night owl?
Both… Lol Seriously. It's a burden and a blessing.
Last song listened to:
"KIDZ" by Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed
Superhero you most relate to:
Batman but I'd rather be Lucius Fox.
An app you couldn’t live without:
I don't really have one to be honest. The things I couldn't live without are not on my my phone.
If a genie granted you 3 wishes:
1. Unlimited Wishes.
2. See Wish 1.
3. See Wish 2 and then see wish 1.
A book you couldn’t put down?
Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Favorite place to visit:
“If you can play together, you can live together.”