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!