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Former Lead Jordan Sneaker Designer Raises $7 Million for His New Business, Super Heroic

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Mayden recently dove head first into his new venture, Super Heroic, a play focused brand born out of disruptive innovation

by Sequoia Blodgett

Super Heroic, a company that creates children’s play and sports clothing as well as other products, and was launched by a former designer for Brand Jordan shoes, just raised $7 million in funding.

Jason Mayden is a co-founder of Super Heroic. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, his dream was to work for Nike designing shoes for Michael Jordan. Surviving in a neighborhood inundated with violence is an understatement, but Mayden far surpassed that. He became the first African American to get a design internship with Nike and went on to design shoes for Eminem, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Jordan himself, not to mention creating the redesign for the “Monarch,” the highest-grossing shoe in Nike’s history. He eventually held the title as Senior Design Global Director for Brand Jordan.

Currently, he holds accolades from Stanford’s D.School, (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford), as an advisory board member and is a former designer for Accel Partners, a well-recognized venture fund in Silicon Valley.

Mayden recently dove into his new venture, Super Heroic, a play focused brand born out of disruptive innovation.

So far, the brand includes apparel focused around how children play, an app designed to keep kids moving, and several other products created to foster children’s imaginations.

 

Mayden recently sat down with Tom Bilyeu, host of Impact Theory, to discuss the journey to his success.

Tom Bilyeu: Dude, your story is an insane tale of what happens when you are willing to work yourself nearly to death. How did you get the mentality? Man, that’s crazy!

Jason Mayden: There are several things that I fundamentally believe that are true in terms of difficulty and what it gives you. For me, being born on the South Side of Chicago in a blue-collared environment, you don’t make excuses for yourself.

There is no such thing as anyone starting life behind the start line. I look at myself as being equal to everyone I’m in a room with and the separation between where I want to go and where I am is my work ethic.

Tom Bilyeu: Were there other things that Jordan taught you specifically about becoming the greatest or just getting ahead?

Jason Mayden: The people you surround yourself with. Everybody that you put in your inner circle should have one thing that they do better than you. That way you’re always a student.

The greatest leaders on the planet are also the greatest curators. They don’t create a lot but, they curate thoughts and they put it together and they put their perspective on it. I try to do the same thing. I’m like man, this person’s amazing at this, this person’s amazing at that, how can I learn from them and then put my spin on it.

 

Tom Bilyeu: When people ask me how do you get ahead, how do you be successful, it’s like you have to open yourself up to actually being changed, like when you read a book, stop and really think, how can I use this, how do I put it to work. Is that something that’s just always come naturally to you or was that an insight someone gave you?

Jason Mayden: You know, I think it came naturally because as a kid, you know I joke about being a middle child, I joke about being quiet but, when you’re quiet and you’re smaller than everyone and you’re an introvert, you can hear more than everyone else because you don’t talk that often, so you pull in information and you can get better at it.

Just by being quiet and still and being invisible, that became my super power. I was able to see everything and learn and I got better and added the skill set so when it was my time to have something to say, I felt more confident.

You have to acknowledge that change is a part of life. You grow up, you leave home, you change addresses, you change jobs, change is a constant theme in our existence. The sooner you become comfortable with that concept, you’re free.

So many gems dropped here. Peep the entire interview below, and come see Mayden live at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Summit in October.

 

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How To Transition From Your Career To Your Purpose

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None of us were born with a career, but we were all born with a purpose! A career is something our parents and our society force upon us. Our Purpose is what God intends us to be when we were sent here. For many of you who are still in your pursuit, I explain further to provide ultimate clarity.

Career Versus Purpose

Many of us had or have dreams of becoming doctors or lawyers because we were persuaded that those were the careers that confirmed you made it and your parents did their job. But let’s be honest, how many terrible doctors and lawyers have you met? I bet those were the people that wanted to please their parents or prove something to society, but their purpose is far from their career.

A career will provide you money, but your purpose will give you happiness and ultimately financial freedom, because GOD blesses those who are courageous enough to stray from the norm and focus on fulfilling His plan.

Making The Transition

To transition from a career-driven life to a purpose-driven life, you must first create a plan! Let’s say you work from 9-5, Monday-Friday. From now on, you will have another job from 6-10 pm on weekdays and 9-5 pm on the weekend that’s called your Purpose. Initially, it will be challenging because you will have to give up a lot to make this transition happen. Whatever you do for your purpose must generate income so you can start your purpose. This can be extra paid hours at your current job or side jobs to generate revenue.

The goal is to save 6 months of your overhead so that you have the freedom in the near future to work on your purpose all day/everyday without having to worry about finances for at least 6 months. You will also need to save your start-up expenses. For example, if you are going to switch from an attorney to an author, you will need to calculate how much it will cost to release your first book. If you are going to be a person who builds and create transitional housing for abused women, you will need to calculate how much it will cost to build your first facility.

While you’re saving make sure to read and research as much as possible. Also build your purpose muscles so once it’s time, you are ready to go. For instance, if you’re going to be a motivational speaker, practice and build your relationships so once you are financially ready, you will have the experience and connections to be successful at it!

