Don’t let these naysayers tell you that’s an oversaturated market for you to open up yet another cigar lounge or that this is why I support black businesses or we need to do better or this is why I don’t vote or this is why I just don’t take no for an answer. Don’t get stopped. Don’t let anybody else determine or put opinions in your head that take over what you feel in your heart. That is a huge personal message of mine that I think I’ll always be sort of grappling with for the rest of my life. Don’t let people define you as a mother. Don’t let people say you can’t follow a career. Don’t let people say, well, that’s your ex and you ended it a certain way and it was ugly. And you can’t bridge your relationships forward because you’re going to look silly and you’re going to look stupid. Don’t let the world’s norms. Be your norm, like individuality is powerful and community is powerful and just in sort of being a strong individual and allowing give yourself a lot of grace.
Boss Uncaged is a bi-weekly podcast that releases the origin stories of business owners as they become uncaged Trailblazers, Unconventional Thinkers, Untethered Trendsetters and Unstoppable Tycoons. We always hear about overnight success stories, never knowing that it took 20 years to become a reality. Our host S. A. Grant conducts narrative accounts through the voices and stories behind uncaged bosses in each episode, guest from a wide range of backgrounds sharing diverse business insights. Learn how to release your primal success through words of wisdom from inspirational entrepreneurs and industry experts as they depict who they are, how they juggle their work life with family life, their successful habits, business expertise, tools and tips of their trade release. The Uncaged Boss Beast in you welcome our host S. A. Grant.
Welcome welcome back to Boss Uncaged podcast. On today’s show, we have none other than what I’ve deemed you like the Queen of the night. So Dona Mattews, who are you?
Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here. I am first and foremost a mom, a working mom, a community driven working mom. I am a goal oriented, sales oriented, quite ambitious hospitality professional. That is where I’ve sort of found my niche always. But I’m definitely sort of making my name, if I can say that it’s kind of hard to you, to children born. Sometimes I’m a little full of myself, but sometimes I’m like, I really said that out loud. And that might be true
because I remember the first time I met you was kind of like through osmosis. I was like in the middle of creating lamps and just kind of like playing around with that business model. And you were the owner of a cigar shop. So this is kind of step back like how did you even get into that space, into that market sector?
It was through my relationship about eight years ago. My ex and I had met and he was like, join me for a cigar over at Highland Cigar Lounge Cigar Bar, the elder statesman of the cigar community. Right. Like it’s one of the first cigar lounges or. Yeah. In the city of Atlanta. And I went in there. It was an environment that I just wasn’t used to. And I have been in nightlife for a very long time. Like we did the bars. I’ve done bartending competitions. I’ve worked with Remy Martin, I’ve done parties, brought DMX, do yoga, worked on a couple of different fun things like throughout my life up until eight years ago. And I met him and he was like, you know, join me for a cigar. So I go in there, it’s like it’s a man cave. I go into this man cave in in ah, some of Atlanta’s notable May powerful community, men like these men in Atlanta, a couple of lawyers that we know, a couple of politicians that we know, everybody’s in there smoking a cigar. I never smoked a cigar before in my life. I thought it was maybe OK, like it was cool. But I never smoked a cigar before in my life. And it was a thing that he loved. And so but I enjoyed the atmosphere to my very core. Everybody, I love the atmosphere. I love the people that I met at Highland Cigar. I love the whole culture, the cigar culture. I actually understood there’s an actual cigar culture. I just always enjoyed it. Fast forward to a few years later, we had an opportunity to build a business. And when it came to making a decision as to what we would like to do, we were like, we should open up a cigar lounge. We found a venue on Peter Street. Our business partner had off the hook barbershop, and he had that’s on the top of Peter Street. Right. He had a relationship with the owner of the building towards the end of Peter Street. And we were like, let’s open up a cigar shop, let’s put it in a bar, let’s do craft cocktails, let’s do some dope stuff. So I’m to the partnership initially was amongst these two men, we watches fifty to fifty three year old men like, you know, 50 something year old men like map out these ideas. We should call it Habanera Heaven. We should do this with the furniture. We should do this, we should build the bar this size. And I slowly started dropping in my two cents here and there. Like you should make it a safe space, right. Like you need to make it a safe space for women to kind of come into, because that’s what we all kind of enjoyed with each other throughout the four or five years that we’d been together. At that point, as we built relationships, we really, truly saw what he brought to the people, to the table with his relationships and then the energy and the younger the different cross-section of people that we brought to the table together. I never seen that sort of accomplished either. So we were like, we can sort of put together a lounge and it can be something different and we can kind of make an impact the way we want to do. We want to do it. And that’s how we got into becoming a cigar lounge owners. They sat me down and they’re like, we would like to be for you to be an operating partner. And I became an operating partner, Pavano Cigar Lounge. And that’s where I got started, like officially like as an entrepreneur.
So this time travel back a little bit, a little bit further back. So you’re saying you’ve done parties, you’ve done events, you’ve done bartending. I mean, what’s your core background? I mean, where you from and how did you even get into that space?
Oh, so picture this. I’m an Indian girl with the Pentecostal super strict Pentecostal parents that didn’t drink, didn’t party. There was a huge culture shock when we came into this country and we came from Kuwait after the Gulf invasion. Right. Byways of Bombay. So we’re immigrants to this country. And there was just a lot of learning. My parents just kind of cling to religion to sort of help them navigate through the American culture. And me, I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t fit in. I didn’t know how to speak to people. I didn’t know how to really engage. My parents wouldn’t let me do any kind of sports. So when it was time for college, I applied to Manhattan College, got a full scholarship, and then 9/11 happened. And I was like, just my life is still so restricted, I just needed to leave. So I applied to UGA and came down UGA the following January and I lost my mind. I was like, I had freedom, flexibility. I started to develop these relationships. I was able to kind of learn how to engage people at a genuine and authentic level. And that’s a gift. But it’s also, I think, part of my upbringing as well, because I wasn’t raised to think I was that much like just to be pretentious or anything. We were very down to earth and very grounded as a family. And I started just sort of supporting with parties like, you know, just doing ticket sales at the door, like even getting just collecting money. I was the door girl collecting money at the door. I started just building relationships, started promoting like I’ll post a flyer, like, I’ll send this out to a couple of different people, like I’ll put this out in a couple of dorms until a couple of girls about it. I’ve always kind of been a nurturer. I remember when people used to be like, oh, Donna’s bringing the girls. So that means we’re not going to get away with too much. And we, again, like cultivating a safe space for girls to be able to have fun, drink, dance, party and then go home and be safe was always been important for me. And I just as we and I kind of did well with that, like made sure everybody got home, I became like a point person point of contact, being able to communicate with everybody what the details of the night was or just be the point person like everybody get in a cab. So it just developed a system trust and like. Inability to gauge my surroundings, and that was also heightened as I started working with Michael, who’s been 20 something years in an industry in clubs and lounges. And so and then so when we opened up was like, you know, we were pretty solid, like it was a safe space. So that’s always been kind of important for me because I like to have fun. I like to have a good time. I like to have a couple of drinks. I like to party. I like to just let my hair down and have fun. And you need that again, like my culture would tell me, like, you know, you don’t need that. You’ve got to kind of stay pious and graceful and gracious and quiet. I’ve always been rebellious and just I was like, I’m not going to do things that way.
