Maveriqs Profile - Roosevelt Williams III - Young Black and 'N Business
By Lamin Turay
Attending networking events is a fantastic way to meet potential clients and business contacts. They help you to learn more about the entrepreneurs, businesses, and services that are offered in your area. They're also a great way to maintain your in-person business development skills. Last month I attended my first Young Black and 'N Business networking event. It was great! They had close to a dozen business exhibitor booths, showing off their goods and services. They were providing free haircuts and shoe shines. They even had guest speakers educating attendees about useful business techniques. The event was hosted by the founder of Young Black and 'N Business, Roosevelt Williams III. He's created a powerful platform for generating positive group economics in the community. After meeting him in person we decided it would be a good idea to schedule a discussion so I could bring his story, and the story of his company to a wider audience. Here's how the discussion went...
What is it that your company does, and what problem do you solve?
Young Black and ‘N Business is a platform for entrepreneurs to work together cohesively in order to ascertain financial freedom by sharing and expanding their network. We solve some of the issues that I have witnessed in the San Diego community. Issues related to the disconnect with entrepreneurs in the area. There has not yet been a working unit that practices group economics. Everyone is pretty much fragmented. They don’t know who each other are, or what each other does. There’s a lack of coming together to work together. We’re bringing entrepreneurial understanding to the community.
What is unique about the way you approach the industry that sets your company apart?
What’s unique about the company is the pathos, ethos, and logos that we use. We leverage direct and in-person marketing. It’s about shaking hands and making a friend. We’re building a network one person at a time by highlighting unsung heroes. We’re giving these individuals a space to market themselves and their brand, and we’re doing it for free. We create the platform by paying for the venue, providing food, booking entertainment, and maintaining an environment where they can thrive.
So it’s almost like a turn-key platform to showcase your brand?
Absolutely! Also, the fact that it’s free of charge sets us apart from other companies. We don’t have an entry fee. If you’re young, black, and in business we understand that your business may be brand new, or that you may still be learning certain aspects of business. You can come to Young Black and ‘N Business and develop those skills.
Given your own experience, how did you arrive at creating a platform like Young Black and ‘N Business?
In the past I’ve worked for a number of elected officials, and I was able to see a lot of things from a 5,000 ft. (high-level) perspective. From that high of an elevation I began to notice that there were disconnects within the community. So I decided to use the political skills that I had gained and apply them to the business arena. Politics is business, and business is politics. There are certain individuals who don’t know how to speak to an audience or how to gain access to certain places because they don’t have the background or the knowledge. So I’m using my skills to bridge that gap and bring everyone together. We all have a common goal, which is to be successful, healthy, and happy.
What was the moment that you decided to make a business out of the idea of bringing people together to achieve that common goal?
So I’m a cobbler as well. I repair men’s and women’s shoes, handbags, and luggage. One day I was working on a pair of shoes, and as I was putting them together I thought, “If I can put together a pair of shoes, I can put together the community!” I began to think with the end in mind. By thinking with the end in mind I started to see us all (the community) in a healthy and successful environment. I saw a whole sector of people practicing group economics. I decided that if I could be a cobbler and put together shoes from the sole up, then I could also be a cobbler for the community. Given my experience with both business and politics I felt comfortable pursuing that goal.
In what ways has your life changed since you’ve been executing on that idea?
I continue to be associated and affiliated with positive-minded individuals. They’re people with a millionaire mindset, positive thinkers, movers & shakers, and people that are resourceful. When you’re thinking positive, the positivity comes to you. A lot of individuals achieve success by attending one of the mixers or networking events that we put on. I’ve read and heard multiple testimonials from our attendees where they talk about the connections they’ve made just by being involved in our platform.
When you come to one of our events you can get a free shoe shine, a free haircut, and you can have a successful day! We offer those services free of charge because we know that when you look good you also feel good, and that helps you to perform well.
Success is not a doorway - it's a staircase. It takes one step at a time, one meeting at a time, and one day at a time. You have to take the steps to reach success. You can't just walk into it."
What’s something unique about your offering that not a lot of people know, but that you wish more people did know?
