Photo Credit: NobleSol Art Group
Okeeba Jubalo is a man of many talents, and his most unique gifts are being a devoted husband, leader and father to his three lovely children. Jubalo is a creative visionary, who more than two decades ago embarked on a journey to build his brand in Atlanta. He is now a successful businessman and the executive creative director and CEO of NobleSol Art Group, founding publisher of Young Black Entrepreneur Magazine, CEO of Okeeba Jubalo Fine Art, and founder of HBCU Interns and ATL Black Arts.
Throughout Jubalo’s journey of growing his brand, he often felt the pull and tug between his personal and professional lives. Jubalo successfully juggles the important responsibilities of his family and his businesses. “I work really hard to not sign up for anything that I can’t complete,” he says. “That says a lot about you when you can’t be trusted.”
Two decades ago in Atlanta, he was determined to make a name for himself in several professional arenas. “Your network really should be reflective of who you see yourself as in the future,” he noted. Jubalo believes in the power of purpose and trusting his vision, and he continues to strive for greatness within his respective businesses.
Jubalo shared his experiences about being a single father, teaching his children the “wolf” mentality, and the significance of generational wealth.
What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
My goal is to leave the material, intellectual and spiritual tools necessary for my children to be successful. Too often in our community, those who are professionally successful tend to be very slow with sharing the tools needed for the next generation to build upon our success. It is not enough for me to be successful. The real measure of my success would be according to my children’s reflections as adults. I am also very active in our community through my college internship program that is designed to give our Black students the needed connections and experience to elevate their careers faster.
How would you describe your fatherhood culture?
I am a talker, and I also believe in tough love. I explain every detail of everything to my daughters and son because I know the importance of being literal. I do not assume they are getting it just because they are seeing it. A large amount of my time has been spent on my daughters’ development, and being a business owner is very hard to balance the two worlds. For the first decade-and-a-half of their lives, I built businesses around my need to be home every day at 2:45 p.m. to get them off the school bus. As they have gotten older, I now am getting my freedom to move more around in my other companies. We are expanding over the next two years once my daughters are finished with high school.
Why is it important to expose children to education and valuable skills?
Having a sound education is very important. It is even more important to have an education to fold into your skillset. Too often we focus on having one college degree after another without any real skills. You can fake an education, but you can’t fake skills. I have made it a point to make sure that my daughters are highly skilled and educated.
Which fatherhood experiences have taught you the most about yourself?
Being a single father for a number of years was the biggest learning curve. Having two daughters at the ages of 3 and 5 years old will stretch you beyond belief. This system is not designed for Black men to be full-time fathers. I had the support of my mother and sister, but … I did not make it their responsibility to raise my daughters. I treated my support system like supplements and not whole meals. I am now remarried, and my daughters are approaching 16 and 18 years old. When I look at them as young women, I know that all things are possible with consistent work, a vision, great leadership, honesty and teamwork. Having a great wife this time around definitely helps!
When it comes to protecting yourself at all times, physically and mentally, what would you tell your children?
You have to love yourself more than you love anyone else. If they are not mentally strong enough to care for themselves, they will never be able to care for anyone else. Watch your circle, and don’t keep company with those who are moving in the opposite directions of where you see yourself as an adult. Chickens and eagles don’t hang out together.
What advice would you give on being responsible for your own dreams?
Our dreams belong to us, and nobody else has to bleed for them. That is up to you. Our dreams can be compared to a plot of land. It is up to us to work the land. Our thoughts are the seeds, and our actions are the tools to work the land. The land doesn’t care what you plant in it. You will grow exactly what you work for.
Share one of your fondest memories you’ve experienced with your father.
My father died when I was 10 years old. One of the strongest memories that I have of him is how he would wash the cars every Saturday morning after cutting the lawn. I would wash my bicycle next to him as he washed his Cadillac. Then once we finished, I would cruise my neighborhood with my sparkling BMX bicycle. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Why is writing down your fatherhood goals for life so important?
You can’t accomplish anything without a written goal. Ideas in your head are one part of this process, but without action items, nothing will happen. I have a hard list of goals for my children. One of my goals is for my children to not have to ask anyone for work as adults. The companies and my name that I am building will set them up as adults to work for the family brand. They will have their own professional goals, but they will not have to start from the ground up the way that I did. #YBEBOSS
Follow Okeeba Jubalo on his website, www.OKEEBAJUBALO.com
Youtube: NobleSol Art Group
Also, check out Okeeba Jubalo’s empowering entrepreneurship series below.