The Power of Presence


Joking around with a few of my friends, my frat brother said to the group, “Oh you know Trent has mastered Law 16”, referring to the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, “Use absence to increase respect and honor.” Now, I’ve read the book some time ago and very familiar with this “Law”. But as I laughed, and began to think about it, I was struck with an analogy of this law that I couldn’t resist to explain.

Law 16: Use absence to increase Respect and Honor, 1 of the 48 Laws explained in detail by Greene is a unique one as it’s one of the few that I do naturally. Not necessarily because I’m looking to attain or acquire power, but I’m simply just a private person. I’ve always paraphrased this law by saying ‘Give people a chance to miss you, if you’re too available then your time won’t be respected.’ However, you go about it, the message is relatively the same. As my frat brother went on and on about giving his explanation of this law, I interjected: “Hey, that Law aligns with a fundamental nugget of Bible scripture.”  This immediately grabbed his attention as He and I frequently give personal testimonies or break downs of the Biblical text. “Go find the person and what He said…”  And the Challenge was on.

Shortly after he said, “A man can receive no respect in his own home”.  CORRECT! I exclaimed. But, who said this line (though paraphrased.).   He gave a few names, and I finally gave the final hint “It’s in red text.” Suddenly he replied “Jesus.”  But how could one compare a seemingly trivial law with a short line from the synoptic gospels.

Well in Mark 6, titled as “A Prophet without Honor” gives us the Scene of when Jesus returned to His hometown. And in the first few verses there’s murmurs from friends, and loved ones asking “isn’t this the carpenter”, “where is this Wisdom coming from”, in short truly questioning who and what Jesus, is IN THE MIDST of Him performing miracles. (Talk about lack of faith) This reminded me of how often those places we call ‘home’ and our Closest friends can be our greatest enemies. As we attempt to grow and experience new levels of life, they want to constantly remind us where we came from, and how low we used to be, and all the bad things we did together. Jesus was in a unique position to take them higher, and they were more concerned at the justification of His power. He shortly says after this “A Prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives, and in his own home.” Almost identical to the Law presented by us earlier in this text…. How sad it must be that even the savior of the world, was not respected, or honored during his time at home. In the physical sense, this aligns so greatly with that of the 16th Law.  However, there came to me a thought: “There’s even more here…”

Let’s look again at what we’ve went over.  “Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor.” Hmm, as I thought on this over and over, I realized there was an even deeper meaning I could tie with Jesus and His life: The crucifixion. Jesus had to become absent of the body, to receive the true respect and honor he deserved. Mom used to say “You’ll never know what you had, until you lose it,” or, “You’ll miss me when I’m gone.”  I can’t help but to think that Christ was looking at these unbelievers with disbelief (pun intended) that even after these parables, divine teachings, and supernatural miracles they took His presence for granted. And in the case of the Sanhedrin they simply didn’t want to believe it at all. The Jews, people who looked like Him, and believed like Him, were the very ones that persecuted Him unto death. Because they took comfort and security in the ‘ways things had always been’ and the power structure in place they rejected any notion that this prophet, this Messiah had professed. Even the morbid march to Golgotha mirrored some of our present-day struggles.  As you begin to grow into who you were called to be, you can’t help but hear those around you mock you, tell you your dreams are outrageous, and how you’ve forgotten where you came from. Just like they did Jesus.

Alas, it was in the final moments of the late Friday when Jesus gave up the ghost and became temporarily ‘absent of the body’ that the temple veil tore, and the Earth shook and quaked. Immediately, the cries went from persecution to realization that “Surely He was the son of God.” But wait, you mean after 33 years of a miraculous life, fulfilling Bible-based prophecy, witnessing miracles, it took Jesus LEAVING earth for Him to get the respect His very name deserves? Wild…

Doesn’t matter how much you do for and around those that are most comfortable with your presence. When they become accustomed to it, they don’t and won’t always respect it. It’s good that we get out and go away at times, so maybe just maybe our time and presence can be fully appreciated. Sure, we can generate pages of exceptions to this concept, but in the most general sense too much of anything sparks complaints from even the most grateful. I mean think about the ‘omnipresence’ of God, always there both in the past and in the present both when we do good, and even when we find joy in doing wrong; reaffirming that there is most certainly power in presence, and just maybe, moreover, a lack thereof.

