Female Success Factor Tour Stops in Chicago

Thursday, 26 June 2008 17:38 Written by  Rashauna C. Hull

When Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the Grammy Award winning group TLC and actress Caryn Ward from the show "The Game" step foot on stage, they are usually applauded as they receive an award or began a magnificent performance. But on May 29 at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, they were praised for other accomplishments.

ImageRolling Out Urban Styles Weekly and CoverGirl Queen Collection presented the Female Success Factor tour, which gives aspiring and accomplished female African American entrepreneurs the chance to network and learn from some of the most recognized entrepreneurs including: Chilli and Ward; Necole Bitchie, Urban Blogger; Roni Jackson, managing partner for Commonground Marketing; and Faith Morris, advertising guru and owner of Owens Morris Communications.

Munson Steed, publisher of Rolling Out Urban Styles Weekly, kicked off the event with a dynamic speech about FOCUS––Future Opportunities Seeking Unseen Success. Each panelist engaged the crowd as they told their triumphant stories of how they reached success through entrepreneurship.

Seeking unseen success for Ward was being able to be an actress while touring the nation with her dance company Mystical Dance with Caryn Ward. Ward feels that it is important to be able to fulfill all of your dreams and not limit yourself to one thing.

But for Chilli, seeking unseen success was not an option. It was planted in her head at age nine by her teacher that her dreams of becoming a star were unrealistic. As a teenager who envisioned driving a Mercedes Benz, her stepfather told her that she would not ever be able to drive a car like that due to her economical status. She smiled as she told the audience how she paid for his daughter's wedding and furthermore how she is a superstar in spite of doubts from others.

Now Chilli has moved on to a new venture. She has her own line of bags called Bags By Chilli, which was inspired by her son. The bags can be purchased at www.bagsbychilli.com. She is also having a dance contest in support of her new single, "Dumb Dumb Dumb" off her debut solo album, due to hit stores in September. Chilli proves that it doesn't matter where you are from, but where you are going. "You know they say you are a product of your environment, I said, I don't know about
that," said Chilli.

While Chilli worked her way up to success, Bitchie went straight from intern at a local station in Detroit to the station's Assistant Marketing Director. Following such success, Bitchie thought she was ready to bite a piece out of the Big Apple. But her plans went sour because she did not have a solid plan, nor did she know how to market herself. It was a major fault that she stressed was important to becoming an entrepreneur. She had numerous doors from MTV to BET constantly slammed in her face, but when the door opened to become the next African American female Perez Hilton, Bitchie pushed right through and the rest is history.

"When I saw how much Perez Hilton made of ads that he received for his Blog site, I said you know what, I'm Necole Bitchie, I can do this," said Bitchie. Necolebitchie.com has become the fastest growing Black Blog site.

According to Jackson, using someone else's idea like Bitchie did for her entrepreneur project, is okay. "Jumping on to someone else's dream is okay as long as it's a part of yours," said Jackson.

Jackson told the audience that she took several career paths before realizing that her true passion was event execution. She left the audience with the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

"Opportunities exist. They are there for you if you are there for them," said Jackson.

Morris made it evident that where you plan to go with your career is very important. Morris, who took on several positions in her long-standing career, stressed to the audience the importance of networking with people that are going places and replacing 'I'm shy' with 'I'm a go getter.'

"I've never been smart enough to be scared. I've always taken risk," said Morris.

After years of working for several marketing agencies and firms including marketing empire Barrel, Morris decided to begin her own marketing agency in the early 2000s. Though her expertise in marketing helped her move into entrepreneurship, Morris believes that entrepreneurship should not begin after working several jobs.

The Female Success Factor Tour continued on throughout the month of June making stops in Baltimore, New York and Atlanta. To read about these women and to learn more about this tour, visit www.femalesuccessfactor.com or www.rollingout.com.

Rashauna C. Hull

Rashauna C. Hull

Rashauna C. Hull is Chicago native and a broadcast Journalism major at Columbia College Chicago. She has interned at several news stations including ABC News. She has also written for several publications including Boheme Verite and her school newspaper, The Columbia Chronicle. She is currently associated with Christi With an Eye PR and hopes to continue with public relations following college.

She can be reached at Editor@glossmagazineonline.com

Related items (by tag)