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Meet Eric Patrick of Black Market Exchange

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Patrick.

Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m originally from Tampa, FL and moved to Washington, DC in 2007 to attend Howard University’s College of Pharmacy. The entrepreneur mindset has always been in me from selling candy in elementary school and CDs (compact discs) in high school, which then carried over to selling lunch coupons in pharmacy school and working deals out with local club promoters for either extra cash or “party perks.” I truly believe the desire to provide for myself is just ingrained in my DNA.

After graduation, I moved to Dallas in 2011 and got a job at a local hospital as an overnight pharmacist. Immediately, I saw how much more money I had than being a college student and knew I needed to do something with it. So outside of saving for a house, I got into the stock market.

I did simple things like buy Walgreens’ stock because I worked there in the past and Facebook stock because I had an account. They just made sense.

Then a friend told me about penny stocks in 2014 so I decided to give them a go. It’s was cool, but I didn’t really think it was for me. That same friend then told me about trading stock options and I’ve been in love the stock market ever since.

That passion led me to share things I was doing on Instagram and ultimately having friends and even strangers ask me about investing and how to do it. From that, Black Market Exchange was born. I knew it had to really be my own twist on teaching so I put together two things I really like. Finance and hip-hop.

I’ve been teaching urban millennials how to invest using things like Jay-Z lyrics or scenes from Empire ever since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been easy.

When you start out you think your idea is God’s gift to the world, but the response isn’t exactly filling your business’ pews on day one. I’ve realized you truly have to work at building a brand, authority, and relationships if you really want to be successful. That goes for any business.

Some specific struggles that can really go unnoticed as a business owner included workflows, customer service, and public relations. Those things among others tend to be learned along the journey and entrepreneurs just have to be ready for that.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Black Market Exchange story. Tell us more about the business.
Black Market Exchange is an investment education platform for urban millennials with a focus on people of color. When I started investing, most videos or resources I saw were from non-minorities in a suit and tie. Neither one of those really resonated with me so I wanted that image myself.

Today, my business can be seen as an online publication that includes editorials, videos, and even some podcast episodes from the past. Something new I’ve started is a daily newsletter that’s similar to theSkimm, but stock market focused and quite a bit of Black culture humor and references. That’s my main focus as I feel it’s a great way to reach my audience on a consistent basis and keep them in the loop of what’s happening on Wall Street but in a cool way.

Since I tend to use a lot of hip-hop in my content, the name Hip-Hop Stock Doc has been a moniker of mine for some time now. Hip-hop because of the music, stock because of the content, and doc because I’m a pharmacist (I have a doctorate).

I would some say what I’m most proud of is that I don’t have a traditional finance background. A lot of financial experts and educators have worked on Wall Street, was a former financial analyst, CPA, and the list goes on. I came on the scene way from left field as a healthcare professional and I think many people relate to me in that it’s like hey, “This guy has no formal background or training and he’s doing it, I’m sure I can too.” I’m definitely proud of that for sure.

I believe what sets me apart is just my delivery and way to relay information. In one of my newsletters, I compared creating a stock watchlist to using Instagram. I don’t believe that’s been done before and I know people new to learning the stock market can appreciate that kind of approach.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
In House of Cards, Frank Underwood talked about being prepared for when luck comes your way. I believe God places you in certain situations at certain times, but you must do work beforehand to prepare yourself so when an opportunity arises, you’re ready to take it on full steam.

I’m not perfect nor will I say I’m the best there is at running a business, but I do think there have been times when an opportunity represented itself and I wasn’t ready. I didn’t like that feeling and I strive to prepare myself for potential opportunities if I’m lucky enough to be around when they come.

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