Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Antoinetta Mosley, Founder of I Follow the Leader, LLC., located in Durham, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I Follow the Leader is a strategic consulting firm specializing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy, Initiatives, and Education. Since being founded in 2016, I Follow the Leader has engaged thousands of professionals on DEI-related topics. Our consultants (we call them Leaders) work with a wide array of stakeholders across small businesses, nonprofits, universities, and large enterprises. Our vision is for every member of the global workforce to feel a sense of belonging and have an equal opportunity to lead, thrive, and reach their highest potential. Our slogan is, Don't DIY your DEI. It's time for organizations to take strategic, measurable, and sustainable action to create cultures of belonging. Leaders have a responsibility to.
Tell us about yourself
I founded I Follow the Leader after discussing the lack of diversity in leadership positions and leadership content. I wanted to create a space where those different feathers could soar together. After winning the best project paper in graduate school for my research on "Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership: Overcoming Barriers," I began speaking on the subject and helping to educate organizations.
I am a courageous curator. I help people reach their highest potential by teaching them the power of consistently cultivating courage. I believe every person DESERVES to have an equal opportunity to lead, thrive, and have their voice heard in every environment they enter and table they sit. Yes, even those in historically underrepresented and marginalized categories. The desire to see more people celebrated versus tolerated and spaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive drives me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The impact I Follow the Leader has had on individuals and organizations through our engagements. Building and leading a business that has the culture and values I desired earlier in my career is extremely rewarding. It's so beautiful to be in an environment in which people can feel celebrated, not tolerated. While the majority of our team consists of independent contractors, we still take the time to allow opportunities for relationship-building and connection. We do not just talk about leadership and DEI. We live out our values in a way that provides an example to our clients and partners.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balancing personal and professional life in a way that is healthy and rewarding. As a high-achiever, investing the time it takes to be successful in business is not difficult for me. However, the opportunity cost can be high. I have done a much better job in 2022 at finding a balance that benefits me. However, it will always be a challenge, especially when the majority of people in the population are not business owners. It can be difficult to explain my schedule, priorities, or why I have not gotten to an email yet.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never stop learning. Some of my best "mentors" have been books
being a voracious reader means you are ever learning and growing.
- When you can have the courage to be unapologetically authentic, you will attract the right clients/partners.
- Strive to "under promise, over deliver."
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I would love for readers to learn about my community text phone number. To fully embrace courage, we must first understand the competencies of courage. I send out a text Monday-Friday called "courage candy" for those who want to consistently make courageous choices. Text 919-647-7450 to join the Caring Courageous Text Community.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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