Today on #MWL, my man Henry Hicks, CEO of the National Museum of African American Music, joins me on the show to talk about the journey to build a museum of a people's music, its relevance in these incredible times, and his philosophy of Dream Big, Then Execute.

Where to watch live:
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Listen to "Marcus Whitney Live Ep. 11 - Henry Hicks" on Spreaker.

Get The Full Episode Transcription

MW
it's Friday
00:20
yeah it feels like this week has been a
00:23
year, but you made it it's Friday and I'm
00:26
so glad you're here another episode of
00:27
Marcus Whitney live we're gonna jump
00:29
right in...
00:30
I am thrilled to have a good friend of
00:34
mine, a mentor a guy who I look up to who
00:38
had already accomplished big things in
00:40
his life and in his career and decided he
00:42
wanted to take on the mother of all
00:43
tasks so I brought him on here to talk
00:46
about what that is like... without further
00:48
ado my friend Henry Hicks the CEO of the
00:51
National Museum of African-American
00:53
music... Henry how's it going man?

HBH
hey yeah
00:56
thanks for having me oh I'm glad to be
00:57
here yeah you and your family doing okay
01:00
man everybody's doing great
01:02
everybody's don't write it so it's
01:03
actually an exciting time and a life of
01:05
our family just having the opportunity
01:07
to spend time together, and so no
01:10
Complaints…

MW
01:11
awesome awesome well man let's let's
01:12
jump right in... you know when we first
01:15
started talking you know so so long ago
01:20
it was it was like you took over the
01:24
role of CEO of this project and it was
01:30
unclear about where things were gonna go
01:32
how long it was gonna take you but you
01:34
were excited about it
01:35
you know rewind the clock a little bit
01:37
and just and just sort of talk about how
01:39
how far back that was and and how far
01:42
this whole project has come…

HBH
yeah well so
01:45
that was that was 2013 when I took over
01:48
as CEO of the National Museum of
01:50
african-american music, and you're right...
01:52
it was an uncertain time but it was also
01:55
an exciting time... the project has at this
01:58
point been in development for more than
02:00
20 years, and but you know for me it
02:05
was always something that was clear... it
02:07
was it was there was a clear need for an
02:10
institution like... this my friends in the
02:13
music industry told me so...
02:14
you know not everybody's gonna win
02:17
multiple Grammys, not everybody's going
02:19
to be celebrated in the mass media, but
02:22
that doesn't mean that they're not some
02:24
of the favorite folks that we listen to
02:25
and some of the folks that we take
02:27
inspiration from... and they needed a place
02:29
to be acknowledged. and to also express
02:32
their voice as well about things that
02:34
they care about, and so for them it was
02:36
important -and also particularly in
02:39
Nashville, but you know as we're seeing
02:41
of late also in the nation- it's
02:43
important to change the narrative about
02:45
the contribution that african-americans
02:48
make and have made to American culture
02:51
into American society... and so this place
02:54
gives us an opportunity to do that in a
02:57
very positive way you know when you
02:59
think about most museums, they've really
03:02
in particularly african-american related
03:04
museums they're backwards looking places
03:07
that are often replete with all kinds of
03:10
pain... this is a place that is a
03:12
celebratory institution and and so
03:16
there's certainly remnants of pain and
03:19
certainly some overcoming that as a part
03:21
of the story, but really it tells the
03:24
story of what we like to call one nation
03:26
under a groove... so it's it's music that's
03:29
bringing folks together regardless of
03:30
race creed income level job description
03:34
folks come together and they can jam...
03:36
right and so this place does that but it
03:39
puts it in a little bit of a different
03:41
context... it is it is American but it
03:44
doesn't give the credit for American
03:47
music culture frankly to white folks... it
03:49
gives the credit for American music
03:51
culture to African Americans, which is
03:54
where it belongs... and so it really
03:57
changes that narrative and here in
03:59
Nashville, it’s disruptive because the the
04:03
city's brand is so focused on country
04:05
music that you know this is a different
04:08
part of the story and so I think people
04:11
will meet the unexpected and have some
04:13
fun at the same time.