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

Trent J ACEO

And Many More: A Birthday Story


On February 11, 2017, I celebrated my 28th birthday.  I know I only look 21, but the truth is I’m now 28 years old.  As per usual, I received a phone call early in the morning from my grandmother wishing me a Happy Birthday as I did her just three days prior. It’s easy to remember her day, as we’re exactly 50 years apart and within 3 days.  As I got out of bed, I received phone calls from my mother and father, my uncle, my aunt and cousin. It’s almost like clockwork each year that I hear from them with their own unique Birthday wish. In addition to that, I started receiving text messages from friends and loved ones close and far even some abroad wishing Happy Birthday in their own local time zone. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, were buzzing all day long with notifications of individuals taking time out to wish me a good day on Feb 11th.

As the day progressed, I went to go workout which is my daily ritual anyhow and noticed that the notifications were still coming through; and phone calls, and memes and e-cards, and e-mails. It was becoming almost overwhelming as it was draining my battery.  As I traveled home to prepare for brunch with a few friends, I rushed  my phone to the ‘fast charge’ so I could make sure I had battery throughout the day. Trying to find a way to silence the notifications so I could simply have a functioning phone throughout the day. And then, it was at this moment that I recalled a situation that happened at church a few months prior:

On the Sunday’s our Young Adult Choir, Psalms of David, doesn’t sing I typically attend one of the earlier services 715 or 9am to be exact.  On the first Sunday of each month, our church: Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, recognizes those that have Birthdays in that month. And sometimes even gives out gifts to those that are born on that day. Being part of the choir, we’re accustomed to standing and singing a corporate “Happy Birthday to You” almost carelessly before the congregation during this time each first Sunday. But this time, I was participating in worship from the pews.

On this particular Sunday, an older lady came down the row I was on and asked if anyone was sitting in the seat next to me, I replied “No” and she took her seat.  We exchanged some pleasantries before the service started and she mentioned that she wouldn’t be here long. Me being curious I asked, “why so…” She said, “Well, I attended the 7:15AM service but I arrived too late to be recognized for my birthday so I’m here at the 9am service so I can hear the church sing Happy Birthday to me.  You see, when you get my age, you don’t really get to have people sing Happy Birthday to you like in your younger days….”.

At this moment, I realized that I had taken hundreds of Happy Birthday wishes on my own day for granted. I recognized that there was a blessing in each call, text, or post on social media. I realized that it’s a blessing to be alive year after year, and have loved ones around you willing to take time out to wish you another year of life.  Something as simple as “Well, Happy Birthday,” is a proclamation of prosperity and joy in anyone’s life. Not to mention, it’s a reminder that each day is not promised and to be able to HEAR someone say Happy Birthday on this side of the grave is a gift of grace in and of itself!

So, with that being said, I have to express EXTREME gratitude to those that took ANY time to wish me a good day. And likewise, pray that we don’t get too busy or wrapped up to speak well wishes into anyone’s life. How could I forget that I’ve lost many friends and family young in life and expect people to ALWAYS be around. How could I be so worried about my phone battery, and not the outpouring of love that I was receiving.  It was truly a humbling moment because NO ONE had to speak to me, NO ONE had to wish me a Happy Birthday. And beyond that, most of the things I have in life I don’t truly deserve. Moreover, there are those in our lives that we can’t take for granted. Take the time to recognize and honor those around you even if you don’t personally know them.  You never know how a simple “Happy Birthday” could brighten someone on a day when just like my fellow pew-member felt completely unnoticed.

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

Trent J ACEO


Trump, Clinton & Digital Disruption – December 2016

 And on this episode of How to Get Away with Becoming President in America, we find out who will become the President-Elect of the United States. We know it’s no secret that this 2016 Presidential Race has been nothing short of a popular reality TV show. Featuring characters from every walk of life, and scenes that even the most imaginative writer or producer could have brought to our television screens. However, for me, I was consumed more and almost totally unrelated perspective: DATA. Beginning in 2012, BIG DATA Politics became an extremely useful tool in how to strategically campaign, develop ads, and gather information about and from voters, and down to understanding what demographic was ‘swaying’ in their direction. Moreover, the Obama campaign was one of the first to leverage social media issuing politics into the Digital Era. What does this mean really?

Over the past few years, our economic system has experienced what has been coined as “Digital Disruption.”  I personally define it as the inevitable interruption of a Business, Process, or Industry by a more robust, more affordable, and more easily accessible Business or Business Practice. Quite honestly, it’s a rapidly growing phenomenon, and even more difficult to explain to Business or Technology experts.

