Chantelle Fraser is not only the star of Bravo TV’s hit reality show Blood, Sweat and Heels, but the British-born Jamaican actress is also a successful entrepreneur and founder of Flawless NYC, a promotional company that books entertainment and talent for high-end events and brands.
Fraser, an avid supporter of pet adoption and the anti-fur movement, also prides herself on being ‘self-sufficient.’
BlackEnterprise.com, spoke to Fraser about the financial lessons that have helped her lay the foundation to pursue her dreams.
BlackEnterprise.com: It’s difficult to maintain financial stability while pursuing entrepreneurial goals and creating a career in the entertainment industry. How have you done this?
Fraser: You can’t fear the lack of money. This will be the biggest saboteur of your success in business. I started Flawless NYC when I was 27 years old from my bedroom. I didn’t have any money, nor did I know where my next rent check was coming from, but I did have a plan of how to get me to entrepreneurial success. Many people don’t know this, but I actually started Flawless NYC with a partner. After a month or two he quit; he let his fear of not having and going broke get the better of him. He got incredibly stressed out about a future that had not even happened yet. I chose to stay in the present, which significantly reduced my feelings of stress and anxiety about money.
We talk a lot with our audience about navigating the pressure to lend money to family and friends when you find success–even if you don’t find financial success. How do you balance that?
I am sure we have all been in the position where we have given someone a loan and have not been repaid or have to ask the other person for it back, leaving feelings of violated trust, and lack of respect, sometimes causing irreparable damage to a relationship. My integrity means everything to me; all you have is your word, if you can’t keep that, then you have nothing. I have found that keeping my commitments with friends and family keeps our “emotional bank accountâ€ healthy. Having a high emotional bank balance comes in handy when you are in times of need. The more friends and family trust you, the more likely they are to help you out financially when you are in need. I learned this during my hardest financial year, 2008, during the recession.
What else have you learned that you would say is key to a healthy relationship with money?
What good is money when you don’t know how to treat others, or lack compassion? Being the best version of yourself doesn’t mean having the biggest house and nicest car on the block. Some people tend to focus on the material aspects of wealth and forget to focus on their personal and spiritual growth.