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July 11, 2023 61 mins

SVP and Executive Editor of Black Enterprise Alfred Edmond Jr. came onto That Moment with Daymond John to give his candid reflection on the opportunities that led to him becoming an executive, how he prioritizes his health, his advice for aspiring business leaders, and more.


The “moment” that affirmed in his mind that he was meant to be a business journalist was created both by himself and someone above him on his team and serves as a reminder that little actions we take can drastically change the course of others’ lives - for good.


Alfred also gives writing and speaking tips that no matter what industry you’re in will help you develop your skills and sharpen your ability to effectively do both. Besides being focused in business, he takes such a disciplined approach to health and fitness that can be applied to virtually all aspects of our lives, and listeners will definitely walk away with a few mindset changes and habits to lock in to improve themselves overall.


Tune in to an all new episode of That Moment with Daymond John to lock in the habits and strategies that will help you grow not only in business but in your personal life, too!


Host: Daymond John


Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus


For more info on how to take your life and business to the next level, check out 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
I said this. I said, when you think of black
men and mainstream media, we have to fall in one
of five categories. We're either a perpetrator, victim, athlete, entertainer,
or Barack Obama or Barack Obama.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
Or Barack Obama OVERACKA. What if I told you there
was more to the story behind game changing events? Get
ready for my new podcast, That Moment with Damon John
will jump into the personal stories of some of the
most influential people on the planet, from business mobiles and
celebrities to athletes and artists. Let's get into it. Welcome

to That Moment with Damon John. I could run across
all this man's accolades and I will. You know, I
don't want you to feel like you don't know who
I'm talking to, but let me share with you one thing,
and this is not his career. You're sixty three and
you compete currently in explain to me natural bodybuilding.

Speaker 1 (01:06):
Kind of got into the sport when I was in
my late thirty return to it at age fifty seven,
So now I compete as a member of the OCB
Federation as well as DFAC and a couple of USBF.
So there's a couple of natural bodybuilding federations. I'm a
member of three different ones. I've earned my pro card
in two as a Master's competitor, and master just means

you compete at age forty and above. So I've earned
masters pro cards as a fifty plus competitor. I don't
know how sixty three. So yeah, I've been.

Speaker 2 (01:36):
I've been.

Speaker 1 (01:36):
Bodybuilding is my chosen sport pretty much for the last
twenty five years or so.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
Yeah, Okay, you got into in your late thirty We're
going to get back to that because I you know,
I'm told that you lose I don't know, three to
five percent or something like that a muscle a year.
I feel like I'm losing ninety percent a year. So
I'm sure there's a lot of people and natural bodybuilding
and with me being held in fitness and all, that
type of stuff is something I want to concentrate on

and keep concentrating on. I think we're gonna have a
lot to speak about there, But let's talk about your
actual profession and you get paid for and people seek
your guidance around the world. It is, uh, basically, let's
break it down. Award winning multimedia journalist Senior Vice President
Executive editor of Black Enterprise, Alfred Edmunds Junior not wildly

for your expertise on business, economic trends, entrepreneurship, personal finance leadership.
You are a speaker. You speak on global stages. You
are somebody that I'm constantly like, Man, we got to
show down and we gotta get some time so to
Holura to pick his brain, because you're looking under the
hoods of every single car in the world. Meaning from

a business perspective, You're seeing what's working, what's not working,
and people are telling you their problems and you're extracting
as well, this type of information on a regular basis,
so you know, you also let me look at it here.
You know, I'm kind of reading stuff, but I kind
of I know you, so you know, sometimes I don't
want to like to read this stuff, but you you know.

You also co produce and host Black in the product
interview series Beyond the Hype and Your Money. You're like
while co hosting or with co hosts, BU lifted Up,
a nationally syndicated faith based radio program focused on encouraging
listeners to commit to smart financial choices and the creation

of generational wealth. And in addition, you serve as a
member of Pharrell Williams Black Ambition, nonprofit initiatives to support
funding of ideas and companies led by black and Hispanic
all right, man, well, thank you for being.

Speaker 1 (03:45):
We don't get to talk as much as we like,
but whatever we do, we have a good time. So
this is good to see you.

Speaker 2 (03:50):
Man, It is great to see you. You know, I'm
gonna I'm gonna come out hot right now. Why am
I really one of the only publicly celebrated African Americans
on TV that doesn't come from music, sports to television?
When you interview people like this every single day, there

are people listening to us right now who are not
African American, who know a massive amount of African American
Latinos who are very prosperous that their partners. You know,
there are people here and listen nothing against, nothing against
any young man or woman who have made it to

the top of sports, music, politics, no matter whether you
agree or disagree about any of those things. It is
very hard because let me tell you something, I get
people pitch me all the time. Even you know, I
got an idea, Oh, I got a company. And that's
one thing to have a company and when they pitch me,
it is an honor. What are they pitching me for?

They want to feed their families and to take anything
you have and say, I want to come up with
this concept. It takes real work. I feel bad for
the singers because everybody think they could sing and you
don't need anything besides a voice, which everybody has to
be like check this out, you know, over moving? Oh no.

And and so my friends I see them who are celebrities,
they get I get stopped twenty times a day. They
can stop two hundred times a day because my mama
told me I'm beautiful, I could sing, I can dance.
But now, why is that? Why are we not celebrating
amongst ourselves people who came up like you, Me, Kathy Hughes,

Byron Allen who was killing him right now, Percy Sutton.
Why do we not celebrate these people publicly as much
as they should.

