14 Girl Bosses Share Their Tips on Running a Successful Business by Ehmonie Hainey - if you enjoyed this post, you can read more at What's Haute, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Girlboss: “A confident, capable woman who pursues her own ambitions.”
Entrepreneurship has always been my number one passion. I’ve been launching businesses since I was in high school and have no plans on stopping. Starting a business or other venture and growing it from the ground up is one of the most rewarding experiences you can create for yourself.
Aside from my own ventures, I love reading/learning/talking to other women about their entrepreneurial endeavors. I’ve always been inspired by #girlbosses, aka women doing the damn thing in business and in their careers. For the longest time, women were denied so many opportunities, so the girl boss movement is long overdue. Women business owners are launching businesses at the highest rate ever. And they’re finally being celebrated – there’s even a National American Business Women’s Day on September 22nd (this Saturday)! Yet, to this day, women are paid less than men, have less business longevity than men, and are less likely to receive startup or other funding for their business than men.
There are a ton of well-known girlbosses, like Sophia Amoruso who coined that term, Beyonce, Sara Blakeley, and multimedia queen, Oprah, of course, who are everyday inspirations. But equally inspiring to me are the women whose faces aren’t on magazine covers or in the latest entertainment news. They are the ones making a difference in their communities, launching lucrative side hustles, and simply pursuing their passions.
I often receive a lot of business advice from male friends who are very successful in business. One of the most common tips I’ve heard from them is to start your day earlier, which is a challenge for a night owl like me, but apparently is directly linked to success. But I wanted to hear from my entrepreneurial sisters too. So I reached out to a bunch of badass girl bosses I know who are paving and forging their own paths to success, and are inspiring thousands of other women along the way. I asked these 14 girl bosses to share their tips for running a business. Check out what these writers, artists, stylists, designers, influencers, producers, creators, innovators, and of course, entrepreneurs, had to say! (And don’t forget to check out their websites too!)
“Be persistent. Business does not have to come natural to every one and a lot of it appears to be about opportunity, persistently seeking opportunity and exhibiting bravery when opportunity comes!”
-Kamilah House, Attorney & Founder and Artist, K.O. House Art (also here)
“Yes, there’s only one YOU and no one will ever replace you, but even if you’re great in a lot of things, there’s only so much you can do a day, in a week. The workload will never end, so learn how to delegate. Start with small tasks you never have time for and eventually you want to delegate anything you’re either not so good at or something you’re absolutely dreading. This will save you time for things that matter (like your family) and things you actually enjoy doing (binge watching Netflix on Sunday nights totally counts)!”
-Ksenia Pro., Owner & Photographer, Ksenia Pro Photo
“Resilience is key to running a business. There are a lot of ups and downs in running your own business. You have to be able to keep pushing through the hard times and not let them discourage you. Instead of looking at a problem as a setback, you should look it as an opportunity to grow. It is during the most difficult times that you learn the most important lessons. Keeping your eyes on the prize during the challenging times, will help position your business for long term growth.”
-Dana Hill, Founder & CEO, COCOTIQUE
“Have a thorough plan, adapt to necessary changes, and have a team you can trust and depend on.”
-Ashley Gordon, Founder, Gordon Williams Media and Executive Producer, Black Girl Single
“There are a few things that have worked for me, but if I have to narrow it down, it will be keeping a daily To Do list. My day is very busy, juggling a full time job and a passion business. So the To Do list helps remind me to do everything I need to do. Also, work life balance is very important for the sake of sanity. :)”
-K.T. Reed, Founder & Designer, KTR Collection
“Be your authentic/true self and stay consistent in everything you do for your business.”
-Krystle DeSantos, Creative Director, Krystle DeSantos LLC
“My number one tip for running a business is putting in the hard work, because running your own business is harder than any job you will ever have. You have to be creative, persistent, and always learning whether you want to or not. Even with all the hard work that goes into running a business it’s the most rewarding job because I get to do what I love and be the designer of my life.”
-Shannan Allen, Personal Stylist, The Closet Consultant, and Founder, Pynk Mannequin Boutique
“Believe you’re good enough. ”
-Grace Liang, Founder, Color and Grace
“My number one tip: Go the extra mile for your clients. If your offer a certain service, put out more effort than what you’ve advertised. It’ll keep your clients happy, and coming back for more business!”
-Julie D. Harbor, Owner, Stylish Paradox Personal Styling Services for the Refined Woman
“Discipline and routine are key to running a successful business. Being disciplined creates consistency and routine creates familiarity and functionality.”
-Keyma Morgan, Founder/Lifestyle Influencer, Style Weekender
“The tip for a business? No doubt! To have a personal vision! The world needs new and sexy ideas!”
-Nahia del Valle, Attorney & Designer, Ironic Lux
“I’ve learned that both organization and self-discipline are key to how my day plays out. Setting your brand objectives under reputation management goals, relationship management goals and task management goals will help you to set timelines that will keep you focused.”
-Tashieka Brewer, Head of Publicity, Melange PR
“My number one tip is “know your audience.” Once you know that, and make it your business to service that specific audience, you’re golden.”
-Lisa Jean Francois, Founder, Lisa à la Mode
“Try your best to respond to every opportunity, even if it’s a “no, not at this time” or “this isn’t the right fit for me, but please feel free to reach out with future ideas.” I wasn’t great about this when I first started, because I assumed if I couldn’t do it, the company wouldn’t want to hear from me. The truth is they appreciate hearing your feedback and interest level. Oftentimes they’re more flexible than you think or reach back out with a future opportunity that’s a better fit.”