So what was your major UGA?
Usually I’m a police major. I was supposed to go to law school. Wow. I never made it out of college. My first job was with a payroll company and they hired me for H.R. It was a small, small company, very small. And they’re just like, well, you’ve got talent. You need a job like we got you. It was bored. I was not enthused and I was just whatever when my boss approached me and he was just like, you know, you might do well in sales. You like people like you might do them. So I’m not going door to door and selling payroll. And he’s like, no, there’s a system in place. Just you’ll do well with sales. You can meet goals. So I was always a sales girl. I did really well there. I got head hunted for a second company that’s like, you know, just I’ve always been in sales. I wouldn’t say marketing, but just I picked up a few things as far as branding brand strategy. It’s where my passion sort of is like sort of developing a narrative.
Got it, So I’m in that space. I mean, you always hear about some crazy stories that happen in the nightlife environment, like, you know, if a bouncer kind of chokehold somebody and throws them out. You always hear about liquor flying across the bar from topics I like. What’s the craziest story that you can recap that has happened in that environment for you?
Oh, so let me say something. When I first moved down to Atlanta. Right. And I told you, like, just I was on the scene, I was cute. Like, people are like, yo, let me take you out to a few places in a like some classic Atlanta spot. So I was like, OK, you ready to go? I’m like, yeah, I’m ready to go where we go. And I’m it’s fine. I don’t even know where it is. And we pull up to this spot called Central Station. And as I’m walking in, the bouncer is dragging this dude by his dreads through that deck. That wouldn’t have you been to Central Station?
I have it. No.
Oh, man. You should have gone. I think there might still be OK. I’m not sure about covid, but I know they were open a little before shopping is dragging the dude by dreads and threw him. I thought it was like a Mortal combat move, like literally just walk onto that gravel lot. And I was like, I mean, take me inside, I need a drink, I want to be right there. And that was my first spot. The next spot these fools took me to is like, yeah, you want some sake? Like I take you to the best place in the city. I was like, OK, we’re driving down, we’re driving around and we’re driving down Cheshire Bridge Road. We passed those two big Italian spots, passing all these like Doghouse and things like that. And we pull up to this parking lot where there’s these big metal structures. It’s a place called Onyx. And I was like, I had no idea Onyx was a strip club because we’d never been before because I get come on and they’ve got steak. I walk in and we’re at a strip club. As I’m walking in, there’s a dancer on the pool and the bartender sit there and right all around her, it’s just the whole area just smells like straight bleach. And so those are my first like first like jarring moments in the hospital, like Atlanta hospitality scene. Right. Like it. A hospitality strip, clubs. It’s a part of our hospitality scene over here. Same thing with Central Station. Like Central Station is a big part of our hospitality legacy here in Atlanta. And I was in love like I love my fine dining experiences now. Like, I’ve been exposed and learned a lot more. But just to see people have fun and be who they are and be comfortable in a space, in a venue where they’re catered to the way they’re supposed to be catered to, like is a passion of mine. I love it. I live for it. I live for it. Like nobody blinked. And I want to do this just like this. I was like, OK. I was like, I’m like in shock. But everybody was just like, let’s go. Next person in line. Let’s go, let’s go.
So, I mean, definitely your energy, right? I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted you on the podcast, because you have this abundance of energy. Right. And that’s why I’ve kind of deemed you kind of like the queen of the night. So that’s kind of your past, right? These are some things that you’ve done. So what are you working on right now?
So some of the things that are we’re. Working on right now, I started a company a couple of weeks ago, and I know you and I had sort of been talking about developing a brand, I wasn’t quite sure which direction I was going to go into, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to work with someone. And I’ve interviewed with a few people I interviewed with Rocksteady for a GM position. I interview with the Hyatt. I was going to go to work. I was going to do something. I didn’t imagine myself sitting still after we sold Habana. So I owed it to myself and I needed to prove it to myself. So I did a couple of consultations. I built a lounge in Johns Creek, Georgia. It is called Lion’s Den and Beaumont Cigar Bar. I developed their humidor program, their bar program, worked to staff the bar work to staff the entire restaurant, and started to work with them to get a chef in there and then closed out the consult. I understand about myself that I like my short term projects. I don’t plan on being anybody’s GM. I don’t see myself attached to someone else’s brand long term like that. But I love and I enjoy helping people sort of like lift them off the ground and get them started and get them going to where they think that they want to be and where they want to be. So I worked on that currently again. Now we developed a company a couple of weeks ago because we developed a company to work with Sun Goddess wines. I was trying to see if I had a bottle left that I believe are going to get a new case of some badass wines from Fenthion Winery, some that as Wine is by Mary J. Blige. So our company is sort of focused on immersing Sun Goddess wines through the Atlanta market. We have developed a strategy for Mary’s team or Trinity Beverage Group, who carries the wine, who bring the wine to market. And we’re sort of tasked with immersing the market and strategically placing them in just the right places with the right people so as to meet our goals to get everybody drinking. SunGard is mine, my company’s Atlanta hospitality collective. Thank you. It’s Atlanta Hospitality Collective, and it’s going to be exactly what we’ve always kind of wanted. habanas was one of those places. And I’m glad you kind of started off with the fact, like how we sort of got together with you through Darvon and a couple of other relationships that we had our mutual relationships. And we find out like, hey, I have this talent and we’re like, hey, we have this platform. We’d love to share our platform with you. And we’ve always found that model or that strategy successful and build collaboratively, collaboratively working to build mutual success. That’s always just just you can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t approach everything the same way. Different people engage in different styles. Different people are looking for different things. Different people can do different things that you can not do well. And when you and Habaneros taught me all of that and Atlanta Hospitality Collective, what I would love for it to be is whatever your needs are, I think someone just text me a few minutes ago and said, you have a strong network of very powerful people. And I think that is a testament to some of the work that we’ve done in the community and some of the relationships that we build, but also some of the relationships that people have afforded us. And we’ve been able to extend back out to the community, to the people. We don’t forward a lot of things. I just always believe, like your relationship with this person is going to pan out to be what it’s going to be. And if you look good and he looks good, I look like you know what I mean. But at the end of the day, if it doesn’t work out, it’s still not a bad reflection on me because there was a footprint to move forward. So Atlanta Hospitality Collective is focused on a broad vision of what hospitality is, from creating consultations for allowing visionaries and entrepreneurs, giving them a roadmap on how to get a restaurant, get a food truck, go through the licensing and permitting process, how many parking spaces you need to have for this building for you to get this restaurant and this occupancy. So that’s a consultation lease negotiations. OK, this is your building. How can we talk about tenant improvement? We do things like that bar program. Just in the four or five years that we’ve been working at Habaneros alone, we’ve developed a great relationship with Brown-Forman, with