Sylvia “Secret” Mikell: Up-Close
Total Image by Secret, President & Image Expert
How long have you been in Atlanta?
Name of your business … Title … What/who inspired you to get in the business … How did they inspire you?
Total Image by Secret, President & Image Expert — My late grandmother was a great influence on me. She had two non-profit organizations dedicated to the growth and development of underprivileged children, (myself included) which she exposed to model training, culture, etiquette, and various field trips and activities to build character and self-esteem of the participants. She instilled wisdom, courage and faith in the lives that she touched. Ultimately, I learned that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.
What do you love about Atlanta?
I love the energy and the endless opportunities for success in Atlanta.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far? (work related) Tripling my income in one year by applying the principles and lessons implemented in regards to personal/ business branding and marketing.
Best book you’ve ever read, other than the Bible
I have a large collection of books, so this is a difficult choice. I read Cashflow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki six years ago. At the time I had just purchased my first home and begun working full-time in my business. It really shed a lot of light on things we consider investments and creating multiple streams of income.
“Never underestimate the power of making an impeccable first impression,” by me.
What has been the lowest point in your life and how did you get over it?
The lowest point in my life was 10 years ago when I moved to Atlanta on a wing and a prayer with my young daughter, while going through my divorce. I had approximately $232 in my checking account and we slept on the sofas of family and friends for four months. I worked 2 part-time jobs; one as a hair stylist and the other as a collections representative at night. I am self-motivated and a natural goal-setter; therefore, I remained focused on where I wanted to be, instead of where I was at the moment. I always keep a journal for my current life and I keep a journal filled with my dreams, goals and things I want to do 3, 5, and 10 years in the future. I believe that writing is therapeutic.
Do you do any charity work and if so, how do you contribute other than money?
I enjoy giving back to the community in numerous ways and on many levels. I’m a hands-on type, so I prefer to donate time and services in conjunction with monetary donations. My company has donated makeover services and products to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Atlanta Union Mission, and Newbirth Missionary Baptist. We host a fundraiser event for one selected non-profit organization each year.
Tennis, event planning, arts and crafts, cooking, decorating, shopping, reading & traveling
Where did you attend college and what was your major?
Bauder College & DeKalb Technical College; Fashion Merchandising & Marketing Management
What do you do that most people would be surprised to learn?
I don’t watch television and don’t have cable T.V. I invest my energy in reading and enhancing my gifts and talents. I stay current via the Internet.
Favorite Georgia get-away
Chateau Elan Resort
Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Bean ice cream on top
Best advice you’ve ever been given
Given by a former marketing professor, Robert Allen; “You cannot manage what you do not know and you cannot know what you do not measure.” These few words have helped me to learn how to manage the simplest tasks to the most complex tasks that I encounter in business.
The one thing everyone must know about doing business in Atlanta
Doing business in Atlanta is all about knowing the right people, having a great attitude, delivering a quality service or product, following through with promises and staying in contact or visible with clients, prospects and business associates.
Who/What inspires you?
My daughter inspires me to be and do my best; I take a lot of pride in being a good role model for her and other teens whom I come in contact with.
Awards, certificates, honors and recognition
Deans list, Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship certificates
Organizations you belong to
Fashion Group International, Creative Artist Network, Elite Ladies Group & Wise Women Speak
What is your hope for 2011?
I look forward to expanding the Total Image brand while enhancing and adding value to the lives of everyone that I come in contact with, be it, a new business associate or client. For 2011, I am looking forward to building and growing an even stronger enterprise for Total Image. Total Image has several partnering projects in the works for 2011.