Marion Skinner, the founder of Texas Advancement Center, is an entrepreneurial genius who has achieved success in various industries. With a background in audio engineering, Marion started his career in the music industry and worked with well-known artists like 2Chainz, Bobby Valentino, and BOB. Recently, he sold his accredited trade school for over $100 million. In an exclusive interview with Upscales Fashion editor, Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Marion discusses the acquisition and his mission to assist entrepreneurs in establishing their own educational institutions. He believes that education is crucial for personal and professional growth, regardless of age or background. Marion’s ability to excel in different industries stems from his proactive approach of staying ahead of industry trends. He emphasizes the importance of consistency and having a clear end goal in order to succeed in multiple industries. Marion also shares his admiration for Rick Ross, highlighting the rapper’s exceptional work ethic as a valuable lesson.
Hammonds: Congrats on your success and the acquisition of your vocational school by an undisclosed stockholder. What does this acquisition mean for you and your career college?
Skinner: Thank you! This marks the end of the Texas Advancement Center, but it’s also the beginning of a new chapter. We can now assist career colleges across the United States and help with student placement. While it’s bittersweet, we’re excited about the generous offer we received for the Texas Advancement Center and ready for this fresh start.
Hammonds: You’re truly a multi-talented individual! You seem to excel in everything you pursue. How did you successfully transition from the music industry to the spirits industry, trucking industry, and now education?
Skinner: It all starts with research. I stay updated on industry trends and where they’re heading. Instead of focusing on the present, I always look ahead to anticipate future shifts. Sometimes, I’m ahead of the curve and my ventures aren’t timed right. But overall, looking ahead has been a key strategy that has worked out well for me in various industries.
Hammonds: As a former music producer who worked with artists like 2Chainz, BOB, and Bobby Valentino, what was one of your greatest experiences in the music industry?
Skinner: Working with artists at the peak of their careers was truly incredible. Witnessing them express their talents in the studio was a defining moment. While their performances and shows were impressive, it was during the creation of songs for radio and albums that their true greatness shined. Each artist had their unique brilliance, and it was fascinating to see them hone their skills in the studio.
Hammonds: You are definitely ‘the Master of the Pivot.’ Tell us, how can people secure the bag in multiple industries?
Skinner: The main thing is whatever industry you’re in you just have to stay consistent. You have to stay consistent with your why, what’s the reason why you even started in the first place and with your end goal. Of course, with me, my end goal with just about all the industries I get into is selling.
Hammonds: How did you connect with the legendary Rick Ross, and what was one lesson that you earned from your friend and mentor?
Skinner: The biggest takeaway is his work ethic. He’s one of THE hardest working men! I used to think it was Tom Joyner in showbiz, but Rick Ross is definitely the hardest working man. I’ve seen him go do a show and then immediately hop on a jet and then go to do another show and come right back. His work ethic is impeccable. That’s one thing no matter what you have going on, no matter how successful you currently are, just keep on working. You never know when your calling may be up. As long as you keep on putting in the work right now, then you can rest upon the fruits of your labor at a later time.
Hammonds: Let’s discuss essential pieces for a man’s wardrobe. What are the key items every man should have?
Skinner: Every man should have what I call “business black” and a pair of clean white Air Force Ones. It’s important to keep them clean. As an East Coast guy, Timberland boots are a must-have. Apart from these three items, you can get away with a lot. As long as you have them, you can blend in anywhere.
What are your future plans?
My next step is to collaborate with various workforces across the United States and support other entrepreneurs in establishing their own career colleges.
Keep Up with Marion Skinner: @thekingofeducation
Yours in Fashion,
Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds