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Deddrick Perry Jr.

Deddrick Perry Jr. is an entrepreneur, consultant and professional coach in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his BA in English, minoring in Marketing, from Tennessee State University. After a successful career in the advertising industry in Chicago, Illinois he decided to pursue his dreams of being an entrepreneur in 2010. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Deddrick is a non-profit consultant to The Mentor Machine and an enthusiastic Mixed Martial Arts fan. He recently opened Nashville MMA East, Nashville’s newest MMA and Fitness training facility. He is also a partner in Ready For Spanish Language Learning Academy and resides in Nashville, Tennesse.

What do you believe is the first mistake people make when starting a business or labeling themselves as entrepreneurs?Attempting to start a venture alone, when a collaboration is best. Most newer entrepreneurs that I’ve encountered are so star struck by the idea of “owning their own business” that they overlook that many successful ventures require partners. Over time, I think most people understand that it’s far easier to have a smaller percentage of ownership of a much larger project than to have 100% of a business that will be stagnated due to a lack of resources.

When did you discover your niche for creating companies? I’ve always been independent and adventurous, but in college I had some professors that really challenged me to look at the world as a problem solver. I try to view entrepreneurship as a vehicle to produce new and creative ways for people to transform their lives.

What is your fascination for MMA? I love MMA!! It’s analogous to life, especially the life of an entrepreneur. Athletes meticulously become proficient or experts in multiple practical disciplines then pull their expertise together in a gameplan for success at an intentional time and place. There’s so much adversity to combat sports, just like life, but the fighters continue to train…fight…and win.

What is one area of business that you hope to tackle in the next couple of years and why? In the next couple of years I’d like to expand my professional coaching and mentoring. Over the years I’ve gained some very practical insights that I use to share with a group that I personally mentor, I’d like to see that group grow and the scope of what I can contribute grow as well.

What is the Ready for Spanish Language Learning Academy and what was your motivation with this partnership? Ready For Spanish is the brainchild of my business partner Leshawnda Fitzgerald. As a public school Spanish teacher she saw an opportunity to share her love of language with others (in a critical and efficient way) while spending more time with her own children. When I encountered Ready For Spanish in 2011, the business was at a crossroads and needed some tangible and intangible resources to grow to the next level…I thought it was a brilliant concept with some scale-able elements that was worth investing in. So making money and helping a friend was my initial motivation; but sense then I’ve researched my business and found that language learning not only adds to one’s marketability, but there’s data to suggest it enhances cognitive development in children. That’s great!

Do you recall the first business that you started and what was it? Oh yeah. It was a contract writing business; resumes, articles, ghostwriting, that kind of stuff. It failed miserably (lol). I look back on it and I’m thankful for that experience, it taught me about scale and leveraging the energy of others. A business based solely on my pen would be VERY difficult to cultivate.

What changes have you noticed in 2014 that may affect companies in the future? Will this have an affect on entrepreneurs like yourself? The ongoing conversation about the regulation of the internet has huge implications for entrepreneurs. Thus far, basically anyone could get online and be somewhat competitive with larger established firms to a certain degree. What smaller firms lacked in capital, they could recoup in know-how that got them to the top of searches, converted leads on their sites, and provided content for potential customers…if this virtual free market becomes more influenced by a firm’s ability to pay for entry, then the tables may become more tilted towards the larger companies and that could adversely impact start-ups.

What keeps you motivated to pursue your dreams? I’m always motivated to know that my success is tied to my ability to create economic opportunities for others. My businesses can’t grow without people, so being able to find the right people and share what I’ve learned over the years and empower them towards their goals keeps me both grounded in service and inspired for change.

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