MW
yeah so I so thank
04:16
you you you uh you took my Segway away
04:19
from me … so I I wanted you to just speak
04:22
briefly about the fact that of all the
04:26
places where this museum could live,
04:28
right it lives in Nashville. and you know
04:33
I think a lot of people from the coasts
04:37
you know you know think about maybe
04:40
people all over the world when they
04:42
think about african-american music, you
04:44
know they'll think about the Blues
04:45
they'll think about Motown they'll think
04:46
about hip-hop and they'll think about
04:48
you know the Bronx and in LA and in
04:50
Atlanta... right it is really really
04:53
interesting that the home is is here in
04:57
Nashville... now I'm a graduate of
04:59
leadership music, which is a leadership
05:03
program that'sthat's uh operated here in
05:06
Nashville and sort of talks about the
05:08
history of the music entry but from a
05:09
very Nashville perspective... sure and but
05:12
I'm not a Nashville native and so I
05:13
learned a lot about the history of music
05:16
from the Nashville perspective -and
05:17
obviously there was a lot of country
05:19
music that I learned about- but one of
05:21
the things that that that I learned
05:22
about was about the Fisk Jubilee singers...
05:25
yeah and I would love for you to just
05:28
talk about the significance of this
05:30
museum being here in Nashville, and it
05:32
maybe just share a little bit of that
05:34
history as it pertains to the entire
05:37
music industry going way back before CDs
05:40
and 8-track and you know like really
05:42
getting back to the foundations of the
05:45
music industry

HBH
sure yeah so I mean
05:48
interestingly I'm in this year's
05:49
leadership music class that has has of
05:52
course been disrupted because of
05:53
covetous yeah
05:54
and so we're figuring that out I think
05:56
we're gonna stretch in the next year... but
06:00
you're right you're absolutely right I
06:01
mean when you think about the Fisk
06:03
Jubilee singers as an example one of the
06:05
things that I learned about that group
06:07
is that they were really the first group
06:09
in the country to -and in the world-
06:12
really to travel the world to go on a
06:14
world tour they were the first musical
06:16
group to go on world tour... regardless of
06:19
race regardless of genre, they were the
06:22
first to do that... and so really setting
06:25
the model for any artist of any job
06:28
where that came to follow but in
06:30
addition to that you know you're right I
06:31
mean folks do think about LA New York
06:33
Atlanta Detroit Memphis even as place
06:37
where would be kind of a hotbed for
06:40
African American
06:41
contributions to American music and
06:43
they're not wrong I mean there are there
06:45
that is those places are significant but
06:48
like you said if you go back before CDs
06:50
if you go loft back before electronic
06:52
media, -and I even take it back to before
06:55
the great migration- when Africans were
06:59
brought to this country and enslaved
07:00
most of that occurred in the south, and
07:04
really you know I contend that that was
07:06
really the nexus point that caused the
07:08
beginning of what we now call America
07:10
music because that was when innovation
07:13
was required...
07:15
you know previously the Native Americans
07:17
were here and they had their music and
07:19
the Europeans came and they brought
07:21
their music but when the Africans came,
07:23
the the drum was taken from them and
07:25
they had to innovate and improvise to
07:27
create something we now call American
07:29
music... and then when you fast-forward and
07:31
you start looking at the great migration,
07:33
and when you when you really study that,
07:35
what you realize is that all roads lead
07:38
through Tennessee... so if you're if you're
07:41
coming up from Mississippi or up from
07:43
Alabama or even up from Louisiana or
07:46
even from Texas and you're going to
07:48
Detroit and you're going to New York
07:50
you're going to DC you're going even
07:53
west to Los Angeles most of those routes
07:56
go through the state of Tennessee and so
07:59
whether it's blues in the western part
08:01
of the state or hillbilly music in the
08:03
eastern part of the state which was
08:05
heavily African American influence or
08:07
R&B and jazz and the middle part of the
08:10
state, there really is a historical
08:12
foundation for American music in the
08:15
state of Tennessee... Nashville happens to
08:17
be the center of the state and it
08:19
happens to be the state capital, and it
08:21
happens to be what America calls music
08:24
city, and so we just want to complete
08:26
that definition of Music City by adding
08:29
the museum and telling this story among
08:32
so many other music stories that are
08:33
being told and in the city and in the
08:35
State…

