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Inspiring Conversations with J Haleem Washington

Today we’d like to introduce you to J Haleem Washington.

Hi J Haleem, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I went from working for $8.00 an hour at the Hampton Inn to earning six figures as a Commercial Photographer in a few years. I was able to accomplish all this while being a convicted felon. While working for $8.00 an hour, I developed my mantra #I Won’t Starve, which became the catalyst for me to leave my job after only one year. Over my career, I’ve been able to work with international brands like Nike, Save The Children Foundation, NFL, Amtrak & The WNBA.

Since then, I have become pardoned, and now I am a best-selling author and motivational speaker.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As stated before, I became a convicted felon early in my college career. Coming out of college with $60,000 in student loan debt and not being able to get a substantial job, to even have a chance to pay it back, was extremely tough. When I was coming up, entrepreneurship wasn’t perceived as it is now. In my day, entrepreneurship wasn’t something that everybody smiled upon. It wasn’t the thing to do. So going out of college and jumping right into entrepreneurship was frowned upon by the other academics and other individuals, the adults that were in my life all called me lazy said that I was wasting my time and not wanting to put in the work. So, it was definitely tough trying to weave in and out of the traffic of life, trying to stay under the radar and not let everybody know about my background while doing business with major corporations or banks or local, state, and federal government entities that was tough. But I found that most of the time, they didn’t concern themselves with my background as much as I did, but if I were applying for the same job or any job at those places, I would have never had a chance. There were definitely some struggles along the way.

We’ve been impressed with J Haleem, LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
J Haleem, LLC is a business consulting firm. We specialize in business development, coaching, and training to help our clients secure their space in the marketplace, identify strategic alliances, and develop sales strategies. Through my company, I have helped more than 500 businesses launch and grow their way to success.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Those interested in working with me should be aspiring or new entrepreneurs within their first one to three years in business. If they are interested in scheduling a consultation, they can visit my website: www.jhaleem.com.

The easiest way to collaborate and support me is through my non-profit, I Won’t Starve Academy. The mission of I Won’t Starve Academy is to prepare and train African-Americans to achieve success through entrepreneur and career development while instilling the tools that produce a growth mindset through a series of training, classes, and workshops focusing on business development, leadership, and intrapreneurship. Over the last year, I Won’t Starve Academy has provided community education and support through its Kids Won’t Starve Remote Learning Pod and business development education for aspiring entrepreneurs through its FastTrac Entrepreneur Development Program.

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