Speaker 1 (05:55):
That is a big reason why Black enterprise and you know,
public like Essence and you know and other black home
media platforms exist. And we're talking about going back to
the whole history of the black press, going back to
Ido B. Wells and Frederick Douglin, you know, But we
speak in the current terms. And I made this statement
multiple times since we started the Black Enterprises Black Men

Excel Summit, which is the only national event that celebrates
black men just for being black men, not because we
can carry the ball, not because we can wrap, you know,
rap some lyrics or act in a movie. But I
said this, I said, when you think of black men
in mainstream media, we have to fall in one of
five categories. We're either a perpetrator, victim, athlete, entertainer, or

Barack Obama, meaning we don't follow one of those five buckets.
And you're right, let's face it, Damond Shark, mainstream media
really didn't get you. I mean, you're probably the most
visible black men on television now. But before Dark Tank,

you ask average American who's name in John? If you're
not from unless you're from hip hop community, or you're black,
and that as you as your pointing out, doesn't make
any sense. It doesn't mean black athletes entertainers are important,
but it's about the context. White athletes and entertainers are
important too, But we also see, you know, white people

doing everything from business to law. People can name the
of major companies the white CEO and the reason why
Black Enterprise exists, the reason why black media exists. And
by the way, for a long time, you know, the
only mainstream media outlet that showcased the accomplishments of black

men who were at athletes or entertainers was Black Enterprise,
because obviously Essence is a black women's magazine, and so
so I've always taken very seriously the idea that there's
that we should celebrate black athletes entertainers. We should, but
that can't be the only narrative. And of course, when
I got the Black Enterprise now thirty six plus years ago,

and by the way, my intention was not to be
a Black Enterprise this long a thought it was gonna
be like two to four years. I wanted to get
to gqu or Esquire. That's where I was going out.
The magazine before Black Enterprise is a magazine called Modern
Black Men. Again, another magazine that celebrated black men, but
it was a fashion lifestyle magazine. But that common thread

between even then and now was this idea that there
were stories that needed to be told, there were people
that needed to be You and I both know, we
know guys we grew up with that were just as smart,
just as talented just as interesting as we are smarter, right,
and who just smarter? They weren't dribbling basketball, they weren't

rapping lyrics, they weren't you know, acting, you know what
I'm saying those things that And if we don't showcase
people like you, people like like you said, not just
the men Kathy Hughes you mentioned, then you will have
a generation of young people that don't even know that
that's a possible path for them. And so a big

reason why the work we do a Black Enterprise is
so important and why I am blessed to have been
there so long, is that I can continue to do
that work on platforms like my series of Black Enterprise
beyond the hype.

Speaker 2 (09:24):
Yeah, but and let me qualify some of these thoughts
that I have. I mean, there's a many many social
issues and all that stuff, and that's not my position
or your position at this moment to get into those
because we know they exist, Okay, no problem. Well I
don't say no problem problem, Oh, we know they exist. Okay.
I happen to be on ABC and Middle America. There's

a lot of people going to be listening to my
podcasts that are not traditionally black, but they they they
I often they don't want to ask questions because they
don't want to sound racist, stupid or ignorant. But they
just don't know. And the same thing with Africa. We
don't We often want to assume. But everybody I found,
you know, we have a lot of common denominators. How

do the people here who are listening, who really do
have a love and a land or whether you know,
they have really good friends, they have business partners and
barriers of the things. How do they get to get
their partners who happened to be of color, that wasn't
the primary reason they probably work when they probably worked
on them because they are a character. How do we

get them to you know, get their partners to be
more of the front runners of the business and speak
about it because I want to. I want to really
qualify some things here. First of all, we have excelled
in this country, primarily a lot of times in the
front of the camera. We have excelled due to sports

and music, right, and we've done a lot in fashion,
science and various other things. But that wasn't in front
of the camera, and it was easy for somebody else
just to say, well, this is something that's coming out
of our company corporation. So if you look at the
magazines and or the things that sell people, you know
what sells books and or programming, whatever intellectual properties that

people could recognize. So will you necessarily see a Damon
John on a Vibe or you know, Sports Illustrated. You
better not see me on Sports Illustrated the cover, right,
I don't know who you know, if you're a sports fan,
you're not going to pick up that book, right, So
you're going to then celebrate, obviously Michael Jordan one of

the cases and Vibe or Rolling Stones. You're gonna celebrate
Beyonce the most, the most Grammy Award winning artists. Now,
is there an angle though that we can hook the kids?
Because kids only want to emilate what they see the most,
and often when we grow up in our communities, white, black,
or indifferent. If you see at three o'clock in the afternoon,
you see the drug dealers and most of the cars,

we'll asson only gonna want to emmilate them because you
don't see anybody else. Because the heroes like Alfred and
Me and the ones who are watching they're going to work,
don't see them because they're at work, putting in the work,
putting in the work, putting the work. Is there a

way for Beyonce to say, or magazines or books such
as other ones that are entertained to be because you
already do this to say, Beyonce is going to be
on the cover, but but you know what on the
inside is going to be Beyonce's team. Yeah, her lawyer,
her and her deal maker, her, whatever the case is.

You know what I'm saying, Like, is there an angle there?

Speaker 1 (12:46):
Govered Black Enterprise, Like I said, I wasn't. I didn't
think of myself as the business before I got there,
But when I got there, I was like, wait, everything
is business. If you're in the there's a business story.
If you're into sports, there's a business story. Certainly in
the movies and television that is a huge business story.
I mean, you know that you'll better anybody else now.
So what we figured out was we can still do

stories on black celebrities if you will. You know, James
has been on the cover of Black Enterprise, will on
the cover of Black and Prize. But our thing was
for to have credibility with our audience, we needed to
tell the business story how does the industry work? Like
you said, who are the people on their team? When
Will Smith was on the cover, he was on the
cover with Jay Lassiter, you know again. So it was like,

what our audience means more than just what celebrities are
doing or what famous people are doing, is how did
they do it? How did they get there? What does
it mean to be a star on Shark Chain, What
does it mean to be a star in the NBA?
Beyond what I can see on television? Who Wanted lost
the Game? So once I understood, and I got to

understanding my first year of Black Enterprise that if you
can find the business story, you can write about anybody,
you can interview anybody. A great example in the current
case and our Women to Power Summit, which is our
big leadership event for black women that we just did
in Las Vegas. We had a Surrey there, so we
had a Q and aated with Soray. But it wasn't
just about oh, what is it like to have a

hit series on TV? It was Okay, tell us about
your journey, how did you build your team, how did
you negotiate your deals? How did that work? And then
we did a digital package on her and we showcased
her team because yes, there's the person who's in front
of the camera, but then there's these other people, great

careers that black people aren't normally exposed to. That makes
the thing in front of the camera or on the
court happen. So that's what we learned. We were like,
the best thing that black enterprise can do, even when
we do an athlete or entertainer, is to talk about
the business because it's all business. Everything is business. Well
either thing you I follow the money, whether I'm looking

at a smart company or I'm looking get a large industry,
I want to know how the money goes because that's
where the stories are.

