Tuesday, December 26, 2017

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Porsha Hargrove, Founder of Affirming Black Voices, LLC

Porsha founded Affirming Black Voices, LLC, a company that creates and promotes positive content through the power of representation in books, business, digital content, and film. Her first initiative is the Joyful Black Child book series. A book series created to AFFIRM and EMPOWER children of color. She mentors, coach and encourages children and young adults to become the best versions of themselves. She earned a BA from the University of Missouri Kansas City and continued her graduate studies at UMD Baltimore County. She is currently seeking to pursue her Master’s Degree in Psychology. 

1.    What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
During the beginning process of starting my business, I found it challenging to balance my time between being newly married, being in a leadership position at my day job and going through the discovery/building process of my business. I come from a science and technology background, so learning a new industry and process was a bit intimidating at first. After extensive research, reading and mentoring, I was able to overcome the fear and embrace the process.

2.    What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I was inspired by my mother and unborn child. The company and book started as a passion project. I started writing as a way to cope with my mother's death and experiencing a miscarriage. Through writing, I realized how blessed I was to have such a loving and affirming mother. She spoke so much life to my siblings and me as children. I wanted to share her wisdom and insight with adults and children who were not as fortunate to have the same experience. Through mentoring, I realized a lot of children and young adults carry a lot of insecurity, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy based on things that were said or done to them as children. The controlling negative images in the media doesn't help. Instead of waiting for an external group to showcase the greatness and speak life into our community, I decided to do what I could to become a part of the solution that will help propel us forward.

3.    How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I learned to balance my personal and professional life by PLANNING and SCHEDULING! A wise woman told me "What you don't schedule won't happen." I'm huge on being present with family and friends; it brings me peace and balance. My husband and I have such a good time together, so we are very intentional when it comes to making time for each other and our loved ones.

4.    What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
The inspirational quote I live by is "In order to live a purpose-driven life, all of your actions must conform to that purpose." -Hill Harper. When I was young, I read his book entitled Letters To a Young Sister. This quote propelled and changed my life by challenging me to become more disciplined and intentional in my pursuits.

5.    Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My mother was the most influential person in my life. She was one of the most optimistic people I have ever met. She taught me to view life through a different lens and perspective. When trials happened, instead of being consumed by them she taught me to find the hidden blessing and lesson inside of every burden.  I attribute my success in life to the wisdom, morals, values, and education I received from her. Additionally, I've been blessed to have some of the best mentors ever! Representation truly does matter. Many of my mentors are former colleagues, managers, and directors that I worked with over the years. I'm a walking living example of how representation can drive and motivate a young person to pursue their goals and passions audaciously.

6.    What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
My Top 3 must-haves for keeping my career or business going strong:

• Planners and notebooks – I'm a visual learner, I like to write and draw out ideas and plans.
• Cell Phone- Maximizing technology that promotes efficiency and increase productivity is  essential. 
• Prayer and Meditation-Health is wealth. It is important for me to decompress, regroup and recenter my mind, body, and spirit on a daily basis.

7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS walks boldly and valiantly in their purpose while teaching and cultivating others to do the same. They never shrink themselves for someone else's comfort. Instead, they operate out of confidence, love, and respect, not fear, arrogance or jealousy. 

To find out more about Porsha Hargrove, visit her at: