About FJ Preston
Since 1989, Preston has been an author | entrepreneur and President of (what would become) WordPlay Multimedia, llc. His company creates and markets books, clothing, and leadership/professional development trainings. To maximize opportunity, Preston operates out of San Francisco, CA and Jacksonville, FL.
From my college apartment, I started my first million-dollar business because I needed money for diapers and getting a steady job wasn't as much fun as wondering where our next meal was coming from. Though I never met a keg I didn't like, I am a former Florida A&M University Presidential Scholar. Several years, and a few pretty girls, after I started, I earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in sociology and business from Georgia Southern University.
In spite of my elders predicting that I'd never do anything worthwhile (as if it were their choice), I was 32 years old when I finished writing my first book, Do as I Say, Not as I Do. Still today, there are schools around the United States that interject those perfect bound 200 pages into their curriculum and so that you don't start counting days with your fingers, that will be the last time that I use a specific age to delineate a milestone. If I can't put a finger on my exact age, you can't either.
In 2012, I was awarded the Mayor's Award for Public Service for a documentary film my sons and I put together called Ain’t Nothing Funny: The Truth About America's Children...and Their Parents. It was an unflinching call for personal accountability and, apparently, before its time. Or maybe after its time.
Anyways, a few years passed and some very good things happened — that is the way I have to put it. God did it, not me. And like the reasons for His favor, I cannot better explain it and, ok, it ain't fair. That's what my closest friends tell me. Or told me—they don't call much anymore.
I struggle to write this narrative because I know I'm on borrowed time and not at all the real source of my success. I do believe in me, but my success, like success in general, is nuanced and partly the consequence of a tremendous amount of support. Nonetheless, what I've learned about it, and enjoy about it, I am willing to share with all who can receive it.
What I understand is that a million dollars is much harder to make than it is to spend. I know because I've made a few of them and not that long ago the cotton fibers dangling in my jean pocket felt a lot like lint. Now, again, they feel like dollar bills.
What I understand is that I need my children and my wife not to complete me, but for my reason to be and to do. My wife is a queen. Period. On occasion, the children make me question if I am the father I would like to believe that I am. But here is something I think is significant: I would like them even if they weren't my kids.
What I want you to understand I will lift from a page of my own: Today, I am successful; if good credit, loving relationships, a few dollars invested, and reading comprehension ability are of any lasting value. Through a combination of education, entrepreneurship, and marrying well, I am free. I am a prolific experiencer with quiet perspicacity and access to dozens of world leaders in multiple industries.
I am not commanded by any group or institution to perform-or-putrefy. I have no status to lose. Any deadlines or limits I adhere to are, in fact, self-imposed. In this way, I have positioned myself to succeed because I am playing against myself—not a clock, not a standard, not anyone else’s expectation of me. I owe not one dollar to any man or organization, hence the big smile in the banner photo above. And though I count on His word to order my steps, I have been the master of my fate and captain of my soul for quite some time.
Now that we're done with that, do not question that there is a reason we are here together for this season of your life. That's just the way it works.
WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED
- Business Owner since 1989.
- Guest Lecturer at six U.S. colleges.
- Work featured in Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture–the largest of its kind in the world.
- 2012 Mayor's Award for Public Service.
- 2017 COMPACT Speaker of The Year.
- Designed widely recognized “Hot Chocolate” brand merchandise.
- Beat homelessness and depression.
- Eliminated (w/ wife) $68,000 in debt in 11 months. We are now completely debt-free.
- Visited 47 U.S. states and 11 foreign countries.
- Have clothed and fed the less fortunate every Christmas morning since 1998.