Brittney grew up the youngest of five girls in a small South Carolina town called Mullins. Her parents split when she was seven and her mother raised her and sister as a single parent. She confided, “I saw her struggle a lot and I always had it in my mind that I didn’t want to see her struggle anymore.” Brittney’s father was not in her life growing up and it really took a toll on her.  She said, “It’s a blessing and a curse because I can talk about it now and help a lot of women that didn’t have their fathers growing up.” From our conversation, I can tell the challenges from Brittney’s childhood are inversely what fuel the passion towards her future.

Brittney and I met up at the Liaison Conference Center in Washington DC. She’s a very tough person to catch up with but once you get her in person she can gab with the best of them. At Claflin, Brittney studied Public Relations with a concentration in Communications. From my observations, her unique strengths are leadership, organization, and innovation. She works with the DC Office on Aging as Communications Specialist by day while simultaneously owning her own Event Planning & PR firm from 5 to 9. She was originally called to DC as an Event Strategist for Friendship Charter Public School, which got her selected for HBCU Buzz’s as the Top 30 under 30. Brittney also just launched a new blog www.ourloveispatient.com tackling a multitude of topics. Now one may understand why she’s hard to catch up with. Brittney moves, shakes, and fills her time with impactful projects. I bring to you the mind of talented PR professional in this week’s #ShineHardconversation.

What is your passion and when did you know?

Brittney: My passion is to empower and strengthen self esteem in all individuals. I wake up everyday wanting to empower people because I know what it feels like to have low self esteem and to suffer from that. I think my passion for empowerment has really allowed me to excel into my leadership positions really prematurely. I really want to make an impact and motivate people to do better than they did yesterday. Really just looking to serve.

I knew this passion very early in school. I was being asked to lead seminars and workshops, and I was kinda like, “Why are y’all picking me?? Do I just LOOK like a good speaker or something?” But I decided, “If I’m being looked at as a leader, I might as well start following other leaders.” I started studying leaders and really accepting my role as a leader in life.

How did you get into Public Relations?

Brittney: I started PR in college. I had an internship in the Mass Comm. department. I was doing press releases and media advisories and I kinda blew up from that. My professor was saying, “You’re really good at writing!” So from there I became Mass Communication President and I was facilitating things, hosting seminars on how to prepare for jobs after college. I was doing a lot and it happened so quick. I was the girl who skipped class all freshmen year, had a senior boyfriend, and had a 2.1 GPA. Then I looked up my senior year and I was president. It all happened so fast, but yeah, senior year in college is when I got into PR.

Who did you look up to as a kid?

Brittney: I would have to say my mother because I saw her as a single woman put two girls through college. I never knew where the money came from, but I always saw her ambition. I admired her ambition and how hard she worked to make sure we didn’t go hungry. To make sure we had the latest shoes, and we just never wanted for anything. She’s a nutritionist now, but back then she was just an administrative assistant. My mother is just amazing and I admire her so much.

Tell me what you do with the DC Office on Aging and also about B.Carter Solutions?

Brittney: The office on Aging is a government entity where we serve seniors sixty and older. They come to our office to receive wellness care, transportation, meals & nutrition, any thing that a senior needs. I am the Communications Specialist there. I’m responsible for communicating to these seniors the services that we offer.  What I do is ensure that there is consistent branding and marketing for the agency. I’m the one who is planning, implementing, and developing effective communications across the entire agency. Social Media campaigns, marketing campaigns, press releases, the website, etc.

B. Carter Event Planning came about through my first job in DC. I was hired at a charter school as events communications specialist. After like seven months I was promoted to events coordinator and three months after that I got promoted to public relations strategist. Event planning came from my experience working events at the charter school. I’m thinking, “Ok, yall got me planning these $50,000 events, why not make some money from this?” So I started doing it on the side like a little hobby. Organizing trips and events is something I was always good at. Even when I was little, planning a sleepover or a birthday party. It’s in my blood to decorate and plan. I did my mom’s 50th birthday party and it was phenomenal. I mean it looked like a wedding reception. That is when I got the urge and put it all together as B.Carter Event Planning and PR.

Tell me about some of the notable work you’ve done as a PR Pro

Brittney: I did a huge black tie affair at theGaylord DC. It was invites, guest lists, we had iPads to check people in. It was just a major event that I’m really really proud of. I also did a Gala for Friendship Public Charter School that was about 3,00o people. I didn’t do it by myself, but that one turned out amazing as well. Also, I’m launching a website [BCarterSolutions.com] in January that specializes in all the services that I offer. Event Planning, PR, resume writing, and social media marketing.

What inspires you to succeed?

Brittney: My passion, my commitment, and my dedication to my overall mission. My overall mission is to empower people.

Whats been the biggest challenge in your career thus far?

Brittney: Being identified as a leader at such a young age. I’m 25 and at my church I am the director of internal communications. That’s a little challenging for me because because of the age different in the people that I work with. I had to learn how to autograph each task with excellence and learn that I am going to fail sometimes, but each failure is just a stepping stone to success.

What have you learned about leadership?

Brittney: You can’t tell people what to do, you have to work with them. You have to show them. Sometimes people get in leadership and it’s, “do what I say, do what I say.” Resembling this false sense of entitlement. When in reality it’s supposed to be us working together as a team to come to one common solution. Don’t look at me like your boss, look at me like your colleague.

What frustrates you the most about today’s culture?

Brittney: What frustrates me is our lack of justice for one. I think our justice system is unprincipled. Our culture needs not to focus on idolizing celebrities. People are focused on whats breaking the internet instead of what’s killing our culture every day. So many people idolize celebrities, what they are doing, and where they are, instead of just being themselves. Social Media is getting so bad that people are living their lives through the internet and this is why I recommend that people do a fast, but that is just a personal thing. Fasting from things that distract you can give you so much peace moving forward.

What would you say is the #1 factor behind your success?

Brittney: My support system. My family supported me on my move from this small town in South Carolina to this big city. But most importantly, my determination and my ambition. In college, I didn’t take “No” for an answer from anyone. I did what most college students didn’t do my senior year. I secured professional development opportunities before graduation.

What advice do have for the aspiring PR pros out there?

Brittney: Dream big and then put efforts in place to achieve your goals. Don’t take no for an answer. Have a satisfying feeling at the end of the day knowing you did something that you can be proud of. Have a goal list and always remain ethical and humble. Always remember that quitting is not an option.

Johnny: That’s right. Never quit! Success is on the same road as failure, success is just a little further down the road. Britt you’re a true inspiration! Already looking forward to your next big event. #ShineHard