We had the good fortune of connecting with Curtis J. Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Curtis J., how has your background shaped the person you are today?
This is always an interesting question for me, as I grew up a military kid, but I call Augusta, GA home. I could be described as a military kid, having had the opportunity to travel the world, but I do call Augusta, GA home having spent majority of my time there. Augusta, GA is known as a little big city located about two and a half hours from Atlanta, GA, Many people know of it as the location of the Master’s Golf tournament. Growing up in a military family had its positives and negatives just as any upbringing would have. A positive would be that I learned about the power of communication and developed an appreciation for people, regardless of cultural differences. A negative, well being extremely honest, doing yard work. Seriously, my family did not believe in letting the kids sleep in on the weekends and watch Saturday morning cartoons like normal kids are expected to do. My Saturday mornings and sometimes entire weekends were dedicated to some type of outdoor activity- digging, mowing, racking, cutting, trimming, blowing, dumping, etc. I’ve had my fair share of outside yardwork, not to say that I am above doing it, I just rather focus more on specialization of tasks. That negative, however, can also be looked at as a positive as well, because I don’t watch a lot of television to this very day and it’s very rare that my weekends are ever spent just “chilling” or being non-productive. Another important aspect that I should mention about my upbringing that helped to make me into the person that I am today was access and the lack of. Growing up I had access to information via encyclopedia collection that my parents would purchase and early computer and internet access (dial up access). That access kept me curious, informed, and also connected. It is truly what allowed me to start my first business while still in high school, a wholesale and drop shipping business. With the relationships I made while living overseas and access to the internet, when no one was on the phone of course, I was able to secure suppliers, handle shipping, and ultimately distribute products to customers. I did this along with a few other things, all the way up until about my sophomore year in college. My curiosity and drive for business was fueled by a disdain of being told “no.” It wasn’t even a drive for business at first, it was more so I wanted to have money so when there was something that I wanted, I wouldn’t have to hear the word “No.” Often times, I would hear, when it came to items that cost money that I wanted the phrases: “When you have your own money..” “Buy it with your own money..” “Do you have gas money..” “If you don’t have any gas money you shouldn’t go..” etc. My attribute a lot of who I am today to my upbringing. Having had the opportunity to travel and experience interacting with different cultures truly expanded my vision at a very young age. Once you vision is stretched it can never go back. I truly see the possibilities in anything. The world of busines allows me the opportunity to operate from my imagination and create solutions that truly provide value for others at the same time. Having a large vision that was never constrained based on my physical environments. Understanding how precision time is and how much work others get done while other are sleeping. I also gained the foundation for my discipline that has been necessary to focus on multiple tasks and objectives at the same time. And lastly, it taught me that life should be enjoyed so work hard now so you can enjoy forever, or work less now and live with regrets later.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I currently serve as Chairman of a Holding Firm based out of Atlanta, GA as well as my Financial Firm, now called Legacy Movement due to a recent merger and acquisition. With my holding firm we own various companies across eleven different industries currently. For many that do know my journey, will know that due to our success in the entertainment industry, is what allowed us to transition into a holding firm. That ultimately provided flexibility and freedom for me to pursue other passions. I honestly can say, “I have a lot going on.” However, the way we have our entities structured and amazing people, majority of my personal time is spent with my financial firm and we have some exciting things happening currently! We’re in the midst right now of launching our exclusive advising and action community, New Age Wealth. It’s allowing my team and I to continue lowering the barriers of entry when it comes to access to premier financial tools, institutions, planning, resources, and knowledge regardless of net-worth. Which is going to be major minorities, especially for African Americans. Entering into the Financial Area, from a business background, has allowed us to make continuous strides while also bringing in innovation as we look to bring change to an old industry. I get excited thinking about the possibilities as we reach more and more people and impact lives. Truly believe, that being able to create wealth now and legacy forever, should be a reality for those that desire it. I could have everyone here all day talking about other business entities and highlighting but I’ll save that for another day! Overall, the journey has had its challenges and has taken real sacrifice and discipline. From the relationships, the knowledge, the growth, the wins, the losses, I can honestly say they’ve all played their role and will continue to play their roles on this journey. I have so much knowledge and lessons to share and I enjoy every opportunity to give back and share. If I had to share some just a few tips that have helped me to succeed thus far, I would tell you to value people, create systems, and move with no ego. Learn how to build cohesive teams that can buy into a vision, while operating within in a system that runs without you will be key in determining the longevity of your success. Never allow self imposed titles to limit your growth and learning to move with no ego, will present you with endless opportunities. So fail fast, focus on the focus, keep a great environment around you, and do your best.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Atlanta, it’s so diverse and depending on their personality there is always something to do. For the people that love me, they know I’m pretty spontaneous and enjoy good vibes, good food, and drinks. Oh, and I love wings too. So, a weeklong trip would definitely include some of my favorite wing spots, I literally have a list of spots based on what side of town I’m on. Definitely mid-day vibes at the beltline, mexican restaurant patios and rooftops such as Estrella, speakeasy spots. Also, Parlor den for good drinks. If they are friend that may have never been to Atlanta, then definitely would take them on a history tour for sure. I’m also super competitive so depending on their competition level, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves at Andretti’s, gun range or on the bowling lanes, spades table, something! Going back to the topic of food, living overseas, I gained an appreciation for Korean food and there are some dope spots that would be on the list that we would definitely go to. So overall a week-long trip, would definitely be a mixture of cool, go with the flow, spontaneous fun, good laughs, yeah all of that. I would “plan” it out though, because it would really depend on the personality and sometimes just relaxing is enough.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This woman, doesn’t receive enough credit. You know once you become a parent, it’s not often that you receive “awards or shoutouts” for being a good parent. Thank you Voyage for the opportunity to recognize this amazing woman. With that being said, I want to give a MAJOR shoutout to my Mother, Rosa E. Williams. Shouts out to you for always having my back, being my number one supporter, and showing what it means to be a real fighter. From you having to grow up without a mother or a father of your own to show you those intangibles that we take for granted. To you surviving the foster care system and being forced to grow up separate from her siblings, but still maintain a caring heart for others and joyous spirit. I could keep going, but I’ll just end it here and say you are truly a reason I am the man I am today. Thank You! Shouts out to you Mrs. Rosa E. Williams!