Thursday, April 26, 2012

I can't commit. I recognize this as a character flaw in myself but can't seem to make progress. Too many good girls. I have been fortunate to have a number of great girls give me their time. Not necessarily good relationships... Too much fear of the unknown. What if she gets fat. What if she gets boring. What if she decides she doesn't want children. What if she won't cook and clean. What if she doesn't love children too. I know these are all things that we talk about before Too much responsibility.

I'm reminded of my blackness everytime I look in the mirror. To me it is a reflection of excellence and power but to others a different image exists.

Focused career pursuits... not random.
Confident approach to business... not anxious.
Believe that the sky is the limit. Be fearless. Work.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I know that I'm close to doing something that I will feel proud about. It's not that I don't recognize that working for someone will ultimately leave me underwhelmed. However, there is a clear sense of fulfillment from accomplishing something that isn't supposed to be done. I thrive on doing the things the exceptional things. Everything else is so normal. I'm currently hoping to break into private equity. I like the concept of being an investor. A long time ago I heard someone say something along the lines of "he who has the gold, makes the rules". To me that means their is power in having access to capital. I like the opportunities that come with being able to buy and sell businesses. Private equity provides the entry point into high society, a lifestyle change that could set me in motion towards the level of influence to which I aspire. Surely there are other ways to achieve my goals but nothing seems more sustainable these days as financial stability. God I know you have a plan for me. I'm trying to spite myself and trust that you are going to give me what I need. Just let me be fulfilled in you and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 Recap

