A decade ago, Everette Taylor, CEO of ET Enterprises, was among the 564,000 homeless people in the U.S. at age 17.
That would have been the end for most people, but not for Taylor.
Growing up in a rough part of Richmond, Va., Taylor refused to be lost to street gangsterism, crimes and many other vices considered the way of life of the African American. Very aware of what he wanted to do in life, Taylor set out on his entrepreneurial journey.
At 19, he started an event marketing technology company, EZ Events, successfully selling it two years later. Since then, Taylor has been a trailblazer in the world of entrepreneurship and marketing, building several multi-million-dollar brands.
“Experiences like that teach you how to stand in another person’s shoes, to understand people and what they go through. There’s nothing better than being able to understand people,” he told Inc Magazine.
“Those experiences also help me never to forget where I came from,” he added.
As CEO of ET Enterprises, Taylor controls a diverse portfolio of companies that include PopSocial, MilliSense, ArtX, Southside Fund, Hayver, and GrowthHackers.
Apart from being the CEO of ET Enterprises, Taylor is an unequivocally skilled marketing executive, helping lead both Qualaroo (acquired by Xenon Ventures) and Skurt (acquired by Fair) to successful acquisitions.
He also oversaw growth for new mobile apps for Microsoft China and led e-commerce company Sticker Mule to unprecedented growth as its youngest executive ever.
Beyond the world of business, he also serves as the National Brand Ambassador for NASA’s Startup Initiative. He has further worked as a digital influencer for brands such as Amazon, Adobe, Toyota, American Express, Google, and Marriott.
He also worked for Disney, Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Starwood Hotels, Nationwide Insurance, AT&T, Mass Appeal, Miller Lite, Accor Hotels and more.
To him, for one to harness his or her potentials to the fullest “you have to be passionate about the product or service you’re offering.”
“Don’t sacrifice who you are for a job. At the end of the day, you have to look at yourself in the mirror,” Taylor warned.
He also cautioned against being overly focused on money, saying that hurts one’s career.
“Find something you’re passionate about, and it will make you better,” reiterated Taylor in the Inc Magazine interview.
Again, the man called a “marketing genius” by Forbes, a “marketing star” by Fortune Magazine, and “an innovator who’s changing the consumer marketing game” by Black Enterprise, averred that humility is needed to remain hungry for success.
“Always know that you’re replaceable. Don’t get to the point where you become too big headed. You have to maintain a level of humility in order to continue to be hungry. Every day you should be trying to get better. You need that mindset.
“Who you are today is not good enough for tomorrow. Constantly push yourself. Learn new things. Keep getting better,” he stated.
Taylor is the epitome of positive defiance; he defied his rough start in life which is not something many others would do and rose to become a successful young entrepreneur.
It suffices then to say he’s the perfect role model should one need the inspiration to start something.