Speaker 2 (15:04):
So so you know, I'm a hot and switch gears
for a second. But to take away from there, I
think that what I always tell and whole other parents
right now listening, I always say, you know, tell your
children for everyone Lebron, there's ten people behind him or
her making money. And also you know, in school, listen,
I love my fireman, my firefighters, you know, my police

officers and all that's good, but you know, sometimes you know,
it's scary as the child of color to see an
officer come into the school because somehow you believe he's
not there or she's not there for the right reasons
because you've been traumatized from what you've seen. Is what
we think of two different Americas. But a banker is
a banker, you know, and a banker you know is

making a lot of money, and a banker dealing with numbers,
and a banker is right there in your community. Right,
So start to highlight some more of the business people,
or even the young man or woman who owns the
corner store, the sneaker store. Right if you kids are
hot on sneakers and all of a sudden you bring
in somebody home, is a hip sneaker store in the neighborhood,
and you know to do that. So I think that's

a lot of a lot of good takeaways that we
can have.

Speaker 1 (16:12):
But when you talk about parents, it's about one exposure
and how to And here's the deal. Unlike I mean,
i'm much older than you are. Unlike when I was
a kid, most of the jobs that you could aspire
to be as a kid, we're the things you could see.
I want to be a I want to be a lawyer.
I want to be at construction work.

Speaker 2 (16:29):
I want yeah, all the best San City worker or whatever.

Speaker 1 (16:36):
Some of them don't. Yeah, And so I'm a big
believer that one of the most important things that Black
enterprise has done, black media has done, and that we
all can do, is not just to tell our kids
what they can be, but to show them. I mean,
I just in Chicago for NASCAR street Car Weekend at
the first NASCAR Streetcar and one of the things that

did we brought my nephew to see all the differ jobs.
There are pit crew, engineer, mechanics that make NASCAR work,
but it's not something you go to see just by
watching a race on television.

Speaker 2 (17:08):
Well, you know, you know, be very honest, you're right,
And and that's a book good point because I don't
care who you are when you're out there, because you
know what, you know, we were seeing that the TikTok,
you know, China, China version of TikTok, you know, makes
kids want to be scientists and astronauts, and our version
and turning our culture into the world that we all
want to be dancing as and singers. And I think

that when any parent right now is out there, you know,
with their children at any event, they should be starting
to point out the sidelines, you know, right, because you
know a guy put out a great movie was called
The Kids Stays in the Picture. His name was he
was the big producer who did Robert Robert Evans. Uh

so you know he he he anybody who go check
this out as a great documentary, The Kids Stays in
the Picture. And what every and said, you know, he
was a sexy dude. He was selling back in the
fifties or something, maybe sixties. He would end up doing
he would end up producing all of the smoke in Abandons,
car Wash, all these all these hits. He did all

these tips. But what he said was he was the
sexy guy. He was selling clothes. Then he was out
in what a pump Spring. He was in the pool
and someone was like, oh, you know, you're beautiful. You
should be an actor at you know, he's all right,
fine whatever. He goes in and he does this little role.
For a second, he said he was a sucky actor.
He says, and the director looks at him and he says,
do the role. And he does a role and the

director was like, yeah, I don't know, cut, I don't know,
I don't know. And the director was kind of like whatever,
and he's like, oh man, the director you know, and
all the actors and actions, and he said, some guy
came out. He don't know who to get it guy was.
He was like, let me see it again, do it again.
And then he said the kid stays in the pitchure

and just walks off. And he was like, who the
fuck was that? I was an executive producer, right, that
was somebody that know what he's taught. Yes, that was
the dude who made the call, you know. And and
and so I think that a lot of times you're

seeing you know, like if you go to New York
and you want to put in any installation and do
any kind of building or any stuff around that, you
better talk to the art department. You better talked to
the art and uh as you know out for you
better talk. There are certain people. I don't care what
you want to do. You can talk to anybody all
you want. With the people that make the decision, you

don't see.

Speaker 1 (19:39):
That to identify people doing this job, they don't see
show them, let them tell how they got that job
and what they have to do to get it. And invariably,
and again, I've been at Blackpris a long time I
tell you, damon, every day somebody will come up to
me and say, I'm doing what I do now because
of something I read at Black Enterprise or a person

that I've read about, or something you exposed me to
it at the Entrepreneur's conference or whatever. That our ability
to show people one it shows that it's possible, because
that's the first thing. You gotta believe that it's possible.
And then too, you realize it's not really rocket science.
Now that I know what they do, I know what
training and skills I need to have, I can see

how this matches my interest. It becomes demystified. And then
you see people being gravitating towards And that's whether it's
somebody wants to work on Wall Street or wants to
work in music or want engineering.

Speaker 2 (20:38):
Tell you, yeah, have your have your kid, pull back
the curtain on all The Wizard of Oz is right
because you may not you may not want to be
a doctor, but you be a antesiologist get a whole
lot of money, right. Or you may not want to
go to full time law school, but you like you
like entertainment man deal making into Tayman attorneys who don't.

Speaker 1 (21:01):
Have to be as you know, you know, making a
lot of executives, the black young black executives. Why this
brother named Eric Riley. I first met him a few
years ago after he got finished college. He was working
on Wall Street like that, but it was transferable to
this other career. Yes, yes, and so I think to

the degree that that's what Black enterprise the mission is. Again.
You know, I'm a big fan of Shark Tank because
of someone who's th gredunate business planning competitions for for
over twenty five years.

Speaker 2 (21:36):
You know, I just.

Speaker 1 (21:40):
When you see people, the people who come on that show,
it's an education for everybody else that thinks they want
to start a business. It's an educational evaluation. It's an
education on how do you pitch investors? As an educational
how people can even determine whether they should be pitching
an investor or not. But it goes back to if
you can show people as supposed to telling people, then

you you already know from the now twenty five years
or twenty years you guys have been doing Shark Tank.

Speaker 2 (22:10):
We'll but for every person fifteen, but we'll be there.

Speaker 1 (22:13):
Man, there's probably one hundred other people who made better
decisions about what to do with their business or learn
the hard learn you know what, Maybe I shouldn't be
in this. Maybe entrepreneurship is a cut out for me.
Uh you know, but it's the exposure that helps elevate
and open up opportunities for other people for themselves. And
that's what you can do and that's what black and applies.

