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Conversations Magazine Jan./Feb. 2018

Conversations Magazine Jan./Feb. 2018
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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wendell B: Growing His Brand and Motivating the World One Post at a Time

by Cyrus Webb

We all need to have examples around us of individuals who have set goals, met them and inspire others to do the same. One of those people for me has been Wendell B.* He is a fitness model,trainer, photographer and an example that life is all about what you choose to do with it.

When I was deciding on the first issue of this magazine for 2018 I knew I wanted Wendell for the main feature. He has been an example to people around the world as to what is possible--and the passion he has for his work is amazing to me. He's been a repeat guest on Conversations LIVE the radio show, and in this conversation we talked about his commitment to himself, his audience, the importance of association and why it is imperative that you take care of yourself along the way.

Wendell, glad to have a chance to talk with you again. One of the things that we share in common is our love of positivity and being able to inspire and motivate people. That's one of the things that drew me to you in the beginning, and it has been great to kind of follow that journey that you've been on. What has that been like for you when you kind of reflect on it especially these past couple of years, to be able to do what you love but then to be able to motivate people along the way?
I wasn't expecting it, because I never been that type of person at first to just to be 'Oh I am going to motivate the world.' It all started for me just wanting to better myself and be a better me. And just by me sharing my story and being transparent, it just helped others in the process. I am thankful that just me being myself I have been able to help others all from just stemming from me basically want to help myself and hold myself accountable. I am truly grateful for the platform and Instagram for being there to help me be that voice to help other people to get through their situation.

You are right. I mean Instagram is definitely that place for you. At the time that we are having this conversation over thirty-seven thousand have joined you there on Instagram. Do you still have those wow moments when you kind of think about that? 
Yes, actually I am still wowed sometime because it's really intriguing to know that so many people find me this interesting to like my page and want to follow my daily life to see what I am posting and to see what I am just doing on a daily bases. It's kind of insane for me, because like I said it all started just for being me so when I go places and I see people and they know who I am, they sometimes kind of catch me off-guard because I am still a regular person. It's a great feeling I can't lie. It's a great feeling just to hear somebody telling me that you impact them in a positive way, it's not just oh you have all of these types of followers and all of these people and you are not doing nothing with it. So I am just grateful to know that I am touching people in that way.

One of the things that you shared at the end of December of last year was your best 9 pictures that got the most attention. I mean of course you know you have gotten hundreds of thousands of likes on these pictures. We talked last year about how a lot of people wait until January to kind of get things started, and how one of the big pieces of advice that you gave was taking advantage of now. You shared in one of those pictures that got a lot of attention how you'd had some moments that you had not been you know as committed, and that you have kind of gone back a little bit. What was it like for you for one to be able to share that to let us know that, but then to know how you are bouncing back.
The response that I got from that post was wild. I had actually sent the picture to a friend of mine who is actually one of my business partners with me and I told her I was kind of embarrassed to post the picture, because people look at me as okay you are getting these results you are behind the product and you know you are supposed to have these great results. She reminded me that at the beginning you promised yourself and you promised everybody that you will always be real and you will always be transparent, and you will always just share your story. So to have so many likes and so much feedback from me just being transparent and seeing my downfall it made me feel so much better, because it made me realize that what I am doing is really helping people. This is my purpose. This is what I am supposed to do. My falling off wasn't just a bad thing for me, It was actually a good thing for me because I was able to get results and show people how to get results.

It took me falling off, but now I can recommit a whole new amount of people that haven't seen my journey from the beginning. They can see me now work on my results from this point that I am at now.  This is my way to let them know that it's not just that you get results and you keep them. You have to work at it. None of us are perfect. Everyone has their ways and everyone will fall off. And I just want to be that voice for people to let you know that everyone is normal. Every day is not going to be a good day. You are going to fall off but the thing about it is you have to be able to pick yourself up and just know how to keep going no matter what.

