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AJ Dewberry Built a Successful Business By Repairing Cell Phones and Investing in Vending Machine

One day while scrolling social media I came across a profile that interested me and soon I would begin to see this name and person everywhere. AJ Dewberry would eventually become a name and a man who would leave a lasting impression on me.

Born in Griffin, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, AJ was always exposed to the entrepreneurial side of life. Most of his family members were business owners and he would soon learn skills and lessons from the family-owned tax franchises and sales offices that would inspire him to become his own business owner. During his teenage years, he and his cousins would start a candy stand in the summer to sell to kids in the neighborhood.

Although learning business tactics from family was informative, it would be a college education that would take the members of the Dewberry family to the next generation. AJ first attended Albany State University where his goal was to get into education and create change in the school systems by becoming a principal. His plans changed and he later transferred to Clayton State University where at the age of 21, he would graduate with a bachelor's degree in business in 2015.

AJ began working at UPS and would eventually become a supervisor. It was during this time that he decided his time with the company was coming to an end and he wanted more out of life. Being the boss was something that he always felt connected to but the question was, what did he want to be the boss of?

One day he started researching how to fix phones and using his final refund check from college, he began to purchase supplies that would fund his new cell phone repair business. AJ was determined to make his business thrive and began using the 21-day rule; a rule that states if you commit to doing the same task every day it would become a habit. During those 3 weeks, he started his social media pages, created his own marketing campaigns, and learned more about products that would help launch his business. In his first few weeks of business, he offered specials that brought in customers, but word of mouth is what kept the business growing. Once he created a solid base and brand, the business rose to heights that have not stopped since.

As his clientele grew, the need for him to be more accessible across the city increased. AJ would eventually open three kiosk locations, which he closed down to start a mobile service, and soon he would open three physical locations in metro Atlanta with his latest opening only a few months ago. He would not only offer repair services but he would sell phones, accessories, and more, including snacks. Being the man that he is, he figured out how to take it a step further and monetize on the snacks. AJ, being a researcher, learned about and eventually purchased a vending machine. In the first 2 months of business, he would gross $7,000. He shared this information with his social media following and would soon offer courses via Level 10 University, the online platform he created to share his expertise. The success of the online course would lead to his writing his first book How I made $7k on One Vending Machine.

Since his entry into the business world, AJ was the youngest member in history invited to join the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce for Spalding county but now is a member of both Clayton and Fulton county. ​He also started his philanthropic effort Level 10 and Friends, which was created to give back to the community by promoting entrepreneurship and self-love all while decreasing poverty in urban communities.

Over the past few years, AJ has been fortunate enough to present $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors in high schools in Griffin, Georgia, which has sent students to colleges such as Yale University, the University of Georgia, and more.

AJ, now considered an influencer by many, shares that in order to be successful in anything you do, you must maintain integrity as a man, a businessman, and a person while inspiring future entrepreneurs. He sticks by these main principles; never take NO for an answer, always have options and stay disciplined throughout your journey.

Being an entrepreneur is not always an easy task and all entrepreneurs experience challenges. Being one of those individuals, AJ advises that you should never bottle up your emotions and always have a safe outlet to express yourself. This would allow you to remain focused, not overthink and keep a healthy mental state. With these tips from the master entrepreneur, you can't go wrong.

AJ continues to thrive in business while sharing his experience with those interested in becoming successful entrepreneurs. Although he has mastered cell phone repair, vending machines, and philanthropy, this Young, Black, and Gifted man is far from done.

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