Hello there, my name is Jake (Jacob) Sargent, I‘m 20 years old and I am the founder/owner of Beue Media. This is my first ever blog post and it feels slightly odd writing it, but here we go anyway.
In this weeks blog post I will be writing about my background and how it has led me to this point, of starting a website design business (Beue Media if you were wondering). I have never been a strong writer so I apologise in advance for my poor writing style.
Okay, so where do I start. Best at the beginning I suppose, when I was 7 years old I was obsessed with drawing. I would draw on these humungous rolls of paper from Ikea, drawing battles, starships, warships, you name it, I drew it. Looking back now I was obsessed with telling stories through my drawings, this is where my idea of being a creative begun (I believe).
As I grew up, leading into my early teens I became a huge super geek on skateboarding. My dream at this point was to become a *Professional Skateboarder* and to obtain this I started to make videos of me skateboarding and then posted them on this new website called YouTube. This introduced me into video/photo editing, the beginning of my digital design story. I taught myself through video tutorials on how to edit videos and photos, I would get back from school at 4 pm and go straight to the local skatepark till it got dark when I got home I would edit the videos I shot that day together, and then upload them to Youtube. I loved the idea of doing something different, and the last thing I wanted to do was go to my weekend job or do my school work.
As I spent more time on Youtube I become a fan of the first generation of famous YouTubers. I’m talking about The Syndicate Project, Ali-A and KYRSPEEDY. This led me to drop the idea of becoming a *Professional Skateboarder* and instead become a *Famous Youtuber*. Making videos of me answering questions once a week on my show called “Topic Tuesday” and playing video games, yes people watched me playing videos games on YouTube, I know it’s crazy. The problem with making all of these videos is that I wasn’t left with much time, a big problem when your GCSEs are lurking around the corner.
The GCSEs & A-level years
My first GCSE year wasn’t too stressful but it started to get really hot at the beginning of Year 11, where people started to talk about going to university and picking the right A-levels for their god holy chosen course. I was starting to take the opinion of my peers more seriously meaning I began to take my foot off the *Professional Youtuber* and put my foot down on *University Graduate London Banker*. To achieve this I needed to exceed in my GCSEs and A-levels, I needed to work my ass off to get my grades up, which wasn’t an easy task being extremely dyslexic and not being able to spell for sh*t.
My solution was my own inner ambition and drive. I scheduled my day waking up at 5:30 am to study before the school day started and worked late into the evenings, it worked and I ended up with:
My GCSE Results:
Core Science B
Additional Science A
Religious Studies C
My A-level Results
Core Maths A
Computer Science D
These results securing my place at the University of Loughborough to study “International Business” at their renowned Business School. My results also showed me that if I set my mind fully to a goal, I can achieve it (with a sustainable plan of course).
The Gap Year & Jacob Sargent Media
After securing my place I decided to defer my entree for a gap year, probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life thus far.
After spending so much time revising and not creating YouTube videos, I decided that I was going to dedicate the majority of my gap year to creating YouTube videos in an attempt to become a *Famous Youtuber*. I started a schedule to create 3 videos a week, I followed through with this from my last exam (July 17) to mid-October when I received a message from my friend Josh, and said that his Dad wanted to have a chat about a potential job around social media for a Startup called SAMSystems Ltd. I met Josh’s Dad and then attended a meeting with the Startup founders a week later, who needed help with running their social media, content creation and website. Everything I was doing for myself, but now I was being offered to get paid for my work, I jumped on the job.
Just being 18 years old I became, the Social Media & Website Manager for SAMSystems Ltd. I started by creating 5 posts a week and creating a video on how to “install” their product, the INTEGRAL.
They also needed help with their website, their current website designers wanted £2,000 for a new redesign, which the Startup couldn’t afford. So I offered the owners to design their new website for just £8/hr, this was my first paid design work and it felt amazing! More of my time focused on working with the startup and less with becoming a *famous Youtuber*. After completing their website the directors of the Startup recommended me to their friends and used me in their other businesses, allowing me to start my own little business (as a freelancer) providing digital design services under Jacob Sargent Media.
