NGS Next Generation Speakers Magazine - May 2020

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May 2020

Next Generation Speakers

Ty Pinkins

Son of the Mississippi Delta Inside This Issue:

Side Hustles From Home: Using Your Voice While Social Distancing

Also: Make an Impact

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Contents Table of

Editor’s Note... What a difference a month can make! With most of us adhering to the “Stay at Home” recommendation, we are adjusting to our “New Normal.” But when it’s all said and done we will have to be prepared for what’s on the other side of this pandemic. Please take advantage of this time and invest where you will get the most return. Invest in yourself. We have more content and more useful information coming your way so stay tuned! Please share this out with all of your networks to help us reach the masses! Email: Text: 251-753-6299

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.................Next Level Leadership Summit Digital Goodie Bag ...............................................Editors Notes

......................Son of the Mississippi Delta

......................Prescription For Excellence

............................CoVID-19 Preventation

...............................23 Miles and Running

.........................................Make It Happen

.........................The Urban CEO Network

I just want to know one thing, Who’s Got Next?

Cicone C. A. Prince NGS Magazine Editor

Cover Photo Credit: Courtesy 3

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Son of the Mississippi Delta

He’s bent over at the waist, tightly lacing a well-worn pair of black running shoes. “I’m a son of the Mississippi Delta,” he says with a smile. The sun, shining in from the second-floor window behind him, bounces off his fluorescent yellow shirt. He adjusts the string on his shorts before resting his trim, 6-foot frame on a leather sofa, sinking into the thick plush pillows. Separating us is a grey coffee table scattered with books by authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Bell Hooks, and many others. The mahogany bookshelf across the room, framed by a wall painted canary yellow, is stacked with even more books. An old acoustic guitar rests next to a piano beneath an open window. A slight breeze sifts through, causing the blinds to swoon back and forth as if two-stepping to a melodic tune. “Do you play?” I ask. “Piano? Yes.” He pauses for a second, deep in thought. “Guitar? No,” he chuckles. “But it’s on my bucket list. I bought that guitar several years ago from a guy on Kokusai Street on the island of Okinawa.” A soft smile drifts across his lips as his eyes seem to wander off to that distant place. His speech is slow and patient, accented with a slow, deep southern drawl. His words seem to linger on the edge of a cliff before effortlessly floating off into the distance. Along old country roads throughout the Mississippi Delta, cobblestoned streets dissecting tiny European towns, narrowly beaten paths twisting through communities in Asia. And, even along crater filled, war-torn streets of Iraq, Ty Pinkins has been running. He’s been running for a long time. Raised by parents who never finished high school, Ty’s path to this important moment has not been straight or neat. His has been a long, winding voyage with many twists, turns, stops, and starts. One that’s guided him to today, only a few weeks from graduating law school at the Georgetown University Law Center. 6

NGS: How long have you played the piano? Now broadening what appeared to be a reluctant smile, and looking affectionately at a piano across the room, Ty responds openly Ty: “Dad bought me my first electric keyboard when I was ten-years-old. It was battery-powered,” he laughs. “We couldn’t afford piano lessons, so I figured out how to play little tunes by ear. The first song I learned was Green Onions, by Booker T. & the M.G.’s. It was just something I really enjoyed doing. When the electricity would get shut off at our house, I’d sit there in the dark and play my little keyboard until the batteries died.” NGS: Who are you? What made you who you are today? Pausing for a moment, as if waiting to share guarded details, he suddenly states proudly Ty: I was born and raised in the small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi. I’m proud to be from Mississippi. Made me who I am today. Even though I grew up in one of the most impoverished region in the country, I was fortunate enough to have a large, close-knit family with many cousins, aunts, and uncles. We were always together at my grandparent’s house where they planted gardens and raised chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, goats, and cows. But, I also strongly believe that, ultimately, we are all a culmination of the people we come into contact with throughout our lives. The family we grow up with, strangers we come into contact with as we move about, and friends who become a permanent part of our existence as we continue through life. 7