MW
that's I mean it's it's awesome
08:37
and and I think it is is really going to
08:41
be good for the city not good I think
08:45
it's gonna be incredible for the city to
08:47
have this museum because everybody who
08:51
loves
08:53
and respects african-american music
08:55
knows that
08:57
Nashville's moniker of music city has an
09:00
asterisk next to it... right and and this
09:06
to me feels like the first real official
09:12
step to move that asterisk off right now
09:16
and and and complete it and tell the and
09:18
tell the full story and and allow... you
09:22
know a lot of people don't know how many
09:24
incredible like even to this day how
09:26
many incredible
09:28
african-american artists record their
09:30
albums here, right you know because the
09:33
studios are so incredible the the
09:35
musicians here are so fantastic... you know
09:38
they're there's still a large number of
09:40
fantastic albums from artists that you
09:43
associate with other places that are
09:45
made here um, but it doesn't rise to the
09:50
level of consciousness right it's not
09:51
yes not something you see when you're
09:53
walking around downtown... and so this this
09:56
to me moves us away from having that
10:00
asterisk next to our title

HBH
yeah and
10:03
interestingly enough when I talk to
10:05
artists about the museum and where it is,
10:07
they get it right away... there's no
10:10
hesitation out and they they understand
10:12
it because like you said I mean they
10:14
know that they often come here to record
10:16
they know that their tour
10:18
starts in Nashville frankly they know
10:20
that their checks come from Nashville
10:22
right ASCAP and SESAC have big big
10:24
offices here so everybody understands
10:28
the significance if you're in the
10:29
industry you just don't think about it
10:30
that way, so we're going to change that…

MW
10:32
awesome okay so let's let's now go back
10:35
to what this what this journey has been
10:38
like for you you know building a museum
10:42
like so we just talked about the
10:44
importance right alongside of that
10:46
importance is significant adversity...
10:49
right you know first of all it's not a
10:52
small capital undertaking ,second of all
10:55
it's a it's a cultural shift that is its
11:02
I don't even know if I have a proper
11:05
word for it but especially because of
11:06
the location,
11:07
because it is going to be right downtown
11:10
on Broadway, it is redefining what
11:14
downtown Nashville is going to be
11:17
because it will have a prominent
11:19
position there... so can you talk about
11:21
what this journey has been like? you've
11:23
been doing this across multiple mayor's
11:25
terms now right it's kind of the way
11:29
that I think about these kinds of things
11:31
yeah like you've been doing this across
11:32
multiple mayor's terms, you've been doing
11:34
this to raise a very very significant
11:37
amount of money and it's a nonprofit,
11:40
it's not like you're gonna have some big
11:41
exit at the end of it, so just talk about
11:44
this this journey of bringing this
11:45
startup to life

HBH
yeah and that's why as
11:47
you started to say that's why I call it
11:49
the mother of all startup so it's in a
11:51
place that people don't think about it
11:53
being... it is changing the narrative of
11:56
the story and naturally some people are
11:58
going to be resistant to that... it's a
12:00
museum which is a tough thing to do
12:02
anyway... it is a non-profit so I can't
12:06
give folks a return... in on top of that
12:09
before I took on the job, it had been
12:12
around for 15 or more years and didn't
12:15
have the traction that it needed, so we
12:17
had to overcome the stigma around “is
12:22
this thing ever going to happen?”
12:24
you know I jumped into it with a whole
12:26
lot of energy a whole lot of optimism
12:28
and not a whole lot of wisdom or not a
12:31
whole lot of insight into what I was
12:33
actually getting myself into, but
12:35
fortunately you know it's really an
12:37
interesting thing because what I have
12:39
learned through that experience was that
12:41
you know it's at the end of the day you
12:44
know it's not about the money, it's not
12:47
about the title, it's not about the
12:51
industry, it really is about the
12:53
significance of the work... yeah
12:55
and so that kept me going... and so at that
13:00
end a donor and investor partner friend
13:04
who believed the same thing and so you
13:08
know I've never said this out loud
13:10
before but I think we kind of had a
13:11
unspoken deal that you know I would keep
13:14
if I kept showing up the work he'd keep
13:16
Writing us a check
13:19
and so we kind of have lived out that
13:22
deal

