Daily Dose #13

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Was crisis the wakeup call you needed? (DAY 13/30)

We all want to believe that we are the authors of our own fate but if you’re not signing your own paycheck, then stop kidding yourself. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown” and while everyone doesn’t desire that responsibility, a crisis might leave you no choice. Five years ago, Tara Childs McDowell was fired by her employer, even after being award-winning for her leadership and performance. Her life then spiraled out of control for more than a year without any savings and no solid job leads. So as she put it, “I decided to create my own way and go after things that inspire me. I vowed to not allow a single job to define me.” Now, Tara is a globally-certified project manager and back to winning ways. She is working on her terms under her own business as a Project Manager Consultant. You can learn more about Tara and her story at

Daily Dose #12

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Has crisis affirmed your faith? (DAY 12/30)

There are moments in life that will completely knock you off feet and as you look up towards the sky, a sense of calm rushes over you. In the bible verse, Psalm 46:10, God tells us “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” In the midst of a storm, it’s wise just to stay put and allow it to pass because the sun will shine another day. Jake Larson is a friend of mine from Iowa State University, that I’ve known for more than 20 years. On February 14, 2020, Jake’s wife, Courtney 42, died from an aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma multiform. She was the mother of two young daughters ages 2 and 5. Courtney was just diagnosed three weeks prior on January 27 and Jake had to prepare for life without his better half.

This would be crushing news to anyone else, but not for Jake, he found strength and comfort in his faith and trust in God. I recently spoke with him to express my sympathy and to let him know that he’d been on my mind since I started this series. During our call, Jake talked about life with Courtney and their future plans for a trip abroad. As I listened to him, I could feel his faith and see with so much clarity, his positive outlook on life. Jake has always been a very cheery guy and the only thing that has changed about him is that he has found his purpose. You can learn more about Jake and his story at

Daily Dose #11

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Did the crisis make you a myth buster (DAY 11/30)

Historically, as it relates to fatherhood, men have left to fend for himself and that is evident by the lack of financial, housing, or medical-related resources not available on the Federal, state, or local levels. Imagine being a Black teenage father in a life of poverty, yet wanting to be a better man, parent, and provider but there’s nowhere to turn for help. Daily brothers are combatting the misnomer that our Black children are growing up fatherless and are being raised by the streets but that’s not the case.

Sheldon Smith, like myself, was a product of teenage parents, a sporadic father, and being poor, including becoming teenage fathers. By the age of 17, Sheldon received a felony for armed robbery. At the age of 20, he dropped out of college and became a father. Motivated by fatherhood, he started the Dovetail Project to help young fathers and to make sure children had better relationships with their fathers and better opportunities for their lives. Sheldon has raised over $3 million and more than 400 young fathers have graduated from The Dovetail Project. As he continues to shatter Black fatherhood stereotypes, he has been honored as a CNN Hero and Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. You can learn more about Sheldon and his story at

Daily Dose #10

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Has crisis made you complacent? (DAY 10/30)

To my entrepreneurial mind, I initially looked at the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders as a blessing to start a new venture…” working remotely with full-time employment, with my family, and I could be in my laboratory around the clock.” However, being in the safety of home, made me mentally too safe. My enthusiasm and excitement dwindled like watching the wick of a candle starting to dimmer in a pool of melted wax. Some of you might be in a similar predicament but the good news is, it’s not too late to turn yourself around. After some meditation and quiet time with God is the reason how and why this daily post got conjured up. All I needed to do was to step into my purpose and channel my efforts. It has been pretty awesome and rewarding speaking with those that I’ve profiled about their stories. I didn’t know what type of life this daily post will turn into but if one of these stories can just help one person, I’ll be fine with that. Until tomorrow, be blessed!

