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Spectacular has been entertaining since the age of 11, but he’s also been an entrepreneur. The 33-year-old is best known for coming up as a member of music group Pretty Ricky alongside his brothers, as they sold gold-certified albums and created some R&B bops. Songs like “Grind On Me” and “Your Body” will forever hold a place in our hearts. But now, he’s a social media wizard with a thriving business called Adwizar that makes him millions.
While the money from his success as an artist may seem sufficient, nothing compares to his social media monetization company. Adwizar’s main strategy is to manage and monetize social media accounts for celebrities with a minimum of one million followers, while posting viral content to engage fans.
Long story short, Adwizar is a platform for entertainers and influencers to maximize off their own fanbase and following — reeling in over 300 billion impressions annually. Its partners (instead of clients) include the likes of Birdman, Jermaine Dupri, Soulja Boy, Fat Joe, Kevin Gates, and hundreds of others.
Spect’s entrepreneurship and business mentality stems back to when he was selling candy as a youth and making thousands of dollars.
For Financial Literacy Month, REVOLT caught up Spectacular to discuss his business moves. Check out the interview below.
At what point did you decide to pivot into the business world?
It was always in my blood. I was in third grade selling $10,000 worth of candy. Ten thousand bars, going crazy. The amount of sales in those two years… I sold the crap out of them. My mom [was] helping me, I was going door to door. I turned in my money one day, they gave me a bubble gum beeper and a yo-yo. I thought, “Yo, this is a highway robbery.” I’m no idiot, I know I got robbed.
I started my own business at that point. Got another re-up from the school and started selling my own candy. I was a kid, I didn’t know any better. I took the candy and used it to go get my own candy. In sixth grade, I got in trouble. I couldn’t sell candy anymore because the school realized I cut them out of the deal... Sixth grade, I transferred schools. Now I’m starting the candy business back up in a brand new school.
You were literally an entrepreneur.
Really, the whole Pretty Ricky thing was never planned for me. It was really forced for me. I was never like, “Oh, I love music. I have to record.” Even to this day, my passion is not recording music. I was one of the main writers for “Grind On Me,” but I never really gave a damn. It’s not forced now because it’s who I am now as an artist, but at the beginning, all I wanted to do was dance. All I wanted to do be in a dance group...get onstage. They told me “Spec, you have to rap. Get on some verses.” I taught myself how to rap.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Being able to provide value to people, solve a problem in the world, and really be the greatest possible at it. Now you’re able to not only take the things you’re learning and implementing it into your business, but also be able to help other individuals who help other individuals.
Who are your business inspirations?
Definitely Jeff Hoffman, he’s my mentor. He’s the co-founder of Priceline.com. The amount of integrity and humility he has, everything he does as a boss, as an entrepreneur, for him to be a billionaire and the way that he treats people really inspires the hell out of me. I’ve seen people with a little Lambo truck and $100,000 in their bank account treating people like shit. This man is a billionaire, the way he treats people, the way he does business, the way he gives back to the community is amazing to me.
Also, Puff Daddy and Master P. Definitely moguls. Master P is my mentor also. Seeing the way they moved, the way they built their empire inspires me. To be a part of their circle is something I don’t take for granted and I appreciate. Them giving me game and helping me out, partnering with me on things and doing business, it’s great for me to be a part of that.
Your company was Bluestar Brandz in 2012. Why the name change to Adwizar?
I rebranded it to Adwizar. At the time, I was helping celebrities and their brands. We’re doing a lot of ads online, I felt I was the wizard at it. I tried to do Adwizard, but it was take. So, I cut the “d” off and made it Adwizar. Honestly if I could take it back, I would’ve named it Spectacular Media. I would’ve switched it up. I rebranded in 2014, so that’s six years.
How did you get into social media?
I got a call from Matty J, it was a company called MyLikes. He told me I could make money off of tweeting, I’m like okay. I was broke as hell. We got into an argument with my father, he kicked me out of the house. I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have nowhere to go. I was with my fiance — my girlfriend at the time — her mom said I could come over there for six months. That’s when I got my call from Matty J, being broke as shit trying to figure it out.
Being famous as hell, my dad made bad business decisions with my money. He’s managing my money and left me broke, so I had to figure out a way to make money. When I got that call, I had no followers. Twitter just came out around 2009. I created a grime video and wore red draws to go viral... but it went left. I made a bunch of money. I made millions of dollars off of it.
