Hair neatly pulled back and skin glowing, Sevetri Wilson looks effortless beautiful as she sits down to give me the scoop on her latest business endeavor. But as a 31-year-old woman running two successful businesses and a nonprofit organization, it doesn’t take much searching to grasp that Sevetri is much more than that.
After graduating from high school in 2004, Sevetri went on to attend Louisiana State University where she planned to make an impact as a Criminal Psychologist. Her goal: to save juvenile delinquents from the system by learning the psychology behind what happens to children who are exposed to crime. But upon stumbling upon the Manship School of Mass Communication, Sevetri quickly developed an interest in public relations.
Sevetri’s first job as Community Development Director at CASA led to her first opportunity to do consulting work for non-profits. One consulting gig turned into two. And before she knew it, Sevetri was passing up on acceptance into law school to launch Solid Ground Innovation’s, LLC. She was only 23 years old.
She convinced a sorority sister to join her in the endeavor and has practically been flying full speed ahead ever since.
The essential function of SGI was providing nonprofit management by way of branding, event planning, public relations, and marketing. Since it’s inception, the company has thrived. In fact, it’s ranked in the LSU 100 for three consecutive years as one of the fasted growing alumni businesses.
SGI began shifting its focus toward working with larger clients like corporations and cities. And Sevetri decided it was time to launch her next big thing. As such, she founded ExemptMeNow – an A-Z service which assists with the full process of properly setting up charitable organizations to be tax exempt.
Sevetri also runs a nonprofit organization of her own called, SM’s Pink Promises dedicated to health, education, and technology training.
Think that’s something? Sevetri is far from finished. “Over the course of my life I would like to do 5 things that I think are going to be my legacy,” she explains. With two business, a nonprofit, and a strong interest in investing, Sevetri looks forward to discovering the 5th thing.
Discipline, Persistence, & Grit
When asked how she manages it all, Sevetri explains that its all about getting organized and being disciplined. “Being disciplined is one of the things that has helped me the most as an entrepreneur,” she says. “I block time and dedicate that time regardless of the fact that people are going to be calling asking to do this and that.”
Her advice to others looking to make a mark in their given industry? “Be persistent and have a lot of grit. I think that people think, ‘Man, I’m not getting anywhere.’ But as soon as you think you’re not getting somewhere, that’s when you’re going to get somewhere. Also, you have to have grit because you’re going to get knocked down so many times so you have to have the will to get up every single time even when you don’t want to. Think about all the ideas you have. Which one do you want to dedicate your time to? Pick an idea and start with that.”
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