Bacardi, Worimi, and those are our relationships that but we don’t have a home in a brick and mortar anymore. It behooves us to bring them to other locations. You’ve got the liquor license now. You’ve got a brick and mortar. So we like I said, if you can you and I can work together. We can come to an agreement like we love to bring you all of these relationships that can be a resource for you because people don’t really understand, especially in hospitality. Like we don’t know. We don’t know. People of color were never privy to exactly what resources are available to us, so we’re always scrambling and we’re always trying to figure things out. And just again, like I said, like, you know, just in developing these relationships, I’ve come to understand quite a bit about how Atlanta works, how politics works, how to get your liquor license and how you go about these things. And we’d like to whatever your vision is, if you have a vision, if you have a good weekend, we can get you capital. We have great relationships like that. Can work to get you some capital. We want to make it happen. We’re solution focused. We’re solution driven. Money is always the goal. And I believe in working together. We can really do that. And we do that through food and beverage because I believe so. While America is currently depicted as is completely polarized country, which it is, I think, a really good platform to sort of deliver a different message or a really good platform to sort of just pivot that conversation is to the food and beverage scene especially, and most especially cigar culture, because people want to enjoy a cigar. People want to enjoy a cocktail. Everybody’s going to enjoy the good fried flounder at the Beverly. Just just it’s a starting point. No, it’s a starting point where you can develop relationships. And we just I’m optimistic all the time because I see it happen. I’ve seen some really weird relationships develop when you’re like, what are some of the weirdest things? Like this dude coming in here into a bar knows where to hat drinking his sweet water for twenty. And the dude next to him is somebody from your house suggesting he drink a sweet water 13. Instead he buys the dude with the maggot had brought the next round. They’re both talking cigars and it’s quite obvious how different, how strikingly different these people are. I was like, I’ve just lived for that moment. I know. I don’t. I don’t. It was the same stuff like that. Yeah.
You brought up a really strong point about just like the cultural differences and understanding, like how to get access to things. Right. So being that you’re not only your business owner, but you sold a business. And like, just in that achievement, in that faith, I felt like a whole nother ballgame because most people are trying to build a business. You’re at the point where you sold the business and now you’re moving on. So what did that journey really look like? I mean, like like how did that pan out?
So I think, like, you just you build businesses and you build things to sell for monetary gain. You build this brand around yourself. You build this business around yourself. And people were like, oh, are you interested in bringing on a partner interested in expanding? Are you interested in doing that? And just at that time, as a family like Michael and I, my ex and I, we had a business together. We had two small children together. We have a four year old and two year old. We were heavily into the community together. Michael’s currently working with City Council on a huge nightlife project right now in which I’m sort of spearheading a task force. And it became overwhelming and it came to that decision. And as a small business owner and being a little small minded and that’s a test I’m just talking about myself, it was hard for me to get let go because I thought it would appear to be failure. Right. But in sitting down and going through that process, as far as that it is a true journey, negotiating with lawyers, negotiating terms and conditions, negotiating a buyout, negotiating like what everybody gets, it’s very eye opening, very humbling, very humbling. It was very emotional because I almost that I was like my baby was going off to college. You’re just going off to college. It was dope. It was in retrospect, like, you know, now that I can sort of like now that I’m separated from it and it’s over and done with, it was super dope. Like we had a great team. And that’s where you really understand the power of a strong team. Right? Everybody has a part to play in all of that. Our lawyer that just sort of brokered everything was Michael Sterling. Michael Sterling was a mayoral candidate, is the husband of Eva Marshall Sterling. And he is just just been pivotal in a lot of different like the legal side of things for habanas. And he’s someone that we trust. He had our best interest. And that was very important because you saw different people were different people were involved. Like I was looking for something different. Michael was looking for something different, like everybody’s results, like what they wanted out of a deal was completely different. And you had to reconcile. All of that is a process is a journey because it’s not always about money. Right. You. Destroyed and you want the narrative done properly, we want you to be like and then they sold and that’s not how it happened. So it was humbling. It was learning. You understood like these things take time and it is a process and you need a strong team that’s had the experience at a high level to execute some of these things because you can get screwed over. So thank God and I will say this about Dennis MacKinley Dennis McKinley, who owns Crew Hookah Lounge is the first and he’s an entrepreneur. He also owns Hot Dog Factory. And he’s also plays a little part in Housewives of Atlanta. He purchased Hookah Lounge in. It’s a true testament to the type of man he is and the type of business man he is. Just he did a dope job like he did a great job like everybody. It was a fair and equitable sale, like it went well. And that’s all everybody. It was fair and equitable and everybody was at peace. And that’s really a lot to say
with it inside. Right? I mean, thinking about when you have business partnerships now, you always hear about the fifty one percent share. Right. And everybody else has forty nine or twenty twenty and then somebody else has 60 percent. I don’t know the exact numbers, but going into an actual sale, if you can kind of describe what does that look like as far is it more so an equity payout. Is it more so you get revenue for a particular time after the business is sold. What kind of things did you guys get into with equity share model?
So what I will tell you is this. Ultimately, it comes down to who put the most amount of money into the business. You can sit here and say that, hey, where to where? One third operators here, there and everywhere. Right. Like it can be on paper. We have an operating agreement amongst ourselves. Even if you define that salary, like, you know, Michael, as GM gets this amount for these many years and we weren’t able to kind of fulfill those salary amounts would still give him the equity at that level. Me as like marketing, branding, events, social media, like the responsible roles and responsibilities that I held. Did this amount of work at this amount of rate, like in a standard industry race or whatever, like this is how much I’ve put in with sweat equity. Right. You realize like the time and effort and energy that you put in and this is a sad part, kind of doesn’t matter at the end because they’re looking at the dollar amount. Right? That’s cool. You guys have an operating agreement. We can be fair and equitable, but at the end of the day, like he’s a person or you’re the person that put this amount of money. So he gets this amount of money in and this amount of return. We also took on a couple of investors. Right. Like we had to go ahead and pay that off. And then we had a certain amount of product. We had liquor. The liquor license was worth certain, right? A certain amount. The humidor, the smell, cigars he didn’t want. So he gave that back to us. So you learn that like that operating agreement that you had in place, just all the terms and conditions that you kind of had in place, like it’s a different conversation. You may have all these things in place, but it can become a different conversation. And some of those things don’t necessarily apply to these negotiations. Like with the sale. You think you have this much of a CEO and you really do. So, again, like I said, that was kind of humbling. Yes.