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NGS: You seem to have a close relationship with your family. Who were your idols growing up? Who did you look up to? Ty: My parents were always my idols because they gave me so much when they had so little to offer. Dad dropped out of school in the sixth grade. Mom left in the tenth to give birth to me. Even though neither of them had completed formal education, they poured everything they did have into me. They taught me some of the most valuable lessons, like how important it is to love myself and who I am, regardless of what others may think about me. They instilled in me a sense of hard work and determination, empathy, and the importance of seeing the good in others. They also taught me to never give up. My dad drove tractors in those cotton fields from sunup to sundown. We moved from plantation to plantation, depending on where he found work. Ty: I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was about thirteen years old when Dad woke me early one morning before the sun rose to take me to the fields with him. Chopping cotton was punishing and back-breaking work. Sometimes I thought those fields would break me down. But, that experience actually built me up—preparing me for so many of life’s challenges. NGS: You actually chopped cotton? Ty: Sunup to sundown! I worked in those fields until I graduated high school. I knew my parents didn’t have much. Dad was the only one bringing in money while Mom had to stay home to raise me and my younger brothers and sister. I wanted to pull my own weight. I wanted to learn to take care of myself. Some of my most valuable lessons—life lessons that I still carry with me today—came from my time in those fields. 8

Ty: Sometimes, those rows of cotton seemed to go on forever. I remember days when I’d be out in those fields chopping cotton all by myself. Between that hot Mississippi sun and those long dusty rows of cotton, I was exhausted. I was so tired I had to come up with ways to stay focused. So, I started counting the steps it took to get from the beginning of one row to the other end. I couldn’t see all the way down the field because it was too far. I figured as long as I just put one foot in front of the next, I would eventually make it all the way down the row and out to the other end. Throughout life, I have applied that same concept. No matter how difficult the circumstances may become, if I just continue moving forward, step by step, I’ll eventually reach my goal—reach the end of each new row, each new adventure that life throws at me. NGS: That’s a great segue into discussing your recently published book, “23 Miles & Running: My American Journey from Chopping Cotton in the Mississippi Delta to Sleeping in the White House.” What was the thought behind writing your book? Ty: The Mississippi Delta holds a special place in my heart. It is a unique place full of culture and history—sometimes a very painful past. But, it’s where I call home. It’s where my family and some of my closest friends are. There are people there whose voices need to be heard. I wrote my book not only as a tribute to my family and the many people who made me who I am today but I also wrote it for all those towns tucked away among the cotton fields and dirt roads of the Mississippi Delta. And, especially for all those kids who still today find themselves growing up in poverty-stricken communities like the one in which I was raised. I wrote it as a message to people who feel as though they’ve been forgotten—people in marginalized, low income, underserved communities. Hope is the main message in my book. This is especially important for youth growing up in the Mississippi Delta, where the poverty rate is the highest in the country. Whenever I meet kids from communities like the one in which I was raised, I say to them, ‘I am you, and you are me.’ I tell them there is nothing they can’t accomplish as long as they don’t give up. That’s what my book is all about. It’s about hope. It’s about never quitting on yourself. 9

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Side Hustles From Home: Using Your Voice While Social Distancing Some Americans have the benefit of working from home with the promise of earning their regular pay — the only inconvenience being cabin fever as a result of self-quarantines. Unfortunately, however, the COVID-19 outbreak has pushed shops and businesses to temporarily close its doors, leaving many retail and restaurant employees unemployed or with severely cut hours. For a lot of people today is the day the rent is due and it’s expected that 47 million people will be out of work by June so for a lot of folks money is tight, which is why many are coming up with some creative side hustles to bring in extra cash. “It’s on fire, I’ve never seen anything like it.” Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary says you can get through the economic crisis by doing a side hustle. There’s money to be made out there even though we’re all quarantined. In chaos there’s always opportunity and the people that find that out are entrepreneurs. So how can you make extra cash while living in isolation? The options are limitless. Research tells us that teachers, for example, can make good money working as tutors online. Lawyers could be hiring. You could even be part of a virtual mock trial as a juror. The pay, as much as 60 bucks an hour. Here are other ideas; take a survey online or by phone. It can net you $50 to $250 each. Become a virtual assistant. It can pay $19 an hour. Give musical lessons. You can rake in $50 for a half hour lesson. How does one become a virtual assistant? If you’re not sure how to get yourself a side hustle, here’s where to start: • Think about the things you enjoy doing. Your side hustle doesn’t actually have to feel like work, so consider monetizing a hobby. If you play an instrument, you might try offering music lessons. If you like coding, sign up to develop websites in your spare time. And if you love animals, look into dog walking or pet sitting. • Figure out how much time you can devote to a side gig. Some side hustles require more time commitment than others. Assess your schedule and see how many hours each week you can reasonably carve out. From there, you’ll be better positioned to explore your options. Along these same lines, consider whether you’re able to commit to a side gig with set hours. Work you can do on your own terms may be more suitable.


