By Ramunda Lark Young
This column is a series created by entrepreneur and community leader Ramunda Lark Young, and is poised to connect and learn from extraordinary women of color who’ve surpassed obstacles and rose to great success.
Amber Aziza, founder and CEO of Amber Aziza Enterprises – which houses ASquaredcoach.com and NotABasicBiz.com – has made it her life’s work to help amazing and talented Millennial and Millennial-at-heart Entrepreneurs build their businesses into six- and seven- figure success! She built and sold her first multi-million-dollar business before turning 30, and turned around and sold her second company shortly thereafter. Amber helps her clients all around the world through the entire process of biz ownership- from the spark of an idea all the way to their first million-dollar year!
Named by the Huffington Post as one of the top seven Periscopers for Business, Amber speaks about Business, Millennials, and Public Speaking. She currently owns three successful Entrepreneur ventures.
Ramunda: What was the most difficult obstacle for you to overcome in your A Squared Coaching business, and how did you surpass it?
Amber: My biggest obstacle so far has simply been getting over the idea of starting a new business. I really didn’t want to start another one after I created, built and sold two multi-million dollar businesses before turning 30 years old. My goal was to retire at 29 (laughs out loud). For me, building a business is tough, as there are so many dynamics that pop up throughout the process. I had to seriously sit with myself and ask, “do I want to build a new company all over again after selling others?
Ramunda: You are already a successful entrepreneur. Why is it important for women to step outside of their comfort zone to establish authentic connections with thought leaders, and mentors?
Amber: There are three good reasons to step out of your comfort zone and connect:
- It’s just good for your business: the more eyes on your company, the better off you are when it comes to growth.
- More authentic exposure comes from face-to-face encounters.
- People are 10 times more likely to remember someone they meet in person vs. someone they connected with virtually.
I am a total introvert and would rather not go to events. I have to force myself to go out. On the other hand, it’s actually very healthy to go. Especially if your primary business is online. Oftentimes as entrepreneurs we are stuck inside our home offices and can easily become a recluse by staying home. By going out, you get many more creative ideas by meeting other people, hearing their ideas, talking with them.
All people I’ve collaborated with, I’ve met face-to-face at least once.
A rule I employ in my business is that I will not collaborate, work with or partner with someone who I’ve never met face-to-face! There is a much more authentic relationship created in person versus one that’s only been cultivated and established online.
Ramunda: How has face-to-face networking impacted your business overall since most of your operation is online?
Amber: The old school philosophy of conducting business in person remains extremely relevant. It’s the reason why several multi-billion organizations created years and years ago are alive today. Many due to interpersonal relationships established.
We often hear the old adage that deals aren’t made in the boardroom, that they’re made on the golf course, somewhere outside of your four walls. For some people, the need to sit across the table from you, to walk the golf greens with you is crucial. Others may not be able to have a good, thorough conversation with you via Skype. Some people need to sit across from you to create that business relationship that really works for them.
Ramunda: Do you feel like other millennials have the mindset for going out and connecting?
Amber: Millennials as a whole like to go out and connect in person. Attending mixers, scheduling happy hours, socials – we can easily attend two or three networking events a week. We love to be social and are able to balance and satisfy both aspects of our lifestyle. We are used to doing things online by having access to the internet at a very young age, but additionally, we know the value of relationships. We truly enjoy socializing, just check the event listings in your city. Many have millennials as their target market or we are hosting them.
Ramunda: Why do you do what you do? What motivates you to coach millennials and millennials at heart?
Amber: I love seeing the impact my coaching and coaching teams make on businesses. The ability to say “we helped create that, we helped that person make their first million dollars is not lost on us. The ability to empower women and let them know they can be entrepreneurs is too important. I want them to realize that circumstances are only that— circumstances. They should not be an excuse to stop going for your goals.
Ramunda: What would you tell your 12-year old self about fear?
Amber: Fear happens. It doesn’t go away just because you do something over and over, 8 million times. My advice would be to operate in spite of it. Things will be scary, they’ll make you pause, but do them anyway! Don’t worry about what others say, only focus on what you want the end result to be. Fear is not going to pay your bills or put food on the table. You have to be willing to be ok and push pass the fear!
Ramunda: Is there anything else you’d like to add? What is next on the horizon for you?
Amber: I have so many business ideas in the hopper. A few to look out for are:
- A fashion line for plus size entrepreneurs
- Recruiting firm opening in the fall which will help entrepreneurs staff their business
- Midnight Millionaire Travel Club opening this year – five women every quarter will travel with me to an exotic location to stay in a villa and work on building their businesses, creating marketing strategies and more. The great thing that amazing thought leaders and experts will live in the villa for the week with attendees.
How can our audience learn more about you?
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: amber_aziza (everywhere)
About Ramunda Lark Young: Mom, SocialPreneur, wife, community leader, lover of people and God. She is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Connection Strategist of Ramunda Young, Inc. , a firm dedicated Encouraging Extraordinary Women to SOAR! Built on the premise that leaders can exceed beyond their expectations when given the proper tools and connections, Young has dedicated her life to equipping women for success.
She and her husband co-founded MahoganyBooks, an online award winning bookstore whose books are by and about people of the African Diaspora.
Twitter: @soarwithramunda Instagram: @soarwithramunda Facebook: Ramunda Lark Young, Connection Strategist ramundayoung.com