(Note #1: These are my raw thoughts and I have not edited this blog for errors. At the very bottom of it, I have some important questions…)

(Note #2: I hope our big news inspires all of you to live life to the fullest. We’re doing it on a shoestring budget, with 4 kids, and only a small bit of certainty.)

For the first 15 years of my adult life, I lived in Atlanta, loved it, but too often lived timidly until the end.

Since 2011, though, my entire family has embraced a true spirit of adventure.  During these 3+ years:

  • We moved to California, fell in love with the place, and started HopeMob. The beach became our home.
  • We moved to Kentucky for a year to be with our extended family and so that I could more easily travel to New York where I was preparing to launch a tech start-up, Upfront.
  • We said “what the hell” and decided to move the entire family to Manhattan into a 1 bedroom apartment so that I could work full-time to launch Upfront. To our surprise, it was one of the most memorable times of our entire life and none of us really cared about the small space.
  • We moved the family back to California a year ago after our Manhattan apartment was overrun with mice (worse than you know) and have loved every minute of being out here.

During these 3 years we’ve climbed mountains (literally), launched businesses, sold thousands of Girl Scout cookies, camped at the most beautiful national parks, our children have all started and excelled at new sports and instruments and hobbies, and I think we are all about as healthy and whole (inside and out) as we’ve ever been.

So, our lease at our California home is up tomorrow and we’ve decided to totally go for it.  Most of the work I do, I do from the internet and I am not tied down to any one physical location.  We felt like the timing was perfect for us to take a real calculated risk and for the world to be our oyster.

On this Sunday, we are moving to Cape Town, South Africa!! 

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We are literally staying in a home we found on AirBNB for the next month and will decide what all the future may hold for us once we arrive.  We have a few friends there.  I traveled there over 10 years ago while a student @ Morehouse and loved it.

We hope to try new foods, see new things, swim in new waters, make new friends, help new causes, and allow our hearts and minds to be open to new possibilities.  We are planning on coming back to the states before September, but we are completely open to anything.

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I have decided to step down from my day to day role as Chief Creative Officer of Upfront. I will continue to serve on the board and am excited about all that is next for Upfront.  Ray Lee & Vinnie Tuscano, my Co-Founders, are capable and talented leaders and I am rooting for them in every way.

I hope to have some very exciting news to share about the future of HopeMob in the weeks ahead.

While in South Africa, I aim to love on my wife and kids like they deserve and devote a large chunk of my daily time to leading 100 Life Goals University and preparing for the release of my first book, 100!

If you missed in on social media, I just announced that we signed a VERY awesome deal with Simon & Schuster/Howard books to publish “100!” and I can’t wait to get it in your hands!

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I have a few questions for you! Leave your answers in the comments and feel free to email me @ shaunking@gmail.com

1. Do you know anyone in Cape Town that you’d like for me to meet?

2. Do you have anywhere special in Cape Town you’d like for me to visit?

3. Do you have anywhere special in Cape Town where my family could serve kids and families in need?

4. Can you give me any real tips on using my AT&T iPhone while in South Africa? Get a SIM card?

5. Where can I rent an automatic van for a monthly rental other than the main spots I see online?

6. Have any tips on SPECIFIC places where we could live in a month or so?

7. Do you know of any schools that may open to hiring an outstanding, fully certified elementary school teacher?

8. Do you know any SPECIFIC places where I could get access to SUPER HIGH SPEED internet?

9. Do you know any videographers I could meet and work with?

10. Would you please pray for us?

THANK YOU ALL!  Your love and support across the years means the world to me.

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C_Bo-20120521
That’s C-BO. 1993.  A hardcore gangsta rapper from Sacramento.  In a second, that’s going to be very relevant.

When I was a teenager, hip hop was MY LIFE! Every dime I owned went to music or equipment.  My dream was to be a high level music executive of some sort.  I was a huge fan of C-BO and some other Bay Area rappers (like E-40 & Brotha Lynch) and decided to do something crazy.

Gas_Chamber_(cover)I just called the phone numbers listed inside of the album notes to talk to who was on the other end.  It was AMAZING who would answer sometimes.

