The One Time Kanye West Got It Right by @inspiredbysgp

by Tanea Smith | Featured Contributor

Oh Kanye. What can I say? Very little about a man I don’t know personally. What I will say from my own experience is that there’s a Kanye in every family. Yes, yours too! You know the cousin who shows up to the barbecue and everybody dead stops in the middle of eating their macaroni salad because nobody has a clue what they’re going to say or do. Be they male or female, every family has a cousin like him. As there are two sides to every coin, we’ve also come to learn there are two sides to Kanye West. There’s the Kanye who meets with Donald Trump for no reason that anyone would recognize as helpful. And there’s the Kanye who sells out an arena and goes on a rant simply because he feels like it. But there is also the Kanye I happen to love.

The artist who has given us such brilliance as “The College Dropout” and who was quoted in “The World According to Gayle” column in Oprah magazine several years ago:

Now, THAT is the Kanye I’d like to hear from on a consistent basis. Just put down your latte and let that sink in for a minute.

“Excellence is the bare minimum.” Because isn’t it? Good is okay, but GREAT is most certainly the goal, right? What does that mean for you? If that were to become the mantra for your life, how would it change the choices you make and how you move every day in the world?

Here are three ways we can get closer to our greatness:

  • Define your awesome – Using pen and paper, a page out of your favorite journal or a pencil and a napkin in your favorite café, write out what your awesome is. Not your cousin’s or the lady you follow obsessively on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Yours! Write it down. You need to see it in your own words. Is it launching your side hustle or losing that last 10 pounds so you can get back into your favorite prebaby jeans? Maybe it’s rising a half hour earlier each day so you can master your meditation practice or taking that step to go back to school?
  • Give yourself a deadline – On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is your awesomeness to you? If it’s just a 2 no need to read to the end of this post. Because, why? But if it’s between an 8.5 and a perfect 10 then you’re going to need a deadline. And not just any random Thursday, but rather a day that will be of significance to you. If you plan to be back in those jeans by your daughter’s first birthday, write it down and be sure to get a full body shot with your precious baby and your fabulous figure. Yes Mama! Launching that side hustle “at some point” this summer? Well no, how about the Fourth of July? It’s Independence Day and if you work your hustle properly you could really have something to celebrate by Christmas. There’s no better gift we can give ourselves than the feeling of accomplishment.
  • Keep your foot on the mark – Awesome ain’t easy! Your bare minimum has gotten you exactly nowhere thus far which means you have to do something different. The difference will come in the form of your “Front Row”. Trust me, you need people! Why? Because people who have tribes to encourage, motivate and hold them accountable to their goals get things done more often than not. Gyms are full of personal trainers helping women just like you hit that target weight. Women in corporate jobs they hate who want to launch side hustles come to hear women like me speak on my experience and give them tools to make the transition. No one has ever achieved anything amazing on their own. Identify three people who you can share your goal with and you can depend on to help you get to awesome.

Winners, you can only be sure of today. Not knowing what’s to come is part of the magic of being on this journey. But since we’re going to be marching anyway, shouldn’t we be doing the most instead of the least? Share your awesome with me in the comments and let’s encourage each other.


Tanea SmithTanea Smith is the Owner & Creative Director of She’s Got Papers, a lifestyle greeting card & gift company with designs that are as powerful as they are witty and life affirming. But that’s only half the story.

As New York City’s Side Hustle Expert & an Inspirational Business Speaker she teaches women how to launch their own businesses while working full time. The “juggle” as she calls it is not for the faint of heart but Tanea believes that with passion, the right mindset and the proper tools it is possible for every woman to build the business of her dreams. Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.

Her mantra: There is life beyond your current gig!

Tanea has been featured in Essence, More,, American Express Forum & The Wendy Williams Show.

Tanea has spoken at St. John’s University, City College of New York, New York University as well as a host of churches & women’s groups.  She has a PhD. in thriving despite the odds. She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.

See her stationery collection at:

Take the journey with her & get inspired to begin yours at

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