Ladies, Be Inspired: 7 Steps to Upgrade Your Career

Take a cue from Southern Culture Artisan Food founder Erica Barrett

Erica Barrett, founder of Southern Culture Artisan Foods, left Corporate America to follow her dream of offering unique, organic breakfast food to the masses. (Image: Souther Culture)

It’s no secret that women tend to encounter more career and workplace barriers than men. Despite such unfavorable conditions, many women sacrifice and work hard every day to blaze trails of success. One business woman who has overcome the odds of failure by attaining true success is Clark Atlanta University graduate, Erica Barrett.

After winning a recipe contest, 30 year-old Barrett resigned from her position in Corporate America to pursue her dreams of building a profitable business. By following her passion, she’s now owner of an Atlanta-based innovative food company called Southern Culture Artisan Foods. Southern Culture specializes in using organic and vegan-friendly ingredients to create tasty breakfast products such as, Sweet Potato, Banana Pudding, and Strawberry Shortcake pancakes. These popular products can be found in Whole Foods and other major grocery retailers across the country.

Since the food industry is dominated by men, Barrett’s chief obstacle was trying to gain the respect of key decision makers so she could be taken seriously. After much resistance and hard work, Barrett has achieved unprecedented accomplishments. She stated that much of her success is because she immersed herself in Black Enterprise magazines as a high school student.

And years later it’s Barretts’ turn to empower the ladies. Below are top career-enhancing tips she wanted to share with BlackEnterprise.com for women who are ready to make boss moves:

Be focused: You need to ensure that you have a very narrow focus on your vision. You can’t let anything stop you or reduce your focus. If there’s a line of football players in your way, you have to be prepared to run straight through them to score the game winning touchdown for your career!

Be connected: You have to connect with professionals who have been in your shoes before. It’s also vital that you build a stellar team of mentors because they can connect you with some of their top resources. It’s all a numbers game. The more people you’re connected to, the better your chances are of attaining your “big yes!”

Be determined: You must realize that you’re going to hear “no” a whole lot as you’re pursuing your goals. But, one “big yes” will make up for all of the “no’s.” Don’t quit because your “big yes” is on the way!

Be resilient: You will often be the only woman in the room and some men will try to discourage you from attempting to advance your career. But you have to push these distractions to the side and keep climbing up the ladder of success. You may not get to the top as quickly as you’d like to, but you have to be tough and keep climbing!

Be action-oriented: You should write down your goals and dreams so you can see them. Then bring those words to life by taking strong action steps toward them every day. Just watch and see how much you accomplish in a few months—you’re going to be amazed!

Be spiritual: If you have a spiritual foundation, don’t ever stray away from this. Always be comfortable in your skin and use your spiritual basis to minimize your stress levels!

You can connect with Barrett on Twitter @SoCuFoods.

Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.

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