Lashonda

 Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m an actress turned entrepreneur from the small VA town Dinwiddie. I got my start in the theatre at 7, dabbled in professional theatre but ultimately settled on being my own boss. I am happily married to my husband and I am a proud Rotarian.

So, you have not only launched an award-winning full service production company, Life Focus Pictures, but you also run another company, About 90 Marketing, what initially brought about this second business?

About 90 started with a simple idea, “I wonder if people would pay me to do their marketing”. For years through Life Focus I would provide marketing advice to secure video contracts but never had the courage to call myself a strategist. Clients would see rapid increases in sales and visibility but I still struggled with confidence in my craft. New Years Day I took the plunge and live on Periscope I announced that I was launching a second business. I thought people will think I was crazy and scattered but I just knew it was something I had to do. Within hours I had a paid client who had watched my broadcast online. Each day following that broadcast for a week straight I received payments from all over the country. People wanted to work with me and said they were attracted to my transparency. They didn’t mind that I didn’t know it all because the skills I did have had the power to change their businesses forever.

Can you elaborate more on About 90 Marketing, what is a “Brand Boost” and what is your ultimate goal for this company? 

I had no idea I would find clients online in the beginning. I was so used to doing things face to face. People online wanted to connect with me one on one and I needed a way to package that so they could pay me for my time. I took the 90 minute consultation that I had revolved my entire business model around and gave it a name. The “Brand Boost”. Women from all over the world fell in love with my sessions because every time I did one I managed to develop a 90 day strategy for their marketing in 90 minutes. It forced me to be more decisive and to trust my instincts. The more Brand Boosts I did, the more confident I became. Finally 8 months into the business I took the plunge and began officially referring to myself as a “Brand Strategist”. I haven’t looked back since.

You seem to keep yourself busy with these two businesses, any other projects or business ventures on the side? 

Hubby and I play board games faithfully on Tuesday nights with a group of IT friends, I volunteer to do service projects through my club Lynchburg Morning Rotary and I sing for my church at Redeemer Presbyterian. Those activities fill the gaps in my schedule and warm my heart on a regular basis.

Why are you passionate about helping female entrepreneurs achieve success in the digital world? 

Over 80% of buying decisions are made by women but the people deciding what women should buy are typically men. It’s simply outrageous to me that more little girls aren’t being told that they can make their own jobs, instead of hoping for equal pay. The whole wage gap issue is only a problem if you don’t want to step out of the system. If women could be encouraged to be courageous and venture out on their own, possibilities are endless. I want more women to thrive and not just survive because I believe American needs more entrepreneurs and women are perfectly positioned to fill that role. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with men but in order for there to be a more balanced message in the marketing world, women need to be a part of the conversation.

Can you give our readers some basic advice, for any young women who may wish to start their own business or how to get something they’ve already begun off the ground? 

If you have wifi, you have a business. Simply rack your brain for things that you are good at doing and see if you can find someone people worse than you, willing to pay you for your time. That’s business. There are so many things that play a role in running a successful business but if you make sales you can always pay someone to do the “businessy things” you aren’t good at. Delegation is not a dirty word. You can immediately kick your business into high gear when you spend 100% of your time doing on the things that only you can do. I’m no where near 100%, I’ll be honest, but the closer I get the faster About 90 grows.

What are 3 things you cannot live without? 

Hubby, wifi, and positive/thought provoking conversations

 Last question! What is the highlight of your day? 

The highlight of my day is when a client emails me and says “It worked! I can’t thank you enough”. Those emails fuel me to keep going.