Sharvon Green on Reinvention
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My name is Sharvon Green. I'm originally from a small town, right outside of Savannah, Guyton, Georgia.
I worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitution as a newspaper designer, and I loved that job. And, if you would've asked me, then I just thought that I would have retired from the AJC. I loved my job. I loved designing the classified section of the paper. Um, but when I was laid off in 2009, I had to reinvent myself and I always enjoyed photography as a hobby. And so I just went out and bought myself a camera and took some classes and I started photography.
I'm an event photographer. We do, graduations, cap and gown portraits. As you can imagine, I lost all of that income, at the beginning of pandemic, which is one of those things that I never even thought about. Anything that could actually affect that income, because everybody's going to go to college. You always have people going to college, you always have graduations. So, having something that came about like COVID-19 that, um, affected that business, that was nothing that I'm sure like everybody else I could not prepare for. Once the events started getting canceled, I knew immediately that I had to do something different. One of the first jobs that I received was as a photographer for high-end cars. And, um, I never thought about doing photography for automobiles, but I really loved that space. And after shooting cars for so long, I was thinking, well, Hey, I could sell them too.
So I started that business at the beginning of the pandemic. And of course, last year I did this entire business plan for everything that I had hoped to do in 2021 when I started that business. And of course I had to revamp that whole thing because, I tell people when I kind of laugh about it because you have to kind of laugh to keep from crying. Sometimes I'm like nowhere on my business plan, did it have COVID-19 for that auto broker business. So, um, that has been extremely challenging. And, um, at the very beginning, when I started that business, I went to the auction for the first time and immediately the next week, the auction site foreclosed.
For the first three months I did actually put the business on hold because, um, one of the biggest challenges for me was, um, how do you do test drives when you have to be 6 feet apart from people? So that was one of the biggest challenges for me.
Once I took the time to actually revamp how I was going to handle the business, I had to go in fast forward mode by totally automating the business so that the sales for my customers, everything could be pretty much completed online. And that's what I did. I came up with a process for my customers to be able to complete at least 90% of their transaction online for the car sales. If you would have asked me seven years, eight years ago, would I be an independent Automobile dealer. I would've never guessed that because taking on that position, and I always describe myself as an accidental entrepreneur, that wasn't something that I intended to do. So, change of course is one of those things that I always tell people that you have to be willing to adapt.