BE Modern Man: Robert Gould
Creative entrepreneur, author, artist; 25; CEO, RG Media Affiliates, LLC
As CEO of RG Media Affiliates, LLC I have been fortunate to cross collateralize my experience as a performing artist, clinician, and entertainment executive to cultivate brands and aspiring entrepreneurs nationwide. An avid champion for education, I create programming and partnerships within the public and private sectors and with brands such as the NBA’s Boston Celtics, Hard Rock Cafe, McDonald’s, Puma, Boys & Girls Club Of America, and Berklee College Of Music. Our programming is changing the trajectory of black millennials on a national level through strategic leadership development, clinics, and workshops. Using my background in successfully holding strategic operating positions within The Recording Academy (The Grammys), The Complex Group, and Broadcast Music Inc., I open pathways for millennials to navigate success. I build blueprints for generational wealth constructed on the foundation of strategic execution, targeted goals, and integral relationships. This generation has the capacity to achieve, but often lacks the tools to execute “the dream.” As a creative entrepreneur, I bridge the gap from dreams to realities.
As an influencer and thought leader, I understand that community shapes culture and defines success. Volunteerism has shaped my journey and purpose. Starting my first nonprofit organization, “Stepping Into Hope Inc.,” at the age of five, I have provided assistance to countless families in partnership with The Seacrest Foundation & Children’s Hospital for children facing cancer. Addressing the needs of low income families with high stake dreams, I’ve been a dedicated mentor within developmental programs like Head Start through graduation from collegiate institutions. I am committed to access of higher education, establishing “College Scholarship Corners” that serve as scholarship incubators for the next generation of innovative change agents. There is infinite power in having someone in your corner! Our College Scholarship Corners have garnered full-ride scholarship participation from leading institutions in entertainment, technology, and medicine. Economic development begins as a mindset. My passion as a creative entrepreneur is planting the seeds of limitless potential when dreams are met with the power of ownership and accountability.
“I live each day to shape and change the image of black males within society. I do this by making contributions to humanity that shift culture, build bridges, and elevate an obligation to achieve the extraordinary.”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN LIFE?
I am most proud of the opportunity to pay it forward. Providing tools that aid in the development of the next generation of African American pioneers is my life’s greatest work. I am most proud of the man of integrity that I have become.
HOW HAVE YOU TURNED STRUGGLE INTO SUCCESS?
I can remember after graduating from college being recruited by the largest performance rights organization in the world, Broadcast Music Inc., to be a music executive. To only imagine I was just a young black man with big dreams making Ramen noodles and eating pizza on my college dorm room floor, and now I’m operating multi-million dollar publishing portfolios at a billion-dollar organization. The thought of meeting expectations of what a “real” executive did or acted like haunted me daily. For so long I tried to balance who I was and who I was trying to become. I knew I did the work to deserve to be there. I knew I had the talent to compete at a high capacity. I understood the power of my environment. Yet, deep inside, I wanted the dream to look like what everyone else saw on the outside instead of what it was supposed to look like authentically for me on the inside.
WHO WAS YOUR GREATEST MALE ROLE MODEL AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM HIM?
My greatest male role model has been a mentor by the name of Larry Dingle, as a shrewd real estate and intellectual property attorney. Not not only have I learned the art of business, but also, Larry has taught me the art of fatherhood. His capability to be dedicated to the honor of loving his wife and family goes beyond measure. His tenacity met with swagger taught me the defining characteristics of owning each environment I enter, often with the power of silence. As an only child raised by a single mother, I am grateful that I never had to search for mentorship. My mother made it a priority for me to be surrounded by strong men. However, Larry has taught me lessons that are invaluable about the value of my existence.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE MANHOOD?
Manhood is the pulse of your being. It is the rhythm in which you exhibit the definition of your character on a daily basis. Manhood is not who you are; manhood is action. It is what you do on a daily basis to lead, provide, serve, protect, and defend your lineage at all costs, for the greater good of society. Manhood is excellence and sacrifice personified.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“I come as one, but stand as ten thousand.”
This will always shape my narrative because I understand every platform I’m blessed to inhabit as a creative entrepreneur, every table I have a place at, every opportunity I am granted beyond my imaginative capacities, is represented by the sacrifices of those before me. I must honor those sacrifices to prepare a space for those who follow.
HOW ARE YOU PAYING IT FORWARD TO SUPPORT OTHER BLACK MALES?
I am intentionally creating spaces of opportunity for more black males within my own organization, particularly through the business lens of the entertainment industry. Not only through the training and educational services we provide on college campuses and within communities, but also through internships and mentorship/protege programs within my organization and network. I believe the key to building a strong culture of black male leaders is first reaching into our own database and Rolodex to intentionally create opportunities for success.
Through our “Scholarship Corner” initiative we consciously solicit engagement of young aspiring black male talent. We must remember to support our brotherhood monetarily as well as mentally.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A BLACK MAN?
We breed the tenacity and ability to do whatever we set our minds to achieve. We build nations. We define culture. We drive economic systems. We shape families. We dominate industries. We are limitless by nature. Greatness precedes the foundation of our birth. We are born kings and have the power to define the trajectory of our lineage. This power, by nature, can never be underestimated or devalued.
WHAT PRACTICES, TOOLS, BOOKS, ETC. DO YOU RELY ON FOR YOUR SUCCESS?
As a creative entrepreneur, I am a firm believer in, “You manifest what you believe.” I intentionally start out each day by going to my vision wall and not only seeing the things I believe for my life, but physically touching them and speaking them into the universe. I also make a conscious decision to every day do something good for someone. What you do will always come back to you.
I use Soar! by T.D. Jakes (FaithWords, $25.00) as a compass for entrepreneurship, John Maxwell’s The Laws of Leadership (HarperCollins, $26.99) as a guide for execution, and Outliers (Back Bay Books, $16.99) by Malcolm Gladwell as a tool for defining and shaping my trajectory. Most importantly, I am a man of faith. I use the Bible on a daily basis to guide every decision and shape every path I dare to take.
BE Modern Man is an online and social media campaign designed to celebrate black men making valuable contributions in every profession, industry, community, and area of endeavor. Each year, we solicit nominations in order to select men of color for inclusion in the 100 Black Enterprise Modern Men of Distinction. Our goal is to recognize men who epitomize the BEMM credo “Extraordinary is our normal” in their day-to-day lives, presenting authentic examples of the typical black man rarely seen in mainstream media. The BE Modern Men of Distinction are celebrated annually at Black Men XCEL.
Click this link to submit a nomination for BE Modern Man. Follow BE Modern Man on Twitter: @bemodernman and Instagram: @be_modernman.