As a teenager, I was expose to meeting at least 10 new people per day. Out of those 10 new people per day I begin to see at least 3 of those same people every 4 to 6 weeks. While most of my friends went to college and begin to create college experiences among a network of students. I was creating a clientele base that some professionals call a “book of business”. However, it took me a long time understand what my relationship building skills was doing for me.
I knew political figures before they were figures. They were people with dreams. People with vision that wanted to 1st change circumstances for their family and second, impact the community. Luckily, I was connected to them and I was apart of the community.
I was a confident teenager maybe over-confident if there is such a thing. But one thing is for sure I had seen everything that I did not want and that help me to believe in myself. I took personal responsibility in creating the life that I want to live. That led to being around the best of the best and with that came opportunities. And you welcome to read about that in my linkedin BIO https://www.linkedin.com/in/shalita-kirksey-hunter-780471a/ I want to share with you one of the most primal experiences that change the trajectory of my career.
I was completely green (ignorant) to a lot. However, by age 26, I was running a full functional, fully staff, six chair, two nail tech, two massage therapist beauty/retail salon. I didn’t know much about business legal structure, benefits of business partners and sure as hell did know anything about government and what titles were main servers in local state government. That ignorance extended my learning curve. Like, when I was introduce to the City Manager, I had no idea of the impact that building a relationship with her would give me a red carpet experience in local government.
On a normal day I was doing what I love to do. Creating! Coming up with ideas and ways to impact the community. I put these ideas in writing and tested the market. Sent it out to a few people, with city manger being one of them. The downside of my mindset at this time is that I could not see past what I did not have control over. To a certain extent, I did not value what other people specialized in. I had no mentors, no coaches. I was an island and that hurt me. By what I had already accomplished, people assume me successful and knowledgeable. I did not like that. Yes, my company had been in national publications, we were organically #1 on google. I had an international client base. However, I wanted to evolve.
The City Manger was impressed with my ideas and immediately put me on the red carpet to introductions that I now know does not usually work in that order. I got a VIP appointment with Ben and his assistant at the Minority Business Enterprise and they held my hand through the process of my business certification. Within weeks, I was notified of an meeting with a decision maker that was being set for me. She was CEO of a local state agency. I did not know what to expect. I was not prep. I did not know the usual (I wish someone would have said something). Ben walked me right into the meeting that day. I still remember the huge desk. This was not an interview. She was ready to incorporate me in the city plans and in their budget. The only thing I heard was that this would not my own dog and pony show. She said that their was already a similar program in place that would love to have me on as a collaborator. This would have been a joint venture for my company. Without thought or reasoning I said no. I had a picture painted in my head and her words were not lining up. Looking back, it was the stupidest decision ever. This would have opened the door to many other opportunities, to other people in corporate business, new learning experiences, to government contracting, to income diversification. But it was done I had spoke too soon. My mind was not open. Pitiful me! And poor Ben, he must have been embarrassed.
For this experience is why I have a team of experts helping me create a 60 day turnaround investment program for Transitioning Career Women called Position Me! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/112121913662 . To conclude, I’m convinced that the best way to learn is from others mistakes. And the best way to grow is through collaboration, the best way to evolve is thru accountability. Today, I work as an Investment Broker/ Economic Consultant of The Millionaire Portfolio Group LLC an organization that I found 5 years ago when I was problem solving in the community. http://client.themillionaireportfoliogroup.com