I just think that in the end, there’s a lot of people who are smart, but there aren’t always a lot of people who move you spiritually. And like my grandmother, my great grandmother, Virginia Brewer, I don’t even know how far her education, but she had lived her life in a way, and she had become the embodiment of love. That she impacted so many people, so I think if you can tune in to love. You will love yourself, which means that you will embrace all the gifts and the legacies and the graces that you’ve been given, and you’ll put them to work. If you love people, you will bring those gifts to people in a way that they can recognize it as good and they can feel like they were empowered and benefited by the excellence and the care. So I just think love it’s not maybe what you would expect an intellectual person to say. I just think in the end, you don’t remember people who were just smart. You remember people who moved you.
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 Conduct’s 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 Bosses Beast in you welcome our host S.A. Grant.
Welcome, welcome, welcome back to the show, Boss Uncaged. On today’s show, we have C Milano. This is going to be a definite treat today. C Milano is a hybrid. He is not only a creative, but he’s also analytical individual. And just give it a little bit background. I mean, who are you? Molano.
So my dad. Yep, entrepreneur. And as you mentioned, I’m a creative and artist, but I’m also an executive. I live in a world where, you know, we were nurtured to be our whole selves. And that was about, you know, bifurcating executive thought from creative thought. And really, as we watched our ancestors do right. Both work every day and then come home and have a hustle,
or they were right where they were maximizing their creative agency, sometimes as even a political act. Right. The kind of political with a small P like using your creative genius as a way to express your own sense of self determination and agency over your own controlled world. So, yeah, I see myself as just really every day trying to show up to be my whole self.
Just with that statement you got of just set the bar right. So define yourself in three to five words.
Thinker, vision caster executer.
OK, so on this show we’ve had entrepreneurs, we’ve had educators and I think that I know you, that you’re creative on one side, but you’re also an educator on the other side. And you do a lot of nonprofit work, but you also do a lot of creative work. So you kind of just tell us a little bit about your education, kind of like your education background and how your journey began and then to where you are right now.
Sure. So as a really young person without reading Martius Cenotaphs book, her famous book was Do What You Love in the Money Will Follow. But as a young person, I had that belief. I just remember in elementary school tapping into the insight that if I could find the things that I was the most passionate about and if I could develop expertise around those things, I would be successful. When I was growing up, the big aspiration that I could see for myself was to be a physician. So everything in my sort of frame of view was around becoming a doctor. So I went to Northwestern undergrad and I was premed. And then I majored in health policy, kind of health service administration. I loved that I finished the premed core and I found that the policy part and the health administration part was actually more compelling to me than the medicine part. So I stayed on that track and ended up working in the city of Chicago at the sort of with the Cook County Bureau of Health Services helping to open up a hospital on the South Side Providence Hospital, Cook County, where, Daniel, how did the first African-American surgeon did the first heart surgery? I love that work and was really passionate about it. Now, on the creative side, I had also grown up in high school. I ran track, but I also wasn’t started modelling at 15. And, you know, I never had an ambition that modelling would be my full-time job. I just thought it was something that I enjoy that exposed me to lots of stuff. So I just kept doing it. So I did it all throughout. Undergrad was doing it while I was working as a health administrator. Health policy analysts continue to just really enjoy and be passionate about urban poverty and expanding access to health care to black and brown populations on the south side of Chicago and started then getting really interested in leadership and where I worked at, which is the the Health Research and Educational Trust of the hospital, American Hospital Association. My boss at that time, Mary Pitman, who was the president, if you have Mary said she said she was not going to give me another promotion until I went back to graduate school. She saw me as being a high potential person and just felt like I needed that solid graduate training underneath me. So I went to Harvard for graduate school, studied leadership and organization and ended up working at the Kennedy School, really looking at issues of leadership and philanthropy and also in the nonprofit sector. So, yeah, I started off being interested in being a medical doctor and kind of ended up being more interested in thinking about how to make organizations healthy in service to a more just and equitable society. So that was the dawn of the genius group? I think so. It’s a great question. So when I was at Harvard, I took lots of courses on how leaders thought and there was a book that was popular while I was in graduate school called The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which was by Howard Gardner’s work. And it really characterized seven different kinds of smarts. Oftentimes when we think about smarts, we think about logical, rational, smart. But we don’t think about aesthetics, we don’t think about kinesthetic like bodily movement and what how it’s work really documented is that there are these multiple kinds in domains of intelligence. And the genius group is a little snarky, sarcastic because there are a lot of black and brown students, graduate students at Harvard. We saw our families sort of execute creative genius and ingenuity in their own, like Huso in their own surviving out of, you know, context of poverty. But we noticed that it never got put into the canon of what constituted genius. So it wasn’t like considered a MacArthur genius award to have survived your neighbourhood. But in fact, for some people, it was quite a feat. So the genius group is really a little bit of a quasi it’s a little sardonic in the sense of reclaiming the fact that they’re within our nation’s communities. There are tons of people who are exercising creative genius in agency. And what would happen if we had a company that tapped into that on behalf of community transformation?
