Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms

Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms

Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms

Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms


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Tricia and Antoinette Clarke—best friends, Power Twins, and Boss Ladies—show you how to take your work and life to the Next Level.
“Aspiring Boss Ladies in any field should pay attention.”—Gabrielle Union-Wade, actress, activist, and New York Times bestselling author of We’re Going to Need More Wine
As African American women who have climbed their way to the highest ranks of the media world, Tricia and Antoinette have learned that to win when the deck is stacked against you, you need to ditch the old Status Quo rules. Whether you’re starting your career, wondering why you’re not further along, or looking to pivot, you’ve got to double down on yourself, and you’ve got to cultivate a tribe of people who will double down on you, too.
Now, they share their wisdom with the next generation of Boss Ladies looking to up their game. If you’re tired of getting second-class rewards for first-class work and you’re ready to be respected for who you are, Double Down will give you the tools and tactics to go all in on your dreams.

Among the lessons you’ll learn:

Don’t emulate, originate: Identify your unique superpowers to start from a place of strength.
Don’t stay in place, move into white space: To stand out, use your superpowers to do something no one else does.
Don’t just compete, play the long game: Work backward from where you want to end up—aim high, go far.
Don’t inherit your tribe, build it: Actively cultivate a crew of people who will push you to go after your most audacious goals (and set new ones).
Packed with strategies and solutions, as well as stories of other badass Boss Ladies including Ayesha Curry, Carly Cushnie, Anne Wojcicki, and many others, this remixed rulebook will help you see the power in yourself—and double down on it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525574934
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Antoinette M. Clarke is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television producer and the vice president of branded entertainment and media innovation at CBS. She has worked as a producer for The Tyra Banks Show, Rachael Ray, and The Nate Berkus Show and as the director of broadcast sales integration for Martha Stewart Living. In 2017, she was honored with a Black Women in Media award and in 2018 was named one of thirty-nine featured in Adweek's annual Disruptors list.

Tricia Clarke-Stone is an entrepreneur, innovative marketer, and CEO of WP Narrative_, an award-winning creative and tech agency she cofounded with hip hop mogul Russell Simmons that was acquired by Hollywood producer Will Packer. Tricia has earned spots on both Ad Age's and Crain's New York's 40 Under 40, Adweek's Disruptors list, and Refinery29's Black Is the New Black list. Her work has been honored at SXSW, Cannes Lions, the Clios, the Shortys, and the Webbys.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Don’t Emulate, Originate

Our mom is a Swiss Army knife.

Mom was born the youngest of eight brothers and sisters in May Pen, Clarendon, a small Jamaican town with narrow, winding roads that used to overflow with brown people going to and from the marketplace, baskets in their hands or on their heads. In the evenings, Mom’s mom, Grandma, liked to host the neighbors at her home, dragging a TV onto the veranda after the sun slipped below the sea so everyone could gather around to watch. Family and friends sat in the yard, drinking island drinks like milo, sorrel, or Wray and Nephew. Grandma knew how to throw a party. She was the Matriarch of the Bryan Clan, a Caribbean Queen. She was dope AF.

Mom wanted to get the one thing that no one can take away from you—education—so in 1972, when she was seventeen, she immigrated to Brooklyn to chase the American Dream. By then her brothers, our uncles, were already in engineering school in the States; one sister, Norma, was in nursing school in Scotland, while Monica had just completed her education and was working and living in Brooklyn with Leonie. Our family is obsessed with education.

Mom wanted to be a nurse, so she studied biology. She loved the complexity of invisible processes at work. But after two years of school, she got pregnant by our father, whom she’d been dating since before she left Jamaica. Grandma and the Aunts thought Mom was throwing away her future by having a child at such a young age—and out of wedlock! They were furious. They worried she was going to drop out and become a stereotype: a poorly educated, unmarried immigrant who didn’t make any money—with a kid!

Correction: kids! That’s when we entered the picture—March 18, 1976, at 1:00 a.m. and at 1:05 a.m. at the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. At four pounds each, together we were about the weight of an average baby girl. Mom was in labor for twenty hours, and Dad was there to greet us on our way out. Our parents married soon after, but it only lasted a few years. When we were four our dad got abusive, and she did what she needed to do to protect herself and her daughters. The divorce, while necessary, left us feeling vulnerable and sad.

