I was accepted into and recently Graduated from the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women in Business!!!! This experience has left me in total awe. As I begin working in the paradigm shift and applying the lessons learned, my business has already seen a 30% increase. Let me be the first to tell you, the program was tough and there was no handholding. We had to do the work or we could actually fail. What I loved most was the dedication to the success of not only the program, but to black women and keeping our businesses flourishing. Thank you so much.
The care, organization, and detail that was taken to put a program of this magnitude together was truly impressive. The meticulous care to ensure the black women in this program felt like honored guests was evident from beginning to end. From the travel arrangements to New Your, to the immaculate and plush logging at the Marriott, to the delectable food and snacks that was provided to us, shows no stone was left unturned.
Let’s not forget the grueling intense and immersive business education that we endured to make it to the end. Just sitting back and watching the love, passion and dedicated to the success of black women owned business had me smiling from ear to ear on so many days. If there were hiccups, the teams did not let us see them sweat. I hoped to have a team this strong that are willing to climb mountains and soar beyond site with Rise of Dark Dawn.
They Meant Business
The Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women in Business was not an easy program. It was an intense, rigid, no playing, no time wasted, check your feelings at the door, organized, thoughtful, loving, motivating, empowering, uplifting, and truly life experienced program. This program was thought out and planned to perfection, in my eyes. The standing meetings times allowed me to schedule clients around the sessions. My heart went out to the ladies that still had fulltime jobs that are also standing times, but made it happen some how. Salut to you ladies.
Sheronde was the best business advisor (BA) ever. She took the time to research and understand each of our businesses to better understand how and where we needed help and to ensure she was an effective BA. Her cheerleading, deep breathing, release the negative & breath in the positive affirmations, has impacted & changed our approach when starting our days. I find myself on many occasions closing my eyes and telling myself to just breath when I feel my anxiety rising. Many people don’t realize I suffer from anxiety but now I get through it a lot better than before. Thank you Sheronde keeping us calm and grounded on this journey through the program. It is bittersweet to have to let go and fly on my own. Knowing we have become friends eases me.
Melissa and Mani @1863Venture taught us so many invaluable lessons. Although the program was condensed and intense, they manage to teach aggressively but the love and pure unadulterated honesty. It was the unadulterated honesty that stung a lot of us. LOL Not to sound sadistic, I love just having the band aide ripped of and someone to just tell it like it is so we can keep going. Save the fluff. LOL. They made themselves available for after class one on ones for clarity. They both had the most awesome sense of humor. Wendy also came through with side Q & A sessions to ensure we were all on the same page.
Saudia kept everyone on their toes and kept the machine well-oiled to keep the process moving. Saudia and Art gave me some hard lessons in a funding class once. I wanted to just be a fly on a wall and listen and learn about obtaining funding for businesses. Saudia said, “you can’t enter a room a not speak”. My inner woman screamed in fear but my outer armor stood firm. Then Art said, “if you needed funding what would it be for”? OMG! I won’t bore you readers with what I said but it went left. I saw Saudia shift in her chair but then Art went in on me, and when he finished Saudia jumped in to finish me off. All the while my inner woman is frozen from shock, not able to cry or scream (I just wanted to be nosy was all I was thinking). My out armor stood firm with a plastic smile on my face. LOL. The details are way to massive for this post. I think some skin came off with that band aide. I think I saw some white meat too. LOLOL I was up 2.5 nights straight, with only a few hours sleep, crunching those numbers. I had to put what they said to paper so I could see. God has a way of placing exactly where you need to be unexpectedly. Believe me when I say, I LEARNED THAT DAY. Thank you.
Tough Love, Discipline, & No Woman Left Behind
This program was truly a no nonsense get your mind right and focus kind of program. But never once did anyone feel left behind nor get left behind. The black women within all the groups became each other’s biggest supporters, by pulling out the old pom poms and cheerleading each other on, by pushing each other to new levels, or offering study sessions with each. Despite the negativity that surrounds black women getting along, we showed up and showed out to shatter that negative thought into pieces.
Although the program was rigid and condensed, with a plethora of information to learn, the teams at 1863 Venture and Goldman Sachs, along with our business advisors & mentors, rallied behind us to keep cheering us on, as well as, made themselves available to provide additional support. They created a positive environment of empowerment, success, and the world is our oyster. What more could anyone ask for?
My Business Is My Textbook
I loved that this program used our actual businesses and not a textbook to go through the lessons, to submit our homework on and to teach us HOW to read and comprehend the inner workings of our business. This allowed me to see into what is truly happening in my business and understand where I am trying to go with it. Being able to ask professionals those burning questions of who, what, when, & why and get honest, sometimes brutally raw, answers made me take a step back to not only see the whole, but the smaller intertwined network of happenings. This is what made the program so real.
The Woman in The Mirror
What I learned was eye opening and shocking. I saw ways in which I sabotaged myself, made poor decisions and what I was doing right. This program stripped my business naked and in exposing the woman in the mirror made me cry, laugh, shake my head, cry again, laugh again, then get up and move to begin the paradigm shift I needed to make to jump start my growth again. There were wheels within my business that had ceased to run or ran slowly which caused the whole unit, that depends on those wheels to keep it turning, to begin to slow down. Seeing those wheels, and the sections of my business they touched, allowed me to see the kind(s) of paradigm shifts I needed to make.
Being vulnerable was not easy but was needed in order for growth and movement to take place again. No one ever really want someone looking under their hood or in their closest, for who knows what a stranger may see and begin to think about you. I can say, there was no judgement, no disrespect and all direction came from places of, “now that we see what’s under the hood, let’s get this machine running right”. I have been humbled and blessed. My Video displays that.
Bringing The Pieces Together
Having a team @1863 Venture (Melissa, Mani, Saudia, Wendy Just to name a few) lay out the puzzles pieces in a way for me to see how to bring them together to form MY cohesive whole. The emotional support and check-ups, opportunities to express how we were feeling and just access to professionals for all areas of my business was truly my exhale moment.
@GoldmanSachs and 1863Venture did us black women right. They spoke safety, power, strength, wisdom, and the importance of self-care into our lives. Being able to walk among these powerhouse companies brought me to tears on several occasions. “Is this real, am I really here”, is what I would ask myself. Then I wake from my daydream to Saudi’s voice, “If you want to graduate, make sure your homework is in, you are showing up for all meetings with your video on….”. I then realize oh yeah this is happing and began checking my list twice to ensure I’m compliant. LOL. Thank you Saudi, for ripping that band aide off from time to time. LOL
What is fabulous is throughout our meetings Goldman Sachs utilized snack and food products from previous businesses in their programs. How awesome was that?! It was nice to see a company walking the walk in keeping the support of the Alumni going. I was taste testing everything….to show my support too. LOL. Now, that I have graduated, I too became an Alumni and I’m excited just to be part of this special group of elite woman and men.
Speaking of connections, I was asked to be a table lead for discussions with a Goldman Sachs Executive during breakfast. Mine was Mark Mulhern and it was a pleasure to speak with such an established person. His energy was invigorating and excitement for the program so heart warming. We too will be keeping up with each other. I will bug him to no end in 2023 SSHHH! You didn’t hear that from me. LOL
Sister’s City Project
Thank you, Sister’s City Project, for posting the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women program. It has truly changed my life in more ways than you can image. Sister’s City Project is, “an inclusive Ecosystem HUB designed to connect black women to resources to grow their business and close the Racial Wealth Gap”.