Yeah, I think being that I know what the genius group does and we’ve been working together for like almost like 10 years at this point in time.
It gives me an area to say that I can see the transition. You know, you started with the genius group, but potentially use a genius group to fund C Molano, the clothing brand.
So a lot of people don’t really understand the magnitude of how that’s done. And I think if you kind of give a little insight to that, I think it would be very beneficial because when you have one company, most of the time, that takes a hundred percent of your effort.
Yeah. So, you know, truth in advertising, I, I’m probably not an ultimate executive. But one thing I did understand from my training and also just watching just practically watching people who have owned businesses is it was always communicated to me that one of the biggest markers of success is the ability for you actually to be able to create something and have someone else work in it and still be able to be sustainable. So I just didn’t want to create an enterprise circumstance that was so founder centric that I wasn’t starting to productize my service, that I wasn’t documenting the processes that we were using that were making us successful repeatably and using those practices again and again so that the success of the genius group, was it because of a charismatic individual? It was because a set of repeatable practices that anyone who was thoughtful could use. So one of the things that you’ll note that we do, we’ve got practices that we repeat in that business. We practice setting up our clients a particular kind of way. And it’s documented we practice debriefing the success of a good project and it’s documented.
So using repeatable systems.
Yeah, I mean, we’ve talked a lot about this, how important it is in your business to understand what got you to success and not have it just be the creativity, the ingenuity that no one really understands. And so that’s one piece. The second piece is I’ve learned as an entrepreneur how important it is to follow your joy and your bliss. And I had gotten a fellowship by the Association of Black Foundation executives to look at issues of social equity in the philanthropic field. And one of the huge gifts of that was also we got an executive coach.
have this fantastic Latina from New York, Eva Mandaville. And Eva was saying to me, know, I just don’t think you’re as happy as you say you are. I think that something is missing. And I just kept searching my heart and she said, well, I want you to do a vision board.
And I want you to describe what you feel like would be the most exciting and compelling future. And I did this vision board and it had all these men’s fashion garments and images in it. And I was thinking, wow, there was a lot of philanthropy in it, which was which I think would represent the genius group making a difference in the world on behalf of communities and using the tools of organized philanthropy, including the investment power and the influence to sort of do good in the world. But there was most of it was about fashion and as ever went through my vision board with me, one of the things that she helped me to appreciate that there was a whole part of what makes me whole that was. Showing up in my work, I held that creative tension of something desiring to be born but not knowing what needed to give birth. And then during that Christmas holiday, this was back in 2011, my son’s godfather, Harlen, had come over and we were just sitting at the kitchen talking. It ended up that I had been designing all these men’s coats. I kept showing Harlen and my son Zachary at the time said to me that after his godfather had left, he said that, you know, that coat thing that you got all these coats you been making. He said, I think that’s like a real thing. I think you ought to do something with that. So, you know, the Bible says a child shall lead them. And in that moment, when he described what I should do in a previous iteration of my life, when I was back in Chicago, my best friend and I, Pournelle used to sing in song. Right. And in the studio, there’s a phenomenon when you’re creating a song and the idea is coming to you where you get what we call kind of big ears. It’s like you can hear those lyrics becoming a song.
