Name: Antonio White
Profession: Entrepreneur & Founding Principal of Beyond Ideas Group
Interview with BE Modern Man Antonio White
One Word That Describes You: Driven
What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?
My wish is that someone struggling to find their way reads my story and feels as though they too can do something daring such as start their own business or work at the White House.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
I believe one of my life’s missions will be to empower a future generation of business owners. There’s a big wealth gap concerning African Americans, and I want to be a catalyst for change in that area.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I came of age during the crack epidemic of the ’90s and lost my father tragically at 11 years old, so my grandparents raised me. That experience made me resilient. In high school I remember knowing I wanted a better life than what my circumstances appeared to dictate, so I buckled down and worked hard on my academics. My senior year I earned a full scholarship to Miami University and became the first male in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and later a master’s degree from Morgan State University.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I believe our purpose in life is to use our talents in greater service of something bigger than ourselves, and even though I am an entrepreneur, my goal is to help every client fulfill their highest potential. My service is just a vessel.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I believe we are a reflection of the people we spend time with. Authenticity, honesty, curiosity, empathy, spirituality, and humor are things I look for in friends and business partners.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
In addition to scaling a full-time business, I am working on a “Brunch & Business” mini-conference series where aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs can hear directly from critical business leaders who defied the odds and built their own lanes. It’s starting in DC this upcoming June.
What is the best advice you ever received?
My grandfather wrote in a card to me on my 9th or 10th birthday that “with God’s help and your desire, all things are possible.” It’s something I cherish and believe even now.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
My advice to men who want to make a difference is that you don’t have to be on a big stage to make an impact. You can look to your community, church, and practically anywhere and find someone who is waiting and counting on you. Some of the men that played huge roles in my life were the pastors and deacons I met as a kid.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
For business meetings, I find a quiet space to write an agenda because I think a focused meeting is a productive meeting. When I’m executing an event, I get my day started with Beyoncé’s “I Am” Live Album. She’s the best entertainer alive to me, and the energy of her music gets me in the zone.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
My happy place is the beach and it’s the perfect place to veg out and reflect. I think time to recharge and reflect is critical to any kind of business success.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m looking forward to traveling to West Africa, specifically, The Door of No Return. I want to experience what my ancestors experienced. I also want to travel to my great-grandparents hometown in the South. It’s important to have a good sense of where you came from. It gives you a sense of pride and belonging.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I am very honored to be included in this project.
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.