I mean, it was it’s pretty interesting. And I mean, a lot of people, they may not even realize when they go into a sale, like you had a physical brick and mortar that you talk about liquidation, you have to kind of liquidate like what was on the shelves upon the return if you wanted to. Actually, he didn’t want the cigars. So then you had to kind of financially to keep cigars or sell them for wholesale somewhere and move them. Right. So another thing that you brought up earlier was like just like the whole family environment. I mean, you’re a mom full time mom of two boys. So, I mean, how do you juggle your work life with your family life?
Our family is a two family household now. Right. We made a commitment to two different things. I just we’d had such a strong reputation as community driven business owners like, you know, just entrepreneurs. And we had such an impact. We didn’t want to lose that. We didn’t want to lose the trajectory. We don’t want to fall off the path that we were on. Again, huge learning process. Right. And we made a commitment to our kids. No matter what, we’re going to ensure that they’re healthy, they’re happy, they’re safe, and they’re taking care, which led to us sort of saying we’re going to keep working with each other. So. As a mom and as a woman, the burden of beyond is so big and I don’t know how it’s going to come out, but I say, like, the burden of raising your children is generally falls on the mother, right? Like, culturally, that’s a society is like you’re the mom, you’re going to raise them. And I have a great parenting relationship where it’s literally like a 50 50. I think Michael’s with the baby right now. Right. So I can do this podcast, but I’m going to go pick them up from school later on. And as I pick them up from school, drop them off. I’m going to get ready and host the event tonight at seven p.m. at Australia. And it’s we have to always communicate. And it’s it is juggling. I have to stay organized and I have to communicate. And I have a great business partner still and good for the father of my child is extremely receptive to the journey that I kind of want to take. Right. Like he’s not going to hinder my growth. And like I said, the commitment that we made to our kids and the business and just to our bottom line, to our finances, we want to make money, right? You want to make money? I want to make money. This is the things I’m good at, the things that you set this up for me to go ahead and knock it out. But doing this event, a lot of communication, different expectations around different things. Just I give myself a hard time because I feel like I’m not always there for my kids physically being the mom, being this huge nurturer. And just I’m out here, right. Like I’m hosting an event, but I’m also taking these appointments and things like that. And it’s not that I’m just will I have a purpose and I have intentions and I have a goal slowly but surely, like I’m sort of shutting all of that that stigma and some of that guilt. It’s a process as to like me not physically, always being the one that’s raising my kids and feeding them and staying at home and doing the virtual learning. Like we split that up, like, you know, just I’ll do today. I’ll do the good morning song in the first set of lessons and can you pick them up and you do that. It’s a lot of coordinating between the two of us, but I am blessed and I am one of very, very few women that can say that I have the opportunity to be able to move the way I want to move because I have a good man that’s a good business partner and a good dad, a great dad, great, great person that’s supportive of what we want to do as a family for our kids.
First of all, I want to commend both because I know you and I know Mike. Right. So just being in that environment, like you said, I’ve seen you guys being a pillar of the community for a period of time and then, like, obviously, you guys are apart right now. But to see that you guys are still on a cooperating tip and you’re still united on multiple different levels, that’s something that anybody that’s in your shoes would love to have because there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have that right. I mean, most households are separated. Usually it’s almost to the point where phones don’t ring anymore. Right? It’s to the point where maybe you get a text message, maybe you get emails of you guys to be on that level is definitely should be commended. Definitely. So with all that going on. Right. So what is your morning routine? What did your morning habits look like?
Oh, I definitely have come to realize I start off with a little bit of time to myself. I have to just sort of just center. And it looks like different things all the time. Just some days it’s just being able to just have a coffee and a cigar in the morning. Those are like my maybe like some of my Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings when I don’t have the kids or sometimes I don’t know. If you follow my girl, Marcia Shackelford, she does yoga. She does this morning yoga on her Instagram platforms. So I sometimes just kind of join in. I might not follow everything, but just to sort of have her do a guided breathing and meditative sort of session, that sort of just grounds me just a little bit. I’ve just now started to just sort of start writing down lists in the morning. Sometimes it’s a huge to do list. Sometimes it’s just like, you know, I’m really grateful for this little doodle that Gabe has in my book over here. And I’ll just draw around that. Just taking a little bit of time, carving out a little bit of time for me has served me very well in the past few months. Continuing just sort of recharge has served me well. That’s part of that. And then just always looking at the emails, communication with phones are always going off. It’s always an email that I need to look at. There’s always a text message that came through late last night and developing some boundaries around that has been super helpful and lots of phone calls like the mornings. I always start off with either a conference call on a Monday or call to it’s either conference call Monday that we’re we’re all on together with Michael or just I’m calling him to sort of map out our date So then we communicate with each other just like the kids are. This like this is what I need from you. These are the things so we can sort of coordinate and stay organized after that, we definitely have been going to visit some accounts during the afternoon the other day, I’m ashamed to say. But I was over at the Beverly in Glenwood, Mario, who used to own two five five on Peter Street and opened it up. It’s been out there for like about three years or so and we presented some Guidice wines to him and that just in a moment’s notice, he was like, let’s pick it up, let’s bring it in, let’s sell it. So just visiting all these different restaurant tours amidst this pandemic and just sort of talking to them and seeing how I can support and just gaining some insight from them, sort of offering some resources. And we’ve been having some great conversations throughout the week, some with some great entrepreneurs, which always feeds my soul and comes down in that creative craziness. Right. Like, Oh, we should do this. We can do this, we can do this, we can pull this person. And then everybody’s like, yo, slow down, write this down, just shoot me an email for a life so we can kind of follow your thoughts. Then we kind of wrap it. We pick up our kids. I definitely spend just maybe three days out the week. I’m down there like, you know, just with them. And then three days of the week they’re with me. So mapping all of that out and then at some point or the other, like, again, get I have to consciously take time to make sure I eat. You have all of this list of all these things. I’m like, oh yeah, eating, drinking a smoothie, making sure I’m hydrated. But my girls are super dope. They’re just like drinking water, like take them all. I had picked up a multivitamin for you. So my community is great. Just we all kind of take care of each other, but that’s what my routine kind of looks. And then, oh God. And then my events. And then every Tuesday night I had a yesterday I had an event over at the Beverly tonight where I’m cohosting. It’s actually, Aaron, I can drop names, but there’s industry leaders that sort of are spearheading the initiative and I support ancillary by bringing them. SunGard is doing the cigar smoking and it’s in what we deem