In celebration of International Women’s Month, Community Newspapers recognizes women leaders who are making a difference in our community through leadership, passion for what they do, and ability to help other women achieve greatness.
Q&A with Samantha Gil,
Founder & CEO of Nest of Love
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring young woman entrepreneurs?
Gil: Never give up on your dreams. Set goals, and remember your comfort zone, and get a mentor. You also need to be aware that focus leads to understanding — and understanding leads success.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Gil: My daily affirmations, I give thanks.
Q: How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
Gil: It was 2018. I left my previous job at Mercedes-Benz, because I felt there weren’t enough female leaders helping the girls and women of our community to likewise become leaders. September 2018, I created a women-empowerment organization nonprofit called Nest of Love (NOL). We are committed to leading women from every culture and ethnicity to become leader. We also focus on uniting individuals who are seeking advancement and equality through our mentorship, leadership, wellness, and spiritual-guidance programs.
I have always had a passion for helping people. I realized the mission of Nest of Love was my calling very early in the beginning stages. I see the direction that some young women are going in with social media; it has changed the meaning of “less is more.” Intelligence and ambition are priceless, and that’ that’s what empowering our women is all about. We admire those who take adversity and create a purposeful life; we congratulate the ladies that finish school and all the entrepreneurs that make it happen. Nest of Love has changed my life and has allowed me to improve the lives of others along the way daily. This is the true meaning of success to me. “The people you help along the way.”
Q: How do you continue to grow and develop your business?
Gil: Through support, donations, sponsorships, partnerships, fundraising, programs, training, and awareness. With the help of our community and others, we will continue to grow and develop our business.
Q: How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Gil: Through my mentorship with Kevin of @culture_empowerment, he has taught me, “We Change Our Women, We Change Our World.” I learned that impacting the lives of women impacts the lives of children, husbands, family, neighbors, and friends. We, as women, are the first teachers in life, and we must understand our importance and our influence on this earth and in the lives of others. He has taught me the value of family, business development, relationships, and effective communication. I am grateful for the knowledge and wisdom he provides to me. I hope to learn as much wisdom and understanding as I can learn in every aspect. A wise person knows they know nothing and continues to seek knowledge.
Q: How does someone turn an idea into a reality?
Gil: Everything starts as just an idea. Nothing happens unless first, you have a dream, a thought, or idea. They say you must build a plan. What’s a plan? A plan is something that shows you or others what you see before anyone can see it. So a business plan is simply a master plan. A master is a person with the ability or power to use their “plan.” In which your plan is, your mind. Now a plan is something that is developed in advance, which is “an idea.” Thoughts are manufactured in your mind, so thoughts are ideas. We decide which thoughts/ideas we want to fulfill with actions, and those are what or how we bring into reality.
Q: What have the highlights and challenges been as a CEO?
Gil: Being a CEO has brought many highlights and many challenges. But the best part is, I’ve had the opportunity to touch and change people’s lives. Great leaders change people’s lives for the better. It’s not necessarily a popularity contest; effectiveness is vital. Being a leader takes courage, discipline, and determination. I’ve had to have the courage to do things that frighten me. I am determined to fulfill my purpose. While a great leader can bring great success, it also comes at the cost of being judged and overwhelmed. God has blessed me for my work in stepping up and leading. Being a CEO/leader is an art and an acquired skill in which you must be confident in your abilities to lead.
Q: What’s your biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs?
Gil: Make logical decisions, not irrational decisions.
Q: Share one personal business highlight that you’ve had over the past year?
Gil: Kicking off the 17th season of Ellen DeGeneres Show, Kris and Kylie Jenner surprised my Women Empowerment Organization and me with $750,000. Kylie Jenner wanted to give back to someone who is doing incredible things for the community and others, and people from our community nominated me for all my work in the community and women.
Q: Tell us about your biggest failure.
Gil: I do not believe in the word failure, for it is an opinion created by one. I have always developed new skills, wisdom, and knowledge through my life experiences. I am successful.
Q: If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
Gil: I do not think there is anything I would change. I have acquired great success and knowledge through my current path and experiences.
Q: What three tools would you recommend in starting a business or nonprofit?
Gil: Apps, books, and podcasts. First, utilize an app such as Hoot suite that helps you plan your content and execute effectively. Book-wise, I refer to the Bible for wisdom, think, and grow rich. And finally, podcasts, such as Oprah Super Soul Conversations.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
Gil: Challenges inspire me because I know that I am growing through them.
Q: Which other female leaders do you admire, and why?
Gil: One female leader I admire is Beyonce. She is what I consider a role model. She is a woman; she is a leader, she is a wife, a mother, and she is the ideal version of what any woman should aspire to be. I respect her discipline and her efforts to become the woman she is and also how she has led her husband likewise to be victorious. It is the woman who makes the family, and Beyonce is living proof of a virtuous woman.
My female nonprofit inspiration is Beverly Bond. She is an American former model, DJ, businesswoman, mentor, producer, writer, and proud founder of Black Girls Rock! Bond is best known for her organization Black Girls Rock that recognizes the success of African American women. As a child, Bond attended a different school every year in which I too experienced going to 2 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools due to adversity and life’ life’s circumstances. In the beginning stages, Black Girls Rock grew into a mentorship for young women promoting self-worth and empowerment, which is one of Nest of Love, my organization’s focus.
For information on Samantha Gil and Nest of Love visit: https://www.nestoflove.org/.