Sample Transition Plan:

Here’s a template for a six-month plan to transition from your career to your purpose. Since science shows we are more likely to commit to things that we write down, record your goals and progress each month.

Month 1: Research your purpose field, and how you can enter it. Talk to others in the field about how they entered it, and start working more hours or getting an additional job to help prepare your finances for the transition. If friends or family oppose, don’t let this deter you and remember it’s your life and your purpose.

Month 2: You should be building up your finances and practicing your purpose a bit. Whether through books, videos, research, shadowing, etc., get experience in doing your purpose. For example, if your purpose is motivational speaking, start practicing public speaking by doing Toastmasters, debates, or even recording yourself giving speeches. Develop and hone the skills you’ll need for your purpose.

Month 3: By now, you should be building a comfortable financial base, and progressing in your purpose practice. Try doing your purpose on the next level—for example, if you want to be a motivational speaker, start volunteering at local organizations to give speeches to an audience. Build up a resume/portfolio.

Month 4: You should be more than halfway through your transition now. Expand ties in your purpose field, find networking events and start getting into the field.

Month 5: During this month, focus on preparing for a full transition to your purpose. Make sure your finances are comfortable and you have a surefire method of entry into your field.

Month 6: Make the final preparations for your transition. Give notice at your current job and prepare for the new one. Go through job interviews and secure that new purpose!

Questions To Ask Yourself & Reflect

1)Are you happy at your current job?

2)How are you going to apply your purpose to help others?

3)How much do you need to save to break free from “corporate” America?

4)Who has done something similar to your purpose that you can learn from?

For more information on Elvira Guzman visit her website www.elviraguzman.com and follow her on instagram @elviraguzmanla

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Having A Healthy Heart Is Important

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Our heart is where God lives in us and where our soul resides. It is the speaker that must be 100 percent in order for you to hear God clearly. Having a healthy heart is key for a purpose driven life. God can only speak to us when our heart is healthy. Think of your heart as a speaker. If the speaker is broken, shattered or unplugged, then you will not be able to hear God and receive the visions and messages you need to move forward.

You’ll notice people with a healthy heart because you can feel their energy a mile away. They believe in divine order, don’t judge others or themselves, and are kind to everyone they encounter. You’ll notice people with broken hearts because they will not be dressed well, and will be negative about everything and everyone because at their core they are damaged.

When your speaker is hindered you must repair it ASAP so you may once again gain communication to God.

Heart Damage

25% – You are still devastated over a divorce, molestation, childhood abuse or abandonment, relative passing, business loss, etc. Because your heart is shattered and you can only hear 25%, God is barely able to reach you via signs. It’s harder for you to get big opportunities because you’re not tuned in.

50% – You begin to wake up because God is able to get through a little more and you ask yourself the big questions. This is when your awakening happens.

75%- You begin to manifest things with your thoughts and you begin to understand the power of your mind. You begin to select positive thoughts and work through your internal chaos.

100%- You have overcome many obstacles but you can hear God clearly. You are able to turn every misfortune into something positive. God begins to reward you for being obedient. This is when you have to work to keep your heart 100 percent healthy.

My heart didn’t become 100 percent healthy until I turned 29. It took me a while to get my heart’s health from 30 percent to 100 percent. I did that by loving myself, and every little compliment helped!

Here is an example of what I would say to myself to get my energy up and begin healing: “Hey girl you look gooooooood today, I see ya!” That was another 2 percent added. We exude that extra energy on the outside. Every time I took myself to the spa to thank my body for hanging in there, I added another 4 percent to my number. When I made peace with my siblings, I added a big 20 percent. Little by little, I got here and now I make sure my heart is healthy all the time so I can hear God.

I want to hear God because I want to be of service. How can I be of service if I cannot hear my Boss? I need to be at my best always for God!

Be “YOUR” Best

At your best means treat yourself nicely. Eat healthy, take care of yourself and get your hair done, toes, nails, and take time to meditate each day. Tell yourself that you love yourself and be proud of who you have become!

God Never Leaves Us

Although at times in our life we feel we can’t hear God, we must know that God is always with us. We have to work hard to be able to hear God.
Once our heart is 100 percent healthy, we are able to point out others who have healthy hearts simply by their attitude/response to others and themselves. When you become broken or shattered, pick out the LESSON, feel the pain, and move on! You must be ready to fully feel the pain NOW or it will continue to make your life and body ugly.

How To Regain a 100% Healthy Heart

It’s very important you find out who shattered your heart because you will need to meet with them or call them to ask them some very important questions for closure.
Let’s say your father shattered your heart because he was never there for you. Your task is to contact him and ask him to dinner and ask him these questions:

1)Tell me about you? (with a big smile and an open heart)

2)Why did you choose not to be a part of my life? (stern, not sarcastic and look into his eyes)

3)Did you ever think about contacting me? (get your why not)

4)Tell him that you forgive him for not being there and that you will not hold any resentment towards him from this moment on.Tell him you will work on forgiving him because you want to heal.

