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Amy Hilliard had worked for one of the largest African-American-owned ad agencies in the country, which had clients like McDonald’s and Coca Cola.

While there, she helped them with business development. Who knew that in her position, she’d one day develop a business for herself.

Mentorship and Entrepreneurship

In Hilliard’s words, her mentor Tom Burrell, threw her out there to sell his company to the world and that very hands-on experience led her to do the same for herself. Becoming an entrepreneur was something Hilliard had an interest in, but had not done.

After she began her consulting company, the Hilliard Group, some of her clients included Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Ford, but her mentor was her very first customer.

She maintained a business relationship with her mentor who gave her a Michigan Avenue office space and paid for her assistant.

Her lesson to those who want to branch out on their own is to treat your employers well and do a great job in the position you have because according to her, “You never know who can become your first client.”




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