Success means… never stopping
Three adjectives that deserve me are… smart, passionate, and fearless
You can’t run a business without… good people
In the next 10 years, I will be… an ambassador of change
I’ve made my stake professionally through experiential marketing in events & content curation. I’m also the COO of Xposure Foundation Inc. and the founder of my non-profit, Goddesses With Knowledge in New York. I operate as a producer and use multimedia as a means to help create a voice and choice platform for youth, which has also garnered 5 Y Emmy® nominations for various social justice and documentary film pieces.
More than anything though, I’m passionate about impacting change. I’ve devoted my career to improving the health and well-being of people across the world. With a focus on economic development, education, healthcare, and the empowerment of the world’s women and girls, I’m eager to shape global policy and impact international affairs.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted to have?
My entrepreneurial spirit was motivated 150% by my father. He was an avid entrepreneur, and I remember from childhood my Father having all kinds of businesses, from owning magazines, to lingerie boutiques, to restaurants and nightclubs, you name it, my Father has done it! That’s what I saw growing up. I can vividly recall being about 9 or 10 years old and having to run shop, having to learn about the family business and take on those responsibilities. It’s almost innate in me to be an entrepreneur; it’s what I know, and the way I like to describe it is that I feel like I come from the “Harvard Institute of my Father”, because he trained me to have an entrepreneurial mindset in life.
What were you doing before this? How did it prepare you for the entrepreneurial life?
By trade, my career path was in marketing, most specifically with experiential events. I produced events for clients like Ryan Seacrest, Amazon, Verizon, Jennifer Lopez, and the like. My position in that role required me to think from a macro standpoint, which absolutely translates to what I do as an entrepreneur and as the figure head for a company. When creating events, I had to think holistically by envisioning a product and using innovation to craft an experience that my client would love while still connecting the consumer to their product or brand. I had to think about how to engage the audience and make sure that it was truly experiential and use psychology to connect with them. Creating the entire production from top to bottom included placing the right people in the best positions to carry out certain tasks. I also had to generate an anticipatory plan of action in case something failed: from Plan A, Plan B, to Plan C… I made sure there were options for all scenarios. This included the financing of the project and knowing how to set my event apart from any competitors. When you think about producing an event of this caliber, it’s very similar to how you approach your business model. That’s how my brain sees it working hand in hand.
Did you have to fire someone before? What’s the best way to go about it?
I have a philosophy, or belief rather that I don’t fire people, people fire themselves. Sure, there are circumstances that require you to downsize and people have to be laid off. I totally get that and thankfully I haven’t had that experience, but for the times that I’ve had to let people go, it’s always been performance-based. I cannot think of one time that I let someone go unmerited. I point out to that person where they have fallen short in their responsibilities or delivery of their services. I’ve shown them where they may have violated any rules based on their employment agreement, and in most cases, that person identifies the error of their ways by admitting that either there was a lack of passion or dedication to the job. That’s the important part to me, is helping someone identify their shortcomings. And even though the employment is being terminated, I’ve at least aided them in becoming self-aware so that they hopefully do better on their professional journey.
Do you have a fixed work routine? Is it important to have one? Any tips for our readers?
I had to learn the hard way that you should absolutely use a fixed work routine. That routine is really contingent on you and your lifestyle and what you gravitate towards, but I definitely know you can benefit from having a good routine. The most important part about figuring that out is finding your balance. I’ve been guilty in the past of investing all of my energy into work and being somewhat of a workaholic. That, of course, affected my personal relationships whether romantic or platonic and also played a part in not giving myself the opportunity to have children. More importantly, it affected my health. I didn’t dedicate enough time into self-love and self-care, by either working out, eating right, or taking time to invest in my loved ones. I’ve come to a place now where I value having a routine and having time for myself whether that be meditation, affirmations, exercise, or making time for my husband and family.
Has anyone underestimated you as a an entrepreneur?
I’m absolutely sure that I’ve been underestimated as an entrepreneur, but if I’m being completely honest, I could care less about those opinions. I don’t allow people’s negativity and perception of me to affect my work unless it stimulates my motivation. There have been times that I know people have looked at me and immediately undervalued what I can offer professionally, but I’ve used those instances to fuel me in a way to prove them wrong. I’m a female, I’m Afro-Caribbean, and I’m an immigrant and unfortunately, people are going to pre-judge me based on those factors. But regardless of the color of my skin, my size and stature, or where I come from, I make it my business to not be affected by people’s perceptions.