Today we are excited to share a new story in our Beards Behind the Brand series!
Our goal with this new series is to feature empowering stories from our community to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be.
This week we’re featuring a man who is all about Faith, Fitness, Finance, Fashion and Family.
We had the pleasure of getting a workout and some hiking in with the bearded beast from the east when he made his way out to AZ a few months ago. Say hello to LB ambassador, Odell Dickerson Jr.
Odell grew up on the east side of Baltimore and in his early years the neighborhood was interestingly loving, kind, and nurturing.
There was love and a level of respect for everyone. But in the early 80’s when he was entering his teens he became exposed to the impacts of the disparities faced by African Americans in the inner city with less access to opportunities.
People had turned to alcohol and drugs and in about 1982 crack entered the scene and it ravaged the neighborhood, the people, families and the larger community.
As a child I was faced with choices no child should have to make. These choices had consequences that none of us were ready for. Consequences that led to chaos, jail, and death.
In “the hood” Odell had to earn a level of respect and credibility. You could be a drug dealer, an athlete, and or a tough guy. So Odell chose athletics and took to sports with a natural passion. It was a necessity growing up in East Baltimore.
I was an introvert and although never diagnosed, I had social anxiety. I was shy. That did not always go over well in the hood so playing sports put me in a good position.
Odell’s first love was basketball and his favorite player was Julius “Dr. J” Erving. He played every day, his dad built him a hoop on the garage in the back of their home where his dad worked on cars.
My second love of sports was football. I got to be an athlete AND a tough guy. I am super competitive and very physical so naturally my style of play came across as a really tough guy. This raised my respect and credibility through the roof. I mimicked my style of play after my favorite two football players, Lawrence Taylor and Walter Payton.
Odell played varsity basketball and football in H.S., but tore his ACL right after H.S. & that ended any chances of playing on the next level or pursuing a professional career.
As an adult, Odell wanted to be a more functional athlete in the real world. He always loved Bruce Lee and grew very fond of MMA long before it became popular. Eventually, he landed in Krav Maga and Israeli Combat System used by the Israeli special forces.
It changed my perspective on life, fighting and the overall sense of feeling confident and safe.
Odell also took to the weights and is a self proclaimed gym rat. His motto is consistency.
First, you will never always be motivated. You must learn to be disciplined.
Second, take a holistic approach to your fitness, mind, body, and spirit. You do not want your mind to outlast your body and you don't want your body to outlast your mind. You have to have a vision for your fitness and all of the positive outcomes and impacts you want it to have on your life.
Odell believes you have to be intentional about all of your mental, nutritional, and spiritual inputs, for they will impact all of those outputs.
In addition to his love for faith, fitness, family and finance, Odell takes fashion to a whole ‘nother level. “I have always been into fashion for as long as I can remember,” says Odell.
I started out as a sneaker head and really embraced urban wear that was largely influenced by Hip Hop. I am a huge fan of Hip Hop and our culture that has had the most impact on every culture in the world today. We gave the world "Swag".
Men in suits and ties, carrying briefcases caught my attention early. I could see myself outfitted in that attire. However, I did not know what they represented or what they did. I later found out that they were called “businessmen,” so I guess I always wanted to be a businessman.
Odell also loves to take to the sky to travel the Globe.
Traveling the world is one of my most treasured passions. The world is filled with wonders. Of all the places I have traveled, Africa is the coolest. I have been to Kenya several times, but I am yearning to visit Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and other countries. I feel a special bond with the land, the people and the culture. I know that my life’s purpose is connected with Africa.
Odell serves as an ambassador to World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization that partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
I want to have an impact in changing the world! I am called to change the world!
In his professional career Odell Dickerson Jr. is the Chief Operating Officer for the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. Along the way, Dickerson earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. His exponential work experience led to the formation of OdellExec Enterprises, which specializes in faith-based financial management, fundraising and debt elimination initiatives where Dickerson has evolved as one of the nation’s most sought-after faith-based management, corporate and motivational keynote speakers.
Odell believes building wealth is not the same thing as being rich. He believes we all need more education on financial literacy.
Big houses, expensive, cars, designers, and a fancy lifestyle is not wealth. It’s actually debt. We all like nice “things,” but they should not define us and they surely do not determine our value.
He also is a believer wealth is time, freedom, and health.
Time is more valuable than money. You can waste money and earn it back. Time gone forever. Freedom is having options and not just ultimatums for your financial choices and lifestyle. Health is the new wealth.
Be more intentional on building wealth and “freeing” yourself.
The Baltimore native is also a devoted husband and loving father. He and his wife Sherri have celebrated 20 joyful years of marriage and are the proud parents of three amazing teenagers, Odell III, Jalen DeAnn, and Caleb James. Dickerson Jr. is a down-to-earth, Super-God-fearing man with many passions and a profound desire to make a difference in the world.
"Do Better. It’s as simple as that”, concludes Odell.
At Live Bearded we believe Brotherhood goes beyond the beard. We believe it is our responsibility, as men, to do better every day, to learn from our mistakes, grow through our failures, and strive to be the best we can be.