Side Hustle Pro: Women Entrepreneurs | Black Women Business Owners | Solopreneurs

Side Hustle Pro spotlights bold black women entrepreneurs who have scaled from side hustle to profitable business. Join Nicaila Matthews Okome for your weekly installment of Side Hustle Pro and learn actionable strategies to start small and get going–wherever and whoever you are. Side Hustle Pro features interviews with inspiring black women entrepreneurs like Venture Capitalist Stefanie Thomas, named a “Voice of Black Women VCs” by Fast Company, Award-winning financial educator and best-selling author Tiffany "The Budgetnista" Aliche, and entrepreneur, speaker and goal ­achievement specialist Courtney Sanders, the Founder of Think and Grow Chick, LLC.
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Side Hustle Pro: Women Entrepreneurs | Black Women Business Owners | Solopreneurs



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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 28, 2016

On this episode, I'm sharing the art of reaching out to potential collaborators, customers and clients via the cold email. While many of many of my guests are people I know or have met, 50% of the women I interview on my podcast were complete strangers before I reached out to them via email. In this episode I’m sharing the art of writing enticing cold emails that get responses. Here are some of my key tips:


  1. Preparation
    1. Do your research - Google, social media
    2. Consider what’s in it for them
    3. Eliminate words like, “pick your brain” from your vocabulary
    1. Keep a Google doc with your email templates and tweak for each individual outreach
    2. Revise as you learn what works
  2. Start a Template Document
    1. Make sure every person you reach out to knows why you appreciate their work and the value  the collab would bring
    2. Be prepared to GIVE before you get
    3. Make it EASY for them to collaborate. Propose dates and times (hello, Calendly!) and offer to work around their schedule.
  3. The outreach


If you want my exact email templates that I’ve used to reach out to the likes of Luvvie and Courtney Sanders of Think and Grow Chick, sign up for my email list at


Links mentioned in this episode:


Show notes from this week's episode:

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Sep 21, 2016

At the age of 5, Denise Sarkor escaped the Liberian Civil War with family and lived as a refugee in Ivory Coast. Raised in a rough part of NJ by a determined mother, she would go on to graduate from The Wharton School on a full scholarship and obtain her Masters in International Finance and Economic Policy from Columbia University. Although entrepreneurship tugged at her heart, she took a safer path, working as an international banker and development consultant at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank.

But after a devastating divorce rocked her to the core, she became fearless. Realizing that Corporate America had led her to yet another glass ceiling, she finally made the leap.

On this episode, you’ll learn how she hit the ground running after quitting unexpectedly and how she’s navigating the twists and turns of starting her own business.

Topics discussed:

  • How she honed in on what services she should offer in her business and how she’s managing cash flow
  • The surprising move she’s willing to make to sustain her business
  • Self-publishing her first book and successfully fundraising on Kickstarter
  • Why Poet and Activist Nikki Giovanni wrote her a personal note of congratulations

Links Mentioned:


Important Announcements:

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Sep 14, 2016

How did a former wedding planner turn her side hustle into a million dollar business? Today’s guest has the answer. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “bias for action” she is the epitome of that. When she thinks of an idea, she doesn’t just sit on it, she acts on it. She’s founded two successful businesses in her lifetime with no business degree and only education from the school of hard knocks. I’m talking about Vivian Kaye, the Founder and CEO of KinkyCurlyYaki, a successful natural hair extensions brand.

Known by fans as The Queen of Kank, Vivian founded KinkyCurlyYaki in 2012 to provide natural hair solutions for women who wanted the ease and flexibility of kinky curly hair extensions.

On this episode, you’ll learn how she got the idea and started her business from her living room and is now at the head of a soon to be million dollar brand.

Topics discussed:

  • How her Ghanaian upbringing influenced her entrepreneurial fire
  • Why she never felt the pressure to complete school to start a business
  • How getting laid off gave her the final push to dive into entrepreneurship full time
  • How she started two successful businesses from scratch
  • Balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood

Important Announcements:

  1. Side Hustle Pro has a buzzing Facebook group! Get the support you need to create and grow your side hustle in the welcoming Side Hustle Pro Community on So much great convo and connection is already happening in there.

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Sep 7, 2016

What’s it like to be a 13-year seasoned blogger in the age of Instagram and Snapchat Influencers?

On this episode I sit down for a conversation with Luvvie Ajayi to talk Branding 101. Luvvie is is a writer, digital strategist and creator of entertainment and humor blog As a fellow writer and avid blogger, I’ve always been inspired by Luvvie’s journey to full-time entrepreneur. She started her blog after peer pressure from friends who recognized her talent. After starting as a casual blogger, she slowly increased to blogging more than once a week. Three years in, she was working a 9 to 5 then blogging from 7 to 9 like a true side hustler. Though she was getting paid zero dollars, her first blogging award in 2009 made her realize maybe she was on to something. The rest, as they say, is history. Now Luvvie is getting ready to debut her first book, called I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do Better Manual, which is available on September 16 (or earlier if you pre-order).

FYI, I talked to Luvvie a few months ago for a Q&A before I launched my podcast. There we covered more of her background and how she got started. Check out part one here: then tune in to the episode.

On this episode we discuss:

  • Why you shouldn’t be so consumed with the idea of you being a brand
  • Why you need to be so good they can’t ignore you
  • How to make sure you’re prioritizing solid content over marketing
  • How to negotiate with brands once you get to that level
  • The real deal with how she approaches brand partnerships and her certified deal breakers