See the exciting new read on our CEO Cydney's tech story and the making of Iconic Style Inc on the most popular article and media platform: Medium.com
Success Story: Cydney McMillon On Being A Woman In Tech & Creating A High-End Fashion Brand
Since you were young, you have remained driven toward technology. Tell us about landing into your dream job and working at a senior position in Lexus.
I am a Senior Technical Services Analyst for Lexus. I travel regionally and train dealerships on technical systems and applications. I support technology at Product launches, automotive events/ conferences and I create and conduct technical presentations and training. I am grateful to thrive in such an exciting and fulfilling career. It is my dream job. I have been in IT for over 10 years. I have always had a passion for technology since a young age. I am intrigued by the capabilities, conveniences, and advancements of technology and technical systems. Some examples of how advanced tech has become is evident in the innovation of the smartphone and apps, self-driving cars, and even the evolution of online shopping and e-commerce. Netflix, Amazon, Uber, and Apple are innovative industry disrupters that have contributed to making technology a billion dollar industry. I have always been the go-to person for family and friends as far as technical knowledge and assistance. I love to resolve technical issues, fix problems and help others learn.
It is the usual notion that a techie always has strong foundations. Tell us about your educational background and a bit about your personal life.
I was born and raised in Michigan and attended a technology-focused high school. From there, I attended Michigan State University where I achieved my Bachelor Degree in Media Communication and Information Technology. I worked for Verizon Wireless as a Technology Coordinator which moved me to Charlotte, NC where I achieved my Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology which qualifies me to teach and train on technology and technical systems which is perfect since it’s what I do now in my career.
Right now, I live in a suburb of Chicago with my fiancé, and we are planning our wedding for Spring 2020.
Give us an account of your journey as a woman in the tech industry.
My journey in the tech industry has been full of learning, growth, and fulfillment. Starting as a Technical Assistant at Michigan State University, 11 years ago, I furthered my education, read, learned and researched daily to advance my technical skills. Taking courses, reading books and practicing self-development in addition to obtaining my Master’s degree helped propel me into the dream job I have today. I have held IT roles in different industries such as Telecommunications, Media, Global Defense and now Automotive.
In 2016, after becoming an IT lead, I launched into a journey into professionalism and self-development, I tripled my income to where I am now. I accelerated my strategic goal setting and achievement, focus, discipline, research, and preparation. To get massive results you must take massive actions towards your goal. Self-discipline is key. Each IT role I have held has been progressive and have led me to where I am today.
I have received recognition and rewards for my hard work. I love the team, culture, and the people I work with. I love the freedom and flexibility that my career affords and in the tech industry you have to be a self-starter to stay on top. I love new opportunities and chances to grow and advance my skillset. I like to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone.
Every career opportunity comes with a ton of challenges. What are the challenges you face on an everyday basis?
In my industry, both automotive and tech, there are times where I am usually the only woman in the room. Most people when they think of the IT person or technical person, they don’t think it will be me, a fashionable young millennial. It makes me proud to be that woman to break glass ceilings and inspire others and show them no matter what, you create your own lane and follow your dreams while staying true to yourself and style.
Due to my everyday involvement with technology, a constant challenge to overcome is to not get distracted and over engage with technology, whether it’s a smartphone, social media or the web. I practice digital minimalistic and productivity techniques and strategies to combat that. No matter whatever obstacles I have faced in my life, my faith has got me through them. I have beat the odds to become the woman I always dreamed of being!
How do you keep yourself empowered and driven especially when you have equally talented and driven male employees working around?
I stay true to myself. I pray for divine guidance and affirm positive statements and scriptures daily. I keep my self-centered and grounded due to my faith. My morning routine and solitude practices consist of visualization, affirmations, journaling, writing gratitude lists, and prayer. I stay disciplined and focused on goal setting and writing down my goals.
When you work with integrity and have a passion for helping others, it shows and others see it and want to work with you and offer you additional opportunities. It is important to be consistent with your high quality of work.
