As I celebrate my first year of being in this business full-time, I reflect on the past 12 months. The ebbs, the flows, the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s all a necessary part of the journey in entrepreneurship. And to be honest, I wouldn’t trade any of it. My moments of celebration, surprise, despair, excitement, discouragement and confusion all helped me grow and learn how to be an even better woman and entrepreneur.
To be clear, God is my source, my provider, my Lord who, without Him, I would be NOTHING. He destined me to be a Girl Boss, and I’m blessed to be on this journey. All glory belongs to Him!
In this journey, NO ONE makes it to the top alone! And God put certain people in my life to help me advance in my business. So I’d like to acknowledge 12 sets of people who empowered me to be my greatest self over the first 12 months of my business. While I’m grateful for EVERYONE who has encouraged, uplifted, pour into, invested in and supported me, these people are receiving special accolades from me because of the tremendous roles they’ve played in my business this year.
Disclaimer: NONE OF THESE PEOPLE KNEW I WAS DOING THIS! LOL
So, here we go!
1. Jason Mangum Sr & Jason Mangum Jr
These amazing individuals are at the top of my list of people of empowerment because they’ve had to make the GREATEST sacrifices in order for me to be successful. My wonderful husband and son are my biggest supporters and my primary motivation to be great. They had to endure the changes that came with my transition from being a stay-at-home mom/wife for years in order for me to pursue this business. That’s a huge sacrifice to ask them to make but they made it for me. They help more around the house. They endure the weekends when I’m traveling to do BOSS Brunches. They keep quiet when I’m on conference calls, strategy calls and recording courses. A very special shout out goes to my husband who has been my #1 supporter and investor, financially, emotionally and spiritually. NONE of this would be possible without his love, encouragement, understanding and support. I’m so grateful for a man that can handle a strong and driven woman such as myself. I love my Jays for all that they’ve been to me during this year of serious transition. I am who I am because they love me.
2. Lenora Whitfield
Lenora is a client, friend, Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and my amazing mother. Lenora is the first person to buy my newest products, enroll in my courses, buy tickets to my events, sign up for services, etc. without ever asking for the “I’m your mother and I gave you life” discount. She supports me 100% and I’m extremely grateful for that. Some people say that family is the last to support you. In my first 12 months of my business, my mom has truly been the foundation of my active support system and customer base. Thank you mom, I love you so much!
3. Star Campbell, TaVonna Washington and Emma Jenkins
I saw a quote that said, “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of women who have her back.” This couldn’t be truer for me. And at the core of my supportive tribe are my very best friends, and that’s why they are in my top 3. My besties, who are all also entrepreneurs as well, have held me down on my best and worst days. They played the roles of my assistants, my marketing team, my travel team, my fashion stylist, my clients, my product testers, etc. To have a group of supportive friends means the world to me and I’m extremely grateful for these ladies. Star has literally been my business rock this year and has looked out for me when I wasn’t even looking out for myself. She sees things differently than me and she’s very loyal. She has been my biggest help in establishing my business. TaVonna has been trying to teach me for YEARS how to be better organized and because of that, I’ve learned to balance my productivity and my personal life. She has also been a huge driving force of sales for me with her constant, amazing testimonials. Emma’s belief in me gets me through some of my hardest days. She’s been by my side in business venture after business venture, and I’m so blessed to have her. When I make it to the top, TRUST that these ladies will be right there with me.
4. Hilary and Oraine Mathie
This power couple is very special to me. It was through having a conversation with them that gave me the courage to launch my business to begin with. I wanted to get into the workforce since my son was in school (I used to homeschool) and I wanted the extra income in my home. But NO ONE would hire me since I had been out of the workforce for so long. Riding in the car with Hilary and Oraine, they asked me, “why don’t you start your own business?! You’ve got amazing skills!” They began to tell me how they started a similar business and how they came into success. It intrigued me. It moved me into action. And because of that conversation, I built my website, launched my business and here I am today. Thank you for those words of encouragement and empowerment. I can never repay you for how that impacted me.
5. Marcus Clarke Jr
Marcus Clarke Jr is one of the founders of the Association of Black Alumni Organizations (www.abao.us). He is also my grandfather, whom I love dearly. He is on this list because, when I launched my business, he was my first paying customer! His organization needed a website and took a gamble on me. I had done websites before, but not under this new business venture. I am so grateful for that start. I still service their website now! Mr. Clarke has also invested in my business with technology when I couldn’t afford to get it on my own. I am eternally grateful and I appreciate your consistent support!
6. Marci Batiste
Marci Batiste is an author, speaker, coach and an active voice for domestic violence awareness (www.marcibatiste.com). When I decided to start my business and realized I had a lot of skills but didn’t know how to direct and scale this thing, I turned to her. I asked her to be my mentor and she blessed me with a coaching session. It was a pivotal moment for me that brought clarity and direction to what I was doing. She was also present when I presented my business for the first time to a group of entrepreneurs and potential clients. She helped me develop my speech and walk in prepared and full of confidence. She has also invited me to events that helped me expand my business circle and meet some of the other amazing people on this list. I am so grateful for that life-changing session and the support she has shown my business from the very beginning.
