Sharon Beason is proof that sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of. After feeling like she didn’t fit in with her former colleagues in business, Beason created Womeneur, an entrepreneurship-focused site offering digital guides, coaching sessions, skill-building events, and resources to help female entrepreneurs succeed in business.
“With my prior businesses, I catered to a majority non-black demographic, and although people did tons of business with me, I never truly felt welcomed nor did I feel like I could ‘break bread’ with my colleagues; there was always that empty feeling,” said Beason. “So I knew I wanted to create a platform where people could feel welcomed.”
As life would have it, she did just that. In a little over a year, Womeneur has evolved from a mere website to a highly- engaged community of over 50,000 people, who have access to an abundance of tools and workshops across all facets of business such as legal, finances, social media, branding, and web development.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Beason to learn how she turned her vision into reality.
BlackEnterprise.com: Before starting your own business, where did you work?
Beason: Prior to Womeneur, I was working diligently in the corporate accounting world as an accounting supervisor – overseeing a staff of five, traveling like crazy and working my but off! I had an amazing career and learned a lot, but it began sucking my soul and enslaving me, so I quit in 2008 and never looked back.
When did you know you had a viable business idea?
It wasn’t until I began doing research that I started noticing ‘the crazy’ on small business owners and entrepreneur’s websites and social media channel, such as inactive accounts, horrible aesthetics, lack of engagement, business emails ending with @yahoo, @hotmail, etc. I said ‘wow’ I have a lot of knowledge that I can share and motivate people to get their mind right about what it takes to operate and grow a business successfully.
You recently launched the WomeneurCollecitive™, a spin-off to the Womeneur platform. What have been some of the points in your journey when you realized you had something special on your hands?
I received a number of direct messages, comments, and emails from the Womeneur tribe. They talked about how my social media channels and website kept them motivated. It was so surreal to me because I also recognized that I was impacting more than just their business; I was impacting their lives.
What have been the key components of building your career and how have those factors helped you carve your own path to success?
I always remained true to myself no matter what I did or what situation I was in. I work my butt off and do it even if I don’t feel like it. Building a solid network was key! But most importantly – cheering on the next person and holding their hand to the finish line, has made me realize how successful I became with business relations, audience relations and of course, it helped my bottom line.
What has been your biggest challenge in growing your business?
The greatest challenge is getting your mind right and keeping it right. I faced so many no’s, oppositions, lost bids/proposals. This can do a ‘number’ on your confidence and self-esteem. You have to get around the right people who uplift, learn, share and grow with each other and you’ll forever feel empowered, no matter what obstacles you’re facing. Choose your circle wisely – it absolutely will make or break you!
Can you share any career advice you heard as a young adult, but glad you didn’t follow?
That’s easy: stay in your lane. I was always told it in a round-about way and it’s so easy to believe people who imply you’re not good enough. Not only did I NOT stay in my lane, I freaking created my own and kept it moving!