Eventually, I connected with this guy named Sean – who was equal parts gangster and music manager.  We just connected.  He seemed to be the money behind C-Bo and helped manage him.  Sean asked me (I was 14) if I would help book concerts and autograph signings for him.

I had no idea what I was doing, but, of course, I said yes.  That’s my way. Jump right in.

3 weeks later, I kid you not, C-Bo and Sean PICKED ME UP at my house in rural Kentucky in a Lexus.  They wanted to go to the mall, do an autograph signing at a music store, and do a small concert.

Miraculously, I had arranged all of these things.  When we got to the mall, the dudes opened up the trunk to the Lexus, and, I kid you not, it was a box of CDs, a bunch of weed, money, and some guns.

We went into the mall, and MAN, I felt like I was on top of the earth.  Now I know C-Bo wasn’t Tupac (although he was on Tupac’s All Eyez on Me), but this dude was huge in my little world.  To this day the only dude I know that can verify our mall story was my homie Derrick White who played ball @ Lexington Catholic.  He was at the mall that day at couldn’t believe it when he saw us. Haha.

After we left the mall, we went to a little record store in the hood called G-Town Sounds owned by a dude named Terry.  I had hooked it up for C-Bo to appear on the radio and within minutes about 250 people were waiting for autographs outside.  I think my friend Rico was with us there for a while.

Georgetown_and_Douglas_WebAbout an hour or so later, we went to this little strip mall on Georgetown Road that was notorious for thuggery called The Plaza.  It’s been torn down since, but we went to a soul food restaurant there to eat and hang out.  At the time, my friend was a guy named Rodger and he was with me the whole time – LOVING IT! Haha.

But, soon after we got there, it got crazy.  Everybody in the hood wanted to come in and the owner decided to lock the doors.  This caused MAJOR ruckus. I mean major.  Dudes started banging on the windows, yelling, mean mugging, it was crazy.

Like they didn’t even care, C-Bo, Sean, and some of the gangsta dudes they had with them, wanted to open up the doors and let 10-15 women in.  When they did this, and the women came in, ish went to a WHOLE NUTHA LEVEL.

Dudes outside LOST IT!  I mean apeshit – riot level anger.  C-Bo and those dudes, though, just chilled out like nothing was happening.  They just ate the soul food, had women all around them, and were loving it.

Zombies-StoreI was looking at the window to the store like it was The Walking Dead out there.  In a matter of seconds it looked like they were just going to bust right through the glass.

Sure enough. It happened.  Somebody with a pistol started shooting through the glass and we all went scattering.

IT WAS BANANAS! We knew we couldn’t go out the front or the crowd would probably mob us so we, action movie style, went flying through the kitchen, knocking ish over, and out the back door.  Rodger and I happened to park his girlfriends truck back there (Grace of God) and we got in it and just peeled out.

I had no idea where C-Bo and Sean and them went or if they had even made it out alive.

4 weeks later I got a collect call from Sean.  He was in jail and wanted to know if I still had the boxes and boxes of t-shirts and CDs he had left with me.  I did.  He said he was going to have somebody come and get them, but  I never heard from those dudes again.  I’m not even gonna give a moral to this story (I can think of a few). I just wanted to share it!

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#MyCrazyTrueStory  #ThatWasThePGversion #CharlieMurphy

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hopemob_logoandtitle

 

I love HopeMob!

Since we launched last year, we’ve helped people all over the world in ways big and small. Our work has been covered in every press outlet available and last month was our most successful month in the history of our platform.  We are telling more stories and funding more stories (which means we are helping more people) than we ever have. I so love (yeah I meant to say it that way) what we’ve built and what we’ve accomplished.

@hope is roaring on Twitter, we don’t have any debt, we are incredibly lean, our brand is strong, our technology is stellar, we have a very gifted staff and board, and I believe our future is bright.

That’s Where You Come In

I sincerely believe that for HopeMob to continue down an exciting path of growth, we will need to become a partner with another business or charity that has the experience, the team, and the financial strength to take what I think is a really good organization and brand and make it into a world class enterprise.

