In celebration of Black History Month, we’re honoring 5 successful celebrities and entrepreneurs who grew up in Newark, NJ. We bet you didn’t realize Newark breed this much talent? Just another reason why Newark is the place to be for people with big dreams.
1. Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah is most known as an actress, hip-hop singer, and rapper but she’s also a successful business woman. In her earlier years, she grew an interest in investment and put money into a delicatessen and a video store on the ground floor of her Newark apartment. After realizing she loved business and has a natural knack for it she continued to find opportunities to invest.
In 1991, Latifah organized and became CEO of the Flavor Unit Records and Management Company. By late 1993, the company had signed 17 rap groups, including the very successful LL Cool J. Now the firm includes television and film production units, a record label and an artist management company.
In 2010, Latifah’s company became a partial owner in New York Spring Water, the manufacturer of VBlast vitamin-fortified water.
Queen Latifah also serves as a spokesperson for CoverGirl cosmetics, but unlike the over spokeswomen, she has her own line within the company called The Queen Collection.
“No one ever got ahead by going through the motions. You have to constantly be improving yourself. Make your life the masterpiece you want it to be.”- Queen Latifah
2. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is one of the greatest NBA basketball players of all time. But his success doesn’t end there. As of today, Shaq is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs. We see a trend in his franchise portfolio.
In addition to his business holdings, O’Neal still earns $22 million per year from his endorsement deals with Arizona Creme soda, Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, Zales, and at least a half-dozen additional corporate sponsors.
In Shaq’s own words, “It is not about how much money you make. The question is are you educated enough to KEEP it.”
3. Whitney Houston
The late Whitney Houston was proud to call Newark her hometown.
Houston is one of pop music’s best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. No one will deny her incredible talent.
I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow; if I fail, or if I succeed at least I did as I believe.- Whitney Houston
4. Donald M. Payne Senior
Donald M. Payne Senior was the first African-American to represent New Jersey in Congress. He was a Newark resident throughout his life.
Payne’s voting record was considered to have been the most consistently progressive of all New Jersey Congressmen at the time of his death.
5. J.R Smith
Smith, an NBA player for the Cavaliers, grew his love of basketball on the courts of Newark, NJ. Now he’s entering the entrepreneurial space with his new sneaker store “Team Swish.” He has hinted at debuting the store in NJ but has yet to confirm the first flagship store’s location. We, of course, are hoping it’s in his hometown of Newark.
Being the first day of Black History Month, we knew we had to highlight the incredible talent that has grown up in Newark and made it to global recognized success.
The post Black History Month Honors Top 5 Black Celebrities From Newark appeared first on FOWNDERS.
Be The Change This Earth Day
Fownders’ neighborhood cleanup took place Saturday April 29th in the heart of Newark’s Central Ward, where Fownders calls home. Home is where the heart is and it is the nature of love to take care of your heart. More than caring for the neighborhood that Fownders has called home since 2016, organizing this cleanup was about leadership through example. It’s long said that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
Fownders HQ is nestled between two schools along a major throughway and as can be expected, students and passersby flood the local corner store for food and snacks all day every day, compounded with the fact that there is not a trash can in sight for blocks, you can imagine the endless drove of wrappers and plastic bottles that blow with the wind along the sidewalks and curbsides.
Day in and day out the Fownders team would come into the district and every now and then someone would remark about the litter and how there should be trash bins placed in such a high-traffic area. We would comment about how the litter brings down the spirit that thrives in high-frequency, good vibe surroundings. As good conscious goes, the remarks and comments started to kindle the fire of change. We decided to clean the streets ourselves.
Our original date for the cleanup was indeed Earth Day but our efforts were met with contingencies outside of our control and we had to reschedule for the following Saturday. Mother Nature was definitely on our side, although the temp sat above 80 degrees and the air was humid, there was a constant breeze that made the project … well, a breeze.
We got started at around 10:30 am and worked tirelessly for 3 hours before we broke for lunch then regrouped to tackle the remaining territory of the three-square block perimeter that we showed no mercy with our garbage-pickers, pokers, shovels, rakes and push brooms. We even flexed our green thumb pulling up weeds in a parking lot.
Everyone could feel the impact of our efforts as cars passed by and honking drivers smiled and gave us thumbs-up. People stopped and stared, some approached and asked who we were and why we were doing it. Our reply was simple; We are Fownders, and because it needs to be done. An exchange of unspoken respect weaved in and out of our exchanges with the people of the neighborhood that day.
Upon seeing us kneeling to pick trash out of the tree bed in front of her home, one lady of Asian descent came rushing out in a night gown and slippers, knelt beside us and without gloves, began picking out the litter side-by-side as members of the community who care. Her English was broken and limited, all she could manage was, ‘thank you, very good, thank you much.’, we nodded and smiled, ‘You’re welcome.’ It was unquestionable that we all got such a rush from doing our “good” and that point was made clear in this one instance that stands out to me; when the city rep stood impatiently a block away calling for us to come back with the tools, Gerard whispered with a hurried child-like innocence, ‘Jade, let’s get this last one, right quick.” I smiled and obliged. How could I not? We knelt to pull soggy leaves, socks and plastic bottles from the storm drain and hurried back to return our tools.
