As a journalist one of the hardest things for me to get comfortable with has always been speaking in front of a crowd and going on live TV. Since I’m someone who curses like a sailor I’m always afraid I’ll slip up, let the F-bomb fly during a heated exchange, and end up being the new poster child for six-figure FCC fines. The first year I attended the Essence Music Festival as editor-in-chief and the PR team told me we had to go out on the main stage and thank the attendees. I tried everything I could think of to get out of it. Staring out into a sea of 40,000 faces in that huge New Orleans Superdome was so scary and I was sure that people could see my knees knocking together. But I managed to get through it and I’ve also managed to refrain from embarrassing my mother and not let out a blue streak on live TV (knock on wood!) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still get a little bit nervous whenever I go on TV, call in for a radio segment or give speeches around the country.
Last weekÂ CNN contacted me to join their afternoon Hot Topics panel led by anchor Brooke Baldwin and it was nice to join the conversation about gun control and racial slurs (topics which always get me going). And while my first inclination when the butterflies came (and even after all this time they still come!) was to decline I know it’s important when building a new business to get out there and promote it however you can. The segment went well (no F-bombs!) and I survived.
But the highlight of the week was the opportunity to participate in a panel for a wonderful organization of PR professionals called ColorComm. My partner Shelly and I had been contacted by Lauren Wesley Wilson, the founder, to participate in one of their discussions about starting our company. We had a wonderful time discussing the launch of CocoaFab, plans for the future and more importantly we had the opportunity to make contact with a room full of dynamic young Black women and hear about their own businesses and careers. It was a great night of networking and we look forward to following up with the ColorComm team to work together on future projects as well as explore ways to develop a similar organizations for digital divas launching startups.
So while it’s not always easy to get out there and share your story, promote your business or represent your brand it’s absolutely necessary. Afterall, if you don’t do it who will?
Startup Diary #1: Why I Started this Startup Diary
Startup Diary #2: Why Every Startup Diva Needs Her Girlfriends
Startup Diary #3:Â Go Big or Go Home
Startup Diary #4: The Rules of Success