• Be open to trying different things. You might think you’d enjoy working as a DJ at night, but the late hours could be grueling. Or you might assume that, since you like gardening, you’d enjoy working at a nursery on weekends, then discover you’re not too keen on customer service. The point? Be prepared to give a few different side hustles a go before settling on the best one. Let’s be clear: The fact that the stock market is deep in the throes of a downturn doesn’t necessarily mean a recession is coming and your job is on the line. But given the uncertainty, it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra source of income, and additional money in your savings account. If you can find a side hustle that makes you happy, it could even lead to a long-term arrangement that helps you stay financially healthy during lessprecarious times. In fact, you never know when a side hustle might turn into a full-time career, or when it might help you build skills that get you promoted at your main job. Dive in now, and the possibilities could be endless. Whether you’re looking to stay busy while social distancing or need to fill a gap in income stat, there are a few ways to earn extra money from home. Are you wondering how to make money at home using your voice? Well, let me help you. When it comes to making money at home, most people think of writing, web design, and so on. The truth is, you can also use your voice to make money at home and it really isn’t that hard. Here are some ideas to help you get started on the path to voice overs from home. Voice Overs for Videos One of the most popular at home jobs using your voice is to voice over for videos. This is where a video, ad, etc. is created and your voice is used to narrate it. There are many places online that hire people to do these voice overs. YouTube is also full of videos made by individuals many of whom would love a professional voice over on their video. All you need to do is find a clever way to market yourself to that group. You can also become a member of voice over sites where you can offer your own services for a certain price. Voice overs for videos are not hard at all but remember the marketplace is competitive and when attempting to land a job as a voice over, practice, practice, practice. Voice Overs for Commercials Voicing commercials is another way you can make money at home using your voice. There are sites online that hire people to do the voice in their commercials. These jobs are also fairly straight forward to do once you’ve honed your technique. If you are looking to do commercials, it is best to make a portfolio of commercials with your voice so that you can have a demo to send out to prospective clients. Look out for places that are hiring people to do commercials and send them a demo to get started today.


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Sell Radio Ads You can also work from home using your voice to sell radio ads. Many radio stations hire people to make ads for them. This can be done from the comfort of your home with a good quality microphone, decent sound proofing and audio editing software. Search for places that need radio ads voice like internet radio stations and podcasters. You will also want to make a voice over demo of you reading different radio ads. That way when you apply to a radio station, you can give them your demo to listen to. Create Audio Books Audio books are increasingly popular because they are an easy way for people to consume information while doing something else like washing up, working up, gardening, driving the car or even while working. Listening to an audio book is a powerful way to learn and also one of my favorite ways to do so. I listen to audio books on x2 speed all the time on my iPhone as it allows me to digest stuff in double the time! With the high demand for audio books, there are quite a few companies that hire people to turn their books into audio books. So, if you are looking for a job at home using your voice, this may be a great job for you. Tutor English Online Sites like VIPKid and GoGoKid pair English-speaking teachers with Chinese students for 25-minute classes online. Teachers pick time slots at their convenience, and both companies provide the lesson plans. GoGoKid teachers earn $14 to $25 per hour, while VIPKid teachers earn an average of $22 per hour, according to their websites. Create A Podcast It seems like everyone is making a podcast and making money with a podcast these days. Some people say that traditional podcasting (i.e. audio-only podcasting) is going the way of the dodo bird, soon to be supplanted by the likes of YouTube, Netflix, and other specialty video channels. At best, podcasting a good way to express your passion about a hobby and share some information with friends, right? But the reality is that the demand for audio-only content is increasing and the most popular way to consume this type of content is via a podcast. Though podcasting has been around for quite a long time now it just seems to be hitting the mainstream which means now more than ever is a great opportunity to start your own podcast, build an audience, and make money doing it. Well, the information economy is getting more and more crowded with the latest technology, and video certainly has its appeal. However, at least for now, podcasting retains some advantages over video. And some people just prefer to consume their content via audio over other methods like text or video. That said, are there still realistic means for people to make money from the booming podcast industry? Below, we’ll go through some options that beginning podcasters may consider when starting their own money-making podcast. 13

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Grab your copy at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles 14

