Today we’d like to introduce you to Natilie Williams.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Leadership has been a strong component of my life. Namely, my time at Central Michigan University birthed the leadership skills that I could have never imagined. Campus involvement and maintaining consistent Dean List showed me that balance was possible. As a Southside native, I made it my business to always return to my old high school, Percy L. Julian, to share my college journey with the student and encourage them to soar academically and prepare for college or some form of higher education.
Fast forward to my Masters program at Illinois State University, I did a 130-page thesis “For the Culture.” Essentially, I used my favorite television show, “A Different World,” as the main focus and looked at the relationship of the three main characters, Whitley, Ron, and D’Wayne. This allowed me to actually meet the cast of the iconic show on national television.
My alma mater, Central Michigan University, asked to keynote a multicultural freshman leadership program and to use my “A Different World” encounter as past student leadership as the foundation of my message. It was a hit! I keynoted in front of 300 people with lines of people waiting to talk to me after. It was that moment that was a clear insight that speaking was part of my purpose. I then started the process of building Nat Will, Speak!
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a perfectly smooth road, but it’s surely been worth the ride. I can honestly say that my speaking business has climbed over mountains in a short amount of time. Whether those mountains were me learning the speaking industry, how to network with decision makers, or even watch my role model in the field soon become my peers. It’s allowed me to speak, but also evolve and include writing my first book on leadership and its lessons, which I hope to release in 2019. In the first year of my business, I watched it become profitable. Mentorship has been critical in the initial direction of my business and my brand. For the first year and a half of the business, most people didn’t know, but I was working corporate full-time and also serving as an evening college instructor. Speaking and teaching were both my passion, but I knew that I would soon transition out of corporate, but maintain my speaking and teaching profession.
The balance was initially challenging, but I soon found my groove.
My advice to other women starting their business is to plan and then plan again when it comes to transitioning from a 9 to 5 to be able to solely running a business. It’s smart to work a fulltime job to be able to save and invest into your business, learn a valuable skillset from your job, and then make a master plan to build up your business to such a high functioning level that the transition is smooth.
Personally, I transitioned from a full-time corporate job to a full-time doctoral program. Financially, the Ph.D. program provides me with a monthly payment from teaching two college courses. Simultaneously, I am still traveling to speak through balancing and prioritizing my schedule and reclaiming my time. I would recommend that young women take some time to find their balance with schedule prioritization, organize and map out their time, and give it all they’ve got!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nat Will, Speak! – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I speak for a living and I specialize in College Success and Student Leadership. I have the privilege of traveling around the country, soon the world, to provide college students and young professionals with the tools to prepare for executing their goals. Much of my audience includes underrepresented groups, Greeks, first-generation students, first-year students, and second-year students, just to name a few!
My work includes keynote messages, workshop presentations, and ceremonial speeches as a method of inspiration, motivation, and action-planning. My upcoming book will allow me to dive deeper into my messages and the motivation behind them.
What sets me apart is that many of my messages infuse pop culture themes, authentic and memorable personal experiences, and highly interactive audience engagement during my presentations. I am proud of my brand’s authenticity. My purpose is not to present perfection, but to announce that visionary leadership and goal execution is all about putting one foot in front of the other.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Some young women in the industry may face the difficulty of being taken seriously, but that can easily be combated by focus, professionalism, preparedness, and speaking with a conviction knowing that your message will change lives. So, those barriers are just hurdles, not roadblocks.
The key is finding mentors that are willing to provide some words of wisdom on the struggles they’ve faced and the method they used to successfully or unsuccessfully maneuver through. This blueprint can provide major assistance when facing any struggle as women in leadership.
Many people face the barrier of understanding that each speaking engagement has to be treated as if it was the first one. Essentially, that’s exactly what it is when speaking in front of new audiences. No matter how many times we as speakers deliver a message, if it is someone’s first time hearing us speak, we have to speak with the same fire in Engagement #149 as we do in Engagement #1.
- Website: www.natwillspeak.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: NatWillSpeak
- Facebook: NatWillSpeak
- Twitter: NatWillSpeak
A Beauford Photography (Red dress, Blue jean shirt), ReINVENTED Pictures (Blue flower dress, tan blazer and maroon shirt), GW CREATIVES (Black Blazer), Concordia University (Tan blazer, dress), Steve Harvey Show (Cast picture)