I am a 20-something year old, same-sex-loving entrepreneur who is determined to be the best at what I do. I received both a Bachelor's and Master's degree at the exact moment that the economic bubble was about to burst. With job security at an excruciating all-time low, I have managed to leave my somewhat simple life in Louisiana and pay my professional dues in the mean streets of New York City. The experience of working at some of the largest companies in both advertising and public relations was not as fulfilling as I thought it would be. Being mentored by some of the brightest names in entertainment marketing and business could only do so much for my sanity. Frustrated and completely over the lies and deception of corporate politics, I stepped out on faith to do my own thing.
Usually, I am the most optimistic person who lifts the spirits of those in need. Friday morning, I woke up feeling less-than-stellar and almost defeated. It was safe to say that the stress of building my own publicity and branding agency, The Media Model, was getting the best of me. Not only am I working to secure my own imprint in the fickle world of business communications, I am also committed to being the best husband, son, grandson, brother, and friend that I can be. My plate is full and I know it. Would I have it any other way? No.
Two of my major goals in life were to be both married and financially stable by 30-years old. At one point, those goals were just a dream. I grew up in the Deep South and at one point, did not live in my own truth. My loving family comes from humble means so a monetary handout was never in the cards for me. Somehow the stars are starting to align regarding marriage equality and I'm legally married to the love of my life. The doozy of financial stability as a gay entrepreneur is a different story. I am still looking for ways to get college loan tyrant, Sallie Mae, and her evil minions off my back. Finding an investor to grow my business is not happening and loans from a bank are not an option.
I am the product of one of the largest Historical Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU's), Southern University and A&M College. Although a proud "Jaguar" alum, I know that my educational pedigree means nothing. I've made it to where I am in this life on pure hustle alone. Looking back on my collegiate years, that experience didn't train me for anything specific in the business world. Pursuing higher education was a way for me to learn more about my individuality. To a certain level, I am a self-made man with a ton of debt.
Since opening up my own PR shop, business has been steady but far from fantastic. The frustration builds when so many opportunities flow in-and-out of attainability. At one moment, it appears that I am about to jump over the entrepreneurial hump and flourish. Other times I feel as if I'm stagnant. Maybe that emotion is because of my fear of being complacent. I know that I'm on the right track but sometimes it feels like I am watching paint dry. As a gay entrepreneur, where can I go to vent and be understood? Where's my sense of relief?
One of my favorite songs of the moment is "Shake it Out" by Florence and the Machine. The lyric in the song that holds my head above water is, "It's always darkest before the dawn." Those words have so much meaning and push me forward when I'm down. Yes, it is always darkest before the dawn and it could always be darker. Honestly, it has been darker.
I'm a first generation entrepreneur who just so happens to be married to someone of the same gender. I have always felt an unbearable weight to succeed and accomplish my goals. As my husband's biggest cheerleader, I now often times carry the weight of making sure that he succeeds and accomplishes his goals as well. With an intense case of tunnel vision to make opportunities happen, I can be a bit of a bitch - insensitive, harsh, impatient, and overbearing to those around me.
As one-half of a new modern family, I just want to be successful....I want us to be successful. In the process of building toward success, I may step on toes in the process. For that, I apologize. I am just a 20-something year old, gay entrepreneur.