Joshua Kenneth Richards, known as Josh Richards, is an 18-year-old social media influencer, entrepreneur, musician, writer, actor, and host from a small town outside of Toronto, Ontario.
Richards has been an entrepreneur since as long as he can remember, telling Forbes “I had my first company when I was 13 years old. I had a hockey merch company.” After a brief entrepreneurial hiatus to grow his social media audience to over 30M followers across platforms, he put his entrepreneurial hat back on and founded TalentX, the largest TikTok management and production company, and Sway House, one of the top talent collectives on the internet. He then proceeded to launch his own energy drink Ani Energy, acquire 10% of social good company Dog for Dog where he became partners with Snoop Dog, launch a JV with Warner Records in addition to signing with them as a recording artist, invest in TikTok competitor Triller and become their chief strategy officer, invest in Ellen DeGeneres’ UnHide and become their co-creative director ,and join the REMUS team as a Venture Partner.
As an entrepreneur, Richards is also a consistent angel investor, investing in dozens of companies including ReKT Global, Lendtable, Atmos, Versus Game, AON3D, Poppi, Chalk Messaging, Stir, and Humaning. His love and knack for business has attracted the eyes of notable entrepreneurs, some even becoming mentors, including Sean Rad (founder, Tinder), Josh Wolfe (MP, Lux Capital), Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Harrington, and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Besides being an entrepreneur, Richards is signed to The Gersh Agency and has starred in multiple short films including Under the Stadium Lights and Summertime Dropouts. He also co-hosts the BFFs Podcast with Dave Portnoy and has a song with over 100M streams. He also has had op-eds published in Newsweek and Elite Daily among others.
Charity and giving back is something Richards has always valued. He participated in the All In Challenge which helped raise over $50M, donated 100,000 masks to his and his friends’ schools, created a clothing line where all proceeds were donated to the NAACP, gave out blankets to the homeless on Giving Tuesday, and after Giving Tuesday, he decided to give back again the following Tuesday, handing out Chipotle and Ani Energy to the less fortunate.
Richards was named to Forbes’ 2019 Highest-Earning TikTok Stars list at number 5 and named one of the next 20 cultural pioneers by Highsnobiety. Sean Rad (founder, Tinder) called Richards in Forbes: “wise beyond his years” and Newsweek called Richards “a mogul in the making”. He spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas about climate change where he gave a fan $10,000 for creating the best video raising awareness regarding climate change and at the Hawke Media Quarantine Conference. He has been profiled by NBC, CNBC, Newsweekdigital and print, Forbes 1, Forbes 2, AxiosInsider, Benzinga, Seventeen, International Business Times, has appeared on ET, Fox Business Network TV, and others, and has been quoted in almost every major media outlet from Rolling Stone, to Fortune Magazine, to Billboard Magazine.
You can connect with Josh Richards on Linkedin as well as on Triller, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter via @JoshRichards.
Going All in for Your Dream and Building Your Audience
I believe that aside from hard work and commitment, following one’s dream also needs extraordinary courage. Aside from the sacrifices that one has to make, there’s always the threat that someone might take advantage of your talent. Josh shared how this happened to him.
“It was summer 2019 when I and a few other influencers were invited to go on a tour. It was a simple meet and greet where we would sign in posters and encourage our followers to buy our merch. We had to sell tickets for the tour and even go out for date nights which cost 100 dollars per girl. Despite making a lot of money, the tour organizer only paid each one of us 750$. This was when social media was still shady and social media artists were still unprotected.” – Josh Richards
If you think that experience would have discouraged Josh from his goal of becoming one of the biggest influencers in social media history, you’re wrong. In fact, he turned around his experience and transformed it as an inspiration to build TalentX with Michael Gruen. This has been Josh’s way to give back to the social media community by protecting content creators.
Aside from this, Josh also gave his advice on what a person can do to have a following or audience of their own.
“Before hitting it big, I remember how I used to have live streams in the evening. I would come up with different games to build an engaged audience. I would memorize people’s names and try to build a personal connection with them.” – Josh Richards
I believe that this is true, too. As human beings, we have an innate need to feel that we belong, that we’re connected. That’s true in whatever form, whether physically or digitally.
For those who explore niches and are afraid that having a niche is a hindrance to getting a mass following, Josh explained that there’s actually something good that comes from having your unique platform and audience.
“When you have a niche audience, there’s indeed a possibility that you won’t get to have 20 million followers. But that can be a strategic move to monetize your brand because even if you only have 250,000 followers, if all of them love your niche, then you can definitely win brand deals. And brand deals are huge!” – Josh Richards
But aside from creating connections and having a niche, Josh believes that there’s another thing that could make building a successful brand possible:
“I’ve been on the social media platform for a while. I’ve seen many people blowing up right now, and suddenly, it seems like everybody has forgotten about them. … So, building your brand and audience is a long process. I feel like you have to work on it, and for this to happen, you need a natural passion for what you’re doing. Your goal can’t just be like, ‘I want to make money,’ or ‘I want to be famous.’ You need a little bit more on that “ – Josh Richards
And I agree with Josh 100%. I think that it would be fun seeing people just obsess over the process of creating something. Who knows? One day, it might finally start to work, and you’ll be able to monetize it in a big way. Being passionate and loving the process are sure-fire ways to help you build the brand you’ve always wanted!
Why Your Choice Matters in Brand Success
One of the main things that concern me and many others, is the mental health side of social media. I see many young creators who are gaining many audiences; then their numbers drop at some point. They start to think that their follower count isn’t growing as fast as they want it to be, and they give up. Josh shared what he thinks about this.