I know what the value I bring and the abilities and skills that I have to achieve success at every endeavor I encounter. My knowledge, experience, and expertise make me unique. I try my best to only think and speak positive thoughts and words.
I read and listen to empowering and inspiring motivational videos, podcasts, and audiobooks daily. Having a supportive fiancé, family and friends help me in my success journey.
You are not only an incredible technologist but have a great sense of fashion too. Tell us in detail about how you created your fashion brand.
I love to shop, so online shopping was a natural field for me to jump into. Learning the eCommerce world has been fun and exciting as it brings my passions for both technology and fashion together. Starting a fashion brand was something I had always been interested in and encouraged to do by others. I am known for my style as a fashionista. I started my accessories store — Iconic Style Inc this year to turn another one of my passions into profit and create multiple revenue streams.
I plan to have a launch for my online accessories store in early June but my website is up now and ready for business! I am a perfectionist and have been working hard to perfect my brand.
Fashion has always been an important part of my life. I dress up to look good because when I look good, I feel good. To me, just means wearing what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Style is personal and unique to each woman.
My target customer is any woman who wants to feel good about herself and celebrate her beauty, style, and individuality.
The products that I sell are trendy, chic and in season for women of all ages. The styles range from minimalistic to diva and from modern to vintage. Whether you are a businesswoman or stay at home mom, you will find the perfect accessories for your look! Jewelry, handbags, makeup accessories, watches and more.
I wish to scale my business by venturing into different avenues in the fashion and beauty industry such as hair care, skin care, etc.
An ambitious and driven woman is a boon for society. Enlighten us more about your dreams and ambitions.
My ambitions are to continue to inspire and motivate others while growing and learning as much as I can. I work on manifesting my dreams and desires daily. One of my dreams is to travel the world, I love to travel and have been on a few international trips and all over the US. I strive to become a master in my field and expand my brand. I want to continue to mentor young women and show them what’s possible when you have faith and believe.
Our readers would love to know more about your role models, favorite books, and other sources of inspiration.
I read a lot. It’s another one of my passions and hobbies!
My top 3 now for mindset, self and professional development are:
- Think and grow rich — Napoleon Hill
- You are a badass — Jen Sincero
- The Secret — Rhonda Byrne
Top quotes and affirmations:
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- Everything is working in my favor.
- You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it and prepare for it.
I also read spiritual books by Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen, and TD Jakes.
What does your future vision look like? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
As a woman in IT, my future vision is to keep making a positive impact while climbing the corporate ladder. As for my brand, I love to create, so I intend on creating more avenues in the fashion and beauty space and expanding my brand. I am also working on a venture to help others gain an abundance and wealth mindset and follow their dreams.
How do you keep stress at bay? Any piece of advice for solo entrepreneurs, working women?
I pray often. My faith is what I attribute to my success the ability to create and live my dream life. I journal and write down prayers and a gratitude list to think and reflect on all the great blessings.
I believe in myself and encourage myself and I strive to be the best me I can be. It’s important to spend time in solitude, taking time to think, reflect organize your thoughts.
My advice for corporate women and entrepreneurs is to always have a strong faith and belief system, always work to expand your mindset, learn as much as you can about your industry, practice self-care and self-development often and stay in a place of gratitude. Gratitude is powerful and is a catalyst for achieving and receiving more abundance in your life.
Know the power of your mind and what you can accomplish with the right positive mindset and faith. Invest in personal development, courses, conferences, and books. Obtain a money mindset, budget, save and invest wisely. Be a good steward of what you have to receive more.
When manifesting big things and dreams only share with people with the same level of excitement. Network and surround yourself with winners. Faith, belief, determination, and consistency will take you to the next level. Stay inspired, put things around you that motivate you, such as a vision board.
Travel as much as you can to see the world and experiences different cultures. Travel expands your mind and helps you think of life in a different way.
Cydney is truly an inspiration for everyone. If you love her story and might want to reach out to her, below are her social media links.
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