Lee Whetstone is an Entrepreneur, Motivator, Purpose Builder, and the Founder and CEO of Leading with Lee Magazine. She sets a media platform for entrepreneurs to share their success stories and also uplifts and encourages future game changers to live and work in their passion filled purpose. She has been featured in blackwomeninbusiness.tumblr.com, Fashiongxd Magazine, “The Too Real Show” on Pure Vybz FM, and has been a guest panelist for the “Be Empowered Girls Summit” in New Jersey.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I am from Brooklyn, NY so I have seen the good and the bad. It bothered me to see teenagers hanging around convenient stores asking for money from random people, seeing empty shelves or outdated books inside inner city libraries, and overhearing male teens tell their friends that he had never visited Manhattan, which is only a 30 minute train ride from Brooklyn.
At that moment, I decided to create a business that would help motivate young aspiring adults on how to start their own businesses as well as build self-awareness. How? By highlighting success stories of millennials (whom they could relate to) as well as providing career and success resources and tools that could help further their dreams.
Tell us about your business.
Leading with Lee Magazine is a digital resource guide for the aspiring and the seasoned entrepreneurs, trendsetters, and game changers. Its where Boss Millennials network, build, and gain knowledge on how to start and grow their own businesses or personal brands.
Our readers have 24 hour access to a plethora of business and branding tips ranging from our exclusive guest interviews to our eGuides and “How To” tips and tricks.
In addition, we cover pop culture, fashion, music, and community news.
Our services Include:
- Print and Digital Feature and Advertisement Placement
- Instagram Business and Event Promotions
- Event Media Coverage
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We are giving away two FREE guest feature spots in March 2018 for our 4th annual “The Woman Spotlight” for women’s history month. Features will be placed on our blog. Participants must first subscribe to our mailing list through our website and then send us an email as to why we should feature your business. Easy right?! Just two steps.
Leading with Lee Magazine has been named “Magazine Publication of the Year” in November 2016 from Brown Women In Media.
Where is your business based?
Our business is based in New York.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I started by researching the magazine industry as well as researched anything I could find on how to run a successful business and the tools that I needed to do so.
The second thing I did was purchase my domain which was very cost effective especially for someone like me who didn’t have a lot of money to begin with. After I purchased my domain that led to me creating my business plan and then website. The rest is HERstory!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
In the words of rapper Jay-Z “We don’t believe you, you need more people.” As an entrepreneur, you will promote yourself like no other. But, what really worked for us is when other influencers and businesses started to speak about our company on their social media platforms by reposting our content on their pages or actually being featured in our magazine. When people see other people vouch for your business or brand, they will definitely look into what it is that you are doing.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge that I have faced in my career has been stepping outside of my comfort zone and conquering my fears.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I recently wrote an article called “I know I’m the ish… but do you?” This article really spoke to me as I wrote it because how can the world know about your business or know that you are an expert at what you do if you don’t get out and tell your story?
Therefore, I had to work through my fears, which led me to stepping outside of my comfort zone on too many occasions! But as a result, it made me grow for the better.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Picturing my life as someone who works for a living at a job that I am not happy at, doing the same boring routine everyday (going back and forth to work, living paycheck to paycheck, not having a hobby or side hustle that I am passionate about and makes me happy, worrying myself about not having enough funds to clear my debt, pay my bills, travel, shop, and provide for my daughter) is what REALLY keeps me motivated because I do not want to stay in or experience NONE of it!
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We focus on catering to our readers in different ways (digital, print, video) while also providing authentic, resourceful, and entertaining content.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I received recently was to take time to declutter my mind and work space so that I can stay focused and to also remove myself from toxic people and situations.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- Use what you have until you get what you need.
I started out with Wi-Fi and an idea. I didn’t have much at the time, but I have way more now than I started with.
- Stop Taking it Personal.
All of the doubters, naysayers, and the no’s should fuel you up even more. Remember, God didn’t give them your vision so continue to slay and work on your business and yourself and claim 2018 to be your year.
Let SUCCESS do the talking for you.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I like to use the Planoly app which allows me to schedule Instagram posts ahead of time. I also like to visit barefootstudent.com as our company is also open to hire available interns and volunteers.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I recently finished a book called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It is such a great read!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning about new media trends that our target audience is interested in.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Leading with Lee Magazine has recently gone print. My goal is to have our print publications in High Schools and Colleges in addition to having them placed in companies such as Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and the public libraries. We are definitely going to be make a lot of phone calls, emails, and visits this year.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @lwlmagazine, @bossladylee___
Twitter @lwlmagazine, @bossladylee_
Hashtags #lwlmagazine #leadingwithlee