When Kezia Williams graduated from college, she thought she landed her dream job. Fresh out of school, she began working for the federal government as a high level national security report writer. She planned on working for the government until she retired. Everything was moving accordingly until year six when her manager changed.
Shortly after her new manager took over, she was demoted. Her new manager thought writing national security reports was too complicated for her, so she demoted Kezia to organizing travel. Shortly after that demotion she was demoted again. This time she was given the responsibility of printing badges for non-secure visitors. Three months later she was demoted again. This time her new job was to buzz vistors in and out restrooms.
In less than a year she went from writing reports for the Vice President to watching people enter and exit the restroom.
After deep self reflection she realized that she had enough. She decided her worth was more valuable than her manager could see.
Kezia decided to quit her job with no plan on what she wanted to do next. She had faith in her intelligence and abilities and was confident that she would be okay.
Four years has passed since then. Today she is an entrepreneurial rockstar. In 2019, she was #67 on The Root’s Top 100 influential African Americans list. She is the CEO and founder of @theblackupstart, which is an organization that trains entrepreneurs to start and grow sustainable small businesses.
Since 2016 her company has trained 200 inspiring entrepreneurs. A remarkable 41% of them are still in business and 50% now employ other people.
In addition to running The Black Upstart, she also is the head of the United Negro College Fund’s $25 million entrepreneurship initiative for black undergraduates. In four years as the head of the fund, she has expanded the program from 44 students to 350 at 90 colleges and universities.
On episode 58 of Earn Your Leisure, Kezia told her story and gave a blueprint to help entrepreneurs beat the odds and become successful.
EYL 58 will be out today at 5 pm est.
Article by @Rashadbilal