My guest this week is Kenrick Wagner. Kenrick is a social entrepreneur, hip hop artist, keynote speaker and has been featured in Forbes. His life’s work has been dedicated to providing top-quality youth programming and building a generation of leaders that will use creativity to learn and thrive.
During our interview Kenrick gives us some background on where he came from and how the social entrepreneurship bug was planted in him. He then takes us through the founding of his first non-profit and the pivot to his second business moving to the for-profit side.
Places to Find Kenrick:
On Instagram @projectgametime
[2:30] minute: Set the stage for us, what was life like for you growing up and what was the mindset around money and success that was instilled in you?
- Grew up in Queens, NY.
- Access was limited to resources, so the stage was set mostly by TV.
- Having material items equated to success.
[3:20] minute: Was that a positive association with wealth or a negative one?
- Only negative was a bit of jealousy.
[4:00] minute: How did you get into the social entrepreneurship world?
- Pathway sparked by tragedy; lost his sister when she was 23.
- Found an application for a camp counselor in the paper, and wanting to get out of the city, he applied and went.
- Began working for many non-profits around the city from there.
- Turn towards entrepreneurship came when he started looking at the money he made inside a business vs creating the business.
[6:45] minute: Doesn’t need to be an “or” situation between money and doing good, you can make it an “and”.
[7:30] minute: So what was the first thing you started?
- Started an after-school program for kids called Embassy kids (Enhancing the Mind Body And Soul for Successful Youth)
- Reached a conclusion that the difference between nonprofit and for-profit wasn’t as great as it seemed before.
- Project Gametime came next, a training and transformational experience for others to do what he had done.
[9:50] minute: Tell me what Project Gametime does?
- We engage, we build, and we empower.
- A professional development company, and after-school and summer camp consultant.
[11:00] minute: What were the biggest challenges in taking Project Gametime from an idea to a reality and getting it off the ground?
- Funding and network.
- Unique set up made for more difficult funding through normal channels for kids programs.
[12:50] minute: Any tips for someone in this place who is looking for funding to get something off the ground?
- You are going to get out what you put in, so go all out.
- Don’t burn any bridges; keep your integrity.
[14:00] minute: Now that it is a few years in, has positioning the company as a for-profit been a strength or weakness?
- I’m not sure if it has been either more than the other.
- Project Gametime is setting the leadership in being another way to do good work.
[16:00] minute: You can have it all in business and life. For-profit and For-cause works great.
[17:00] minute: How do you see Project Gametime evolving in the coming years?
- Moving digital; programming, gaming, anything that matches up with the way the world is moving.
- Client wise moving more towards corporate.
[18:40] minute: What does fulfillment mean to you at this point in your career?
- If I died today, I’d be ok with all that I’ve done and all that I’ve given.
[19:10] minute: Talk to me about any major transformations in your mindset that you’ve had to make as you went down the entrepreneurial path?
- Financial literacy was the biggest one.
- Making the things and people around him sustainable without him.
[20:15] minute: How did you make that financial shift in your 30’s?
- Online research and leaning on mentors who knew and had done it.
- Three books that are big for him:
[22:30] minute: What is the most important lesson that you seek to instill in your children as they grow up?
- Build your legacy by being honest and being who you are, it’ll push you in the direction to where you are happy with what you are doing.
- You can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nominee:
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