Welcome back to another Feature of the Month (#FOTM)! A little off schedule, but here we are. Things have been tough over the course of the last few weeks, not only with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also the issue of racial injustice that has been on the forefront recently. Despite not being “in the mood” to post content I think it’s still important to share black stories. Today, we’re featuring a black entrepreneur who was once a classmate and someone I recently had the pleasure of working with. It is my hope that through these stories at least one person finds inspiration to push through in their journey.
I am currently an entrepreneur more specifically I specialize and work in the digital space. I am passionate about brand building, brand identity, imagery/cinematics, the digital space and the possibilities out there, for all of us to explore.
Can you tell us a little bit about your brand?
My brand is Sharefold Media. It’s a digital agency that focuses on brand awareness, identity and digital imagery overall. We offer all of these services as a package or on a per basis. Companies have the ability to select the service they may want such as; Photography, cinematography, graphic design, web development/scripts and more.
Briefly share with us your journey in building your brand.
What was the biggest obstacle faced and how did you overcome it?
Overcoming fear, and knowing the difference between being a failure and failing. The biggest obstacle that still plagues me even presently from time to time is fear and failing. We are programmed to think that failure is unacceptable, society makes us feel that to fail means to be defeated, to be weak. To this day I’ve had many failures, I’ve made many mistakes, and bad decisions, but one thing I will say is that through these experiences and events in my life I have learned the ability to be true to myself and honour my worth regardless of my downfalls and my obstacles, to speak words of affirmation over my life and my possibilities, to encourage myself and never stop believing in myself and my worth. Doing these things helps me during my trials and darkest nights, and when I can’t continue the words of my friends and mentors remind me who I am and my destination.Lastly and most importantly I had to instill the difference between my failures and being a failure. failures have allowed me to refocus, shift and evolve myself, while being a failure in my opinion is letting your failures, and / or neglected expectations define you. Be true to yourself, and be confident in your worth.
What is one thing that no one told you about entrepreneurship?
How hard it was and the amount of sacrifice it comes with to have something you call your own. The school system emphasises a “great” Job and “Pay” but neglects to offer us the necessary tools and knowledge to extend our reach to something outside of the norms of our culture such as entrepreneurship, and doing what you’re passionate about. The amount of encouragement and perseverance one needs to go down this path is exponential, it’s almost considered genetic as your would of once heard the slang “ not everyone is cut out to be a entrepreneur”, but regardless of your position.
What’s one misconception people have about your line of work?
Being your own “Boss” is easy. Persons who don’t fully understand the intricacies of entrepreneurship have created idealisms surrounding the idea. You would most commonly hear chatter of sleeping in late, doing things in your own time, having freedom and it being better in comparison to employment. Unfortunately once you start this journey, everything is quite opposite. As an employee you can shut down after you clock out, you can’t “clock out” of your own company. Your company becomes a part of your identity, a part of you. Time becomes limited, and life’s demands become acute. So if you’re in it for money, or “free time” I suggest you stay where you are and really do some introspection before making a misjudged call.
How do you balance your time between work and living life?
Balance is hard sometimes, having to manage your social life, health, work, relationships and play, can pose its difficulties. One way I have found to balance is to be present in each and every moment so you never feel the need to hit pause or set time aside because in reality time never stops and neither does work but you can enjoy each moment. Laugh when its time to laugh, work when it’s work time, love in the moment and appreciate the times you give/spend with your loved ones there and then.
In another life, what would have been your career choice and why?
I would definitely say I would have been a software engineer. Currently I hold a degree in Computer Information Systems and I also possess a passion for software, however my passion for other things outweigh my desire to Program.
Now we tackle the elephant in the room, how has the ongoing pandemic (COVID19) affected you or your business?
It has been very apparent that the world has shifted. Leading up to COVID19 business was stable and scaling steadily, of course after such a shift, customers, clients and prospects have all been impacted and as a ripple effect so has my business. Additionally I also would have missed partnering opportunities, from overseas clients who usually around this time would have availed themselves for such. All in all it has heavily impacted me and my business and may have also shifted my companies focus and future as well.
What are some ways you’ve tried to adapt to the situation around you?
- I’ve cut my losses early, and refocused myself to the next step.
- I have been spending time evaluating the market and predicting its next shift on an international scale to ensure longevity, scalability and a dynamic business model that is customer centric and pliable.
- I am shifting my business model a bit to align it with the new online world we have dived into recently.
- As a digital agency, I took advantage of the restructuring of the market locally and repositioned the company to maximize my profits and have a 3:1 profit ratio.
Any words of advice you’d like to share with others wanting to become an entrepreneur or photographer ?
It takes dedication and discipline to be an entrepreneur. It’s more effort and sacrifice than being employed. Stay positive, keep positive and make a conscious decision. Make a plan and stick to it, know when to cut your losses but keep moving forward.
ATBA Fast Four
Morning person or night owl?
I wish I knew how to …..
Speak 5 languages
Favourite social media platform?
Last movie/series you watched?
Queen of the south
Hope you enjoyed this feature.
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