'Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom,' by Queen Latifah

At the time I made this decision, I was only seventeen, and Sha was eighteen. I don't know how I had the wherewithal to know at that age, but making him my partner was the smartest move I ever made. If I have a creative idea, he'll find a way to make it happen and blow it up even bigger than I could have imag- ined. He's the entrepreneur and I'm the artist, but we cross in the middle. Sha can be creative, too. When one of us comes up with an idea, we'll have a brainstorming session. One of us will say, "Hey, what about this," or, "I bet we can do that," and by the time we've finished we end up with a big ol' layer cake. Sha is brilliant at what he does. He has strength, determination, and intelligence, and he knows how to make the most of both our talents. I always tell him that I'm the star out there, but he's the star in the office. And if he didn't have the courage to tap into his skills, I wouldn't have been able to tap into mine and be where I am today.

I don't care what it is. If you're good at something and you love it, you'll find a way to make money at it if you persevere. Whoever started Sprinkles Cupcakes was probably someone who loved making cupcakes. I saw a story on CNN about some girls in Denver who do crochet bombing. Their mothers or grandmothers taught them how to knit, and now they go around throwing these beautiful crochet pieces over lampposts and architectural landmarks and taking pictures of what they created. They even put giant leg warmers on a statue of two dancers outside Denver's performing arts center. It looked amazing. These girls have a book out, and they're actually making money off this crazy idea. So someone in that crowd, who maybe wasn't as good at crocheting as the rest of her crew, was more business minded and started thinking creatively about ways they could tell the world about this new phenomenon they'd started. They said, "Guess what, we can make a video and put it on YouTube! We can go on CNN." They had their very own Shakim!

It Takes a Team

Most people don't have so much talent that they can become a success all on their own. We all need people to help us and lift us up. And other people need our help. When you put that together, you can create something really powerful.

When you're trying to reinvent yourself, it's important to connect with people who can bring out your strengths or who have strengths where you have weaknesses. You don't have to do it alone. There are so many creative people out there who are not tapping into their true abilities, and they have people around them who are probably feeling just as lost and scared as they are. Maybe they're about to lose a job, and they're wondering what to do next. But if you get together and talk about it, you may be just one con- versation away from a great idea. Do some research, go on the Internet, make some calls, put in some time, and have the courage to take it to another level.

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