MW
those are important partners

HBH
those
13:24
are important partners absolutely... and so
13:27
but that's what that's what it takes to
13:29
get it done and yeah theme that is has
13:31
come on board over time to kind of jump
13:33
in and get it done but it really has
13:35
required overcoming those things and so
13:38
it was interesting on the on the front
13:40
end of it you know I was insistent I
13:43
would wear a suit and tie every day to
13:45
work and it was it was it was to make a
13:49
point that this was a business... I
13:53
remember I changed the domain email
13:58
setup from first names only to first
14:02
initial last name to say that this is
14:05
not a casual undertaking this is we're
14:08
gonna set up our email domain just like
14:10
any other business would and I wanted to
14:13
do little things like that to make the
14:15
point that we're serious and we're
14:16
focused people would see me out and
14:19
moving around and and you know from 7:00
14:22
in the morning to 8 or 9 o'clock at
14:24
night,
14:24
speaking meeting talking to people, lots
14:28
of times
14:28
not asking for money but just telling
14:30
the story yeah and doing a lot of
14:33
listening so one of the things I have
14:35
learned through this process is you know
14:37
those who want to support you need a
14:41
reason they need justification and if
14:43
you listen to them they'll tell you
14:45
they'll give you the objection that they
14:47
have and then we essentially say this is
14:49
like in any business they'll say listen
14:51
this is why I'm not buying today and so
14:54
if you can overcome that objection then
14:57
maybe I'll buy the product... and so there
14:59
are things that we had to do along the
15:02
way to identify the objections and then
15:05
overcome them so we had to hire a
15:08
curatorial team to say what is the story
15:11
we're going to tell in the museum hmm
15:13
was one donor in particular in town that
15:15
pushed me on that, and it took me seven
15:18
months to come back to him and answer
15:20
his question but when I did he said “okay
15:22
I'm in…” yeah and so things like that that
15:27
we've had to do to overcome the
15:30
objections and keep fighting and get it done…

MW
15:32
you just you just mentioned something
15:34
that I want to I want to dig into a
15:35
little bit more... you know obviously you
15:37
were talking about the you know the size
15:39
of the task and that you didn't have a
15:41
lot of wisdom, as soon as you said that I
15:44
immediately thought about the fact that
15:46
yeah you didn't have a lot of wisdom
15:47
because there weren't a whole lot of
15:48
people that had walked this path before
15:49
you... and and I think part of this is is
15:53
to talk about the fact that you were
15:55
launching a museum, and a museum is a
15:57
particular kind of thing, right you know
16:00
what I mean like like understanding the
16:02
importance of the your your theory
16:06
around curation ,right how you see
16:10
yourselves as keepers of a genre of
16:12
music, these are things by the way I know
16:15
because I'm sitting on the board of the
16:17
Country Music Hall of Fame... I had no idea
16:19
about about those kinds of things and
16:21
then you come to realize “wow this is a
16:24
whole body of knowledge and expertise
16:26
that's just wow like where do you
16:28
develop where do you even develop that
16:30
expertise?” right there people talk about
16:31
like going into a career of being a
16:34
professional musician and I don't mean
16:35
like a like a gigging musician I mean
16:37
like a classical musician and how
16:39
few gigs there are like because you
16:40
know you got a seat in an orchestra and
16:42
those don't come easy because there
16:43
aren't that many you know to me this is
16:45
the same thing who spends their life
16:47
trying to become a curator so it's like
16:50
I would have said and part of this was
16:51
you had to go find talent people that
16:53
had already done this job before right
16:56
to a degree

HBH
yeah absolutely and that's
16:58
that's absolutely right I mean I really
17:00
came in it as you know from kind of more
17:02
of a private equity investment banking
17:04
background... yeah and so the energy and
17:07
the fire that I had came from raising
17:10
money in the private sector previously
17:11
and so I said look I know how to do that
17:13
I know how to tell a story I know how to
17:15
get people on board and so I really came
17:18
at it from that perspective not
17:20
understanding that development
17:22
fundraising for a non-profit is a little
17:25
bit different mean there's some things
17:26
that are similar but it's very different
17:29
and so I had to sort of learn that piece
17:31
and then as you point out the whole
17:33
curatorial side of the business had to
17:36
really learn that and understand its
17:38
importance and understand really the
17:41
how sacred that is and how serious that
17:46
is

