If you ever feel like you can’t do something, I want you to take inspiration from Ty’Lisha Summers. Our interviewee manages to maintain a fulfilling marriage, meet motherhood head-on, grow her entrepreneurial profile, and balance it all with a corporate career. We all can probably learn a bit from her Black Perspective.
Introducing: Ty’Lisha Summers
SSD: Jumping right in, tell me a bit about yourself and what you do.
TS: I am a woman of faith, wife, mother, Chemical Engineer, and entrepreneur. I have been working in the oil & gas industry for 13+ years. I am the co-founder of SpenDebt, where I wear several hats from marketing to sales to pitching in competitions for capital.
SSD: What motivated you to step into all of that and what keeps you going?
TS: All of that…Well, as far as engineering goes, my sister picked my major… LOL! During my senior year of high school, I was set on becoming an architect. I enjoyed drawing and design seemed like a good fit for me. [However,] Sometime during my senior year, I realized that although I did enjoy drawing, it was a hobby. I could not see myself drawing and creating things EVERY SINGLE DAY and I especially couldn’t fathom someone telling me they didn’t like my work (which meant I would have to start over).
As I was sharing this with my sister she said, “Well you’re really good at math and you like puzzles, so why don’t you become an engineer? And you like science so what about Chemical Engineering?” And the rest is history 🙂
Now, when it comes to this entrepreneurship thing, I was always behind the scenes supporting Kiley (my husband). It wasn’t until he started hitting a few roadblocks, and realized there were so many resources for Black Women, that we decided to ride the wave. And that is literally how I came out front and became more of a face of the company. And unfortunately, there still aren’t many resources for Black Men as there are for Black Women.
SSD: What steps do you take to make sure your entrepreneurial endeavors don’t interfere with your day job (or vice versa)? Do you find that’s becoming more difficult as the profile of SpenDebt grows?
TS: I have to create to-do lists to stay organized between my day job and my entrepreneurial endeavors. I find myself working early in the morning, after hours, or on the weekends to handle my entrepreneurial tasks. Typically, when the kiddos go to sleep, I get to work on my other jobs. It has become challenging, which is why we are actively seeking help and outsourcing where possible.