All Articles Tagged "entrepreneur"

Life & Career Takeaways Mom Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Self-Made Women

June 4th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

Jessica Alba, via Instagram

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Let’s be honest, it’s not walk in the park to be a mother — let alone one about her business. In addition to navigating the realm of being self-employed, you also have to worry about your household, child demands and other tasks that come along with being a mother. I love my family and what I do. That doesn’t mean it’s not tiresome from time to time.

Forbes magazine recently published a list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women that highlights some of the most successful women in the game. Even though they operate in different industries, that doesn’t stop them from working hard to pave their own way. I don’t know about you, but I love reading about successful mommy entrepreneurs who are making strides in their industry. It’s empowering and encourages me to pursue my endeavors as a work-from-home mother.

In thinking about mommy entrepreneurs, here are some takeaways we can apply to our work/life hustle.

Have dreams of expansion and acquisition. Yes there will always be competition, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become an employee of your company. Billionaire Diane Hendricks is the second richest self-made woman — and also a mother of seven — who made the decision to buy one of her biggest competitors. Even if you don’t yet have the money to make such a pricey investment, there’s nothing wrong with having dreams to expand your brand.

Side ventures pay off. No worries if you have to work your business idea on the side. You never know how it will grow. Johnelle Hunt is a widowed, mother of two who created a trucking company with her late husband. Raking in $6.2 billion in sales, this venture was once a side business that grew over time.

Dare to step out of your comfort zone. There’s a good chance your “big break” might not come in the current industry you’re in. Tons of people have seen success in the least expected places. While Jessica Alba technically didn’t make it on the list, she did grace the cover of the Forbes issue because her empire, The Honest Company, is now valued at $1 billion. An actress who made a name dancing in that movie Honey, who would’ve thought her greatest success would come from providing sustainable household and baby products? Through research and years of hard work, she continues to position herself as a growing expert in her industry.

Address a general need. Even if you aren’t able to reinvent the wheel, that doesn’t keep you from addressing a general need. Sara Blakely is a self-made billionaire who helped introduce the world to the phenomenon knows as Spanx. The shapewear has helped give women confidence and continues to expand in products, now offering intimates and yoga apparel.

Look for multiple streams of income. It’s great you’re working to create a lucrative business, but what are other ways you can bring in additional income? BET co-founder Sheila Johnson is a great example of someone who casts her net wide when it comes to investments. She owns resorts, has minority stakes in professional sports teams and is branching into the entertainment industry (helping to finance the film The Butler).

Use your life a source of inspiration. What can anyone say about Beyoncé? She is a force in the music industry who continues to evolve with time. Much of her success has come from her own life experiences that have helped her be a relatable figure to so many. Look for areas in your life that will help you better address the needs of your target market — and make you a go-to resource.

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Can You Boast About Your Hustle When Others Are Paying Your Bills?

May 26th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Woman freeloader asking/borrowing money from a guy/man

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I’m all for pursuing your passion and taking the journey down the entrepreneurial road. I don’t want to sound like a politician, but small businesses do help make America what it is.

When it comes to the self-employed life, there’s no established playbook that will guarantee success (please forward me a copy should you have one). There are part-time entrepreneurs who rely on a traditional 9-to-5 gig to fund their endeavors, folks who take the leap of faith by quitting their job and others who collaborate on joint ventures. So long as you have a plan in mind with an end goal, keep on trucking.

That however does not mean you should expect others to pay your bills.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when financial hardship is a reality. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many millennials are moving back in with their parents and even looking to them to help pay monthly expenses. Whether you graduated not too long ago or can’t seem to find a job after some time on your own, there are tons of reasons why loved ones spring into action and offer support.

This however is not one of those examples.

It has come to my attention — through the family grapevine of course — that one or two relatives have requested an offering plate be passed in their name. Both are able-bodied individuals who could find employment to supplement their income, but instead want to rely solely on the financial donations of the family until their separate ventures turn a profit. Did I mention that one of the them is married and has four kids?

Say what now?

As a self-employed person myself, I get that certain ventures require more start up money than others. It would be great to think of an idea and have Oprah’s bank account to fund it, but that’s not a reality for most of us. What I don’t get is why these two are giving every excuse in the book not to work. Come to think of it, one of them lives in a property owned by his mother and never had to pay a dime in rent. Even if you had to do something part-time due to the amount of hours needed to get things going, you have to learn to take care of you and yours on your own.

I guess one of them used his “spidey sense” not to call my house as my father-in-law recently told us he was hit up for money. Perhaps this wonderful cousin of mine realized asking a young married couple with a toddler and baby on the way wasn’t a good idea, especially when you consider the wife (that would be me) has been trying to navigate the demands of being an entrepreneur for several years, and has taken employment when necessary to pay bills.

