Motherhood is one of the most rewarding and stressful balancing acts. It requires pouring your heart out to a little human being while waking up every morning to make sure they have everything they need.
In this series, we highlight a few of those women who are in the middle of their greatest balancing act; pouring their hearts into their children while pouring their heart into creating a legacy for their families.
Tywanna is a former professional basketball player turned business manager for the pros. For the past 15 years, she has worked in a financial capacity with players from the NBA, NFL, WNBA, Europe, and China. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and NBC Sports. She host a PROready workshop for high school athletes to prepare them for the next steps after high school and college. Also, she host a financial literacy program called the Teen Money Box. In addition, her book, “Surviving the Lights” became a best-seller in 2017.
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship?
I was inspired to become an entrepreneur to address the multi-faceted issues faced by professional athletes. I am sure you have seen the media! There was not a traditional career path for my interests in the sports industry. For example, there are agents, coaches, and trainers who guide athletes on the court and field. There are also advisors, attorneys, and accountants who specialize in their respective fields. However, there is not a degree program that teaches you how to manage the very fast-paced and multi-faceted lives of elite athletes. So, I decided to forge my own path with my company, The Athlete’s Nexus. As they say, if there is a problem without a solution – create one.
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur? and how do you deal with it?
One of the biggest challenges that I have faced as an entrepreneur in the sports industry is being a Black mother. Early in my career, I dealt with being underestimated as a woman in sports. If you add the stigma of being a minority, you can imagine how often I was overlooked or passed up in a space dominated by White men. In addition, being a mother is sometimes seen as a disadvantage, because it is expected that parental duties will always take precedence over business. I believe that I have consistently defied those assumptions by keeping the focus on the quality of my work. My motto is to consistently over-deliver so that a potential client would be insane not to hire me!
How do you balance entrepreneurship and motherhood without experiencing burnout, while pursuing your passion?
I used to struggle with achieving balance, but I have learned to disconnect outside of business hours, schedule self-care time, and say NO! At one point, I felt guilty for not answering every call until I realized that it can wait. This pressure was self-inflicted. What I found was, that my clients and colleagues accepted and respected my boundaries without complaint, and these protective guidelines actually improved my productivity.
What advice do you have for moms looking to get started in entrepreneurship?
Do not let what you do become who you are. We can work hard and succeed without compromising our dignity, conceding our integrity, or sacrificing motherhood. Be human in this process and never succumb to the emotionless and ruthlessness of entrepreneurship.
What does being a Pretty Woman Who Hustles mean to you?
Being a Pretty Woman Who Hustles signifies a beautiful blend of skill, relentless determination, and grace. Beauty is exuded from the inside out, and that means that our hearts for serving others and using our gifts for good is what makes us so magical. Our hustle is inspirational!
What books do you recommend for moms navigating entrepreneurship?
One of my all-time favorite books has become “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.” This book can help anyone unlock their potential by removing the self-limiting philosophies that they often repeat themselves. As moms, we are often our own toughest critics, and we play many different roles in the lives of others. If we remove those blocks, the doubt, the destructive thoughts that hinder our growth and confidence, we can achieve every single thing that we desire with the gifts that God has placed inside of us. It is difficult to navigate and succeed in entrepreneurship if we do not first believe in ourselves.