Passion. Care. Ubuntu
Posted on October 30, 2014
“Passion, Care (as the root of everything that I do) and Ubuntu” are the three words that describe me. Passion, because i’m passionate. Care, is the lense with which I look and measure my actions and those of others around me. Ubuntu, because it is the centre of my ethos, I believe in the African philosophy that we are all equal and interconnected – we are not fully human alone. This opinion is the absolute foundation of everything that I do in business.
Let it Grow is a creative agency. We are not a traditional advertising, design or marketing agency.We are unorthodox, unruly and unabashedly creative. We design experiences and environments – part of which includes infusing “soul” into the big businesses and big brands which we service. The creative strategies of Let It Grow are about doing smart business with integrity – in a way that is not exploitative. We believe that if we continue to do this, and do it well, with all of the large and international brands that we serve, we create a new standard; one which states that it is possible to do business in an altruistic way, a social entrepreneurial way, whilst earning large profits. I personally couldn’t care less about making profits. However, my clients do, and I understand that. So in order to effectively change the “money making” game of this world, I have to play the game…and play it better.
Brand culture says everything about your team: the people that you work with and how you serve your clients. A brand is the soul of the company, and it is the story that you tell the world. People don’t connect with businesses…they connect with brands. Often, entrepreneurs try to separate the two by focusing on one or the other: building a brand versus building a company yet, they are interconnected. You cannot build a brand without the business. What is a business (a legal and separate entity) without a personality? On the other side of the spectrum, entrepreneurs must build their personal brand concurrently.
I ran a private equity firm for a long time, prior to Let It Grow. In our investment decisions we looked at two things: one, is the concept viable? Two, who are we investing in? In knowing that the entrepreneur was constantly acting within the ethos and philosophy our brand – we believed that we were making an even wiser investment decision, as it gave us the confidence that we would have a consistent experience in the relationship.
The biggest lesson that I have learnt as an entrepreneur, writer and investor, is to embrace your idealism. It is the most important tool inherent in all entrepreneurs. Most people think of something, then push it aside. It is what they have been taught in life, even in business school, “to be practical and realistic.” I don’t believe in that. I say: “be strategic and learn to give into your idealistic thinking” – at the core of that, is strategy. That is what separates the rest from the Obama’s and Branson’s of the world.
Jared grew up in “Music City USA”, aka Nashville, TN. Music and art are in his blood. He’s been called “a bearded zen warrior” by those that know him best. He’s a philosopher, writer, strategist and humanitarian who’s read The Art of War somewhere around 432 times. Jared spent many years operating as Creative Director of the Nashville based private equity firm, The Incubator Group. He founded and operated a luxury fashion label in East Africa called KEZA and continues to be heavily involved in the African fashion scene. He’s consulted for nonprofits such as American Indian Movement, D.A.T.A, ONE Campaign, Keep a Child Alive, Genocide Intervention Fund and the governments of Nigeria, Rwanda and Kenya. He’s a frequent speaker on the issues of Gender Based Violence, ant-trafficking and development in Africa. He’s also a member of the Hair Club for Men. He has extensive experience in branding, marketing, copy writing, business development, digital media, and production of music, fashion and film. He’s lived and worked in East Africa since early 2006.