Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your career path so far.
A: I always knew that deep down I was a creative person and although the career path that I initially ventured down was far removed from anything creative I tried to bring my fun-loving personality to every project that I worked on. It was my love of people, making meaningful impact in their lives and being a consummate problem solver that eventually led me to take a leap of faith and follow my true passion of writing, grant management and consulting with nonprofit organizations.
Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
A: My Grandma Ivy Morgan is the biggest inspiration of my life. She was my model example of entrepreneurship; not only did she run a successful business, but she did it 45 years ago during a time when it was rare achievement for a multi-ethnic woman of color in Jamaica. My Grandmother grew tired of working for her employers and getting caught with feeling like she had to choose between a career and raising her 5 children. With help from my Grandfather, George Morgan, she opened up a "Mom and Pop" store that she built adjacent to her house. Our family affectionately refers to this as "The Shop". Small yet mighty, The Shop became a hub for socializing with neighbors, a lunch and snack spot for children who attended the local school, family gatherings and amazing celebrations throughout the years. I had a wonderful role model and mentor in my Grandmother and her fortitude of self is what constantly stays at the forefront of my mind every single day. Anytime that I go through periods of doubt, I ask myself: "what would my Grandma say?" She would tell me to believe in myself and that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to because we are from a family of amazing, strong, intelligent, beautiful women. Starting my own business was a natural next step in my career; if my Grandmother could run her empire facing the odds that she was up against during her time, I could certainly go further given the access to opportunity that I was afforded.
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: The VP Approach, LLC (VPA) was birthed from my deep commitment to helping nonprofits thrive in achieving their missions and strategically converting those missions into a broader vision that would expand their reach in the communities that they serve. My services include funder prospecting, grant writing, grant management, business writing, and other projects related to helping an organization reach their broader strategic goals.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur?
A: The biggest challenge was buttoning up all of the administrative tasks related to starting a business; federal and state registrations, obtaining a TIN, crafting an operating agreement and other legal documents and building my website. After about 6 months of careful and thoughtful planning, completing an endless pile of forms and working with an amazing attorney and web developer, I can now focus on networking to grow my business.
Q: Where have you found the support you've needed to start, grow, and scale?
A: My support began with having conversations with my closest friends and professional colleagues that I deeply respect and admire. Those initial conversations planted the seeds for my trees to bear fruit; it was a domino effect really. Once I made a very rough sketch of a business model, I knew that my dream could be accomplished because it became real - it was now on paper. My contacts introduced me to the right people who were in a position to help me take my professional goals to the next level. Networking is important but it is imperative that you surround yourself with people who love you and want to see you win.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with other entrepreneurial women in the world?
A: Don't stop. Don't give up. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with people who genuinely want the best for you. Eliminate all negative things and people from your life.
Q: What do you like most about WorldWideWomen?
A: I love how colorful it is! It is visually stunning and features a diverse pool of amazing women.
Learn more about her business at her WorldWideWomen page listing here.
Connect with Valeta through her LinkedIn Page!