Name: Damien Horne
One Word That Describes You: Inspirer
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
To be recognized amongst so many amazing black men of distinction is a real honor! I feel like I’m being grouped along with individuals who are set apart from the norm for impacting their communities and the lives of others for the better. That is humbling.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I’m one of 12. My mother, who is AMAZING, cannot read or write to this day. I’ve been homeless twice—once in L.A. and in Nashville. Two of my brothers died to the streets and two others spent 10+ years in prison. Growing up with very little and having to fight so hard mentally and physically for every inch of growth, freedom, and success have strongly equipped me for the journey I have been and am currently on. To me, success is living in and on purpose. Adversity only prepares a person for that.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Kindness. Just being around people who are considerate of others stands out to me.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m expanding a one-man about my life story called SHINE. I’m also finishing an album called Rise and Shine. I did my first two TED Talks this past spring which really helped me to develop my public speaking platform. I have a landing page called encourageinspiremotivate.com. It’s my passion in a nutshell: to “encourage, inspire, and motivate” people all over the world toward discovering and living in their purpose.
What is the best advice you ever received?
It’s in Scripture, actually. To love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to my neighbor as myself. (It’s tattooed on my right arm!)
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
I would say discover what you have to offer and start right where you are. Do it right now. All of us have gifts and talents that we can build with, no matter what else we may be lacking. Just start with what you’ve got. Doors will open up.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Prayer and meditation are a huge part of my daily routine. They help me to envision what I want, and to stay focused and calm too. You can handle anything when you’re centered.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I really love to travel! Since I do it a lot for work, sometimes I’ll take mini-vacations while I’m out on the road. Usually, I’ll stay a little longer or go a little earlier to a city or country and “get lost” or “explore.” It’s hard to make a call on a “best vacation,” but I spent this past New Year in Kuwait performing for the troops. One day, I played soccer with the city kids and it reminded me that, at the end of the day, we’re all just people who want the best out of life. Children always inspire and refuel me, no matter where I meet them.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I still haven’t been to Brazil, so I would really love to go there! I like what I’ve seen and heard about the culture. I’m looking forward to experiencing it someday.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Every day is so different. I like that, though, because I pretty much just wake up and ask God to lead me to where he wants me to encourage, inspire, and motivate others. That plays out in some unexpected ways most of the time. It could be working in the studio or performing. Or, it could be helping out a homeless person, praying with a friend, or talking to a stranger about their dreams. I think when the focus is shining your light and giving hope to others, that automatically has a major impact because it reminds them of how important they are to this world and how anything is possible! I’m living evidence of that!
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just that, the day I received news of this honor, it was such a surprise! It was a reminder that if we just do our best, life will reward you in some of the most special and unpredictable ways! Thanks again, Black Enterprise. My mom will be so proud!
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.