As a mini snow blizzard swept across Washington, D.C., Ayo Thomas, owner of W.O.E. Magazine, hosted the #NoFilter Girl Talk Experience event this month where things got realer than real and every woman walked out with reignited motivation!
Not only did the experience include a great panel discussion with some major entrepreneurial heavy hitters, but guests also had the opportunity to network with other women, enjoy an amazing performance by singer Danni, win awesome giveaway prizes, and shop items from vendors like A-polish and It Factor Boutique.
As an empowerment strategist, Thomas, discovered that many women desire to become a “boss,” but lack the understanding of what it really takes for someone to be successful.
“I wanted to provide a platform for major ‘boss’ women to share stories about their journey ‘unfiltered.’ Many women use social media as a measure of comparison based upon the appearance of success. I want women to know that successful women have dealt with fear, rejection, or even insecurities at one point in their journey.”
The panel discussion was broken up into several topics and each panelist – Candice Nicole, Bershan Shaw, Germaine Leftridge, Tressa Smallwood, and Tamiko White – had the opportunity to expound on each one and tell how it relates to their journey.
Shaw was first to speak on being your sister’s keeper stating, “greatness starts by helping another woman rise. So many doors open by helping. You will never be successful without giving back to someone else.”
Leftridge, who has 25 years of experience in the beauty industry and is founder of Ubiquitous Expo, told the audience that, “you don’t give to get, you give and forget! Have a proven track record of helping people.”
All of the panelists encouraged the attendees to network with one other person at the event who they normally would never approach and see how they could help each other.
The panelists also stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people and evaluating your current circle of friends. Your circle will either help elevate your career and life, or downgrade it.
“Use technology to connect with people. The internet is a great place to start. Engage with people on social media and make a genuine connection,” said Candice Nicole, owner of Candice Nicole PR.
Shaw added, “push past your comfort zone. If you’re the smartest person in your group, you’re going to plateau.”
Moving into brand building, Smallwood and White dropped a few powerful gems.
White stated, “Focus on your impact, not your dollars. The dollars will come.”
Smallwood added, “Think about how you’re going to promote yourself. Learn your craft and be knowledgeable, first. Then, let people know who you are and what you do.”
Some other key points included:
- People can only tell you no.
- Take action. That’s all successful people do.
- Turn your pain into purpose.
- Have an accountability partner.
- Invest in yourself and stay true to your brand.
W.O.E Magazine will have three more print issues in 2017 and producing many more events to raise brand awareness around its editorial philosophy that “excellence is not about perfection, but simply becoming a better you!”
“I have always had a vision to launch my own magazine since 2001. However, fear of the unknown and failure delayed my process. In 2005, I launched a women’s empowerment group called WOE Fellowship to educate, empower, and encourage women to live a lifestyle of excellence. After several years of meeting in intimate spaces, I decided to increase my platform by pursuing my life long dream of owning a magazine. We launched in July 2016 in partnership with Nordstrom in Annapolis, MD,” Thomas explained.
When asked what’s the greatest reward of running W.O.E Magazine, Thomas says, “… Taking women from a piece of mediocrity to heights of excellence using my creative gifts. I am passionate about making women feel good about themselves!”
We can’t wait to see all that’s in store for W.O.E Magazine.
Written By: Chey Parker, Editor-in-Chief