And when Zach said to me, Dad, I think you ought to do something with this coat thing, like I got big ears and I could see that that was the entrepreneurial idea that I had been longing for that could feel that kind of creative tension and desire that was the birthing of the jeans. So let me go back to your practical question, which is I knew that financially that my kids were and I think they were about to go to private school. You know, I’ve already kind of I was striking out on one entrepreneurial venture. I knew that I couldn’t just stop doing the genius group financially. So what I gave myself permission to do is to begin where I was. I co-located my businesses. I started kind of ramping up the development of the brand. I didn’t have the money to fund full out operations or to start executing. I didn’t have a product yet, which, you know. Yeah, but I had all these clarity about what I wanted the brand to be, what I wanted the values to be, where I wanted to be positioned in the marketplace. So I think the permission that I gave myself was to start where I was. And I also had the wisdom or the insight to bring smart people who had expertise in different dimensions of what we would do like you and branding. I gave myself permission to start engaging you all and little by little, you know, website. And then the next thing we had actual brands. Then we had labels for brands. My decision was to build the infrastructure because one day when that one day came when I would have the resources to kind of progressively do the next step. So that was my wisdom on how to start where it was.
Yeah, I think just telling that story just paints a vision board, right? If I’m starting from ground zero, I think you just gave me a very clear depiction of how do I take my current job or currently what I’m doing and how to execute it moving forward into a brand. And I’m really happy that you brought up Brand because, I mean, you’re like the epitome of brand awareness, right? Because your genius group is a brand in itself. It’s more of an underground brand without you being the face of it. Like you said, you didn’t want to be the the the Steve Jobs of that particular brand. But then you created the C Malano brand, which you are clearly the CEO of the Steve Jobs of that brand. And your marketing, when I look at your stuff, is not just you’re just putting content out there. It’s perfectly content that you’re putting out there on a routine, regular basis. And if you don’t know Milano, you have to know Malala was very detail oriented and decisive. You get a chance to go to his website and Milano. in com. You kind of definitely see some of the things that we’re talking about, all these garments that’s on this website you created in a short period of time. Right. So just going into like the duration of time, we always hear about the 20 years it takes for somebody to become successful.
but the reality is it seems like an overnight success. How long did it take you to get from point A to where you are currently?
That’s a great question. So Cimolino Inc will be eight years if you’re in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Eight is the number of new beginnings. Seven is the number of completion. I actually am a big subscriber to Malcolm Gladwell. Notion of outliner outliers. I think it takes a good ten years, although all of those ten years don’t have to be, you know, sort of pounding the pavement. I think my starting my journey as a model at fifteen, I’m fifty one. I think all of those years of doing just really practical fashion. The work of God and god see being a part of agencies and doing fashion shows and doing photo shoots, I didn’t realize it then. I was building CE Milano Inc then.
