Paul C Brunson on the Carry On Friends Podcast with Kerry Ann Reid Brown

Ep. 28: Making Worthwhile Connections with Paul C. Brunson


Jamaican American, Paul C Brunson is host, author and professional matchmaker,  host of #MentorMonday, and author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love. He’s the co-founder of the Weekend Start-up School. Paul also appeared as the co-host on Oprah Winfrey Network’s Lovetown, USA.
In this episode with talk about “Making Worthwhile Connection in Love & Business”.
  • Common mistakes that people make when looking for love.
  • Making and maintaining business connections.

Also mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Paul on Social Media:
Twitter – @PaulCBrunson
Instagram – @PaulCBrunson



Hello, welcome to another episode of The Carry On Friends Podcast. This is episode 28. I’m your host Kerry-Ann. Thank you so much for listening. Before we get into the topic of the show, just a few announcements: the Live. Build. Achieve Journal is available for sale on the blog right now, I’ve been getting some really great feedback on the journal, it is serving the purpose which I had envisioned for the journal which is allowing people to have a space to write. And if you’re not a writer, the book includes writing prompts to help you start off with your writing and just let the pen take your journey. You could support and purchase the book if not for you, for a friend, that would be awesome, I would so appreciate it. The second announcement, I made an About Me video a few weeks ago, as a way to reconnect with you the audience so you could get to know me better. I also did in a podcast format, you may have listened to it. So that video is also available and I’ll put the link for that video in the show notes as well. 

I’m excited because today’s guest on the podcast is Paul C. Brunson. And if you’re not familiar with who he is, Paul is a television host, an author, a professional matchmaker. He’s appeared as the co-host on Oprah Winfrey’s network, Lovetown, USA. And yeah, he’s Jamaican. Now in this episode, I speak with Paul about making worthwhile connections in love and business. Before we get into the interview, I would like you to share the love on Twitter and Facebook, tell a friend, let me know what you think about this show, this episode. I’m not sure which platform you’re listening to us on the right now, but we are on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn, and of course you can listen on the blog. We’re also on social media; Twitter and Instagram @carryonfriends, on Facebook, we’re at Carry On Friends Official. So I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here’s my interview with Paul.

Kerry-Ann:Paul, I’m so excited to have you on the Carry On Friends podcast. Welcome to our community. How are you today?

Paul:I’m fantastic. How are you?

Kerry-Ann:I’m doing well, so excited to talk to you about making worthwhile connections in love and business. I know you’re just going to give us a whole bunch of information and I’m ready to dive in. Yuh ready?

Paul:I’m ready. I’m ready. Let’s do it.

Kerry-Ann:Cool, cool. So for those who do not know Paul C. Brunson is, tell us a little bit about who you are.

Paul:Well, most importantly, I’m a husband of 15 years. I’m a father; I have two great boys. Kinston is the oldest, he’s five. Our youngest is Liam who is two. I’m a brother. I’m a brother-in-law. I’m a son, a cousin. I’m all those things. Most people though probably recognize me for being one of the first, if not to the first full-time black matchmaker in the world which is kind of crazy. So when you think of the real-life Hitch, that truly is me. And so, that’s really where my kind of career started. I’ve been in investment banking. I’ve had a bunch of television shows, matter of fact right now, I just picked up a deal where I have a big primetime show coming out on ABC.

Kerry-Ann:Whoop! Whoop!

Paul:Yeah, coming up later in the year. I host a syndicated show which is a weekly show for black enterprise called Our Worldwhere we look at big stories impacting the African-American community. And so there is a lot that I do, but most importantly, I’m a husband and a daddy.

Kerry-Ann:Yes, those are the important roles. A teacher of mine who I know you had on your Mentor Mondays, Jullien Gordon said his roles as father and husband are first. You put life first then everything else in terms of work comes after. So yes. Yes, you really have a whole bunch of jobs like a Jamaica, so yeah.

Paul:Although I would tell you this is, so my grandfather, he’s Jamaican, he’s passed away. But before he passed away, he sat down and he asked me – so this is just maybe five years ago, he was like how many jobs do you have? And I said, “You know grandpa, I’m working on about three or four.” And he’s like, you’re lazy. He called me lazy.

Kerry-Ann:You know another – I was just speaking to someone and as a Caribbean American, we, in our heads, having multiple jobs is just something we have to do, otherwise like grandpa said, you are lazy. So let’s talk about how you got into being a professional, the first African-American professional matchmaker. How does that come about?

