Reese Brown is an award-winning photojournalist and the founder of VoiceMan Enterprises, an agency providing commercial voice-overs, production development, and visual multimedia design. A decorated Army veteran, his work is featured throughout the U.S. Department of Defense and regularly appears in national and international publications.
How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit and inspire others?
My job position provides a unique platform for both visibility and access and allows opportunities to meet people in both their professional and personal environments. As a result, one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that people gravitate toward positive energy, whether they consciously realize it or not. The powers of actively listening, paying attention to detail and being authentic are some of the greatest tools a person can possess; when combined with a genuine sense of caring, these gifts manifest themselves in indescribable ways. My journey to where I am today has been far from traditional, and in every situation where I have a platform, whether it is speaking to an entire arena or a single person on the train, my goal is to leave that space in time just a little better than when I found it. Witnessing the magical moment when the light bulb turns on and someone realizes their own possibilities is priceless to me.
If you were to give a speech to young men, what would you title your speech and why?
“Don’t compare your path with anyone else’s. Your path is unique to you.”
Every person on this planet has an individual set of circumstances, which serve as their blueprint. One of the most challenging things we learn as we grow is that we all reach milestones at different points based on a specific set of designs for our lives. Environment, family and exposure can all serve to increase or decrease the rate of reaching these benchmarks and, unfortunately, too many of us throw in the towel when others seem to be moving ahead of us. Those who are both successful and happy are those who have realized their uniqueness and use the success of others as motivation and as a springboard to reach the next rung on the ladder.
What two quotes do you use to motivate yourself and others?
“You are never too old to become what you were created to be,” and “You can’t have Butterfly Language with Caterpillar People.”
Name two iconic humans who have inspired you or currently inspire you. Why?
Paul Robeson and Quincy Jones.
Robeson defined his life on his own terms based upon his talents, as a result, became the living embodiment of a Renaissance man. Singer, actor, lawyer, social activist and athlete; he was successful in every one of these fields despite the period of history in which he lived and every obstacle thrown his way.
Similarly, Jones followed his own path, and as a result has a career spanning over six decades as a musician, music producer, singer, songwriter and film producer. His work ethic coupled with a willing openness to grow has provided him opportunities few if any can compare.
Please share the evolution of your brand and purpose.
VoiceMan Enterprises was initially created to fill a void in the entertainment industry. From the standpoint of a musician, vocalist, writer and producer, there seemed to be a lack of individuals who could provide technical and creative ideas under the same umbrella. VoiceMan Enterprises was created to provide these services and, in addition to an event announcing and commercial voiceovers, also could provide technical direction, including product development, set design and creative direction. Currently, the brand also includes VoiceMan Images, bringing multimedia design and photography as a key part of its endeavors.
How do you build your network for success?
The vast majority of my success network has developed from providing clients with exactly what I would want if I were in their shoes. Fostering strong, positive relationships is key to every success and by consistently delivering on commitments builds a reputation of reliability. Word of mouth and referrals are the lifeblood of this business, but delivering a product that exceeds expectations is the soul.
What two moments in your life changed you the most?
Serving in the military and the decision to make broadcasting my primary career. My career as an Army nurse allowed me to see the world and the positive effects one person can have on a patient or an entire team. Becoming a broadcaster involved taking a leave of absence from a job many considered safe to pursue what many thought unusual. Both decisions required faith and still serve as a means of inspiration for me.
What are three important pieces of advice you would tell your son, future son, godson or another young man?
Surround yourself with friends and family who challenge you to be better — and hold you accountable when you slip; travel the world as much as possible; and live a life filled with gratitude and conviction.
What piece of advice would you tell your teenage self?
Looking much younger than your age is a benefit you will appreciate later in life. Enjoy it!
What advice would you give to young men about dealing with their emotions?
Your feelings are valid, and despite what others may tell you, expressing how you feel is actually a sign of strength, not weakness. Find a friend, a mentor or someone who genuinely has your best interest at heart and bounce ideas off of them. None of us lives on planet Earth alone, and life provides challenges for everyone. There is no need to go through things alone.