When it comes to Shantay Carter, helping others is more than just a job- it’s her passion and her purpose. From her daily work as a dedicated nurse to her ambitions as the founder of a thriving nonprofit organization. The New York area native has an extensive history of letting her caring nature guide her path. Shantay attended Binghamton University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. In 2000, she began working at Binghamton General Hospital as a Registered Nurse. In 2002, Shantay continued her career at Northwell Health Systems where she currently works as an orthopedic/trauma nurse. After noticing the lack of guidance for young girls in the Long Island area, Shantay decided to create Women of Integrity, Inc. The ten-year-old organization has already made huge strides in its mission to “empower and educate women of all ages and ethnicities”. Shantay is also the Best Selling Author of Destined For Greatness Book and Destined For Greatness Journal. Shantay is a Proud Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the NAACP, and The Nassau County Medical Reserve Corp.
Where did the idea for Women of Integrity Inc. come from?
The idea of Women Of Integrity Inc., came from me going through a bad break up and needing to channel the negative energy that consumed me, into something positive. I always enjoyed giving back, being of service, and working with the youth. I created Women Of Integrity Inc. to be a resource for the women and youth in my community. Creating Women Of Integrity Inc., literally saved my life. It allowed me to turn my pain into my power, which allowed me to find my passion and purpose.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts off with meditation first because I want to set the intent for the day. Then I check my emails, make follow up calls, check our social media pages, and return calls. I communicate with my members via our private Facebook group, and group me to update them on any organizational matters . I always try to make the day productive , by checking things off my to do list. I also send out newsletters as well.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by thinking about the vision and what is the message I am trying to get across. I write down my thoughts and then write down what I need to do to carry out my plans. I also think about who I can collaborate, and what resources I will need to help make the event a success.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that excites me is the self care trend. I think as entrepreneurs we forget about taking care of ourselves, because we are so busy thinking about others. Sometimes, we need to recharge and take the time out to focus on ourselves.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A habit that makes me more productive is writing out a to-do list. Staying organized. Planning things out ahead of time, to anticipate any potential setbacks.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice that I would give to my younger self is: Never dim light for anyone, know your worth, and stay true to who you are. Heartbreak is not the end of the world. Learn to love yourself first.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Something true that nobody usually agrees with me on is that strangers are more likely to support you first and better, than your own family and friends.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing that I do over and over is networking and supporting others in the community. . You have to be willing to support others , in order for them to support you. Self promotion is the best form of promotion. If you don’t believe in your brand and promote your brand, how can you expect anyone else to believe in your brand.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Networking is a strategy that I have used to grow my business. I put my feet to the pavement and went out in my community to spread the word about Women Of Integrity. Collaboration is also another excellent strategy to use. There is strength in numbers. Why compete, when you can work with someone or another organization and expand your reach.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
A failure that I had as an entrepreneur was, the lack of support from the community in the beginning. Our first prom dress drive and giveaway was a flop , because no one knew who we were. No one donated to us. I was crushed and in tears. I remember my mom telling me “ This is just the beginning. Don’t Give up. It’s because they don’t know who we are yet”. She said “ Give it time”. After that experience I vowed that failure was not an option. I picked myself up and went back out there and put in the work. I started to look within my circle to see who I could connect and collaborate with. I also researched my industry more and really went into grind mode.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business idea that I am actually willing to give away, is especially during this coronavirus era, create a grass root organization that could get much needed medical supplies , especially personal protective equipment (PPE) to the hospital staff or create a mobile drive by service that could drop off groceries and supplies to our elderly in the under served communities during this global pandemic.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 dollars that I spent recently was on myself. I used it towards attending my sorority’s regional conference, spending time with my sorority sisters, and buying sorority paraphernalia. I had a great time bonding and enjoying our sisterhood.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A web service that helps me be productive is planoly, fiverr, and canva. These help me with being organized, create content, work smarter rather than harder. Planoly used to schedule content on Instagram. Canva helps with creating content. Fiverr helps with all business needs. Whether, you need a flyer, speaker sheet, promo video, or business plan , fiverr can help you.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A book that I recommend to read is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It helps with changing your mindset and giving you personal freedom. It’s a great read.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is failure is not an option and empowered, women empower women.
- Make time for yourself
- Work smarter not harder
- Be intentional with your time
- Being a part of something bigger than yourself and giving back is rewarding
- Consistency and organization is key