New Castle Area Businessman Tackles Entrepreneurship with Athletic Mindset
By: Taylor Nichol
Ever since John G. Clark was young, he took a special interest in entrepreneurship. He dedicated time to researching the topic of wealth building. Many journals taught him about income planning and gearing up for the future. While he gained a lot of knowledge from reading, Clark learned many important lessons on a football field.
A graduate of Westminster College and Union Area High School, both football programs increased his mental toughness. "Football gave me a competitive spirit that I could apply to every aspect of life," he says. "The same way that I was in the weight room everyday, striving to be the fastest and strongest on the field... I was reading, studying, and learning to try to be the smartest in the classroom and in the real world."
Clark played as a linebacker and fullback in high school. After a coaching change in college, he moved to the runningback position his sophomore season. As a self-proclaimed lover of learning new things, he pursued a STEM education at Westminster. During his junior year, John and his girlfriend (now wife) Tyra, had their first child, Nya. "Many people assumed that I would drop out, but that was not the case," he said.
Clark graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics. He credits his family for their role in his academic achievements. "Having a village to assist us (our parents and siblings) was the key to my success," he said. He received a lot of support from his parents, Stacy and Jerry, his brother Gerald, and his sister Sierra. "My sister Sierra, who recently had her life taken, was a huge influence on the person I am today," he said.
With his wife and family by his side, Clark recently pursued the field that has fascinated him for years. This past March, it was time for him to apply everything he learned about entrepreneurship. Clark launched his own business: New Castle Mobile Notary.
New Castle Mobile Notary travels to their customers’ locations to notarize their documents. "With industry-leading notary services, we remove the hassle and headaches," he said. "While most notary services have 4 or 5 p.m. cut-off
times, we will travel to you when and where you need us."
Throughout his studies, Clark learned that starting a business is a great way to build financial security. "An individual should never depend on one job as their main source of income," he stated. Certain factors can lead to unexpected job loss, such as a recession or company downsizing. Clark advises that even a part-time side gig can help bring in extra income.
To those who are interested in starting a business of their own, he says there are a few things to keep in mind. "You will have to make a few sacrifices and you have to stay disciplined," he says. "It may be wise to find a coach or mentor in your lane or field."
He feels grateful for his wife, Tyra, and all that she has done to help him coordinate his goals. He aims to be someone that Tyra and their two children, Nya and Nasir, can look up to.
Coming from a strong family foundation, Clark draws inspiration from LeBron James. "I love how he is a family man (like myself), stands up for what he believes in, and provides economic opportunities for those around him." Throughout certain experiences in his career, Clark felt that a lack of diversity presented a challenge for him. "I felt out of place since there were very few individuals who looked like or shared the same experiences as myself," he explained. "I can relate to him (James) because he speaks my language."
Clark highly recommends the documentary Student Athlete that was recently produced by James for the HBO channel. "I think that student athletes of the past, present, and future should watch it."
Looking down the road, Clark has his sights set on giving back and improving the economy in his area. Similarly to James, he wants to help educate youth in his community. He aims to share his STEM and wealth building knowledge with children. As part of his dedication to creating economic improvements, he also wishes to create local employment opportunities.
As Clark moves forward with New Castle Mobile Notary, he feels prepared for any adversity he may face. Like most former players, he embraces real world challenges with the mindset of an athlete. "Football molded me into a warrior, physically and mentally."
For more Western Pennsylvania sports stories, you can find Taylor Nichol on Twitter.