Group shot of employees from Conqueror Consulting Group.
Conqueror Consulting Group Founder Nesha K. Brown shares how she uses her personal experiences and struggles as a way to inspire other entrepreneurs. — Conqueror Consulting Group

Conqueror Consulting Group LLC (CCG), a 2022 Young Entrepreneur Finalist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Big Awards, connects aspiring entrepreneurs in underserved communities with resources to help them launch successful businesses.

As a business consultant and Founder of CCG, Nesha K. Brown uses her personal experiences to help other minority entrepreneurs develop positive financial habits.

“Losing both of my parents by the age of 19 while six months pregnant, and later getting arrested for a felon charge, pushed me into entrepreneurship by default,” she told CO—. “I had to become a ‘sponge’ and figure life out starting [with] my lack of financial literacy.”

Brown highlighted the impact of using your personal branding as a form of business marketing, which can ultimately connect you to the right audience.

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Sharing your vulnerabilities as a business professional

According to Brown, a pivotal moment in her career occurred when she met a financial advisor and enrolled in a credit education program, later sharing her success online.

“Sharing my knowledge and results on social media attracted people to me, from similar places and ‘backgrounds,’ wanting to know more about how I could help them,” she said. “By extension, I began helping my followers optimize their credit reports to get approved for homes, auto loans, and credit cards, and two years later I transitioned them into helping them turn their ideas into professional business models.”

Building this type of relationship with your audience instills confidence and trust in you both professionally and personally.

People want to know you’re just like them and you don’t have it all figured out. I believe they are more inspired, hopeful, and willing to take action when you can showcase not only your imperfections, but your tenacity to keep pushing even in the face of adversity.

Nesha K. Brown, Founder, Conqueror Consulting Group

“I believe I was once my own ‘ideal customer,’ ignorant to financial literacy and [lacking] business development skill sets, so being able to learn from trial and error and persevere despite setbacks and roadblocks has helped become the ‘product of the product,’” she said. “That’s what people are attracted to — not just the highs but the lows as well that I’m transparent about.”

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Becoming who you need at your lowest

Oftentimes, successful entrepreneurs are those who have created solutions to problems they once had.

“Other entrepreneurs have similar reasons for creating a company — it fills a gap that they had in their own lives,” Brown said. “People want to know you’re just like them and you don’t have it all figured out. I believe they are more inspired, hopeful, and willing to take action when you can showcase not only your imperfections, but your tenacity to keep pushing even in the face of adversity.”

Brown mentioned a time she visited Woodlawn Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to speak with students who were behaviorally challenged. Her mission was to help them make better decisions.

“The students were attentive and very engaged in hearing my story of making poor decisions and how it affected my adult life and the steps they could take to avoid hard lessons,” she said.

Owning who you once were — and all the struggles you’ve faced and overcome — is a powerful form of marketing. So long as you remain true to yourself, your personal brand — no matter how vulnerable — will attract the right people.

“Know what you value, [what] you bring to your audience, and speak to them; don’t worry about anyone else,” Brown said. “Stay consistent and show up as your true, authentic self every day. The right people will notice, and it’ll eventually pay off.”

Additionally, Brown advised keeping your story relevant and tying it into your products and services. You don’t have to use your personal brand as a diary of your traumas if that doesn’t feel good to you, but you can practice vulnerability and authenticity through your branding efforts.

Brown leaves her audience with this advice: “Stay true to yourself, know what you bring, and tell your story, and the right people will align naturally.”

[Read more: How to Build a Personal Brand to Support Your Business]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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