#30Under30PHL - Syreeta Martin
1. How old are you? I am 26 years-old.
2. What do you do? Quite honestly I do whatever manages to fuel my passion-driven heart and survive the test of my logical and analytical mind. In essence, I create. Whether it’s being a proud mother to my two daughters; using my Bachelor of Arts degree as a freelance journalist to capture the stories of others for publications like EBONY.com; serving as a community and youth leader; helping others to build and live their dreams, strategically, via my consulting business Sincerely Syreeta & Co; inspiring and motivating people as a public speaker; engaging others as a media personality; or sharing my journey via my personal blog, SincerelySyreeta.com…I am always creating.
3. What neighborhood in Philly do you call home? Brewerytown. But if you ask those who really know--it is and will always be, North Philly.
4. What is your favorite thing right now about Philly? I am absolutely LOVING what the millennials and entrepreneurs in our city are doing right now. Even more so, I love how those who have come before our generation are reaching back to help us stand upright in our respective purpose and missions.
5. What do you consider your greatest achievement thus far? My children and what I’ve instilled in them. Period. What I’m teaching and showing them through my own life, coupled with their own God-given greatness, will take them far beyond what I or their family could ever imagine. Those two little girls are the absolute best of me...the two halves of my heart walking around outside my body.
6. If not yourself, who would you like to be? Everyone else is taken. I’d like to be me 50 years from now. I can only imagine what that woman is like…a handful I’m sure. Lol!
7. Your idea of happiness. Exactly what I have in this very moment of my life—a balanced blend of the following: (1) a centered and grounded sense of self and spirituality, (2) a strong, hilarious and loving support system, (3) an ever evolving career that allows me to do all that I love, (4) serving others in ways that empower them to be a better, more evolved version of themselves, (5) and most importantly a life filled with food, fun and adventure.
8. Guiltiest pleasure? Hmmm…food and alcohol. I love good food and great drinks.
9. Favorite inspirational quote? A favorite? I don’t have a favorite. There are far too many that have inspired and shaped my life. There’s been this scripture that has always stuck with me though and kind of been a guide of sorts throughout my life: Jeremiah 29: 11-13. Other than that, the one I’ve most used in my life: "Keep it moving."
10. What do you appreciate the most in your friends? What I appreciate most about my friends is how they’re conscious of their energy and the effect it has on themselves and each other. We are all very good at tapping into one another’s energy and responding as needed. And we never hesitate to check each other on our bullshit. We push each other to be better than we were; I count it a blessing to have witnessed how my closest friends have evolved. I’m proud of them and happy for them.
11. Favorite food in Philly? The food scene is thriving here in Philly and I’m loving it. The “fatkid” in me rejoices daily, lol. This may sound cliché but there’s nothing like a cheesesteak from Philly. Definitely my favorite.
12. Favorite drink in Philly? What? Are you serious? I can’t pick just one! There are so many places—from upscale spots to “hood bars” and “hole in the walls” that all offer great drinks, lol. Thankfully, I’ve gotten to try enough of them—including brands those that support local events like Spodee and Clique Vodka—to know that the Philly beer, wine and spirits culture is well worth the exploration…again and again.
13. Favorite song right now? "Am I Wrong" by Nico & Vinz. I love the song—especially the message. It has substance and it just reflects where I'm at in life.
14. A book you plan on reading? “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't” by Jim Collins.
15. A book that powerfully impacted your life? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. One of my mentors gave it to me while I was still a single mom in college full time, working jobs and trying to push towards my dreams. Changed my life and enhanced my perspective.
