The Power of Mental Engineering
I’ve always been a writer – I call it my superpower – but I’m also an overthinker. Both helped me get where I am today, feeling deeply fulfilled professionally and personally.
After leaving my first job as a brand ambassador for a test prep company, I felt a bit lost. Seeking direction, I turned to friends and family who offered good-natured platitudes such as, “It will get better,” and “Everything is going to be all right.” I never doubted their sincerity, but the classic pick-me-ups didn’t address the deep-rooted skepticism I was carrying as it pertained to my abilities.
So, I turned inward and started to think – and think. I committed my thoughts to paper, which eventually took shape as a long-form series of self-affirmations. The right words – at the right time – propelled me forward and ignited my resiliency and creativity.
And then it hit me: if I needed to hear these words, perhaps others did, too. This a-ha moment sparked my new professional calling. I started sharing affirmations sporadically on social media, and as I saw my words resonate with others, I shared them more consistently. This practice encouraged others and it helped me eradicate my skepticism-of-self from the root.
Those self-affirmations became the basis of my first book, Keep it 100: Daily Affirmations for Millennials who are Tired of Being Called Millennials. I wanted to help people realize the power of mental engineering – the purposeful practice of reflection, perseverance, and action. My book gave rise to a business that focused my thinking and writing where I felt it was needed most: Black-owned businesses.
As someone who has experienced the uphill battle of being the only Black man in the room, I wanted to help other Black men and women push the limits of their entrepreneurial spirit and thrive.
My wife (who has a knack for turning visions into tangible goals) and I drew up a game plan. After weeks quarantined in our apartment, Post-It notes covering our walls, we launched The Creative Summer: a company that leverages strategy, content, design, and research to empower mission consistent, Black-owned brands and businesses. We honed in on our individual skill sets – digital strategy, content design, social media management, market research and more — to give brands the freedom and opportunity to look inward. We empower business owners to empower themselves – just as I did with myself years prior.
As I sit here today, reflecting on earlier versions of myself, I feel grateful. Grateful for the ability to shape my mind, for my commitment to embrace the hustle, and for the deep fulfillment that comes from helping others take flight.