Since writing my NTH post, there have been a number of responses; some of which were expected, and others more surprising. There have been fleeting moments of regret, but I remain steadfast in my mission. I met with my editor a couple of weeks ago for the first time. He interviewed me for a couple of hours, and took several pages of notes. Although we haven’t defined a core message for the book, we have some concepts to begin with, which I think will shape up nicely and be something worth reading. What’s particularly interesting is that when I decided to write the memoir, I had no intentions of selling the book, or at least marketing it to sell, but I’ve been very encouraged by my supporters, and now feel a higher sense of accountability to ensure that whatever I write will be interesting and worthy of the couple dozen dollars someone may shell out to get a copy. Nevertheless, I have my first assignment, which is to identify a core message, and write a 10 page introduction for the book. The non-conformist in me would argue that it would be possible to have more than one main theme, however, I must defer to the experts I have asked to assist me, and wrestle with my conscious to identify the most urgent and important message I want to communicate, considering this may be my first and last book. Instead of doing this on my own, I thought it might be interesting to request feedback from my supporters by inquiring what you would be most interested in reading about. Here are my top three potential core messages for the book. Have a look, and leave a comment below this post should you feel compelled to do so.
- Importance of self-worth and self-acceptance – Arguably, my low self esteem has been the primary driver to become an over-achiever in anything and everything I have done. I’ve never been the smartest, or most talented, but my need for approval manufactured a grit-like quality that allowed me to achieve success in many ways, or alternatively blow mounds of money to gain acceptance and/or approval. Go big or go home is an understatement when fumbling to find the write words to describe my over-the-top style. However, once I was able to expose this deficiency, it has allowed me to grow in many ways, and redefine what is most important to me while I’m here on earth, and what I want to leave behind when I leave it.
- Transparency – For the majority of my life, I’ve always been very forward and direct. I don’t like small talk, and have never been afraid to speak my mind, however, I didn’t come to know the value of transparency until early adulthood. When you expose your own fears, weaknesses, and sin, it can create a sense of intimacy only described by experience. Unfortunately, the flip-side is that transparency can get you cut out of deal, betrayed, judged, and worst of all, killed. Telling the truth can get you hurt, but living a lie is much worse.
- Doing the right thing – Anyone who knows me well, knows that doing the right thing is extremely important to me. At times, I have chosen not to do the right thing, but when possible, I’ve made things right. A person might think that doing the right thing will result in good things happening, but in my experience, it’s been quite the opposite, especially from an outward perspective. We have opportunities to do the right thing every day, and more often than not, people choose to do what’s best for them. Yes, we are selfish creatures, but I plan to spend the rest of my life attempting to prove up that doing the right thing is what matters most.
No matter the core message, my life stories will be interwoven throughout the book, as to draw reflection and perspective to the main theme. I also need to identify who my main audience is. This is particularly tough for me, because I think my story has potential to appeal to many demographics, and especially young adults, as well as men and women alike. However, it would be interesting to hear from those that do find what I have to say appealing and why. Thanks in advance for your help, and for being part of the journey.
Many people in the world have never seen a black American Express card. I was one of those people up until a few years ago. It’s interesting however that few people know what really qualifies someone to be “invited” to receive one, and entertaining to hear things like, “wow, a black card? dude that card has no limit. i know a guy that bought a Porsche with one of those.” The fact is that to receive an “invitation” to receive a black American Express card, or a Centurion card, you need to first have a platinum card, charge $250,000 in an annual calendar year and repay it on time each month. To be clear, you don’t have to spend $250k per month, but in annual calendar year, which is approximately $20k/month. You then pay an initiation fee of $5,000 to receive your card, and an additional $2,500 per year to keep your card.
The black card has no material differences than a platinum card, with the exception of the actual material of the card, which is titanium. It has a limit as well, and is not like any other AMEX card in that respect. Your limit is established by spending patterns, and your credit profile. Bottom line, it’s a status symbol. It says to anyone that sees it or receives it as a form of payment that the person whose name is engraved on the bottom has more money than they have sense, or low self esteem, or both. For me it was the latter.
My black card represented to others that I was important, successful, and it made me feel powerful. I would rarely flaunt the card, but certainly wouldn’t be disappointed to see the response on a server’s face when I handed her the card, or the occasional, “Hendu, breaking out the black…big timer,” from a friend who was digging on me, but in some way less secure about themselves because I had a black card and they didn’t. Silly really, but true.
I cancelled my Centurion card many times and then had it reinstated over the past few years. I knew that the card represented my alter ego, a false identity, and a shot of self esteem on demand. It was my Golden Calf. I must admit that writing this has been something I’ve procrastinated for a long time, but it’s what I’ve needed to do even longer.
No more black card for me. I plan to continue my journey of self-improvement, which includes establishing a healthy sense of self-worth. This may be a surprise to many that I struggle with self-esteem, but stay tuned to my blog, and you’ll learn a lot more about me. You may also learn something about yourself.
I turned 35 in August, and as a result of the recent sale of DOYLES, I’ve had some time to reflect on my life as I prepare to pen a memoir. My success has been mirrored by much failure, however, what I’ve learned in the process is invaluable.
Life has taught me that…
1.) We hurt the ones we love the most and vice versa
2.) You don’t know who you are married to until you divorce them
3.) Business partnerships are a bad idea and seldom work
4.) Religion is the most divisive topic known to all mankind
5.) A man with an ego is like a baby with a bomb – God help me
6.) We learn more from children than we teach them
7.) Life is too short and death too permanent
8.) Attitude is the key to happiness
9.) Love is an action not a feeling
10.) I love myself
Surprisingly this wasn’t a premeditated list. I’m sure I could come up with many more of life’s lessons, but I like the flow of the first 10 that came to mind. Life can be hard, and can deliver a crippling blow when you least expect it, or even when you most expect it. Nevertheless, tomorrow brings the promise of hope and a future.