In recognition of our very first Black Men XCEL Summit, celebrating the best of black male achievement, the Black Enterprise staff is sharing their stories of the men who’ve had an extraordinary impact on their own lives…
Freelance Researcher Tiamari Whitted (Photo by Seimond London)
Who is the man in your life who’s inspired you to excel?
How would you describe the impact he’s had on you?
The impact he had on me was to encourage me to follow my dreams and to never give up no matter how long it takes you—age does not matter.
What’s your fondest memory of him?
Going to his first workshop, it was not your regular workshop. We were all supposed to meet at one location but something happened and we ended up going to an Irish pub not far from where we were supposed to meet originally. Rae went on to share his journey with us on how he got started, and I was just amazed at how he accomplished so much in such a short period and that he had hiccups as well but that didn’t stop him. The two stories that stuck out to me were 1. when he met Beyoncé and she knew who he was and 2. the story of how someone very close to him passed but she passed with her dreams not being heard. When he said that, it really touched me. I don’t want to leave this world not living my dreams and without taking a risk to accomplish them.
After the workshop, I was able to sit down with him and tell him my story and he looked at me and said, ‘I want to do a one-on-one consultation.’ Inside I was so thrilled and excited, but I kept calm. We finally met up about a month after the workshop and the consultation was an eye opener. He answered every single question I had. Rae Holliday is the most humble man I met in the entertainment industry; it blew me away how nice he was.Rae Holliday (Photo by James Anthony)
What’s the biggest lesson he taught you?
To not be afraid. And that it’s OK to start over. You don’t have to know everything to get started, just do it and if you fail, get back up and try again.
What are you doing to make him proud?
I went back to school to obtain my M.B.A. in media management. And I landed my first media job in publishing. I’m a freelancer, but it’s a start, and I’m not stopping until all my dreams are fulfilled.