Hollywood Dreamin': This Black Woman Entrepreneur Knows Exactly How To Start And Scale A Thriving Media Company

Jordan Benston is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur and is proof positive that Black women can indeed have it all!

No matter what, Jordan Benston will show up as a good person. She's solid, and that’s why people who fall into the dictionary’s definition of success trust Benston to help them shape and tell their stories. That’s also why anyone ever encountered Benston can confidently stick their necks out for her. Jordan is the founder, owner, and operator of The Oracle Media, a Black female-owned full-service production company specializing in custom-curated digital, linear, and editorial content. Benston is also an executive producer who just recently celebrated the release of her first documentary. 

And if that’s enough balls in the air, Benston proves herself to be the modern renaissance woman who has it all, an anomaly imagined, but in her life, it’s real. Benston is the mother of two young, adorable babies–a boy and a girl. She’s married to a Black man, and surely her fence is of the picket variety. Benston is a Black woman who can proudly proclaim that she has it all.

So how did this Black woman get here? From being stunned that her mentor would gift her $500 to get her LLC to owning a thriving business that employs other people…with benefits?! Let Benston, aka JB, tell it, it’s because she’s a good person who loves to help and invest in people and will solve any problem she’s presented with.

Hollywood Dreamin': D.K. Uzoukwu is Embracing Authenticity on Hollywood's Evolving Stage You call yourself a “good person,” what does that mean? 

Jordan Benston: I think I've always been that. Growing up, my dad used to tell me, ‘You can't save the world. You can't help everybody. You can't do stuff for everybody.’

I'm like, well, if I can, I'm at least going to try. It's never going to hurt anybody, but it's not going to hurt me to try to help other people or to try to figure out the solve or to try to make it better. That's been who I've been from day one. And now that just translates over to how I work. Essentially, what I do when I'm producing is problem-solving. Anybody that's ever been on set with me knows that I am a problem-solver.

I'm going to fix it. If there is something going on, I'm going to figure out how to fix it, how to make it work. I'm not going to freak out. And while everybody else is going crazy, I'm like, ‘Alright, well, boom, this is what we're going to do.’ Can you share how you went from working at these companies to creating your lane and company?

Jordan Benston: The first part of my career was logistics and production management. These are all the things that you need to know to put a shoot together. You need to build the budgets, book the crew, know the schedules, know the rules—the union rules and the non-union rules—and know all of the things.

And often, we would hire a third-party company–a consulting company or a consulting person- and sometimes we would give large sums of money to do this work. And I would look at it like, if I'm hand-holding you and walking you through this work or if I'm having to clean up behind you or sometimes I would look at it and be like, ‘Wait, I'm on the wrong side of the money!’ How did you get to the right side of the money?

Jordan Benston: I had been talking to one of my very good friends, Malik Buie, about it. My company is a baby of his company. He put me on the email with his lawyer and said, ‘Hey, this is JB. She wants to start a company, get her LLC set up, whatever she wants, set it up, charge it to my company.’ [He] literally paid for the incorporation of my company.

It got to a point where once I formed the company, and especially when we were in the pandemic, and people were reaching out, I'm like, ‘Oh, I can do it.’ So, instead of me suggesting other people, I was suggesting myself. Suggesting myself instead of suggesting others when people needed help was the greatest decision. Suggesting myself meant suggesting Oracle Media and here we are four/five years later and Oracle Media is doing everything.

It's just so important to invest in other people. When people show up for you–for me–I know everything I do has to make the homies proud. It's people who are looking at me who have invested in me or have spoken my name in rooms that I haven't been in. I got to show up. Can you speak to the journey of creating Oracle Media?

Jordan Benston: It has been a journey that I'm still growing in the company because every year I reach a new level of capacity, and every year is mind-blowing, especially the things that we can take on and do. So it went from me starting Oracle Media as a company where I could come on and consult with larger companies and help people out to me now having a team. I have a supervising producer, a creative producer, a production coordinator, and a social media manager; they get a check; we all get paid biweekly from my company. I just found out that was going to be where the company would go.

From managing multiple clients at a time to multiple projects at a time, it was a natural progression. But at the same time, in its natural progression, I was also able to sit back and realize that every single step in my career, every single job that I've had, and every single person that I've touched has been a lesson or has guided me to where I am in the company. 

I have those tools. Not only do I have those tools, but I also have the resources to pull back and tap people I've previously worked with to say, ‘Hey, I know this is a skill set that you have. '

This is the project. Can we do this together?’ It's just been growing over the years. But I know now that I am a bit clearer about where I want it to go versus just letting the company kind of go on its own. What’s your goal with Oracle Media?

Jordan Benston: I want to tell stories. I have a Google drive of documentaries and scripted series, and unscripted series that I want to be able to produce and tell from the lens of an African-American woman who does not necessarily have the traditional path to getting into media, getting into the industry and coming from a smaller town. It's not a dream. I didn't even know it was possible. Also, the pandemic showed us that you don't have to be anywhere specific to do it. What is your idea of success, and are you successful?

Jordan Benston: I am successful. I work for just me. My idea of success has also changed since I had children. The idea of success is being able to do something and doing that something while being happy. I think for me, success is truly being happy and joyous.

I built this company and had these two babies—okay! And had this husband. It's possible. The balance is possible; time expands and becomes unlimited. And there's enough time. There's enough time to have babies, a career, a house, a husband, and a happy life and success.

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