Read more on page 2…
Pouring passion and heart into all the work being done, Lester still remembers when he first started his organization and the challenges he faced. “I was just laid off of my job, but I had a plan, dream, and desire to start something that would have a social impact,” says Lester. Even with a plan, purpose and passion in hand it seemed like everything he was aiming to build was threatened by unemployment. “Despite the battle during those transitional times, I was able to gain clarity, gain more buy in from those watching our organization, and grow it to become a sustainable work in a short amount of time, thus helping those who are underserved in the city of Atlanta.” Did he want to give up? Yes. But a group of people championing him onward helped him to keep going. He says, “The greatest thing I learned going through transition is that your greatest idea or success could come from hardship.”
The hardships, challenges, and setbacks have offered a set of tools and tips that can only be gained by going through the experience. With over 1 million nationwide views of his public awareness campaign, Lester provides BE Modern Man the following advice for turning your passion into a purposeful and profitable venture.
- Create a plan – If you are ever going to turn your passion into a business/venture, you’ll have to make a plan. You’ll have to research other people’s stories, meet with mentors, ask questions, and develop a model for what you’re trying to accomplish. Without a plan, you’ll remain in the passion only phase. Creating your plan will give you clear goals and the next steps needed to take what you’re doing to the next level. Your plan will make it tangible.
- Be consistent – One way to turn your passion into a profitable business/venture is by being consistent. Consistency validates you, and communicates to those who are following your work that this is not a phase. In the interim, your focus is not about growing; it’s about remaining consistent over the long haul. Most people hop around and try different things to see what will take off first. Don’t become that person. Find the one thing that makes you come alive, and give all of your focus and attention to it. Your consistency will pay off.
- Cast Vision – Everywhere you go, the vision of where you are going should leak out of you. Not in an annoying way, but in a way that catches the attention of those you are around. People should feel your heart toward what you want to accomplish. In fact, casting the right type of vision of where you are going could possibly open the right doors that would expedite your passion, becoming your main venture. When you cast a vision, it will inspire the right people to get involved in what you are doing! Your vision is what will grow your passion into a business/venture.
Of his many accomplishments Lester considers his healthy family and loving wife of 10 years as the backbone of all that he does, and he realizes much of his success would not be possible without them. He tells BE Modern Man, “My wife is deeply involved in the work we do together to serve those who are homeless and under resourced in the city of Atlanta. It’s been amazing to see both my kids develop a heart of giving back from them serving so young. Words cannot describe the feeling to see my second-grade daughter rally her classmates to raise $52 to contribute to a cause to purchase a home for the homeless. I count this an achievement because we were able to see how the work we do has even had an influence in local schools.”
Lester and his campaign are capturing a side of the story that too often goes unheard and, more importantly, unseen. As his passion fuels his purpose, he is fully aware of the important role men like him play in the stories being told. “The BE Modern Man initiative changes the negative images that are seen in the media as it relates to African American men,” says Lester. Additionally, when men with purpose are highlighted in a positive light, it shows men and young males that you can take your passion and live a life of purpose to further your life and those around you. If more men and youth were inspired to live on purpose, families and communities would be impacted in a positive way.”
With a mission to raise awareness of societal needs through technology and storytelling, and to mobilize people to take part in it, Lester is reaching thousands. Every second that passes something happens. A family is evicted, a child is abused, a human being goes without food, and the list goes on and on. Not one to sit and wait on the next man to make a difference, Lester says, “Being a BE Modern Man means being someone that becomes an example to those wanting to live a life of passion and purpose. It means having integrity, character, work ethic, and involvement in areas that impact people in society.”
We salute Terence Lester for providing relief by making the often unheard stories of the underserved come to life through service, technology, and film. Strategically and intentionally thinking past dividing walls, Lester and his organization invite all people to take part in the problems and issues that exist in the world today.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.