because I was getting the contextual knowledge I might not have been I was learning how garments fit. I’m a tall guy, so I could also learn how they don’t fit. Well, I’m a man of color. So I was also noticing that men of color weren’t well represented in men’s fashion as a face. So along the way I was sort of doing market research and didn’t know it. I was making sharp observations about things that were missing, that were valuable things that were needed, that weren’t present. And I was not just in terms of marketing and appearance and advertising, but also in terms of product. So I was doing some of that contextual research in my lived experience once the clock started taking one. Y’all don’t know that Chanel is a phenomenal you probably do know he’s a phenomenal graphic designer. He actually recently spoke to my son, who’s interested in graphic design. One of the things that he conveyed to Zachery, my son, was the importance of principles. So one principle that I started in my early years is I would get up probably around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and designed for two hours. I would cut fabric, I’d have a shaping mannequin, and I would create I’d be actually creating garments, the discipline of doing that every day for like almost seven years. It’s so deep. And the marketing, branding, outreach, expressive part of my work because I was giving myself that deepening. So to your question, I’m not sure how long it takes, but I know that you don’t get fruits without roots. I know that you don’t get expressive designs that are novel and fresh and different without understanding the basics of design. What I would tell anybody is start now, start today, rooting yourself, grounding yourself, anchoring yourself in the content of your field and in the practice of your field. There is no substitution for basics. I know that we live in a kind of a very accelerated age where you can get information in a moment. But take my son was one of my sons, goes to a Quaker school. And one of the things that Quakers talk about is how you have to sit in silence and season. There is no substitution for putting in the time that it takes to nurture the gifts that you have.
Yeah, that’s a jewel in itself. Moving on to the next topic at hand. So the duration of time, you’re just saying start now. All right. But in your case, what would you have done differently to get it to where you are a lot faster if you could do it again?
Wow, that’s a great question. It’s funny, I’m connected to a number of entrepreneurs in Atlanta, and I was having this conversation with my friend Von Marcosi last week. I said if I really, really understood how much being an entrepreneur was in my soul. As a young person, not if I understood that I would kind of process through different careers and ultimately the ground that I would stand on as being an entrepreneur, I would have saved every red cent I had as a young person. I would have started saving because you need the financial security underneath you to support you in those early years to create stability. I think to respond to your question, I would have saved more. I also might have. You know, when I was in graduate school, I didn’t take as I took some courses in finance and financial management, but I would have taken a lot more. I would have actually sought to understand real estate more, because at the end of the day, you got to have a place to actually do your craft.
You don’t always have to have that to get started, but you have to have certain elements of organization to expand and grow. So in retrospect, I wish that I would have kind of looked at some of those expansion topics, some of the basics that you need, not just to create the business. I did that part. Yeah, definitely. But what you need to kind of scale the business to grow the business. And because it’s a different vocabulary than starting,
I mean, that’s a good segue way for the next question that I have for you, being that you have this Ivy League graduate background. Right. Which kind of brings you into becoming a business owner, essentially. And then you took that and you created a business. And then from that business, you created another business. It’s ingrained in you. So did that come from potentially your parents? That I come from somebody in your family. Do you have an entrepreneurial background outside of your education?
That’s a good question. So my family I mean, there are folks who worked in institutional settings, but they were entrepreneurial in their approach to work. Like, my mom is wonderfully creative. So I think I definitely import I think it’s entered into generational gene pool, the whole being creative. But it felt like a big risk. What is right? It felt like a big when I say risk, what I mean by that is like even almost like an identity risk. In other words, like it felt very different to kind of move out of being in an institutional setting, like having a good job, quote unquote, as black and brown folks, you know, you got that good job. So,
you’re moving from that to actually being a job creator and creating the environment where other people can have good experiences at work. That felt like something I kind of had to piece together myself. And even at Harvard, I just remember back being back at graduate school, very few folks were leaving graduate school to start companies. Many folks were leaving their training to go work in institutions where they either were trying to go for those very elite institutional settings where they could kind of be get a great salary and benefits. So even in that way, I felt I mean, I became one of those persons. I actually got a job. I worked at the Kennedy School of Government while my wife was finishing her training, her medical training. And then when we moved to Atlanta, I worked at a health foundation. But the move to go into entrepreneurship felt really different. The only part that I think when I made that transition, I drew upon my family’s legacy of faith in God and courage and just inner fortitude. So I definitely drew on those resources, but I felt like I was really blazing a very different trail.
That’s definitely interesting. And then you bring up family. I know you’re a big family man. So this is one of the questions that I always ask and I always want to get the inside. But how do you juggle your work life with your family life?
