Kingsley Grant empowers people to live their best life now regardless of their past or present issues. He is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Transitional & Relationship Coach, Host of the Midlife Launch On-Demand Online Radio Podcast, and a published Author.
Kingsley is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post, The Goodmen Project, Addicted 2 Success and Quora. He is the President of Helping Families Improve Inc. and Kingspire Communications LLC.
In this interview, Kingsley talks about how he embraces and protects his brand - his own name, and makes it genuine, appealing and trustworthy to clients. Get to know more about Kingsley Grant by absorbing his interview and following him on Twitter!
What motivated you to start KingsleyGrant.com? Did you see a way to serve customers better than your competitors?
On the surface one could think this is more ego than anything else. And those who do, I could understand why. Why would I choose to use my name instead of some other URL?
Having gone through a number of iterations and name changes, I wondered what it would be like to use my own name. My thoughts were more changes are going to come. At the beginning of any business especially online, our message is not very crystallized. As we engage with others, we see the need to make changes along the way, which at times lead to a need to change the URL to reflect the evolved message.
Seeing that I had associated my name throughout the evolving process, it occurred to me that I could avoid the constant changes by using KingsleyGrant.com.
This change has allowed me to make changes to my message without having to worry about a URL change.
Not only has this solved this problem for me, but it has allowed me to serve my audience in a more personal way. I have given them a way to connect with me as a person but also to build trust.
For me this is a differentiator with my competitors who “hide” behind their brand. It’s a bit riskier, but it makes the returns more rewarding.
How have your motivations changed since you first started KingsleyGrant.com? Is there an area that you have grown most?
In the early stages of KingsleyGrant.com, I was more focused on maintaining a degree of caution. This was my way of protecting my name. It also was to get my name more exposure and in some way parallel to those whose business are name-branded. One of the persons that come to mind who I admire and desire to do something similar, is John Maxwell.
I’ve watched him over the years and saw where he’s done something very similar. In the early stages he had other names for his business until he decided to go with his own name.
A part of me, desires that. It could have some selfish motivations beneath and I won’t deny that.
However, as time has passed, it has become less about me and more about how I can help people. I believe if when they hear my name and associate it with words such as integrity, hope, inspiration, change, transformation, love, humility, etc., I would have achieved my goal. I want to represent those things more than building my “kingdom.” This is where I have grown most over the years.
What do you consider the biggest milestone that you have hit with your business? How did you get there?
The biggest milestone is the relationships I have built over the years. I believe that relational capital is the most lucrative capital one can ever have. To me, net worth is all about network. It’s who you know and who knows someone that you would like to know.
Building what I would consider to be one of my greatest assets - my relationships - has taken years. It required investing in time and financial resources. Getting to know and serve these individuals without any guarantee of a return of your “investment” is where it all began for me. It’s intentional and strategic.
Each step along the way, I would leverage one relationship to get to the next without pretense or fakeness. The risk in doing this is that it could seem like you are using people. It could become agenda driven. This cannot be the motive. It has to come from a heart of genuineness. This is what I had, which has led me to some of my biggest milestones.
Who has been your greatest influencer along your entrepreneurial journey? How did they shape KingsleyGrant.com?
Wow! My greatest influencer? This is very hard for me to single down to one person. There are so many incredible people who have impacted my life at different points. Each step of the way there has been different people who became the greatest influencer for me.
I’m a composite of the many people who have served in this capacity. Some of the people are no longer alive yet they influenced me through their writings. One of those persons is Napoleon Hill and another is Zig Ziglar.
These individuals did so by sharing their stories and made me believe that if they could do so, I could as well. Believing in myself and my dream became a game changer for me as I gained insights from these influencers.
What’s your most unforgettable experience as an entrepreneur?
My most unforgettable experience was when I made my first few dollars from the business. It was not much, but it validated what it is I am doing. There's no greater feeling than when you create something and someone is willing to exchange their money for what you built.
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with as a business owner? Do you have any advice for how future entrepreneurs can overcome it?
My biggest struggle is not having the expertise in areas of business that I needed to have. I'm not great at managing a business. That is not my strong point. Trying to do the managing, marketing and implementation of the business ideas and products, was just too much. I struggled with that and at times, still do.
My advice as to how to overcome similar struggles is to get help. It may not be paid help at the beginning especially if you are a solopreneur. Hiring or getting the help of people more skilled than you in some areas, is one of the keys to early success. It took me a long time to learn that.
I would also encourage you to learn to let go of some things. Don't try to control every aspects of the business. Yes, it is your "baby" but you have to realize that that "baby" may not have been yours but someone else's and need to be passed on.
Are you using any Apps that help you stay on track every day?
Yes. My favorite app that I use every day is Evernote. It's where I store ideas, research information and other important documents. It's my filing cabinet.
Another app is my google calendar app. It is one of the most important of all my apps. I live by my calendar. It keeps me on track as to what my days, weeks and months look like. It has saved me in so many ways from loss business through missed appointments.
I have also used others on and off. One of them is Trello, which I'm getting back into using more often. It is great for helping me to keep focused on working on the most important tasks each day.
How does being an entrepreneur affect your relationships with your friends and family?
Because of the intense nature of being an entrepreneur, it requires that you schedule your relationships as you would at appointments. This may sound weird and lacking spontaneity. I get that.
However, if I don't schedule these times in for a phone call or some other way of communication with my friends and some family members, it never happens. I find that even though it sounds kind of business-like, it beats not doing it at all or hit and miss.
Also, some of my family and friends do not get the life of an entrepreneur. They are not entrepreneurial so almost everything they see, looks suspect. Some see it as something like playing the lottery, and hoping one day you'll win at it. They don't understand the overall mindset and nuances that goes into an entrepreneurial journey especially when they have not been one themselves.
Looking back, what’s one thing you would do differently with KingsleyGrant.com? Why would you change it?
I'm not sure I would do a whole lot differently about the kingsleygrant.com. It has taken me a few years to build the brand.
One of the things that I would have done and will eventually make changes to, is my logo. I think I can get a more distinct logo from the one I currently have. I think I would have waited until I had a clearer message around my brand before I launched it.
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in Miami? Where should they start?
The advice I would give is to not build a business around location. It becomes too restrictive. I'm more about location freedom.
Having said that, I believe no matter where you are planning to start a business, you need a good idea. The only way to know if the idea is good is to test it out. Your market will tell you if is good or not.
Secondly, make sure whatever business you are pursuing is what you are passionate about. Do not start a business because of the promise of it making you money. Money-focused startups, tend to fail easily. There is not enough "juice" - passion - to keep it going.
Thirdly, hire a coach. I think this is one of the things I would have done a whole lot sooner. It would have saved me time and money and from lots of frustration. This does not mean that you might not experience the frustrations and the loss of time and money, but it reduces the amount significantly. It is an investment.