How did you become an entrepreneur?
While studying and working in my field, I realized that “Image” contributes to a better life. Through my professional work experiences as a luxury stylist and personal shopper, it became apparent that outer beauty actually masks how we truly feel if we are not grounded in the way we ultimately want to feel. Because of this knowledge, I was able to excel in connecting with my clients on a personal level, and from this my platform emerged.
I wasn’t just a “Personal Shopper,” – I was someone who is knowledgeable that they can talk to, reliable that they can trust, and someone who saw them for who they were while built them up as well as their image.
After experiencing and observing image and its correlation to a better life on a day to day basis, my clients and co-workers encouraged me to pursue motivational speaking. This concept of bridging the gap between physical beauty and inner beauty was unheard of during my tenure at Bergdorf Goodman – So I decided this is the gift that I wanted to share with the world.
Next I researched and honed in on my target audience, by finding individuals and groups who would most benefit from my message. Then I networked, created relationships and established allies in the industry that put me forward for speaking opportunities. I have also volunteered / shared my expertise on platforms such as Forbes.com, on social media outlets, the “Passion To Purpose” Tour and at schools such as LIM and Morgan State University.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
This quote is what motivates me day in and day out as an entrepreneur and as a human being.
“If you were to die tomorrow did you truly live the life that you wanted to live?”
I ask myself this question every day. Our jobs, careers or businesses do not define us but it is our character, our love for what we do, the way we help thy neighbor and planet, the way we create, dream, believe and achieve. The essence of these things aligned with my purpose is what motivates me. I believe that in the past year I lived my life the way I wanted with consideration to where I’m at in this point and time. However, I am a dream catcher and that same saying motivates me every day to go harder to achieve my goals, to touch more lives, to help people find their purpose and to create five generations of wealth for my future family.
So if I am making an effort to stay focus on the alignment of dreams paired with goals that is unfolding the layers of my purpose in front me yet being mindful of the present moment at some part of the day than I believe I am on track. I believe that I am living life purposefully and not letting it live me.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur?
How did you come about Passion to Purpose?
I came up with the name Passion to Purpose because literally my passion of fashion led me to my Purpose of Inspirational speaking originally.
So I sought out to create a platform where my industry friends from various industries and I would give what we thought was missing in our perspective fields. Some of us had help and some of us had to figure it out ourselves but we wanted to break the cycle of “it can only be one of us” in a field but create an environment of “it’s enough for all of us”.
Passion to purpose panel discussions was the first wave with men and women attendees. It was not your average “dream big” or “work hard” forum. It was a key, a blueprint on how to navigate to get to wherever people are trying to get too. Where everyday people like us share our stories of the good, the bad and the mundane adventures of our journey. More or less how we made it through the “fire”. People usually see people as their profession whether they are Doctors, Lawyers, Stylist, Actors, Multi Platinum Grammy Nominated Producers but they don’t know the struggle. That forum was created in a way of saying…. Hey, I see you too.
When the Passion to Purpose tour reached Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates I experienced something I have never experience before and there is where I found my niche. That life-changing event is where I found other Passion to Purpose women who were supporting one another and believed that “your shine does not take away from theirs but it gives you permission to shine in your own right” and hey I support you in doing so. It was simply beautiful and I wanted know how can I create that in the U.S. and do it globally.
Then there is where I was charged to build the bridge for International Women Collaborations, which birthed the Passion to Purpose International Women’s Whatsapp group.
I began to look at the data and what started as a one-time giveback project blossomed into a business. Most of my attendees were women and I became passionate about connecting women CEO’s, entrepreneurs, C-Suite level women and career women globally. My objective is to connect women leaders around the globe to build organic relationships that could lead into international collaborations to enhance, build and motivate communities globally. This birthed the first ever Passion to Purpose International Women’s 3 day Conference starting in Johannesburg, South Africa September 27th -29th then Dubai December 2018 and the awards ceremony in New York City May 2019.
How did it feel when Forbes recognized you?
It felt like I made the right choice when I decided to make the career switch. God knows it wasn’t easy. There is no certainty and through the process you quickly will find out “that you don’t know what you don’t know” but then when you quickly find out, now you know.
Yet for Forbes to recognize my efforts and work it made me feel that through the major hiccups, learning curves, lessons and even small victories that I was on the right path. This process and continued journey is all worth it.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Who inspires you?
Totality: Jada Pinkett Smith, American actress, dancer, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman (ever since I was a little girl)
Professionally: Oprah Winfrey, American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist
Personally: Katrina Adams, President of the USTA (United States Tennis Association)
Spiritually: Pastor Michael A. Walrond, Jr.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role with Passion to Purpose?
The journey of finding my purpose and connecting with dope women around the world is the most rewarding part in general. As founder the rewarding part is, knowing that people are actually benefiting from this and it is a need that I am able to fill.
What do you hope to see happen in the near future for Passion to Purpose in America?
I hope that I am able to do Passion to Purpose International Women’s Conferences in collaboration with Oprah and OWN Network.
How do you generate new ideas?
My ideas are generated through my travel and experiences. I also get inspiration from my personal self-development regimen.
What is your future plans?
I am currently launching the Passion to Purpose International Women’s Magazine in October while working on releasing the Passion to Purpose book in 2019. Alongside producing the 2018 Passion to Purpose International Women’s Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa September 27th -29th, Dubai December 2018 and the awards ceremony in New York City May 2019.
What would you say is the biggest misconception people might have about you?
I smile at this question, because for some reason people tend to think that I have “it” made and that I don’t go through what “normal” people go through. As always there are two sides to every story, and mine is that I’m an ever-evolving woman from urban Washington, DC. I refused to let systemic stereotypes define or limit me, and I moved to New York City with $30 and a big dream.
I worked hard to get where I am and I’m still working hard every day. Perhaps the only difference is that I’ve found my purpose, and can now pursue my dream. It’s hard to pursue a dream without having a purpose first. But as the saying goes at each level there is a different beast – so now I’m working to turn all of the tools and all of the knowledge I’ve learned along the way into a well-oiled machine.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
The most valuable lessons I have learned to get me to where I am today are: to be mentally tough and aware; to think about the solution and the possible problems at least10 different ways; and to stay ahead of the curve. These three valuable tidbits came from my mentor, the VP of Bergdorf Goodman when I was working in that field.
I would also suggest getting a mentor. In wanting to become an industry expert you must seek out a mentor who you feel is humble yet stern, a mentor who has a proven track record of success and most importantly a mentor who can aid in your personal and professional development. Someone who pushes you to become and perform as the person that you wants to be and not operate in the mind capacity of where you currently are.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of fear. Fear is a natural human emotion and one that is inevitable for one to experience. You have the power to push past that fear and go after your true heart’s desire. It is the ones who get stuck that loses and it’s the ones who acknowledge it and push through it who becomes champions.
Vision and Goals accompanied by Faith. Dedication to these things will grant you success.