I grew up in the projects in Newark and built a corporate career before launching my consulting firm. I’ve had my fair share of hard knocks. I lost the first million dollars I made. I learned that failure could make you stronger if you learn from that failure.
I became CEO and sole principal of MZM Construction, where I’ve overseen more than 20 profitable years. But it’s not the money that drives me. I get my biggest kicks from knowing that I’ve fed the families of everyone who works for me, and from making an impact on the lives and businesses of the entrepreneurs I mentor and coach.
I’m proud of the awards that I’ve won as an entrepreneur and businesswoman – including being named as one of the Best 50 Women in Business and one of the top 25 entrepreneurs in New Jersey.
I’m passionate about learning and continuing education, and I carry this passion through to MZM’s commitment to innovation that can help our clients. I’m also passionate about giving back in a meaningful way. I start my day early, at around 5:30am with prayer time before I hit the gym. Invariably, I’ll be on the phone by 6:45am when my working day starts.
I’ve learned that great leaders and entrepreneurs stay humble. They never take their life for granted. They are open to learning, and receptive to new ideas. They’re also prepared for failure and prepared to bounce right back. Failure is just success turned inside out.
If there’s a piece of advice I can give entrepreneurs right off the bat it would be this:
Get over being selfish and be selfless. Listen to others, and make sure that your great idea is what your customers want. Learn patience and perseverance. The road to real success is a long, slow, gradual journey. You need to build a solid foundation on which to build your success, leveling up as you go so that if you fall a bit, you can get straight back up and grow. Finally, get great mentors, listen, and allow them to help you grow – in business and as a person.