I’d like you to meet John Paul Taylor, founder of Real Life Poets. Real Life Poets is a nonprofit that leverages the creative process of poetry and spoken word as a means to empower youth, that otherwise might find themselves in prison or on the streets. John Paul started Real Life Poets because writing saved him and he wanted to do the same for youth in situations similar to his.
Real Life Poets is the very first nonprofit that we have featured on The Startup Story, as well as the only business out of Alabama that we have featured.
John Paul’s journey is much different than mine, and I suspect much different than yours. But that is the beauty of entrepreneurship. While his journey might be different, his experiences are relatable. He had to overcome friends and family thinking he was crazy for wanting to pursue Real Life Poets. He had to push through personal challenges, including a dissolved marriage. And, he had to have 2-4 different side hustles to try to make things work until he truly understood what it was that he was supposed to be building.
This episode is an example of the diversity of entrepreneurship and a true testament to following a passion and building a business for good. This is John Paul Taylor’s startup story.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- John Paul’s early childhood in Birmingham, AL and how being in foster care helped him find his gift for writing
- When he began to actually use writing as an outlet and how it helped him
- The ‘having nothing to lose’ mentality and how it helped John Paul grow as a writer
- John Paul’s first corporate job, realizing he wasn’t going to conform to corporate life, getting fired and his shift into entrepreneurship
- That writing was his saving grace and how he processed that into something that creates a living
- Performing, creating CDs of his poetry, and what Pootie Tang has to do with it all
- Starting a nonprofit, learning the rules, following the rules, and building a nonprofit from the ground up
- The 10 year anniversary of Real Life Poets and reflecting on the vision he had for the organization when it started, to what it is today
“Once people started telling me that I could not do it, I became driven to prove them wrong.” -
John Paul Taylor, Real Life Poets
Resources from this episode:
Our Sponsor Podcoin: https://www.podcoin.com - Listen to this episode to grab your special discount code
Real Life Poets: http://reallifepoets.org/
Real Life Poets on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reallifepoet
John Paul Taylor on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-paul-taylor-48a94835/
The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/
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