BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.
BE MODERN MAN ANTHONY JOHNSON, MBA
Profession: Owner, Magnepels & Founder, Male Enterprise Network (MEN)
One Word That Describes You: Persistent
What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?
It is an honor to be in the likes of such a great group. Several of the BE modern men are living symbols of what our predecessors worked and fought for. These men represent tiers of black excellence and it means a lot to be mentioned in that same light. It lets me know that my efforts are not going unnoticed and are appreciated.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I believe my “Extraordinary Impact” is rooted in my ability to “empower” throughout my entrepreneurial pursuits. My businesses are grounded in empowerment, whether that be through social entrepreneurship to product development. Within my networking association, I am a natural bridge builder who constantly connects the dots, fosters quality business relationships, and provides practical solutions. These exemplify my extraordinary impact of empowerment as I leverage my social capital and business acumen for a greater purpose. In addition, I have an accessories business in Magnepels, where we empower in a more unconventional capacity. Magnepel products plant seeds of self-confidence among our customers. We provide quality products that look good and make individuals feel good, which create a domino effect. Empowering our customers through their presentation.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
I founded the burgeoning organization, Male Enterprise Network (MEN). Our entity works to empower the promising minority businessmen and bridge generational gaps within the culture. We use our specialized BASE (Bond, Advise, Showcase, Educate) system to provide business resources to uplift black businessmen toward higher achievement and foster a loyal business ecosystem amongst our members/ associates. Our network is a melting pot of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs forming a collective professional bond. We have a strong Baltimore foundation with a reach that’s still rooted in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) region.
What are some examples of how you have turned struggle into success?
I am a proud Baltimorean, but also a firm believer that perspective impacts realities. Therefore, I would prefer not to call my Baltimore experience a struggle but a “grind.” That unique grind is a key contributor to my success. I believe if you can make it from Baltimore, you can make it anywhere. In most instances, we have limited resources, scarce opportunities, greater negative perceptions, and hundreds of reasons embedded within the community to do the wrong things. (In life and/or business) Those hardened experiences serve as training mechanisms in helping to foster many roses growing from the Baltimore concrete. The Baltimore grind equipped me not to fear no, because I heard it so often. It fostered more innovative thinking because our resources were always limited. It made me take things more serious because our environment calls for that nine times out of 10. You always had to do more with less but all those things are why I found success.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Consistency. For me, consistency is key. It is the best way to foster a relationship that adds value and in business, it implies one possess other key characteristics for success. It hints at one’s persistence, efficiency, and likelihood for business growth.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
For me, 2018 has been a year of expansion for our Magnepels brand. We are focusing on expanding our product line with complimentary items and raising awareness with the right partners. Our project is to increase retailers, get all our items on Amazon and connect with a few department stores. We are also working on a major partnership for an upcoming tradeshow geared toward “the gentleman.”
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Understand that only you and God dictate your success.” Therefore, where you are now, where you are not, and where you are going is contingent on those factors and those factors alone.
What advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Success rewards those that do! Have a strategy, create a plan, and just do. The more one does, the more opportunities appear, the more opportunities appear, the greater the likelihood of success. At times we get so caught up in planning that we miss our window or become paralyzed in preparation. Do not be afraid to just do it
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.