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Episode 3. The AMEX Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C.

Owners Illustrated Magazine founder and Hustlenomics Way Podcast host Damola Idowu interviews 3 consultants for American Express during the Summit for Success in Washington, DC. The summit was a great event for small business owners to network and ask questions pertinent to their success. This podcast features 3 interviews and has fascinating details that will help any entrepreneur seeking ways to grow their business. The topics discussed are wide-ranging and the conversations are fascinating. Ron Busby, Gloria Larkin, and Rod Robinson were the interviewees, Damola Idowu is the interviewer. The consultants interviewed and their bios are as follows.

Gloria Larkin, Procurement Advisor to American Express

Gloria Larkin is the President and CEO of TargetGov, a government contracting, business development and marketing consulting firm. Gloria is the creator of the exclusive FAST™ Process, and the KickStart Program™ and a subject matter expert on government procurement and marketing. Her clients have won over $4 billion in federal contracts. Gloria is also the new Procurement Advisor to American Express. Gloria has been quoted in the Washington Post, Inc. Magazine, and Bloomberg. She is the author of The Basic Guide to Government Contracting and of hundreds of federal contracting articles in print and online.  Gloria is also the Educational Foundation Board Chair Emeritus for  Gloria began working with American Express as the Procurement Advisor this past year. 

Rod Robinson, Corporate Procurement Advisor to American Express

Rod Robinson recently began working with American Express as the  Corporate Procurement Advisor this past year.  He is also the founder, president, and CEO of Connxus, Inc., a company which provides an online service that connects diverse and small businesses with companies seeking to expand and diversify their supplier base.  Connxus focuses on aggregating corporate purchasing demand and helping corporations to locate, evaluate, and engage performance-rated small, and minority- or woman-owned businesses in various categories, such as construction, transportation, information technology, consulting, marketing, and temporary staffing. Rod’s expertise in procurement comes from nearly 20 years of experience as a chief procurement officer for a major telecommunications company and as a management consultant with firms such as AT Kearney, Accenture and Diamond Advisory Services where he was a procurement subject matter expert.

Ron Busby, President, U.S. Black Chamber

As President/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), Ron Busby, Sr. brings business management skills as well as a lifetime of community development experience to the organization. Mr. Busby is a former successful business owner himself, and he has been recognized as one of the nation’s best CEOs. Ron grew his first company, USA Superclean, from $150,000 annualized revenue, to over $15 million in only 10 years. Early on in his career, USA Superclean was recognized as the largest Black-owned janitorial firm in the country. Mr. Busby has also started and grown two other janitorial firms, both resulting in over $4 million in annualized revenue.

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Episode 2. The Making of Owners Illustrated Magazine

A fascinating conversation among friends and family on the struggles and triumphs of founding Owners Illustrated Magazine. The story starts off with a strategy to direct market at urban events like NBA All Star weekend in Atlanta in 2003, to other events like the Kentucky Derby, Miami for Memorial weekend, culminating with participating on the Roc The Mic Tour with 50 cent and Jay-Z. The tale covers the many innovative techniques from crowd funding before there was a Kickstarter by having pre-sales from events and rewards in terms of fashion merchandise and music related items. Other innovative techniques involve the approach to building viral awareness of the publication by creating a reading space around the Ford Expedition owned by founder Damola Idowu. A mock issue of the publication was presented to potential reader along with a folding table and chairs. There was a vinyl wrap on the Expedition that was provocative in nature which garnered attention and would wind up making 1,000,000 impressions on concert goers and other people in the cities of the tour. Bryan ” Fashion Williams” speaks on his career in fashion and how he came in contact with the Owners Illustrated Magazine team. Dawoud Shahidu would discuss his efforts to support his brother founder Damola Idowu and navigate several difficult urban environments to build awareness for the nascent magazine brand. The discussion covers the several celebrities featured in the inaugural issue from; 50 cent, Jay-Z, The Clipse, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Funk Master Flex, Busta Rhymes, Maino, and many others. Wole Idowu the son of founder Damola and CTO of their Tech startup on the Campus of Carnegie Mellon University lends a millennial’s perspective to the conversation. Other publications will eventually be launched including: Hustlenomics, The Womens Issue, and Toyz Magazines. Here is a video trailer that captures some of these moments. [embedyt][/embedyt]

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Episode 1. The Carnegie Mellon Lecture.

Episode 1 of the Hustlenomics Way. Hip-Hop + Business 101 covers the definition of the word Hustlenomics  by the coiner of the term Damola Idowu. He created the term in 2002 and has since register a trademark for it, to define how he went about building his Hip-Hop Business magazine Owners Illustrated and several subsequent titles. Basically creating his own press pass for his team and printing 5000 flyers they descended upon the Funk Master Flex car show where several hip-hop luminaries were present along with their vehicles. He will network with many of them and take several pictures that will populate a website for Owners Illustrated Magazine. The concept of the website was to document the entrepreneurial ventures and the lifestyle of hip hop artist and their business partners. There was a question posed on the website, “Who will be RAP’s first billionaire” as to suggest one of these luminaries will eventually use “Hustlenomics” to achieve a billion dollars in wealth. Damola Idowu is introduced by Dave Mawhinney head of the Swartz Center of Entrepreneurship, the give the lecture at the distinguished Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. He uses visual aids to describe Hustlenomics techniques and also provide context to business success by hip-hop artists. On our main page of you can find the video of the lecture and see some of the slides used during the presentation. There were questions at the end and plans for future lectures at the University.  Damola Idowu is also an international recording artist under the moniker Da Great Deity Dah and he uses that experience as an artist out of Washington DC in the Mid 90’s to detail how his approach to building his career was also “Hustlenomics”. He started with just 40 tapes at the Million Man March in Washington, DC on October 16 1995 and will release an EP on Vinyl internationally by February 1996. As a teenager with a young family including a son born in August of 1996 he will go on to release several albums using a comic book image instead of a picture to also build a comic book brand. He will sell T-Shirts with the comic book image and in the process introduce his son to many aspects of creative arts space inspiring his so to also utilize his artistic gifts. In the lecture this approach is discussed as his son Wole Idowu began Carnegie Mellon University at 15 and will graduate at 20 with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering along with 2 minors in business from the Tepper School of Business. Damola and Wole will go on to found a technology startup at the Swartz Center of Entrprenuership on the Carnegie Mellon campus where they held hackathons to increase diversity in the creative fields thru a student organization founded on campus by Wole called, Toyz Nation Gaming League. The lecture is interactive and spans almost an hour and twenty minutes in length. Watch this trailer to see Damola in action. [embedyt][/embedyt]