Black Gold Blog 

How to control your social Media Addiction 

***Listen till 6:00 minutes in for the most value

If I told you I'd give you $5 if you didn't open any form of social media for 24 hours, could you do it? I bet you wouldn’t. Even if we don't admit it, we know that we have an addiction to social media. A majority of people as soon as they wake up check their apps: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok...I could go on. After I wake up, the first thing I do is grab my phone off of the nightstand and see my notifications. A majority of those are emails so I open up my Gmail app and check the new messages on my accounts. I then check my Insta accounts to see if I have any notifications. And then I just lay there scrolling through posts until I come across an interesting reel. I watch it. And after I watch it, the pointy finger swipes up. I then ape the motion repeatedly until my alarm on my phone blasts its infernal "Stargaze" sound in my room. This is how I spend 95% of my mornings, trapped in the thrall of unseen forces that compel me to keep my eyes glued to a screen for at least 30 minutes up to an hour. Every. Single. Day. For a person that identifies as a Content Creator, social media is the most prevalent source for sharing and talking to your audience about the content that you create. The time and passive effort that is used when binge-watching cat videos and comedy clips can be draining to your creativity and prevent you from actually being a content creator consistently. 

In this clip, Frenchie gives a couple of tips on how to control your social media intake. Yes. I said control. We cannot simply go cold turkey on social media and expect it to impact our lives in the long run. The people who have gone cold turkey, when they encounter social media after taking a decent break from it, are more likely to binge their thumbs off watching trendy TikToks and memes in order to catch up on what they’ve been missing out on. 

Tip #1 - When you’re on social media, use a timer

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.

– Sherlock Holmes

The Consulting Detective from 221B Baker Street is correct in that the most obvious things are missed in the everyday. On your smartphone, regardless of Apple or Android, you have the ability to set a timer that runs in the background while you’re on your phone. Why don’t you use it to monitor your time on social media? Begin by setting a timer for the amount of time you believe you spend on social media in a single sitting, around 15 minutes is the average for me. After the timer goes off, close the app and continue with your work. You can also apply the timer to when you’re creating a post that you need to get out. Doing this prevents procrastination from taking over and causing you to take much longer than you need to write out a simple post. 

One time I was studying listening to Lofi beats LIVE on YouTube when I fell down the shorts rabbit hole. When I got my fill of dumb jokes and entrepreneurship “motivation”, I was able to see that I left the livestream for 23 minutes! ⅓ of an hour of my life…gone. I truly don’t even remember anything that I watched. It had no redeeming value whatsoever. Imagine how much time you spend in a day! You’re sure you don’t wanna take that $5? 

Tip #2 - When posting, batch release your content

The advice that you’ve heard many a content creator say is either to batch record, or batch write, but never have I ever heard someone say to batch release your content. The best way to go about doing this is to pick a date to release your content and share it with your listeners. The beauty of this is that you actually have your fans eagerly waiting for your work to drop. This allows you to be first in the mind of your listener as the release date draws closer. They’ll check your channel for updates and your social for posts to the point that you’ll cross their mind every time they’re on the platform. Take Dan Carlin, for example, host of the Hardcore History podcast. He writes and records for months before releasing one of his 3+ hour episodes of a series on his platform, but he records with a date in mind to release his episodes. The same principle applies to music. I was in D.C a few months ago with my brother on a job, when one of his friends, a cameraman, was literally counting down the hours for Kendrick Lamar's album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers to drop. He would mention it every chance he could. He just wouldn’t shut up about it! We had a flight the next morning, so he was able to finally listen to it while on the plane. He still wouldn’t shut up about it!

Takeaway: Set a date to release your content and your fans will definitely be on the lookout. 

Tip #3 - After you drop your content, engage with your ideal consumer

Most people (well…me) don’t get much engagement on their posts after they drop content that they believe is the greatest thing since (almost) free 2-day shipping. So what most content creators do (again…me) is refresh their page a few hundred times, try to spam their content in online groups, or DM family members to share it since they get 100 likes on their posts (anybody else guilty of this???) What you need to do instead is connect and engage with the people most likely to like and share your content with others. How do you do this? Well, the easiest way is to search for the top 20 places on the internet where your ideal consumer goes to get access to similar content. 

Imagine you're an amateur bass fisherman that has a dinghy (dinghy actually is a small boat! Who knew!) and you want to get the most fish possible in order for you to make a living off what you catch. Is it better for you to sail off into the deep blue sea, or to go to a lake that is known to consistently have a bunch of bass? Of course, the lake is the obvious choice.

