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Exclusive Q&A, Part II: ‘The Movement That Changed The Narrative Of Black People In America’

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In the Part I of this interview, we sat down with four ex-roommates who built one of the fastest-growing Instagram accounts on the internet. But there’s more to the quartet than going viral.

“We want this to go down in history as the movement that changed the narrative of Black people in America,” Jared Spiller, one of the co-founders, said in Part I. 

We’re of course talking about the founders of @BlackWealthRenaissance.

Ex-roommates in college, Jalen Clark, David Bellard, Jared Spiller and Kelly Rhodes started this as a passion project; they’ve since grown this 209K+ followers in about a year, with one of the most engaging audience on the ‘Gram.

In part II of this Q&A, the four co-founders expound on their mission to change the “narrative of Black people in America,” why social media is important and what lies ahead.

(Editor’s note: This interview was done by WealthLAB editor-in-chief/real estate developer Philip Michael.)

How are you using social media — and why? 

David: We mostly are using social media to build a platform that we feel is needed to highlight the people in our culture showing that what we are talking about is real—and attainable—if you are willing to put the work in.

Why does this work?

I feel like it’s been effective because it provides a mix of motivation, education, and culture in a way that is true to the message of normalizing black wealth and the conversations around building wealth.

As one of our friends told us its like The Shade Room but for financial literacy. (Laughs.)

I can see that! What say you, Kelly?

Kelly: Social media to me is not just an app, it’s a powerful tool that we can use to help network with people across the globe. I think for Black Wealth Renaissance we really started to grow when we used videos, because our videos consisted of people that are looked at as wise in the African American community such as Jay-Z, Oprah, and Will Smith.

This helped people relate because its someone that looks like them and someone coming from similar background who we deem as financially successful. It allows African Americans to dream which turns into goals motivating us to achieve similar success.  

And that’s so much easier to spread on IG, I take it?

Jalen: We are using social media the way it was created and intended to be used. We are networking across the country and globe with people we would never had the opportunity to meet if it were not for social media. We are using it to spread positive messages and show the masses what is actually possible with self control and will power.

We are also shining light on parts of the culture the media does not shine light on.  We are showing [black] entertainers that are doing work within their communities; that are giving back and making a difference for those that have less.

We are able to mix personal finance tips with memes and topics that are related to the average person thats the reason I believe it has been effective. 

You guys talk about real estate quite a bit; that’s how I found your channel. So why real estate in the wealth-generation conversation? 

David: We’ve all heard the quote that 90% of millionaires were created through real estate and one of our main focuses is generating wealth for future generations. So real estate is something we promote because it is one of the best ways to accomplish those goals. There are so many different ways to get in and win in real estate, it really all goes back to an abundance mindset. 

Love that. I talk about that all the time. Wealth is really a mindset more so than a “tactic” that will work for you. That said, real estate is the pillar of every millionaire and billionaire’s portfolio.

Kelly: Yes, most millionaires own some part, or have some stake in real estate. Real estate is relatable to most people because everyone has a home whether you are renting or actually own your own home you can relate.

In my opinion, if 90% of millionaires made their money in the stock market it wouldn’t be as popular as real estate because it’s not something that your every-day person would be able to relate to.

Real estate is something everyone is already apart of and owning property could be as simple as owning your own home. Plus there is thousands of ways to make deals and structure deals to get into real estate.  

Jalen: Real Estate has always been something in my mind as a young child. I wanted to own land for some reason but once we realized the benefits and advantages of owning real estate, it was solidified that this is something we need to do.

What are the benefits to real estate, in your opinion?

Jalen: Land is not being produced anymore so it’s going to constantly appreciate over time. There’s tax advantages to owning land. Lastly real estate is the foundation to building and creating wealth it’s not the end all be all but it definitely gives you the freedom to start focusing on different streams of income. 

What’s the main thing you’d like to change and/or impact with BWR?  

David: I would like to change black people’s perception of wealth and understanding of money—the process of acquiring it. From my experience, too many of us sum it up to a person “getting lucky”—and that’s just not the case.

By understanding the principles used to acquire wealth, we can spark a necessary change in our community. It has been predicted that the net worth of the black family is expected to be $0 by 2053.

And that racial wealth gap really comes from not owning real estate.

Yes. And that’s in my lifetime. So I want to do everything in my power to ensure that this doesn’t happen—and the best way to accomplish that is through education.

One of our major goals is to teach financial literacy to the youth so that they can avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes that we’ve made on our own journeys.

