Empowering Women Tenita Johnson: “There is enough for us all to win.”
As a successful entrepreneur, Tenita Johnson knows that collaboration is the key to success.
“We, as women, are stronger together,” she said. “It’s the whole idea of collaboration over competition. Even if we do the same thing, there is enough for us all to win- if we collaborate we can win quicker and split the proceeds.”
Despite her busy schedule, she takes time to mentor young professionals and promotes fellow entrepreneurs on social media.
“I definitely think women need to be more encouraging to each other, because we don’t necessarily get it from our male counterparts,” she said. “A lot of times, even though we do the same things, that doesn’t make us competitors.”
Johnson is the CEO of her copywriting company, So It Is Written LLC. Among her other roles are editor of BI Worldwide and editor for Hope for Women. She is the national president of the Aspiring Writers Association of America.
She organized The Red Ink Conference, an event held twice a year that is full of workshops designed to improve writers’ craft and teach them how to market themselves and their products. For people who want to quit their 9-5 jobs and become their own boss, there are workshops for that, too.
Mentoring young professionals is important to her. One woman she mentors has attended her conferences and uses the tips Johnson taught her while striving to become a sports journalist.
Valerie Coleman, a publisher from Ohio, was one of Johnson’s inspirations when she first got into the business. Coleman gave Johnson her first job editing manuscripts and allowed her to make her transition away from traditional journalism.
That helped her launch into her career, and so Johnson understands the importance of empowering others.
Often, when Johnson speaks at events or conferences, she talks about how she overcame depression, suicidal thoughts and fear. Among her fears were leaving her corporate job as an internal communication specialist and becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
Johnson built her brand for eight years while working at her corporate job. She worked on side projects, knowing one day she would launch her career as an entrepreneur.
“It was a matter of okay, now I’m going to do this full-time,” Johnson said. “It will take time to become your own entrepreneur.”
She has sound advice for anyone who wants to become their own boss.
“Surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs who have been doing the job for at least 10 to 15 years,” she said. “Listen to positive podcasts from entrepreneurs, inspirational YouTube videos. You have to flood your mind with positive affirmations and positive thoughts.”
“TV, social media, music, all those things… allow yourself to open yourself up for negativity or positivity. I just have to choose to inundate myself with the positive,” she added.
Just as important is having a solid support system to encourage and push you to achieve your goals, as well as recognize when something is wrong.
Realize that it will take time to switch to the mindset of an entrepreneur and adjust to getting paid per project instead of a regular paycheck bi-weekly.
“You aren’t going to the office and nobody is going to tell you what projects to work on. You have to manage all of that, you have to be the CEO and the employee,” she said.
While Johnson promotes empowering fellow women, many women tend to compare themselves with others. This can be unhealthy as an entrepreneur.
“Don’t necessarily compare other success to your success and feel like you aren’t successful because your journey doesn’t look like another entrepreneurs,” she said. “We all have our paths, we all have our schedules, it’s going to be different for everybody .”
The Red Ink Conferences in 2019 will be at Charlotte in May and Chicago in August. Check out the conference website at theredinkconference.com.