I recently attended a premier conference hosted by Happy Black Woman. Rosetta Thurman, founder of the company, is the sort of black woman that I love. She is a woman who wants for her sisters, what she wants (and has) for herself. She is extremely unselfish and incredibly generous.
Rosetta’s story goes like this: She was born the daughter of a teen mom who struggled with financial limitations. Her father was estranged, then died early. Rosetta grew up achieving and after graduating college, went on to work in the non-profit sector.
Inside her heart and mind though, was a real desire for entrepreneurship. She had a yearning for more than the daily 9-5 grind, even though she was very good at her work.
She began blogging and her content was compelling enough that she became a sought after speaker. When it became clear that her day job was an obstacle to her ultimate freedom, she left and has not worked for anyone but herself since.
Early on Rosetta was chided for naming her company ‘Happy Black Woman.’ Critics said that black women didn't have the money to be profitable clients. They even said 'happy' black women do not exist. Well Rosetta has proven both statements false.
She attests that her journey has had both hills and valleys, yet she has not regretted going on her own. Rosetta’s ‘Happy Black Woman’ has already earned over one million dollars and she is successfully living a location independent lifestyle and answering to only herself.
The most beautiful part of this story is that she is helping other black women do the same.
When you attend a ‘Happy Black Woman’ event, you do not get hype and fluff. Rosetta is pragmatic and efficient. Her content is the same. She is a skillful listener and very capable of helping women identify their strengths and weaknesses. And with her insight and prompting, she helps women clarify their own thinking and identify next steps. I’ve watched her do this live.
Rosetta shares her own journey and admits that training, coaching and mentorship is a must as she herself has mentors and coaches. She also encourages the women at her events to partner with each other, not only for services but also for accountability partnerships.
At the latest Launch Your Business event I met amazing women from across the country who are doing great things. Over the three day conference we developed friendships and support networks realizing that what Rosetta has ultimately created and given us is a sorority. Because of her love of black women and desire to see each of us free and prosperous, she facilitates wonderful programs where we not only learn but we connect with other like-minded, 'happy' women.
I especially love the way in which Rosetta empowers black women. Personally, I am very guarded against the ‘independent-don’t-need-no-man’, ‘I-can-do-bad-by-myself’ black woman messaging that is so pervasive. I believe this has been detrimental and ill-serving to our communities. But this is the very opposite tone of Rosetta’s programs. She wants black women to have it all-in whatever way they define that.
Wanting for her sisters what she wants for herself allows no room for competition, only accountability. Therefore Rosetta impresses upon women that laziness, self pity and limiting mindsets are not features of a woman who wants a different life than that which she is living. To have something different, we can’t continue with the same habits and to be better, we must do better-this is part of her message.
I am grateful for Rosetta Thurman and Happy Black Woman. I am grateful for her boldness and conviction to choose such a wonderful name for her company and for her absolute love of black women that makes her strive to empower them with the information, tools and resources to truly live freely.
You might say that I am in the Rosetta Thurman fan club. I admit that you would be right. I am a fan of any black woman who walks her talk in the way of genuinely supporting other black women and girls. Rosetta is clear on the socio-economic impacts in our communities. She understands our history. And with this knowledge, she stands strong against suggestions both open and subtle that impose limits on the success black women and their families can achieve.
Rosetta connects women to resources who could help them beyond her own skill set. She does not presume or pretend to know it all and therefore she gladly shares her stage with others who are experts in their particular fields. And this- to me- is love.
If you ever have an opportunity to attend a Happy Black Woman event, it would be a gift that you give to yourself.
In the meantime, visit HappyBlackWoman.com and check out the Happy Black Woman podcast on itunes or via the website. Then you too, will be in the Rosetta Thurman fan club.
Nurah strives to enlighten, empower and engage her readers with the wealth of knowledge she has gained from her own experiences and those of others from whom she has learned.