This blog was originally published in 2010 as part of a series of blogs we did on mentoring. In the wake of Heavy D's death, we decided to re-publish it and share it with you all.
Some years back there was a young, ambitious, tenacious young man who wanted to rule the world. This young man and I grew up in the same town. I was slightly older by a couple of years but I had already begun to realize my dreams. This young man reminded me a lot of myself.
1. He believed in himself when no one else would.
2. He often felt like an outcast and alone because there was nobody around that he could share his "RIDICULOUS" dreams with and because most people couldn't see that far.
3. No one wanted to hang around this person because they found him either annoying or NUTZZZ!
4. He never quit, he never gave in to anyone's opinion of him. He'd rather be alone than give up on his dream.
Damn, "That was me," I said, that's how I felt when I was coming into my own and striving to realize my dreams. I did sound crazy. I did feel alone. Hell, I was crazy and still am. I know what this brother is going through.
"From now on..." I said to him, “You can roll with me ... tours, videos, studios, meetings. Just come hang out.” We became fast and close friends actually more like brothers than anything else. He called my mom "MOM" and I called his mom "MOM." Till this day it remains so.
I helped this young brother without any expectations for myself. It was just so reminiscent of my endeavor and of my lonely dreams that I felt like I had to help him. Now, I didn't know it at the time but I was mentoring this young brother. Again, for me it was just helping another brother out who wanted to do something bigger than anyone where we were from could realize.
We would sit for hours in my mom’s basement and talk so much sh** about what we would do with our first million dollars and the types of cars and houses we would buy. Today, I still laugh at the nerve we had. But that's what it took. NERVE!!
Funny thing about “passion,” it will lead you directly to your dreams. So yes, I mentored this young man, albeit indirectly.
Today, this young man is one of the most powerful, hard working, famous people on the planet. He's done things that I have never imagined doing myself. He is smart, shrewd, and still tenacious.
He has accomplished more than he and I ever discussed. He has gone on to create and even re-create some of the most recognizable brands and artists in the entertainment business.
He continues to break down barriers and change the game. Time and time again, he has faced adversity, criticism, hate, jealousy, ridicule and pain but he has always maintained his drive and his dream.
Today, he is now a mentor to many. And the irony is that he is even a mentor to me without him ever knowing it.
I am constantly inspired by this brother. I reflect sometimes on our many conversations as “dream chasers” and “outliers.”
I will never lay claim to the heights that he has brought himself to but I will say that if you or anyone you know has a "ridiculous" dream remember, it doesn't take much to encourage someone to go for that dream and this brother is living proof.
I have another friend who told me a great quote. Allow me to share it with you.
"BEING REALISTIC IS THE MOST COMMONLY TRAVELED ROAD TO MEDIOCRITY" -Will Smith
So, here I stand today proudly in the shadows of a true dreamer.
I salute you Mr. Sean “Diddy” Combs. And may you continue to dream, the "RIDICULOUS" dream...