When I was younger, my 3 primary influences were my father Wilbert Ellison, Walt Disney, and Leonardo Di Vinci. I was always inspired by my father’s drive and his application of discipline and focus to successfully pursue his passions in life.
My father was the first African American branch manager for Wonder Bread in Chicago Illinois and then went on to successfully open his first fast food restaurant called Wilby’s on the south side of Chicago.
In 1975, I began working at my father’s restaurant 5 days a week every day after school. During the 11 years that I worked for my father, he taught me everything he knew about business, finances, inventory, customer service, advertising, and marketing.
At the age of 9, I taught myself how to play the drums and went on to become a very successful drummer, recording 25 albums and touring and performing with artists that include Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, and Brian Mcknight.
After 25 years in the music industry, I made a conscious decision to pursue a more purpose-driven life that would allow me to pursue my other passions in life that included nutrition, fitness, and education.
Being on the road and traveling constantly sometimes made it extremely difficult for me to find the time to work out. Sometimes, I couldn’t find a gym or maybe I didn’t have enough time to go down and use the Hotel’s fitness center, so I would create my own using the chairs in the hotel room.
Drawing from the influence of the great Leonardo Di Vinci, one of the greatest inventors of all time I came up with the idea to design and create The Body Bench, a portable bench that could be used to facilitate a full body workout including over 100 exercises, including calisthenics, isometrics, stretching, yoga and cardio.
After the initial drawings were completed, I proceeded to learn how to weld so I could build the first prototype and then apply for my first patent which I received on May 8, 2008.
I then proceeded to build the first 100 Body Benches by hand at a small machine shop in Los Angeles and then proceeded to find a manufacturer to mass produce the Body Bench. So I contacted Quinform Industrial Corp. to manufacture the Body Bench and secured my first shipment of 500 Body Benches in January of 2017.
The Body Bench is available at TheBodyBench
The origin of the Superfood Friends has a different storyline that began at the early age of 5 years old, when my mother, Hattie Ellison would sit me down at the kitchen table and proceed to tell me about fruits and vegetables through fun and exciting stories about the personalities of each fruit and vegetable.
This immediately engaged my imagination, which made me curious and more interested in learning more about these colorful and flavorful natural foods that she explained was the healthiest things to eat, and that would give me all of the nutrients and vitamins that I needed to grow up to be strong and smart.
Later In 2005, I called my mother to ask her more about the stories she told me as a child and I took notes and proceeded to draw the characters that I imagined as she told the stories.
After 10 years of developing the Superfood Friends including all 50 characters, I developed a k-5 nutrition and fitness curriculum and completed a successful 2-year pilot program at Booker Elementary School in Las Vegas Nevada.
To Complement the curriculum, I created a full line of merchandise and apparel that is currently for sale in Hudson stores at Las Vegas McCarran Airport.
For more information about the Superfood Friends: www.superfoodfriends.com
Throughout the initial stages of building my own business team, I personally hand-picked certain individuals who I felt were experts in their perspective fields. These individuals were very passionate about what they were doing, and all shared a common interest in the categories of health, nutrition, fitness, and education that aligned with the mission of my company, Ellison Lifestyle Group.
Throughout the past 10 years, I have developed many working relationships with companies, organizations, and individuals that have contributed to the continued growth and development of my company and flagship products, The Body Bench and Superfood Friends.
At this particular stage of creating brand awareness through social media, I am pleased to announce that I am working with Anne Cohen, the founder, owner, editor, and writer at Anne Cohen Writes, to help me create blogs and write articles about my own personal journey.
The meaning of each letter in the word SUCCESS
(told to me by my father Wilbert Ellison)
My father explained to me the meaning behind each letter of the word Success, so I had a very clear understanding of what it took to become successful at anything in life.
He told me that if I applied these very fundament precepts to everything I did in life, that I would be very successful. And after 40 yrs. of applying this formula, I am here to tell you that it does in fact work if understood and applied correctly.
S is for “Sense of Direction”
Knowing where it is that you want to go in life.
U is for “Understanding”
Having a very clear and concise understanding of why you want to go in that direction and knowing what it takes to get there.
C is for “Courage”
Having the courage to move forward despite all obstacles, adversities, and hardships.
C is for “Charity”
Having the ability to give back and to be of service to others without expecting anything in return.
E is for “Esteem”
To have respect, admiration, and to show appreciation for “All things in All ways”
S is for “Self Discipline”
Having the self-discipline to stay the course and weather the storm when it comes.
S is for “Self Confidence”
Believing in yourself despite what others may say or think about you or whatever it is that you are doing.
During the initial stages of pursuing my dreams and developing all of my ideas, I applied this formula for success explained to me by my father, and was able to achieve great success as a professional drummer, patented inventor, published author, cartoonist, animator, educator, and entrepreneur.
I hope that in some way, that my story can inspire others to follow their dreams in hope of one day becoming successful in any field chosen, and also, make it a point to showcase the success of what happens when a mother and father raise their children with the foundation of a strong moral fabric with the threads of integrity, honor, respect, and discipline to create a family bond that provides unconditional love and support. This foundation gave my brother Brian, my sister Lavette, and myself the ability to go through life and successfully navigate the adversities and obstacles that occur during one’s journey in life!
My message to the children of the generations to come is that “Anything is possible!”
- Life - September 17, 2017
- Family Influence, Chasing the Dream, Understanding Success, and Building a Team - September 4, 2017