Isaac Barnes lost his father before his 18th birthday. This left him traumatized and uncertain about his own future. While grieving in his mother’s basement, one day, he saw a book with many sticky notes on his father’s bookshelf.
The book, titled “The Magic of Thinking Big,” inspired Barnes to consider a career in the military which he eventually did after dropping out of college. In June 2001, he received a date for Marine Corps Bootcamp but his enrollment coincided with the 9/11 attacks.
He witnessed the horror of the 9/11 attacks, which further inspired his desire to serve in the military in order to protect the nation. In the Marines, Barnes spent many nights and days learning how to become a software developer.
His labor paid off as he eventually became one of the top students in his class. This led him to work with the leading coders in the Marines in Quantico, VA. He subsequently landed a job at the Pentagon where he worked for the Secretary of Defense. His work included designing tools to help modernize the military.
Working for the Secretary of Defense saw Barnes grow his interest in government contracting. He helped a vet grow his defense contracting company from $3 million to $17 million in revenue.
Realizing he could only impact one organization at a time by working for others, he decided to spend more time learning business. This led him to read hundreds of books and courses as well as attend events on how to pursue his new goal.
He then founded GovPlayers.com to interview GovCon experts and share their best practices in 2011. Barnes spent almost 12 years partnering with business leaders from a wide range of fields. They included executives from the Office of the President, the Department of Defense, corporations and nonprofits.
Barnes has also worked with several influential people in technology and global brands like Amazon and the Consumer Technology Association, to promote Northern Virginia as an attractive place for technology companies. In addition, he also served as the ambassador of Crystal City and his work helped Amazon to raise $40 million to build their HQ2, a second headquarters for the American company.
Barnes also led software development teams for both President Obama and President Trump.
The military veteran and tech entrepreneur now serves as the president of Eminent Future, a digital product and innovation company focused on creating societal change. He has led the company to secure over $13 billion in federal contracts with the Pentagon, White House and Department of State.
“I believe that each of us has the power to create anything we desire, as long as we align with God. My life’s purpose is to use my voice to leave the earth better than it was when I got here,” 39-year-old Barnes says on his website.