‘Do What You Love’ should be the name of the soundtrack of fab mama and serial entrepreneur Amber Noble Garland’s life. Truly a force to be reckoned with, the Temple University graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism has a provocative story to share about facing adversity, conquering dreams, and taking risks. One minute in her presence and you’ll be drawn to her noble spirit, body of wisdom and fearless swag– it’s almost impossible not to feel the power of this brand leader.
In this intimate series of interviews, Mommynoire captures the magnetic pulse of Amber Noble Garland. She confidently discusses her diverse career portfolio, her industry trials, and most importantly, how having a two-year-old daughter named Leah put her hustles all in perspective.
What roadblocks did you face as an independent, powerful woman in the business? Did you get any kickback from your peers in the male dominated industry?
I faced many of the roadblocks a lot of women face: sexism, ageism, chauvinism, as well as the stall tactic that I came across when I wasn’t willing to be the “mean girl” to other women or succumb to the clique-life that exists in most employee/employer environments. I worked really hard to make sure I just tried to be the “best person” for the job….not the best “best woman” or the “best black person” but just the best person.
What made you leave and give all the access and benefits of working for a major company?
As far as access goes, I thankfully walked through the doors of Def Jam on day one with my own high-profile relationships, so when I decided that enough was enough, I didn’t really feel like I was losing anything that I didn’t already have. Also, around 2006, my dad had undergone his fourth foot/leg amputation and was simultaneously diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). I was single, working 12-14 hours daily, and I began to feel an internal shift taking place. Due to office politics, I was passed up for a couple of promotions that I was clearly qualified for but I held my head high with dignity. I always maintained great relationships with the recording artists that were assigned to me at Def Jam, but I began to feel unfulfilled at work. I knew something was missing in my life, so I decided to take a leap faith and step out on my own. I figured, if I had done a pretty solid job of helping other companies maintain their bottom line and sell millions of records, then I should be able to figure out how to make a six-figure salary on my own. So I quietly saved up $60,000 and stepped out on my own.
When you made the jump – what adversities did you face, and how did you get over the hump?
People thought I was crazy…literally lol! I faced the millions of questions about why would I want to walk away from such a dream gig and of course the scrutiny of me leaving a “sure thing” for something not guaranteed. Not to mention, I left a highly coveted, six-figure, dream job at the top of the national recession and entered into real estate, the business sector that was most adversely impacted by the economic downfall. I’ve never been afraid to do the things that others might fear, and I certainly wasn’t scared to go against the grain. I had a very detailed plan as to how I was going to make my career transition work, and I was determined to do it my way. I stayed prayed up, and asked God for constant guidance.
I am super excited about where my overall business ventures are headed. I expanded my business by adding an “experts” division to my company. This group of carefully selected individuals are extraordinary talents who bring something meaningful and powerful to the table with highly respected expertise in various areas, not to mention most of them have authored books, are keynote speakers, some have appeared on television and most are doing other really amazing things. My role is consulting with them to further maximize on their brand and earning potential, but I will not be their day-to-day manager. This is already in the new endeavor has me really excited.
As a talent manager, a big part of my business is devoted to coaching my clients/partners, so moving into more of a formal “career coach” role is a natural matriculation for me. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my own book that tells the story of how I left a dreamy six-figure job in the midst of a recession, but came out on top. Aside from that I moving into a different role in television as a producer, and a couple of the shows I’ve pitched are going into development in the next few months. Another thing that has me pretty pumped is a strategic merger that Egypt Sherrod and I are doing as it relates to our respective successful real estate businesses. She’s a Realtor in real life in addition to hosting HGTV’s hit show, “Property Virgins,” and I have been a successful real estate investor and Realtor myself for a number of years now, so officially combining our efforts in multiple states made perfect sense.
Check back with us soon for part 3 of this 4-part series where Amber talks about creating her path and being a mom.
“Do What You Love” is designed to give a balance of “tough love” and “real talk” advice, along with offering solutions and showing success stories of other women who have refused to just settle for less than the fulfilling life they know they deserve. The really exciting part is that my “Do What You Love” column for Mommynoire is actually the warm up for my forthcoming blog, Love What You Do For A Living, a hub of inspiring stories of people who have made career moves that have connected the dots between their passion and their profession.