Last Saturday I had the opportunity to be in attendance at Incline Magazine’s workshop event for Entrepreneurs and anyone looking to expand their brand. I’ve known the magazine’s Chief Editor, Lynn Williams, for awhile, so, of course I jumped at the opportunity to be a vendor. Plus, I truly believe in the whole “Be Your Own Boss” mindset, especially in the black community. One of the most charming things about this event was it’s ability to connect everyone. We were all there to support each other and celebrate the accomplishments of others while trying to gain information to push our brands forward from people who have been around different industries for a number of years. All of that was accomplished and more throughout the course of the day and by the end, it was almost bittersweet, I felt like we could have used a couple more hours. That’s just how great the vibes were.
I’ll start with the things that I really liked and stuff that I thought worked well. Since I was there as a vendor and apart of the workshop, I feel like I had the best of both worlds.
On the vendor side, I literally do not have a single complaint anyways. When I got there I was warmly welcomed and escorted to my table to setup; the event staff was really nice and helpful. It was also easy to pick them out from the snazzy shirts. When a member of my team asked for a couple of chairs and some other miscellaneous items to help with our setup they were very proactive.
The music was live and fresh, not offensive in any way. I could tell that the DJ was making every effort to get people up and networking, still, everyone kind of just sat around for the most part and talked to the people at their table.
As the event progressed though, people soon abandoned their tables and moved around. It was during that time I was able to do most of my networking. Met some interesting people. I enjoyed that the keynote speakers were able to mix in with everyone else and, for the most part, mingled humbly.
I can honestly say that I liked the vibe around the room. Everyone was in good spirits, there was food, desserts, and an experienced mixologist. I didn’t know what to expect when I was mixed up a random drink from Libation Station, but, it was delicious! Event staff, like JosiahsWorld TV, was constantly seen with a smile as he moved around taking pictures and giving interviews.
Langston Carrier, of MobangMedia, introduced himself politely and looked around my table; I had the opportunity to share with him a little about what I do. There was one thing that he’d brought out during his lecture that will probably stick with me for years to come, “Business is black and white. It doesn’t care about whatever is happening to you, you’re sick? Can’t find anyone to watch the kids? That’s your problem, and people in business are concerned with, well, business.”
He may not have used those exact words, but, that was the gist of what he said. Still, it made me hold a mirror to my face. If I plan on being taken serious as a business woman, I would have to change not only the way that I view myself, but also how I manage my time and use of excuses.
A highlight for me was before I knew who she was, Day Edwards, owner of The Day Edwards Agency, actually approached me and wanted to talk about To Mend a Broken Heart. I enjoyed meeting her the most. She was approachable, modest, and had such a genuine Spirit. You don’t easily forget meeting people like her.
Alright, so of course, the largest room in the world is the one for improvement, and I think that as the workshop moves and grows it’s bound to get better. Right now it’s scheduled to hit three more cities over the course of the year.
I’m about to give you my humble, yet honest opinion. Now, there were parts of the actual workshop that were a little lackluster.
The hostess, Ja’Leah Davis, of Eyeconic Television, was absolutely stunning, equipped with an outgoing personality that got things off on a good foot. She transitioned each speaker smoothly and said things to keep the energy positive and open. However, she was the biggest bragger I’ve ever seen in my life. During her portion of the workshop, she made sure to give everyone a rundown of her many accolades and how she has this and that, I honestly grew exhausted of hearing her speak. It wasn’t so much that she had all of these things, but she failed at describing how they were accumulated. Listening to her was the equivalent of watching someone continuously pat themself on the back. Afterwards, I spoke with several other attendees who shared my sentiments. Did I mention she accidentally deleted her notes? So, maybe by default she just went into narcissistic-lecture mode. It was odd and unnecessary. Even still, we celebrated her self-love. Which is fine.
I don’t think Ms. Davis was a bad choice, but I do believe had she backed up her notes of concise thoughts, she would have delivered a more powerful segment.
Rappers Puntin and ESG were in the building. Although ESG was there as an attendee. I was intrigued by Puntin and a few things he said really stuck with me; he was honest and delivered his testimony in a relatable manner. I did have to step out for a moment because something else demanded my attention towards the end of his lecture, and I didn’t return until the Doing Far More female representative was finishing up. I heard later from a team member that they really enjoyed her pointers. The part that I did catch was just funny and I hate that I missed it.
Overall, I must say that I enjoyed it as both a vendor and audience member. There are moments where you could tell this was a first launch but once everything got into a good groove it was smooth sailing. I believe it’s a great steppingstone for all entry-level entrepreneurs. I say entry-level because I think there is an opportunity for different BO$$ UP Brand levels.
Like a Ruby, Gold, or Platinum Experience.
As it stands now, the brand is predominately for people who come with little to no experience, while people who have 7+ years are somewhat unfulfilled. But not in a bad way; it’s more of a feeling of wanting more, which can be a good thing depending on your perspective. The next step in the process is not only telling you what to do, but how to do it. So, essentially I say that because we’re all of different wavelengths in business, additionally, it would ultimately be nice to see this brand of workshops not only blossom but expand to reach those who may have their feet in the door already but could use more professional development.
I don’t want to reveal too much about the topics each speaker tackled, but I will say that for the most part it was delivered effectively with the intended outcome. I took home some pointers and things that I should begin working on over the coming months as I start expanding.
The event helped a young business owner who owns a home-based bakery by providing her with a portion of the proceeds collected from sales, and that moment was the most touching thing ever. Seeing her face light up when she found out she was the recipient was heartwarming and alone made me think about far along I’ve come on my own journey.
I think everyone who’s ever been in that situation–struggling with consistency, fighting to keep that same focus and love you started out with–felt that moment with her. It was touching.
If you missed the Houston launch, and you’re thinking about attending one of the other 3 stops on the tour, I recommend it. Definitely worth the money, even if you’re just going for the networking alone. A lot of work and preparation went into getting this together and it possesses a plethora of charm and positive energy. You will enjoy it.
Meanwhile, check out the Incline Magazine website for further updates on the upcoming tour dates, as well as catch up on interesting reads and other media entertainment.
BO$$ UP Atlanta is confirmed for September 29, 2018.