It was a really interesting period in my life where I became exposed to the idea that I had services that were in demand, mainly designing stuff (which I was good at A* in Graphic Design in A-level and GCSE). The other main thought was the services I provided were a pleasure to provide and the work I did, had a real impact, I loved it.
This led me to change the trajectory of my ambition towards *Freelancing as a Website & Graphic Designer* to possibly move into the London scene with a Design Agency at some point, although the idea of becoming a *University Graduate London Banker* was still in my mind, and a lot of my social circle were telling me to go to Uni. I needed to make a decision.
Meeting Alex – My Possible Future
I played football for a local team “Uplyme FC” we would train on Tuesday evenings at the local sports hall, in the winter months, this is where I met Alex. We got chatting after one of the training sessions, he was in his late 20s and looked like a creative. He mentioned that he was designing websites for local businesses and invited me to a meeting where we could discuss business and a possible working relationship.
At the meeting I asked about his past, what had he done with his life so far, etc. He told his story and I won’t go into any details but he reached what I was aiming for, to *work in a design agency in London and become Head of a department*. The funny thing was that he had given it all up because he wasn’t happy, this hit me hard as here was a person who had what I wanted and gave it all up. It made me think about my trajectory of my own life and what I truly wanted.
The overall meeting went well and we started to work together, I saw Alex as my mentor in freelancing and in life, helping me set up my own freelancing business and believing in me as a person who could succeed.
Meeting the Holt Twins – My Possible Future 2
Meeting the Holt Twins was an interesting story which I think can wait for another time. The main point of their mention in this post is because they also had given up what I wanted, both working in corporate London (*University Graduate London Banker*). Their main interest was to become Instagram Influencers (which they are now!), providing vegan recipes to an eager audience.
They released their own B12 supplement for Vegans, I helped design the label and their new logo. Looked very cool…
But it hit me again how they had given up what I wanted. It made me think about my trajectory of my own life and what I truly wanted.
For whatever reason, I decided that I was going to try University, after working my ass off during my GCSEs & A-levels. I had to go for my past self.
I’m still happy I went to this day, based on the fantastic people I met while I was there.
Living the University Life
University was a nerve-wracking experience, meeting new people, drinking too much, and doing my own laundry were all very intriguing elements. I planned to work as a Freelancer while I was at Uni and it was great. Being able to earn money from my design work, but it made me think when I sat there at the beginning of every lecture as the poorly presented PowerPoint loaded, “Is this really my life for the next 4 years, £50000 debt, with a piece of paper saying I have a degree”. It made my skin shiver, I felt I had more to give, I had more ambition, more drive.
I started to think “what if”,
I dropped out, started my own business. Where would I be?
I continue at university for 4 years, leave at 23 with a degree? What would I do then?!
You know what the answer was… Start my own business.
I thought to myself, “Why would I wait to do something I could do now? Why should I rack up this debt for a degree which I don’t need to start a business?” and my goal was created, I started to plan how to turn my Freelancing work into an “actual business” that could be bought by a bigger business and/or employe people. So the base idea for Beue media was born. Affordable Subscription-based Website Design and Hosting.
I also thought a lot about the people I had met in my Gap Year who had gone to university got a degree, got the job I wanted and ended up dropping all of it, to do what I can do now.
So I dropped out, after my final push from Mr Vaynerchuck:
^^^^^^ Video link ^^^^^^
(I AM NOT SAYING UNIVERSITY ISN’T WORTH IT, IT IS, BUT FOR THE RIGHT PEOPLE)
9 Months after Dropping Out | Beue Media
It has been around 8-9 months since I dropped out of University, and here we are, Beue Media. It has taken a lot longer to get this business off the ground then I expected but now I think we are ready to launch! I can’t wait to get started!
Looking back at my whole life so far, I have always been someone that doesn’t do the normal, I’m not the social conformist, I act on my ambitions, and don’t just sit there thinking “what if”, I act, I do. This has become clearer writing this and has also made me think about all the skills I picked up from my first hobby of Skateboarding at the age of 12, and how they now assist me running my own business today.
My main message to anyone looking for advice is “do what you enjoy, do what has a positive impact on other people and yourself but above all else have fun. We only have one shot at this thing called life.”
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs