Since starting Super Woman Publishing, Angela T. Jones has seen her event management and publishing company evolve. Among the services she now offers are book publishing, motivational speaking, movie production, television script writing services and event planning services. She tells TNJ.com how she built her brand.
TNJ.com: Why did you launch Super Woman Productions and Publishing?
Angela T. Jones: I launched Super Woman Productions and Publishing in 2008. Initially, I only wanted to publish a book without losing creative control. With research, and time, I discovered that I could also develop a company that would allow more opportunities long term.
TNJ.com: Why the name?
AJ: That is a long story, but I'm always "saving the day" when people need something. I've always been very resourceful, and people noticed. They started calling me Superwoman. To avoid potential copyright issues with DC Comics when I started my company, I made the name into two words instead of one.
TNJ.com: How did you fund the startup?
AJ: I started my business with money I earned from my corporate job and by doing a lot of things by myself to keep overhead low.
TNJ.com: What were some of your startup challenges?
AJ: My biggest challenge as a startup was funding my projects. However, that is still my challenge. I've had to become very good at negotiating and building mutually beneficial relationships with business owners in various industries so that I can obtain what I need to get projects completed even if or when full funding isn't available to me. I'm not a traditional business, therefore, traditional business funding opportunities aren't necessarily available to me.
TNJ.com: What are some challenges of being a female business owner?
AJ: This is still a male dominated world, particularly in the entertainment industry, which my company has become part of. Therefore, as a female business owner in entertainment, I have to always be mindful of how women are perceived in such a male-dominated industry. I have to be fearless, aggressive and sometimes unapologetic about who I am and what I expect professionally without worrying about whether or not someone is going to think I'm mean or bossy. I have to command respect from my male counterparts while setting a positive example for my female peers. When I'm told I'm attractive, I say that I'm also smart to keep my appearance from becoming a focus. I've noticed that being pretty may get me into a room, but being smart is what keeps me there. So I choose to never "dumb myself down" in any setting. Knowing what men know and not being afraid to show that I have business acumen actually helps me to stand out as a professional.
TNJ.com: What are your goals for 2014?
AJ: First, I want to complete and publish my upcoming book "Breaking Through the Black Ceiling". Additional 2014 goals are to successfully and positively impact my community and the women in it, through the written word and my local events, as well as increasing business revenue and the reputation of the Super Woman Brand.
TNJ.com: What are your longterm goals?
AJ: Longterm goals include writing and producing more online, television and film content for my audience to enjoy. I'm looking forward to having more speaking engagements, broadening my business connections internationally, conducting media training and expanding FabLife Apparel and Accessories. I'm writing three more books after "Breaking Through the Black Ceiling" over the course of the next few years.
TNJ.com: How do you attract new clients?
AJ: The Internet of all things. It's a great way to find people who may be interested in your products and services, not just locally but also globally. By effectively using social media and having a website, you can decrease the degrees of separation between yourself and others with a click. I still believe in face-to-face interactions because it builds a sense of trust when someone can look you in the eye, so I network often, but selectively.
TNJ.com: What is your best business lesson?
AJ: My best business lesson is having patience and embracing your own purpose. Never go into business for the purpose of competing with someone else because you think you can do what they do. Find out what you do best and then find a way to get paid for doing it. I once heard Dan Gilbert say, "Money doesn't lead, it follows." As business owners, we all want to make money, but the money is the reward for the work you put forth.
TNJ.com: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
AJ: I truly enjoy receiving unexpected "thank yous" from people, many of whom I've never met, who say that something I said, something I wrote or something I did helped, empower or encourage them. I've literally been brought to tears by some of those people who reach out and thank me.