Successful Sistas: Joan E.Gosier

21 02 2009

joanJob title: CEO of HBCU Kidz, Inc. and book author


Job description: Set strategic plans and operational tactics to grow a family start-up Internet boutique. Motivate and inspire virtual teams to unite and work together to grow brand globally.  Publish a book to document the process of launching our brand.

Why did you decide to pursue your career/job? After working for several fortune 500 companies, completing my MBA in International Finance and Marketing and raising two children with my husband, we realized a huge void in the marketplace for like-minded families and myself. We wanted to help fill that void using my training, experience and passionate love for our future generation of dreamers, leaders and achievers. As a family, we decided to provide a one-stop shop for authentic and officially licensed baby gifts and memorabilia that celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities, education and family heritage. I wanted to leave a legacy for my children and their children that “Nothing is Impossible.”

 

What do you love most about it? I love the FREEDOM to dream and implement without having to go through layers and layers of bureaucracy. Our team can create and market new ideas in terms of products and services to meet our customers’ needs within weeks, days and sometimes hours! We can respond to our customer feedback almost INSTANTLY using technology.

 What is the most stressful aspect of your job? WOW! The most stressful is often the waiting game that occurs when you are trailblazing. Sometimes it takes time for others to choose to run with you. Because this is what I DO full-time, I am very focused in getting results. So often, I may have to wait for a response or a reply from someone who is unavailable for what is my current priority.

What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you at work? Hmmm. The only thing that comes to mind is one day when we were vending at an ethnic festival promoting our unique gift boutique concept with our inaugural product’s theme, “Here I Am! College Material. Class of 2028”. It is a product line of bibs, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Well towards the end of the day, a man tried to convince us that in 2028, there would no longer be any colleges and therefore we were selling a false message to our children. He was noticeably very upset and felt that we should NOT promote future education attainment. THAT was crazy. I do find myself meeting people online who totally undervalue the importance of an education for our future generation. But I say, “Hey! If everyone felt just like ME, then I would have NO BUSINESS for being in BUSINESS would I? ”  Somebody has to be a voice for our 0-6 year-old-children who are hungry for knowledge and positive self-esteem.

Describe a typical day at work for you. I schedule each day in advance to accomplish three major goals towards our company’s annual/monthly goal. I typically work from home or some days I substitute teach at our local elementary, middle and/or high school. But generally speaking, at 7:30 AM, I am placing my two daughters on the school bus. From 7:45-11:00 AM, I am checking my various social forums for marketing/branding opportunities through participation in various topics of discussion relating to 1) Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 2) Education, 3) Family Heritage.

 Then from 12:00-2:00 PM, I fulfill my customer orders or contact my suppliers. There could also be a prescheduled teleconference, networking meeting or a live interview conducted during that time frame as well. From 2:30 -3:30 PM, I am now working on chapter revisions for an upcoming 900 page book that I am writing called, “Cotton Pickin’ Paycheck-A 21st Century Journal of Escape from Slavery” (http://www.CottonPickinPaycheck.com). At 3:45 I am picking my children up from their bus stop, debriefing with them on their day, checking homework folders and providing a snack, starting their dinner until about 5:00 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m. I am visiting my various forums, responding to emails or phone message inquiries until around 6:30 p.m. We eat, check homework, clean up and/or I may head to business networking meetings or community programs. Around 8:00 PM, I am getting the girls in bed and shortly after 9:00 PM, I am debriefing the day’s progress with my husband and our other business partner by phone who is out of state on the marketing results, website traffic, and input on planning my next day’s schedule of “branding messages”. We laugh, brainstorm ideas, relax and/or then I may do my motivational/inspirational reading until I fall asleep… That’s pretty much a wrap.

Each night, I typically feel fulfilled if I have a customer interaction or touching personal testimony to share with my business partners. However, as do most owners, they really love my sales reports best of all!  I do not typically work on the weekends, but it depends on the potential returns.

 

What advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to do what you do? Start with a clean sheet of paper and freestyle your dream, and then create a step-by-step plan. From this one pager of notes, visit your local SCORE or SBA office and work with a professional to create a business plan. It takes a very long time, but it is very much worth it. You must keep organized and avoid distractions or people with negative energy.


Finish this sentence: this career is for you if: You are not afraid of risk, not afraid of reaching out of your comfort zone, believe in spending money if it returns a direct investment back to you and your family, enjoy calling your own shots, enjoy positively impacting the lives of children and enjoy feeling fulfilled by how you spend your time serving a customer each day.

 

HBCU Kidz logo

HBCU Kidz logo

 

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