One week ago, today, I woke up to a thank you email from S.J. Combs.
A week prior, I got an alert on my phone with a mention from @iamdiddy.
And exactly one month ago, I was chosen as a brand ambassador for Revolt TV, during the second annual Revolt Music Conference in Miami.
To say the past 30 days have been pretty lit is an understatement.
I was going to publish this amazing follow-up to RMC with a viral-worthy title and something catchy, click-worthy and re-tweetable. You know, like:
9 Awesome Things I Learned While Working For Diddy & Revolt
or better yet, 33 Things Diddy Personally Taught Me Himself While We Sipped Ciroc Mimosas & Discussed How We Would Become Billionaires By Next Year.
However, I’d rather just wax poetic about the whole experience from a genuine place. What I experienced, what it taught me, and how it single-handedly re-affirmed that I’m in the right place in my life at the right time.
Start writing shit down.
“I need to start writing shit down. That’s one thing I took away from Revolt Music Conference.” — DJ Ivory (103.5 The Beat)
The night of orientation, I couldn’t sleep and I wrote down everything in my head. So I could just focus on the work and let God handle the rest. It was my first attempt at sketchnoting, which helps visually retain information.
I was backstage working with production for one of the panels when a notification from @iamdiddy popped up on my cracked yet dearly beloved iPhone 4S (which explained why I was getting texts from people I hadn’t heard from in forever). I was like, “Hold up. Wait, what? Nah…”
I had no idea my bucket list would be recognized by Revolt, Diddy & more, opening so many doors and making the conference even more lit. It became my own little adventure, a treasure hunt and a compass which guided me toward meeting some great people and creating some memorable moments.
Many of the panelists at RMC also emphasized the importance of writing, encouraging attendees to ask themselves the following questions:
“What is happening? What do I want to happen? How can I make this happen?”
Write your own ticket for whatever you wish to do with yourself, and watch what happens.
Sometimes you just have to write it down & let the universe flex.
Observe quietly, and act quickly.
I’m super observant and kept finding opportunities during the conference to learn quietly and adapt quickly. Whether it was helping Kitty Cash slip back into the over-capacity gala dinner, or finding a portable charger for Diddy.
The very first item on my bucket list was “Meet Puff Daddy.” So when I overheard a line producer saying she needed a portable charger brought up to the panel room, I was on it. I searched the hotel high & low for that charger. Whether I met him or not, I just wanted to fulfill the need.
As I‘m walking to lunch, I looked behind me and there’s Diddy, walking with like 8–10 dudes, mostly in suits. I’m like, “oh shit.” It was moments like this that made the bucket list come to life. Like, do you really want to meet him or nah? So, I turned around and said, “Did you get that charger, Mr. Combs?”
Because as eloquent & charming as I love to think I am, sometimes I have no idea what the hell to say to people. And he didn’t even respond. He just kept talking to the dudes, and I’m like “Okay, rule #1. Don’t speak to Diddy.”
I finally heard him say, “Charger? Oh yeah, yeah, I got it.” So I turned around again like, “Okay, good, because I’m not playing any games this weekend.” He cracked the slightest smile and said “Oh, you not playing, huh?”. I’m like “Nah…” and let him be, heading down the escalator, dabbing on the inside.
Many of my encounters with industry execs and celebrities at the conference came by playing my part, observing what was needed, and acting quickly and efficiently to fulfill that need. Then spark conversation from there.
High-profile people don’t remember the people who sweat them.
They remember the people who add value. They always stand out.
When in doubt, just show up.
I was originally only scheduled to work the Revolt Film Festival. Which is awesome because, Spike Lee (#4). But it also meant that I would spend most of my time away from the Fontaine Bleu and conference. I requested more hours & days from several people at Revolt, and got no response.
Thursday, the very first day of the conference, I oscillated between showing up anyway or staying in Wynwood to work. I chose to work on other projects and ultimately regretted it. Yes, I made money, but I also voided one of my bucket list items (#3: Work all 4 days) and missed a ton of shit.
That further fueled my passion to go hard from that point on.
Friday, I had an audience pass for the live taping of The Breakfast Club (#6 & #7), so I showed up dressed and ready to work. Like, f*ck it. Why not?
I ended up working the entire day, assisting with a bunch of panels (#11), meeting hella people (#10), and being front row at the performances that night. And it was lit. So when in doubt, just show up and do the work.
Get in the gym, and shoot your shot.