Speaker 2 (22:40):
And we have a good time when you do it. Well,
now let's talk about transferable because I mean, you know,
you're you create content. You started off as a writer
and want I want to I want to hear the
moone get realized to deal with something there. But you
know that's something everybody thinks they can do now. I mean,
obviously the magazine game has changed. Content game has changed.
It's just moved to different platforms. But you know, when

you went and trained or however you trained to be
a journalist, you know, tradition was, you know, many years ago.
You make the story, you get it ready to put out,
you put it out in thirty sixty ninety days. It's
you know, it stays in one area. And today there's
no breaking news thirty days sixty days. There's breaking news

per second because every every single person is putting out
content and you are fighting a million different people. Why
and how can you or anybody right now? Can you?
Why would why would you still be in that business?
And what is making you? What are the core values
that you have? It still makes that content something that

I'm searching for because you've been doing it for a
long time. You're keeping the lights on them in the house.
You're actually doing very very well in life. What what
has changed? How did you change? What? And what is
the fundamentals? Because right now I want to know how
to do all this stuff.

Speaker 1 (24:00):
I don't confuse what I do with how I do it.
And here's what I mean. Like you said, everything has changed.
I started out and when I talk about the real
beginning of my career as a college newspaper editor, you know,
when I was an undergrad at Rutgers University, I've forgotten

most of what I learned then because it's useless. You know,
it's useless to me to know how to lay out
a newspaper type, set type, and use wax to do
a layout on a I don't even want to talk
about it because it doesn't even make sense in today's context.
But my point is, what was a gift for me,
though I didn't realize that at the time, is that

I did not major in journalism. I did not study
journalism formally. My degree is actually in art. My degrees
in studio art. I minded the economics, never thought i'd
use it. Of course I got the Black Enterprise that
came in Andy, but I was more focused on what
the mission was, which is to inform people, less about
how I did it, meaning newspapers versus magazines, versus radio,

versus print, and so as a result, as technology changed
our business as a media company, it was easy for
me to change with it because I don't care whether
I deliver the information as print on paper or video
on the website, as long as the information gets delivered.

Speaker 2 (25:22):
And so.

Speaker 1 (25:24):
The ability to adapt your skill set to different modes
of delivery is what's kept me relevant now, you know,
almost forty years into my career, and is what's kept
Black Enterprise and business because if Black Enterprise has said
all we do is print on paper, that's how we
distribute information, and the rest of the world is saying

I don't want final records anymore because that's the fine records.
This is great, your music is great, but I want
it on cassette, on CD, and now I want it
streaming to my phone or to my car. The Black
Enterprise is still standing today, and I give all the
print in the world to our founder, Earl Graves, they

founder who passed away in twenty twenty, who didn't understand
what was going on but kind of let us run
us young guys run with it. And of course our
current CEO, Butch Graves, who had to have the courage
to make the painful transition. It took us a decade
to do it for being primarily a print media company
to what we are now, which is a digital and
a digital media invest company. But you had to be

willing to say our mission hasn't changed. What we do
hasn't changed, but how we do it has changed. And
people become obsolete when they become and businesses as well
as you know, become obsolete when they become too invested
in this is how we do this. We don't do
it this way, we do it that way. And then.

Speaker 2 (26:50):
And I want people to tell I want people because
some people listen like like there's a bunch of people
right now who's eyes a gloss so and they're yeah,
I get to talk about magazine, but they don't realize.
And this is the difference I find in successful people
and non successful people. Successful people will stop and listen
to anybody because of you know, if you've been in

this business for it been thirty years, twenty five, I'm
not sure how many how many been in this business.
If you've been in there twenty six years and you
still have a magazine that has gone through all of them, nepershon,
and you're saying this information, there must be something there
that I can apply. And if I was somebody, you know,
the ignorant people, the people who you know, watch life happen,

would listen to you, go, oh, you're talking about magazine,
but you're not. Because if black entreneurial let's say, let's
let's use the New York Times. If somebody happened not
to know the very legendary book that you work, that
you that you are part of, if they thought that

the New York Times, I don't even know if they
sell newspapers anymore. Right, However, they're doing really well, right,
so whether they are stamping, whether a book comes out
and it's of value, because they're saying to you, we
are our content is to judge the best content, whether

they are you're getting your stuff on your device on
breaking stories, whether you're the person who still likes the
old newspaper you want to laid all out, whether you're
doing a New York Times content series or you know,
a Black Enterprise content series. They're taking the information and

putting in viarious ways. Now who can learn from that? Well,
it's a person right now who's saying, you know, I
am a company in fubl and we sell shirts and
we don't yeh, we sell all the lifestyle right. We
don't sell shirts, right because if Fuble wanted to do
something on brand a different category and sell healthy throws

in soul food because we know that African Americans and
your soul food have a higher concentration of salt. We
do not want people to enjoy our our main cultural
food that comes from an African American based clothing company.
But we don't want you to die, so we want
to put maybe it's vegan and you know it's plant based,

excuse me, the the you know, not much salt continent,
but yet the flavor of whatever it is that's still
part of the brand that can expand and it's on
brand even though it's not shirts, it cares. It's something
that's based in African American founded company.

Speaker 1 (29:48):
People, both individuals with huge companies, diffic mission that that
is not how you do it. It's the mission. We've
seen the example.

Speaker 2 (30:04):
No no, no, no, look at Kodak. I mean, Kodak
was founded I think Eastman. Kodak was eighteen eighty eighteen
ninety imagine, and they had the first actual digital platform
out there. But they kept saying you need to come
to Kodak for the digital platform instead of absorbing an Instagram,
absorbing absorbing a Shutterfly and saying, you know what if

Instagram is a very visual platform and they can make filters,
Kodak filters and everything else, well why don't you look
at you know, why don't we absorb it? Because Instagram
will be Instagram powered by Kodak allow people to create
visual content.

Speaker 1 (30:44):
That's what it is. That's what it is.

Speaker 2 (31:03):
How do you what do you tell people right now?
Who's like, when will I ever stop getting doubted? All
these home runs I have? And every time I have
a new damn home run ready to rock, I gotta
it feels like I gotta convince people even more right
because they go, now, you had your success already.

