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 ISAAC M. COOPER
Name: Isaac M. Cooper
Profession: CEO. Financial Guru. Speaker. Former D1 Athlete. Entrepreneur.
One Word that Describes you: Intentional
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It’s uplifting, knowing that ultimately, I stand on the shoulders of the millions of Black Men of Distinction who laid the foundation and operated in their purpose prior to my existence. Since 1970, Black Enterprise has been a pillar in cultivating excellence in the black community as it pertains to business, people, and passion. I’m honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with brothers who are continuing the movement dedicated to empowerment.
What are some examples of how you have turned struggle into success?
The biggest struggle we face on a day-to-day basis is the ability to manage our mindset in the midst of turmoil, disappointment, or in perceived powerless situations. By the time I was in high school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, I had made up my mind about which route I wanted to take, which was football.
. After receiving a full athletic scholarship to Samford University from former Heisman Trophy Winner and then-head football coach Pat Sullivan, I thought I was on my way to the NFL. Then injuries forced me to change course. I’ll never forget the day after our last game when we played Auburn University. I cried like a baby. Not necessarily because it was over, but because I had no clue what I was going to do, and what I wanted to do was no longer an option.
In this very moment of struggle, uncertainty, and disappointment, God began to reveal why I exist, in what was probably one of the most painful moments of my life. In turn, I had to identify my God-given talent as it pertained to what I could give to others. I’ve always been good and comfortable with numbers. I’ve always had a heart to help people but never knew how I could marry the two. Immediately, I transitioned into the financial industry with the goal to help clients navigate and make smart financial decisions. After transitioning from a Fortune 100 company, I founded IMC Financial Consulting, LLC with the intention of leaving an impactful legacy not only for my family but also for the families of the clients we serve. .
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Authenticity. Regardless of what we talk about, whether we agree or disagree, I know that what I am hearing and seeing is what it is. Just be who you are.
What are some of the immediate projects you are working on?
In April of 2018, I transitioned as founder and president of the Samford Black Alumni Association. We were the first black alumni association in school history which recently celebrated 50 years of integration.
What is the best advice you ever received?
You are enough.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Don’t discount quiet time. Some people like to call it meditation. Regardless, if you’re looking to make a difference in some form or fashion, you will be sowing seeds in the manner that is aligned with your purpose. In order to sow, you have to create a space to ensure the seed you are sewing is coming from the right source. \
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Prior to any meeting, I always do my research and essentially imagine watching myself perform in the meeting, almost as if I were watching film to prepare for a football game. Once I have the necessary paperwork and process laid out, I’m listening to music, depending upon the type of meeting, possibly some trap music.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
At IMC, our goal is to keep it simple. We have two major milestones we’re working toward in the next quarter of a century. We have clients of all ethnicities and races, but we feel as a firm, it is important that we have a tangible impact on the black community that will be a game changer for future generations. Another goal we are working toward is related to impacting the bankruptcy rate for NFL players. An estimated 78–80% of NFL players go bankrupt three to five years after their last game. Over the next 25 years, we have a very strategic goal to reduce that to less than 50%.