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ESSENCE Network: Shanti Das, How to Make Dollars and Sell Sense in the Music Industry

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shanti das

If you love Usher, TLC, Outkast or Toni Braxton, you probably owe Shanti Das a thank you. The marketing maven worked her way from a summer intern to a Senior Vice President position for Sony Music. In between, she helped launch the music careers of some of our favorite stars. Now she continues to empower and educate through entertainment with her own company. See her secrets for climbing your way to the top.

Name: Shanti Das

Age: 43

Title: CEO/Press Reset Entertainment & author of The Hip-Hop Professional (www.PressResetEnt.com and www.thehiphopprofessional.com)

Location and hometown: Atlanta, GA

Twitter: @ ShantiDas404

The gig: I consult in music marketing, celebrity procurement, and special events, live music events and charitable works through my company Press Reset Entertainment. I am also an author and a passionate mentor.

The journey: I started as promotions assistant for Capitol Records and worked my way to Senior Vice President of Urban Marketing at Sony Urban Music. Along the way I created innovative promotional campaigns for TLC, Usher, Toni Braxton, Outkast and other musical acts. At the end of 2009 I took a leap of faith and branched out on my own. I wanted to continue utilizing my professional skills from the entertainment business, but volunteer more in the community and speak at colleges. It took me two years to really find my niche. I am definitely blessed.

Success 101: No doesn’t always mean no. As a woman you cannot be afraid to go after jobs or dreams just because someone turned you down or told you no.

Confessions of a Black woman in entertainment: One of the challenges that I faced as a woman was not receiving equal pay in comparison to some of my male counterparts. I learned to stand up for myself and demand my worth as an employee. As an entrepreneur, I faced challenges of the good ole boy network and learned that it’s really about ‘who you know’ to get things done.

Her biggest lesson learned: My biggest mistake was shopping a lot in the past and not investing a lot of my money. I recovered by being more conservative with my finances and changing my value system.

Her networking tip: I actually wrote a book called the 1,2,3s of Networking. It’s a small pocket guide featuring 30 tips. A few of my tips are to first network within your own circle—family, friends and church. Also, dress the part and bring something to the table instead of just expecting others to assist you.

Her career highlight: Helping to break out the musical duo Outkast as national superstars, and achieving Executive Vice President in a male dominated industry.

Her student loans status: I had student loans and paid them off in the 90s, woo-hoo!

Her best time-saving tip: I use Google calendar to stay on top of meetings/schedules, and I wake up early each morning to go over my schedule, so I know what all needs to be accomplished that day. I also use the reminder app on my iPhone to help.

Her stress relievers: I love NFL football, movies, eating crab legs, amusement parks, traveling to Europe and spending time with my family. I also manage my stress through prayer.

Her tech fix: My iPhone5, iPad and Mac laptop. Apps I love are Stylegram, iStamp, PhotoGrid, Shazam, DocuSign and FontCandy

In her beauty bag: Lots of lipglosses from Chanel, a great black eye liner, blush, a moisture-based foundation and a great perfume (Chloe!)

Her power accessory: A stylish handbag! I love YSL, Prada, Dolce, Chanel, Vintage Gucci and also my bargain bags from Nordstrom, Charming Charlie and trendy boutiques.

Her secret superpower: Humility.

Her theme song: “Started From the Bottom” by Drake.

Filed Under: Money and Power
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