Daily Dose #9

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Has your crisis created an opportunity? (DAY 9/30)

Going through physical therapy not only challenges your body to relearn its normal functions but trying to recall your daily activities to your doctor and therapist presents their own set of challenges. I have done both and forgetting to disclose a prescribed activity can really complicate your recovery. Well, after a terrible car accident, Raven McNeal found herself with 16 weeks of physical therapy and several more follow up visits to the doctor for her neck and back injuries. While in transition from Chicago to Phoenix, Raven’s experience led her to taking a plunge into the tech space with some help from a local organization, where she learned to code and developed from scratch the mobile application Heal Me Fit. This app allows patients to track one’s at-home exercise program progress and provide their physical therapist/chiropractor with this data. You can learn more about Raven and her story at Heal Me Fit and…/meet-raven-mcneal-heal-fit-inc-…/

Daily Dose #8

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Can crisis redirect your purpose? (DAY 8/30)

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet this brother from Atlanta. I didn’t know what to expect from the conversation, I just knew that God was ordering my steps. I’m pretty sure what he has experienced would have taken most folks out but not him. Tiran Jackson‘s life was rocked to the core on June 30, 2018, when he lost his wife and leg, during a tragic boat explosion while celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary in the Bahamas, that left him fighting for his life. With a 12-year-old son searching for answers, Tiran had to be beyond strong… Survivor’s remorse, PTSD, physical and mental therapy, all while holding it together for his son. Now, Tiran shares his story of loss, faith, and love with the hopes of helping others who are dealing with crisis, even as he continues to embrace his new reality. You can learn more about Tiran and his story at Reborn Resilient #rebornresilient

Daily Dose #7

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Is crisis bringing the best out of you? (DAY 7/30)

Some see crisis and seek shelter while others…as eloquently put by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Out of necessity due to systematic and institutional racism sanctioned in part by the federal government, The Black Panther Party decided to provide for and protect African American communities. Their actions were out of the love for their people because we lacked the privilege afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution. Don’t allow history to be misconstrued nor deemed similar by nature nor motives. I was proud to stand with James Webb Jr. and Anthony Beckham, as we took direct action on Chicago’s “magnificent” mile during the Black Friday to protest the killing of LaQuan McDonald by convicted police officer Jason Van Dyke and coverup by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Daily Dose #6

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Is crisis your saving grace? (DAY 6/30)

A testament of Chicago grind, I’m honored to know this brother and fortunate to have seen him in action up close. The son of pimp and prostitute, Exavier Pope, now father, husband, lawyer, media personality, and much much more. Exavier didn’t allow his painful and abusive childhood nor time in foster care, define his destiny. After some personal struggles as he transitioned into young adulthood, Exavier has only looked back to make peace with the universe. Donning his self-proclaimed moniker, “best-dressed man on television,” Exavier’s zeal about life is infectious and can be heard on his #SuitUP podcast here

Daily Dose #5

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Can commitment conquer crisis? (DAY 5/30)

There is an old adage that I’ve adopted as my own, “if not now, when? If not you, who?” but mother, CNN Hero, L’Oreal Paris’ Woman of Worth, and founder of Kids Off The Block, Inc. (KOB), Mrs. Diane Latiker. She got tired of the senseless killing of young people in Chicago’s southside Roseland community and she wasn’t waiting on a savior to provide refuge or safe spaces. Mama Diane continues to adapt her business model to meet the needs of the Black community she loves so dearly, in a city that she loves immensely. Yet, even with a family of her own, her dedication to making a better world does not cease. Now with schools being closed, she took upon herself to begin distributing meals, coronavirus information that included masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. I applaud her efforts and celebrate continued success. You can learn about her story at

Daily Dose #4

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Has crisis rocked your faith or reaffirmed it? (DAY 4/30)

On April 29, Lite House Whole Food Grill was robbed by some of the customers that frequented the establishment for several months. I’ve watched the messages posted by the owner, Rico Nance about his uncertainty about reopening following the traumatic event. I’m glad he and his staff decided to remain open. My family and I have patronized the restaurant on occasion not only because of the great food but also, my wife and I attended high school with Rico and his brother. Rico and I played basketball and track together at Rich Central. We high jumpers and even as the upperclassman, he celebrated and encouraged everyone. The charitable spirit and energy that everyone sees from Rico, is the same vibe you got from him 20 years ago. He’s always had a big heart and I’m so proud to see the faith walk that he exhibits. My former pastor, Dr. Apostle Marshall Davis would say, “God put you here to be a blessing to someone else” and Rico is just walking in his purpose. You can learn more about Eric’s story here.