So as I was dreaming about what kind of ERP or Cloud Platform CNN was using for it’s predictive analytics, I had an idea that fell into my lap about using the recent 2016 election to explain the Digital Disruption Phenomena. It’s quite simple actually, and below I’ll explain with 6 main players.

Scene 1:  “The As-Is”

An honest look in the mirror……

  • The Obama Administration – President Barack Obama and his administration (inclusive of congress and supreme justice) are the base in this Digital equation. They represent the status quo and ‘the way things are.’ Most people are generally happy with their jobs, and things are going along as they always have. From delivering new IT solutions, to navigating performance achievement there’s a clear answer and process for everything and everyone knows their role. However, there are obvious experts in the strong areas, filibusters and apathy in the weak areas, and an aging worker population. Despite the overall success a change is swiftly coming.
  • The ‘Polls’ – The polls represent the on premise existing practice and solutions. They are what everyone relies on to benchmark how well or how poor the organization is doing. In existence since anyone can remember, the solution is well known and though people complain about the accuracy, most are accustomed and will accept the margin of errors they encounter each and every day.
  • Hard Red/Hard Blue States – These are the people within the organization that not interested in any type of significant change. They’ve been rewarded promptly and largely. These seasoned professionals tend not to sway too far from the core beliefs of the majority and take pride in their loyalty to what made this organization so great. They can recite for you the company’s core values on request. Unfortunately, these are also the people that complain about training, and haven’t acquired a new skill in ages. This is likely the majority of your organization.
  • Battleground States – These bright and brilliant individuals are the ones you just never know how to gauge or predict. Normally the younger and minority in the room, they are hungry for immediate change, but can’t quite convince the electorate to go one way or another. This part of the organization is suffering the most from the external existence of Digital Disruption. They are actively engaged in numerous digital outlets, have colleagues working in the various industries taking advantage, and are constantly causing friction in agreeing on a meeting.

Scene 2:  “The To-Be”

A decision between two evils…

Hillary Clinton & Campaign – Represents the continuance of the ‘good ole days’. Although new face, and new ideas at the high level things won’t change much. Upgrades to the current system with just a few new features. There is a loud majority that are content with things continuing to steadily progress without a lot of drastic change. Though a new leader may come into play with the campaign, people are supportive as they believe things won’t be shifted much and prefer to keep their day job. These individuals in the organization represent new promotes, or even outside experienced hires that don’t seek to shake up the organization but more so assimilate adapt and settle in.

Donald Trump & Campaign – Represents Digital Disruption in every sense of the word. Despite all the knowledge, all the technology, all the human capital the change is coming whether you like it or not. This introduces fear to some, and excitement for others. No real person is a true ‘expert’ on how to handle this change, and how to plan for it. As much as we try to forecast, analyze, and criticize the alternative method to a new digital business, it’s literally unpredictable.

Scene 3:  So Now What?

Dealing with the reality of Digital Disruption…

 Now the recent election probably sparks totally different feelings, emotions, and questions than what’s been summarized above, but I figured I’d juxtapose the two to ease the discussion. Despite which area of the aforementioned scenes that you may fall into there’s no escaping the rapid technology advancement that has come with Digital Business. People are generating unimaginable amounts of data via a host of devices, and in this information age to not properly collect, structure, analyze, and provide business that cater to the insights would be irresponsible and a sure way to become victim of the disruption. This new wave of technology and business will require us to think even more so out of the box than ever before. Customizing user experience at every level of interaction is requiring that whole organizations focus more on the digital realities than their own core values. Digital is the business of the future. Your company just needs to identify how it’s going to uniquely take advantage and keep up with the exponential growth. There’s no getting ready for it, the Digital Age is here!

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

Trent J ACEO

Defying Distractions with Deafness


For years I’ve assisted various college-prep non-profits by annotating college admission essays, but what I didn’t know is that one would give me a message that would literally change my view on life. Think about it, what really could a High School Junior write about that would impact MY adult life, more than ten years their senior, as I matriculate through the challenges of adult hood. What could a High school student in this information age, with the world at their fingertips convey to me in 500 words or less that would spiritually jolt me in a manner not felt in years. Well, the answer to these questions, came from a young south-east Houston, TX girl, for our purposes named ‘Issa.’ Issa, was deaf in her right ear.

