As a teenager, I was blessed to graduate from P.S. 26, study as a community scholar and attend one of the most prestigious high schools in the country. Those memorable years opened my eyes to the importance of education, the challenges of racism and the value of true friendship. By staying true to my values, and opening myself to a variety of experiences, I established the determination needed and identified the motivation required to succeed. In short, I innovated.
Having witnessed the social and cultural changes that occurred during the late ’70s and early ’80s as a high school student, I consider myself a student of the times. It created the foundation for my quest to understand people, cultures and how we interact with one another on this planet. The road from being an intern to #bosslady has taught me many valuable lessons, including the importance of staying committed, pushing boundaries, and thriving beyond limits. When people learn of my journey, they often refer to my background as “eclectic”. It is. I have studied and worked abroad and developed a range of skills in a variety of work experiences from television to manufacturing. My encounters on this journey have broadened my perspective and given me the gifts of understanding and insight in so many aspects of life.
My advice: Try new things and learn from them—that’s the key. Over the years, I produced and hosted a TV show, worked in the newsroom for both local and global media outlets, supported production, sales, marketing, and public relations teams, traveled the world for business and pleasure and raised a phenomenally talented and beautiful daughter. I learned something significant from each experience.
My relationship with every organization I supported over the years followed a common thread: I truly cared about the mission, vision and the people. It’s always about the people—they make the difference. That’s why it’s important to support the companies and organizations that invest in their people, because that, in turn, uplifts our communities.
As I work to invest in my community, one of my future business goals is to make the “Marketing McCants: Build Your Business” podcast the go-to resource for organizations trying to respectfully connect with people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other marginalized individuals.
I believe that everyone needs at least one person to inspire them. The inspiration you receive should be paid forward.
If I were to advise young people on ways to move forward that were based on my personal experiences, I’d say it’s important to be able to work with and learn from others. You should strive to remain intentional in all that you do. Stay abreast of technology and remain connected to our ever-evolving global community. Have a growth mindset and turn every opportunity into a learning experience. Continuous learning—that’s a great way to grow yourself and your business.