 So when you’re on your social and dropping posts, don’t just throw out a hook and pray for the best. Instead, put some bait on that thing! Bedazzle it with lures or make it ooze with a scent that attracts the right fish in the lake. If you have a show about photography, make sure to interact with the comments on the Intsa accounts of the top 20 photographers in the world. People are rarely, if ever, truly social on social media. If someone reacts to a YouTube comment of yours from last week, you stop what you’re doing and tap their profile pic to see what they’re up to. Most people will either respond back, leave a like, or even follow/subscribe to you on social since you’ve interacted with their unfiltered thoughts typed out in a comment. They receive it as accepting their personal beliefs and are most likely to in turn accept you and your content, because you met them where they are. 

Larry Brinker Jr. interview Questions

How did your journey begin?

Serving Michigan for over thirty years, the company I currently run was founded by my father,

Larry Brinker Sr., a self-taught carpenter apprentice working to support his family in his early

years. In 1989, he seized an opportunity to start his carpentry business, Brinker Team

Construction. He went on to found Brinker, a group of five commercial construction service

companies. My entrepreneurial training began as early as my teenage years. Instead of

spending my summers hanging out with friends, my dad had me apprenticing with his

colleagues. We are a family that believes in succession planning and compassionate

leadership. When it was time for me to take over the family business, my father didn’t just hand

it to me, he had me train under an interim CEO of the construction company for years. He

believed it was his and other high-level executives’ responsibility to coach aspiring leaders, and

it was my duty to earn my leadership position. I did just that and now serve as the CEO and

President of Brinker, along with several other executive positions and entrepreneurial


When did you make the decision to start your business? 

(See answer above.) I embraced the opportunity to become a part of what my father built from

the ground up—to build upon his legacy and further its success. This also positioned me to get

involved in our community as a mentor in more impactful ways.


Who was your mentor?

My father has always exemplified what it means to foster a culture of mentorship - he, of course,

was my mentor but he also inspired the leaders around him to mentor me as well. Further, he

mentored hundreds of people inside and outside of his company. No matter what was

happening in the business, my dad made sure to maintain an approachable demeanor and

always made time to coach his team. Today I aspire to replicate his example! I firmly believe

that an extra five minutes spent talking to an aspiring leader is always a worthwhile investment.

How did you deal with/overcome failure when you started?

Good leaders rely on their experiences and instincts and a lot of the experience they garner

comes at times through their mistakes.

In the beginning, I dealt with failure by understanding that there will be times when you make

the right decision and times when you may not make the right decision. That’s just part of being

a leader. Every time you are faced with a decision, you try to use your instinct, knowledge,

experience, and wisdom to provide the best solution possible. Sometimes you may think it’s the

right decision and ultimately it may be off-coarse, and you overcome it by understanding that it’s

part of business.

I’ve also learned that you want to surround yourself with the best people to help advise you.

What tools and resources have you found to be helpful in building your business?

One of the best tools is a solid, all-encompassing, strategic plan that’s more than just one or two

measurables but the key drivers and indicators of your business. For us, that’s things such as

Safety, Employee Retention, Financial Success, Customer Satisfaction. As for the type of

resources, it goes back to making sure you have people you truly feel are better than you in

their specific areas around you to build out a solid team. And making sure not only that they’re

the right people on the bus, but people in the right seats on the right bus. It’s also important to

give people the autonomy to feel invested in the business and have a vested interest in the

outcome of its success because our business is only as good as our employees who contribute.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business and your life?

Covid-19 definitely impacted the company and made me need to stop up in my leadership.

Unfortunately and fortunately, I was one of the first 65 people in the state of Michigan to be

diagnosed with covid-19. It was very scary but thankfully, I was able to recover from it; that

experience really opened my eyes to what was needed for the business to continue successfully

if something were to happen. While succession planning was obviously on our radar

beforehand, we had always just planned for my father but not for me or other leadership

positions. It really spoke to us to have business continuity for everything, for all leaders on the

team. I led our executive team and our company through having those difficult questions about

what would happen if someone needs to take over their role. It was difficult getting people into

that mindset, letting their guard down, and helping them feel secure that it wasn’t a ploy for

someone to take over their job. I got people comfortable with their own actual and professional mortalities to plan for the future. Covid made it a reality because people were getting sick all

around us.

What would you say people are doing incorrectly when they first start their business? 

What would you say they are doing correctly?

