Quentin Allums, TEDx Speaker |CEO, Urban Misfit Ventures | Video Storytelling (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Quentin Allums is a speaker, community builder, as well as the CEO of Urban Misfit Ventures, a fast growing startup based out of Milwaukee (www.urbanmisfitventures.com). He has amassed over 10 million views on LinkedIn content and was one of the first video creators on the platform. He’s spoken at events such as VidCon, TEDx, and is an upcoming speaking at Inbound 2019.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
BSO: Tell us about the inception of your business.
I was at a point in my entrepreneurial career where I finally found something that was working after failing so many times before.
I had just gone into a large organization to do a training on personal branding for their executives and I had a handful of retainer clients. But I had an idea for another company. Something that excited me. Because I was tired of doing “work”. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to impact people. And do it alongside people that I cared about.
It’s kind of a crazy story honestly, but it goes back to college.
Izzy was one of my first friends in college. He was the reason I got into marketing in the first place. I remember there was an internship, that I really wanted, but was WAY underqualified for. I applied and didn’t hear anything back. Izzy went to a networking event and ran into a person that would later be my boss. Izzy went to bat for me. And I got an email to meet the next day.
I got the job.
Izzy also introduced me to a guy that was crushing it on Instagram, Optic.Legacy
Six years later, I met him. His name is Brema, and we met through a group that was trying to do something similar (at least at the time that we started) as my company now. They ended up kicking myself and Brema out of the group for creative differences. I hired Brema to shoot video for that personal branding training that I had mentioned above. I loved his work.
And Eric, I met through Twitter. I reached out to get coffee because he was in Milwaukee and did great work. We talked about everything and it blew my mind that this guy didn’t see the talent and potential that I saw in him almost immediately. I pushed him to jump on LinkedIn. And at the time I had convinced a lot of people to do so (and most of them quit). Eric created for 90 days straight. Which impressed me. We started a YouTube channel together. That wasn’t enough so I asked him to start a company. This company.
We hired Brema to do our inital photo shoot. He liked what we were doing so he asked to join. And then Izzy, my old college roommate, was transitioning from a previous role as Director of Corporate Sponsorships. He joined.
The company has morphed and pivoted but that was our inception. And it’s grown faster than any of us ever expected.
BSO: There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Share with us your a.m. to p.m.
I’m typically up by 5am. I work best in the morning and late in the evenings. I listen to an e-book or my meditation app on my walk into the office. My dog is usually always with me as well.
I like to work alone for the first few hours of my day, so that’s usually in the office or just at my place. I usually focus on my major task of the day during this time.
We have a daily team meeting every morning at 10am. From there all structure goes out of the door for me. Meetings, calls, content, strategy, hires, emails, putting out a fire, more meetings, meeting with our business coach, client meetings when I am needed, etc. I lift every other day at 2pm as well. And my evenings, I am either with my girlfriend, at an event, speaking, or doing research on the e-sports industry (or just playing video games).
BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?
Google Calendar is all I need. To-Do-ist is also pretty rad. And my personal assistant. I would be lost without my personal assistant haha.
BSO: What was the best advice you received when you started your business ?
You don’t have a business until you sell something.
BSO: What has been your strategy for building awareness of your business ?
- Building a community.
- Bringing constant value
- Crafting a story that is about our followers and the lifestyle. It’s not about us.
BSO: What are your proudest achievements, professional & personal ?
Honestly, I feel like I am just getting started. I still have so much that I want to accomplish. It still shocks me every day that we employ people. We have changed lives and I will never take that for granted.
I’m proud of how far I’ve come. TEDx was awesome. VidCon was awesome. I’m excited to speak at Inbound 2019 in a month. I love the impact that we’ve been able to have on our clients.
BSO: What are you currently reading ?
- The Strategies of War
- This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community–a Life in Streetwear
BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?
The community that we are building. Honestly, it is just the beginning but seeing people achieve their dreams is more fullfilling that achieving my own sometimes.
BSO: Who has influenced your career the most?
- My friend Kendrick, who is the reason that I got into video. He also helped me out a ton when I launched my first venture.
- Izzy for pushing me towards marketing & showing me that age is just a number.
- Brittany Krystle has impacted me a lot when it comes to my personal branding ideology. She also is a main reason why I continued to speak after performing poorly.
- My mother.
- Kobe Bryant. For showing me that it’s okay to be “competitive”. And that you need to lean into who you are, it doesn’t matter what works for other people.
- Sophia Amoruso for showing me that being different is better than being better.
- Jason Silva, who is by far my biggest content inspiration.
- Jackie Hermes, who is now a client. But she was the second boss that I had in the marketing field. She taught me a lot. She still teaches me a lot and I hope I do as well in return.
BSO: What is your advice for starting a business?
Don’t listen (too much) to people giving advice.
Find what works for you.
You could read a million books and listen to a million podcasts. But at the end of the day you have to DO something.
Test. Try. Fail. Find something that works and lean into it. Again, you don’t have a business until you sell something. Go sell.