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Daily Inspiration: Meet Justin Henry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Henry.

Hi Justin, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Justin Henry, but I am known as JU5PL4Y in the gaming community, and I am a Gaming Content Creator.

I started taking my passion to become a “Youtuber” seriously during the COVID-19 Pandemic, as it reminded me how short life can be.

When I was a kid, living in the southside of Minneapolis, MN, I was taught that there was a “right way” and a “wrong way” to behave amongst your peers. To be “black” was more than where and who you came from. It was what you watched, consumed, and did to pass the time. Investing all your time and energy into video games, and watching anime was not something you would admit to doing if you wanted to fit in. Very unfortunate mindset.

Fast forward to 2022, at the age of 33, I made it a declaration to engrave in the hearts of my kids and those around me that YOU are all you need to be.

To be honest, I felt a heavy weight of doubt pressed against me when I decided to finally pursue what I love to do, which is play video games LIVE on YouTube while people watched. Not only is it a competitive sport with millions of others doing the same thing, but I am also in my 30s, and married with kids. What kind of time do/will I have to work on content? What about my current full-time job that pays the bills? What will my family and friends think if I quit my job to become a “Youtuber”? All of these questions repeated itself in my head for a long time, and sometimes those questions reappear. What motivates me to push forward is my wife who supports me because she believes that becoming an entrepreneur and building a brand for yourself is much better than listening to what society and traditional thinkers convince you to believe is the “right way” to live. The support from other black content creators is also a blessing because it reminds me that I’m not alone. Being a grown man with a job also makes creating content easier, because I can afford to invest in myself now. I built my gaming/streaming PC in January 2020, invested in an Xbox series S, collected streaming gear, and turned a portion of my basement into a gaming area in our own home. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this as a child.

“JU5PL4Y” means what it sounds like…”just play”. Initially, it was a response to “trolls” that I played video games against who would talk trash. “JU5” is short for my first name, Justin, with a 5 replacing the “s”. The number 5 biblically means “Grace”, while the number 4 in “PL4Y” biblically means “Creation”.

My end goal is to become successful enough on YouTube to become a full-time content creator and start a business that will continue pushing the brand.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been a smooth road to becoming a YouTube content creator. I’ve struggled with believing that I can pursue such a thing in my 30s. I work a full-time job and have a family that needs/wants my time, so I have VERY little time to work on my content. I stream Tuesday and Thursday nights at 10pm Central, which is when my family has gone to bed. That gives me a few hours to stream or record gameplay before I need to go to bed. I also Stream Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8am to 11am, so I can enjoy the rest of my day with my family and do other things.

My wife and I had long talks about my journey and what it will entail. Once we both came to an understanding, that obstacle wasn’t as rough as it was in the beginning.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
As a YouTube Content Creator, I create gaming content to entertain and build relationships with my viewers. I enjoy Shooter genres such as Apex legends and Story-based games like Assassins Creed. I stream or record these games to bring joy to people’s lives, and also provide some kind of guidance in areas they may need help with for specific games that I’m playing.

I am most proud of my growth. There’s a huge difference between who I was when I started creating content on YouTube in 2020 to who I am now. My consistency, my work ethic, my passion, my patience, and my engagement have all grown with experience.

I believe what makes me different from others is my transparency. I try not to get too personal, but I want my community to know me. To know Justin who happens to be JU5PL4Y. Not the other way around.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
My stage presence is welcoming to those viewing my content for the first time. I used to rap and perform on stages, so I feel that my tone and energy is what create a welcoming and positive space. My sense of humor makes the viewers want to stay longer.

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