Name: Chef J Jackson
Profession: Serial Entrepreneur/Chef
One Word to Describe You: Ambitious
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Food is an art form and natural outlet for expression. Through food I’ve guided youth in their career paths and support their growth. I also do motivational speaking at universities, trade schools, small organizations, and even social media.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
For me it’s validation that my efforts in life are having some impact. I think everyone looks for a way to leave their mark in this world and it’s humbling for someone else to acknowledge your work.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
My greatest support is trying to be an example in business and life. I’m blessed in that I get to speak to black male youth and young adults about the importance of purpose and passion. I enjoy each opportunity I get to mentor one-on-one and in workshops.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I started my catering company in the basement of my house with zero funding and very little know-how when it comes to running a catering company. My daily struggles of marketing, staffing, logistical know-how, and food safety taught me to steer myself and use each pitfall as a mini career class. I grew from each adversity because failure was not an option.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I think the No. 1 quality I look for is loyalty. I am by no means perfect so I don’t except that in others. But I do revere someone being committed to a relationship both professionally and personally.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
My biggest current project is the audio and video production of my regular social media series called “Coffee Talk.” “Coffee Talk” is my daily motivation/introspective look at various topics that affect us all daily.
What is the best advice you ever received?
That’s easy. Whether you’re a janitor or CEO of a Fortune 500 company, have pride for what you do and be the absolute best you can be at it.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
I say just be genuine in purpose. While it’s great to give no matter what the motive, try and make the motive come from a genuine place. Find your passion project and dive into action.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Google is my bf! I try and learn as much as I can about the person or organization so I can find out their goals and triggers. I think you’re most effective when you know your audience.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I’m one of those people that like doing stuff on a vacation. I typically need a vacation from my vacation. My best vacation was a trip to Tokyo. Vacations are an opportunity to immerse in different cultures, and Japan was a sensory explosion for me. From the people, to the food, to the history, I enjoyed every minute.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If it had to be one place it would probably be Italy. My love for Italian culture runs deep. I envy the slower pace and purity it has. But I probably would gain 200 pounds.
Anything else you’d like to say?
To say I’m honored is an understatement. I am a lifelong fan and supporter of Black Enterprise. The fact I’m being recognized is an unforgettable life achievement. Thank you.
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