So what key piece of advice can he offer to the younger generation? Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and meet people you wouldn’t normally encounter. Don’t be afraid to be told no. And when you’re told no—ask why? No matter the obstacle, find something positive. Like entrepreneur Michael Lee Chin said, “In every crisis there is an opportunity.” Also be authentic. My biggest success came from simply telling my story. Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t get caught up in “group think”—seeing what’s hot and thinking you have to be like other people. And don’t be afraid to be different.”
When it comes to embracing the road less traveled, McKinney is here for it. “My entire life is unconventional. If anything has been consistent in my life, it’s that I’ve never accepted from anyone that I have to fit in a box.” Never accept someone else’s definition of what you can accomplish.
As the debate continues on the reasons why there is an underrepresentation of African American men in sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, McKinney believes there are key tenets to success that black men carry in their DNA. “Black men in general have historically had to endure and overcome so much. So it doesn’t matter where you are from–if you’re an African American man living in Detroit or Beverly Hills, if you face an obstacle you can always look back to those who came before us, leverage their experiences and say if they can endure that, I can endure anything.
“A BE Modern Man can be defined as a man who is a leader, a listener, a goal setter but more importantly a goal achiever,” says McKinney. It is because of these attributes that we are proud to call Brian McKinney a BE Modern Man. Our mission of creating and inspiring members of our community and people around the world to live limitlessly is celebrated and appreciated.