We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamal Harbison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamal, how do you think about risk?
Risks are essential to growth. Without risks there are no lessons. Without lessons there is no knowledge. Knowledge is the key to growth. This is true in relationships, personal life, and careers. Life is a series of choices of which you apply your knowledge learned from previous risks to hopefully expand your growth. A career path, especially an entrepreneur’s, is a series of risks taken in order to maximize the growth of a company, i.e. success. A successful entrepreneur masters the balance between good risks and bad risks. In my life I’ve continuously have accepted risks as essential seeds of growth. More specifically, in my career path as an entrepreneur, risk-taking has been the key to my success. My experience with taking calculated risks vs. risks of faith have sharpened my awareness for the balance of good vs. bad risks. Without risks, successful or not, I would have not acquired the growth necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. I was able to apply the lessons learned from my previous risks to upcoming risks in able to make better business choices. This decision making ability proved as an important tool which cultivated my success, past, present, and future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My brand is Signature Selection, LLC: Hand Selected Event Services. Whether it be bartending, event set up and breakdown, food service, hosting, etc. our hand selected event staff emits our passion for customer service in every type of event in various roles. However, It wasn’t always a team of 20+ contractors that love what we do. We didn’t always offer all of these positions. I started out as a newly trained bartender who could not find a job so I had to create my own. It was far from easy and terrifying at first. I just wanted to be able to make a substantial income. So without getting any job leads as a full time bartender I decided to advertise as a mobile bartender who worked as a contractor. Over the course of my career path clients began to request multiple staff and multiple positions at a time. The best decision was determined to be creating a company that revolved around the demand of an expanding team. My first challenge was met in the form of transportation. In the early stages, as a mobile event service owner without a vehicle I had to come up with multiple options to getting around. Cash car rentals, cash taxis (Uber didn’t exist), the Megabus, long walks and using the bartering system for rides, etc. got me moving around and out of town between different events. My faith and belief in my dream kept me going metaphorically. I want the world to know that I do what I do because I love to do it. My story is one of many entrepreneurial stories but to me its a one of one because it’s unapologetically mines. My story is a constant inspiration to me and a shining example to others who may want to take a similar route. The lessons I’ve learned along the way, such as the power of never giving up, and the importance of networking are lessons that I apply to everyday situations. Furthermore, I am happy to pass along these lessons to others who seek advice from me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is a one of a kind city. It is known for having a plethora of entertainment options, a rich history, and being a cultural mecca. For a visiting friend I’d take advantage of the the black owned restaurant experience such as Slutty Vegan (Edgewood Location), Breakfast at Barney’s, Atl Fusion Bbq, Panthers Den, etc. I’d take them to a niche dessert spot such as Sugar Factory. Landmarks such as, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Georgia Aquarium, the High Museum of Art, and the Trap Music Museum would be essential stops to the visit. Must see attractions such as the Krog Street Tunnel, The Beltline, and Little Five Points would make good opportunities for photo opps and virtual postcards. The Nightlife of Atlanta is one of a kind exciting celebrity laced scene. Clubs like Compound, Blue Flame, and the bars at Buckhead are exhilarating popular celeb hangouts. The glamorous shopping experiences of Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, and the Shoppes at Buckhead, where the wealthy and privileged shop, are essential destinations for an Atlanta visitor. Even if we get a chance to visit all of these places on their first visit, there would be more to do when my friend visits the next time and the next after that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I started and run this business by myself. However, my company would not have expanded nor would have remained in business had it not been for my amazing event staff throughout the years. I’d like to thank the family and friends who have been able to fulfill last minute shifts as well as long term contractor positions in this company. I’d like to thank the strangers turned longtime reliable colleagues and those who came and went. I’d like to give a special thank you to my wife Janita, whom doesn’t always agree with my business decisions but supports me when needed. She has been there at my times of crisis, times of humble beginnings, as well as pinnacle points in my career path. As a longtime contractor of our team she constantly excels and exceeds our clients’ expectations with extraordinary event specialists skills. Having someone that reliable in your corner is a blessing.
Other: Google https://g.co/kgs/ZdJeYK
Profile Collage Photo: Paul Biagui Bartender High Pouring: Niyah De Los Santos Bartender Shaking Mixing Tin: Nova D Visuals