Successful Women Entrepreneurs Share the Business Rules They Didn’t Follow

Incredibly inspiring women reveal their secrets to success

Latham Thomas

In business, there are those who follow traditional rules for success—and those who prefer to reject them outright, trust their instincts, and forge their own career path. In a nod to this past Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (November 19), Black Enterprise caught up with a couple of trailblazers to learn about the career advice they didn’t follow and a few secrets to their success.

[RELATED: Celebrate International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day]

Latham Thomas is a celebrity wellness/lifestyle maven and the founder of Mama Glow, a lifestyle brand and website offering inspiration, education, and holistic services for expectant and new ‘mamas.’ For over 10 years, she’s served as a doula and lifestyle guru for celebrity clients including Alicia Keys, Rebecca Minkoff, Tamera Mowry, Venus and Serena Williams, and more.

The traditional career or business rule you’re glad you didn’t follow.
Thomas: I’m not even sure what traditional business advice consists of because I created my own path and blazed a trail that I am still following. I didn’t craft an airtight formal business plan or even really evaluate the traditional business metrics prior to diving into business with Mama Glow. I think in some instances a healthy dose of naiveté helps to jumpstart you along your course before you have time to start second-guessing yourself and whether you’re capable of such a feat. I saw a need and was called to do this work. I’m glad I didn’t wait for the “right moment” to start. It was and has been a learning process the entire journey.

When you first started in the business, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Thomas: I am a single mom raising a son in NYC and growing a business in tandem. There are always so many balls in the air when you’re an entrepreneur and the biggest challenge for me was and still is “time management.” I have learned the value of my time and the necessity of delegating tasks and surrounding myself with a trustworthy and exceptional support team. I come from a legacy of women who do it all and take care of everyone, so rewiring myself to create more space for brilliance was key.

Many trailblazers find themselves making their own rules. What rules or guiding principles have you defined for yourself?
Thomas: I am risk-friendly when it comes to business, which is why I’ve seen an arc of growth. The universe rewards courage. I’ve put my imprint on everything I do, always elegant and inspired. I tell the truth and share my story and my work to inspire and help others. And thankfully the work we do at Mama Glow is changing the world, one womb at a time.

Karen Mitchell

Karen Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur, operating five brick-and-mortar businesses including True Indian Hair (three locations throughout New York), the Brooklyn Wine Yard,and a wine and spirits store.

The traditional career or business rule you’re glad you didn’t follow.
Mitchell: I did not follow the rule of writing a professional business plan or getting one written for any of my businesses. I kept a journal of what I wanted to achieve and the resources I would need to get there, but I have never written an extensive business plan, which in itself can sometimes take weeks/months to formulate. I used that time to execute my dreams and I’ve never regretted it.

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