Why did you decide to raise from the crowd via Republic?
This wasn’t a decision I wanted to rush into. I took the time to check out some other funding platforms, and had meaningful conversations with them.
At the end of the day, Republic has always supported my vision—and they have supported other unrepresented founders on their platform. They were also very knowledgeable about me and my company even before we did our first call.
What’s your philosophy on competition?
The key to handling competition is to differentiate your business as much as possible—look around at the landscape and carve out your own space. If your competition is doing one thing, do the opposite! Do whatever you need to do to stand out from the pack.
Do you have any unusual routines or habits?
I wake up at 4 am every day—yes, even on the weekends—and I'm at the gym at 5 when it opens. I usually spend the first 20 minutes sitting in the sauna checking my email before working out.
What’s the inspiration behind Restflix?
As an insomniac myself, I was very interested in exploring different kinds of sleep-enhancing content. When I discovered how effective it was at improving my quality of sleep, I saw the potential for a great product. I knew I had to share this technology with the world, and help people get the rest they needed to live their best lives.
What’s your team culture like?
Laid back. For some reason we are sleepy all the time. Especially when reviewing content. I have no clue why!
If you could give yourself one piece of advice 5 years ago, what would it be?
You are about to embark on a great journey. It will be difficult at times, but stay the course and never give up—even when the odds seem to be against you. You will find a way to overcome and succeed.
Has the Black business community played a role in the success of your company?
The community has been so important to my company's success. For example: a good majority of the music and stories created for the Anxiety Relief section of our app were made by other Black content creators.
What's your advice to Black entrepreneurs looking to start a company?
If you have a vision, it’s on you to make it a reality. Create a plan and begin executing. Some things wont go your way, but stay the course and don't get distracted—and most importantly, don't get discouraged. You will have success if you persevere.
How can we help create a more diverse and inclusive startup ecosystem?
To create a better, more diverse startup ecosystem, at least two things have to happen:
First, it’s important for founders like me to give back to the entrepreneur community. I want to encourage other founders from diverse backgrounds so that they can find success—and I hope that they will pass it on when it’s their time.
It’s just as important for investors and institutions, like VC’s, angels, and banks, to do their part to be inclusive. They have to make sure all founders have equal access and equal opportunities to get the support they need to bring their vision to life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Outside of work I spend a lot of quality time with my two sons. They are at the age where I can teach them how to play sports, so I’m always playing football and basketball with them. I’m also big into cycling—where I live there are a ton of cool waterways that are great for riding.
Have you learned anything new or surprising about yourself through this process?
Being an entrepreneur and founder has taught me the fine art of patience. I'm not a very patient person naturally! However, as I’ve gone through this process of developing a product and bringing it to market, I've come to understand that it’s better to wait for the right timing and opportunity than to rush into action under the wrong circumstances.