Celebrate Your Online Success
Inspirational Stories of Successful Business Owners Brought To You By Sharifah Hardie (An Interview with Aaron Robinson:Publisher/Founder of Consciousness Magazine) http://www.ebiz-professionals.com/
What is your business? We produce a bi-monthly publication named Consciousness Magazine. We focus on real life issues; entertainment and positive content that we hope will uplift, strengthen and give our readers insight. Our main goal is to touch the hearts of many in hopes that we can continue to make a difference in this world. We are a publishing company in the Midwest area that circulates magazines throughout the United States whether by subscriptions, online eBooks or various media and internet outlets. As a small business, we have our own in-house graphic design team, photographers, and writers. We also sub-contract with several business professionals to help make our product successful.
Why did you start your business? I started Consciousness Magazine to make a change and positive impact on society. God gave me several artistic gifts and a vision, and I felt that I had a lot to offer and give back to the world. While attending Columbia College Chicago, I lived on the Westside of Chicago in an environment called “the ghetto.” There were many things that I wasn’t fond of; the homeless, ignorant and uneducated individuals that lost hope, and some teenagers I saw that grew up too fast; not understanding their purpose. For months, I was hurt from what I was seeing and I wanted to do something about this epidemic. There were days when I began to have visions of creating a pamphlet with conscious information. I believe God was talking to me, because it dawned on my heart for months and months; even when I tried to neglect it. Being a graphic designer and visual artist, I designed a pamphlet in the form of a brochure called, Consciousness with Hip-Hop. I wanted to reach the youth. Also, as an innovative individual, I wanted to take a challenge from this vision to do the impossible in my mind. I utilized all of my creativity and resources to my fullest. So, for nine months I had a drive to draw and designed the layout of a magazine while putting together a volunteer staff. While taking the challenges and going through trials-and tribulations, Consciousness Magazine was born.
How many people are in your organization? We have approximately 16 people, which include my staff, various organizations and business associates.
What’s the toughest part of operating your business? The toughest part of operating my business is being away from it. It became a part of me.
What’s the most fun part of operating your business? The most fun part of operating my business is meeting people and to meet those who come to greet me, to tell me that the magazine has either uplifted them or made an impact in their life. When I hear things like this I know that the magazine was destined. Also, I love meeting and networking with individuals who have the same goal and visions as I, whether if it’s a common person or celebrity status. I love to see a vision come to pass.
Is there anything you would have done differently? In the past, I would have been more selective of who I choose as my business associates or whom I work with. A couple of times I have put trust in people to work on certain aspects of the company and they have either stole large amounts of money or have tried to destroy my business. I would have put together a tight team, not because of their expertise but because them wanting to be a part of a media family. At first I didn’t have any knowledge of being a publisher. I stepped out on faith and worked every aspect of this business; from delivering mails to selling advertising campaigns, passing out flyers on the street and to lecturing journalism classes. All of this was a great experience and made Consciousness Magazine what it is today.
What advice do you have for others just starting their business? Before you go out and make a decision on your own, make sure you talk it over with God first. Do things for the love and not the money. Remain humble through the trying times and have a strong and encouraging team or partner. Also, when dealing with anything monetary make sure you have a contract or some form of agreement.
What person has influenced your business the most and why? My sister Mozella Sullivan has been a great influence. She is the publisher of Allezom Magazine, which evolved from Consciousness Magazine. She is an original founder and has worked by my side since day one to help the magazine reach its goal and purpose. My friend Elder Lee Harris has also been an influence. He is a book author of inspirational books and a writer for the magazine. He has become one of my mentors over the years and plays a major role in this company. He has also worked closely beside me to help Consciousness Magazine reach its goal and purpose. It has been a great adventure.
Why do you consider your business to be an online success? I have become good associates with some successful companies and a part of many social networks. Through the internet I have meet great people, nonetheless; customers, advertisers and famous people who have shown us great support of this endeavor. It has all been a blessing.