In this video segment from SUCCESS magazine’s November/December cover interview with Nia Batts and Sophia Bush, the advisers, activists and entrepreneurs discuss what their partnership and experiences have taught them, the importance of creating access for a diverse range of perspectives and their personal definitions of success.
Batts and Bush have both been in positions of power, and neither of them have squandered it. The pair met at a social impact conference, and the desire to make a difference that jump started their friendship has remained their driving goal.
But success and a noble cause do not deflect difficulty—and the pair have faced plenty of it. During the pandemic, the lockdowns forced them to close their business, Detroit Blows. It was their skill, quick decisions and focus on the safety of their employees that led to a better ending than what could have happened had they attempted to stick it out.
But they continued to strive toward making a difference. The pivot to working with First Women’s Bank allowed them to focus on creating access for underrepresented entrepreneurs. “There is a natural occurrence that can happen where people trust sameness,” says Bush. Most of the investors distributing capital are white men—and thus, most of the entrepreneurs who receive funding are white men as well. Supporting women in developing the same levels of confidence in themselves through providing them with investments allows for a diversity of ideas, both in businesses and around the proverbial table.
It is this availability of options, this freedom of choice to do something you want, that is success for Batts—options not only for herself, but for others. For Bush, success is feeling positive about her choices. While money is certainly power, there is more to success than just being financially secure—if you don’t have goals, if you are not lifting others up, if there is no benefit to anyone but yourself, then it is not truly success.
Erin King is the bestselling author of “You’re Kind of a Big Deal: Level Up by Unlocking Your Audacity” and “Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace.” She’s also the Chief Social Officer at Strikepoint Media, a digital marketing firm focused on social customer acquisition. But hands down, her toughest job is being a personal full-time assistant to a 13-pound cavapoo puppy named Betty White. You can connect with her on Instagram @mrs.erin.king