Today we’d like to introduce you to Derek Herbert II.
Derek, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in Compton, California in the 90s in a non-traditional working class household, raised by my mother and my maternal grandmother made me into the man I am today (Go Figure!). My name is Derek S. Herbert Jr., I am 24 and I am a freelance graphic designer and Content Creator.
I come from a line of hard-workers and “go-getters”. My family always did their best to support me and give me a fulfilling childhood. They’ve gotten me into the best schools, allowed me to play sports, introduced me to new and exciting things, affordable me many Christmases and simply made sure I never wanted for anything. I wasn’t too privy of our finances growing up but I knew we were definitely a household of white-collar workers. I was a pretty happy kid and I knew that I had my young friends and family that loved me. I learned FAITH by being raised in a Christian household, going to church religiously every Sunday. I knew that faith kept us close to God and got us through our most trying times. Amongst many things, I was taught three key principles 1. Education is super important 2. Be the best ME I can be & 3. Always Love, Praise, & Thank God. (OH And 4… “Who cares what people say, People will talk about you until the day you die” (in my Nana’s voice).) I’m so thankful for that because it has truly made me into the man I am today…an educated, true-to-self, God-fearing young African-American man with big dreams and aspirations. I am Black Excellence!
I attended California State University, East Bay in Hayward California in Fall 2013 and I graduated four years later in 2017 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Public & Organizational Communication. I was the first generation College student AND now graduate in my family which was a monumental achievement for all of us. There, I learned how to integrate theories and criticism with the essential skills for media production, professional engagement and meaningful research (all while working two jobs simultaneously). Since graduating, I was able to make a positive, professional, and important contribution to my surrounding communities and organizations. I can honestly say college played an integral part in finding myself and making me a stronger adult.
However, as I’ve grew older I started to notice CHANGE. My mindset changed. My surroundings changed and my path was becoming much more clearer than it had ever been before.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely was not ALWAYS smooth sailings. But I’ve learned that in life, I may not be able to control every situation and its outcome but I am in complete control of my attitude and how I respond to those situations.
It had taken me some time to find my niche in the BIG world after graduating college. My first job after college was in customer service. I quickly realized that was not for me. But because all eyes were on me post-graduation and now I had real bills and ends to meet, I held that position for as long as I could to support myself and also show that I wouldn’t fail nor settle for anything less than what I worked hard for. I was not being honest. I was not being honest with my happiness and contentment with my life and direction to my family and most importantly to myself. I was misguided until I met face to face with depression. There is where I knew… I’m experiencing post-grad depression. I was irrational, angry, sad, and frustrated. I watched people around me do great things and I struggled. It wasn’t until serval months after and a loss in the family that made me realize… life is too short to be unhappy and watching the days go by…its time to get back to DEREK for DEREK. My favorite quote of all time is “Don’t count the days, make the days count” and that’s exactly what I felt I needed to do. I needed a change of scenery. So I quit both of my jobs and began to work full-time for a non-profit that serves low-income families and seniors. This was more like it! It resonates with me and I’ve always had a passion for helping others and forging relationships with thriving communities and the people that create it. I am now happy, healthy, and fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire… changing lives!
DSH Media – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
With just a few more moments to myself, now that I’ve settle in ONE job…I started to brainstorm on how to create something of my own using my God giving talents. I knew I wanted to own my own business and work towards becoming an entrepreneur in my younger years and all I needed was the determination, discipline, resilience, and willingness to get it done and I would soon to create my own content. I produced my own web series on IGTV called “Late Night With Derek” and 5 months later started my first ever podcast “Derek On Record”. These ideas came to me because I was in search for an outlet. I wanted to use my voice and social media presence to open dialogue on everything that surrounded us, I had so much to say and needed the platform to do it. Once work began to pick up in my new position… I slowed down on being in front of the camera but still took time every day to post my daily motivational quotes that are deeply loved by many of my Instagram followers. It was my way of connecting with them outside of my web series and podcast in the hopes of them finding something that resonates with them and saves them and makes them smile just like quotes did for me when I was down or just needed an extra boost in confidence and strength.
Today, I still post daily motivational quotes and it is truly always one of the highlights of my morning. Subsequently after my shows, I tapped into another creative side of mine. I began researching and practicing freelance graphic design and media production. And from there I knew, there’s both an avenue and revenue in graphics and media and I wanted in. I never considered myself an artist but growing up, I loved creating on the computer as much as I did holding a camera. I taught myself a wide range of digital literacy from how to make my own birthday invitations in middle school to creating web series in high schools. Digitally, I felt I was reasonably inclined.
Since creating my very own first logo for my podcast “Derek On Record”, I have created over 100+ logos for people all over the country and have been highly recommended for many other graphics needed such as flyers, invitations, cover arts, t-shirt graphics, YouTube intro videos and more. I couldn’t believe this talent I discovered within myself. Today, I am proud to say I am in the beginning stages of becoming an entrepreneur. I am the founder and CEO of my own (soon to be world-renowned) graphics and media conglomerate “DSH Media”. I’m known as a graphic designer and Content Creator and I specialize in graphics and all things media. What I’m most proud of is that I didn’t give up. I took everything that I loved to do, introduced it to my following, stayed consistent, branded it, and monetized. I think what sets me apart from others is that I’m still willing to learn my craft and I also like to build professional relationships with my clients. I think it’s very important to always try and perfect your craft and build strategic partnerships with other entrepreneurs and bounce ideas off of one another.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To quote our forever First Lady Michelle Obama… “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @derekdahmer