One To Watch: Johnwick Nathan On Why Clothes Make The Man, Especially When Black
“Being a foreigner from a third world country, and the poorest country in the western hemisphere, we grew up in low-income housing. However, my parents always kept a standard,” says 27 year-old Johnwick Nathan, a native of Haiti, about his life growing up.
Nathan says he was raised to be a proper gentleman and that no matter his financial situation or social class, he was raised to take pride in himself and his appearance. “I always worked on my posture and made sure to walk straight,” he says.
Nathan is the quintessential American self-made story. At age 27, he is the founder of a small, but successful, amalgamation of companies under the umbrella Guillet Industries within which his main business is a chain of behavioral health facilities in Arizona called Harbor Behavioral Health. He also works in real estate development and mortgage banking for underserved populations.
Nathan attributes part of his success to an article of clothing which is falling by the wayside: the suit.
“It takes time to tie the knot of a tie, it takes time to put on a shirt, to choose the right shoes. When you take time in your appearance versus putting on blue jeans and sneakers, you are presenting yourself as someone who takes time to consider details, you are presenting yourself in a way that says, I am here to be successful,” says Nathan, who started wearing a suit everyday in high school.
Nathan believes as a black man, this sort of attention to presentation is even more important. “How you present yourself is part of how the world will treat you, and as a black man, there are already so many stereotypes we are up against and have to overcome,” he explains. “Presentation is one of them.”
Nathan was raised in the church, literally and figuratively. His family are devout Christians and the values that permeated his home growing up came from their faith, as did much of his family’s extracurricular life. Nathan was so committed to his religion that he enrolled in Indiana Bible College where he studied worship studies with a biblical minor, but later had to leave his studies due to being unable to afford the tuition.
Although the real moment when he made a commitment to his future financial life happened in middle school. “It was myself and three other people sitting in front of the school and everyone was waiting for their parents,” he recalls. “My father had a 1994 Toyota Camry. It was dirty, it was muddy, it had rust on it, and one of the girls looked at it, laughed and said, ‘It’s that your dad’s car?’ It’s hard to describe the humiliation I felt, but when I got inside the car, I didn't slouch, I didn’t hide myself, I sat up straight and I didn’t say anything. I just told myself that, one day, I will have the best car ever. Today I own 12 cars including a McLaren and Bentley.”
In hopes to motivate people towards similar success and the fulfillment of their own personal greatness, Nathan has compiled his tenets towards achievement in a short guide called The 12 Principles of Soulful Success. This quick read is aimed at younger, millennial generations, especially within underserved and black communities who Nathan feels are unaddressed in today’s society. Nathan wants to share the lessons that have helped him to find success for a new generation.
“This is targeted to anyone who has a dream, people who simply do not know where to start, or people who lack in mindset,” Nathan explains. “Because it all starts with the mindset. If a person can change their mind, they can change their behavior, if they change their behavior, they can change the environment. By changing their environment, you will surround yourself with like-minded people with similar goals, who speak positivity, speak love, enforce education, all of which ultimately forces you to grow.”
The concept of soulful success comes in because he believes that love should be a core value of what entrepreneurs do, “The driving force,” he emphasizes. “Love is the principle behind soulful success.”
As for his ideas towards presentation, Nathan calls this the Foresight Principle in The 12 Principles of Soulful Success, where he says: Prepare for the success you have envisioned—literally and figuratively dress for that success. What you wear, how you speak, how you live, all broadcast to yourself and others who are in the process of becoming.
“The suit speaks intelligence, it speaks success,” he says. “To the people who don’t want to be so dressed but want success, I say this—sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to get what you do want. Or, do what you have to do now so you can do what you want later. Either way, find a way to get there.”