The Non-Negotiable Conversation All Creatives Must Have

As a Creator, you're most valuable tool in your arsenal is protecting your energy. While many of us can create just for the sake of creating out of love, love doesn't ensure that you're financially taken care of. 
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In your initial conversation before working on any project or experience, you MUST bring up the aspect of compensation. Even if the project or opportunity is something that you're doing for free (which, if we're honest, can sometimes happens) both parties should be clear on what each is gaining from this exchange. 
It's best to always be vocal about what you're willing to do and not do when discussing the scope of work. Nothing drains you more than spending time - you're most important resource - on a project and not being compensated because you neglected to speak up about it. It's just better to NOT assume these things: 
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  • Don't assume that someone is going to pay you, make your demands clear from the start. 
  • Don't assume that because your intentions are good and you do great work, that people will want to pay you.
  • Don't assume that because you've worked with someone before or have a relationship with them, they already know your compensation rules. 
  • Don't assume that people know your situation or circumstances and want to monetarily provide help - it's not anyone's job to take care of you. Compensation is your responsibility. 
  • Don't assume that because you're offering something new (whether it's a new service, new project or you're on a new path altogether) that people will pay for it. 
Think about how much we like free stuff. It's important to remember that no matter what level you're at professionally, you are offering up VALUE each and every time you enter into an agreement. 
RESOURCE: Check out Sakita Holley's #hashtagsandstilettos podcast episode on Negotiation. 

You Can't Microwave Success - An Excerpt from Anthony Frasier's Book

Anthony Frasier is a tech entrepreneur and Author. This post is a chapter from the book “Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness” available now.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” - Aristotle

I love looking at inspirational quotes on Instagram. I'm not afraid to admit I also follow accounts that help me dream. I love those pages that show off the interiors of the freshest condos and mansions. I follow millionaires and see them go on countless vacations, every season of the year. I follow them because deep down inside I want these same things.

While I aspire to have these things, I'm exposed to the reality of hard work it takes to get them. That's not the case for everyone. Social Media is exposing so many people to the material side of success. We follow rappers, actors, models, and want that life instantly.

We see success stories online and think that it's easy to become an entrepreneur. The people you see online are only showing the glamorous side of life. They don't show the 100 hours of work, just the 40 hours of play. But it's not just social media that makes millennials impatient, it's traditional media too.

We glamorize the "unicorns." Unicorns is a buzz word used in the business world to showcase a wildly unusual success story. It's the kid who got 1 million users of his app, overnight. It's the Flappy Bird creator who earned $50k a day off a mobile game. If you see these unicorns in the media so much, it's natural for you to feel you can have the same level of success. And you can, but you won't share the same timing.

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We get everything fast these days. Netflix lets me watch a movie when I want. Amazon now offers same day delivery. We love instant gratification so much. Studies show most people click away from a video if it takes more than 10 seconds to load. We're spoiled.

So what happens when we decide to be an entrepreneur and don't get the cool benefits right away?

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We quit. We complain. We're confused. We subconsciously want to put success in a microwave and get it on demand. You have to learn how to be patient. Overnight success is actually years in the making.

"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste" - Henry Ford

You can use this to your advantage, to stay ahead of everyone else. If everyone is playing the short game for instant gratification, you win by holding out. Think of it as an investment in yourself. Long as you are working towards getting better every day, that's compound interest.

The smartest investors in the world like Warren Buffet got their fortune by doing this. Buying when everyone else is selling. Not letting the news, media, and influencers dictate their moves. But standing their ground and making decisions from their own research and knowledge. Embody this.

A study by Ayelet Fishbach, a behavioral science professor, revealed just that. “There are big rewards for those who can delay gratification. These people are doing better at school, get better jobs, have more rewarding and stable social relationships and so on. Basically, the research teaches that patience and self-control predict success in life..." she said in an interview on Quartz about her research.

How to Be Patient

Love what you do. If you're going to stay on for the long game, you have to have passion. You have to care about the smallest details. Steve Jobs famously said, "any rational person would give up." So he's saying you have to be crazy about it. I learned about myself in those moments. I had businesses I got involved in and wasn't passionate about them. I either did a horrible job, or I quit. Passion will keep you patient.

[Tweet "Passion will keep you patient. - @anthonyfrasier #blkcreatives"]

Think bigger than money. Looking at nice cars, houses and women are great for daydreams, but not reality. Think about the legacy you want to leave behind, and that will fuel you to hold on longer. Gary Vaynerchuk's goal is to be the owner of the NFL Jets team. That's so big and iconic, money is just the byproduct of that.

