by Writing by Design Media, Inc. staff
Jiljuana J. Coleman is an emerging entrepreneur in Memphis, Tenn. Her business is Jamerson Strategic Consulting. Coleman recently served as the VIP Diplomatic Liaison for Royal Majesty Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II during Memphis in May's International Week. According to Coleman, she has extended her reach globally to Canada, Nigeria and South Africa.
Coleman shared these comments about her entrepreneurial journey.
Q: "What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?"
A: Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to uplift one’s family and community and create economic stability. At an early age, I saw the impact of financial insecurity. I regularly hypothesized how I could make things better for my family and one day buy my mom any car or home she wanted. After becoming a Girl Scout and participating in the Jr. Achievement program, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur because I understood that I could determine and control my financial destiny through entrepreneurship.
Q: "What are some of the challenges that you were/are faced with and how did/do you overcome them?"
A: For those who know me, it’s no secret that I faced a debilitating nervous system disorder that brought my life to an immediate pause and almost quashed my dreams of entrepreneurship and living what many would call a normal life. This illness was brutal. I lost most of my motor functions and required constant care. But thank God for the power of prayer and the science of medicine. After enduring years of medical treatments, procedures, and physical and occupational therapy, I’m walking and leading a global consulting firm.
Q: "Steve Jobs - “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. How do you approach or view entrepreneurship from this perspective?"
A: I agree with Mr. Jobs and would further add that if you love being an
entrepreneur, you will approach your craft with excellence, passion, and diligence. You will commit yourself to it and be mindful of the impact that your role as an entrepreneur has on others.
Q: "Statistics reveal that entrepreneurship can be a pathway to financial independence or wealth generation. What are lessons that you have learned on your journey in these areas?"
A: I firmly believe that entrepreneurship is a pathway to financial freedom, wealth generation, and economic advancement if the entrepreneur has a strategic plan for growth and sustainability. In my journey, I have learned that the key to generating wealth as an entrepreneur is not in having money but in
knowing how to handle money and what to do with it once it is obtained.
Q: "Describe your typical day..."
A: I start the beginning of each day with prayer and meditation. I
review my action items and prepare for client, team, partner, and advisor meetings. I allot a certain amount of time to work on business development (speaking opportunities, proposals, funding opportunities, etc.) and take a few moments to hand write thank you notes to people who have impacted my life. At the end of each day, I clean my desk, reminding myself that I gave it
my all. I tell myself that whatever I did not finish this day will be ok until tomorrow. I turn my attention to my family’s needs and thank God for another day.
Q: "What learning resources or training opportunities do you take advantage of?"
A: In addition to the training that I take from the professional organizations (Greater Memphis Chamber, Project Management Institute, National Small Business Association, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Institute of Management Consultants-USA) I’m affiliated with, I avail myself to training and network opportunities that are presented by the different regional and global American Chambers of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service-International Trade Administration, Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of International Trade, EXIM Bank, and resources offered by the city of Memphis, Shelby County, and the state of Tennessee.
Q: "How do you stay motivated as an entrepreneur? Staying motivated as an entrepreneur can be challenging."
A: One is often faced with many opportunities to quit and surrender to circumstances. However, my best motivating factor has been to remember the reason why I became an entrepreneur and by constantly declaring the following scriptures over my life: Philippians 4:13, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Proverbs 16:3.
Q: "What is the best advice that you have received on your entrepreneurial journey and how did it help you?"
A: The best advice I received is to keep God first, stay true to myself, and maintain my integrity. I live by these wise words shared with me years ago. I rely on these words to keep me humble and grounded while at the same time using their wisdom to guide me in challenging situations.
Q: "What are characteristics that you consider in an entrepreneur?"
A: Integrity, courage, compassion, humility, and steadfastness.
Q: "What advice would you share with an entrepreneur in your specific industry?"
A: The management consulting industry is dynamic. Therefore, I would encourage them to constantly study the market (foreign and domestic), create strategic partnerships that will expand their business, and become an expert by specializing in one or two areas. I would caution them to embrace change and be adaptable to different cultures and belief systems without compromising their personal values. Finally, I would tell them to unswervingly focus on their goals no matter how difficult they might seem to achieve.
To learn more about Jill Coleman, visit www.jscstrategy.com.