Anthony Harris is a 14-year professional basketball player. Owner of 312Ah! Handcrafted Candles.
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Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Anthony Harris: Adversity is a constant, so there are always hard times. I can write a book alone on hard times it took me to get where I am today. When it comes to funding, I took a route predicated on my hard income from basketball. It took a lot of sacrifices and caused some uncomfortable moments. Because my basketball career hasn’t gone as planned, my income was not stable. I was on a year-to-year contract in most cases which gave me no real security. Most do not know the ins and outs of playing overseas or experiencing not getting paid or your money on time. That made it so tough to do a lot of things I had in the works. Once I thought I had it all together, the pandemic hit right when I was getting everything going. Even if the business took off, I would be losing my main form of income, because of the world shutdown. It was a tough time for everyone in the world.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Anthony Harris: I work on looking at everything in a positive light, or finding the positive in every situation. It’s been tough because I’ve done best being able to interact and deal with consumers and people directly. Having an online presence has been tough in the beginning stages, especially during this pandemic. It’s teaching me a lot of valuable lessons, that only experience can teach you.
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values?
Anthony Harris: This is a tough one because they all can be the same when it comes to the level of importance. Values will always hold a high place in my moral compass. The mission and the vision are based on the values you put into it. Knowing the worth of a thing is something that is overlooked all too well.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Anthony Harris: Discipline will always be atop of any list I have. It’s the foundation on which all success is built. Lacking in that field will inevitably lead to failure. It’s rarely enjoyable, yet always profitable. The second would be drive because starting a business can be challenging, and some challenges call for a moderate amount of competitiveness, determination, and motivation. Last would be ambition/passion. Once again, it can be very difficult to overcome the challenges of starting a business and running a successful business without a true passion for what it is you do.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Anthony Harris: Branding is everything. I had a close friend, that’s very successful in the advertisement and marketing world. For several years he preached to me about focusing on branding, he swore by it. I felt that I already had been drowned out since high school with the whole “build your brand” notion. He was right because if I had that approach earlier in my career, I would have already laid the groundwork, built my brand up without even having a product to sell.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Anthony Harris: I’ve always taken the saying “lead by example” to heart. That was always my mindset, even when the vocal aspect of leadership contradicts that. I understood that talk can just be talk. Results are always understood, not talk with limited to no action at all, which doesn’t add up.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Anthony Harris: Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work. I thought that wouldn’t apply to me, and I experienced the truth of that quote early on thankfully. It changed my approach drastically how I approached things, and not being complacent on natural ability.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Anthony Harris for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Anthony Harris or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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