We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivan Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ivan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was that I wanted to leave my own legacy on this earth so that people will know that Ivan Thomas was here – long after I am gone. I understood that in order to accomplish that, I had to be the author of my own life story rather than allowing someone else to write it for me by influencing my trajectory in life. My goal was to have extraordinary experiences doing what I was most passionate about, while also operating in my life’s purpose. I made the determination that I was the only person who could provide that quality of life for me. So, as I got prepared to launch my vision, I took self-inventory and got to know myself better than I ever had before. I read lots of books, watched tons of motivational videos and studied highly successful people that I admired so I could apply some of their habits to my life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Well, I own a few businesses. However, the first one that started everything was my company Intrigue Media Group. It is a strategic communications company that specializes in PR and brand and reputation management. I launched the firm in 2014 and it has been an extraordinary ride. I have traveled all over the place and have worked with many extraordinary entrepreneurs, celebrities, entertainers and businessmen and women from various fields. My PR career consists of work with NBA player Michael Beasley, Nielsen, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Celebrity Credit Guru James Hunt, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rapper Waka Flocka Flame, actor Darrin Henson, several schools and many other entrepreneurs and brands. What separates me from others is my vision and the fact that I really understand PR. Everything from the strategy, relationship building, writing, client positioning, media and everything else involved. I am not just a socialite. Clients who embrace the process with me always succeed and grow in whatever they are trying to do. Not to mention, I always work with integrity and I am transparent. My focus is helping my clients to reach their goals.
What are some challenges you faced when launching your business, and how did you overcome them?
Being an entrepreneur certainly is no easy undertaking. When I took the leap, I had to fill every role for my company – the strategist, the accountant, the marketing person, the business developer, the writer, the networker, the photographer. Everything! Also, launching a business comes with a great deal of risk. In the beginning I had my share of broke days with very little money coming in and having to scrap for every dollar. I had to hunt down potential clients, schedule meetings and really step out of my comfort zone in many ways. Not to mention, as you are growing and proving yourself as a business owner, you have people who try to take advantage of you. So, recognizing your value and being comfortable stepping away to avoid compromising the integrity and worth of your business is important. I overcame these challenges by never taking my eyes off of the end goal and refusing to think small. My desire was to be hugely successful and make an impact around the world. I want to give my family the best life they could ever imagine. When you truly understand your purpose and your personal reasons for doing what you do, it is easy to keep pushing forward. What I have learned is that success makes people believers. People will doubt you until they can no longer question your abilities because of what you have accomplished. I also learned that no matter what, always stay in business. You have to stay in business to get business. So, even if you only have one client hanging on by a thread, you have to give that client all you have, because others will see the results and that will lead to new clients and more business.
What are some other things going on that people should look out for?
My newest endeavor is my new book “Defy Gravity: Unleashing Your Greatness Within.” This is an absolutely powerful and motivational book that helps people to eliminate the excuses, take personal accountability for their position in life, and adopt a championship mindset so they can rise above all obstacles and become the most successful versions of themselves, personally and professionally. It is a success guide with a ton of wisdom, compelling stories and strategies to win in all areas of life. From the book, I am launching a major ‘Defy Gravity’ movement that will convene a community of successful entrepreneurs and visionaries from all over the world. This is a global brand!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Assuming that COVID-19 is no longer an issue – After touching down from the airport, they could start off with something laid back in the Buckhead area to watch some sports, have a few drinks and catch up at a place like Twin Peaks. Or as a healthier option, Tru Food Kitchen. Then, there are a variety of day parties and social networking events where they can connect with other professionals and interesting individuals from Atlanta and elsewhere. This is Atlanta, so there are plenty of entertainment events, social gatherings and premieres. If they enjoy seafood like I do, visit places like Pappadeaux, Louisiana Bistreaux Seafood Kitchen. Also, soul food places like South City Kitchen and Southern Gentleman would be on the list of places to go. To get outdoors a bit, maybe visit Grant Park, or go up north and relax on a boat at Lake Lanier. This is a sports city, so anything you want from basketball, football, baseball or soccer; you can attend an Atlanta Hawks, Falcons, Braves or United game.
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?
First and foremost I have to thank God for blessing me with gifts, purpose and the vision to dream big. Of course, I have to thank my parents LaDonna and Jerry for raising me and instilling in me the importance of hard work, honesty and integrity. Also, my alma mater, the illustrious Howard University. Word is, I was conceived there! So, I was destined to walk those halls. Attending college there was among the best experiences of my life. It was instrumental in helping me to develop a strong sense of pride in who I was, and to recognize the power that I possessed to be a real force in this world. I have to give a shoutout to James Hunt, The Celebrity Credit Guru, for being a mentor and being that voice in the back of my head reminding me to accept nothing but success and excellence in my life. Thanks to Napoleon Hill for his book “Think and Grow Rich,” and John H. Johnson for his book “Succeeding Against the Odds.” Those were two very life-changing books for me. Last, but certainly not least! I have to thank my beautiful and amazing wife Autumn for her love and support, along with the best three kids a man could ask for. They are my WHY.
Instagram: @ivanth3great / https://www.instagram.com/ivanth3great/?hl=en
Other: LinkedIn: Ivan Thomas –https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivan-thomas-1965b115/
Julian Franco Photography, KL Moore Photography