The path to our Soul Career is never a straight line. Instead, it’s usually a mixture of persistence and our willingness to take advantage of opportunities, that lead us to successful careers that we may have never even considered. Brandon Andrews’ career is one example of this.
He is co-founder of Gauge; an AI-driven mobile market research platform. He also acts as a Senior Consultant at Values Partnerships. Where he oversees the company’s work on technology and entrepreneurship. As a part of this role, he leads a nationwide casting tour focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to Shark Tank. Shark Tank is an award-winning business reality show that connects budding entrepreneurs with potential investors. But this career is a far cry from Brandon’s origins and youthful ambitions.
Brandon Andrews was born in Atlanta and raised by his grandmother in a small town in southern Alabama. He later moved in with his mother and sister in Panama City, Florida. As a child, he was a natural athlete with a bright mind and ambitions of becoming an engineer.
But life for Brandon was not always easy. His mother went to jail while he was in high school, and he and his sister were temporarily homeless. But, his determination and positivity helped him to overcome his struggles. Instead, he channelled his experiences into an increased sense of responsibility for the less fortunate, in particular people of color. It was this ongoing commitment to diversity and the development of minority communities that led Brandon to a career in politics. And eventually to activism and entrepreneurship.
Journey to the Senate
Brandon’s commitment to uplifting his community has led to several civic and advocacy ventures. For example, as a college student in Oklahoma, he volunteered with the Adopt-A-Block program. An initiative that focuses on enhancing the beauty of North Tulsa. What followed was a series of stints at the local government level, a paid internship in Washington DC and finally a full-time job on Capital Hill.
His impressive resume includes five years in the US Senate, where he handled technology, small business and defense policy. He serves as Chairman of the DC Commission on National and Community Service. And is a member of the DC Commission on Fashion Arts and Events. He has also taken part in several successful entrepreneurship ventures and travelled the world speaking and hosting events around entrepreneurship and innovation.
Brandon is successful because he has established himself as an expert and has formed connections with his colleagues. For example, he attributes his position at Values Partnerships to the professional relationship he created with the company’s founder while in the US Senate. His current role at Shark Tank came about because of his willingness to approach the producer and discuss the need for greater diversity in the cast.
His Advice for New Entrepreneurs
So what are his words of wisdom for new entrepreneurs? First, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Whether that is in a boardroom in front of potential investors or with a potential business partner. Asking for what you want is the key to gain access to the resources you need to help your business thrive.
Second, don’t wait for perfection before launching a product or service. Instead, ensure that what you have to offer is good. And then start a cycle of launching, gaining feedback from your target customer and relaunching. He believes that this strategy will enable entrepreneurs to deliver products and services that add real value.