Going into 2011 I had resolved to do a better job of reflecting. While I believe it make most sense to stay focused on moving forward, I better recognize the need to celebrate wins and analyze losses. So I started capturing things I wanted to remember by snapping pictures. I assumed my desire to be creative would net a cool year end presentation but my bias for simplicity won out. Here is what I did for the year. The year started with ALL of my family in Texas. It was the first time my parents were not at home for the holiday and cool to see the interaction with Layla’s family. February: I turned 28. Original plans had me traveling to Dallas for the Super Bowl, but the snow and ice in Dallas made it more appealing to stay in Chicago. Layla pulled together a great house party. I secretly want to have a Super Bowl (Birthday) Party every year. Later in the month the Booth Black and White Bowl and Barrister’s Ball offered me an opportunity to break out my tuxedo and get acquainted with one of my new favorite things, the photo booth. It’s clear that B-School kids party better than law schoolers. March: Traveled to Morocco (Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakesh). Tagged along with Layla’s class and was able to sit in meetings with top government officials. I maintained a steady diet of veggie tagine and couscous, even managing to do a decent job of rolling balls like the locals. The most impactful experience was interacting with Boubker Mazoz and his Sidi Moumen Cultural Center. Boubker has created a haven for youth in the middle of “al hofra”, (the hole) in one of the more depressed areas on Casablanca. The center’s children were so talented. I can still hear the young lady’s, adorned in a hijab, stunning rendition of the star spangled banner. It was eye opening to see the impact that President Obama and American culture had on this group of children. They spoke of hope and provided me with a greater sense of responsibility that I have to doing more in my community. Marrakesh is easily one of the most sensory stimulating places I have ever been. I spent a few nights tucked away in the medina at a well planned riad, got my hair cut (razor line) for $5 USD, and had amazing food under the stars. The stories of snake charmers, monkeys, and guys trying take advantage of you were all true. It was also fun to haggle over goods with the merchants and I ended up with some cool stuff to bring home to my mom. April: Wesley came to visit me in Chicago in April and we took in a few tourist attractions. It was cool to have him around for a couple of days. Hopefully he benefitted from the change of scenery. I know that I have grown a lot since moving from Ohio and was happy to share the experience with him. We took a trip to the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower and even stepped out over to the outer edge of the observation deck. I can still feel my heart fluttering as I recognize I have a slight fear of heights. It was also the first time I saw him work out in person. He struggled a bit but I could see him willing to compete. I’m glad he kept focus and ended up having a solid football season. The guy is doing well and wants to do better. I’m proud he is my brother. May: Layla finished up at Northwestern University. It was awesome to see her accomplish one of the goals we started talking about over 5 years ago. I’m proud of her for taking advantage of the law school experience. Though it was much different than she had intended, I know she grew in all the right places from the experience. After rushing from an interview, I arrived in time to see her walk across the stage and get her hood. Hopefully, she could feel my smile from the balcony. I also had a chance to travel to Columbus for less than 24 hours to party with Sean as he finished up school. Like I said earlier, I realize the importance of celebrating wins with friends. I held myself accountable to that… even though I was hurting in class the next day. Later in the month we traveled to Wilmington, NC for Holly’s wedding. Our logistics were spotty at best because Delta decided to cancel flights. Fortunately, we overcame driving 4 hours in a monsoon and a taxi driver who pulled over a couple of times to check his map to make the ceremony. I had some great roadside ice cream, toured a battleship, and was as close to Jacksonville, NC (birthplace) as I had been in nearly 20 years. Wilmington is a jewel. I definitely plan to visit again, soon. June: Christa got married. I had not been to Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church since I was 12 but it was fun to come home and see her get hitched in the same building we used to have choir practice and Sunday school as children. The reception was great, marked by great food and Christa figuring out how to drop it in a wedding dress. Here is me sharing a very tasty beverage, Welch’s grape juice, with the rest of my table. Whitney was the first from the crew to graduate after having decided to quit working and return to school full time. We spent a lot of time together commuting, working in groups, and making ice cream pit stops. It’s crazy how many common thoughts I could have with a girl from Oregon. I’m sure she will fix the Post Office soon. July: One of the first things I did was travel to Milwaukee to check out Nyerere and have my first Kopps burger. Nyerere’s love for the bond is so strong and makes me realize that I need to get more involved in what is going on in Chicago. At this point, I’m getting familiar with Chicago. Looking for a more permanent place to live, what networks to tap into, and what events are a must do, including the Old School House Picnic. I have to go back next year, it was a great time. I tried mostly to stay out of the way as Layla took the bar, and was happy to celebrate with drinks at The Aviary when she finished. A few days later, I caught her in a vulnerable place, after she returned from a failed taco run, and stuttered and sweated my way through a proposal. We were engaged to be married Saturday, July 30th. Shout out to Patrick and Syreeta for the well wishes, though I’m pretty sure they were wondering why I was beating my chest as I ran to the car after class. I’m excited to have someone to get better with for the rest of my life. Proverbs 18:22 makes a lot more sense to me now. More to come next year on this topic it makes me a little emotional haha. August: A little nerdy… but one of the reasons I was excited about Booth was the chance to study entrepreneurship. I completed Private Equity and Venture Capital Finance in August, learning a little bit about the process and more about what I wanted to accomplish going forward… Maybe Pancakes in China. Congrats Vipin and BG! Layla sold my couches and got to experience firsthand the extensive analysis that goes into me making major purchases. It must have taken 6 weeks to find a new couch. September: Marked my 10 year high school anniversary. It was cool to see all the different places my classmates have gone since graduation. I’m thankful that growing up at Trotwood Madison, meant that I was surrounded by people that expected me to do well. It was a relief to fulfill my commitment as Senior Class President thanks to the help of Omni and folks back home. A great byproduct of this event is the class has grown closer in the months since, evident by the active the Facebook Group. #StillBoutIt Staycation in September meant us checking out our first Cubs game (Thanks Nidhin!). I remember watching Cubs day games on WGN as a kid, so it was surreal to be so close to the field. Alinea was amazing. Somehow Layla hustled into a reservation and we were able to spend a weekday night out at one of the world’s best restaurants (literally). We even had our final course prepared by the famous Grant Achatz. October: The coolest things about October are that my mom and Wesley celebrated birthdays and Layla found out she passed the bar. In retrospect, I worked too much...but did have a chance to catch up with friends during Black MBA in Atlanta. Finally went to my first Diageo party and got to see Big Boi perform. Here is me with Mr. Quick. November: Somehow Layla and all of her Chicago friends were born within a four week span, so I got to crash a couple of her friend’s parties too (and learn about Chicago haunted history). Layla was really accomplished in 2012. Here is her getting sworn into the Illinois Bar. Well done homie. The Rams won State (technically in December), but we tailgated a bit over Thanksgiving. I’m so happy to see how they have evolved. More kids get a shot every year. It was surreal watching them in the State Semi Finals at Northmont. December: Closed out the year with a very active December. Once finals were done I was able to take advantage of free time to do some fun stuff. We hit up Watch the Throne on a last minute ticket purchase. I can’t say that I am big on concerts but this one was a good time. Kanye and Jay Z are contemporary philosophers so I’m happy to have experienced the show first hand. Might have to buy the DVD to see how well they captured the crowd energy, lighting and effects. The majority of the crew graduated from B-School. We partied in Paris Club and rocked “Where Fun Comes to Die” tees. Two years went kind of quick. I probably would have gone full time if I had not understated the value in the relationships you build while getting your MBA, but am happy that the structure of the weekend program allowed me to make new, life-long friends. I visited Shane and Keenan in Boston in between finishing up a work project. I experienced a Stroll on the Hill and dinner on the North End for the first time. Went to Miami for Mile’s graduation and caught a few minutes on the beach. I can imagine how proud Mr. and Mrs. Dotson are when having both of their children graduate in the same year. Shelly came through with amazing tickets to the Thursday night Colts vs. Texans game. I did not let having a 6A flight the next morning stop me from having a great time thanks to Mark and Jeff Naaman. The next day I flew to Houston for Christmas. We met up with friends and family for karaoke the first night. Got to see Layla’s parents’ new home and enjoyed amazing food over the course of a few days. We went to church on NYE after IU beat Ohio State in basketball, and later hosted a few friends. All things considered I had an amazing year. I’m blessed to be around people that are doing well and motivated to take my achievements to the next level in 2012. William A. Lumpkin

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently 8:58 AM Friday February 25, 2011 by Heidi Grant Halvorson | Comments (354) FEATURED PRODUCTS The Science of Thinking Smarter: A Conversation with Brain Expert John J. Medina by John Medina, Diane Coutu $6.95 Buy it now » Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Halvorson $3.99 Buy it now » EMAIL SHARE PRINT Learn more about the science of success with Heidi Grant Halvorson's HBR Single, based on this blog post. Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren't sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do. 1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague — be clear and precise. "I'll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you've actually done it. 2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it's not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers. To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%. 3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal. 4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure. 5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills. Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination. 6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit. 7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals. To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout. 8. Don't tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don't put yourself in harm's way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is. 9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., "Don't think about white bears!") has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken. If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like "If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down." By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely. It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don't need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It's never what you are, but what you do. Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at www.heidigranthalvorson.com. Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I'm thankful for the experiences to date. They have formed me.
I'm grateful for perspective. It has rounded me out.
I'm excited for opportunity. I have prepared for it.
I'm hopeful for success. I have come to expect it.

Today I feel better than the day before because I am moving towards an opportunity to break through beyond the frustration I have held myself accountable too. I will soon get a chance to make self proud.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Too Easily Pleased

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keys to a longer life

1. Get Active
2. Know and control cholesterol levels
3. Follow a healthy diet
4. Know and control blood pressure
5. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
6. Manage diabetes
7. Be tobacco free