When Dad left it was like we lost a piece of our family puzzle, and then we started to feel like he saw us less as his children than as a possession over which he shared custody with Mom. Our dad’s mother and the rest of his folks started to treat us differently after the divorce: they blamed Mom for not trying to work it out, and we became a proxy for her. After a few visits to our dad’s mother that left us reduced to tears in the bathroom because we felt so iced out of their family’s love, we realized we needed to be around people who gave us support, not trouble. Dad got remarried and became a piece in another family’s puzzle. While we saw him and talked on birthdays and holidays—even went on a great cross-­country drive with him once when we were teenagers, hitting up diners for breakfast and roadside attractions in the midday sun—we never really knew what it was like to have a father around.

None of this was easy on Mom either. It wasn’t like she wanted to be single, but she needed to look out for herself—and us. Grandma and the Aunts (Monica, Leonie, and Norma) filled any gaps that were left with our father’s departure and served as our village, making sure Mom landed on her feet and that we didn’t get lost along the way. We spent every weekend with Grandma at her apartment on Turner Place, not too far from our place in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and soon enough we became known to the rest of the family as the Supremes; or Luke, Leia, and Han Solo; or just the Three Stooges. What can we say—we shared Grandma’s sense of humor, and we all like to joke around! All the while, Mom hustled her way up the ladder from administrative assistant, to executive assistant, to chief of staff to the president of a large hospital, typically taking on a second job to pay for our Catholic school tuition and dance classes.

She worked hard. But she also played hard. We learned that from her. She knew how to have fun and she communicated the importance of living it up to feel alive.

Above all else—well, of course, except for us—Mom loved music. Mom was like a living mixtape, a breathing playlist, a walking Spot­ify. When we were little, we woke up every morning to all different types of artists—Pat Benatar, Air Supply, Hall and Oates, Fleetwood Mac, Beres Hammond, Sanchez, Supercat, Chicago, George Michael, Bob Marley, Tina Turner, you name it—blaring on the speakers, making the air around us electric with possibility and joy. Mom bopped to the music while she cleaned the house and cooked up a big pot of oxtail or stew peas. That’s how she worked her groove, blasting “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Invincible.” She gave us the bug.

So, when we were eight and heard that MJ was coming to town on his “Victory Tour,” we told Mom we had to go. We wanted to revel in the spectacle—where the music and the energy and the lights and the feeling all came together as part of a total experience. But the tickets were expensive, and the concert sold out immediately. When we heard, we were crushed.

Mom was not. She knew she’d figure something out. Where there’s a will, there’s a way—and a Boss Lady.

One day at work, her boss asked her to put in a call to a powerful person to get his kids tickets to that very concert. Mom was like, “I don’t want to overstep, but my kids adore Michael Jackson. Can I ask about tickets for them, too?” That was how she rolled: working his clout and connections to get tickets not only for him and his kids but also for the two of us and our cousins Michelle and Tracey, who were like our big sisters. When we got to the concert at the Meadowlands and saw that huge stage and the bright lights and felt the energy of the crowd, we were in awe. It was mind-­blowing. We even had good seats! This man we listened to on the radio, on vinyl, on CDs came to life right before our eyes. And he was . . . wait for it . . . moonwalking. Smooth criminal! On this day, Tricia became obsessed with MJ, and for years to come a white glove was never far from her hand.

Mom made that magic happen for us. She had a solution for everything. As we said, Mom was a Swiss Army knife.

This was just one of the many times Mom refused to let an obstacle get in her way. From small ones like scoring concert tickets to big ones like providing for two kids as a single parent, Mom faced down every problem from a place of strength. We learned that from her. And that’s what we want to teach you, too.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Welcome to the New American Hustle 1

Part 1 Double Down on You 13

Chapter 1 Don't Emulate, Originate 15

Chapter 2 Don't Stay in Place, Move into White Space 39

Chapter 3 Don't Just Compete, Play the Long Game 65

Chapter 4 Don't Hedge Your Bets, Take the Risk 95

Part 2 Double Down on Your Crew 125

Chapter 5 Don't Network, Connect 127

Chapter 6 Don't Inherit Your Tribe, Build It 157

Chapter 7 Don't Just Be About Number 1, Get a Number 2 187

Chapter 8 Don't Just Be a Leader, Be a Boss Lady 211

Boss Lady Sources 229

Acknowledgments 233

Index 235

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