We’ve all heard the phrase ‘adapt or die’, but how many of us truly work towards changing ourselves to keep up with a constantly evolving environment, often designed to keep us confined to tradition. Meet Dwight Crawford, a 24 year old entrepreneur who is breaking the mould for young African American men, and pushing the boundaries of what income generation looks like in the digital age. A successful businessman and mentor leading by example, Dwight is bringing innovative ideas to the table regarding our perspectives on wealth, work, and freedom and helping change our outlook on what we believe we are capable of.
Dwight was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Dwight started out in the working world, shovelling snow in the winters, mowing lawns in the summer, working through various minimum wage employments – typical of a young man looking to earn income to support himself throughout highschool. However Dwight is far from typical. Always an intelligent student, Dwight attended The University of Arkansas, and in 2019 he was chosen as a Forbes 30 under 30 scholar. That same year he landed an internship with the US Congress in the House of Representatives in DC, where he lived for six months. Upon his return to Arkansas, he was invited to attend a professional development seminar with General Electric AND had an interview with a Fortune 500 bank published in a prominent magazine.
Dwight says his time in school helped him to enhance his social skills, learning to convey and articulate his authentic self through words. A pivotal opportunity to develop himself as a leader came in the last semester of his senior year when he became the President of his chapter within a fraternal organization on the campus.
When discussing his experience of growth and development throughout University, Dwight says:
“My Junior and Senior year really opened things up for me. It made me realize that I can really be anything I try to be, because I was doing things that growing up in Ohio, I would never have thought I’d be doing. Being able to try new things, meet new people and be a leader to my peers helped me gain a lot of confidence in myself.”
With such amazing accomplishments and an abundance of knowledge and personal growth under his belt, Dwight sought an opportunity to allow others to share in his experience of building the confidence to invest in ourselves. In mid 2021 after graduating with his degree in Political Science, Dwight was introduced to the opportunity that would allow him to truly act as a catalyst for the change he wanted to see in his peers and his community.
To date, working in partnership with his close friends Dwight has built his business called Aktivated Investment Group, and currently works as a mentor and trader in the financial market. When discussing the work he does through Aktivated Investment Group, Dwight says:
“We teach people how to earn a living outside of working a 9-5. This business is about creating passive income, and changing the mindset of trading time for money, into trading money for time, through investing in the financial markets. It gives you the freedom to be able to make the same money that it takes hours, days, or weeks to make working a job, in a relatively short amount of time. We’re making money from a cellular device, laptop or anywhere with wifi and a screen”
Dwight says part of the reason he chose to create his business surrounding financial literacy is the high priority he places on bringing new information to the African American community and providing them with the tools and resources to achieve financial security that may not have been previously available to them.
“Statistically, the African American community is the most marginalized, which has caused a lack of ability to create generational wealth. When you look at things like median household income, education, or finding ‘black faces in high places’ so to speak, we’re lacking. So it’s really important for me to help black men and women, especially of the younger demographic, to take advantage of the resources available in the digital age that have been denied from us over the course of centuries,” says Dwight.
Having experienced his own share of misgivings regarding his financial future while living in Ohio, Dwight says that growing up it was difficult to overcome societal pressures with his mental health intact. Despite this, Dwight was able to find a positive outlook and leads by example for others in his shoes.
“Growing up in a city like where I’m from can almost be a trap. If you’re not playing basketball or if you don’t have a clear direction for the future, you can fall into doing things that you shouldn’t be doing because you feel like you have to do those things to attain a certain status. Alot of us didn’t grow up in rich households and I was in a bad environment from a young age. I struggled with mental health issues because of it. So just conquering that and being able to look at myself in the mirror and attack the day and know that I definitely have the ability to make a change for others really lifts me up.”
As a successful entrepreneur and an advocate for change and adaptation to new and evolving means of not only earning an income, but building generational wealth in his community and across the globe, here’s what Dwight has to say to aspiring entrepreneurs of the future who are building up the courage to invest in themselves:
“I want people to change their perspective on what’s possible. We live in a society that’s constantly changing. I very much identify with the saying adapt or die. A lot of us are raised to just get out of poverty, but being out of poverty and being successful or financially free are two different things. I want to break that barrier for people and show them that we can truly spend our life how we want to. I’m forever evolving and I want to bring people along with me through the journey – as I become great, I’m going to help others become great.”