Rasheed Guzman of Clendale, leveraging skill and determination

“Lose yourself in the music”

Rasheed Guzman, the owner of social media management agency Clendale, has entrepreneurship on the brain, and it has been that way for a very long time.

“I really admire and am inspired by Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tai Lopez, Gary Vaynerchuck, Ray William Johnson, Eminem, David Falconer from Credit Info Guyana and Rosh Khan. Most came up from nothing to something….a bunch of former waiters, immigrants, “nobodies”, but through determination they rose up to be some of the most influential and great people in the modern world. While David Falconer and Rosh Khan are just very swell and successful people. They both have that intelligent and interesting personality where you can speak to them for hours and not get bored.”

He is determined to prove that he has the vision, the ability, and the mental fortitude to own multiple businesses aimed at improving the quality of life of Guyanese – validating those who first believed in him when he put entrepreneurship before academics in high school – and become an international philanthropist at the same time.

That’s quite a tall list, but given the potential of Clendale, the determined entrepreneur is fired up to achieve his dreams.

“I have always been an “outside of the box” kind of person, and I observed from a young age that academic grades and good conduct grades given by someone else’s definition of standards that are stressed on in high school don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things in today’s world. Of course if one wants to pursue a profession that requires this, then that’s the route they must follow,” Guzman, said in a radical statement sure to raise some eyebrows.

“I have had this ambition and free thinker mentality since I was around 11 years old, to do and be something greater than my current self, to make a difference. Since college and further education are not within my reach at this time, I need to do something now. I have both “self-centred” (like most businesses and individuals) and philanthropic reasons for pursuing my ambitions sooner rather than later.”

Guzman, who was born in New York to a Guyanese mother and Hispanic father but spent much of his life in Guyana, earlier related that he spent his days as a child learning the importance of hard work, since he started with very little. “My mother worked hard every day to ensure that I was provided with all my needs even though all my wants could not be fulfilled.” At age 16, the ambitious, confident youngster, the grandson of late radio and TV host Ayube Hamid Khan, decided to start a transportation business. “I was fortunate enough to have family that has influential friends, so I decided to speak to some of them to become investors in my transportation business, which was my first prospective venture. But due to the climate and practicality, investors either did not have the funds or were not willing to invest in such a risky project. This is why I decided to switch to developing my social media marketing business, Clendale.”

Clendale, located at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara, essentially manages the online presence of businesses and markets them. It also offers graphic designing, website development, models and event planning.

With a team of eight, Guzman is working hard to boost businesses for the good of all. He noted that many businesses were not customer service-oriented, organised, or innovative enough to compete on a global scale, adding that “some business individuals would spend millions on a bar bill and not even spend half of that on their businesses to expand or progress for the good of all”. Many also failed to promote and love their own products and services because people believe American brands are better than local products.

He opined, “There needs to be more pride and patriotism in order to progress as a nation. Guyana has so much potential and there needs to be much more motivation and willingness to venture out of one’s comfort zone. The global business world is changing and Clendale is set to bring Guyana on par on the world’s stage.”

Listing some of the lessons he has learnt, Guzman said some “people are lazy even when they seem busy, the Guyanese business environment is a mess, determined people are better than skilled people, and your business can never grow effectively with quality if you do not have people you can trust”.

The firearms, astronomy, gaming and sky diving enthusiast, who defines success as happy and “doing something and being damn good at that something”, says better and structured economic conditions and easier access to funding were needed to assist entrepreneurs.

His advice to those hoping to follow in his footsteps were “”Lose Yourself in the music” – have ambition, keep at it, and work smart not hard”. His ultimate goal for Clendale is for the company to serve clients from multiple countries and for each client to thrive.

Contact: 655-1671; facebook @ Clendale; [email protected] Clendale.