by A. R. Shaw, rolling out magazine
Mary Parker stands as one of the leading business moguls of this generation. In 2001, Parker founded ALL-N-One Security without a business partner or employees. Today, All-N-One employs more than 200 individuals and has blossomed into a multi-million dollar enterprise. Parker’s company even worked side-by-side with the United States Secret Service to protect President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama when each delivered commencement speeches in Atlanta.
Parker will share her keys to success at with the Women’s Entrepreneurial Empowerment Summit.
Parker recently spoke with our publication about her rise in business and the impact of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Empowerment Summit.
What did you face early in business before launching ALL-N-One Security?
I didn’t know where to go. There weren’t networks or anything so I went to the library and did my own research and realized there was an international security organization. And right in my back door was the regional vice president of this organization. He invited me to come to one of the chapter events and I joined the chapter. And two months later, they were having an election for new offices, and I became a secretary. And so it was really great because that particular position allowed me to have upward mobility, because it was an environment or it was an organization built by White men. I wanted those guys to become my allies, and not my adversaries. And I did an extremely great job at creating those relationships with them. That was probably the first time that I really understood the importance of building relationships.
How do you measure success as a brand?
The one reason that I believe we are successful is because we’ve maintained, we’ve managed, and we’ve consistently grown, we’ve never operated in the red. And we’re feeding the families of nearly 700 employees. So that’s important. But the key element here of success for me is that I wanted to work my company long enough that I could bring in others and watch them grow, and be here to provide them with an open view and serve as their mentors. And then secondly, success to me is when I have given back in some form or another. Everything that God has blessed me with, that means my resources, my talents, my gifts, my money, all of that. So the thing that I’m very, very excited about now is the fact that I am able to take those resources, package them and give back to the masses. And that makes me happy.
Why was it important to create the Women’s Entrepreneurial Empowerment Summit?
As women, I think we’re a little too passive at times when it comes to understanding the value of networking. We’ll go in a room and we’ll find the people we already know and we began socializing. Socializing is not going to get you a contract. When I go into a room, I look for three people that I’ve never met before. And those three people, whether it’s somebody who does hair, or the CEO of a bank, I’m going to follow up with them. I always want to make sure I have something to give to them that’s going to support them. So I’m looking for a relationship, I’m not looking for a handout. I am also doing my training through my online university and I’m hoping that my life lessons will be enough to prompt those attending the summit. Once we launch the university in October, they will understand that being an entrepreneur is not just having a job, you are a job creator. You are the person who’s making a difference in the economics of our community. You’re the person who’s also raising up other generations of leaders, and you’re also a person who understand financial management, marketing and communications and the value that you bring to any situation. I’m doing this because our people, they need it, they need us.