Celebrating International Black Women’s History Month With Trailblazing Entrepreneur, Desireé Emmanuel of Young & Brilliant

As we celebrate International Black Women’s History Month during the month of April it is our distinct pleasure to introduce you to a trailblazing entrepreneur who is making history in the financial literacy world by the name of Desireé Emmanuel who is the founder of Young & Brilliant. Young & Brilliant was birthed during Desireé’s solo trip to Egypt, where she had an epiphany overlooking the Nile River. Desireé realized that there is a communication gap between black employees and others in the corporate world. It was not a skillset issue but a foundational issue that stems from African American employees not being taught the same critical thinking frameworks as their counterparts, which greatly affects their corporate experience. This inspired Desireé to create a foundation for our youth that focuses on teaching them the foundations of critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy, to bridge the racial economic wealth gap and provide the missing foundation for our youth.

Hustle and Soul Magazine readers, please enjoy our interview!

What is your mission within your community?

Desireé: My mission is to serve the community by teaching core life skills to our youth to set them up for success, which is palpable in all that I do.

In addition to financial literacy, what else are you passionate about?

Desireé: I am passionate about creating safe spaces for people to express themselves which inspired me to start the Open Mics at Black Dot Cultural Center. What started as one Thursday a month has grown into a weekly event where artists from all over the world come to perform and share their feelings through poetry, music, storytelling, and much more.

As a speaker, I am passionate about sharing the importance of being able to set and achieve goals, applying critical thinking, and providing a framework for people to achieve any goal they put their minds to. I speak about mental health, entrepreneurship, and womanhood.

What is your proudest business accomplishment?

Desireé: My proudest accomplishments so far was landing my first bulk order of sales in books with a national youth organization (YMCA), and landing the tv show Going from Broke that allowed me to showcase the company.

Do you believe in work-life balance? If so how do you maintain it?

Desireé: I strongly believe in finding a work-life balance. This not only affects our physical health but also our mental well-being, which is crucial when building a business, working a 9–5, and managing relationships. I learned this the hard way after experiencing depression from over-exerting myself and managing microaggressions in a white male-dominated industry in the consulting space. On the verge of a mental breakdown, my doctor put me on FMLA for three months before I made the decision to resign from a previous employer to protect my mental health.
Since then, I’ve made it a priority to work from places with beautiful views and dedicate at least one day a week to decompressing. It’s essential to take care of ourselves to avoid burnout and to be able to perform at our best in all aspects of life. That’s why I encourage my team and those around me to prioritize self-care and finding a healthy balance between work and life.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Desireé: Make a plan. A thorough plan. Run the numbers. Identify what resources you need and execute. Fail fast and learn from those lessons. Iterate and go again. Consistency, disciple, and belief. The mind controls reality.

I faithfully believe that frameworks are how you accomplish anything. Once you capture the formula to success, you should be able to repeat it at any time for almost any circumstance.

Learn more:
Instagram: @iamyoungandbrilliant

Tammy Reese

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