Deep down, we believe that you never have to be stuck in what you do. . .Americans champion entrepreneurs because they are our most aggressive identity-seekers.

—-Clotaire Rapaille from "The Culture Code"


What’s interesting to me is how ideas are processed by various people.  Same country, yes.  However, different context provides for different outcomes in responses and interpretations. Case in point: Take a look at how we’re viewing work and careers in this post-9/11 world.  For one, we’re all feeling that creeping suspicion that our typically, sunny American optimism might not be enough to carry the day.  Business authors Lisa Mainiero and Sheryl Sullivan have focused an entire upcoming book on how people are ditching the linear career path in order to focus on the activities that provide authenticity, balance and challenge, in short, what they call a "kaleidoscope career".

Funny how American impulses–think consumerism, as one example–manifest themselves much more powerfully among those in the urban psychographic.  Corporate America, still somewhat inhospitable to many women and people of color, is seen by many as hardly providing anything remotely resembling security, given recent layoffs and Goldman Sachs’ recently report that a majority of major corporation CEO’s are beginning to admit that our economy is worsening.   So, if you’re in group that feels itself to be at risk, you may have made up your mind that the only one you can rely on is yourself, that you need to "make it happen" by putting your nose to the grind stone (hence, the term "the grind") like never before. 

In May, I previewed 21st Century Hustle, a magazine that’s the brainchild of former VIBE Magazine ad director Ali Muhammad.  It’s his contention that there’s a "global grind culture," for which his magazine is the journal. 

I love talking to people with strong points of view, which is why I think you’ll enjoy listening to’s first podcast, which clocks in at a little over 28 minutes.  Check out

  • Ali’s approach to the current marketplace;
  • Why he gives props/kudos to MySpace; and
  • Why he feels that, despite the spate of closings of several mass magazines, now is a good time for smart magazines and businesses of all types. 

More importantly, he covers this notion of “Urban 2.0,” what it is, and why it’s important for marketers to take note.

I’ll give a nod to Grant McCracken and do my disclosure: I currently have no financial or business interest in 21st Century Hustle magazine.  However, our sons are fast friends.

Enjoy!  And don’t forget to check out 21st Century Hustle when it hits newstands on or about August 15.

MP3 File

Posted by Rob Fields

  • Jackie B

    Excellent interview!!! As a member of the Urban 2.0 movement, I really understand what Ali is saying. I plan to tell all of my “global grind” Gen-X friends to check out the podcast and the MySpace account.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Jackie. Thanks, too, for spreading the word. I hope you’ll visit the blog regularly.