For the Texas Admission college essays students are asked to write on 3 different topics, but the most unique is Topic B:  Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how? Issa, opened up her essay with the words: “When you’re underwater everything sounds the same, sound is muffled for everyone. Once you rise out of the water, however, you are able to hear fine again. Such is not the case for me.”  Immediately, I was grasped by the imagery she depicted, and found myself instantly recognizing how I took the ability to hear for granted.

Reading through the rest of the topic answer, the young student continued her narrative of all the daily challenges of only being able to hear out of one ear. The difficulty at home, around her friends, and not to mention in the classroom. Always having to ask friends to repeat what the teacher said, talking with instructors after school, etc. Because of Issa’s unique A-bility (for this writing it’s not a disability) her classroom experience was a bit altered from most. It was when she described the layout of her daily classroom posture that I stopped and had to reread it.

Developing some ‘tricks’, Issa described to us how she overcame this seemingly life-halting A-bility in a few ways. See, she had a challenge with being distracted in class because of her only being able to listen in one ear, and having classmates that were often times loud and disruptive. When you only have 1 available ear to the instructor, noise tends to affect you more than others. Issa was determined: “If the teacher allowed the use of head phones, I would simply pop one in my right ear, and leave the other open for the teacher.”  So simple, and yet profound. Moreover, she went on to describe the layout of her classroom. “When I got to class each day I would sit in the desk nearest to the teacher, and turn my deaf ear towards the class room, and my listening ear towards the teacher. PAUSE… WAIT… SAY THAT AGAIN?  “When I got to class each day I would sit in the desk nearest the teacher, and turn my deaf ear towards my classmates, and my listening ear towards the teacher……”




Maybe you missed it. Issa went to each of her classes every day, and sat in a perpendicular position to her teacher in a way that her deaf ear was to her classmates, and her listening ear close and directly in front of the teacher. She altered the environment around her so that all of the noise around her fell on a deaf ear, while the instruction was clearly received into the good ear. Issa had defied her distraction by using her A-bility to her Advantage.     MESSAGE: How many times have we needed to SHUT OUT the distractions of those around us, and focus our attention solely on the TEACHER?   Mark 4:19 talks about



this very scenario:  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. The ‘world’, our distraction, keeping us from setting our eyes on something above and not beneath, something great, and not something mediocre. We can’t allow the word to become clouded by the smoke of what everybody else might be focused on, because what’s in store for us is coming from above. Eyes have not seen, nor EAR heard……  the GOOD (GREAT) things… in store for us.  What things do we find ourselves constantly distracted by, that we watch days, weeks, months, and years go by BUSY, and yet unaccomplished and unsatisfied.

Issa implemented a survival tactic in order to not be left behind, and ultimately get ahead of some of her peers in school. Think about the advantage she now was in; not only did she sit closer she literally was unable to be distracted by any of her peers. It’s like she was getting one-on-one instruction.

So what does that have to do with you and me? Well, what if we had the zeal she had to learn in school, with our desire for God’s purpose on our lives. If we could completely shut out our worldly distractions consistently how much better off would we be?  Have you ever felt like God wasn’t answering your prayers? Have you ever thought He’s trying to answer you, but you’re too focused on everything else?  You have to ask yourself: What is it that I’m allowing to get in the way of my true purpose in life:  Fear? Doubt? Money? Relationships? False hope? Social Media? Job?  It could be ANYTHING. It’s those things that seem the most routine, that end up being just what’s needed to keep us enough off track that we’re moving but not going anywhere.

I’m grateful for little Issa, and how she shared her story with me and eventually dozens of colleges across the country. As I write this, I’d expect that Issa is submitting those essays, and making her final decisions on college. I pray that her story, and her A-bility take her to new places and heights. And likewise, to the person that’s reading this, that your new found distraction free perspective helps you elevate to the next level of life. Try it out: Disconnect from a few things, a few people, for a set period and set your eyes on something above. Watch how God will speak to you in an even more mighty way.


With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,

Trent J ACEO


Building Bridges: A Reaction to ACN’s Town Hall on I&D

Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, the rhetoric that’s been uttered by news stations, protesters, political aspirants, and general citizens alike. This bombardment of opinions and views being slain through news media, and day to day operations in our local and communities abroad. Being an African American Male working for a hugely diverse company, as much as we’re apt to try and keep these local occurrences out of the work place, this was a time that even with the biggest of smiles I couldn’t hold back the frustration at work.

