#TNRStories is an initiative that we started to introduce our audience to the individuals we admire for being rich in their unique way. Whether it be through business, travel, sports, entrepreneurship, etc… we will be sitting down with various leaders that are shaping the culture today. Their stories will be shared through the lens of TNR in our effort to create a powerful community of “rich” storytelling leaders.
The first person we sat down with is Jide Omekam.
Jide is not new to the idea of never being boxed in. As a master’s student at Brown University, (Ivy League) he has taken advantage of all opportunities and started doing so at an early age.
Jide: “I am currently a graduate student at Brown University, getting my masters in computer science. It all started for me in middle school visiting Howard in the 7th grade. During this time, I was immersed with computers as we were given laptops and learned to type with speed and utilize the different programs that were available. We also had an extremely high grading scale so very early on, I was trained to overachieve.”
Jide, credits the fact that he started young on a path to success to his parents’ diligence. “It starts with the culture.” Having come from a Nigerian background, Jide has always been exposed to hard work and resilience. His parents instilled in him the work ethic that he carries today and even passes that on to those around him.
When it comes to The New Rich, Jide is an example of this lifestyle in a combination of ways. He has completed stints at various tech companies across Silicon Valley, (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Cisco, and Intuit) and has ultimately decided to begin his full time career at Square. When asked how he landed at square, Jide mentioned the fact that one of the figures that he looks up to is Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter and Square).
Jide: “Jack sees the danger in what technology can do to us. Two of the most important topics today include money and the way people think. Jack Dorsey is at the forefront of both of those with Twitter being a company that relies on human perception and virtual interaction and Square being a financial staple for the millennial generation and beyond with platforms like Cash App, which has become a main form of currency in the present and is for the future.”
Myles: Who else inspires you?
Jide: “Tristin Walker is someone else that I look to for being “rich” in another way. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “People only see what they are prepared to see.” Tristin is a prime example of this quote having recently moved his tech company from Palo Alto to Atlanta to be more in tune with the consumers that he serves as well as the entire landscape.”
Not only does Jide have a wealth of knowledge in the tech industry, he also turns to music for inspiration. He mentioned that Drake is one of his favorite artists and has been ever since one of his earliest hits, Ransom ft. Lil Wayne. Never being boxed in is what we consider to be “The New Rich” and although Jide is so well versed and knowledgeable in tech, he still has other interests outside of that like music.
Myles: You mentioned some of your other interests like music and how that helps you stay locked in to your work in tech and school. What was your first thought when you heard the phrase “The New Rich?”
Jide: Hearing “The New Rich” I thought, this is the future! You can do what you want to do as long as you feel comfortable. When I was interviewing, there were various companies I could have went to and acquired more money but I chose the career that would make me the happiest. That to me is being rich! At this point we are not chasing money, we are chasing time. Health is wealth and we will spend the majority of our time at work so I made sure to choose what would keep me healthy mentally, physically, etc..
Myles: One of our main phrases that we use consistently is "not for the conventionally appropriate." When you hear that, what does it mean to you?
Jide: I'm actually dealing with this now with coming from an Ivy League school, working in tech, and balancing just being true to myself.
Jide is very outspoken in person and through his social media platforms. "Sometimes, people check me" he said. He recognizes that not everyone will agree with his approach, but it is hard to question the knowledge and experience he has gained on his path.
We look at Jide as a great example of someone fitting the message that we promote. His ability to remain true to himself and his interests, being unconventional, and never allowing himself to be put into a box is exactly what we consider rich!