Nijeh Bethel never had it easy. A second-year hospitality management student at Florida State University with a commercial entrepreneurship minor, he understands what it means to put in the work.
Bethel is a Miami native who was born and raised in the historic Overtown neighborhood under difficult circumstances. Bethel knew he wanted something bigger and different from the area where he grew up.
“Growing up in a rough neighborhood just made me want to make something better for myself,” Bethel said. “The best opportunity I had to maximize my education with factoring financial and family matters, I feel like Tallahassee was the best place for me, especially at Florida State University.”
Bethel is a member of FSU’s branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Big Event and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association student organization.
He enjoys listening to and creating music, watching documentaries, and reading books in his spare time. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is one of his favorite books that has helped shape him into the guy he is today. With his own family and his successful friends, this book helps him see life from two different perspectives.
Bethel has ambitions to enter the realm of entrepreneurship and commercial real estate in the near future. Without the quotes that he lives by, he wouldn’t be able to keep his hope alive.
“Some quotes that I live by are, ‘What’s for you is for you,'” Bethel said. “And ‘Everything is already written; you just have to shape your life into what you want it to be. Forget the haters and work hard.'”
As a result of these words, Bethel was able to start three businesses that will eventually help him achieve his life’s ultimate goals. Gotti Fargo Apparel, his first venture, is a line of free-spirited luxury streetwear that includes graphic t-shirts, shorts and hats. Gz Wig Galleria, his second business, specializes in high-quality wigs, frontals, closures and bundles. Gotti’s Golden Kennel is his latest venture, where he will breed French bulldogs, bulldogs and cane corsos.
He aspires to be a jack of all trades, similar to Rick Ross, his role model. Bethel admires Ross’ work ethic and philosophy. He looks up to Ross since they came from the same city, where it’s easy to go down the wrong path, but he took advantage of the opportunities available to him to better his circumstances.
“I watched him go from a hit selling rapper to a business guru owning well over 20 wing stops and other businesses,” Bethel said of Ross. “Which relates to my field working in hospitality. Also, he is a music phenomenon who has sold hit records for countless years as well as wrote hit songs that we still enjoy to this day. As much as I love his music, I look up to him as a businessman first.”
Bethel is determined to make it one way or another.
Darryl Gunder believes that Bethel is unpredictable.
“He is always thinking 50 steps ahead and has ambition like no other. I know he is the type that won’t be satisfied until he gets what he wants and needs.” Gunder said.
“When he sets out to do something, there’s no stopping him until it is done and that is the type of person Nijeh is and will forever be,” he added.
Bria Rena, a third-year family and child sciences pre-athletic student from Miami, admires how passionate Bethel is about what he does and the people around him.
“When it comes to his family and loved ones, he would go to the highest extent to do anything for them. He is very caring, genuine and hardworking.” Rena said. “He is a hustler, and he has a hustler characteristic about himself that allows him to do anything he puts his mind to. That is involved with anything, whether it is work or school; he’s going after it.”
Bethel didn’t have it easy growing up, but that didn’t stop him from shaping his own future. Day by day, he discovers new strategies to rise to the top while still completing his studies. As a result, he will graduate in the spring of 2023, a year sooner than his planned graduation date.