“I think that the thing that happens to creators is when they start to see a dip in their followers, they get terrified. That’s normal. Unfortunately, some start to either try to do things that are crazy; they end up in trouble because they’re just trying to get views. Meanwhile, others just give up. Both aren’t the right way to go” – Josh Richards
This is what Josh wants every aspiring influencer to know:
“Though your likes went down, your followers aren’t blocking you, right? Therefore, you can always choose to push through it. Look at those big names in social media, like Logan Paul and Jake Paul. There’s a reason they’re still big names in social media. It’s because they just never gave up. … They reinvented themselves, or they’re always finding new ways to stay in the press. You see, you can maintain relevancy as long as you just don’t get scared. When you see a drop, you can’t get afraid of it.” – Josh Richards
Reinventing is accepting and committing to change in your way of thinking, living, associating with others, doing business, and so on. In business, you can call it innovation. You must continuously be finding ways to improve because the world around you is constantly changing. If you don’t remain current, we all know what would happen. You risk falling behind your competitors and missing out on opportunities.
Lastly, with all that success, the money, the opportunities, and fame, Josh gave his personal advice to keep one’s wellness a priority and not allow social media to consume you.
“Keep your circle small. Choose an inner circle that you like, where you can be friends with everyone, and they can inspire you to be your most creative self.” – Josh Richards
Josh emphasized during our conversation the importance of making the right choices. If you want to achieve brand success, you need to make the right choices, whether in reinventing your products, images, services or choosing the peoples you wish yourself to get acquainted with. Ultimately, it’s your decision that determines your brand’s journey!
Why You Should Listen to This Josh Richards Podcast Episode Right Now…
Elbert Hubbard said, “The greatest mistake you could make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” Michelle Obama said, “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Whatever your definition of success may be in life or business, achieving it won’t always be easy. But just like how Josh put it, as long as you have the passion for what you’re doing and you’re choosing to put all the efforts and never give up, reaching success is possible.
Before I end, here’s Josh’s definition of greatness:
“For me, greatness is when someone is putting in 110%.” – Josh Richards
In sports, you know that you’ve achieved greatness if you know you’ve left everything out on that field. It’s when you know you’re going to struggle in the game but deciding to do it anyway. In life, this applies, too. It’s when you’re feeling scared or tired, but you still choose to do something in the best way you can.
This was an incredible interview — I was genuinely inspired by this conversation with Josh. I’m even amazed at what he can create as a 19-year-old and excited about where he’s going in the future!
If you enjoyed this interview, please share this episode over on your Instagram stories. Don’t forget to tag Josh, @joshrichards, and me, @lewishowes, with your key takeaways. Also, please subscribe to The School of Greatness over on Apple Podcasts — leave us a rating and review to spread the message to even more people like you! You can also show some love for Josh by following him on Tiktok. He’s also on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
If you want to create a successful social media brand and build your own empire, make sure to listen to this full episode with Josh Richards!
Josh Richards Supports the NAACP With ‘Buddy’s Hard’ Clothing Line Launch
Clothes for a cause? Count us in!
Josh Richards is taking advantage of his platform and advocating for change in the coolest way possible. This week, the talented TikTok star launched his very-own clothing and accessories line Buddy’s Hard and is donating 100% of the proceeds from his debut drop, an exclusive “Buddies Stronger Together” hoodie, to the NAACP for 72 hours.
“Together we are stronger; together we are unbroken; together we can do anything,” Josh’s site reads.
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is a United States civil rights organization created to end race-based discrimination and advance justice and equality for all races.
Want a hoodie? Better cop it quick!
Want to know more about how you can get involved as an advocate for positive change? Here are 6 ways you can demand justice for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
TikTok's Josh Richards Creates New 'Buddies Stronger Together' Hoodie to Benefit the NAACP
Josh Richards is using his influence to push for positive change.
The TikTok star, 18, is launching a new clothing line called Buddy’s Hard on Wednesday, featuring a special item to help protest the killing of George Floyd, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.
Richards is offering an exclusive “Buddies Stronger Together” hoodie, with 100 percent of proceeds from the sales to be donated to the NAACP.
“I wanted to do something to help. When I see people going through a tough time, it hurts," he tells PEOPLE. "I understand the seriousness of these times. I understand the privilege I have with my voice and my platform."
The hoodie will be available for the first 72 hours after the brand's launch.
The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation and education.
RELATED: Rent the Runway Allocates $1M to Support Black Designers: 'This Is Just the Start'
The clothing and accessories brand, which was created in partnership with Moby Dick Unlimited, launches Wednesday, June 2 at 3 p.m. EST. To purchase a "Buddies Stonger Together hoodie, click here.
Richards’ girlfriend Nessa Barrett faced controversy earlier this year after she posted a TikTok video dancing to a Quran prayer.
"After she became aware of what it was, she realized the mistake and she quickly deleted the video, issuing an apology," says Richards, who maintains that himself and his peer group are committed to remaining more vigilant about how they can use the platform in a positive way.
"Myself and those around me are still learning how to navigate things but the intention is always to be better and do good," adds the TalentX Entertainment co-founder.
Over the weekend, protests against police brutality and systemic racism unfolded across the country. The demonstrations began last week in Minneapolis when footage of Floyd — an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck — began circulating online.
The Minneapolis police officer in the video — identified as Derek Chauvin — has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Richards merch josh
"Two members in the hands of the sensation was so new that Lena suffocated for a moment. She really wanted to squeeze them, jerk them off. Exercise power over these erect treasures. But the constraint allowed her only to stroke and gently squeeze the elastic members.
Everything was surprisingly harmonious and pleasant.Josh Richards - STILL SOFTISH ft. Bryce Hall (Lil Huddy Diss Track)
Watching eating with your chin on your fist. - Want to rest. Only with you. We sleep in the bedroom.
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