Name: John Simon
Profession: Editor, XOJohn.com
One Word That Describes You: Independent
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Ambassadors mean to you?
I am honored and humbled to be a BEMM 100 Ambassador. It’s recognition that I am on the right path in my career. I’m doing what I love and what I am passionate about. Professionally, this means I’m able to connect with more people on a bigger scale, help more people, create positive change and grow XOJOHN.
What are you doing as an Ambassador to help support black male achievement, now or in the future?
With my brand I am showing my community that you don’t have to follow the “norm” to be successful. In my business, it seems everyone is desperate to have this “celebrity” status. By taking a backseat and remaining behind the scenes, I’m showing that you don’t have to be all over your social media or publication to be labeled successful. My formula works for me. I often mentor other black youth who are looking to get into the journals field.
How do you define success?
To me, success is understanding you control your destiny, not anyone else.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
One main quality I look for in my relationships with others is loyalty. In a business that’s saturated with negativity and people who would do anything to get ahead, loyal people that have your back, support you and want the best for you is a necessity for me.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I have a few brand partnerships in the works for XOJohn.com, as well as a few other projects. I like to keep my next move to myself. You should always keep your next move silent.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Live your best life. I live like there is no tomorrow, simply because life is too short. I take calculated risks with my career, I travel, and I do adventurous things. I live life with no regrets.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Always remain true to yourself and never compromise your integrity. Also, try to think of the unthinkable, meaning don’t be a follower, come up with your own ideas and make it your own.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
It all depends on what I’m prepping for. If it is an important meeting, I do as much research as possible. When it comes to me covering an event, I don’t prep because I should be learning everything I need to know at said event.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
To unwind, I escape. I love to travel and visit friends I’ve made around the world. One of my fondest memories was receiving an invitation to travel to the island of Anguilla, which I documented on my website. I got to learn about the remote island, relax on white sandy beaches, eating good Caribbean food, and my favorite, horseback riding along the beach. It was such a peaceful experience.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The Maldives because I love remote locations where I can disappear and escape my hectic life.
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