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To Go Forward, Get Uncomfortable

For as long as he could remember, Terrell White Jr.  knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he just wasn’t sure how to make it happen. As a student at Cornerstone Health + Technology High School in Detroit, Mich., he found the support he needed from his YE instructor and mentor, Ms. Matthews. “She cared about me in a way I didn’t really get from other teachers,” he said. “We were always connected, she was invested in my success and she brought out a different side of me.” 

During high school Terrell took an interest in coding, taking several classes and enrolling in various programs to learn the ins and outs. It came pretty easy to him and he could see the potential for a future business, especially after building and selling a website to his principal. But he had a difficult time when it came time to land more clients. “I needed to understand how to find someone’s ‘why’ and I needed to figure out how to market myself and differentiate myself.” 

With a great deal of support and encouragement from Ms. Matthews, Terrell jumped into YE. His Market Day experience was a turning point where he says everything came into focus. “Market Day helped me incorporate everything I had been learning and I was finally able to understand how to properly run a business and not lose money. It changed everything.” 

Today, just  over a year since  graduation, Terrell’s business, Innovative Choice LLC,  is thriving. He actively incorporates Foundational Values into his day-to-day operations, something he feels has been instrumental to his success. “Everything I do now, in my business, is win-win based,” he said. “I want my customers to have the best website out there and I want to make sure I understand them. That creates opportunities for both of us. I probably wouldn’t have known how important those two principles are without YE.”

Looking to the future, Terrell is hoping to secure his own office space, expand his team to five employees and build a base of 25 clients. Asked what advice he would give to current YE students: “Get uncomfortable,” he said. “Because if you’re comfortable you’re doing what’s familiar and you’re not going forward.” 

As for his mentor, Ms. Matthews, they still keep in touch. “She’s the same as she was in high school, very supportive, like family. It’s not really the advice at this point though, it’s just having someone that I can go to any time and count on them to be a good listener.”