You don’t make your first $5,000 as a ’90s teen by playing Sega Genesis all day and sipping Tang. At 15-years-old, Sherrod Shackleford had his sights on something grander and started a business in the new world of Internet. Â Today, the Entrepreneurs Summit speaker is Co-CEO of Pencilworx Design Group (PDG), one of the most sought-after branding and marketing firms in the nation.
BlackEnterprise.com can’t wait to hear all Shackleford has to say on branding for the long haul, website development and positive brand equity at the Entrepreneurs Summit. We caught up with the visionary to give you a sneak peek of his session,Â Scaling Up: Why Small Business is Big Business.
15 years old is so young. What kind of business did you start then?
At 15, my first business was aÂ web hosting review organization that helped people decide which hosting companies were trustworthy. At this time, people didn’t knowÂ anything about the Internet, and I had already been in theÂ game for several years. This was in the early ’90s; the web was new and I saw an opportunity. It worked.
How would you advise parents to nurture their children’s entrepreneurial spirits?
It’sÂ absolutely critical that parents encourage, challenge and allow their children toÂ experimentÂ with their various ideas. As parents, we are facilitators. We need to create a stress-free environment whereÂ they learn toÂ understand that their imaginationÂ is the key to their future, and confidence is the engine.
How can entrepreneurs maximize social media to propel their business?
Social media isÂ elusive to most people these days. I’ve managed to build a following of a few hundred-thousand people through consistent experimentation,Â intense attention to detail and risk taking. Our seminar at the conference takes a deep dive into these ideas and concepts.
What will Entrepreneurs Summit attendants walk away with after the session with you?
Attendees will understand how to leverage branding to overcomeÂ virtually any obstacle. We have managed to help hundreds of companies generate millions of dollars in sales through our branding efforts. Necole Parker, one of the speakers at this year’s conference, is a client of ours. She’s generated nearly $100 million in contracts after we re-branded her company and tagline.
You have an upcoming book titled Make Them Buy. Why do people need to read it?
I have single single-handedly sold hundreds of thousands ofÂ dollars in business in one business day. I became strong at sales by realizing that what I offer is rare, useful and a benefit to the world. This unlocked a new world and perspective that success can’t be discovered without. Make Them Buy will show everyÂ entrepreneur how to discover and maximize this idea.
The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by Nationwide is set for May 13—16, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visitÂ dev.blackenterprise.com/es/. Join us at the Entrepreneurs Summit, Where Innovation and Capital Meet.