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YBE

YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEUR

MAGAZINE

TM

Quarterly

A NobleSol Art Group Publication NobleSol.Net

C.R.E.A.M.

ART INVESTMENT THE FRIEND-VOICE

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MOBILE MOGUL

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Boss KAT BROWN RUSHIA BROWN JORDAN BRUNSON JOHNNY CLARKSON ED GARNES DETHRA U. GILES SEPTEMBER GRAY FRED GREEN ANDRA JOHNSON OKEEBA JUBALO JAMES B. KYNES KEVIN McGEE PAUL RUE HAZEL SIMPSON MISTA TAYLOR SAM WELTON


When: October 18, Where: Por ter Sandford Perfor ming Arts Center 0pm Time: 6:00pm - 9:0

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Young Black Entrepreneur Pg 8

MAGAZINE

$$ Publisher’s Letter

Pg 10 $$ Problem Solved Dethra U. Giles Pg 12 $$ The Friend-Voice Johnny Clarkson

CONTENTS

Pg 13 $ Hazel Simpson Pg 15 $$ The Publisher’s Pick Pg 16 Morehouse Man (MM) Pg 17 $(MM) Kevin McGee Pg 19 $(MM) Paul Rue Pg 21 $(MM) Jordan Albert Brunson Pg 25 $ Fred Green Pg 29 $ Ed Garnes

Pg 33 $ Andra Johnson Pg 36 $$ Mobile Mogul Johnny Clarkson Pg 37 $ Sam Welton Pg 40 $$ Easy Chicken Breast Wrap Kat Brown Pg 41 $$ Artists We Love Pg 46 $ Art Investment: What is Artistic Luxury? September Gray Pg 47 $ Mista Taylor Pg 49 $$ To Thin or Skin James B. Kynes

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$: Interview $$: Article/Contribution

YBE/07.2015

Pg 32 $$ Social Media: Good or Bad Rushia Brown


YBE

YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEUR

MAGAZINE

Quarterly TM

A NobleSol Art Group Publication NobleSol.Net

C.R.E.A.M.

ART INVESTMENT THE FRIEND-VOICE

+

SELF-PAID

SELF-MADE

PROBLEM SOLVED ARTISTS WE LOVE MOREHOUSE MAN

MOBILE MOGUL

EASY CHICKEN BREAST WRAP SOCIAL MEDIA: GOOD OR BAD

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Boss KAT BROWN RUSHIA BROWN JORDAN BRUNSON JOHNNY CLARKSON ED GARNES DETHRA U. GILES SEPTEMBER GRAY FRED GREEN ANDRA JOHNSON OKEEBA JUBALO JAMES B. KYNES KEVIN McGEE PAUL RUE HAZEL SIMPSON MISTA TAYLOR SAM WELTON

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YBE

Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine

Quarterly

A NobleSol Art Group Publication Julyl 2015 ISSUE 4 For advertising rates: Info@NobleSol.Net Publisher & Founder OKEEBA JUBALO Website Developer Johnny Clarkson Director of Public Relations Rushia Brown Marketing Advisor Antonio Owens Creative Direction & Graphic Design NobleSol Art Group (NSAG) Contributing Writers OKEEBA JUBALO Kat Brown Rushia Brown Johnny Clarkson Dethra U. Giles James B. Kynes Copy Editor Kat Brown Marcus Brown Photography Okeeba Jubalo, Rushia Brown, Johnny Clarkson, Dethra U. Giles, Paul Rue II, Jordan Albert Brunson, Fred Green, & James B Kynes Jr by NSAG Hazel Simpson by Spark Plug Mista Taylor by Terrence Tyson Sam Welton by Sheldon Rollins September Gray by Donne Ashlock Ed Garnes by Shannon McCollum Andra Johnson by Marie Rodriguez C o pyright C 2015 by No bleS o l Art G roup. All r i ght s reser v e.


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Publisher’s Letter

C.R.E.A.M. “CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME!” -Wu-Tang Clan

Those five basic words ring true to every YBE in so many different ways. Stopping to think about business in a logical way will show you that business is a matter of exchanging services or products for payment. The amount of money you dream of making directly correlates to the amount of money needed to invest in your process. This concept seems rudimentary, but it is a concept too many aspiring and current YBEs fail to truly understand. Establishing a budget for your business should be the first thing you do as a YBE. I am not just talking about the basic business filings and insurances. I am talking about the costs that come with establishing your brand within the marketplace. Your logo, website, business cards, signage, uniforms, name badges, lawyers, accountants, marketing collateral, and the litany of other incidentals are all a part of establishing your brand.

As the creative director of my marketing and design firm, it amazes me to see how many potential clients do not have a budget for their business. There is a sense of disbelief when I ask a basic question, “What is your marketing and design budget?” I have heard some of everything in response ranging from “I don’t know” to “Man, I am trying to get this work done on the low.” It is that line of thinking that will keep you poor. Your brand is basically a plot of empty land that you are responsible for cultivating. It is your responsibility as the farmer to make sure that you have the correct tools, seeds, fertilizer, staff, work ethic, and education to grow your dream on that land. It does not work any other way. It takes money to make money. Once you fully understand that you can move ahead. If you are dreaming of becoming a self-made millionaire you will need at least a quarter million in liquid cash or credit to reach the goal. There is no negotiating what you will need. That is the minimum, and even with that amount, tremendous skill is needed to make up for what you do not have in cash or credit. Don’t fool yourself. You will need the money to get it done. That is a part of the process so just roll with it. Think about this question, “How much money does Nike put into its brand?” The answer is that they dump millions and millions into making their billions. Investment is part of the process. Do not think that someone will simply roll up with all of the necessary resources and put them in your hand. There is a limit to people’s generosity, and you have to be prepared to support your own dreams. If you are a terrible farmer even those closest to you will be weary of investing in your crop. At the end of the day it is your dream and your plot of land. If you are not willing to invest in it why would anyone else? You will struggle to make money simply because your process does not match your desired outcome.

