Written and edited Leilani Whitfield
Photos by: Ms. Digs
As Black women lead the nation as the fastest-growing minority group of entrepreneurs, they continue to defy the odds and show the world they’re more than just businesswomen. Black women are best-selling authors, TEDx speakers, magazine cover girls, and influencers who mentor and invest in the lives of the women coming behind them. They’re not afraid to share their faith and inviting others to have a seat at their tables.
Award-winning serial entrepreneur Dr. Ashley leads with vision and direction as she impacts the nations through entrepreneurship, media, community service, and philanthropy. As CEO/ Founder/Visionary Author of The HBCU Experience Movement, LLC Dr. Little conceived the idea to create the first Black-owned publishing company to launch books that are written and published by prominent alumni throughout the world who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As authors, they share a powerful collection of stories on how their unique college experience has molded them into the people they are today. Dr. Little’s goal is to change the narrative by sharing Black stories and investing financially into the lives of HBCU’s to increase funding and enrollment.
With a message of faith at the center of her brand, the media mogul and 14 times Best-selling author says consistency and building genuine relationships are the keys to success.
“I am a strong believer in giving back to my community. I believe our young adults need vision, direction, and strong mentorship,” Dr. Little tells Heart & Soul. The North Carolina native co-Founded Sweetheart Scholars, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to African American women throughout their four-year college experience.
Dr. Little sat down with Heart & Soul to discuss entrepreneurship, consistency and building genuine relationships.
Tell me about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset I started this walk years ago when I started my own tutoring company. Next, after writing my first book a couple of years ago it was the first time I was vulnerable and shared a lot of things I have encountered on my journey. Sharing my story opened a lot of doors for me and pushed me out into entrepreneurship full throttle. Since writing the first book I have created multiple successful businesses, written additional books, booked speaking opportunities nationally and internationally, and made powerful collaborations. I encourage people daily to share their stories because you never know whose life you are going to change or save. Sharing my story literally changed my life and created so many opportunities and blessings for me. I’m thankful for all the lessons and blessings I have encountered on my entrepreneurial journey. The process taught me to create my own legacy by building my own tables and reaching back to help others. I will continue to embrace every season of my life, understanding it is all a part of the journey.
What does consistency mean to you?
Consistency means that you will do it regardless – you will do it scared, on your bad day, on your good day, and staying the course. Doing the work is key. When I started my media platform “Creating your seat at the table” the key thing was being consistent every day and building genuine relationships with all of my amazing guests. I continued doing it to build my media platform. I’ve interviewed icons and guests such as Les Brown, Dr. Dennis Kimbro, Dr. George Fraser, Claire Sulmers, Raheem Devaughn, Mahisha Dellinger, and many more. I’ve interviewed many amazing people by doing the work, being consistent, and not being afraid. A lot of people want the accolades but they don’t want to put in the work, consistency is key.
What is your secret to building genuine relationships?
When you’re building genuine relationships you should always come with a servant mindset. The question you should always ask yourself is “How can I bring value to the other person?” It should never be “What can I get from this person, it should always be how can I add value to help this person expand what they are doing without expecting anything in return.” It has to be genuine because people know when you’re not genuine. Building genuine relationships have opened doors for me that a degree could never open. I have been in rooms and at tables that have literally blown my mind. Who you are connected to matters!! relationships are currency. Serving your way to the top is key if you want to be successful.
For more information on Dr. Little visit:
Facebook: Dr. Ashley Little