One of the things that I miss most about college were the kickbacks. The house parties. The lituations. Now that I’m officially an adult with the normal 9-5 life (wake up, work, eat, sleep, and then repeat), I try to still find time to have fun and spend time with friends. In college, I went to enough parties, so now having a good time to me sounds like having friends over for a few libations, a little food, and some games. Thanks to entrepreneur and DIY blogger A.V. Perkins, my next kickback or game night (and yours too) will be taken to the next level.
A.V. along with co-founder Marian Andoh has created an exciting new card game that celebrates hip hop culture and music. In this card game, University of Dope (UDope), the “majority chooses the correct answer and all unpopular views are welcomed.” This game is perfect for anyone that loves old school hip hop and a little bit of new school. It is ideal for the person that enjoys music, Black culture, hip hop culture, and that really just likes to have a good time and entertain.
For A.V., getting into the gaming industry wasn’t easy. It took a lot of perseverance, dedication, and a nice amount of funding too. On top of that, it took some time learning about the gaming industry and grinding nonstop in a field that is primarily male-dominated and lacking Black, millennial entrepreneurs. UDope was consequently created by two entrepreneurs that are the opposite of what’s common in the male-dominated gaming industry. As A.V. says, her team is full of “Black girl magic and shea butter.” Not only is A.V. a Black, female, millennial, but so is her co-founder, and her designer.
I recently caught up with UDope’s co-founder A.V. and we discussed UDope, her background, and why The Notorius B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) rap verse is the mantra for her life. Check out my 5 top takeaways from our conversation.
1.Trust your gut
What may seems like the silliest, smallest idea may actually be a money making idea. Don’t sleep on yourself or your visions. For A.V. and her co-founder, last year they were catching up at a restaurant in Brooklyn, just talking about their careers, personal life, and also music (hip hop in particular). A.V. then randomly asked her co-founder to name all of the members of Wu Tang. After naming them, A.V. realized that it although her friend could name all of them then, it would definitely be impossible after a few drinks. Then A.V. and her co-founder realized that discussing and celebrating hip hop would be a cool game to play with drinks and friends.
2.If you love it, put a ring on it
One of the top challenges that A.V. and her co-founder went through when starting UDope is other people trying to steal and copy her idea. Out of this experience, A.V. learned that “if you love an idea, make it legal. Just like Bey says, ‘if you like it, put a ring on it.’ Always put a ‘ring’ on your ideas and make it legit. Some people wait until they make money to take care of the legal side, but I recommend to do it early.”
3. No one can motivate you like you
Often, we look for our friends and families to validate our ideas and to give us the self-esteem we need to keep pushing forward. For A.V., she believes that self-motivation has to come from within. “You have to tap into yourself for it. It can’t come from your parents, friends, coworkers. You know you more than anyone else knows you,” A.V. says.
4.Stop waiting for the ‘perfect moment’
For most creatives, we wait until our idea or project is perfect before we launch or even get started. I believe that the longer you wait, the more time you are giving someone else to come up with your idea and take action. As A.V. says, “Don’t wait to start on your goals. If we would’ve waited longer to start on UDope, it’s possible that another person, another company would have done it. Don’t waste time.”
5. Stay low, keep firing – Biggie Smalls
When asked what is her life mantra or best advice ever given, A.V. quoted a line from the late, but great Biggie Smalls (Notorious B.I.G.). To A.V., Biggie’s quote “stay low, keep firing” means to always keep pushing, keep grinding for what you want out of life. As A.V. told me, “There’s a lot of noise everywhere; people are producing similar things, and have many ideas. Do not subscribe to the noise, stay low and keep moving. Keep firing, keep doing what you need to do to stay focused. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Doing so is just a distraction.”
UDope is now open online for ordering and is anticipating on having live events/game nights in the near future. Check out UDope by clicking here and connect with A.V. and UDope on social media. After you try out UDope, tweet us and let us know about your experience.