Speaker 1 (31:23):
The way regularists said, never talk a deal to it's
done for me to be a good journalist. And since
then again I'm a great journalist. I went on to
become a great editor. I ran Black Enterprise for thirteen years.
We want all kinds of boards. But the lesson I
got from that moment was he said, never talk a
deal that it's done. I always say, never end someone's
story before it's done. You know, us journalists have a

lot of arrogance, like we'll covered something and like yeah, yeah,
you're done, You're done. Okay, cool, But as a young
journalists like, don't be so arrogant to think on how
their story is going to end. And you need to
be open been not just especially for black people, not
just for black people, but especially because we tend to
be counted out, especially because we tend to be underestimated

and dismissed. It became my personal commitment to say no,
no matter what a person does, I'm going to assume
that they can do more. Especially listen, white guys don't
get counted out by the time they're thirty. The way
we do, you know what I'm saying. Why would I
assume originally was I think it was in his early forties.

Why would anybody assume that that was the end when
he was that early in his career. Why would anybody.

Speaker 2 (32:37):
Well, Yeah, because honestly, honestly, you shouldn't. You know, most
people only start succeeding.

Speaker 1 (32:46):
And what they've learned, this is not just anecdotal. We
do our best work as human beings after the age
of fifty. We've learned from all the mistakes we've made
early in our We've built relationships over their time, we
got skill sets, we got resources. So if you look
at most of the multimillionaires and billionaires, they made their
first million somewhere in their late forties, and they got

into multimillionaire billionaire after age fifty.

Speaker 2 (33:12):
So yeah, I think Buffett, Warren Buffett didn't even start
to making that's gonna make it first million until fifty.

Speaker 1 (33:21):
Something wrong to ourselves, especially as black men. They disservice.
And this is the other kind of negative side of
focus going to support the entertainment sports entertainment by its
very nature, if you haven't really made it by the
time you're twenty five, you're probably not going to make it.

Speaker 2 (33:38):
So it is, yeah, because they make that they peak
at eighteen twenty twenty two. They have a difference than
most of us. And that's why a lot of people
and they're not but a lot of people call them
old dumb jobs. No, no, they peaked earlier. And tell

me how many mistakes you you made at twenty eight
years old with if you had thirty forty fifty million
in the bank at twenty eight years old. And and
by the way, you are the most brilliant person in
the world when it came to running, plays, nutrition for
your body, fighting people. You know, I don't know slalom
where you are? You are you are? You are practicing

four years to win over one milli second of the
best people on the planet. So there's there's no lack
of discipline these people. They just didn't happen to learn
like we did on another you know track.

Speaker 1 (34:31):
And I didn't know how to manage thirty five hundred
dollars when I was twenty five years old much, you know. So,
but if I messed up, it's only thirty five hundred dollars,
it's not many of the allion. So but but so
again it's being able to send that message when we're
talking about success over time, wealth building over time, business
building over time, the reason why we need to showcase

and tell one another yes, and even if you're successful
when you're twenty five or thirty, that's not all you
can do it and that's not all you should be
doing to be And again, the big lesson for me
was as a journalist, and it crossed over to every
aspect in my life because you know how big into
mentorship is. Don't count people out whether they succeeded early

or they had a big failure early. Success and excellence
is achieved over time and regular Lewis that experienced that
moment set my whole mindset as a journalist and an
entrepreneur and a professional, and it helped me break other stories.
It helped me to be a better leader, both in
media and out of media. And I could absolutely say, again,

I got promoted six months after I got the Black Enterprise.
I know that breaking that story is a big part
of it. I was at the Chief of Black Enterprise
by the time I was thirty five. I ran it
for thirteen years. I was the first edits to chief
of Black Enterprise dot Com I was the first chief contractice.
I can trace all the way that back to that
Regu Lewis story and breaking that story. And remember dam minute,

as I said, I did not study journalism in college.
I did not take one drenaline. Of course, I don't
have a Columbia j School degree. I don't have. You know,
I had a really good education at Rutgers University. But
on paper, I shouldn't be doing what I do now.
I should, And I'm a big believer in that that
you look for talent.

Speaker 2 (36:20):
And you don't.

Speaker 1 (36:21):
Yeah, having credentials is good, having the right degrees is good.
I'm not dismissing that. But if you stop there, you
will miss a lot of great stories and you will
underestimate a lot of people.

Speaker 2 (36:37):
Let me let me and let me correct something I
said here. I want to make sure I to say
it correctly. I always want to check it out. Warm
buff at the first billion was when he was fifty six.
That means first billion. And obviously know that he's given
it all the way and made it all twice by
price as quick. But I would assume that he was
still you know, yeah, probably you know forties, you probably

didn't have much you know, thirty definitely didn't have much
Let me, let me. I got two other questions, and
I think that everybody can learn from these two because
that was a very special moment in your life. I
think that it really fueled you. But you learned a
lesson that we just shared.

Speaker 1 (37:15):
You know.

Speaker 2 (37:15):
You know, people will always say, oh, that was a
great success, You're not gonna do it again kind of
But what were you for? The for people who write now,
and all of us write, and there's fundamental rules, you know,
just like we know I'm speaking right, tell them, but
you're gonna tell them, tell them, tell them what you
told them, and various other things. Right, what are the
core fundamentals do you think people should think about when

they're writing, either to a friend on social media, opening
a letter.

Speaker 1 (37:41):
You know.

Speaker 2 (37:42):
I touched on something the other day that I realized
a negotiational mind was taking several months. And I realized
that as social media and all the technology, even though
we're closer to each other, we're further apart because we're
hiding behind screens and emails. And I realized that in
my twenties, I used to write letters, used to say
something to the effect of, here is what I'm trying

to accomplish, and whatever I was trying to accomplish. I
was talking aulphidem means. I would say, I know you're this,
this and this, and I believe that, and I know
that you want to do this. Now I want to
help you as much as I can with what I
can do. It was always about you or what I'm
trying to accomplish, and then I go into what I'm
trying to accomplish, and then I finally say, and if
we can't accomplish this, thank you for your time able

to do something later. I you know, I really appreciate that.
So I sent an email really quick to my lawyers,
and they sent it to their lawyer or the lawyers,
and you know what, the deal that took me months
to try to negotiate was done in two hours because
everybody's on the same page of what I'm trying to accomplish.
What are the fundamentals if you can tell us of
really writing compelling content, whether you're writing it to me,

what one person or one million people.

