Victor Vonico Johnson's
By Carin Chea
To list and describe the sheer amount (as well as the magnitude) of accomplishments Victor Vonico Johnson has achieved would require a detailed and impressive catalogue.
Paralleled only by his enthusiasm and untainted fervor for helping others, Mr. Johnson's successes are a reminder that victory is not given, but created through determination and an unrelenting belief in oneself.
After a session with Mr. Johnson, it is inevitable to feel anything but an almost superhero-like empowerment. We recently talked about his life, philosophy and new book, Proven Pathways to Wealth & Happiness.
You are a published author, entrepreneur, real estate investor, and motivational speaker. Which one came first, and how did the other ones come about?
I've always been comfortable speaking in front of crowds and groups. Early on in life, I was in the debt collection business and was always making phone calls. I was very comfortable speaking to other. In my early 20s, I was doing promotional work, hosting talent shows, hosting radio shows and whatnot.
I've developed the other things - mentoring, being a director at a call center, real estate investments and acquisitions - afterwards. And now, I'm a published author.
Which professional area do you feel the most passionate about today?
It would be motivational speaking. I love being a mentor and helping people get their finances together. I just really want to help people become happier and thrive financially. I'm somewhat of an 'information junkie' and I love sharing information.
There were three key transitions in my life. I was once in a position where I needed to make more money because I was living paycheck to paycheck. That was my first motivation.
But then, when I did start making more money, I realized that it could be spent just as fast as it could be earned. I needed to figure out how to manage my money. That was the second thing - money management. Once those things were figured out, I had to learn how to grow my money.
Once I became a real estate investor, the book came about because a lot of people were asking me about my career, and I thought it was best to put it into writing. The book outlines everything I went through to get to where I am today.
One thing I've learned in this recent journey of writing my book is this: There are some people that become successful, and they want to hoard information. But I'm the opposite. I want to share my knowledge with people who are in the same situation I was in 5 to 10 years ago. It's proven: The more you give, the more will be given to you. In fact, it's multiplied.
You've also been a talent manager, executive producer, and radio and live event host. How did you get into the entertainment field?
That came early on. I've always had a musical ear. I didn't get blessed with the vocal cords, but being a business-minded guy, I thought, "I want to be in the music business, but I can't sing!" I learned how to promote and I also studied sound engineering, but engineering just wasn't my thing. I gravitated toward marketing and promoting. My focus was about promoting talented people and getting them in front of the audiences they want.
I remember one of my first gigs - I put together a talent show. I booked a club on a Sunday because that was the cheapest day to book it. I printed out flyers and just posted them on telephone poles. As more people came to me, I started promoting more events. That's how Nico Don Projects came about. I still use that name for my business today.
You have a book coming out this winter called Proven Pathways to Wealth & Happiness. What was the inspiration behind this book? Tell us about the path that led you to writing this book?
There was a specific event that occurred. On May 30, 2018, I had the fortunate opportunity to purchase two single-family rental properties on the same day. I bought them from Dallas, so I did a remote closing from my living room table while on my lunch break.
I had two different notaries show up because they were handling two separate transactions. I mass signed both of those closing documents and went back to work.
I casually put up the post: "Hey, great day! Closed two properties from my dining room table!" You can only imagine the type of attention that got from my followers. People wanted to know more.
My sister called me and asked if I would talk to a couple of her friends who were interested in real estate investing. That actually continued for weeks after that. Every week my sister would ask me to speak with more and more people.
I quickly realized that it would be easier for me to put down the struggles I've gone through, taking my readers through my journey one step at a time.
Proven Pathways to Wealth & Happiness came out of me trying to explain to a large audience how to become a real estate investor. My sister was asking me to speak to people every Sunday because it was so helpful, and before I knew it, I was in the process of writing a book. That was in July, and finished the manuscript in September.
You are a very passionate person. I can tell that when you are committed to something, you give it your all. Have you always possessed this trait, or is this something you have had to grow and cultivate through life?
I think it got refined as I've matured. I've been told by my step-daughter: "Man, you are always moving! I can't stop you." I actually feel like I'm losing momentum if I'm not moving. I'm always on the go. I'm always reading or writing or doing something.
But, my passion and commitment is something I've had to grow into. Earlier on, I was focused on just being successful, but I didn't know how to get there. I've always thought "older" than the age I was. I even put a little blurb in my book about what a compliment it is when people tell me I look younger, but act older.
My focus has gotten more refined in the past 10 years. I can now put my energy to perfect use instead of being scatter-brained. I've been able to successfully stay locked into specific goals until I'm finished.
What or who is your biggest inspiration to this day?
There is one book that has really inspired me. It's Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice, which was written by Dr. Dennis Kimbro. I was once in a low place. I was 20 years old. I had one kid already, and I had another one on the way. I was catching the bus between two 8-hour jobs. Dr. Kimbro's story really resonated with me.
He tells stories of Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, athletes - basically African-American individuals who came from extreme hardship and humble beginnings, and became successful. That's been my inspiration through life. It planted the seed that my mind can dictate the life I wanted for myself.
The mindset was there and I just had to execute things properly. Dr. Dennis Kimbro is a motivation in my life. Ever since then, his book has been a reference point in my life.
What future projects do you have in the works?
I definitely want to write more on the topic of real estate acquisitions. I'd also like to develop a mentoring program where we can teach others about the business of real estate. My desire is to mentor people on financial literacy.
I also want to put educational materials and booklets together to help people live healthier, happier lives. Things like taking care of yourself are tied closely in to goal achievement. If your health is an issue for you, it's going to impeded your progress toward your goals.
One of the chapters in Proven Pathways to Wealth & Happiness is about how I live day to day and my daily habits. It's called "Let's Talk About Health and Daily habit changes." I talk about the importance of thigs like stretching, having a proper diet, and exercise.
What is the most helpful advice you received when you were starting out as an entrepreneur?
The best advice anyone gave me is to have a positive attitude about everything. I would say the same thing to a younger me: You've got to have the right attitude. Your perception of a situation dictates how you're going to respond to it.
All the energy you put into something determines how something is going to work out. Having a positive state of mind, an attitude of success, is very much important for you to become successful. I want people to realize that they have what it takes to be successful in whatever they want to be successful in.
Unfortunately, many people have a scarcity mindset, which is, "I'm not going to spend anything at all because I won't have enough if I do." However, the abundance mindset says, "I'm going to spend this money on the right things in the right time (for the right reasons), and it will come back to me." It typically comes back multiplied.
To keep up to date on Victor Vonico Johnson's current and upcoming projects and speaking engagements, please visit www.NicoDonProjects.com.
On Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter: Victorvjohnson or Victor Vonico Johnson.
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