It’s that time of year when we all start contemplating big career changes, and a common one is transitioning from a regular job to entrepreneurship. It’s the most common advice I’m ever asked for. Should I do it? What’s it like? Will I survive? Well here I am all smiles even though I’ve been in the office all week. Much as I’d love to be somewhere glamorous and sun drenched, that just isn’t in the cards for me right now. I have to hit the ground running in January and I see that as a good problem. And by the way, the office building was packed with fellow founders working away, recognizing the sacrifice that comes with working for yourself but fully appreciative of the autonomy and flexibility that also brings. Although this has been far from an easy road I would recommend this life to anyone toying with going out on their own. Why not put all your hard earned experience and relationships towards something you fully own. Think of the possibilities. I’ve personally never looked back.
They say when one door doesn’t open, find a new door. Instead of trying to change the system, many people are discovering, it’s time to create your own. What are alternative ways people are creating their own path to funding and founding and what can we learn from them? That was the focus of a panel I spoke at this weekend at Forbes 30 under 30 summit, alongside Anarghya Vardhana partner at Maveron; Cindy Gallop founder of Make Love Not Porn and Rica (Modjossorica) Elysee founder of Beautylynk.
Cindy had every door closed in her face and is now raising a $200m fund to support other founders; Anarghya left her job at Google, found part time work with a VC and is now a venture partner, and Modjossorica Elysee bypassed conventional investors and raised money through a syndicate of female doctors and her church. Meanwhile, I’ve been rejected more times than I care to remember but I still keep going, around the system, over the system, building new systems. This is how we open our own doors. . #Forbes #under30summit #womenatforbes
Do you remember how you got started in your career? I’ve never taken the easy path in life and have worked so hard for everything I have but there’s always that little demon in the corner of your brain telling you you haven’t done enough.
Giving a speech about first jobs as part of the TueNight series at The Wing, reminded me that I’ve actually come pretty far and should own it and be proud. I also loved hearing all the funny, poignant, honest and inspiring stories from public advocate Letitia James, Stacy London, Higher Heights’ Kimberly Peeler Allen, Mallory Kasdan and Robin Gelfenbien. It reminded me that social media is just smokescreen. There really are no short cuts to success. It takes hard work, persistence and perseverance.
TueNight at The Wing
With fellow speaker Stacy London
I've spent most of my career in the film business and care so passionately about the advancement of women filmmakers, so it was a thrill to be asked to host a workshop on personal branding and mission statements for the women selected to join the Sundance Institute fellowship program.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands and establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual. It's how you’re perceived. Everyone has a unique personal brand, whether they know it or not. And ideally you control it - it's the image you project to the world that aligns with your mission.
The world likes to put people in boxes and project ideas onto us, so if you don't have a strong sense of self, then you're just a passive bystander in your own career.
"There's no time that I go on TV and I'm not somehow nervous. It's adrenaline. Embrace the anxiety. It's energy you can use to make your performance stronger." Media Trainer and Political Strategist, Jehmu Greene.
It was so enlightening to hear the words of wisdom from this morning's masterclass host, TV correspondent Jehmu Greene. A black woman defending progressive values on the likes of Fox News, Greene knows better than most, the value of being on top of your game. From understanding your body language, to knowing your audience and interviewing the producer in advance, our WIE Network members learned the importance of leaving nothing to chance. The smallest detail left unchecked, can lay all your best laid plans to waste.