I wish more people knew that we have a lot of resources in-house. I want more people to know what we do and how we do it. We’re about connecting individuals. It’s about going past just the first name, and knowing how they think or what they’re working on. We want our community to know what each other’s end game goals are so they can help each other out. Part of all that is simply knowing what services everyone provides. For example, a lot of people don’t know that I’m a cobbler because I wear suits, but if you get to know me and we build a relationship, that opens up more opportunity for both of us. There’s a power in that. 2017 is a P.O.W.E.R. year, and our next event is the P.O.W.E.R. Mixer. That stands for…
P - Purpose-Driven
O - Opportunity Chasers
W - Willing To Go Solo
E - Energetic
R - Relationship Builders
When you come to one of our mixers you can know that there are P.O.W.E.R. people in the room, and we’re all following that mantra. We’re looking to create a culture of more P.O.W.E.R. people.
What are some business challenges you have run into that you weren’t previously aware of, and how have you overcome them?
There are challenges every single day, but I look forward to them. I like to get a hundred “No’s” a day, because that means I’m out there looking for the one “Yes” that will make a difference. There are plenty of things I’ve had to learn. Knowing how to build a website, certain tax codes, how and when to promote on social media, tons of things that I didn’t initially know. However, by tapping into my network I’ve been able to make the group and team a lot stronger.
I also truly believe in positivity. A random text message saying “Keep up the good work!” really means a lot. That helps you move forward. Every single day is a challenge, but I like to say that, “If there’s not a challenge to it, then it’s not worth doing it.
What’s some of the best advice that you have received about entrepreneurship?
Some of the best advice I’ve received was from an attendee of one of our mixers. His name is Leonard Mack, and he has his own sauce business called Mack & Pepper Sauce. What he told me was, “You can take this mixer that you’ve had here in the neighborhood and have it in the convention center.” That was a great piece of positive reinforcement. I’ve also had a number of mentors that send words of encouragement, telling me to keep up the good work and to continue to think with the end in mind. More recently some of the best advice I’ve heard is that, "Success is not a doorway - it’s a stairway. It takes one step at a time, one meeting at a time, and one day at a time. You have to take the steps to reach success. You can’t just walk into it."
How do you continue to learn about your industry and self-educate?
I like to read. Right now I’m re-reading the book Machiavelli “The Prince.” I’m also reading “The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. Another book that’s one of my favorites is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I also like to watch the news, and check out different news channels. From Fox News ,to CNBC, or KUSI. I like to keep my education diverse, and be a diverse thinker. I don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and I like to relationship build. It’s about keeping my saw sharp. I’m keeping myself aligned with my one hundred year plan. I have a one hundred year plan that I wrote a while ago, and I like to keep aligned with that plan and purpose.
What do you see as the future of Young Black and ‘N Business?
The future is to create a model here in San Diego that we can then implement in other cities such as Chicago, Orlando, or Atlanta. We’ll be bringing a platform for young entrepreneurs in these cities to get exposure, and to share in the one hundred year plan. We want to create an entire culture around Young Black and ‘N Business. We want to catch aspiring entrepreneurs at a young age and help them move forward, and before you know it they’ll have their own old money. At that point they can teach the next generation how to do things like open up a checking and savings account, how to get a credit card, how to leverage your network, and how to be resourceful. So it’s about creating that business culture for everyone involved. We’ll eventual want to spread the model nationally, and then globally after that. That way we’ll have both an economic and political impact for positive change.
What’s some advice that you would provide to others who are looking to execute on an idea and turn it into a business?
I hate to be redundant, but P.O.W.E.R.! You’ve gotta be purpose-driven, an opportunity chaser, willing to go solo, energetic, and a relationship builder. Beyond that I’d like to share the ten most powerful two-letter words in the world, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” When you’re an entrepreneur that means it’s up to you! If you’re lazy, your business is gonna be lazy. If you’re motivated and driven, then your business will be the same. You also want to be part of a good team and be a good team member. Good team members are the people that bring resources, ideas, and solutions. Bad team members are the people who you have to constantly tell what to do, where to go, and how to be. That’s dead weight. So you want to both be and be with good team members. Associate with people who are driven to be even better than what you’ve imagined is possible. That will keep pushing you further toward success. Also, write all of your goals down. That will keep you accountable.
Where can we find and follow you?
Company Website: https://www.youngblackandinbusiness.com/
Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ybandnb/
Company Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ybandnb/
Direct Number: (619) 665-3031
I'd like to thank Roosevelt Williams III for taking time out to tell us the story of himself and his company Young Black and 'N Business. We support platforms that are centered around the growth and prosperity of aspiring entrepreneurs, and look forward to attending more P.O.W.E.R. mixer events. What do you think of Young Black and 'N Business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!