We had the good fortune of connecting with Lena Fuller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lena, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting the business was directly related to the legacy that I want to leave my son and family. I always knew I wanted to start my own business. Since he is my only child, it was important for me to be able to build a business from the ground up to show him that success is possible with hard work and dedication. The second thought behind the business was to be able to use my experience in cybersecurity to position other minorities and women like myself into tech and to change the wealth gap within my community and in others. While I was working in Washington, D.C. on several highly visible contracts within the intelligence community, it became quickly evident to see the lack or representation in cybersecurity among women and minorities in general. Hearing men that were of a Caucasian background openly discuss around me, that “black” people are not smart enough to get into tech also drove me to want to create BestLink. Being able to impact my community and my family while being able to create a life in which I have the freedom to enjoy my family, was always the goal and vision and all I needed to create BestLink Strategies, LLC.

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?
BestLink Strategies, LLC was created October 2019 and is a cybersecurity government contracting firm. In addition, we implement cybersecurity training workshops for aspiring and working cybersecurity professionals.

BestLink Strategies, LLC (BLS) is a minority and woman owned small business created to supplement and enhance the cybersecurity needs of professional organizations. We provide effective knowledge and skillsets to those who
aspire into entering the field of cybersecurity, inculcating and enhancing the mobility for those who wish to seek change. BLS is committed to providing our customers with a reliable and robust service that adds value and encourages them to make us their primary source for cybersecurity, enterprise IT solutions, IT management, training,
and staffing augmentation services. With a range of expertise, our team is dedicated to enable our clients to
achieve an integrated technical and business lifecycle that improves their business operations.

We are most proud for our innovation during the pandemic. I have a lot of experience in utilizing and streamlining processes in the IT community so I had to think about implementing that within my business. We observed a lot of businesses in a financial bind and we were having hard time securing government contracts due to the current state of the world at that time. This allowed for my partner and I to really sit back and get creative and innovative on how to implement our business. That is when our cybersecuirty workshop was created. We knew with the world going virtual that we needed to find a way to make an impact not only in our immediate area but across the globe. Our 100% remote and Cybersecurity Workshop with COMPTIA Security + came to life in 2021 and ever since we have instructed students around the world.

What sets us apart is our holistic approach at cultivating our students for success by providing hands-on guidance for both the job preparation process as well as the employment process. We pride ourselves in spending quality time with each student to ensure they are 100 percent prepared to seek out cybersecurity positions and for the interview process. Our students know they have direct access to resources provided by my team to ensure their success in getting into the field the best way possible after completing our program.

Our pass rate is 100 percent to date and we have funneled over well over 50+ (mostly minority men and women) students into the field of cybersecurity and have collectively helped our graduates secure over half a million dollars in salaries since 2021! We are so honored and proud to see students who have come from all walks of life with no prior tech or cyber experience excel in the field after training through our program.

Some lessons we learned along the way have been more so driven on how to create the best experience for our students. We understand that everyone comes from different backgrounds and have different experiences and learning styles, which motivated us to create a conducive learning environment for all levels of knowledge. Overall, my partner and I want the world to know that BestLink not only produces skilled cyber analysts but that our priority will always be proving what we say we will accomplish by our actions. To know we still have students personally texting us to thank us for the opportunity is enough for me to feel fulfilled and to keep pushing.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live near Virginia Beach, VA so I most likely will take my friend up to DC if she wanted to really have a experience. If my friend wanted to stay local we would most likely do a lot of outdoor activities such as wakeboarding, hiking definitely eating and just overall relax. My life can be hectic so when I have the opportunity to not really have a schedule it would be super flexible.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The first person I will always shout out is my son Byren. Being a single mother has taught me more lessons in life than anything else but the most important lesson has been perseverance and never giving up. I want to be able to demonstrate to my son that when you work hard and never quit you get results. Although, results may not always be in your favor – you never know if you don’t try. I always tell my son “the other side of fear is himself”. Knowing that my son is able to witness me build this company gives me the pride to know I am setting a good example for him, especially as a woman.

My family also deserves credit. My parents spent countless hours watching my son so I could further my education in this field and constantly provided me with words of encouragement to keep me motivated to push forward, especially when I felt like quitting. Their constant support has been paramount to my success. My parents both came from nothing and worked their way to success. They have shown me the world, living in different countries and I thank them for encouraging me to always step outside of the comfort box and continue to challenge myself. I like to say I get “uncomfortable being comfortable” when it comes to my goals. The wisdom that both of my parents have instilled in me and the work ethic they both have demonstrated to me has allowed me to move like I do.

Lastly, I want to give credit to the other half of BestLink Strategies, my business partner Nate. We met while working on a contract together that was challenging to say the least. Working along side Nate has been a blessing in the sense that I have someone who essentially thinks the same way I do, if not better. Knowing we have the ability to effectively communicate and grow our business has been our biggest achievement yet! Nate was the driving force behind our cybersecurity workshops and I am forever grateful for how he has helped carry the company to new levels with me.

Website: www.bestlinkstrategies.com

Instagram: business @bestlinkstrategies CEO @le_mishael

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bestlinkstrategies/

Twitter: @BestLinkLLC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BestLinkStrategies

Other: Intake form to inquire about our Cybersecurity Workshops and Certifications: https://tinyurl.com/BLSIntake

Image Credits
Photographers : Dexter Cohen owner of @dexterdcoheniei Jasmine Walker owner of @j.lorrainephotography

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