This 34-Year-Old Consultant Made Over $1,000,000 Teaching Cybersecurity Courses During the Pandemic
Boyd Clewis is a self-taught cybersecurity consultant who helps entry-level IT professionals upskill and land six-figure jobs. As the founder of Baxter Clewis Consulting, he’s packaged all of his experiences into a suite of services and classes to help others expedite their success.
During the pandemic, Boyd’s training academy earned over $1 million. He taught cybersecurity courses, mentored professionals, and created a step-by-step blueprint for success. So far, he’s taught over 300 IT professionals and given them the confidence to succeed in the profession. He’s even helped students land jobs at top companies, including AT&T, IBM, Honeywell, and American Airlines.
“We’ve generated seven figures in less than a year by helping people land jobs they never thought they would be able to get,” Boyd shares in an exclusive interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE. “The cool thing is that we do this without any certifications at all.”
He adds, “Certifications are a way to weed out IT professionals in a crowded space. They don’t mean you can actually do the work. It just means you passed the test. Even though I had the certifications, I was still not getting hired [for six-figure roles]. It didn’t change anything for me. That’s when I knew something was missing.”
Building a 7-Figure Cybersecurity Business
Boyd’s story is unconventional. Without a degree, he was able to land jobs as a security analyst for a software company and later work at American Airlines as a senior security architect. Boyd used YouTube and Google to learn the ins and outs of cybersecurity, and then found opportunities in the workplace to test his skills.
After Boyd left American Airlines, he became an external PCI consultant. He leveraged his understanding of the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) framework to become the go-to expert in the profession.
During his consulting work, there was one consistent theme he noticed: IT professionals did not understand how to implement the PCI standard.
Boyd started hosting in-person workshops and boot camps to help more IT professionals get up to speed with this critical standard. Then, he turned his training into a business.
“If you have more than 10 people ask you how you did something, you probably have a business idea,” Boyd said.
At first, Boyd tried to give the knowledge away for free. No one was interested in the free courses. So, he started helping his friends increase their income and recorded the results. That’s when more people started inquiring about the courses on social media. After Boyd added a price tag to his training, people were anxious to sign up to be a part of the transformation.
“Now, I tell people to charge your worth,” says Boyd. “People ask me if they should drop their prices because people can’t afford it. I ask them ‘How many people want Bentleys and Ferraris? Do you see them dropping their price to accommodate people?’. It’s never a price issue; it’s a value issue. If someone had $300,000 to put on a Bentley, they would do it. No questions asked. But when it comes to paying you $2,000, they have a value issue. It’s not your price. We have to make sure we are giving value that connects that person to their vision. Then, it’s an easy sell.”
Pivoting During the Pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, Boyd turned his in-person workshops into an online program. He also quit his $200,000 consulting job, but he didn’t leave empty-handed. His company contracted him out to one of their clients, leading to a substantial increase in pay. This helped Boyd pay the bills while he built his training academy.
By helping more people turn $50,000 jobs into six-figure opportunities, Boyd was quickly able to grow his business and hire more people. Now, he’s on a mission to expand the academy to give more people the confidence needed to level up in their careers.
For aspiring entrepreneurs who want to build a seven-figure business, Clewis offers these words of wisdom: “Find what you are passionate about. Make sure your heart is geared towards helping people. For me, I really just wanted to see people do better. The financial blessings are a by-product. I didn’t set out to get rich from this. I believe when you help people get what they want, there’s no way you can’t be successful.”
He adds, “At the same time, you have to be practical. You can have a heart all day to help people. If you don’t have a product to sell, it’s going to be hard.”