December Issue 2014

Page 77

help grow our wine region and drive tourism and sales that would boost all of the businesses of this faceless, brand-less region and make them more attractive. So when I brought this to the table it forced them to respect me and value me for something that I can provide. I recognized where I needed to learn and recognized what I needed to teach them. Once I identified those areas I ended up earning their respect. They then went from looking at me as the young girl who didn’t belong to the young girl they needed on their team if they were going to stay relevant and grow. AfroElle: Aside from that were there any other experiences that you transformed from being a failure to a success? LMB: I’m sure there have been a lot of those. I think it happens all the time in marketing. I can’t really pinpoint one without divulging clients, but it happens all the time in marketing and that’s what makes a good marketer. A good marketer takes that moment and leverages it for exposure or for the opportunity to forge a stronger bond with the consumer. So much of this comes down to communication. How much of the mistakes in branding and marketing boil down to how you communicate it? In fact I’m often asked if I would reinvest in an entrepreneur who I gave money to and the company failed or went under. I always say it depends on how (s)he handled the fact that the company failed. If they handle it professionally, gracefully, and they

communicated it appropriately then absolutely, that’s someone I would invest in again. Now if they don’t communicate, they fade to black, and you can’t get in touch with them, then absolutely not. So many of these situations come down to how they are communicated. AfroElle: The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. Do you believe that it has to “be in you” or can anyone invigorate that spirit within them? LBM: I do think it is innate because there are so many people that say, “I would love to make my own schedule or I would love to be my own boss but that comes at the expense of having to work all the time and having to take all the responsibility and I just don’t want it.” And they can admit that and I’ve had it told to me so many times and I think it’s fascinating because I can’t imagine life any other way. Even if I worked for a company I see myself running a company. I’d be running a huge company and I’d still take on the same amount of responsibility as an entrepreneur. The expectations and the bar would still be as high and the risks would still feel as though they are mine even though it’s not my personal assets or money. >>>>