Ready to make an impact Ezeugwu is constantly growing and immersing himself in new, and productive things. “Nowadays with social media, it’s easier than ever to build your personal brand and promote your business,” Ezeugwu tells BE Modern Man. “If people consistently see you putting in work, achieving new personal feats, and receiving validation from already long standing establishments they tend to listen closely when you speak.”
Although social media provides a consumer base to tap into and validation from trustworthy sources is great, there is still much work to be done. “The most challenging thing I’ve faced is in trying to corral funding for our business WhoseYourLandlord,” Ezeugwu tells BE Modern Man. “We’ve been able to show a clear path to revenue, grow a strong user base, and put together a great team and yet, it’s still been a struggle getting investors to take a chance on us.” Last year, less than 1% of companies funded were black led and that is a issue minorities continue to face in the tech space. As these companies continue to be closed out of technological advances, no matter how great the advertising and marketing plans are viable companies will be left behind. “Tech moves faster than any other industry. We can’t reward innovation for one kind of people and close the door to opportunity in the faces of others.”
As these doors close, the minds of many young, talented future innovators may never open because they do not see people who look like them in positions they one day hope to fill. “It’s important for us to have a presence so that kids at home see that whatever they put their mind to is attainable. In order for kids to formulate their thoughts on what they aspire to be in the future, they must know the opportunity exist. That’s what BE Modern Man is doing. Showing people anything is possible with hard, smart work and dedication.”
As traditional advertising mediums like TV, radio, or SEO continue to dominate Ezeugwu believes there is opportunity in other places. “While those outlets work, I think they are oversaturated and can be very expensive. I’m all for the random messages around a city, cool videos that go viral, or pop up shops/shows that capture the attention of the masses. I want to see more marketers take real chances in how advertising is executed on.”
On a recent trip to San Francisco Ezeugwu was asked four times in a three day period if he played in the NBA. Flattering to some, but not to Ezeugwu. “I was thought of as a physical specimen first, before anyone asked about what I’ve built with my brain,’ says Ezeugwu. Debunking the preconceived notions and stereotypes is what BE Modern Man is all about. “A BE Modern Man means appreciation to me. It means that young black brothers who are out here working their tails off are being recognized and applauded.”
The BlackEnterprise.com team congratulates Ofo Ezeugwu for his will and determination to build a niche business from the ground up. We are honored to call him a BE Modern Man and look forward to seeing WhoseYourLandlord growing its user base throughout the country.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.