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Entrepreneur of the Month-June (Series 4 of 4)

FredS3I’ve saved the best for last! This is the final installment of my “Entrepreneur of the Month” series for June. African-American Music Appreciation Month is observed this month; so, it has been my pleasure to feature Mr. Fred Stewart! I hope that you have been inspired by Mr. Stewart’s background, supporters, and motivations for becoming an entrepreneur. In this post, you will learn about one of his future ventures as well as gain insight from Mr. Stewart.

In the fall of 2013, Stewart Communications is scheduled to unveil Stewart Com Sports. This entity will serve as a platform to spotlight high school athletes. Do you want to know more? Here is an interview with Mr. Fred Stewart, Owner of Stewart Communications:

  1. What is the purpose of spotlighting high school athletes?
  2. The purpose of spotlighting these athletes is to expose them to colleges that wouldn’t normally look at them. The diamonds in the rough are often overlooked because they have no clue how to get exposure for themselves. I will always be looking for that player from a 1A school that hasn’t been exposed to Division 1 football camps. There are several reasons for this lack of exposure, including a lack of money and lack of knowledge about them.

  3. What advice would you give someone who is considering leaving college to pursue their dream?
  4. My advice would be to know this is what you’re supposed to do and to have a Plan A-C. Plan D should be to go back to college. Also, think about retirement from day! Too many people have made lots of money based on their dreams, but during the process they never invest in an IRA. If that dream loses steam, they may abort the dream 15 to 20 years later. They might have little or NOTHING to show for it and have to start saving at a much later age. Since we know the benefits of compounding interest and time, we know that it’s never too early to start.

  5. Many professional artists started out (and continue) producing jingles? Describe your experience.
  6. I kind of fell into doing jingles. I knew how to produce tracks, and I was great with engineering! I had the software and equipment; so, I tried to figure out a way to MAXIMIZE what I had. I started putting myself out there to radio people I already knew that had heard my work and offered them a free jingle. After that, they started to spread the word about my services.

  7. What are some common mistakes that independent artists make?
  8. One common mistake that independent artists make is believing the hometown hype. Many artists get stuck at home, bask in the local celebrity fame, and lose their way! Typically, there is no one there who will really critique the artist the way they should be critiqued. The artist’s craft never gets better (or just simply remains bad). Another mistake Indies make is NOT BUILDING THEIR FAN BASE. Indies make assumptions that just because their music has great quality that radio stations are automatically going to play it.

    Radio airplay is primarily based on the amount of people that would actually like to hear your song IF it gets played. Radio stations only have so much time in a day to play music. So, you have to ask yourself, “Why would they take (insert big name artist) off the air to play my song?” Major artists already have a stable fan base that the station can depend on to come there and listen to their music. If you don’t have a strong fan base or “buzz” about your song, any airplay you get will not be significant enough to make a difference in sales.

  9. What would you tell someone who wants to own a radio station?
  10. Get ready to spend the money and resources to make it work! Don’t be afraid to be different. The odds are against you; so, come out swinging very hard!

  11. Why do you feel that you have constantly challenged yourself to do more?
  12. I have a financial goal, and I want to achieve my financial goal in a way that God gets the glory. That usually means I have to get out of my comfort zone and do more. Every time I have tried to settle with doing one thing, God allowed something to happen to get me back on track.

How did it feel to get inside Fred Stewart’s entrepreneurial mind? Please comment.

Entrepreneur of the Month-June (Series 3 of 4)

Last week, you learned about the people who have played important roles in Fred Stewart’s life. In this post, I hope you will be inspired by what motivated him to become an entrepreneur. After working on several independent projects, Fred said, “I decided to go all in!” Divine Music Productions was born on January 16, 2006. After building a few safety nets in 2008, he decided to leave Mississippi State University to pursue the production business full-time. He began a career in radio (producing jingles for radio shows, such as “Sherri in the Morning” and “The Cal Connection” on WGBN 1150 AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 2009.

After working in radio and with independent artists, he saw a gap between mainstream and “indie.” Fred noticed a need, and he made it his business to fulfill that need! He met with Wanda Patterson, President of the Florida Gospel Announcers Guild. Their discussions led to the creation of a syndicated show called “The Independent Showcase” in March 2010. It is a show dedicated to showcase the best independent gospel and Christian artists. The show crossed international waters when it was picked up by Spirit FM of Kampala, Uganda, and Radio Graaff-Reinet of Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Next, he joined forces with the owner of Connected 2 Calvary-a Christian apparel company. This collaborative effort has been remarkable! In conjunction with “Connected 2 Calvary” and “The Independent Showcase,” Divine Music Productions has produced 4 albums. These four albums have showcased the best independent artists at no cost to the public. Yes, they are all free and downloadable! These projects led him to expand into more ventures, which began the structure of Stewart Communications.


In 2010, Fred invested in Praise FM 99.3 in the Caribbean Island of Nevis. He assumed the role as stakeholder and General Manager. He re-branded the station and helped pull in shows such as “Joyce Meyer Ministries.” In 2012, Stewart Communications became one of the featured sponsors of the “Gospel Blue M.I.C. Achievement Awards” held in Chesapeake, Virginia. After working with established businesses and developing a reputation as a builder, Fred expanded Stewart Communications into business consulting.

Next week, you will learn more about Fred Stewart (future endeavors, etc.). What do you think about his entrepreneurial spirit? Please comment.