Lushy Lush Hustler Of The Week
1) How did you get to where you are now?
How did I get to where I am now, was by applying the #BEFEARLESS concept to my life and R&D (research and development)? I went from being homeless to being an award-winning media personality, to also graduating from Georgetown University and I will be soon graduating from Cornell University. I have interviewed thousands of people in my life and the one thing I did was remain humble. I always remembered that the people I am interviewing are humans too.
Also, I learned that your network is your net worth. Always diversify your network because you never know when you might need that person or when they might need you. I never stuck myself in a box because if I did it would limit me and I knew I was greater than that. I never saw a glass ceiling and I always think big. God said if you ask, thou shall receive. I remember when I was homeless with my child after going through a terrible divorce and dealing with MST (military sexual trauma) I was asking myself, this can’t be life.
I picked myself up and the crazy thing was I was working an IHOP and homeless living in a shelter. I had to make it not only for me but for my child who didn’t ask to be here. Don’t let anyone tell you they can’t make it when they have a child. I’m a hustler and I did so many jobs but, in my heart, since I was little I always wanted to educate and entertain people with the power of a microphone. I use to rap and write poetry when I was younger. I took all that and created Lushradioonline and people laughed at me. They called it pirate radio.
I did this in 2008 not knowing that all radio would be online streaming. I was streaming and doing podcasts before it was a thing. I always was ahead of the game, that’s just how my mind works. Some people say I am extra because I make everything bigger than life. That is the art of the hustle. I use to do street promo for Rawkus Records back in the day. Jumping out of vans putting up posters and flyers. We did guerrilla marketing back in the day and I use to do that for the reggae community when I was in that industry. I took everything I learned and pushed Lushradioonline.
I connected with people all around the world. I started with local artists and then small businesses. As my connections grew I interviewed bigger celebrities by connecting with PR companies. I started doing PR to understand how it worked and leveraged that for myself and my clients. Lushradioonline opened doors for me that I could never imagine. I interviewed Denzel Washington and Kevin Hart and many more. I broke into new music and artist. I gave a lot of people their start with Lushradioonline, from journalists, videographers, publicists, and DJs. Lushradioonline gave people the opportunity to connect with celebrities and we gave back to our community and we continue too.
I was teaching high school students and I had to make a decision if this was what I wanted to do and I quit my job. I ran Lushradionline and it paid my bills. I got my degree in Business Admin. during the time, I ran the internet radio. I learned in this industry don’t trust everyone but, when you do get some good friends in this industry hold them tight and continue to lift each other up. They will be there when shit hits the fan. Also, you must be able to adapt and pivot when needed. Learn what your cash cow is that is bringing you the money. Work on self-development.
Remember, you are your brand and people are paying to see you and what you bring to the table. Also, if one thing doesn’t work out, it’s okay to reinvent yourself. Companies do it all the time. Being fearless and getting out of my own way, allowed me to grow and be who I am today. Plus, I’m Nigerian and a New Yorker so it’s in me blood to be a hustler. Listen, I’m in no way perfect but, I work smart and I never gave up on myself. I’m grateful for everything God blessed me with. Lushradioonline allowed me to meet DJ Hustle who I am so proud of. His growth and journey. I’m grateful for this interview. I am grateful to call him family.
2) As a female host, has it been a smooth road?
No, it has not been. Most of all industries are sexiest or racist. Some opportunities I wouldn’t get because of the way I looked. It’s hard because women are over-sexualized instead of being looked as powerful. When I first started, people didn’t take me seriously but, that only fueled me to take it to another level. I dealt with sexual harassment and I had to question my morals. There is so much pressure for women to compete against each other or look a certain way. I knew one thing I was a hustler and I didn’t take no for an answer. If I couldn’t get it from one person, I would go through the higher-ups.
Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities and believe you can. You have to own your own power. I found my power in communication and radio. I was able to build a rapport with people in various industries. You don’t need a million followers to know your worth. You are not defined by what people think of you, you are defined by what you think of yourself. My track record speaks for itself. At one time, I felt as if I had to keep explaining what I do and who I am but, then I relieved I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. The person I need to prove myself to was me.
I accomplished all my life goals. I got my degree, certificates, awards, house, husband, kid, and more. The biggest thing I gained was the ability to help people in a bigger way. I was able to show people that you can make it no matter what. I am a disabled Army veteran that deals with constant pain and PTSD but, I don’t let that limit me. Never limit yourself
3) How has COVID -19 affected your way of living?
