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“The Main Thing Is To Stay Motivated” With TV Personality Isaiah Jenkins

“Stay motivated — I think staying motivated is a big part of monetizing your brand because if you get discouraged and quit after your…


“Stay motivated — I think staying motivated is a big part of monetizing your brand because if you get discouraged and quit after your first try then you will never get anywhere.”


I had the pleasure of interviewing TV personality Isaiah Jenkins. Isaiah was the youngest participant to ever complete the A&E 60 days in program.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

My name is Isaiah. I was an 18 year old high school graduate from West Philadelphia who struggled to graduate high school while working at Mcdonalds paying rent. At one point I was homeless .

Fast forward to 4 months later I was 19 years old with a good paying job but I knew I always wanted more. I wanted my story to be heard .

October 24, 2015 I decided to take part in an A&e Documentary called 60daysin which followed 7 different people from different walks of life to see how they coped with prison life and how they related .

I had an older brother incarcerated that’s why he was there .

The 60daysin premiere brought in 1.4 million views, it won an award, it played overseas and on Hulu. That’s how I got my successful start in the entertainment business .

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?

The funniest most interesting story that happened in the course of my career was when I first got noticed in public at Rite Aid and some lady ran up and hugged me and then tried to hit me for doing something dumb on TV.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

After my success, I used my earnings to help my old cellmate and his baby mom pay their rent so they wouldn’t be out on the street.

If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?

If someone would want to emulate my career I would suggest the most important thing to do is:

  • be uncommon
  • stay focused
  • be strong and
  • be different and
  • be smart and
  • be real

Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

Honestly I don’t want to sound conceited or self absorbed but I honestly feel like I’m my biggest inspiration. I’ve been through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the yes and the No’s and yet I’m still here.


The industry people that I admire and look up to is people like Will Smith . Will Smith came from West Philadelphia just like I did, had a hard time after his first project just like I did, he didn’t give up and eventually he got his big break which leaded up to the rest of his life, and I can honestly respect that and he’s a good person.

So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now

Right now I’m trying to be versatile with my career. I’m trying to try new things which will show people in the industry that I really am Hungry. I’ve started a YouTube channel a while back Called Officialisaiah8 which has been doing very well and I’ve been in touch with multiple producers to do different projects so all fingers crossed. I’m also working on a podcast.

What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)

My top five ideas about how influencers can monetize their brand is simple.

1. Know Your Audience ( when I say know your audience I mean Know your audience so you can target Your audience . Like for example if you got successful off of being a gym trainer and a lot of people want to have the same body you have.

What would be the smart thing to do is make your own products that people could buy so they could make the same progress you made so then you would profit more and people could keep coming back .

2. Collaborations — I think collaborating is a good thing because it’s basically two people coming together with 2 diffrent platforms to work on one amazing venture which will leave people excited .

Like for example if Kevin Durant and Floyd Money Mayweather collabed to raise money for a charity event it would make a lot of money because it’s to different genres coming together as one .

3 Be Creative — When I say be creative I mean think outside of the box .

Like for example everybody out of the million viewers who watched 60daysin had a favorite character from the show. Now what I was going to do since I’m so creative and so talented. Is do a portrait of every character from the show and put it into a coloring book and sell it for a reasonable price .

Basically the creative part about that situation is that I was thinking outside of the box and I decided to bring in one of my other talents so I could monetize my brand .

4. Stay motivated — I think staying motivated is a big part of monetizing your brand because if you get discouraged and quit after your first try then you will never get anywhere.

Like for example when I first decided to start blogging on YouTube I thought I would be able to just put it out their and it would draw in attention When in all hindsight you have to be consistent with it . Then when I became consistent with it I started to see videos reach 57k views .

5. Quality over Quantity — I think that Quality is a big part of monetizing your brand because if you put out something sloppy or half done it won’t be appreciated and people will not return.

Like for example if you go to a restaurant and they didn’t clean their kitchen and they serve you your food and you bite into a roach do you think for one second that your going to come back to that restaurant. He’ll no . Your probably going to be pissed off and never return and that’s what I mean about Quality over quantity. If the restaurant would have taken their time and cleaned the kitchen you probably wouldn’t have had roach for dinner unless that’s what you prefer.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I think if I could have a private dinner with someone I would like to have a private breakfast or dinner with Sean Combs or Will Smith or Obama Or Jayz. Just to ask them how they really managed their success.

I would like to ask Will Smith how he escalated his career from the Kid from West Philly to the Fresh icon of Hollywood and to just ask him what was his motivation .

Originally published at medium.com

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