Paul:Sure, sure. So there’s different ways to get into any industry, and I think the way that I got in is a little bit different than how most people do with matchmaking. So around 2008, I was working for a Turkish billionaire. I had a great job. I was managing all of his investments in the United States. And my deal with him is I would work for him, but he would also allow me to have a moonlighting job. Being Jamaican, I had another job, and that was a non-profit organization that helped to prepare low income kids or kids from low income households to get into college. And so we would give them Science and Math and English prep. And so the summer of 2008, I’m running a summer camp for these kids. We had 100 kids in our camp and I had to check all the kids in. And so, one of the questions I would ask is, how many parents live in your household? And out of 100 of these students, not one had two parents in the household. They all lived with mom or grandma or big sis, like very few of them even lived with men in their household. And it just so happened that they were all African-American, African, Caribbean, Latino – they were all black and brown kids. And it was that moment where I thought to myself, here we are trying to do test prep, here we are trying to teach them math, but fundamentally, they are missing a lot at home. And we saw how not having mother and father in the household impacted them academically, how it impacted them socially. And that was the moment where I said I wanted to do something, that was the problem that I wanted to really create a solution around and that’s how I got into matchmaking.

Kerry-Ann:Awesome. Awesome. And so, as you’ve done – how long have you been doing the matchmaking?

Paul:That was ’08. So it’s about six years now.

Kerry-Ann:And in terms of – as you’ve done this over the years, what are the top three mistakes you see when you are trying to match people together? What mistakes do you find people are making in their pursuit of love and happiness?

Paul:The first is just not having the belief that someone can love them or will love them. That’s big. Belief is truly our reality. So if you believe that there is no one out there for you or that you are unlovable then no one is out there for you, you really are unlovable. So that’s number one. Number two is just simply not doing things differently. I always say that ladies have a dream that Idris Elba is just going to come knock on their door, just going to come knock on their door and…

Kerry-Ann:That smoldering look, like I’m here.

Paul:Exactly. Exactly. And fellows think that Zoe Saldana or somebody’s going to knock on their door, and that’s just not the case. And so if you want different results, you need to do things differently. And not doing things differently, that’s probably number two. And then number three is playing games. So there’s this whole notion that love is a game and like if I like you, I’m not going to call you back or I’m not going to text you back or I’m going to act like I’m hard to get or whatever. This whole notion that there is games. And what I found is that when you find somebody who is truly in love with you, they don’t want to play any games, and games just add walls and it adds friction. And a lot of people end up losing other great people by playing games. So I think those are the top three issues that I see.

Kerry-Ann:Right. Right. So how do you – what advice would you have – because playing games sometimes, it seems, you’ve been doing it so long that it seems normal, you don’t know how to undo these behaviors because they’ve just been so rooted in your whole dating experience however long that started. What’s one tip that you have that someone could start today to kind of correcting or redirecting any one of those behaviors?

Paul:So when you think about a bad habit or bad behavior, it’s really just simply a decision, a conscious decision that you make over and over and over again. And I want to emphasize it’s a conscious decision, so you have control over that. So the best way to curb bad habit or bad behavior is to know that you are the one making the choice to do that. And so it all starts with self. Now the best advice I could give around that, is to get around people who are going to hold you accountable. A lot of issues that people have in their romantic relationships, in their platonic relationships, in their business relationships, is because they are surrounded with other people who have poor relationships themselves. They are surrounded by people who have low standards. They are surrounded by people who don’t even share your values. And the more that you surround yourself around people who are truly mediocre, the more mediocre you become, and the less successful you will be in all your relationships. So the best way to start curbing habit or should I say bad habit and the best way to really just be the best that you can be is surround yourself with people who are literally better than you.

Kerry-Ann:You acknowledge the behavior and you change your surroundings or the surroundings that encourage the continuance of that behavior. That’s awesome. I believe T.D. Jakes, maybe not the same way, but he was giving the analogy with the giraffe and the turtle is going to give advice based on his level right down there in the grass, and the giraffe is like seeing the treetops. You really can’t take advice for someone who can’t see your level or aren’t at the level that you want to be. So I think that is something worthwhile, and not only in romantic relationships, but in business relationships. So it is switching gears a little bit. Let’s talk about some of the mistakes that you – before we get to the mistakes, I know you do Mentor Mondays, I’ve watched it. It’s awesome. It’s like a packed crowd on Spreecast. Lively discussions there.