One mistake I’ve seen people starting new businesses make is trying to take on too

much too fast instead of being intentionally focused on being good at one key niche that can 

drive their growth and expansion. For example, for us, we have five companies in our group

now, but we were a metal stud and drywall company for years first and built up over time.

Sometimes people look at opportunities and say, ‘oh, I can do it all.’, and end up being jack of all

trades, masters of none.

People who are doing it right seem to know how to get good mentors, like people who have

done it. There’s no sense in trying to recreate the wheel when you have people who have

already been successful. If you can figure out a way to establish great mentors, that is


Another thing is having the grit, grind, and determination to succeed without fear of failure.

Some of the best entrepreneurs fail several times before they hit a home run. That ties back to

my answer earlier about how those failures often foster experience, wisdom, and knowledge

that end up making that entrepreneur a better leader and businessperson.

It’s important to note that in situations where you feel like you don’t have the financial resources

to risk failure- you still must go in with a no fear of failure mindset but it’s even more critical to be

smart about mitigating risk. Therefore, it might not be wise out of the gate for them to leave their

job to try and do this full-time. It may take more sacrifices to maintain your income and

the opportunity to take care of yourself, while also working on your start-up at night and when you

have time. And that all ties back to the grit, grind, and determination to succeed.

In every situation, you must have that mindset – Hey, it didn’t work? What’s next? Figure out the

next cool idea. And also understand that it takes time. Founders for some of the best start-ups

may have been working on those for two or three years before they even got traction. This is

another reason why it may not be wise always to leave your job to go start a new company. It

takes time and pivots, and you learn certain things about what you need to do better or things

you want to change. So, it takes time to figure out what that real niche is and you feel

comfortable going full speed with it hopefully giving you the traction you need to succeed.

How can our listeners get in touch with you and your work?

Visit to learn more about the work my company is doing in the Detroit community. I

have a website that is launching soon at - you can also find and

message me on LinkedIn! Larry Brinker Jr. Say Moses from the Black Gold Podcast sent you!

How to Decode Life in 64 Squares

I recall sitting over many chess games, fingers hovering over the pieces, each move a commitment.

Like the sun creeping over the horizon, it dawned on me that these pieces…they’re like us.

Take the King, the centerpiece, moving one step at a time, cautious.

He’s the thinker, the planner, always aware that one wrong move could be his downfall…

He’s the person in life who calculates every risk, who avoids traps by inches because he foresees them.

Then you’ve got the Rooks, straight shooters, moving clear across the board.

They’re the ones who go directly for their goals, unstoppable once the path is clear.

They’re the achievers, the ones who find solace in the straightforward journey.

The Bishops, they’re the calculators, the analyzers.

They strike with precision, having predicted the landscape of challenges they’ll face. They’re the ones who wait for the right moment, having mapped it out from the start.

The Queen, she’s the powerhouse…

With the best elements of the Rook and Bishop, she’s the long-term planner, the visionary…

She has a strategy stretching far into the future, ready to pivot directions at a moment’s notice, adapting to new information, new challenges.

Ah, the Pawns, seemingly simple, but each holds a dream of becoming more…

They’re the opportunists, often seeking quick rewards.

They sprint across the board when an opening appears, and only the most determined reach the other side, transforming into a piece of their choosing, their reward for tenacity.

And the Knights, you can’t help but admire them….

They’re the innovators, the out-of-the-box thinkers.

They leap over obstacles, finding paths no one else sees.

They’re the mavericks, turning every situation, even the tough ones, into a stepping stone toward their goals.

Each game was a revelation…

We’re all a bit of a Pawn, a King, a Knight at times. We’re thinkers, planners, dreamers, doers. Sometimes, we charge ahead; other times, we wait, strategize.

And the board, this battlefield of ideas, it’s not just wood and carvings. It’s a mirror, reflecting our moves in life, our strategies, our wins and losses.

But here’s the crux of it all: no piece is ever truly defeated until it stops moving, stops trying. It’s not about the role; it’s about the potential each move holds.

So, whether you’re strategizing like a King or charging ahead like a Knight, remember this: every move you make writes your story. Make it a tale worth recounting.

Writing Thoughts in Threads: Weaving Connections That Stick

A writer’s goal is to guide the reader, linking one idea to another seamlessly. But not all connections are sturdy…

Ever played the game of connecting dots in your mind?

Sometimes, when I’m idle, my mind starts a curious journey. I see my dog, Lily, and suddenly I’m thinking of french fries. Crazy, right? But there’s a method to this madness.

It starts simply enough. Seeing Lily, I’d think of flowers. Flowers reminded me of Monet’s paintings. Monet took me to France. France?

