Etiquette for Impact.


“See! This is why I don’t come around…”: How to Have Great Holiday Conversations

Posted by on 12:00 pm in Blog | 0 comments

“See! This is why I don’t come around…”: How to Have Great Holiday Conversations


So the sentiment in the title, literally, is one we’ve ALL either expressed ourselves and/or have heard expressed to us. It’s never comfortable.  At the lower end of the spectrum it’s off-putting and worst case, it’s cause for checking out, mentally, from whatever family event you find yourself and then making the solemn promise that this family gathering will be your last for some time. The reason is very simple: no one likes being put on the spot or confronted in front of others. This small rule is one of the biggest mistakes family members, friends, supervisors and even parents make: correcting, confronting or accosting others in front of an audience. The thing about audiences is that they love a good show. And your impromptu studio audience never disappoints! They clap and cheer, boo, cry, moan and hiss when the “actors” you created start to play roles. It’s an immutable law of human nature that many of us have yet to acknowledge.

Therefore, if you do not want to create an audience or place unwitting actors into a production, avoid confronting people in front of others this holiday season. This doesn’t mean you must avoid “touchy” conversations or not confront those who you may have issues with. It simply means to mind your approach and take another rule into consideration: the Rule of One. It has three parts: a) One Conversation with b) One Person and c) One at a Time.

Instead of using confrontation with a crowd as a means to address past issues or unresolved situations in a group setting, utilize the power of the Rule of One. The rule is simply that when you finally muster the courage to have the conversation, that you have it with one person and focus on one conversation at a time. When you speak to mostly anyone as an individual, or as one person, you get a stark contrast against when you have either mob mentality, groupthink or putting people on a stage to act out. Individual people are calm, introspective and reasonable. Groups are unruly, emotional and unstable.  I’ve already described the number one thing actors do when put on a stage–they perform.

One conversation, with one person and one at time ends all the anxiety surrounding having the talk. But again, first make the decision to have the conversation. Then focus on the individual you’d like to converse with. Be present in that conversation, be prepared (make notes beforehand in order to stay focused), and be ready to be uncomfortable and to be ok with that. Lastly, focus on the one conversation at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and chances are that your issue, situation or misunderstanding won’t be solved in a single conversation either. But it could. And that’s why all this is important.

One conversation could change everything, but it doesn’t have to.

Challenge yourself to take advantage of your coming family gatherings to have more one-on-one individual conversations. In groups, certain topics are taboo. In one-on-one, private conversations, few topics are off-limits because you’re away from prying ears and eyes. Bring up that hurtful situation and at the same time allow yourself to be accountable. You see, when it’s just two people having a conversation, there’s nowhere to run and hide when it gets tough. There’s no group to hide behind or tag team partner to call into the ring. It’s just you, them, your individual sides of the story, and the truth watching everybody.

But it also doesn’t have to be all bad or serious or tense either. For our younger generations, take the time to have conversations with the older generations. All our time is fleeting. Ask what it was like way back when, or about their favorite experiences and whatever else you’re curious about. But do it utilizing the Rule of One. One conversation at time can go a long way.



Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.


You’re losing ground because you don’t follow up!

Posted by on 9:00 am in Blog | 0 comments

You’re losing ground because you don’t follow up!

My breakdown of one of the most overused pieces of business/life advice


In my work as a trainer, facilitator, teacher and mentor, one of my goals is always to be as specific as possible and to try and stay as far from clichés and empty speech as possible. I also pride myself on not giving advice or speaking on matters in which I have no direct knowledge or experience, preferring to instead point people to others who would know better than I. Some people want to have all the answers and then feel bad when they don’t; this leads to much bad advice being given, and unfortunately, received. So one of my main goals is to break down and explain some of the traditional pieces of advice that often leave people of all ages frustrated, especially young people–who we tell constantly to “listen up” and “work hard” and follow advice of almost everyone around them, even though some of it is thoughtless, silly and downright detrimental. And sometimes giving empty, ill thought-out advice is worse than none at all.


