1,000 COSIGN’s: Meet Courtney Brand, Influencer and Creator of TheBWerd.com | COSIGN #93 of 1k
Courtney Brand is an entrepreneur and founder of www.TheBWerd.com. While too young to become an entrepreneur, she emulated it as a child. “I definitely wasn’t the type of little girl to play house, or with baby dolls,” she says. “I’d find myself doing things like setting up my own store, or working in an office with clipboards and paperwork, so I believe it was always in my cards to be a business woman.” By the age of 12, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer. “It wasn’t until college that I got a better understanding of the judicial system and it put an awful taste in my mouth,” she says. “Outside of not wanting to play a part in determining people’s fate for my professional reputation, I knew I wanted control of my own life. So many lawyers work 80 hour weeks, take home work with them, don’t get the chance to drop their kids off at school or pick them up and I didn’t want that for myself.”
Entrepreneurship runs in Courtney’s family, so seeing her paternal grandmother running multiple businesses and being able to take her six grandchildren shopping every weekend, made an impact on her. The home healthcare business she built would go on to employ her two sons (Courtney’s dad and uncle) and some of her grandchildren, long after her death in 1996. “Observing the lifestyle that she lived, and how she only used her business as a means to create experiences for her family meant everything to me and even as a child, I knew I didn’t want to live a mediocre life,” Courtney says.
Courtney’s had been writing for a long time, which was sparked by binge watching “Sex And The City” as a teen and she wanted to write a relationship column like one of the characters, Carrie Bradshaw. “I started in 2016 and no one was reading newspapers,” she says. “Blogs were the new columns. I wanted to talk about all we go through as 20-something year old women trying to build careers, find love, live life, and create stability. I definitely had an inclination that I would be able to share valuable insight, feelings and advice with other women; I just needed to create the platform to be able to do so.” TheBwerd was born.
Today Courtney’s schedule is a busy one.
5:30 a.m. – Wake up and go to the gym.
7:00 a.m. – Back home, getting ready for the day.
8:30 a.m. – In the office (her 9 to 5), coffee, inbox, working to-do list.
She eats lunch at her desk, does her must-do job tasks and flips back and forth between work and TheBWerd. “If time permits, I’ll package items that need to be shipped, work on blog posts, or even pitch to a few brands all before the clock strikes 5,” she says.
6:00 p.m. – Back home, handles life’s responsibilities.
10:00 p.m. – In Bed, repeat the next day.
“I try and use every minute of the day to go towards something, which can be difficult because even when I’m spending time with loved ones, I’m checking email, replying to Instagram comments, or pulling out my laptop to work on something so it’s easy for them to feel like I’m not completely present – so balance is always something I’m consciously working at,” she says.
Courtney has taken knowledge from working in the public relations field and applied it to her entrepreneurial endeavors. “I’ve learned that perception is everything and what you can get people to believe about you can potentially shape your entire future,” she says. “If you are strategic enough, you can get the public, or your audience, to see you in any light you’d like. Just how we view Mercedes as luxurious, or State Farm as reliable – we can set the tone for how we want to be talked about. When people think of you, what do you want to come to mind? Is that true to who you genuinely are? If so, how do you get them to see that? Those are the most important questions to ask at the beginning of brand building.” And to control the narrative, she uses social media, particularly Instagram. This may or may not work the same for everyone though. “That’s all completely dependent on what kind of brand you’re trying to build. My brand was built on being a walking example of what others are capable of and can achieve, so it was very important for me to be as transparent with others as possible so that they can see I’m just a regular girl really making things happen,” she says. “If you’re business is a maid service, or a catering service, it’s not necessary for you to share your personal life. You’re providing a service, so all people care about is how good that is. I have a business-side to my brand, but my brand is myself – if that makes sense.”
Courtney has been able to build her brand to the point that she works with other elite brands, but she began working with small, unknown Internet companies that would pay her with merchandise. “Even though that got old quickly, it was important to show brands that I could properly create the kind of content that they pay influencers for whether or not I was making a dime off of it,” she says. That type of work would eventually lead her to her first paid post from Macy’s.
COSIGNing other women is also important to Courtney. “My purpose is to teach as I learn, because I’m just figuring things out as I go, like every other woman,” she says. “Why not share the things that may help another woman get the job she’s been wanting, start the business she’s been dreaming of or find ways to make additional money so she’s not sitting around waiting on her paycheck? Anything other than support for another woman who’s trying her best to build something from the ground up is a form of insecurity.” And that legacy trumps a paycheck. “Realistically, even at the stage I’m at now, I have more money than I need and if I remain in this same space for the remainder of my life, I’ll be just fine. But if I’m able to change the lives of thousands of women and potentially put them in a position to then leave a legacy for their own families, that has so much more of a domino effect than being able to buy expensive shoes or bags.”
Courtney’s end goal is simple, she wants to be able to “… help women, on a grand scale, achieve their dreams and ideal lifestyle, build their businesses and become their own brands. And if I help a few men along the way that’s cool too,” she says. And for that, we #COSIGN Courtney Brand.