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NGS: You founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth. Tell me about it. Ty: Well, I didn’t start it by myself. My wife Sabrina and I founded it together. The Pyramid Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to exposing youth from low-income and underserved communities to the social, cultural, and economic capital necessary to help them fulfill their dreams. We started one summer by hosting six youth from Mississippi to spend a week in Washington, DC. Our initial group of boys were only thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen years old. We wanted to introduce them to business and political leaders, doctors, lawyers, and educators. Our goal was to expose them to opportunities and experiences outside their everyday circumstances. Kids growing up in underserved communities are just as brilliant as young people growing up in well-funded and better-resourced areas. It’s just that youth in communities like many of those in the Mississippi Delta don’t have access to the social, cultural, and economic capital that’s available to their counterparts in other communities. During their week in DC, they toured university campuses, participated in mentoring on college campuses. They visited their elected officials on Capitol Hill, visited law firms, toured the FBI headquarters, and even the White House. Since then, we’ve grown and helped more than a hundred boys and girls from underserved communities in seven different states. On one of our recent trips, I asked one of the youth participants from Mississippi what she enjoyed most about the trip. She said overwhelmingly, ‘This trip has taught me that my circumstances don’t define me.’ And that’s what we want them to understand; that they don’t have to be limited by their current circumstances. I always knew that I wanted to give back to my home community, and communities like it. I’ve always had a passion for helping youth and people living in underserved communities. And this is how I help.


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NGS: You took them to the White House?! Ty: Oh, absolutely! Every chance I got! When I first walked into the White House, I told myself that I would bring as many people through those doors as I could—especially people from communities like mine. And when I found out that one of my perks was that I could schedule private tours for guests, I made sure I shared this opportunity with people who otherwise might not typically have access to it. By the time I’d left my position, I had brought hundreds of people through the West Wing. Most of them were youth from underserved communities. Seeing those kid’s eyes light up as they walked through the White House was, without a doubt, my favorite part of working there. Ensuring that kids, who find themselves growing up in communities similar to the small town that I come from, gained access to that space was very important to me.” NGS: You’re a veteran who has served more than 20 years in the Army. Thank you for your service. What prompted you to join the military? Ty: Well, I was the first of my immediate family to graduate high school. Since I was a child, my parents had drilled into me the importance of education. After graduation, I went off to Tougaloo College in Jackson. I stayed there for a few years but realized that it wasn’t the right place nor the right time for me. I was itching for something more. I wanted to travel the world. I met a retired Marine while I was in Jackson. He and I talked every few days about his military experiences, about the places he’d traveled. I decided that I wanted to serve my country. Several weeks later, I signed up. It turned into a twenty-year career—an amazing journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Serving this country has been one of the highlights of my life.” NGS: You’ll be graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center in a few weeks. Why did you decide to go to law school after retiring from the Army?


Ty: When I left Tougaloo College, I always knew I wanted to somehow finish my education. I always felt like my parents had sacrificed too much for me not to earn my degree. I took courses wherever I was stationed. On military bases in Europe, when I was deployed to Iraq, and eventually when I got stationed in Okinawa, I finished. By the time I graduated, I had taken courses on four different continents. I also knew that I wanted to someday go to law school. Knowing that when I left Okinawa, I had only a few years remaining in the military, I started studying to take the Law School Admissions Test. Throughout my time at the White House, I studied. On Air Force One, on trains, and in foreign hotels all around the world, I was focused on preparing for that exam. One morning, I woke up from my shift at the White House. I walked to the campus of the Georgetown University Law Center to sit for the admissions test. Several months later, I was accepted. Now that I am about to graduate, I feel like the best way for me to continue serving my community is to use my law degree to help people in underserved communities have a voice and a fighting chance when dealing with the legal justice system. NGS: Veteran, soon to be lawyer, president of a nonprofit organization; you have an impressive list of accomplishments. What keeps you motivated and focused on moving forward? Ty: I’ve been fortunate to travel the world over the past few decades, meeting some of the most interesting, caring, and amazing people you’d ever imagine. I’ve had the privilege of studying at some of the finest institutions America has to offer. I have had the honor of serving my country in uniform. But I will always be a son of the Mississippi Delta. When I think about Rolling Fork, the little town that raised me, and the many small, communities like it, scattered around the Mississippi Delta, I’m motivated to continue giving back by sharing my experiences with youth who are trying to figure out their own way forward. I’m excited to be able to provide a service to communities like the one that gave me so much and made me who I am today. 17