Yeah. MyLikes, you can sell ads against the traffic. I’d build different parody accounts. Role playing accounts, Grumpy Cat accounts, all these different accounts that I can scale horizontally when it came to advertising and sending traffic. I couldn’t take my brand and vertically build it up because only so many people were going to follow me. Pretty Ricky wasn’t hot, the group broke up. We’re going through it with the label. They locked us out of our social media, so I had to start from scratch. I had to figure out a way to scale as fast as possible, and the way was different parody accounts. Katt Williams, Will Ferrell, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Eddie Murphy. All those accounts, I created fan accounts. I put them on automated everything. I ran 23 accounts at one time.
What was your mentality in making it free, when you could have easily charged a couple of bucks?
Because I can have people who want to learn a little bit — come in and learn the skill set. People who are more serious, I talk about my online business school at the end. I give them a free training and if they like what they see, if they decide to go full-fledged and take it more serious, then I ask them to jump into the academy. It’s called Spectacular Academy.
Is that you tweeting?
I have a team. My team helps me manage everything. I have the luxury to hire people, so I have a team. Diddy inspired me to do a school. He had a Harlem charter school that inspired me to do my own. Instead of doing a physical school, I wanted to do an online school. Now, I can reach more of the masses versus people in a specific area.
What’s your relationship with Diddy?
We just started connecting. He came over to the house a couple of times, we texted back and forth. We’re building. Like any relationship, you have to start from somewhere. We sat down and talked about what’s his vision, what he wants to do, how I can contribute to it. He reached out and told me he was proud of me. Ever since then, we’ve been keeping in contact. I’m figuring out ways that I can add value. That’s what I do for anyone: Diddy, Master P, it doesn’t matter. You could be a regular everyday person. My goal’s to try to figure out ways I can contribute to the world and to individuals.
How does your success in the business world affect the music?
It affects me because I’m busy. The money in the music industry is not as lucrative as an online school. I make $50K in a day, all the way up to $100K in a day if I wanted. No limitations on it. It’s hard to go in and kill it with those type of numbers as an entertainer. I have to literally get onstage, do what I have to do, then I have to renegotiate, put a single out. All that makes my worth. If that’s not happening, then my worth depreciates. “Oh, you haven’t had a hit since blah blah blah.”
Harvard has been a school for years, their price is still the same. They got the same curriculum, the same professors. They charge the same no matter how old their school is, no matter how many professors they add, no matter what curriculums they add. This is not a scalable model, the only thing I’m involved in that’s not scalable. Any business I get involved in has to be able to scale. I don’t ever want to be in a position where I can go to sleep and not wake up to money.
What are some tips you would give to young artists who may not be as financially savvy, but still need to find ways to stay afloat while coming up?
First thing is to get financially savvy, one of the leading forces in business and in life. You don’t know what you don’t know, so you have to know it. Find out who knows it, follow them. If you’re able to add value to mentors, they’re more likely to mentor you... The second thing is figure out who’s already accomplished what you want to accomplish, and go follow their blueprints.
Especially if you’re getting into business, nobody has to reinvent the wheel. If you want to become the next Kim Kardashian, she literally gave you the blueprint to do it. All you have to do is reverse engineer it. See the very first article that ever was put out by her, the very first content. What’s the content? What did she do? Do the same exact thing she did in a different way, but the same exact thing. You can become the next Kim Kardashian if you want to. She manipulated the media. She got people to hate her and talk about her. They promoted her team, which made her and her family a billionaire family. She made people not like her. You have people who don’t like her, then you have people who like her. You have to figure out what’s that for you? Who that is for you? Somebody who’s doing real estate, what are they doing? Reverse engineer, go back to the beginning of time. What did they do? Follow their steps. Reach out to that person, ask them questions, talk to them. Start a podcast and go interview everybody in that niche, they’ll give you all of their secrets.
Anything else we can expect from you?
I’m just getting started. I’m in my early 30s. I have so much more for the world. I’m changing the way people educate themselves. It’s about education. Colleges are overrated in terms of what they’re teaching you for the price they’re charging. It’s outdated information. If the price was lower, I’d feel good about it. College is taking money, they’re taking advantage of people. They’re putting people in all this debt for 25 years. Finally get out of debt and you’re already retired. What did I go to college for? What was the point?
I’m changing the way people learn. Self-education is key. My academy’s about self-education. You can work from anywhere in your home, work at your own pace. Lifetime access, we have office hours so you can ask my staff any questions. I talk to every last one of my students one-on-one. I greet them. I give them an entrepreneur family to be proud to be a part of. They can mingle with other top alumni students. I have my own version of an entrepreneur MBA. I call it Master in Business Affluence. If you want to get a real MBA, come through. Come win like all the other people who’re winning. My top students are making six figures. You can be the next six figure student.