Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing black female founders who have made their mark in Technology, Nonprofit, and Creative ventures. I originally began my podcast HustleNRose, because when I was starting my own business called Culture Chest, I didn’t have mentors and I had no idea what I was doing.
This podcast has given me the opportunity to speak with business leaders I admire who I wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. I consider all of my hour-long interviews as one-on-one mentoring session and I encourage my listeners to do the same.
From the start, I wanted the focus of my podcast to be on the nitty-gritty steps on how people start and operate their business. The funny thing is the more CEOs I interview the more I realize that there is no one answer of how to do things and everyone is just figuring things out as they go. I’m most inspired by the fact that they’ve taken the leap and kept going even though they didn’t have all of the answers. Here are a few things I’ve learned from interviewing these incredible, trailblazing women.
On building your team:
“It is best to bring on people who have already demonstrated a passion around the product or service that you are doing.” -Stephanie Lampkin, CEO of Blendoor
“I believe the critical job of a CEO is to make the experience for your team such that they can do their jobs really well and seamlessly and have a really enjoyable work experience as they build whatever their building.”-Melissa Hanna, CEO of Mahmee
“Building solid relationships and not networking in a transactional way but networking in a purposeful, ‘I really want to get to know you way’ has led me to lots of different opportunities.” -Natasha J. Benjamin, Digital Strategist
On Making decisions:
“Don’t let anyone pressure you into business building activities that you aren’t yet ready for. It might be valid but it may not be the right activity at that stage in the company. I’m the closest to it, I live it and breath it.” -Melissa Hanna, CEO of Mahmee
“The buck stops with you there’s no one else coming to rescue you, you’ve got to make decisions that sit with you regardless of what other people think of those decisions.” -Melissa Hanna, CEO of Mahmee
On taking the leap:
“Just do it! we are our biggest enemies often times. If you are not putting yourself out there to fail. You’re reducing your chances of being successful.” -Stephanie Lampkin
Are you thinking of starting your own business? What is stopping you? Include it in the comments below.