My Origin Story: Ryan Wilson
Generation Titans' "My Origin Story" is part of ongoing series to feature talented, innovative, and dope entrepreneurs of color (EOC). We are providing a platform where founders and creatives can tell their stories in their own voice and in their own unique way. These stories are not highlight reels, although they do highlight success. Also, these stories are not focused on only the hardships, obstacles, and racial inequality that entrepreneurs of color face, although they do squarely address these challenges. Today, Generation Titans catches up with Ryan Wilson, founder of The Gathering Spot, to hear more about his origin story and his journey as an entrepreneur.
Stories like Ryan's are American stories that push the culture forward, spark conversation and connections in the startup ecosystem, and also inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs. These stories and the founders are a counter narrative. Through "My Origin Story," Generation Titans is proving that the pipeline of EOCs exists--despite the media's prevailing deficit narrative about entrepreneurs of color.
WHO IS RYan WILSON?
I'm a family-oriented person of faith that owns a business and am hoping to help make the world a better place.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW HAS THAT SHAPED YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE?
I'm from Atlanta. I think the thing that is magical about this city is that we support each other. I don't think there is a better place to be young and black in the country. This is a place where people genuinely come together and want to see each other win.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT SOCIAL MEDIA WON'T TELL US ABOUT YOU?
I don't share very many things about my personal life online. To me there are some things that are too sacred to be shared with everyone. I believe you have to keep some stuff offline.
WHAT'S THE GATHERING SPOT AND HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY AS A FOUNDER SHAPED WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
The Gathering Spot is an invitation-only private membership club built to foster community, collaboration and experiences. The club features an event space, restaurant and bar, and 24/7 co-working space. More than being the space business, however, we are in the community business. We bring together people from all across the city together in shared community. I started this business because I couldn't find a community post-college that allowed me to meet new and different people.
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CONTINUE ON YOUR JOURNEY?
I'm driven by this idea that a lot of issues could be fixed if we were in closer proximity to each other. We are increasingly focused on being connected digitally but its still important to share physical space with people to get things done.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SELF?
Just to enjoy that period of my life more. I was so focused on getting to the next perceived destination that I didn't enjoy the journey as much. Overall, just trust and enjoy the process more.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I'm reading the book Iconic Advantage by Soon Yu.
WHAT ALBUMS OR SONGS DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE ON HEAVY ROTATION?
I'm still listening to J Cole's KOD project and waiting on some of the new projects that are coming out this summer. I listen to a lot of old hip-hop too...we can't let the classics die.
WHAT DOES SELFCARE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Spending time with my friends and family.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU ON THE INTERWEBS?
Instagram and Twitter: @spotonrw or @thegatheringspots