3 Entrepreneurs You Need To Know

Entrepreneurship has been gaining popularity is recent years. I believe the movie Social Network loosely depicting the start and growth of Facebook made entrepreneurship look sexy especially to millennials. It no longer looked like you have to go to a top notch business school then wear a three piece suit to start and run a company. You can not go, or even drop out, and start a fortune 500 company in your pajamas. Of course, the majority of folks out there are seeking to make a difference in the world while attaining financial freedom of some sort and starting a business if one path to that goal. Even for us bloggers, our blogs are somewhat of a business and need to be treated as such, I don’t know if I came up with this term on my own but I’ve been using the term “blogger-preneur” to describe what I do. So on this journey, I’ve come across three entrepreneurs who I totally respect and emulate. Their passion, hustle and creativity are things we should all strive for even if starting a business isn’t a priority right now.

Gary Vaynerchuck

First time I saw this guy was when Instagram had 15 second clips and there was a video of this dude talking and I thought what a douche! But that’s what you’d think of this guy if you saw 15 seconds of him talking, and he says he knows he comes across as that. However, if you look into his story, this guy is freaking incredible! A pure bred entrepreneur as he calls himself, he started his entrepreneurship life as kid selling lemonade, pencils and baseball cards. Not a great student, he didn’t go far in school and ended up working at his dad’s liquor store. Grew the business from $3 million to $60 million in 5 years , then went off to be an early investor in Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Birch Box and Snapchat to name a few. Seeming like he had a sixth sense on the way the business world will be operating, having been right about the aforementioned companies, he decided to start his own media consulting company called Vaynermedia which has grown to be a $150 million dollar company with over 700 employees in New York, Tennessee, LA and London. When it comes to your business having a social media presence that makes it relevant in the times we live in, Gary Vaynerchuck is the guy to follow.

 

Malcolm J Harris

I recently came across this gentleman through a video a friend shared on Facebook. Malcolm is the CEO of National Care Financial Group, an insurance company based out of DC and LA which has grown to be a multi-million dollar firm and one of the largest African American owned financial services business. He is also a successful motivation speaker dropping gems for the young and hungry go getters out there (just check out his youtube channel and thank me later).

 

Sheila C Johnson

I’ll be honest; I didn’t know who this was until a couple months ago, yea shame on me. But shame on a lot of people because they don’t know her either. They know her ex-husband and what they co-founded but not her. Robert Johnson, heard of him? Only the first black billionaire, no big deal right. How about B.E.T? Yea, that’s right; Sheila along with Bob co-founded B.E.T. I deliberately chose her because women entrepreneurs do not get the same recognition as their male counterparts. Her hustle didn’t end with B.E.T; she went on to be part owner of the Washington Wizards and Mystics basketball team (NBA and WNBA respectively) and the Washington Capitals hockey team. She also founded Salamander Resorts focusing on luxury hospitality. Being the second richest black woman being Oprah Winfrey is not a bad place to be in my book.

Entrepreneurship is a tough game that needs to be played hard and smart. With the majority of people having an employee mentality, it is hard to find others to relate to. Therefore, it’s great to have these entrepreneurs and many others who have paved the way and documented their journey through books, podcasts and movies so we, the aspiring entrepreneurs can avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the rewards.

 

-Ian Riley

Ian on Instagram