Pop Quiz, Monday with Michelle Antoinette Nelson, Founder and CEO at Brown + Healthy®


The Pop Quiz Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

1.Can you please tell everyone your name?

Michelle Antoinette Nelson

Photo credit: Shan Wallace

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

Brown and Healthy are a global health and wellness initiative challenging mainstream media’s negative narrative of people of color one positive story at a time. Our mission is to change the narrative and change the world by promoting mental, physical, and emotional well being among people of color. Contrary to popular belief, we comprise a tight-knit global community of students, teachers, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who grind tirelessly to create a better and more sustainable world for the next generation. We seek to change the face of wellness by building a pipeline of highly trained future wellness leaders from brown communities. Through partnerships with the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, Red Bull Amaphiko, Brioxy, and others, we curate health and wellness programming, events, and education to the communities that need it most.

Photo credit: Reginald Thomas

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

I became a social innovator/entrepreneur because activism for people of color at its core, in this decade, is one that requires the ability to help change the earning potential and the consistent pricing out of our people from multi-billion dollar industries such as the fitness and wellness industry. If it doesn’t make dollars for us, it doesn’t make sense. We have to be able to own our capacities and use our existence in this country to not only survive but to thrive and become permanent stakeholders in a variety of communities.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

The challenging aspects of running a business are the hours, maintaining the high-level vision while getting into the weeds to do the work, hiring the right people to execute your vision, and finding the time to sleep and do the other things you have to do to make sure you have the proper foundation to build your company upon.

5. What do you love most about your job?

The best part of my job as the Founder and CEO is telling people about the initiative and seeing their eyes light up with curiosity about how they can get involved with the work. I love the vision, setting the intention, acquiring the contracts and partnerships, and curating experiences that genuinely change the negative narratives that permeate the globe about people of African descent.

Photo credit: Mike Oswaldo

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I have fun at work by traveling to do the work. We love to do Brown and Healthy meetups in places from Miami to Rome. Our goal is to travel the world meeting up with health and wellness providers and building audiences of enthusiastic participants with them.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Learn as much as you can and never stop seeking information. Don’t be afraid to move forward even if you don’t know all there is to know about the ‘systems.’ As a driven entrepreneur your drive is fueled by instinct, and you should always trust that even if it doesn’t work out. Always fail forward and keep working.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

IG: instagram.com/brownandhealthy
IG: instagram.com/michelleantoinettenelson
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelleantoinettenelson16/

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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