Ok, maybe not totally. Knowledge is nothing! Wisdom (the application of knowledge) is POWER. When you make progress from practicing what I’ll be sharing, I’ll be truly excited.
Designer . Leader . Entrepreneur
Designer . Leader . Entrepreneur
This is Yox. A legend from the age of the artsassins reign. A prolific forger of impressive brand identity. A bla bla bla… Let’s not get carried away with Disney’s fairy tales. My name is Kunle Yoloye Jr. and contrary to branding principles, I built a successful personal brand without sharing anything personal. No pictures of my face or the crap I’m eating, no info of who I am or stories of what is going on in my life (because no one really gives a poop) and I did it all with the pseudo name Yox The Professor.
Sometime in 2001, I thought to myself that the fastest way to be recognised and taken seriously is to be unique (all that grow your rep high school nonsense). Immediately, I set out on a mission to reposition myself and it started with my name. Though I love the way my adorable wife calls it now but I’ve always disliked the situation of more than one head turning when my name is called and that happened a lot with both abbreviations of my name; Ayo and Kunle. So I brought out my pen one afternoon and rearranged it till it became Yox: Ayokunle > Ayoks > Yoks > Yox.
And ‘The Professor’ came from where?
A sarcastic pessimist and critic with a quick tongue who had just begun to read a lot in 2009, I picked up writing for a hobby and these attributes defined my style. Writing became constant with Facebook being the canvas and after a while, a friend called me professor. From that day on, I adopted Yox The Professor.
This has anything to do with being a designer how?
2008, I graduated from Covenant University with a degree in Estate Management and faced the profession squarely, even becoming a Head of Department and then a Branch Manager in 2 different firms 2 years after graduation. I woke up one morning and I didn’t want to do it anymore. Why?
2011, I had previously gone through ridiculously stressful months before we could conclude a sale of 8 figures for the company. Here I was again expending money and resources trying to support underperforming yet entitled staff for even longer fruitless months. The struggle was real and I couldn’t seem to make a difference. The stress was killing all my joy for the profession so I had to find respite. For the brief moments when I had nothing to attend to in the office, I switched on my laptop and engaged more in my hobby of writing and then graphic design which I had picked up while playing with the computer in my daddy’s printing press in 1998 (yes I said daddy, don’t hurt yourself).
About that time, the Blackberry craze was waxing strong so I bought myself one. A friend on my messenger kept using really lovely sarcastic pictures on her profile and I pleaded to be told where she got them from but she refused. Distraught, I chose to design pictures for myself.
I designed over 50 pictures with sarcastic messages which I presumed people would find amusing and stamped my PIN on them. I started using the pictures on my profile. I think I had 65 contacts then and they were all close friends. After a while, people started sending contact invites and I accepted every single one.
One day, one of the new contacts asked if I designed logos. I almost said no but my best friend insisted I said yes. 5 months later, I had 2000 contacts, 253 pending request and a malfunctioning Blackberry. One year later, I had provided branding services to over 60 businesses. That’s how my sojourn into identity design started; by chance.
Still, Yox The Professor has anything to do with being a designer how?
My hobby was earning me money and only in story books is it wrong to be an Oliver Twist. Since social media brought the first plate, I decided to explore it extensively to get more. I know there is something called serial entrepreneur now but for a man trying to keep his prestigious job as an Estate Manager, starting an awareness campaign as a designer just seemed like rock bottom of all Jacks; not the brother of Jill but the non-master of all trades. My solution? I created new social media accounts with the name Yox The Professor and left no trace of who I was on anyone of them.
Who would work with a mysterious person?
3 years later, I had the opportunity of being interviewed by Punch Newspaper. A year after, Daily Trust Newspaper and same year, I was on NTA International. In between, I had the privilege of attracting work from international brands such as Domino’s and Payporte as well as collaborating with other companies to work for government agencies and political parties. I’ve also worked for hundreds of my real MVPs, the small and medium scale business owners. I’ve also been invited to share my little experience at a number of design conferences (haters will come and say this is all pride now).
Since Yox The Professor is so successful, why dump it?
You read too many gossip blogs if you drew that conclusion. I’m dumping nothing. But I haven’t achieved anything yet because it is more blessed to give than to receive. I want to help others develop and grow their personal brands by inspiring or directing them as regards breaking grounds towards achieving greatness.
I’m not the best yet but I learn steadfastly. I’ve faltered, I’m progressing and I will be sharing what I’ve experienced and what I continue to learn (not superstitious motivational fantasies copied off the internet) to help you succeed.
Yox The Professor might have been successful while breaking the rules but It’s difficult to show you how to build your personal brand with one built on mystery so, let’s allow Yox The Professor remain the mascot for Yoxstudios while the rest of us go on to be the difference in our world.
Who’s with me?
Kunle Yoloye Jr.