Paul:Yes, lively and some of them tilt after dark, but very lively discussions.

Kerry-Ann:Yes, so how did you make the transition from – well you didn’t quite transition which is also something that you do very great in terms of what you do. You are a matchmaker, but you also have this passion for teaching entrepreneurs in creating resources for them. Weekend Startup is something that I know you did recently, right?

Paul:Yes. Weekend Startup is a big initiative that we’ve done and we have several plans for 2016.

Kerry-Ann:Awesome. I can’t wait to hear them. But how did you get into focusing or supporting entrepreneurs in their endeavors and how did that come about?

Paul:You know I’m Jamaican.

Kerry-Ann:Yes! Again, let’s go back, Jamaican.

Paul:That’s it. That’s the answer. But there is truth to being West Indian or to be an immigrant or being from an immigrant family and realizing that fundamentally, there is this need to survive. And really thriving in entrepreneurship is being and realizing that there is a need for you to survive. So it goes way back, like literally. It goes back to me being 12 years old selling cans of Coca-Cola on the streets to construction workers. I’ve always had jobs. Well I shouldn’t say I’ve always because I’ve worked in like Wendy’s as a cashier, worked in different restaurants, but for the most part, I’ve always created my jobs, created my opportunities. And so it’s been a part of – I think it’s just a part of my DNA now. When I graduated from college, I had a great job. I worked in an investment bank and it was a sweet job and it was the coveted job, but I quit and I launched my own business. I raised money. Matter of fact, it was a software company that I started. This is way back. This is like 2003, 2002 actually when I did this. And that was really the beginning of me getting a taste of entrepreneurship at a totally high-level. But then it was, the most pivotal experiences for me was working for Enver Yucel who I’ve mentioned, he’s the Turkish billionaire and Oprah Winfrey. So I worked for Oprah and Enver collectively for eight years. And watching these two people who are really two great entrepreneurs, two of the greatest entrepreneurs to ever walk the face of the earth, working directly for them, I was able to observe that they have these habits and the habits is what allowed them to be successful, but it wasn’t because they were geniuses or they have the highest IQ or they were the most charismatic. That was what led me. And so having all of those experiences – I went to business school, that was another one. So having all of those experiences, like culminated in me knowing in around 2008 that I’m an entrepreneur and I just need to own that.

Kerry-Ann:Right. Right. You know stepping back a little bit because you know we really have to talk about the whole Caribbean and West Indian thing right. My first experience with entrepreneurship is with my grandparents, because back in Jamaica, they sell almost everything. And like you said, it’s a survival thing, so growing up, I don’t know anything different. For me, I need to be doing something, creating my own opportunities. So like you said, it’s DNA. It’s just built in. We have to do this. And so in terms of the habits that you’ve noticed that are critical for success as an entrepreneur, particularly for entrepreneurs in black and brown communities, we don’t have the opportunities to get around billionaires. So I can imagine how much resources, because I tell you, those Mentor Monday sessions, I’m like Lord, you need to like – so many like really, really, really incredible information. And so tell me what are the top three mistakes you see black, brown entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs are making when it comes to entrepreneurship or making connections as they pursue their dreams?

Paul:You know this is something that I think about often. Matter of fact, I mean quite honestly, I probably think about this every day, to the point where, I’ve just recently launched, I’ve been working on a new company like this is to really show you I’m Jamaican…

Kerry-Ann:Straight up.

Paul:Yeah, a new company that I’ve launched it with my brother, we already have a team of seven people. We’ve been working on this for the last year. Our data comes out soon. But essentially, the company is geared toward solving the problem that you just asked, and that is, is what is the problem that multicultural entrepreneurs have. And I will sum it up by saying one thing, it is a lack of social capital.

Kerry-Ann:Oh yes. Let me do a Tamar, “hallelu…”. Because I want to use myself as an example, social capital is huge. Because for me, as we said in the pre-chat, as a Caribbean American, from the Caribbean, you have two extremes; you either hold your head down and work and you despise the person who friend up the boss and chat, chat and not doing their work. And there is no middle ground and it should exist, so I find, myself included, I have challenges creating the social capital because I’m thinking I work hard, you know I work hard because I’m Jamaican. So why is my hard work not being acknowledged? How am I not getting further? And you said it, the social capital. So how do we build our social capital?

