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Competition is dead. Collaboration is the new currency.
surround yourself with sistahs who refuse to doubt you.

A friend of mine who is a well-known thought leader on business growth strategies recently shared one of her biggest frustrations with me.  She said she was tired of seeing a lack of collaboration among women entrepreneurs of color.

She lauded some of the popular (non-Black) experts and solopreneurs and admired how they strategically support each other when it comes to promoting programs, books, events etc.  Because of their willingness to do so, they’re enjoying massive success and totally redefining what it means to be a woman entrepreneur today. 

“Why isn’t the same thing happening among black women experts and entrepreneurs?  How do we do better?  How can we support each other and help each other grow?” she wanted to know. 

So she posed the questions in a private facebook message to a dozen or so of the Black women in her network.  I was honored to be included among this impressive group of women.  Before long, everyone started to chime in.  Some were very upfront about the obstacles that make it difficult to create a culture of collaboration among us but most shared their optimism that indeed it could be done.

This got me to thinking.

I started to reflect on my own experience with Black women.  For some reason, I’ve always tried to create a sense of community among Black women.  As a teen I led social clubs and functions and now as an entrepreneur, mastermind groups are a huge part of my business. 

I’ve seen with my own eyes the magic that happens when sistahs collaborate rather than compete with one another.  When collaboration is the driving force in a community where the expectation and standard of excellence are high, women suddenly have the courage to do things they would NEVER do on their own.

One example is Priscilla Williams, a registered nurse who never saw herself as a business woman.  Now, she’s an author, speaker and the host of a women’s conference that is now in its second year.  She achieved all this in part because of the community she found in my Bold Fearless & Fabulous Mastermind.

Another great example is Adrienne Manson, a certified life coach who was having a tough time building her coaching practice.  Now she’s re-branding her business, getting bold about her message and excited to be getting paid to speak at various events this year.  She made it happen thanks in part to the Bold Money program I launched late last year. 

Then I think of my own story.  As a painfully shy girl from West Englewood in Chicago, it was hard to conceive that I would be a TV/radio host, speaker and successful entrepreneur.  Well with a lot of support from family and mentors I’ve exceeded my own expectations.  

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve connected with some downright gamechanging sistahs who showed me what’s really possible.  I thank Leesa Renee Hall, Tynisha Thompson, Brenda Rivas Gail Campbell, Varian Brandon, Michelle Brown-Dawson, Therese Prentice, Marshawn Evans, Nikki Woods and Adrienne Graham for setting powerful examples. 

Over the years we’ve shared ideas, strategies and encouragement.  A few of them have also given me a kick in the pants when my actions didn’t match up to my BIG vision.

This is just a partial list of the women who I look to.  I mention their names because I truly hope you look them up, learn about what they do and maybe even do  business with them.

In my opinion competition is dead.  Collaboration is the new currency.  This is one reason why I’m hosting a business retreat for women here in Puerto Rico this summer.

What about you.  How do you feel about competition vs. collaboration? Who are your collaboration partners?  Who helps you take your biz to a new level?  Do you agree that it’s time women of color do this more?  How would collaboration help you?

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality and a certified Income and Influence Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her OverFlow Women’s Business Retreat is being held in San Juan Puerto Rico June 9-12, 2015.

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