We had the good fortune of connecting with Tae Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tae, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business has many levels, but I will simplify it. I learned that the classical American dream was not my destiny. I went to college, graduated, then I found myself without a job and several student loans that had to be repaid. I finally landed a job I hated because I could not find an opening in my field. Through deep thought, I realized that there had to be more to life. The question to myself was should I stay at a job I hate that is barely keeping above water? What can I do to change my situation? I had to change my outlook on my life and career. The process took time because I wanted to start a business that would give me my version of the American Dream. I knew I couldn’t go through life being broke while working for someone. I would be very unfulfilled. After weighing my pros and cons, my passion vs my purpose, I started my first business.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our business Never Go Broke has definitely been a journey. Getting to where we are has not been a straight line to success. Over the years we have definitely had obstacles that presented unique sets of challenges. Projects that were supposed take 2 months have taken 2 years. One of the biggest lessons learned is that business takes time, but don’t give up, just take a different direction. If you believe in your business you have to see it through. At times you will be the only person that believes in you. If you feel that you are on the right track, stick with you vision and mission until your heart and the numbers telll you otherwise. Everything that you have worked for will happen especially if you are consistent and diligent in your journey. To date, we are most proud of our financial literacy game, Game of Fortune, Win in Wealth or Lose in Debt. Game of Fortune teaches ages 10 and up the basics of money. It is available online and in physical form. We love the fact that our products help people of all ages whether young or old become financially literate. Our books and games are simple and easy to understand. Most people don’t want to be broke so our goal is to show you how to Never Go Broke!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow! Where do I start? It is so many hidden jewels in Birmingham. We would definitely go to the Civil Rights Museum. There is nothing like learning your history. I am a foodie and there are a lot of great places to eat. Birmingham has tons of fun trucks so we have to stop by W.O.E.D who has authentic Jamaican food and Simones Kitchen ATL that always gives a taste of love. If we wanted some night life PLUM Bar has great live entertainment and atmosphere while Bizarre Coffee has the perfect mixture of coffee cocktails. We will have fun, take pics, and LIVE LIFE!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Where do I start? I could easily list 50 people. This shootout is for my parents, family, friends, business besties, accountability partners, and everyone else that has had my back since the beginning. I could not have gotten this far without the help of every single person. Y’all are the real MVPs.
D Jerome Smedley Roxy Beltran