I started out with a dollar and a dream. As a single mom, with a dregree and a job I dreaded going to everyday. I was frustrated becasue I knew there was more to life than seeing my kids for 45mins to an hour a day before bedtime and going to a job that was overworking me and under paying me. I was frustrated with living in the land of not enough and from paid on Thursday, broke by Monday. Something had to change, I decided to make that change and make a "fortune out of my frustration". I knew that I could not be the only one feeling like there was more to life and thats how my journey started. Being frustrated enough to force myself to find a mentor to help me use my under performing assets.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I started going to networking events, listening to people's frustrations and I built a business from those stories and frustrations. People wanted exposure, they needed marketing support. I need money, I need more time with my kids. I became a Virtual Marketing Assistant in 2004 and left my job and went fulltime in my business in 2006. I have rebranded myself 3 times throughout the years and I am now a sought after speaker, I run a successful boutique marketing firm and I have 4 best selling books. The brand upgrades and changes I made in my business sparked because I was tired of being the best at what I do and no one knowing about it. Moving forward, I create and deliver products and services such as seminars, workshops, and training that’s designed for entrepreneurial women, millennials and at-risk youth.
I am grateful for:
Being the recipient of the 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Westchester and Putnam County, my leadership advice has been featured on The Today Show, BET/Centric show Queen BOSS, Bravo TV Married to Medicine, Power 105.1, AriseTV, SModa- International Spain Magazine, The NY Post, Fox 5, News 12 NY, NY 1, The Daily News, The New York Times, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, ABC Money Matters, Black Enterprise, Dr. OZ, The Bethenny Show, CNN iReport, Hot97, Radio 103.9 NY, Tom Joyner Morning Show, as well as numerous online publications and over 100 online radio shows.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Marketing myself was a big hurdle. I was having a hard time expressing my brands differentiation. I was tired of feeling like I was in the sea of sameness and was yearning to stand out. I became my own client and that is when the shift in business happened for me. I started to build relationships with the media and those relationships cultivated opporutnities for visibility.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family thought I was nuts for leaving a job with 2 small children at that time. I had to embrace that this was my vision, my dream and my business and I can't expect them to understand my journey if they never walked in it themselves. I kept my business affairs to myself and kept running in hot pursuit. I let family be family, and business be business.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Getting a mentor.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Change what you are worth and don't feel bad about it
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Stop hiding, start showing up.
Stop procrastinating, start activating.