Speaker 1 (38:50):
Let me say this, it took me a while to
really become a really good writer because I wasn't formally trained.
I figured that I always had the talent for writing,
but the fundamental structuring of writing I frankly didn't really
get to. I got the Black Enterprise thanks to my
mentor show Here Tucker, who's a legend in the magazine business,
who started Here's how you organize your thoughts. I always say,

first of all, you want to write with the end
in mind? What is the ultimate message you're trying to
get through? What? What?

Speaker 2 (39:18):
What are you?

Speaker 1 (39:19):
Then boil it down to one sentence? What is it
actually you're trying to say?

Speaker 2 (39:27):
Boil it down to one damn it? I wish I
wish people would know that one just talking? What are
you trying to stay?

Speaker 1 (39:34):
What are the things? I will know when everything is
going on with Twitter, and obviously there's lots of changes
even being announced now. The thing I appreciated about Twitter
is it made me a better writer when you got
to get your thoughts down into one hundred and forty characters. Yes,
what you gotta You gotta get rid of the bullshit
and get to what you're trying to say.

Speaker 2 (39:57):
So is that a takeaway right there? Like starting where
you're gonna staff?

Speaker 1 (40:05):
Where's the destination? Where are you taking them? If you're.

Speaker 2 (40:11):
M okay and directing and directing, they say, what is
the motivation for the light? Right, you'll you'll see something
you light on somebody? Well, is that light coming through
a broken window? Is it coming through somebody shining up
lashlight on you? Is it a TV in the background?

Speaker 1 (40:29):
Is it?

Speaker 2 (40:29):
You know? It's what is the motivating for the lights?
So you're saying, I finished the last one, and boom
boom boom boom bom.

Speaker 1 (40:36):
It never made deadlines. She did not make deadlines because
she was not time conscious. She didn't know when the
story ended. She kept writing and writing and writing and writing,
and I fixed. I was like, where do people going?
If the destination of la why why are you taking
them from Chicago down Atlanta to get to l A.
Once you get your destination, then it becomes easier to

write because you start saying, well, I don't really need
to put this in there to get them there. I
only need that to get so this this idea of
destination focused writing, destination focused messaging. Like you said, with speaking,
you know, you know very again, you're you're a world
nown global public speaker. You know what you really want
them to leave with when you walk in the door.

You don't you're gonna get on that stage and talk
a lot. Yes, people gonna leave cratching their heads. So
so that's the most important lesson I had to learn
very where do you know? What do you want them
to know?

Speaker 2 (41:31):
I love it? I love it, I love it. And
you know, it's even about communication because when Clubhouse is
doing really well, all in the pandemic, you know, I
realized the best way to get people to ask the
proper question was to say, my question is because what
you're the Apples people, Hey, so I want to no, no, no, no,

open up your turn start off with my question? Is
so to elaborate on what you're saying because this is
one of those moments. I love that moment that I
am going to utilize what you just said about, you know,
having that land that final question? Where am I trying
to land that? I think there are two other things

of you know, what is your question and something else
you said in there that's critical whether you're a journalist
or whether you're communicating with somebody. Don't finish anybody else's
story or sentence. You're assuming great, that's not your right
to assume.

Speaker 1 (42:30):
Are good listeners not good talkers? The best people at
communicating are the ones who actually talk the least and
listen the most, and who are able to suspend. It's
a part of the arrogance of journalism. It's also been law.
There's a couple other professions where we go by what
we think we already know. And one of the hardest

things to do, especially the more knowledge you get, is
not to get so in love with your own knowledge
that you think you know already. You think, look at
the arrogance of the average sports journalists who has never
didn't even make their freshmen basketball team, But well, why
you know, Stephan Stepan Carry didn't make that last time.

And this is what they have done. And you've seen
it again, even from black enterprise journalists, and but business
journalists in general who are trying. You've been interviewed by
journalists who have never ever had to be payroll, never
launched a business, never had to deal with it, never
had a sleepless night running a business. Who will come
and tell you what you should have done. And when

I was coaching my editor, I said, listen, have some respect.
You have never done what they do, whether they're successful
or where they fail. Don't assume you know. Let them
tell you this story, yes, back it up with your
own research, your own analysis, but don't get so arrogant
that you think you already know. The best communicators don't
walk in thinking they have all the answers. So that's

you're right, it's a great point. It's like you don't know.
Don't try to finish the story before it's done.

Speaker 2 (44:01):
Be open, everybody. Just all you gotta do is remember
when you as a teenager and you walk in the
house and your mom will be like, everything okay, or
your wife, hey, yeah, well you been and you know

the ain't know already, or go check out first forty
eight when they bring Wendy's into the room or Chick
fil A into the room and those cops feel like,
we ain't gonna talk about much. Have some Chick fil A? Well,
you know what you're doing forty years and the air
because they listen, and if you're.

Speaker 1 (44:40):
Doing all the talking, if you're making all the assumptions,
the person doesn't have any air. And you know, so
if if you really want to here's the other thing
about being with us, being a journalist, being an entrepreneur,
being for you as an investor, you gotta leave room
for them to give you the information that you need.

Speaker 2 (45:04):
If you are selling, they're telling you exactly what they want.
But if you're not asking the right questions, and if
you're not listening twice as much as they're talking, you're
never gonna be that.

Speaker 1 (45:14):
You do very well when I want you know, and
you're good at listening for what's not being said, Like
you know what they want when they walk in, but
you also can feel what they're avoiding that you know
you need to know the answer to. And that's good listening,
Like what aren't they telling you.

Speaker 2 (45:37):
Exactly? Because everybody's going to tell you that you know
they can do everything great, They're not going to come
in or or someone will come in and tell you
in the counsel, I got one last one and thank
you for the time and all. And I've definitely learned
some communication things. You reinforce some stuff as well as
showed me some new stuff. Let's talk about the age

you decided to go into competing natural fitness and the
reason why I want to say that because, as I said,
we all get older. There are things that we can
and we cannot do. And if you were just pumping
yourself filled with drugs. Well, then it would be like, oh,
that's why you know you look like that, and I
see you and you often have a very you know.
You know, your shirts cover your body well, so you

don't look, you know, like jailhouse. You look, you look great.
But what are the things that as the older people
or even the younger people, you know, what are the
things you feel the fundamentals to concentrate on for fitness
of muscle out hurting yourself? You know? Yeah, nutrition, muscle,

you know, I heard six packs of Mate in the kitchen,
for sure, But I want to be active, but I
don't want to hurt myself. And all of a sudden,
spend three months in the gym and I'm going to
three years limping. What do I do?

