Nikki Woods’ Keys to Success: Build Your Brand and Become a Legacy

nikki-woods

BlackEnterprise.com recently had the pleasure of meeting media personality, entrepreneur, and current Senior Producer for The Tom Joyner Morning Show – Nikki Woods(@NikkiWoods).

The Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) is the #1 syndicated urban morning show in the nation, reaching over 8 million people daily. Beginning her career almost twenty years ago in television, and later transitioning to radio, Nikki is also an on-air contributor to the TJMS. Her previous endeavors led to TV and radio shows in Boston, Connecticut, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas, where her current position is at the TJMS.

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Nikki has managed to give 100% to the TJMS, as well as a 100% to her own team at Nikki Woods Media. Balance between the two is a result of recognizing the value-add both teams give each other. Nikki Woods Media was birthed 7 years ago, when businesses truly began to develop platforms on social media. Nikki Woods Media is a tool which assists people with creating their own platform to build their brand, their business, and reach their goals.

Nikki shared some strategies that helped to formulate her success:

Success Requires a Certain Level of Persistence
You will experience being told ‘no.’ Instead of taking it as a ‘no,’ consider it a ‘not now’ and remain persistent if it’s something you really want. In her career, Nikki has benefited from remaining determined, not giving up and pursuing her goals. Although she experienced fear, (Nikki believes there’s always that little clinch in your stomach when someone entrusts you to do something) she kept going. Instead of being afraid of failing, operate in a space of faith and continue to push forward!

Always Be a Student
Resist getting to the point where you think you know everything. Don’t become comfortable where you are, but be willing to elevate your level of excellence. You’re only as strong as your support system, so surround yourself with people that support you and will challenge you to succeed. Be open to learn and glean from the resources around you. Mentors in Nikki’s life included her father Elroy Smith, who gave her the first position she had; Bonnie Deshong, both a competitor and a mentor; along with others such as Tom Joyner from the TJMS.

Preparation and Flexibility
Some say, “Always be prepared.” Others say, “Just go with the flow!” Nikki says both. She believes you should definitely work and prepare, but sometimes done is better than perfect. Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in preparing that you neglect to even start. Nikki maintains a consistent and constant level of learning so she is prepared at every moment, but she’s not preparing to the point that she’s not producing. Entrepreneurs must possess the ability to be prepared yet flexible, expecting the unexpected. By being tested and challenged, Nikki has mastered those skills and grown because of it. There were times she realized she couldn’t stay on her current course – she had to shift.

Business Should Be About Building a Legacy
Nikki’s company philosophy is that writing a book is the most efficient way to grow your brand, your business, and build your speaking platform. This is the fastest way to be seen as an expert, which is why she is currently working on her second collaboration book project. The first book, titled Shift, features twenty women sharing stores of strength, courage, and succeeding against the odds. Nikki is building a legacy by building her brand and investing in the success of others like you.

Nikki Woods empowers others to create more by telling their own stories.  Learn how you can become a best- selling author on her website wannabeanauthor.com.

 

 

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Whitney White Turned Her YouTube Platform into a Booming Natural Hair Career

Whitney White

Whitney White (better known to her millions of followers as Naptural85) has been dominating YouTube since 2008, when she chopped off her relaxed air and decided to document it’s growth. When White started making videos, YouTube wasn’t yet monetized and she wasn’t getting paid by sponsors either. White made natural hair videos out of a simple passion for her hair.

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“The thing about YouTube is that it wasn’t a career back then. It was just a bunch of weirdos,” White told Business Insider. “If I told anyone I made videos on YouTube, they’d look at me like I was crazy.”

 YouTube has become, not only a community for like-minded black women to come and share beauty tips and explore their natural mane, its also a place where they are able to earn a living by assisting major brands in navigating the natural hair world. White’s love for the hobby paid off. According to Business Insider, White now make twice as much as a YouTuber than she did as an entry level graphic designer.

The black hair industry is now a $2.7 billion business and has seen a 7% increase since 2013, according to a 2015 report by market research firm Mintel, and can expect “more robust growth” in the next five years.

White tells Business Insider that her partnership with hair mecca Carol’s Daughter, is one of her most cherished relationships. But even when she’s taking on sponsored deals, White makes sure to remain transparent and authentic to the products that she likes.

[RELATED: Meet the First African American Woman to Hold a Patent for a Natural Hair Product]

“I try not to promote anything I wouldn’t personally purchase,” says White. “I’ve turned down a lot of money … I’ve turned down deals from huge companies … because I didn’t like the ingredients in the product.”

To learn more about White and her YouTube empire, click on ‘source’ also check out one of her videos on our ‘source’ page.

 

 

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Niya Brown-Matthews Reveals ‘The Boss In You’ Tips for Young Women

Niya Brown Matthews

When Niya Brown-Matthews grew frustrated with watching the negative images of women fighting on television; particularly reality shows, she sprung into action within three months, writing The Boss in You, a motivational guide to becoming the CEO of yourself.

Brown-Matthews, a two-time breast cancer survivor, is married to former NFL star Eric Matthews, and she makes it very clear that she’s more than a ball players wife. As a writer, motivational speaker, and founder of Capital Property Management, she helps investors (buying or selling) make decisions on their portfolios; whether it’s buying or selling properties.

She’s also the founder of Too Fabulous for Cancer, an organization that hosts events throughout the year to raise money for cancer patients to receive makeovers, new wardrobes, and photo shoots. And she’s a mother to a 16-year old-daughter. “I tell my daughter all the time, having babies with a celebrity is not a life goal. Young women should strive for greatness, by using their brain, skills, and passion to get ahead. I just want women and girls to bring that boss out of you—to bring out that self-confidence.”

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Brown-Matthews to learn how parents, caretakers, and young women can channel the ‘boss’ in them for success.

BlackEnterprise.com: What tips can you share with parents to instill self-confidence and fearlessness in young women to follow their purpose?

Brown-Matthews: It starts at home. My 16-year-old daughter clearly makes mistakes. But I have to make sure she understands that what goes into your eye gate, goes into your ear gate. I have to help steer her in the right direction. The circle of friends you keep all plays into who you turn into. So many girls have low self-esteem and self-doubt because they don’t come from the best homes or neighborhoods, but I always say, ‘Don’t’ let your current circumstances deter you from being great.’

My purpose is to spread the power of confidence for young women, because they are destined for greatness, and [to] inspire people to find the boss in them and get out of their own way.

Please share some empowering words  for young women.

  • It’s harder to heal from past hurt when you are surrounded by people who put you down. Change your circle to change your life.
  • Getting defensive when people judge you is a waste of your time and energy. Shift your focus on your mission.
  • Don’t do better because of who you think is watching. Do better because excellence is in you.
  • Stop worrying about someone taking your spot. God already has it reserved. Do the work to get there and fill it.

What has been your biggest challenge, and how has your life’s journey prepared you for your role as a motivational speaker?

I beat breast cancer twice and I m a black woman in business—which comes with its own unique challenges. Men don’t always look at me as being equal, but through dedication, education, and my qualifications, those challenges eventually fade away.

In looking at where you were about 10 years ago and where you are now, what are you most surprised to learn about yourself?

I realize now that I had the tools to succeed within me from the very beginning. We all battle with things, but sometimes we get in our own way.

 

 

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Young Entrepreneur Turns Class Project into Successful Kids Transportation Company

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Every day millions of parents struggle with transporting their children to and from school, extracurricular activities, and events. Whether it’s because they don’t have the time or could use a helping hand, managing a child’s daily schedule, as well as their own, can feel like a stressful part-time job. Enter KidzCab, a transportation service for children ages 4-16, providing a sigh of relief for many parents in the Michigan, area.

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“The idea for my company stemmed from a marketing assignment I had in school, where I had to come up with a product or service and write a paper on it. Once I started researching it, I thought maybe I could really create this,” said Aireal Taylor, the founder of KidzCab.

Fresh off the heels of resigning from her steady job in administration and accounting, Taylor is solely focused on running KidzCab full-time. She has 3 KidzCab vehicles. She’s booked for the mornings and afternoons for the entire school year, and she expects to average about 6 trips per day, per vehicle.

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the ambitious leader to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.

BlackEnterprise.com: What makes your business different than other child transportation-related businesses?

Taylor: We use a fleet technology system that tracks our vehicles in real-time and provides destination alerts to parents. We also provide booster seats for children; one less thing parents have to worry about.

Describe the long-term vision or goals that you have for your business?

I’d like to see Kidz Cab’s outside of almost every school in Michigan. I’d also like to begin offering franchise options in other states.

What have you been most surprised to learn about yourself?

I’ve learned that I can really make things happen when I need to. If one way doesn’t work out, I figure out something else to make it work.

What do you believe is your greatest achievement personally and/or professionally?

My greatest achievement personally is following my dance dream and becoming an NBA dancer. My greatest achievement professionally would definitely be becoming an entrepreneur, [which is] difficult and scary.

What do you wish you had known then, that you know now?

I wish I knew that things are harder than they look or seem! Ha!

What, in your opinion, is a huge myth about entrepreneurship?

I think most times people believe that entrepreneurship is singular, as in only you, but you really need a good support system around you, in my opinion, to thrive. I’ve had very good resources that helped me tremendously. I did a lot by myself but not nearly all of it.

What resources do you use daily to help manage your business?

Michigan SBA, Entrepreneur Magazine App, my mother and my husband.

What qualities have helped you succeed thus far?

My dedication is the main quality that’s helped me succeed. Starting a business is extremely difficult and I truly wanted to quit many times, but my dedication to this dream helped me push through.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a young woman who wants to be the next successful entrepreneur?

Plan, plan, and plan some more. Completing a business plan took my business idea to a completely different level. Business plans force you to think about the ‘not so fun stuff’ that could really affect your business if not thought through properly.

Since launching your business, what has been your biggest challenge?

I think not giving up after hearing many ‘no’s.’ But I knew I had a good idea that I could execute with time and I didn’t let anyone change my mind about that.

