CEO & Founder of the Sports Management Firm Duchess Entertainment
In a male-dominated industry 23-year-old Dee Dee Williams owns and operates a sports management company that represents professional athletes who seek to expand their brand name outside of the arena. “If an athlete wants to get into acting, it’s my company’s responsibility to find them the best theatrical agent and through my keen relationships with casting directors, get them auditions as well. If an athlete wants to launch a new product, it’s my company’s responsibility to create a campaign to market the product, hire the best Public Relations Firms’ to promote the product and throw the event to launch the product. Basically, my clients are professional athletes who want to make more money and obtain more popularity outside of sports.”
Dee Dee said starting her own business was relatively simple. “I used my friends who were professional athletes at the time as clients,” she explained. “I would work for them for free, booking them on interviews, public appearances to even babysitting their children.”
This social butterfly recognizes the importance of networking her way to success. “Networking is 99% of what you have to do to keep your brand relevant. You can’t be in this business if you’re anti-social. At first, I would attend a lot of events for networking purposes and some athletes wouldn’t take me seriously. I’d tell them about the company I was starting and they would be more interested in taking me on a shopping spree or flying me out of town for a vacation. That wasn’t my desire. I wasn’t trying to get a free meal or a Gucci hand bag. I was only concerned with having the opportunity to do business with them. My mentality has always been this way and through my perseverance I overcame those challenges by simply ignoring the temptation and not taking ‘no’ for an answer.”
The young CEO was always interested in leadership. “Before I started Duchess Entertainment I was constantly brainstorming, developing new ideas and/or reinventing another way to do something that already existed,” she said. “Once I knew that I wanted to become a permanent fixture in the male-dominated industry of sports I began studying the work ethic of successful women in other male- dominated fields. Queen Latifah was the most influential person to me. She conquered the Hip-Hop Industry and is now a global brand and who is endorsed by several fortune 500 companies. When it comes to business, she will always be influential to me.”
“A lot of things set me apart from other people in my field,” Dee Dee explained. “The most recognizable features would be the fact that I’m young with a no-nonsense attitude. I’m very serious at what I do to the point where people have openly admitted not wanting to be in my presence when I’m in work mode. I stay focused and most importantly I don’t like wasting time or money.”
Any advice for My Savvy Sisters? “The only advice I would offer women who are afraid to step out and become their own boss is to discover whatever it is that they enjoy doing and do it with confidence!” she said emphatically. “Be extremely confident in yourself and your abilities to the point where it’s mistaken for arrogance. Passion and self reliance has gotten me along way.”
To learn more about Duchess Entertainment please visit her website at www.DuchessEntertainment.com.