An Evening of Cocktails + Conversation

Last Thursday I attended Cocktails + Conversations, presented by The Sisterhood Showcase and Sponsored by Centric. A fun evening of networking, it was an opportunity for both corporate + creative women to come together to have candid discussion about what it takes to be a business owner, and also the obstacles we may face when moving up the corporate ladder.

Held in the newly opened Halloran Centre (Sept 2015) in downtown Memphis, we were able to mingle and nosh on delicious food + specialty libations and test out a few samples before the evening’s panel discussion: The Art of Entrepreneurship: 10 Things Business School Won’t Teach You.

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I love, love, love events like this because it’s an opportunity to see some fun City Style and get a little fashion inspiration. No two women were dressed alike:

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Moderated by Christina Stevison (President/CEO of The Stevison Group + Sisterhood Showcase), panelists Myleik Teele (curlBOX), Mahisha Dellinger (CURLS) and Andrea Johnson (The Bubble Bistro), gave us insight on what truly happens in the world of entrepreneurialism.

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While each took a different approach when they started their businesses (Myleik launched curlBOX  without really having the samples to support it while Andrea went in with a business plan and capital because of her background in finance), each shared a common thread throughout their story: they never let their lack of resources, support, and/or funding stop them from pursing a dream. They hustled HARD, and always stayed educated on whatever changes were happening in their respective field. A few tips that stood out during the discussion:

  • READ. Read books (business, self-help, industry related) + check out SCORE (made up of executives from every industry to help connect you to the resources you need).
  • Reach out to experts in your field. Don’t be afraid to approach people who have already achieved what you’re after to ask questions.
  • If you’re never afraid, you aren’t growing or trying something to new. If you’re doing something uncomfortable, you’re doing something worthy.
  • If you don’t evolve, you will dissolve.
  • Timelines are not real but goals are.
  • Use vision boards to help manifest your goals.
  • Young, black, and female? Own it. You come with an extra level of knowledge so use it to your advantage, never as a crutch.

They dropped so many gems during their discussion, with the top tip being you HAVE to put in the work. Figure out your passion and what you enjoy doing and approach it in a smart way that will allow you to monetize it, whether it be for a full-time career/job or a side hustle. You have to be ready to work, though, which is what a lot people struggle with.

I really enjoyed myself during the event, and the conversation definitely continued when the evening was done. If you ever have a chance to hear one of these women speak, GO. It WILL be worth it!

 

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