On Wednesday, July 27, our I&D Lead, Julie Sweet and a host of MD’s and consultants across the nation engaged in a ‘Building Bridges’ town hall discussion. With the goal of talking about the recent events, and to initiate the conversation on how to candidly deal with the emotions that come along with them. I honestly tuned in with low expectations as I originally felt this was just another formality being taken to check the box for ‘We addressed this.’  However, this dramatically took a complete 180 degree turn, when the lead opened the conversation saying, “The killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, and the Dallas Policemen……”  A Caucasian woman, serving in a managing directing role, at a global consulting firm, leading Inclusion and Diversity (which is a HUGE sign of the barriers being broke at Accenture already) opened the conversations by saying their name. The chills this gave me were immediate, and it was to set the pace, and depth of discussion by not ignoring the events of recent weeks; and addressing the fact these things have happened and cannot be ignored. Likewise highlighting that the emotions from said occurrences can and do translate into the work place.

For years here at Accenture, I’ve read the ‘diversity’ numbers, and watched the what were ‘interest groups’, transform into Resource Groups.  I’ve always felt that Accenture was indeed diverse, and seemed to check all the boxes and build upon the ‘numbers’ of people of different ethnic backgrounds. These are always the goals of companies looking to ‘expand in the diversity realm.’  However, the title reads “Inclusion and Diversity.”  From the discussion that occurred last Wednesday, that was a sign of Inclusion.  I personally defined the two as mutually inclusive:  In order to spark DIVERSITY in an organization, one must ENGAGE in INCLUSION. More simply put, Diversity is a by-product of Inclusion. (Which is why I believe one it’s I&D and not D&I). If a person or group does not feel included, there can be no real strides in diversity. In fact, I’ll go as far to say that when you create a completely inclusive environment, people will pay less attention to the numbers, and more attention to the individual people. As a minority in this company, it feels better to know that leadership is personally vested in inclusion, and not simply driven by the stats, and benchmarks of counting minorities in our company to measure our true successes.

Though I haven’t worked directly for any other company in my adult professional career, I’d almost say it’s safe to assume, that Accenture is on the front line of addressing these issues and it will translate into a work environment that’s not afraid to deal with complicated PERSONAL issues, IN the workplace.

Years ago I drafted a blog that talked about debunking the notion of discussion of religion and politics in the workplace. My stance on this was that these are items that people feel extremely emotional about. Though it is a difficult conversation to have at times, knowing what truly motivates a person will absolutely help you to understand how to work with them better.  These discussion should be more of a sharing of ideas, and WHY individuals believe a certain thing, and support certain views. For the first few years of my tenure here at Accenture, these are topics that I was ‘forbidden’ to discuss in fear it would negatively affect my reviews and perception here at the firm. I was a check box in the diversity division, but didn’t really feel included as these are things I’m passionate about but didn’t feel open to discuss.

Tying back into recent happenings, on the morning that Alton Sterling was killed, I was stopped by a policeman outside of Ferguson, MO and the first thing I said was “I pray this not my last day.” It was at that moment that none of my upbringing, formal education, degrees, or great career with Accenture mattered. It was a dark and scary place to be knowing that in a country as great at America that these were real feelings, and real thoughts. The policeman didn’t come close to my window and spoke to me from the backseat window. Later that week, in the city I’m staffed in, I was pulled over late after work by another officer that said I failed to use my turning signal at a stop sign. As the officer approached my vehicle, I held out my wallet and rental agreement towards the wheel, only to witness him take a step back and grab his belt. Did anything happen? No. Are these the first times I’ve felt threatened by police officers instead of protected, absolutely not. But it’s MY PERSONAL example, that no matter how much we attempt to ignore a problem at work, there are those that feel at a disadvantage in some of these situations.

As I listened to the Building Bridges call, and saw the faces of MD’s across North America they all looked and sounded differently:  White, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, African American, Female, Male, Gay, Straight, Experienced Hire, Accenture Lifers etc…. All joining in on what we probably overlooked as a display of one of CORE values:  RESPECT for the INDIVIDUAL .It was an un-staged picture, of what our company really looks like. I listened to PEOPLE looking inwardly and outwardly genuinely seeking ways that we can BUILD an inclusive environment.  For once in my 4.5 years at Accenture, it truly felt like we’re on the edge of breaking a new barrier in what is INCLUSION, and not simply diversity. It was in those moments, I was reaching out to co-workers and former co-workers across the country all with encouraged emotions, and a new pride in our company. All because leadership choose NOT ignoring the frustrations that many of us hide in the workplace because of injustices that seemingly don’t directly affect us.

