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Trailblazers.FM: Black Professionals | Entrepreneurs | Leaders


Trailblazers.FM explores stories of today's successful black professionals. Get the know-how, confidence and resources you need to blaze your trail.

Apr 2, 2018

Whether on the stage, in the classroom, in the community, or as a father, Marcus Johnson leaves a mark wherever he lands. Musician, Entrepreneur, Professor, Author, Motivational Speaker, he is the consummate dreamer-doer. He believes that investing in the community and in one’s self is the best way to solve some of life’s most pressing questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? In answering these questions for himself, Marcus has successfully navigated the realms of music, business, education, and entrepreneurship.

Marcus spent his undergraduate years at Howard University and went on to earn his JD/MBA degree from Georgetown University. As a graduate student, he partnered with Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson to start Marimelj Entertainment Group. This entity later became Three Keys Music, an independent record label that produced over 25 albums by several internationally-known artists. As a musician and independent artist, Marcus has released 18 studio albums (seven of which have appeared on Billboard’s Top 10 Contemporary Jazz chart), garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for Jazz Album of the Year, and has toured the world, performing at various music festivals and venues both domestic and abroad, including shows in Paris, Ghana, St. Lucia, and Bermuda.

An entrepreneur, Marcus is CEO and Founder of FLO (For the Love of) Brands, which houses his most recent venture, FLO Wine, LLC, and has enabled him to combine his passion for music with his love of good wine. USA Today recently included FLO Wine on its list of Top 10 Celebrity Wines. As a result of his business pursuits, Marcus was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2004 and currently serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence with the Greater Washington Urban League. He currently teaches entrepreneurship at Howard University. He has also had the opportunity to teach on business-related topics at Georgetown University's Center for Professional Development, Bowie State University, and Elmira College.

In this conversation, Marcus talks about Flo Wine, and what's driving him today. We discuss his music and the biggest downsides to being a musician. We discuss the impact of the team he has around him, and how he goes about attracting the right people to help his organization grow.