She’s So Ambitious: Rhonesha Byng, Founder of HerAgenda.com[audio:http://dl2.musicwebtown.com/clutchmagonline/playlists/282233/2927801.mp3]
A girl with dreams that stack much higher than her petite 5-foot-2 inch frame, Rhonesha Byng knows a thing or two about getting things done. Balancing college, launching her own company and interning, this 20-year-old Clutchette seems to already have her hands full, and she hasn’t even begun to embark upon her master plan.
Her philosophy in life is established by her acronym of N.E.S.H.A. – No One Ever Slows Her Agenda, which was also the inspiration for her first venture – HerAgenda.com. The site highlights 30 “Power Agenda” bloggers, each representing a specific aspect of female leadership, providing young women with positive role models.
Clutch caught up with Rhonesha to find out exactly how she gets it all done.
Clutch: How did you launch your career and get to where you are today?
Rhonesha: Growing up I was always an honor roll student. I knew that I was smart but I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. Then, journalism found me, almost like an epiphany when I wrote my first story ever and got such good feedback. From there I began to live for journalism and joined every professional network possible in addition to working for small papers and running my high school paper. My mentors have been tremendous support, and I was lucky enough to find my “calling” early in life. I love media, but I don’t see myself working for anyone else, so I started my own company and work daily to build my brand. My business partner/brand manager told me age should never be a limit or excuse. So I went ahead and claimed it, told everyone I met what I wanted to do and who I saw myself being and that made all the difference.
Clutch: What have you had to sacrifice along the way, if anything?
Rhonesha: The care-free life of a 20-year-old. Once I started getting serious about my media endeavors, it began to consume my life. Because I am still in school, I have double the work of any normal college student. I don’t have much of a personal life, in terms of dating, and I don’t get to go out as much as I would like. I have to pick and choose carefully what I do with my time. I can never just “chill.”
Clutch: How do you define success?
Rhonesha: I have a quote on my wall that says, “Success is the sum of small actions completed day in and day out.” I truly believe that is the path. There are a lot of little things, little failures, little successes, that amount to the big picture. Success is embracing your talents to the fullest and being acknowledged for all the work and passion you put into your life. There is more to success than a career, but if you are doing what you love, your life is your career and you are your own business.
Clutch: How do you balance work and life?
Rhonesha: I still haven’t quite figured that out yet, because my work is my life. But I think my friends help me in that area a lot; they force me to remember that at the end of the day, sometimes you need to just take a break and go see a movie. I also practice yoga which helps me relax and stay healthy. My family also helps and my father is a reverend, so Sundays are exclusively set for church and family time. I don’t plan these things into my life, I am sort of forced to, because honestly if I had my way, I would probably work 24/7.
Clutch: Who is your role model or mentor?
Rhonesha: My ultimate role model is Oprah. She is the epitome of where I see myself going. She started out in journalism and evolved to a media entity through her talk show. In terms of mentors, I have several. Two of them that have been with me the longest are Raqiyah Mays and Erika Kendrick. Raqiyah is a seasoned journalist, who embraces various platforms. She writes, has worked in radio, does TV stuff and is always giving back to the community in some way. I interned with her as a senior in high school and it really changed my life. Erika Kendrick is always rooting for me, guiding me and reminding me of my purpose. She’s like an older version of me and I love her for all the talks we have. I admire her ambition and vision she has for her work.
Clutch: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Rhonesha: Doing the same thing I am doing now but on a larger level. I see myself in an office, with Her Agenda on the door. My site, HerAgenda.com, will have inspired millions of girls across the country, I’ll be writing in-depth features for magazines and also making regular television appearances. I’ll have my own show too, but it will be online.