Editors Note: I am eager to speak with and get into the mind of a young sage which I revere so much. As I await his arrival, I am affixed mentally on what to ask without being extremely vague. Shyaam........a name like that begs an unraveling. It is quite ironic notably, I am the interviewer of the man who created the brand I currently work for. I felt compelled to do this interview, for I think this young nuke of a man, needs to be publicly detonated upon the young black youth in N. America. He doesn't feel that way, but rarely if ever, does the one walking with the halo ever sees its glow..............................................(Shyaam enters the room)!
G-Code: Tell us a little about yourself……………………………………………………………………………………
Shyaam: Well where do I start… Ha Ha. I’m 31 years old, and I was born to a typical Moorish [African American] family in Brooklyn, East New York. I graduated high school in Willingboro, NJ, and attended Community college for one semester and dropped out. I was majoring in Political Science, because I wanted to be a lawyer or politician. I dropped out because I remember buying a text book for roughly $800, trying to return it after the end of the semester, and only received $18 for it. My heart sunk into my stomach, because I was broke at the time, primarily dependent on Pell Grant money that I didn’t receive until the end of the semester anyway!
It was just me and my Mother, and she wasn’t wealthy or rich. There was so much I needed at the time, and realizing college cost so much money, and seeing how long it took my mother to pay off her student loans, I decided to drop college and take my chances on my own at making some money; specifically, to help my Mom out! Which was really what I wanted to do anyway. I guess you can say that’s what began my journey as an entrepreneur. However, I do plan on going back to get my law degree.
G-Code: What is a 720 Entrepreneur?
Shyaam: Since business is primarily about problem solving, a 720 Entrepreneur is someone who can identify a 360 degree panoramic view of a problem, and provide a 360 degree panoramic view of the solution. Put them together, and you have a 720 Entrepreneur.
G-Code: What services does your firm provide?
Shyaam: My Firm provides various business services to those seeking to become Entrepreneurs for their first time, and those who are seeking to grow there businesses. We offer everything from Business/Marketing Plans and Feasibility studies, to Web Design, Brand DNA, to Consulting and Business Coaching. We also offer Digital Media services to small businesses seeking to expand their presence on the internet. You can visit us at www.720entrepreneurs.com.
G-Code: What Prompted you to create the 720 Entrepreneur brand?
Shyaam: Well I consider myself a Serial and Social Entrepreneur. I learned a long time ago that simply making a lot of money is not fulfilling for me, because anyone can make a lot of money. Making a lot of money isn’t difficult,….. for me at least! Also, I learned attaching my endeavors to something that has social meaning and value, gives me great spiritual fulfillment; especially, considering I grew up with a Mother who placed high value on spirituality and doing right by others. She was a counselor for over 30 years, so I guess it rubbed off on me. The first company I ever started was a Non Profit called “Black Entrepreneurs Coalition.”
I was 19 years old when I started this company, and my plan was to get all the young African American men my age and older, who were into entrepreneurship, to come together and build a coalition of companies that would do much good for our communities throughout America. I went everywhere looking for donations, from churches to community leaders, until I met a Caucasian woman working at another non profit, (which I wont mention), who told me, “I wish I could help you. I am sorry I have to burst your bubble hun, but no one wants to donate anything for young Black Men”. This was another major moment in life where my heart fell into my stomach.
For some reason when she said that to me, it made sense! I recounted all the times I solicited donations and got turned away. I told myself that night, that, “I either help my people, or I just make money”. I decided to just make money and leave the social stuff alone. I did go on to be very successful. I began selling on Ebay (early 2000 boom). I started various clothing websites, and t-shirt companies, and did very well. But, I noticed I was virtually alone! I had no friends, because they were either slaving away at work, or going to school stressing about their student loans. I decided to create another company called “MAP”….. Mentoring Adolescent Program, that was designed to aid “at risk” youth strive for entrepreneurship.
I figured if I can get to the youth while they were young, then I could make a difference in the long run. I was yet again faced with a situation that almost turned me bitter to the core. Fast forward a few years, I ran into some major racism with my bank and merchant account which prompted me to co-found Murakush Society and Private Attorney Generals Office LLC with my friend and business partner El Aemer. Basically, 720 Entrepreneurs is my way of giving back all that I learned from the many ups and downs I encountered in my younger years as an entrepreneur, so that I may provide insight, direction, and guidance to those who want to become entrepreneurs. I figured I could save many people some time I wasted by providing this service.
G-Code: You’ve recently written a book;……………………….. tell us about it?
Shyaam: Well the book I have written is a book I think is very necessary. It has all the lessons I learned in the last 12 years to date about entrepreneurship. Many times there are self help entrepreneurship books that teach you a lot about a lot of different things, but rarely do they teach you how to be an entrepreneur and think as an entrepreneur. This is what makes my book so unique and special! Once a person reads it, they will find the intricate basics to thinking, acting, and being an entrepreneur.
G-Code: What motivates you?
Shyaam: Well as stated earlier, I am driven by things that bring me spiritual fulfillment. I love to help people achieve their goals, and share what I learned in hopes someone will receive it and prosper. I’m also motivated by injustices, which a lot of times, overwhelm and compel me to do my part in whatever leads to social change in various aspects. I am also motivated by big challenges and learning new things. To date, I have helped over 200 people start businesses for the first time in their lives, and that is something I am really proud of. Some became very successful, and some didn’t have the spirit to stick through it to come out on top of things. Either way, I know I did my part in helping those I set out to help.
G-Code: What are your plans for the future?
Shyaam: I have a strong interest in Tech and Sustainability. I am sure these two aspects will completely fill up my schedule in the foreseeable future. I am confident indulging in these fields to create something big and long lasting, which will probably cement my legacy for the future. I plan on encouraging all young people to get into STEAM([Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics]), if they want to make sure they are employed or wealthy in the future.
G-Code: How can anyone contact 720 Entrepreneurs LLC, for services, to buy the book, and/or to just stay in tuned with works and activity?