Entrepreneurs are risk takers and problem solvers. That’s why amid hurricane alerts and the chaos of autumn beginning, dozens of people made it out to Emerge-Prenuer 2018, M-Lifestyle’s 3rd annual entrepreneur and business summit, this past Saturday, September 8, 2018.
For the third year in a row, M-Lifestyle curated an event geared towards helping self-starters become the very best versions of themselves. 2018’s theme was, “Prioritizing your Brand: The Millennial Blueprint.” During the opening remarks, delivered by Peter Olatuyi, M-Lifestyle’s CEO, he encouraged participants to leave the summit with more confidence in not only their potential to succeed, but also their current abilities; while stressing the importance of using their brand to create a lasting legacy.
With a list of prominent entrepreneurs to speak to participants and workshops on the bill, the summit started off strong with keynote speaker Andre Thornton. Thornton is the founder and CEO of Whitman Consulting. Strange as it may be, Thornton has a phrase above his sink that says, “Change lives by helping people reach their full potential.” This phrase sums up the mission of Emerge-Prenuer perfectly. Teamwork and guidance helps people better achieve their goals versus in isolation.
“What did you come to get out of this conference?” Thornton asked the crowd. Moments of silenced passed before an attendee spoke. “How do you go from planning to action? To stop yourself for being over analytical.”
Too often people get caught up in making goals and plans without ever seeing them come to fruition. This can be a major roadblock for entrepreneurs.
Thornton answer to the question was quite simple- sometimes you must do things you don’t feel like doing because that will force you to move forward.
“Tell everyone you are going to do something and put a date on it. Be reasonable though. With that kind of pressure you will have to take action and that will draw success.”
After Thornton spoke, there was a fireside chat with Yewande Austin and then breakout sessions occurred. The two sessions focused on the business of entrepreneurship by Aubrey Fountain and the art of creating and sharing your brand by Keisha Reynolds.
Both workshops helped give attendees the tools necessary to be successful in whatever their craft is, how to hone it and how to market it.
In the afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to visit on site vendors and take in rooftop views of the Graduate Hotel, while engaging in meaningful and guided networking exercises. Throughout the lunchtime session, aptly called “Networking and Nibbles” attendees could be seen exchanging contact information, commenting on the session and sharing details about their own business endeavors.
For the final session, a panel of three women, Samia Minnicks, Joi Donaldson and Dorrie Smith, all businesswomen who had transitioned from working traditional 9-5’s to starting their own businesses shared insight into the challenges and rewards of doing so. They were transparent, honest and quite forth-coming with the details of their pursuits. When asked about the delineation between personal time and work, Samia Minnicks responded: “There is no line. I’ve gone out with friends and brought my laptop and have been editing pictures right at the table. It never stops.” Fortunately, the panelists were just as forth coming with the rewards of entrepreneurship and small-business ownership- they presented balanced perspectives.
The event ended with presenting certificates of recognition to several Top 30 Under 40 honorees, as well as to the event’s speakers and presenters. Well after the event had ended connections were being made and friendships were being established on the beautiful rooftop of the hotel.
This year’s summit brought together entrepreneurs and business owners from various backgrounds, of all ethnicities and ages. M-Lifestyle looks forward to curating similar events in the future and will be bringing its Emerge Preneur summit to Washington D.C. in 2019.
By: Brianna N. Scott and Team M-Lifestyle
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