Paul:So with social capital, I’m sure a lot of people listening right now are thinking there is a lot of different definitions for it. So the way that I look at social capital is it’s who you know and who they know plus the resources that those people have. That’s really what social capital is. And the reason why social capital is a problem for multicultural entrepreneurs more than any other entrepreneurs is because there are other entrepreneurs… So let’s take the Irish guy who lives in the – Irish background but lives in the United States. His ability or his probability of growing up, going to school, having family friends who are knowledgeable in business, who have resources to start businesses, who have access to deals and partnerships etc., are probably going to be much higher than me growing up Jamaica, Queens, like that kind of thing. And so as a result, when you play that out over the years of someone’s life and then over generations, we, multicultural entrepreneurs, we have a smaller social capital network, we have less social capital. So the key, the number one thing we want to be focused on is growing our social capital. Now how do we do that, is really the simple answer, is we connect with people who are very knowledgeable and have lots of resources. But just like you said earlier, it’s like okay Paul, but how do we connect with Oprah, how do we connect with and Enver Yucel? And my response is that this is the reason why we are creating this company because it is hard to do it, but a quick answer is that social media is what allows us to do that. 

Social media connects us. And I’ll give you a real-life example of this, is I don’t have all the social capital in the world, but it just so happens that I actually know several billionaires. Matter of fact, there’s a project that I’ve been working on called the billionaire project where I interview billionaires, like I interviewed Michael Lee Chin, billionaire from Jamaica. And so I know these people. Now this is the beauty of social media. Anyone listening to this podcast right now, could literally send me an email or send me a tweet and I will respond to them and we can create a rapport. We can literally create a rapport, within a week we can create a rapport. And once we’ve created that rapport, I now am in your network, you are now in my network. And so that means that Michael Lee Chin, Oprah and all these people are now in your network. And that’s how quickly it happens. Now here is where a lot of entrepreneurs, not just multicultural entrepreneurs, but here’s where a lot of entrepreneurs get it wrong, and here is the secret to really building the network, is that typically entrepreneurs have an idea of what they need and so when they connect with someone, they will just make their ask right out the gate.

Kerry-Ann:That was – oh I know it, I know it, I know it. That’s a question I knew was going – I had for you because how do you know when to ask for what you want. It’s like what’s the time when you build the relationship, because that’s a question people ask. It’s like an awkward situation, I met you, can you do this podcast and what happens next. It is really awkward and I think that’s a challenge. So we just ask for what we want.

Paul: So here’s the thing. I wrote a blog post called It’s Not Called Using, It’s Called Networking. And I use the example of Oprah because meeting Oprah, I mean she is one of the most recognized people in the world. And whenever someone googles my bio and they see that I’ve worked with her, immediately they will send me a message and they’ll say, “Hey Paul, can you pass this on to Oprah?” or “Hey Paul, can you introduce me to Oprah?” or “I’ve got a show idea, can you send this to the Oprah Winfrey Network?” And I always think to myself do they really think that – I don’t even know, and I’m going to say, “Oh yeah sure, hold on for a second.” – Forward Oprah Winfrey, “Oprah, take a look at this.” Like do they really think that, because there is no way in the world I or anyone should do that because if I did that and that person is subpar, a half ass person or whatever it may be, it’s going to reflect badly on me and it will damage my relationship with her. And so at the end of the day, what we have to realize it’s not using, it’s networking. 