With this thought in mind, today, I’d like to break down, from my humble vantage point, what one of the most over-used, actually under-utilized phrases and singular pieces of advice (and business strategy) means to me. This advice is to follow-up. “You wouldn’t be looked over if you followed-up.” “If you want something, you have to follow-up.” “Did you follow-up?” “I was waiting for you follow-up.” And one million other uses we hear, literally, on the hour, every hour. But what does it actually mean to follow-up? And how do you do it properly?


My simple definition of follow-up is: to remind, poke, prod and otherwise engage a party or parties until the desired decision is arrived at. Notice I didn’t say “a” decision, I said “desired decision.” This is because if you weren’t following up to get something you wanted, why bother following up or initiating the conversation or exchange at all? Hope could work. Not! Simply, you follow up until the other party says “yes” or, “drop dead!” And even with “drop dead”, at least you can move on! Nothing besides these two answers count.


By following up effectively, you force the other party to make a decision, any decision at all, so you are no longer in limbo. And make no mistake, you are in limbo if a person says “not right now” and you never follow up. There are only two acceptable responses: yes or no. They say, “maybe”, I hear “yes! If you follow up with me later…” They say, “let me think about and get back with you.” What they really said is, “no, but I don’t want to say no because I have courage issues” or “I don’t like you” or “I don’t want to hurt your feelings” or “no, but since you won’t probably follow up, I don’t have to face the discomfort of actually saying no!” And so on and so on and so on. Now, I’ve just scratched the surface of possible translations for things people mean when they say something other than a simple and actual “no”, but since I’m speaking generally knowing there are exceptions to every rule and because this isn’t sales training, feel free to use and/or imagine or extrapolate your own insertions. The bottom line, though, remains the same. You’re looking for a yes (or a straightforward NO, or “go to hell”, if you’re feeling frisky lol). Nothing else will suffice.


Essential Ingredients to Effective Follow Up:


  1. Organization. You must be organized! In order to send those gentle reminders you must be organized in your approach. Create a system. Keep a simple spreadsheet or written tally of who/when you speak to people. Or invest in CRM (for entrepreneurs) when your sales dictate.
  2. An objective. What do you want in your follow up? Are you looking for an appointment? A sale? A date? Be clear on what you want. This will let you know when you are close or oh so far.
  3. Fortitude. DO NOT STOP until you get a “no” or a “yes.” Maybe = follow up later. Check back with me = follow up later. Can you call us back in two week? = follow up later (in two weeks). Getting the picture?
  4. Comfort with discomfort. Following up gets really uncomfortable. That’s why more people don’t do it and/or do it consistently. This is because you are very gently, subtly and tactfully calling someone out for their lack of response or follow through or maybe even performance, depending on the situation.


I’d love to know your thoughts on follow up. When we master this, our entire life is different!


Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.


Posted by on 9:00 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments


An Open Letter to ALL Fast Food Restaurants That Penalize Customers For Liking to Dip.


Dear Fast Food Restaurants:



You are alienating me and a large portion of your customer base. I like sauce. I like to dip various components of my meal in sauce; not just chicken nuggets, chicken strips or chicken wings. I didn’t think this was an outrageous request. I spent my hard earned money at your establishment. Your service  was ok, I guess. But when I asked for more sauce or some sauce, I saw a different side of your staff.



I was mocked. I was jeered. I was side-eyed for my love of dipping. I asked why and you told me sauce is only for this or that. Have you forgotten the age old adage:  the customer is always right? Now I get it, and I’m wise enough and mature enough to understand that the customer clearly isn’t always right. Me included. But what I will say is that they are ALMOST always right, especially when making REASONABLE requests of you and your establishment. Extra sauce would certainly, in my book, fall squarely within this realm.



Let’s examine two of the main anti-fast food chains who have bucked the fairly recent trend of extra-sauce-shaming made popular by such fast food behemoths as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Popeyes to name a few. (I also acknowledge I’m giving way too much information about my eating habits lol.) Those two “other” chains would be Chipotle and Chick-Fil-A.



