We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Newman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Whew! This is a loaded question, but I will do my best to answer this as best as possible. I am tremendously blessed to be the owner of several businesses; a 7-figure experiential marketing staffing agency (The Brand Pillars), real estate development company that now houses a physical coworking space (All In Coworking of Inglewood), and a residential & commercial lawn maintenance company (My Lawn Mower & Me). All started with a void in the market that I recognized. However, for the sake of this interview, I will chat through my most recent tech startup, Virtual Coworking.Community. Social distancing is a deadly concept for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and countless types of organizations. When isolated, entrepreneurs and the like lack accountability and productivity tools formerly accessible in a physical workspace, and as a result, their businesses suffer. With the restrictions brought on by social distancing, today’s entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizations experience a networking deficit. And with business practices changing to accommodate a new age, they need more support than ever. They need better accountability within their teams and connections to like-minded community and professional resources for optimal success. And as physically isolated individuals, they need these services to be just as accessible as they were before the crisis. So, we created a platform to meet these needs and, in the process, launched the world’s first Black-owned video conferencing platform with an embedded community of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other organizations!

What should our readers know about your business?
I choose to highlight VirtualCoworking.Community so I am very happy to share more about it. As the owner of a physical coworking space, it was a high priority for me to determine how to adjust my current coworking model to the pandemic so that there was not a substantial financial loss. Therefore, I, along with a colleague, Olivia Jade Khoury, founder of ntflwr™, a nomadic coworking concept for black and brown women, decided to join forces to take our physical workspace concepts to digital and launch VirtualCoworking.Community (VC.C). Virtual Coworking is a virtual, entrepreneurial community with integrated video conferencing and message and video chat features for real-time global collaboration. We have transformed the physical community to digital by creating a virtual community of entrepreneurs who exchange and ideas for real-time global collaboration. What we love most about the digital landscape is that it grants us a broader reach. Locale and physical distancing practices are no longer obstacles to networking. We are now able to reach educational institutions, chambers of commerce, government agencies, entrepreneurial mentoring organizations (non-profits) (i.e. Incubators), mentoring organizations (i.e. Big Brothers Big Sisters), etc., globally. VC.C offers the following: • The World’s FIRST Black-Owned Video Conferencing Platform • LIVE Monthly Mastermind Brainstorms with Industry Experts • FREE active and engaging chat community accessible only by Members • Private Member-2-Member Message and Video Chat​ for endless productivity • Group Message and Video Chat for uninterrupted collaboration • File sharing capabilities without even having to leave the community What sets me apart from others is consistent and timely innovation – yes, that is it. There are many folks, and I am sure that you can think of several right now, who are yes consistently creating but creating at the wrong time. Each entity that I have the privilege to own was created to fill a void in the marketplace. I knew that if I could be the first to correctly fill the void, I could be successful. Notice something – I did not say the first to launch a product or service. Why is this important? Long before me, someone was providing staff in experiential marketing. Long before me, someone was mowing lawns. Long before me, someone leased an office building and opened a coworking space. Long before someone launched a video conferencing platform. Long before someone launched a community of entrepreneurs. The difference is that I found a way to offer something different, even in the same space, than anyone before me. In short, I found a void and filled it. This is what I am most proud of and excited about. Landing where I am in business today is due to being unafraid to take risks. One of my greatest inspirations is certainly Jim Rohn. I always say that his delivery was simple yet eloquent. With that, I am reminded of one of his quotes; “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Risk must be taken but they must be calculated. You do not want to risk blindly. Often times, one might assume that taking risks requires no plan. But, let me tell you – nothing could be further from the truth, especially for the entrepreneur. Some of my most considerable accomplishments were the outcome of the risks that I have taken. A personal statement that led me through some of my most trying times as an entrepreneur is, “Your best days are on the other side of the decision you are skeptical to make.” My encouragement to everyone, whether you are an entrepreneur or not, is to take the risk. The only regret you will ever have is to not have taken the risk earlier. And of course, it is not easy, nor will it ever be. If it were, everybody would do it! This is something I learned along the way. I want to leave you with this, something you should know about me, and what I look to reflect in my brand; I only ask people to believe in what I believe in. If I do not have confidence that what I create adds value, I do not ask anyone else to have confidence in it. It is impossible for anyone to believe in what you created if you do not believe in it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What a great question! I am definitely getting older and out of touch with the latest and greatest. Plus, when my best friends and I visit one another, it is often only in other cities or countries. However, no one can skip over a chill night at NOBU to enjoy fine sushi and sake. We can typically find a NOBU in any major city we visit!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have certainly not been alone on my journey. There are many who have supported, mentored, loved, and encouraged me along the way, which every entrepreneur needs. However, I owe my professional evolution to a network marketing company that I have been involved with since 2006 (LegalShield, formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services) and my college mentors, Rod & Marcie Cook. You will notice someone’s contribution to your life when what they taught continues to be relevant and applicable years later. This is certainly true for LegalShield and The Cook’s. My confident posture as an entrepreneur when handling objections, negotiating, or simply strategizing solutions to complex problems is certainly owed to these two. I honestly will never be able to thank them enough.

Website: www.MatthewNewman.org
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mr_catchonfire
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-newman/a/570/956
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thisiswhyiwrite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrCatchOnFire
Other: We are offering a FREE 30-day Trial to anyone wanting to experience the world’s first black-owned video conferencing platform. Simply visit, https://virtualcoworking.community/free-30-day-trial to get started today!

Image Credits
Courtney Barron Dennis Breyt