So how do you network? How you network is you simply do the following: you meet someone and then you listen to what that person needs and then you give, you give, you give, you gave, you give, you give, you give and then you ask. And the problem is most entrepreneurs will ask right out the gate or what they’ll do, if they’ll do a real simple give. Like what is a give? A give is anything that adds value to the person you’re trying to build a relationship with. Let me break that down more. What does that mean adding value? Adding value means you are doing something to help further that person along their way to a goal that they have. So some people have been phenomenal with me, over the last year 2015, I met a guy named Joshua Porter. He is a member of the Mentor Monday community, he is now attending the Weekend Startup schools etc. How did he build a relationship with me? He now, I consider him my brother, like he could text me right now and say, “Hey Paul, I’m stuck at the Metro.” And I would say, “Okay, as soon as I’m done with this podcast, I’m going to go pick you up.” Now, how did that happen? It happened because when I met him, he truly listened to me. He followed me on social media. He saw projects that I was working on. He knew what some of my needs were based on that. And then after he met me, he would then help to further my goals. How did he do that? He would send me information on events that were upcoming in the area that could be beneficial to me. He would refer people to me that he thought would be beneficial for a Mentor Monday guest. He would send me – he knew that I liked – sometimes I talk about the suits that I wear, he knew that. So he was like, “Hey Paul, did you know that you can get your suit for 20% off at this one place on this one day.” I was like word? So he continued to add value. And this is not over a week or over four weeks, this was over months. He bought into all of the Weekend Startup schools and attended all of them. He would then dap* me up at the Weekend Startup schools. He built a real relationship with me. He gave, he gave, he gave, he gave, he gave, he gave, he gave, gave, he gave, and then he made an ask. And what did I do? I immediately did it. And so this is the key. And I think that this is how we build social capital, and this is truly the success to becoming a success because your social capital is indicative of how successful you will be.

Kerry-Ann:Right. Now in terms of the social capital piece, isn’t there a piece where existing entrepreneurs kind of have to be more visible and kind of share some of what they know so that they’re in expertise? Because that not everyone knows – it’s also who knows that you know that you really know what you are doing. That plays into a little bit.

Paul:  Sure, sure. I mean I agree with you. And I think that’s a function of branding. We are as a different economy right now. We’re in an economy that’s drastically different than just five, six years ago, where it was to your benefit not to talk up what you’re doing, it was to your benefit to not have to stand on the platform and say, “Hey everybody! This is the project that I’m working on or this is what I’m doing.” But now, we’re at a point where there is so much content that is created now. You know Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, former CEO said that over a 48 hour period, two day period, that more content is created now than was created from the beginning of time, all the way to 2003.

Kerry-Ann:Yes, I’ve heard that. I work in the legal industry where I have to process some of this data for litigation, so yeah I know it for sure.

Paul:Yeah, it’s crazy. But if you think of it conceptually, you will see that that means that there is more data, there is more noise than ever before. And so we have to be the signal to the noise. And how you are the signal? How you stand out is that you have to realize that you have to talk yourself up, because at the end of the day no one can sell you better than you.

Kerry-Ann:Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So take how we connected. My friend Mikelah and I, we went to Blogalicious and you were on the panel and you talked about all your jobs like a Jamaican. And then afterwards we approached you and I personally find that you are so personable and approachable and not everyone is like that, but Mikelah and I came up to you and this is how we ended up having this podcast. Now in terms of moving forward, I’ve gotten your advice which is give, give, give. And I guess that’s the approach that we have to do in terms of making connections. But then at what point do you make a decision as to whether maybe the person you’re trying to connect with is not the right person you should connect with because like you said, we have this idea in our head of oh I just need to connect with that person. At what point do you realize that maybe this is– I don’t want to say this is not a connection you should make but when do you kind of say well this is a good person to know, but maybe not what I thought in terms of bigger goals in terms of making connections or do we make that distinction?

Paul:Right, now this is a really important question. Your question is not basic networking or networking 101, that was more of a graduate level networking question, so I love that, I love that. So here’s the thing, is that you think about a relationship, what is the relationship? A business, platonic, love, what is it? Relationship is about reciprocation. That’s what makes it a relationship. So for example, I’ve been married for 15 years. So that means that in the 15 years what’s happened is that I have given to my wife and my wife has given to me. If over the 15 years, I only gave to her, well it would be a one sided relationship which means it’s not a relationship. So it’s the same thing when it comes to business or networking, is that you want to see reciprocation. If you don’t see reciprocation, that’s the first sign that you are not in the right relationship with someone. So for example, if after when we met at Blogalicious and you were like, “Hey Paul, would you like to be on this podcast?” And I was like sure and then I never committed to a date or time with you and you followed up. And sometimes people are busy, so that’s fair, sometimes you have to follow up two, three times. But let’s say you followed up seven times and I still didn’t commit to the date or time, well that is a clear signal that I’m not reciprocating, and therefore I’m probably not the best person to be in a relationship with you. Now as the relationship continues, here’s where it begins for a lot of people to get difficult, but this is what the most successful people do. And here’s what happens, is that relationships are all – this is just my opinion or should I say the vast majority of relationships are terminal, they are truly terminal. And what that means is that there is an endpoint that will come to most of the relationships you have because you simply can’t psychologically, you simply can’t maintain all the relationships that you rack up through your life, you just can’t. There’s this thing called the Dunbar theory, who he came out with some great research that basically states that the maximum number of people that we could truly be friends with is 150.