Am I really that wrong to think a grown adult shouldn’t ask around the family to pay for his own bills on a monthly basis? I’m all for volunteering and charitable efforts, but not in the case of someone choosing not to work. Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and do what’s necessary in the meantime. Then again, there are some people who feel it’s okay to hit up family because they earn more. I beg to differ and think like the folks at Capital One: What’s in your wallet?

I guess it boils down to how you look at things.

10 Questions To Ask Before Plunging Into Self-Employment

January 12th, 2015 - By Taylor Gordon
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Are you thinking about transitioning into full-time self-employment?

Even though it comes with many long-term perks like freedom and flexibility, being a full-time business owner does come with a lot of challenges.

Each challenge you can overcome with some bootstrapping and good planning, but you should still take them into account before quitting your day job. Read on for questions to ask yourself before you go headfirst into self-employment.

Interested In Entrepreneurship? 9 Top Franchises To Consider

November 19th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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When it comes to being your own boss, there are tons of entrepreneurial avenues to consider. One option you have that has proven to be successful is a franchise owner. Yes it does require start up money and a ton of work, but if you commit and focus on your gameplan, it can prove to be very fruitful. If this happens to be something you want to consider, here are some of the top franchises to buy.

h/t Entrepreneur 

Want Your Business To Be Successful? 10 Entrepreneurial Habits You Need To Break

November 5th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Entrepreneurs are faced with a series of challenges–along with the weight of their business venture on their shoulders. This is just one of the reasons why running your own company isn’t for everyone. While there is no full-proof way to guarantee success for your business, there are certain things entrepreneurs probably shouldn’t do.

Related Read 9 Interesting Facts About Women Entrepreneurs 

Go Ahead Boss Lady! 9 Interesting Facts About Women Entrepreneurs

November 4th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Have you been thinking about starting your own business? You should! Female business owners are popping up around the world–particularly in the United States. Starting a business can be nerve-wracking which is why many don’t turn their dreams into a reality. Yes, there will be certain setbacks ladies face, but that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your goals. Here are some uplifting facts about women entrepreneurs.

The Business Of Headphones: Career Takeaways From The Success Of Beats By Dre

June 18th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Judy Eddy/WENN.com

Even if you don’t keep up with the news your Facebook feed more than likely hinted about the success Dr. Dre has seen with Beats by Dre. Whether or not you agree with overpriced or oversized headphones you have to give this hip hop artist credit for making some serious power plays in the business arena. For this reason we are taking a look at him, his business and why Beats by Dre has been so successful. Perhaps there are takeaways we can all learn from that will help shape our own careers.

The Evolution Of Gwendolyn Quinn: Moving From Celeb Publicist To TV & Beyond

June 5th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Sometimes entrepreneurialism is planned. Sometimes it’s accidental. And sometimes it comes out of necessity. For Gwendolyn Quinn, cutbacks and a shift in the music business prompted her to launch her own marketing firm, GQ Media & Public Relations, Inc. (now Gwendolyn Quinn) in 2001, opening shop officially in 2002.

Despite the changes in the industry, Quinn wasn’t about to toss away her more than 25 years of experience in media and public relations. At Arista Records, she’d worked for Clive Davis as senior director of publicity beginning in1997. While there, she led campaigns for Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Monica, Deborah Cox and Prince, among others. She also created and launched media campaigns for Bad Boy Entertainment/Arista joint venture artists, including Diddy, Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, and Mase. In addition, she handled media for a variety of artists with LaFace/Arista, then headed by Antonio “LA” Reid and had experience at Flavor Unit Entertainment, Mercury/PolyGram, and ASCAP

Today Quinn continues to work with legends. Her indie firm works with such greats as Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan.

Quinn also formed the African-American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC) in 2001 as a way to fill the gap in the networking potential among African-American public relations and media specialists.  The AAPRC is an international organization of more than 1,000 public relations and communications specialists that offers professional support.

Quinn next launched The AAPRC Monthly (now titled Global Communicator) in February 2004, an e-publication for African-American public relations, marketing professionals. Global Communicator has interviewed notable figures like media mogul Cathy Hughes, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and ABC’s Robin Roberts.

Now she’s moving into television, having discovered an affinity for creative writing. Next stop: broadcast.

MadameNoire: What led you to create your own company?
Gwendolyn Quinn: Well I left Arista when Clive Davis departed to start a new record label, J Records. It was 2000. I accepted an offer at Capital Records as VP of urban publicity, then 9/11 happened. Capital took that as a time to close their New York office. It was the beginning of a major shift in the record business. But I was still under contract with Capital so I was able to start my own company in 2001 and opened the doors in 2002.