Kelly: I would like for Black Wealth Renaissance to change, or at least create a movement, on a mindset that black people can actually achieve financial success without rap or going to the [NBA]. I want African Americans to understand that it’s OK to be an entrepreneur—and that you can become very successful doing it.

I just want at least one person to say hey those guys at Black Wealth Renaissance changed my perspective on money and I actually learned how to become financially literate. That in my opinion would be my ultimate success. 

You, Jalen? What do you want to impact?

Jalen: One thing I would like to change or impact in my life time is the idea that the only way to obtain wealth with in our community is through becoming an athlete, a rapper, a drug dealer or anything else we have been stereotyped for.

I also want us to love and embrace our communities; we need to respect and take pride in where we are from. There’s no reason the “hood” should look run down. Just because we are not getting funding from the government does not mean we have to live in the worst possible conditions. We need to “beautify” and keep our neighbors clean.

I want to impose the will and spirit of self love within our community and teach our people how to love one another with compassion. 

Entrepreneurs

EXCLUSIVE Q&A: This 26-Year Old Made $100K From Her IG In 90 Days. Here’s How She Did It 👀

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Yes, it’s a pandemic. Yes, the economy is down. Yet, some entrepreneurs have found opportunity in the “new normal” (whatever that means). 

In the public markets, FAANGs are booming: Amazon and Netflix are up dramatically, fueled by the need for home entertainment…and shopping.

One of them is Ariel Adams, a 26-year-old South Virginia-based realtor. In April, at the height of the lockdown, she had exactly 1000 followers on Instagram. 

Fast forward to today, she’s attracted over 100K followers, has made $100K in online sales (again, during the pandemic), and is now showing others how to do the same.

We sat down with Ariel to discuss how she made $100K in 90 days, what she sold, how she got her first customer, and how you can, too.

Let’s get right to it. You work in real estate but were able to make $100,000 from your IG in three months. Let’s start with the product. What did you sell?

Yes, that’s correct. I was shocked myself! My sales came from my digital products, mainly my e-book From Instagram to Instant Money. My e-book dives into how you can optimize your Instagram profile to grow a following and sell your own product. I talk to the Instagram algorithm and how to beat it to ultimately monetize the platform. My other digital product is my course How to $ave Like the Wealthy. As a realtor, I would receive a lot of questions in regards to saving up for a down payment on a home. I decided to create a video outlining the best way to save money and accumulate wealth. Both of those products got me to six figures!

How did you secure your first orders? Who were your buyers?

My sales came from my following. I would collaborate with other brands with significant followings and post my product on their page. This drew in a lot of traffic to my products and also pushed me to 100k followers on Instagram. My buyers were typically people looking to earn passive income by selling a product or service through Instagram.

Was the objective of your advertising to gain followers and sell later? Or did that just happen as a byproduct of people buying your courses?

I never was trying to gain followers, I was always trying to sell. I think people would see my ad, go to my page, and then turn into a follower because I always provide valuable content on my page. My Instagram consists of personal finance infographics, real estate tips, and inspirational quotes. I think people naturally gravitated toward that and I was able to retain and gain followers.

How do you consistently market it? Is this a model anyone can use?

I try to set up placements on these bigger Instagram pages 2-3 times a week. I aim for business pages, women-owned business pages, and black business pages. My product resonates well with entrepreneurs looking to scale their business through IG. It is absolutely a model anyone can use. I recommend following the other steps I speak to in my e-book. This will ensure the most success.

Most aren’t aware that partnerships can literally boost your business. How did you come up with the idea of collaboration and what made you target those pages exactly?

Being savvy to Instagram, I was always aware of Influencer Marketing. A lot of people think that’s just girls posting brands to their million or so followers, but it includes placements with ANY brand that has a substantial following. I knew this was a key to success. Collaboration on bigger platforms would be the most helpful for my brand. I targeted people I thought would be interested in my product; women CEOs, entrepreneurs, e-commerce enthusiasts, etc. I made sure to stay within that niche.

How did you come up with this idea?

I was inspired by other online entrepreneurs. I saw them making thousands online and I thought to myself, “Hey, I can do that.” So I decided to do it. I asked myself, “What am I skilled in? What can I teach people?” From my previous life managing artists in the music industry, I became an expert in Instagram. Combining what I studied at the University of Miami (Business) and my knowledge of Instagram, that’s what sparked my e-book on the subject.

What’s the number one advice you’d give someone who’s looking to make money for themselves but isn’t sure where to start?

