Vivian Olodun of Flourish Media Shares Secrets to Success

MIAMI – Flourish Media Conference (FMC) is celebrating its 3rd annual women’s conference and has partnered with Magic City Center and Thriver Lifestyle to bring more partnership and funding opportunities for women of color entrepreneurs and business owners.

This two-day conference on February 22-23, 2019, has grown bigger each year and continually works to close the gap and address the issues of income inequality, education and innovation as it relates to women of color businesses.

FMC’s social media reach numbered at over 1.6 million impressions in 2018 and continue to increase each year.

The South Florida Caribbean News Team  caught up with Vivian Olodun,  one of the three thought leaders behind this innovative conference geared towards women.

Vivian Olodun of Flourish Media Shares Secrets to Success

Vivian Olodun

Q: What is your backstory?

A: I have a fantastic relationship with money. I understand that money is our way of saying thank you for a job well-done. I knew that … even when I was being underpaid and stress out over paying back student loans to Sallie Mae, lol.

Before I ever thought of having a business, I wanted to work in US Foreign Affairs. I created a limited mindset, laser focussed on attending the right college and working at the right firm. My plan was simple: Build a career. Retire. Die. It seemed to work for everyone else, surely that was the right path for me.

Traditional career planning gave me the chance to work on fantastic projects with Disney Corporation, The Wall Street Journal, Miami International Airport, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate and the Miami Heat. My career put me in rooms with CEOs of major banks, high profile real estate professionals, and celebrities.

My dream was to work for the government and one day become a US Ambassador. Everything I did was designed to help me reach that goal.

When I graduated from college, the job I had been preparing for, no longer existed due to budget cuts during the recession. The rug had been pulled out from under me. I needed to find another way to use what I learned about human nature, behavioral patterns and cultural motivations.Making money is easy, it’s about solving a problem for your target market.

Building marketing campaigns for small business owners is my jam! I can see myself in them, pursuing a dream and it upsets me when their businesses fail because they don’t have the right resources or access. To date, I’ve been able to help over 200 small businesses understand money they way I do.

What I discovered from working with and for billion-dollar companies is that profitable business systems are transferable. It’s my pleasure to share proven techniques with my clients so that their businesses can flourish.

 

Q: What key startup or entrepreneurial philosophies do you adhere to or believe in?

A: People come first. I have the luxury to accept or deny clients. I don’t have to work with everyone, so I look for projects that add value to the people being serviced. I’m excited to partner with entrepreneurs who keep a positive outlook about the natural highs and lows in business. A fantastic organization is built by the hard work of fantastic people.

 

Q: When you started your company, were you faced with challenges being a female entrepreneur? If so, what are they?

A: Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone – male or female –  but I like to believe women are especially designed for it. Unique challenges that I had to overcome because I am female were gender norms that I adhered to consciously and subconsciously. I would find myself feeling internal pressure to be polite in situations where I needed to be assertive. I would get preoccupied with dress the part or putting on masculine behaviors, so other people would “take me seriously.”

That didn’t last long, thanks to my tribe of girl bosses who called me on it, lol. Building a tribe was and still is key to my entrepreneurial journey. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely path so having a support system who understands my vision is a must. 

 

Q: On accessing capital as females in a male-dominated investor pool—Your thoughts…

A: One of my investor partners for Flourish Media Conference once said that investing in women isn’t charity, it is just smart business. Statistically, when women receive funding they are 80% more likely to build a brand that will be profitable and in operation for 10 years or more. Women make most of the household purchase decisions in the US. Who better to create those services and products than women?

I believe investors want to see women flourish. I know investors want to see a return on their investment. I discovered the challenge is connecting willing investors with businesswomen at the right time in their development cycle. Not every business is attractive to investors. If more women knew what investors were looking for, they would rise to the occasion. It’s time to democratize the process in a way women can enjoy.

During the Flourish Media Conference, we take attendees through the investment cycle. Attendees leave knowing exactly what investors need to see because we have other business women who look just like them explain the process in their own words. We have professionals show attendees how to prepare for growth. Over the course of two days, attendees meet investors in a low-pressure fun environment, so they have the chance to ask questions without judgment. 

Q: What do you think are the biggest roadblocks for women in entrepreneurship/business?

A: Thanks to social media more women see other women thriving in business and entrepreneurship. Role models seem to be increasing in numbers, but access to real-life support is limited. Our lady leaders are working hard to build a legacy, and that doesn’t leave them much time to share their stories in a safe non-judgemental space. 

It’s not often that we hear a women business owners with a million dollar company freely say: “I didn’t know my idea was going work when I put my kids in daycare instead of staying at home with them as my husband wanted”, “I had to sell my car to pay for my first shipment of products”, or “I lived with my parents so I could afford to hire my first assistant.” Flourish Media Conference is a safe place to share those real-life stories so that aspiring entrepreneurs get the exciting yet unedited view of female entrepreneurship.

Q: What tools do you feel have impacted the way that women entrepreneurs work?

A: Women entrepreneurs are finding more freedom and opportunities thanks to technology. I love that women aren’t trying to fit into traditionally male roles to find success in business. Ladies can be feminine, kind, cooperative leaders in business and remain caring mothers, wives, and global citizens. We don’t have to choose between life and career, we can build our careers around our lives.

 

Q: Advice for other aspiring women entrepreneur.

A: If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, get a team. There are so many lessons to learn along the way. I find that I enjoy the journey because I have a strong support team.

Almost everyone I knew, worked for someone. Creating a business goes against everything I grew up seeing. My parents are first-generation Americans, US military veterans, and teachers. They believed in me, but they didn’t have any advice to give me about running a business. I had to go out and find mentors. Finding a group of like-minded people to bounce ideas makes all the difference for me. I highly recommend it.

 

Q: What is your top tip for work-life balance?

A: My team jokes that I work from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, lol. What I discovered about myself is that I have to travel to relax. Luckily for me, my inner circle also likes to travel, so we try to plan trips several times per year. If you don’t like to travel, consider scheduling “me time.” If you have more self-control than me: a staycation, spa day, or even dedicated time every week can help you balance.

 

Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

A: I don’t know everything, and that is okay. My commitment is to try my best, and when that’s not good enough, I hire someone who can do it better than me, lol. I used to think I needed to have all the answers. Now I know it’s better to know where to go and who to ask for help. New entrepreneurs often suffer from ego, control, and micromanaging. Once we grow out of that phrase and look at our industry leaders, most realize that she had help from a talented group of people to get there.

Q: Common misconception about women entrepreneurs.

A: To paraphrase Beyonce, “She is not bossy, she is just the boss.”

 

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