A recent report was published that indicated Chick-Fil-A’s sales have now surpassed KFC and CFA is only open 6 days a week and has about 50% fewer stores! Now KFC isn’t necessarily in the extra-sauce-shaming business but I think it’s interesting commentary on how if you don’t adapt AND treat your customers royally, your business can die or at least whither before dying. Oh, and by the way, I can ask for 10 extra sauces at CFA and get. Every. Single. One.



Now let’s look at probably my favorite anti-fast food establishment, Chipotle. They charge extra for nothing!!!! And at the time of this writing, their stock price was a beefy (no fast food pun intended) $723.55, which is more than McDonald’s, KFC, Popeyes and Burger King. Combined!! Oh and for good measure throw Apple in there too (unrelated but just to prove a point). Chipotle doesn’t shame you about anything. They just give it to you and continue winning. Other fast food joints, take note.



Please know, though, I understand the cost of doing business is rising. Americans are among the most wasteful human beings on the planet. I have also wasted sauce before. But I’m not perfect, I’m your customer!! Does losing my business cost more or less than sauce? If the answer is more, make the sound business decision to stop humiliating your customers.



In short, STOP CHARGING ME FOR EXTRA SAUCE. It makes me perceive your customer service as horrible, even though it might not be. And that’s what this whole thing is about–making your customers feel great, not ashamed. Those little signs that read something like: “Extra Sauces are 25¢ each” are the fast food equivalent of walking into a clothing store and seeing signs that there are no refunds or that you’re being recorded. I immediately exit those stores. Ironically, this same concept of giving the customer what they want and not shaming them for requests can be applied to any and every business. A simple concept: either ask your customer what they want, then do it; or listen, closely, to their requests and oblige those you can, as quickly and happily as possible. There are too many examples of companies who didn’t do this in the business graveyard.



I’m not a criminal, I’m mostly right as a customer and I want my extra sauce, now.


Yours truly,


A (shamefully) loyal fast food patron

Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

The One Word Solution to Deal with Doubt (and Doubters)

Posted by on 9:00 am in Blog | 0 comments

The One Word Solution to Deal with Doubt (and Doubters)

How many times has doubt swept over you? How many times have you figuratively or literally banged your head against the wall because your friends, family, or both haven’t gotten on board or given you the ringing vote of confidence you thought you deserve? Before I give you my answer, I’ll dispel the common wisdom right now. It’s actually not them. It’s you. Unfortunately, you’ve conditioned them to only half believe you. This is because you’ve done things in a half way before. You’ve conditioned them to only half trust you, because you’ve only half trusted yourself for so long. You have conditioned those who should be your biggest fans and supporters and cheerleaders to watch from the sidelines wondering if you’ll finish, because you’ve started so many things and never finished many of them. It’s not their fault their belief is low. It’s yours. Now the question remains, what will you do about it?

In my short time on the planet, I’ve discovered that the only sure fire way to turn doubters into supporters, and neutral family members into raving lunatics on your behalf, is CONSISTENCY. The other thing that I know, and know well (and you do too, if you’re honest) is that things never just change for the better on their own. So back to consistency: do not quit; do not give the indication it’s crossed your mind; talk about and do nothing else except what you said you would. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We get so excited about the first new shiny object for the fifth time this month and expect for everyone we know to magically jump on board at the drop of a hat. That’s not realistic, and quote frankly, it tires them out. How about we find one thing, check it out a bit, and then throw ourselves into it. After we’ve vetted it, taken the time to understand it and can speak to it, now we can spread our enthusiasm for it. Maybe even give yourself time to achieve a small win with it and you’ll be that much further along when it comes time to deal with the naysayers, for surely they will come.

“First they’ll ask you what you’re doing, then they’ll ask how you did it.”

You see, this only happens, though, after they’ve seen you getting after it for a while. You have to keep this in mind because many people don’t have the courage to start something, let along stick with it for any measure of time long enough to see it work. The best ideas die slow deaths for the creation of other ones. This is the same death we pass onto to our closest friends and loved ones as they are literally begging to believe us through not our words, and how excited we are, but our consistent, enthusiastic and prolonged action, boss. It is this same consistent action that will cure our own fears and doubts and paralysis analysis that leads so many of those beautiful ideas to the graveyards of life.

