The Decision Makers Series is one of our staff’s favorite because decision making is a topic that so many of us have studied deeply.

Chinonye Akunne | CEO and Co-Founder of ILERA Apothecary

Other than deciding to work for myself, the single most important decision I have made that has contributed to my success is being aware of the people I keep around me. From friends, mentors, and occasional acquaintances they all matter. I am self-aware enough that I do not know everything so having a strong tribe around me makes running and growing a business easier. I ask a lot of questions, ask for recommendations and join accelerator programs to ensure my knowledge base and leadership skills are always up to date. Read more>>

Mark Montgomery | Skill Toy Designer & Store Owner

I think locking on to the notion of custom tailored infrastructure was the single most important decision. In practice, constantly refining the balance of all business/brand parts in a way that matches my lifestyle, my finances, my schedule, my interest and just plane ‘me’. It’s easy to talk yourself out of a good opportunity based on considering a method of execution that you’d never optimally choose. Taking the time to think through your ideal method of execution for a goal, business or project, seeds the right type of thought processing towards a much more ‘you’ set of options, considerations, and opportunities. Read more>>

Janeen Brown | Serial Entrepreneur – CEO of Balloon Hause

My mindset change – as a person who wasn’t raised by Entrepreneurs or surrounded by many, I had to rid any negative thoughts I had regarding my future. I could no longer sit when things weren’t going right, I had to figure out how do I move forward in a positive manner. How do I build our clientele, reminding myself that I cannot fail – that didn’t exist. My thought patterns changed, whom I surrounded myself with changed and more. Waking up in the morning and telling myself that with or without support, I was going to move forward and make it. Having a positive mindset is crucial to being an entrepreneur because things will get tough. Read more>>

Kevin Marshall | Author and Attorney

I had to make the decision to choose faith over fear. I have always planned every aspect of my life. I never liked to “go with the flow.” Every detail of my life had to be planned, or I would have tremendous anxiety. I made the decision to focus on the big picture and give God the details. I have faith that God will provide in famine, give me confidence when I’m timid, and re-route me when I get off track. You’ll never lose when you choose faith in moments of fear. Read more>>

C.Michelle Jones-Harrison | Founder, President & CEO

Other than deciding to work for myself, The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success was getting up every morning and praying first, Giving thanks and gratitude to God, making daily affirmations, thinking & speaking positive and deciding that nothing would keep me from fulfilling my dreams. I’d also create daily & weekly goals and accomplish them. I’d work hard and keep moving forward even in the midst of many obstacles or challenges. I’ve come too far to give up now. Therefore, I have to be consistent, persistent and persevere. I refuse to allow anything to hold me back. If I don’t finish the race, I’d never know whether or not I would have made it to the finish line successfully. Therefore, I KEEP GOING. Read more>>

Jenny Hendrixx | Digital Creator

The biggest decision I made that contributed to my success was just simply making up my own mind and sticking to what I believed. There were people who had strong opinions about what “they” thought I should do but I never allowed that to hinder my dreams. Some people have a tendency to project their fears on others because they’re afraid of failing so they think you should be afraid to. I never listened to those people. Read more>>

Gina Suggs | Founder, Owner and Director of Kids Care Atlanta

The decision to attend an HBCU away from home was the best decision I could have ever made as a young adult. I am a proud Alumni of The Tennessee State University. Attending an HBCU and particularly TSU, contributed to my success in many ways. I learned to hustle, speak up for myself (since my parents were out of state) and most importantly I connected and made relationships with different people from all walks of life. These relationships make up an extensive network of doctors, lawyers, designers, real estate agents, teachers, engineers…. almost any career you can think of. These people are a phone call (or dm) away and TSU alumni look out for each other, we’re a family. I have reached out to many people for questions regarding anything in the world, and most are willing to help where they can. Read more>>

Eboni Stembridge | Owner/Operator/Designer | Eboni Ivory Memories

The next single most important decision is to provide excellent customer at all times even when there is an adverse situation. I am very particular about how Eboni Ivory Memories is represented. Even with pressure to meet a deadline for a memorial service of a loved one, it is still important to be personable, understanding while providing the best product that is expected. We would never rush a job and provide mediocre service. The gratitude towards our customers is impeccable and we want them from start to finish. Read more>>

Jade Stevenson | Writer & Storyteller

I found an internal love for storytelling. There isn’t anything in the world that stirs my mind and spirit more than the process and art of storytelling. I’m a writer for a living, and initially, I was on track to be an engineer. Despite a small enjoyment in those classes, nothing about engineering really sparked anything in me. Engineering classes are challenging, but I didn’t feel invested in the classes or the process. However, it was different when it came to my English classes. I was completely in awe of stories and fiction; I would even get in trouble reading in other classes. I was willing to risk it all to read and experience diverse storytelling. In every medium, I find myself enjoying this art form. I don’t regret choosing to pursue a career as a writer; it’s the one choice I believe that my entire being will never regret. If I’m willing to risk everything and write, I know that this is what my passion is. I choose to be a storyteller because I believe in its way of art. It’s a collective experience, documentation of history and humanity, and a wish to the universe. Read more>>