Porsha Thomas is on a mission to help women achieve their ambitions. Her Ladypreneur League makes conquering adulthood seem equally fun and attainable with an authentic voice that offers tips and resources to successfully navigate entrepreneurship and work-life balance.
From “5 Ways to Handle Sticky Situations at an Office Party” to the “Legal Lessons you Need to Know to Start a Business,” her digital empire is gaining traction, earning her a spot on the “Digital Entrepreneurship and Modern Womanhood” panel at SXSW and a sold-out course on Skillshare, “DIY Public Relations.” Yet, the League is becoming more than a hotbed for great advice. It is also shaping into a movement with events, memberships for women in the Atlanta-area, and a regional conference.
Her idea sprung to life in 2014 when Thomas put her experience as a seasoned freelance writer to work for a new audience. “In the beginning, I was terrible at it,” she said with a laugh about her early days working solo. “I thought, I should build a platform where people can come and learn how to not be a bad freelancer. I thought I would work with people who are older than me to offer advice. What I learned is that everyone is trying to become an entrepreneur. So, I shifted my focus a bit to showcase side-hustles and things like that.”
Thomas has cultivated talented writers from across the country to contribute content. Readers can learn about easy spare-time businesses or butternut squash quinoa cake recipes for a last minute shindig. The variety of content has earned the League a strong legion of fans both on the site and across social media. (Her Instagram account alone has over 4,000 followers.)
Launching a League
Ladypreneur League has launched into a larger goal for Thomas, one about community. It was created as an Atlanta-based social networking group and career site “hellbent on creating a thriving community of women entrepreneurs invested in supporting each other’s success and forming bonds through collaboration.” From there, events began to take shape once a month with a membership component recently added.
“I did the first event on my own in January of last year. The previous March, I did an event with other people. I went to activities like Levo League, where they had the same thing going on, in terms of meeting cool girls, but I often left thinking, I want to learn how to write a resume, I want to learn how to be a boss. So, I thought I would start a group that is similar, but for women entrepreneurs.”
“Last September, I had the first Ladypreneur League Conference and ‘Create Your Career Panel’. I liked doing it. Also, at least once a month, we have Ladypreneur Therapy at Hodge Podge. People are always saying at the sessions, There are no girls where I come from at wherever workplace, so I come here so I can be among women.”
Members can sign-up during the next enrollment period, which is set to open in summer 2016. Membership to the League includes access to events, newsletters, discounts, workshops, and giveaways to courses, worksheets and printables.
“My first thought was awareness, and now it is onto the next step. I’m moving to more online classes, like Brit&Co, who does a lot of videos. I did my first video for Skillshare and got over my fear. Now, I think I can do more of that, where I add a video component in which I interview people. Then, there are options to maybe translate audio and interviews I have into a podcast. I have a lot of cool things that I am thinking about that offers legit stuff that is of value to members. It won’t cost a thousand dollars. It will be accessible and worthwhile to people.”
Thomas advises women entrepreneurs to stop planning and start doing (something she may get from her mother who told her to “be a woman” when she complained). “I tell women to not be afraid to boast about whatever you are doing. I find that I am not afraid anymore, but a lot of people think, I can’t tell anyone about this, and I need to plan a lot more. When I talk to people, I often find myself telling them, ‘Why are you afraid to tell people about your company?’’
“Also, you should use everything around you. I find that Facebook groups are really helpful. I would never have thought that. I got on there and thought they were stupid, and now I market within those groups and they have been really helpful. When I started, I posted in a group and most people came. Social media has been a huge change in marketing things. Also, producing great design – making something that looks real – gives something validity.”
Sweet Home Atlanta
Thomas moved to Atlanta from Houston after she came for a visit. Soon getting freelance opportunities, she told her family, “‘Hey, I’m gonna stay.’ It was both cool and super scary. I still have the credit from Priceline to go back. I guess I’m happy with my decision,” she said from a favorite coffee shop in Grant Park.
“This is the best city to start because Atlanta is really open. It is young and affordable, and people are coming into this great melting pot with a lot of transplants. Then, there is this startup community, which I didn’t know was a thing at first, but it is really strong. The Flatiron, Switchyards, and WeWork is coming [Thomas is also the new associate community manager for the soon-to-open location in Buckhead]. It is becoming a hotbed for things. And, it’s pretty. I know I am in a city here, but there are spots where I feel like I am in the country. As a small town person, I felt like I had to go to New York, but I don’t feel that way anymore. Those places are just a plane ride away.”
Photography: Kelley Raye