So back to the question at hand; how can you become more consistent than you have been in the past? First off, just take the first step and make up your mind to not quit. Then do something truly counterintuitive, especially when we’re excited, and that is—don’t tell anyone else what you’re about to do. Just do it. And do it for much longer than you did the last thing, and watch what happens. You will even surprise yourself.


Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.



Spring Clean Your Personality Too!

Posted by on 9:00 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Spring Clean Your Personality Too!

Of course we’re all familiar with the nature inspired reflex to remove, systematically and hopefully thoroughly, the physical clutter that fills our personal spaces. Our desks, bedrooms, laundry rooms and garages alike. But how many of us take the time to clear the mental clutter from our most precious area–our mind–is a much different story.

I’ll be the first to openly admit I have more than a few personality traits I need to purge, and purge now. This “mental spring cleaning” of the personality can actually be done anytime, but when better to do it than now? The flowers are starting to bloom again, my landscaper just called to schedule the first grass cutting, there’s more sunlight each day and the birds are singing beautifully in the morning. So let’s take this time to take stock of how our personality looks to those we interact with, and let’s make the pact to be better.

Here are a couple personality traits you might want to get rid of, along with some of that physical clutter; I know I do!

1. Being Judgmental or Overly Critical.

We each have something that we do, that we’re not proud of. We’ve all done things in the past that we wouldn’t necessarily broadcast to people we’re just meeting. Why, then, do we turn right around and bring attention to the next person for their faults? And I don’t mean just silently judge the person or chastise them under our breath. So many people go and talk to the next person instead of giving the person in question the benefit of the doubt, or giving that person the benefit of the doubt AND some feedback to help. Or do we not actually care about them? It’s much easier to just judge what the next person does that you don’t agree with, instead of being quiet, and/or initiating a conversation with this person to find out why they may have done what they did. Do this, but don’t judge them! People who are overly critical can, ironically, be among the worst at accepting their own faults, but have the nerve to talk about someone else. This doesn’t win you any friends. It actually makes you critical and hypocritical! Let’s eradicate this trait from our personalities today.
2. Complaining.

I don’t know about you, but I complain too much. I not only complain too much, but I complain about things that I can change, right along with things that I can’t. The irony, of course, is that I, like many people, are complaining about not just things we can actually fix, but that most things I/we, complain about, aren’t even real problems to begin with! I’m sure we’re all familiar with the notion of “First World Problems”, i.e. those things and situations that those people, primarily in America, complain about, yet don’t even exist in many other countries around the world. For example, if you’ve ever complained about being too cold in the summer or too warm in the winter, you’re a “first world complainer.” How about complaining about a traffic jam in your car after leaving the job you have. Or one of my kid favorites: complaining about WHAT they eat, not IF they eat. We must stop complaining about “first world problems.”

However, I’m not naive or callous enough to think all complaints and/or problems are invalid or laughable. To the contrary, I do think that most problems are solvable and that most of what we complain about, we have the power to actually fix. But when we complain yet not act, we’re not just moving backwards, we’re also doing the opposite of showing gratitude. We’re spitting on all the good in our lives, and it’s a really bad habit. Let’s stop complaining today and fix, with our hands, what we don’t like and not ever forget it could always be worse.
3. Not keeping your word.

This is a definitely a tricky one, because most people (although there are some) don’t set out to be deceitful with what they say or intentionally look to disappoint others. But what may start off as harmless can quickly turn into a more serious habit. That is the habit of overcommitting oneself. When this has happened to me, and what I’ve seen most often in others is that people will start this habit by saying yes to every request. You can not be productive in achieving your goals if this is your regular M.O. We must exercise discernment in what we commit our precious time to. Therefore, I’d much rather say no on purpose rather than disappoint someone by accident just because my desire to help or do something exceeded my actual capacity to do so. Failure to exercise this trait can cause irreparable damage to a person’s reputation, which we know is one of the toughest things to repair once broken. But say no, then when you say yes, you’ll have more time to commit to making whatever you took on great.

