From dreams of being in the NFL to goals of becoming a successful entrepreneur, Quentin Jones’ shift of vision is now a tangible inspiration to others around him.
Before the rest of us had any idea who we were taking to prom, the How to Maneuver Through College author was already on his way to El Paso, Texas to begin his career in college football. After a couple of transfers, Jones graduated from Youngstown State University.
After receiving a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Charleston, Jones returned to Columbus unsure of his next step.
“I wasn’t comfortable coming back,” Jones said. “I applied to PhD programs, I planned on moving back west.”
Instead, he took pieces of his experiences in other areas and tried to figure out a way to make things work for him in his hometown.
“You have to be around different people to experience different things,” Jones said, “I’m hungry. I just turned 24, I feel like I should be further ahead. Instead I feel like I’m late to the game.”
While at an event, a coincidental comment sparked the idea that would later become the introduction to the entrepreneurial experience Jones always wanted.
“I just graduated and this lady began talking to me about her son. Then more and more people started asking me for advice about how I made it through different aspects of college,” Jones said, “I just started writing everything down and 20 days later I had a whole book.”
After meeting with a publisher to make things official, Jones released How to Maneuver Through College: What They Don’t Tell You in February of this year.
Jones began to cultivate an audience for his book immediately after its release.
“I did all of the footwork on my own,” Jones said, “I got the book into its first bookstore and it was like jumping over your first hurdle. Things just started to take off after that.”
Although Jones says that patience has been one of his biggest struggles, he worked his craft and got things going pretty quickly.
“These are all of my experiences and thoughts, “Jones said, “I want to show kids in the inner city that there’s more to life than just football or other sports.”
Jones grew up attending Columbus City School, so he focused his passion to help those who could relate to him and his early experiences in life.
“I grew up in the inner city of Columbus,” Jones said, “I want to show kids there’s more to life than just football and basketball. I want to create something the kids in Columbus can benefit from.”
Jones has spoken at over 12 schools in the Columbus area including Mifflin High School and Columbus City Preparatory School for Girls. He has also partnered with The Ohio State University’s ACCESS Program.
His advice to those interested in attending college, or just creating their own lane is to never give up on yourself.
“Work smarter, not harder,” Jones said, “Always have faith and don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do.”
Jones is working on a prequel to his book. He also has an interview with Channel 8 in Tampa, FL September 8.
You can purchase your copy of How to Maneuver Through College: What They Don’t Tell you, on Amazon.com or Createspace.com. It is also available at select bookstores in Columbus, including Book Loft and Ujima.
You can keep up with Quentin Jones on his Instagram & Twitter @coocalmcollect as well as his Facebook page Quentin Jones.