Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of Black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is the founder of the Black Women’s Business Collective, Zanade Mann.
Founder and Managing Director of the Black Women’s Business Collective
My first job was Macy’s! I loved the customer service aspect of being a salesperson. I learned how to sell by listening to the pain points of our customers.
My big break came when I secured a CNN segment for my very first client using the power of social media and a few tweets.
I’ve had to work hardest at creating systems and processes for the businesses that I’ve managed. Just because you are the leader does not mean you get a pass to do things haphazardly. I went from being a one person show to being comfortable delegating tasks and using project management systems. And, when I am working solo on a project, I still follow systems that I have set up for my team.
I never imagined I would have the audacity to continue dreaming big when the world seems to be caving in. I have managed to see the reward and opportunity in this moment. I never imagined that I would build a community for Black women entrepreneurs at the same time where the push for Black ownership was at its highest. What I have imagined has finally actualized itself.
I wish I’d learned sooner how to be still.
The risk I regret not taking is moving—the one time I let fear of the unknown influence my decision.
If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent floating in a hot spring in Japan.
The vision that God gave me keeps me up at night.
When I’m struggling, I say to myself, take a break, breathe. Is there someone who can support you through this challenge?
I am unapologetically driven.
Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.