7. Leola Hardy
Leola Hardy is the founder and owner of Vision of Heaven Hair Salon. Leola is such a very very VERY special client of mine because she was my client before I even had an actual business. Leola and I are friends, sisters in Christ and sorority sisters. She came to me saying that she wanted to open a hair salon one day. I said, “let’s do it!” From finding her salon to signing the lease to setting up the online platform and social media to networking events, Leola has looked to me for help and allowed me to help her in her journey. I’m SO grateful for her belief in me because through her experience, I showed myself what I was capable of! Thank you Leola for trusting me and indirectly giving me the courage to do more than build websites.
8. Ronnie Edge, DaVina Smith and Tamra Simmons
These amazing and talented individuals are my BOSS Brunch partners in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta. I had an idea. I wanted to do a networking event that had fun, networking and tons of value. Ronnie didn’t even know me, but in a brief meeting, I shared with him my vision. He immediately connected with it and said, “Let’s do it! How can I help?” I was scared to death because I barely knew anyone in business in Phoenix at that point. But Ronnie was fearless and well connected. So we did it! We hosted a wildly successful brunch in Phoenix and it kickstarted one heck of a movement, and then another brunch later in the year. I met DaVina through INSTAGRAM! I loved her spirit just through casual conversation and I shared my vision with her. She loved it and agreed to partner with me in her city. But not only that, she invited me into her home with her family when I came, even though she had never met me in person. I love you FOREVER for that hospitality! I shared my vision with Tamra via Instagram as well and she loved it. So we got together and hosted a SOLD OUT brunch in Atlanta together that ROCKED!! It was also my very first time in Atlanta so she helped me get everything set up from afar. I appreciate all of my BOSS Brunch partners so much and I cannot WAIT to rock 2018 with you guys!
9. Nicole Simone
Nicole Simone, Miss Curves On A Budget, is certainly someone who has empowered me so much this year. Last year, I prayed and asked God for three things. One of them was a new wardrobe. You may think that’s silly, but for me, I’d never had nice clothes and it hindered my willingness to put myself in the public eye. I met Nicole and all of that changed. Now, when it comes to being a plus size businesswoman, she has changed my closet and my perspective. And all of the amazing, professional photos I’ve taken this year were her doing. She has even traveled with me for the sake of taking my pictures and being by my side. She has been an amazing friend and business colleague all year and I’m so grateful for her.
10. Dr. Will Moreland
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and hearing speeches from Dr. Will Moreland this year and I knew he would end up saying something that would change the course of my business. A friend of mine invited me to a weekend-long mastermind session that was being led by Dr. Will. I went, knowing that I would take away great information. But what I got was so much more than that. I got inspiration. I realized how many “tools” I could create that could potentially catapult my business. I also realized that I was thinking and playing too small for the goals that I had. Because of his mastermind session, I walked away knowing that I would be a published author by my 30th birthday. I had NEVER thought about writing a book, even though I edit them as a part of my business. But now, I am on track to releasing my first written project in February 2018. Stay tuned for that, and thank you Dr. Will for showing me my Genius potential.
11. Trenise Truett
I’ve had many amazing clients this year, but I’ve had one who came to me with nothing BUT a concept. No tangible or digital products. No social media pages. No website. No business license. Just a concept, some ideas and determination to succeed. And she felt that I could help her make it into a business. WHAT?! It was the first time someone had approached me who didn’t already have something in the works. It was by far my most challenging yet exciting request of the year. She fully committed herself to her idea and to my services, and has been my most consistent client who now has a thriving T-shirt line for godchildren and godparents (www.t-2designs.com) that we built together from the conceptual phase. THANK YOU for trusting me to bring your brain child to life. Like my situation with Leola, it gave me a boost of confidence in my abilities to help someone follow their dreams. I know you pay me to help you, but you have in turn helped me tremendously. I appreciate you!
12. Michael Becerra
Last but certainly not least, my friend Michael. I met Michael years ago because I was looking for a lifestyle change for my health and he drove past me with his Plexus business decal on the back of his car. I actually felt compelled to call him, right then and there. So I did. And that phone call birthed so much more than I knew would come to be. Michael ended up reaching out to me for a strategy session after taking my elevator pitch challenge. I’d been following him on social media for a while at that point and I knew I liked his personality. After we met for our session, it sealed my confidence in my fondness for him. But what struck me the most and why Michael is on my list of people who have empowered me, was the testimonial I heard him give to someone about me. He said many things but he ended it with, “ANYTHING she does, I’m ALL in.” I will never forget that. Ever. Those words stuck with me and gave me a sense of humility, determination and responsibility. It’s one thing for your friends and family, who’ve known you forever, to support you and believe in you. But this was the first time that someone outside of my regular support system spoke with such extreme confidence in my abilities and belief in what I had to offer. I felt my greatest in that moment and I’m forever grateful for his belief in me. Even on my hardest days, I cannot quit. Because people like Michael have shown me how much they believe in me.
All of these people, and so many more that I’ve crossed paths with this year, have impacted me personally and professionally. I will never take for granted the wisdom, encouragement, support and belief that is given to me in regards to my business. Thank you so much to every person on this list and every person who has touched my life in the first 12 months of Thee CRM (Client Results Management) Group LLC, (my new business name, woot woot)!! Thank you for helping me to #JustBeGreat.