by Arika Linton, Contributing Writer
For Mother’s Day weekend, the Chicago Defender shares stories of dynamic Black women thriving in their careers and providing loving guidance for their families.
Today’s millennial woman is layered. She has the brilliance to close multi-million dollar deals, the heart to raise amazing children and the authenticity to lead as a purpose partner with her mate. To quote Queen Bey, “…strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.”
This woman thrives on persevering through her day with power, skill and the ability while making non-negotiable time for self-care. This woman is a millennial powerhouse and boss mom, Genesis A. Emery-Foley. As an award-winning Chief Marketing Officer, published author, entrepreneur, national speaker and celebrated global philanthropist, Emery-Foley is the founder of The BluePrint Haus Agency, an integrated digital marketing firm led by the industry’s most innovative brand engineers and results-driven accelerators.
For Mother’s Day, the Chicago Defender interviewed Emery-Foley, who talked about the meaning of success, being an impactful entrepreneur and important lessons on motherhood.
Chicago Defender: With over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, digital marketing, brand communications, and public relations, how do you cultivate and nurture stakeholder relationships?
Emery-Foley: Relationship building is at the core of what I do. I cultivate relationships through networking, referrals and expressing a genuine passion to build, bond and maintain relationships both personally and professionally.
In terms of stakeholder relationships and engagement, I focus on how my talents and expertise can best support the needs of my professional allies, create proven solutions to best solve their pain and make an impact in ways that will galvanize their efforts and foster the highest level of success.
Motherhood has required me to learn the importance of grace and that it’s perfectly okay to be imperfect. – Genesis A. Emery-Foley
Chicago Defender: Your work has been published across national media platforms such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS and more. As a trusted accelerator among startups, what advice would you give to the entrepreneur struggling to gain national attention and brand recognition?
Emery-Foley: My #1 rule of thumb is to lead with your “why” and convey the value that your company brings to your target audience and key stakeholders. If you start a company with the sole intention of owning a company and driving revenue, you’ll miss the most important factor — adding value to the audience you serve and driving meaningful impact in ways that will evoke global change.
My philosophy is that an entrepreneur’s duty is to identify solutions that will help galvanize meaningful change and make the world a better place for humanity. My second piece of advice is to understand your target market, conduct research to fully understand what your customers want, innovate a product or service that will solve challenges and address common pain points, and create strategies that will disrupt the industry and distinctively set your company apart in the marketplace.
Remember, without having a clear understanding of why you entered into your respective industry and decided to become an entrepreneur, you’ll more than likely always struggle to create brand loyalty, drive consistent revenue and profitability and enable your company to scale. And without being a solutions-driven entrepreneur, you’ll miss the opportunity to connect with your customers, nurture and maintain relationships and build credibility.
It’s also imperative to consider the importance of brand building, key messaging and consistency. It’s crucial to develop a strong and consistent brand message that resonates with your audience, evokes emotion and aligns with their needs.
Taking this approach will position your brand as a leader in your industry, establish trust and credibility and build a community of loyal evangelists. Building a strong brand and gaining national recognition takes a ton of time and effort, but with dedication and a strategic approach, you can achieve your goals and garner national or perhaps even global attention.
Chicago Defender: Switching lanes, as we approach Mother’s Day it is important to shine light on women that lead personally and professionally. What is the most important lesson motherhood has taught you thus far?
Emery-Foley: One of the most important lessons that motherhood has taught me are the values of selflessness and grace. Being a mother and full-time caregiver to a child with special needs requires me to put the needs of my son before my own and furthermore, sacrifice personal time and energy to ensure that his well-being, happiness and childhood are met, first and foremost.
From having the experience of being a mother for the past eight years and raising a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome and ADHD, I’ve experienced so many challenges and moments where I’ve felt like I’ve failed and at times questioned if I was the best person for this assignment. However, my spiritual faith and relationship with God is a constant reminder that I was given a very special and life-changing assignment that has not only positively impacted my son’s life but also my own. As it has given me a greater sense of purpose and inspired others along the way. Motherhood has required me to learn the importance of grace and that it’s perfectly okay to be imperfect.
Motherhood has also allowed me to glean the importance of patience and flexibility. This role has required a great deal of adaptability, research and understanding as children’s needs and behaviors can change rapidly, and when parenting a child with special needs, there’s always new changes, behaviors, patterns and learning opportunities that we must embrace and quickly adapt to.
Over the years I’ve grappled with unexpected challenges. I’ve encountered my fair share of hospitalizations and emergency room visits where my son, Noah, would be connected to monitors and IV’s, and all the while I would cuddle next to him, read him books, join him in playing with his favorite toys and stuffed animals, and remind him of how much I love him and that he’ll be going home in no time.
Behind the scenes I might break down and cry and feel like a hopeless mom watching my son endure so much as an innocent child who never asked for any of this. However, the moment that I became his mother, I knew that I wanted nothing more in this world but to make him happy, watch him enjoy all the precious moments of his childhood and stand with him every step of the way as he continues to grow.
These desires have taught me the definition of unconditional love and what it truly means to dedicate your life to ensure that someone you care about feels abundance, purpose and happiness in their own life. This, for me, is motherhood. And I’m grateful to be chosen for the journey.
Chicago Defender: Being a millennial boss is no easy task. How has your definition of success shifted 15 years in the game?
Emery-Foley: Over the past 15 years, the definition of success has even shifted for me. While financial success and career achievements may have been the primary markers of success in the past, many people today including myself are placing a greater emphasis on work-life balance, personal fulfillment and social impact. Prioritizing self-care and emotional health can be just as important as career success, and in fact, may contribute to greater overall happiness and fulfillment.
For me, I enjoy spending time with my family, I enjoy being a devoted wife and mother, I enjoy constantly growing in my relationship with God and being a vessel of his promises by sharing my testimonies and experiences with others.
And lastly I enjoy finding satisfaction and personal achievement in my hard work. What success today looks like for me is peace, joy, evolution and professional talent that will create a meaningful impact for the rest of the world.