Covid-19 shifted the world as we know it but, 2020 as a whole has changed how we see life. I saw the recession coming but not COVID. Financial analysts had predicted a recession but, it’s more close to a great depression and pandemic. We have a racial explosion in the backdrop of Covid-19. We have more killings, deaths, unemployment, and more. People are in survival mode. I had a friend die earlier this year and last week my aunt died. Fred the Godson was like my little brother and a friend to lushradiononline and he died.
We lost Kobe Bryant and this past week Chadwick Boseman. It’s hard emotionally with social media because almost every day someone is dying. It teaches us that we must get ourselves together and pray for our friends and family. Don’t sweat the little things. My family is doing well. My daughter is 17 years old and she had to adjust to this new norm for her school. She learned how to do my nails and she got a job during Covid-19. My husband lost his job but, we are finding ways to work around that and he was able to pivot. I was able to pivot, by building up my women’s organization She Wins Network. Which focuses on empowering women through their journey.
I was able to have our conference in March before COVID hit hard. I was able to teach virtual classes to bring in revenue. I grew my reiki/massage practice and I have been getting online and some physical clients. I have been hosting virtual events and writing articles on LinkedIn. I am also, advocating for the Vanessa Guillen case and other veterans that have suffered from MST. I am working on two books and I created a strawberry and chocolate almond milkshake that is amazing. I have also done a lot of landscaping at my house and became a gardener. I am appreciating my family and friends. I’m meditating and doing a lot of yoga. Peace of mind is everything right now and self-development.
4) You’re a military veteran what branch did you serve?
I served in the U.S Army
5) PTSD – How serious is this for Veterans
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder also known as PTSD is huge. The thing is, everyone in the world has suffered their own form of PTSD even if they were not in the military. You see someone murdered in front of you. You were harassed, raped, molested, injured, moral injury, or gotten in an accident. Experiencing some form of trauma. I deal with PTSD but, a lot of veterans don’t know they are dealing with PTSD.
Some have symptoms of anxiety, alertness, depression, or some lock themselves away from the world. Some even commit suicide because it becomes too much to handle or they could hurt others. Many veterans and active-duty members are dealing with this. It could happen from too many deployments or your work environment. Vanessa Guillen was dealing with MST that lead to a form of PTSD and then she ended up being killed. A lot of veterans try to drive on and suck it up and it ends up eating at their souls. The family suffers too when their family member is dealing with this. Some people end up homeless because of PTSD.
I advocate for veterans with PTSD because there is a stigma about people dealing with this as if we are a disease. There are trainings such as CBT and DBT that help with these issues but, the individual has to do the work. There is no cure-all for PTSD but you can manage it. It is the past they use to call it shell shocked and they would laugh at the soldiers that came back because they would use drugs or go insane. They never asked what happened to make you like this. We must have patience and empathy. Mental health is real and we must get a better grip on it.
Thousands of veterans are dying from suicide because they need help but may not have access to the help they need or don’t think their service counts so they don’t utilize what the VA hospital provides. Every day is a mental fight but, I won’t let it defeat me. I had to realize I had a problem. Even now when I write my words sometimes get jumbled but, thank god for editors and spell-check. Sometimes I deal with memory loss but, I push on. I learned to adapt to become kind to myself and not beat myself up.
6) What else should our readers know about you?
I am Nigerian/American and I love Anime, K-pop, Asian Dramas. I have a toy collection because I am a big kid. I deal with lymphedema just like Wendy Williams.
7) Who has played a meaningful role in your life?
My parents, my daughter, and my husband.
My father Oladepo Edu was a kind man and would give you the shirt of his back. R.I.P daddy. He showed me that you have the ability to bring people together with love and kindness. My mom Olasumbo Edu gave me three quotes I live by to this day.
1. Things change, people change, and life changes. Things don’t always stay the same. That reminded me that I should never be comfortable, that I should be able to adapt.
2. Those who dance last, dance the best.
3. It’s not how you start it; it’s how you finish it. With those two quotes, it reminded me that it’s not that you are starting late. It’s that you are starting on God’s time. It’s when God says he is ready.
My daughter has been my reason to breathe and to achieve my goals. I have to be better so I can give her a better life. She was always there to cheer me up when I was down. She told me that I was awesome even when I didn’t feel like that. My daughter saved my life because I could have been dead by now.
My husband is my rib and he has been the biggest cheerleader in my journey. He showed me how to love again and to love me. He has been there through surgeries, sickness, and more. I am grateful to my Nigerian culture for giving me my grit and tenacity.
Last but not least GOD. You can do all things with God by your side.
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