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Brandon Faulcon of iKon Mall: “Don’t listen to anyone, everybody’s scared”

In an interview Jay-Z said “Don’t listen to anyone, everybody’s scared”. When people feel like they may not be able to achieve a goal and they back down from it, but see someone else try to attain it they will try to convince you that it’s not attainable because they already tried. P.Diddy once said […]

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In an interview Jay-Z said “Don’t listen to anyone, everybody’s scared”. When people feel like they may not be able to achieve a goal and they back down from it, but see someone else try to attain it they will try to convince you that it’s not attainable because they already tried. P.Diddy once said “I am a savage, whatever I want I have to get”. This motivates me because it’s a true testament that if you really believe you deserve something, you will not wait for it to come to you, you will go get it for yourself. The last is 50 Cent who said “Don’t be ashamed of your past.” No matter what happens in life, believe that your past is who makes you a greater you for today, and without that we will be searching for ourselves for eternity.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandon Faulcon.

iKon Mall was founded by ten-year-old Karmen Faulcon and her father, Brandon Faulcon. Brandon, 31 was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Brandon later joined the United States Marine Corps in 2008 where he deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. This was also the same year his beautiful daughter, Karmen, was born. Since returning home from his deployment, Brandon has been bravely battling PTSD, anxiety, and sleep apnea. While dealing with these serious health challenges, he has helped lead the way for other veterans by showing that, while the “fight” may continue, there’s no reason at all to feel defeated and stop pursuing your dreams. After his eight years of selfless service, Brandon moved to Washington, DC to work for the federal government. During this time, Karmen came up with the concept for “iKon Mall.” After getting a roommate to cut down on living expenses to support his daughter’s dream, Brandon was eventually able to save enough money to breathe life into Karmen’s vision. To date, Brandon has saved and invested more than 30,000 dollars in Karmen’s dream.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I was born and raised in Raleigh, NC in a house with just my mother, sister, and I. I remember growing up and always being what kids back then called a loner. I had friends, not much family interaction, but I always remember wanting to just be alone with my thoughts. As I grew up I stayed that way until I graduated high school and joined the U.S. Marines. The Marines changed my life, I served for 8 years and completed one deployment to Afghanistan. By the end of my tour I had my daughter and also learned that I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorder. When I left the military I was stationed in Quantico, VA and decided to move to D.C. to work in the federal government. Every year my 10 year old daughter and I take a trip to any place of her choice. I designed these trips to be a technology free vacation, and time where we talk and have a mental and emotional checkup on one another. Her choice is always Disney World, so we would pack up and go for a few days in the week. iKon Mall was created based off of me asking my daughter one simple question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. She wanted to own a beauty salon where her customers could shop in while waiting to get their hair done. I decided to make it an app where beauty salons and other businesses could set their services up to be booked by appointment in the app while also being able to shop.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

iKon Mall is disruptive because it gives small businesses a fair chance to be seen faster while increasing revenue potentially quicker than they would if they were on their own. iKon Mall was built to be a one-stop-shop app, where you can shop, book appointments, and pay for everything through the app. What this does is eliminate the need of having so many personal service and shopping apps. It brings convenience to shoppers as fast as their fingertips can move. Most of the shopping and service apps you download are one business based. Either they allow you to book a service, shop, or just pick items from a list for purchase. iKon Mall gives you the virtual physical representation of a real shopping mall for our guest and mall storefront management for our businesses.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started working on iKon Mall I was clueless to technical terminology, and I used to say “iKon Mall is the world’s first virtual reality (VR) shopping mall”. So when I pitched the idea to an investor of what my startup concept was, he asked me how much we were selling our equipment for. I told him 99 cents, he told me we were going to fail drastically, because we would never make it out of debt at that price. I was confused, because I knew the only debt we had was the cost of creating the actual app. A few weeks later I learned that there is a difference between virtual 3D and virtual reality. I learned that everything I say is my responsibility and it is important to understand the words that come out of my mouth because one wrong word could cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars from potential investors.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Sadly as an African American male growing up I didn’t have any mentors to look up to, and no one to guide me in life so I turned to hip hop music for guidance. Being able to watch other black men be appreciated for their talent and listen to their stories of their upbringing in poverty-stricken areas and how they survived it motivated me. Some of the people I used as a template to help guide myself through life are Sean Carter “Jay-Z”, Clifford Harris “T.I.”, Sean Combs “P.Diddy”, and Curtis Jackson “50 Cent”. They all made just about an equal amount of impact but two of my favorites are T.I. and P.Diddy. I use T.I. as my guide because he has had a few instances where he ended up in negative situations but he showed tremendous strength and poise. I’m used to seeing and hearing people say “They give up” anytime something negative happens, but with him he has always faced adversity, fought it, and tried to learn from it. It helped me to remind myself that nothing in the world can stop you from accomplishing your goals if you are willing to be stronger than your problems. I use P.Diddy as a guide, because I have never witnessed another human wait for and accept the challenge of pain just so they could celebrate the victory. It’s almost like watching a person that is so emotionally connected to themselves become one of the greatest at whatever it is that they are doing. Till this day I have learned to face every challenge with a winner’s mentality, because I know the victory will be worth celebrating at the end.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Being disruptive always has the chance of being a good thing but could equally be bad. I always say companies withstand the time when it becomes a major part in the lives of the consumers. When that company continues to grow over the course of a few years. During that time you may get sued for whatever reason, bad press may happen, and your competitors may try to blemish your worth, but showing you can make it through all of that, and still be a leading force means that you are supposed to be here. Disrupting an industry could be considered good when something like iKon Mall is created. We create a platform for the use of multiple industries not just one. We are actually trying to create a business that is at the convenience at any given time to consumers. Disrupting an industry in a positive way is enhancing the quality of products or services for consumers. It’s not so positive when the industry becomes oversaturated and lacks quality. A lot of times today someone may create a profitable company built with substance, but then you may get 100 more companies that are created in the same industry after you that may lack quality but financially meets the needs of the everyday buyers.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

