by Charlotte Chipperfield · 03 Sep 2020 · 5 min read
Two years ago, I experienced all that this summit has to offer, now you can do that right from your home.
A decade ago when I graduated and was about to foray into the professional world, I was very clear on the end goal: social impact. Having grown up around the globe and been exposed to the circumstances of the developing world, I was always very aware of "the bottom billion."
Our brand all started because of our community. Each and every product and formula has been created alongside our co-creators. They help guide us to figure out what is missing from the market and help outline what people actually use. That's why our relationship with our community is so important to us at Alleyoop, they helped build our company in more ways than they may realize.
My name is Tracy Garley, I was born in the West African country of Liberia, and moved to the US at the age of eleven. I attended Western International High School in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Food Industry Management. I'm the owner of West African lifestyle brand Zarkpa's, founder of West African catering company Culture in a Bowl, founder of City Girl Big Dreams, and CEO of its sister brand, GoFundHer.com. In each of these roles, I try to create opportunities for girls and women to transform their dreams into reality through collaboration and social networking.
In my line of work, strategic initiatives and planning are the foundation of growth and success. Once that strategy is in effect, we must continually analyze and assess its position, perspective, and potential to increase gains and profit. The same is true for career advancement. We are each individual brands seeking growth. Much like the businesses I formulate strategies for, we as professionals will make some mistakes along the way that deter us from our full career potential. When I look back at my journey and my brand there are three outstanding mistakes that come to mind that I've found to be common among all professionals.
When we think about being "conscious" anything, it's easy to fall into the subject of new age spirituality or just focus on leading a conscious lifestyle through regular yoga sessions, composting, and keeping chickens in the backyard. All of these things are great (when aligned with our personal values), and these actions can enhance our day-to-day lives and inspire others to do the same. But when it comes to the world of business, can the word "conscious" not only play a role, but also help professionals and entrepreneurs alike thrive?
For many Black professionals, it's an unspoken rule never to discuss race or politics at work. But the murder of George Floyd has opened the floodgates. Suddenly, race is dominating conversations. Black people are being bombarded with questions. They're publicly sharing their pain at company town halls and team meetings, leading to more exhaustion.Race is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially in "mixed company." That's why my market research team at Driven to Succeed sponsored two closed-door, tell-all Community Dialogues via Zoom to talk about race—one with Black professionals and the other with white professionals, from Director to C-Suite plus a few entrepreneurs. Our goal was to build more empathy and understanding and to take steps toward healing to help end institutional racism. There were no right or wrong answers. Just an honest dialogue and diversity of opinions.
If you've received an email since March of this year, there's a good chance it began with the following salutation:"Hello Jane! Hope you're doing well in these uncertain times…""Uncertain times," isn't that the understatement of the century? This year has been, well, crazy! You only need to scroll through TikTok or scan a meme or two to see that most of us have no earthly idea what to do with ourselves right now. We're "bored in the house and we're in the house bored," not-so-patiently waiting until noon to start drinking, and slowly trying to create a new normal in our "regular lives" that now include masks and social distancing (which I still think makes about as much sense as "jumbo shrimp").