Shepherds of Healing highlights Austin Thach for the “Dudes with Depth” series.
Austin Thach Builds Brands Through Making True Connections
Written by: Arian Augustus
Austin Thac is the founder and owner of The Forefront Group LLC. The Forefront Group is a digital marketing, branding, and PR agency. The company is bicoastal working in both the Los Angeles and Atlanta areas.
Read on to learn how this Dude with Depth found success as an entrepreneur by staying true to his personality.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments so far in your career? (Albums, Books, Sponsorships etc.)
My company was able to work with a brand called CigarsNWhiskey. We helped them with an event In Atlanta recently. We’ve been able to work with Makers Mark, Martel, VH1/Viacom, Atlantic Records, and more.
Has it been a smooth journey getting into your industry? If not, what obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
NO! Not at all. I had many failed businesses, relationships, mentorship, etc. Every day is something different or a new obstacle I have to face. Money is constantly up and down until you have a full roster of clientele. When you work on a contracted basis, you constantly have to think of new ways to generate new leads and new clients for the future.
One struggle was that the first month I was a full-time entrepreneurship, I wasn’t getting any leads to sign contracts. People were constantly inquiring, but when it came down to signing a contract or paying, they went ghost. I was stressing that I wasn’t going to able to pay my bills, but right after that month ended I was able to secure two clients. That’s when I knew it was possible.
What is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
People think that anyone can do it or that it’s easy. Also I do both digital marketing and PR, and people get confused that they’re the same thing.
How old were you when you discovered your gift? When did you get comfortable sharing that gift with other people and how did they react?
I think I discovered my “gift” in high school but my career in college. I was always outgoing, involved, and knew everyone. I was “the plug.” I just knew everyone, which in my career field you have to kind of be “the plug.” You have to have a wide range of connections and relationships. Then in college I was originally majoring in the health field, but I eventually switched to Communications. I told myself, “Why not get paid to help someone build their brand or business?” That’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my career. People knew this was perfect for my personality.
What was your childhood like? Describe your environment from your house to your neighborhood to your school. How did these experiences shape you and your future success?
I can say that I was taken care of, had a roof over my head. Everything I kind of needed. I did grow up in an abusive household. I didn’t have the best relationship with my father. He actually had disowned me in high school which led me to work 3 jobs during those years. But my school and neighborhood were never a complaint for me.
Describe the moment when you knew you were on the right path. How did that affirmation encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams?
I knew I was on the right path when I ended up in a room with people that I used to look up to or watch on tv and listen to on the radio. It gave me motivation.
What have you had to do - mentally, physically, emotionally - to prepare yourself to pursue your career?
Nobody can be 100% healthy in every aspect of their lives, but you definitely have to be mentally healthy to pursue having your own business or working in this field. I suffered from depression and anxiety I had to go to therapy. Now that I’m mentally there, I’m focusing on my physical health and my relationship with God.
Tell us about your inner circle (close friends, family, mentors, relationship). How does their support impact your success?
They ALL impact my success. I love my family, but the majority of my family support from a distance. My friends literally are my lifeline. They’ve been so supportive and have helped me with anything I need. I truly love them. Also, mentors play a big part in my life. I have 3 mentors and 2 mentees.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself and others?
I learned that I’m 100% in touch with my emotions and its okay to be emotional or express how you feel.
What do you see yourself accomplishing in the next 3 years? What are you currently doing to prepare for this outcome?
In the next 3 years I definitely see my company scaling way over 6 figures. I’m consistently trying to build my clientele and also just building genuine relationships with people.
Can you share a secret with us that you haven’t shared anywhere else?
I’m a big R&B soul type guy, but I also love trap music. Jo & Usher are some of my favorite R&B artists. But, as far as trap, I love Gucci Mane and Lil Boosie.
If you had a chance to talk to your 15-year-old self, what would you say?
Just be yourself. Don’t rush life or growing up. Don’t apologize for being yourself.
Why is it important for the next generation of young men to see people like yourself? What message do you have for a Gen Z’er hoping to pursue a similar career?
It’s important for the next generation of kids to see people like myself because I’m living proof that you can struggle, suffer through depression and abuse, move to 3 different states and be able to make it work. When you trust in God and know what you bring to the table, you’ll make it work regardless.
Finally, which of Shepherds of Healing’s “Dudes with Depth” words resonates with you the most? (Dedicated, Empathetic, Polished, Trustworthy and Humble)
Trustworthiness is what resonates with me the most. People trust me. Most of my clients are people that I’ve built relationships with before they decided to work with me. I had to stop thinking about making fast money and stop focusing on sending out an invoice, and focus on building genuine relationships with people. I learned how I could be of value to them and not expect anything back.
Austin Thach is a Dude with Depth!
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