My advice would be to write down what it is you’re good at. Brainstorm what skills you have. Maybe you have a passion for food? Good, create and sell a cookbook. Maybe you’re good at writing? You can become a freelance resume writer. We all have skills we can capitalize on. And if you need to learn how to market yourself, then Google is your best friend. Read, read, read. Self-educate and you will be on your way, and of course download my e-book to learn how to sell through Instagram!

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Entrepreneurs

EXCLUSIVE Q&A: This 26-Year-Old Got 1M Instagram Followers In 1 Year. Here’s How He Did It (And How You Can, Too)

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The rise of social media—the internet, really—has created more young entrepreneurs, business rockstars and self-made millionaire than ever before.

Still, one of the most coveted goals for business people is to learn how to crush it on Instagram. David Dang, a young internet entrepreneur, figured out how to do just that.

As owner and founder of @entrepreneurshipfacts, David has managed to create one of the best, fastest-growing channels on IG, pumping out daily motivational content to 1.3M followers. (At the time of this interview, he had recently cleared 1M.)

In just one year, he grew it from 100K to 1M, drawing attention from mega influencers Tony Robbins and Dean Dean Graziosi in the process. Yes, really.

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The Knowledge Broker Blueprint course that Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi created is closing on Monday and I don’t want you to miss out and regret it… ⠀ Click the link in my bio @iamdaviddang 👈to learn what KBB is all about! ⠀ They won’t be making this offer again for at least another year… ⠀ And most people (this is the sad truth) will hesitate today and many will regret that more and more over the next year as they see others succeed in the digital economy.⠀ ⠀ Don’t get caught on the outside looking in. Join the KBB course and community and create the impact and success you desire while your access is still available!⠀ ⠀ Go to the link in my bio @iamdaviddang 👈to learn all about the Knowledge Broker Blueprint

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Because we love to bring you the best of the best, we decided to ask David exactly how he managed to grow it like that, what tactics he used and how you (yes, you) can do it, too.

What’s up, Dave!

Hey, Phil.

Let’s get right to it. You’ve managed to build a channel with tremendous growth and engagement. What made you start your @entrepreneurshipfacts and how did you grow it?

What started out as an Instagram page for my own personal growth, where I share my favorite inspirational quotes on business and entrepreneurship, and life, in general, really.

I’ve always knew that a corporate 9-to-5 is not my thing. Started my first little business when I was nine, I was quite an entrepreneurial kid.

Besides unlimited income potential, I love the freedom of being my own boss… I get to work where I want, whenever I want, without anyone telling me what to do or when I can take days off.

There’s nothing like it.

To me, this kind of freedom is priceless.

What triggered it for you?

I fell in love with personal development in my teenage years, and happened to read a couple self-help books from Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, etc. They completely changed my life.

I think that’s a common thing in hustlers. You just broke down the holy grail right there.

Yes. If you read any book from the authors I’ve just mentioned, you will realize a common theme that MINDSET is everything. It is literally the foundation to success, not how much resources you have or who you know.

I truly believe the life you’ve always wanted begins with your mindset. Despite having a university degree in Entrepreneurship & Marketing, I am now making a living with my online businesses, and also dabbling in investing.

What’s your goal with your page?

Although I don’t consider myself as being successful or an expert yet to tell people how or what to think, but my goal with this page is to hopefully inspire and influence people’s mindset in a positive way. In turn, helping them achieve whatever goals they have in life.

You have over 1M followers. People are loving your content. And everyone wants to know: How?! How do you grow an account like this?

I am proud to say that I’ve never used any shady tactics or bots to grow my IG account. Everything is 100% organic growth. Besides that, you also need high quality content that people want to see.

Like any social platform, you must understand the platform algorithm and work with it. That’s my biggest secret…

In part II of this article, Dave breaks down exactly HOW he selects his content and the secret sauce behind the engagement.

 

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Business

This Guy Co-Built A $4B Company In Four Years - And He Only Works 7 Hours A Day

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Cal Henderson is pretty badass.

As co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Slack — arguably the single most crucial role in any startup — Henderson has helped build a product from zero users to four million daily in just over three years.

About a year ago (cue Shmoney Dance!), Slack announced they’d raised $200 million in its fourth round of venture capital, putting the software at a WHOPPING $3.8B valuation.

And unlike many all-time greats on #TeamNoSleep (think Leo DaVinci, Thomas Edison and Vince McMahon) — and the modern ones who call for 95-hour work weeks — this dude actually puts his Z’s atop his to-do list.

In this Inc.com piece, check out how Big Cal — at 36 — gets down on the time-management end that allows him to work less than a part-time management consultant.

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