Entrepreneur William Matthews Encourages Corporate Change


( ENSPIRE Man Code 101 ) Entrepreneur William Mathews Shows the Importance of Putting in the Work to Achieve Your Goals 

ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps

William Matthews is a Houston-based entrepreneur, philanthropist, professional DEI coach, and public speaker. He’s one of Houston Business Journal’s 2019 40 under 40 honorees and considers himself as a modern-day renaissance man. At a young age, William Matthews discovered his dream was to be successful and live a happy life. This entrepreneur never imagined he would become a best-selling author, real estate investor, and a world-recognized public speaker. What started as a childhood dream soon became a reality and it allows William to help others. 

Growing up with parents, who were real-estate brokers, inspired William Matthews to pursue his career goals. He was amazed by how his mother balanced family, business, and being a member/board member of various organizations. William admired his mother for never compromising her motherly role despite her busy schedule. He started his real estate journey at 26 years old; buying a house built 60 years ago. He then purchased an investment property at 33. William Matthews took his time learning all he could about property management and residual income. His efforts paid off when he could add some investment properties to his real estate portfolio. 

When he started planning events such as fraternities and student councils in college, he added event planner to his resume. In 2008, he created his own event planning business called RSVP with Will: Event Planning. As he continued on his business journey, William Matthews could build on his experience and gain new skills along the way. This entrepreneur’s road to success wasn’t an easy one. He was told that he wouldn’t accomplish anything and was kicked out of five schools. Besides this, he faced racial discrimination at his former job. To make matters worse, they paid him to remain silent about it. Despite it all, William Matthews has risen above these challenges to better himself and encourage others to speak up.

ENSPIRE spoke with William about the organizations he’s involved in and business tips.

Growing up, your parents were your role models, especially your mother. What’s the greatest piece of advice you gained from your parents?

The best piece of advice I gained from my parents was quitters never win and winners never quit. My mom had this quote in the lobby of her office and instilled this belief in her work and home environment.

You were paid to stay silent after being discriminated against at your former job. What are you currently doing to ensure others don’t face this in the workplace?

Writing a book about my experience with systemic racism in corporate America is one of many ways I’m trying to help others avoid some challenges I faced. I speak at various universities to students about the good and the ugly side of corporate America. I love speaking directly to students, and the next generation, because I answer their questions directly and share personal stories. One of the biggest lessons I share with the university students and my mentees is I will no longer remain uncomfortable to make someone else comfortable. 

What tips can you share about building multiple streams of income? How can people avoid getting too stressed?

When it comes to multiple streams of income; start a side hustle, start small, and find a mentor to guide you. Stress is a part of life, but managing stress is key to any successful person, no matter what industry. Practice a healthy work-life balance, create a daily “to do ” list, prioritize daily, meditate/pray, physical activity helps the mind. Sleep is so important to deal with stress. 

Share two business tips you feel everyone should follow.

Every no is a lesson. I think about all the “no’s I’ve received and I think critically about why I received them. I now look at “no’s like a slingshot. It’s pulling me back, but eventually, I’m going to release the pressure of those “no’s and I’m going to soar. I recommend keeping a “no” notebook & find the lessons in those “no’s” to get past them. I’ve long believed every “no” is closer to a “yes”!

Do a brand audit on yourself. Take a trip down Google – at least the first 10 pages and see where your name is mentioned. Repeat this exercise on social networks and remove any tagged photos or dated articles that don’t align with how you’d like to be branded. 

Tell us more about your organization CHIME. What inspired you to create it and how can we learn more?

CHIME is committed to retaining local talent to downtown Houston as their place to live, work, and play. Participants in CHIME are hand-picked by top leadership as representatives for their companies and their generation. In 2015, CHIME started out with just 15 members. Today, they have over 150+ members. CHIME events offer exclusive access, such as behind-the-scenes tours, courtside games, and receptions with developers and downtown stakeholders. Founded and cultivating this group is one of my greatest professional achievements. Visit centralhouston.org/chime to learn more. 

What has your experience of being on the board for Suits for Success been like?

I have thoroughly enjoyed being on the Board of Suits for Success. This non-profit gives me an opportunity to merge my love of fashion x mentoring youth. Helping high school black and brown men get their first suit and expose them to a world outside of their neighborhood gives me purpose. 

What business or personal goals do you have for 2022? What tips can you share for others to create goals?

My short-term goals are to secure more speaking and training opportunities with Fortune 200 companies that value giving back to the community. I would like to contribute to the many diversity and inclusion teams we see every firm starting. What impact are these committees making? How can minorities obtain board seats? These are the questions I want to help firms answer in 2022 and beyond. Write down your goals and place them somewhere they can be seen daily. Share the list with an accountability partner who will hold you accountable and help you achieve these goals. A vision board changed my life! During the holidays every year, I create a new vision board with quotes, photos, and things I would like to accomplish long-term and short-term. I keep my vision board in my closet. I look at it twice a day, starting my day getting dressed, and ending my day getting undressed.

Besides offering insight in direction to many C-suite level executives, William Matthews believes in giving back to the community. He actively volunteers at organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Greater Houston Partnership. This entrepreneur also founded an organization called CHIME for young professionals. This organization gave 120 young professionals the access they needed for stakeholders. William Matthews’ story shows us that life experiences make us stronger and encourage us to do better. This entrepreneur also shows that if you put in the work, you’ll get the best results. 

Follow William on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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