Name: Rhonesha Byng
Brand Affiliation: N.E.S.H.A. LLC
Job Title: Founder/CEO
UP: Hey Rhonesha before we get started we just want to thank you for working with us on our new feature series. You’re actually only our second feature. Can you tell the readers, what are your current roles, how do you label your self and your function?
- Rhonesha: I’m a multiplatform journalist and entrepreneur. At the moment I write and produce/host videos online on a freelance basis and I started my own websites- www.HerAgenda.com and www.SocietyandStyle.com.
UP: Okay so it’s safe to say that the Internet has been a significant facilitator in what you’ve accomplished thus far. Looking at your current position what can you say pushed you toward this industry?
- Rhonesha: I have a passion for news and information and I am also creative. Journalism was the thing that pulled all my skills together and entrepreneurship allowed me to take all of that to the next level without any boundaries.
UP: We can see how journalism could allow you to utilize your passion for knowledge in conjunction with creative thinking. To everyone reading this what could someone do to help improve the current pursuit of his or her dreams?
- Rhonesha: Network. In this day and age relationships are key. Go out and research your industry, meet people who are doing what you want to do and intern. If you can’t get an internship then start your own thing. The most important thing is to get the experience you need to put you on a level to hit the ground running as soon as you are done with school.
UP: Networking is probably the most underrated activity when it comes to career advancement. It’s much easier to gain information from someone in your desired field, and learn from their mistakes, and pull from their experiences. In your own time, how has being a minority affected your endeavors?
- Rhonesha: It’s allowed me to become more aware of how amazing the opportunities I am granted, because just a few years ago, people who looked like me couldn’t be doing what I’m doing. I was able to work at a major media company at the age of 17, all because of a woman named Emma Bowen who fought for the rights of minorities in media, and in turn started a foundation to allow young people to get their foot in the door.
UP: It’s very admirable that you are so conscious of those who have paved the way for our generation. I’m sure it’s inspiring when you think about the pioneers of your industry. When was the last time you’ve been inspired, and what from?
- Rhonesha: I’m lucky in that I am easily inspired, except that I find as the years add on the threshold for inspiration rises. The other day I happened to watch Beyonce’s mini documentary called “Year of 4″ about her year off and also her year working on her album. Though I don’t usually promote celebrities as role models, I love what the documentary revealed about her, and most importantly her work ethic, unapologetic leadership skills, and great ambition. She’s also very aware that because she’s a woman people don’t expect her to be a boss, and mentions this so eloquently in the film. It inspired me to continue to promote the message of HerAgenda.com, which is No one Ever Slows HER Agenda, and for all girls and women to embody that motto.
UP: It’s a shame that that is even a reality, women not being looked to as leaders so to speak. It’s clear you’re one of the women On the Come UP, (no pun intended) regardless of these constraints as you are a living example of your website’s motto, speaking of inspiration and being motivated, what is some great advice you’ve received recently?
- Rhonesha: I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of advice over the years, but perhaps the most important piece of advice was the advice I was given as a child–the cliché phrase “you can do anything if you put your mind to it.” I absolutely think that being told this from a young age, impacted me and gave me the courage to do crazy things, like as a 16 year old reporter just starting out making phone calls to top politicians and celebs for interviews for a newspaper no one ever heard of!
UP: In this era where so much is being done for the first time, I think limiting ourselves is one of the last things we should do regardless of age or formal training. You not being afraid to reach out to those interviewees exemplifies the exact mindset we aim to highlight here at Urban Professor. The mindset of a true go-getter. In light of your drive, what are some challenges that you have to overcome on a daily basis?
- Rhonesha: I suppose it’s pacing myself. I have such a clear vision, and I want to do it all right now, but building something that has impact that means something takes time. I’m also balancing being a journalist with being an entrepreneur, which at times can be helpful, but other times the two roles can butt-heads a bit.
UP: Can’t knock the hustle, but as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Along the same lines of pacing yourself, what are your thoughts on work/life balance? How do you balance them?
- Rhonesha: Work life balance is important, but since I’m young I love to work. I feel like once you are passionate about what you do, about what you create, you have a burning desire to work no matter what day it is or what time it is. Lately, I’ve been trying to put myself on a stricter schedule in terms of my work hours and it’s been helpful. But many times my personal and my work life overlap, and right now where I am in my life, I am okay with that. I hate routine, it stifles my creativity, so the more random life is, I feel the more I am inspired to work and continue the momentum. While I was at school the balance would come in the form of having to take a break to do school work, and living in such close quarters with my friends, they wouldn’t allow me to just work 24/7. It is also important to have some kind of physical regimen where you are completely focused on your body, and meditation, and I practice yoga for that reason.
UP: Being that you love what you do, and are constantly working what’s your favorite app to help you through your day-to-day hustle?
- Rhonesha: Hootsuite, its how I manage my social media. I can send out tweets and Facebook updates all from one dashboard, and I can schedule tweets and statuses to go out at calculated times. Social media plays a major role in what I do, because a lot of it is rooted in building a brand, and building a community, and social media channels are the best way to reach my audience.
UP: Funny, we actually rely heavily on the Hootsuite application ourselves. The reports, and scheduling ability is the highlight of this social media dashboard for us. Due to the fact that you are always on the go what’s your favorite place you’ve visited, outside of the usual hotspots?
- Rhonesha: Portugal! Portugal is such an amazing place, and not many people know about it or think to visit it. When I went there I was actually living in London and went there over a bank holiday weekend. My friends and I practically had the place to ourselves. It wasn’t swarming with tourists, the weather was phenomenal and the atmosphere was just very peaceful. The people who lived there were happy optimistic people. I even took surfing lessons while I was there and learned to surf. I always try to travel and really authentically experience new places and cultures because it really opens you up to who you are, and makes you more resourceful. The world is so big, it puts things in perspective when you actually go out and experience it.
UP: It’s definitely a goal of mine to acquire more stamps in the passport especially while I’m young. Whether you came across it professionally or in casual conversation are there any quotes that you live by?
- Rhonesha: “No one Ever Slows Her Agenda.” This phrase started as an acronym for my nickname, NESHA, however now its more than that. Its a motto that simply means, don’t take no for an answer, never give up on your goals or your dreams, and don’t sacrifice your dream for someone or something that ultimately doesn’t matter.
UP: Dope, as Jay-Z said “I can’t base what I’m gonna be off of what everybody isn’t.” Only you determine your limits. Any final words, or things you want the readers to look out for?
- Rhonesha: Keep an eye out for HerAgenda.com! We have major changes and new features coming soon. Also stay tuned to societyandstyle.com, and you can like my fan page on Facebook: N.E.S.H.A.! U Define Success
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