We stay motivated by… The stories of men and women who have overcome adversity and continue to reach the level of success they were working toward.
Three adjectives that describe us are… Passionate, Influential, Disruptors
If we could have dinner with one person it would be… Oprah...hands down!
The most exciting innovation to us is… The iPhone- it single-handedly became the one device that has allowed for business to be conducted on the go and not miss a beat.
Non-Corporate Girls intent is to disrupt the status quo of the corporate environment by encouraging top-level management to facilitate creativity, cultivation, collaboration and change across teams. At the same time, Non-Corporate is a state of mind that evolves when you realize you are being limited in reaching your full potential, which means it is time to start betting on yourself to take the next steps in propelling your career. Through our podcast vertical and creative agency we help with that transition.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted?
Ayanna: Growing up, I always went against what many would call the status quo. At the time I rarely ever used the word entrepreneur or knew what it meant fully, but I did know that being my own boss was something I was born to do. Being an entrepreneur or even intrapreneur within a corporate structure is a feeling that has shaped me my entire life. I believe in thinking outside the box, doing things in the most innovative way and celebrating uniqueness. Starting businesses was an inevitable next step for me and when the idea of Non-Corporate Girls came up it was a destined fit.
Delaila: Entrepreneurship for me was the result of many no’s and turning those around to create my own opportunities. I did not always think of having my own business but I did always desire a career that allowed me to be creative and expressive. It was not until grad school that owning a business became a real desire. A huge reason became what could be left behind and passed down to generations after me. In a culture that operates from lack, wealth was something I knew could help my family for years to come.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
Ayanna: Funny story, as long time friends, Delaila and I knew we would work together in some capacity someday. Over the years, we tried to start a few things from co-writing a book to starting a media agency and something always came up from timing to resources. Two years ago during our attendance at a fashion week event, upon introducing ourselves to people we joked that we were the Non-Corporate Girls and a light bulb went off. The next day the word stuck with us and as friends who constantly discussed the red tape within corporate structures and the hustle that comes along with being an entrepreneur/freelancer it seemed fitting almost innate for us to start a vertical to discuss these concepts on a larger platform. That day our podcast was born.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for female founders? How can we overcome it?
Delaila: The biggest obstacle I feel women founders face is the competitiveness that often comes across as competition rather than collaboration. As women, we are taught from young to see other women as threats or as people to stay away from if you want to progress. Although our mothers intent were to protect us, what they did instead was plant a seed that later grew to tear each other down or seeing spaces that we could all be in as limited to just one woman who can occupy it. I think we can begin to overcome this by having conversations that break down these learnings which will allow us to support one another and create new narratives. Encouraging women to stand up for one another and building together by intersecting industries that are not often colliding.
How do you generate new ideas to stay relevant on the market? Is it important to innovate in your space?
Ayanna: As a media vertical that produces content it is extremely important for us to innovate in our space and generate new ideas. We keep our Non-Corporate Girls mission/oath top of mind and focus on our goals when we create any type of content ranging from a podcast episode to a social media campaign. We are all about environments that facilitate creativity, cultivation, collaboration and change which is what inspires us and how we go about storytelling.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Delaila: I think as an entrepreneur you will be making sacrifices constantly. Sacrifice will come in the form of missing out on family obligation or passing up on a girls trip. You have to be realistic and think of what those sacrifices are worth in the long run.
What do you think about company culture? What are some of your tips on being a good leader?
Delaila: Company culture is the basis of what Non-Corporate Girls was founded on. To be a leader you have to lead by example and stay true to your word. We believe in tapping into the greatness people have to offer, to allow them to shine. Show people they are valued in what they bring to the table and encourage your team by pouring into them every chance you get. Those gestures when done genuinely and authentically will yield team members who strive for the success of the company just as much as you do.
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