We had the good fortune of connecting with Lashonda Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lashonda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I gave it a lot of thought and it was/ is a heavy process. Can you imagine just walking away from a full-time job with guaranteed pay, 4 kids, and just a dream? That was me I built up the courage and faith, you really need the faith to just walk away. It actually took off at first but this is around the time your getting to know your business and your customers so it’s really more a trial and error situation. In the beginning, you think you know it all but your sales tell you fairly quickly that you don’t. You cheat yourself, overwork yourself, and stress yourself out immediately. If you are head-strung this will go on for a while but if you are open-minded and teachable you will quickly learn to research more and seek coaching from someone in the same niche and or industry. In my case, I wanted to do events so it made sense to attend as many events as I could without spending too much remember I am unemployed so no money is coming in but only going out. I quickly learned from these all failed events correct none of the events I attended were successful, so I basically learned what not to do and how I can add to it. My first, second, and third event was a hit my fourth wasn’t as you will learn from the ups and downs of your business. To this day I have had great events, good events, and not-so-good events. But great customer service understands some bad days. To anyone starting a business great customer service will take you a long way, you could have had the worst product ever but because of your professional service, they would come back maybe not for that particular item but to see what else you have to offer.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Hustlers Expo Events Inc. is an event company that hosts business-building seminars for the youth and the adult but we are well known for pop-up shops a community event to support local business owners something along the lines of a marketplace held inside or outside. We strive to host events that bring small business owners together, to build business relationships, networking, empowerment, to gain organic traffic & followers, new customers, and to increase sales.
What sets me apart is definitely my service not only do I travel from city to city state to state hosting these events but my ability to conduct a successful event, not a successful bank account, not fame, and not recognition. My priority is the vendors the money, fame, and recognition will surely follow but that’s not on the top of my list. I coach and I teach along the way a lot of people still don’t even know what a pop-up shop is not only do I introduce it but walk them through it as well.
I am most proud of my faith to believe in myself, I can honestly say I really didn’t know myself till I embarked on this journey and it has given me facts about who I am, what I can do, the influence I have, the ability to keep going and it has assured my confidence.
I am here today on the count of not giving up, the continued support, my consistency, and the drive from looking into my children’s eyes.
When you are asked if your journey was/ is easy let’s look at the word journey ‘an act of traveling from one place to another.’ or “a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.” the word alone is not easy, it was not easy to adjust it was very difficult going from a 9-5 guaranteed pay to a 9 am-6 am and in most cases no lunch break not to mention the pay that has you one or two months behind in rent let’s keep it real for a dream to work you have to work. I had to put my foot down and start running to be more consistent in often times we feel like ‘it’s my business I work when I feel like it.’ But you really can’t have that mind frame especially when your bank account does not reflect those actions. when working for someone whose boat is already built all you have to do is row when working for yourself not only do you have to build the boat but you have to row it yourself as well. If this is something that you are truly meant to do. I’ve learned you have to give it more than just your all, you have to give it something you’ve never given before.
AskShonda of Hustlers Expo, host quality events with top quality customer service our brand is about (BSB) Building Strong Businesses and providing a platform to continue growing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement come from my 15-year-old entrepreneur daughter Rashon Burton, Young CEO of LIP LASH ME. She is the real hustler of the family the nights and days I feel like giving up, calling it quits, unmotivated, and just stop dreaming altogether she is the one who would grab me by the face look into my eyes, and say I am who I am because of who I saw please keep teaching me.
Instagram: @hustlersexpo, @askshonda
Facebook: Hustlers Expo, AskShonda
the images of me are by @gerrickwalkerimages the event images are by @imagesbystar