To live life carelessly and not intentionally, is to live without a purpose.
In life, too often we get caught up in our jobs and what’s popular in the media that we unconsciously forget that we have a purpose and that we should position ourselves to live in that purpose every day.
At some point in your life, your purpose will be shown to you. In order to understand what that purpose is, what we have to be open-minded because often our purpose is communicated to us in the most peculiar ways, and in the most random moments.
For Porsche Williams, she had an inkling idea of her purpose while in college as a Psychology major. While attending the University of Illinois, she knew that she didn’t want to go down the traditional path as a practicing therapist so she pondered on what her passions were. She had a love fashion and style and had a knack of people. She soon realized she wanted to use her education in psychology and combine it with her love of fashion to help people with their confidence in the form of improving their lifestyle. After graduation, she moved to Chicago and worked in retail and insurance. Later, she was bitten by the “love bug” and moved to Dallas, Texas with her husband and continued her career in retail management. While in Dallas, she worked for several retail companies, assisted in fashion shows, photo shoots, and even freelanced on the side. After a few years of working on the fashion side in retail, she began to work for Nespresso as a retail manager. While working there, she and her husband and became pregnant with their first child and that’s when she had the idea of The Prototype.
As a soon-to-be-mom, she began to think about her own life, and she knew that she had a bigger purpose in the world, and that purpose would stem from taking a leap in entrepreneurship. Personally, she knew she wanted to show her baby that there’s a different way to obtain success and make your mark in life. As Porsche told me, “Yes you can graduate high school, go to college, get a job, and climb the corporate ladder. But you can also do all of those things, start your own business, and become just as successful, if not more, too.”
Another moment that inspired Porsche was while thinking about being a professional, new mother, and wife she didn’t know how she would be able to balance all of them. While looking at her own life and how it would change, she thought about some of the many women in her life that she admired that seemed to have it all together. As Porsche told me, “They looked great, were in shape, hosted fabulous parties, and still had jobs and have families.” One thing that Porsche realized about these women is that they have help. They have someone to do meal prep for them, they have a stylist, they have a trainer, etc. At that moment, she knew there were other people like her that could benefit from the help of others with their lifestyle.
After Porsche’s baby was born in December 2015, she started her work on The Prototype. While on maternity leave, she launched an Instagram page for her business, and soon after The Prototype started to get more attention. She also started to network, which brought even more attraction to her business. After her maternity leave ended, she returned to work, but then quickly decided to leave for good as she wanted to focus more on The Prototype and have more time with her new baby. Months later, just in December 2016, Porsche officially launched The Prototype. For Porsche, launching her business taught her many valuable lessons that she continues to use in her professional life every day.
The first lesson that she learned was that all advice doesn’t require action. Being a new business and starting to network, Porsche received a lot of feedback and opinions on her business. Although she accepted the feedback, she learned to not let it clout her overall plan and vision.
Another lesson that she learned was that it is okay to be the face of your business. As Porsche told me, “I used to just want to stay in the background and not let myself or my personality be shown. I’ve had to get over that because people buy into people, not just things or random products. They have to have a connection to the person or experience behind it in order to really invest in it.”
The next thing that Porsche learned is that everyone should have a network of ‘business besties.’ As Porsche explained to me, besides obtaining capital, one of the biggest barrier for women of color entering entrepreneurship is support. To step out on your own and forge a new path, especially if you didn’t see successful entrepreneurship growing up, it can be really scary. If you don’t have the support from those closest to you, you have to go out and get it. You have to connect with people that are on the same wavelength as you.
The last, and one of the most important, things that Porsche learned in her entrepreneurship journey is that it’s okay to have that network of business besties and talk to them about your goals and vision. You never know who is connected with who, or what kind of advice or help you can obtain from another person. As Porsche told me, “I know we refrain from telling others about our ideas because we think someone is going to steal it. Honestly, I used to feel the same way, but I realized that you are uniquely you. Someone may have the same or a very similar idea, or someone may take your whole idea but they’re not going to do it they way you would do it. I believe that there can be other businesses that are alike but what you bring to it is what make it different and special.”
Now that The Prototype has launched, Porsche is ready to take her business to the next level. “I’m focused on starting to create some experiences that bring The Prototype to life,” Porsche excitedly told me. Currently, The Prototype is in the beginning stages of an ambassador program, and they are getting ready for their first brunch event which will occur in January in Dallas. Lastly, they are looking to bring on more Prototype Professionals and launch The Prototype in another city (so lookout because The Prototype may be coming to a city near you).