Speaker 1 (46:54):
My fitness journey started when I was in my early thirties.
I was into weight training since I was high school,
but my fitness journey started in my early thirties. My
motivation was at that time I had two young daughters
and my son was an infant. And I looked up
and I asked myself, do I want to be able
to play basketball in the driveway with this boy when

he's seventeen and if I do what kind of condition.
That's what the starting point was. Eventually it became what's
going to be my final destination. We talked about where
you're trying to go without trying to go? Is a
healthy one hundred and four. That's the number of my head,
A healthy, active one hundred four. So it began with

weight training because I liked weight training. Then I learned
to eat better. I chose natural bodybuilding, which means it's
drug tested, no steroids, none of that stuff. So I accepted,
I'm not going to be the two hundred and eighty
pound this dude. I'm going to be a really fit
this dude.

Speaker 2 (47:54):
And so.

Speaker 1 (47:57):
My journey was about what's the best way to eat,
what's the best way to maintain muscle, because maintaining muscle
is key, especially as you get older. Once you get
past the age of thirty five forty, muscle declines will
happen naturally unless you work against it. But if you
maintain the muscle, it protects you almost from everything else
in terms of the strength of your immune system. People

don't know most of the things that lead to elderly
health issues is falling and if you let you know,
if you have more muscle, you're less likely to fall,
and when you do fall, you're less likely to break
something and impair your mobility, which creates all kinds of
other cascading health effects. So so David, my my simple
thing is I want to maintain my body and also

my mind and my you know, emotions, the way somebody
would maintain their car if they if they carried about
cared about their car.

Speaker 2 (48:48):
And I'm.

Speaker 1 (48:50):
I'm saying there's nothing that I'm that I can't simple.

Speaker 2 (48:54):
When I was thirty three, what is a simple schedule
for somebody who doesn't want to compete? But what is
a simple schedule? Daily? Weekly?

Speaker 1 (49:09):
You know?

Speaker 2 (49:09):
Like, and I'll get into a really quick second, and
I'll tell you something a doctor told me. I ripped
one rotator cuff when I was snowboarding. I fell down
and it ripped right, and then I was like, you know,
I'm not gonna snowboard anymore. Then I was diving in Mexico,
not a crazy cliff, but like twenty feet and I
went down and and it was shallow. I shouldn't have

been diving head first. I go and the sand comes
up on me quicker. So I pushed myself up. You know,
as I'm in the forward dog and I ripped my
other cup. I'm like, I'm not dying. I go to
a doctor. He go, damn, it wasn't the diver, wasn't
the fall. Let me tell you something, he said, you
see rotator cuff injuries on women. I said, not often.
He said, I'll tell you why. Because you were probably

the cool kid in school, Damen who wore that heavy
ass book bag on one arm. And I don't play golf,
and he said, and so the guys who had the
big clubs alarm and say, you know, when you're doing
that on one arm, it's slowly ripping at your rotator cuff.
You're fifteen, you're twenty five, it's ripping at it. Then

you sleep at night on it, and it's thirty to
forty pounds on it, and then all of a sudden,
it's gonna pop pop for no reason because you've ripped
away at it for years. Now I've learned that. Now.
It took me years to get myself back. But I
say that to say the prior that what I used
to do was I used to one hundred, one hundred
and fifty push ups to day, because what I did

is I woke up, I knocked out twenty and then
throughout the day I knocked out more. And even if
I didn't get to hit the gym heavy, I got
that in and that kept my adrenaline running, you know,
it kept my posture that's horrible. It kept me upright,
and it was something I can do anywhere and everywhere,
no matter how much I'm I'm traveling. Add that to now,

you know, making sure that I oxidized in my body
as much as possible with green drinks, and I do
red lights, and I do all kinds of stuff for inflammation.
But what is the everyday person right now? Some basics
today that Alfred can say, you know what, just what
I do now, it'll start you on the right track.

Speaker 1 (51:13):
First of all, just make up your mind. You're gonna
do some weight kind of weight bearing exercises. Push ups
is fine, Squats, push ups is fine. Say you're gonna
do it five days a week. This is why I
tell people five days a week, because if you're a
busy professional, you know you're gonna miss one or two.
If you shoot for five, you'll get three. But said

you're gonna do some kind of strength weight bearing muscle building.

Speaker 2 (51:39):
Mm hm have to be weight and squats can be
air squats, body right, no weight, say no.

Speaker 1 (51:48):
Matter what, if I have to do it at home,
I could do it in my office, whatever it is.
Because it's about consistency. The best exercise is the one
you're going to do. So if you out and you
say this is what I'm going to do five days
a week, going to do this thing, then the second
thing is drink a lot of water. Just drink water.
Drake is trying to shoot for a gallon a day,

eight glass, last of the day. Like you said, every
day you're not going to get there, but most days
you'll get there once you get into the habit.

Speaker 2 (52:21):
People. And you know what, I talked to the five
hour energy guy and the guy who makes things that
will probably kill you. Uh, and he's he's actually a
great guy. You know what. He's spending most of his money,
he does about a billion things a year. He's spending
most of his money on new technology for clean water.
And he said, because almost all the ailments we have

is either the lack of water or dirty water. Oh
you know weather it is right because all the fertilizer
are running into our our systems and whatever. But if
you weren't drinking, because your body's made of water, and
if you drink more of what it would flush things
through your body, losing weight. It fills you, you don't
want to eat as much, and it cleaned your entire system.

Speaker 1 (53:05):
I am never thirsty. If you get to your point
where you're thirsty, you are in fact dehydrated. And so
you don't drink when you're thirsty. You just drink all
the time. So you're never thirsty. And it's not about you, know,
because us bodybuilds are known for carrying the gallon around
with us in the gym. That's extreme. You just say, well,
wake up. I keep a glass of water by my bedside.
When I wake up in the morning, I drink a glass.

