Building Bridges, Opening Doors
I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with the multi-talented Gravity Speakers Exclusive, Shontavia Johnson, whose company LVRG is helping empower female entrepreneurs in a way that is both impactful and highly needed. It never ceases to amaze me when I meet the founders of companies and hear their stories. You can see how these trailblazers use their own experience to create opportunities for others who come from similar places.
Shontavia’s journey through law school and then entrepreneurship as a woman of color was one that was far from easy. She cut her own path in a male-dominated industry and what she brought with her was a new perspective but she didn’t stop there. She turned around and helped pave the way for others helping to increase diversity in industries and organizations. Some people are willing to go it alone where there is no trail and in doing this they create inroads for others. Her thoughtfulness and positive energy are infectious and she is just getting started. Though you may know her for her work in the legal field dissecting and providing commentary about intellectual property rights, or even her TEDxtalk about pop culture and memes and how they impact society, her real passion is helping other women entrepreneurs succeed, which is why she founded LVRG.
Women’s ownership of established businesses grew by 8% – State of Women Entrepreneurs
Female entrepreneurs are making their presence felt across countless industries. In a business world that is on fire with emerging technology and constant change, organizations are scrambling to find ways to survive and innovate. What is missing for most is the female perspective on business and entrepreneurship. Women have been fighting for equality for a long time, but women are more than equal, they are different, and those differences are an advantage. Shontavia is helping women realize that they can and should be entrepreneurs whilst providing them the guidance and tools to turn that into a reality. She is helping them find and embrace their unique values and contributions not based on conformity but individuality. This not only opens doors for diversity, but it also builds bridges for new expressions and innovation to enter the marketplace.
Empowering Action Through Support
“Don’t just stand for the success of other women – insist on it.” – Gail Blanke
Action is not an individual’s sole responsibility. Even though the choice to take action resides in individuals, the barriers of action are often impacted by environment. Some people have huge barriers to overcome and having a trail and a role model or mentor can dramatically empower them to take action. Shontavia provides support and guidance to help female entrepreneurs find their beliefs, get clarity on their ideas, and know they are not alone in the process. This provides one of the most needed factors for success — validation. The toughest part of being an entrepreneur is not knowing if you are doing what is needed to succeed.
External factors drive internal success. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he talks about all the unseen factors that were present to help some of the most successful people succeed. Success is not just about ideas or talent. Environments of support can augment outcomes and accelerate success. In the same way doctors are understanding health more holistically, and businesses are examining the whole customer experience, Shontavia helps entrepreneurs broaden their view so they can see the actions needed to get started.
The Power of Planning
“Failure to prepare is preparation for failure” – Benjamin Franklin
The more you plan the less talent you will need. So many people fail to start because they think they are not good enough, not worthy enough, or don’t have enough talent to succeed. Negative self-talk and negative environmental messaging stop many female entrepreneurs from getting started. The thing about success is, great planning beats great talent. Success is not an individual struggle. Planning and support can almost guarantee success. Once Shontavia helps a person get clarity on their vision, goals, and business she then helps set clear plans to ensure positive outcomes.
The Future is Female
In a world of innovation, the big question is… what is the next differentiator? There have been big strides made in getting more women into tech, business leadership, and entrepreneurship. The world is booming with technology but people are the ultimate creators that will drive change in the future. What will happen when the huge untapped female segment of society enters the marketplace? The footprint they make will be substantial and the value generated will change the marketplace forever. Innovation is fairly simple, we can look at where the marketplace is now and know we need something outside of the norm, something new. Diversity in thought, diversity in perspective, and diversity in leadership will all introduce new ways of doing business. It’s not hard to imagine the impact a new wave of female entrepreneurs will have on the world. Shontavia Johnson is helping make that happen. Book her to speak at your next event.