Louis Carr is a media mogul with humble beginnings on Chicago’s West Side. He is a masterful marketer who has brought in more than seven billion dollars in revenue over his 31-year career at BET Networks.
Carr is the only African American to be President of Media Sales for a major cable company. He is also an author, philanthropist, fashionista, and dynamic motivational speaker; simply put, Carr is a visionary and an American success story.
His best selling book, Dirty Little Secrets, contains important life lessons that have been key to his success in life and business and Carr suggests those lessons can change your life, too, by helping you find the correct path to your destiny.
Carr is also the author of Little Black Book: Daily Motivations for Business and Personal Growth, which covers such topics as leadership, culture, strategy, vision, success, and diversity.
On October 13-14, Carr is hosting the two-day “Dirty Little Secrets Conference, Men Only Edition” here in Chicago at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile, 633 North Saint Clair Street. Registration is $350 for a two-day pass. To register visit http://dlsmen.com/agenda/.
Recognizing contemporary issues with Black men, Carr says the conference will bring together some of the top thought leaders in the country to provide men with a powerful forum to enhance their leadership skills, find clarity for their mission and goals, and provide tools to achieve new levels of personal and professional success. The conference will feature panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions and high-level networking.
We caught up with Carr recently to learn about his book and the conference.
N’DIGO: Why did you write the book Dirty Little Secrets?
Louis Carr: I happily found myself sitting next to Mr. Harvey MacKay on an airplane once. Harvey is the author of Swimming with the Sharks and Beware of the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt. We struck up a conversation and he asked me when was I going to write a book. He told me not to shortchange the world. He said, your journey can help people with so many things. Don’t be so selfish; share it with the world. That never left me. Harvey was an inspiration.
What have you learned from your book?
That writing a book is hard work! It took me a year and a half to write the book. But a book forces decision; it brings out your values because you are putting it in print forever. It’s a legacy. You define your values and explain who you are. You look at yourself transparently and your contribution to others. The statement I have used is, “Life is bigger than yourself; it is not all about you.”
Why did you establish the Dirty Little Secrets conference?
The conference came about because of the many questions that have come about from the book tour as I traveled the country speaking about it. Everybody is looking for an answer to something. I have been blessed to have answers in many areas.
What kind of questions?
Examples were: How have you stayed married for 31 years? How have you kept the same job for 31 years and progressed in the corporate world? They asked about health and youthfulness. The conference developed from these questions.
I reached out to some of my friends and associates and discussed my idea and told them I wanted to host a conference focusing on money, health, navigating corporate America, entrepreneurship, fashion, and relationships.
How is the conference structured?
On Friday October 13, Daymond John from Shark Tank will give a keynote address on “The Keys to a Successful and Sustainable Startup.” BET’s Bob Johnson will have a fireside chat on “Reinventing Yourself for Ongoing Success.” Pursuit of Happyness author Chris Gardner will give a keynote on “HappYness 2.0, Spiritual Genetics and the New American Dream.” Steve Pemberton, an executive at Walgreens, will give a fireside chat on “Strategies to Building Vendor Partnerships.” Then, Lloyd Boston is a leading fashion expert from New York. He will discuss male fashion.
That’s Friday the 13th. And the next day, Saturday, October 14th?
Saturday from 9 to 5, we will have a “Hope Luncheon” for 100 Black and Hispanic high school males. The day will be hosted by me, and radio’s Sway Calloway and Charlemagne Tha God, and Doug E. Fresh, the rapper. They will be on hand for a Q&A.
Also featured throughout the day will be men who are experts and successful in their field. Ron Williams, former Chair and CEO of Aetna Insurance, will be on hand to explain Obamacare. Courtney Hollowell, Chair of Urinology at Cook County Hospital will be interviewed by Art Norman on how men should take care of their health.
Pastor Charles Jenkins will speak on “Faith for Your Personal and Professional Journey.” Jory Luster and John Rogers and some of the other guys will discuss how you build sustainable businesses. Brett Hart, the general counsel for United Airlines, and Kevin Newell, chief brand officer for McDonald’s, will discuss “Navigating Corporate America.”
What do you want men to takeaway from the conference?
I want men to have a greater vision for self, family, and community. I want men to gain skills to be able to improve their situation no matter where they are in their lives.
Who should attend this conference?
Anyone l8 or over and still on their life’s journey. I think people get satisfied. I am a student of life and believe you have to learn every day. This is a real networking opportunity.
What’s the strongest principal for you in your marriage of over 30 years?
I not only love my wife, but I like her. She is a great person – whether we were married or not, this is my view of her as a woman. Nothing is ever about her. Everything is small stuff and you should always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
What’s your favorite past time?
What are your favorite shows?
House of Cards, Scandal, Empire, How to Get Away with Murder.
What’s your favorite book?
The Hard Things About Hard Things.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Buddakhan in New York.
Where is your favorite place in Chicago?
Can I come to the conference?