A few weeks back I attended a General Assembly entrepreneur event that was incredibly inspiring and packed with valuable knowledge. Today I’ll be sharing what I learned with you.
The event featured Jenelle Coy, Founder of Digital Strategy and PR firm Coy+. Jenelle recounted stories that were entertaining, inspiring, and quite touching.
Coy is the type of person who immediately commands attention and admiration the minute she engages you. The room was full of women of all ages and backgrounds, but Jenelle held everyone’s attention throughout her entire presentation. Everyone listening, from students to CEOs, listened and watched with wide-eyes as they soaked up every word.
The Howard University graduate discussed how she went from student to a CEO in Forbes 30 under 30 list. Coy also shared with us how she channeled her ambition and used it as fuel to continually drive toward her goals.
As Ms. Coy continued to amaze and excite us with the story of her meteoric rise, she was also able to impart valuable entrepreneurial wisdom upon us. The founder of Coy+ gave the audience lots of advice, tips and strategies. She also shared with us what skills she believed were instrumental to her success. Jenelle stressed that her confidence to work in the communication field was something that can be learned even from an early age. The skills that a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur possess aren’t easily acquired or learned overnight. It took Coy quite a bit of hard work and perseverance to become so successful.
Coy was very honest and open about the workload and struggle it takes to become a great entrepreneur. A work-life balance almost seems like a myth for a true entrepreneur.
One of the biggest takeaways from the presentation was that managing time is crucial to keeping up with the demands of running your own company. Any young professional who has dreams of one day running his/her own business must develop time management skills and be willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears it takes to push past numerous obstacles.
Coy’s passion and drive keep her on track and ready to take on any challenge that confronts her. Young professionals with big dreams have to take control of their day-to-day activities that build the foundation upon which those dreams are built. Success and high profile achievements are accomplished by continually taking one small step after another; steps like smart time management and productive daily habits.
“Never forget you are in control of how you spend your day”
CEO Coy is no exception to the rule and she shared with us some of her habits. She gave us a glimpse of her daily routine. It looks like this:
Work life balance-
Wake up at 4:30 am (gym or run)
Start making to-do lists at 6:30 am
Work from 7:30-2 pm
Have a break and attend a museum or go on a walk
Work again at 4:30
So what obstacles did Ms. Coy overcome? Ya know just a few…
- A male dominated field (like just about every other field)
- Others attempting to take credit for her work
- 1st generation American stereotypes
- Money struggles
- Self doubt
- Woman boss stereotypes
- Age stereotypes
CEO Coy emphasized the need to:
- Network hard
- Show up in person
- Be personal
- Make real connections
- Be willing to put yourself out there
- Go to the money
- Win people’s trust
- Believe in yourself and have faith
- Stay true to yourself while being flexible in a constantly changing industry
- Study the people who inspire you
- Never stop learning
This event was a great way to kick off General Assembly’s “How Did She Get there” series and empower women of all ages and backgrounds to never doubt their ambitions.