It's Black History Month, and we couldn't think of a better way to spend it than introducing you to entrepreneurs who are grinding today to make history tomorrow.
Today we're honored to expose you to the resourceful powerhouse that is Judas “Jae” Marie Hicks, of The Resource Center.
Share your journey! How did you become the entrepreneur you are today? Post 9/11, I transformed a volatile job market into a viable and profitable opportunity to launch a new endeavor as a social equity edu-preneur, combining access to education and upward mobility with personal development and coaching to empower and equip future leaders.
The Resource Center focuses on building brighter futures with career development, business incubation, community empowerment, & life coaching.
What do you do? Are you a full-time entrepreneur, or are you balancing a job and a business? How do you feel about that? My hybrid role of E.D. for a non-profit and business consultant, allows the flexibility to address specific community needs while broadly engaging a plethora of diverse, independent business ventures. The diversity is both engaging and liberating. Most days it’s reminiscent of the vigor of academy or collegiate life wherein I was intellectually captivated by and entrenched in my major, while incessantly refreshed by my electives.
The first year of business can be the hardest, but the most fun and educational. How was your first year of business? The first year was like being dropped on a Black Diamond mountain my first day on a snowboard...and then given a swift, firm push. Exhilarating and intense.
As the old saying goes, "Never forget where you come from." Where are you from? Has your hometown had an impact on your entrepreneurship journey? Be sure to give a shout out to anyone who has helped/supported you during your entrepreneurship journey. (106&Park style shout-outs are acceptable as well. This is a safe space!) Everywhere. The world truly is my campus. From the San Francisco Bay Area to Deerfield Academy, from Las Ramblas de Cataluña Spain to the halls of Yale University, and corporate offices and classrooms from coast to coast, I’ve had the privilege of learning from and leading with some of the premier minds of our times. I’ve gained essential wisdom from world-renowned keynote speakers and the people holding the keys and providing phenomenal customer service. Most importantly, I’ve learned humility, persistence, perseverance, and the severity of preserving my FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. Ultimately we are all people with similar wants, wishes, and needs, working various jobs that are all different and meaningful, and we all have something essential to add to each other.
Making history requires making change. How will your business benefit future generations in your family?
The goal is to equip and empower each individual to aspire and achieve positive, prosperous goals. Instilling in individuals the impetus to strive and the resources to succeed, especially in areas and arenas that historically have been impeded, will change the fabric of the future.
Black culture is often idolized for portraying an image of trend-setting fearlessness. How has being Black impacted your entrepreneurship journey? Striving to surpass the proverbial standard of “twice as good” and reach for my best has rarefied my drive in some instances and resulted in reluctant pondering in others. However, standing on the shoulders of those who fought and often died to afford my opportunities, I’ve felt compelled to overlook exhaustion and burn the midnight oil to be worthy of my heritage.
What advice do you have for Black entrepreneurs who are thinking of starting a business? Do it. Do it now. Right now. Forget about the name or the plan—figure that out while you’re making money and making your idea a reality. As the saying goes, “Do it moving!”
The year is still new! What can we expect to see from your business this year? 2019 is the year of business incubation, branching out, influencing fledgling businesses, enlarging our territory. God willing, we will grow by growing others.
We’re seeking 10 new businesses to consult—we have a few pro bono spots remaining —and 10 new life coaching clients who will get 50% off if they mention this article and your BlueCheck Marketing Studio directly.
Keep Up with The Resource Center & Jae Marie:
Facebook: Jae Marie
Facebook: Candid Controversy
Facebook: Your Resource Center
LinkedIn: Judas Marie Hicks