Ericka Pittman Mixes Business & Romance With Her New Show “The Singles Project”
Ericka Pittman says to achieve a “relaxed approach to dating,” single ladies must remember one thing: “Not everybody has to be your husband.”
The reality star and newly-appointed vice president of Combs Wine & Spirits has taken dating to a new level with Bravo’s new show The Singles Project. The docu-series features Pittman in the throes of dating on real-time reality television and during each episode, viewers can vote in polls, and voice their opinions through the show’s blog as well as in live question-and-answer sessions with the cast. Pittman, who has been overseeing brand strategy since 2009 at Blue Flame, a Sean Combs Enterprise company, has quite the busy lifestyle and said she hasn’t made a lot of time for dating in the past, but is ready to “make dating a priority.”
With her new VP position, her reality show and a book coming out in the near future, the native New Yorker not only shares her thoughts on relationships, but also what it takes to be a leading part of the Sean “Diddy” Combs team.
MN: What has your time working for Sean “Diddy” Combs taught you over the years?
Pittman: Well for one – if it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense. It is my job to make sure my team drives that bottom line and increases revenue for our shares. But doing my job also comes from experience.
A lot of people don’t realize that I have been around for 21 years. I sold advertising for 15 years so my career has evolved. I have been working through different business conundrums and navigated through the corporate world which has allowed me to develop a tool box of skills and prepared me for the role that I am in now. My recent promotion to being vice president of business development for Combs Wine & Spirits is really exciting and my previous role prepared me for this. In my new role it is my job to develop and identify new business strategies and new product renovations, as well as developing new businesses for our product line.
MN: With such a demanding job, how do you make time for interests, friends, family and of course dating?
Pittman: My mom used to always say, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” So I always remember that and in order to manage my time accordingly and also live up to my responsibilities, I allocate time to every single part of my life. I make time for working out, meals and of course things that help me decompress. Filming has been new for me; I wasn’t expecting it to be this grueling but I’m flexible and have an amazing team. Sometimes my day starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 3 a.m. but I want to be successful in all areas so its worth it.
MN: Why did you choose to participate in the show?
Pittman: I think one of the reasons I decided to do the show was to get out there and challenge myself. I have now put myself in a fish bowl and it’s being aired on television. So this is one step towards making dating a priority for me. I am looking for love and the worst case scenario is that I meet a lot of new people and have new experiences. I am hoping the scalability of this message is getting out there to somebody and hopefully he will follow up on the back end at the end of the season.
MN: How has the filming gone so far?
Pittman: The hours surrounding filming has been grueling only because of the amount of time that I need to allocate. But the unique thing is that we are filming in real-time. Most reality shows are filmed in advance and then there is a lot of time to edit and produce. This show we film from to Saturday, then they edit until Tuesday morning and then the show airs Tuesday night.
We also allow our viewers to give feedback on the night of the episode. They weigh in on whether I should date this person or that person. So we really can’t map out production time. Everything is on the fly. The producers will call and say, “Meet me here we’ve got this guy we want you to meet.” So I need to be flexible with my time in order to capture all of those moments. At the same time, I am thoroughly impressed with the production team, especially their ability to keep the show 100 percent authentic and keeping with our personalities. It has been great, exciting and fun and I am taking a relaxed approach to this process. It’s summer in New York City and we are going on dates, exploring new possibilities and I am open.
MN: What is your approach to dating and trying to find love?
Pittman: I take the approach that not everybody has to be your husband. I think that’s just my approach to life in general. I believe that everything is as it should be. I also know there is a divine order to things. Situations become a reason, a season or a lifetime. Every single experience needs to be a lesson and I choose to learn from that and even if a relationship doesn’t work out you move on and you learn from it. Not everything ends in happily ever after and when you take some levity out of our beliefs about marriage or societal views on being single, you are left with people meeting people and hoping to find love. Love is about compatibility and it’s about timing. You may be completely compatible with someone but be in different times of life so you have to take it and value it as a learning experience.
MN: What advice can you share with others that want to make it big in marketing and business?
Pittman: I always say, “Be 100 percent committed to the job you have today in preparation for the job you have.” You never know who is watching. I have hired some of the best people from random places – cashiers at a restaurant or a manager at Costco.
I met this girl once. She was a cashier at Costco and I noticed her ability to multitask and to take charge of her job so I got her number and she ended up becoming an assistant. She wasn’t looking to go into business or advertising but it happened to be a great fit because of her commitment to her job. Being great at what you do today prepares you for tomorrow. Remember the journey of how you become who you become.
Sean Combs at one time was sneaking on the train to New York City every day so he could intern for Andre Harrell. He sacrificed, and he gave the best of himself. Now he runs a $700 million empire. It is just incredibly important to be excellent in every single aspect of your life and that will always take you where you want to go.
MN: And what is on the horizon for you in the future?
Pittman: I see myself in a position to help people around me. I want to help women navigate the next phases of their lives and empower the idea that they have everything they need to get to where they want to go in life. I want to share my story and with young people and let them know that you can be who and whatever you want to be but you have to do the internal gut check to guide you on your journey. It is all about who you are prepared to be and how you will prepare yourself to get there.