As the founder of Her Agenda, Rhonesha Byng aims to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. Growing up in New York City, Rhonesha is an Emmy award-winning journalist who knew that she wanted to pursue a career in journalism since the age of sixteen.
With a bachelor’s degree in communication from DePauw University, Rhonesha has worked with companies such as The Huffington Post, Mass Appeal, and NBC New York. Due to her work within the journalism and media space, Rhonesha has been the recipient of many accolades which include Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Essence magazine’s 50 Black Women Founders to Watch, and BET’s 29 People You Should Know.
In this episode of our Take Ownership Podcast, Rhonesha talks to us about getting into the right rooms, experiencing rejection, and taking ownership of her mental.
Getting Into The Right Rooms…
Aside from checking out heragenda.com for the latest events, Rhonesha mentions that the best starting points for getting into the right rooms are professional groups and networks. “No matter what industry you work in, there is some type of professional association that comes together to have a conference,” says Rhonesha.
In her case, Rhonesha mentions the New York Association of Black Journalists. As she moved on to college, she then learned about the Society of Professional Journalists. “These are all organizations whose websites you can visit to sign-up and become a member,” says Rhonesha. “For me, attending conferences and professional groups were key. No matter what industry you’re in, I think that there is a professional group that exists for you.”
“I experience so many no’s and rejections that I literally just dump it out of my brain,” says Rhonesha. “I don’t hold on to them, I don’t remember them, I’m just focused on the next thing. Rhonesha believes that the purpose of experiencing rejection is to redirect her and give her the fuel that she needs to reach her next goal.
When learning about venture capital, Rhonesha did experience a lot of frustration with rejection. “I didn’t have the sophisticated vocabulary to articulate what my business model was or the specific problem I was trying to solve,” says Rhonesha. “This was hard for me because I wasn’t able to get investment.” Eventually, Rhonesha was accepted into The Points of Light Civic Accelerator after they recruited her from a list that was published while she was pursuing a fellowship with Echoing Green. Through the grace of God, Rhonesha was certainly redirected.
Taking Ownership of Her Mental…
“We’ve gotten to this point in our existence as humans where we are so much more aware of spirituality,” says Rhonesha. “Everything really does happen for a reason and a purpose. I’ve had a lot of personal setbacks but I still keep pushing. You can’t really let your feelings dictate what your productivity is.”
In addition, Rhonesha shares that she has friends and people to go to when she needs someone to talk with. She also mentions that she is not afraid to shut off her phone and turn off her alerts. “I only check Instagram and my emails when I feel like it, not because a little red notification is telling me that I have a message waiting,” says Rhonesha. “It takes a lot of mental discipline and a lot of self-acceptance to keep going.”
(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking brand strategist, curator, and educator. As the founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.