Vid Lamonte’ Buggs Jr. is the founder and owner of VLB/VBJ Enterprises, LLC, and 4-U-Nique Publishing. He is also a bestselling author, a speaker, and a consultant. A modern-day “Renaissance man.” Vid is a man of diverse interests who directs his many talents towards bringing people together, encouraging them to look past their differences to unite to make the world a better place.
VLB/VBJ Enterprises, LLC. was created as an umbrella or a series for companies like 4-U-Nique Publishing. Vid wanted to establish a company that ventured into real estate; Public Speaking; Investing, Building Businesses, and Consulting. He patterned VLB/VBJ Enterprises’ mission to building communities up while delivering positive messages and helping others reach their potential and accomplish their goals.
4-U-Nique Publishing, LLC is a publishing company whose focus is on providing authors with a quality publishing service and allowing them to keep their publishing rights and provide them with higher royalties than other publishing companies. Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Vid to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
I was in 6th grade when my entrepreneurial flair first revealed itself. A friend and I decided to sell candy and gum before, during, and after school. We figured out pretty early that we could buy a bag of Blow Pops for 3 dollars. We could sell an individual Blow Pop for 25 cents. Out of one bag of Blow Pops, we make close to 20 dollars. A profit of 17 dollars off of one bag of candy wasn’t bad for a 6th grader.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was a basketball player who played at a high level (pro and semi-pro leagues). My life wasn’t stable at all. Although I received multiple degrees in college, I knew I wasn’t a person that would “waste” my many talents behind a desk. So, between basketball, writing my first book, and figuring out what job would fit me best, I was bewildered about where my life was taking.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
What motivates and drives me as an entrepreneur is that my businesses support others’ dreams and goals. My companies help give a voice to those who feel they are voiceless. I have to keep pushing because so many people are counting on me each day.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
I’m a black man from Hampton, VA, who has been excluded countless times. However, each time others have counted me out and even myself, I have been blessed with a blessing. These blessings have come in the form of inspiration, a mentor, a business opportunity, a new client, a new service, an interview feature, finances, or a new staff member. Each of these blessings has helped me and my businesses to continue to grow.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
1). The Most High. God has directed me to start my businesses. Before I started my businesses, if you told me that I would create an enterprise or a publishing company, I would have said you were crazy. However, the spirit of God led me to do what I am doing now. I know a lot will relate to what I am saying. And a lot will think I’m crazy for saying this. However, Glory goes to The Most High.
2). Helping others reach their potential so they can accomplish their goals and dreams.
3). To give a voice to the voiceless and articulate their story. Everyone has a story to tell, and they need a platform to speak their truth
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
The key elements for running a successful business are patience, focus, determination, goal-oriented, caring for your customers, time management, and a positive attitude. You have to be a student in the industry and understand your weakness and strengths. You got to know your target customers and humble yourself to lesson to what you are doing right and wrong.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business, and how did you overcome them?
1). One of the biggest challenges I have faced growing my businesses was getting the necessary capital to help fund my businesses’ growth. I have one thing that stood against me, and that is my race. Time and time again, it is proven that financial institutions discriminate against minorities when loaning money. I overcame my challenge of gaining capital by creating other income sources, and my best friend invested in my businesses.
2). Trusting others to help grow the businesses. Having a business is like having another child. You become protective of your business. Being protective over my businesses, I was hesitant to allow others to help me grow the companies. However, when I realized that I was being stubborn and selfish and that the ultimate goal was to help others, I allowed others to grow the businesses. Knowing my weaknesses and hiring others who had strengths in areas that I am weak in permitted growth.
3). Knowing when to say “No”. I’m a stern person, but it is no secret that I wouldn’t say I like to disappoint people. However, I had to learn when to say no. Saying no to some opportunities was a challenge to me, but I knew that to grow a business, I would have to say no to specific requests.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
The best form of marketing that has worked well for me has been word of mouth; what better way to recommend service by those you trust and have dealt with a company firsthand. When you provide quality service or product, it will become personable with your clients and customers. Therefore it brings a higher value to the company.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
1). Understand my weaknesses and strengths.
2). Hire those who have strengths that complement your weakness. For example, selling and marketing isn’t my strong suit, so I hired a marketing manager and a sales expert.
3). Trust and have confidence in who you hire until proven otherwise. Do not micromanage; this is healthy for a business atmosphere and staff morale.
4). Ask for and let others help you. It’s common for new entrepreneurs to wearing several hats when they are starting their new business. However, as the business grows, it is essential to hire and seek help. A company will not succeed when its leader is running itself thin by wearing too many hats.
5). Time Management. As a business grows, more responsibilities will arise and call for attention. It is essential to prioritize your time.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice that I have been given is “Fire Fast, Hire Slow.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
You want to have a sound business plan, and you want to know how you target customers. Draw up a strong marketing plan to reach your targeted customers. Keep your finances in check by hiring a bookkeeper or accountant.
Please make sure the branding and trademark are on point and you want to make it stand out. Make sure you have a business lawyer on the dial. Once you set up everything, tell all your friends, family, and everyone you know to support your business and spread the word to everyone they know. Much success to you and your business.
Find out more about Vid via www.vidbuggs.com.