As National AAERG Core Team Member, I’m excited and proud. And post-discussion, encouraged and challenged to work at fine-tuning and building inclusion amidst those that look like me. From the discussion I’m empowered to work even more fervently in blurring the line of difference, and emboldening the line of similarity. All of us at Accenture have now been staffed on an internal inclusion development project (I’ll call it IDP since we love acronyms here), and the go-live is now. The skillsets aren’t listed in myscheduling, the roles aren’t clearly defined, the deadline has severely passed, and the performance achievement priority is number 1. There is no formal training, there’s no real subject matter expert, and yet, we all, when hired, were equipped with what we needed to get the job done. Now the question is: what will I do,  YOU do, what will WE do, to make sure no person on our project, client, DTE, local office, National Teams, or even offshore ever feel like an outcast and genuinely feel completely vested in our work community.


Building Stronger Bridges,

Trent J

7 Weight Loss Tips

Trent J ACEO’s Weight Loss Tips – September 2012

Although this is not the season most people decide they want to lose weight (The Holidays), I wanted to put these tips out there to encourage you to live this healthy lifestyle by not only looking good but feeling food as well. Please check out my tips for losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle below! Hope you enjoy.


1) You didn’t get FAT overnight, you will not lose all the weight over night. 

If you haven’t noticed, you did not gain the “Freshman 15” in two weeks, so do not expect to lose it in two weeks. A key tip to weight loss is setting realistic goals that allow you to lose weight in a safe and healthy way. In a way that will not cause you to gain it all back once you change your diet patterns.


2) Focus on the Mirror, not the Scale.

STOP spending so much time worrying about what you weight, and more about how your body is sculpted. It’s possible for you to stay the same weight or fluctuate 5lbs either way or your body drastically changed. I encourage anyone starting a weight program, or looking to make body changes to take body photos, and track their progress. Maybe taking pictures every 2-4 weeks and compare. This is an accurate ‘picture’ of your fitness success.


3) Starving yourself will cause you to gain more than lose.

 It really bothers me when people (especially women) say they are going to eat 500 calories a day, and think that is going to solve their overweight problems. Our bodies need a certain amount of calories a day at minimum to function. This is where you want to start measuring your calorie deficit to decide how many calories to eat a day. If you are very active this will be different from someone who is sedentary on a daily basis. You should be eating 5-6 times a day in moderation. Break your meals down and eat smaller meals relatively all day.


4) A Cheat Day is just that, not 3-5 times a week. 

“Today is my cheat day” is one of the most common excuses of eating badly. The only issue here is, a day is singular not plural. Yes, cheat days are good to keep you motivated and actually good for your metabolism during a strict diet regiment. BUT just because you have started to workout does not mean that it’s OK to eat what you want, this will most definitely set you back.


5) Abs are shaped in the gym, but made in the kitchen.

 We all want those 6/8 pack abs. Period. Just about every person that has started a diet/workout regiment is looking to improve upon their mid-section. BUT what many fail to realize is that  you can do all the crunches in the world, but if you do not burn the layer of fat covering your abs you’ll never see them. Work hard on burning body fat to “reveal” the abs you probably already have!

6) Surround yourself around like-minded people. 

If you have 9 broke friends, you’re bound to be the 10th. This is absolutely true when it comes to working out. I’m not saying drop your overweight friends, but find some people that are gym rats, or losing weight, etc just like you that can help keep you motivated. Those that will encourage you to get up go to the gym, eat the right foods, and push yourself more and more.


7) Stay Consistent. 

Last but not least… being fit is a lifestyle not just something you do for 60 or 90 days with Shaun T. Getting started is tough, overcoming a plateau is tough, and continuing to workout once you reached your goals is tough. Keep getting up, change your workout/diet frequently, and continue to set new goals. Stick to it, and don’t slack off when you start to see results that should be your motivation to working even harder.



With Passion, Purpose, & Pride, 

Trent J ACEO


When Reality Sets In…

In starting off the New Year, and approaching my 27th birthday, I began reflecting on the day I began my first “real” job as I call it here at a Consultant. I was pretty convinced that I had figured life out.  For the last 18 months of college, I stayed alone and was very familiar with what it took to handle “responsibilities” and balance a difficult “work” load.

However, as those years have swiftly passed I’ve come to realize a few things that I THOUGHT I knew, and really didn’t know until Life happened.