to be safely operated spaces, which is also important. Like I can’t take full risk. Yes. Yes. We’re out here hosting events in the middle of a pandemic at restaurants and public settings. Yes, we’re going to continue to do that. It’s the food. And this is our bread and butter, right? Like you cannot tell any restaurant tour to stay at home and collect any type of money. The government started getting in. All that shit is on hold right now. Secondly, restaurant tours are not just responsible for themselves and their households. They’re responsible for these bartenders, servers, barback chefs, line cooks, homeless people that we import people off the streets that we employ to do little task for us. We’re the ones I feel like the restaurant hospitality scene is what I feel like is just going to sort of forge things forward. And so that’s why politics is really important for us as well. Rigth? It’s important for our government to know that resources need to be when they talk about that big bailout for food and beverage scene for restaurant wars, that’s frickin important. We are out here because we don’t have an opportunity. We don’t have the option to stay home. We are out here because we don’t have a different opportunity. We’re out here because these. Let let me tell you something. These landlords are not giving anybody breaks on their leases. You will hear that from restaurant tour after restaurant, tour after restaurant and bar owners and growlers shop, liquor store. They can sit on the property. They own it. They own shopping centers. They own just the shopping centers, like the stuff that all these Kroger’s on. Twenty two of them across the country, they can sit on it. They’re good. They got all the loans, they’ve got the money. They’re the ones making and developing what I mean. So it’s really important for us to be involved and for us to make our voice heard on what our needs are and for us to really sort of be involved at a higher level. it’s not just voting. You have to go beyond the book. Yeah,
which brings me down to another topic, so obviously I’m calling you the Queen of the night for obvious reasons, right. But at the same time, it’s kind of like you’re in alignment to suddenly become a politician as well, too. I mean, like just hearing you speak in the last five to ten minutes. Right. I mean, with the last things you just said was pretty much get up, get your ass out there going vote. And this is why you need to be right. So in that environment, on one hand, you have like you’re becoming the queen of the night, right? You got like the nightlife. You got the pictures going on, you got the cigars. But on the other hand, like, you’re really on some community development stuff. So where do you see yourself in 20 years? I mean, obviously, both of these worlds, you’re juggling them right now, but 20 years from now, where do you ultimately see yourself?
I’m an immigrant in this country. I feel like every politician in here in Atlanta is a lawyer. Everybody then got more house to whatever. I have always been a huge I do believe that my support and my words and my platforms hold a certain amount of weight in how I’m able to relate to people, and I relate in how I relate to my audiences, how I relate to certain politicians. Right. So I lend my support to some very unique people. When it was the mayoral race, I stood behind Michael Sterling because I interacted with him on a couple of different occasions, right on some other things. And I had a very candid conversation with him because I’m like, well, what do you. And he had not been married to Eva yet. Right. But she was on the just you’re dealing with this reality TV star, this model. And I just had to ask the burning question, like what that everybody had in their heart. And this man sat there outside because he came in there asking for our support and he sat out there and thought I was worthy of an answer, an honest answer, and that I just felt he has so much integrity. I could do nothing but throw one hundred and ten percent behind him. And it was kind of a house divided at that time. Caesar Mitchell was the heir apparent in the mayoral race, and that’s who everybody had kind of stood behind. I stood behind Michael Sterling because I valued our relationship and valued that conversation outside of habanas. I believed in the Atlanta that he could sort of lead us into. When he dropped out of the race, I went to Keisha Bottoms. I asked the same difficult questions like, you know, she’s just I was just like, you know, is it important for you to be approachable as a woman? You seem very closed off and very reserved. And she again, like we were at it’s the bar out in Midtown across from, I can tell you. So it was a bottoms event and I’d ask you the question. And she looked us in the eye and she was able to answer it. And I think that level of confidence that she inspired in me, I threw my weight behind her as well. Most recently, I supported Antonio Brown for city council. And again, I know that he’s also a very different candidate on city council. Right. I choose people for whatever reason I believe is important for me, but I’m a huge support system and I’m a voice for people in the community and I’m a voice for them and I’m able to sort of take their message and deliver it to my platform. And even if you don’t stand by the candidate that I believe should be in a position to be able to have a conversation with people and to sort of spark that conversation and get people to do a little bit more research and just get people more involved from anything from behind. Standing behind a politician or candidate to a community cleanup is to rally to get people out and about involved is important for me. And I really think that that’s currently my role. 20 years from now, I will probably be serving the city of Atlanta at a higher level. I’m currently working on a project with my ex, again with the city of Atlanta that’s going to sort of unveil itself and sort of present itself in a few months or so, maybe even in twenty, twenty one at the beginning of January. But it has to do with just really strengthening businesses in this restaurant, in the food and beverage space, in the hospitality scene and providing them with resources, affording them and educating them on compliance and standards, but just really sort of tightening us up. There’s no reason that we can have Buckhead life. There’s no reason that we can’t be the next Ford Fry. Some of these chefs out here and behind the scenes, these executive chefs, Chef Tony man, chef Scott Leanna’s like these African-American chefs, a chef, Asha Gomez is Indian chef. Like there’s some dope chefs out here. There’s some great personalities out here that deserve platforms, just like for Friday’s like Kevin Gillespie does, like all these white boys do. And I don’t have a problem saying that. And I think there’s some people that receive it a certain way, there’s some people like we can’t be bothered with that anymore, and that’s I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. And I don’t think we can be afraid anymore. We can’t hide behind a lot of this decorum and this shit that we developed to kind of silence people because it’s a farce or it’s just a fallacy. It’s just like a method of control. And that’s something I fight a lot of as well. Like you see a little bit of that feminist movement in me as well. Like just people like you’re in the community, you’re a mom. You got this page called Sex and the Cigar, some racy pictures, but you’re telling people that your racy pictures doesn’t allude to the fact that and I’m like, yeah, yeah, it all makes sense to me. Does it not make sense to you? But if you would just not try to kind of box me in a figure out and just to follow the journey with me, I believe I can take people to my leadership. I do believe that I’m in a position of leadership. I’m not certain like how we can kind of define it. I take people where I go and I believe in like, again, that’s what Atlanta Hospitality Collective is. You build a platform. I’m not the marketing girl. I’ve seen it when I saw your proposal, when I saw your brand strategy, when I saw your outline. Like, this is how we go about it. When we had those conversations, I was like, OK, well, we have a guy, you know, let me refer you let me tell you, like, a little bit about him. Let me introduce you to you all. You need a photographer. Let me tell you about Paul. Actually, just look up. Look up. What you got over here about Paul.