MW
very serious yeah

HBH
absolutely it's a
17:49
serious thing and then I had to learn
17:51
the whole marketing side of it how do
17:54
you position our institution from a
17:57
marketing and brand positioning
17:59
standpoint in a way that's a little
18:01
different than somebody else's but in a
18:03
way that communicates who we are locally
18:05
who intend to be nationally yeah
18:08
how do you talk to different constituent
18:11
groups whether it's politicians or local
18:14
folks in the community? be in our in
18:17
Nashville the bar and restaurant
18:19
community the tourism community the
18:22
music industry and community both
18:23
locally and nationally so there's sort
18:25
of the Nashville music community, but
18:28
then there's the black music community
18:30
as well... so how do I communicate to all
18:33
of those groups of people and bring them
18:36
all to the same point? how do we talk
18:38
about the number one goal of a museum is
18:40
education, right so now all of a sudden
18:43
I'm an educator, but how do we build that
18:47
infrastructure in that platform and do
18:49
it in a way that's different and
18:51
excellent? and happen to all of those
18:54
things I've had to learn and put
18:55
together and figure out how to do once
18:58
again to overcome objections... one donor
19:00
says I'm concerned about the story so
19:02
you build the curatorial piece one donor
19:04
says we only support education, so you
19:07
got to build out the education piece so
19:09
all of that has to be done in order to
19:11
move the project forward
19:12
and invention construction

MW
oh
19:14
forget about it we'll circle back to
19:17
that at the end so we could talk about
19:19
you know the prospects and the timing of
19:21
launch, but then one final thing before
19:23
we shift into some more current current
19:25
events is just the fact that, in most
19:28
startups you have the option to focus on
19:32
a specific value proposition something
19:35
very very simple yeah... in a music museum
19:39
you are an educator but you are also an
19:42
entertainer, you like you better believe
19:45
it the gate requires you to do both … and
19:48
there is a center of tension between
19:50
those two things right absolutely that
19:53
you have
19:53
to manage... and so you haven't even opened
19:55
yet but I would imagine that in your
19:58
fundraising process -as you got to the
20:00
savvy kind of investors philanthropists
20:03
who would invest in such a project- they
20:05
knew that and they pushed you on both of
20:07
those things and you've also had to
20:09
probably already navigate those things
20:10
with your team yeah absolutely and most
20:13
especially with the team…

HBH
you know it
20:16
really is interesting again I mentioned
20:18
how sacred the curatorial process is and
20:21
so we've got we've got a curatorial team
20:24
that is competitive and comfortable and
20:27
better than better than most and
20:28
comparable to the best mhm
20:30
we've got three PhDs on staff who know
20:33
what they're doing, and so it is it is a
20:36
pleasure to work with them... but the flip
20:39
side of that of course is that they take
20:40
that work very seriously and so they're
20:43
not playing it and so you know they are
20:46
less concerned about the entertainment
20:48
value of what we're doing and much more
20:50
concern about the accuracy of the
20:53
storytelling... and as you point out we've
20:56
got to do both and so you know we've
20:58
designed the place to be a place where
21:00
you can party and you can have fun, but
21:02
at the same time we know we've got to
21:04
get the academic piece of it right and
21:07
so that's been that's been an
21:08
interesting tension within our team and
21:10
learning to balance and respect that is
21:12
something that I'm continuing to wrestle
21:14
with every day…

