Self-Actualization According to American psychologist Carl Rogers is, “The curative force of psychotherapy. Man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities…to express and activate all the capacities of the organism.”
To become a Self-Actualizer means you have had the enlightenment of realizing your full potential and you are acting on it. You are taking the risk that not enough people take in chasing your dreams with the motive of reaching that known potential. Over the years of living in Atlanta, I have had the opportunity to meet tons of talented people. The only issue, most of these people never amount to the greatness that they could achieve because of the limitations they place on themselves. Chasing your dreams is scary business and it forces you to do what many people are too afraid to do in being true to yourself and assessing every element of your character and constantly bettering your current form.
The first edition of Self-Actualizers features Jalal Lewis, a 22 year old entrepreneur who has taken the giant step of leaving his 9-5 job to start his own painting business in Rolling Shades. Jalal was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Virginia before finally moving to Douglasville, Georgia at the age of 13. He grew up in a household with both of his parents which he attributes to the molding of his character. I met Jalal working for a valet company about a year and a half ago. We always had great conversations about different books we had read and I would always talk to him about starting a blog while he would talk of expanding his painting business and doing it full time. A few weeks went by and I realized I hadn’t seen Jalal at work in a while. One day I ran into him and he told me he finally took the leap. He started Rolling Shades with hope and a dream and never looked back. I recently caught up with Jalal on site at a job for Rolling Shades where him and his crew where painting Red Brick Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia.
Cody: Is there any one person in particular that inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
Jalal Lewis: My father was a car salesman and was great at creating relationships with people. I used to go with him to different dealerships and watch his interactions with customers which inspired me. Also my older brother Quinton who started his own business as well set an example for me and I was able to learn from his failures and his successes until I ventured off into developing my own skills. After people continued to call me for painting jobs I decided to create my own company. I kind of took a step off of his business and created my own.
Cody: Do you remember the very moment you realized your full potential and what you were capable of doing?
Jalal Lewis: I had those moments every single day that I went to work my valet job. There was a lot of down time with that job that allowed me to think to myself. I was able to observe everything going on around me while I was constrained to that valet box. Those moments really inspired me to educate myself while I had free time and read fascinating books. I realized I was worth way more than $12 an hour and some tip money working for another man’s vision. I wanted to do something greater than that and I just put it to work.
Cody: So far in your journey what has been your single most gratifying moment?
Jalal Lewis: There was a moment where I had a big job to do and needed some help. I had met some people at Home Depot a few days prior so I offered them an opportunity to help with the job. At the end of the day these people were so grateful and overly gracious for allowing them to work with me. They were in a bad situation struggling to pay bills and feed their kids and it felt great to me to be able to help someone out in that way. It’s not even about the money it’s just giving someone the chance to better themselves and creating jobs and opportunities for people…that was a very gratifying moment to me. Putting a new skill in their pocket and creating more opportunities for them to do what I’m doing, that was a very humbling moment as well.
Cody: What’s ahead for you in the next 5 years? Are you still going to be rolling with Rolling Shades?
Jalal Lewis: I get that question a lot actually. Rolling Shades will always be a thing but I want to set a system in place where it can build itself. I want Rolling Shades to be able to create great stuff where I’m not needed quite as much but I will always be the face of it. I really want to get into product development and get a new product into the market. I want to do something innovative to a product that’s already in the market now. I definitely want to get into new ventures and I want to create multiple streams of income for myself.
Cody: What’s the best advice that anyone has ever given you?
Jalal Lewis: You know, I work with a lot of elders in my craft and they have all given me a lot of wisdom over the years. Something that always stuck out to me was when I was going through a dark time in my journey and an elderly man told me to make this part of my learning curve. When you go through something that causes you stress you consider it to be a failure and it brings you down but it’s all a learning curve, that’s how you have to look at it. You have to learn something from it and let it develop your character and help you become a better version of yourself. Those are the moments that mold you into shape and tests what you are really made of. When he told me it was all part of my learning curve I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world for me. I knew I had to learn from it and apply what I learned so that I never make the same mistake twice.
Cody: If you had to put your journey into words how would you describe it?
Jalal Lewis: It’s been a beautiful rollercoaster, I can say that. I’ve had some high ups and I’ve had some low downs but you know, those ups make up for all of the downs that I’ve ever had or ever will have.
Cody: What is your end goal? What do you hope to obtain at the end of your journey?
Jalal Lewis: I want to have enough money to where I don’t have to worry about money. I want to be in a position where I can help someone else out without it hurting me financially. I want to create new opportunities for my family. I also want to bring someone else up. It doesn’t have to be the same way as me, but I want to bring someone up on their own path. I want to help them realize that they are so powerful and that they can create anything they want. I really want everyone to see that through the life that I live. I want people to realize that everything starts in their mind and with the right mental attitude they can do anything.
For any inquiries for Jalal or Rolling Shades, visit www.atlantagapainter.com or call 678-567-4379. You can also follow him on Instagram at Rolling_Shades.
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