Written by Rinnie Orr, Associate Director of WEBB Squared
This past Sunday, I attended a talent show hosted by The Plant – there was music, storytelling, dance, ballet, poetry, and comedy. At the end of the show, a young man, Joshua Weaver closed out the program with a “praise dance” – and his dance was phenomenal.
A couple days ago, I sat down with Joshua to hear his story.
Along with dancing, Joshua is an entrepreneur. I wanted to hear more about his life, his work, and his passions. I thought he’d be an excellent subject for our new WEBB Squared blog series on Black entrepreneurs in North Carolina.
Joshua: It’s very, very special to me that people are loving what I did at the talent show. It was a beautiful show, I was invited to perform at the end of the show at the very last minute. Hearing that people were touched and that they needed to feel that spiritual growth – well, this is really a big step for me.
I go to talent shows, but this was actually different – seeing the talents – I have never seen talent like that before – and it was a blessing to me. I have a friend – she’s a teacher, her name is Miss Fleming – she told me that friends of hers was at the show – and they kept talking about me. She didn’t know who they were talking about, until she saw the video I shared on Facebook. She commented on it because I shared the post on Facebook.
Joshua has several dance videos on YouTube.
I was like, “wow” – it really means a lot to me, because my purpose is praising and dancing. That’s my passion. I love to dance – I love to include the audience, because young people need to feel what’s important. And what’s important is themselves. Often, people have to fit in just to survive. But I can be myself, show what I’m about.
This thing I say about people fitting in to survive, it’s hard because they can’t be themselves. Everybody has their own purpose. Everybody has their own purpose to share with others. It might help them turn the right way. When I say in a song that God is leaning in my direction – I gotta go in the direction that he’s telling me to go in. Sunday, that direction was that talent show. I didn’t know my purpose was to perform, but I performed. I didn’t know who I was touching.
My biggest purpose is building and bringing a dance ministry to the next generation. This generation really needs to see that they have a purpose in life. It’s not that they simply have to fit in just to get by.
No, no, no, no, no…
Everyone was created with a purpose. You have a purpose, I have a purpose. We need to stand by each other to make it happen. People ask me “who am you?”
I’m a man. I’m a man with a differentiated color. That’s it. The main thing that differentiates me is that I have my own purpose. And I’m unique, just like you, just like everyone else is different.
Think about when you were a baby and you were five years old. You weren’t afraid and didn’t know what fear was. You didn’t know what love really was. You didn’t know what rejection really was. You didn’t know all that stuff.
Why can’t we do that now?
Rinnie: That’s a good question. I think some people are really able to articulate their purpose. They know why they’re here. And some people are just kind of taught not to even think about such things, and when they grow up, they kind of seem lost. They don’t know who they are. There are some people who never find their purpose. And that’s really sad.
And somebody like yourself comes along – you are so expressive, and you’re you and your authenticity comes out while you are dancing. Some people will see that – your authenticity – and be inspired. People may walk away wanting to be more free and expressive like you, thinking what way can I be bold? What way can I express myself like that?
So…besides being a dancer, tell me about yourself. Who is Joshua Weaver?
Joshua: I am a leader – a leader who really stands by my name. I’m a hard worker and I’m a mentor. I love working with kids. When the times get tough, I’m patient. You can get mad at me. You can yell at me, you can be upset…I’m here to listen to you. I’m here. I’m a team player.
I stand strong about the things that I’m trying to accomplish.
Rinnie: We talked about your dancing. We talked about who you are as a leader. Besides being a dancer, you have this funky business where you clean up things for people.
Joshua: Yes, I’m JW Organizer.
Rinnie: How did that come to you? How did you get started?
Joshua: I was helping a church friend. She wanted me to take care of two attics, a basement, two garages, the yard and her back patio. She told me to clean a little and organized a little. I’m like, okay, but the thing is – when I actually get into it, I get into it. I think if this was my home, what would I want? I’d want it clean and sharp – I’d want it to look good.
When I did it, my friend was helping me get some parts for my car. I didn’t know how much she was gonna give me for this work – she ended up giving me $280. I was like, that’s cool. I was laying there one night, looking up at the ceiling. I was thinking “what am I gonna do?” I worked really hard on this and I love to do this. And I said, what am I gonna do because I’m really trying to get my stuff together.
Then it came to me as I was talking to myself, I was also talking with God. Get your pen. Get your paper. Put it down. Listen to me and write.
I wrote down JW Organizer. I work on attics, basements, patios, office, garages, and storage sheds. I have a flat rate price for the work. I asked myself – How much do I feel that I am worth. I thought about the struggle that I went through, as well as the struggles of people close to me when they were trying to get something good, but couldn’t afford it.
