What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
As a consultant, I am the President and CEO of The Leading Niche, a global management consulting Firm. We have an international, corporate and federal government client portfolio. I pursued my entrepreneurial dreams after working for many years at a large consulting Firm. I decided that rather than work 16-20 hours a day for someone else, I could work for myself and build wealth for my family and my community. I appreciate my former employer; my career there built a skill set that I currently leverage for my Firm. Now, though, I am an employer and love every second of running my own business.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Honestly, it's been difficult to find a network of entrepreneurial mentors. In corporate America, I had so many, but finding successful people that truly want to mentor growing Firms has been somewhat of a challenge. However, I'm still looking, so if you know of any, let me know.
What is your proudest achievement?
The successful completion of a project in West Africa. In addition to deploying a US-based team, my Firm hired 6 people locally and integrated them into our highly international team. Our client survived the financial crisis there and was positioned for growth. After we left, those 6 individuals received offers from our financial services client, the local government and major national investment firms. My second major accomplishment was teaching my 19-month nephew his Easter speech last week ('Rejoice! Rejoice! He is risen'). While it might sound like baby talk to most, I understand his speech!
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I am inspired by legends unknown by most whom I meet everyday...the older woman who led a voters' registration drive in her community...the first generation graduate who started a non-profit focused on education...the 10-year old child who decided to raise money for cancer research. I am inspired by these heroes.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
First and foremost, I see myself married with children. I want to have balance in life where I have sold my company, moved onto the next series of business deals and helped mentor young aspiring entrepreneurs to grow their companies into multi-million dollar enterprises.
What is one thing you’ve learned from the CUP Fellows Program that you would pass along to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
Tell your story. It can be powerful and crucial in impacting your local community, the nation, and yes, even the entire world!