It’s hard. I mean, then sometimes I don’t feel like I do a great job of it. I’m pretty committed to my family and my my I have two sons. I try to make Saturday an off day for sure. So I’ve got this on my desk. I put up on Saturdays. I do it in the morning, no adulting. So Saturdays is, in my mind, kind of set up as a day for the family today for catching up with the boys. And even if that catching up means driving, taking them to different basketball practices or whatever we do, a father son workout, that was something in my heart to do, which has been fantastic for us. We Sundays, we do movie day if they’re not committed. So I try to create some kind of ritualized activity that they can kind of look forward to. That becomes, you know, we’re not always able to do it every week, but I try to do it regularly enough where it becomes a you know, I think a lot of parenting to me is creating good memories that it can be a good memory for my kids of time that we had together, time that I tried to create the occasion to to really talk to them more deeply about what’s going on with them, either in life or in school.
Got it. Yeah, I definitely believe in the same philosophy across the board. And I think for you is kind of really tough because, I mean, a travel schedule is I don’t know where you’re going to be when you’re Glena. You could be in Italy one day and you could be in New York the next day. You could be on the West Coast two days after that. So it definitely has to be structured in order for you to execute, to be on a routine.
Yeah. So the weekends matter a lot to me in terms of time off as even in the. Consulting practice, it is very rare for me to work weekends. It’s really a kind of a last resort thing and it’s just not something that I like to practice. But there are a couple I sit on a foundation board in Manhattan, and a lot of times those board meetings are actually over a weekend. But I really try to limit the travel that I would be away from my family over the weekend. That’s another. And then in 2021, new thing that I’m doing to try to get back to some of my time and I’m moving towards a four-day workweek. And so the way it’s set up is either I will take up Monday or Friday off. And again, it’s trying to lengthen that weekend, trying to create more opportunities with time to be with, you know, to be with my family.
Got it. You brought up mornings. So what are your morning routines? And I know you probably have a very strict regimen. So what does that say?
I wake up around three thirty in the morning. I try to spend time in prayer and meditation as a practice, both to build my own sort of sense of spirit, because I actually think that we are living in times that leaders have to reinforce and refresh your deepest self. And I also think we’re living in times where you have to remind yourself about your values and kind of what you care about at your core, because it’s easy to get separated from that. And then I work out. So I’m a vegan, was vegetarian for 17 years. I’m kind of made the transition. I think I’m moving into my second year of being a vegan and I work out I love hit like high intensity training work. I love to hit the gym, do some weights. I like group exercise. I like stuff that gives me energy. I can handle music. That’s an important part because I do think that as a change maker, as a person who’s working to build a better world, I have to balance that change making with my wellness keeping. I feel like it is my responsibility to model to my kids health. So yeah, those are my practices. I pray, I read my word, I meditate, I journal, I write a lot, and then I transition into some fitness. And then I’m kind of in daddy duty shifting to pick up kids, make French toast. And I love that stuff too. I mean, it’s not a drudgery. It’s a part of it. It’s a part of the like these little touches that you get with your kids that make you feel whole and that make them feel, oh, my son Zach said to me the other day, Dad, you going make French toast tomorrow? I was like, Yes, sir. So, yeah, those are like little things that I do to. And to your point, those are routines, because I think underneath a lot of success, our habits.
very. Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effective people. I think that in the end, what I can convey to my colleagues is I had a discipline for excellence. I had a habit for health. You know, I think if my life gets deconstructed down to my habits, I want people to see that I had some commitments that I care about and that I kept.
Yeah, this is so funny because, I mean, you know Richard Boukhari, right? Yeah. So I interviewed Richard and Richard was like the reigning champ as far as morning routines until you came to, say, 330.
Oh, I see.
His routine starts at roughly around four thirty five o’clock and it’s very segmented like yours. But the fact that you wake up at three thirty every single morning is just a testament to who you are. What is your nightly routines? I mean, if you’re waking up at three thirty, I mean you’re going to bed like before the sunset.
