In recent decades the doors to the business world have slowly opened up to more and more women who can successfully compete in a historically male dominated field. Now, more women than ever before are becoming entrepreneurs and establishing their own brands.
Despite these promising advances, there is still some latent hesitation from cautionary women who lack the high profile role models that their male counterparts have. Velma Trayham, CEO of marketing firm ThinkZilla, recognises this issue and is actively doing something about it via her Millionaire Mastermind Gathering for women.
See what she had to say when asked about her efforts to empower female entrepreneurs:
The Millionaire Mastermind Gathering (MMG) was born out of a desire to change perceptions about female entrepreneurship by providing mentorship and role models for women to follow.
Do you feel that an issue like entrenched sexism is to blame for taking the limelight away from successful female entrepreneurs or is there another culprit?
I do not feel like that. I feel that many women have taken the back seats intentionally or simply because they have a traditional way of thinking.
I believe there is proper timing for everything. As a top marketing and business expert I’ve contributed to building hundreds of successful brands across the world. I believe now it is the time to come front and center, encouraging other women to embrace their success.
Spiritual faith has been mentioned as a part of MMG. To what extent has incorporating your faith helped the group in its goals?
Because faith is something we hope for but we do not see, by my experience all my success started with first hoping then the action to reach the thing we hope for comes next.
Faith plays a big part, because one must have faith that they can achieve their goals…faith without works is dead.
MMG acknowledges that many entrepreneurs give up when meeting resistance because they lack expertise and willpower. What are some ways in which you prepare entrepreneurs for these early challenges?
I was once a failure, in fact I failed many times in my early entrepreneur years, but I never gave up. Many people are conditioned to think that failure is horrible and that if they fail there is no more hope for them. The reality is failure is great, because from every failure you learn a great lesson.
One of the biggest ways I prepare entrepreneurs for these challenges is that they can simply learn from my past failures. I’m very successful and accomplished and not just another guru selling them a pipe dream.
I’ve been there and done it. Came from nothing to now being one of the top marketing firms in the US. I also pray with them and encourage them to pray.
Speaking to women who might attended the Gathering or pursue similar entrepreneurial support, what key advice would you give them?
To do their research on the person giving advice. Take action, do not allow fear, doubt or disbelief to keep them stuck. Invest in yourself and keep a positive mindset.
MMG talks about ‘rebuilding entrepreneurship’, what paradigms of entrepreneurship do you believe need to change to enable more women to succeed?
The main thing is changing the way that we think. Women need other successful women’s leadership and mentorship. I mean…everyone would like to have a seat with Oprah Winfrey or Michelle Obama but can that happen or will it happen? That’s a great question.
Well until it happens I am passionate about helping as many people as I can become successful entrepreneurs. You don’t know what you don’t know, and what they don’t know is what’s hurting the most. I mean take a look at all the reality shows that are full of garbage…what do we expect ?
Can you elaborate on what you call the “Single Overriding Objective” and how it helps women see their business on a larger scale?
The SOCO (Single Overriding Communication Objective) is created to describe a specific message. Many Entrepreneurs have no clue what problem their business is solving and can’t sum it up in 60 seconds are less. In order to do business on a larger scale, bid for government contracts and become certified as small business owners this is something very important that all entrepreneurs must know.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge in operating MMG so far?
I think the biggest challenge in the beginning was finding a great venue that would not charge an arm and a leg but thanks to Kela Taylor, Owner of The Marke Venue in Atlanta, Georgia sponsored her beautiful facility to aid in helping the women that come through The Mastermind Gathering.
What does the future hold for MMG and/or what would you like to see the group become in another 6 months?
I’m launching a Millionaire Mastermind business bootcamp; READY, SET, GO that provides hands on workshops for entrepreneurs at all stages. Those that need to get ready to start, their business, those that need to get set-up with branding and those that are ready to expand their market.
These reduced cost boot camps is sure to help thousands of people walk into their purpose. In another 6 months I see different chapters being birthed, and women coming from near and far to receive the resources. The Mastermind Bootcamp is presented by my ThinkZILLA Consulting Group team!