I want to stay with that for a moment, Wendell, because you mentioned in that post two things: One of course has to do with eating which I mean we All can relate to that. The second thing that was not being consistent and it ties into what you just said, because I think a lot of the times, and this is just in life in general, I think that we all get to a place where we do get comfortable and think okay I have done this so I am good. I mean do you find that pictures like that post and the response keeps you moving and not being complacent?
Actually it really does because when I originally started my journey, as I always said, I posted my first post on Instagram that's how I was able to grow that following and being transparent and feeling like this is my way of keeping myself accountable. I had no friends to hold me accountable at the time, no one wanted to work out with me or eat clean with me. So my responses to that was I will post all of these pictures that I am unhappy with just so I can see myself daily and know what I need to change. So far a while I kind of fell off of that mind-set, because I had then got to a point I kind of plateaued and at that point in my mind-set it's like I can help others--but at the same time I kind of forgot about myself. And you have to find time in between time and doing everything that you are doing to not forget about yourself. You have to focus on yourself, because if you are not helping yourself how are you going to help someone else?

Wendell, you have done so much as a fitness model and trainer-but there are still other things you have been able to achieve, especially with photography. To be an entrepreneur is another thing that a lot of people are experiencing this year. What has that part of the experience been like for you to be able to have started this business, and let us know about it on Instagram to build it through Instagram and to share it with us that way?
I shocked myself honestly at the way that my photography business has grown in a short period of time, and it's only going to grow from here. From a child I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I never knew what it was going to be that I ended up doing. And even through a couple of years ago I used to always be down and out not having extra money for things, and I just talked to my mother and say I wish I had other things that I could do to earn extra money. She always told me it will eventually come to you. Just be patient. And it's so ironic how this can tie into my Herbalife experience (what Wendell has used along his weight loss and fitness journey). Herbalife is not about just the weight-loss. It's about the Mental Health, and like I said before it took me going to an event to hear what the speakers said you have to do.

I started reflecting on my childhood and things that you enjoy doing as a child. With me, I always enjoyed taking pictures as a child. Never knew that I could build a business out of it. I just did it for fun. So when I got the experience, and I was able to invest in a camera, I started playing around with it at first and didn't think about it still as a business until people started motivating me and telling me that my work was good. They told me to keep going. I was able to grow a photography business in just 10 months just on something that I enjoy doing!

Got you, and in that same vein as we were talking about the motivating with the tribe you know one of the things that we've all heard and I am a firm believer in is that leaders are definitely readers. 

You have been talking about that even in your post on Instagram. I want to broaden that a little bit not just talk about what you are reading but also those that you associated with. This is a really good point because I think again this is one thing that we have in common, Wendell. Talk to us about how important it's been for you to be able to make sure that you are watching those around you but also you talk about this in your post as well about encouraging your audience to keep the negativity away. How has that helped you in meeting your goals?
It's very, very important to watch who you are around. It might sound cliche, but it's very true when people say that you are what hang around. And when you really paying attention to it if you are hanging around people that just want to do drugs or they just want to go out and party all the time, nine times out of 10 you're going to be doing the same thing. So why not hang with people that are reading books, people that want to start businesses and do positive things and always encouraging you to do positive things? If you hang around positivity you will become the positive. I always tell myself I want to be the least smartest in the group that I am in, because I am always looking to learn and grow more. I don't want to be the smartest one because how am I going to grow? Always challenge yourself to just be around new people. I have lost so many friends over the years, and it's not a bad thing that sometimes you just outgrow people, God puts them in your life for a reason, and you just have to move forward to new levels and new people that are put in your life that are going to take you to a different level and be more positive.

Thank you so much, Wendell, for your time. What should our audience be as we are beginning 2018? What are some of the goals that you've set for yourself that you can share with her audience?
Some of my major goals are I want to inspire thousands of more people. I feel like over this past 2017 I was able to grow like 17,000 followers on Instagram, so when I look at it most people look at like oh I've got more followers. To me I look at it as these are more people that can watch my journey, more people that I can inspire. So one of my biggest goals is to inspire more people this year. On top of that of course I want to work on my photography more and perfect my skills more. I am hoping to get more publishing, a new studio...things that will help me grow. I just want to help others and grow: that's my main goal that I want to do---and travel the world.

Stay connected with Wendell on Instagram at www.instagram.com/datdude_doody and his photography page at www.instagram.com/topoptics_photography.

*   Photos courtesy of Top Optics Photography/ Rhonda Hosey

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