Kerry-Ann:Yeah, I heard that.

Paul:  And so at the end of the day, what this means is that – let’s take the two of us for example. We are doing this podcast, so I’ve reciprocated now. So this isn’t me asking anything, but I’m just throwing this out…

Kerry-Ann:I’m going to ask you anyway after we get off the podcast, how can I help you Paul?

Paul:  Well here’s – actually let me even tell you that the key is even not to ask how can you help the person, the key is to be such a great listener of the person that you already know what they’re trying to do and then you just give, you just give. So over the course of the next couple of months you are going to give and do I reciprocate on that giving, and then that’s going to continue on and on and on. But there’s going to be a point in our life whether it is in one month, whether it is in one year, whether it is in 10 years that chances are there is nothing further that I can do to help further you along on your goals and there is nothing that you could do to help further me along on my goals. And now here’s the difference between successful and unsuccessful people in business; the unsuccessful people will say you know what there is nothing else you can do. And you know what they do? They just let that person linger in their network, they just let them linger. The most successful people know how to fire friends, and that sounds so controversial, it sounds so bad, but it’s the truth, it’s the truth. So you think, you have 150 real friends that you can have and your opportunity comes from all of those friends. And so what that means is, that you have to continually be pruning your network, you have to be continually pruning. And it doesn’t mean that you burn a bridge, it doesn’t mean that you abruptly kick somebody out, but what it does mean is that you are attentive to your network knowing that your opportunity comes from your network. That means that your future business deals, that means that your future friends, that means that your future husband, your spouse, your wife, your girlfriends, your boyfriends – everything is going to come from your networks. So you want to tend that like you’re pruning a fine tree. And so successful people, they know how to put the network, they know how to fire friends.

Kerry-Ann:Yeah, you know there was this video that I saw on Facebook. I’m sure you’ve seen it where all these soldiers were trying to get over this wall and they were all helping each other up and at the end, the last person just kind of ran up the wall. And everyone shares this video and I said you know what this is great and they could all help each other up over this wall, but I guarantee you that it took a couple tries for them to get it together. And it is moving different people in and out of roles; who is going to go over first. And I think the challenge we have, is we keep friends because they have been friends for a very long time or they’ve helped us to a certain point and they should – this thing of obligation. And this is why people then come to say maybe you shouldn’t go into business with friends. And so talk a little bit about that. It’s okay to maybe start a venture with a friend, but how do you know when it is time to prune that relationship?

Paul:  Yeah, most people who start businesses with friends, those have a high failure rate than any other business. So it’s typically not a good idea to do that. What you want to do is, you want to start businesses with people who add value in areas, that add skills that you don’t have. The good thing about a friend is that they share your values. I always advocate that for a business relationship. But you also, you need them to add skills. So like if you are starting a tech company and you are non-technical, well you need someone who is technical. And so that is really the key. In terms of the firing of the friend and knowing when to fire the friend, it’s really when one of two major things happen, either a) it’s clear that that person doesn’t share your values. Now values is something that typically doesn’t change much once we become adults, but it does change for people. And so if you have someone who doesn’t share your values, it means that you play life by different rules, it means that you see things differently; what you consider to be good, they could consider to be bad. And that’s not someone who is healthy to be around. And so that’s one. The second is that, this is going to sound an opportunist here, but the second is when that person can’t inspire you anymore and you can’t inspire them. And that’s really what it is about, because if they – we have to constantly be changing. If we are not changing, we are not evolving. We are stagnant, we are dead. And so if you are – and by the way, everything that I’m saying, this is for ambitious people.

Kerry-Ann:Yes, bare ambitious people listen to the podcast by the way.

Paul:  Yeah, because if you know you are at a place in your life where – so for example – and by the way, you could value ambition, but you could just be in a place where it’s not necessary. My father for example is retiring next year. He’s return. He’s at a place now where he no longer needs to prune his network like he was previously. He’s at a totally different stage in his life. And so even though he may now be with people who are not as inspirational, it’s not to the same degree as he being a younger man 40 years ago coming up. So a lot of this depends on stage and it depends on your values, but if that person is no longer inspiring you, and you are no longer inspiring them, then what’s the point of them taking up a spot, a precious spot in your network where someone else could be there who is moving you further, you are moving them and you are making a bigger impact in the world.

Kerry-Ann:Yeah, that is so awesome. I mean I’m here jotting stuff down, until I’m just like you know what, I’m just going to listen to the replay because this is just like so awesome. Because this is something that I, as much as I have the podcast, I struggle with making the connections. And the pruning part is so important, but if I’m not totally engaging or listening to what’s my network wants and just kind of providing that, I do that within a certain comfort level but once I have to reach outside my immediate circle and my comfort level, that’s when I kind of get insecure and I’m not sure and I just kind of step back and end up not doing anything. So I really, really appreciate all this information because 2016, I call it my buss out year. And I am just busting out of all of the things or the messages that I’ve told myself that no longer apply. So I know that we live in a digital world where I have to rise above the noise, I have to brand myself, holding my head down at work and say my work speaks for itself. It doesn’t apply now, so I don’t have an excuse. But I kind of hold on to those as excuses to keep me safe. So this is so awesome because I know, some of my other friends, we have the same issues, so I’m really glad that you are just – oh my God, this is such good self. I have like another question in terms of business and personal connections. When it comes to the point of pruning the relationships because again, we’re not burning bridges, like your book says, it’s complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. How do we don’t make it so complicated or awkward that we are now kind of moving away from where the relationship once is? How do you kind of maintain some kind of – I don’t think people do break ups well, whether it is business or personal. So how do you walk away in a mature, adult way?

Paul:  Yeah, great question because it applies to every relationship that we have. I’ll give you a quick, quick story, is the first television show that I did was with Oprah, it was a show called Lovetown. And in the show, there was this gentleman who was trying to break it off with his girlfriend. And he was like, so he came to me and he was like, “Paul I don’t know how to do it.” So I gave him some suggestions. And then I see him like a week later and always like, “Did you break up with her?” And he was like yeah I broke up with her. And I said how do you do it. He said, “Well, I stopped calling her.” And it turns out that that is the number one way that people “breakup” with other people, not just romantically, but even in business. It is what I call fade to black, is that they just assume that because I’ve stopped calling, because I’ve stopped contacting you that you should get the hint and realize that it’s over. But that is a punk move. That is the move of a third-grader. That is the move of someone who is not going to be successful later in life. Because what makes you successful is when you can own who you are, you own who you are and you own your actions. That’s what makes you mature. Mature people have mature actions. And so my point to him and my answer to you is that you specifically outline what you are doing and why and it seems hard, but that’s what you do. So my advice to him was to tell his girlfriend the reason why is breaking up with her, and the real reason why is because he was in love with somebody else. He was seeing somebody else. And so if we can just like – this world would be so much more efficient if we could just stop the BS and that is even in business. And so let’s be truthful to the situation, and then we’ll be able to sever relationships better. Now the last thing I’ll say on this is not to overdo it, because a lot of people will say okay well let me give you the reason, and they’ll spend three hours on what the reason is of the breakup or the separation or the business or the partnership or that kind of thing. The best thing to do and actually, Harvard business review did this whole study around how bosses should fire their employees. And this is kind of the same thing, breakup. And what they found is the most effective way to fire an employee or just anyone, is to do it quickly and to leave the conversation with what you’re doing. So you would say, “You know what Kerry-Ann, I’m going to have to let you go today. And the reason why I’m going to have to let you go is because you have not done A, B and C and it’s been documented. And as a result, what we’re going to do is we’re going to give you one month’s etc.…” But it is quick and it is abrupt. It’s not “Oh yeah, come on sit down. How are you doing? How’s your family?” No, no, is abrupt. And it’s the same way in every relationship. You want to be up front, you want to be truthful and you want to be succinct.

Kerry-Ann:Oh my gosh, Paul, I tell you that’s why you are the teacher. You know sometimes it’s the simple things, but we really need to simple truth, because it’s not that complicated, we just have to communicate better which is the underlying thing, the way we communicate with each other. We just keep doing it the wrong way. Oh my goodness. Thank you Paul. This has just been so, so – there’s just so much information here. I know that you’re going to have a lot of quotables, so when you see it on Instagram and I tag you, it’s going to be crazy. But you know, on a final note, because this is a podcast that is for, focuses on business and career for the Caribbean American and being from a Caribbean American background, one thing, the one thing that you have as an advice to us Caribbean American entrepreneurs. Because we are out there, we’re just not as visible. So what’s the one thing you would like to see this community do differently to kind of buss outs for 2016 so people know that, like you with all the jobs like a Jamaican, we’re all out here doing what we need to do. So what do you want us as a group and as an audience to do to kind of rise to the occasion?

