Nyesha Stone was offered multiple full-time jobs before graduation, but instead she launched a media company. She says it was because “while I was freelancing in college, I didn’t like what I was covering because it was all negative.” The Milwaukee native is the founder and CEO of Carvd N Stone, a media outlet that focuses on reporting positive news. Since the company’s inception in 2017, Stone has now accumulated enough funds to make a living and even give back with her CNS Scholarship, which has awarded a total of $22,500 to 12 recipients since 2019.
Stone discussed the scholarship and her company during a recent interview with rolling out.
How did the CNS Scholarship come about?
When I started it in 2019, I was kind of rebellious, like how I was with Carvd N Stone, because I never got a scholarship myself. So I thought, “Why not just give away scholarships?” I thought this even before my business was a business.
[With the business] I was just covering news and staying within the business model, but I was like “Let’s give away some money.” I specifically wanted to help creatives because I’m a creative myself, and I also want to help students because I was a college student as well. I started in 2019 to retain talent in Wisconsin. Over four years later, we’ve given over $22,000 away to people between 17 and 28; it’s been very amazing.
What are some tips for making money as an entrepreneur in media?
The advice I would give is to have a passion for something. You can make money doing whatever you want. There are people making money from picking up dog s—. Excuse my language, but have a passion for something, be consistent and [establish] a niche.
Carvd N Stone covers positive news, but then we have a whole marketing agency. That’s where our business model is. Us doing press releases, us literally teaching how to get connected to reporters, that’s where we make our money. Now, we’re just making money from our positive news with subscriptions. We have monthly and annual [options] if you want to support us … but how do you get your money in news? Be genuine to yourself and know your craft.
There are a lot of people who record, do interviews and do blogs, but they’re not trained in journalism. They don’t know how to report or fact-check. That’s where you separate yourself.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to get funding?
One, treat everybody like a human being.
For example, if Beyoncé were to walk in right now, everybody’s going to start crying, and everyone’s going to be like, “Oh my God,” but I’m pretty sure she just wants to be treated like a regular human being … understand when you’re meeting with someone, everyone has something going on in their lives. Some people may be sad, some may be happy or hungry during the meeting, so treat everyone like a human being.
Then from there, bring value to the table … and really just go hard. I went from making $50 an article to way more than that now. I went to InvestFest last year, and Steve Harvey said he’s always been doing the same thing — telling jokes. He started making $15, and now he’s making millions telling the same jokes.