Dave Lukas Chats with J. Haleem Washington
337: I Won’t Starve, How Perseverance and Staying True Helped J. Haleem Washington Go from Felon To Success
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jay Haleem Washington. Jay went from working for $8.00 an hour at the Hampton Inn to earning 6 figures as a Commercial Photographer in just a few years. He was able to accomplish all this while being a convicted felon. While working for $8.00 an hour he developed his mantra #IWon’tStarve, which was the catalyst for him to leave his job after only one year. he has become pardoned, and now is a best-selling author 4 times over and motivational speaker.
Over his career, he’s been able to work with the following international brands, Nike, Save The Children Foundation, NFL, Amtrak, and The WNBA. He focuses on strategic development of public sector business, management and administration of client contracts, and client protection via compliance oversight, resulting in growth through government contracting.
But, it’s not so much what Jay does that was the reason I asked him to come on the show as much as it was his message of “I won’t Starve” and how he persisted through to success.
Jay says it was a long journey. He was raised in a crazy home in New Jersey with people on drugs, etc. He was raised by his grandmother and was on the streets early on in life. He got into a lot of trouble but was also a great student. He was smart but using it for the wrong things. He graduated with honors from college, but also committed a white-collar crime that was felony trying to make money in college. After graduating, he was unable to get a job because of his record, so entrepreneurship was the answer.
He started a successful cleaning business and did well, but during the 2008 recession, his wife lost her job on Capitol Hill, and he sold the business moving back down south to focus on raising their kids. He took an $8 job to have something, but new he could do much better and less than a year later started his commercial photography business. An in a short time the business climbed into 6-figures and then grew tremendously as he got into doing government contract work. He then started helping other minority businesses get approved for contracts and has now helped/consulted for over 600 helping them get contracts. He then went on to write his books, start speaking, etc.
What are some of the success principles you’ve learned to succeed in business?
Talk to us about being persistent and what you learned about keeping going to succeed…
Tell us about I Won’t Starve. What does it mean?
You have a workshop called UWon’t Starve based on 5 principles, take us through them…
Talk to us more about how to create great partnerships…
What are some of the most consistent challenges you see entrepreneurs have and how do you help them overcome them?
Any other advice from your journey?
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