Markeith Braden, a 2001 graduate of Kentucky State University, has spent years mastering the arts of teaching and public speaking. This year, he stepped out on faith by pursuing a newfound passion, entrepreneurship.

The Nashville, Tennessee native displays his business savvy by owning Markeith Braden & Company, which is a digital media and personal branding consulting agency. The agency focuses on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs to leverage digital media platforms and marketing automation technology so they can gain exposure.

During the initial phase of the company, Braden had the idea of using his talents mentioned above as the go-to services of his business. His plans changed after realizing the power of promotion, which motivated him to combine his gifts for marketing purposes.

“I started the business as a motivational speaker and personal development coach,” said Braden. “Public speaking and teaching are my innate gifts. In knowing that, I had to learn how to market myself online to get speaking engagements and coaching clients. Ultimately, I developed the expertise in digital media and personal branding.”

Becoming an entrepreneur gives Braden a platform to help others find their unique abilities. Once the client discovers their calling, Braden then assists them in using it to make a living.

“I am an advocate for finding the strengths of others. I spend a lot of time with my clients in helping them to uncover their gifts and to leverage those gifts for their life’s benefit. People hire me as a coach to help them unearth the answers they already have.”

Concern for their team’s well-being and self-awareness are traits that Braden believes a quality leader should possess.

“A leader must be willing to give of themselves for the betterment of others. A leader is a shepherd who is concerned about the well-being of those they lead. I also believe that a true leader understands who they are. Their decisions should always be one of how does it benefit the people I lead, and never how does it benefit me. Self-aware leaders know their strengths and weaknesses, and they understand who they are.”

Braden believes that the key to being a successful businessman or businesswoman is confidence. Skills are vital, but according to Braden, a lack of self-assurance can be to one’s detriment.

“Skill is important, but if you don’t believe in yourself, you will not make it as an entrepreneur. Every day, I have to encourage myself with prayer and affirmations. Every day, I have to practice my faith even when the only thing I can see is the next step. I have a long way to go. However, I am convinced that my foundation is secure.”