How I Got On The YFM Stage

The Birth Of “Who All Gon Be There.”

How I Got On The YFM Stage (Updated)

(Update: Enjoy the speaker intros above! And now, onto the story.)

I'm not sure if you all know, but I'm a huge Arlan Hamilton fan. She represents a positive point of reference that every person who feels counted out needs because representation matters, especially in arenas with the potential to change your life and future generations.

I aim to show that Art can lead to Equity in the venture space. I honestly think my approach will become a standard Venture Capital model that people won’t be afraid to say out loud at some point. So, of course, I would want to get to know the woman who is single-handedly disrupting this space for others who look like her in the most genuine ways.

But how do I get to know her? Do I stalk her in hopes of asking her to help me? I could, but the chance of impact is low because she doesn’t know me or what I can do, and just expressing it wouldn’t differentiate me from everyone else doing the same thing. You can't plan for something you never experienced. So, my plan instead was to paint the picture for her and see if she wanted to buy the painting.

Give Away The Value

Arlan has made a few requests, but I took the initiative on everything else because, as I mentioned, I wanted her to see my value tangibly. I also really wanted to help amplify her message.

So here’s my content timeline.

Sept 1st, 2022

I just launched the first iteration of The Inquisitive Outsider. I believe Arlans was the first of 70+ companies we covered. Jeez, there have been so many at this point.

Nov 9th, 2022

This was Arlan's first request to see if we could get Mark Cuban interested. I'm not sure if he ever saw it, but I'm still happy we did it because I believe this is one of the better videos I've ever produced.

Dec 22nd, 2023

Here we are, a year later! I had to lay low for a bit because life was lifing in all the worst ways, as mentioned in my “Who’s the guy with the hair?” blog, but I stayed tapped in. Then I saw that Arlan's mom, the amazing Mrs. Earline Sims, launched a sunglasses line, and I was like, that’s what I’ll talk about next!

I love seeing families of business owners. My ideas were epic, but I couldn’t find the budget to match, so I brought a pair and let them sit until I could figure something out. Insert the YFM announcement, eureka! Let’s talk about that, and wear the glasses!

Double whammy! And thus, “Who all gon be there?” was born.

Sometime over the next week, Arlan asked if I had produced anything that didn’t center myself, which I actually had tons of because when I first started, I just wanted to document cool people and make thrillers.

So, I shared a series I did with a thrift shop owner years ago called “Inspired To Buy.” This is also where I purchased the jacket I was wearing in the speaker videos.

That’s what she wanted, and I had 30 minutes when she came to Philly for her book tour stop to make it happen. I think I thrive best when the deadline is tighter. Of course, I don't want to make it a future habit because the ability to take your time will generate better results, but the opportunity is the opportunity.

Either make it happen or don’t. I chose to make it happen because I’m cool like that.

April 2024, aka Happy YFM Month

So here’s the byproduct of everyone knowing you can deliver under pressure: now they know you can do it.

Fellow Outsiders, Arlan asked if I could do those speaker intros a week and a half before the event, and because she knew it was a small window and nine speakers would need one, she said do what you can.

But all I heard was nine, and so nine she was going to get. I couldn’t let some of the speakers feel a way because they weren’t getting a chance to feel this greatness as well.

I scoff at the notion richly while taking a sip of my Yatch Water in a bougie manner.

But that’s how I ended up with one of the greatest moments in my career thus far.

Look at Arlan watching me onstage, ya’ll. Dreams have come true.

So, what’s the moral of this story?

Give.

Give your value away. At the end of the day, you have to promote your offering anyway. Why not promote it through someone you feel is aligned with your work and core values and has an audience you want?

It’s the Trojan Horse approach.

Promoting them in a way unique to you ultimately promotes you. Are you a photographer? Well, go to their event, take great pictures of them and the event, and then tag them. Are you a business consultant? Well, take your business philosophy and write a case study about that person or business, aligning it with your philosophy and adding a CTA to your services at the end.

I can continue, especially if you pay me, but I’ll end here because that was a lot. All in all, you can do it, whatever your it is.

I love you all and wish you the best in your endeavors. YFM, baby!

Onward to a billion!

And if you’re ready for your video, let’s chat.

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