“Yes We Did!” Virtual Learning Center inspires through wellness, finance, fun and Black history

Jeffrey White, Yes We Did! Virtual Learning Center, finance, investing, ghostwriting, fitness, health, wellness, entrepreneurship

By J.A. Jones, Staff Writer

TAMPA BAY – Jeffrey White is a former licensed stockbroker, certified fitness instructor, passionate wellness coach and author of several books.

With the online “Yes We Did Virtual Learning Center,” White is honing a platform that exposes a larger audience to his informative videos, books and even puzzles.

White acknowledged that it was one of his all-time favorite movies, Trading Places with Eddie Murphy, that sparked his fascination with business, investing and stock trading — albeit, he laughed, that the film was about illegal insider trading.

“I’ve always been fascinated with business and money. I took a political science class in college, and we had to read the Wall Street Journal every day. And I got hooked on business and finance — I was like, wow, there’s a whole world out here I know nothing about.”

While in college, White experienced kidney problems and didn’t know if he would have to go on dialysis. Not knowing the cause of his kidney failure, he vowed to live life to the fullest when he got out.

“You can’t waste time. People take life for granted, and you can’t,” White said. “I remember lying in a hospital, crying because a week before I was in college just living life. A week later, I’m in a hospital, bloated, swollen, because my kidneys weren’t working right.”

After graduating with a business degree from the University of Illinois, White relocated to Tampa and spent a decade in the world of finance as a stockbroker and financial advisor — before the advent of the internet and online training. After experiencing the industry become more greed-based and cutthroat through the 2000s, White turned to fitness to reduce stress.

“Every day except Friday, we worked from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — but when the market closed at four o’clock, we had an hour break; I would go run. And I really found a passion for exercise,” noted White.

Eventually, competing in national triathlons and realizing he loved the world of fitness, White went on to become a certified trainer. Watching the debilitating role negative stress had on his coworkers in the financial world, he wanted to go one step further, so he became a wellness coach.

“What I learned as a wellness coach was actually what really changed everything, brought everything together,” he shared. “I always thought fitness was just about having muscle — but fitness is actually physical fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness; when you’re a wellness coach, you have to look at the entire person.”

White doesn’t see any separation between his various fields of work. In fact, as he traces his journey from becoming a stockbroker with a brokerage firm in Tampa, where brokers regularly made 40 to 50 thousand dollars a month, to creating Black History books for children and adults, he is philosophical about the connections.

“There’s a whole lot going on in the world – people don’t connect the dots or put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said White, using the example of a client who comes to him complaining of headaches or sleepless nights. Rather than recommending they resort immediately to sleeping pills, White encourages them to look deeper at their patterns.

“They may say ‘I’ll be up late at night’,” he relayed. Delving deeper, White said the client will admit always thinking about work; when prodded even further, they’ll finally reveal they “don’t make enough money.”

“So now they’re drinking a glass of wine every night and gained all this weight,” White mused. But after realizing what’s at the root of the behavior, his clients can begin to change their habits.  The work of being a wellness coach, said White, “really taught me to tie everything together. Physical fitness, the mental, even the financial. It just kind of morphed into kind of working on all of these at the same time.”

But how does that relate to Black History? People can’t feel well “when they are angry or frustrated because they don’t see themselves in history. But if they knew more about themselves … if they saw how much their ancestors went through, which is a whole lot worse than what we’re going through … then maybe they can feel a bit better about themselves,” offered White.

That belief led him to create the Yes We Did African American History Series, a four-part series covering significant accomplishments, events and influencers, art, revolutionaries and Black Queens.

White’s writing career actually started while he was still working in finance and trying to make a career change. “I was itching to get out. I was ready to leave corporate America behind, working in that industry, but I needed an out.” Once he began doing personal training, he thought writing a book would give him additional credibility as a personal trainer.

His first book, “The 3 Pillars of Strength: Improving Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness,” was released in 2015. When the book didn’t sell as many copies as he wanted, after a brief period of being “mad at the world,” White soon saw the silver lining of having his book for sale on Amazon anyway – when other people who wanted to author books, but didn’t want to write them, started asking him to help them craft and edit the books.

Before long, White realized another career opportunity – ghostwriting, the work of crafting books anonymously for others and getting paid to do it. As his worlds continued to meld together, he decided to offer his financial expertise in The Success Series, which provides insight on principles of success, wellness and diet, and of course, investing.

Now, with his Yes We Did! Virtual Learning Center, White can bring his wide display of information, insight, products, blogs, video, and training courses to audiences from one location. His theme: “Educate, motivate and inspire to greatness!” The site also features podcasts featuring entrepreneurs discussing topics of the day.

Visit the site for free resources in entrepreneurship, teaching children finance, and links to online merchandise – including a wide variety of jigsaw puzzles featuring the art of David Sanders.

To reach J.A. Jones, email jjones@theweeklychallenger.com

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