Obviously, delicious French food. And oddly enough, French food brought me to… french fries. And from there, “Pulp Fiction”, the movie.

The challenge? Making these connections while writing.

A writer’s goal is to guide the reader, linking one idea to another seamlessly.

But not all connections are sturdy.

Some are strong and intricate, like spider silk, while others, like yarn, can easily break.

Then it hit me. These connections, these mental threads, were the backbone of effective storytelling.

They’re what make a story relatable, understandable.

I decided to hone this skill to strengthen these threads in my writing.

No more yarn-like connections. I aimed for spider silk strength in every piece I crafted.

So far, it has transformed my writing…

Ideas flowed better.

Readers didn’t just read; they connected.

They followed the journey I laid out, from start to finish, without getting lost.

Next time you write, think about your thought threads. Are they strong enough to hold your reader’s attention?

Remember, it’s the connections that make the story stick.

The Art of Wandering: Your Path Isn’t Lost, It’s Waiting

How to Embrace Life’s Detours to Uncover Your True Destiny

Ever felt like you’re wandering aimlessly in your pursuits?

Back in 2015, on a regular Friday, I found myself in a banquet hall, an unlikely setting for an epiphany. Around me, students were entrenched in deciphering New Testament Greek, guided by a professor in his 70’s.

We were translating the parable of a ‘lost’ sheep, a creature that had wandered away, causing its shepherd a frenzy of worry.

In Greek, this ‘lost’ sheep was described by the word πλανάω “planao,” (pla-na-o) meaning “I wander.”

This is the same word the ancient Greeks used for the roaming celestial bodies we now call planets.

Of course, we’ve since learned these planets aren’t lost.

Rather, they’re held in the vast dance of the cosmos by forces unseen, gravitational tethers drawing elegant paths across our night sky.

They wander, yes, but with purpose, with direction.

I couldn’t help but recall Tolkien’s timeless words from Lord of the Rings as a reference to Aragorn,

“Not all who wander are lost.”

It painted Aragorn’s journey, a man destined for the throne, yet choosing the life of a wanderer, a path invisible to others, steering clear from the seduction of power that doomed his ancestors.

He wasn’t lost… but was on a trajectory, unseen but as potent as gravity itself.

It dawned on me then, amidst Greek texts and celestial musings, that maybe our personal quests, our ‘wanderings,’ aren’t signs of being lost…

Perhaps they’re our soul’s gravity, pulling us along a trajectory toward where we’re meant to be.

So, here’s to the wanderers, the seekers on paths less trodden…

You’re not aimlessly drifting.

You’re carving a route invisible to others, propelled by the gravitational force of your destiny.

It’s alright not to have all the answers, to feel like you’re meandering in pursuit of your dreams.

Let this sink in…when Aragorn finally returned as the King of Gondor…he was over 80 years old!

So…go ahead and embrace your journey. Relish in its uniqueness.

No one else is climbing your mountain; no one else is living your story.

That’s the beauty of it, the validation of your every step.

Remember: You’re not lost, my friend.

You’re on a path that’s divinely yours, a path worth every twist and turn that’ll take you to your true calling.

3 Tips on How to Be a Creative Entrepreneur in the Digital Age

Escape the infernal limbo called perfection. It is there you’ll find a path to paradise…

Have you ever felt trapped in the perfection loop?

I did. Every idea was like a bird, fluttering inside my mind, eager to soar. But I’d cage it, fearing it wasn’t yet perfect. Afraid of judgment. That was my daily struggle — the creative’s crisis.

I’d think, “I’ve got this brilliant idea!” But then, self-doubt would creep in. “What if it’s not ready? What if people don’t get it?” So, I’d hold back, waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned: Perfection is the enemy of progress. Keeping an idea in your head won’t let it grow. It needs air, feedback, and sometimes, a little criticism.

Recently, I penned down my thoughts on why it’s essential to push your idea out, even if it feels half-baked. Read it here:

It’s all about testing the waters and seeing if it resonates.

So, how can you give your idea its first flight?

A perfect example? Mahdi Woodard’s take on the “Dinner with Jay-Z or $500K” debate. It started small, but the engagement was explosive.

For those who struggle with crafting the perfect piece, tools like ChatGPT are golden. They help refine and structure your thoughts, making them relatable and concise.

So, no matter what industry or niche you want to be a part of, go ahead and get your ideas out there as fast as possible before someone else shares a similar view on the topic you’ve been thinking about for months.

In the game of creating content, it’s sometimes better to be wrong first than right later.