Jessica LaShawn is a go-getter who has been a social entrepreneur since the tender age of 9-years-old. She tells her story about how her nonprofits, Mogul Academy and The Jessica LaShawn Foundation, gained national and international influence. She shares the struggles she encountered as an HBCU-educated Black Woman in the corporate world, and she speaks about how her entrepreneurial vision has grown over time.
Jessica’s story is an amazing journey of perseverance. She’s been able to gain national and international influence regardless of the stereotypes she can easily be categorized into. Her story teaches us that perfecting your vision over time will help you to grow along with your vision. Not only does she discuss the struggles of not fitting in within the corporate world with her natural hair, but she teaches us the lesson of not confirming to make other people feel comfortable.
Here are some highlights from our time with Jessica:
On the topic of staying true to who you are…
Anytime I feel like I’m not able to really be who I am and present myself to people the way that I know I should, I think about myself as a little girl because I’ve always had this problem. I’ve never really fit in. I think about how I’ve always actually had to do that, and how far I’ve come since then. I think that you have to do that just a little. It shouldn’t take over your whole life, but that’s what motivates me. Knowing where I came from, knowing that the doctors told my grandparents that I wouldn’t live past three, and knowing that I’m still here and doing magnificent work every single day of my life, that motivates me.
Giving advice to her younger self…
I would tell the 9-year-old Jessica and say: “You are so special! Look at what you just did, this is what your whole life will be about. I would also tell myself to not let anyone hold you back, even if it is your parents.”
About how her vision has grown over time…
I had a small vision for myself, and as I started growing and developing my talents by actually getting out there and not being afraid of the little vision that I had, my vision grew and, thankfully, I grew along with it.”
Listen to Jessica LaShawn’s full interview here: