Steve Harvey’s Former Business Manager Rushion McDonald Shares Keys to Entrepreneurial Success

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you anticipate, but that doesn’t mean that you failed. In some cases, being veered away from your original plan can actually put you in a better position. That was the case for Rushion McDonald.

As McDonald is still proving, nothing can stop a person when ambition and work ethic is by your side. Mix that with great business sense and you have no choice but to end up with success. The busy entrepreneur took time to speak to BLACK ENTERPRISE about how his work ethic and drive have led him to be in a position to change in ways that keep him relevant.

You have a program entitled Money Making Conversations with Rushion McDonald, what is the premise of the show and why did you decide to be in front of the camera?

I started my career as a stand-up comedian. Showtime named me one of the top 50 funniest people in America three years in a row. But I’ve always enjoyed writing and producing, which led me to manage Steve Harvey from 2000-2016. That period did not provide me an opportunity to be in from of the camera. My job titles were writer, producer, and manager. I co-created and executive produced the Steve Harvey Morning Radio Show, created and executive produced the Hoodie Awards/Neighborhood from 2001-2016. I consulted and relaunched the syndicated Family Feud series with Steve Harvey as the host, marketed and branded three consecutive No. 1 New York Times best-sellers. Executive produced two blockbuster movies, Think Like A Man and Think Like A Man Too, and launched and executive produced the Steve Harvey daytime talk show from 2012-2016. So, when I stopped managing Steve Harvey, I realized I did not have a brand, except as his manager and needed a platform to build my legacy, so I launched Money Making Conversations in 2017.

I am using my relationships to provide the consumer and business owner access to celebrities, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and influencers. I want to stop people from tripping over small challenges and prepare them to rise above the more significant obstacles that they will face in life. The Money Making Conversations interviews provide relatable information to the listener about career and financial planning, entrepreneurship, motivation, leadership, overcoming the odds, and how to live a balanced life.

What do you think are the most important characteristics and/or attributes to become a successful entrepreneur and what is/was yours that helped you succeed?

I firmly believe that a person’s level of success is based on work ethic. Consistency, eliminating harmful habits, staying focused, and multitasking effectively is some of the lessons I share on my podcast. Most of all, you must set your high standards, not simply let other people set standards for you. Mentors are important because you should not seek advice from people who cannot understand or relate to your dreams, business, or career aspirations.

How do you balance your workload?

I understand the value of multitasking and preparation. There are 24 hours in a clock, and you have to learn to take advantage of each hour. You cannot be afraid to take time off because you are scared that you might miss an opportunity. You can never be afraid of change or missed opportunity. And don’t allow lack of experience to stop you from reaching your dreams either. That is why it is important to have mentors in your life. Surround yourself with smart people who you can trust, and maintain a leadership balance in your business that does not undermine your authority. As I often say: “Hope is not a plan; a written plan is a plan.”

What can we expect from you in the near future?

I am a business manager to Stephen A. Smith; we are executive producing and developing television projects. I am producing and marketing the 2020 HBCU Week platform in Wilmington, Delaware. Last year, nearly $4 million was awarded to incoming HBCU students. I am developing another HBCU platform that recognizes the positive impact of HBCUs, institutions: churches, barbershops, and beauty salons, and influencers on the African American culture in business, entertainment, and education. I am buying an office building in Atlanta to create and produce shows under my 3815 Media company.

What type of advice would you give to anyone who is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and wants to become an entrepreneur? 

When pursuing a career in entertainment or entrepreneurship, always be prepared for change. Regardless of age or stage in your success, don’t let the changes in life that are happening around you become a shock to your career. Always keep evolving, keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zones, and keep surprises at a minimum, “Always stay ahead of Ignorance.”