In an interview Jay-Z said “Don’t listen to anyone, everybody’s scared”. When people feel like they may not be able to achieve a goal and they back down from it, but see someone else try to attain it they will try to convince you that it’s not attainable because they already tried. P.Diddy once said “I am a savage, whatever I want I have to get”. This motivates me because it’s a true testament that if you really believe you deserve something, you will not wait for it to come to you, you will go get it for yourself. The last is 50 Cent who said “Don’t be ashamed of your past.” No matter what happens in life, believe that your past is who makes you a greater you for today, and without that we will be searching for ourselves for eternity.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

iKon mall prides itself on finding organic leads, and uses several methods to do so. One method we are working on is through social media. Our company isn’t restricted to specific categories so that makes it a little easier for us to generate leads. Whether its social media promotions, commenting, or business to business messaging. We also use email campaigns to engage with our guests to keep them up-to-date on anything coming in the future.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Well I can’t go into too much detail about what’s next, but as a company we currently have a 5 year plan. We want to work our way to iKon Mall becoming all of our guest personal assistants. We want to build a company that learns our guest likeness and have options available for them to choose from in multiple categories. We want to build a company that helps build convenience in the lives of our guests.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I am a huge fan of Power 105.1 radio show. This is a radio platform where the hosts interview various celebrities, business owners, and community activist. This radio show is important to me, because it allows me to listen to the various journeys of individuals from different walks of life. It allows me to gain free information and research points that I may have never thought of. My favorite interview that helped change my life was the two interviews with entrepreneur Damon Dash. I know that I am very ambitions but I always thrive off of finding people that are more ambitious than me and learning from them. He did an interview that I’m sure I have watched over 100 times in one year. This interview went into questioning the thought process of a person working somewhere vs. owning the business. It questioned the thought process of a person with a entrepreneur vision but a workers reality. Sometimes people can believe that they have the same privileges as the owner of an establishment that they may work at does. But in reality they are unable to see that their privileges are limited to their position sometimes. It leaves you with one question, “If you have a passion for it, why not own it?”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Growing up in my teenage years after high school I used to live with a friend, because I was trying to get my life on the right path. As a teenager full of ambition but also an equal amount of doubt I had a lot of moments where I wanted to give up. One day I told my friend’s mother that life was becoming too heavy, and I wasn’t going to be able to be as great as I knew I could be. She told me “Life is a game of the tries and the fails, but the key to success is understanding that trying is way easier than failing.” That helped to build more ambition and more character, because I wasn’t afraid of the “tries” anymore, in fact everything that I laid my eyes on that I wanted, I knew I had a chance to succeed all I had to do was just try.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could inspire a movement I would call it “Four 30 Dark”. The main purpose of this movement would be to inspire people to deactivate their social media every 4 months for 30 days. While building iKon Mall I spent so much time researching and on calls with my team I had no time for social media. What this did was allow me to see the extent of my capabilities when I am truly focused but also allowed me to connect with myself on a much deeper level because I had no distractions. I watch people on a daily basis get sidetracked by what they see on social media that they forget to make time for self-progression. When you do not have anyone to impress, comment on, repost, or retweet then that leaves you with so much more time for yourself. I really believe that if everyone took thirty days for themselves to ignore social media, that they would learn more and more about themselves each time.

How can our readers follow you online?

For more information on iKon Mall, please visit www.theikonmall.com and on all social media platforms @iKonMall.

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