OKEEBA JUBALO Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine Publisher and Founding Editor OKEEBAJUBALO.com

YBE

NATION

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WE SHALL STAND BEFORE KINGS NOT OF OBSCURE MEN

KINGS OF ATLANTA GROOMING LOUNGE & SPA 3209 Paces Ferry Place Suite 1 Atlanta, GA 30305

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Problem Solved Dethra U. Giles ExecuPrep.Com I was recently watching a movie based on the life of the blues singer Bessie Smith. Bessie Smith was mentored by the famous Ma Rainey. Ma Rainey not only taught Smith how to find her voice, but also the business of the blues. One of the most valuable pieces of advice Ma Rainey gave Smith was that "the blues is not about the people knowing you, it is about you knowing the people." Replace "the blues" with "your business", and replace "the people" with "your client" and Ma Rainey's advice can be passed on to you. Your business is not about your client knowing you. Your business is about you knowing your client. Our parents set us up for success and failure with the same move. As YBEs we must be confident. We must know that we are the best, and we must move with that confidence in mind. Our parents instilled this in us by telling us how smart and great we were. We believed them, and we need this belief to survive. However, belief in our own greatness is a doubleedged sword. Believing in our own greatness can often confuse our understanding of the role we play in our clients' lives. We have convinced ourselves that people want to do business with us because we are so great. I once interviewed a candidate for a position and I asked, "How would you sell our services?" His response was, "I would first sell myself." This was not the answer I was looking for. No client wakes up and says, "I really need an 'insert your name here' today." Clients wake up and say, "I have an itch, a problem, an equation that I cannot solve."

Unless you are in a business that is only legal in parts of Nevada, you should not be in the business of selling yourself. When you sell yourself you wrongly assume that the client needs you. They don't. So now let us talk about what the client does need.

Safety

The client needs to feel that their project is safe in your hands. You must be a person of your word. This means the project will be done on time, within the budget, and adherent to the parameters specified. This sounds like common sense, but we have all been around long enough to have dealt with a business that did not hold to these standards.

Expertise

It is commonly believed that car dealerships charge significantly more for repairs than other, non-dealer repair shops. However, on any given day the dealership is full of people waiting to get their cars repaired at the higher price. Why is this? It is because car dealerships are perceived as the experts; people value, trust, and seek out experts. Furthermore, they willingly pay top dollar for that expert service.

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

A Good Question

A Second Brain

Clients are busy people too! Most clients are also highly intelligent and capable of doing what you do. They could do it themselves, but it may require more time, more research, and more muscle or brain power. In reality the client has two problems in one. They have the problem that requires solving compounded by a time-crunched day and their own business/life to manage. They hire you because they do not want to do or think about what they have paid you to complete. Let's use the fast food industry for example. Most of us could easily go home and prepare a subpar burger, some soggy fries, and a carbonated drink. We are able to perform the job ourselves, but we don't. Fast food restaurants stay in business because they do the thinking and acting for their customers. The menu is the same, the service is quick, and the process is thoughtless from the perspective of the consumer. The fast food establishment serves as a second brain when we lack the time to prepare a meal. Many of your clients are the same way; they hope to tell you what they need, agree to a price, and have you do the thinking required to complete the project. 11

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A Solution

Everything can be traced back to the idea that your clients don't need you, but rather a problem solved. They want that problem to be solved by a nice person who they could have a drink with during happy hour, hang with during non-work time, and trust with their children. However, you have to remember they already have people like that. They are called friends and family. The reason they are talking to you over one of their friends or family members is because they need you to solve a problem. Next time we will talk about the importance of being a “likable" problem solver.

YBE

As a professor, I teach my students that good HR people have all the right answers while great HR people ask all the right questions. This is true for any profession. Your clients will tell you what they think you need to know, but you will need to ask them the rest. I once had a car issue. I called the dealer and I described the problem. While on the phone the person gave me a quick diagnosis, an estimate, and told me to bring my car the next day. When I arrived, the person I spoke with looked at my car and said, "You didn't tell me you had 125,000 miles on your car." I simply replied, "You didn't ask." Asking the right question leads to better solutions, and better solutions lead to satisfied clients. Satisfied clients lead to increased revenues.


Many young entrepreneurs sit around and dream of launching industry-shattering titans like Ben and Jerry’s, Google, and Whole Foods. However, most of these dreams never leave the dream stage. A few of these dreams become plans, but less than 10% manage to materialize. More of these dreams would flourish if the focus was on doing business together as opposed to simply “doing.” By definition business is described as either “the practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce” or “a person's regular occupation, profession, or trade.” So in order to do business there must be some form of transactioneven amongst friends. This is where I have found the most trouble when dealing with young entrepreneurs. Your services are expected to be on time and of the highest quality, but your payment is

expected to be an extension of your friendship. This is what I call a “Friend-Voice.” Please don’t mistake this for a devaluation of the barter system. Bartering implies that both parties receive something of equal value. If I am simply providing a service that you accept and profit from solely, it is not a barter. In all actuality, I am being pimped! That doesn’t sound too friendly does it? This ignorant approach to business is why most family businesses fail. There are two important rules to follow for a successful venture with a friend or loved one.

Rule #1: Never contract services with a friend for the purpose of recieving a discount. This is insulting to their craft and disrespectful to your bond with them. It shows a serious lack of maturity regarding business practices.

Johnny Clarkson www.iamjohnnyclarkson.com

Rule #2: Maintain your standards. Do not inflate the cost of your services, and never decrease the value of your work because there is a personal relationship attached to the project.

YBE

The Friend-Voice

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Hazel Simpson 13

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iamawardsatlanta.com


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Who are you? My name is Hazel Simpson. I am the author of The Black Princess, CEO/founder of Drama and Arts Academy, Sis to Sis Production, The I am Awards, and The Performers Factory. I am also a playwright and movie producer.

How has your revenue/staff grown over time and what systems have you put in place to manage that growth? The revenue has tripled in a short time. Because of the rapid growth, I have been able to take on a few employees.

What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? My industry is arts and entertainment. This industry is very appealing to me because people can connect and learn how to express themselves though the arts. Also being creative is an electrifying feeling.

What excites you about black business? What excites me about black businesses is seeing our own people doing great things. I appreciate the story of “Black Wall Street� in Tulsa Oklahoma during the early 20th century. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in American history, it survived and thrived even after a deadly race riot in 1921. I like seeing our people working together and building a community of resources. What is your biggest disappointment with black business? My biggest disappointment with black businesses is the fact that we are divided and do not support each other like we should.

YBE

How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? After 5 years of preparation, I opened Drama and Arts Academy. I did not access any funding sources. However, during my five years preparing, I saved $25,000.00 for start up expenses.

Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest learning experience? My greatest teacher is being self-motivated. I really stay spiritually in tune with God so I'm very self-motivated. My parents were also my greatest teachers. In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. Expect to never stop evolving.

