Meet Elijah Medge
Elijah Medge was born in Moscow, Russia and moved to the United States at the age of eight. He saw nothing but opportunity in his new home. He excelled in academics at Florida State University. There he earned a dual degree in Psychology and Economics. Upon graduation, he desired to work in a field that would provide opportunity for growth. More than anything, he wanted to earn full control over his own future.
Taking action, Elijah Medge decided to enroll in a rigorous executive training program. There he developed a strong foundation in sales, marketing, and management. He excelled quickly under a strong leadership team. Within a year, he was promoted to regional management.
In 2007 he opened his first company in Nashville, Tennessee. Since then, he has expanded to locations throughout the United States. In the upcoming years, he plans to broach the international market, starting with Australia.
Elijah Medge currently resides Los Angeles, California, where he manages his newest business location in Carson.
Q+A with Elijah Medge
Entrepreneurship blogger and small business consultant, Lauren Levy, interviewed Elijah Medge to learn more about the successful businessman. Here are some excerpts from their recent interview:
LL: What does success mean to you?
EM: I think of success as having the freedom to make decisions based on what I want to do, and not how much money I have. In Russia, I was surrounded by poverty. I saw first-hand what happens when people compromise their values because of financial stress. As an immigrant new to the United States, I was aware of my own family’s financial limitations. I never want money to be a determining factor in how I live my life.
LL: What are your long term professional goals?
EM: My goal is to have a global impact on entry level employment. I will do this by training young professionals in key business skills. I’m a big believer in learning how to succeed in a performance-based environment. Doing so can open up so many doors and provide tremendous career stability.
LL: What are some of your hobbies, outside of entrepreneurship?
EM: I really enjoy traveling. My goal is to knock out 100 countries by the time I turn 40. I’m currently at 30 countries and counting. There is so much to see and I don’t want to miss out. I also love playing basketball. I’m an extremely competitive person and basketball is a great outlet for that side of me. Reading is also an important hobby that I wish I made more time for. I especially love non-fiction because I love to learn about the world around me. Lastly, I enjoy drawing. I grew up being an artist and have always wanted to have an art studio in my house. Drawing allows me to be freely creative, which I love.
LL: What were you doing professionally before the entrepreneurship route?
EM: I was a graphic designer. I worked on editing, copy-writing, and developing layouts for flyers, websites, and clothing. While I enjoyed parts of the role, it taught me that I didn’t want to work for anyone. So I went off to get some sales experience to become more well-rounded in business. Those skills built my confidence as a businessperson. It was empowering to understand how to generate revenue for a company. I knew that I could ultimately run a successful company of my own one day.
LL: What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
EM: Most people don’t know that I grew up in Russia. I still speak fluent Russian, but I haven’t had an opportunity to go back and visit since I left as a child. Also, I’m extremely introverted. I have bad social anxiety and am constantly bounded by my comfort zones. I’ve made a conscious choice to not let this inhibit my success. I am always determined to be the best and most open version of myself.
LL: If you could donate a million dollars to a charity, which would you choose?
EM: The American Diabetes Association. Diabetes runs in my family and I’ve seen its effects on people close to me. Many people don’t know how terrible the disease truly is and how much can be done to prevent it. It’s important to not only focus on finding a cure, but to focus on funding the education to prevent it.
LL: What motivates you?
EM: Being the last man standing! I see many people give up when the going gets tough. I take pride in honoring the commitments that I’ve made to myself and my people. I will do the things that most people aren’t willing to do. Therefore, I will have a lifestyle that most people aren’t fortune enough to ever have.