Kerry-Ann on Carry On Friends The Caribbean American Podcast

Ep 118: Success is a Long Game

Success is a long game that requires you to show up regularly and consistently over time. How do you sustain playing this long game? 

  1. Create a vision, purpose, mission framework
  2. Build and nurture the right relationships.
  3. Know that success looks different
  4. Time and Patience.

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Hey everyone welcome to another episode of Carry On Friends, the Caribbean American Podcast. I am excited that you are listening. I’ve had a really exciting month I’ve had a really exciting summer. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve done a lot of fun stuff. And then I’m doing a lot of exciting stuff when it comes to, you know, business. So I hope your summer is going well. So the first thing before we get into the episode, the first thing is that the last episode that I did, Episode 117 with Mark Anthony Hill has gotten a lot of feedback. I’ve been getting text messages, I’ve been getting emails and people really enjoy the episode. I had someone at church come up to me and said I listened to that episode. I really liked it, especially when he said x part and this part. So big up to Shayla who’s always listening and supporting. Thank you, and for everyone who’s always listening. And so because of the feedback of that episode with Mark, Mark has also gotten feedback on his end that I don’t know of and people are asking for a part two. And so this part two is really will be more about your questions it’ll be audience questions. And we will read, maybe not all depending on the volume we get, we will read some of the questions on in the recording. And the form is it can be anonymous. So if you want us to shout you out, we can do that. And if you don’t want to leave your name, you know, you could do that. Also, I will leave a link to that forum where you can add your question or questions. And I think you could have up to three questions. And if you have more questions, just resubmit the form again. So again, Mark and I Mark Anthony Hill, and I will be doing a part two and that will be based on your questions, or follow up questions based on that interview. So looking forward to seeing the feedback on that. 

Now, if you’ve been listening to Carry On Friends, or you’ve been with Carry On Friends for a long time, I’m always talking about books, I love books, I’ve done reviews on books, a lot of them are on the website, I’ve done list I’ve done recommendations, I love books, any kind of books, I love them, right. And because I love books, I am really excited about the Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Festival. I was so excited when a former guest, Magaly told me about it. So I’m really excited that on September 6-8 the Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Festival will be in session right here in Brooklyn. And the theme for the session, which I love, is Caribbean Beyond Carnival because of course we’re much more than beach sun and party right. 

And on top of that some of my favorite authors will be there like Jamaica Kincaid. Elizabeth Nunez. I just love her. I’ve read several books, I’ve met her in person, there was a true story where I met her daughter in law on the train and didn’t know it was her daughter in law. And I just really enjoy her books, mainly because she’s writing as a Caribbean person living in the US. And that’s a perspective that I resonate with. And not a lot of books are written from that perspective. But one of my favorite books is her memoir, Not for Everyday Use. And I’ll link to that in the show notes. Because I wrote that, ooh, I read that book years ago, maybe 2014 15. And so my review of that book is on the website. So I’ll link to that. Kei Miller, I’m not sure how he pronounces his name; he will also be there. And I remember specifically when I read The Fear of Stones, which is a collection of short stories. And I got this book from Herman Hall of Everybody’s Magazine, because as a magazine, he used to get a lot of books. And I remember getting that book and reading that book. And I, I just loved it, because it gave it introduced me to another perspective of life in Jamaica and things that wouldn’t be part of my experience. I really love his book as well. And, and I’m looking forward to meeting him. 

So anyway, I want you to join me at Brooklyn, Caribbean Lit Festival, tickets are free. But if you want to support this organization, you can donate, right. So because it’s for a really worthy cause, I will make sure I put all the links to the show notes. Because this is something that I do not want to miss, I will be there. All right, so I’m going to put more details about the Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Festival and all the details where it’s going to be the lineup everything. I’ve been following them on social media. And there’s a lot of great authors that are going to be there. So I’m looking forward because you know, I love book and I’m always looking forward to the next book to get lost in right. So on to the topic of this episode.

