My Story

Hi, I'm Dr. Pelè

Once upon a time, long before I wrote and produced for a major label artist; before I saw my songs climb the Billboard and UK top music charts; before the PHD, and before running my own online business, my story began as a kid with a music dream in a far-away, war-torn African refugee camp.

I remember bombs falling all around us, screams everywhere, people running for shelter. I remember my mother holding me tight while she sang songs and told stories about African soup. Even though we were starving, at least we could dream and sing about soup.

I remember that those songs and stories were the healing and antidote to our fear and hunger. They made me HAPPY. Many years later, I moved to America, and found myself still turning to music and storytelling for healing, happiness, and my antidote for fear. You see, it was from those early days, and from my mother, that I learned my life’s first lesson: a happy mindset can overcome any obstacle.

Lesson One:

Find Your Happy, and Success Will Follow! 

Fast-forward many years later, I wrote “I GOT HAPPY” because I had learned without a doubt that happy creates success, not the other way around.

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The first few years after I arrived in the USA, I lived in Minneapolis, and they were some of the most exciting years of my life. I had traveled from Africa with only $100 to my name. And like any true musician, I couldn’t help but spend it all on my first guitar. Who cared if I was broke? I now lived in Minneapolis, the land of Prince’s Purple Rain and Steven Greenberg’s Funkytown! I was determined to become Pelè Kazir, a contributing member of that history-making music scene.

But it was never easy.

I worked hard, sold studio time, wrote and produced for anyone I could find, until I had my first really big break. It was a chance to work as a songwriter and producer with Steven Greenberg’s Funkytown studio. (Remember that song, “Won’t you take me to … Funkytown?“)

While I worked at Funkytown, I got a chance to produce Doc Severinson of NBC’s TONIGHT SHOW and Dennis Green, the Late head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

My next big opportunity was writing and producing on a major label (EMI Records) for the legendary Alexander O’Neal, one of the pioneers of the ‘Minneapolis Sound’. My songs and production work on his album 'Lovers Again' landed on the UK Top 40 and #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. I had finally achieved my biggest possible music industry dream…or so I thought!

But I was STILL broke!


After all the hard work over the years in the music industry, and after writing and producing for a major label and landing on the charts, I had no financial success from music whatsoever. I quickly realized that the music industry was stacked negatively against artists, songwriters and producers. We were just glorified ’employees’ to the big record-labels in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York, and we never saw much of the money we thought we deserved.

Something was wrong with that picture, so I quit.


I walked away from my music dream and went back to school to follow in the educational footsteps of my late father—Dr. Frank—to earn an MBA and a Ph.D. in Organization and Management. Based on my graduate research, I wrote several books, all related to my Ph.D. Thesis topic of ‘NARRATIVE AS INFLUENCE’, otherwise known today as 'content marketing'.

What I didn’t realize back then was that I had been learning and uncovering the SECRETS that today’s most successful online entrepreneurs were using to make MILLIONS of dollars each year!

At the time, I didn’t fully understand how to leverage my research, so I went off and got several jobs in the corporate world as a software developer, VP of HR, and later as a Vice President of Product Marketing. Now I was finally making the six figures I’d dreamed of, but something else was wrong with that picture…I was terribly unhappy. The musician and storyteller in my life had died. I had nothing, because I didn’t have the things that made me whole.  I lost my HAPPY. I learned that trying to find success without the things that make you happy was like trying to catch a whale with a worm. 

Lesson Two:

You Can't Catch A Whale With A Worm!

I left the corporate world and joined Toastmasters, where I soon became the District 6 Champion of Public Speaking. Storytelling was finally back in my life! Shortly after that, I went to work for Les Brown, one of the world’s greatest motivational speakers, and it was while working for him that I got the third lesson and defining moment of my life. One day he was watching me struggling and said to me: “Stop copying others. Find your unique purpose, and use it to create your prosperity!”

His words hit me like a brick wall! After almost 25 years in Minneapolis, I realized it was time for a change. I finally found the courage to STOP trying to live up to other people’s expectations of me. It was finally time to SURRENDER to my own purpose.

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So, I moved to Austin, Texas, another music town, known as ‘The Live Music Capital Of The World’. (Wow … another Funky Town?) Anyway, this time, I had more than just one guitar. This time, I had a world class, state-of-the-art recording studio, a Ph.D., and years of business experience and lessons learned.  And once I arrived in Austin, the strangest thing happened …

I discovered Podcasting!

This communication platform gave me the opportunity to bring all of my talents under one umbrella in the service of OTHERS! I was able to use my music and storytelling skills to give others a chance to share their stories with the world.

I quickly renamed my research and methodologies into something easier for people to digest. Instead of ‘Narrative As Influence’, I created something that's been close to my heart all my life: The PROFITABLE HAPPINESS™ Podcast. My central concept for this podcast was that you have to first go back and embrace your uniqueness—that which truly makes you happy—and bring it along with you  as you work to achieve the authentic success you seek in a noisy world.

Armed with this new focus and strategy, I began helping friends, colleagues, and companies discover their path to ‘H.A.P.P.Y.’. I began to focus once again on the world of business and wrote a few new books that fully summarized my offer to this world:

I discovered that I could build my own business while simultaneously helping others build theirs. The two efforts were merely two sides of the same coin. So I doubled down, and over time, I began helping companies and entrepreneurs all over the world based on the following ideas:

  • The #1 business development strategy is building relationships.
  • Employee and Team 'Happiness' is a genuine profit center.
  • Social Velocity is the key to online business development success. 

These core beliefs have helped me bring continuing value to my organizational and entrepreneurial clients. I had finally arrived. I was grateful for a chance to earn a living doing the things I loved. It was time to celebrate, so naturally, I launched a song that said it all … 'THANK YOU' … "you’ve got to be grateful if you wanna be free!" I had finally brought my music, teaching, and storytelling into the forefront of my business life, and it led to my third and most important lesson … you will finally find peace when you put your life’s passion in the service of your soul’s purpose,

Lesson Three:

Life Begins When Your Passion Meets Your Purpose!

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