Keenan Beasley, 32, a West Point graduate and college football player, left a brilliant career in brand marketing leading global brands like Tide, Duracell, Lysol, L'Oreal and Gillette — to launch his own advertising firm at age 29. BLKBOX, a NY-based millennial marketing agency which boasts global clients Beach Body, Smirnoff, French's Mustard and others, is already profitable just two years in with revenues over $5 million. Here's his advice for launching a start-up.
I wrote a business plan when I was 26 years old, sitting on a couch with a friend from Miami, drinking 40's (cheap beer for those who haven't had the pleasure) and Hennessy. At the time, I was serving as an assistant brand manager for Procter & Gamble, and every day, I was fielding the same questions from people throughout the company:
Hey Keenan, you're a millennial, what do you think about this?
Hey Keenan, how do we amp up the diversity on this?
Hey Keenan… why don't you start a business?
That last question wasn't from anyone at P&G. It was the one that kept running through my head, on constant repeat. I was already functioning as a consultant within the company — why not build an agency that would provide that service on my own terms?