Lunch with: Chidi Afulezi, Product Guy. Tech Insurgent. Teacher.

The thing about

Chidi Afulezi

is meet with him and he's going to give it to you straight. And now that I think about it - my Leo ways could be the reason I'm always talking about how hard this startup journey is. Ahh, but it isn't. I digress.

Chidi is the Co-Founder of Akoma Media, a startup working with kickass content creators in Africa to tell stories straight from the motherland. He's also Entrepreneurship Head Faculty at the African Leadership University. A boss.

Talking about Chidi reminds me of the importance in planning my trip home to Africa. Buuuut, I digress again. 

Our lunch was an early one. We met at Upbeet in West Midtown, right when they opened. I only had a Charcoal Lemonade because ya girl needed a detox particular morning. Although - I really did want that toast with vegan hazelnut butter and strawberries. 

Our time was limited; I needed to get back to my side of town for an 11am but I still managed to leave with three pages worth of notes and a few deliverables that would require me to renew my Amazon Prime membership:

  1. Although the problem you're working on may feel impossible to solve, you must be in love with it. This is a reminder for everyone in the room! I can say this: I'm head over heels for the problem we're solving at Blossom. I want our platform to be the go-to storytelling platform for women of color. The go-to for women of color to enjoy video content. The go-to for women of color in need of an escape from the real world when things just seem to tough to deal with. Until I feel that way, I will. keep. working. Now to you: If you feel like you've fallen out of love with your challenge, spend some alone time with it. Just you and it (No social media. No phone.) and write down the new perspectives/opportunities that arise. You have to get it out your head and on paper. 
  2. Dig deep for tools to keep you sane.  A word, "If I didn't have the tools to keep me sane, I would have given up on Akoma a long time ago", Chidi. I feel him on that. Chidi's tools? Studying stoicism: the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint. In other words, the ability to remain unbothered. Which is a good tool to have when you're creating a platform on behalf of people of color. Although the yes' outweigh the no's, the many no's we've heard have effected me. I can't even lie. So when Chidi told me about stoicism, I was pressed. Not to mention, the day before I scrolled pass the book The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday when looking for the next Ryan Holiday book I wanted to read. (God.) 
  3. Read The Daily Stoic and buy the journal. Funny enough, The Daily Stoic is the book Chidi recommended to me. Here's the synopsis:
    1. The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you'll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms.
    2.  The Daily Stoic Journal offers a beautifully designed hardcover journal that features space for morning and evening notes, along with advice for integrating this ancient philosophy into our 21st century lives. Each week readers will discover a specific powerful Stoic practice, explained and presented with related quotations to inspire deeper reflection and application, and each day they will answer a powerful question to help gauge their progress.


*adds both books to Amazon cart*. I'll keep you updated on my progress with these books. I'm trying to finish Goliath Must Fall first. 

Before I head to my next meeting, Chidi reminds me to focus on what I can control, become a student of life and determine what superpowers I can add to my portfolio.

I like that. So now I'm thinking I should write a post about my newest superpowers. Coming soon.

You can always find Chidi here. Tell him I sent you. 


What Does It Mean to "Do Too Much"?

Lunch with: Charlton Cunningham & Kerry Abner, Millennial Startup Gurus