Got got it. I think it’s ironic that your name is Dona Mattews. Definitely sounds like a political campaign name. One hundred percent as far as red, white and blue behind it. And I it again, just by the way, you’re speaking right now. You’re passionate about it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you running sooner or later.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And it’s always a lot of men that tell me this. And you’re the third person that’s told me this. I am such an impact and I’m such a hothead. Just when I say I support Antonio Brown like he’s a very passionate for the people type of dude like and he gives two hundred percent. And I’ve seen the sacrifices like people like Andre Dickins make. I’ve seen the sacrifices that Keisha Bottoms has made. I’ve seen the positions that she’s sort of been putting right. And I know and I’m confident that I have a community that will support me a little afraid to really even open up to that. But like I said, like I’m committed to it. I know what our kids can do. I know that we can. This is our city. There’s no other city in the country like the city of Atlanta. And it is made and it is paid by people like you. And I like where we got this contract. We’re marriageable age. And when we got this contract, like we were talking about, we’ve got to go the influencer route. And I’m like. You in Atlanta, you sit next to Bobby Brown, one day you’re running into t’ai at the barbershop, the next day Vernon Jones just got off the same chair that at the barbershop that my partner owns. You know, just this this is Atlanta. And you hold just as much weight as these guys do, you know what I mean? Like Car Booker off the Hook Barbershop. That’s where Stacey Abrams was. That’s why Abrams was right twice. Corey Booker was there with Stacey Abrams once we developed and supported winners out of that barbershop. They didn’t want to do it at Habanas. They wanted to do it at the barbershop. And Carlos. But you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s the influence that man wields. Dude from Mississippi, like real like southern Mississippi, like has just had a vision like started small, a barbershop, a cigar lounge.
He’s always been an entrepreneur. He’s you. He’s awesome. And he’s the people like those are the people like that. And it’s important for me to kind of like continue to share proper narrative. Right. And sort of like it’s important for us to kind of be like I understand that that’s your perspective. But let me tell you what our truth is. Let me tell you how we like how we talk and what we share and what our opinions are, what our reality is.
So I’m not afraid I’m open to anything, but I think 20 years from now is probably just about right now. I’m 50. That might be the time I get my act together and run for something. But thank you for the vote of confidence.
Yeah, definitely. I definitely hear it in your voice. So the next question I have for you, right. It’s what tools do you use in your industry that you would not be able to do without?
I don’t know if I can wrap my head around that question, like in the food and beverage industry.
What I mean, I think you’re in food and beverage, which I think you’re more so a consult in that space. So prime example like mean what tools did you use to kind of get the Mary Bly’s brand off with the liquor? Like how did you
people relationships. You think that as being tasked with brand emersion. Right. Being tested. We’re tasked with brand immersion. That’s what we’re going to sell these amount of cases by December. Thirty first twenty twenty. That’s our job. And you kind of look at it and I’m like, how do we best approach. Approach this, so I know that Aaron and Jay have been in nightlife for a very, very long period of time, they’ve cultivated certain energy about themselves, a certain energy that they sort of wield in different parties. And they’ve developed an audience. It is and using them and sort of in using supporting their events, supporting people like Jay, supporting people like Aaron, supporting people like the Sunset their event at sunset Wednesdays at Australia, supporting these events and just sort of showing up and continuing to sort of put their message out there. People developing, people developing, supporting people for defying what they’re already doing, supporting their vision, believing in them. That’s a strategy that we employ. And it’s always been successful as far as training, training and just sort of educating. As soon as we get information like, you know, just looking at stuff that comes out from the CDC is like you have to keep abreast of like new guidelines and standards that kind of come down. But you also have to as that stuff comes down from the CDC. Right. From scientists and doctors, that. Develop these standards and guidelines, you also have daily operators, these GMs, these bartenders, these servers have been cleaning up and serving drinks and taking away glasses and putting things in front of people for a very long period of time. They’re good at what they do. So sort of developing training material in light of the guidelines that they’ve sort of dropped down and sort of continuing to have conversations and training staff and doing with the part of the consulting. It’s all about training our staff and educating them on different methods and your standards, just how to deal with the rowdy guy, the guy that you just saw Roofie in her drink, the scene that we’re talking about, crazy shit that’s happened before. In the past. I’ve seen that several times. I think Michael has gotten a couple of times. It’s crazy when it does happen. But how do you deal with it? How do you have a conversation? Who do you call? How your security, proper protocols, putting girls in cars. They’re going home to get their training people and equipping people, especially younger people who are now taking the risks to be working in this industry. They’re just like, we’ve got to work. We have to take the risk. Like just you’ve got parents of parents and different people kind of staying at home. But now you’ve got a different set of new school industry leaders sort of developing. And it behooves us as like just Michael’s been in this for like 20, 30 something years. Right. And he’s 50 something years old, sort of bridging that gap through communication, training, different platforms like this, like posting this is going to be super helpful for someone. I hope Consultation’s just sort of saying, hey, we’re here just to support you and help you grow and move it in the right way. Having candid conversations to operators who are bad operators is important as well. Like we want to see everybody succeed. And again, you can’t be afraid to have the right conversations with people, other tools, just proper marketing, social media strategies. Employing that to really kind of deliver messages has been very important and useful and successful for us as well.
So, I mean, how could people find you online? I mean, you talk about these social media campaigns. I mean, you definitely got, like I said, a hell of a night following going on. So, I mean, like, how could people get in touch with you?
I’m on also I have about five different accounts that I’ve been managing and growing over the years. And just initially, you don’t look at it like it means anything. But then I was like like I’m delivering this message and I’m like looking at all as I’m managing all these lights and fees and everything like that. I made an impact. First and foremost, if you’d like to know me personally, you can find me on Donna and Sensate. I spent my name with my nan. So it’s Dona- uncensored. If you would like to follow me professionally and get some insight and get some exclusive events. That’s coming up in the near near future. Follow Atlanta Hospitality Collective. I can post all of this on Down Uncensored on all these pages that I’m sort of naming as I post all of this information later on. And then there’s still Habaneros Cigar Lounge. That is something that we’re looking to revamp that’s not going to die. We’re probably going to do a 2.0 version of that we’ve been in communication, but it’s on the table and it may or may not be a cigar lounge. We’re looking at different things and then managing about a cigar lounge. And the most racist of them all is sex and the cigar. It started off as like just I was just trying to find myself and find a voice. And I was just like, maybe if I develop a new personality and deliver something in this method. But that’s been evolving and I’ve been sort of looking at my evolution, like as far as my thoughts and my process and the content that I’m sort of sharing it. So you can see a lot of feminist stuff on there. Just I’m not a man bashing feminist. I think you need both in order for like we have to have a relationship, like just we’re created to procreate. I do believe in God, but I don’t believe in certain institutions that have been created to deliver messages to us. But I do believe, like, there’s clearly if you just open your eyes and look around and talk to people, there’s clearly instances where you see that’s a little bit bigger than you and I in this moment right now, what we think and what we know and I think it’s important for us to cultivate good relationships amongst men and women, to really educate ourselves on some of the challenges that you face like you. Just some challenges. I be like, no shave. November is coming up and it’s focused around men’s health . And men’s health is I feel like it’s like a secondary or that like we don’t talk about it enough. We don’t talk about mental health. We don’t talk about physical health, like men’s health, like definitely need to have stronger, better conversations, especially in our communities, and those are things that women can champion, right? Same thing like men, like, you know, just as we continue to champion each other’s causes, like that’s how we sort of bridge that divide. So that’s what I’m hoping for. When you eventually get into sex and the cigar on Instagram, that I’m able to continue to deliver that message through my stories. And then so, you know, I’m saying I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m a new mom and stuff. And I lost a little bit of weight. I just needed to kind of remind myself of a little bit. And I take pride in that. It’s a real body. It’s a I’m a real woman. I got stretchmarks body positivity. It’s a conversation that needs to be like if I find myself sexy just like this right now and, you know, I’m not skinny. I’m not just I’m not what everybody thinks I need to look like.
