Story & Photo by LISA ANDERSON
Woodly Oralus was on track to success, so it probably comes as no big shock to people he knew in his youth that he has an MBA and owns a business. For Woodly, however, it was a hard journey with several bumps, walls, and pitfalls along the way. “I bet on myself over and over again.”
Woodly ran track, did a little boxing, and started his football career at the age of 12. When he graduated from Forest High School in 2012, he was under-recruited due to his smaller size. Admittedly, he was “not the most ideal size for a running back in my position, but I was blazing fast.”
He also had an excellent academic record, which helped him choose a school where he would have the best chance of getting onto the field sooner. He chose and was accepted to Florida State University in Tallahassee. With a lot of hard work and some extra muscle to bump up his weight, Woodly went from “sixth or seventh string” to starter in one season. However, his dedication to football caused him to put his academics on the backburner. Self-inflicted or not, this was the first of many bumps in his road to success.
Woodly’s loss of focus on his studies made him academically ineligible to play football and continue to receive the scholarship that helped covered his tuition. His romantic relationship and his friendships also began to crumble.
When he decided to continue with school, he was faced with financial difficulties and a hard class load, if he wanted to graduate on time. That was one of the first times Woodly truly bet on himself. Despite working multiple jobs and keeping up on his school work, he found himself with no food on the table, little sleep, and five dollars in his pocket.
During a particularly difficult week, where he hadn’t eaten in several days, lost 25 pounds, and wasn’t getting enough rest, Woodly felt he received a blessing. “When my hard work was not enough, God stepped in to help me with my situation. For three days straight, three days, I feel that God blessed me.”
With his last five dollars, Woodly headed to the cafeteria where an employee waived his lunch fee. He hadn’t told her what was going on, but for three days, she let him eat for free. It was the beginning of a pattern for him. Work extra hard, stay positive, help others, and hit his limit to be followed by what he considers divine intervention. In the end, he graduated on time and received his bachelor’s degree, only to repeat the process so he could get his MBA.
Woodly would go on to simultaneously become one of Enterprise’s top sales associates and build his business, Biznct—a full-service internet marketing agency. Shortly after he left Enterprise to pursue his business full time, the nation shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Woodly, like so many others, had to find ways to keep his business afloat and help his Ocala clients. Once again, his hard work and dedication paid off. “I believe God loves all of us, and all of us have different stuff we go through—things that aren’t necessarily righteous, but there’s a purpose to everything.”
Woodly looks forward to continued growth and has some wonderful plans for business expansion in the coming years.