Entrepreneurship Tips from Benoni Tagoe, of Issa Rae Productions


Fresh & Local family, meet Benoni Tagoe (@nonibizz)! For many of you, this may be your first time hearing or seeing this gentleman's name, but it's safe to say that it won't be the last. He currently works as the head of business development for Issa Rae Productions, which of course is the company that initially brought us Awkward Black Girl and the HBO fan favorite Insecure. 
Earlier this week, Mr. Tagoe hosted a live facebook chat presented by Make Bread and Higher Purpose Co. where he gave a variety of tips and much needed insight for creators that are looking to create sustainable business models around their ideas. The meat of the conversation begins at the 15 minute mark in the video! We encourage everyone to watch the video (seen above) to get the full effect, but Leora Rifkin of BREAD made an outline of 7 major takeaways from the live chat that we'd like to share with everyone. Here's her list (slightly paraphrased & condensed).
1. Be of Service: Whether you have the money or not, you have resources. The first thing you should do is be of service. When Benoni first heard of what Issa was doing when Awkward Black Girl (ABG) was a web series he wrote her a page long email saying why he thought what she was doing was great and how he could HELP her cause.
2. Get Your Idea Out There, Then Pivot: When Issa Rae launched ABG, she was so hungry to get started that she had her friend who never used a camera operating one. ABG was intended to be a cartoon, but when she found out how much it cost she decided to film it herself and for her to be the lead character.
3. Some People Sell The Process More than Results: Show your work. There’s a business in showing your progress and not always obsessing over the end results.
4. Don't Be an Artist: This ties in with #3. Don’t get stuck on what the end results look like. It might hold you back from making money. Progress over perfection.
5. The Lego Method: Stack different things. Stack your leverage, your learning, and your money. For example, that project you didn’t make any money on now you can go sell for 10x what you would have made had you tried to sell it before you had that leverage.
6. Content is Key: You can build an audience and generate revenue around great content.
7. Books: Benoni recommends Hooked by Nir Eyal, and Launch by Jeff Walker, and Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff.

There's a lot of valuable information to unpack within this post and we certainly hope that someone out there reading this will take full advantage of the advice that Benoni Tagoe has to offer. We urge our readers to follow him - he does so much more than just work for Issa Rae (although that's awesome enough, by itself!). His management and consulting company, The Bizz Plan, helps emerging entrepreneurs find ways to make long term careers out of their initial social media presence and the Fresh & Local team fully supports him in that mission. 

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