4. Being too hard on yourself.

Folks who want to succeed know how this feels. People who are driven towards success and who have goals can relate to this. We want everything perfect, and we want it that way right now. We beat ourselves up and don’t recognize all the small steps it took to reach the point where we are. As a wise man once said, “slow motion is better than no motion.” Whoever said that was very wise, indeed. Give yourself credit, check in routinely on where you are versus your goals and don’t worry about anything else. As long as you’re working on something related to your goals and dreams, you’re making progress!

5. Being unfocused & easily distracted.

This might be the one item on this list that I am directly speaking to myself on, as I write this. The constant pull to read this, or check that. Come here and go there. We must do a better of job of using the greatest, and today mostly secret, weapon of concentration. Fixating on an idea or task in our minds until it is done, and done well. Concentration is officially not just our greatest and most secret weapon we have against the fight for our attention spans, it is pretty much the only weapon we have left. This might feel or seem like a lonely existence. But I assure you it is the most fulfilling choice we can make, if we are serious about accomplishing what we say we want. Everything else is simply slowing us down.

Our closets are clean but our minds are full of junk. How much sense does that make? Take a moment and reflect while doing some #MentalSpringCleaning.


Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebookor Instagram.


How did you do that thing?

Posted by on 10:00 am in Blog | 2 comments

How did you do that thing?

I think we’ve all heard this old adage: “How you do one thing is how you do all things.” I’ve ruminated on this thought for some time now, years even at this point, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I agree. I think it’s also the case with most “aha” moments that once you come to a certain realization, you simultaneously come to grips with exactly how much work you actually have to do in order to meet this new ideal. This quote is the ultimate reminder.

How you do one thing has much to do with our own individual attitudes we project when faced with any task. The challenge comes into play when we are obligated to do certain tasks that we either don’t want to do, or even flat-out dislike. But they must be done. It’s these tasks and assignments and duties, in my opinion, that this quote is referring to. Because how much of a challenge is it to do things well that we like to do, want to do and that it was our idea to do? Usually not much at all.

But how do we control ourselves when faced with the challenge of completing those regular, mundane tasks?  Well I think it comes down to two words we all know well: character and reputation. Character is routinely defined as what you do when no one is watching, and to me, how you treat people that you don’t have to treat well. Reputation is what others think of you, perceive you as and associate you with. In short, character is what you actually do, or in this case how you actually work, and reputation is what other people think you do. This is what it comes down to. What do you actually do versus what do you want to be known for. Believe it or not, many times there’s a direct correlation between these ideas. Only you know deep down if your performance is a result of maximum effort, and no one can prove or disprove your assertion on this. But through it all, what is the task worth to you?

I also relate individual performance on mundane tasks to one of my absolute favorite concepts to speak and write on, and that is the idea of practice. The thought, idea and notion that every single thing we each do each and every day is simply practice for bigger and better things is, to me, one of the greatest concepts for us to come to grips with and then master. Through this assertion, those who don’t take every task seriously, don’t actually value what they say they want in the future because they aren’t preparing for it now. We’ve all heard that the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. But the concept of practice is truly on par with helping to create the future as well. When I know I’m ready for something because I’ve prepared for it, a part of me then seeks out those opportunities to prove it. Conversely, if I’m not prepared, even the opportunity of a lifetime could be staring me in the face, and I will consciously or unconsciously avoid it because I know I’m not ready.

Lofty isn’t the word for a challenge such as this one. But if our goals aren’t lofty, what’s the point?


Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebookor Instagram.