Paul:Wow, that’s such a big question. I think it’s probably two different sets of advice depending on the mentality of the person listening. So a lot of folks that I know from the Caribbean realize that, I’ll take Jamaica for example, is it’s this small island but yet while it’s such a small island, it’s such a small country, we have some of the best athletes, we’ve  had the best businesses, we’ve had the most beautiful women, we have impacted the fashion industry. We’ve had a disproportionate impact on the world. And a lot of people that I know from the Caribbean or in this example from Jamaica, they know this, and they are so proud of that, that they believe that everyone should recognize that.

Kerry-Ann:And that’s enough.

Paul:That’s enough right. I’m Jamaican, boom, give me the job. But it doesn’t work like that. So there is I think a group that’s that way. But then there is another group that I know from like Jamaica in this example where they will say, “You know God I’m from this little island. How am I going to do big things because I’m from such a small place?” And what I always like to say is that those of us who have come from small places, so that’s if you come from the Caribbean, you come from a small place, if you’ve come from a small place, it means that you’ve come from a place unlike most people in the world. That means that you have come from a unique place. Uniqueness is where your power lies, the fact that you are unique. And if you can embrace that fact, fully understand that fact, embrace that fact, you will do incredibly well. The most successful people in the world, the billionaires of the world, what they’ve been able to do, the self-made billionaires should I say, they’ve been able to figure out the things that make them different than everyone else and they have been able to capitalize on those things. And so my homework to everyone listening, especially if you are from the Caribbean, is to figure out what makes you different than the masses, the masses around the world, what makes you different, also what makes you different from even the people that are from back home. And whatever those things are, those one, two, three little things, those little things, that’s where your power lies in those little things.

Kerry-Ann:And that is such – as simple as that exercise is, that assignment is, it’s hard because a lot of times we discredit what makes us unique because we’re like oh that is nothing, it’s nothing that, we push it to the side. Don’t discredit anything. Anything that you find comes easy or you don’t think that it’s a big deal, write it down because a lot of times – and also what people tell us, what the world mirrors back to us, that something that we should capture*. And I’m learning this because I – I’m like oh – you know people see Kerry, you are so organized and you could break things down. I’m like that was easy, but I don’t see it that way because again, it came easy to me. So really, really great assignment Paul. Thank you. I cannot say thank you enough because this was just so amazing. And I can’t wait to hear more about when your new projects are coming out. I’ll definitely keep the community informed as to what you are doing, what’s happening. I get the emails every week, Mentor Monday, it’s happening, this is what’s going on. And I get the recap emails that say this is what happened. But definitely check out Mentor Mondays. It’s a wealth of information, different entrepreneurs and maybe sometimes it’s just Paul just like shooting the breeze with his Red Stripe.

Paul:Yeah absolutely. And I would say I’m still looking for that Red Stripe endorsement. If somebody wants to add value to me, they will connect me with Red Stripe so I can get that sponsorship.

Kerry-Ann:True story, growing up my grandfather worked at the D&G factory in – well it was in Hopewell. It’s like the western part of Jamaica, a little bit outside of Mobay. And it was just like I use to love going to the factory just to see how they make everything. So I don’t have that connection anymore but I’ll keep my ear out to see if there is any Red Stripe endorsement coming soon.

Paul:Alright, alright but I appreciate it. Thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure to have a platform to be able to share what you know and I really appreciate it. So thank you very much.

Kerry-Ann:Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everyone listening, I will have a recap on the show. I’ll have every information that I have for Paul and what he’s doing. And connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and follow him on Instagram, he has a lot of stuff on there. So until next time folks, walk good.

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Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is Founder & host of Carry On Friends one of the first podcasts dedicated to the Caribbean American Experience. She is leading the way for Caribbean Podcast as the founder of Breadfruit Media, the first Caribbean podcast production company; and founder of the Caribbean Podcast Directory a place to discover podcasts by people of Caribbean Heritage.