It’s actually a bit hard for me to write this because I have been a lone ranger most of my life.  Over the past 3 years I have worked hard to get out of my own leadership bubble and to ask for help when I need it and lean on the team around me.  I didn’t use to do that, but my love for HopeMob and it’s future is much greater than my loner tendencies.

We’ve gotten many offers over the past 18 months from companies, charities, and investors interested in purchasing HopeMob and all of our intellectual property outright, merging with us in different creative ways, and more, but I just didn’t think they were the best fits.

I believe an amazing fit is out there.  It may be non-traditional.  It may be surprising.  Whatever it is, I believe deeply in my heart that the future of HopeMob has something to do with someone reading this blog right now.

Here are some scenarios that may be a great fit for us…

  • A successful charity adopts HopeMob and our team.  We become an official part of that charity.
  • A successful business adopts HopeMob and makes us the charity arm of their business.
  • We merge with another crowdfunding platform or social good enterprise.
  • A strong church adopts HopeMob and makes HopeMob an extension of their church.  I had previously not considered this, but with the right fit, it could work.
  • A strategic investor purchases the intellectual property and technology that we’ve built with the intention of growing HopeMob in unique ways.
  • We are also open to unique ideas and partnerships not listed above.

Some more thoughts…

  • I want to say again how open we are to creative ideas.
  • We would strongly prefer for several members of our team to remain in place if possible.  
  • I (Shaun King) do not have to remain on as CEO with the right scenario.  I will always be the biggest cheerleader and supporter of HopeMob no matter what, but I am very open here.

With that said, our team would love to begin considering your unique ideas and proposals right away.  Be creative and thorough.  Each proposal should be 4-7 pages long and should include the history of your work, what makes you uniquely qualified for such an endeavor, your financial capacity to do this, profiles of your team, how you think you will add value to HopeMob and vice versa, and uniquely compelling ideas you would like to share.

Email your proposal directly to us by Friday, June 21st to :: shaun@hopemob.org

If you have questions, we will try our best to answer them as soon as we can.

—-

I have said for years that charities rarely collaborate – even when partnerships and mergers would make a ton of sense.  This is me trying to walk the talk.

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Upfront - 2.1

Under the radar I started working, 7 months ago, full-time to help launch a tech start-up here in the heart of New York City.  I can’t say much about it until we launch, but I can give you a few hints.

  • We’ve already launched our product privately and we are aiming to launch publicly on April 17th.
  • We are launching with an iPhone app, an Android app, and a full web platform.
  • It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever worked on and I’ve worked on some big stuff.
  • We just hired this amazing guy.
  • Including all of our amazing contractors, we are employing 12 people already.  This excites me for sure.
  • We have four very famous clients that will be launching with us and are in intense negotiations with about 10 more.
  • Our Board of Advisors is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
  • Nothing like it exists.
  • We are filing patents on new technologies that we’ve built and should have them in place before we launch.
  • We are about to close our second of funding.

That’s about all I can say for now!  Here’s a very cool video about our logo we shot on a RED cam in our office…

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Me, Instagram Boobies, Happy Wife

by ShaunKing on March 31, 2013 · 71 comments

(This post has not been edited for errors.  These are my raw thoughts.  I apologize in advance if the word “boobies” offends you.  If it does, lighten up.)

UPDATE :: This is the first blog post in FOUR YEARS that I’ve enabled comments on.  Hoping to have a lively discussion.

—-

If you noticed in the title, “Instagram Boobies” was sandwiched right between “Me” and “Happy Wife”.

That was on purpose.

photo (1)

Last week, I handed my wife my iPhone to show her a hilarious picture of Kevin Hart on Instagram.  After she saw it, she decided to simply scroll through my entire Instagram feed. No big deal.  We have an open book policy where we always have access to everything the other does, so I didn’t think twice about it.

But, low and behold, with just a little bit of scrolling, there they were… Instagram Boobies.  More than just boobies to be all the way real.  Before I knew it, my happy wife was no longer happy and I had some explaining to do.  Nobody wants to see T&A on their husband’s phone.