Looking Before you Leap: Rules of Mental Engagement

Posted by on 9:00 am in Blog | 1 comment

Looking Before you Leap: Rules of Mental Engagement

2014 was the year of connectivity. We watched our entire world become one huge web of posts, pictures, likes, comments, and interests. If you weren’t paying attention, you could have easily fallen victim to connection overload. You know that numb feeling you get when everyone on your social media, texts, and emails is conversing about the same thing? Yup, that actually happened recently with the Oscars. But what does that mean to ordinary human beings such as myself? Furthermore, what does it mean for our desires to, one day, give our boss the pink slip? Yes, connectivity has a lot to do with it, but the rabbit hole runs a bit deeper. Since we are in the age of limitless connection, those of us who are looking to the people in our feeds to spark some type of inspiration as to where should we go next to kick the cubicle to the curb, are being flooded with every business known to man. So how do we pick through the weeds to get the roses? Let’s be clear: if you want to succeed in making even a one percent profit, whether you are in web-based business, day-trading, or building diesel engines, you’re going to have to break some mental chains. Don’t believe you have any? The fact that you still haven’t taken the leap into entrepreneurship is like the sound of the chains dragging the ground, no pun intended. But let’s be serious, the entire way we are making the next buck is changing and it’s not by mistake. So we want courageous people like you to take advantage now, before it’s 30 years down the road and you’re putting your genius to work stamping hands at six flags.


There are tons of articles that propose that entrepreneurs are somehow made up of this special something, a magic mix of wit and intelligence that makes money materialize out of thin air. I hate to break it to you, that school of thought is almost blasphemous. NO ONE HAS A MONOPOLY ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP! The only difference between those who do and those who don’t is they have mentally convinced themselves of one or all of the following three thoughts:


1.) Tomorrow is the beautiful country of regret where failure is the President.

2.) Fear is as real as we allow it to be.

3.) Blood, Sweat, Tears, and nothing less, are the currency of Entrepreneurial Freedom.

            These three aspects pretty much make up the decisions you’ll have to come to before you dive into your business venture. We are creatures of habit, which means we are spineless when it comes to reversing patterns that are inconsistent with the usual. Entrepreneurs understand “usual” will get you killed in business. So the best scapegoat our caveman brain can come up with is “tomorrow.” Unfortunately we live in a high-speed global economy where seconds matter and a minute could mean millions. Get on your horses, nothing more, nothing less.


Shall we tackle fear? Are we even prepared to have it debunked? Terminal cancer should make you afraid; a loaded Colt .45 pressed against your temple should make you afraid; a 42 car pile up should make you afraid; but at no time should writing a simple one page vision of your company make you afraid! Most of our fears lack the one thing they should have—a definition. A fear defined is a fear understood, and ultimately debunked. What I can say is that most of our fears, criticism, failure, and rejection aren’t legitimate at all, but we let the absence of definition give them power. And last but not least, the gut wrenching work that must go into your endeavor is unavoidable. You must be prepared to go almost insane before you go into an entrepreneur’s world. But it’s all a part of the process. Moreover, it’ll be worth it to you, your family and your customers. That effort means you created value for your market and the market adores valuable things. IPods are “valuable.” Have you ever seen the face of someone who lost theirs? Facebook is “valuable”; some people owe their marriages to it. YouTube is “valuable”; some people owe their millions to it. The pain, anguish, and uncertainty, will make you and your company valuable which then improves lives. I believe multimillionaire and entrepreneur Damon John said that we were all born entrepreneurs. What he meant is that when we are children everyday is a quest to create something meaningful. All three aspects of mental preparedness we’ve discussed takes us back there. If this is something you really desire, it is important that before you leap, you take a look at what’s holding you back. I promise you it’ll be worth it.


Tariq Jones is a social entrepreneur, writer, and lecturer born and raised in West Baltimore, Maryland. Self-educated in the world of business, he is co-founder of Common Cloth Apparel & Goods, a lifestyle brand that dedicates a portion of its funds to enhancing literacy amongst impoverished African American children. Jones has recently been honored for the Real Men of Baltimore Award by 92Q Jams radio station.

Instagram: @TariqIJones x Twitter: @TariqIJones x Facebook: /Tariq Jones




Life Lessons in Leadership pt. 1

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Life Lessons in Leadership pt. 1

I am honored to start my first official blog, as part of the Millionaire Manners Academy.   The founder of the Millionaire Manners movement is a dear friend of mine.  Mr. Sadiq Abdul Ali is a 21st century renaissance man, a gifted visionary, and a marketing genius.  The gift of solicitation is a gift that runs in Sadiq’s blood, he gets it from his father, who was a entrepreneur and renaissance man in his own right.  So, it is amazing and refreshing that Sadiq decided that giving back to society in a way that inspires, empowers, and enlightens it’s constituents was going to be the next course of action in his life.


