Before we begin, let's set the stage. The purpose of this interview series is to inspire and encourage millennials to take the leap into entrepreneurship or give advice to those currently on the journey.
This series will highlight millennial entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries who are offering services, products and resources to their audiences.
Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have the chance to read the stories of millennial trailblazers who are designers, social ambassadors, photographers, and more. I hope you are inspired!
In this Mindshift Interview, I have Courtnea of Prodigy the Agency. During this interview, we deep dived into all things business, influencing the future and more....
Behing the Person
Tell a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Courtnea Kimble and I handle all of the Public/Media Relations at Prodigy. I grew up in Georgia, but then attended school in LA at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and studied Visual Communication.
After a few years in LA, I moved to New York for work and had the time of my life. Now, I’m back in Atlanta and although this was never in the plan, it was by far the best decision of my life. From networking to getting inspiration in the smallest of places, I don’t regret a single second of it.
Some of my hobbies include drinking wine, reading beauty blogs and hanging with my friends (co- founders of Prodigy). I think they’re by far the funniest people on the planet. Not a day goes by where they don’t make me laugh.
What is one quote you live by? Give an example of how you’ve applied this quote in your journey.
I heard this verse while in church one Sunday and it really stuck with me, especially since starting a business with my three best friends. All three of the girls motivate me in different ways, and I am so thankful to have such smart, beautiful and motivating women in my life.
What’s one habit you have developed that you feel as though has aided in your overall journey?
Whenever my room, office, purse, or anything else is a mess… So am I. So, I’ve been practicing cleaning up after myself, taking notes, writing things down, etc.
All Things Business
How did Prodigy the Agency come to form? What was the idea that started it all?
I and my three friends (Alexis, Diamond and Jerlecia) were all stuck in a rut. Everyone hated their jobs, living situations and anything else you can name. We were at Ponce City Market brainstorming because something had to change ASAP. Diamond brought up an old business plan she made in college… we made a few revisions based on what everyone was good at and ever since then we’ve been going harder than ever.
What’s the purpose of Prodigy the Agency? What problems or pain points are you looking to solve through this platform?
Being young millennials, we noticed how hard it was to build our portfolios, and for big corporate companies to take us seriously. We wanted to build an agency to help people who are in similar situations to get the right tools they need to build their portfolios so that they can attract bigger companies and brands. Everything we do is to help people just like us.
There are a lot of misconceptions about being an entrepreneur, like lack of freedom or difficulty growing income. What’s the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue?
We are four women with EXTREMELY strong personalities, so of course, sometimes it gets difficult. But, we’ve mastered how to separate business and friendship. Not only has it taught us a lot about business, it has also made our friendship stronger as well.
What tools or systems is a necessity for running your platform smoothly?
We can hold all of our documents, files, calendar dates, notes, etc. on there so no matter where we are everything is always at our fingertips.
As an entrepreneur, often you are required to make tough decisions. On the topic of: Competition vs Collaboration. What is the biggest myth you’ve learned to be untrue? Give an example of how collaboration has benefited Prodigy the Agency.
When we first started Prodigy, we thought we knew what type of industry we wanted to be apart of….. But as you know, things change. We ended up collaborating with a cigar lounge and an architect (two industries we knew nothing about) but we ended up learning so much from each other! Now we collab on almost everything together; networking events, brand strategies for other companies, parties, etc.
For a business to thrive the leader must thrive as well. What self – care routines or rituals are a necessity for keeping you sane while growing your business or brand?
It’s necessary to take care of yourself and have peace of mind in order to manage a successful business. I prioritize “me” time before I do anything else. Sometimes it’s the little things:
- Getting your nails done
- Or simply going out to eat by yourself with no interruptions.
What marketing strategies have you used to attract and find new leads for business growth?
We’ve gotten about 75% of our clientele strictly from social media. Our pages really display who we are as individuals, and who we are as a business. It’s super personable and people love that. Once people think you’re trying to sell them on every single post they start straying away.
Customer Service or the customer’s overall experience is crucial when it comes to brand longevity. What experiences have you created for your clientele or audience?
Our goal is to make every single client feel special. To do that, we don’t stop working until they are satisfied. We never want our clients to feel like they had to settle. We also try to create a vibe and energy of a company that we would want to work with. We’re fun girls, so we try our best to display that with our clients.
What are some accomplishments of Prodigy the Agency? And where do you see its future?
Since we’ve started in January, our biggest accomplishment that we’ve had as a business was our launch party. We worked so hard on planning and organizing the perfect party for Prodigy and based on all of our feedback since the party and everyone’s reaction at the party…….. Mission complete.
We were able to get all of our family, friends, clients and potential clients together in one room to show them what we’ve been working on and most importantly, what we’re capable of. We also gained A LOT of business after the party. So all in all, everything was amazing. Even though it was over a week ago, we’re still talking about how much fun it was and how we can’t wait to do it again.
As far as the future, we want to be able to help make a huge impact on younger kids. We got our name Prodigy from realizing how hard is was being young and trying to find a job that you actually qualify for without needing 10 years experience. We want to be able to help the younger generation and give them the tools they need to be successful.
I describe a Mindshift as a moment in time, where one realizes, there is more to life than what society has told. Can you describe your Mindshift moment?
Our Mindshift moment was when we were all able to quit our day jobs and focus strictly on Prodigy. The majority of people are scared to quit their day jobs and worry about all the things that could go wrong.
What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
The more time you spend contemplating and trying to “perfect” your business, the more time you are wasting. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and you’re going to fuck up. Take those fuck ups as lessons and learn from them.
Lastly, think about what living life on your own terms means to you. Describe your ideal situation.
Living on my own terms is something that I think hard about every day, and it’s almost something that I can’t explain. I imagine myself living life:
- Being able to travel whenever I want
- Never feeling the need to check my bank account lol,
- And just being overall happy.
It’s almost like one of those things that you don’t really know, until you feel it and then you realize it’s right.