WARNING :: I am about to REALLY put myself out there.  Feel free to judge away!

superman_kryptonite

Online boobies are like kryptonite to me.  I’ve never had an affair.  I don’t look at offline boobies.  I don’t have a porn problem, but when I see boobies online I have a hard time not looking.  It’s my weakness.  I don’t google search them, but if they pop up somewhere in my social media feeds, I take a look.  I’m not saying it’s ok.  I am way better than I used to be but they get me everytime.

2 years ago I got in pretty big trouble with my wife for this and I pretty much just stopped using Facebook because of it.  Long story short: women that I was “Facebook Friends” with had booby pictures up and I checked them out.  Not cool.

I stopped the behavior.  I knew better.  I wasn’t going to let any Facebook boobies get between me and a happy wife.

So – let’s get back to Instagram boobies.  This is where it gets tricky.

  • In part because of my Facebook booby problem, I mainly follow men on Instagram, but I always feel like this is a bit weird.  Know what I mean?  Plus – dudes post Instagram boobies too.
  • How do I choose if it is ok for a woman to follow or not? Do I search her pics first for booby shots to see if the coast is clear? That would also be weird and kind of self-defeating.
  • So, I follow my wife, other women in my family, my daughters, some old female classmates from Spelman or from high school, some women from the church I used to pastor, and some women that have been supporters of mine online.
  • I intentionally don’t follow (or have any honest interest in following) porn stars or booty models or women that are known for showing off.  I just follow family and women that I know somehow.

Then, women that I know, think of myself as being friends with, start posting booby shots and provocative poses.  99% of what these women post has nothing to do with boobies.  Let me just show you what you I’m talking about and then ask some questions.  We’ll discuss it all in the comments section here.  Maybe I can even get the women who posted the photos to join in…

Here are the 3 pictures that got me in trouble.  They are public and all 3 of them were shared publicly.  I respect all 3 of these women , got permission to post these photos from each of them, and think of them as my friends on some level or another.  After I show you the pictures I want to ask some questions…

1. This was from a classmate of mine from Spelman when I attended Morehouse.  So witty.  We wrote together for the Maroon Tiger. Just a random shot for St. Patricks Day I guess.

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2. This lady has been a huge supporter/defender of mine online.  A great person.  I honestly don’t know the backstory of this shot.

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3. This young lady used to attend my church. I know her parents.  She was in high school when she attended our church.  Now she’s in college. Born leader.

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Sooooooo….

It is true. I follow these women.  I respect them.  They posted these shots.  I saw them. Blah Blah Blah.  I didn’t follow them for these types of shots and didn’t expect them when I followed them. I didn’t unfollow them when I saw these shots either.  That’s how my wife saw them in my feed.

Here are the questions I have for you all…

(These questions are not that well thought out.  I don’t think anybody ever called me sexist. I’m a pretty progressive dude, but forgive me if my questions are the wrong questions.  I’m just trying to have an honest discussion.)

1. Is it OK for women to post these types of photos?

2. Is it inconsiderate for women to post these types of photos if they know married men are following them?

3. Should a married man follow women on social networks at all?

4. Should a married man unfollow a woman on Instagram (or elsewhere) after he sees they post these types of photos?

I have thoughts of my own on all of those questions.  They aren’t as easy to answer as they seem. All I know is that real boobies trump Instagram boobies any day and I can’t jam up what I got going on offline for something goofy online.  HAPPY WIFE = HAPPY LIFE

What do you think?

{ 71 comments }

The Outside View of a Former Church Insider :: 10 Honest Observations

March 30, 2013

(This post has not been edited for errors.  These are my raw, honest thoughts. In a hurry?  Scroll down for my 10 observations.) I didn’t grow up in church. It wasn’t until I was assaulted in high school and required several spinal surgeries that I even knew I needed God.  But from 1996-2011, from the […]

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3 Very Personal Prayer Requests

January 8, 2013

I don’t post prayer requests often, but I really need your prayers right now. If you never pray, can you try this time any way? If you have a small group, can you include these requests? If your church takes prayer requests, can you include these? If you have prayer circles or prayer chains, can […]

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7 Thoughts from a Recovering Pastor

January 7, 2013

(This blog has not been edited for errors. These are my raw thoughts.) — From 1997-2011, I served 3 different churches in some pastoral or ministry role – including 3+ as Senior Pastor of Courageous Church in Atlanta.  It chewed me up and spit me out.  I’ve written about most of the highs and lows […]

