Everyday He's Hustlin': Only 18, But He's Got A Bigger Multi-Media Empire than You

Well, there he was at a table in an H-E-B in Fort Bend County and he was peddling books, which is either the most naive or desperate or optimistic of things someone can do in a grocery store on a weekend.

Actually, it was his book. Eighteen years old and an author -- not of a children's book -- but of a book that promises to give its readers the "steps to become a successful young entrepreneur."

Keith J. Davis, Jr., AKA Jer'Rod,  graduated from Cy-Springs High School two weeks ago. Last year he wrote his first book Young? So What! He's a teen with big plans and a polished way of presenting himself, which he comes by naturally being the son of veteran marketer Keith J. Davis, Sr. AKA Mr. D-MARS.

Within five minutes at the stores he'd sold his book to two different people, carefully signing each one, asking how the inscription should read. Cost: about $11.

The junior Davis isn't unknown to a lot of students and their parents; he used to publish a free youth magazine FYTYA (For Youth, Teens and Young Adults). It was distributed at a lot of schools but he says now he's put that on hold till he gets better branding/name recognition for himself. He's appeared in some ads and TV commercials and you might have seen him interviewed on Fox's Channel 26 among other stations. He also does model work. And he wants to be a millionaire soon, very soon. He plans on going to college,; hasn't decided which one yet but is leaning toward the University of Houston business school.

As for his book, it's a 135-page breezy kind of self-help book in which God is thanked, but people still have to work for themselves. People will prosper if they practice over and over again and adversity should be met with a resolve to do better. Assess your talents and your strengths, also assess where you have gone wrong and how you could have set it right. Social networking is important for any number of reasons.

What comes through most clearly is how much Davis Jr. reveres Davis Sr. and trusts what he has taught him, especially as he explains how some of the boring improvement tapes he listened to while riding along with his father in his car may have done him more good than listening to rap. Although rap's good too.

Clearly, most of the message he's bringing isn't new. But it's being said to teens and young adults by someone their own age. Someone who actually has launched a magazine, been on TV, and written a book before even graduating high school. There's a certain magic in touching that kind of hard-work luck. After all, how many books had you written by the time you turned 18?

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing