say, it was inside a very high executive’s office. Security rolled right up on us. They ran an investigation on me and everything. It got squashed and I’m in good graces now, but that was a mistake that I made early on. My boss gave me great words of advice: don’t do anything that could get me in trouble. The rarest thing in business is common sense; a lot of people lack that. That was one moment where I didn’t use my common sense. I’m happy that it happened early in my career and not later, and the fire was put out pretty fast.
EBONY: How would you define our generation? What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about us?
KS: I think our generation are forward-thinkers. We utilize our resources very well. The biggest misconception about our generation is that we’re crazy. Older generations may have a hard time understanding us, but we understand ourselves. We’re learning everyday who we are. There are still lessons that we can only learn through living, but I think we have a good idea of what we want.
EBONY: What is the biggest obstacle we face as young adults, in terms of “making it” and becoming successful?
KS: Our entitlement. Because we have so many resources that are readily available to us, our expectations are so high, and sometimes people just don’t want to put in that grind to get to that level of success. I think that because things happen so fast for us—especially with social media—we don’t really develop our ideas, which is necessary to really solidify our career. I don’t think we’re disciplined.
EBONY: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KS: Hopefully, I’ll be on the 32nd floor of the building. That’s the floor the CEO and chairman’s office reside. Right now, I’m on the 21st floor. Go big, or go home, right? I want to be recognized as one of the people who put our culture on a forefront, helped preserve our culture and show it in a positive light. I want the type of influence that Diddy, L.A. Reid and Jay-Z have. I think it’s attainable. I see myself there. I’m just fortunate enough to learn from the mentors I have.
EBONY: What is one piece of advice that you’ll carry with you forever? Who gave it to you?
KS: My dad gave me the most important advice that I’ve ever received in my life. He told me to respect everyone, no matter who they are, no matter what they do. Working in this industry, it’s really easy to get an inflated ego. And I’ve seen people come in, have meetings and not even acknowledge me because of my title or rank, and I never want to be that dude.
I’m here by the grace of God and because I’m blessed. I’ve accomplished a lot, but the real truth is that I can lose everything at a moment’s notice. We don’t know what may happen. I just try to go out my way and really, genuinely have respect for everyone. I think more people in this industry need to do that. All that stuff goes a long way, yo. In this industry, it’s the administrative assistant who becomes president in a few years. That happens a lot. You don’t want to burn bridges. That’s my philosophy.