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Taking the Biggest Risk of My Life, Manhattan, A New Tech Startup, and My Awesome Wife

December 21, 2012

The older I get, the harder I’m finding it take huge risks.  I have so many people counting on me – family, employees, etc., that I have grown more risk averse than I ever imagined.  Maybe it’s maturity – I don’t know, but this week I took one of the biggest risks of my life […]

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Overwhelming Problems, Brave Solutions, Partisan Gridlock, and Religiosity :: Moving Forward After the Sandy Hook Shootings

December 17, 2012

(This post has not been edited for errors.  Also, as your friend, I ask that you read this post with an open heart and not be easily offended.  My only attempt here is to begin framing a dialogue that allows our country to move forward.  Love you all. -Shaun) — I have spent most of […]

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God is Giving You a Second Chance

November 24, 2012

For weeks I have had a very particular thought on my mind, but I didn’t know how or where to best express it.  I don’t even know if this is the place, but I’m sure that I am supposed to say it.  I hate blaming God for the crazy thoughts in my head, but sometimes […]

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Action Items You Can Take for Storm Victims

November 1, 2012

(Please forgive any errors.  This post has not been edited and these are my raw, real-time thoughts.) Do not bother any of these people unless you are prepared to help right away. They are swamped, stressed, and don’t have time for BS.  If you don’t have to call them or email them at all, don’t. […]

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A New Baby in Our Family: Obedience, Orphans, and Living a Grateful Life

September 25, 2012

(This post has not been edited for errors or political correctness.  These are my raw thoughts.) —- Yesterday, within minutes of me posting this great news about HopeMob, my wife informed me that our family would, any day now, be welcoming a newborn baby into our family.  The mother is in early labor now. Throughout […]

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100 People Said No, Answered Prayers, and the Future of HopeMob

September 24, 2012

(This post has not been edited for errors.  These are my real, raw thoughts.  This blog post is personal.) — At my heart, I’m a storyteller.  I learned storytelling not from a pastor, but from listening to Rated X comic routines from Richard Pryor on cassettes as a child.  He would tell a HILARIOUS, descriptive […]

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I Need Some Virtual Volunteers

August 30, 2012

Hey Friends, I hope you all are doing well.  As you may know, I’m now living in Kentucky.  I haven’t yet built a local tribe to work and do life with.  More than ever, I need my virtual friends to help me with a private project I am working on.  There’s no pay – just […]

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Pouring My Heart Out! Please Read this, Like It, ReTweet It, and Spread the Word!

August 6, 2012

Hello My Friend, Every now and then I have to lay it all on the line and pour my heart out.  This is one of those times.  For the next few days I am perfectly willing to make a complete fool of myself begging and pleading for your help.  What we have means that much to […]

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We’re Moving: Kentucky, New York, California, Our Family, Our Future!

August 6, 2012

(This post has not been edited for errors.  These are my raw thoughts without spell check :-) Short Story :: I am in California packing up our home to move to Kentucky.  I’m making the cross country trip this Friday by myself and would like to crash at your house :-)  Rai and the kids […]

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Why I Just Unfollowed You on Twitter…

June 3, 2012

Hey Friends!  If I haven’t unfollowed you Twitter I am about to.  Yep. It’s personal, but it’s not what you think :-) For the past 4 years I have followed back every single person that follows me on Twitter.  I started doing that back in 2008 when I followed 50 people and no such thing […]

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Mt. Everest, Deaths, Dumb Decisions, and Why I’m ALL for breaking SOME rules.

May 22, 2012

Climbing Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is, in and of itself, a rulebreaker in my book.  It defies the odds.  Most people won’t understand it and will call you dumb for attempting it.  Every human limit is pushed in the process. Attempting to climb a virtually unclimbable mountain is a rule I’m […]

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HopeMob is Working!

April 24, 2012

Hey Everybody! We have some amazing to share with you! 160+ people from all over the world chipped in to make little Wyatt’s wish come true and we’re not wasting time!  The project is starting today and we will send you updates soon!  Thank each of you that chipped in and all of you that spread the word. […]

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