Monday, July 21, 2014

You are your Brand: Kamau Sadiki

Hello world,

I, like many of you, was born with a name given to me by my parents. As a child I never enjoyed my name too much because I never found it on one of those fancy license plates, and I never met anyone else with my name until I was 17. He was a 3 year old, and while his mother called for him, I thought she was talking to me. Throughout my life people have misquoted my name, spelled it differently/wrong (even though I gave them the letters slowly), referred to my cousins name (it’s a 1 letter difference and his name is admittedly more popular but I’m older and they chose his name based on mine), and of course shortened my name to its first initial.
Hello my name is Kamau (Swahili for Silent Warrior), and at age 15 I decided I was going to start recording songs under the name “K Da 1’1 Deuce” sometimes stylized as “K Da One 1 Deuce”. Now I can guess what you are thinking, why would I have a name that people often get wrong, and then pick another complicated name for people to get wrong? Well my fine feathered friends, originally I wanted to be known as K-Deuce because of my two middle names. A quick Google search will show you, that I am far from the only one who decided to use said name. To separate myself for the hordes of imitators I decided I’d be the “One and Only” deuce, but that sounded cheesy and “The one one Deuce “ kind of just rolled off the tongue, at least for me. Naturally people would shorten it to “K-Deuce” much like they shortened Kamau to K. This caused some confusion and to my dismay and lackluster conclusion some people simply can’t sound out letters (Kamau) or spell simple word “Deuce”.
Fast forward to today, I still use these names, and I now look at my real name with a sense of pride. I also look at my stage name with a sense of pride. Thanks to the people I've met, the things I've done, and the stories I will be able to tell for years to come. With that said I've decided to change my stage name and not look back. When I was trying to decide on my new stage name I wanted something people could easily remember, or something that had a good meaning behind it. So much like Ray Charles, Talib Kweli, and countless others, I decided to go with my first and middle name: Kamau Sadiki (It translates to Silent warrior, Brave warrior). I know it’s not the easiest of names, I know people will probably mess it up, BUT it’s my name and besides people have been doing that for the last few decades anyway.
Along with the changing of my name comes, the changing of my logo, a new publicist (I've been my own this whole time), new sound, new website, and lastly a new identity. What comes with all these new things you ask? Well essentially, whatever I please. The whole point of re-branding is establishing a new identity. Some people choose to use their past as their foundation, much in the light of late 80s early 90s Bobby Brown. Sometimes a title change is all that is necessary to re-brand. Lil Wayne proclaimed himself as the “Best Rapper Alive” and within 3 years he won a Grammy and the highest selling release date for artist of his genre EVER.

So to help some of you fellow Earthlings ease the transition into your new identity (in no particular order) I’ve provided these 5 Rules:

1. If you’re going to change your name, make it something personal.

This first step is a little loose, because when David Jones decided to be David Bowie so he wasn't confused for one of the Monkees and when Kentucky Fried Chicken decided to be KFC are two different reasons. One was to stay modern, and one was for less confusion. Make sure you define the reason, and you agree with it. Most importantly make sure it’s something you can stand behind.

2. Who cares what they’re thinking, you’re the most important person in the relationship.

I often cite this as relationship advice to friends and colleagues but it’s a universal law that can be used during any interaction. When Prince and Cat Stevens (Both respected musicians and writers in their own right) decided to change their name to, well, different names (or symbols).  A lot of fans did not support it, but guess what? They still have successful careers years after the fact and continue to tour and release albums. Though Prince did eventually change his name back after 7 years, he forced the entire music industry to bend at his whim and accept this unorthodox name or symbol or whatever.

3. Correct anyone who attempts to refer to you solely by your old name.

When Cassius Clay joined the Nation of Islam and converted to Muslim, for a brief stint his name was Cassius X. Soon after his name was changed to and has since been “Mohammad Ali”. If you can find any archived footage or one of those celebrity biopics, you will clearly see them attempt to refer to Mr. Ali as Mr. Clay. This did not last long. Not only was he the heavy weight champion of the world, but he could not be swayed or moved to ease the world’s comprehension of his name change. Also when Bell Atlantic merged with a few other phone companies they formed Verizon. If you called their customer service to tell them you didn't like the changes Bell Atlantic was going through, they would be quick to tell you “Verizon is doing all they can, to accommodate former Bell Atlantic customers, etc.” The fact remains, good or bad, the new name is here to stay.

4. Don’t change too much, too often, if you want it to stick.

Russell Jones had many names in his career before he died, do you know what name they always called him? Old Dirty Bastard, and he will forever be that because people can’t handle and don’t accept excessive compulsive behavior. It seemed as though every time ODB was released from Jail he had a new name. The thing was, most of us liked the old one, and if you’re going to keep changing your name, it’s obvious you’re not entirely sure what you’d like to be called. We can help, by referring to you as the name we like the most and have come to identify you with. As they say on Trailer Park Boys “Way she goes”

5. Pace yourself, sudden changes can cause a shock to the system.

Miley Cyrus took 2 years off before she came back with her “Bad Girl” image. When Justin Timberlake “brought sexy back” it was years after we had to “cry him a river”. As many people will tell you “Timing is everything”. Just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you should immediately take it to market. Do you remember when Pizza Hut attempted to become Pasta Hut? Exactly. Lastly Sean Combs has had more accepted nicknames for one profession than any other person (to my knowledge) in this century. Puffy, Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy, Diddy Dirty Money, Sean “Diddy” Combs (redundant but used), and recently Dr. Diddy (in honor of his honorary doctorate degree from Howard University). A big factor for his easy transition is he stays mildly relevant only to briefly fade away and return to reinvent himself to reinvigorate his career and of course change his name.

Follow these rules and even your mother will call you something different than the name she gave you. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot right?

                                                                                                 Kamau Sadiki

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Information is free but techniques on how to use it isn't. For example, I have a client who thinks they should be posting every hour on the hour meanwhile I think they should post 3 times a day. I'm paid to do this therefore why do they challenge me? It is because we all always think we know better. And I'm here to tell you that you don't know everything.

I found Muse a couple of weeks ago and didn't realize I was following them on Twitter already. So I finally went on this site and smacked myself for not realizing sooner how much they had to offer. There are job postings, classes, really helpful articles and so much more. I suggest that if you're in a career or job that you're thinking of changing or looking for a job or just want to better yourself as an employee, visit the site.

On muse, there was an article about the 5 people you need in your professional life. I found it interesting and very true for each one that they named. The committed listener, the catalyst, the connector, the task master or trainer, and the mentor. With their powers combined, you will be successful.

Online courses
Of course there are online courses that you can pay for but why? Like muse there are plenty of sites willing to contribute to your success with free information. With that said I am NOT going to post the ones I use but kindly suggest that you use Google to go search for them. This is not to be mean but to make you strive for what you want. Let's face it, we don't try hard for the things we don't want, but we settle because they are easier. And I believe that you're better than that. Or at least you will be

Get out there and make a difference in your own life. 

*Eh, I kinda proofread

Monday, June 30, 2014

Social Media: Pinterest Boards

I've been trying to share more social media stuff on here. And how can I not speak about Pinterest? Definitely the most addictive social network. If you're creative or not, you find something to wake the inner Martha Stewart up.

I remember when I first heard about Pinterest. It was when I was interning for a graphic design haus. The Creative Director was all about trying new social networks and finding the most hip upcoming stuff. He used Pinterest and probably began to do more pinning than actual work at some point. You can find so much on there, it's overwhelming. Without organizing and having an actual focus, you will be a mess. 

Tip 1: My biggest tip is to use fun or unique names to title your boards. This not only gets others interested in your boards, but organizes them for you. For example, my boards are categorized in a way that reminds me exactly why I pinned items. Organization is key. 

Actual Tip # 1: Make sure you have a focus. Don't start just pinning things cause you think they're cool or you want to get back to them later. This is what your initial response is going to be, but fight it. Think about what your interests are (Hence interest in Pinterest) and then proceed. 

Tip 2: Social Media is for being social. Don't forget to actually connect with other users.

Tip 3: In my opinion, you don't have to check your Pinterest everyday. You should make sure you check up on things weekly.

There will be more to come I'm sure. This is the beginning to your journey.

Monday, June 23, 2014

8 Secrets to Success

As promised, I am sharing with you the 8 Secrets to Success. It's a really short video and I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Family Matters

Happy Father's Day to all the men who are being all they can be.

Before I go on, there have been many posts on social media sites that are wishing single moms Happy Father's Day as well. This year I took notice more than usual and kind of was offended for fathers out there. You're a mom, just the mom. You are not both. And more importantly, on Mother's Day, I have never seen dads wished Happy Mother's Day because they are single dads. Not to offend anyone, but there are many deadbeat moms out there. As bad as the deadbeat dads out there. So how about we be respectful and not try to say one hardship is harder than the other?

Now onto my post. Haha

Thought this was funny. Totally not my family. Definitely not. The cat isn't dumb at all. We don't have a dog. And I have two smartasses. 

My family has been the provider of many lessons. Some that are very true. Some not so true. Like you can't eat cereal and drink orange juice in the morning. So I'm going to share a few of these lessons with all of you.

There was a Science Fair I won 3rd Place for in elementary school. I was very proud to win my first trophy. And I shared my honor for many years. Finally one day, my mother looked at me and said, "How many years ago was that?" And I thought about it and there was some distance between the two points in my life. "Girl, if that was the last thing you accomplished, it's time to get a new one." She replied. As much as the statement burned, since then I've held onto those words. It's important that we don't become stagnate and get fixed on the "glory days". We have to keep moving instead.