We did the work and by no means is the work done. Changes still need to be made, more permanent solutions need to be implemented, but we’re off to a good start. The seeds have been planted.
Looking back at the event, it was so much more than just picking up litter. Through leadership by example, we helped to lift spirits, those of ourselves and the people we encountered. Knowing this, another neighborhood cleanup is for sure in the Fownders future, bigger and better. We’d love for you to join us in being the change. Stay tuned.
Acknowledgements: The office of Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins, the City of Newark’s Department of Recycling and Home Depot Newark played an integral part in supplying all our supply and tool needs and Fownders Neighborhood cleanup could not have happened without their contribution. Many thanks to all involved ESPECIALLY our volunteers who could’ve been anywhere in the world but they chose to join us in getting their hands dirty on a beautiful Saturday and make an impact with the Fownders fam. Thank you.
We believe that our first responsibility is to the entrepreneurs, the creative thinkers, the innovators and the risk takers. Our service will always stay true to facilitating resources that align passion and purpose with action and success. We must constantly strive to adapt our service to each individuals’ needs, and provide invaluable lessons pertaining to all facets of life and business. We will build and protect a cultural movement that will inspire future generations.
Our second responsibility is to those who work with us. The men and women who make a conscious choice to align their life and their career with our mission. As the old saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. No one will ever feel inferior, unimportant, or as if their opinions don’t matter. We will empower our team to think outside the box, to become problem solvers, to have opportunity to control their own destiny and know they have full support from our leaders.
Our third responsibility is to our management. Our executives must be persons of high emotional intelligence, self awareness, and fairness. They must never stop learning, stop growing, stop taking risks, and stop investing in themselves. They must be genuine, authentic, talented and experienced. They must have the ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen obstacles. They must strive to reach a higher level of consciousness and embody each value Fownders holds in its core.
Our fourth responsibility is to the communities in which we operate and live. We must be outstanding citizens – supporting work and charity and giving back without hesitation. We must maintain impeccable order within the property we are privileged to use. We must participate in promotion of civic improvement, health, education, and good government, and acquaint the community with our activities.
Our fifth and last responsibility is to our stockholders. As a social enterprise, we can be most effective when our business is most profitable. We cannot support others if we cannot sustainably support ourselves. For someone to believe in our future and continued success, is the ultimate compliment for which we will spend our days working to repay. There are millions of opportunities one can invest in and we will not take lightly that people have chosen us to provide them with tangible returns.
This is our credo, our doctrine, our guidance, and our promise. To be a Fownder is to own one’s destiny. We live through our intuition and a burning desire to leave an everlasting footprint on this earth. Our destiny is to positively impact the world we live, and leave it a better place than we found it. These guiding principles will empower us to advance and evolve. Leadership is more than an action – it is the full capacity to take dreams and turn them into reality.
The Importance of Seducing Your Prospects
I speak Russian (ok, that’s not hypothetical. I do speak Russian, but stick with me here) and you don’t. I could be giving you compliments, offering you great advice, or giving you directions to the best restaurant in town.
But, it means nothing to you because you don’t understand what I’m saying. Worse, you might even think I’m insulting you.
Now, we don’t want that, right?
Well, time and time again I find copywriters taking the time to be of service to potential customers but losing them because their copy is “foreign” to their readers.
Listen, if you’re trying to make that person on the opposite end of that screen pull out their wallet,
Take out their card
Punch in their digits
And give up their hard-earned money for whatever you got,
Then you’re going to have to get good at this one thing buddy:
The Art of Seduction.
No, not in a sexual way (unless that’s the market you’re in. In that case, have at ‘em, cowboy!)
With copywriting, your goal is to seduce them into purchasing your product or service.
Disclaimer: If your product sucks, no amount of seduction or persuasion will bring you customers. In fact, all it will do is reinforce the fact that your product is garbage. Make sure you got a winner in your hands.
How do we do this? By getting on their level. By learning who they are, what they hate, what they love, and most importantly:
What they want.
Then, explaining to them why your product would make their particular life better.
How do we discover what they want?
Through a simple, two-step process:
Get hyper-clear on who your potential customer or “avatar” is. (Here’s a template)
Research, Research, Research!
You’re going to have to dive deep into their psyche.
What is their socioeconomic status? Are they married? With kids? Where are they from? What trauma’s have they experienced? What are their deepest desires? What makes them angry? What makes them excited? What are their passions?
What is it they NEED and will be more than willing to give up their money for without a second thought?
Is it you or your product?
Now, explain to them, using THEIR language (not yours), with the thoughts and concerns going on in THEIR head (again not yours) why they need what you’re offering and how it’s going to change their life for the better.
Awesome, now go make some money!
Resource: A great book that expands on these ideas here is “Influence” written by Robert Cialdini. Read it now. Thank me later.
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