Shettima Webb is an entrepreneur with a mission. As the owner of Model Esteem she provides a platform for beauty and confidence to flourish. We spoke with Webb about her business and asked her to share some tips to help those who are following their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
Well, I am the owner of Model Esteem, which is a modeling and performance arts organization for youth and young adults. What inspires me are the youth and the young adults I teach. As a professional model and actress, I am an advocate for the arts. When I was younger I would sing, write poetry and songs but never really had an outlet to showcase my talent. I also didn’t have enough self-esteem to show the world the gifts God gave me. I show up to my business knowing that I am making a difference. I share my struggles with low self-esteem with the youth I work with. I was teased and bullied and I don’t want that for them.
How did you determine your career path?
Before I became a professional plus size model and owner of a modeling and performance arts company, I was an accountant. I became an accountant because I wanted to learn about finance and business. When I was in college, being an entrepreneur was not something that crossed my mind as I desired to move up the ranks of someone else’s company. God had a different plan for me and when I got laid off, I decided to pursue my passion and pursue a career in modeling and acting as well as developing the next generation of performers.
Describe the skill sets that are essential to future business leader and innovators?
A don’t quit attitude I believe is the most important.
Describe goal setting methods you use and how you evaluate your success?
My goal is to meet the needs of my students. I think every business owner needs to access why they are in business. What is the purpose? What outcome do you want to achieve. For me it’s addressing the needs of people and finding a solution to help them while using fun entertainment as a way to inspire and educate.
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you?
Lifelong learning is important because you never really “arrive” or know it all so knowing that you will constantly need learning.
What are the three most important factors of being a successful woman?
Knowing who you are and your purpose.
Not competing with another woman.
Helping another woman.
What social media or digital tool has made the biggest difference in your life and why?
I love social media! It has been an amazing tool in my business when getting clients and finding new partnerships. Facebook has really been amazing and I am learning how to utilize the other social media platforms to grow my business.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I really wish that all guns could be destroyed. I know that people kill people but I am not understanding why we need to kill people? Isn’t there a better way to defend yourself? Too many people are dying at the hands of guns and I am just saddened at how many people are more concerned about legal rights than life.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I was married. I am so serious. That will happen in time. It’s just taking longer than I would want. I am using my singleness to really focus on my business and purpose so I ain’t complaining.
Who or what motivates you and why?
I am motivated by my purpose and destiny because I know that my purpose is connected to someone else’s purpose in helping them discover who they are.
What are the do’s and don’ts for young women in business?
Don’t be so hard on yourself to the point that you think you can not be successful if things are not going as plan. There are learning lessons in our hardships.You can’t be all things to all people. Find a target market in that business and work it.
How do you successfully grow from business failure?
Well, I believe that everyone fails in their business at some point. You may not stop but starting and maintaining a business is difficult when you are used to consistent money and just waking up every day knowing how your day will pretty much go. I believe that every business can grow when you realize that failures are not something to look down upon but to use those instances to grow and make your business better. Doing research and having business mentors who are more successful than you because they probably have been through some failures and can give you advice on what not to do and what to do helps.
Name three successful female role models you look up to and explain why you hold them in high esteem.
I honestly have quite a few successful role models that I look up to but the ones who I admire most are Viola Davis, Oprah and Tyra Banks. I admire these three ladies because they are successful as Black women in the careers that I am currently working in which is acting, media and modeling. I believe that are great examples on what Black women can become when they know who they are and pursue their dreams.