MW
the the the role of the
21:19
african-american musician has been
21:24
inseparable from the experience of
21:28
African Americans broadly in terms of
21:32
our constant fight for equity… in
21:37
equality and so I would be remiss if I
21:40
didn't ask you about how you are feeling
21:43
in this in this time... obviously you know
21:48
purpose helps in a time like this and
21:51
you've got a fantastic purpose but I
21:56
just love to hear some some thoughts and
21:59
and maybe even just you express your
22:00
feelings about how you're feeling about
22:02
yourself at this moment we both are
22:05
parents, both
22:06
you know boys black boys, like just I
22:11
don't know I don't know what you know I
22:12
know that I lose my eloquence right as
22:15
soon as as soon as we hit this topic
22:17
because it is it is largely emotional...
22:19
but I just wanted to give you the floor
22:22
to talk about that a little bit …

HBH
yeah
22:24
well as you know as you pointed out I've
22:26
got two boys they're young men and I'm
22:31
afraid for them not to mention being
22:33
afraid for myself, and for you... you know I
22:38
mean like this is this is serious I mean
22:40
when you've got vigilantes shooting
22:43
folks because they think maybe he robbed
22:48
somebody's house down the block... or when
22:51
you've got a police officer putting his
22:56
knee on a man's neck while he's saying “I
23:00
can't breathe,” and and and and
23:03
disregarding that with impunity, you
23:07
can't do anything but but but be afraid
23:11
and concerned... you know I've often thought
23:15
and said you know I get frustrated about
23:19
the politics of it sometimes, and my
23:22
approach to my career you know has
23:26
always been to address these things -I
23:28
think economic justice economic equality
23:31
is is really ultimately the what level
23:34
is the playing field- and so it makes me
23:36
want to fight harder for economic parity
23:40
but you know which is a very difficult
23:44
thing to do but you you work hard and
23:47
it's not even about the money to buy
23:49
nice things... right it's about it's about
23:52
the money to influence or that the
23:54
ability to influence society and
23:56
influence culture... and then as you point
24:00
out I mean purpose is important and and
24:03
I've always taught my boys that you know
24:05
that they can do what they want to do...
24:07
they should do what they love they
24:09
should do what they're passionate about
24:10
because that's where the purpose lies...
24:13
but also relative to this museum you
24:15
know I we intentionally set the stay
24:19
in this museum as as much a history
24:22
institution as a music institution that
24:25
we did that on purpose because it is we
24:30
don't want to just celebrate the music
24:32
that somebody made because as a cool
24:34
song or one of my favorites or a dope
24:37
rap or you know whatever that's not
24:39
that's interesting but what's more
24:42
important is the context out of which it
24:45
came from...
24:46
what is the story that that artist is
24:48
trying to tell? and what's the
24:50
environment of the culture that that
24:51
story came out of? and I really see this
24:55
museum as as much an educational center
24:58
an entertainment center, but also a
25:01
social justice center... so the fact that
25:04
we are telling this story that many in
25:07
Nashville don't know and have forgot
25:10
forgotten and even many around the
25:12
country have never been told before... to
25:15
the extent that many people the majority
25:17
70-plus percent in this country think
25:20
that the world revolves around them and
25:24
their skin color and their culture and
25:26
then african-americans have been largely
25:28
marginalized and have not made a
25:30
contribution and have been you know
25:33
living off of the largesse of others is
25:37
patently false inaccurate and
25:43
blasphemous... and so this museum has I
25:47
mean I told him look

MW
yes let's just
25:49
let's go one step further yeah it's the
25:52
opposite

HBH
it's the opposite

MW
like let's go
25:54
just let's just go ahead and go one step
25:56
further it's the opposite it's establish
25:59
it's the opposite
26:00
alright

HBH
and so this museum is the
26:03
opposite right okay good it's the
26:06
opposite and so we welcome anybody to
26:09
come in and party with us, but it’s
26:11
the opposite yeah and so let's
26:15
get that straight now right it's the
26:18
opposite and so that's part of the point
26:21
and then hopefully that gives my sons
26:23
and yours confidence and purpose and
26:29
swagger...
26:30
and the ability to go out and say my dad
26:34
Marcus did it,
26:35
my dad Henry, did it and I see in this
26:40
museum all these other people that did
26:42
it also, and so I'm gonna go forward with
26:45
purpose and overcome this foolishness
26:47
that were that we're seeing and that
26:49
we're having to deal with with people
26:50
who think they have the privilege to
26:53
take my life…

