Name: Steve Canal
Profession: Corporate-preneur; National Community Affairs, MillerCoors; Founder, The Brand Executive
One Word That Describes You: Visionary
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It’s truly humbling. I grew up reading Black Enterprise and to this day I still apply the Wealth for Life Principles. To be honored on this list only adds more fuel to my drive and I want to do more for the culture!
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
As part of my day-to-day at MillerCoors, my duty is to empower our communities through civic leadership and economic empowerment. Through programs I’ve spearheaded like Coors Light Full Court reFRESH, where I refurbished over 40 basketball courts across the country in underserved neighborhoods. Or through The Brand Executive, which is a platform I created for personal growth that gives people the tools to either grow their brand as an entrepreneur or put them in a position to climb the corporate ladder. I’ve dedicated hundreds of hours toward one-on-one sessions to help people take control of their destiny by becoming the CEO of their own personal brand and controlling their message and what’s shared externally. Helping people learn about their weaknesses and making them complement their strengths to take ownership of their life and brand is an amazing feeling. It’s about a mindset and way of life.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Being dyslexic was a struggle for me early on because I didn’t know that I suffered from it. Dyslexia, a learning disability, makes it hard for a person to read and spell because of the inability to focus on specific words and letters. But in turn, it has given me the ability to remember facts and figures as experiences or stories instead of remembering information as bits and pieces. One in three American entrepreneurs are dyslexic, and I’ve been able to leverage my creative and strategic thinking to develop some award-winning platforms to make an impact in our communities.
What is your Extraordinary Impact?
By being a positive influence and example in everything I do. Someone is always watching, even if they don’t say anything or like a post of yours on social media.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I always identify if a person has purpose.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m currently on tour with Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and Kenny Burns for our Miller Lite Tap the Future program. It’s our mission to empower businesses with original ideas to help them hold true and become the next wave of cultural influencers. The six city tour stops in New York, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. You can get more information about the program at MLTaptheFuture.com. My book, The Mind of a Winner, is now available on Amazon and hit #1 under Personal Success in 24 hours! A true dream come true. The book features some amazingly successful individuals like Emmy winner Kenny “The Jet” Smith, Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran, two-time Olympic gold medalist Swin Cash, music and business mogul 2 Chainz, and many more. You can find more information about the book at TheMindofaWinnerBook.com.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Never risk the important for the unnecessary. This approach will make you think about the bigger picture before responding or reacting to people.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
You are the change. It starts with you making an impact and influence in the community you call home. Be a mentor to a family member or somebody that reminds you of you.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Be prepared by understanding and knowing your audience if it’s an event. For a meeting, I do my research about the topic(s) to be discussed for a meeting to make sure I can ask the proper questions or respond.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
Some of my best vacations happened in cities with limited cell phone service. Places like Cuba, the original Olympic Village in Greece, and the Road to Hana in Maui. It forces you to appreciate the experience and live in the moment.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would live in Haiti. Both of my parents are from there and I would love to do my part to help rebuild the country. I do as much as I can right now but it has limits when you don’t actually live there.
Anything else you’d like to say?
You only live once, so why not be great!
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.