Yeah. So that’s another jewel in itself. So, I mean, just to kind of round things out, I mean, what kind of words of wisdom do you have for someone that’s potentially follow in your footsteps coming up behind you? What would you tell them?
Go forward Don’t let these naysayers tell you that’s an oversaturated market for you to open up yet another cigar lounge or that this is why I don’t support black businesses or we need to do better or this is why I don’t vote or this is why I just don’t take no for an answer. Don’t get stopped. Don’t let anybody else determine or put opinions in your head that take over what you feel in your heart. That is a huge personal message of mine that I think I’ll always be sort of grappling with for the rest of my life. Don’t let people define you as a mother. Don’t let people say you can’t follow a career. Don’t let people say, well, that’s your ex and you ended it a certain way and it was ugly. And you can’t bridge your relationships forward because you’re going to look silly and you’re going to look stupid. Don’t let the world’s norms. Be your norm, like individuality is powerful and community is powerful, and just in sort of being a strong individual and allowing give yourself a lot of grace, give yourself a lot of grace there success and there’s failure and that’s simultaneous. There is success before failure to success after failure. That’s failure. Like it goes back and forth. It is not this role. It is not the straight road map. I have to prepare myself for the mistakes I’m about to make every day. That’s that me time. Just I know I shoot from the hip. I know I don’t have this experience. When it came to the wine, like, you know, people like I don’t know if you have enough wine experience to really push it. I’m like, I got people experience. I’ll be OK. I’ll be right. Like, I know restauranteurs. I know how to ask. I don’t have I know how to get support. Like I’ll be OK. Thank you though. Thank you. I appreciate it. Don’t let anything really be a hurdle like pursue your vision, pursue your passion, but just pursue it unabashedly and abandon me. Like give yourself grace to make mistakes, allow yourself to learn from it. Like I said, I’m extremely humbled. I make a lot of mistakes. I poured the wine wrong. I just we ran out of glasses. We had to serve. There’s just a lot going on. Like, you just have to continue to adjust. And that’s something the hospitality industry sort of teaches you. Like, you know, I know this is the run show over here and all like this is what we planned on doing during this podcast. But if I answer something incorrectly, like, you know, that you and I know what what happens between us, but nobody else really knows. We have to keep pushing. It’s a production. We just have to keep moving forward.
And again, that’s one reason why I want you on the show that I know you’re going to be a firecracker. Right. And that’s why I wanted to get you on here. As far as like the whole women empowerment, I know you’re going to go down that route as well, too. And again, to your point, that’s what people need to see. I don’t want this podcast just to be one hundred percent male or one hundred percent African-American. I want it to be diverse plethora of people so that somebody potentially in India doesn’t listen to his podcast, see you and be like, holy shit, I can be her. Why not? And then take the steps, take your words of wisdom and take action. That’s really what America is really about. It’s about giving diversity through people’s successes. And everybody on the show has had different success. I’m not trying to overlap anybody. I’m trying to figure out, well, your success is completely different than the last person and completely different from the person before you. And that’s the beauty of the world that we live.
So another question I have for you, this is one of the questions that I just love to ask, because I always get these unique answers right. So if you could spend twenty four hours a day with anybody dead or alive, uninterrupted, who would it be and why?
Oh. Just one answer, huh? That’s what makes it difficult right now to think about it just a little bit. Dead or alive, right? You know, I’d love to spend some time with Snoop Dogg.
I can see that he’s definitely the hospitality.
So I spent some time in Sudan and he is a guy I sometimes like myself. I’m a guy. Yeah, I love it. I love his whole swag. I love his whole attitude. Like, that’s who I want to spend a day with a 20 whole 20 for a whole twenty four hours it would be.
Definitely. So this is the of the podcast. I was just going to give the microphone to the person I’m interviewing. So, I mean, any questions you have for me?
Absolutely. Boss Uncaged, right. I love what you do with Paul. I love how you’re like you’re so insightful. Like you definitely see the vision and know understand the message for so many different people. You give it like you’re here on this podcast. There’s a number of personalities, a number of visionaries that you encounter through this platform. I know how I see it, but can you give me a little bit of insight? Like, what do you see in people? What is it that you see? Like how is it that you see like what is that like being like that. Like, that’s that’s that’s like how do you. Am I am I being clear like what? Yeah,
I understand the question,
but like, what is it that says that you gravitate to when you say, I want you on this show?
So for me, it’s the beauty of social media makes it kind of an easy opportunity for me to kind of view people from the outside looking in. Right. And obviously, on a personal level, too, I mean, I was we had all our conversations. We met you guys at the lounge before Paul was on the show as well. And I met Paul through college. So I’m really big on the six degrees of separation. Right. So to one businessperson, obviously, I meet many others and then as I connect to that person, I get to kind of see a little bit inside of the way they process the way they think, what their journeys are looking. So for you. Obviously, we had a conversation. He was talking about branding. We’re talking about marketing. Then obviously, I knew you had the lounge. I knew Michael. And I would just like watching you kind of build and develop the other platform on Instagram. I would just like she is the epitome of what this brand really is. It’s kind of like you’re in multiple different facets, but they’re all in the one wheelhouse of hospitality. So just giving you an opportunity to speak on how you’re doing it and understanding the way you’re processing and thinking, that’s what I would like doing, that she has to be on the show because there’s somebody else out there that’s thinking, oh, I want to come back or I want to open up a bar or I want to do some kind of marketing for restaurants. But you’re the epitome of all those things in one person. So the people that are potentially listening, the entrepreneurs and the small business owners that are listening and I hear you speak and obviously you’re political as well. That’s part of that environment, right? You have to be a politician to be able to move like you’re saying. If you want to get a liquor license. It’s not just filed the report. It’s not just filed the paperwork and pay the fees. You kind of have to shake hands and kiss babies to a certain extent to get that expedited. And people don’t realize that. So just by you saying that somebody is probably listening, like I’ve been doing everything for the past four months and my license is still not active, I wonder why you answer that question for indirectly. That’s what I see. I mean, that’s why I called the Boss Uncaged. I mean, it’s not just about BOSS. It’s about becoming a boss. It’s about on that journey of coming off the cage from being a full time employee to being a full time entrepreneur and jumping out there and never looking backwards, though.