-Elizabeth Pendergrass, Founder, District of Chic
Need even more inspiration? Check out my list of business books by girl bosses, below
Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally by Miko Branch
Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life by Lisa Sugar
Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht
Women Who Launch: The Women Who Shattered Glass Ceilings by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose by Karen Civil
How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh
Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
in the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
Work It: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business by Carrie Kerpen
Photos: Ksenia Pro Photo
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Last Call for Summer 2018 by Ehmonie Hainey - if you enjoyed this post, you can read more at What's Haute, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
I heard that August is the Sunday of summer and it couldn’t be more true! Like Sunday nights, it feels like Monday (cool fall weather, less sunshine, winter snow – ugh) is just around the corner. Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but I’m not ready to let my favorite season go just yet. There’s still time to hit the beach, have a summer brew, rock your summer gear (well into September, even October sometimes), finish up those summer reads, and whatever else you do for fun in the sunshine season.
Here’s what I’ve been up to this summer:
Watching: I’ve gone to the movies maybe once or twice this summer. I’m not a big movie fan (I usually sleep through them) but I love TV. I’ve been catching up on my favorite summer shows: POWER on Starz (how long Ghost can remain untouchable?), VH1’s Black Ink Crew Chicago (there’s always so much drama and I love it!), Younger on TVLand (will Liza and Charles last?), and MTV’s The Challenge: Final Reckoning (it’s the end of an era).
Reading: I love a fun novel to escape reality – who doesn’t?! This summer I have these books on my nightstand for quick and easy reading: How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel (Allison Pearson), The Other Woman (Sandie Jones), and of course, Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan).
Drinking: Summertime is usually the time I go for fruity cocktails, like pineapple mojitos, and watermelon sangrias. But this summer I also added some fruit-flavored beers to the mix, like Bud Light Orange, and Lime-y Vice: a tart, citrusy Lime Gose style beer that was sent over to me from Harpoon Brewery. I love a refreshing, fruity beer and this Miami-inspired one had the perfect blend of light wheat hops and sour, salty flavor. I can’t wait to check out their fall offerings too!
Eating: I really got a chance to explore the DC/MD/VA restaurant scene this summer and discovered a few new favorite spots. I had a particularly amazing dinner at Sequoia on the Georgetown Waterfront earlier this summer, thanks to my friend Barnette of D.C. Fashion Fool. The restaurant hosted a small group of local bloggers and treated to what seemed like a 20-course meal, plus endless wine and cocktails, and an amazing dessert selection! Plus the views are great since the restaurant features floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Potomac.
Seeing: I’ve lived here for four years but this was the first year I’ve been to the Kennedy Center! And I’ve been making up for lost time. Earlier this spring I went to see Black Violin, which was incredible. This summer I checked out two musicals: The Temptations musical and The Color Purple. Both featured amazing performances and singing – oh those voices were angelic! I also went to see Gladys Knight and The O’Jays belt out their hits (while cementing my older auntie/pre-AARP status) at Wolf Trap.
Wearing: The Zara summer sale never disappoints, and of course I picked up a thing or two, or three, or ok, maybe five. I lost count. Anyway, I snagged this knit dress (similar here and here) and belt from the sale and planned on wearing it to the beach but had to settle for The Beach at Pike & Rose. I accessorized with these Kenneth Cole New York Olivia Wedges (also here) I’ve been rocking all summer, plus some fun pieces I picked up at Target: this Who What Wear Striped Martha Crossbody Bag (love this style too) and a “Do Not Disturb” floppy sun hat – and that will be my mood while I ride out this last call for summer.
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3 Keys to a Lit Life by Ehmonie Hainey - if you enjoyed this post, you can read more at What's Haute, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
So, this year has been nothing short of amazing. It truly has been the best year of my life, and I’ve been living my best life pretty much every single day of it. It’s been LIT! But don’t get it twisted – I worked hard to achieve it – in a way, I earned it. Last year was the worst year of my life, and when you’re going through tough times, you have two options: let it get the best of you, or make the best of it. I chose the latter. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth the life I’m living now. If you’re asking, “How can I too have a lit life?” here are three keys:
1. Have faith and see the light
Man, let me tell you, I experienced so many dark days last year there were times when I thought I’d never see the light again. But I worked hard (prayed hard) to restore my faith in everything. How did I do that? By getting down on my knees every morning to pray, and listening closely to what God was telling me (and doing what He directed me to do). There were things He put in my heart that I couldn’t even believe because all earthly signs pointed elsewhere. But I listened and believed. I exercised my faith. I looked desperately for the light even though I couldn’t see for a very long time. I trusted that God wanted the best for me, and would deliver me – and He did. I knew then, and I see now everything He was preparing me for. But I first had to show my faith. This year I’ve experienced an overflow of blessings – and light. My mom always told me “All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed!” and she was absolutely right!
2. Be a little bit selfish
I’m overly caring, and a giver by nature, and unfortunately being that was has not always worked out well for me. So this year, I decided to be a little bit selfish. Not in a bad way – though the word selfish obviously has negative connotations. But think about when you’re on an airplane and they give the safety advice: “Secure your mask before helping others with theirs.” If you don’t take care of yourself first, how can you be of use to anyone else? Last year I learned the importance of self-care, and I believe those practices helped me get to a better place. For me, self-care includes everything from prayer, to quality time doing things I love, and traveling. Self-care looks different for different people, but basically it is you taking care of yourself, investing in yourself, loving yourself, and looking out for yourself first. In turn, you’ll become better in every area of your life.
3. Live, think and be positive
I’m sure you’ve heard many people preach the power of positive thinking and speaking, and that your words have power. Well it’s true, and it goes hand in hand with my #1 key: faith. I believe in speaking positivity over your life, thinking positive, surrounding yourself with positive people and placing yourself in positive environments as often as you can. Even if you can’t see immediate changes, a positive outlook on life results in a positive life! I’m here to testify to that!
Are you living a lit life? What are some steps you’ve taken to get there?
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