My grandmother is one with many sayings and lessons for everyone. One of the best is "If you spit up at the sky, it comes back in your face". Who can say that's not true? Literally it's factual and in life we've all been victim to it.

Both of my grandfathers immigrated to this country. Both were able to save enough money to live comfortably in their old age. Something I have learned from them is to invest and take chances with your money, reap the benefits later.

I've always liked many genres of music. My dad poked fun at some of my favorites like NSYNC, but always pointed out things I should know. When I bought my No Strings Attached album, I went home and listened to every song one by one. My dad walked by and said, "If you don't like that song a few seconds in, then move on." Since then, I listen to songs and if the chorus is the highlight of the song, I know it's not that great. The first few moments of a song has to captivate you. I think of the build up many of them have and then the explosion at the chorus. It's my ultimate favorite.

I have many more to share but I don't want to give up all the goods. Maybe think about some of the things your family has taught you. You'll be surprised at how much success it can bring you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Office Fashionista: Jersey Poof & Pleather



It's back to tights today with this post. It's a little chilly today and the forecast calls for temperatures dipping down and rain later in the bye for now, bare legs! 

Something was missing from this outfit when I put it on. It needed a little bit more oooompfffh. So, I grabbed my comb, teased my hair and put it in a Jersey girl poof. Then I took it down because I thought it was too much poof. Now that I look at these pictures, I'm realizing it's NOT ENOUGH poof!

I wish I wore this skirt more.  I love the fullness of it and the detailing at the bottom. My top is actually a crop top, so I wore the skirt high waist-ed. When wearing leather to the office, the key is to make sure it's modest. So, wear a leather skater skirt instead of a body-con. If you want to wear a leather top, make sure its loose fitting and a tunic and break up the roughness with a floral blazer. 

Crop Top: Forever 21, craving this and this 
Skirt: Forever 21, Similar Here.
Tights: J.Crew
Booties: HauteLook, Similar Here
Lipstick: On Fire Red by Revlon 
Nails: Red by Fortune Cookie by Opi 

Photos by Jessi (I'm always giggling in these pictures because she always happens to catch me mid-laugh!) 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Entrepreneurial Skills: How to Network

At one of my monthly networking groups in NJ, we experienced a tragic loss this past month. We gathered on our usual Wednesday to find out that one of our own had died. He was one of the organizers for the group. Always enthused about all the attendees, topics for discussion and connecting businesses. This man was the epitome of a great networker. Not many are. After 4 years of going to events and meeting new businesses, or potential clients, I can surely tell you the better ways of networking.

First: Find networking events

It sounds easier than it is. There have been nights after working at my day job all day, I sit at my computer and search for events. I start falling asleep sometimes. Other times, they all come to me via email, social media or a business connection. But until you have a large amount of  business relationships, you have to be diligent about finding events that will benefit you in the way you want. Eventbrite is a good start but not a one stop shop.

Second: Speaking up & Being confident

It is intimidating to be in a room full of professionals and try to stand out. It is easier when you have a person with you to help start a conversation with someone, but don't depend on them. Your voice has to be heard. Even if it is just saying your name, be confident in your business and your brand (which is you). If you don't do these, people will brush you off.

Third: Have business cards with you

Yes, this is an obvious one but many times they are forgotten. I have been guilty of this one. Therefore, IF it does happen, make a contact in your phone for yourself. You can even place an image, which should be your logo. Then when you meet someone and want to give them your card, email or text them that contact. This is also great for when you run out of business cards during an event.

Fourth: Always get info for the person if you're interested

DO NOT walk away from someone you're really interested in working with, without getting any contact info from them. Always have a pen in your bag. You can grab an email, phone number, website, something. Don't depend on them contacting you.

Fifth: Follow Up

One of the things I am backed up on is connecting with everyone on Linkedin. It is important. But I do make sure I email people/companies within 24-48 hours of meeting them at an event. Especially if I am interested in working with them.

In honor of Jimmy, I want to add one more thing. When you are networking, don't be selfish. Don't try pushing your service or product on someone just because they are at the same event as you. Guess what? Everyone has a product or service they want to push, so they can pay the bills. Yours is not the most important. Something that Jimmy did, that I also like to do, was connecting businesses and entrepreneurs to each other. You may not be what they are looking for, but you may know someone who is. That's networking at it's best! I absolutely love being the middle person to help put two companies in touch with each other or getting someone else a client. Helping others is just as rewarding as helping yourself. Yeah, you still have that student loan payment due and no new clients, but I believe in karma in business as well as in life. Try it. Think of the entrepreneurs and partners you can put in touch with each other, and then do it! You'll be addicted.