Also, entrepreneurship is a series of up's and downs. If you base your happiness on material things, beware. The moment you lose them, you will also lose the motivation to keep going.

Embrace pain. You will struggle. Things will get rough. Change your perception of those moments to help motivate you. I once heard the story of why golf balls have dimples. The dimples help create lift and allow the balls to travel 3 times farther than a smooth ball would. The dimples represent our struggle. If we don't have them, we wouldn't have the strength go anywhere.

Realize success has no standard. Every day there is a blog post, infographic, or video explaining how to be successful. I realized a long time ago that anything is possible. I have seen the dumbest people make the smartest decisions, and the smartest people make dumbest decisions. Read biographies of successful entrepreneurs. Learning from their failures and successes taught me that there is no set path to success. Sure there are ways to increase your odds, but even doing those won't promise you anything. The only thing you can do is prepare. Everyone has their own timeline.

Learn how to ignore. You know what triggers negative emotions for you better than anyone else. Block out anything that sparks feelings of jealousy, impatience, and anxiety. This action alone will give you the power to stay in the game. Robert Greene author of "48 Laws of Power" makes it one of his infamous laws. "If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.”

Build great habits. When you get into the rhythm of doing something, it becomes second nature. In this case, get in the rhythm of doing small activities that lead toward your success. You'll be more patient seeing yourself get closer each day, even if it’s only by 1%. New York Times bestselling author Chris Guillebeau revealed to me that he wrote 1000 words a day. He wasn't a "real" writer, so to put out a successful book, this was the habit that brung him closer. Find yours.

I know the feeling, I've been there. You need things to speed up. You have bills, kids, responsibilities, and more. You have to hold the line if you truly want to accomplish your goals. Stay the course, and have patience. No matter how hard we try, we can't microwave success. Besides, the food that takes longer to cook usually tastes the best.

This post is a chapter from the book “Don’t Dumb Down Your Greatness” get your copy today.

Check out our interview with Anthony HERE and while you're in the mood, discover another great read with Kareem Taylor.

Connect with Anthony: Website - Order His Book - Twitter - Soundcloud

You Got The Juice: Why You Should Add Kareem Taylor's Book To Your Arsenal

click the pic to buy th e book!

click the pic to buy th e book!

"If it feels right, it's right. If it feels like it will make you better, it will. If you think it will take you higher, do it. If it's worth risking it all, try it out. If you doing it means that you'll be rewarded greatly, go and do it." - Kareem Taylor

What I love the most about this quote is that it forces the reader to be held accountable for their own decisions. The life that you want for yourself will not be created by anybody else other than you. Yes, we have access to countless resources through the click of a mouse but we must not forget that the real power lies within us.

That's what makes Kareem Taylor's  Get Your Life a must buy.

It's his ability to push you towards harnessing and leveraging your own greatness that sets it a part. He's not going to tell you what to do. He's just going to reveal to you the control that you already have.

How is he doing that? Through his story.

Los Angeles based Kareem is a professional speaker, writer and voice over actor and has launched national television commercial campaigns for CNN, Comedy Central, Sony Pictures Television, McDonald’s, RedBull TV, Comcast Xfinity and Taco Bell, among others but his most impressive accomplishment to date is creating a life for himself that is full of passion and purpose.

Born in Brooklyn seven weeks premature with crack cocaine in his system, Kareem doesn't just share his top tips on improving your quality and fulfillment of life, he shares how he's lived out what he's learned.

There are millions of authors and experts who share advice. But very rarely does that advice reflect our unique experiences as Creatives of Color. Many of us have different backgrounds than our counterparts. And while the insight shared by these said experts and authors can be helpful, there's something to be said about receiving info on how to live your best life from someone who's been where you are.

Themes in the book include making room for what matters, the ambition tax (success comes with a price, right?), pick your battle, focus on your strength, and even a practical section entitled 'how to use this book' all lend themselves to an incredible body of work that attacks the mentality behind living below your potential and helps you discover how you can move forward.

His truthful and honest exploration of what it takes to be successful only works because he's lived through it. That's what sticks and that's what carries this book beyond a self-help staple.

It's a real life guide for those willing to do the work as long as you remember that it all starts from within.

The book will be released on October 13th. Pre-Order your copy, watch the trailer, and read the first chapter here.

P.S. Looking for insight on building your own arsenal of tools that empower you? Read this interview here.

Connect with Kareem: Website - Order His Book - Twitter