As promised in my post Black History Now , I would like to introduce Entrepreneur Joseph L. Poole!
Tell me a little about yourself and what you do?
I was born and raised in South Jersey, the youngest of six (6)
children. My parents originally migrated from Darlington, SC to
Philadelphia and then to Berlin, NJ. We attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church
in Atco, NJ where my Father was Assistant Pastor. During my junior year in
High School my parents sent me to SC to keep me out of trouble. I joined
the Marine Corps in 1986 and went on Active Duty after graduating high
school in 1987. In August 1991 I preached my initial Sermon. While
serving in the Marine Corps I had the privilege of teaching and preaching
across the U.S. and overseas. In 1992 I developed my personal Self defense
system and began teaching. In 1998 I medically retired from the Marine
Corps and went to work in the Higher Education Field. From 1998 unto 2008
I was blessed to have worked at St. John’s University, Ingersoll Rand
Education Solutions Department, New School University and Berkeley
College.[Joseph L. Poole is now the Owner/Chief Instructor of M.V.P.]
What prompted you to become an entrepreneur?
It just seems natural to me, my father was an entrepreneur and I think
that the characteristics that were instilled in me along with just the way
that I have been directed in life has brought me to this place. I
started my first business in Junior High school with my best friend we
would by candy from the corner store near our church and then sell it to
the other kids. I ran a small Security/Security Technology Consulting
Firm from 1997 until 2003 which I ended due to possible conflict of
interest with my new job at the time. Now I am blessed to be able to
Minister through my business and although it gets financially tight
sometimes I truly thank God for the opportunity.
What were the first steps you took towards making your dream into reality?
Research, research and more research. You have to educate yourself to
every aspect of what you want to do. It doesn’t matter if you are working
for yourself or for someone else; in order to be good at what you do you
need to be a student of whatever profession you choose.
How do/did you handle obstacles and roadblocks?
Prayer, Patience and Praise.
Where does your inspiration come from?
God gives me my inspiration; through my faith, through my wife
Priscilla, my kids and my parents.
How do you define and or measure success?
I measure my success by the success and the development of those that I
reach out to. For example if the goal is to help someone pass a test my
success is wrapped up in the passing of that test.
How has your business helped with community growth or development?
I believe I have had a positive impact on the community because of a
few things. First is that I really don’t look at this as a business, it is
Ministry for me. As a Not for Profit. I try to keep the cost down in order
to allow families to afford to train. The After school programs are done
at a cost while I have donated my time teaching Martial Arts and Leadership
Characteristics that teach responsibility for Self, Family and Community.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
The best advice that I can give anyone is seek God’s will for your life
and then pursue it with all that has been put in you. Pay attention to
those who have been put in your life because they have been put there for
a reason. Choose a good Mentor and always look to mentor someone.