Feature Thursday: Ronnie Rice
From Attorney to Governmental Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Organizational Development, Investor, Business Owner, oh can't forget #HonestVegan, and most importantly, Dad; Ronnie Rice is the definition of a true go-getter. Filled with knowledge for days, we can all learn something from this smart and well-rounded guy!
Welcome Ronnie as this week's feature:
Name: Ronnie O'Brien Rice, Ph.D., Esq.
Title: Attorney/Business Owner/Investor/Dad
Location: Birmingham, AL
Background: BA in Psychology from Morehouse College; MA in Organizational Leadership, Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resources Development from Regent University; and Juris Doctorate of Law from Miles School of Law
YC: Why do you love what you do?
Ronnie: My passion includes helping others, intentional networking, running, and spending time with family (my friends are my family). My passion for helping others came from my parents. Both help the community in their own rights. My mom is a pillar in the community helping young women with life. My dad is a retired marine helping veterans and young postal workers. Both combinations helped me to develop an appreciation for the less-fortunate.
Regarding networking, my passion was developed through my research at the University of South Alabama. The research focused on the continuity of health care treatment in the aftermath of Katrina. The findings concluded that it was the informal networks in neighboring States that help citizens of New Orleans receive much needed healthcare. So from these findings I set on a personal mission to establish relationships with all walks of life because of unexpected needs regardless of natural disasters.
YC: What does the first hour of your day look like?
Ronnie: The first hour of my day includes daily devotion. I meditate, tune into spiritual development videos, and pray. Sometimes I engage in interesting dialogues with colleagues to get thoughts on present day issues. I completely agree that you are who you surround yourself with daily.
YC: Do you believe that the people you surround yourself with make a difference in your overall success? Ronnie: Absolutely. I've always wanted a diverse thought pattern and therefore, I have a vast group of friends and colleagues. These groups are diverse regarding gender, socio-economic status, ethnicities, and educational achievements. I believe having a diverse thought pattern allows you to view problems, relationships, and success differently. Basically, I have learned to “celebrate our differences.” (Coach Dannton Jackson)
YC: Who inspires you the most, and why?
Ronnie: I was taught to take different positive attributes from people I admire and emulate each of those characteristics. Whitney Johnson writes in the book “Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve” that having an A-Team helps build you up as a successful person personally and professionally. So I have learned to assemble an A-Team as well that includes Adolph Brown, III, Jarvis Hollingsworth, Lex Williamson, and Alexander Shunnarah.
Dr. Brown taught me the importance of self-discipline and goal setting. As a successful master teacher, he introduced me to the world of “doing what you need to do today so you can do what you want to do later.” Hollingsworth showed me the importance of high integrity in ones work product and personal life. Williamson (may God rest his soul) talked with me monthly about my spiritual walk, professional life, and my commitment to give back to the community. Shunnarah continues to pour into me some of the essentials of life: family, God, business, and caring for the less-fortunate.
YC: What's your favorite quote?
Ronnie: "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; 'these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions;' we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit: 'the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life... for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy'."
p. 87. The quoted phrases within the quotation are from the Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7
~ Will Durant
YC: Ronnie, you're always reading a book! What book(s) do you recommend for anyone searching for purpose? Ronnie: This is a tough question as I love to read. I would recommend several books:
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl (YC: I second this)
A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
The 4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss
Green Power by A.G. Gaston & Walter Howlett
YC: What's the main thing holding you back?
Ronnie: Some of my main past inhibitions were delegation of projects, time management, and remaining focused on important task throughout the day. As a lawyer, investor, and business owner, I realized that there a lot of people who pull on you. And if you are not careful, those individuals will continue to pull on you without any remorse, love, or appreciation of your energy. It's important to remain true to who I am (a person who loves to help others) without giving too much of myself because it can become tiresome and draining. I’ve learned to rejuvenate and reenergize myself every morning and pace myself throughout the day.
YC: What's the biggest accomplishment so far in your career?
Ronnie: One of the biggest accomplishments of my career so far is learning the value of integrity. Yes, I have successfully completed a doctoral program. Yes, I have successfully passed the Alabama State Bar exam. However, none of those achievements have meaning if you do not have a high sense of integrity. Integrity to me means “who you are when no one's watching.” (Adolph Brown, III, Psy.D.).
To me, integrity is a person's ‘stamp of approval’ for a lifestyle, friendship, others, and business. So, for me, I have gained so much business through others belief in me regarding my high quality business interactions and legal work. I know this sounds far-fetched, however, job titles, pay rate, and social media followers do not have any meaning without a high level of integrity. Even though I have a lot of work to do on my integrity, having a higher level of integrity is one of the biggest accomplishments in my career so far.
YC: What's your definition of success?
Ronnie: My definition of success is (1) operational defining your goals; (2) making steps to accomplishing those goals; and (3) successfully engaging in those steps to accomplishment. I know this sounds like a simple definition; however, a lot of people fail in life because they fail in making goals. The first step is the most crucial because if you do not know where you are going, you can’t make steps in that direction. So success to me means doing what the good Lord above has called you to do, and making steps towards that purpose.
YC: What's the best advice you would give to anyone striving to reach their goals?
Ronnie: The best advice that I can give to someone who's trying to reach their goals is to do not pay attention to the naysayers. Goals are for people who are not scared of the status quo. Think about it, if you are setting goals that means that you are trying to achieve something that a lot of people around you are not. Not saying there is ‘no one’ around you trying to achieve similar goals, but there may not be that many. If there were, it would just be second nature.
So, for me I would suggest to those who are striving for something that you might be scared of or you aren't familiar with find folks around you who are experts or who may know experts in those fields. Then go after those goals with a pure heart. Do not put others down, lie, steal, or cheat. But strive towards those goals with a positive and pure heart. Because that's the only way that you're going to enjoy accomplishing those goals. I know a lot of people who have become very successful but are miserable because they hate what they did in the past to get to this point. A wise person told me it is not about the actual goal; it is about who you become while achieving the goal.
For example, having an education is not about having the actual hard degree. Having an education is about becoming a learned person, the experience while on campus (or online interactions), and the people you meet from different cultures. So my best advice is to disregard the haters while pursing your goals with a positive and pure heart.
Woah! Every week just keeps getting better and better! I'm loving all of the gem dropping. Thanks Ronnie for being on Yvonne Camille's #FeatureThursday series.
If you want to learn more about Ronnie, make sure to check out his social platforms listed below:
Facebook: Ronnie O'Brien Rice
Check back every Thursday for a new feature. If you know someone I should feature, email me via the Contact Page.
Sending love and positive vibes your way!