Mental Health Monday #27: Tonja Renée Stidhum on Lion King standom, the joy of creating, and power of a support system

they’re always there for me when I’m feeling insecure, when I get that impostor syndrome and am like, “I’m in this room and shouldn’t be here.” They’re like, “Yes, bitch, you should.”

An Extraordinary Impact: Mr. Good Vibes is Here to Save Us All

Following in the footsteps of author Olivia A. Cole’s brilliant "Women of Wednesday" series, our own ongoing “An Extraordinary Impact” features people of color responsible for creating an extraordinary impact within their communities. By providing them with a platform to share their accomplishments, goals, and message, we hope to not only celebrate their achievements, but to galvanize support for their endeavors.

Mr. Good Vibes, Toronto

1. So what is it you’re doing and why are you so passionate about it?

I am leading a positivity movement as Mr. Good Vibes (currently 18 years old). I have seen the power of positive thinking and the results it can bring so I want to help others do the same and achieve their goals. When I was younger, I went through some hardships and realized that if I wanted to achieve something, I would have to work my butt off and trust that God knows what He's doing. After being cut from my soccer team, I trained day-in and day-out in order to eventually to become my high school's top scorer during my Senior years. I then received multiple Division 1 full-ride soccer scholarships to play in the States (before leaving and deciding to run my business full time). I was able to achieve these things because I stopped considering myself a victim of the world and started having a positive outlook on every situation while working hard and trusting in God. I have seen the impact that this positive mindset can bring and I really want other people to instill this way of thinking into their lives as well so we can all achieve great things.

2. What made you decide to pursue doing this work?

I decided to pursue this business full-time because I realized that there is a serious problem in the world: Negativity is currently much louder than positivity. Everywhere we turn we're hearing about another crime being committed, another death, negative comments about the presidential elections, and so on. The list keeps going. On social media, people like to rant or subtweet someone who's bothering them. It's very rare that we see positive posts. And sometimes when we do, people will criticize them. That’s a problem. I truly believe that most people are positive deep down and want to live a life filled with positivity, but they feel overwhelmed by all the negativity that's being put in our faces. I think that everyone who has something good to share or talk about needs to do so. We, as people who are positive, have a responsibility to make positivity louder. When we start doing this, the rest will follow. I feel that The Good Vibes Movement can change people's behavior for the better and we together, can create a world where positivity dominates.

3. Who have been some of your biggest influences and inspirations?

My biggest influence (aside from my grandmother), has been Gary Vaynerchuk, otherwise known as GaryVee. He is a serial entrepreneur and arguably the most influential person on this planet. He represents two main ideals: Self-Awareness and Hustle. After consuming his daily content on his social media platforms and executing on the advice he gives, I have learned more in the last year than I've learned my whole life in terms of business practices. GaryVee's message of self-awareness has helped my discover who I truly am: An entrepreneur. His other message, “hustle”, is pretty straightforward. You want something? Then go and work for it. Get it. Stop complaining. Stop being afraid. Stop whining. Just go out and work your butt off for what you want. You gotta put the time in.

4. What would it take for you to consider this endeavor a success?

For me to consider what I'm doing a success, it goes much deeper than just being wealthy. I'm doing it because I truly love it. I am in love with the journey and process of becoming a successful entrepreneur. I love the late nights, early mornings, high pressure situations, the days of uncertainty, the times when some people don't understand your vision. I am already considering myself successful. When you get to do what you wanna, and you're doing it well, then you've won. I'm doing what I wanna do with my life. I'm making my money. The business is expanding. We're bringing new people on board. We're developing our corporate programs to expand our revenue streams. I'm constantly building my personal brand as well (Mr Good Vibes), so that I can have the leverage to have another revenue stream in public speaking engagements while inspiring millions of people. When I do my speeches to high schools, youth groups or corporations right now, I have people come up to me and say I've changed their lives. They tell me how by listening to me, they feel inspired and unafraid to pursue their goals. That's much more rewarding than just money. I love that impact. That's legacy, and I care more about that, then the money that comes with this business. The greatest success will be knowing that we've impacted millions, if not billions of lives for the better.

5. How can interested parties support what you’re doing?

If anyone would like to join the Good Vibes Movement, we sell our gear on our website  www.goodvibesenterprises.com. If anyone wants to contact me for anything, my email is mrgoodvibes@goodvibesenterprises.com. I'm sure there will be some students reading this, so if y'all vibe with the Good Vibes message, then let's talk about bringing it to your school. And if there's any adults involved with corporations, or the school board, I'm always open to coming in and inspiring more people through public speaking.

Are you making “An Extraordinary Impact” on your community and want to be featured in a future installment?  Shoot us an email with your answers to the above questions to theextraordinarynegroes@gmail.com.