We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Brandi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr., do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote is, “An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” This Alexander the Great quote resonates with me because it’s all about leadership. Leadership is the single most important skill that an entrepreneur must have. Leadership is less about a title, and more about a person’s character. Entrepreneurship becomes exponentially easier once you develop your leadership character and skills.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. From the lemonade stand as a kid, to a dog walking service, a nail shop for my 8th grade friends, and a school-wide newsletter, I’ve always loved business. I launched my entrepreneurial journey after giving birth to my oldest child. She was born with some complications and no daycare center would take her. I asked my employer at the time if they could extend my leave, and they said no. After striving to be the best employee, they threw me away with one email rejection. So I was stuck with no choice but to use the skills I had to generate my own income. I started off doing professional development workshops for people who became unemployed due to the 2009 recession. I went from zero to serving over 1,500 professionals in 18 months and the rest is history.
Today, I’m the CEO of Millennial Ventures Holdings, a first that launches social impact brands in the media, HR, and diversity and inclusion space. The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is staying the course and remaining committed to your long-term goals. Nothing happens overnight and without resilience and laser-focus, and an unwavering commitment to your goal, you will surely quit.
I’d want everyone to know the importance of starting where you are. I to-date have not received any funding for any of my businesses. I tell people that I “flip-flop strapped” my business because I didn’t even have enough money to “boot-strap” it, lol. Start with what you have. Sell your vision, produce, or service, and figure the rest out as you go. Take the first step and the rest of the plan will be revealed to you. And finally, stay in the multitude of wise counsel. Keep a few very wise people around you who can support your efforts.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re headquartered in Philadelphia, so here’s what I’d recommend!
You must go to Ishkabibbles to get a Philly Cheesesteak on South Street
48th Street Grill for an amazing brunch
iMunch Cafe for lunch
Jamaican Jerk Hut for the BEST Caribbean eats
Spruce Street Harbor Park by the waterfront has great food, music, and entertainment for all ages.
The African American Museum is a must for cultural competence building.
The P4 Hub is an enclave for Black and Brown excellence that features over 10k square feet of space for professionals of color to build their skills, work, create, and commune.
The Rocky Statue and Steps
Taller Puertorriqueño for arts and culture events
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Organizational Development, and a PhD in Educational Leadership, and all of these degrees combined do not have even 10% of the wisdom that the Bible has. The Bible, which is a book of books, is surprisingly filled with wisdom about leadership, finances, building businesses, building your brand, developing a reputable character, having integrity, and giving back to others. Specifically the book of Proverbs, has been a catalyst to my entrepreneurial success.