The topic for this episode is success is a long game. Since success is a long game, how do you sustain playing a long game? And I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And I and I had an epiphany, which is why I’m recording this episode. So one of the first things I feel is important to do or to consider, if you if you know to sustain yourself in the long game of success is to show up regularly and consistently over time. Right. And I’m going to use myself as examples. And where, where applicable out throw in other people examples, right. So if I give use the blog as an example, I post a podcast episode every other Tuesday. And if I do a blog post, it’s usually on the Wednesday, there’s some variations. But the one thing that’s consistent is the podcast episode, it releases on a Tuesday. And so over time, you’ll get a sense of Oh, Kerry-Ann is going to release this episode. The other way you could look at it is the consistency, right? So I’m always going to talk about the Caribbean American Experience I’m always going to talk about that’s consistency in message. So the long game is really about how you are telling your story in a way that people can follow, right? Because if you deviate, sometimes people get distracted, and they’re not sure what it is that you’re doing. So the first thing is to show up regularly and consistently over time. So how do you show up regularly and consistently over time? 

Well, one of the things that I try to do is, you know, when you look at yourself, there’s a personal aspect, and you have your professional or your business aspirations, right. And for me, there’s a framework that I use that vision mission purpose, and I use that from a brand perspective, brand and career perspective. So going back to the episode with Mark, you have to know who you are and what you’re about. And so the framework that I’m referring to, vision is the desired state in the future. And it’s often the what, and usually the vision is on the horizon. So when you think of uh, if you think of the horizon, you never get to the horizon, it’s always you’re moving towards it. And it’s always like it’s moving back, right. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s something that you’re moving towards constantly moving towards, right. And not to sound morbid, it’s kind of the thing you move towards until you die, right? That’s how I look at it. Purpose is the reason for the action or the vision. So it’s the why. So you’re moving towards this desired state, the purpose is why you are moving towards the vision, right.

And the mission, which is the act of moving towards the purpose to achieve part of the vision is how it’s how you’re going to, to fulfill the purpose and part of the vision. Because how I always understand it, the vision is just always something that you’re working towards, right. And the vision is usually it challenges you and it’s really an inspiration, right? You’re aspiring to accomplish this, this vision, the mission is how you’re going to do it in the year, the here and now the what, the why, and the how. Now, what I come to realize in terms of being consistent, regular and consistent over time is that when people’s like, well, what if your vision changes, and oftentimes, I don’t necessarily think the vision changes, I think the strategy change, right? So and that’s really a good test, over time, the vision gets clarified, and but how you work towards the vision, through the purpose, and the mission might be adjusted to accommodate for things that we have no control over. So the strategy to execute the purpose or the vision might change. But the vision itself usually stays intact, more or less being refined, and you have more clarity than you had when you initially set the vision. Right? It’s so I’ll give a couple examples. I’ll start with myself. 

So when I started Carry On friends, I had this vision of creating a platform where there’s representation in the Caribbean American experience, and, you know, telling more stories and, you know, making it aware of how we live just really amplifying our voices. That has always been my vision. And I keep every document that I have, because I use a nice tool called Evernote. And I could go back and see how this vision at the time when I wrote it. At the time, it seemed clear, but here I am years later, and I know it’s way more refined. Right. And so the purpose of what I this vision that I have of, you know, for Carry On Friends, is really because we don’t get to tell our own stories other people are telling our stories, and I want us to be telling our stories or telling the stories that are beyond the stereotypes moving away from the one story, right? The mission was to create this blog. When I started Carry On Friends it was a blog. I did not…I mean, in my head, I know I wanted to start a podcast. But really the mission was really to start a blog. And over time, my growth was I added the podcast, but the vision was still kind of what I see as this really big platform for telling stories about the Caribbean American experience. And the why didn’t change much. But the mission, how I accomplish the, you know, the vision and the purpose was shifting, then I added the podcast. And it just kept refining the vision and the purpose, more so. And as those got refined things that the strategy, how I executed things that I did with the podcast, and with the blog, they shifted, because had even more clarity and I and I and I figured out ways in which to accomplish something that were more effective or ways that I you know, it’s really about making those adjustments to how you’re doing it, but not necessarily the what or the why, right, those tend to get refined. And then if I if I go a step further, I didn’t see Breadfruit Media coming. And so Breadfruit Media is a production company, I started, I didn’t see that that was nowhere in my vision, or my mission as I defined it, right. But as you get clarity, there are opportunities that come to you by happenstance. Like me producing a podcast wasn’t something that I planned, I had a guest on the show, he wanted to a podcast, he asked me to produce it. And that’s what happened two years ago, and here I am, you know. But two years ago, I didn’t start Breadfruit media. And so here, here I am, like, allowing my vision to make space, you know, like take up space and I allow it to lead me where I want it to go, we could talk about Will Smith is a really good example Will Smith, he started out he probably wanted to just make some records and entertain and make funny people you know, laugh, etc. whatever it is he started out with, he most likely wanted to entertain, and how he went about entertaining was through rapping. And then he evolved into being a TV show star. And then he went on to evolving into the big movie star producer that he is to where he is today. And so as he the mode by which he accomplishes the vision changes, but his vision is probably all the more refined and clarified. And then he’s probably had now multiple visions for the different projects that he has. I can’t speak to his personal life vision. But if you look at it from his career and business standpoint, you could see he always wanted to be an entertainer how he goes about entertaining is different. Beyoncé always wants to be a superstar. And she envisioned herself being a superstar, she accomplished that. But now she’s, you know, she’s going off into different things. The same thing with our girl, Rihanna, Rihanna started out singing and now she’s branched off into all these different businesses. That’s what I’m talking about. And even when you think about that, it’s still; it’s still true to the essence of their brand. It’s not like, it’s so off brand that you have to scratch your head. That is what I’m talking about when it comes to consistency, when it’s not so far off brand that you’re scratching your head, not elite, but it’s almost like What was that? Like, I don’t get it. And I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head. But you probably know of one or two brands or entertainers or someone who’s not consistent in how they show up. And that’s what I’m talking about. Because the consistency and how you show up. It’s also how people remember you. And I’ll get to that in a second. So that’s an example of the framework around your vision, your mission, your purpose, and how that helps you to show up regularly, consistently over time. All right, so that was one, two. 