MW
so from that point man I
26:58
wanna I want to end on a on an up note
27:00
I've been noticing you one of the
27:02
reasons why you're on the show you know
27:04
is I was thinking about you know people
27:06
and I had a backlog, but you've been
27:08
posting more on Instagram you know and
27:10
and it's not it's not about the museum
27:12
it's about your story and about your
27:14
philosophy of “dream big then execute” so
27:17
like I was super excited about that
27:19
because that's that's my thing you know
27:20
like you know it's like we do stuff but
27:22
we also got to share the wisdom that we
27:24
have in our unique perspective... so talk a
27:26
little bit about about dream big then
27:28
Execute

HBH
yeah so you know I appreciate
27:31
that and I appreciate you noticing
27:32
you've just inspired me to keep doing it
MW
27:34
yeah I keep keeping other people people
27:36
are watching you know they don't always
27:38
like they don't always share they don't
27:40
always give you the feedback but they're
27:41
watching and it does it does resonate

HBH
27:44
well cool well thank you very much for
27:46
that so yeah man so you know again so
27:48
one of the things that I have wrestled
27:50
with again throughout my career is as
27:53
I've been an investment banker I've been
27:55
in sales I've been an entrepreneur and
27:58
now I'm directing and leading a museum...
28:02
is what is it that I'm trying to do and
28:04
early in my career I was I was known for
28:08
ideas... lots of ideas lots of ideas this
28:12
would be a great thing to do this is
28:14
something we should do... and I would start
28:15
and I would write I would I would write
28:17
things down and then as I got better I
28:19
would write a business plan, and then as
28:21
I got eventually I got to the point
28:23
where I actually executed... and so and so
28:26
what I what I took from that was
28:28
that you know and as I walk around walk
28:31
through target and you see you know
28:32
coffee cups and and water bottles and
28:36
also they say “dream big…” my wife every now and then
28:38
Will buy me a greeting card that says dream
28:41
big yeah and I say you know that's
28:44
interesting, and people should dream big...
28:46
but that's not even the half of it
28:50
that's the easy part
28:52
you know and so you know that's the
28:55
thing that that people think that their
28:56
dreams and their ideas are unique -and
28:59
maybe they are- but it doesn't matter if
29:02
you don't go do it and so ultimately you
29:06
have to execute and... maybe you have to
29:08
train maybe have to keep working for big
29:11
corporate for a while longer to get the
29:12
training, maybe you have to go back to
29:14
school to get the training ,you know
29:16
maybe you know you have to take a class
29:18
online or something to get the training...
29:20
but eventually you should be working
29:23
towards a purpose of executing, getting
29:26
it done... and so for me you know the
29:29
museum has been a lot about dream big
29:32
then execute a couple of guys back in
29:34
1998 had an idea and they put it down on
29:38
paper they got the Chamber of Commerce
29:39
in Nashville to co-sign the idea in 2001,
29:43
and then you know through 2009 10 11 12
29:47
it was kind of puttering along... but there
29:50
was you know there wasn't enough energy
29:53
to insist upon execution so finally that
29:57
day came along where I said to myself
29:59
and I said to my wife you know we need
30:02
to we should try to get this done and
30:04
she looked at me and she said you know
30:06
you're right... you've been involved in it
30:08
for a while if you think you can get it
30:10
done you should get it done and so we
30:12
actually agreed initially on a two-year
30:14
term to do this and had it done I
30:16
thought I could get it done in two years
30:17
-there's that naivete again-... oh but we but
30:22
but it's been seven plus... and and and but
30:26
it was the execution you have to be
30:28
determined to execute you have to be
30:30
tenacious to execute it's not always
30:33
going to go according to schedule or
30:35
that according to plan to execute but we
30:37
had to hang in there to execute and get
30:41
it done and so we're almost there
30:43
we're almost there most recently you
30:46
know my wife gave me a greeting card
30:47
recently and it said dream big on it, but
30:50
she wrote down in the in asterik and she
30:53
wrote then execute... and so you know that
30:57
is what's important so that's a message
30:59
I want to give the entrepreneurs and
31:01
people who would be entrepreneurs
31:03
regardless of the field that they're in
31:05
is then execute