Today, I join Sadiq in earnest, in spreading the message of self-empowerment, and betterment to our society.  I will begin to share some nuggets that have accumulated within my mind over the course of the past thirty years, and my hope is that you can learn some lessons in leadership that will propel you to bring forth the best version of yourself.

Today’s thought is inspired by a common question usually phrased:

“What is the first step I need to take to become a leader?”


My response to this question is in order to lead one must be followed.  The only time a human being follows another human being is under four circumstances, 1) when one is in love, 2) when one is inspired 3) when one is afraid, 4) when one is required.


Thus, one must invoke one of these feelings within another person in order to get them to follow your message, plan, or vision.  Being able to invoke love, inspiration, or fear, within a human being is a very deep concept.  However, being “required” to follow is a very familiar concept, and it is the concept that our education system, industrial workforce, as well as corporate environments are built on.  Thus most people whom we would not identify as “leaders” wind up in leadership positions through the module of “assigned leadership”.  So, if you are not afforded an opportunity to be an “assigned leader” in any wake of life, how does one acquire the traits to invoke love, inspiration, or fear in another human in order to lead?

That, my friend, will be part of our next discussion…


Jamil White is a financial professional with expertise in corporate accounting, auditing, and budgeting.  He also enjoys his role as an empowerment speaker, serving the young adults and professionals of America.


Who do you actually work for?

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Who do you actually work for?

I know this question sounds simple. I know you think you probably already know the answer to this question too. The thing is, you could have three different people at the exact same job who all actually work for different individuals. Surely they also each have very different motivations. At a single job, you could be working for your company itself, you could be working for your boss or immediate supervisor, or you could be actually working for yourself. The irony with the last option is two-fold. Hopefully we all know now that just because someone is self-employed, it doesn’t mean they’re an entrepreneur. Conversely, just because someone works a “day job”, it doesn’t mean they aren’t.


These are all subtly different on one hand, but Grand Canyon deeply apart on the other. Let’s see where you are. Who do you work for?


For the Company: These people love their company or organization and were drawn to it. It could be that prestigious firm that everyone in your industry wants in. This company could have or still may be providing you major bragging rights in your social circle and each day you go into work, you’re thinking much of how you can contribute to extending the company’s legacy. Sometimes, though, this organization may cause you extreme stress and strife in your personal life. It didn’t get that coveted reputation from being warm and fuzzy all the time, right? When someone derides your organization you ardently defend it, though. It’s a source of pride for you and a large part of who you are. You work for (and sometimes love) your company.


For the Boss: These people have a wonderful relationship with their direct supervisor. This person may have been in role for sometime and might even serve as a mentor to you. They might also insulate you from more stressful goings on in the organization, but the boss also has the uncanny ability to motivate you when you’re struggling. They get the best from you and you don’t mind saying that it’s because of your supervisor that you haven’t left yet for greener pastures. As the old adage goes, “people don’t quit jobs they quit bosses.” But those who work for their boss are also somewhat challenged in thinking that their job is a lot better than it actually is because of the relationship you have with your supervisor. Great abuses have been endured working for a great boss, and many great jobs have been abandoned when you work for a bad one. You work for your boss.


For You: These individuals are stark realists. Regardless whether they are self-employed or not, they have a gameplan they follow in order to maximize their personal results. They are team players but aren’t necessarily swayed by company or office politics; they are there to do a job, do it well, and learn as much as they can in the process. Practicing the law of self preservation does not make one selfish, it simply acts as a calibration tool we can use to aid in the decision making process. You work for you.


We’ve all seen companies come and go. We’ve also seen great companies — iconic organizations — shutter their windows and cease operations. Along with that, many great people were left out in the cold with nowhere to go, sometimes with antiquated skills and must learn to hunt from scratch because the company provided them with everything they ever wanted or needed.


