Success Story September 20, 2021 at 11:30 am

He set up a cybersecurity training firm during the pandemic, and made over $1m in less than a year

Abu Mubarik September 20, 2021 at 11:30 am

September 20, 2021 at 11:30 am | Success Story

Self-taught cybersecurity consultant Boyd Clewis. Photo: Twitter/Bloyd Clewis

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on businesses, particularly Black-owned firms. However, amid the pandemic, some Black entrepreneurs are making six and seven figures. One such entrepreneur is Boyd Clewis.

Clewis is the founder of Baxter Clewis Consulting, an IT solution provider that is making waves. He helps companies and IT professionals get up to speed with cybersecurity. Clewis built his company without any formal training in IT.

Originally from Fort Worth Texas, Clewis comes from a family that places a premium on education. When he enrolled in college, he dropped out of school after one year. Although Clewis likes to study, he knew formal education was not a thing for him, according to Forbes.

He entered the workforce working in account receivables for a few years and at a point, worked for the largest copy company in Dallas. However, he was made redundant after the company relocated its offices. This put the Fort Worth Texas native in a dire financial situation as he had rent to pay and had kids to feed.

Clewis was passionate about IT growing up and when he became unemployed, he made a career switch to IT. He spent time watching YouTube videos while using second-hand companies for his practical works. Over time, he acquired some skills that helped him get jobs at some local companies.

Clewis noticed that cybersecurity was increasingly becoming important and so he spent time learning and reading. Eventually, luck smiled at him when his manager at one of the local companies he was working at called him for a meeting. The company was behind when it comes to cybersecurity audits and the manager wanted him to see what he could do to get the company up to date on the necessary systems for security around credit card data, according to Forbes.

Clewis grabbed the opportunity as a way to apply the practical knowledge he has acquired and the company successfully passed the audit. His audit received positive feedback from the auditor. This energized him to learn more in the area of IT.

After building a comprehensive skill set, Clewis updated his CV and Linkedin profile and started looking elsewhere. He landed an interview offer at American Airlines but failed. However, two years later, he was contacted by American Airlines for a role as a Senior Security Architect where he would be helping them design strategies and systems to protect them and their customers when accepting credit card payments, Forbes said.

Clewis excelled in his role at American Airlines and over time, he started getting consultancy offers from other Fortune 500 companies. This motivated him to start his own consulting firm, Baxter Clewis Consulting, where he would consult for the companies.

Since establishing his firm, Clewis has traveled globally to countries such as Italy, Canada, and Australia speaking at conferences and running workshops. According to Forbes, within a year, the consultancy firm was bringing in seven figures.

Also, Clewis founded an Academy where he taught people skills they could use to enhance their careers. The Academy has since helped over 300 IT professionals who were low-skilled advance their careers through increased knowledge of cybersecurity.

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