Reggie Black is the creator of “Sticky Inspiration”. By 7:30am every day, Reggie is up and out with a sticky pad, magic marker and a thought that he wants the world to feel and to see. He finds a location, writes a thought on a sticky and sticks it up in a public place to inspire others. He has a Tumblr page where posts the entries. People across the world have been impacted by his efforts. While he is busy working on projects that bring in dollars, for Reggie, life is bigger than money.
Reggie was gracious enough to talk to us about the inspiration behind “Sticky Inspiration”, having people find his stickies in the streets as well as his thoughts about what’s progressive in today’s society.
In a world where people are focused on taking, “Sticky Inspiration” is giving inspiration to the world. What brought about this concept?
I’ve always had things to say. Whether those comments were smart, rude, funny, said at the wrong time, and/or inspiring, I’ve always had a lot to say. The comments have been more inspirational than anything else though. A great friend of mine, Danielle Evans, actually inspired the idea. She presented what could become of the idea. I used her encouragement and infused elements of how I wanted to tell a story. I really started Sticky Inspiration to talk to myself, LOL! However, I soon learned that others felt the same way and that they could relate to what I was saying. This quest started about three years ago. But, I stopped when I hit a hard time in my life. Then people started inquiring about the absence of the project, so it was no longer about me. I knew that I had to continue.
You get up and out at 7am to get the sticky out at a random location. It was 10 degrees outside this week! What’s YOUR inspiration to get up and out to do this?
I have a responsibility to the supporters who’ve given me permission to articulate this simple platform to them. I can’t take that for granted. Someone asked me before “What makes it so special you’re just writing on a sticky pad”? My reply was, “You’re right, but I write on that pad everyday by 7:30am, it’s a consistent effort. I’m upset with myself if the post is not up before 7:30am for whatever unseen reason which may block my work in the morning. I understand how important it is to some. It’s not for everybody to understand. I get that.”
You have “All Things Progressive” and “Black Collection” as your main focus. Have you found a way to merge “Sticky Inspiration” with them or are all three independent of one another? If they are independent, how do you manage your time to focus on each of the ventures?
All three ventures are independent, however the knowledge that I’ve acquired from them all work cohesively. Currently, BLACK Collection is in the revamping stages. I don’t know man; I grew tired of operating in an average state. My partner and I know what we want to do with BLACK Collection, however some key elements are missing. It will emerge again one day, the right way. All Things Progressive is where the “nerd work” happens. It’s my newest venture, and I enjoy what’s going on. I’m no longer focused on being “on it, or grinding” (I actually hate those words LOL), I’m more concerned with producing quality work, investing in the right projects and the right people as opposed to several different things. Time management is hard for me. My mind is always running and I don’t know when to shut it down, so I’m still mastering time management.
Speaking of the term “progressive”, what are your thoughts on the term and how it’s used in D.C. today?
It’s over saturated. You shouldn’t spend time selling the title, more so being concerned with allowing your work to speak in a “progressive” state. DC is so funny and weird to me. Everybody is the man, but they’ve never tested their muscles anywhere else. So, they remain the man amongst those that they know they will be able to outthink or outwork. That’s lame to me. Why be satisfied with being the “A” student in a class full of “C”? I prefer it the other way around.
With “Sticky Inspiration”, obviously, the sticky is being placed in a public place. Have you had people find a sticky? What’s the strangest story about someone finding a sticky?
Actually I have! On one of those colds days last week, a friend called me as he saw me out doing a post. The craziest one occurred on the campus of North Carolina A&T. I posted a sticky in my brother’s apartment complex. He didn’t know where it was. Weeks later, he stumbled on it, and sent me a picture of it. That was cool to see it was able to stay up!
You’ve had people actually request stickies from you and you began a campaign where you mailed stickies to people. Talk about that campaign.
Over the holiday, I launched a project that involved the supporters. Very simple, send me your address and I will send you original stickies. The only requirement was to share the inspiration! They had to do it their way! It was a simple way to engage the community. The response was great! We had people participate from DC, Boston, Maryland, Richmond, The Carolinas, California, Hawaii, NYC, and Houston. It was really cool!
This was not meant to be a business. But, there are opportunities for branding it on a larger scale. Do you care to disclose any future plans about expansion and branding at the next level?
I’m just taking my time with it to position everything properly. The worst thing that can happen to any of us is to have an organic venture, and we move too fast to try to commoditize it. Look at how fast we all were going to jump ship from Instagram! LOL! Though business opportunities are important, I don’t want to rush things to satisfy a potential profit and lose the interest of the community that continuously helped to build it. I’m actually headed to Spain (when this is posted I’ll probably be in the air). I’m going there to document an experience through the Sticky Inspiration platform. That amongst other things will be packaged to bring everyone an interactive experience. There are a few other things I don’t want talk about it just yet.
Tell us about your personal favorite sticky?
All of them. LOL!
What do you want people to get from this venture? What serves as the confirmation that you’re doing the right thing with “Sticky Inspiration”?
Just live and be an inspiration through action. Face your fears. Make mistakes, be wrong, but live each day. Every day, supporters send me great comments on how the project is impacting their life. That’s the confirmation.
Tumblr: Sticky Inspiration
Website: Things Progressive