Lenise Williams has paved the way for mothers in the business world by creating her own world surrounded by her many businesses. By my standards, she has always been ‘The Original Mompreneur’. A savvy business woman, lawyer, entrepreneur, and branding strategist, she has plenty of gems to share with you. I hope that you not only enjoy this interview with this modern maven but also gain a wealth of knowledge in what it truly takes to develop your own brand. By chance you don’t, hire her and I promise you, she will get you together!
Black Moms Blog: Hi Lenise! Thank you joining us at Black Moms Blog. You wear so many hats I do not even know where to start. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Lenise Williams: Thank you for having me! I am a brand attorney and consultant. I help female entrepreneurs earn more money in their businesses. I also help them legally protect it through trademark, copyright, proper legal agreements and more. I have worked with businesses as large as Home Depot to businesses with just one person. I am very passionate about entrepreneurship and am invited to speak on the subject quite often. I also own and operate a business radio studio, Cobb Business Radio X, where I interview women leaders in the business community. In addition I am the CEO of Girl Biz Academy, a business school for savvy female entrepreneurs.
BMB: I have heard you speak briefly years ago about what has propelled you into your journey of being where you are now from being unemployed and finding yourself a newly single mother of two. What was the process of that journey and what made you take the step towards being your own boss?
LW: The journey was long. It was definitely a process. Initially when I was unemployed I had one son. He was the catalyst that pushed me to work for myself. It was right after Hurricane Katrina and I was living in Louisiana. I decided to put my legal services out there because we needed a place to live, we needed food and all the other necessities. It worked and it turned into a multiple 6 figure business. After my divorce I was a single mom of two and I realized that I had built this business but I was unhappy. I walked away from it. The business was lucrative because I understood people and I was obsessed with branding and marketing. That was my true passion. So I relocated to Georgia where I invested in and purchased other businesses.
I lost over 170k of my personal savings in a venture and found myself depressed, stuck and broke again. My children were the catalyst for me to get it together.
I started offering my business expertise to other entrepreneurs and it has turned into a lucrative business. The journey has had its ups and definitely had its downs!
BMB: I first heard of the term “Mompreneur” from your event a couple of years ago at ROC House Women’s Fitness Spa. Would you say that you coined the term and made it popular?
LW: I would not say that I coined it. Many people think I did, but I heard it somewhere else before I started using it.
BMB: What role does being a mother play into your business?
LW: Being a mom plays a big role in my business. It plays a big role because I see myself as a mother first and foremost before anything else. I am still the carpool mom, the chef, the maid and even the referee!
I make my schedule around my kid’s schedule because although I want a successful career I still want to be there for my children as much as possible.
I do not miss basketball games, football games or anything else in which they are involved. They deserve my attention. They help with some things. They are a hit on my periscopes and they have a better understanding of business at a very young age.
BMB: You are a very successful, intelligent, and beautiful woman who wears the hat of a “Kickass Single Mommy“. Is it easy for you to find elible Black men to date who can keep up with you?
LW: Hmm… I will be honest and say that it is hard to trust. I say that because sometimes you do not know a person’s intentions. Some people are looking for someone to help them with a business or looking for someone to take care of them.
I am very cautious about who I let in my circle especially because I am a single parent. I do not want my children to become attached nor do I want my children to see a revolving door of men.
I have dated men that could not handle my independence or that felt that I needed to slow down and be a bit more simple. The hard part is that I have been divorced for 8 years. That means that for 8 years I have been working hard and taking care of my children alone. Therefore being on the go and being super independent is all that I know. However, I have not lost hope and I have not grown impatient. I still date; I just haven’t met “the One” just yet.
BMB: Ok, I am going to step out of your dating life! What is the greatest lesson you have learned in being a Mompreneur?
LW: I have learned that a schedule is key. Sitting down on a Sunday and looking at my schedule and my kids’ schedules and making plans and adjustments is the best use of my time. Determining what days I may need a sitter or which days I may need to order out for dinner is so helpful.
Planning ahead eliminates some of the stress associated with a busy schedule.
BMB: What would you consider to be your greatest success?
LW: My greatest success was definitely my come back! After I walked away from the venture in which I had invested so much money I literally had nothing!
I had degrees on my wall, but no money in the bank. I decided that I was way too knowledgeable and way too educated to be broke. I started consulting as a fluke and now know it is truly my passion.
BMB: Many business women look up to you as the prototype for being a success mother and business owner. What advice would you give someone looking to step foot into this arena of business ownership while taking care of a family?
LW: I would encourage them to get as much support as they can. Whether it be from family members, their spouse, childcare providers, or friends. There will be days when you really need to depend on them to help you. You will all need to be on the same page.
I also suggest for mothers to surround themselves with other moms that are business owners too. Those are the people that will understand the journey. Those are the people that will give you great business tips and then share a great recipe.
BMB: Where can we find you to learn more about your journey?
LW: You can learn more about me and my services at www.lenisewilliams.com. You can also learn more about my business school and consulting for the savvy female entrepreneur at www.GirlBizAcademy.com. I also encourage you to follow me on Instagram at @mompreneur_esq and Twitter and Periscope @mompreneurEsq.
Do you have any questions for Lenise? Feel free to post them below!