Nani Israel & The Ladies of Elegance She-EO Academy
With 11 years of online sales and marketing experience working with and training employees of Fortune 100 companies, such as Verizon Wireless, Capital One, and a multi-million dollar 2008 education technology start-up, known as 2U, Nani Israel is a force to be reckoned with as Black woman and business owner, helping women reach their business dreams and goals through social media.
With the help of her team, her business has grown to an award-winning multi-six-figure enterprise, which encourages women to break out of toxic mindsets and cycles, gain capital to scale their businesses, and also know their worth. Read more from the interview with Nani,
Tell us about yourself and The Ladies of Elegance She-EO Academy.
I’m the founder of The Ladies of Elegance She-EO Academy, and we’re an award-winning digital entrepreneurship charm school for ambitious women in business, looking to transform their side hustles into six-figure plus enterprises using social media automation, and executive assistance. We’ve helped thousands of women successfully monetize their social media accounts from ground zero. And we did that with less than 16,000 followers on Instagram.
With your background in marketing, what made you solely focus on creating a business in social media versus some other kind of digital marketing?
That’s a great question. Believe it or not, it did not start with the priority being social media. When we started in business in 2016/2017, the big focus was on being a charm school. And if you know about the history of charm schools, this is from our culture. Charm schools were institutions for young women to develop their confidence and get to the milestone. Celebrating becoming a woman, introducing themselves to higher society. So they could take on anything that society has to bring to them.
Now, what I wanted to do was take an entrepreneurial twist to that. When I first started, my audience was high school students, and I learned very quickly that even though, especially through investing in myself and investing in my business over the years, I had to learn that it is very easy to convince somebody why they need to build their career or why they need to build their businesses to make more money. It’s so much harder to convince people as to why they need to change their current circumstances, transform their mindset so forth and so on. I get the people what they want and need as far as that mindset shift. So they can truly grow into the most well-organized, well-loved, on-fire, and best-paid versions of themselves.
We took that pivot for my team and focused solely on social media. The more I was able to invest in my business to get myself to consistent four and five-figure months. I’ve always been a techie, always been a techie, worked in web development and different things like that. Setting up my client’s, um, social media pages and things along those lines.
You know what I could because the education industry is literally growing in the billions. I could literally make it a point to teach women how to make a sustainable living by monetizing a free platform or several free platforms.
Let’s talk about developing and maintaining profitable start-up businesses while walking in their purpose. What’s the foundation that needs to be laid? Are there any programs, certifications, or experience that helped you through this?
My biggest purpose in growing my business is to truly help women get to the best versions of themselves. Generally, you cannot get to the best version of yourself unless you are what I like to say in alignment with your divine assignment. That’s number one.
Ultimately what we teach internally for our students is for them to walk fully within their superpower. It’s the perfect marriage between what you’re good at doing, what you love to do, and how you’re able to build a business that you can build a sustainable living off of. What we bring to the world, the gifts, the talents, the passions that we have, that we can bring to the world, it is made for you to be able to serve somebody else in another capacity. And that’s what keeps the world spinning.
My sophomore college professor’s profound statement still rings within me — he told us:
Your purpose in life is to find a problem in society that pisses you off and be a part of the solution to change.
What makes any business successful is if you position yourself as a problem solver and as a resource in the mind of your perfect payer. One of the biggest things that pissed me off, which started that charm school journey, was every single time I turned on the television screen, I saw black women, women that looked like me, were shown as loud. They were shown as promiscuous. They were shown as shameless. And I thought that was completely inaccurate from how the life I lived, how I grew up, and the lessons I learned as those prepared me to be the woman that I am today.
I want to popularize women who are not afraid to do the right thing. Women who are not afraid to be professional women who are not afraid to uplift other people. Back then, that was when the natural hair evolution started. We were getting back to cultural appreciation. I’ll say that we were getting back to cultural appreciation, and that was one of the doors that kind of opened up for me to say, you know what?
We gotta get back to our femininity. I wanted to popularize the era of femininity within the entrepreneurial space because I did not see that it was not that prominent back in the early 2010s. And now it’s everywhere.
I grew up around a lot of old folk, and a lot of wisdom. I was given a lot of worldly wisdom and a lot of pearls on how to navigate the world, how to be a good woman, how to be a good woman to a good man, and things of traditional Southype stuff. I realized by the time I got to college, I was way too grown for people who were not prepared for the world. Also going into college, I went to an all-women college and it was predominantly white. So I was in the only Black organization. They called it the Ida B. Wells based on the activists and publicists. It was about 30 of us inside a living-learning community.
We did everything together and dominated that school because it was instilled within us during my entire undergraduate experience we had to always be 10 steps ahead to get the same opportunities our counterparts had. So we did all the things while we were and dominated all the leadership positions.
I realized people who have these big aspirations to be their boss and, or even to climb the corporate ladder, there were still a lot of fundamental skills missing. And even though people say they care about acquiring those skills, it takes a certain mindset shift to get to that point where you are at a level, whether it be financially or you’re at a level mentally where it’s time to take it to the next level. It’s time to have some six-figure conversations. It’s time to have some CEO conversations and not everybody is built for that.
