Will ‘Zee’ Tidwell, known as Zee’, is a man with many titles and one main mission. His titles include media influencer, motivational speaker, community strategist, youth mentoring director, and business strategist. Zee’ has his own company, SpeakUPZee, LLC. that houses other companies like a writing service, car detailing service, and more. But his mission in everything he does is to be a positive impact on his community.
Zee’ also tries to influence others to have a positive impact on their communities. For him, it is not about attention or being in the spotlight, even though he has over 16 thousand followers on his Instagram.
He just wants to be a visionary and a leader, big or small, making a difference. Read this Q&A to learn more about Zee’, his businesses and his purpose.
RoyalTee: Tell us about your business or niche.
Zee’: The name of my company is SpeakUPZee, LLC and it is a holding company in which houses several other companies such as SpeakUPZeeWrites, Zee’s Detailing, SpeakUPMediaGroup, and SpeakUPSpeakOUT Youth Mentoring. Our focus is creating programming, initiatives, and businesses that focus on the betterment of every individual and the community in which they are a part of.
RoyalTee: What is the factor that inspired you to start posting content on social media?
Zee’: I named my business SpeakUPZee because I always promised that when I start making content, that I would always speak up about topics that needed to be highlighted. There are so many things that run through my mind, and a lot of the content I create is based on those things, and it’s a lot of things people don’t like to talk about but need to hear.
RoyalTee: Do you have a favorite video or post?
Zee’: I have a few favorite videos but if I had to choose one:
RoyalTee: Tell us about the first time you went viral! How did it make you feel?
Zee’: Honestly, it was cool, but also hard to keep up with. But I tried my best to not get too low or too high on that because my only goal is to keep being consistent and showing up for the ones who believe in me and what I speak and create about. That matters more than going viral any day to me.
RoyalTee: Do you consider yourself an influencer?
Zee’: Hmm, I do consider myself to be that, but I want to be seen as a visionary and leader, and someone people believe in and confide in when they need me. Now, I am not perfect, and sometimes influencers and leaders feel as if they must be and that is just not true. We are still human, dealing with things but that does change that we are leaders and influencers.
RoyalTee: What is your biggest challenge as an influencer?
Zee’: Constantly showing up even when you do not feel like it. Creating content is hard as hell sometimes, especially when so many other things in life are going on. But I have learned that choosing to create and do the things you have to when you do not feel like it is when the magic happens.
RoyalTee: What advice would you give to aspiring black creatives?
Zee’: Man, being your authentic self on the internet is hard as hell and might not always seem like the popular or viral thing to do but it’s the best thing to do. And, going back to doing the work even when you do not feel like it, then they will eventually appreciate that. And the ones who do not, they were not meant to be a part of your family anyway.
RoyalTee: Tell us about your future goals in the next five years.
Zee’: To be frank, expand our business model all over the country. To employ the less fortunate, the youth, and provide resources in underdeveloped areas and communities. Real change. And that is just the start.
RoyalTee: Has the pandemic given you challenges regarding creating content?
Zee’: Honestly, more so from a mental standpoint than anything. Having to deal with the uncertainty, the doubt, depression, anxiety, and things like that did make it difficult but after a while, you just must learn to readjust, and find a new system and still find a way to show up.
RoyalTee: Who do you hope to influence or touch with your content?
Zee’: The lost, the scarred, the imperfect, the healing, the one who just needs to hear something uplifting, the one who needs to be prayed for, the one who needs advice. Just everyone…
Daniel J. Newton is a senior journalism student at Florida A&M University originally from Tampa, Florida. He has bylines in publications such as The Famuan, Journey Magazine and The Tallahassee Democrat.