Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to be a Boss Chick: Margaret Garner

I love the female boss. It's deeper than cute suits and shoes that come in bags. There's really something to be said about a woman that can emerge to the top of her field, however I think women were build to conquer. I caught up with two really awesome boss ladies to get into their money-making, shot-calling thoughts. The first is Margaret Garner, founder and CEO of Broadway Consolidated Companies Inc. I love Ms. Garner because she's self made. She built her company from scratch and has overseen projects like the construction of the first WalMart store in a major urban city, and was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine in December. Ms. Garner's website proudly proclaims "Broadway Consolidated Companies, Inc. is a 100% African American female owned company."

A boss chick's take on where she expected to be and learning about life...
When I was in college, this isn't where I expected to be. I really never envisioned this. I expected to get my MBA or pursue a law degree. Having a family made me change paths. Challenges in life are guaranteed. Changes are a common denominator. Rolling with the punches is all part of life's training.

A boss chick's guide to taking that leap...
A woman can start her own business but her family and partners must be inline. If we desire to achieve these high goals, we have to learn to balance. When you are prepared to launch, just start it. Don't worry about 'the right time.' Put together your business plan, find some investors, sweat equity, savings, etc. Be prepared to work all the time. When a man is good in business, he's just considered a good businessman. When a woman is aggressive in business, she is considered a bitch. That's the reality of it. The playing field isn't level. I gave up a traditional family life to be Margaret Garner. I couldn't be the 'soccer mom,' because that's what it took. I haven't figured out yet how to prevent my job from consuming me.

A boss chick's methods of being professionally well-rounded...
I am a member of many different professional organizations. Most are industry related, and I participate in social activities. It's important to build those relationships within your field. 2009 was a tough year, so it was important to tap into that network I had already built. I recommend students get involved after college, as soon as they start working. If you intern, ask your bosses if you can attend meetings with them. You now have such an opportunity with social media to break through the good ole boy barriers. The way we interact now is so different. The key is to use all of this to your advantage. The good ole boy system still exists, but as we learn to support our industry we will see our own success.

Word association with a boss chick...
Passion: The love of what you do.

Hard Work: Do it the old fashioned way. No one will give you anything.

Faith: Believing in God. Believing in the ability you have to get it done.

Opportunity: Creating it. This is the toughest.

Power: Making it happen.

The Key: Be well versed, be well trained, practice humility.


  1. Margaret Garner is one of my biggest inspirations. I plan to have a successful career in the construction industry and eventually own my own company. Because of the structure of the industry it isn’t very common for women to be involved let alone become successful, however Ms. Garner has broken down many barriers and provided paths that weren’t there 10 years ago. She is truly someone I aspire to be like. Thank you for featuring her on your blog.