#Interview: Meet the Boss, Behind the Boss Network, Cameka Smith, Pt. 2

Hey! Welcome back to part two of Cameka Smith’s interview. If you missed part one, check it out here.

053Cameka S

It is often said, your network is your net worth, so how did you build your network.
I saw a need, I saw technology that was being used, where I could actually leverage it. When I started three years ago, social media was just really hitting the pavement hard. Facebook and Twitter, those were the two main ones at that point, really out there. I just thought about using it to build thousands of followers and people. I said hey, wait a minute, if they can do it, then I can do it. I’m good at connecting people.

What core things did you stick to, when you started building The Boss Network.
Integrity, especially when you have a business that has a network. Everyone wants to access your network for other things. So, I started getting approached about reality shows, about doing parties, by people who wanted to advertise things that were not what I was interested in advertising. I wanted to have a professional network. I was not trying to have a social media site. I was trying to start a professional network for women.

The Boss Network has experienced a lot of growth, since 2009, when it started. What was the beginning membership numbers.
I was connecting with women in New York, D.C., Atlanta, Jamaica, and I’m like woah, how did they even find me…the internet. In the beginning, we had a core group of women, I would say maybe about 80 or 90 women, who were a part of the network, and joined, and really kind of just pushed our mission. We were listed in Forbes, within eight months of being on the web, as one of the top ten career sites for women. Then, we got listed as one of the top ten entrepreneur websites for women. Our numbers just grew from there. We have over 1,800 members, our network is membership only, so it’s a paid membership. We have almost 30,000 on our email list- [which is comprised of] newsletters and updates about our events.

So, what’s going in 2013 with The Boss Network.
Every year, we try to have a theme. This year for me is really about just growing and expanding- so we’re trying to be in as many different markets as we can. We have some events planned in those different markets, we have some conferences, the Black Entrepreneurs’ Conference, Get Radical Conference, the Women’s Summit, is going to be in Anguilla and the Cayman Islands. We have a lot of great speakers lined up, like Suze Orman, Julia Michaels, Soledad O’Brien, Iyanla Vanzant. We are launching our new website in June, that will be a lot more interactive. We are launching our Boss University and Boss TV, that will highlight events, and professional courses. We are really just trying to be the number one place for professional women to grow and develop.

How many hours do you work a day.
Oh my goodness. In the beginning, when you’re first starting, it’s different.  It’s imperative you work hard, because you are trying to build something. You’re growing, you’re learning. I remember working 13-14 hour days. I’ve kind of cut that down to 8-10 hour days. I promised myself I wouldn’t work past 7 o’clock, unless it’s something I need to get done. I try to make time for my family and friends, people that I care about. Seven o’ clock is cut off time. Work is important, but, being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor with people that support you, is more important.

How do you manage your time.
I wake up at 6am. I do my prayer, I meditate, I cook breakfast, I work out, I get on my computer, from like 9 A.M. to like 6 or 7 P.M. I don’t really like schedules, I’m more of the spur of the moment type of person. I get more energy that way. It’s weird, but it works for me. So having to buckle down, and write an action plan, was like, aahhh, do I really have to do this. That day time action has to be planned out.

The life of a boss. I hope this interview has inspired you to definitely be your own boss in every endeavor you choose to pursue. Make a plan, and execute. Persistence will absolutely get you to the goal and beyond.

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