This Is the Most Lucrative Skill Set Today, According to Successful Entrepreneur Billy Gene Shaw
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In this series called Member Showcase, we publish interviews with members of The Oracles. This interview is with online marketing influencer and educator Billy Gene Shaw III, the founder and CEO of Billy Gene Is Marketing. It was condensed by The Oracles.
Who are you?
Billy Gene Shaw: I’m an entrepreneur who went from living at my parents’ house with over $50,000 in debt to building a multi-million-dollar business four years later. Now, my school teaches other entrepreneurs how I did that: by getting customers online using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Online marketing is hands-down the most lucrative skill set in the world today. Every business in the world needs it to survive. Yet few people know how to use this skill because you don’t learn it in college. They will indebt you, but they won’t teach you the most important skill you need to succeed. I’m here to pick up the slack.
What is one of your proudest moments?
Billy Gene Shaw: For most African-American children, musicians and athletes are the only successful people they see. My proudest moment is evergreen: showing others that they don’t have to be a freakish athlete to achieve financial freedom — all they need is a laptop and a cell phone.
I’ve created resources and a clear path to success for people all over the world who look like me and don’t believe they have the resources to succeed. That’s something I'm thankful for every single day.
What excites you the most about your business right now?
Billy Gene Shaw: The world has it twisted. Somewhere along the line, it became okay for education to be boring. Why can’t education feel like a concert or a comedy show? Why can’t it be fun?
Enter “GENEIUS” Studios. Think Saturday Night Live meets Ellen Degeneres meets luxury movie theatre. When it opens, it will be the coolest place on earth to come together and learn from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. GENEIUS Studios will also be affordable and much more valuable than what any traditional university provides. I envisioned this years ago, and it feels amazing to actually see it come to life today.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from your favorite mentor?
Billy Gene Shaw: My favorite mentor is my dad. I was “temporarily” living out of my car, and one day it got towed. I couldn’t afford to get it out of the impound so I called my dad to bail me out. He said, “Son, make it happen,” and hung up on me. Guess what I did? I made it happen, and I continued to make it happen for the next 10 years.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Billy Gene Shaw: I love this question. I would tell myself to stop trying to figure it out on your own. That’s the worst mistake you can make. Don’t be lazy, and don’t be cheap. I would have reached my destination a lot faster if I sought mentorship from entrepreneurs who were living my dream and making it happen.
How do you define great leadership?
Billy Gene Shaw: Great leadership is caring about the wellbeing of those who are working with you — not for you — just as much as you care about your own wellbeing.
How do you hire top talent?
Billy Gene Shaw: You get to a stage in business where competing with other companies for talent goes beyond the salary you offer. What ultimately attracts great talent is the company’s vision and potential. Specifically, how that candidate fits into the vision and can contribute to it. The best candidates want to be clear about their impact. Whoever has the vision that's right for them is going to win, every single time.
How do you prevent burnout?
Billy Gene Shaw: Usually when you feel burnt out, it’s because you’re focusing on everything that you don’t like. If you enjoy what you’re doing, work becomes your fuel, not your strain. That’s why I believe in work/life integration as opposed to work/life balance. Change your focus or change the way you feel.
If you ever start a charity, what would it be called and what would it do?
Billy Gene Shaw: It would be called, “Give Like A GENEIUS!” We would give scholarships, opportunities, and experiences to lower-income households around the world. Our mission would be to entertain, educate, and empower youth so they don’t just leave an impact on the world when they grow up — they leave craters.
What do you want to be known for, or what do you want your legacy to be?
Billy Gene Shaw: There are a lot of people who want more from life but don’t know how to get it. They’re lonely and hopeless.
I want to be known as the person who taught and equipped others to achieve financial freedom more than anyone else in history. I want to empower others to make more choices for themselves and the people they love so they can impact the world in a greater way.