No, no. And I can’t like so I’m a lark, not an owl. I’ve had to adapt night owl like habits. My domain is the morning. Oh. So yes, it’s funny. I do have evening things. My evening things are getting set up. I call it first meeting, I actually call it first coffee and first meeting. I look in my day timer and I look at what time is my first meeting, which will drive, how I need to dress, where I have to like what time I need to be after I take my kids. And then the way I in my day at the office is actually I put water and coffee in the coffee pot for the next day.
I’ve been doing it for like I think seven years. It’s just a habit. It’s my way of saying that I’m getting up for the next day and all and that the coffee is as easy as one button and anybody who knows me knows that I love coffee.
Yeah. Oh yeah.
you got a different cup for pretty much every day.
What do you see yourself for twenty years.
Oh well so I’m working out crazy because I want to stay vital and vibrant and healthy. So I actually still see myself very, I see myself kind of almost like a Ralph Lauren having really built up my fashion empire, as it were, having the choice to work in it or not having included my sons in that work as much. They want to be
Yeah, right, especially like what’s left to safe is also interested in fashion in his own way. I can imagine. I went to the south of France one year, a couple of years ago. I went to Nese and I got my hair cut by some people of color, some Ethiopians that owned. I actually was pretty struck that there were so many people of color in the south of France and how stunning it was. And I, I said to myself, wow, I love to be able to afford to retire here or spend a part of my retirement here. So I’m hoping that I’m going to make that real. I’ll have some kind of little retirement situation in the south of France, which is an amazing thing to think about.
I mean, this was your business, havingness and your business sense. I mean, it’s going to be a reality.
The other thing that I think I would like to do, I would like to actually be teaching in some kind of international business school. I think that I feel like I’ve learned some things that I would love to share with the next generation, both in my own community here in the U.S., but maybe with young folks who are new global citizens themselves. And I think by then I would have seen some things.
Hmm. Hmm. So what tools that you use that you wouldn’t be able to do your business without?
Oh, man, this is great. So now I think Google really needs any advertising for me or I really use Google business apps a lot. So our platform, our e-mail platform is built on that. But we do a lot of it. We do a lot of sharing app, a lot of documents. It’s been great. So I also use a number of the video link kinds of software like Zoom, because many of my cats like so today, I had before I came to meet with you, I was on the phone with a colleague in Budapest. Nice. So I do use kind of the virtual connections, a conversation that I started in my car. It wasn’t moving that then transitioned into my office. What are other things that I, I travel a lot. So it took me a minute. And this is because my mom, when I was growing up, didn’t have an American Express platinum card, but I do. So it took me a minute to realize that I could go into some of the, like, Doubter’s Sky Lounge for free. And I always used to think, gosh, I was so high in that. So can I tell you that when you are busy being able to grab a free meal and get a document done in print, it seems like I log in a lotta air time and being able to use those kinds of places, it’s more than just like luxurious. It actually practically helps me to be effective. And then my last little tool trick of the trade is having everything that I need to operate in my backpack. So I use it to me. Backpack. I have reduced everything down to small digital things. So I have a small MacBook. I am like a little advertising for all these companies. I have pens, I have notebooks, I have audio recorders. Everything that I need to conduct business wherever I am is in my book bag because things happen. And there have been times in Atlanta where I’ve gotten caught in traffic and I needed to just turn off and go to a Starbucks in order to take a call. So I try to kind of be very practical in that way.
So it seems like your core one thing collectively that you say that is mobility.
That’s awesome. I didn’t think about it that way.
Everything that you’re saying, you need to have documents in the cloud.
Access to them wherever you need to have small devices on the go. You need to have access when you’re at the airport. Everything that you’re saying is mobility.
It’s an interesting and very perceptive observation on your part, because we went through a whole year at my company where we basically we didn’t go paperless, but we definitely went to the cloud and we organize things. That’s a great observation.
No. Great, great. All right. Final words of wisdom. If I’m a new person coming into your industry, whether it’s on the nonprofit sector or it’s on the fashion sector, what’s one key thing that you can leave behind that I can use to follow in your footsteps?
One word in all three dimensions, love. Love, God, love and know yourself and love people, I just think that in the end, there’s a lot of people who are smart, but there aren’t always a lot of people who move you. That’s very and like my grandmother, my great grandmother, Virginia Brewer, I don’t even know how far her education, but she had lived her life in a way, and she had become the embodiment of love. That she impacted so many people, so I think if you can tune in to love. You will love yourself, which means that you will embrace all the gifts and the legacies and the graces that you’ve been given, and you’ll put them to work. If you love people, you will bring those gifts to people in a way that they can recognize it as good and they can feel like they were empowered and benefited by the excellence and the care. So I just think love it’s not maybe what you would expect an intellectual person to say. I just think in the end, you don’t remember people who were just smart. You remember people who moved you.
Yes, definitely pretty powerful. And I was saying something that’s that powerful. I mean, how can people find you online? I mean, what’s your website? Your Instagram? All right.
So you’re interested in philanthropy and strategy and helping bring more strategic, insightfulness and wisdom to the good work that you’re already doing in the community, the geniusgroup.Com, if you’re interested in men’s custom garments, although I can happily report that we’ve just started this year making women’s coats and I are moving those elements, you can check us out at C.MilanoInc.com, we’re going to be moving through a brand refresh this year in our eighth year. So we’re going to be doing some other cool things with the website. We’re happy to meet you there. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. What’s your handle’s on Instagram and Twitter?
Instagram is @CarlosMilanoHarden. So it’s a designer page. Twitter is the code. It is @CMilanoinc and Facebook is CMilanoInc.
Great, great. So I got a bonus question for you. Yes, sir. If you could spend 24 hours and anybody dead or alive
oh, I love this question.
Who would it be and why ?
it would be Martin Luther King. Nice. I feel like I would say, gosh, I feel like I’m getting emotional. Just even saying that I feel like I would say thank you for dreaming me, that I would say to him that I’m a part of the dream you saw. And then I talked to him about what I’m dreaming. And I would ask him, how could I bring more justice and fairness and equity to fashion? How could I use this platform that I feel like life in God has given me to further the dream?
Hmm. Well said. Well, I definitely do appreciate you taking the time out, your crazy schedule to come out and do the podcast today. I definitely appreciate it.
This was fun. You had me think about things that I didn’t plan to think about, but they were good to think about. Yeah, it’s awesome.
Great, great. All right. So that’s the end of the first podcast. And the second one is just like a short five minute podcast where we flip the rolls. OK, so it just you could ask me any questions. It could be insightful questions, business questions, whatever you want, and I’ll answer them. So and that’s the Spin Off podcast. I’m released at the end of the month. Call other box up Q&A. So, by all means, go for it. All right, I love this new platform that you’ve created Boss Uncaged.
Correct. Talk about a cage that you had to climb out of to uncover your own sort of sense of power, you know, being the boss. Right. Like, was it a limit? Was it a feeling of a limit? What was something that you had to release?
So when I think about the cube of a cage as it represents itself, I think of it more as a hypercube. Right. Adding time as that dimension. So I think I’ve been breaking out of this cage over and over and over and over again. But I never realized I was breaking out the cage. And then when I came to the realization that, OK, I’ve been the guy behind the scenes helping all these business owners and all these entrepreneurs step up to the next level or step into becoming a brand. And then I wasn’t self-aware of my own individual brand.
So that was a transition for me. And I. Was it a stroke when I had my stroke was like the awakening, kind of like that was the final cage. And once I came out of that cage, I was like, OK, I’m a free be some animal and I’m going to run.
Wow, that’s awesome. And then so that’s more of a philosophical question. This is a more of a practical question. I come to you for branding advice and wisdom and practices. Where do you see the world of companies presenting themselves to the world going like when you think about the next new thing in branding, what do you sort of see that big?