“You have to actually be in the gym to play the game.” — Dion Summers, Head of Urban Radio at Sirius
More than anything, I learned the value of just going for it. Whatever “it” is. This was demonstrated by others as well, like the infamous young man from South Africa who used his Q&A mic time to spit a few bars for the panelists.
The entire weekend was about shooting your shot.
When Keith Clinkscales, CEO of Revolt, walked into orientation and asked if we had any questions, my hand went up immediately. I wanted to know what his personal goals were for RMC and how we could help. This was the first of a series of encounters which led me to further understand what powers Revolt, and how I could become a better ambassador of the brand.
When I bumped into Sickamore backstage after his panel, I couldn’t resist telling him that I grew up on his mixtapes and used to freestyle to his instrumental CDs. He gave me his email and told me to hit him up .I think it’s dope af how he became A&R of Epic Records after last year’s panel.
When I got to the Ask Diddy Q&A, I knew I wanted to thank him for sharing my bucket list and ask a really good question. I actually had 5 different questions and narrowed it down to the best one. But first, I had to get in the gym. Thankfully Besidone, Director of Marketing, led me right in front of the mic to ask the first question. My boy Vince later praised me for shooting my shot. I didn’t even know it was on live TV until I saw his tweet.
So it definitely helps to get in the gym, shoot your shot & perfect your aim.
Self-accountability is everything. No excuses.
The question I asked Diddy was, “What is the #1 trait that contributes to your success, and how did you cultivate it?” His answer? Self-accountability.
Never making excuses. Taking responsibility. Not getting lost in the sauce, or lost in the game. This is the very thing that has stuck with me the most.
(Watch the entire #AskDiddy Q&A on Revolt.tv. It’s pretty damn good.)
Anything I did not accomplish on the bucket list was due to my own choices. No excuses. Whether it was being late, or missing a day, or being in one place when I could have been in another, I took full accountability.
This mantra stuck with me throughout the conference and strengthened my choices and actions. To this day, I find myself saying “no excuses.” whenever I am procrastinating or not living up to my own potential.
Even writing this piece was full of excuses from writer’s block, to publishing it on the right day to “is it too late?” (to which my fellow ambassadors replied in the group chat: “do it!” “better late than never” & “put. it. out.”)
Do the work & the rewards will follow.
Nothing could have prepared me for RMC, but somehow I’ve always been ready. I volunteered because I believe in what Revolt is doing, and it was more rewarding than I could ever imagine.
The experiences, the knowledge, the camaraderie and just being around hundreds of people who all love music and share similar visions. I made meaningful connections, met many plugs, developed new insight into the industry and renewed my love for music. It also reaffirmed my purpose.
I enjoyed learning from the pioneers, working alongside the Revolt team, and engaging with the conference attendees & participants. The gala dinner I attended with my good friend, Astrid. The performances. The live tapings. Everything was dope, and I enjoyed being a part of the entire experience.
I learned a lot from my fellow ambassadors, too. I couldn’t have been blessed with a doper group of people to work with, and I’m thankful for the friendships and partnerships that have formed since. We had so much fun.
“God sent me here to inspire you.”
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to discover your life’s purpose. The epic idea that motivated your birth. The curiosity alone will attract experiences to you like a magnet until you can no longer deny your destiny.
When I joined Revolt, I just wanted to learn everything I could & add value wherever I can. To glorify the creator, as I mentioned in my bucket list, because I knew that whenever there is a big blessing in my life, there is an even bigger call to action. Hopefully I was able to do that.
One of my favorite moments was in the ballroom before the Puff Daddy & the Family performance. Someone recognized me and said “Wait, are you the bucket list girl? My friend loves you. We’ve been looking for you!” She grabbed her friend and she’s like “OMG! It’s you. Meeting you was on *my* bucket list. I was hoping I’d run into you!” Not going to lie, that felt amazing. Not to be recognized, but to be able to inspire people by being inspired.
Diddy’s opening speech at the Q&A moved me to tears, believe it or not. The way he spoke about relentlessly pursuing his dreams, walking with God and his open call for a few “chosen ones” inspired me even further. It reaffirmed that my purpose can still be manifest within the arts & entertainment industry. That I can inspire just by staying true to myself & never giving up.
So, what inspires you? What makes you come alive? What do you want to accomplish more than anything, right now?
Write it down. Say it out loud. Believe it will happen.
Pray on it. Then go get what you just prayed for.
God faithfully rewards the relentless.
Just keep working. No excuses.