I set a rate to make my fees affordable and reasonable, leaving it up to my customers to decide if they could afford to tip or not.
The crazy thing is that my church friend was my first client. I had to go through a shed that was infested with HUGE spiders.
Rinnie: Nope. I couldn’t do it. I was thinking that it sounded like an incredible business, but now – that you’re talking about spiders – nope.
Joshua: Yeah it had spiders. You know, I’m not even afraid of spiders anymore.
I also had to do that and some other sheds where it was like 110 degrees in there.
But I really enjoyed it. I really appreciated it – it taught me a lot about what I need to be prepared for in the long run. I might run into spiders, or it might be really hot. I learned not to wear normal clothes. I actually wear a disposable jumpsuit, mask and hat and everything just to make sure I’m covered – because I don’t like feeling like something is crawling on me.
I’m a team player. The main thing that I love about my business is when I work with a family or work with the owner. I love the fact that we have to work as a team – because I’m never going to go through someone’s private stuff. I will ask is it okay if I can open some boxes to see some things.
When it comes to my business – I also appreciate the self realization that comes from the work. When a client looks at all the stuff they have, they get overwhelmed. Then when they go through their stuff, all the emotions of getting that stuff comes back to them. Then as they go through stuff, and they see space cleared out, I ask them how do you feel?
They will say I can breathe. I feel great. I feel so good. When I walk in here, I can sit here if I want to, It’s a big realization that they has so much stuff in their space.
I mean, how would you feel? If you came home from a long day at work: would you rather come home to a cluttered area or a clear space? Would you rather walk into a spot that’s clear and breathe, or walk into a space where things are just everywhere.
Rinnie: I hear you, Joshua. I know – like when I’m going on vacation, I always clean my house before I leave. So that when I get home, I know that it’s gonna be clean and I don’t have to worry about it.
Joshua: I love helping people, touching people’s hearts and leaving them feeling satisfied. Just like with my praise dancing – it’s the same exact thing. When it comes to my job everything has a reason, everything I do has a purpose behind it. I’m doing it because I love it, but I am also helping peoples clear their minds as well as their homes from clutter. I take great pride in it. I want to make sure people are satisfied when I’m done with my work. I love organizing. I love cleaning.
Rinnie: I thought it’d be fun to end with some rapid fire questions – just give short, quick answers. Whatever comes from the top of your head.
Joshua: Sure, fun…
Rinnie: Okay. #1 – What’s your favorite day of the week?
Rinnie: Where will your next vacation be to?
Rinnie: Any particular spot?
Joshua: Marietta, because of my dogs. I miss my dogs. I see them every day on Facebook. I’m like, I really want to touch my dogs.
Rinnie: Do you listen to podcasts?
Joshua: Actually, I’m about to start listening to them. I want to listen to The Remedy Podcast with Miss Terry.
Rinnie: Good choice – Right answer – we just published our seventh. This morning we recorded our eighth and we talked about you a lot since we all saw you dance on Sunday at the talent show – we were all still grooving on your energy.
All right, now, what’s your superpower?
Joshua: Caring – really just caring. That’s my biggest superpower.
Rinnie: When they decide to film the movie version of your life, who’s gonna play you?
Joshua: Oh, man, I have to look up the name. You ever see Lovecraft Country? The main character guy.
Rinnie: I have seen a few episodes of the show and I know who you’re talking about.
Joshua: I wish I knew his name. The reason is we both got big lips. Also, the way he acts – I’m like “wow” – he could really execute me as a person and put his own flavor in it.
Rinnie: Just pulled up his name – Jonathan Majors? The guy with the glasses?
Joshua: Yes. Jonathan Majors.
Rinnie: Are you a morning or night person?
Rinnie: You know, Andy Warhol said everybody will have 15 minutes of fame in their life. What will you do with your 15 minutes of fame?
Joshua: I don’t know, because I never reached that level. I just don’t know. I don’t know what I would really do. I know I would probably shout and and celebrate a lot but what would I do? I don’t know until I get there.
Rinnie: Remember this question – and when you do get your 15 minutes, call me up and let me know what you did with it.
Joshua: All right. You might just be there though.
Rinnie: And last but not least, we’re gonna close this question – what fortune would you want to get from a fortune cookie?
“You can make it” – I know it’s fairly simple – “you can make it.”
Rinnie: Cool I got a fortune cookie one time that was really funky and nonsensical – it said “the rubber bands are heading in the wrong direction.” I cracked up and I laughed for like three hours straight. I couldn’t stop laughing – I will remember that for the rest of my life.
Thanks so much for doing this, Joshua…
Joshua: This was fun. I am excited. I’m glad I was able to deliver because I was definitely nervous. I just had to relax. I’m not gonna lie.
I really appreciate it and it’s been I really do this is this really does mean a lot to me.