- Posted April 23, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
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Dr. Syleecia Thompson!!!! A True Visionary promoting Entrepreneurship In a Major way!!!
What more can a woman do once she has done about everything within her field of work? “Anything” can be done, according to Dr. Syleecia Thompson and she has set out to prove it. As the daughter of legendary soul singer Syl Johnson and older sister of Grammy-nominated R&B singer Syleena Johnson, it was natural for Dr. Thompson to incorporate her teaching and leadership skills into music. “I have a strong passion for music too,” says Thompson, who began managing Syleena Johnson’s career in 2005 and is currently the President of Aneelys Records; Syleena Johnson’s independent record label.
As a teacher, manager, president, and author Dr. Thompson shows no signs of slowing down. She even looks forward to publishing another booked titled “The Leader Who Follows: Successful Strategies for Leading in Any Capacity”. Respectfully, Dr. Thompson has proven she can apply herself to any situation with precision. Currently, Dr. Thompson has embarked her efforts and energy on a new venture in music management and television. She is busy developing new brands and T.V projects for a various types of programming. She was featured on R&B Divas Atlanta on TV One and Fix My Life on OWN TV. Her goals are to continue to develop and strengthen her entertainment company. “I’m inspired daily to leave a legacy that has meaning and purpose,” says Dr. Thompson. She is sure to leave a legacy of leadership and inspiration that will ignite passion in everyone she touches.
I was blessed to connect with Dr. Syleecia Thompson when I became a member of the “Visionaries” entrepreneur network. This network has truly been a blessing for me and many other entrepreneurs and this interview will show you just how gifted, talented, hardworking, and dedicated Dr. Syleecia is when it comes to her brand, her family, her network, and helping others become a better person.
Once upon a time, major was the thing to become. Everyone wanted and fought for that “deal”, but then you developed the brand “Indie is the new major”!! Where did that concept come from, and do you believe that indie artist rule the industry nowadays?
She shared that “Indie is the New Major,” came from idea of 30 is the new 20’s. With the shift in the music industry, almost 7 years ago, a lot of artists were not given record deals, labels were folding and the economy was falling, so artist pursued their craft as indie artist. “When you looked at the market, Indie artist make up 34 % of the market! Even if an artist is signed to a major label, they still have the act indie. Indie is a mindset, everyone is indie if they are not attached to a corporate entity. Indie is a movement that is really speared on by entrepreneurship,” she says.
As a woman in the entertainment industry (management) how hard is it when negotiating deals for your clients? Is there a challenge for women in entertainment management as it is with women entertainers?
“It’s very difficult when negotiating! It’s is difficult being a woman negotiating! It’s hard when negotiating for your sister,” she says. Being a woman in the industry you are faced with sexism, discrimination, and stereotyped as very emotional. This industry is dominated mostly by men, even though women are in the business, men pretty much run the business side of things. The one thing, that is most challenging, is that the level of respect, for women, is not where it needs to be.
Being a woman is a “dual” role! We have to be sexy and pretty, but you can’t be too smart. “Even though, women make the world go round by being the biggest consumers, we don’t walk in our power fully. Beyonce is, somewhat, walking into her power, she is paving the way a little bit, but most people will not give her due because they will blame her success on her having Jay Z by her side,” she said.
Being the daughter of legendary soul singer Syl Johnson, the older sister of Grammy-nominated R&B singer Syleena Johnson, and having a strong love for music, how do you rate the music industry today as opposed to when your father was turning up the charts?
She likes some of the music out now, but, in her opinion, the industry from a creative standpoint is not the same. She wrote for the Encyclopedia of African-American Music and her entry focused on black music in Chicago from 1942 through today and covered several genres of music. She did a lot of research and listened to a lot of music ranging from House, R&B, Jazz, etc. But, in her opinion, “the best years in music were from 1956 to 1972 and the late 80’s to early 2000.
"Today’s music lost a lot of substance, sound, and creative!! Anyone can be a singer today, back then Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Tammi, Terrell, Diana Ross, Sam Cook, just to name a few knew how to sing and they gave you great music!! Nowadays, you can sound a hot mess, equipment can fix your vocals, and you become rich. But, time changes, things evolve,” she says!
