Josh Patterson came to Rockford to work for a tobacco company, a daily grind that had him working out of his car and driving around the city to visit 130 accounts each month.The job earned him a living, but it didn’t match his purpose in life.
So he quit.
He had no other job lined up, but he had a passion to change the world and working for a tobacco company didn’t cut it.
“He’s driven by his principles,” his brother, Matthew Simpson, said. “He always talks about how he wants to build on the positive and destroy the negative.”
“The way he responded to that feeling he had was the most Josh thing you could ever do. He just dropped it because it wasn’t edifying anymore, it wasn’t building.”
That, Simpson said, is how Patterson approaches his whole life, whether it is his music, poetry, real estate investments or any other endeavor he embarks on.
And for Patterson, there is always a new endeavor. The 28-year-old “serial entrepreneur’s” new daily grind is a mix of art, business and community activism. He’s working on a mix of music and poetry to be released in the first quarter of the year. He is creating a “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee“-style chat show that centers on Rockford. He’s part of an investment company called Eight Fifteen Capital. He’s co-founder of the Wabongo Leadership Council, which works to enhance leadership capacity within Rockford’s African-American community. And he’s months away from earning his MBA from Rockford University.
The former college football player also works in youth sports for Rockford Park District and is a father to a son born Oct. 8.