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THE PUBLISHER’S

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MOR E HOUS E MA N morehouseatl.org


Kevin McGee

Class of 1993

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Who are you, where are you from and what is your profession? My name is Kevin McGee. I am originally from the Midwest, Kansas City specifically, but I have lived in Atlanta for more than 25 years. I am the founder of Avid Entrepreneurship, which is a business coaching and consulting firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build better businesses. I was a serial entrepreneur long before the term became trendy. With a wide range of experience from light manufacturing to multi-unit franchising, I started my first major venture at 23 years old. I have more than 25 years of entrepreneurial and business development experience which gives me unique insight and perspective into this area of entrepreneurship. I believe that entrepreneurship is the only way for a person to truly be in control of their destiny. My passion is to help start-up and early-stage companies become self-sustaining enterprises. I have founded businesses in the hospitality, retail, and non-profit sectors. Over the past 20 years, I have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start, grow, and even exit their businesses when necessary. I am a firm believer in maintaining a life and work balance. I founded the Morehouse Alumni Mentoring Program to mentor young boys and men of color. I am a trustee of both Morehouse College and the Morehouse School of Medicine. I sit on several non-profit boards and volunteer my time with a number of organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Atlanta, The Boys and Girls Club of America, and The Morehouse Alumni Mentoring Program.

M

What led you to Morehouse? Ironically, coming from the Midwest, I had very little knowledge about HBCUs and no knowledge of Morehouse. However, my parents and other family members knew the history well. I applied and was accepted to several leading colleges and universities, but Morehouse gave me a full scholarship so that made the decision pretty easy. Morehouse it was.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In ten years I would like to be semi-retired in the sense that I would be able to spend the majority of my time doing the things that I love like hobbies or other interests. I would hope that my companies will have been successful and positioned my family to be financially free and independent. I would also like to teach or mentor more.

What is your first memory of becoming a student at Morehouse? My first memory was coming to Morehouse early for band camp. I had never been to Atlanta before, so my first visit to Morehouse I was a little surprised by the small size of the campus. After seeing much larger campuses across the country, I was expecting something larger. But what Morehouse lacked in physical size, it made up for in the quality of the education, the positive environment, and the camaraderie.

What does it mean to be a Morehouse Man? For me it means that I have to try and do more to make an impact in the spheres of influence that I am in. I think Morehouse gives you a unique set of skills and insight that needs to be shared with the world. We all know many of the anecdotes about Morehouse Men and their level of confidence. I strive to represent the Morehouse Men who are doing great things not only in business but in communities across the country.

What was your greatest lesson while attending Morehouse? The thing I remember most about my experiences at Morehouse would be to always be yourself and celebrate your uniqueness and distinctiveness. Benjamin Mays has a quote that I repeat to myself often, “Every man or women is born into this world to do something unique and distinctive. If that person doesn’t do it, then that thing will never be done.” These are words I try to live by.

What advice would you give a young man who is considering making a college decision? The advice that I would give would be to attend college where you can afford to attend college. I say that intentionally because the rising cost of education in private and even state schools is troubling. Many students have their hearts set on a particular college or university for whatever reason and wind up making extreme financial sacrifices to attend these institutions. Selecting schools this way results in staggering student debt. Regardless of the job you get or business you start, it’s hard to recover from that level of debt and still live a comfortable life. There are many cost effective options for education, and the knowledge garnered is increasingly becoming just as important as the name of the institution.

M

How did your education and experience prepare you for where you are now? I majored in banking and finance, and as an entrepreneur, obviously I use these skills often. Business acumen is a must for success. Beyond that, I think that the relationships I have developed while at Morehouse have also greatly aided me in my business and personal life.

MOREHOUSE MAN

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Paul Rue II Class of 2003 19

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Who are you, where are you from and what is your profession? My name is Paul Rue II and I am from Steubenville, Ohio. I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia where I work as an exclusive Allstate Agency Owner. What led you to Morehouse? My parents submitted information to the Morehouse booth at the Black Expo in Indianapolis when I was in the 8th grade. I picked up a pamphlet and put it in my binder to start high school. I had no intention of going to an all-male HBCU so far away from home. When it was time to apply for colleges, I received an unsolicited application from Morehouse. I have to say that was a great follow-up on the part of the Black Expo. I applied and came down for the prospective student seminar. I called my dad after the last day and told him to cancel the other scheduled college visits.

What does it mean to be a Morehouse Man? It means that I am standing on the shoulders of giants whose feet are entrenched in tradition! It means that I have a responsibility to represent the legacy that has been built in the best possible light. I also have a responsibility to my community. What advice would you give a young man who is considering making a college decision? I would narrow down college options to a couple of schools in and out of state. Be sure to have at least one HBCU as an option. The HBCU experience cannot be matched. One thing that I would look at is the cost over 4-5 years and the amount of scholarships or loans that you qualify for. I think you have to be mindful of the estimated amount of student loan debt that you will have after graduation. Another important factor is looking at some of the success stories within the department you are considering as your major.

MOREHOUSE MAN

M

M

What is your first memory of becoming a student at Morehouse? The House and Spirit Night is definitely the first thing that comes to mind! What was your greatest lesson while attending Morehouse? Morehouse taught me that building relationships is key.

How did your education and experience prepare you for where you are now? I really think that the education and experience has prepared me well for my current position. Having the opportunity to intern during the summers, travel abroad, and interact with a diverse group of individuals while at Morehouse has really prepared me for life. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I am looking forward to owning multiple agencies or one very large agency. I see myself being influential in my community and family.

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Jordan Albert Brunson Class of 2002

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M M Who are you, where are you from and what is your profession? My name is Jordan Albert Brunson, and I am from Dallas, Texas. I am a general and cosmetic dentist.

What led you to Morehouse? I was led to Morehouse by my desire to go to school in an environment full of scholars. I believed that kind of environment would drive me to be the best person and professional I could be. My parents both went to Howard University, so that was high on my list as was Brown University. However, neither of those schools offered the opportunity that Morehouse did with its unique student body make up. I grew up across the street from a podiatrist, Dr. Dan Jones, and he and his wife were like the Cosbys to me. He was a doctor and she was a lawyer. Dr. Jones went to Morehouse and always spoke highly of it. I think I was projecting my life on to his, and Morehouse just sounded like the place I needed to be. What is your first memory of becoming a student at Morehouse? My first memory of Morehouse is moving into the dorms and more specifically Graves Hall. Even though I knew my roommate from Morehouse’s Summer Science Program, I was excited to meet new friends. Anyone who has lived in Graves Hall could tell you that all the rooms are different sizes, and unfortunately my room was long and narrow. This was a mixed blessing that forced me to leave my room for friends. Meeting people and hearing their accents from the East and West coast as they tried to understand each other is my earliest memory. Our language almost became a gumbo of slang terms.

What was your greatest lesson while attending Morehouse? My greatest lesson from Morehouse was that nothing great was ever given. It must be earned. All of my science courses were grinders, and very few of my classmates survived biology at Morehouse. We had world renowned professors, and they were not afraid to fail you. I viewed some of them with distaste, but I now realize they protect the brand of being a Morehouse biology major. It stands for something because they were the figurative sentries of the brand I value so much. If I meet another man who went through that, our camaraderie is unquestioned. How did your education and experience prepare you for where you are now? Morehouse has put me in position to meet lots of different personalities. I view myself as a people person first. It also gave me the academic backbone to succeed at the University of Michigan, which was just ranked the #4 dental school in world and #3 in the U.S. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years I see myself having another couple of dental practices in addition to the two I already have. I also want to have a day to do more teaching as well. I enjoy teaching students of all ages, and I currently teach dental assistance students.

What does it mean to be a Morehouse Man? To me being a Morehouse Man means honoring our ancestors and elders by striving for a success that can never be attained. I do not care if you have 10 million dollars in the bank. A Morehouse Man will strive for more. We cannot be defined as a static monolith, but I do believe we all strive to achieve. No matter what the endeavor, we give it our all. We will make a way to succeed and look good while doing it. It’s been said, “You can always tell a Morehouse man, but you can’t tell him much.”

What advice would you give a young man who is considering making a college decision? I would tell a young man needing advice on college decisions to stretch his mind. Your brain is a muscle, and just like your arms or legs it runs the risk of atrophy if you do not use it. Go someplace where you can envision a better, stronger version of yourself and are surrounded by people who can help you grow as well. Go to a school where the eagles nest. Eagles do not fly around with pigeons. It is against nature. If you find yourself amongst the pigeons, that’s not a school for you.

MOREHOUSE MAN

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Imagine...

What if Black America’s

BUSINESSES

formed a group to make

American BANKS bid for our collective banking business?

“I imagined that, just like I imagined creating this magazine. As you can see, I have a very strong imagination.”- OKEEBA JUBALO

Coming sooner than you think...


Fred Green gfivefitness.com

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HEALTH & WELLNESS Who are you? My name is Fred Green, and I am a personal trainer certified by the American College of Sports Medicine-ACSM. I am the owner and head fitness coach at G-Five Fitness LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am an alumnus of Morehouse College where I received a BA in Mass Communications. Four years ago I relocated to Atlanta from Seattle, Washington to start my personal training practice. I offer a full-service training experience including exercise, nutrition, and work/life balance coaching alongside personal and group fitness training services. During my time as an owner and fitness coach, I have been blessed to work with a diverse roster of clients who include stay-at-home moms, pre-teens, seniors, athletes, everyday professionals, and executives. I also work with corporations, public government entities, and non-profit organizations leading exercise and nutrition programs as part of corporate wellness programs. I've had the opportunity to help clients improve their health and fitness amid pre-existing health challenges ranging from hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, Graves’ disease, lupus, Parkinson ’s disease, and back/knee ailments. What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? I am a fitness coach in the Health and Wellness Industry. First and foremost this industry appealed to me because it was a natural fit given my interests. I am a passionate, lifelong athlete and sports enthusiast. I am a runner and cyclist/mountain biker who committed to training and fitness at an early age when training for high school football, basketball, and track and field. I have faced two major knee surgeries during my lifetime, and the hard work required to successfully recover from those setbacks further reinforced my desire to dedicate and commit to staying physically fit. Secondly, the health and wellness industry represented the best vehicle for me

to begin my entrepreneurial journey. My journey as an entrepreneur actually began because of two major life-changing experiences. In 2007, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes resulting from not being as physically active in past years due to the day-to-day stress of my career responsibilities. I simply didn't prioritize my health over my career. In less than a year, I was able to reverse the systems of type 2 diabetes by re-dedicating my efforts to living a healthy and fit lifestyle. In 2010, I went through a layoff that left me out of work for over a year. It was at this time that I begin to re-envision what the last 50 years of my life would look like. I was 48 at the time and realized it was finally time to take the steps to change careers and re-invent myself as an entrepreneur. This was a very challenging decision and time for me because I spent over 25 years in corporate America working in education/technology, sales, marketing, and software product management. I had many successful years and appeared wired for that type of life, but my passion for my corporate career was diminishing. It was time for a change! How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? To start my personal training career/business, it took about $1000 to get my textbook, study guide, certification guide, CPR Certification, insurance, equipment, business cards, and promotional items. I paid for all of that through personal funds and contributions from family. Once I had the required items to actively train, I used revenue gained from training my earlier clients to reinvest in the business and to co-op/lease space to train my clients. I would say the most important "start-up cost" was going through the process of re-inventing myself. Taking the steps to change careers without looking back, without regret, accepting the sacrifices that come with this type of change cost me the most.

How has your revenue/staff grown over time and what systems have you put in place to manage that growth? My revenue continues to grow rapidly for a couple of reasons. I am committed and dedicated to the success of my clients. I deliver excellent exercise and nutritional programming that leads to results. I understand the importance of delivering superior customer service which is a skill I learned from my years in corporate America. I have a solid referral business, and I also serve a specific demographic of "Baby Boomers" who need my services more than any other group. Additionally, I have taken steps to establish relationships and opportunities with corporations, non-profit, and public government entities that have established corporate wellness programs. Fulton County Government and The Arthritis Foundation are two of my current clients. I am also in the planning stages of delivering my exercise and nutritional programs via downloadable apps and direct streaming of live workout content. What excites you about black business? The opportunity to provide a much needed service to my community excites me. The black community has been the hardest hit by obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. At the very heart of this issue is a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. As a fitness coach, I have a vested interest in educating my community and providing my expertise and services.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS What is your biggest disappointment with black business? As it relates to my health and wellness profession, I am still disappointed that amid all of the negative health issues affecting our community we are still reluctant to seek the help of a fitness coach. That general apprehension sometimes keeps us from getting the assistance we need until it's too late. We also fail to prioritize our health and fitness. When we know we need to do something to improve our health, many times we will delay action because personal or group fitness training isn’t at the top of our priority list in terms of disposable income.

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Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest experience? I would say the experience I had in corporate America, especially working in sales, marketing, business development and product management, has been invaluable and showed me how to generate revenue. Additionally, the inspiration I gained from my father who was an early pioneer as a business executive with several technology companies and my grandfather have been inspirational. My grandfather established a printing services business in Birmingham, Alabama during the 1930s that was eventually passed down to my uncle and served as a family business for several decades. In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. Constant challenges, great relationships, great rewards. You are going to have big fun!

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I CAN’T BREATHE NOW THAT I STARTED MY OWN BUSINESS.

