What’s up BTP! My name is Jameel & I’m from Suitland, PG County Maryland. I’m an electrician by trade, but I specialize in residential & commercial (smart) automation. I like to sum it up as taking different components in the home (Lighting, HVAC, Shading, Music & more) and making them work together to deliver an experience customized for the end user.
When you wake up in the morning, if you want your lights to gradually come on, shades to open, your favorite podcast to play and heat to get pushed to the bathroom for your shower- we can easily do that. All you have to do is wake up! I love it because it allows me to create without limitations, which is all any artist or creator really wants to do.
I’m kind of obsessed with work right now but in my free time, I like to travel and experience new things, foods and people. Every time I travel, I come back with different perspectives on life and it always helps the creative process.
What was your journey into building smart homes? When did you learn that this was a career path and what steps did you take to get into it?
My journey started around 2011 when I was stuck at a job where I had already peaked. I was sitting in my cubicle researching trades because I knew I loved working with my hands. By this time, I had already begun mounting TV’s & setting up sound systems (as a side hustle), but I wanted more. I wanted to develop more skills in the area I was passionate about. The electrical field stood out for many reasons. At the time, electricians were the highest paid & offered more than one option that I could specialize in. I wouldn’t be “stuck” with one thing. During the 3rd year of my electrical apprenticeship, I worked for a control company. There, I was exposed to building automation. Due to the size of commercial buildings, intelligent control for lighting, HVAC, & other components is a must. I realized implementing this type of control in a residential environment would provide just as much value to the average homeowner. Once I graduated my apprenticeship, I researched vendors & found one that aligned with the vision I had for my company.
Did you make any mistakes, big or small, along the way? If so, and you don’t mind sharing, what were they and how did you go about bouncing back and learning from them?
Of course I’ve made mistakes. Anyone who says they haven’t, they’re lying! LOL For me, one of the biggest things I had to learn the hard way was how to effectively bid jobs. Learning to group labor, overhead costs, material, travel, & other expenses into each job & deliver a quote that was not only fair to my client (but to me as well) is something I spent a lot of time perfecting & has been key in growing my business.
At what point did you realize you were going to be successful in this line of work?
I believe in alignment. Meaning - your path is already predetermined. It’s up to you to identify, harness, & develop your God-given talents, to realign with your purpose. Therefore, I knew I would be successful once I was in alignment with what I was supposed to be doing. This trade really came to me easy, even in school I would ace tests without studying, while some of my classmates would struggle (going through an electrical apprenticeship is NOT easy at all, I don't want to give that impression). I did side work throughout my whole 5 years in the apprenticeship and every time I would call out of work, I’d get a call for a job, never failed. I think after about the 20th time that happened (I called out a lot lol) I knew I was on the right track.
As a CEO, no matter what line of work you’re in, there is a commonality amongst those who run their own businesses. Define what being a CEO means to you. Also, what advice do you have for those looking to pursue their own passion full time?
To me, being a CEO means taking on the responsibility for building & maintaining a successful company (including the well-being of your employees and people you partner with).
Your passion alone might not always be your moneymaker. For example, my passion is helping people. Helping people does not always make money. However, by combining my passion with natural skill, I’ve created a lucrative business.
My advice would be:
1- Truly identify your passion because this is what drives you.
2- Identify your skill set (this is what will make you money) not what you want to do, but the things that come natural.
3- From here, you can begin to connect the dots & create a lane that fits you exclusively.
So identify your passion yes, but then be honest about its ability to be monetized. If it’s not there don’t force it, make money with your skills and feed your passion in your free time.
Your Twitter following has grown so quickly over the last few months. Very impressive! What content do your followers enjoy the most? Do you have any tips for those looking to build up an organic following such as yourself?
My followers really enjoy daily motivation, whether it comes in the form of a quote, a passage from a book or me out working in the field. Many are also entrepreneurs, so this helps kickstart their day. Since I’m still in the process of building my own business, it makes my content relatable. I think timing also contributed to my following rising so quickly. Nipsey Hussle’s death shed a light on a lifestyle that wasn’t in the forefront. A lifestyle that included entrepreneurship, ownership, self-discipline, knowledge of self, and spirituality. Once he passed, people began looking for others with a similar mindset. I think that contributed to my following growing the way it did.
If you want to grow your following, be authentic! Be visible! There are literally people who record themselves eating CRAB LEGS & they have a huge following. Find your lane & don’t do what someone else is doing just because you see them getting engagement.
*Pariss chiming in here to say that I’m one of the contributors to views and subscribers of those who, “…record themselves eating CRAB LEGS…” Mukbangs are dope! K, let’s get back.*
We love knowing what our influencers read and listen to. Can you list some of your favorite books/podcasts.
My top 5 books are:
4- From N*ggas to Gods (Pt 1 & 2)
My favorite podcasts are:
Where can people get in touch with you/read more about you and your business?
Check out my website at www.SmartHomeSolutionsDMV.com
Reach my via email at email@example.com.