Meet Keisha Howard
Keisha's communications background and interest in business innovation led her to the Information Technology Industry- specifically social media, the video game industry and geek culture. This ultimately led to the creation of Sugar Gamers- an advocacy and networking group for consumers and industry professionals and The Blaze Breakers, a digital marketing agency.
Through Sugar Gamers, Keisha has been able to monetize her interest in technology, raise awareness of the under-representation in the Gaming Industry, and lobby to ensure corporations factor the needs of a more diverse group of consumers in their new offerings. Keisha's work with Sugar Gamers has made her a minor celebrity in Pop culture, affording her national television appearances on show's like SyFy Channel's ROBOT COMBAT LEAGUE and allowing her to encounter pop culture icons like George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, and Stan Lee, the chief architect of Marvel Comics.
While her work with Sugar Gamers has taken her all over the country, Keisha has never lost site of home. A native Chicagoan, Keisha utilizes the skills and the contacts she's made through Sugar Gamers to empower people as a mentor, speaker and community manager.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” - Calvin Coolidge
I love this quote. This quote alludes to the fact that an individual can come from any set of circumstances with meager resources and still accomplish many things if armed with tenacity. It gives everyone a fighting chance at being successful if they are able to be persistent in the pursuit of their dreams.
What do you geek out about?
I geek out about futurism. Sci-fi was one of the genres I loved most growing up. And I'm so excited that more of the online conversation has shifted to talking more about breakthrough technologies that will shape humanity and transformative technologies that will maximize human potential. It's really amazing! Attending Tech and Game conferences really never ceases to BLOW MY MIND with how quickly technology advances year after year. So I have to be a part of it. I have to see for myself what the future may hold. And maybe even have a hand in shaping it.
What don't people know about you?
Though people see me as a gamer/geek/techie- my real passion is for psychology and consumer behavior. I have been studying various elements of psychology since the age of 10 when my older brother brought his text books home from school. The human mind is one of the most complex structures in the universe. A person can explore the world and that is a great feat- but exploring human motivation- now that's a challenge! And a very interesting one at that. Before I became an entrepreneur, I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but I felt the structure in which to pursue that career would have limited my ability for personal growth and adventure! I love meeting new people and getting to see the world from different perspectives. I enjoy doing little personal social experiments as well- my friends may look at them as pranks- but for me- IT'S SCIENCE!!!!
What do you need?
Being an entrepreneur and accomplishing certain things has put me in the spotlight. I've gotten to be on a TV show, be asked to speak at awesome events, and meet amazing individuals. I get to seem perpetually confident and fearless. I get to use social media as my highlight reel. The reality is I do get insecure at times and I'm exceptionally sensitive. I am not infallible. Though there is much I seem to accomplish independently, if it weren't for the continued support of my few friends and family I may have given up on my goals long ago! Fortunately that is not the case and even though I've had many difficult challenges, I've also had a lot of successes because I have support. Even seemingly little things like kind words of encouragement can go a long way to help me stay focused and determined.
What do you think about when you are alone?
I think about my next adventure. Where will I explore and who will I meet? What will I learn? And then what's next?! I never stop thinking about what's next. I think about all the things I've never experienced and how I will get to have those opportunities. I have an insatiable curiosity and appetite for learning about people. I can't stand being stagnant or bored! There are way too many things to do- the hardest part is choosing what my next move will be.
What gets you through a rough day?
Mindfulness, Silence, and Music. When things get rough, which they tend to do for a bootstrapper- I usually have to cut myself off from the "noise" and stimulus from the world and just be grateful for what I have at the moment. I had a huge period of time where I was feeling very withdrawn and very reluctant to form new relationships. However, after I started thinking of things from a point of gratitude, I started to want to open up again. Being mindful and having gratitude is difficult- especially because there are a lot of assholes in the world. But- I realized that those negative experiences were starting to make it hard for me to appreciate the positive and supportive people in my life. Sometimes I just have to disconnect and be silent for a while. And then I put on some soundcloud (favorite channel is https://soundcloud.com/mrsuicidesheep ) and listen to some awesome ambient electronic music and just enjoy the vibes. As simple as this sounds, it's very difficult for me to to find the time to do this so I have to force myself to disconnect so I don't let my rough days consume me.
Photo Credit: Matt Coglianese