Dejon Brooks is a 20-year-old Founder, who put his life savings into starting up Trend Watchers. After reaching over 50 million people through his own social platforms, Dejon now helps thousands of content creators go viral by taking advantage of internet trends.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Dejon Brooks: Hi, My name is Dejon Brooks. I am the 20-year-old founder of Trend Watchers. Trend Watchers used to be a failed high school project of mine but near the beginning of 2020, I sold 21 Ethereum coins to fund the project into what it is today.
Had you told me I was going to own a software company 3 years ago, I would laugh at you but it is amazing how dreams come true. (With work of course!)
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Dejon Brooks: In my opinion, I believe entrepreneurs are made in one of two ways. The first way is being taught by a family member, friend, or getting advice from someone who is an entrepreneur. The cool part about this route is that you are shown the reward but at the same time, you were also taught that you have to work to get that reward.
The second way entrepreneurs are made is through circumstances. Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck but your family isn’t making a lot of money so you were forced to hustle for survival. In my case, I believe It was a healthy mixture of both. I did not grow up poor but I was told I had to make my own money if I wanted to buy nice things. I also had access to books, podcasts, and mentors which helped me see the end reward but also taught me that I had to work to get it.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Dejon Brooks: I believe an entrepreneur is someone who builds systems to solve problems at scale. After starting a few businesses over the years I noticed that it just comes down to helping people solve their problems while doing it profitably through establishing systems.
I wish someone would’ve told me that when I first got started.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Dejon Brooks: Back in high school, I used to be a full-time YouTuber and the key for going viral was to catch trends early before they blew up. I noticed that there wasn’t a tool for creators to see what was trending so I decided to develop software that did exactly that.
It originally started as a group chat on telegram & discord then I hired a software developer to create a custom platform for me in May 2020. Ever since then, I’ve just been enhancing the platform while issuing better trends to help my users get the results they want.
Trend Watchers first started as a software company but is slowly transforming into an education company where we show people how to spot trends on their own. I noticed that the best opportunities arise when you find them yourself which is why we are looking to take the educational route.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Dejon Brooks: When you first start a business the number one thing you must always assume is that people may not like your idea. You may think it’s a good idea but ultimately that’s the marketplace decision. You must be prepared to abandon your business idea or at least change it if it doesn’t work out the way you anticipated.
Another thing you must also assume is that your first sale is going to be the hardest. On the other hand, after you get your first sale all you have to do is repeat it over and over again.
Depending on the industry you’ve chosen it may be extremely competitive but don’t worry about your competitors. Just focus on giving your clients the results they want and you’ll naturally rise above your competitors.
If I were to start over today these are the three things I would tell myself.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Dejon Brooks: I think the worst decision I made when starting a business was bringing my best friends on board as co-founders. This is my first business back in high school and I had no idea what I was doing and long story short I was doing 90% of the work while they did nothing.
They weren’t lazy or anything but I didn’t pick cofounders with specific skill sets that will help get the business rolling within a short period. Because of this mistake, I ended up closing the business.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Dejan Brooks: The number one thing I would tell myself when starting my first business is to focus on cash flow.
Revenue is great to have in the business but having revenue it’s a form of market validation. Having this proof of concept is important because it gives you the proof to continue running your business. You have data that shows people need your product or service.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Dejon Brooks: The worst and the best advice I’ve received is that you can make money overnight online. This is true and false at the same time. You see when you’re first starting, you do not have a proven system. A proven system is a system within your business that can generate revenue consistently. Most people do not have this when they are starting.
When you try applying small tactics to your business without a proven system, you’re going to get nothing because you’re producing nothing. But if you already have a proven system that is generating let’s say for example $10,000 a month, applying a tactic can help you make an extra $5,000 a month overnight.
This is the power of having systems within your business but first, you need to make sure it is proven.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Dejon Brooks: I think COVID-19 helped show people that you can make an income online. Even though it was 2020, people were still skeptical of generating money online. But COVID-19 forced businesses and small shops to drop their physical stores and go for websites.
As far as what hasn’t changed, it’s still going to take some work to get some traction into your business even though it is online.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Dejon Brooks: One myth I would like to break down is that it takes a long time to set up your business to where you’re only working four hours a week. It’s very hard at first since you are still building your systems, hiring teams, and figuring stuff out but once your business has matured you can hire managers and start to step away from your business.
I wanted to bring up this common myth because people think they could step away from their business within the first month or two of business but in reality, it may take over a year before you can get to this point.
It’s possible though!
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Dejon Brooks: The traits and qualities I think are the most important when starting a business are problem-solving, patience, and creativity.
Problem-solving is important because you need to satisfy a problem people are willing to pay you to solve/fix. Also when you’re running a business all sorts of problems arise and you need to get creative when it comes to solving these problems. Especially when it seems like there is no solution.
As far as patience, nothing great is built overnight. You need to have the patience to build your brand. I thought I was going to hit $10,000 a month my first month of launching Trend Watchers, but in reality, it took way longer. In my opinion creativity and problem-solving go hand-in-hand. But creativity is important because you need to be able to know how to think outside the box to keep your business moving forward.
To keep my creativity sharp I usually read fantasy books, watch movies and do my best to keep a clear and sharp mind by getting a full night’s rest.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Dejon Brooks: The best way to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship is to throw yourself out there and fail as soon as possible. Back in high school, I started a social media marketing agency, skipped school to go to networking events, did some drop shipping, real estate wholesaling, and Facebook marketplace flipping.
I failed at most of these side hustles but the skills I have learned from failing with these businesses have continued to serve me to this day. So if I were to start all over again the first thing I would do is try to fail as quickly as possible so that I can gain real-world skills that can be applied to something else shortly.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Dejon Brooks: Hands-down, I would be an air traffic controller. In my free time, I love to drive to my local airport and watch commercial airplanes take off and land. This sparked my interest in the aviation industry. If I wasn’t doing what I am doing right now, you would find me being an air traffic controller at some airport right now.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Dejon Brooks: The one person I will add to Mount Rushmore is Jesus. Without Jesus, there’s no way I’d be where I’m at today. He helps me get through the hard lows in life.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Dejon Brooks 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 Dejon Brooks or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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