7 Things I Learned at BrownGirlsLove Power Day 2017
This Saturday I kicked off my 2017 in the company of smart, successful sisters at the second annual Brown Girls Love Power Day. The brainchild of LoveBrownSugar founder Christina Brown, BrownGirlsLove Power Day is a mini conference designed to provide information and inspiration to black women. This year's panelists delivered dropping so many gems I could barely keep track. Missed out on this awesome experience? I've rounded up a few of my favorite tips below.
1. Influence Tumps Popularity
As a blogger without a large following sometimes it can feel as if I'm shouting in an empty room. During the "Your Influence, Your Way" panel Christina reminded attendees that true power is developed by establishing trust. If E! has taught us anything it's that anybody can be popular. Curating lifestyle content is about consistency not just jumping at every opportunity. Brands will work with you if they can see you are authentic no matter your metrics.
2. Creating Opportunity Beats Waiting For It
During the same panel Africa Miranda recalled some of her experiences as an actress, singer and spokesmodel for brands like Creme of Nature since breaking out on Bravo's short lived reality show "The New Atlanta". The founder of Beauty by Africa Miranda pointed out that while she was being adequately compensated for her time she "wondered how much they were making" on the products she was endorsing. She eventually decided to stop "waiting for the phone to ring" with opportunity and created her own by establishing a beauty brand she believed in.
3. You Can't Afford To Take Shortcuts
So many of our businesses start as side hustles that sometimes we can fail to take them seriously. But when our passion outweighs our preparation there can be serious consequences.
Latched and Hooked's Tiffini Gatlin told a horrifying tale of being forced to pay hundreds of thousands in litigation due to her failure to seek legal representation when starting out. The situation was totally avoidable but in her words "when I started I didn't think I was starting a million dollar business." I plan on learning from her mistakes and preparing for success. Who knows? It might just help me attract it.
4. It's Expensive Being a Black Woman
Nicole Sanchez of E-Credit Hero shared that despite being the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs women of color have a harder time obtaining financing for their business enterprises than anyone else. She also shared that they are more likely than others to be
extended sub-prime mortgages making saving to fund their endeavors even more difficult.
5. You Can't Take Everyone With You
Lit Brooklyn founder Denequa Williams revealed that she had to shed some friendships on the way to success. The company started out as a partnership that dissolved when Williams found herself shouldering the bulk of the responsibility. "I realized you can't be my friend" said Williams "because you're watching me do all the work and you don't even feel bad".
6. "Haters" Just Don't Understand
At the beginning of her career as a DJ Olivia Dope dealt with homelessness frequently riding the train for shelter. She remained encouraged telling herself that "one day this is going to make a good story for Oprah." She refuses to deems those who didn't support her at this time "haters" saying "I hate that word" and "sometimes your 'hater' just doesn't understand." Olivia made it clear that the only person that needs to "get" your vision is you.
7. You Can't Copy Hustle
These days it can seem like there's nothing new under the sun but while the premise of your idea might not be new the drive behind it will be. The Lip Bar's Melissa Butler reminded attendees that while the dream is free the hustle is sold separately and if they stay consistent they'll be ahead of the pack no matter who else is behind them.
I have had the pleasure of being apart of the LoveBrownSugar family for two years and I've seen with my own eyes the work and dedication Christina places into facilitating these events.
The third annual BrownGirlsLove Power Day will take place on January 6th, 2018 so make sure to save the date!
Photo Credits: Joe Chea for LoveBrownSugar Media