It’s, I think it’s about building and nurturing the right relationships. And the episode of Paul Brunson really was a good one about how, when it’s your career or your business, you want to make sure you’re giving to people and they’re also over time they’re giving back to you. Because if it’s a one-way thing, then it’s not a relationship, and how to prune those relationships that are not beneficial. And when I say prune them, I mean, it doesn’t mean you’re cutting them off and stop talking to them, it’s just that they’ve now moved to a different area of your life, where they’re not focused, like in your business, or the partnership or whatever it is. Another element of building and nurturing the right relationship are accountability, friends, you know, friends who are in your business industry, and they they’re your colleagues, and they help keep you motivated, and they help you to keep going. That is something I accredit that to the distance that I am in this this long game. I really do. I can if it wasn’t for Mikelah if it wasn’t for, you know, my podcast friends, it’s I it would it would take even longer to get to where I am. Right? So you have accountability partners, especially when there’s distraction, because as much as you have a vision and a mission and a purpose distraction happens, right? You know, it’s almost like you’re go in the store for one thing, you know, like you can’t go into Target or one of these places for one thing, because you’re, like, Ooh, you see something over here and you totally went over there to grab something when you came in here for rice, and you’re gone over there So and you’re gone shopping, whatever it is, right? And so your accountability partner sometimes tell you like, Hey, what are you doing over there come back, sometimes you reel yourself back in but you know, having the right relationships, they serve as a guide and support system to help you stay the course. And in order for them to help you stay the course you have to share with them the vision, the purpose and the mission. Right? So that’s two, 

Three, success looks different. It does, it looks different for everyone. But also it looks different from what you imagined it to be. I did not imagine my success having Breadfruit Media in it. Right? It didn’t look this, it didn’t look this way. As a matter of fact, when I was flushing out and developing Carry On Friends, the blog, as much as podcast was in the back of my head, I didn’t see that as success, right. So understand that success looks different person to person. But it also looks different from what you imagined it to be, right. And because it looks different from what it is, you imagine it to be; you have to be open to receiving success when it shows up differently, right. And I say that because a lot of times, it’s like, if you only have a tunnel vision of what this is what you want, you want it exactly like that, you’re never really open to the possibilities of how it may not be exactly like this, but it’s showing up somewhere like this. And you never know what this different way that you’ve seen, it might lead you to a way that you may have seen it or even something bigger than what you’ve seen. So when I say success looks differently, it’s not only from person to person, but with the your own vision of what that success looks like. All right. 

