Leadership is one of the most celebrated traits in the world. Every domain is led by leaders who have turned the seemingly impossible into possible with their out-of-the-box visionary thinking. While leadership looks attractive, glamorous, and rewarding, it is a blend of extensive research, planning and right execution backed by an iron will, dedication, and extraordinary resilience. One such leader who has completely defied the conventional definitions of leadership and has created a mark of his own is Jeremy E. Joyce, the Founder & CEO of Black People Eats, LLC.
Out of his love for food and dedication to serving the community, Jeremy founded Chicago-based Black People Eats in December 2017. Black People Eats is a digital advertising company that promotes black-owned food and beverage businesses around the world. The brand is trusted by consumers to provide tasty recommendations for Black-owned restaurants in their area by visiting their website or social media pages. Black People Eats prime purpose is to connect people to Black-owned food and beverage companies because those businesses do not receive equal media attention from national voices. Through Black People Eats Jeremy, and his team is trying to highlight and showcase the stories of the unheard voices in the Black-owned food and beverage community. The goal is to bring them the support and recognition they deserve. With so many great restaurants and phenomenal dishes awaiting equal prominence to increase traffic to their locations, Black People Eats takes the lead while creating a huge footfall to these spotlighted eateries.
Below Jeremy discusses why patience and persistence are the winning combinations for long-term business success.
“The greatest risk that I have taken was quitting my job to be a full-time entrepreneur. Having a job was comfortable and it gave me a sense of security and stability. When I decided to leave that, I decided to earn that for myself. The success of my transition wasn’t guaranteed and I knew I had to learn a lot more along the way but it definitely paid off.”
Aspioneer (A): Were you a born leader or did you have to learn to become one?
Jeremy (J): “I would say I was a born leader. I naturally wanted to do things that made me walk into the role of leadership but my leadership was groomed through patient managers, mentorship, and through my parents.”
(A): Who inspired you while growing up?
(J): “Joseph and Sherita Joyce (My Father and Mother), Jason Thomas (Mentor), Jesus, Myles Munroe, and John Maxwell.”
(A): Whom do you admire now?
(J): “Jason Thomas, Sherita and Joe Joyce, Seth Godin, Pastor Mike Todd, Corey Arvinger (Co-Founder of Support Black Colleges).”
(A): How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
(J): “Optimistic, Energetic, and Visionary.”
(A): What has been your proudest work accomplishment?
(J): “My most proud accomplishment has been raising $100k in 2 weeks to give away one hundred percent of the funds to Black-owned restaurants that were financially hit during the pandemic. My initial goal was to raise only $20k but the community responded overwhelmingly, I surpassed that goal in just a few days and the community kept giving.”
(A): What popular leadership advice do you agree/disagree with? Why?
(J): “I agree with the quote that, “One of us is not greater than all of us.” Oftentimes, most people see leadership as a journey by themselves. True leaders inspire others. It’s not about where you go but how many people you can take with you.”
(A): What’s the advice you’re glad you ignored?
(J): “In the early stages of my business development, I was told not to focus on Black-owned restaurants. Most people believe that in order to make it you have to serve everybody. What they don’t realize is by trying to serve everybody you end up serving nobody. Focusing on your niche allows you to have a specific target audience that allows you to grow a strong local community.”
(A): How do you handle uncertainty?
(J): “I seek counsel from mentorship, my team, and God. I believe that there is safety in a multitude of counsel and I learned that I cannot operate my business as if I were solo on an island.”
(A): What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?
(J): “The greatest risk that I have taken was quitting my job to be a full-time entrepreneur. Having a job was comfortable and it gave me a sense of security and stability. When I decided to leave that, I decided to earn that for myself. The success of my transition wasn’t guaranteed and I knew I had to learn a lot more along the way but it definitely paid off.”
(A): Share an instance when you failed and the lesson you learned from it?
(J): “My first paid event was a brunch that sold out in two weeks. I was ecstatic. It was a huge success; the restaurant owner and the patrons had a great experience and many asked when I would be hosting my next event. I was eager to host the next one, but I didn’t plan my promotion and marketing as well as I did the first. I launched the tickets about a week and a half before the event and I struggled to lock in enough sales to host it. I had to cancel the event and refund a few patrons that purchased their tickets. I learned that although one event was successful that doesn’t mean my next event will be. The same level of energy, preparation, and promotion I put into the first event is still required of the next one. Past success is a great indicator of future success but it’s never guaranteed, that’s why proper preparation and timing are equally important.”
(A): To anyone looking to start a new business or transition into a new leadership role, what advice would you give them?
(J): “I would say embrace the unknown. We often feel that we must have it all figured out. We need all the answers, and/or everything in perfect alignment before we take that step forward. What I have learned is when you trust God, execute, and be patient–things manifest in their correct time.”