National Small Business Expert
Black Enterprise Small Business University Instructor
The Process: Melinda Emerson is the go-to guru for all things small business related, but before she takes on her daily role as an adviser, she has a higher authority she reports to. “I pray before my feet hit the floor,” says the mom and entrepreneur. She believes faith is essential for any successful small business owner because, she says, sometimes you will be the only one who believes in your dream.
The Vision: Faith and trial and error are all part of Emerson’s path to her current path. “I’m not giving anyone advice that I have not taken. I’ve learned things the hard way,” she says. “My mission is to end small business failure. The things that I tell people not to do, I can say with confidence because I’ve done them myself.”
The ‘It’ Factor: Emerson says the thing that makes her different than other small business experts is that she’s authentic. “There’s a lot of hype out here–lots of wannabes and perpetrators. Your No. 1 job as an entrepreneur is to evolve,” says the author and frequent Tweeter (@SmallBizLady).
The Defining Moment: Before becoming a master content developer (producing blogs, books, articles, Tweets and podcasts) and a national small business expert, Emerson worked in television production. Her turning point came in the form of a dream. “I was called to do this,” she says. “I had a dream three times that I was supposed to become American’s number one small business expert. Once I got clear about my calling, it was amazing to see how mountains moved out of my way. The first publisher I ever talked to took on my book with no agent. I didn’t make much money on it at the time, but two years later, that book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works ($15.95; Adams Media), is still selling like it just came out. I’m grateful.”
The Life: Emerson maintains balance by exercising with a trainer twice a week, limiting her to-do list to five things each day, and turning off all business communication promptly at 7 p.m. “Big to-do lists just end up making you feel bad about yourself when you can’t get to everything,” says Emerson. “I turn the phone off because I seek to be in the present. When I’m with my son, I’m with my son. When I’m with my friends, I’m with my friends. You need limits and balance.”
Register now at blackenterprise.com/sbu to see weekly video courses from Emerson and other industry experts on how to build, grow and nurture your business. On top of that, you’ll have a chance to win more than $50,000 in prizes, including one-on-one consultations with successful entrepreneurs like Emerson, a small business makeover for your biz courtesy of Dell, and much more!
Visit blackenterprise.com/sbu for more details now!