Day 52 – 300 Steps to Greatness


Yesterday, after speaking a few of you on the phone and via e-mail while taking a break from my “writing blitz”, I decided to share with you some of the work that has been taking up so much of time, while sharing with you some of the story behind the story.

As you may be aware, VH-1 is debuting three new series this Monday, one of which is “Love and Hip Hop”.

The Creator of the show is Mona Scott-Young, whom I profiled in my “Heart of Haiti” series for Rolling Out Magazine.  When I started in the music industry MANY years ago, she was working on mogul status as a principal with Violator Management.  She’s played a role in the success of some of the  biggest names in Hip Hop including L.L. Cool J, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Fantasia and Toccara.

I was introduced to Mona several years ago while working with her sister at MTV.

Jim Ackerman is the Executive Producer for the show on VH1 and I met him a few years back when Tionna Smalls of “What Chilli Wants” introduced us at her birthday party.  He is the Executive Producer for that show as well.

I ran into Jim one day while returning from NY and he mentioned to me that they were doing the show with Mona and he said that I should reach out to her.  But, you know how it is, life got in the way of my day that day.

I didn’t think about it much again until I reached out to Mona and requested that interview for Rolling Out.

Shortly afterwards, I reached out to Jim and shared my article on Mona with him and asked if I could cover the show for Rolling Out.  He put me in touch with the PR from the network handling the show and it took off from there.

So far, I’ve delivered three articles:

Cast of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” Take Manhattan

VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Interview and Trailer

VH1’s Love & Hip Hop:  Interview with Somaya Reece

Today, an article about Mashonda will follow, as I am doing a profile of each of the five cast members leading up to the show premiere on Monday, March 14th.

My plan was to release my radio show interviews with each of the cast members on the same day as I released an article, however, my MacBook Pro hates me right now, so that’s not going to happen.  Radio interviews will be released at a later date 😦

In the interim, I am writing my cover article for Rolling Out and setting up the photo shoot and video for it as well.

Thankfully, Levar Thomas of is a personal friend of mine, who I met via Facebook some years back, so he has been wonderful with releasing the articles according to my schedule.

If you will notice, there is a common thread throughout this story and it is the theme of my life and of my book, Opening Doors:  Getting Connected – relationship building is essential to success.

Had I met Mona years ago and never had a conversation with her or developed a relationship with her, I would not be doing the work I am doing today.  For that matter, had I not developed a friendship with her sister, I may have just been another person passing in the wind.

Had I met Jim Ackerman and simply wrote him off as a network executive who was too busy for me, I would not be doing the work I am doing today.  Had I been hesitant to send my pitches, share my work and update him from time to time – he would not known the quality of my work. To go a step further, had I not made friends with Nicole Price while at MTV who introduced me to Tionna Smalls…

Had I turned Levar Thomas away, just because I did not have an opportunity to present to him at the time, I would not be doing the work I am doing today.  He was interested in music placement, I had no idea that he was the force behind

Relationships are KEY!

I don’t just talk about Opening Doors and Getting Connected, it’s a way of  life for me and I hope that you will download the book for FREE and learn how to do the same in your life – no matter what you are pursuing!

When I think about all of the other people that I have connected with on this project:

James and Kelly,  whom I met while working on The Celebrity Apprentice, and I called in as my camera crew for the premiere party,

Erica Valcourt, who I actually replaced years ago at MTV as an Assistant and now works with Mona, and who continues to inspire and encourage me,

Tracy Garraud, who I met years ago at MTV when we were both assistants and who coincidentally wrote an article for Vibe about Mashonda, which I referred to in my interview,

These are ALL people who I could have said hello to and kept it moving.

Had I not taken the time to develop a relationship on some level with each of them, you would not be reading this article and I would not be working on this project and I would not be experiencing one of the greatest expressions of my work.

Just as I am taking 300 Steps – INTENTIONAL actions on a regular basis towards my goal of success in 2011, you must each day make a conscious decision on how you want to proceed in your relationships.  As demonstrated above, each person links to another and had I missed any of the steps along the way, the outcome could have been totally different!

Get Connected, people:   DOWNLOAD LINK

Here’s a video that I directed and produced from the Premiere Party of the show, featuring Mona Scott-Young explaining why she chose this cast and Jim Jones, Tocarra, Jennifer Williams and more explaining what Hip Hop means to them:

Also learn more about Mona Scott-Young here, on Erica’s site, Industry Plug!