NobleSol ART GROUP

NobleSol.net


Ed Garnes afrostoshelltoes.com

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ARTS, EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT Who are you? I am an award-winning writer, activist, counselor, and basketball coach. An Atlanta native, I am the founder of From Afros To Shelltoes (www.fromafrostoshelltoes.com). This is a community-based organization uniquely focused on cultural productions that bridge generation gaps between youth, elders, and the hip-hop community. I have received The Atlanta Tribune Man of Distinction Award and hold a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University. I received my M.A. in Counseling at Michigan State University where I studied as a Competitive Doctoral Enrichment Fellow in Counseling. My seminal essay, “Black Boy Blues Suite: A Love Poem To My Father In E -Flat”, appears in the anthology Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community edited by Gil Robertson. As a highly sought after commentator on hip hop, black identity, manhood, and popular culture, I have appeared on CNN’s Headline News, Fox’s MY TV Network, Sirius Radio, CBS Radio, and allhiphop.com. For the past five years, I have served as an Adjunct Professor in Public Speaking at Spelman College. I co-star in the internationally acclaimed documentary film Elementary Genocide: From Primary to Penitentiary directed by Rahiem Shabazz. My national manhood tour, Sweet Tea Ethics, has featured famed brothers Dr. Cornel West & Clifton West. I was recently awarded a Graduate Enhancement Diversity Fellowship from the University of Tennessee to complete my doctoral studies in Psychology.

What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? Arts, entertainment and education have always been in my blood. From reciting Nikki Giovanni verses in elementary school to designing educational programs as a youth, my calling has always been anchored in enlightenment. I enjoy helping others reach their full potential. Many educators and mentors poured their knowledge into me. I am pulled by a deep obligation to pay it forward. As an African centered counselor and educator, I advocate practical strategies for social change, personal development, and emotional healing. How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? I have been a business owner for over 14 years as both the Founder of From Afros To Shelltoes which is a Georgia based non-profit agency and President/CEO of Babuke Brothers, LLC which is a Georgia based arts, entertainment, and educational consulting firm. My initial investment in both endeavors was between $1500 and $2000. I re-invested salaries in the education field and public speaking honorariums to start my companies. No traditional lending sources or banks would loan me any money, so I had to make it happen for myself. 95% of all funding for my businesses has come from investing in myself.

How has your revenue/staff grown over time and what systems have you put in place to manage that growth? Actually, my staff has shrunk over time and my revenues have shifted due to shifts in the market. Another big factor in the fluctuation has been my own realizations about what works for me. Arts, entertainment, and education is a land full of fickleness. I do not share any affiliation with anyone I started with. I learned very early to sever ties with individuals who don’t share your vision, work ethic, or unconditional positive regard for your business. To manage growth, I have found it more cost effective to contract out additional help as needed. I may look like a one-man show, but I hire independent contractors who are smarter than me to execute my dreams. What excites you about black business? I get a charge by supporting my own. It was something instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. I have long believed our destiny as black folks is linked to our ability to generate income for ourselves. We have to be about institution building and black business because those are the foundations for wealth creation. What is your biggest disappointment with black business? I still cannot fathom the lack of support black businesses get in the start-up phase. My late father tried to warn me about this. Don’t expect your family, close friends, or presumed support systems to believe in your business until it gets the right, or should I say white, stamp of approval. All too often, black businesses have to be legitimized by white gate-keepers before we will do business with our own. This continues to be my biggest disappointment.

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YBE

In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. Don’t do it for the money. Nothing will ever be enough Don’t do it for the fluff and circumstance of the scene. Fame is a choosy lover. Do it because your soul will not rest until you put a down payment on your own dreams.

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YBE

YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEUR

MAGAZINE

Quarterly TM

A NobleSol Art Group Publication NobleSol.Net

SELF-MADE

C.R.E.A.M.

ART INVESTMENT THE FRIEND-VOICE

+

SELF-PAID

Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest learning experience? Failure is the gift that relentlessly keeps on giving. I have trusted the wrong people. I have spent money on things that failed to move me forward. I have let fear prevent me from seizing opportunity. I have been loyal to a fault. I have not trusted my own gut at times. I have paid handsomely from my missteps, but I try not to be a repeat offender of the same mistake. I use the knowledge gained from all my failures to make more informed decisions.

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ARTS, EDUCATION & ENTERTAINMENT

PROBLEM SOLVED ARTISTS WE LOVE MOREHOUSE MAN

MOBILE MOGUL

EASY CHICKEN BREAST WRAP SOCIAL MEDIA: GOOD OR BAD

Boss KAT BROWN RUSHIA BROWN JORDAN BRUNSON JOHNNY CLARKSON ED GARNES DETHRA U. GILES SEPTEMBER GRAY FRED GREEN ANDRA JOHNSON OKEEBA JUBALO JAMES B. KYNES KEVIN McGEE PAUL RUE HAZEL SIMPSON MISTA TAYLOR SAM WELTON


YBE

Information has the capacity to travel at a speed never before seen. Social media platforms provide the perfect opportunity for large scale word of mouth interactions. Social media is growing at its fastest rate in developing countries. People are connected on a global scale and casually participate in each other’s lives through online observation. We are literally a part of the long-promised global, virtual, and collaborative work environment. The means by which companies are communicating with customers has changed for the better and worse in this age of social media. Just as companies can see the spread of positive reviews and brand awareness, they can also see the spread of negative reviews about their products or services. A company’s perspective on social media is dependent on whether or not they can use it to their advantage. By utilizing social media effectively, companies can reach out to dissatisfied customers within their own social media environment and find innovative ways of improving the product or service they offer. It is also very important to understand your sphere of influence as a company and your target market. One should think very carefully about who is being targeted when creating a social media marketing strategy. There will be people within your social networks who may not necessarily be customers, but who nevertheless can have a massive impact on your marketing efforts. They can fall into any of three categories: social broadcasters (people who like to post/share information), mass influencers (people with a large following who can essentially make or break you with a post), and Potential Influencer (the majority of the market who ultimately help spread your brand).

SOCIAL MEDIA:

GOOD OR BAD Rushia Brown

Advances in technology have proven beneficial for business owners worldwide. Social media has changed the way that companies can interact with their customers and build their brands. With the proper strategy, your company or brand can become a phenomenon in a country half way around the world with just a few clicks of a button. As an up-and-coming businessperson, you have the ability to access professionals you might not normally have access to. The use of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn give a direct connection to people/professionals you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It’s a great way to cost effectively network and allows for interaction beyond any boundaries that may exist. Social networks expand the scope of traditional networking allowing a means to connect with people both old and new in order to build better relationships.

