We had the good fortune of connecting with Errol Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Errol, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
The most influential book I have read is “Cry Like a Man” by Jason Wilson. This book imparted the knowledge and valuable life lesson that it is okay for me, for men in general, to be vulnerable. As a black man, this was an exceptionally enlightening concept that has helped me open up, become more expressive and show emotions I previously kept inside. When we, as men, can allow ourselves to be vulnerable to those we love or are growing to love, it opens up the door for better communication, understanding, empathy and love.
Crying is not showing weakness. It is actually a sign of courage and strength. As men, we have this mentality that we must continuously maintain a “warrior’s stance.” Quite the contrary, we as men need to learn to trust more and allow ourselves to show emotion. This book shaped my outlook on life and relationships. I am forever grateful to someone in my past who helped me explore the lessons I learned from this book. This has allowed me the emotional freedom to work toward being a better person.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, my friends proposed getting together in a backyard and enjoying some in-person interaction while observing the rules of social distancing. I looked online and purchased the most popular outdoor/lawn game that I thought would suffice for some social distancing activity. Only two people played for a total of about 15 minutes, which did not sit well with me. I spent $165, and when I got home that evening, I was determined to see what else I could try to get in exchange. It did not take long for me to realize that there was not much else available, and of the games that were, none of them were terribly exciting. It was at that moment that I realized that the lawn game industry was lacking. So, I decided to challenge my creativity and figure out a new game that would appeal to the masses.
I was on a mission to develop a game for everyone that would be more exciting, challenging, engaging, and just more fun in general. I was also on a mission to create a game that was just as fun to watch as it was to play. Wanting to celebrate the Jamaican culture, African roots and Caribbean pride, I included the colors of the Jamaican flag, red for Africa and blue for the beautiful Caribbean skies and ocean waters in Popongo’s design. The development of Popongo was slow and methodical and took months. Figuring out how the game would look and the logistics of how people would play it was a long and slow process, but it was so much fun as it came together bit by bit.
Once I developed the game and was ready to share it with the world, I researched and sought advice on manufacturing, fulfillment and distribution. Then, through a process of elimination, I found the right companies to handle my social media and PR campaigns. It was not my plan to be the face of the company because I am no fan of being in the public eye, but naturally, as the inventor and entrepreneur behind Popongo, it had to be me.
My success and the success of ventures, like Popongo, are a direct result of the hard work and tirelessness I dedicate to pursuing my goals. Many people set goals and are great at vocalizing those goals, but very few seem to have the discipline and drive to do what it takes to achieve their goals. My goals are so important to me I do not have the time or desire to relax. I came to America on a mission to build a successful career and life, all while meeting or exceeding the goals I set for myself. I will not allow any opportunity to pass without giving it my best shot.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” I have a tattoo of this quote on my shoulder, and it means everything to me. I am a firm believer that, in life, nothing great comes easy. That is a lesson I learned at a very young age, and it has stayed with me throughout my entire life. I alone am responsible for the effort I put forth hence my successes and failures.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
On the first night, we would have dinner at Jax Fish House in downtown Denver. As appetizers, we would order the oysters for sure and an oyster shooter or two. On the next dinner outing, we would eat at Happa Sushi. They have a fantastic menu, and if my friend was a vegan, they have many options to accommodate. For the next dinner outing, we would visit Agave Shore for awesome tequila drinks, tacos and music. This restaurant is one of the newest black-owned businesses, and it is located in the newly renovated and developed Five Points area of Denver. Their lead bartender Machel makes a mean Margarita. For the latter part of the evening, we would visit Partners In Crime on 35th and Larimer for some “funtastic” and creative drinks while enjoying a live DJ. They bring the vibe!!! Other than restaurants and live entertainment, I would make sure to put Red Rocks Amphitheater, Lookout Mountain and a fun hike on the list. To top it off, a hardcore workout at Bodies By Perseverance (BBP), another black-owned business in the Five points area, which has the longest stretch of black-owned companies in the state.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my son Zion. He is only 14 months old, but he has already affected me and my outlook on life in ways that I will struggle to explain. He is my first child, so I am new to parenthood and the feelings of happiness, love and growth that children bring to our lives. Any parent reading this will obviously relate, but through my eyes, it feels life-changing.
Sitting with him as we read, well I read and he looks at me wondering what it is that I am saying, going for walks now that he can walk, hearing his laughter as I chase him around the house, cracking up when he fusses with me when I try to feed him, feeling a little weird when he reaches for his mother instead of me, hearing him try to say his first word or as he points at something he wants to touch and makes the high pitch sounds in his effort to communicate to me that he wants the item he is pointing at, watching him try to get away with stuff that I tell him not to do, him chasing me around the house if I walk away from him, him making that face when I feed something to him that he definitely does not like but does not know how to spit it out because he has not learned that skill as yet, him thinking it such a game as he laughs so hard and tries to bite me when I stick my fingers in his mouth trying to investigate his new teeth, how patient he is when I try to brush those new little teeth at night before he goes to bed and just the way he lays next to me or on my chest and stares at me as we lay down together and he settles down in the evenings and get ready for bed. These moments all give me a source of joyous emotions that I tap into every day, whether I’m in a tough meeting at work or going through a rigorous workout at the gym. Seeing this guy develop has been the most amazing experience of my life so far, and I have been enjoying every moment of it and am so thankful for that blessing.
I give this shoutout to Zion, who has caused my motivation to skyrocket, and anyone that knows me well enough knows that I have always already been extremely motivated. He makes me want to take everything to the next level, and I am thankful for that extra motivation. I have been waiting to meet this person my entire life, and I want to make him proud.
Jordan Arcibal Elevate Advertising and Dark Side Photography Headshot courtesy of Christina Cookson Photography