Believe it or not, I still think there is a parallel construct between what’s good now and what’s going to be good tomorrow. And I think now it’s still the social media bubble. The irony is that my first pocket kind of talked about that like it’s going to be Tick-Tock is it’s still going on. YouTube is going to be Facebook. And I think all the things are always going to be around. But I think the way society is moving in the direction we’re moving, I think it’s going to be more hands free. Just like you’re saying, you’re in a mobility factor. You want things smaller, lighter, more efficient, more effective. Well, if you take the physical aspect of doing something with your hands out of it.
So I’m not jumping into the future on some sci-fi where we just think it then becomes a reality. But if you can only speak it and get a leg up on what you’re doing, I think that it’s really an unrated market right now.
Is that I mean, is that art as a follow up probe? Is that artificial intelligence? Is it voice, you know, sort of voice activated?
Yeah. So, I mean, between Google, I’m going to say her name because she’s in here as well. The Amazon dot as well to SERIES is kind of lagging behind the other two. But for me personally, like pretty much every room in my house, there’s one of each or two of which I’m always doing usability testing. I’m always saying, OK, how do I use this to execute something for the family? How do I use this to something for business? And then it’s even in the cards now. So there’s an echo show audio version that I actually have in my car that gives me a seamless transition so I can say, hey, do this in the house. I can get in the car and pick up my dictation. I can pick up my notes, I could pick up my calendar, I can make phone calls, I could play music all as if I’m in my office.
So it gives me an opportunity to kind of test this market, because even with a podcast, you could say, hey, open up this podcast or I can say good morning. And by telling her good morning, it could have a series of events that happened, which is a podcast being the newest podcast from a particular episode playing Next OutLoud. So I’m thinking to answer your question, I think within the next five to ten years, the transition should be from physical, like from going to a website to being able to just speak to her. And if you can speak to her about products, if you’re looking for something, if you’re doing searches, I’m thinking she’s going to be the next up and coming that could rival even probably Google or Bing, for that matter.
So interesting. Final question is, I guess on the family front, having had the opportunity to spend a little time with your son, how are you thinking about legacy? Like, how are you thinking about either bringing him into the work now or leaving something behind for him?
So I think in its earlier days I went really hard and it was just kind of like, this is how you monetize, this is how you make the system. This is how you scale. And he was five, right? So did he comprehend all of it? Probably not. But then I started seeing him take some of these things and he would go to school and apply it. All right. So he was hustling candy one year, selling candy. And also he was selling Pokemon cards one year and he was buying Pokemon cards like reduced costs and had like a 3000 percent markup. And he understand those principles. And then he became a teenager and then the teenager with the chemical imbalances. It’s kind of like this haze. And I’m just waiting for him to come out the eighth and the second he comes out the haze. I’m hoping that everything I’ve taught him in his earlier years would start making more clarity and sense. As far as you can go work for somebody, you should work with somebody for a period of time to kind of realize that the world could be yours, but you have to earn it. It’s not given to you. That’s right. And then once you kind of come out. This nostalgia of I just want I want, I want now you’re at that point in time to where everything that I’ve been teaching you since you were three years old will make primary sense. And you’re going to 18 to 21 years old. And now you have opportunity to say, OK, you know what, I have enough information from my 18 years of life. I want to start something
that’s awesome. So in some ways, he’s got to come out of the teenage cage. You kind of unleashed his his boss.
Yeah, because he went from literally being a little mini-boss to a teenager. You know, more of the whiny kind of, you know, I want to do what I want to do, kind of the lazy mentality. And I’m just kind of like, dude, life is going to eat you up or you’re going to have to break out the cage and go on yourself. So he has to make that decision consciously. And I’m not forcing on him because I don’t want him to be twenty years old and be like, I never want to run my own business because my dad forced better to be right.
Right. Or I didn’t feel like I got to be a kid. Yeah. Yeah, right. Well,
I definitely appreciate him.
This is great.
Go 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 ask S.A. Grant.com post comments, share hit subscribe and remember, to become a Boss Uncaged, you have to release your inner peace 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.