Female Founders: Maurqesha Mcalister of Get It Girl On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Listen to those around you — Everyone around you is not your enemy. It makes you a better person if you take the time to listen and hear them out, they just might have been in your shoes not too long ago.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maurqesha McAlister.
Maurqesha McAlister was born in 1985 in Reno, Nevada. She is the child of Leasa Carter and Maurice “Pinky” McAlister. Maurqesha is the proud parent of Mauryah Saldana, Maurleasa, and Maurqease. In November of 2020 Maurqesha McAlister moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to pursue her dreams to make Get It Girl, LLC into a women’s empowerment empire. Through online content, webinars, galas, pop up shops, and more Get It Girl, LLC strives to empower women and young girls around the world to reach for their goals. For more information visit — https://www.facebook.com/getitgirlllc
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I founded Get it Girl, LLC after the birth of my first daughter. It has been my mission in life since the birth of my child to empower young girls and young women. I want to show them that no matter the hard obstacles you may face you are able to achieve your goals. Looking back on my life I wish that I had more mentors in my life who could have given me much needed advice and guidance. It is my goal in life to provide that mentorship and guidance to women, young children, and anyone else who needs it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting thing that has happened to me since I started leading my company is the growth I’ve had as an individual. Growing a business during COVID-19 has shown me the flaws that have been associated with our traditional work life set up in this country. Witnessing the struggles of my team has led me to create a workplace that is up to 60% remote. Allowing my team, the much-needed time to work on workplace productivity, personal and professional development, and it has allowed my team to not only be more productive but has allowed them to have better lives outside of the office.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made when first starting my company was over investing in product. With so many ideas being drawn up in the office, we went over the deep end and purchased too much product. Looking back on it I now laugh at how overly enthusiastic my team and myself were. This was a life lesson and is not a source of learning material that I use when working with young women who are first starting their businesses.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
One person that has influenced and helped me throughout my life is my mother. She has been a constant support and even when she has dished out tough love she has been on my side. When we had our very first Get It Girl pop up shop, my mother was one of the only supporters. Not only did she help support and promote the event, but she also showed up, bought products, and continues to support Get It Girl. Her love and support mean the world to me.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
Lack of knowledge and lack of resources. Statistics will show you that black women are the most educated group of women in the country. Women in general make up a significant number of currently employed individuals in this country. However, most women are encouraged to work for other people. The natural talent that women may have are often not viewed as assets and without women knowing that they bring more to the table than a degree, they are going to continue to neglect owning their own business. I aim to change this mindset by hosting empowerment events, conferences, webinars, and offering online courses and eBooks.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
To be honest, I cannot cite anything being done by the government to my knowledge to help push more women into business ownership. However, I do see a push by many women in society to use their natural talent to create successful businesses. With the use of social media and paying attention to media trends many women have created businesses that will outlast the pandemic and has given them a whole new outlook on life and helped change their entire future, not only for themselves but for their families and the millions of women who follow them.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder, but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
Our perception matters, our voices matter, and when we own businesses, we develop a power to showcase that our voices matter. No matter what field of business, a woman’s perspective can change the entire field. We are pioneers, visionaries, and success stories just waiting to happen. When one woman is able to achieve success, we open the doors up even wider for the generation behind us and place more seats at the table.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?
This is an interesting question, I guess one myth I would like to dispel is the myth that women aren’t “built” to be leaders or business oriented. The strength, insight, wisdom, and emotional intelligence you develop being a woman puts you in a unique position to lead the world. Don’t let anyone tell you a woman doesn’t have what it takes, because we have what it takes and then some.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need to Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder?” (Please share a story or example for each.)
1.) Patience — a business does not become a success overnight. You have a long road ahead of you so being patient will keep you sane.
2.) Courage — You are about to enter spaces that are dominated by men and people who may not look like you. Just because you don’t see your face in the crowd does not mean you do not belong there. You are paving the way for the future. Keep your head up and stay strong.
3.) Space — You need to create a space where you can take a break and breathe. You will have hard days, and stressful times, but at the end of the day you will be a success.
4.) Listen to those around you — Everyone around you is not your enemy. It makes you a better person if you take the time to listen and hear them out, they just might have been in your shoes not too long ago.
5.) Confidence — Whatever you need to do to increase your confidence levels is a must. You know what you’re talking about, you are a leader in your industry, and now it is time to show the world that.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
I’ve used my success to make the world a better place by constantly sharing my knowledge, my story, and my power. Most recently Get It Girl, LLC has provided 5 sponsorships to NOIRE Academy to help 5 young girls in Las Vegas, Nevada achieve their goal of starting a career in a STEM related field. Women are needed in every field of work in this country, and anything that I can do to make that happen will be done.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would love to inspire a Get It Girl movement. Asking women from every walk of life to get up and get it. From women who want to attend school, become business owners, mothers, mentors, influencers, and everything in between. I want to invite them all to get up and connect, network, and make their dreams happen one step at a time.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I would love to sit down with Oprah. Her work in the black community, for women, and her desire to be a success has always been an inspiration to me. If I was able to sit down with her and pick her brain for a little bit, I know that I would gain valuable wisdom that will not only help me, but the many women that I work with and inspire.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.