We’ve also seen what happens when you’re at a rotten organization and your lifeline, favorite person, i.e. your supervisor leaves that company. Voila! It’s still an awful organization. The only thing is that now you’re stuck, and if that supervisor shielded you and “protected” you too much, you may even be seen as dead weight once they leave.


In my opinion, the only sure fire way to ensure you are always fresh, motivated and actively contributing to your organization is to work for yourself! Yes. Work for you! Everyday come to work with a mission — that is to be the best. When the company is doing well, don’t just sit back and ride the wave, but ask yourself, then ask your chain of command how you can do more, learn more and, in turn, help the company be more. Companies full of workers like this rarely fold anyway. Then if they do, because you’ve stayed fresh, you’re almost guaranteed to land feet first.


In the context of working for a great boss, resist the urge to let him or her protect you like a wounded bird. If you get the “don’t worry about it” line too often, it’s time to respectfully challenge and find how you can lessen everyone’s worry and make yourself a larger part of the program. This will lead you down the path of being secure no matter who is in charge.


Lastly, when you work for you daily, you’re concentrating on what skills you’re learning, what experience you’re gaining and maybe even how you can translate those skills into one day being an entrepreneur. While being or becoming an entrepreneur isn’t on everyone’s list, surely adopting the work ethic, spirit of curiosity and aversion to mediocrity that most entrepreneurs share, can’t hurt. You’ll feel more fulfilled at work and become more well rounded in the process.

Now ask yourself, who do you work for?

Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions: Email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebookor Instagram.



When to be Flexible, When to be Rigid – Part II

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When to be Flexible, When to be Rigid – Part II

In the first part of this post, we talked about situations where it would probably make more sense to be flexible in your dealings. To allow yourself enough latitude to grow and learn on the fly and make new decisions based on new information. This process is actually commonly called learning. So as we learn from our mistakes, we must allow ourselves time to implement these key learnings, even if it means altering existing thoughts, feelings or plans. Now let’s look at some situations where you will grow better belief by staying more rigid. And remember there’s no right or wrong answer, but sometimes it pays to stand strong.


When to be Rigid


In your Convictions:

Which could include your expectations of yourself and others; your particular religious dogma (but not where it alienates others); your personal code, etc. All these different categories have different names, but essentially all answer the basic same set of questions: how do you treat others in different situations? This set of beliefs, also known as your “personal code”, should be there for you to refer to when you are faced with those tough moral right/wrong decisions. But one of the toughest questions to ask yourself, then answer, is do you have a personal code? If not, why not? If you can’t give yourself a good answer, create one!


In your goals

This is one of those things that should never, ever change. Choose something that excites you and go for it! The goal should remain constant, even though you may change up the tactics, approach and possibly even who’s going with you. But never what the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow. So many people on a day to day basis change up what they think they want, and as a result end up with nothing. The best way to avoid this is to spend some time contemplating on those things you desire most, those things that excite us the most and those things that inspire us so much we don’t shelve them when times get tough, as they are guaranteed to do. What’s your rigid goal?


In your purpose

I’ve purposely broken this out from convictions and expectations and goals, in part, because this truly helps to inform all those other components of ourselves. Ironically, it just so happens to be one of the toughest riddles to solve. It’s actually pretty safe to say that the majority of people walking the planet have no idea what there’s is. (Maybe we’ll explore this specific topic another day, but I believe that’s because most people never stop to think about it.) But in regards to ascertaining ones purpose, as soon as it enters your mind, don’t let the thought go. Ever. Don’t bend, don’t be flexible, don’t acquiesce. Just figure a way to explain yourself as many times as you can without being offensive, or until everyone around you gets it. You’re not budging on what you were put here to do.



Life is all about balance so maintaining the right mix of conviction and compassion can be a tough thing, but certainly one to strive for right? It’s all about life and death, sweet and sour, darkness and light. So allow yourself the space to grow and to be flexible at times, and rigid during others.

Let me know what you think!


Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.

To contact Sadiq for engagements or questions:email, visit or connect on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.