What inspired you to start BB market and tell us what the platform is about?
N: “I started Boss Business Market because I wanted to make building businesses as easy as possible. It is hard enough to enter the business world, and most people are hesitant to be their own boss because of the fear of the unknown. I noticed that there is a huge movement happening right now in the online business community centered around education. Hundreds of industry experts are creating educational resources for other entrepreneurs. For example, a legal advisor might host a webinar on how to file an LLC, or a graphic designer would share a course on how to create your own logo. This content is being advertised in Facebook groups and online communities. I created BB Market as a central location for these resources to be showcased. The online platform provides innovative learning experiences to entrepreneurs through a TV guide-styled webinar listing, online e-library, and up-to-date course display.”
How do you remain productive and disciplined?
N: “It’s all about consistency. I schedule everything I do on Google Calendar – from work, school, business meetings, and even my daily meals. I make sure I find time for work-life balance by scheduling in me-time. In this industry, it is so difficult to be overly consumed with your business and you’ll find yourself exhausted if you do not schedule the time to relax and recover. I love using a reward system to motivate myself to stay on track throughout the day. I’ll plan to binge 3 episodes of a Netflix show if I complete 10 items on my to-do list. The feeling of satisfaction after I’ve completed everything is so worthwhile. It’s impossible to truly relax if all you’re thinking about is all of the work you need to get done. Finding that balance and personal management system is vital for every entrepreneur.”
Naomi Thomas, Founder of BB Market
As a millennial woman, what are the elements that make you a girlboss?
N: “I define being a girlboss as a woman that can create a profitable brand out of her passion. Most importantly, a true girlboss fosters innovation, acts as a role model, and uses her business to make an impact in the world.”
What tips do you have for a woman starting up a new business?
N: “The most important thing any woman starting a business can be is authentic. If you spend your time worrying about what everyone else is doing and start replicating more than being original, you will not be able to reach your full potential. Instead, spend time focusing on what represents you, and center your business around your values and the vision for the brand.”
Why did you decide the path of entrepreneurship?
N:”My interest in pursuing a career in entrepreneurship began in high school. I developed very strong leadership skills during this time in the classroom, as I would always take initiative in group projects, and as captain of my track team. I taught myself HTML and CSS and developed a passion for building websites. Family members and friends would pay $100 for a website, and as time went on, that $100 quickly turned into $300, and now, I have $3,000 clients. I spent countless hours learning, perfecting, and working on my craft until I was proud to start my first web design company. I enjoyed having the flexibility of creating my own schedule, meeting clients on my time, and controlling my money flow. Now that I’ve entered this world of entrepreneurship, there’s no turning back!”
What are your goals for 2018?
N: “For me, 2018 is the year of building and saving. In the past, I’ve gotten a little carried away when thousands of dollars were pouring in and I developed bad spending habits that caused me to not live within my means. I traveled, shopped too much, and found myself desperately looking for new clients when unexpected bills/emergencies arose. I am going to work extremely hard this year to trust the process and build brands that will allow me to comfortably afford the lifestyle I want to live.”
What is the mantra you live by for your business?
N: “My mantra in the business world is to always be nice to people, no matter what. What you put out into the universe will be reciprocated. If you are respectful at all times, people will notice that. One of the most important elements of any business is customer service. It is all fine and dandy if you are able to convince a customer to buy your product, or book a new client – but are you able to retain the new leads? Will they speak highly of you and give nice reviews? Many companies have found success because their businesses were spread through word of mouth. Make an effort to give your customers an experience they will only talk highly of.”
New levels sometimes require separation. How do you know it’s time to eliminate things in your life?
N: “Eliminating habits, friends, significant others, and sometimes even family members that have a negative impact on your life is crucial to your success. This is something that I still struggle with because I generally tend to be a nice person and I don’t want to lose connections with people that I’ve already invested a substantial amount of time in. When you start to lose focus and shift your energy toward other’s problems and dealing with the stress caused by it, it’s time to consider elimination. Leveling up requires being emotionally, and spiritually whole.”
Naomi Thomas is an award-winning entrepreneur and advocate for women pursuing careers in tech and business. She is the founder of BB Market, a platform the connects online business educators with entrepreneurs. In addition, she helps business owners strategize and create profitable brands as a creative coach. Naomi studied Business Management with a concentration in Operational Management at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. During her college career, she founded and managed a $30,000 nonprofit educational technology project for K-12 students, sponsored by various companies including Google, Duke Energy, and Honda Jet. Naomi also worked with Google as a Student Ambassador during the school year, and with Noregon Systems Inc. as an IT Intern and Digital Marketing Analyst. She has won and placed in several startup competitions including the WBENC National Student Entrepreneurship Program in Austin, Texas and UNC Greensboro’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Naomi is extremely passionate about using her voice and past experiences as a guide to help encourage other young women to pursue careers in nontraditional fields.