In May I won an advocacy award, interviewed Bozoma Saint John, celebrated Mother’s Day with a gift for Black Women, saw Beyoncé in Paris and managed to cross a couple of other things off my list too. I ended off the month by traveling around the globe, but here’s the details on what I got up to in between.
Spoke at the inaugural The Flex Summit in NY
I was honored to be invited to speak on an entrepreneurship panel at The Flex Summit, Flex-N-Fly’s first industry event. Designed to bring together people passionate about travel, wellness and entrepreneurship, the event gave attendees the opportunity to connect with industry experts, share their experiences and network.
Flex-N-Fly is family. Youmie Jean Francios is a member of Buy From A Black Woman, and I was so proud to see other members of BFABW participating in some way or another too.
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, especially for Black Women because of the challenges we face at every level, so we’ve been very international about building a supportive community. But I never get tired of seeing it in action though!
The Flex Summit Advocacy Award
In addition to speaking at the event, I also received an award. I wasn’t expecting it and had to hold back tears. The Flex Summit Advocacy Award was presented to me:
“In recognition of your tireless advocacy and unwavering support for Black women business owners. Your dedication to promoting economic empowerment and fostering community is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for all that you do."
And Flex-n-Fly also donated 50% of the proceeds from the summit to BFABW and another non-profit. I was so moved, but let me just say that Flex-n-Fly is what I mean when I talk about brand champions and partners who go all in.
Attended the International Leadership Summit in Orlando
I attended the International Leadership Summit this year for the first time and it was an experience I’ve never had before. In preparation for the event, I created a guide highlighting 19 Black Women Speaking At The International Leadership Summit and I got to meet quite a few of them.
I actually dusted off my media credentials for this (I used to work on radio), so interviewed Bozoma Saint John, Tamika Bass, Dr. Anita Philips and several other incredible Black Women. Subscribe to A Black Woman’s Podcast for more on this, and many thanks to the other Black Women who were part of the media crew, they made me feel like I belonged.
I’m not the typical demo for an event like this, but I can truly say I did not feel out of place or unwelcome. There was one woman who wanted to pray for me because my hair was purple and I was letting my tattoo sleeve show, but I let her know that I was in the same building as her, so either I was doing something right or she was doing something wrong. So if you’re ever hesitant about attending an event because of the audience, go anyway!
I did not run a half marathon this month
Running keeps me grounded and disciplined about my health, but sometimes I am forced to be still. Earlier in the month I hurt my toe and was told to take about two weeks off from putting un-normal pressure on it. Un-normal being training and running a half marathon. Being forced to be still is often something I use as a reminder that I am not seeing something that is right in front of me. I’ll share more after I am through this lesson on what I learned those two weeks.
Celebrated Mother’s Day in Atlanta
This Mother’s Day I did something a little bit different, I created A Mother’s Day Gift For Black Women Business Owners: What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business.
I was thinking about the criticisms and unrealistic expectations that made things tough for me when I first started out, and the things I’ve learned along the way that have made my journey as an entrepreneur easier. And this is information that Mothers who are entrepreneurs can always use (my goal was it to be useful beyond Mother's Day), so I hope they find it when they need it.
Traveled across the globe
I ended May with an around-the-globe 10-day field trip. Highlights include:
Dinner at the Eiffel Tower, which was an incredible experience. I definitely recommend it, but it gets busy so get your tickets in advance.
Seeing Beyoncé at her Paris stop. I’ve got more to share on this, watch this space!
Going to Disneyland Paris
And eating Korean BBQ in Korea
Got some books in
Lastly, I read 5 books:
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
The Urgent Life by Bozoma Saint John - and she was even kind enough to sign my copy when I spoke to her at the International Leadership Summit
The Great Reset by Alex Jones
Disruptive Thinking by TD Jakes
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
I have a monthly goal for books because it helps me stay on top of my personal and professional development goals. Plus I like reading.
This is most of what I got up to in May. How was May for you?