MN: Was it difficult to go from working at a major corporation to running your own company?
GQ: It was very difficult. I was really happy coming to my office at Arista, working then turning off the lights and going home. I had a really cushy situation there, a large expense account, I did lots of traveling. So then venturing out to do everything on my own was hard. I did it out of necessity. And there were so many days I said to myself, “I am going to look for a job.” I must have said that to myself for two years, but I never actually looked for a job or even put together my resume. I realized the music industry had changed. It wasn’t like before when I was out of a job I could land a new one right away. That was when record companies were actually selling records, and artists were going platinum. Now the industry has totally changed and companies have tightened their belts.

MN: Once you got started, you branched off into other ventures, such as AAPRC.
GQ: I saw a void and wanted to fill it. But this also made me realize that I could not pursue every vision. At one point I thought of venturing into providing PR to nonprofits. I did work with a few but this was a whole new skill set for me to learn. And I realized that I just did not have the time nor manpower to take this on. I never wanted to create a large company; I wanted a boutique agency where I could manage all the accounts and do a good job.

MN: You rebranded your company from GQ Media to Gwendolyn Quinn. Why?
GQ: Because I realized I didn’t just want to be limited as a publicist. While I decided not to expand my PR services into other areas, I did decide to use some of my untapped talent. After getting a creative producer credit on a Chaka Khan episode for Centric, Being: Chaka Khan, I realized this was something I loved doing–working in the TV arena, producing and creating content.  So this is where my focus is heading.

… I have partnered with two groups of women to work on various projects. Many of the women are already in the TV industry. We will create content for scripted series, TV specials and docudramas.

MN: What are some of your goals?
GQ: I have a five to seven year plan to retire. I really want to be able to just take on projects that I have passion for. So I am really working toward this and venturing into the TV sector will allow me to do this sooner.

New To The Hustle? 5 Must-Read Books For Mom Entrepreneurs

February 27th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or are managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

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As a mama entrepreneur I am always on the lookout for things that inspire me to reach for the stars. When you are juggling the hat of being a mother, wife and boss lady things can definitely get a little hectic to say the least which is why it’s good to know you are not alone. There are tons of businesses out there run by mothers that have had their fair share of ups and downs, but that does not stop fabulous women from making the necessary moves to be successful. If you happen to have some time in your schedule, here are five must read books for mom entrepreneurs. Hopefully you will come across something that will dare you to dream big and go after yours.

Maybe If I Grow Another Arm?… Making New Baby & Business Work

February 10th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or are managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@madamenoire.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.

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It has only been a few weeks and I must tip my hat to single mothers and those with multiple children because motherhood is no joke. I seriously don’t know what I would do without the help of my husband! While I did my best to prepare myself and business for the arrival of my son (I talked about that here), nothing really gets you ready for how things will change.

Once out of the hospital after delivery, I gave myself a couple weeks (I work full-time from home) to enjoy my new bundle of joy and just unwind. When I was ready to get back into the swing of things aside from thanking God my “commute” was only a few seconds (there are days I look like an extra from The Walking Dead) I did my best to try and figure out my new role as mommy and how it translates into my daily work demands. Thankfully things like changing diapers and feedings have been extremely manageable as I have developed the new talent of being ambidextrous, rocking my child into his nap while answering work emails. Let’s not get it twisted though — working from home with its perks is no walk in the park when a baby comes into the mix.

I had to learn real quick that daily to-do lists would soon become an ideal. Sure there are things I need to get done, but, oh my, how much pressure instantly came off my shoulders once I accepted the fact that not everything can get done all at once. I am a new mother and that will take much of my time. I have new responsibilities that will take priority over the things I do. As an alternative, setting weekly goals has been a godsend, helping to keep me on track while providing some wiggle room on the deadline. If you think about it, it kinda helps you to plan ahead a little which can be insurance for those days when your little one gives you the business. There will also be days when you are mentally and physically exhausted, which can also prohibit you from accomplishing a ton in your day.

Speaking of exhaustion, I am in awe at how I can even manage to operate during the day on no coffee (hate that stuff) after being up during the night. Here’s a little secret: If you are able, schedule your meetings later in the day opposed to the morning which will give you a buffer should you need more time to sleep in. It helps! You will also find that your “regular schedule” will greatly vary while your child is a newborn. There will be times when you get your second wind to work in the evening which is why you have to be flexible.

The bottom line is there is no set answer on how to juggle a new baby and business, it’s something you just have to wing until you get it right. And don’t be so hard on yourself. This is all a learning process. Be open to change, stay flexible with your schedule and just do the best you can. All of the pieces will eventually fall into place. And never forget that your number one job and priority now is to be a mother.