MW
yeah yeah execute yeah
31:08
and and and and then execute is is is a
31:11
journey right I mean you don't really
31:13
even you rarely know the end point
31:16
correct you rarely know the end point I
31:19
mean you know that that two-year
31:21
commitment it what it probably served
31:23
was just to get you in the mindset that
31:25
this thing is not gonna be for three
31:26
months... it was more part is more about
31:28
that than it was about saying you're
31:30
gonna stop in two years... right right
31:31
right you know so yeah man we'll look I
31:34
appreciate that, and and then just just
31:37
let's let's end on on talking about
31:39
we're close but we're also in his super
31:41
crazy time you know what can you tell us
31:44
about about you know the the finish line
31:47
which is also the starting line for the museum… what can
31:51
you tell us about that?
HBH
you know so we we
31:54
are doing a remarkable job of kind of
31:56
hanging onto that finish line slash
31:59
starting line unfortunately in Tennessee
32:02
construction is an essential service and
32:05
so while we've been in quarantine for
32:07
the most part construction has continued
32:09
moving forward so we all got very
32:10
fortunate to have that we we had
32:13
announced publicly a grand opening date
32:16
of Labor Day and I'm hanging onto that
32:19
possibility I'm starting to say Labor
32:21
Day ish yeah yeah though you know will
32:24
be will be very close to that I believe
32:26
you know what it looks like you know we
32:29
still don't know it's not going to be
32:30
the big party that we were planning
32:31
probably at least not this year maybe
32:34
we'll have a party later but we're
32:37
getting close and so I'll say Labor Day
32:38
ish so stay tuned

MW
that's awesome well my
32:41
my cousin and one of her one of her very
32:44
good friends came to came to Nashville
32:45
for for conference and they came and
32:50
hung out with me and my family and we
32:52
went downtown to just kind of show them
32:53
around, and for sure the thing that they
32:56
left most excited about and and
32:58
committed to return to Nashville for was
33:01
the museum right you know whenever it
33:03
opens they want
33:04
know about it they want to come back, so
33:06
I think I think that's great because
33:08
it's going to add to the tourism that we
33:12
need you know in Nashville right you
33:14
know what I mean it's it's it's gonna be
33:15
something that a whole nother group of
33:17
people that wouldn't have normally
33:19
thought to put Nashville higher on the
33:21
list are gonna make it you know a bucket
33:23
list destination now... you know they got
33:25
to make their pilgrimage to this museum
33:28
to be or this celebration , so thank you
33:30
man for the commitment for the work that
33:32
you've done for again just that the
33:35
personal guidance you provided to me
33:36
over the years and the inspiration I
33:38
appreciate it a lot man

HBH
33:39
absolutely thank you thanks for having
33:41
me I enjoyed it

MW
absolutely so just like
33:43
I follow Henry you should follow him too
33:45
you could find him on Instagram and on
33:48
LinkedIn at HB two three and then just
33:51
just search for dream big then executed
33:54
on Facebook that'll bring up his page
33:55
where I've now guilted him into posting
33:58
more often so I know I know he will do
34:00
that and for sure as well please
34:03
subscribe to my podcast Marcus Whitney's
34:06
audio universe you can find it on Apple
34:07
podcast Google podcasts and Spotify as
34:10
well follow me on social if you're
34:11
watching this live you're already
34:13
following me but follow me on one place
34:14
why not follow me everywhere so
34:16
Instagram Facebook Twitter Linkedin
34:17
YouTube even on Twitch and that sort of
34:20
brings us to the end so everybody it has
34:22
been a long crazy week take care of
34:25
yourself don't forget to breathe don't
34:26
forget to get some sunshine hug your
34:28
loved ones that you can reach out to
34:31
people connect and everyone just try to
34:32
be patient with each other this is this
34:36
is a important chapter in an important
34:39
saga in all of our lives and I know we
34:42
will come out on the other end of this
34:43
more unified and stronger and better for
34:46
having gone through this but it is hard
34:47
so I just want you to know I'm thinking
34:50
about y'all I'm with y'all and just take
34:53
care of yourself alright until next time
34:55
let's build a new normal
34:57
[Music]

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