Over the years Chicago based entrepreneur Peytyn Willborn has proven herself to be a “Jane of all trades” and an expert when it comes to propelling her business ventures into lucrative endeavors.
The entrepreneurial spirit first grabbed hold of her in high school where she became the go to stylist to many of her classmates. After graduating. she found work in a local salon while studying for her cosmetology license before opening up her own salon at the age of 24. It was while working in her salon that Willborn would have a chance encounter with Oscar-winning actress, Mo’Nique, that lead her to Hollywood, where she worked as a stylist on a number of popular shows including “Moesha”, “The Parkers”, and “Six Feet Under”.
Not completely satisfied with the manufactured glitz and glamour of LaLa Land, Peytyn returned to Chicago and used some of TV show earnings to open a chain of successful daycare centers all across the city. It wasn’t long before other opportunities presented themselves including a chance to take part in the revitalization of Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood with the opening of her popular Italian eatery, Truth.
N’Digo recently sat down with Willborn to get the inside scoop on her upcoming Lifetime network reality series “Bringing Up Ballers” and learn her keys to being successful in business.
With your vast experience working behind the scenes on various TV shows and movies, was there any hesitation about stepping in front of the camera?
There was no apprehension at all. I live my life like an open book so I was not nervous about giving viewers a glimpse into my life. I had been approached by other production companies for reality TV opportunities in the past but this one was a standout because it allowed my children to take the journey with me, specifically highlighting my son’s immense athleticism.
What was that experience like to have cameras following you around all the time?
It was a natural feeling. There were no nerves or anything of that nature for me.
What would you say is going to set this show apart from other reality shows?
There is no other show that showcases the talent of grade school aged basketball players to college while delving into the lives of the support systems that helped them get there. It’s an extremely unique premise.
In your opinion, what are three of the biggest things people need to be successful in business?
People need the right team – their own personal board of directors. I can’t stress enough that you can’t do everything by yourself and without the proper team to assist you with the journey, it will be extremely difficult to be your best self. You also need to be extremely flexible. In business, you should always be agile and quickly adapt to challenges that arise along the way. Lastly, having thick skin is a must. Everyone will not believe in your vision but you must take all negativity and turn it into constructive criticism to drive your business forward.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
People might be surprised to know that I am shy. I am extremely confident but I am a lot more quiet and reserved than what others perceive. My self-security is often mistaken for arrogance but in all honestly, I’m really coy.
Best advice to budding entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can give to budding entrepreneurs is to believe in yourself. We often look for validation from others when we shouldn’t matter. Trust in your abilities and build confidence within to reach your goals.
Who would you cast to play you in the movie on your life?
I would love to see the fabulous Taraji P. Henson depict me in my biopic. She is an extraordinary actress and I could not see anyone else filling that role.
Can you name one book that changed or really impacted your life?
I love reading. Any chance you get to feed your mind you should do so. The book that sticks out to me most is one of my recent reads called The Power of Broke by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner. It’s a really great read for any entrepreneur. It has impacted me the most because it gave me the vision for revamping my Future Mogul Campaign.
What’s the last great book you read?
The last great book I read was Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success,
Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba. It’s a must-have for female entrepreneurs. I see a lot of competition between women and this book allows you to see the power in connection instead of competition. It is an amazing read and a great way to build self-confidence and learn that there is power in numbers.
Favorite quote or affirmation?
“You become what you think.” This resonates deeply because it encapsulates the most important things I’ve learned throughout life: success starts in the mind. First get your mind to believe and the rest follows suit.
What’s next for Peytyn Willborn?
I’ve partnered with Dwyane Wade’s Wade’s World Foundation and the Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center to produce a youth targeted charity event this summer. All proceeds will go towards community development. I also plan to relaunch my Future Moguls Campaign. I will also be hosting several
Basketball Mom Night Out events, designed to give mothers of talented young athletes some fun while obtaining information about improving their child’s chance of success. Almost like a networking group for basketball moms. And lastly, in the coming months I’ll be adding weekly events at my restaurant, Truth.
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