Like any creative, I started with the simple curiosity of playing around with design tools like Photoshop. It all began over the summer of my Sophomore year at the University of Houston. After countless hours of self-taught classes, I felt confident enough to start designing event flyers for my fraternity. This was a successful endeavour and with each event, an opportunity to continue honing my skills. A couple of years later, I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and headed into a stale job market, only to land on my friend’s couch. But, I took this opportunity to continue improving my graphic design expertise and digesting everything I could about branding. It was a tough blessing in disguise. I worked with friends, creating logos and designing websites. I then started collaborating with small businesses, learning from their expertise and providing my solutions to enhance their brands. Nine years later, Cosmo Creative continues to grow and support small businesses around the country. I’ve worked with groups such as Tulane University, Texas Southern University, Prospect Park Restaurants, Glazed Donuts, Payne Law Firm and many more.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The initial hurdle was finding clients. I had to hustle and keep putting my name and my talent out there, so people can see recognize what I do. Staying consistent is the main thing that helped me gain my clientele.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am reading “Jab jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vee. It's about learning how to give value then leveraging it to get sales/clientele. I think everyone should read “4 Hour Work Week” that book teaches you have to automate some of the services in your business, so that you can be able to utilize your time wisely.
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?
I didn’t actually. My mom and my older brother are entrepreneurs. So once i made the leap to take business into my own hands, I was able to get a lot of insight from both of them that helped me along the journey.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Being social. That is the single most important thing that has helped me throughout the years. “Your network determines your net worth”. If you can get to know as many people as possible, it will help you gain customers at a faster rate. Because even if the people you meet don’t use your service, if they know about your service, you will be the first person they say when someone asks them about a certain service.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I knew that automating is the best way to cut down on your time. I read somewhere, if you do something over and over that you need to automate it. So, now I keep a list of email responses and and templates to be used, so I’m wont’t have to write things.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would say consistency is the key to success. When you start your business, but engulfed in it and make sure everyone knows what you do. Also, don’t be afraid to lose. I have lost a lot in my life and it has done nothing but make me stronger and wiser.