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Answer provided by: Tayo Rockson, Founder of UYD Media LLC. Previous Employment: Director of Marketing for 4 years at Smile 4 Africa and M.I Africa. 2 years of product development and account management at Bancroft Technology Group and Shareablee.

I had a corporate job. A great one… until I got let go.

“Duplication of efforts, etc…. we are headed in a different direction.”

I’m not sure how I kept a straight face, but I did. And to add insult to injury, when I went back to my desk to pack up, I saw a notification on my computer saying I no longer had access to my email account.

I enjoyed having the safety net of a corporate job even though I didn’t love what I was doing or feel like I was being used to my full capacity. So what did I do with this safety net gone? I went to work on my own business. If there was a perfect time to build my own company, it was now.

While working in the corporate world, I’d started a podcast that was getting some traction. I loved interviewing and producing content for millennials who identified with several cultures, like me.

I’m the son of a diplomat who has been posted to four different continents – I grew up everywhere and was influenced culturally by many geographical places. In addition to the podcast, I had begun to grow a following with my personal blog – showcasing how to become a better leader by communicating across cultures and thinking outside of the box.

I turned these two passion projects into a media company. What I then realized was that the reaction I’d been getting, from what I considered a hobby, was actually my first market validation. The email subscribers who read and listened to all my content and who were already my evangelists – they believed I provided value to them, so why not continue to do so?

I knew all of this but I was still fearful to get started on my own. Afraid that I would fail, as this was the first time I was in survival mode. Taking the entrepreneurial route at the age of 24 seemed so risky. I found myself asking questions like:

Am I too young? I asked this even though I had about 7 years of work experience from businesses I had run in college.

What if no one cares? But my podcast was heard in over 105 countries.

What if? What if? What if? That’s all I kept asking myself until I realized I had nothing to lose!

Instead, I started asking why not me? Even if I fail, I would learn from it and be better for it. It’s like Thomas Edison’s journey to inventing the light bulb – he failed 10,000 times!

After getting over my fear of failure, I started to focus on building UYD Media LLC.  It’s been an amazing ride; I’ve learned about myself as a leader and have simultaneously become a better businessman. Since launching, I’ve been invited to speak at conferences about my company’s mission: Use Your Difference To Make A Difference, and my podcast has been recognized as the #2 business podcast in 2014 by Entrepreneur Magazine.

There is no perfect time to start up, but sometimes life will make it crystal clear.

Tayo can be found on: InstagramLinkedinFacebookTwitter, and on the web.


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laurensauser



  • Andrea D. Smith

    It’s amazing the entrepreneurial strength and genius that suddenly wells within you when faced with the challenge of being out of work. Some of my best developments as a person have come from the necessity to quickly assess your worth in a variety of applications as well as the terrific need to learn how to truly sell YOURSELF!! Good work Tayo and best of luck to you in your new entrepreneurial role!

  • Awesome article! Your strength and determination in the face of doubt and fear of failure is super inspiring. Your podcast and blog provide so much valuable and actionable content and are really encouraging – which is essential for anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Thanks for sharing all your hard work and knowledge with the world. YOU ROCK TAYO!!!

  • Jock Doubleday

    The best time to start will be when the Rothschilds are in prison and their central banks dismantled.

    http://waitingforvanek.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-psychopath-show.html

  • Loved your article, and I have a few questions. I have a great idea for a startup internet company that I know the demographic well. However, I do not know how to find other collaborators to be part of the team to put this business together. Where could I find a tech/webmaster to build the site and possibly another collaborator who has already started and completed a start up company. A big concern is trust, of course. If I lay out my idea, how do I make sure they do not just go off and do it on their own? Thank you for your answers 🙂
    Suzanne Martin