Tag your favorite small business

Curious to find out if you know any small business owners and entrepreneurs? You could always follow my lead and start by asking Facebook. My curiosity prompted me to look to social media and to make a simple request. I asked my friends to tag all entrepreneurs in my post. I figured I would get the quickest response that way. To my surprise, I only had one response within 24hours. However, I was ecstatic because the person was quite familiar.

The following marks the beginning of a series of interviews focusing on successful African- American business owners and entrepreneurs. The purpose is to find out the key to becoming successful in entrepreneurship, document each person’s journey, and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs in 2017.

Joshua Hearn, small business owner, my former schoolmate, and the only mention on my Facebook post agreed to participate in my current project. He is a 25-year-young entrepreneur, born and raised here in Philadelphia who began his journey in 2005 working alongside his father. Josh began providing various landscaping services to the community; he witnessed how lucrative the profession could be. He decided to consider the business aspect of the profession and decided to build toward owning his company.


After graduating from WB Saul Agricultural School in 2009, Josh was unsure about the direction of his future. He debated whether he would go to college or continue to work toward establishing his business as he always admired the trade and its rewarding aspects.

Josh made the decision to dedicate himself to his craft and officially became licensed in 2011, establishing his landscaping company as “I AM LLC.” I AM LLC. offers residents full lawn maintenance services, renovation, upkeep, gardening assistance, and leaf/snow removal.

“Becoming a master of your craft.”

Josh and I discussed success, a definition that varies depending on the individual and is unique to the individual’s personal goals. Josh’s ideas of success include continuous progression, taking the time to think about key aspects of your vision for your company, and “becoming a master of your craft.”

“Hard work means working 12 hour days sometimes- if the sun is up I’m out working; I’m still working when the sun goes down,” Josh explains that the single most critical talent that he possesses is that he is a perfectionist. Josh prides himself on providing quality service which he attributes to his success and increasing clientele.   “I’ve had people stop their cars while driving by saying I need you…Still, I have customers from “year 1″ (2005).” His success is a direct result of his demonstrated hard work.

A Message to Young People

I asked Mr. I AM  what advice he would give to young people who may be considering entrepreneurship and he said to: “stay in tune with what matters in life.” It is so important to establish a good work ethic & social skills early, to be able to talk and communicate effectively on a professional and business level. “Strive to be the best at whatever you do.” Josh pressed his point about being big on customer service keeping customers happy. He further implores young people to look into what it means to be an entrepreneur and work toward possessing those qualities. It’s doable, and it can be your reality.

“Be the best at whatever you do.”

I asked Josh if he had the chance to go back and start over if he would change anything and he replied: “I would have begun accelerating years ago.” Josh explained that he took for granted his talents, focusing only on the profit but not initially developing an official business plan.He explained that he would’ve considered taking entrepreneurship and becoming a business man sooner.

Contact Info:Facebook & Instagram: @jfinesse215