Was there an obstacle in branding that you faced which encouraged your business approach?
I think I faced obstacles that any other pioneer has faced. Over the past two years I learned from the school of hard knocks. I’m a lawyer by trade. I wanted to be a lawyer, so I went to law school, but there’s really nowhere to learn [branding this way]. If you want to build your own brand empire you can go to ME University and you learn how to build media, speaking and social media platforms. You learn to create services that leverage your expertise and experiences. I started ME University so people could learn how to get major corporations, sponsors and clients — and understand how to protect their brand from an intellectual property and contractual standpoint. There are a lot of people with high-level degrees who don’t know how to package and present themselves. It’s an honor that I get to teach it. ME University is about helping people launch their dream in a possible way that is sustainable.
Within ME University you do lots of speaking and host boot camps. What is one simple thing that a person can do to act on a dream or business plan and make significant progress?
They can act upon their expectations. Most people act based off of their past experiences which keeps them stuck. If there is something that you’re expecting or believing, you have to act on it. Most people do not take action, they’re lazy; it’s a strong word, but it’s a true word. People look at me and think I’m different or something special has happened to me that enabled me to be on The Apprentice or start my own company; but I act.
With your books SKIRTS in the Boardroom you were the first African American woman and business author to be published under Wiley. Did you learn anything significant from that experience?
I was 28, two years out of law school. One of the things it taught me is how women need to be empowered with their marketplace voice. If we can empower our voice, we can monetize our voice as well. Part of what I do through ME University is teach women how to become published by major publishing houses. There’s nothing wrong with self-publishing, but when thinking about possibility and maximizing revenues there’s great opportunities in becoming a major published author.