Speaker 2 (53:27):
You just well, I didn't know. But there's a there's
a bigger thing that you can buy and it says's
kind of like put you on pace. I remember I
bought the bottle to break my habits, and I started
drinking it. I told you, for the first two days,
I don't want to give you too much information, but
I felt like I was gonna pop. And then when

it finally all settled in, I went bathroom several times
and I yeah, I purged myself and that was I
felt like the lightest person in the world.

Speaker 1 (53:59):
And I got you still eighty before or three days
you will But a bend said, are you're gonna give.

Speaker 2 (54:04):
Me the water that I need?

Speaker 1 (54:05):
Okay, I'm good, and then you buy it up. But
like I said, whether you do the big bottle, you know,
my girls a big bottle, that's nothing wrong with that.
What I would work for me was glass of water
when I wake up, the last of water with every meal,
last water before I went to bed. I was gonna
get at least five glasses that way. Anyway, Then it
was about squeezing the other three. Do what works for you.

When people say what's the right way to do it,
I'm like, there's no right way. It's what you're willing
to do that works for you and that you don't
feel as a chore. So if you do that, and
I think the ten thousand steps a day, though it
doesn't always have to be ten thousand to ten thousand
a day, is a good goal. If you could do
those three things. And my other one that I only
learned to respect in the last ten years, making sure

you get at least seven hours of sleep a day.
You do those four things, those habits will lead to
other habits will lead to other habits. And I think
what intimidates people Again, there are people who follow me
on social media and they see the bodybuilding shots and
they think they have to do what I'm doing now,
And I always have to say that this is not
where I started. Start with the easiest, most consistent thing

you can do, but just do it, and what will
happen is you make progress, You'll pick up other things,
You'll learn more, and next thing you know, you might
be competing in a body going show or some of them,
something like that. But it's not about the shows. For me,
that's just my heart. That's like a sport that I
have with It's like golf. For me, it's the daily
lifestyle choices I want to make so that I can

have a robust, productive business life, professional life, social life.
I'm wanna have fun in my sixties and seventies and forward,
not just kind of be just making it through in
these years.

Speaker 2 (55:52):
Well, you know, every time I told you I learned
a lone I want, I'm going to recap kind of
on the thing you said but man, you know, Afred,
can we find you on social media?

Speaker 1 (56:02):
And dj R? I'm very My kids call me a
social media o G. I'm particularly active on Instagram and LinkedIn,
but I on Twitter and Facebook as well, but everywhere
I'm the same.

Speaker 2 (56:18):
So I want to sum up people will only a
couple of topics that we have really touched on and
we learned from today, is that, first of all, whatever
you're doing, there is no shortage of what you're doing,
and you don't put yourself in a box. You find
other platforms, You find other ways to deliver it. If
the fundamentals are there, then you can find other ways

to go about it. Skills in learning how to communicate it.
First of all, when you are talking about writing barrants
of the things you know right, write that destination where
you're gonna land, you listen twice as much as you
you speak, and never to assume finish somebody's life story
or sentence. Don't do either one of those. Never never right.

You know you said four things are critical for help.
I'm going to add one more to it that I
think I've actually heard from you too. So of course,
hydrate yourself, sleep, do an activity that you can do,
no matter what kind of type of resistance, whatever, you

can do. Burn calories from walking. And we talk about nutrition.
But one thing you said that was really if you
just think about nutrition, is you said, I believe never
drink your calories. I think that's what you said. I'm
not sure if it was you, because people don't realize
that I am number one to sell somebody to put
anything down. But if I have a sprite that I

can knock out in literally one minute, or a big
ass juicy slice of cake that's going to satisfy me
for half the day of day, it takes me a while.
Don't your calories? You know what I mean? Like, if
you're gonna do wrong, do wrong right, you know, and

do the cake if you have to. You know what
I mean? A simple point. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1 (58:11):
I have a ginger beer. It's pure ginger, like it's
the real ginger beer. But you're right. You did. To
have that conversation. I was like, you know, if I
want something sweet, I'll get a piece of cake because
I like chocolate cake. I'll have a piece of chocolate.
It's my I love chocolate. But you're right, it's better
to eat it than to drink it, because drinking it,
you're literally mainlining it into your bloodstream.

Speaker 2 (58:36):
And when I did it, you know what, I dropped
forty pounds when I stopped just drinking liquor because I
was doing vodkas and tonics and I was putting in
two thousand and fifteen hundred to two thousand calories are
needed in my body, when I could have just eate

some bullshit and only put four hundred cal reason my body,
and I still would have felt bad, but a good bad.

Speaker 1 (59:06):
And I've only been learning this in the you know,
the post age forty five. This way, I'm going to
really think what do I really want versus what it
would be nice to have. I say no to a
lot of nice to have to get what I really
really and I am so much happier now at this
stage in my life. You really want, I do what

I really want to do, and I understand that means
there's some other things that'll be nice to do, but
it's okay. And then where that's like you said, would
you really want if you're going to get extra two
thousand caldariesons you don't want to from you know, vodka,
that'd be nice to have at ITA's me, I'd rather
have a piece of chocolate cake that I really really want.
But it benefits you to that even if you do

make choices, and I try not to assign those type
of moral judgments to choices because that can create a
guilt cycle that's not good for us either. But you're
getting it's worth it to you. And so many people
lose time, lose money, lose relationships because they're accepting the
nice to have relationships and they're sacrificing the relationships they're
really valuable to them. So it applies to everything. I

say no to a lot of stuff, so I can
say yes to everything I really.

Speaker 2 (01:00:15):
Want, powerful, powerful stuff. Man. Thank you so much, man,
and I look forward to our next conversations. Thank you
for spending that moment with me and everybody else. And
I know that a lot of people are going to
have very special moments off of our conversation. And I
appreciate you, Alfred likewise, and I'll be following you as always,

be getting inspired every day. Man, Thank you all right. Peace.
That Moment with Damon John is a production of the
Black Effect Podcast Network. For more podcasts from the Black
Effect Podcast Network, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or

wherever you listen to your favorite show, and don't forget
to subscribe to and rate the show. And of course
you can all connect with me on any of my
social media platforms. At The Shark, Damon spelt like Raymond,
but what a d
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