One of the most highly anticipated entertainment events recently made its official comeback.

Annually, Broccoli City — a Black-owned social enterprise — holds Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. Coming in on its tenth anniversary after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, May 7 and May 8 was a time to celebrate.

With the event being more than just about music, many of the artists on its lineup share a similar view of the bigger picture at hand as they work to connect with their fans in multiple ways.

For instance, Masego has expanded from just being in music to tech. In March, the multi-faceted talent told AfroTech about dropping his debut NFT collection on OneOf.  Following his amazing set at Broccoli City Fest, the Grammy-nominated artist shared with me more about the new experience, as well as what’s next in the cards for him tech-wise.

Courtesy of Masego

“I think it was good because when it comes to Web3 and crypto, I just want people to participate,” Masego told AfroTech exclusively about the rewarding aftermath of dropping his Tadow NFT. “I want them to let this be an introduction to educating themselves in how they’d like to be involved in it.”

In the same way, Masego wants to educate folks, Broccoli City hosted BroccoliCon to help its attendees acquire helpful knowledge and resources prior to turning up at the festival. Spaces such as the conference that are specifically curated for Black people to feel safe, seen, and heard are ones to be treasured as they work to further empower our community.

Featuring panelists from Indeed, Scholly, Live Nation, and more, it was an eight-hour experience filled with guidance for young Black professionals trying to elevate like myself. From my time at Broccoli City’s BLK Change Weekend, here is the free game I gained on entrepreneurship, investing, tech, and more.

Look At A Networking Conversation Like Closing A Business Deal

When HBCU Buzz founder Luke Lawal Jr. and Indeed’s Misty Gaither were providing their takes on how to secure jobs, this specific tip was top tier.

Photo Credit: UnstoppableDotCo

What made it stand out to me is the fact that it shed light on how many people tend to start building a connection with someone in a company or role they desire, but then fall short on effectively following up to turn the conversation into learning new possible opportunities. The panelists also emphasized the importance of being authentic and non-transactional before anything else when approaching these conversations.

Invest In Things That You Use And Own

If I need to take notes from someone on getting to the bag, it’s definitely Dominique Broadway — an award-winning millennial personal finance expert. While speaking for Girl CEO’s “How to Position Yourself as an Entrepreneurial Playmaker,” the panelists clinked their glasses to her making eight figures this year.

Courtesy of Ronne Brown

Along with leading her company, Broadway’s success has come from her being a pro at investing. When she was a newbie, in the beginning, investing in what she was actively a fan of led her to great investments.

Another tip she dropped was for when the market goes down to not run away from investing, but rather to look at it as things being on sale.

You Have To Be Puff Before You’re Diddy

Courtesy of Ronne Brown

While speaking on her own journey, marketing director at Atlantic Records Courtney Couch dropped a bar that I wanted immediately printed somewhere — “People want to be Diddy, but not Puff first.”

Essentially, what she was saying is that people will want to be in high places, yet want to somehow skip the steps that it takes to get there. Without things like internships, sacrifice, and being a vessel to bless others, Couch expressed that she wouldn’t be where she is now, which is working with artists like Don Toliver and having even curated an event for the NFL earlier this year.

Being Open To Any Role Isn’t Actually A Good Thing

Coming in the words of a recruiter herself, Live Nation Entertainment’s Chei Burris put things into perspective for those whose strategy is trying to get their foot in anywhere.

“I have tons of people that are in my LinkedIn or in my inbox that are like, ‘I’m open for any role that you want to put me in.’ I don’t have time to figure that out for you hon.’ I need you to come ready with that,” the Director of Recruiting openly shared.

The reality is that recruiters’ emails are constantly flooded. So, how do you distinguish yourself from others? Find a recruiter specifically in the specialty you’re seeking to work in and pitch yourself to them in a way that demonstrates what actual actions you’d execute if you were onboard. The same way you show up prepared for an IRL interview is the energy you should bring when reaching out digitally.

Learn About The Position You Want And Do The Work

The difference between those who aspire for roles and those who make actual transitions is how willing you are to do the work before even landing the job. For Darrah Joy Clay — the Senior Manager, Brand Partnerships, CPG at Instacart — during the “Scholly: Breaking Into Tech” panel moderated by founder Christopher Gray, that meant learning the ins and outs of the position she wanted from leaders in the field from 6 to 8 a.m., then doing the actual work it took to land it from 6 to 8 p.m. A key to committing to this that Clay shared with us is to consistently put yourself in environments that motivate and push you to elevate.

Being A Part Of Making Wellness “Cool” Benefits Our Whole Community

“When brothers hear the word ‘care’ they automatically think it’s something soft,” Wallo267 said during his AARP panel that focused on Black wellness.

Photo Credit: Isiah Allen

Recognizing the unfortunate truth that Black men are less likely to get their check-ups and prioritize their mental health due to stigma in the community, the popular podcaster makes it his duty to show on his socials that it’s “cool” to take action for your well-being. His enlightening perspective on wellness made me stop and reflect on how I can be a part of helping others in our community care better for themselves. And, I ask for anyone reading this to take a moment and do the same.