Starting Lineups: The Floyd Mayweather Success Guide To #NABJ12 In New Orleans

God bless NABJ. God bless New Orleans. God bless my feet for making it the entire trip. Man.

It was my first time ever in New Orleans. A shame really, since I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and never made the trip to The Big Easy in my 23 years living just a 12-hour drive away. However, at age 28, I took my first voyage to the place I would later affectionately come to know only as “Nola.” The reason? The 2012 National Association of Black Journalists convention.

The Floyd Mayweatherization of this trip slowly began to round into form as I touched down in Nola on Thursday evening. Even though someone took my luggage by mistake (it was retrieved, along with a $20 apology left at my hotel by the individual who took my bag) and my beloved Oklahoma City Thunder took their final loss of the season in the span of 4 hours, nothing would stop the “Hard Work and Dedication” needed to properly “Flourish and Prosper” to the highest of levels.

Here’s something you need to understand immediately about any and all NABJ conferences that may or may not be different than other professional organizations that you participate in. There is a segment of people who will attend this conference with a singular objective of finding a job/career and/or to hone their skills. Their diligence is applauded, and their focus is appreciated. The resources that are available for seekers of income should be properly utilized while at this conference.

Then there’s everyone else.

You see, everyone else is trying to kick it. No, not necessarily just party your life away, but I’d like to think of it more as a lengthy ongoing fellowship with your peers. Catching up with old friends, meeting new ones. Sharing ideas, learning tricks of the trade and understanding who some of the key movers and shakers truly are.

That last point is vital, which is what I would encourage anyone to think about when deciding on whether you want to attend this conference. There’s nothing like shaking a person’s hand and introducing yourself to people of influence. (I’m looking at you, Syreeta.) You never know who’s listening to your conversation around the corner. There's nothing like having someone co-sign for the great work that you do yourself. If you’re a blogger, journalist or someone who truly has an interest in this game, do yourself a favor and talk to folks involved in NABJ or the Society of Professional Journalists. Check for a local chapter or writing group as well. Consider attending the 2013 NABJ convention in Orlando. Of course it can be expensive, but so is that trip you planned for Spring Break when you spent your bottom dollar doing God knows what. There’s no progress without process, so make it happen.

A couple of side notes quickly ...

1. My apologies to Morgan and Marcus about not sharing my access to Showtime in my hotel. Who knew the Ortiz vs. Lopez fight would end in such splendid fashion?

2. I need to write a book. Shoutout to Single Girl Summer.

3. Yes, bloggers, you do have a seat at the table. Build from the ground up, sacrifice, hustle and build on your love for what you write about. Big ups to Jemele and Bo for co-signing our movement here at TSFJ, salute.

4. The people of New Orleans are really, really nice. Friendliest people ever. I also think I fell in love at least 3-4 times. Gotta stop gazing in pretty women's eyes like that.

5. The coolest thing about New Orleans is that as a city it tends to bring others together. There are many major sporting events here, along with huge concerts and conferences as well. However, who knew that Twitter would bring together so many cool people that I'd only known on my Twitter stream? To someone who's creeped out by social media, yes this might sound weird, but there are honest and sincere connections that are made via the almighty Twitter machine. Social media is your friend.

6. Who's going to Orlando for #NABJ13?

7. I am.

Here is your pertinent reading material for Tuesday, enjoy the day.

FOX Deportes: The Final Four: Euro 2012’s Four Best Get Yearbook Superlatives

SB Nation: Heat Repeat: How Miami Can Win Another Championship In 2013

SLAM Online: Chris Paul Made the Re-Signing of Chauncey Billups His ‘Top Priority’

Bull City: Let The Panic Begin... Major Market NBA Teams Are In Trouble

Day and a Dream: Kendrick Lamar Reveals Good Kid In A Mad City Release Date

Smoking Section: Mike Tyson On PTI: Talks Robin Givens, Brad Pitt & His Broadway Play

Marc Spears: Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist no longer bothered by his stuttering

Sports Illustrated: DeMaurice Smith on the importance of being a good sport

Marcus Troy: My Life: A Few Days With Microsoft – Miami #MSFTSTYLE

HBCU Story: Five Fabulous Quotes of HBCU Commencement Speakers 2012

Chan-Lo: Million Dollar Ballers Pays Homage To Legendary Teams w/ Title Collection

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