“If you keep pushing, people will see your bigger picture.”
That’s one piece of advice Russell Simmons gave to Brooke Jean, the 24-year-old winner of the Rising Tide contest.
Back in April, we talked with Simmons about Rising Tide, a competition that offered one winner between the age of 18 and 30 a $5,000 cash prize, two tickets to Los Angeles, a new tablet, and the chance to sit down to a lunch with him for a one-on-one.
Brooke Jean is a musician and poet from Los Angeles who has also just launched her own business, Goal Digging For Success, which offers career coaching services. Jean is also a full-time supervisor and a student at Cal State. So she’s definitely got a lot going on.
The funds will be used to build her new business. But it was clear from our recent conversation that Jean was inspired by what Simmons told her.
“When he started Def Jam, some people didn’t even consider it music,” Jean said, referring to the startup story she heard during her conversation with the business mogul. For her, Simmons pushed a message of perseverance despite the naysayers.
“He told me to focus on my craft. Don’t seek validation,” she told us over the phone.
Besides her work helping clients with their career goals, Jean is “trying to bring innovation to poetry,” she says.
“When people think of poets, they think of sad poems,” she says. Rather, her focus is on positive stories, motivational speaking, and songwriting. A Web series is in the works.
Rising Tide will follow Jean’s progress and you can too via her website. She also says that she and Simmons will keep in touch.
If you met Russell Simmons, what would you ask him?