“All I remember is getting a kiss on my cheek, and then I didn’t see my mother or father for five-and-a-half years.”
Humble Beginnings: The Making of a Man
Jarrod Wilkins was born September 25, 1983 in Houston to a mother from Nigeria and a father from Tuscaloosa, Ala. His parents met while attending law school at Texas Southern University.
At the age of five, Jarrod’s mother decided to take him to Nigeria.
“She didn’t have intentions of leaving me there,” he recalls. “She had already failed to pass the bar exam twice. So my grandmother convinced my mother that she should leave me with her; otherwise she wouldn’t be successful in her career.”
So what started out as a visit for Jarrod turned into a new life in Nigeria – an unfamiliar environment to him.
“That began my life – waking up to no mother and no father in a third-world country where there was no running water,” he said.
Walking to get water from a well and carrying it back home on his head, using that same water to take a bath and filtering the remainder to drink was all new to five-year-old Jarrod. As a result, he was forced to learn adaptability – how to deal with new environments, people, and cultures.
“Right after I made that shift, I came back to the U.S. in 1994,” Jarrod said.
He returned home to find that his mother had gotten married and his father had also gotten married.
“They both had started new families without me,” he recalls. “After feeling that sense of abandonment, I knew I wanted to create my own family.”
In 2001, Jarrod began experiencing great success in the companies for which he worked, earning multiple promotions and leading a team of executives – many twice his age – to award-winning sales status for a Fortune 500 corporation. Jarrod began his entrepreneurial pursuits with his first company in 2004 at age 20 in the direct sales profession.
“I was marketing and distributing nutritional supplements and I failed,” he said. “I didn’t turn any real profits. I started my second business in the same profession, different company. I failed again, but was exposed to other mentors that understood how to make this profession and business work.”
Jarrod named five mentors who helped him grow in his profession:
Holton Buggs – he taught me principles and presence
Jakes – a great storyteller who taught me how to paint a picture
Les Brown – taught me the art of delivering one-liners and being able to frame and tell a story
Jamal Harrison Bryant – taught me how to deliver a message to get a crowd engaged and involved
Pastor Charles Perry, Jr. – taught me how to teach and craft a message that connects with the heart of the people
Without a college degree, Jarrod used his experiences – both good and bad – as learning opportunities. He has since built global organizations impacting 10’s of thousands of people across multiple continents producing $10’s of millions in sales annually.
“All of us learn by either a) our mistakes or b) our mentors,” Jarrod said. “I learned a great deal about communication, leadership, influence, and motivation. It helped in my personal self-development. A great quote by Jim Rohn states ‘formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’”
Not only is Jarrod an entrepreneur, but he describes himself as being a transformational teacher. The difference, he states, between a motivational speaker and a transformational teacher is that a motivational speaker speaks in order to get a person to do something, while a transformational teacher allows a person to be aware of where they are, why they do what they do, and allow them to see themselves bigger than what they are.
“I think motivational speakers are good – needed as often as a bath because it allows for people to wash off negative experiences,” he said. “Teaching is being able to give a person a foundation from which he/she can build upon. Sometimes, motivation is needed. Jesus is a great example because he motivated the masses, but he taught the 12 disciples.”
Jarrod is highly-sought after and speaks to packed houses and audiences whether the platform is an international convention, seminar, leadership retreat, or private coaching session. Audiences are lively and engaged at each event.
“I resonate past their heads into their hearts,” he said. “There’s a deeper intrinsic connection when somebody knows you’ve been where they are. There’s a difference between impressing and impacting. People are impressed with your strength, but they are impacted by your story. Jarrod Wilkins is somebody who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. What I teach, I’ve done.”
Jarrod’s quintessential message that he hopes to impart on every individual that hears him speak is that they are good enough.
“Sometimes, people become cheerleaders or followers of others who have achieved and are successful,” he said. “Those people are not always empowered to go after their own goals because they have not identified the greatness that is within them, to be more, do more and have more out of life. I help people to identify their core strengths, drown out their weaknesses, and move past their obstacles to accomplish their dream.”
Jarrod’s dream did not happen overnight, he says “it happened night after night.” His interpretation of success: one beggar telling another beggar where they found the bread.
“You were born looking like your parents, but you die looking like your choices,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where or what you come from. You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to one day become great.”
On Sept. 5, 2013; while visiting the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami, Jarrod delivered the best message of his life by asking best friend and business partner of three years Porshea to be his wife. The couple completed their premarital counseling that December and married March 1, 2014 in their living room with 23 close family and friends. Afterwards enjoying a delicious spread his Bride Porshea cooked the night before.
December 2015 after facing depression due to professional challenges Jarrod has a breakthrough.
“I remember finishing up our Motivational Moment in the Morning broadcast and just laying on the floor in my wife’s office crying to God for direction on what He wanted me to do next professionally.”
He and Porshea had just come off a two week fast.
“As I was in prayer, I heard God loud and clear. He said Build It For Your Last Name. I jumped up, ran downstairs to tell my wife I got it! Starting 2016, we’re going to build it for our last name.”
Porshea took the vision and multiplied it into the brand you see today. Since then that vision has penetrated the hearts of people across multiple Continents and through the Network Marketing profession has allowed he and his wife alongside amazing leaders to build one of the most sought after and admired organizations in the profession.
“Its amazing how people come up to me, who don’t know my name, nor have they done business with me but will say – Hey! Build It For Your Last Name! with a head nod. That’s impact.”
Keeping God first, they are looking forward to a prosperous and fruitful life.
“You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are,” he said. “To reproduce who you are means you have had to go and be battle-tested. I’ve been battle-tested.”