Small Business Series: Following Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Monday, 07 November 2011 04:53 Written by  Nicole Walker

During times of an economic downturn, some choose to focus on lack while others decide to look for a business opportunity. Risk is part of the territory of entrepreneurship, but investing in a new business in economically challenging times can be particularly daunting.

In 2010, husband and wife team Eric and LeKeiya Keese sought out a business venture. “We met an artist in the industry who wanted to revamp his career,” LeKeiya says.

After seeing his talent, they were enthusiastic about backing him. LEJ Records had their first artist. The artist is Veudal, a Grammy award-nominated singer and songwriter from Atlanta, GA. Veudal, writer of hits such as Dru Hill’s multi-platinum single, “In My Bed” among others, is taking the stage with new material. His single, “Love for the Ghetto,” is now available on iTunes.

LEJ Records has taken on other artists as it expands the label. The addition of Chief Marketing Officer Ja'Nette McKnight rounds out the team with its mission to bring back music for the soul. Artist Richard Gunna’s single “Noddy Booty” is finding circulation. J Bruce will bring his old Motown-inspired sound to D.C. this November.

When asked about how one can get new ideas off of the ground, Eric and LeKeiya point to both older and newer methods.

“Social media is a good place to start and it’s a method new business people can use it to their advantage,” LeKeiya comments. “You don’t need to invest a lot of money in it at first.”

However, relying too much on social media could prove limiting. Traditional networking is still crucial to discovering information, building relationships and establishing trust.

“Networking is a lost art form,” Eric adds. Most importantly, Eric says to be successful, business people must love what they do. “If it is something you want to do, then do it,” he says. It comes down to perseverance.”

As an entrepreneur, there are ups and downs and you can expect to struggle, especially in the beginning. Fear of failure is one of the most common barriers to young entrepreneurs. Some decide to give up before they even begin.

“Do your homework on the type of business you’d like to star,” LeKiya says about what someone new to entrepreneurship should know. “Is anyone else doing it? How successful are they? Look at who failed and who succeeded and ask yourself why.”

The founders of LEJ Records were inspired by what they perceived to be a void in the music of today. They wanted to bring back the type of old, soulful feel good music of yesteryear. The company is ready to take on new projects as it strives to share its vision.

Do you think you could make your business dream a reality? Here are some questions you should ask:

  • Are you truly passionate about your business venture?
  • Do you have the self-discipline to follow self-imposed deadlines?
  • Are you resourceful? Are you open to learning minute details that will grow your business from the bottom up?
  • Are you doing it for the right reasons?

Next month, we’ll explore the resources available to new start-ups that will save time and point you in the right direction.

For more information on LEJ Records and its artists, visit

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker has been a writer for 10 years and has had poetry published in the University of Georgia's Stillpoint literary magazine.  She is currently working on a short story collection.

She can be contacted at