March 21, 2018- that is the last time I clocked in to work for someone other than myself. As I sit here and write this blog at 12 am on a Wednesday night, I reflect on the past 2 years and how I was able to go from 0 to hero with what I call the 3 Ps: Patience, Passion, and Perseverance. Back then, if you would’ve told me that I would have 90k followers on Instagram while at the same time signing my name next to a $10,000 government contract doing what I truly love, I would’ve said you were beyond crazy. (But then again, I would have probably denied a lot of things going on in 2020) Nonetheless, I’m here to say that is exactly what happened to me less than two weeks ago and here’s how…
It all started when I got my very first contract as a digital marketing consultant for a seasoned nonprofit in Fall of 2018. Founded in 1979, they focused on the overall prosperity of one of the blackest and underserved communities in Washington, DC- Ward 7. Funny enough, this 40 year old organization just happened to be right across from the apartment I lived in and had walked by so many times not knowing what it was. On top of that, it embodied exactly what my first company, Black Affluence represented- economic empowerment in underserved communities through financial literacy, and black entrepreneurship. Despite those glaring similarities- it literally took me going up to their building, calling back over nine times and demanding a meeting with the President just to even land an opportunity to present what I could do for them.
Thankfully, after weeks of perseverance, I was able to secure that contract, 2 weeks before my unemployment checks were going to stop. (For a while that $700/ month contract to me plus a few other photo gigs throughout the month, were the only bit of income I had) I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t get that contract because there was no way I was going back to work for someone else after 6 months of trying to build myself and my company from my bootstraps.
Over the course of the next year and half I was fortunate enough to get paid while I learned more about what it took to actually do my job the right way. Being a young, ambitious black male worked in my favor and allowed me to help transform this formerly outdated nonprofit into a youthful, exuberant place where young people felt comfortable. It also allowed me to put myself in prime position to form other strategic partnerships around the community with clients of similar values and budgets. It was truly an amazing opportunity that challenged me mentally, while allowing me to grow my network and business acumen.
Fast forward a few months and it’s February 2020 and I start to hit a groove with my business. I’m closing clients back to back, learning how to build systems and manage others all while maintaining my other contracting job as a Community Support Worker
LIfe is good- then COVID strikes. The world is upside down. Economy is in shambles. I decided that since I was no longer in need of money as I was earlier in my career- that it would only make sense to volunteer my time to create a series of projects, pro bono for another nonprofit I had linked up with through my first contract to help them raise money by capturing the work they were doing by hand delivering over 2,000 meals/ day to the elderly over across the community.
During the course of gathering this promotional footage for them, I was not only offered to be paid for the work I had done originally for free, but my first 5 figure government contract as a digital consultant working with youth educating them on the potential misuse of opioids!
I am extremely blessed and grateful to have what I will call the “job of my dreams”. I have access to thousands of dollars of photo/ video equipment, while also being directly positioned to positively impact the youth in my community. I literally could not ask for anything more than what I’ve been blessed with thus far.
I am currently looking for a 1-2 more clients to work with in my agency. If you are looking for some help growing your business with social media marketing and would like to schedule a free consultation with me click the link!
I look forward to keeping you all updated on the progress of this virtual program as well as the impact I hope to continue to make on these wonderful youth of the District!
Peace and Blessings,