We got an opportunity to speak with serial entrepreneur Brandon Miller. He’s someone who wears many hats, and we used this time to highlight just a few and hopefully capture the essence of what drives someone who always pushes the boundaries on success and hard work.
Brandon knew at a young age that he had an entrepreneurial mind. “I’ve always not been afraid of differentiating myself from the pack. I competed in varsity sports but was still in AP classes,” Brandon highlights. As a member of organizations both in school and outside of school, and a member of the National Honors Society, he learned early how to lead and how to follow. Through these experiences he found that building a brand and forming a community was a great lesson. The lesson was that people shared his perspective and would follow his lead if he did the right thing.
Building a community is what led Brandon to co-author with Simone Moreland “The Intersection: Shifting into Greatness.” A book about making dreams a reality as efficiently as possible. The book teaches these lessons through the stories of the co-authors and everyone involved. They took 30 creatives of color and compiled their motivations, biggest lessons, favorite books, quotes and anything else that could help someone chasing a dream. “We sprinkled in our thoughts, but we believe in learning through a community. There’s a lot of noise and we wanted to help in finding unique perspectives.”
One of the unique perspectives which is often ignored is the perspective of black entrepreneurs. Brandon recognized this gap and wanted to build a community of black entrepreneurs for support, mentorship, and guidance. The idea was The Black Burdell. Realizing that there was no group of black entrepreneurs that he could go to for advice, he decided to solve this problem. Brandon wanted to build a community of people to learn from one another to get advice on branding, marketing, legal advice and any other business needs. Igniting a fire in the creation of black wealth and sharing the resources would allow him to pull in a community and push motivation.
As with any journey, there are always roadblocks and hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles which was mentioned was confidence. How does one start a company where the premise is to help young entrepreneurs when they too are young entrepreneurs that need help sometimes? “We wanted to show that we weren’t experts but that we knew where to find the information. Having 2 other co-founders and being in 3 different states, finding balance and time to get some stuff done was difficult but we made it work.”
The major turning point was realizing that if confidence is portrayed then people may also have more confidence and trust as well. Brandon realized that keeping a game face on no matter what was the best strategy for his own efficiency and for people around him to trust his process.
Including keeping a game face on and always exuding confidence, Brandon had other words of advice for up and coming entrepreneurs. The first piece was that traveling helps appreciate culture, and also helps to see things from a global perspective. This is something he believes in dearly, which is why he started the Too Fly Foundation. It’s an organization which aims to provide travel grants and passport scholarships to low income students who wish to study abroad.
The other piece of advice is to take things one step at a time. Enjoy the journey and trust the process. Brandon learned about branding and graphic design in college. He then started The Black Burdell, which led to Too Fly Foundation and now Brand U. Brandon is a clear example that nothing happens overnight, and nothing happens fast. Accepting the journey and having a willingness to learn every step of the way will get you to the finish line.