Name: Jamie De’Sean Grant
Profession: Financial Planner and President, JDG Wealth Management Group L.L.C.
One Word That Describes You: Ingenious
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I am making an extraordinary impact by being engaged in the pillars in my life and holding myself to the highest of expectations. My Family: investing time with them and striving to be a good example. My Community: investing time and resources to make a powerful impact on the lives of young African Americans by mentoring, developing community initiatives such as awarding scholarships via The Grant Wealth Education Foundation, and serving on various community boards. My Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.: African American Men banding together to serve our communities. My Business: “Growing Wealth One Generation at a Time” by being a continuous example of entrepreneurship and being willing to support minority businesses as my first option, not my last.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
To be recognized amongst such great men is an honor. We all strive to be the best in our spaces, within our industry, as well as our communities. It is a good moment in time to slow down and smell the roses to truly embrace the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Being an African American in the financial planning industry is difficult. The difficulties have helped me build my endurance. Through the bear markets, 9/11, client family issues, and the mortgage crisis, I have been able to serve others. This 17-year journey has allowed me to refine and expand myself as a man. My success is linked to the people I serve daily, whether on my family cattle ranch or with clients of my financial planning practice. My struggles have become learning sessions versus moaning sessions. It took a lot of sleepless nights and long thankless days to appreciate the good times we have now, but I never get comfortable.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Trust and Transparency. Trust is built from the expectations, demands; and transparency we use in relationships with one another. Trust is destroyed when these characteristics are not present. I don’t want to work with someone who is going to use my dreams, goals to work against me.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
- I am working on my book, Wealth Over Riches. The book is about how our definition of wealth has changed throughout the generations, and strategies of how to make wealth a family principle again.
- Grooming and teaching my children to be part of our family legacy of cattle ranching. The older I become, I realize that if we do not raise our children in the legacy we build, all the hard work is for nothing.
- Developing a financial education coloring book for kids to introduce them to financial literacy and wealth building at an early age.
- Partnering with The Software Vault L.L.C. and owner Jamita Barnett-Machen to upgrade and integrate the technology within my practice so operations are more automated and scalable, supporting the growth of my practice.
What is the best advice you ever received?
My father, J.H. Grant, said, “Keep your money in front of you.” My father drilled this quote into me many times. It’s not just money, but anything that is important to you: family, church, business, and education. Never let the important things in life get out of your sight or it will become an expensive life lesson. I have literally written this quote on the wall in the office to remind myself and to impress it upon my clients and guests.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Be engaged in your local community. It does not matter if it is tutoring, mentoring, coaching, or politics. Whatever type of service that ignites your enthusiasm, do it. Our communities need us to be a sermon in action.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I do a lot of research on what the person or business values. I find ways to relate to whoever I am meeting with—sports, family, etc. I want an initial common bond. I write down open-ended questions to help me understand the person or organization. I practice my body language in the mirror and have a conversation in the mirror, running through how I want the meeting to go.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I enjoy a mixture of beach life and hunting. I totally disengage from all technology, and I don’t go anywhere I can’t wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. My best vacation story is simple: my first time on Baby Beach in Aruba with my wife, Kizuwanda. The tranquility and perfect water blew me away.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The Island of Puerto Rico. It’s peaceful. I traveled to Boquerón, Puerto Rico, and loved it. The people were great, food was great, and it was less hustle and bustle.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Never get old!! Life moves fast; and we must not forget to invest back into ourselves. That keeps us evolving and relevant. Go learn a second language, get an advanced degree, or learn to play the piano. Live your life because you will never come this way again.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.