IS THIS MIC ON CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER: JAREN COLLINS
we recently spoke with JAREN COLLINS OF JCI CREATIVES to learn how he is amplifying his voice through his brand.
My voice deserves to be heard because....
It is the voice of the people it represents. The voice of black men. The voice of only children. The voice of a single parent home. The voice of the first-generation college student. The voice of triumph in the face of adversity. My voice deserves to be heard because it is the voice of possibility and expectation. Intentionality and innovation. My voice deserves to be heard because it is impactful to those who dare to listen.
“When I finally gave my notice to start my own business, that's when I truly found my voice..”
When did you find your voice?
At a young age, I dreamed of owning my own business. I dreamed of creating a legacy for myself and my family. I knew my passion was to help others with my own talents, even before I knew where those talents lied. I grew up with the vision of finding my success on my own terms. It was my dream to right my own story. And my confidence, then and now, lied in the idea that I would always have the support of my family and my friends. With that, I knew that my voice would always have power.
Did your upbringing shape who you are today?
As an only child to a single mother, I was driven from a young age to be better. My mom did everything she could to pour her wisdom into me and show me that I am valuable beyond measure. The love I received molded me into the strong, black man I am, today. I was told that I don't have to accept anything from anyone. I was taught that I am capable of creating my own path and being whatever I want to be. And, with that, I knew I could never fail. My mother wouldn't allow me to give up. And, my family expected me to be more.
Describe your journey? What was your defining moment?
I dated entrepreneurship for a very long time. Our fling began in 2009 when I turned my internship into my lover. I purchased my first camera from Wal-Mart online and we started seeing each other rather frequently over the next 7 years. She has changed a lot over the years. She was difficult. Sometimes cold. Even gained a little weight. But, regardless of all of those moments, she always treated me well. She supported me even when I didn't give her my undivided attention. She gave me her all, even when I was a bit rough or carefree. We walked together through life hand and hand and she really challenged me to be a better man. Then, about a year ago, I met my defining moment - when I decided to make it last forever. I quit my full-time job and married my passion. It felt like a leap of faith, but really it was the smartest move I have ever made. And while we've had our ups and downs. All of my good days outweigh my bad days. And I love her more and more every day.
Advice to someone in search of finding their voice in the entrepreneurial, influencer and creative space.
Do you. No matter what anyone says. Do what you feel is right and best for your situation. There are a billion ways to live this life. Don't miss out by trying to sound like, be like, work like someone else. Be true to yourself. And be consistent. The rest will follow.
Who is Jaren Collins? He is a forward-thinking creative who likes to put his heart and soul into his ideas. Jaren and JCi Creatives are about disrupting the status quo through the creation of impressive visual arts and incomparable creative ideas.
How will you continue to amplify your voice?
I will continue to amplify my voice by sharing the voice of others through my next project, The Modern Millennial Network. An online TV platform showcasing thriving millennials.