I was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Monroe, Louisiana. I found my way to comedy by way of the United States Navy, where I performed to some of my toughest audiences. I have had the opportunity to learn the business of Comedy from some of the best. My first job in Hollywood was serving as writer/warm-up guy for Kym Whitley's show "Oh Drama" on BET. Doors continued to open for me as I got opportunities to serve as the opening act for the likes of George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey. It was Oscar Winner Mo'Nique that introduced me to the world on her late night talk show. I call Atlanta home when I am not traveling the country to sold-out audiences or hosting my popular online radio show, Rodney Perry Live.
Gratefully, my career in comedy has opened up many doors from my work as co-host of "Who's Got Jokes" or BET's "Mo'Nique Show", to my starring role as Harold in "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family". Even though I am a sought out Actor/Host, I am still a comedian at heart. I’m lucky! My business is also my passion and it is also the thing that makes me happy. I always say “Do what you love to do for a living and NEVER work a day in your life”.
At the age of seven, I was always passionate about comedy and that is now considered my business or gift. My teacher would allow me to tell jokes at the end of the day if I would exercise some self control during the remainder of the day.
I now operate in all aspects of comedy (writing, producing, directing, stand-up comedy and improvisational comedy). I love making people laugh. In summary, find what you love to do and figure out how to take care of your family doing that.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
My business is comedy so I often see myself in that brainstorming zone - with unique ideas popping up everywhere. I sometimes come up with 50 ideas per day. The only challenge is, recognizing a good idea and then taking it from idea stage to reality phase.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest initial hurdles in building my business is getting people to believe in me. Once people believe in you personally it becomes easy to trust and believe in your business or gift.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
One of the best book I read that changed my perspective is: “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. Through this book I began to understand money and the way it should flow or be generated. It's an easy read, take a look it will change your life because it changed mine.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
The short answer to this question is this NO ONE is going to believe in your dream or gift right away. So expect to be alone. Eventually all the folks that matter will come onboard.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
My inability to QUIT. The only way to fail is to QUIT.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
If I had to do it all over again, I will say getting help sooner or a team at the early stage. I now have an amazing team that helps me make my ideas into reality. That I would say, I am so grateful and thankful for daily. Kudos to them!!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
The world needs your contribution, your idea, your product, your innovation. The people at the top aren’t better than you, they just did it without hesitation. Now is your time to DO IT!