Social media in the business world has potentially negative attributes as well. This change in medium has brought with it a strategic shift that changes the platform of business. The traditional one-sided advertisement dependent on product descriptions and sales announcements has become a thing of the past. Furthermore, there is reduced control over content. A post, comment, or the like, can easily turn against a marketing campaign if it is too provocative. The spread of bad publicity has become quicker than ever. A video rant can become viral with the click of a button. Once a negative spin has been put on your product or service there is no taking it back. One of the most detrimental attributes of social media in my opinion is that it has actually made us less social. All of the technology at our fingertips has given way to an inability in people, primarily our youth, to communicate effectively. Having become comfortable with communicating and expressing ourselves via these various social media tools, we have lost the art of communication. Why is it that you can be at a networking function with people posting to social media instead of actually speaking? Eye contact and personal engagement are becoming a lost art. While embracing the benefits of technology is important, we must also make sure to engage in human interaction. At the end of the day, people do business with those they know, like, and trust - not screens. RushiaBrown.Com

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Andra Johnson lamservicesllc.com

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CONSTRUCTION Who are you? My name is Andra Johnson, and I am the President/CEO of Lam Services LLC. I began to understand over the years that you have to be diversified and have a multitude of different avenues to stay successful in business. I worked for FedEx, but that was not good fit for me. I worked for Bell South, but that wasn’t quite right either. Ultimately, all of the different jobs I worked made me understand that working for somebody else is not the way to go. I learned that the best approach to business is to find something you love doing and become good at it. You should take the challenge of doing it yourself, and start your own company. Success really comes from what you can create and what you can do. Working for someone is just a way to make a living, but not a way to be truly successful. What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? We primarily deal in construction/IT/logistics. I am attracted to the idea of being independent. I learned working for other people that many people will not meet your expectations. You can end up working for people who are not qualified for their current position. Some managers don't even know how to manage people. People can acquire a position of leadership without the necessary ability to lead. Companies insist on making them managers and overlook people who would be better suited to the task because they don’t understand what traits they should be looking for. I decided it would be in my best interest not to work within those kinds of institutions. I had to start out on my own and struggled to solidify a position for myself. I knew I understood how to manage and get the best out of people.

How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? I created my business without any money because I was alone during that process. I was working for companies, and they would contract me. As a contractor I didn't have to put up any of my own money up front. I would go on to use my own money and a few friends to help get things off the ground. I borrowed money and leveraged friendships in order to help me become a stronger business and grow my staff. How has your revenue/staff grown over time and what systems have you put in place to manage that growth? My company went from a one-man operation to a staff of nine. Counting myself would make ten employees, and we are constantly growing. We expect to double again this year. We are guided by a work-based system. If the work is there, then we hire people. In the future, I want to hire contractors as we get stronger and get to a point of stabilization. You don't want to have more employees than you need. Employees are great, but at the same time they can become a heavy burden. You have to worry about the constant payroll. Payroll is what burdens the company. At a certain point you understand growth is great. You want to always keep growing, but you may not always want to add employees. You want to do 1099s or independent contractors because they can be let go and brought back when necessary. That is just a part of business you have to get an understanding for. It's a little tricky and there are a lot of ups and downs. However, you'll figure out how to do it in time.

What excites you about black business? I enjoy seeing the look on people’s faces when they see that you are in a position that allows you to own a company, make substantial moves, or make donations. Things of that nature are pretty exciting. I like being able to show up and say, "I'm the owner or CEO of this company." You can see the look on their face as if to say, "Whoa, this guy." You know they're looking at you that way because you're a black man. They are thinking to themselves, "How is he doing that?" It makes me wonder why they are so shocked, but it gives me a good feeling inside as well. What is your biggest disappointment with black business? My biggest disappointment is that you are first looked at for being black and not your business. You could be the only black person sitting at the table and realize that is the only thing on everyone else’s mind. Sometimes you will be insulted in a condescending way, and the issuer will think you didn’t pick up on the insult. You have to grin and bear it, because it's about being successful not petty emotion. It's not about calling somebody out because they insulted you. You have to take the higher road. That's the biggest part about being a minority in business. It gets worse because when you go into banks for lending and things of that nature the disparity of service because of race becomes even clearer. Your white counterpart can get a better interest rate and borrow larger amounts. They get that same kind of favoritism in the workplace as well. They receive back door deals. You could think you had a strong proposal when all of a sudden your white counterpart is picked over you. You know you had a better price, and you could do a better job.

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CONSTRUCTION Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest learning experience? Life itself has been my greatest teacher. I tried several different ventures over the course of my life, and pretty much failed at all of them. However, I eventually became successful. You have to understand how to look in a mirror. You must be truthful to yourself and ask yourself, "Did the company fail? Did your employees fail? Did you fail?" The answer always has to be you. If you didn't learn from all your past mistakes and dealings, you are always going to fail. Success and learning come from living life. There is no better teacher than living and understanding to show you how to keep fighting. Keep pushing for what you dream. You will get through it, but you will have to learn. Being dishonest with yourself will only deprive you of future success. You are robbing yourself of success when you live in denial. You have got to understand that becoming bigger requires growth every day. You have to understand that you have to take certain steps in the right direction every day. The day you're not growing is the day your company begins dying. It can be either a slow death or a quick death, but it will be a death either way. You have to understand how to keep pushing and be honest with yourself. In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. A lot of disappointment and challenges that you will have to push through.

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YBE

MO B I L E M O GU L St yled b y Johnny Clarkson

2.

1.

3.

1. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge , $299; www.samsung.com 2. Google Keep , FREE; www.google.com/keep 3. Blue Smart Luggage, $399; www.bluesmart.com/carry-on

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Sam Welton iamawardsatlanta.com

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WOMEN EMPOWERMENT Who are you? I am SAM “The Transformational Soul Stylist” Welton. From England to America, my goal is to guide people from shy and awkward to bold and fierce. I am on a mission to share my audacious message to be bold, brave, and freaking fearless and to being authentically you with no apologies and no excuses. I am a mother of seven, military wife, author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, transformational “Soul” stylist, and a "Goal’den Dreams Coach.” I am the co- owner of SweetSpot Vtox Boutique, which is a wellness studio for women, and a creative events facility called HeelSpace Atlanta. I am the owner of The Performer’s Factory. I have also founded HerStory Heels Inc., which is a motivational events company that hosts different events, healing workshops, and classes that provide women with a platform to live my motto: “Heal in your heals. Put your crown on your head. Strut into your purpose with a kick ass attitude. No apologies. No excuses while being bold, brave and freaking fearless!” What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? I am excited about empowering women and seeing them own their greatness and strut into their God given purpose. All my business ventures are focused on women advancing mind, body, and soul. This path appealed to me based on my own personal story and experience. How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? I initially started my first business without a plan and relying solely on personal money and faith. That was a very scary yet exciting place. At the time, I felt the urge to just jump. As I grew wiser over the years, and stepped out into different ventures, I was able to obtain personal loans of about $15,000 from family members who believed in my vision.

