Recap: Mario Armstrong & Common @ AT&T 28 Days Speaker Series Ms. Bels Tuesday, February 8, 2011 The Connect, The Receipt Monday night at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, AT&T’s 28 Days Speaker Series program kicked off. The series, which is in its third year and exclusively hosted by rapper/actor/activist Common, highlights African-American history makers and new innovators. In conjuction with Black History Month, AT&T’s idea is to highlight February as more than a reflection of the past, but as an unimaginable footprint to what the future holds beyond Black History Month. The first speaker from last night was Mario Armstrong. The fairly young and enthusiatic entreprenuer is a Digital Lifestyle Expert and owner of Mario Armstrong Media, LLC. His company creates content for traditional, mobile & online media outlets for syndication. He has the only technology based talk show on SiriusXM. He has appeared on C-Span, TV-One, CNBC, and various other news media outlets. Although the program started later than expected, after hearing the things this man had to say I was grateful that I stayed. He spoke about following your passion and how to incorporate technology in that quest. One of the first things he mentioned was that he was appreciative that we [audience] showed up to this event. If you are in pursuit to becoming a “history maker” you have to at least “show up”. Therefore, he was all smiles and thankful that this audience showed up and was ready to listen, learn, and be inspired. As we sat and listened and became inspired by Armstrong, he went on to mention a few entreprenuers that inspire him such as: Dr. Jayfus Doswell, CEO, Juxtopia, two sisters who owns Casauri‘s (high-end laptop bags and accessories), Lonnie Johnson (inventor of the Super Soaker), Angela Benton – CEO, Black Web Media, and NT Etuk – CEO, Tabula Digita (revolutionized how we incorporate education in digitial video gaming). All of these individuals possess certain qualities. Here are few of them: 1. Change your mentality 2. Know your true passion 3. Believe in you 4. Visualize amazing outcomes 5. Do not bail out in hard times If you collectively use all of these things, Armstrong believes you will have a greater chance at becoming a history maker. He also expressed the fact that you may hit rock bottom during the process. For instance, he showed us a snapshot of his Bank of America bank statement from 2008. On it were four to five separate accounts. Each one was either depleted or had less than $30 bucks in it. He showed us this because he wanted us to see how far him and his family had gone in pursuit of their dream. This example showed us that we all at some point will hit an obstacle. But if we have passion for what we are striving for, don’t give up. For his family, this financial set-back was only temporary. Even though his first “almost” secured $250,000 contract didn’t pan out, eventually other contracts came in. Armstrong asked the audience who all were not able to pursue their passion due to lack of technology. Several people raised their hands. Armstrong picked this young lady name “Diamond”. She spoke on how she was passionate about becoming a writer and how her mom buys her bundles of notebooks from Family Dollar in support of her dreams. Diamond had been writing manually for so long that she acquired a stack of notebooks full of her writings. She was definitely in the right place at the right time. Armstrong went off stage, came back, and presented her with a brand new laptop, Beats by Dre headphones, and a digital video recorder. The moment was very special. SMASH IT! (Show Movement And Start History-Making) We all need to begin making history. Armstrong says, “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” So it is up to us to stop procastinating and begin brainstorming and put ideas into action. It is imperative that we stay focused and surround ourselves with like-minded people. He spoke on ridding ourselves of “dream killers“. Indviduals who say no, I can’t, that’s impossible, stay in their comfort zone, don’t reach for new goals, don’t better themselves, or get jealous of your success. Get rid of those types now! Listening to Mr. Armstrong definitely set a fire to my backside. In the editorial/blogging business, technology plays a major role. We can not function without it. So him speaking to us was worth the time. Thanks mom for the invite! For more information on Mario Armstrong, follow him on Twitter @MarioArmstrong, Facebook, or visit his site at www.marioarmstrong.com.