 

 

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Dr-Nadia

For the most part, entrepreneurs earnestly believe that it takes teamwork to make the dream work. However, there are far too many ‘Superpreneurs’ out there still wearing the gleaming ‘S’ stretched across their chest. However, when the cape comes off, many will admit that they are frustrated, stifled, exhausted, and zapped in strength. Dr. Nadia Brown is the CEO and Founder of Doyenne Leadership Institute LLC based out of Phoenix, AZ, an institute designed to help entrepreneurs build profitable, sustainable businesses through training, coaching and strategic planning. According to Dr. Nadia, there comes a time to realize the necessity and value of a team concept.

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“One of the things that I have my clients to do is to reference their big dream or vision. Then I ask them that if I told them that I wanted to build an amazing skyscraper and that my plan was to build it alone, what would they say? They all say the same thing, that I would be crazy and that it was impossible. “ Dr. Nadia reminds them that their big vision for their business is synonymous to a skyscraper, and attempting to fulfill a big vision alone is a daunting task at best. “One of the biggest mistakes that I see small business owners make is they take far too long to get the help they need to build the business they desire.”

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Dr. Nadia to ask her expect advice on top strategies entrepreneurs can employ immediately to build an effective dream team.

Understand That Asking For Help Is Not A Sign Of Weakness. Business owners have to be okay with the fact that they cannot do it alone. I do not know where the idea came from that we have to do it all ourselves as a badge of honor or something, but when you look at companies such as Apple, Inc. there are thousands of people that work to make it a successful business. While I understand not every small business owner aspires to grow that large, it takes the right mindset to understand that it is okay to have people on your team.

Identify What Skill Sets You Need Before You Need Them. It is dangerous to hire when you’re desperate. Trust me, I’ve been there. Take the time to identify what skill sets you need now and what you will need in the future. Then as you continue to grow, bring on the needed resources to take your business to the next level. This is an important part of your revenue growth strategy. It’s important to understand that the team that gets the company to $100,000 is not the same team that will get the company to $1 million and beyond.

Don’t Rush The Process, But Hire Carefully. I heard this saying: ‘be slow to hire and quick to fire’ during my years in corporate and it just stuck with me ever since. It is important to take your time during the hiring process, to not only hire for attitude, character and skill, but also to hire a person that fits your company’s culture. This is a piece that is often overlooked during the hiring process and can come back later to haunt you. Once a person is on the team, it’s a lot harder to get them off if things don’t work out.

Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You. It’s important that you learn to check your ego at the door. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. You must identify your areas of strength and then hire those who are gifted in the areas where you are not. One thing I’ve learned is leadership will expose your insecurities.

Learn How To Let Go And Delegate. Once the person is on the team, you have to let things go. This is a lot easier said than done. However, it’s important that you learn to assign tasks to new team members and trust them to get it done. Clearly communicate your expectations, deadlines, and make yourself available to answer questions. It’s a process to get the communication piece down, but understand that most disagreements in the workplace are due to miscommunication.

Give New Team Members The Space And Grace To Make Mistakes. Your new team members will make mistakes. It’s part of the process. I have to remind my clients that they didn’t always get it right and neither will those on your team. If you create an environment where mistakes are handled properly, then you will have fewer incidents of team members who are afraid of taking a risk and/or who try to cover up mistakes when they are made. This is important for the continued growth and innovation of your business.

Fire Yourself As You Grow. Yep, that’s right. Understand that as a small business owner, growing and developing your dream team won’t happen overnight. There may be some hats that you have to wear for a while and that’s okay. However, keep in mind that as you continue to grow your business your goal is to fire yourself from the daily operations of your business and take your rightful place as CEO aka Chief Decision Maker.

 

 

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Dr. Nadia Brown’s Advice on Building a Successful Dream Team

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Stephanie Ready Becomes First Full-Time Female NBA Analyst

Stephanie-Ready

FOX Sports Southeast has announced that Stephanie Ready will be moving from sideline reporter for the Charlotte Hornets to game analyst, alongside Dell Curry and Eric Collins. While other women, including Ann Meyers and Nancy Lieberman, have served as occasional analysts for the NBA, Ready will be the league’s first full-time female analyst.

“I am thrilled – I’m over the moon with excitement,” she tells NBA.com. “When I was a coach and considered getting into television, this was the job that I wanted. This was the reason that I got into sports broadcasting, because I wanted to be a game analyst.”

[Related: Dwyane Wade Talks Brand Innovation and Product Development]

Ready grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and attended Coppin State University in Baltimore, where she played on the women’s basketball team and later helped with recruiting and coaching for the men’s team. Afterwards, she moved to the NBA Development League and worked as an assistant coach for the Greenville Groove in South Carolina, until the team folded.

After doing a bit of broadcasting and sending her tapes to ESPN, Ready received a call to broadcast for women’s sports. That work led her to eventually get into men’s sports and link with Bob Johnson’s new team in Charlotte, to do local reporting there. Working as a sideline reporter and host of Hornets Live, this will be Ready’s 12th season with Charlotte, except this time she will have a full-time seat at the analyst booth.

“Even though I’ve done it all these years – some college games and some NBA games on a fill-in basis – this will be the first time I get to focus primarily on the job that I love the most in television. I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.

 

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