And so four the long game, important to the long game is time and patience, time and patience, you can’t shortcut the work, you have to do the work, you can create a short cut, but, you know, if you do a shortcut, you’re going to cut out a critical step that was probably good to learn earlier than later in the game. Right. So if you cut, if you did a shortcut, and you cut out this step, and you got somewhere, that’s fine, but I guarantee you, and a lot of you know a lot of people say this, you might have cut it out here, but you won’t have to learn that somewhere down the road. So either way, the shortcut is temporary, because you down the road, you have to learn something else again. So the in between is where a lot of us have the struggle, because you’re in between, you know, the vision, or reaching the vision. And sometimes it’s a very hard place to be, especially if there’s, you know, things aren’t working out the way you want them to. It’s you feel like you’re behind. But that’s also part of the journey and the lesson, right. And so, no matter what happened, you can do a temporary shortcut, you can try to speed it up, but you still have to go and do the work, you still have to go to the journey. Time is where a lot of us have challenge. We don’t like the waiting period. Right? But you know, as we say, in the Caribbean, patient, man ride donkey, you know, and, you know, if we want to see things happen, the way we envision it, it’s usually a slow process, which is why it’s a long game, right? It’s not quick on anybody who you see that it seems like it’s an overnight success, they will tell you it’s not an overnight success. They were toiling, you know, people, overnight success is packaged really nicely, because that’s what gets ratings, but the reality is, it’s never an overnight success. There’s a lot of work, you know, it’s like, there’s a really powerful image of the iceberg that you see, the tip of the iceberg. But under the water, you see this big whole thing a grow, you know, 

So when it comes to success being a long game, consider the you know, it means showing up regularly and consistently over time, you just have to do the work, you have to do the work one foot in front of the other them have a lot of analogies, how you eat a goat how you eat the cow or a chicken one bite at a time, right, and you just have to keep making those small steps because they eventually, you know, lead up to bigger and more incremental steps. But to show up consistently and regularly over time, you have to have a vision, mission and purpose because that’s your guiding light that will help you with consistency. Because that will tell people what you’re about. Two, you have to build and nurture the right relationships. Three, success looks different, even within your own eyes, success is going to be different. You have to have the time and the patience to really do the long game and accept the long game. And so that is all that I have for this episode of the podcast, I really just wanted to share my experience with the long game because, you know, the other day, a couple articles came out at the same time about me. And to be honest, those are the first articles in almost four… Let me think about this. We’re in 2019 so I started the blog 2013 Yeah, yeah, it’s about 2013 14 around them time that 2013 for Yes, yes. 2013. I don’t know why I was saying 2014 2013. And it’s five, six years later, I have this big write up and a whole bunch of stuff by other people. And it’s like, I wasn’t looking at it like Lord, nobody not writing up about me. But it takes time. And I’m not saying they’re there aren’t other articles, but it’s just like, you just do the work, you do the work, you’d be consistent. You did the work, and celebrate the wins, and you do the work. And the body of work that I’ve had, you know helps as well. Right. So, you know, going to conferences, doing little things. And people are like, Oh, I remember you Yeah, you’re still doing that. Blah, blah, blah. Those are the consistency because it helps its reputation building. Right? Because it builds trust, you know, so these are just some of the experiences that I’ve been having. And I’ve been, you know, reflecting on just how much of a long game it is. And how sometimes you can get discouraged or distracted, especially in the age of social media, where everything is happening. And you’re like, why is that not happening for me, everybody have them day because the person I remember, Arsha of Tees in the Trap, she had said a quote like, for every opportunity, she’s upset that she didn’t get there’s an opportunity she got that someone else didn’t get. So there’s always someone getting and someone not getting and so as part of the long game is just like, be in the flow. Be consistent, be regular and ready, like show up regularly. Be consistent, and be prepared and open. So when the opportunity comes your right in there. All right, so that is all I have for this episode. You know, I really want to encourage you that it’s a long game and if you’re feeling a little discouraged or despondent that this game is too long for you. Send me an email Hello @ Carry On right. I don’t want you to give up I want you to stay in there, right? Just stay in the game, stay focused. You can, you can pause for a little water break. And then we want you to jump back in the game, right? Because it’s a marathon, right? You’re either the rabbit or the turtle. And be the turtle because you can speed up and take rest but then the turtle is slow and steady and consistent. And the results over time. All right, so again, thank you for listening. And until next time, walk good. 


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.