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What keeps me focused on moving forward? The understanding that failure and adversity is usually not a bad thing. Contrarily, it’s often one of the best things to happen to us if we get back up, dust ourselves off, learn from that failure, and try again. We walk out the front door, now standing in the middle of his driveway. Our interview is coming to an end. The sun is shining, and a slight breeze ruffles the leaves in the trees lining the street. He pauses for a moment, closes his eyes, and takes a deep breath. NGS: So, what’s next for you? Ty thinks for a moment. Then he looks at me, “one foot in front of the other,” he says, flashing a smile. “What do you mean?” I ask, He again checks the laces. “The cotton fields!” he says, pointing at his shoes. “One foot in front of the other. I’m just gonna keep on running until I get to the other end,” as he begins to trot away. For bookings as a keynote speaker, panelist, or book signing, please contact Ty at:

Ty Pinkins (L’20) Georgetown University Law Center

CW3 (Ret) Ty Pinkins, United States Army

Email: Phone: 202-909-6158 Website: @typinkins on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn 18

continued from page 13 Though podcasting has been around for quite a long time now it just seems to be hitting the mainstream which means now more than ever is a great opportunity to start your own podcast, build an audience, and make money doing it. Well, the information economy is getting more and more crowded with the latest technology, and video certainly has its appeal. However, at least for now, podcasting retains some advantages over video. If you are interested in starting your own podcast just to share your passions or create a podcast to make some extra money (or even create a full time business!) then here are the specific steps you’ll want to take to get started on your podcasting journey. Here are 7 steps you should consider when creating a podcast: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Narrow your topic and find your niche. Download, install, and set up Audacity. Record and edit your podcast in Audacity. Tag and export your MP3 file in Audacity. Pick a strong name and create a cover art image. Find a place to host your podcast. Get your podcast on iTunes.

For now, COVID-19 is here for the unforeseeable future. Knowing how to make extra money fast while you’re social distancing can give you a bit more financial cushion to lean on. At the very least it helps you avoid going stir-crazy while you’re responsibly abiding by self-quarantine mandates. Want help getting through these uncertain, turbulent times? My good friend, mentor, and speaker extraordinaire Dr. Willie Jolley’s new song, “We’ll Get Through This,” will help you. Email -

Cell - 301-806-8614 Webstore - Twitter @jjwilliamsphd LinkedIn - TOGETHER…WE’LL GET THOUGH THIS! The opinions expressed here by Next Generation Speakers Magazine columnists are their own, not those of the magazine itself. PRESCRIPTION FOR EXCELLENCE With Dr. James J. Williams SCHOLAR | AUTHOR | SPEAKER | VETERAN | SUCCESS EXPERT 19

Make It Happen!

Have you ever wondered why it seems like some people always look like they are just blowing past you? Almost like you are standing still? Has there ever been a time that you felt like you were not making a difference? Have you ever questioned how some seem to make an impact and some don’t? As men we often time underestimate how great of an influence we have. That lack of understanding robs those around us from experiencing the Godly confidence that models a quiet assurance. You see when we truly understand our role and husbands, fathers, and even sons then we will realize that when we show up help shows up, knowledge shows up and strength shows up. When we have put in the work in becoming the best possible version of ourselves selves then we see our value. And that value allows us to make an impact. The little shepherd boy David, showed up one day to check on his brothers while they were fighting the Philistines. Although he was small in stature and appearance he has spent enough time with God to know that God was bigger than any giant. That’s why before we can make an impact on the outside we have to be settled on the inside. We have to settle the issue of who we are. We have to settle the issues of our value. We have to settle that, like Les Brown said, “Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality.” Once you know who you are and who’s you are then there is no stopping you from impacting the world. So what are you going to do? Are you going to keep making excuse for why you are not where you need to be? Are you going to keep pointing the finger someone who hurt you, something that happened to you or somewhere that you are supposed to be? Because when it comes down to it people never record what people intend to do. They only record what people have done. What have you done? I’m sure as David started to run toward Goliath with a sling and some smooth stones that people thought he was crazy. Steve Jobs is oftentimes given credit for the following quote but my research* found out that Steve Jobs just made it famous. The quote originally came from Rob Siltanen: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Rob Siltanen So my last question to you is, “Will You Make an Impact?” ~Cicone Prince *Source: 20

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