Another question, like politically like, you know, just like I said, I have to kind of do it. And that’s really important for me to get. Like, how involved are you? Like, do you know your candidates? Do you understand, like, the age difference between the two? You know that people don’t understand that these people are three years apart. Three years, I’m not asking you, but are you registered to vote, just are you participating on a local level as well?
So it’s funny that you asked that question, because, believe it or not, I used to be behind the scenes running political campaigns. So for me, I’ve just kind of learned how to resonate what I would like to call in between the gray lines, right? I understand both parties and, you know, obviously like Talli, she was like my first interview on this podcast and her and I had an opportunity to work with an actual I’ll say at a Republican Party.
We was doing marketing a strategy for it. So growing up Democratic, it gave me opportunity to really understand both parties firsthand, like looking at their marketing materials, looking at the content, looking at the designs, looking at everything and understanding like this is just literally black and white. It’s like a chessboard continuously ongoing. And as a matter of essentially picking the right side at the right time. Wow. So to answer your question, I definitely I’m involved, but I really don’t broadcast it because I know how it’s difficult to get into that state of mind and express yourself without going down the negative road of what I believe this.
And you believe that. And I’m in the middle like, well, I think both you guys have leeway. Yeah, I’m not saying I’m voting for either one of you or for one or the other, but I’m saying I understand your views, understand your views. You’re kind of right. You’re kind of right. And unfortunately, in the world that we live in, it’s always going to be divided. And the example I always use and I sound crazy when I say it is kind of like, OK, think about baseball. Basketball is always opposing sides, otherwise they would never be a sport. And without thinking and understanding that, without having opposing sides, then obviously we would never have any politics, we wouldn’t have any religions. So understanding that that’s what we are, it’s always going to be on and off until something drastic happens, like aliens come into the planet. Right. Something less completely out of the mind of anybody to make like a global peace, uniformity of, oh, my God, all of us have the same new common enemy. There’s always going to be opposing sides no matter what we’re like.
A pandemic hits. Right. That affects people of any color. I mean.
Yeah, but even with the pandemic, it’s still black and white. It’s still this party versus that party where masks don’t wear masks. So if aliens appear to kind of change the dynamic of the situation to where it’s not about black or white, it’s not about Democrat or Republican, it’s not about Catholic versus Hindi, it’s about, holy shit, everything on this planet potentially could cease to exist in the matter of that quickly. So now become a uniform front to go against the new common enemy. And again, it still becomes bipolarity, still negative versus positive. Now we’re all on one side, uniformed against the new enemy. And then down the road, that new enemy may be allies and then will be the ally front. You get into Star Wars or Star Trek. That was the allied front against somebody else. And it’s a step by step by step repeat. There’s always going to be like we’ve been like that since the dawn of time. It’s always been, you know, beginning of time. That was man and woman. Right. And that’s opposing sides by default. And then they joined together and they merged together. Right. There’s always been dark and light. That’s our entire existence has been based on that premise. So it’s going to be kind of really difficult to ever have a complete uniform Republican or Democrat Party in one sense. Right. You may have the alternate parties that may come in, but unfortunately, much like religion and sense, you know, Catholics and Baptists and all these different religions, it’s kind of like a group of people that are following something and search for something. So when you have something new that comes into that state of mind, like Kanye West steps into the space, he’s like, I have no religion. It’s kind of like, whoa, what is this new thing some people are going to be attracted to because it’s different. But in reality, the masses are not because they’re been grown and been bred it into something that their grandfathers and a great grandmothers have always instilled in them from generations. So it becomes a highly difficult to kind of have a uniform for. So hopefully I answered your question.
You did. You did. Just like and to just sort of piggyback off that, like, you know, just I know you’re saying, like, you know, one would think that a pandemic. Would unify us just a little bit. Do you foresee, like, immediate change, like within our generation?
I mean, I think we have seen some changes, we have seen some evolutions, and I always look at it from there’s multiple things, right? This education as part of that. Right. Our education system was primarily based upon the industrial revolution as far as being a daisy chain step and repeat step repeat. And now we have the interjection of STEM programs. It’s kind of like more out of the box thinking when the reality is not really out. The box is the way things have should have been since like the 90s. Right. All this technology that’s around this, all based upon people that have been bucking the system, going against the grain. To your point, people that said there’s too much cell phones in the market and then here comes iPhone. When there was Ericsson, there was Samsung. It was all these other major manufacturers at the time and Apple came from nowhere. And now they’re like they’re 50 percent share holders of that market sector. So to your point is one of the things you have to understand that in the longevity of everything that we in existence right now, there’s room for change now is going to happen in our lifetimes potentially. Yes. It may not be the vision that we perceive it to be prime example in our lifetime. Right. And I remember like ninety is the year I graduated from high school. Ninety eight. We were still particularly using pagers and moving into cell phones. So five years after that, everything completely changed, completely changed. I remember in ninety I was on my phone and it had a cap of one hundred contacts. Five years after that, there was unlimited contacts. So in the context of like race and everything else, obviously we’ve made leaps and bounds. Right. But there’s always going to be some left over something. And it really comes down to, again, there’s always going to be black and white, not to say race, but it’s always going be negative and positive. And that’s the way even down to the atomic level, negative and positive is what makes the world go round.
So I love it. Great insight.
Cool cool. Well, I definitely appreciate your time, I think this was like a great conversation. It went all over the place and it was like but it was high, intense energy, right? It was definitely we delivered content business strategy. We talked about politics. But that’s one of the reasons why I definitely reached out to you wanted to have some of that energy on the show. And I definitely appreciate you bringing us to say,
thank you for the opportunity. I loved it. I enjoyed myself like Boss Uncaged resonates with me. And then, of course, I just have a relationship. I really appreciate how you see the vision, how you really have a strategy behind employing it. So just continue to look forward to working with each other. And again, thanks again for the opportunity.
Definitely. It was a pleasure S.A Grant over now. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Boss UnCaged. I hope you got some helpful insight and clarity to the diverse approach on your journey to becoming a Trailblazer at this podcast. Helped you please email me about it. Submit additional questions. You would love to hear me ask our guests and or drop me your thoughts at asksagrant.com post comments, share it, subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner Beast. S. A. Grant signing off.
listeners of Boss UnCaged are invited to download a free copy of our host S. A. Grant’s insightful book, Become an Uncage Trailblazer. Learn how to release your primal success in 15 minutes a day. Download now at www.Sagrant.com/bossuncaged.