Shaniqua Davis is the boss. She is the CEO and founder of Noirefy, a digital platform connecting diverse professionals to corporations. After leaving her job in 2016, she felt it was the perfect time to chase her dream of being an entrepreneur. Out of her entrepreneurial dreams, Noirefy was born.
Their mission is to connect ethnically diverse professionals, specifically from underrepresented backgrounds, directly to established professionals as well as employee-seeking companies.
What is your day-to-day like at work?
My day-to-day life at work consists of managing all aspects of my company, Noirefy. I am responsible for overseeing the direction of the company and our goals, so you can usually find me running in and out of meetings all day or with my head down in my laptop.
What inspires you to show up to work every day?
The biggest inspiration for me is knowing that I’m leading and growing my own vision. Every day, I find joy in working on something that’s greater than myself. I’m able to make an impact in an industry that desperately needs assistance finding great, diverse talent, and I can take pride in knowing that I’ve contributed to that. Another inspiration is knowing that I may be the role model or inspiration someone else needs.
How did you determine your career path?
I’ve always had a calling for entrepreneurship and technology. My participation in sports and organizations where I felt the need to step up or lead really helped me realize that entrepreneurship would eventually be the path for me.
What industries connect to your career choice?
The industries that I feel the most connected to involve media, marketing or technology.
Describe the future skill sets that are essential to future business leaders and
Tenacity, resilience and patience are the biggest skills you need to be a leader in business. As a professional, regardless of deciding to pursue a 9 to 5 or entrepreneurship, you need to be prepared for the challenges that come with growth. It won’t be easy and obstacles will come. Having the ability to be patient enough to get through it, resilient enough to get around it and tenacious enough to keep going will always take you to the next level.
Describe innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
The best innovative method I apply to my business and personal life is the agile method. In both your personal and business life, you must be prepared to change at any given moment. Being agile gives you the ability to adapt and shift when needed. This process has helped me navigate through both to keep growing.
Describe goal-setting methods you use and how you evaluate your success.
I usually set my goals in annual increments. I like to evaluate my past accomplishments, challenges and current state to plan for my larger goals for the next year.
I evaluate my success for these goals by reviewing the steps taken to reach the goal at hand. Evaluating the actions that took place to reach the goal mean more to me than accomplishing the goal.
Who do you consider your peers in your field? How have they supported you?
What best practices have they shared?
I consider my peers to be other professionals and entrepreneurs who can offer advice, be a resource or open doors for me and vice versa. The peers that I have relied on have been a resource for me; I think your network is your biggest asset. So, I take careful consideration with whom I let into my circle.
Some of the best practices I’ve learned from my colleagues and peers include being outgoing and straightforward about what I want. Being able to feel comfortable meeting new people and verbally express what I’m looking for has opened a lot of opportunities for me.
Name your favorite role models for success in two different industries.
My biggest role models are Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. They are my long-lost successful aunts I can rely on for inspiration. Like myself, Oprah Winfrey has overcome so much adversity and gone on to build an empire for herself through it all. Her resilience and tenacity has been one of the biggest motivators throughout my life, and I continue to watch and follow her to this day.
Michelle Obama is another role model for me because she is also extremely successful on her own accord, and she takes on a supporting and leading role in her family.
Name three books that changed how you saw life.
Successful Women Think Differently, Think and Grow Rich and The 48 Laws of Power
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
“The man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all.” Be a seed and water yourself with knowledge. In order to continue to grow throughout life, you must be open to continuously learning new things. Technologies, practices and behaviors are always evolving, and it’s always best to be ahead of the curve.
Describe the voice of success you hear in your head.
The voice in my head has always told me, “Make s— happen and don’t wait [for] anyone else to do it for you.”
Community success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
Community success means coming together to collectively grow, motivate and encourage the community around you to succeed. In addition to starting Noirefy, I’ve tried to be as involved in my community as possible. This means volunteering to help where I can, buying in my own community, supporting businesses and spreading the word. I want to help people achieve success and help them reach heights in their fields. I want to achieve success along with helping others. This is the whole concept of Noirefy. I don’t want the next generation to face the discrimination or the problems that this generation is facing. Community success matters more to me than personal success. I want to give something back to the community that I grew up in.
What role does technology play in your daily life?
Everything that I do on a daily basis involves technology. Technology allows me to connect with my family and friends, stay synced across all of my devices for work and connect with new opportunities.
What software and technology tools make the biggest difference in your life?
The technology tools that make the biggest difference in my life right now are my iPhone and my MacBook. I use these tools to stay connected, build and manage other technologies.
Define your personal culture.
I would define my personal culture as all things that make being Black great. I enjoy our food, our music, our culture, our attitudes, our hair, our skin and everything that embodies African American culture in America. I take all that and combine it with the passion to continue being the ambitious professional that I am today.
How does music impact and influence you?
Music has made a huge impact in my life and has influenced the way I embrace my culture.
Describe your favorite vacation spot.
Anywhere with a beach.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Actually, I wouldn’t change anything about myself. I love myself the way that I am. Of course, I have imperfections and things about myself that I still have to work on. However, the qualities are what make me uniquely me and not anyone else.