What excites you about black business? I am excited about the increase in black business ownership. It excites me just to see us as a people stepping out and being bold, brave, and ambitious. What is your biggest disappointment with black business? The biggest disappointment in black business for me is seeing the lack of support from the community as a whole. I feel as though we have to work much harder than our counterparts to establish community credibility. Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest learning experience? My greatest learning experiences have been my failures and unsuccessful business ventures in the past. I learned many lessons through those growing pains, but I am able to apply the lessons and experiences as I continually push through to my other ventures. In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. Sacrifice and growing pains are part of any amazing success story.

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YBE

Pioneer

Herman J. Russell

(1930-2014) HJRussell.Com

H.J. Russell & Company, founded in 1952 by Herman J. Russell, is one of the largest minority owned real estate firms in the United States. As a multi-faceted organization focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience, they develop, design/build, renovate and manage projects in a wide variety of markets.

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hnhcater.com

Easy Chicken Breast Wrap for the YBE on the Go! Ingredients

Every YBE plans their next business move, so consider planning your next lunch on the go before embarking on a busy day to avoid the pitfalls and the expense of fast food or no food at all. My YBE likes this easy Chicken Breast Wrap for those days when time is of the essence and a good lunch is still a priority.

Preparation

• 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total), trimmed • Your favorite chicken rub or blackened seasoning • 1 romaine heart, rinsed and torn into pieces • Lite or low-fat honey mustard dressing • 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese or your favorite crumbled cheese (blue, goat or feta) • 1/3 cup shredded carrots • 4 8- to 9-inch spinach or whole wheat wraps, warmed or room temperature •Tin Foil

1. Season both sides of the chicken breast. 2. Grill, bake, or pan sauté the chicken until thoroughly cooked. Allow 15 minutes to cool. 3. Cut the chicken into strips. 4. Onto to the center of each wrap, place lettuce, cheese, carrots, chicken and a drizzle of honey mustard dressing.

5. Fold the wrap by folding the sides toward the center and then rolling the wrap up from the bottom tucking the contents inside as you roll. 6. For easy transport, roll the wrap in tin foil.

YBE

My YBE does not keep Banker’s hours. The days are often long and fast-paced. A busy schedule can make it easy to relegate eating well and regularly to the bottom of your priority list. Remember the first rule of entrepreneurship- you are your business. Your health and well-being are valuable assets, so protect your assets every day by making your meals a priority. It may seem like a time saver to hit the drive-thru window or to skip lunch all together, but the price may be higher than you think if your energy level is low when you meet that important client or your immune system fails you during flu season.

Kat Brown

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ARTISTS WE LOVE

YBE

CULTURE

We all have a favorite art form-whether it be poems, paintings, photos, or another form. Art comes in many uniquely distinguishable mediums, yet the artist is rarely recognized for who he or she truly is. Artists are entrepreneurs, and God forbid the artist be a black entrepreneur.

So much beauty created by our black artists surrounds our lives, but the jaded values placed on art creates a terrible existence marred by poverty for many artistic geniuses. Have you ever stopped to think that in reality these artists are business owners who are selling their souls to the public? Imagine waking up in a world where rent money, prescriptions, haircuts, and your child’s expenses are dependent on monetizing the expression of your most intimate thoughts and feelings.

Black artists may be the most underrated, underappreciated, and underexposed group of entrepreneurs on the planet. We do not accept a black artist as a professional artist until he or she is rich and famous. How does an artist become rich without your support? Does anything short of gracing the covers of a highly regarded magazine or a billboard mean they are not true artists? If that is truly the case, then let’s start there. The artists displayed in each issue of YBE are true entrepreneurs and artistically gifted beyond belief. We ask you to do more than just support by looking or listening to their art. True support for an artist means to purchase their work at the full price. Anything short of that is not support. That said, how much do you really love the arts?

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YBE TAMIKA “GEORGIA ME” HARPER POET

GeorgiaMeThePoet.com


POET/PERFORMER

YBE

SaulWilliams.Com

SAUL WILLIAMS


YBE RADCLIFFE BAILEY FINE ARTIST JackShainman.com


YBE

DESMOND RICHARDSON

THEATER ACTOR ComplexionsDance.org


Art Investment: What is Artistic Luxury?

September Gray

SeptemberGrayArt.Com

I am an art collector and enthusiast. As a result, I believe it is important to share and appreciate art of enduring significance and value. However, this concept is dependent on what one values in life. I always felt art could be emotional, personal, and culturally significant while still serving as an extension of the owner. Art can also provide enjoyment when one lives with the work they love. I truly believe art should be a part of the life well lived and serve as a reflection of how one experiences life. Often we hear that it is a luxury to collect art because it is not a necessity. It doesn’t fall into the category of food, water, or shelter. I have discovered that there is a new definition of luxury. This definition is based on collecting experiences and a quality of life. We are deciding as a society to make investments in our global experience as opposed to the superficial. This new definition is based on a renewed understanding of our fellow man and by extension our society. We're starting to ask ourselves whether we are living a life of consumption or contemplation.

The acquisition of work that possesses enduring value creates a mechanism for the art to appreciate in the economic sense. We put on it our own stamp of approval that says this work is important. The luxury of purchasing art is also the opportunity to own work that will always have a value. Whether it be 10 years, 20 years or 50 years from now it makes no difference. The work and the story lives on. This near immortality provides the opportunity for many generations to appreciate and learn from the experiences created in a time and place different from their own. The work can be copied, but it can never be created by the original artist again. The beauty of artistic luxury is that it is open to anyone who has the desire, time, and appreciation to start the journey. So let us re-define luxury as it relates to art. Artistic luxury is an investment in the intangible. Artistic luxury is a demonstration of how we can live our lives with less consumption and more contemplation.

Artists are revealing what is currently relevant and representing society without pretension in all of its splendor and vulgarity. Through art we are able to engage and discuss life in all forms and experiences. I want the luxury of always being able to afford this type of experience. By collecting art, I open that door to expand and learn while making a great investment at the same time. 46

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Mista Taylor

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mistataylor.com


ENTERTAINMENT Who are you? My name is Emerson Taylor Sr. I am from Charleston, South Carolina. I'm a hip-hop entertainer (rapper), promotional and music marketing consultant, actor and novelist. My stage name is Mista Taylor. I'm the CEO of Millie Boy Entertainment LLC. What is your industry and why did this industry appeal to you? My industry is entertainment, music marketing, and promotions. I also have a collection of urban crime novels that are going to be released soon. The music industry appeals to me because music is my life. I've had music in my heart since I was a child. It was only right that I pursued a career in something that I've always been passionate about. I grew up looking at Michael Jackson, and I was blown away by his talents. I've always said that I wanted to captivate people the same way he did, and that is why I made music my life. How much money did it take to start your business and what funding sources did you access? I started my business with $15,000 of my own capital. I've never had to look for funding from outside sources. I never wanted to owe anyone or pay anyone back for anything pertaining to my music. I've had offers, and it has been a struggle. However, I am content with making it on my own. I think when you allow outside influences to merge with your dream it makes the dream change. It may flourish, or it can turn into a nightmare.

YBE

How has your revenue/staff grown over time and what systems have you put in place to manage that growth? My company's revenue has been fluctuating due to market changes. The music industry is a risky and aggressive game. South Carolina does not have a solid market foundation in terms of music due to a lack of physical infrastructure. For example there aren’t many store fronts to access the physical products. When I first started selling the physical copies it was a cash cow. Pirating changed the market drastically. Now we have to rely on the Internet and consistent online marketing to stay relevant. I've kept my staff small because they are the best at what they do, and it allows me to keep costs down. I've put a partnership system in place to keep my team hungry. When your employees see the potential of earning due to their drive and effort individually it keeps them hungry and competitive. Your employees learn they will reap the benefits from both their hard work and dedication to the team. What excites you about black business? Black business by definition is an example of conscience, growth, and guts. I get excited seeing my people step out on their own and taking risks to obtain financial freedom. Black enterprise is what is needed in America. For centuries we have been discredited in every forum of life whether it be science, fashion, sports, agriculture, or music. I'm happy to see my people stand up and take back what is owed. It is good to see us finally staking a claim in what we've made popular and influenced in culture around the world.

What is your biggest disappointment with black business? My biggest disappointment with black business is the lack of support and unity amongst us. You can look at any other ethnic group here in America or around the world for that matter and see how they support their own. For example, in the Asian community consciously deciding to only purchase vehicles made by their own community is a common practice. If we did the same we would be further up on the economic chain. We are the biggest race of consumers in the world, but we don't spend within our own community like others do. If we took 5- 10 years to recycle our money within the community we would be a force unmeasured. Who was your greatest teacher or what has been your greatest learning experience? My greatest teacher has been every business owner that I've seen struggle. I learn through observing trial and error. Every major mogul in any industry has taken losses and experienced turbulence during their rise to prominence. I've taken time to study those moments and devised foolproof plans to excel if I were in the same position. I've failed at many things in this business. I've also questioned those who are from my home town about business growth and development. At the same time I have learned that if you ask for help from most people they will expect something in return. Overall, I would say observation has become my pen and pad. In one word or brief phrase, tell a new YBE what to expect. “Who so ever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.”- Niccolo Machiavelli

“To understand the opposition you have to read his thoughts. Study your enemy and you can anticipate his movement.”- Emerson Taylor

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YBE

tips

To Thin or Skin…

As some of us age and mature we look in the mirror and begin to ask ourselves a question to which we unfortunately already know the answer. We see one spot, and it begins to look thinner than other areas on our heads. We ask our groomers and barbers, “Do you see something strange in this area, or did you cut my hair shorter here for some reason?” Eventually we begin to lie to ourselves and start the ultimate denial. We begin to think that this can’t be true, and it definitely can’t happen to me. We begin seeking our groomers for advice, but most don’t know what to tell us. The hard truth is that you are in fact starting to thin. Thinning is the beginning stages of male pattern baldness of areas on the scalp where the hair follicles are either dead or closed. Many men are faced with the dilemma of thinning. Due to the perceptions that come along with thinning, many begin to lose confidence and feel that it makes them appear older or less attractive. This leads to the question, “What are my options to remedy this situation; how can I just hold on to what I have?” Modern advances in microbiology among other options have created ways to hold on to your hair or at least appear that you are holding on. 1.) Temporary Color: If you are thinning, there are temporary color solutions that you can use to color your hair and scalp to provide the appearance of a more full and complete area where the thinning is happening. There are over-the-counter color solutions for purchase such as Beigen or Just for Men. Salon stylists usually have an even better quality of color. It is very important to know the ingredients in the color products because some may not be good for all. Some are oil based and some are alcohol based. Consult with your personal groomer for this service, and they can recommend the right color and product for your needs. 2.) Permanent Solutions: Hair Simulation is a more permanent solution for men who are thinning or balding and want to hold on to their hair. Hair simulation is the process of microfiber tattooing that simulates hair follicles and gives the client a more permanent solution. This process only requires occasional touch-ups so that the color is the desired depth one would like to see. This application is done by professionals who specialize in these services. In Atlanta, the leader of this service is Cheryl Rosenblum of the Hair Simulation Company. However, you can look for your local market specialist who may do hair simulation.

James B Kynes Jr. @KingsofATL

3.) Hair Pieces: I know we all remember the Steve Harvey hair line. What many don’t know is that it was a hair piece or toupee as they are called. The benefit is you can take these pieces off and on, but they can be irritable to the scalp. Sources of possible irritation include, but are not limited to, improperly lining it up or a strong wind. 4.) Shaving: When all else fails, nothing is more appealing than the lure of a cleanly shaven head. A lot of men do all of the aforementioned steps to avoid this tip. They feel it’s not for them, their head isn’t shaped right, or fear razor bumps and breakouts. In order to take this route one must understand that the level of commitment to upkeep and maintenance is just the same as any other haircut. Keep your head shaved regularly to avoid irritations and breakouts. 5.) Scalp Treatments: A trichology exam can be done on the scalp that will reveal whether the follicles are dead or alive and what topical solution can work for your scalp to assist the regrowth of hair in those follicles. A consultation by a certified specialist is needed for this process. In the Atlanta market, the service is offered at the Image Studio of Buckhead which houses Kings of Atlanta and the Hair Simulation Company.

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Remember Kings… regardless of how you choose to deal with your thinning, the ultimate is that you feel good about who you are and what you offer and bring to the table. Fighting nature is an uphill battle, and she will always win. Be true to who you are as a person, and you will find the confidence to be who you are as King.


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