5)Give him a big hug and leave knowing that if he knew better, he would do better. No one is perfect, including parents. We all have parents who make mistakes.

Each situation is unique, but make sure you ask yourself the key questions that your heart needs to know to achieve closure. After the meeting, your joy will increase tremendously and you will once again be you because you will finally have let it go!

If the person who hurt you has passed away or you cannot find them, you can still get closure. Write down the questions you want to ask, and look in the mirror and into your eyes and wait for the response in your heart. God will tell you their answer. You can also do this by going to church and praying. I personally go to the beach to meditate and speak to God. It really works!

Soul Work Questions To Ask Yourself:

1)Who shattered your heart? Write down how in detail.

2)Relive it and this time feel the pain ALL the way and write it down in detail. We tend to skip the pain and go straight to the suffering. But if you truly feel the pain there is no place for the suffering when you go through traumatizing events. You must recall the incident where your heart was.

For more information on Elvira Guzman visit her website www.elviraguzman.com or check her out on social media @elviraguzmanla

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#MeTOO

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Being a woman working in Hollywood has its challenges. I started working in the entertainment industry when I was just 18 years-old and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I worked for Steve Harvey when I first started and one of his first lectures he gave me was to stay away from men in the industry. He told me he wanted to look out for me and he didn’t want to see me hurt. I didn’t ask him why I just listened. Soon after a big celebrity with a #1 song came to the radio station for an interview on our show and after his interview he asked to take me out. I immediately told him no and that I didn’t date in the industry. He laughed and I walked to my office to grab something while he stayed and mingled with the morning show team in the studio. I really didn’t have to get anything from my office but I didn’t know what to do to get me out of that awkward situation. Once he was ready to leave one of my duties was to escort the celebrities to the elevator and thank them for attending the show so that’s exactly what I planned on doing. As he exited the studio he handed me his cd single and he told me to look inside and I opened the cd case and there was his number written with a black sharpie and exactly at that moment Steve Harvey walked out of the studio and he gave me the look a dad gives his daughter when he’s disappointed. I told the celebrity that I was not interested and that he might have cost me my job and I really needed my job.

Although I was upset I escorted him to the elevator and I gave him his cd back. I trusted Steve and I knew he wanted what was best for me and aside from loving my job I really needed it. Once I returned to the studio I talked to Steve during one of the commercial breaks and I apologized and I told him what happened. I also told Steve’s bodyguards what happened and that I was sad because I didn’t feel my male co-workers had to deal with what women did and I told them I didn’t want to lose my job. Steve’s bodyguards were like my uncles and they gave me great advice and they said they would help me out. From that moment on I never had to deal with a situation like that again in the studio! I’m not sure what the bodyguards would tell the male celebrities but it worked!

Years later once I started my publicity company and I was around 26 I had an experience I wouldn’t wish on any young female entrepreneur. I was in New York for a business trip to meet with one of my clients who owns a huge company and he’s extremely wealthy. He’s about 20 years older than I am and I loved working with him because he taught me a lot. Prior to this meeting I had met his wife and children in LA and they seemed incredibly happy. During my trip in New York he wanted to take me to dinner after our meetings and I agreed thinking nothing of it. I’ve had dinner with almost all of my clients and we typically continue to discuss business or we discuss life in general. This dinner was a lot different. I could see that he was interested in me and he made advances. I tried to politely tell him that I was not interested because he was married and I respect marriage and he told me that his wife didn’t mind. I told him that was fine but I did mind. I wanted the night to end so I didn’t order anything else as I was starting to feel uncomfortable. We finished dinner and he drove me to my hotel. In the car he asked if he could come upstairs with me to give me a massage and I told him no. I repeated that I was not interested in dealing with a married man and I tried to say it in the kindest way because I enjoyed working with him. Finally we got to my hotel and I got out and headed to my room. The next day I got a call from his assistant saying they no longer needed my services. I felt devastated! I was a huge asset to his company but because I wouldn’t sleep with him none of that mattered. When that happened I remembered what Steve Harvey and his bodyguards told me years prior and it all made sense.

It’s been 8 years since then and when I meet with men who want to do business with me I make it clear that I do not date in the industry. Despite this I’ve still had scary situations where I’ve had something put into my drink. Sadly when some older men want to have sex with a younger woman and they feel they can’t they resort to ungodly methods to get what they want! I’m grateful that God has always protected me. Some women have not been so lucky and for them we should all pray and hope they heal.

Women in the entertainment industry and in business in general have to deal with so much! For a long time when I went to meetings with men I would wear clothing that wouldn’t show off my figure and I wouldn’t do my hair/makeup in a flattering way because I wanted them to focus on business instead of sex but I stopped doing that because I realized that didn’t empower me. I should be able to wear whatever I want without fearing that someone is going to disrespect or hurt me!

When these type of things happen we MUST speak out so that the men who do this STOP. If no one speaks out they will assume their behavior is ok. I wrote this article to empower women to share their stories because in sharing your stories you will release the pain. Living with pain is terrible and it’s something we don’t deserve because of someone else’s actions. Take your power back today and speak your truth!

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