16. Name one historical figure you would like to have coffee with. Adolf Hitler. I’m sure people’s eyes are bugging out right now and they’ve cocked their heads sideways waiting for an explanation. Here it is: I’ve always been fascinated with people’s motivations—why they think, feel and act as they do. As human beings, we each have the power and capacity to carry out great good or extreme evil. We have a choice—daily, actually--with both. Not only do we possess that power, we also possess the power to influence others to view the world as we do and to act as such. I believe in this life, you’re either building or destroying. And this man essentially believed that he was destroying in order to build a better way of life. European settlers apparently thought they were doing the same with African slaves and Native Americans especially. How often within our personal lives have we thought we were doing something that would ultimately bring good based on our beliefs, but actually ended up causing some type of harm (no matter how small—I mean it all is in comparison to the atrocity that was the Holocaust)? There were farrrrr too many Historical figures who played an active part in what happened with Africans and Native Americans, so since I can only name one and still make my point clear, I went with him.
I want to know why he did what he did, I want to understand his perspective because he isn’t the first or the last to think, feel and subsequently act as he did. I don’t care to fear the evil that exists in our world—science points to the fact that it’s doomed anyway--I’d much rather try to understand the perspective and strategize for the present and future accordingly.
17. How do you like your coffee? Extra cream, extra sugar. Why? Because otherwise I don’t like coffee. Lol.
18. Your main fault. Being too damn hard on myself.
19. What is your most prized material possession? My home. I wake up every day and it still blows my mind. Thankful to have it because I know the conditions I’ve had to live in before on this journey to fulfilling my dreams.
20. Your biggest failure. I honestly don’t have one. The way I see it: If I learned something I didn’t FAIL. I just FELL forward.
21. What you learned from that failure? What I have learned from falling forward is to be gentle with myself on the way back up to an upright position. If the fall didn’t break me or knock me out—why try to do it by then beating myself up?
22. What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear that I use to have was getting all the opportunities that I prayed for and then not doing the right thing with them due to me just being human and therefore being bound to make an error of some sort.
How did I get over it? By recognizing that I’m human and will certainly make errors but realizing that I’m smart enough to prepare and seek wise counsel, and strong enough to rebound even if an error still occurs.
23. Where will you be in 30 years? In 30 years, I’ll be 56 and traveling the world with loved ones, running my businesses and organizations on the go, and showing the world that just because you’re 56 doesn’t mean you stop dreaming and achieving…and certainly doesn’t mean that you stop living life to the fullest. In fact I think it means you have even more reason to do so because by then you’ve seen so much that you’ve probably seen it all twice. So there’s even more incentive to live life on your watch and exactly how YOU want to because, damn it, you’ve put the time in and deserve it. Shout out to the 50-somethings…you all are some bad mutha-lova’s. I look forward to joining your ranks.
24. Favorite thing to do on a Sunday? Relax, meditate, spend quality time with those I love, eat and watch football.
25. Best date spot? If I tell you it wouldn’t be the best anymore. Something’s that make you really happy you simply have to keep for yourself.
26. What does happiness mean to you? Happiness means being unapologetically and authentically me. What the expression of that looks like may be different day to day, but the smile on my face will be the same because I’m living life from the inside out.
27. Twitter or Instagram? Instagram. I love my IG sugas—I have the best people on this journey with me. During my crowd funding campaign in 2013, I received the greatest amount of support from Instagram. Together we raised $1800 in 24 hours.
28. Describe Philly in a Tweet. Philly is the iron that will sharpen you or injure you. It’s totally up to you, your attitude & your opinion of their sports team. Pick your best 2 out of those 3 & make the best of it.
29. Who should everyone follow on Instagram? I’m going to do a shameless plug here and say me (@sincerelysyreeta). Is that allowed? Will you all forgive me for that? Lol. If not, I still have to say me. I’m a girl building a brand here and you all have an outrageously amazing audience. I want them in my life too. Lol.
30. Pats or Genos? Ishkabbibles, Max’s, Mimmo’s…the list goes on but for me personally, it doesn’t include them. From what I’ve come to learn from living in Philly, those are tourist favorites or recommendations. Every Philadelphian I know will order from a spot near them or “around the way” before they go to or send you to either.
#30Under30PHL is a month-long series highlighting Philadelphia’s most ambitious women. Created in collaboration with Femme & Fortune and Alex Kacala.