What would be three ways for black women to own startups and businesses to increase their lack of capital when they are leveraging social media?
Do your market research, which is one of the biggest parts of our GLOWUP success framework.
The first two steps of GLOW are G (Gain Clarity) and L (Lean Into Your Superpower). So, the very first thing to do is identify exactly what that superpower is, including your specific niche, the specific group of people you plan on serving that you plan on, and the products and services you’re going to position yourself as a solution or as the pain pill to their pain points.
For example, if you’re in the fitness industry and you’re a personal trainer, only saying you train people who wanna lose weight is not enough and is entirely too broad. You cannot specialize in anything and you also can’t charge a premium for that. Positioning ourselves in a subject manner is essential to our business success. Using that same example, you can narrow it down to only training postpartum moms, including moms who just had their babies, getting ready to give birth and they wanna get back to feeling like themselves.
- Where did they live?
- How much do they make?
- What are their favorite TV shows?
- Who are their favorite authors?
- Where else are they hanging out online?
With this information, you know your audience from front to back. In step two, our students begin to leverage social media and create automated systems that will enable them to build a relationship with those perfect payers without having to be present.
The third step is social. We have to socialize. We’re on social media. We have to post consistently in our feed and our stories. Also, we have to be building genuine relationships, and the only way that you can make your content or turn your content into consistent coins is by having a tangible strategy in place that you can be consistent with to start to see some consistent revenue.
Zeroing in on what that superpower looks like will enable you to serve at a capacity you never thought that you could, no matter what you’re selling product or service. It is the mission-driven passion behind what you do that essentially builds that longevity.
We’ll talk about kind of the flip side of social media because we know burnout is real. So like how do you approach things with your students? So how do you guys stay relevant without kind of like going into like overload?
I love that question. Ultimately when we come across somebody’s radar, they’re at the idea stage of business, or they’re ready to scale to that six figures in revenue. But what they’re going through is superwoman syndrome. They’re so busy taking care of everything and everybody else to the point where they neglect their self-care, even though they love themselves.
Go figure. Another thing our perfect payers are dealing with is this sense of imposter syndrome where they’re so overwhelmed. They’re so drained. Many have the boundary to tell people no, and they don’t have a strong hold on their time. They don’t have a stronghold in their time, which means that they procrastinate.
And they’re perfectionists, which is just crazy, but they also get paralyzed, and when that happens, it’s because something is going on within their mental capacity where they are consistently allowing themselves to divorce themselves from their success. Okay. There’s a lot of negative self-talk that’s happening. Right. Uh, even though this person is just so unapologetically, ambitious, this person may, you know, even showcase that online, but there’s a sense of delusion. And that’s the reason why I said it’s a mindset shift.
We focus on a step-by-step strategy. We’re extremely methodical in how we instruct our students to take their next steps are their best steps. So I even pull back the curtain. I give examples of what’s working and what’s not. Additionally, they are surrounded by other winning women inside of their businesses and they see live examples. When you incorporate mentorship, support, and accountability with a proven system, the rest doesn’t mean a doggone thing.
When you are not motivated, you have to be disciplined. It’s interesting because imposter syndrome shows up by thinking I’m not worthy of earning this amount of money in my business. I could never see myself working for myself full time.
It takes being consistent. You have to pour into yourself, your spirit, and who you surround yourself with. So usually when you isolate yourself, you’re filled with that negative self-talk. Do you remember me mentioning earlier about you divorcing yourself from your success? A lot of times when we feel like we don’t know what our next moves are, we feel ourselves without, then we’re paralyzed by fear. Fear is essentially a rational lie we tell ourselves. So to transform that mindset, it takes a conscious effort on their part to surround themselves with people that do not have that imposter. So it does make a difference in terms of what you feed yourself, and what you surround yourself with consistently.
And my students know I text them every week. I see them every week I email them every week, they can’t escape me. I’m checking in on them because I truly care about their success. And sometimes that level of accountability alone is what gets them to take action is what gets them to get their results.
Proximity and gaming the confidence after they start to get those, and before you know it, you look back and cannot believe you accomplished X, Y, and Z in this amount of time.
So what inspires you to give your best every day?
If I woke up, I’m not done. What I do is not for me — it’s for my students. So if I was too afraid to step out, be vulnerable, and talk about my business journey and reveal, you know the steps we had to take or the strategies that we used or where we invested in our revenue to gain momentum to make more revenue.
So I don’t do it for myself. It’s my ministry. And if I’m not there, I’m afraid that the Most High will give this role to somebody else.
How can our readers connect with you and The Ladies of Elegance She-EO Academy?
For my ladies who are ready to grow their businesses and get to their first consistent four figures a month online, we have a resource for you — The Ladies of Elegance She-EO Academy GLOW UP Society’s 30-Day Side Hustle Success Challenge. We take the time to break down consistent steps for you to make consistent coins within 30 days. Once you’re ready, schedule your GLOW UP call. In this call, we will craft a tangible, actionable plan to get you to a $100K in 12 weeks.