So yea, reality sets in very quickly.  Below I captured a few lessons that I’ve become aware of either voluntarily, or involuntarily.  Enjoy!


$1,000 is NOT a lot of money:

You know growing up seeing a $100 bill was foreign to me, we’d be happy to have a 20. Even though I was exposed to some ‘pricey’ situations with tuition and board, I never really experienced how much money was truly in circulation. When I received my first bonus, which was just short of the $1000, and was hit with a tax that nearly cut it in half, I quickly learned:  This is really not a lot of money. Thus, it was time for me to set my aspirations and financial goals to a higher standard.

$700 a month for all bills paid full furnished apartment wasn’t really that bad:

My, in college I consistently complained about housing prices sky-rocketing each and every year. Upon graduating I was paying about $750/mo for a 2 story townhome which included cable and internet. I was complaining until I began looking for apartments in Houston, and to be close to my job was paying nearly $900 a month. Not to mention, that only included the roof.

Your Credit Score is EVERYTHING:

One fundamental to financial management that isn’t really taught in many households, and most definitely not in school. “Credit is KING”, as my father put it. Protect your credit, like you would your own life. I was blessed upon graduation not to have any loans, so my debt was pretty low. However, I was always a believer in paying my credit cards off EVERY month. If I was going to be stupid, and charge up a lot of merchandise, or go shopping; I made myself sacrifice with a dusty dessert checking account. Though it caused some painful times, it works. Never charging more than I have has kept my credit usage down and helped to bump my credit score.

It’s so many people making 6 figures, and have a terribly lonely and depressing life.

I.Could.Stay.Here.All.Day : In my line of work of consulting I’m exposed to many different types of people, at various stages in their careers. From Partners, to entry level, I’ve seen how as the pay increases more of your time is demanded. And for many (not all), this results in a work-centered lifestyle with a lot of money, but no time to disconnect and focus on what’s really important to you.

I can’t believe that 4 years for me has come and gone, and some of the depression that I’ve watched others go through was enough for me to say… “its not worth it.” Now, am I telling you not to aspire to great wealth? Absolutely not. “Get Yo Money.”  However, never get to busy making a living that you


forget to live your life.  Find out what’s important to you, pick up new hobbies, create and strengthen relationships, rest, and most importantly have fun!

You have to do things that scare you every day. (Overcoming the Fear of Failure)

In 2012, my theme for the year was “living uncomfortable.”  All throughout the year, I adopted my “why not” attitude to living. Why not travel, why not try new foods, why not , why not, why not! I realized for the first time in my life, I was working full time, living alone, and able to do so many things that my time or resources wouldn’t allow.  Now this doesn’t mean go spend money you don’t have for “experiences,” but definitely don’t be afraid to try new things, meet new people, and get some “substance” to your well-being. In that year alone, I came to find out that what differs most people is not their financial status, race, or college affiliation, but simply the opportunities to be exposed to people, places, and things outside of our personal social norm.


Travel the World, not just Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Don’t get me wrong, Las Vegas and Atlanta are great places. And I rarely visit either and have a bad time. As someone that has traveled to over 60% of US states, I’ve come to learn that it’s the international travel that will really help to put things into perspective. Find you some friends willing and ready to travel, search for deals and GO.

Start the business now, follow your dream NOW, start the book NOW, transform the world NOW.

This can be rephrased as “It’ll never be the right/perfect time.”   For those of us that allow our minds to dream and imagine greater things in store for ourselves, we sometimes become our worse critics. Most businesses that are started fail, but ALL of ideas never acted upon fail. It satisfies us to know it’s still a dream, and that we didn’t try it and fail.  It’ll never be the right time. Pray about it, plan it out, and go try it out. You might completely succeed, you might completely fail. However, either way you will learn and readjust as you go along!


Taxes can really skew how you look at a Salary pay.

I’ve come to learn more about taxes as I looked at my first pay stub for work. Of course I paid taxes with odd jobs growing up, but now that I had a full salary things looked a bit different on that earnings statement.  Though I was making a certain amount of money as per my offer, I wasn’t going to see all of that money because of Uncle Sam. Moreover, learning how to work with and around taxes is the game that the wealthiest of the world have become masters of.  Saving is not how they become rich,  multiple income streams and properly placing their profits in tax deferred or tax free vehicles is what sets the 1% apart. (This will be another blog.)

With Passion, Purpose, and Pride,


Trent J ACEO