Where many see technology as a challenge, Yasha views each dilemma she’s presented with as an opportunity to ultimately help companies generate revenue. For the last 20 years, she has built a reputation for being able to recognize challenges in business and technology and has proven to be skilled in discovering a myriad of ways to solve them with innovative techniques. Throughout her career, she has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies, helping to establish strategies and processes. Currently, she helps women overcome technology challenges in their businesses by providing customized solutions. A native of Cleveland, Mississippi, Yasha is ranked in the upper 1% of African-American women who hold the MBA/MCS dual degree in the United States, and she is the 2nd African-American woman to complete the program at Saint Xavier University. Yasha holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Jackson State University and a M.B.A. in Marketing and E-Commerce and a Master of Arts in Applied Computer Science, both from Saint Xavier University. She also has certifications in Business/Entrepreneurship, Goal Success, and Workshop Facilitation.
Yasha is a coach, consultant, and speaker. She is the 2-time best-selling author of The Complete Web Business Blueprint and The Complete Web Business Blueprint Workbook. She is also the proud owner of 4 businesses.
Yasha has won numerous awards throughout her career. She is a 2020 Top 50 Tech Leader conferred by InterCon Vegas and has been shortlisted for Woman of the Year by the Women in IT Awards. In August 2019, she received the Web Guru Award that acknowledges websites for design, development, creativity and innovation. In 2016, she received a Values in Action award for her work on Anthem’s Reimagine website. In 2015, she won two of Panduit’s coveted Bravo! awards for Technical Expertise and Quality for her work on the company’s Knowledge Center microsite and its Quick Build Harness Board System landing page, respectively. Between 2011 and 2013, she and her respective teams won awards in email marketing and website design from various associations and publications. Moreover, she has single-handedly led the design and development of 48 small business websites, increasing each of their client bases by at least 20%. Her unwavering passion for innovative technology has led to multiple consulting opportunities.
“I draw on inspiration from others. Everyone has a story to tell. I’ve learned at the end of the day, you’ve got to know that greater is in you, and better days will, in fact, come.”
BLAQVERSITY MAGAZINE: BY READING YOUR BIO AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO, I CAN SAY YOU ARE WERKING IT! YOU ARE A COACH, CONSULTANT AND SPEAKER. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE EVERYTHING AT ONE TIME WITH YOUR BUSINESSES?
YASHA STERLING: Ha! Sometimes I wonder how I do it all myself! Honestly, I’ve learned that you have to prioritize each activity based on what’s the most pressing at the moment. For example, if there’s a deadline approaching, the other businesses have to take a passenger seat until I complete a project. It’s just one of the pains of being an entrepreneur—you juggle many hats all at once!
BLAQVERSITY: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE TWO-TIME BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE COMPLETE WEB BUSINESS SERIES AND THE WORKBOOK? WHEN WAS THE SERIES PUBLISHED?
YASHA: It feels absolutely amazing! It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write and publish a book! So, when I learned that both had reached the bestseller list on Amazon, I screamed to the top of my lungs because it is so gratifying to see it first hand! The series was published in January 2020.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION/INSPIRATION BEHIND CREATING IT?
YASHA: Well, it started out as a simple blog post. Then, as I’m writing the post, I realized that it had got rather lengthy. So, then, I decided to make it into an eBook. Then, the e-book got lengthy! So, that’s when it hit me like a bolt of lightning, and I heard a voice say, “why don’t you just make it into a book?” So, that’s what I did.
BLAQVERSITY: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FOUR BUSINESSES YOU HAVE. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON EACH ONE OF THEM BRIEFLY FOR THE READERS?
YASHA: Sure! Yasha Sterling Management Agency caters to overseeing entrepreneurs’ day-to-day operations from finance, technology, marketing, and operations. Sterling Style is my online eCommerce business where I sell apparel and footwear. She GeekSpeaks is my professional speaking business, and The Web Chick the website/app development arm of YSM.
BLAQVERSITY: YOU WAS NAMED 2020 TOP 50 TECH LEADER BY INTERCON VEGAS. TELL ME ABOUT THAT ACHIEVEMENT. CONGRATS ON THAT!
YASHA: Thank you! I received this award early in January. The committee contacted me via LinkedIn, and I applied and won! It’s such a great honor.
BLAQVERSITY: HOW MANY AWARDS IN TOTAL HAVE YOU RECEIVED?
YASHA: Throughout my career, I’ve earned a total of 10 awards to date!
BLAQVERSITY: I READ A VERY INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOU ABOUT HOW YOUR JOURNEY BEGAN. AT THE AGE OF 25, YOU PACKED UP EVERYTHING; YOUR CLOTHES AND OTHER STUFF AND MOVED FROM MISSISSIPPI TO CHICAGO. WHAT AN INTERESTING FACTOR! WHY CHICAGO THOUGH?
YASHA: I was raised in Mississippi by my paternal grandparents, and my parents lived here. So, it was an easy transition. Chicago always has always fascinated me, though. And, I must say, 18 years later, it still doesn’t disappoint!
BLAQVERSITY: WHILE VENTURING ON YOUR NEW LIFE, YOU ALSO EXPERIENCED FAILED RELATIONSHIPS, MEDICAL ISSUES, NEARLY FORECLOSURE AND OTHER THINGS. HOW DID YOU OVERCOME ALL OF THOSE OBSTACLES?
YASHA: I draw on inspiration from others. Everyone has a story to tell. I’ve learned at the end of the day, you’ve got to know that greater is in you, and better days will, in fact, come. I’ve come from a long way, and I have to trust and believe that God wouldn’t bring me this far to leave me.
BLAQVERSITY: I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE 2020 PLAN HER. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCEPT OF CREATING IT? WHO IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
YASHA: The 2020 PlanHer is my a daily planner dedicated to African-American women entrepreneurs. On a daily basis, it’s easy to get bogged down with jobs, kids, and life in general. I developed the planner as a daily motivational tool. And I added a special touch by adding animated “sisters” because sometimes a good conversation with one of your girlfriends is the only thing needed to make the day better.
BLAQVERSITY: ARE YOU WORKING ON NEW BOOKS THIS YEAR? IF SO, WHAT TYPE OF BOOKS WILL THEY BE?
YASHA: Yes, I’m working on more technology books this year that are designed to help those that not as tech-savvy as they would like. I want my books to help those that run away at the mere mention of technology.
BLAQVERSITY: WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE FOR 2020? ANY MAJOR PROJECTS YOU WILL BE WORKING ON?
YASHA: For 2020, I’m working on growing my businesses by empowering women entrepreneurs with technology—helping them use their website and/or app to grow THEIR business.
BLAQVERSITY: FOR ANY WOMEN WHO WANTS TO START UP THEIR OWN BUSINESS, WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THEM?
YASHA: It’s not easy at all—and it someone tells you that it is, they’re lying to you. My key advise is to really assess your market and really learn who you’re trying to target because the mistake I made in the beginning was thinking that I could rely on friends and family, and I was so wrong! Also, make it a priority to set goals, and break those goals into manageable chunks—don’t try to do it all at once or you’ll become drastically overwhelmed!
BLAQVERSITY: HOW CAN READERS CONNECT WITH YOU?
YASHA: Readers can connect with me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through my many social media outlets including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube. I’ll definitely get back to you!
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