In addition to music, you are a cheerleader for entrepreneurship; why is this so important to you and why do you encourage others to enter into business for themselves?
While dealing with the loss of her daughter and having to be out of work, she was faced with a major setback, her job refused to pay her for her time out of work. So with that loss of income, Dr. Syleecia further realized that having other streams of income is essential to maintaining life during difficult time. “There is nothing wrong with more than one income. Wealth can’t be built on one stream of income, she says” So she encourages people to develop businesses, trades, and networks, because at any time your main source of income can stop, and having something fall back on is essential to your survival.
Now you are the founders of the entrepreneur network, Visionaries! Tell our readers what this network is about and what a network like this has to offer.
Nowadays, it is hard to find networks that give back or networks that are doing anything to help its’ members through education, coaching, and socializing. So Dr. Syleecia Thompson founded the network “Visionaries”, a worldwide entrepreneurial network that consists of members from various industries. The visionaries’ motto is Vision, Plan, Execute, and Rewards. “A vision without a plan, means nothing,” she says. She is speaking this weekend at the Essence Festival in Atlanta Georgia this Saturday April 26, 2014.
The Visionaries offers its members, Mentorship, Monthly Coaching and Training, Monthly Conference Calls, Business Plan Assistance, Marketing Tips, and Financial Advice and Wealth Building. It’s a network of support and she is currently working on adding a charity component to the network because giving back is extremely important to her. The Visionaries is a network that can change your perspective on not only your business, but your life as a whole. I know as a member, I have not only learned about the business aspect of my business, but I have learned about the important things in that dictate my personal life such as taxes, real estate, improving credit. So there is something to be learned, taught and encouraged in this family of visionaries.
“In a split second, your decision can change your perspective, circle, and circumstances and in this network, you never know who can help you. If you have a vision, you will never be broke,” she says.
After reading your biography, I see that you are developing a foundation to advocate for women who suffer from stillbirth. Now I know you recently lost your daughter, how has this traumatic experience changed your life and how can we help you spread awareness.
This is one of her biggest projects, so she is taking her time for its creation. However, she is currently writing a book entitled, “Suffering in Silence: A Story of Resilience After stillbirth. The proceeds from that book will go to support her foundation. She want to focus on African American women because stillbirth happens to us at a higher rate. Her focus is raising awareness on this topic, along with going out and speaking about her experience and implementing new laws and/or amending current laws to assist those who suffer.
Now you are a Professor, manager, president, and author, when does Dr. Syleecia get to rest or find time for herself. When you are not being working, what does Syleecia like to do in her spare time?
She likes to go to the movies and out to dinner! Her and her boyfriend Omar goes wine tasting. She enjoys hot yoga, but overall she is very simple. She loves Amtrak, loves travel… She loves real shows, but she does have standards, she says.
Now you are the founder of DYG Management Group, tell us a little about this group and are you currently seeking new talent, how can an indie artist become a part of the Indie is the new major brand?
Sorry folks, she is not taking on any new artist at this time but she is venturing into other brands. She is currently managing her sister Syleena Johnson and her nephew Sean Black. She noted that she is very strict and controlling because she it’s very important for artist to be about their business and know the business that they are entering.
Your advice to any man or woman who wants to be an entrepreneur, but do not have the money and knowledge of business and/or a recording artist but do not have the brand or support.
She advised that people need to work really hard and study business. You have to know business and know your business. Create a business plan and make sure your credit score is high, because those things are your blueprint to show people you are serious.
When it comes to becoming a recording artist, study the legends that came before you. If you study the “GREAT” then you will understand what it means to be “GREAT”. If you want to pursue rap or hip hop, then you need to understand who Big Daddy Kane is, all the people who’ve paved the way for you, so you learn to appreciate their struggle and respect the craft.
If you want to get in contact with Dr. Syleecia Johnson, you can visit :
DYGmanagement ~ http://www.dygmanagement.com/
Syleena Johnson ~ http://www.syleenamusic.com/
Get ready for the R & B Divas, who are returning for a 3rd Season, premiering on TVOne, April 23rd at 10pm and every Wednesday thereafter. You can also tune into ww.tvone.tv to catch up on the R & B divas previous seasons.